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The Kanye Divide: Does Cancel Culture Work?

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Y’all stanned a man who told y’all he would get on and leave your ass for a white girl only to be surprised when he actually did the shit… and then he left the whole community! It’s always sad when you see a person of color struggle with the effects of internalized racism, but it’s worse knowing Kanye did not begin his career this way. Despite his reclusiveness, the signs were still there.

In preparation for Yeezy Season 4 in 2016, a casting call was issued. Many would be taken aback by what they would read.

Yeezy Casting Call

Just the Human Race

The man who once said George Bush doesn’t care about Black people would call for racially ambiguous women in a manner that translated to “Light skinned women only.” It was a verifiable PR disaster. Black Twitter had yet again rallied to snatch Kanye as bald as Amber Rose and as a community we were here for the mess. Despite a short-lived public shaming and claims to boycott Kanye’s brand, season 4 outsold previous collections by 35 percent in the first month.

That figure does not even include the brand’s shoe sales. On the heels of the release of his new album, following controversial comments regarding the “artist’s” opinions on slavery, politics, and thought, we need to ask ourselves a serious question – Is cancel culture working?

Over the past 4 years, we’ve seen an increase in outrage marketing – the ploy of purposefully upsetting a targeted demographic for the sake of increasing brand awareness. Pepsi, H&M, Doritos, BIC, Dove, and many others have exploited the power of social media outrage as a means to advertise freely off the backs of angry would-be consumers, only to issue malformed apologies to appease the general public. The song and dance is always the same:

  • an intentionally divisive, poorly conceived, poorly executed campaign is released
  • the public in their anger shares the campaign by dragging it up and down these social media streets
  • the company apologizes and people, in their ignorance, give the company a pass just to go back to consuming the same content

Where is the recompense?

While casually promoting his next season of Yeezy “fashions” via Kim Kardashian’s Instagram feed, Ye returned to social media to share news of produced albums and hinted at the release of his own self-titled work. Like all celebs do, he embarked on a press tour, however uncommon his stops may have been. May 2018, Kanye made waves during a TMZ interview where he had an embarrassing exchange with Harvey Levin before being checked by Van Lathan. His now infamous take on slavery being a choice has begun to cost him dearly, or has it?

Adidas isn’t dropping “slavery’s a choice” Kanye but they won’t sign Colin Kaepernick unless he’s on a team. Keep it.

— Ira Madison III (@ira) May 3, 2018

As his 8th consecutive album to open at number 1, tying a record held by The Beatles and Eminem, Ye is all smiles in his second week atop the Billboard Hot 100 with over 100 million streams. Adidas, the company that manufactures Yeezy, has yet to suffer a major financial loss because of Kanye’s comments. Anyone with eyes can see something in the milk ain’t clean. If no one is supporting Kanye right now, why are his numbers doing so well? Well…for that, you’ve got to know his audience.

You don’t have all the answers, Kanye!

Now, I’ll keep it 100, and this is just my opinion, but Kanye’s fanbase has been white boys in dirty vans for a long time. While we were Broke Phi Broke and supporting a rapper who we thought had a different vision, a different take on the black millennial’s experience in America, hype beasts who vape were closing in on a seat at the cool kids table. And that’s fine. Appealing to a variety of people is awesome when the exposure does not come at the expense of the freedoms of others’. But don’t sit there in a MAGA hat talking about Dragon Energy like you’re going to spirit bomb the racism away.

Kanye's fanbase

Kanye’s recent appeals to Republicans have amassed him favor with the Tiki Torch Tammy’s and Tyler’s of Amerikkka and that is incredibly dangerous. Any person with a platform as prominent as his needs to understand the gravity of our current political climate and experience the fallout of being held accountable for trash views. It is not acceptable to support a man who views our current potato-in-chief as a brother. The same potato that believes nazis are fine people. As consumers, we have to hold our faves accountable. We cannot give them the luxury of separation from their art because that art is what affords them the safety of being removed from the effects of dangerous policies/tactics that are enacted. People with loud voices like to play respectability roulette until they’re gambling with their livelihood.

Kanye West Retraction

See what I mean? Will you be supporting Kanye and the artists he’s collaborated with? Should people he works with be subject to the same scrutiny? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

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Entertainment

Michelle Williams Quits Broadway Show

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Michelle Williams Erzulie

It has been a difficult year for Michelle Williams. Having ended her engagement, per doctors’ orders she now has to end her Broadway career.

From a statement provided to People magazine, the Destiny’s Child alum has orders to take it easy.

“Effective immediately, Michelle T. Williams has been advised by doctors to take a leave of absence from performing.”

The 38-year-old  singer and mental health advocate had the role of Erzulie, a goddess, in “Once On This Island”. She had only been performing in the role for two weeks.

Sources say her understudy, Cassondra James, will take over until December 26th. From that point, Lea Salonga, the original lead, will resume her role until the finale January 6th.

Rocky Road

With no further explanation given regarding why Michelle must take a sabbatical, its tough to say why she needs a break. Her ongoing struggle to conquer depression, the recent stint in a mental health care facility, and toxic relationship may have taken their toll.

Hopefully, Michelle is taking some time to mend herself. This summer she stated, “Take one step at a time! Don’t overwhelm yourself.” We’re all hoping she’s following her own advice.

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Kodak Black Walks Out Hot 97 Interview After Ebro Brings Up Sexual Assault Case

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Kodak Black

During an interview with Hot 97, Ebro asked Kodak questions about his criminal past. Things went smoothly until Ebro mentioned the seriousness of sexual assault allegations.

At the beginning of the segment, Ebro posed an interesting question to Kodak for which he had no answer.

“When you look at all the stuff that you’ve got on your rap sheet, everything that you’ve been charged with, how much do you take accountability for?”

“Everything that you’ve been charged with.” At the time, Kodak may have only been thinking about misdemeanor drug charges. Ebro had specifically mentioned marijuana possession and alluded to “different things” Kodak had been going through.

Kodak was obliged to answer the Hot 97 crew’s questions, but it wasn’t until the focus was shifted to sexual assault that he got uneasy. Ending the interview, in a huff, Kodak said:

“I feel like sometimes when n*ggas like me going through sh*t, like, y’all be entertained by bullsh*t.”

Indicted on sexual misconduct charges, Kodak could face 30 years in prison if convicted. He stands accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in a hotel. Allegedly biting her neck and breast before the assault, prosecutors claim he also pushed her into a wall. With the trial tentatively scheduled for April 2019, Kodak is avoiding any discussion surrounding the case.

Far to go

Following the release of the interview, many of Kodak’s fans took to social media to support the artist. Showing that the hip hop community is not prepared to call out misogyny and abusive behavior, his fanbase began attacking Ebro. Still, many stood in Ebro’s defense. Despite the rise of the #MeToo movement, hip-hop is still ages behind in terms of inclusive progression. Twitter users echoed the same sentiments with statements like these:

In his defense, Ebro had this to say in regards to the touchy subject:

Do you think Ebro was out of line? In what ways could Kodak have responded better?

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Nicki Minaj’s New Beau, Spilled Tea

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Social media has been dragging Nicki Minaj for her history of supporting alleged sex offenders. Tired of the misinformation, she’s speaking out to defend her man.

When Nicki was spotted with a new man on her arm, everyone wondered who he was. We were all sure, despite their dismissal, that Nicki and Lewis Hamilton were together. Instead of choosing the handsome millionaire Formula 1 driver, Nicki is riding with a convicted sex offender with a violent past. Talk about crying in a Nissan instead of a Phantom.

Nicki! You in danger, girl!

Kenneth Petty, Nicki’s new beau, is a registered sex offender convicted of attempted rape. Insisting its a complicated situation, Nicki says it stems from Petty dating the victim and her mother not approving. Arrested and charged with first-degree rape in April 1995, he and the victim were both 16.

In court documents obtained by RadarOnline, Petty used a “knife/cutting instrument” during the attempted rape. Carrying a sentence of 18-54 months, it’s unclear how much time was served. Even worse, Petty was charged with murder in April 2002 and was released in May 2013.

Nicki claims Petty is an old flame from her teens, but it’s unclear how much time they had together considering he’s spent so much of his life behind bars.

Who Said Dat?

Chinese Kitty, a castmate of Love & Hip Hop Miami, recently did a radio interview. But it wasn’t the interview that made waves, it was her IG Live segment afterward. Believing the cameras and mics were no longer recording, the crew began sharing celebrity details, mainly about Trina, Nicki, and Meek Mill.

While talking about her friendship with Nicki, a woman off-camera said to Chinese Kitty:

“I have a question: was that during the time she was covering? Because she had an issue with her butt shots? Oh, I know her.”

Chinese Kitty then starts laughing  and the woman continues:

“My girlfriend, Renee that dates Adrian Broner the boxer, we all know one another. Meek, we know everybody. We all are friends. So Nicki Minaj had a problem with her butt shots, and you know about that story. So for a while she couldn’t have sex with Meek and that’s why she felt so insecure that he was f*cking somebody else. And that’s facts!”

When it comes to who that somebody was, Trina’s name came up, leaving her feeling some type of way. Not wanting to be a part of the drama, Trina let us know to keep her name out of our mouths PERIOD.

View this post on Instagram

Period ‼️

A post shared by katrina (@trinarockstarr) on

Go awf, sis! But did you notice she didn’t deny it? Whatever the case, Kitty felt like she needed to make amends with the Diamond Princess and apologized.

 

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