What do John Bradford, Albert Einstein and Ice Cube have in common?
But in the first installment of QuestLove's Vulture.com series entitled, When the People Cheer: How Hip-Hop Failed Black America, the Roots rhythm man employs quotes from all three to make a stunning -- and controversial -- point.
Bradford once said, "There but for the grace of God go I," a quote often used to remind us to have compassion for the "less fortunate" among us. Einstein once described quantum entanglement as "spooky action at a distance," a statement that Questlove interprets as a belief that all creatures of Earth are all connected, "whether or not there's a clear line of connection." Ice Cube's contribution? "Life ain't nothing but bitches and money."
Questlove's own philosophical "quest" begins right there, at the point where the compassionate "connections" described by the previous two philosophers began to erode.
He has also grown weary of artists at the top of the hip-hop hierarchy making art that mostly celebrates being at the top of the hip-hop hierarchy -- meaningless, cynical stuff created and packaged to appeal to the masses.
"Meaninglessness takes hold because meaninglessness is addictive," he posits. A bold, brave statement.
So, will hip-hop "be back?" Or has it outlived and outgrown its usefulness, and failed the Black community in the process, as Questlove suggests?
"Time will tell. Time is always telling. Time never stops telling," Questlove writes.
Read part one of the series at this linkwww.vulture.com/2014/04/questlove-on-how-hip-hop-failed-black-america.html
By Cynthia Dagnal-Myron
Jhene Aiko's GQ photo spread has been published by Def Jam.
The record label posted several images from the GQ shoot on its official website. The photographs are scheduled to be included in the May issue of the magazine, according to Def Jam.
Aiko was mentioned by Pusha T in an article published today (April 24). "I'm not really listening to much rap," Push said. "Right now on the daily, I listen to Jhene Aiko. I like her a lot. I like her music. I was sort of last on it, too. I saw her video with Childish Gambino and it was just a good song. It was one of those things where I had been seen that video and it just clicked. I was like, 'Man, I want that record.' I went, downloaded the EP, bought it and I've been listening to it a lot."
The Earth's population is roughly 8 billion people and TIME magazine has once again narrowed that down to "The 100 Most Influential People". For the second year in a row, Beyonce was named on the list and appears on the cover for the issue.
Last year, both Jay Z and Beyonce appeared on TIME's 100 Most Influential People list in the Titan and Icon categories, respectively. Howver, Jay Z was omitted from this year's list. While his Samsung deal for Magna Carta Holy Grail's release was innovative, Beyonce's album release strategy was apart of the reasoning for her selection on the list, according to Sheryl Sandberg, the first woman to serve on Facebook's board of trustees:
Beyonce's dad -- the onetime millionaire manager of Destiny's Child -- just got a pass from a judge on his child support obligation ... because he grossly overpaid in the past.
As we've reported ... baby mama Alexsandra Wright has dragged Mathew Knowles in and out of court for months ... accusing him of falling behind in support payments for their 3-year-old son.
Knowles had been ordered to pay Wright $12K a month as of Feb. 2013 ... but a few weeks ago, he got a judge to reduce it to $2,485 a month, claiming his income had dwindled.
But sources familiar with the case tell us ... Knowles just scored again, convincing the judge he's been OVER-PAYING all along -- arguing the entire time he should only have been paying $2,485 ... amounting to an overpayment of $110K.
The judge agreed ... giving him credit for the overpayment.
Bottom line Knowles won't have to pay Wright -- who has been getting $300 a month in food stamps -- ANYTHING for the next 3-and-a-half years. Wright vows to continue her fight.
But there's a final twist ... Welfare officials typically come after the dad when the mom is on public assistance, so we're told he'll probably end up giving her something, beginning this summer.
Miley Cyrus is known more for being ratchet lately than anything else but even Miley must know enough to use precautions when she's having a good time with her latest boy toy, right?
Well, according to a new report, it appears that the singer's recent hospitalization might not be because of the flu but instead because she contracted an STD from her producer boyfriend, Mike Will Made It. Who would date a guy with a name like that in the first place?
Media TakeOut is claiming that the real reason Miley is on antibiotics is because she is ill from this mysterious STD, not the flu as her camp is claiming.
A friend of Miley's (Diane Martel @DianeMartelOff) is even going on Twitter and saying how "disgusting" Mike Will Made It is. So, what's the deal? Is Miley Cyrus infected or is she really sick with the flu? What do you think?
Update: 8:48pm Today, Mike WiLL clears the confusion by sharing the text conversation he had with Martel (see above). During the conversation, you can see Martel say that disgusting is actually a slang word for good and its a compliment. She also took to Twitter to clarify.
Chris Brown's misdemeanor assault trial begins Thursday at D.C. Superior Court, only a few blocks from the White House, but a conviction there is the least of his concerns.
"He should have a legitimate concern that his probation could be revoked in his Los Angeles case," said Jonathan Franklin, a prominent Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. "A person does not have to be found guilty of the new charge in order to trigger a probation violation hearing.
"A court can find that someone did not obey all laws during the term of their probation simply because they were arrested on new charges, and since the burden of proof is much lower in probation violation hearings, it is easier for the court to find that he has violated his probation terms," Mr. Franklin said. "Furthermore, probation violation hearings are decided by the court. There is no jury to make ultimate determination of guilt or innocence."
The wedding is off -- and now the ring is, too. One day after Big Sean's rep exclusively confirmed to Us Weekly that he had called off his engagement to fiancee Naya Rivera, the Glee star was spotted on set without her diamond ring from the rapper.
As previously reported, the actress accepted Big Sean's proposal last October, just six months after they went public with their romance. On Wednesday, April 9, however -- on the heels of a report claiming that the rapper had cheated on Rivera -- his rep told Us he had ended things.
"After careful thought and much consideration, Sean has made the difficult decision to call the wedding off. The recent rumors and accusations reported by so-called or fake sources are simply untrue," the rep said. "Sean wishes Naya nothing but the best and it is still his hope that they can continue to work through their issues privately. We will not be commenting again on this matter."
"Love & Hip Hop" star Mimi Faust is finally making love not war -- in a BRAND NEW SEX TAPE -- and her partner in slime is her co-star and BF from the reality show.
Vivid honcho Steve Hirsch tells TMZ ... he got hold of the sex tape starring Mimi and Nikko Smith, and then contacted them to sign off on it going public. He says "Love & Hip Hop" producers also gave their blessing ... presumably in an effort to spice up the reality show for next season.
We've seen clips of "Mimi & Nikko: Scandal in Atlanta" ... it's the real deal and it's intense. It's scheduled for release later this month.
As the saying goes, when all else fails ... make a sex tape.