Reposted via Lisa Respers France, CNN
Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album is garnering praise from listeners
(CNN) Be kind to Kendrick Lamar fans today; they probably didn’t get much sleep last night.
Reposted via Lisa Respers France, CNN
Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album is garnering praise from listeners
(CNN) Be kind to Kendrick Lamar fans today; they probably didn’t get much sleep last night.
Charlie Murphy (age 57) was born on July 12, 1959 in New York city, New York. After fighting a long battle with Leukemia, Murphy passed away in New York, according to Murphy’s publicist Domenick Nati. Murphy rose to fame for his work on Dave Chapelle’s hit show, “Chapelle’s Show,” Charlie co-starred and even did some writing for the show. Murphy was an actor, comedian and writer known for his many features including:
The guys who move that furniture
Our Family Wedding
A perfect Holiday
King’s Ransom .. and many more selections.
After learning of the comedian’s death many celebrities took to Twitter to share their moments, memories, and words of encouragement to the world and the Murphy family. Read Below to view posts from the mourning super stars.
“Wow….This is crazy. All I can say is RIP. Thank you for not only being a friend but for believing in me when I was young in this comedy game. Charlie Murphy did the rewrite for the first movie that I ever did called “Paper Soldiers”….His stories were legendary & unbelievable & heartfelt. I’m lucky to have know you and I’m even luckier to be able to say that I was a friend. You will be missed man.” #RIPCharlieMurphy
“Charlie Murphy was such a kind, sweet, funny man. Damn. Incredible talent, even better man. RIP”
“Damn, sorry to hear about my friend Charlie Murphy. He took a chance on a young director in The Player’s Club. Always made me laugh. RIP”
“We just lost one of the funniest most real brothers of all time . Charlie Murphy RIP.”
“Sad to hear about the passing of Charlie Murphy. He was one funny, kind man. Sending love and light to his family and friends.”
“Rest In Peace to the legend that is Charlie Murphy, thank you for always bringing us joy and laughter.”
“Rest in Peace Charlie Murphy. Thanks for the laughs. You will be missed. ”
According to his publicists, Domenick Nati, Charlie had been battling this aggressive sickness for some time now. Eddie Murphy, Charlie’s younger sibling shared on behalf of his family:
“Our hearts are heavy with the loss today of our son, brother, father, uncle and friend Charlie. Charlie filled our family with love and laughter and there won’t be a day that goes by that his presence will not be missed.”
Eddie spoke very highly of his only sibling, and the two were very close
Many say that Charlie kept his health a secret, only revealing conditions to close friends and family, stating that he didn’t want his sickness to define him. The news came as a shocker, close family sources say that the family was under the impression that Murphy was getting better, unaware of the severity of the sickness. You may remember, in 2009 Murphy’s wife, Tisha Taylor, also passed away April 12, battling cancer. Murphy was survived by three children and his family.
Condolences to the family of Charlie Murphy. May he rest in peace.
He is one of the most successful businessmen in the music industry. From starting his own record label, creating his well-known clothing line Roc-A-Wear and conducting astute business deals with elite executives, Jay Z has proven that he is not a businessman, but he is indeed a business, man!
Jay Z, born Shawn Corey Carter, is a business, man and a self-made millionaire. His latest endeavor as a successful business man and entrepreneur is partnering with TIDAL. Recently relaunched, this music streaming service was previously owned by Norwegian/ Swedish public company Aspiro.
Aspiro is a Sweden based company that interacts with supplying complete television and music streaming services. The services capitalize in the expansion and sale of music solutions for streaming and downloads.
With over 1 million subscribers, the company once worth $56 million dollars, is now worth more than $600 million dollars.
With many believing that Jay Z is the sole owner of TIDAL, a TIDAL executive spoke with a Wall Street Journal to clarify the Brooklyn, New York rapper’s position within the company.
According to Vania Schlogel, TIDAL executive,
“Jay Z is not the sole owner of TIDAL. Instead, artists are equal owners in the company.”
Like many of the artist who are co-owners of the popular streaming service, Jay Z silently removed his solo albums from non TIDAL streaming services. Users of Apple Music can still stream albums and songs that the rap mogul has collaborated with other artist on like, Watch the Throne (a collaborated album with Kanye West and Jay Z)
Jay Z has removed a few albums like Reasonable Doubt off of competitors streaming sites. Shortly thereafter, the complete Blueprint series disappeared. While Jay Z previously removed those classics, this is the first time he has pulled his full solo album collection off of streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify.
Why Did Jay Z Remove Music From Non TIDAL Streaming Services?
The idea of TIDAL is to allow the artists to be in control. Instead of listeners being able to stream the music for free, TIDAL has become the place where artist can get paid for their music through subscriptions.
“The artist owners felt very passionately about the mission upon which Tidal is founded, and so the artists are equal owners in the company,” Schlogel said.
When asked if Vania Schlogel believed whether or not artist would pull their music off of streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, Schlogel shared with Wall Street Journal that she is more concerned with artist being able to release their work for free or receive compensation for it.
“I think it really comes down to the artist choice,” she said. “I would like to see artists have the choice to be able to mandate whether or not their art is for free or paid. That’s what we stand for. Again, the artists are empowered. And so, in the distribution of their own repertoire, they should have a say whether or not they want it to be paid [or] for free.”
Welcome to April also known as Autism Acceptance Month. The United Nations officially designated April 2 as “World Autism Awareness Day,” but the real goal is autism acceptance. Being aware or understanding to individuals that are diagnosed with autism, is just part of the solution. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disease that is diagnosed for individuals with a variable developmental disorder that appears by age three and is characterized by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships. Autistic individuals need to be able to assimilate into communities, are well equipped with life skills and ensured that they are able to qualify for gainful employment enabling them to be self-sustaining.
In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) significantly revised the estimated prevalence of autism in the United States; the new number – 1 in 88 children. This represents a 23 percent increase from the CDC’s previous estimate (1 in 110 children), reported in 2009. Consistent with previous estimates, the updated numbers remained heavily skewed toward boys. The researchers also found evidence of a persistent but narrowing gap between white and minority children. These findings may reflect differences in community screening and services – rather than true differences in prevalence. Autism rates among African-Americans are similar to rates among whites, but African-American children are often diagnosed with autism at an older age, missing potential years of treatment.
Autism awareness advocates say that in the past the disorder “has been portrayed in the media inaccurately and in largely damaging ways,” however, television has been doing a better job of portraying autism on screen. Notably, Sesame Street will add a new friend to the neighborhood this month when it debuts Julia, a green-eyed, orange-haired character with autism. The debut of its new character was part of an initiative designed to reduce the stigma surrounding autism as early as 2015. Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop’s executive vice president of global social impact and philanthropy, said “Our goal was to try to help destigmatize autism and increase awareness, understanding and empathy.” The initiative, “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in all Children,” provides educational tools in online and printed story books and as a free downloadable app that feature Sesame Street characters explaining to children how to interact with friends, like Julia, who have the neurodevelopmental disorder. The first episodes with Julia will air April 10 on PBS and HBO.
Sesame Street executives said they recognized how difficult it was to accurately depict autism because children can have varying degrees of autism and as a result often act in unique ways. That is why Sesame Street’s team consulted with members of the autism community before launching Julia’s character. Julia’s creators said they took certain characteristics from children in the moderate range on the autism spectrum. As a result, Julia often does not respond to her friends immediately and speaks less often than her peers. In one interaction, another muppet, notices Julia likes to flap her arms—a common characteristic of kids with autism—and makes a game out of it, pretending they are butterflies. “The hope is that children with autism will be able to identify with Julia and feel less alone,” Westin said. “I think the biggest opportunity is to use Julia with the other characters to help explain autism.”
The “Power Rangers” movie also offers a new take on some of the characters in the superhero series — including Billy, the blue ranger, who is also on the autism spectrum. Power Rangers’ creator Haim Saban expressed a similar goal in his decision to place Billy on the autism spectrum. In both portrayals, writers were careful to avoid caricatures. Billy’s signs of autism are at times as subtle as expressing anxiety in new situations or shouting when his peers are trying to stay quiet. “With the feature film, we wanted to continue to reinforce core brand messages of inclusivity, diversity and empowerment,” Saban said in an emailed statement.
Disability advocates say the thoughtfulness put into both the Sesame Street and Power Rangers’ characters paid off. In the case of the Power Rangers, Archer pointed out that Billy finds his power in interacting with his fellow power rangers. Julia, who has a multitude of friends, is generally happy in contrast to other fictionalized people with autism who are often depicted as depressed or lonely.
“To show people with disabilities in the light of power, that is something extraordinary,” said Charles Archer, CEO of the THRIVE NETWORK. Archer said helping children understand autism at an early age provides exciting prospects for the next generation. “It means they are going to grow up into teens and adults understanding that if someone has social anxiety and might learn differently or work differently than you do, that doesn’t mean that they cannot have productive lives,” Archer said.
The new shows, which notably have broad appeal, display “immense progress” and goes a step further in setting an example on how to create inclusive and welcoming environments for our friends that may be affected by symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder. So the question to consider this month are not whether you’ve worn the signature blue color, or posted on your social media accounts to show-and-prove awareness, but rather:
If not, you haven’t conquered the acceptance step yet. Conquering that step means taking autistic people as they are, learning from them, and listening to them. That takes work. We need good, useful research, and educational, healthcare, family and workplace protections more than ever, to support the autistic community against stigmas and discrimination.
Within the new single, he says he’s the greatest rapper alive, no doubt a direct challenge to any one and everyone in the game. There’s many who could take that as a diss from Jay-Z, Eminem, Drake, Nas, J-Cole and more, but Lamar seems to understand that he’s in his moment right now and he’s making them all have to either accept his statement or defend their titles. “Untitled unmastered” was his last release and not considered an album of sorts but more of a “side demo project” and folks have been yearning for more! “To Pimp A Butterfly” his last full album project, became an absolute classic! Twitter has gone crazy in real time and for some reason many are pitting Lamar against Drake, (both releasing this week) truth told, they both are doing amazing sales numbers and compelling art. And sonically they shouldn’t really be compared, having two different vibes.
Per Pitchfork, Lamar ends the song by rapping, “Y’all got ’til April 7 to get y’all s*** together,” suggesting that might be the date for his next full-length release, its a hot single, we’ll keep you updated as always!
Black Women for Positive Change (BW4PC), a national civic organization, announces release of the short-film, “DROP: A Story of Triumph.” DROP is dedicated to discouraging high school students from dropping out of school. The film features actor Tray Chaney, formerly of HBO’s ‘The Wire,’ actors Jordan Norris, Dominque Spencer, and a crew of new actors. In a joint statement, Virginia Delegate Daun S. Hester and Dr. Stephanie E. Myers, National Co-Chairs of Black Women for Positive Change said, “Our goal with DROP is to discourage students from dropping out of school. We are shocked at statistics that show dropping out is a pathway to prison for young men and women. We want to be sure students understand the risks they are taking when they drop out and how this affects their futures and can lead them towards poverty and/or prison.”
Chaka Balamani, of Maryland, is Director of DROP. The film highlights the struggles of a young man who is demoralized, confused and contemplating dropping out of school. “This 39-minute film is a must see for students, parents and teachers,” said Karen Carrington, BW4PC National Co-Chair of Media and Events, “DROP: A Story of Triumph” is available via live steam athttps://urgentissueschannel.pivotshare.com/ ; a 2-minute trailer is available on YouTube; and DVDs can be ordered at: www.blackwomenforpositivechange.org
A 2014 Brookings Institute Study reports a 70% chance that African American men without high school diplomas, will be imprisoned by their mid-thirties. Statistics from the National Center for Education indicate black girls drop out of high school almost twice as often as white girls and, while high school graduation rates have improved in recent years, over 750,000 students still drop out of school per year, in the United States.
Black Women for Positive Change and the Positive Change Foundation are Executive Producers of the film. Funding was provided by sponsors including the United Steelworkers Union, the National Black Nurses Association, Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds, author of the new biography of Coretta Scott King, Bishop Edwin Bass, representing Church of God in Christ, Poise Foundation, of Pittsburgh, PA, AT Winds Foundation and donor/members of the BW4PC Network. ###
By Abu-Jahlil Astrid Chacha
Each year in Canada, Africa, Brazil, Europe and the United States of America, the month of February, the “Black History Month“ is devoted to the commemoration of African history. It is the place to go over an impressive topic of actuality dedicated to the rehabilitation of this too often overused “hisstory”.
The international scientific committee for the writing of the masterpiece “General History of Africa” met for the fifth time from 23th to 28th January 2017 in Havana in Cuba to review the work of the update and the finalization of the ninth volume by the end of 2017. The writing of the first eight volumes completed in 1999 had mobilized three hundred and fifty african specialists, historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, musicology, linguistics and researchers for thirty-five years. Each volume contains eight hundred to a thousand pages. People can read in these books surprising facts.
The book “The General History of Africa” is a colossal scientific editorial project sponsored and edited by Unesco since 1964 on the proposal of the African States which became independent in 1960 with the aim of remedying widespread ignorance about the african continent past and banish the stereotypes associated with slavery and the colonial period.
This collective work, unrecognized by the general public, translated into 13 languages of which English, French and Arabic has been unanimously hailed by the scientific and academic communities as a major contribution to the recognition of african history and historiography. Editors include illustrious names such as Congolese academic Elykia Mbokolo, Tshibangu Tshishiku, Isidore Ndaywel, Amadou Hampaté BA, Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Cheick Anta Diop and Tamsir Niane.
The Havana drafting conference of January 2017 was the occasion for the renowned Congolese pianist Ray Lema to give a concert with Cuban artists to publicize in Cuba the International Coalition of artists for the promotion of the general history of the country. ‘Africa.
(Photo of Ray Lema: Olivier Hoffschir) Ray Lema has been named spokesman for the coalition founded in October 2015 in Paris, 7 place de Fontenoy at Unesco headquarters, whose aim is to bring artists together to popularize on the Internet, in the net media the social networks the content of these books to the general public through works of art, theater, music, visual arts, cinema, photography, comics, sculpture … These books which are not easy to read need to be explained to the ordinary citizen by artistic means.
Two hundred playwrights, filmmakers, musicians and singers joined the movement, including Malian singer Rokia Traoré, musician and composer Cheick Tidiane Seck, rappers Barack Adama of Sexion d’Assaut and Oxmo Puccino and Mokobé, the singers Amadou and Mariam, the producer Dawala, the singer Salif Keita, the actress Aissata Maïga, the writer Cheick Moctary Diarra, the singer Inna Modja, the Guinean musician Ballaké Sissoko … RFI, Radio France Internationale and PACSA, The Pan-African Composer’s and Songwriters’Alliance are also part of this approach.
To become a member of this coalition, interested artists must sign a declaration of commitment. In 2009, the African Union expressed its willingness to work towards integrating the contents of the book into the curricula of the education systems of its countries members at the primary and secondary levels. After the publication of the first eight volumes of the book, it is the second phase of this project: the pedagogical valorization of the General History of Africa. Brazil is the only country in the world to have taught in its compulsory schools the teaching of the general history of Africa. An electronic version of the GHA of one hundred pages is under preparation.
The annual celebration of the month of African history in North America is surely a boon for the spokesperson of the coalition of artists for the promotion of the general history of Africa to invite Canadian artists to join this campaign.
The project cost € 40 million to Unesco and Brazil, the only country to have translated it entirely into Portuguese, contributed € 1.3 million. No European country has so far wished to encourage the dissemination of these works which disavow the narrative of the colonial powers.
For more info about these books go to: www.unesco.org
Drake drops More Life almost five months after he announced he would. In a recent interview he said he wants his fans to see this as a playlist rather than an album, with one listen its obvious why he wants that. It does feel more like a playlist than a mixtape nor album.
Twitter is filled with excitement with this project already garnering two trending topics. Drake takes us on a musical journey frequently expressing his obsession with the U.K. grime scene, you can hear that influence on a few tracks. One featuring Giggs (“No Long Talk” and “KMT”) and another Skepta (“Skepta interlude”). Another cool thin about the album is the rumored love interest between him and Jennifer Lopez is hinted to as well, even sampling the singer’s 1999 hit “If You Had My Love” on “Teenage Fever.” The always provocative Kanye West is featured. Drake has mentioned them collaborating and at least this one song is an outcome. The tune “Glow” which uses Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Devotion is hot!”
There is high expectations with this playlist in the streaming world, his last album, Views, was streamed over 250 million times in its first week on Apple Music. With More Life getting prominent placement on Spotify, Tidal, and Google Play Music just to name a few services, there’s a strong chance More Life will push the single-week streaming record out of reach for months to come.
There are many features including Young Thug who guested on Drake’s European Boy Meets World Tour, obscure artists like Jorja Smith, Giggs, and Black Coffee, a South African house DJ who crushes it on “Get it Together” which is one of my favorites, the beat drives hard with a touch tribal energy.
We’re admitted Drake fans here at MCJ, while there’s still more songs to listen to, off first impressions his flow, music and diversity are consistent with what we love him for. Let us know what you think.
The St. Charles County Police Department in Missouri said it responded to a medical emergency at a home and the legendary Chuck Berry was declared dead after lifesaving measures were unsuccessful. They confirmed his death on their Facebook page. Chuck Berry, directly influenced the early music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and The Kinks with amazing guitar licks, ultra self-confidence and classic songs about girls, cars and wild dance parties! He defined early rock ’n’ roll’s attitude and musical energy. He was 90 at his death.
Unforgettable jams like, “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Maybellene,” “School Days,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “Back in the U.S.A.” and “Memphis, Tennessee,”are with us all forever, and he himself will live on through his music.
Among his many other accolades, he received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1984 and was among the first inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Berry was also recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2000 and was presented with Sweden’s prestigious Polar Music Prize in 2014.
Speaking with ABC News a few years ago, Berry was asked to name the favorite songs he’s written, but he said he couldn’t choose one.
“Every one of them is tops with me,” he said. “Every one of my children the same way.”
Mr. Berry (before Elvis Presley) was a master theorist and conceptual genius, a songwriter who understood what the kids wanted before they did themselves! (NYTimes)
When Berry was frequently asked about Elvis by the white press, Berry found it hard to concede that Elvis broke down the door of Rock N Roll for him, seeing that he had already broken down that door himself with his national hit “Maybellene” in the summer of 1955, six months before Elvis recorded one of his first true hits “Heartbreak Hotel.” Chuck Berry felt rather than give one white singer credit for popularizing rock ’n’ roll, he gave it to the young, post-war white music audience. “It seems to me,” he noted, “that the white teenagers of the forties and fifties helped launch black artists nationally into the main line of power music. (elvis-history-blog)
Keith Richards said while honoring Berry at the 2013 Polar Awards in Sweden, “Chuck Berry, he just leapt out of the radio at me, I ate him basically, I mean I breathed him—it wasn’t just food, he was the air I breathed for many years when I was learning guitar and trying to figure out how you could be such an all-rounder. Such a great voice, such a great player and also such a great showman… it was all in one package.” (thedailybeast)
We all were a little better with Mr. Berry having walked this Earth. #ClapForEm!
Emmy award winning independent filmmaker, Dante James is pleased to announce the formation of Black Pearl Media Works, LLC (BPMW). The multi-media production company has received partial financing for two projects; a feature length documentary, God of The Oppressed and a series of dramatic short films, In Our Own Words.
“It has taken many years to marshal my own resources and cultivate a relationship with an investor who understands the importance of resources from black financiers,” James said in discussing the challenges facing Black filmmakers. “We believe this approach will shield projects grounded in our history and culture from the ‘filters’ that often come with resources from entities outside of our community, James said. For many years, I made films for PBS, however as a black man, independent filmmaker and activist coupled with the challenges black people face I’m committed to making the strongest, and most creative statements possible in my films. For me that was not possible with PBS. I’m not criticizing PBS or rejecting resources from outside our community but artistic and editorial control is a prerequisite. My new projects are representative of my desire to explore humanity through the lens of the black experience ‘unfiltered’ by the dominate culture.”
In Our Own Words
In Our Own Words, presents a creative chronicle of the African American experience through short stories by iconic and lesser-known black writers, some of whom could not get past the publishing ‘filters’ they encountered. The concept for the series is grounded in self-definition paired with concerns regarding the degrading, shallow images of African Americans, that are too prevalent in corporate controlled media. Unfortunately, many of these images are created by black people.
“Now with new means of distribution, liberated black filmmakers have opportunities to redefine the images of black people. Too often the view of black life is demeaning and perverted to the point that it has become the perception of who we are and that perception is literally and figuratively destroying us. More accurate definitions of who we are can be found in our literature,” James says.
Black writers have defined their own world, moving beyond the traditional definitions often imposed on them. The short stories of In Our Own Words will be selected by outstanding African American literature scholars, Maryemma Graham, Ph.D. and Joycelyn Moody, Ph.D. The first film of the series, THE DOLL, based on a short story by Charles W. Chesnutt was completed several years ago. It was awarded best dramatic short at the Hollywood Black Film Festival.
God of the Oppressed
Through the stories of Nat Turner, Bishop Henry McNeil Turner, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rev. Traci Blackmon and others, God of the Oppressed will explore Black Liberation and Womanist Theology. Stories, characters and gospel music will celebrate and frame a perspective of God within the context of an oppressed people. Prof. James Cone, author of the book, God of the Oppressed, will serve as chief academic advisor. Cone argues for a theology constructed from the experiences of black people who understand God’s role in liberating those crying for the pain to end. He challenges theologians to abandon the white system defining the meaning of God. Cone’s work challenges black men and women to listen to the voices of black people to construct a theology framed from their experiences.
Rev. Carl Kenney, a Black liberation theology minister will be a co-producer. Kenney says, “Let my people go, is the age-old cry of black people holding to the claim that God loves the oppressed. Black theology isn’t passive it fights for freedom while refuting claims of inferiority.”
God of the Oppressed is an extension of Dante James’ work as the executive producer of THIS FAR BY FAITH, the final series from Blackside Films. Both projects will begin pre-production immediately, however BPMW is seeking additional investors/partners with those who recognize the domestic and international profit potential of these projects, appreciate black culture and literature and are concerned about the shallow interpretations of black experiences. Media inquiries and interested investors should call Black Pearl Media Works at 919-475-9879 or send an email to [email protected]. Job applicants can apply at www.blackpearlmw.com.
With the recent historical successes of Lincoln Motion Picture Company (the first all black film company in the U.S.), Micheaux Book and Film Company, Harpo Productions, Ava Duvernay, CodeBlack Entertainment, Open Rivers Pictures, Tyler Perry Studios among others, there are film companies that are owned by African Americans and they are making a big name for themselves and help to shape our own narrative.
James comments, “These projects will require producers, directors, actors, screenwriters and other production personnel. Hopefully, they will be a vehicle to put our people to work telling stories that explore our experiences from our point of view. I also see this work and this new company as a connection to my friend and mentor the late Henry Hampton.”