Sunday, November 30, 2014

NEWS: Being a 'Rookie' Cop Is No Excuse for Deadly Policing

Being a 'Rookie' Cop Is No Excuse for Deadly Policing
Where do we find rookies? Sports teams have rookies, mistakes can be rookie, and of course, as we've been reminded in a banner week of officer involved shootings, police forces have rookies.
In the last week alone, two high-profile deadly shootings by police involved rookie officers. With less than 18 months on the job, NYPD officer Peter Liang shot dead Akai Gurley, an unarmed 28-year-old, in Brooklyn as the man entered a darkened stairwell in a housing project. Another rookie cop, this time in Cleveland, fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was carrying an "airsoft" pellet gun at a recreational center playground.
Media stories understandably point out that these cops were new to the force. It's arguably relevant information. Equally, news stories highlight when a police "veteran" is involved in instances of brutality or use of force. But, in sum, all we can surmise from the glut of police killing stories in recent weeks, months, and years is that cops old and new are responsible for deaths that quite simply should not have come to pass.
Anonymous crashes Cleveland City website in retaliation for police killing of 12-Year-Old. Read more here.
When we hear that a rookie cop has "accidentally" killed an unarmed man, as has been reported in the Gurley case, we might rightly move to blame insufficient police training. It is no excuse, however accurate, that Officer Liang was "nervous" as police sources have told journalists. Most nervous individuals are not endowed by the state with the position and weaponry to shoot dead innocent people on sight. "Rookie" should be no qualifier of culpability. The work done by applying the term — even if unintentionally — excuses the officer involved. 
The term rookie, as in newly-minted cop, has a cultural reference point that subtly undermines police accountability. The rookie is the bright eyed newbie in the hard-boiled crime thriller, a bumbling but lovable figure in cop comedies à la 21 Jump Street, the hardworking recent graduate not yet turned cynical or corrupt by years in uniform. Pop culture ushers audiences to the side of the rookie. It even sounds adorable.
Protest remembers teen killed by off-duty St. Louis cop ahead of Ferguson grand jury decision. Read more here.
Media storytelling alone could lead one to think that all police forces in America are comprised of rookies and veterans, and no one in between. Rarely does a cop appear in an article as just a cop. And that is a big problem within the discursive space through which police violence is addressed.
At base, it shouldn't matter whether officers are new or old to the force — they wear the uniform and carry the gun alike. Whether fresh out of the academy or not, all police are accorded the authority their uniform asserts in society. The responsibility should be uniform, too.
When New York Mayor Bill de Blasio deemed Gurley's death a "tragic mistake," he performed the work of injustice. It should not matter that officer Peter Liang did not mean to kill a man as he patrolled up and down darkened stairwells in a public housing project. The culpability rests with a system that sends armed, insufficiently trained officers to patrol the homes of New York's poor and black. 
"Rookie" is etymologically believed to be a corrupted version of the word "recruit." But rookie cops are long beyond the point of recruitment. The diminutive qualifier serves to suggest that they perhaps deserve less blame for misconduct than more experienced officers. The uniform is the same, though, and a gun is equally lethal, however long the cop has been holding it. 
Follow Natasha Lennard on Twitter: @natashalennard

VIDEOS: The Missing 43: Mexico's Disappeared Students (Full Length)

The Missing 43: Mexico's Disappeared Students (Full Length)

On September 26, students from the Teachers College of Ayotzinapa in Mexico en route to a protest in Iguala were intercepted by police forces. In the ensuing clash, six students were fatally shot and 43 were abducted. Investigations over the following weeks led to the startling allegations that the police had acted at the behest of the local mayor, and had turned over the abducted students to members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel. All 43 students are now feared dead.
The case has come to represent the negative feeling of the Mexican public toward the state of justice and the rule of law in Mexico. The events have now galvanized the survivors of the attack and the disappeared students' parents. Nationwide demonstrations have increased in intensity, and recently led to government buildings in the state of Guerrero to be set on fire.
VICE News travels to Guerrero, ground-zero for the protest movement that has erupted since the disappearance of the students. We meet with survivors of the Iguala police attack and parents of the missing students, accompany volunteer search parties, and watch as protests against the government and president reach boiling point.

FERGUSON: Pregnant St. Louis Woman Loses an Eye After Police Shoot Her With a Bean Bag Round

Pregnant St. Louis Woman Loses an Eye After Police Shoot Her With a Bean Bag Round

A pregnant St. Louis woman has lost her left eye and incurred severe injury to her right eye after she was struck in the face by a bean bag fired by police at a gas station on the edge of Ferguson, Missouri.
On Monday, the night St. Louis county prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that no charges would be brought against Officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, Donnella Conner was in a confrontation with cops attempting to clear a BP gas station. 
Police claim that Conner's boyfriend drove towards them in his car, the New York Daily News noted, while Conner sat in the passenger seat. Police fired a bean bag round towards the car, shattering Conner's window and striking her face. Conner challenges the police narrative. She told KMOV that her boyfriend, De'Angelas Lee, was attempting to drive away when police fired the less-than-lethal rounds. 
"They pulled up while we were coming towards the street, De'Anglas was trying to get away, they blocked us from the side, front and back," Conners said.
"I will have justice for what they did to me," Conner wrote on Facebook Thursday. "But I'm happy I'm alive." Images of her bandaged face have garnered viral attention on social media.
According to KMOV, police said that a warrant has been issued for Lee's arrest, with a bond set at $50,000. No police officers are currently being investigated over the incident. On Monday, during a night of intense protest nationwide, 16 individuals were arrested in the area around the gas station where Conner was injured.
Conner spoke to the media from hospital:

DOCUMENTARY: ATL The Untold Story of Atlantas Rise in the Rap Game

ATL The Untold Story of Atlantas Rise in the Rap Game

VH1 investigates the rich, complex untold story of Atlanta’s fascinating rise to the top of the rap industry, which created a major fore within American music. Featuring interviews from Ludacris, Usher, T.I., Lil Jon and more.

TRAILERS: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens 
Episode VII in the Star Wars Saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015. 

Strange World: Extreme Weather Events Of November 2014!

Extreme Weather Events Of November 2014!

AUDIO: A$AP Ferg - Fergsomnia Feat. Twista (Prod by Very Rare & DRAM)

A$AP Ferg - Fergsomnia Feat. Twista (Prod by Very Rare & DRAM)

Twista joins A$AP Ferg for some double time fury on "Fergsomnia".

"Lord" was one of the highlights from A$AP Ferg's debut album, Trap Lord, pairing the New York rapper with some of his heroes -- Bone Thugz N Harmony. Ferg begins the track with his manic rap style, before handing things off to Bone Thugs, who proceed to rap as fast as humanly possible.

"Fergsomnia" shares a similar dynamic, but rather than a brooding instrumental, it's backed by some triumphant horn samples, and Twista steps in for the furious double time.

NEWS: Project Pat Reveals Why Juicy J Is No Longer Working With Three 6 Mafia

Project Pat Reveals Why Juicy J Is No Longer Working With Three 6 Mafia

Juicy is "forming a different clique."

Fans of Memphis' Three 6 Mafia were undoubtedly excited back in 2013 when DJ Paul announced that five of the original six members would be reuniting for a series of new releases. Rebranded as Da Mafia 6ix, the group's mixtape 6IX Commandments--and the more recent Hear Some Evil--featured a return to their horrorcore roots. Despite this back to basics approach, many fans were disappointed to hear that Juicy J would no longer be appearing as an official member of the crew. In an interview with VladTV,Project Pat finally offered an explanation for his brother's absence.
"[DJ Paul's] trying to keep the Three 6 Mafia reunion situation hyped up or whatever but no, J not going to be part of it," he said. "He saying it's the old members. He just saying he forming a different clique. Kind of like how the Tear Da Club Up Thugs was Juicy, Paul and Lord Infamous."
Pat also addressed rumors that Crunchy Black was booted from the group a few years ago.
"Crunchy didn't get kicked out of the group," Pat said. "He was saying like [winning an] Oscar and all that stuff was too much pressure for him. Maybe he was going through something personal. I don't know the full scoop on it or why he did that because to me that was a bad decision... When they won the Oscar man it was unreal. I didn't think it was going to happen. We knew nothing about it."

NEWS: Lil Wayne Bought His Daughter 2 Cars For Her 16th Birthday

Lil Wayne Bought His Daughter 2 Cars For Her 16th Birthday

Reginae Carter walked away from her sweet 16 with 2 new whips.

Lil Wayne likes to spoil his oldest child, Reginae Carter, and of course her sweet 16 was no exception. Not only did Reginae's party feature a performance by Young Money's first lady Nicki Minaj, she scored two brand new cars (and not cheap ones at that).
Wayne's daughter earned herself a BMW SUV as well as a Ferrari GTO. No word on whether she can actually drive these things.
Reginae's mother, Toya Wright and her husband Memphitz were also in attendance. It's not clear whether or not they contributed to the luxurious gifts.
In other Lil Wayne news, the Cash Money rapper is set to release his highly anticipated album, Tha Carter V on December 9th. Check out some photos of Reginae's new whips in the gallery below.

NEWS: Iggy Azalea's Reps Tried to Quash Racy Footage of Her Wardrobe Malfunction

Video has been circulating of an Iggy Azalea performance at a Bar Mitzvah in which her pants split. Her reps have allegedly attempted to get it taken down. When your parents can afford to have Iggy Azalea perform at you Bar Mitzvah, you and your friends are going to want to document the occasion. Thus, while a 'no cell phones' rule was applied to the November celebration of Julian Kemper (grandson to MGM mogul Kirk Kerkorian), some footage managed to slip through the cracks. Unfortunately, the clip that caught the most attention was a wardrobe malfunction in which Iggy's pants split during some inspired twerking to Jennifer Lopez' "Booty" remix. According to Billboard, Azalea's team made as many phonecalls as they could to guests in order to get the clip taken down, but 13-year-olds aren't the easiest people to reason with, and the footage is still up on YouTube. Iggy performed the song with J. Lo malfunction-free at the AMAs last week. You can watch that here.




The Bank wraps up 2014 with a wild New Years Eve Party featuring an exclusive live performance from Trey Songz guest set from San Francisco’s own DJ E-Rock. Guests will enjoy a complimentary open bar from 9-10pm. Plus, The Bank is giving away flights, hotel accommodations, dinner at FIX Restaurant & Bar, and VIP entry to The Bank for you and a friend - enter at  Don’t miss your last chance of the year to party like a superstar at The Bank!
DJ: DJ E-Rock

Marijuana Is Good For You

Marijuana Is Good For You

check out this video of 3 grandmas smoking weed for the first time.

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NEWS: Michael Phelps Banged A Shim (Male)

Michael Phelps Banged A Shim

THE DIRTY ARMY: Nik, per usual you had this scoop way before traditional media caught wind. So Phelps ex-tranny is now going around doing interviews about the relationship and has admitted to being born a man! Again small minded idiots love to hate on you, but you always seem to overcome that bullsh*t (even in court). I’ve been DA strong for a hot minute and your site is great PSA for people like me (I work a good finance job). I can’t count how many times my friends have been f*cked over by some pay for play trout chaser, meanwhile I avoid any chick that wants red bottoms and know tinder is cess pool for drd’s etc. Keep doing what your doing, while DR. Phill and chumps like that wanna talk sh*t, it’s only because they know they haven’t saved a f*cking quarter of the lives you have.  Also, how the hell did you know that is a dude???
Does this mean Michael Phelps is gay?- nik

UPDATE: Michael Phelps Taylor Lianne Chandler Met On Tinder
Nik, TMZ posted it, and then took it down, but google searches still show the images and here are screen shots. A source close to Taylor says she has been negotiating a settlement with Drew Johnson at Octagon Sports Management to keep her 6 week love affair with Michael quiet and not expose the pics of them together or him naked (Blackmail). She posted on twitter feeling betrayed by TMZ with images. The source says Taylor has been tested for sexual diseases now that she knows Michael was not only having unprotected sex with her, but with Nicole Johnson, Miss California 2010. If you look at all their social media it over laps. Nicole has taken all her Instagram photos down. Before Taylor deleted her original accounts after this happened you would have really seen the time line clearly. A source close to TMZ stated that she forgives him and is sticking by him. Kind of contradicts her motives with Octagon. His court date is postponed till December 19. I believe the fireworks will happen when he leaves Star Colorado Rehab on November 19th and has to deal with both these women, who he has sent private jets to come see him at different times. Part of Taylor’s original interview with TMZ that has now been scrapped due to lawyers stated she lost her job in government and hospital interpreting and she is moving to NY to pursue a new career. I guess the money she gets from Phelps will set her up nicely. Looks like he will be the loser in this with both women.

NEWS: 2015 JUNO Awards calling for Rap Recording of the Year submissions

2015 JUNO Awards calling for Rap Recording of the Year submissions

Toronto, ON – It’s that time of year again folks! CARAS, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, is now accepting submissions for the 44th Annual JUNO Awards including the Rap Recording of the Year category. Please check out the press release below and make sure to take advantage of the ‘Early Bird’ submission deadline, October 24. Remember, a JUNO nomination can open a ton of doors for an artist so submitting your material is absolutely worth it!

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced that the JUNO Awards is now accepting submissions in the category of Rap Recording of the Year. The 2015 festivities will be hosted in Hamilton, Ontario, with JUNO Week running from March 9th to March 15th. The 44th Annual JUNO Awards will be broadcast on CTV from Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre, on Sunday March 15th, 2015.
In an effort to streamline the screening process, and make it even easier for artists across Canada to submit for consideration, CARAS will only be accepting online submissions. For the first time, artists will be able to upload their music via the online submission process. [More]
The Rap Advisory Committee includes Co-Chairs, Jay Devonish (eOne Entertainment), and Kyle Kraft (Battle Axe/ Krafty Entertainment). Rounding out the rest of the Committee is David “Click” Cox (CLK Creative Works), Alan Greyeyes (Manitoba Music), Darryl Rodway (Urbnet), Dice B (CINQ 102.3FM), Don Smooth (K103FM), Greg Baptiste (Bell Media), Jay Swing (Donnelly Group/, Jesse Plunkett (, Jody Laraya (Independent Promotions), Marlon Wilson, (Music for Mavericks/Politic Live), Melissa “DJ MelBoogie” Langley (DJ/Publicist), and RS Smooth (DJ/Radio Host).
Collectively, the Rap Advisory Committee continues to make strides in developing outreach to rap artists across the country, both English and Francophone, to increase the number of submissions in this category. As a result of these concentrated efforts, the number of submissions received by CARAS in the category of Rap Recording of the Year has been steadily rising since the category was established in 1990. By partnering with radio shows, online magazines and DJs across the country, the committee hopes to continue to raise awareness throughout the community about the submissions and judging process, specifically for rap artists.
The JUNO Awards have been proven to be an excellent networking vehicle, not only for artists who win, but also for nominees and/or participants in various JUNO Awards events.
2014 Rap nominee, SonReal, had this to say about his JUNO nomination: “Being nominated for a JUNO Award has had a great impact on my career. People value and appreciate the credential of being nominated for an award of that level. It is an amazing award show to experience and I think anyone who is serious about their craft should give it a shot and apply.” 2013 nominee, JD Era, echoes that sentiment by stating: “Being JUNO nominated was amazing. It allowed me to be recognized nationally for my work and has opened doors for me in places I couldn’t imagine.”
Other previous nominees include Classified, Choclair, Concise, D-Sisive, DL Incognito, Drake, Dubmatique, Eternia, k-os, Kardinal Offishall, Rich Kidd, Sans Pression, Shad, and Swollen Members.
Submissions can be made online at Nominees will be announced on January 27th, 2015 at the JUNO Nominee press conference.

Early Bird Submissions

Early Bird Submission Deadline Date is 5:00 p.m. EST on October 24th, 2014.
The Final Submission Deadline is 5:00 p.m. EST on November 13th, 2014.

Submission Fees and Deadlines:

CARAS offers a n early bird submission fee to those who submit between October 1, 2014 and October 24, 2014. CARAS Academy Delegates can save up to 40% of submission fees. If you are eligible to submit, you are eligible for an account. Please visit for more information.
The submission fee can be paid online with a credit card or by sending a cheque.
October 1 to 24, 2014 (Early Bird Deadline)
$40 for CARAS Academy Delegates
$65 for non-Academy Delegates

October 25 to November 13, 2014 (Final Deadline)
$75 for CARAS Academy Delegates
$95 for non-Academy Delegates

How it works:

330 Judges – Each year, judges are recruited for each of the 33 adjudicated categories to judge the material that is submitted. These individuals are responsible for listening to each of the submissions and voting for the best product in the genre. The judges change each year and are spread out in different facets of the music industry and different regions throughout Canada.
50 Nominating & Voting Committee Members – The Nominating & Voting Committee is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the JUNO Awards. It is their responsibility to monitor any changes within the industry as it relates to the awards. The committee brings any necessary changes to the attention of the Board of Directors.
190+ Music Advisory Committee Members – Each category has an associated advisory committee that is responsible for ensuring that each of the submissions in their specific genre meets the required qualifications for the JUNO Awards.

CONTEST: Anno Domini & HipHopCanada present the “A Track with Crooked I”

Anno Domini & HipHopCanada present the “A Track with Crooked I” 

We’re very happy to be the main sponsor for a great new contest targeted at recording artists! Anno Domini and HipHopCanada team up for the A Track with Crooked I Contest, giving you a chance to have your work judged by Crooked I, and possibly feature him on your next song (among various other things). To enter, you basically lease a beat from Anno Domini and submit your song. The artist with the winning song will win the Crooked I feature and some other great stuff. Pretty simple, right? You can find a full breakdown of the contest details after the jump link below.

“A Track With Crooked” In Contest

Click here for the official listing at

To enter the contest:

1) Purchase a license (Lease or Exclusive) to any beat located at AnnoDominination.comfrom now until the deadline date of January 9, 2015.
2) Take your newly leased Anno Domini beat and record a song (either solo or as a group, any language is welcome).
3) Upload your song to YouTube and include “ Contest” in brackets in your video title.
4) Send your link(s) to or post them on the Anno DominiFacebook page. You can submit 1 song for every beat that is leased.
A TOP SELECTION of songs will be selected and posted by January 16, 2015, and, together with our guest judges including CROOKED I (and more to be announced), we will pick our ultimate winner. The winner will be announced by January 19, 2015.
Note: If you purchase Exclusive Rights to your contest entry beat you will be automatically be added to the Top Selection.
All tracks will be judged on CONTENT, DELIVERY, ORIGINALITY & CREATIVITY. Bring your best rhymes for Crooked I!


FIRST PLACE: A 16 bar feature with Crooked I (of multi-platinum group Slaughterhouse) for your next project ($3500 value) + 20 Beat Premium Lease Package ($1200 value) + VIP Artist Promotion Package with Anno Domini ($300 value) + Interview with + Spot on the next Anno Domini mixtape + Your eternal place in the Anno Domini Hall Of Fame.
SECOND PLACE: – 20 Beat Premium Lease Package ($1200 value) + VIP Artist Promotion Package with Anno Domini ($300 value) + Spot on the next Anno Domini mixtape.
THIRD TO FIFTH PLACE: 10 Beat Premium Lease Package ($600 value) + Spot on the next Anno Domini mixtape.
SIXTH TO TENTH PLACE: 5 Beat Premium Lease Package ($300 value).

NEWS: Nas Daughter Starts Lip Gloss Line, Lipmatic

Nas Daughter Starts Lip Gloss Line, Lipmatic

Nas’s daughter Destiny ventured with a new business that plays off her father’s first iconic album, Illmatic.
Lipmatic is a new line of lip gloss that Destiny Jones has released in 4 glammed out colors, all of witch co-signed by Nasty Nas.
The rapper commented on his Instagram account.
He swooned, “It’s so ILL to see @LipMatic launch. Scoop that up! Made for beautiful lips everywhere…. Created by my very own Princess Destiny. It’s great to watch her plans unfold! #lipmatic”
 Lipmatic is available at KarmaLoop.

FERGUSON : Darren Wilson Resigns From Ferguson Police Department

Darren Wilson Resigns From Ferguson Police Department. COULD HE BE SCARED FOR HIS LIFE?!

Darren Wilson, the officer that killed Mike Brown, has resigned from his post with the Ferguson Police Department on Saturday.
Wilson outlined the departure in a letter obtained by
The letter reads as follows:
I, Darren Wilson, hereby resign my commission as a police officer with the City of Ferguson effective immediately. I have been told that my continues employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow. For obvious reasons, I wanted to wait until the grand jury made their decision before I officially made my decision to resign. It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of the paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal. I would like to thank all of my supporters and fellow officers throughout this process.
-Darren Wilson
Wilson has been the center of a controversial firestorm that has resulted in mass riots, deaths and boycotts most recently after he was not indicted for slaying unarmed teenager Mike Brown.
Mike Brown’s family issued a statement through their lawyer Anthony Gray.
“I believe Officer Darren Wilson made a personal decision that was in his best interest given the circumstances,” the statement read.
Darren Wilson had amassed hundreds of thousands in support funding. Some reports say he has about a million in a war chest.
Photo: St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office

INSTRUMENTAL: American Horror Story Freakshow

American Horror Story Freakshow

NEWS: Janay Rice: NFL Did What They Had to Do For Themselves

Janay Rice: NFL Did What They Had to Do For Themselves Ray Rice's wife talks to NBC News' Matt Lauer about controversy surrounding her husband and the NFL.

NEWS: ISIS Militants Hunt Down, Publicly Execute Former Election Candidates

ISIS Militants Hunt Down, Publicly Execute Former Election Candidates Former election candidates are being hunted down, arrested and publicly executed by ISIS militants in Iraq, according to security officials and local residents. The victims include two women who were shot in the head in Mosul this week after standing for office earlier in the year. They were targeted because ISIS saw their candidacy as tantamount to supporting the Baghdad government, according to a senior security official who spoke on condition of anonymity. "ISIS fighters do not care if those candidates are Sunnis or Christians or Shiites," the source said. "Since this person was trying to be a part of the government, he or she is a target. They do not care if this person is a female, all are considered as targets. They have no respect for mankind at all." One resident of Mosul, who has knowledge of the incident but asked not to be identified for their own safety, identified the women as Ibtisam Ali Jaber, a candidate of Al-Wataniyah (The National Alliance), and Niran Ghazi Jirjis, a candidate of Al-Arabiyah (The Arab List). "I won't be a loyal to such barbarians" The resident said both women were detained for 45 days by the Sunni extremist group and executed after orders from its Islamic court. The senior security source said five other former candidates, all male, were detained by ISIS in September. Three of these people were publicly executed and the whereabouts of the other two are unknown. One former candidate told NBC News that he was hiding at a relative's house and was planning to escape from Mosul. He said that he feared ISIS would "take me, then execute me in a public square as they always do." Seven other candidates were killed by "unknown armed groups" in Mosul before April's elections, he said. The ex-candidate added: "ISIS fighters killed so many innocent Iraqis from Mosul. I could be loyal to them and save myself, but this is against all of the principles that I believe in. I won't be a loyal to such barbarians. ISIS fighters are turning our lives into hell day after day." Zena Nuri Abed, another female candidate who ran in the recent Iraqi parliament election, was also killed in Mosul on Sept. 7. ISIS has overrun huge areas of Iraq and Syria. The executions of the political candidates are the latest in a spiral of violence that United Nations says has seen thousands of civilians killed in Iraq alone. The Islamists' bloody campaign has also included the high-profile beheadings of several Westerners, filmed by the group and posted online. Residents in Mosul and the other ISIS stronghold city of Raqqa have reported the extremist group is imposing harsh laws banning smoking and heavy taxes on education. Raffaello Pantucci, an expert based at London's Royal United Services Institute think tank, said that executing political candidates was another sign of attempts by ISIS to portray itself as a fully functioning state. "The narrative ISIS is trying to advance is, 'We're building something here,'" said Pantucci. "These displays of authority and strength is the group attempting to show that they are building a state." But Pantucci warned against crediting the extremists with any real sort of coherent governance in Raqqa and Mosul. "It is easy to get carried away looking at all this and thinking ISIS has a well-run state with laws, schools and hospitals," he said. "My sense is it's far more haphazard than that."

NEWS: Jeezy Hosts A Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway In Macon, GA

EVENTS: FLOW 93-5’s Big Night Starring Ashanti!

FLOW 93-5’s Big Night Starring Ashanti!


We’re taking over the City on December 14th at FLOW 93-5’s BIG NIGHT – starring Ashanti! With a #1 top spot on 6 Billboard charts all at once, Ashanti has earned her spot as one of the TOP female R&B artists in history! Come rock with us and the Grammy award winner at the Guvernment, along with Toronto's own A-Game and The Airplane Boys!

Tickets on-sale NOW for $25.

EVENTS: Ink Entertainment presents Tinashe with special guests

Ink Entertainment presents Tinashe with special guests


TOUR: Lil Jon @ The Ranch Roadhouse Edmonton, AB

Lil Jon @ The Ranch Roadhouse Edmonton, AB 

Making Hits with ROB WELLS (Justin Bieber, Adam Lambert)

Making Hits with ROB WELLS (Justin Bieber, Adam Lambert)

Mark Zubek

Sunday, December 7, 2014 from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM (EST)

Toronto, ON

Event Details

An intensive 6-hour songwriting critique workshop with Mark Zubek and SUPERSTAR PRODUCER Rob Wells! (Justin Bieber, Adam Lambert, Selena Gomez, Backstreet Boys, Keisha Chante). This is a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for up to 50 songwriters to have a multi-platinum producer critique your song and an amazing experience for anyone that attends.
Attendees to this workshop will be blown away by the powerful insights ROB WELLS will reveal about making chart-topping hits. VIP ticket holders will get the chance to have their songs critiqued by a multi-platinum songwriter/producer and everyone will benefit from learning how Rob would improve songs from real indie artists like you.
Whether you go VIP or as a regular attendee, you’re songwriter skills are going to level up 1000 points over the course of these 6 hours.
*We will do as many critiques as possible live at the workshop. Any critiques that aren't able to be done by the end of the day will be done via recorded mp3 and sent through email.
Have questions about Making Hits with ROB WELLS (Justin Bieber, Adam Lambert)?Contact Mark Zubek



Tupac Shakur is one of the most influential rappers of all time, known for his progressive lyricism, impactful sound, and role in shaping the direction of hip-hop. Although he died in 1996, he continues to be a source of inspiration and fascination to audiences around the globe. Noisey was provided previously unreleased handwritten poetry through our friends Citizens of Humanity by his first manager, Leila Steinberg. The poems, written over a three year period starting when the rapper was 17, offer a glimpse of Tupac before many people knew him. With the hope of beginning to understand the significance of Tupac Shakur on today's modern world, we asked writer Jeff Weiss, who co-wrote 2Pac vs. Biggie: An Illustrated History of Rap's Greatest Battle, to pen an essay on why we care.
If you want to understand 2Pac, abandon the delusion that there’s one 2Pac to understand. Some called him a chameleon, but its better to process him as the rap game magic lantern—a vessel to project any shape, impeccable at throwing shade. Revolutionary ideals and gangsta nihilism were props, sincere and passionate ones, but capable of being discarded when it came to shoot the next scene.
The early details of his life seem so preordained that you’d think they came from an animated Disney boy-to-king film scripted by Huey Newton. Most of his mother’s pregnancy was spent in solitary confinement, while she awaited trial for conspiring to blow up multiple federal landmarks. His Godfather was Black Panther potentate, Geronimo Pratt. He was ferried into hip-hop on a King’s rickshaw in the video for Digital Underground’s “Same Song.” Yes, a fucking rickshaw.
Digital Underground back-up dancers shouldn’t become the most influential ever, but nothing about this makes logical sense in 2014. The best artists are willfully elusive. Some create myths of childhood fantasy; others just stumble into some corkscrew of divinity. All are too complicated to be compartmentalized. 2Pac’s greatest trick was convincing people that he was exactly like them, until he wasn’t.
Originally named Lesane Crooks, his mother quickly re-christened him Tupac Amaru Shakur. The re-branding gave him alias of the last Incan emperor, who upon execution by the Spanish declared: “Mother Earth, witness how my enemies shed my blood.” Basically, Tupac’s namesake did everything short but tell Habsburg emperor Phillip II, “I fucked your bitch, you fat motherfucker.”
Raised in New York, Baltimore, and Oakland, 2Pac was one of the first stylistically rootless rappers. Aggressiveness trumped aesthetic. He was the diaspora incarnate. In a 1992 Source feature, he claimed that the Geto Boys’ Grip It On That Other Level was his favorite rap album ever. He lived part-time in Atlanta years before it became an industry mecca and even got acquitted there for shooting a pair of off-duty police officers. Before being slain on a sweltering 1996 night in Las Vegas, he’d written “To Live and Die in LA,” which has mercifully replaced “I Love LA,” as the City of Angel’s municipal anthem. 
None of this accounts for the random sidebars, including a lifelong bond forged with Jada Pinkett at a Baltimore Arts school (a friendship that later made Will Smith feel some kind of way). During time spent in New York filming Above the Rim, he forged alliances with holy terror Haitian Jack and Madonna and Mickey Rourke. While incarcerated on sexual assault charges, 2Pac became pen pals with Tony “Who’s the Boss” Danza. It’s been said that he was up for the role of Bubba Gump. He wore “Versace Hook-Ups” before Biggie “copied his style” and decades before the Migos.
Before, during, and after interviews for the book I co-wrote about 2Pac and Biggie, I was given different reasons to explain his legacy. Some said that he was the greatest rapper ever because he was the only one intellectually and stylistically rich enough to teach a college course on. Others couldn’t articulate it; they just pounded on their chest and said, Pac “hits me right here.”
This jibed with an Armenian Uber driver who told me that 2Pac was his favorite rapper growing up in post-Soviet chaos. Neither he nor his friends understood English, but they fully absorbed the anguish and rage. If you travel to Sub-Saharan Africa, you’re apt to find 2Pac murals and paintings at every market. He transcends linguistic and cultural differences. Maybe it’s partially the leather-bound rock star look (they’re currently selling his All Eyez on Me black leather coveralls at Top Shop). But maybe it’s just raw power unhinged, several centuries of rage converted to nitroglycerin.
You can point to a young Boosie “spitting that real” in the studio, 2Pac poster hanging from the wall as a reminder. Or Gibbs or Jeezy or DMX or Eminem or Wayne or whoever. Ja Rule had the “Pain is Love” tattoo on his arm; 2Pac radiated it.
Maybe Biggie was right when he told VIBE in 1995 that the last years of 2Pac’s life essentially had him method-acting Bishop from Juice. But bodies under your belt matter less than hearts won over. His voice bled. He cried without seeming soft. He avoided the simple binaries that shackled many of his imitators.
One anecdotal conversation with Kyambo “Hip-Hop” Joshua, the current Executive Vice President of Def Jam, stuck with me. He said that he’d found that 2Pac spoke to young kids of this generation in a way that Biggie couldn’t. His messages were more simple and direct. The closest thing that rap has to a Bob Marley. Maybe they weren’t the most skilled the genre has to offer, but they were the best at capturing the blood-simple basics that connect every human. He never lost the don’t-give-a fuck-sneer and volatility of being a teenager. Slang and sonics become dated, but hate and love never go out of style.
Hence, these recently discovered poems. They’re essentially bonus tracks of the Rose That Grew From Concrete era, confused teenage blurts that spoke to the core of who he was. The layers are there. The mask isn’t. They won’t replace Leaves of Grass anytime soon, but they’re unvarnished primary sources from one of the greatest ever. As a post-adolescent, he attempted to figure out what to give and what to keep to keep to himself. They’re sad and lonely signals from a seeker who never lived long enough to find what he was searching for. You can see the corny romantic and the bitter skeptic, the outsider waiting to be accepted. You can see yourself. Maybe.