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Pharrell Williams Pens Racism Essay for Time Magazine: ‘The New American Revolution’

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*Time magazine’s special cover project, “The New American Revolution,” was created with artist and producer Pharrell Williams. 

For the project, Pharrell curated a series of essays and conversations between Black leaders that explore America’s oppressive past and visions for a more equitable future, with perspectives from Kenya Barris, Angela Davis, Imara Jones, Naomi Osaka, Yara Shahidi, Tyler, the Creator and more. 

“In assembling this project, I asked some of the most qualified people I know in every field – from Angela Davis to Tyler, the Creator, to Representative ­Barbara Lee – to talk with us, and with one another, about the way forward,” he wrote in his own essay published as part of the project. “I wanted to convey a vision of a future filled with the artists, creators and entrepreneurs who can fulfill the promise of this country’s principles.”

He continues: “America’s wealth was built on the slave labor of Black people: This is our past. To live up to America’s ideals, we must trust in a Black vision of the future.”

READ MORE: Pharrell Williams Surprises Norfolk State Grads With Virtual Commencement Address (Watch)

In his essay, the Virginia Beach native also noted his personal connection to being born in “the rugged spot jutting out from America’s mainland that birthed this nation.

“Being raised in the literal womb of America and the origin of this country’s oppression left an indelible impression on me,” Williams wrote. “I am both the promise of America and a product of its shameful past.”

He continued, “America was founded on a dream of a land where all men were created equal, that contained the promise of liberty and justice for all. But all has never meant Black people. Like most Black Americans, I understand that all exists only in the augmented-reality goggles available to shareholders, power brokers and those lucky enough to get in on the initial public offering.”

Williams also addresses the ongoing protests over racial equality, and how there is still work to do.

“The ongoing protests for equity and accountability that have overtaken cities across the nation have made me feel something new that I can only describe with one word: American,” he wrote. “America was founded on a dream of a land where all men were created equal, that contained the promise of liberty and justice for all. But all has never meant Black people … America’s wealth was built on the slave labor of Black people: this is our past. To live up to America’s ideals, we must trust in a Black vision of the future.”  

Alongside his curation of conversations with Black leaders, Williams is premiering a new song: “Entrepreneur,” featuring Jay-Z. He tells TIME that he hopes the track raises awareness of the challenges faced by minority-owned businesses and inspires more collaboration among entrepreneurs of color—leading in turn to “more money and more opportunity for everyone.” 

The unfinished American flag featured on this issue’s cover is embroidery on canvas, representing both a nation working to fulfill its ideals and Black leaders “looking up to a very optimistic future,” says artist Nneka Jones, 23.

Read the full essay, written with Michael Harriot, here.

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Chas Bronxson’s ‘Dear Beyoncé’ Hilariously Highlights the Perils of A Super ‘Stan’ / WATCH

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*Written by Chas Bronxson, a songwriter and podcast curator on Chuck D’s Rapstation Network, Anthem Tongue Radio; “Dear Beyoncé” is a harmonic and humorous look at the bygone era of ‘stans’ in a catchy musical tribute to Beyoncé.

A melodic R&B earworm of a song presents a hilarious glimpse into an obsessed character whose letter to Bey is colorfully played out in a musical short that won Best Music Video at the 2018 Annual Poconos Film Festival.

The song originated in 2011 when composer and songwriter Chas Bronxson was listening to an old sample by a rapper named Justin Warfield called “Season of the Vic.” He randomly said, ‘Dear Beyonce’ and rhymed it with ‘what I’m say...’ under the track and ran with it, creating a harmonic and humorous twist on the modern ‘stan’. The song and video sat for years as Bronxson focused on his label; producing other artists such as young Haley Smith (“I Miss My Daddy”) and developing his own projects.

Fast-forward. Seeing the variety of TikTok videos and comedic, music-laced spoofs taking off all over the internet during the Pandemic Shutdown, he decided the creativity of “Dear Beyoncé” would find a current audience. As well, with so many internet and self-made social media celebrities, he realized the age of the superstars and the sometimes rabid fan bases that followed them was declining. He understood that while fame is relative and seemingly everywhere, for some, there’s always that superfan. He released the video on September, 4th, 2020 (Beyoncé’s birthday).

MORE NEWS: Lenny Williams Still Doing ‘Fine’ Nearly a Half-Century into Legendary Career / VIDEO

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Chas Bronxson – Screenshot from ‘Dear Beyoncé’

Posting the video on his social media platforms, the short immediately garnered well over half a million views, 14,000 likes, and over 500 enthusiastic comments and shares within the first few days of the post. This encouraged Bronxson to release a free download of the radio edit of the song on his website Chasbronxson.com.

For the video, he offered his turn at humor and hi-jinx stating, “A flat music video tribute would be boring to people who aren’t into Beyoncé, even though the tune itself can be appreciated by anybody.” For music lovers in general, the forthcoming EP offers jazz, instrumental, acapella, afrobeat mix, and the uncut “Letter to Beyoncé.” Overall, the musicianship composition and songwriting skills stand out throughout the various versions of the song.

True Beyoncé fans who catch the ‘audio easter eggs’ with subtle Beyoncé references of over 20 of her songs and films win a cash prize. Meanwhile, in anticipation of Bronxson’s upcoming EP, he is offering a free download of the song on his website Chasbronxson.com.

His videos and works can be seen here https://www.mounrecords.com/videos

source: Gia Garel / [email protected]

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Cardi B Blasts Wiz Khalifa Over His Criticism of 2021 Grammy Nominations

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*Cardi B fired back at Wiz Khalifa’s recent Twitter Q&A about the 2021 Grammy nominations.

Wiz made time earlier this week to answer questions about the awards show and how many (often Black) artists are snubbed. 

“As a Grammy nominated artist I know how it feels. N***as always think its unfair until they get their turn,” he wrote. “Just keep workin and that time’ll come through … I felt like I got throughly robbed for ‘See You Again.’ Haven’t been bacc since, but when tha time comes ima have a joint rolled and dope ass speech ready. And it’s Taylor Gang Or Die.”

One fan responded by noting that the Recording Academy doesn’t know “sh*t about music,” because Cardi is a Grammy winner, while Nicki Minaj is not. Wiz  responded: “Most self made artists have this problem.”

READ MORE:The Weeknd Calls Out ‘Corrupt’ Grammys After 2021 Nominations Snub

Cardi responded to Wiz’s remarks by posting a screenshot a DM he sent her four years ago, in which he congratulated her on her emerging success.

She went to question why he was entertaining “tweets that pit successful women against each other.” 

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Wiz responded to Cardi, noting that the considers her self-made and made clear that he does not “want a Cardi/ Wiz war goin on for no reason.”

Check out his series tweets below:

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NEW TRAILER: ‘Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special’ Dec. 4 on Apple TV+ (Watch)

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*Apple TV+ and Mariah Carey today released the official trailer for “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special,” giving a first look at the epic holiday extravaganza that will launch globally on Friday, December 4 exclusively on Apple TV+.

Featuring Carey and a stellar line-up of superstars including Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Misty Copeland and Mykal-Michelle Harris, along with a special appearance by Carey’s nine-year-old twins, son Moroccan and daughter Monroe, the Special finds the world faced with a holiday cheer crisis, which the North Pole knows only one person can solve: Santa’s great friend, Mariah Carey. Combining musical performances, dynamic dancing and groundbreaking animation, the undisputed Queen of Christmas jumps into action to create a holiday spectacular to make the whole world merry.

The soundtrack single and new music video for “Oh Santa!,” co-written by and featuring Carey performing with Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson, will be distributed by Sony Music and released on Apple Music and other streaming platforms December 4. The companion soundtrack to the Special is full of brand new interpretations, and will also include Snoop Dogg and Jermaine Dupri as additional musical guests, in addition to a new version of “Sleigh Ride.” The soundtrack will be available exclusively on Apple Music December 4, and all other platforms on December 11.

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