Azealia Bankshas landed in the news again but this time, it appears this is a far more serious situation in comparison to other breaking stories. The Harlem rapper claimed that a neighbor threatened her with gun violence which prompted her to drop her address publicly.
The unretired rapper was on Instagram Live broadcasting from her Southern California home where she tearfully told her fans that a neighbor allegedly pulled a gun out on her after knocking on her door. Banks, 28, said she was afraid to involve the police because she said that police might take the man’s side and that she was the only Black person living on her street.
Banks gave out her address to fans asking for their help and protection but instead, police were called to the home and it was later revealed by Banks that the neighbor apparently lied about the firearm. She then said that she intends to leave the residence and move back home to New York to complete work on an album.
Across social media, some observers took the low road and made jokes about the situation. It isn’t a laughing matter, despite one’s interest in Banks’ career or her past actions. The threat of gun violence is a serious thing and we can’t help but hope for the best for an artist that still has something to offer the game should she choose to share her talents.
Check out the videos that have been floating about on social media below. A Warning: the images may be disturbing to some.
Outsiders showing disdain for particular elements of a culture they themselves wittingly or unwittingly are simultaneously colonizing is nothing new. The latest flagrant example of this phenomenon is Billy Eilish, the pop singer who shared a suspect hot take about rappers in a recent interview with Vogue magazine.
Eilish is no doubt a star, having earned multiple Grammys this year for her hit album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. She’s also gotten praise for her style, a blatant riff on 90’s Hip-Hop aesthetics.
The latter makes the “Bad Guy” singer’s comments in the aforementioned interview particularly eyebrow raising—though, not surprising all things considered. Also, don’t fall for the jig of her fashions sense being described as “streetwear” or merely “leisurewear,” you know damn well where it’s from.
As for the comment in question…
“Just because the story isn’t real doesn’t mean it can’t be important,” she told Vogue. “There’s a difference between lying in a song and writing a story. There are tons of songs where people are just lying. There’s a lot of that in rap right now, from people that I know who rap. It’s like, ‘I got my AK-47, and I’m f*ckin’,’ and I’m like, what? You don’t have a gun. ‘And all my bitches…’ I’m like, which bitches? That’s posturing, and that’s not what I’m doing.”
Excuses (read: pleas copped) will be made citing Eilish’s age, she’s just 18. Or, via the ruse of looking at her words without proper context—rappers do lie, sometimes a lot.
But the problem is such commentary is most times recklessly obtuse, especially when made in Vogue, where a legion of readers who don’t know any better will take her words as gospel. She also sounds like those surly critics who were convinced Hip-Hop was a trend made by unworthy people of color and anything but lasting cultural value.
So expect Eilish—who notes Tyler, the Creator as an artist she admires in the same interview—to walk back her commentary sooner than later considering she surely has plenty of fans into rap music who don’t dismiss it as “posturing.” Or she can keep it a buck double down, and we’ll at least know where she really stands.
Don’t think we’re making this criticism of her opinion up, peep some of the Twitter reactions below…
Mo’Nique is going to keep fighting her battles. The comedienne and actress has once again come for Oprah Winfrey.
This time, Mo’Nique took O to task for not having the same energy for Harvey Weinstein as the mogul apparently did for Michael Jackson (Leaving Neverland) and Russell Simmons (On The Record…which she removed herself from).
“Russell and Harvey are accused of the same thing so in fairness how do you not ‘support’ the accusers of both as you said you did with R.S. or you look for the silver lining for both like you said you did for H.W.?,” wrote Mo’Nique in a lengthy open letter she shared on Instagram. “The only difference between the two is there skin color and doesn’t H.W. have way more accusers?”
My personal experience with you is you’ve watched me as a black women be accused of being difficult for not promoting “Precious” internationally for Lions Gate, at Lions Gate, Tyler Perry and your request, despite the fact my deal was with Lee Daniels Entertainment. And, how are you for black women when you hear Tyler on audio saying I was right and he was going to speak up but you or him still haven’t said a word?
Is Mo’Nique picking the right hill to do battle on or nah? Let us know what you think in the comments.
I felt compelled to write you this open letter after observing the disparity in the way that you seem to treat people, who were accused of the same allegations. You did an interview on the CBS Morning Show and were asked about Harvey Weinstein by Norah O’Donnell, and you said as it pertained to him that you “always try to look at the Rainbow in the clouds, whatever is the “silver lining”. You also said “if we make this all about Harvey Weinstein then we have lost the moment”. When you either are, or were going to be a part of documentary on Michael Jackson, and Russell Simmons, how is that not making it all about them? Interestingly, Brother M.J. was acquitted, and deceased, so how is he not off limits? Russell and Harvey are accused of the same thing so in fairness how do you not “support” the accusers of both as you said you did with R.S. or you look for the silver lining for both like you said you did for H.W.?
The only difference between the two is there skin color and doesn’t H.W. have way more accusers? My personal experience with you is you’ve watched me as a black women be accused of being difficult for not promoting “Precious” internationally for Lions Gate, at Lions Gate, Tyler Perry and your request, despite the fact my deal was with Lee Daniels Entertainment. And, how are you for black women when you hear Tyler on audio saying I was right and he was going to speak up but you or him still haven’t said a word? When I was sixteen and I meet [sic] you at your local show in Baltimore, I told you I wanted to be just like you when I grew up. You responded, “ you have to work really really hard”. My sixteen year old self didn’t know that you in your silence in the face of wrongdoing, would make my life “harder”. Lastly, please consider standing by the people who are right and not just the “right people”. Love you to life,
Terry Crews found himself in the center of criticism after he essentially left his former America’s Got Talent co-star Gabrielle Union out in the cold. Crews, in a bid to stay uninvolved with Union’s issues with the NBC show, appeared to lack compassion but has since apologized to the actress for not standing with her initially.
In a series of tweets, the actor and former NFL player laid out how shortsighted he was in not supporting Union.
I told @KevinHart4real a while ago, he needed 2 “acknowledge the pain of other people.” Right now I have to do the same thing. I want to apologize for the comments I made. I realize there are a lot of Black women hurt and let down by what I said and also by what I didn’t say.
“I told @KevinHart4real a while ago, he needed 2 ‘acknowledge the pain of other people.’ Right now I have to do the same thing. I want to apologize for the comments I made. I realize there are a lot of Black women hurt and let down by what I said and also by what I didn’t say,” Crews opened in a string of tweets.
He continued with, ” hear you, I respect you and understand you. I am sorry and I am here to support you. I spoke from my own personal point of view without first taking into consideration someone else’s experience. I allowed disrespectful comments directed at me and my family to cause me to react angrily instead of responding thoughtfully. This certainly caused more harm, and it is my hope that I can amend any pain I have caused to those who were hurt by my words.”
Crews finally mentioned Union after the long preamble.
“@itsgabrielleu, I want you to know it was never my intention to invalidate your experience— but that is what I did. I apologize. You have been through a lot in this business, and with that I empathize with the struggle toward fairness and equality in the workplace,” Crews wrote.
The apology concluded with, “@itsgabrielleu You are a role model to the entire black community and In my desire to be professionally neutral as your co-worker, I should have at the very least understood you just needed my support. Sincerely, Terry Crews.”
Fans on Twitter didn’t buy the apology after Crews basically mocked his detractors after failing to support Union in the same way she did for him during his #MeToo reveal. Marc Lamont Hill noted via Twitter that the apology seemed like the work of a publicist and not sincere words. It also appears that Union’s husband, retired NBA star, Dwyane Wade, isn’t impressed.
Felicia Sonmez shared a link to a 2016 Daily Beast article that rehashed 2003 rape allegations against Kobe on Sunday just hours after Bryant, 41, his daughter Gianna, 13 and seven other passengers perished in a helicopter crash. Sonmez’s headass tweet was spotted among the many Tweets paying their respects to Kobe and the victims of the helicopter crash.
Not only did Sonmez receive tons of backlash for her decision to share the article, but she was also put on paid leave. Before that happened she received an email from The Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron which she shared with the New York Times stating:
“Felicia, A real lack of judgment to tweet this. Please stop. You’re hurting this institution by doing this.”
For good measure, a screenshot of Sonmeez’s tweet sharing the story was in the body of the email as well.
Following the initial Tweet that got her in trouble, Sonmez followed it up with a series of tweets detailing all of the negative responses she received. She also shared a screenshot of an email, sharing the sender’s full government that showered her with expletives and called her a lewd name.
“Well, THAT was eye-opening,” she wrote. “To the 10,000 people (literally) who have commented and emailed me with abuse and death threats, please take a moment and read the story — which was written (more than three) years ago, and not by me.”
Sonmez was then instructed to delete the problematic tweets by The Post’s managing editor Tracy Grant, but if you are a regular on social media you know nothing gets deleted in time because screenshots were being shared up and down timelines
In a statement from Grant on behalf of The Post, her suspension was confirmed:
“National political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave while The Post reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated the Post newsroom’s social media policy. The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues.”
While her suspension might please those who were upset with her tweets, she does have defenders in the form of fellow colleagues with over 200 Post journalists criticizing the paper’s decision to suspend her.
Oh well, she should have thought about that before she pressed send. While yes, Kobe’s life was made complex due to the rape allegations, there is definitely a time and place for everything. That particular moment wasn’t it.
CNN Tonight with host Don Lemon tackled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo allegedly attempting to debunk an NPR reporter’s knowledge of Ukraine’s location on a map and the fallout that ensued. Guest panelist GOP strategist Rick Wilson took a dig at President Donald Trump with a joke that caused Lemon to laugh uncontrollably during the segment and got a response from the former business mogul.
On Monday (Jan. 27) Lemon introduced the segment with quotes from Secretary Pompeo in where he says NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly lied to him twice and actually pointed to Bangladesh on a map instead of Ukraine, in what appears to be an attempt to delegitimize the media’s findings and discussion around the controversial matter. Lemon mentioned that Kelly holds a graduate degree in European Studies from Cambridge University before giving Wilson the floor.
“Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter “U” and a picture of an actual, physical crane next to it,” Wilson said, driving Lemon to laugh so hard that he placed his head on his desk.
With Lemon unable to regain his composure, Wilson piles on with the slander while saying that the Trump administration is trying to appeal to its base while essentially stating that they largely don’t care about the facts. What got some Trumpers upset was Wilson’s use of a southern accent in a mocking tone, failing to realize he too is from the south.
President Trump’s disdain for CNN was once again on display as he took the time to mention Lemon by name while sharing a tweet from the Daily Caller, although it was Wilson who made the joke.
“Don Lemon, the dumbest man on television (with terrible ratings!),” read the caption in the video featuring the CNN segment. Other right-leaning publications have also blasted Lemon and CNN over the dig but on Twitter, critics of Trump are having a field day with the moment. We’ve got those reactions below.
MSNBC reporter Alison Morris was like many an on-air journalist scrambling to cover the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna Bryant, leading to a slip-up that sounded to most like the n-word. 50 Cent caught wind of the alleged gaffe and has demanded that Morris be fired from her post.
The artist born Curtis Jackson didn’t spend a lot of time blasting Morris, who has been revealed to be a native New Yorker hence she clearly has heard the term New York Knicks in her lifetime.
Although she claimed before the segment that she doesn’t follow basketball, her jumbling of the Los Angeles Lakers, which sounded a lot like “Los Angeles N*ggers,” caught the attention of many. We’ve listened to the clip several times oursleves and we’re not hearing much, if not nothing at all, that sounds like “Los Angeles Nakers.”
“[D]id this b*tch just say that on air,” Fif questioned, later adding that Morris should be fired. Morris claims she was saying the word “Nakers,” mixing up the Knicks and Lakers’ team names but it’s hard to see how it computes. As of now, MSNBC hasn’t addressed the matter publicly but many are hoping a better explanation comes sooner than later. Until that happens, color Hip-Hop Wired and many of our peers and associates skeptical.
Amidst the media discussions and online chatter in the wake of the tragic Kobe Bryantdeath that the whole world is still processing, a reporter for MSNBC made an exceptional goof on live TV. During the white reporter covering the death of Bryant on a Sunday broadcast, it appears that the reporter dropped an n-word bomb while on air.
Alison Morris was reporting on the Bryant tragedy on MSNBC during her usual tie slot, reportedly admitting at a point during the broadcast that she does not follow professional basketball. During her reporting, Morris uttered a word that most certainly sounded like the n-word with the hard “er” at the end and the reaction online was immediate as expected.
Morris took to Twitter to explain that she happened to confuse the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks, resulting in her ill-timed slip.
“Earlier today, while reporting on the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s passing, I unfortunately stuttered on air, combining the names of the Knicks and the Lakers to say “Nakers.” Please know I did not & would NEVER use a racist term. I apologize for the confusion this caused,” Morris.
Listen to the slip in the video below courtesy as captured by a YouTube account.
We took a look at the clip and listened intently to how that “stutter” happened and there does appear to be a moment where she tried to stop herself from completing the word but it certainly sounds like it came out in all its ugly glory.
Several people o happened to catch the slip in real-time sharing astonishment via Twitter, and the reaction has been relentless for the past hour and more. We’ve also posted Twitter user @rumchampion’s post of the broadcast gaffe, which has since gone viral.
We’ve captured some reactions via Twitter to Alison Morris’ accidental racism below, so keep scrolling past the videos.
We’ve captured some of those reactions via Twitter below.
Earlier today, while reporting on the tragic news of Kobe Bryant’s passing, I unfortunately stuttered on air, combining the names of the Knicks and the Lakers to say “Nakers.” Please know I did not & would NEVER use a racist term. I apologize for the confusion this caused.
Sauntore Thomas was hoping to deposit and cash the settlement checks from a racial discrimination lawsuit at a bank ina Detroit suburb when a teller called the cops on him over the legit cash. We’re pretty sure we don’t have to inform you that Mr. Thomas is a Black man.
Local news outlet WXYZ sat down with Thomas, 44, to learn more about the incident that took place in Livonia, Mich. and get details on a secondary lawsuit he’s launched against TCF Bank. According to Thomas, he entered the bank this past Tuesday to deposit two of three large settlement checks from a workplace racial discrimination lawsuit he launched against his previous employer and cash one of them so that he could purchase a vehicle.
Thomas says he was met with scrutiny by a teller, who was Black, and the bank was initially unable to confirm the legitimacy of the checks from Thomas’ Enterprise Leasing Company of Detroit lawsuit settlement. But before then, the bank claimed systems were down according to Thomas’ side of the exchange and that they held him up with questions about the deposits before bank staff sat him down and then called police. Thomas, who was alone, reportedly had four officers arrive on the scene according to Detroit Free Press.
After the police left after being unable to find a crime, TCF Bank launched a fraud investigation against Thomas according to his attorney, but he was able to get the checks deposited at another bank without incident. Thomas’ attorney, Deborah Gordon, told WXYZ that TCF Bank’s actions against her client is basically a case of “banking while Black.”
A statement was made by TCF Bank officials in a face-saving attempt clarifying that they couldn’t determine the source of the large checks. As Ms. Gordon noted, TCF tellers could have just called the bank that issued the checks to get the clarification they swore they couldn’t determine.
A Detroit man says he was racially profiled @TCFBank in Livonia, when he went to deposit some large checks. Police were called and a fraud investigation was launched when he tried to cash one of the checks, which happened to be from a racial discrimination settlement @wxyzdetroitpic.twitter.com/elhSdHQ2DL
On Tuesday (Jan. 21), Oprah appeared on CBS This Morning with gal pal Gayle King to reveal this month’s book and decided to clear the air regarding her exit as executive producer on the documentary profiling four women who have accused former Def Jam mogul Russell Simmons of rape and sexual assault. While Oprah cites that creative differences were the real reason behind her departure, she made sure to note that it was in no way a win for Simmons.
”This is not a victory for Russell,” Oprah said. “I unequivocally say that I did not pull out because of Russell. This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by a Russell Simmons after all I’ve been through.”
Winfrey explained it was “a hard decision” to step away from the film because she knew it could look like she was caving to pressure from Simmons, but that before he pressured her, she had expressed concerns to the filmmakers.
“I had said to them, ‘Houston, I think we have a problem here’ because new information had come forward,” Oprah continued. “I don’t care about awards — I just care about getting it right, and I think there’s some inconsistencies in the stories that we need to look at. I wanted the context of the story to be broadened, I wanted more women brought into the story.”
Although Simmons vehemently denies the allegations against him, his repost of his initial response to the release after the media mogul announced her withdrawal does seemingly attempt to put the emotional squeeze on her by utilizing their relationship as leverage to call her out, while appearing to clear his name.
“Dearest OPRAH, you have been a shining light to my family and my community. Contributing so much to my life that I couldn’t list a fraction of it in this blog.I have given you the gift of meditation and the groundbreaking book ”THE POWER OF NOW “we bonded to say the least,” Simmons wrote. “This is why it’s so troubling that you choose me to single out in your recent documentry. I have already admitted to being a playboy more (appropriately titled today “womanizer”) sleeping with and putting myself in more compromising situations than almost any man I know. Not 8 or 14 thousand like warren Beatty or Wilt Chamberlain, but still an embarrassing number. So many that some could reinterpret or reimagine a different recollection of the same experiences.”
Simmons goes on to state his objection to being publicly tried by highlighting the same reason that Oprah listed as her reason to withdraw—there weren’t enough women to tell their story and multiple facts were either overlooked or ignored.
“Your doc is focused on 3 hand chosen women. I have refused to get in the mud with any accusers, but let’s acknowledge what i have shared. I have taken and passed nine 3-hour lie detector tests (taken for my daughters), that these stories have been passed on by CNN, NBC, BUZZFEED, NY POST, NY MAG, AND OTHERS. Now that you have reviewed the facts and you SHOULD have learned what I know; that these stories are UNUSABLE and that “hurt people hurt people”. “
Simmons also accused producers of the documentary of trying to use past unfaithful behavior and words to his exes against him to make the documentary more salacious.
“I received a call from an old girlfriend from the early 1980s which means that they are using my words/evidence against me and their COMMITMENT/ (all of the claims are 25 to 40 years old),” Simmons said. “It is impossible to prove what happened 40 years ago, but in my case PROOF EXISTS of what didn’t happen, mostly signed letters from their own parents, siblings, roommates, band members, interns, and in the case of 2 of your 3 accusers,their own words in their books. Shocking how many people have misused this important powerful revolution for relevance and money. … In closing, I am guilty of exploiting, supporting, and making the soundtrack for a grossly unequal society, i have even been unconsciously callous , but i have never been violent or forced myself on anyone.”
While Oprah admitted during the interview that the decision to pull away was tough, she states she learned a valuable lesson when it comes to producing projects this sensitive in nature.
“I have lived #MeToo since I was 9 years old, and was raped at 9, sexually assaulted from 9 to 14, and then raped again at 14,” Oprah said. “And nothing is harder than standing up for yourself when you’re 14 and not being believed, and I was not believed by my own family. So I stand in support of these women. I believe them. What this has taught me is, don’t put your name on anything that you do not have creative control over.”
A sentiment she learned from friend and director Ava DuVernay, who states that she received an email to preview the doc; and also confirmed that Oprah was receiving pressure from Simmons to back out.
”It was harsh. She’s got Simmons on one side pressuring her, and then she’s got a film on the other side that she doesn’t agree with,” DuVernay said. “So if she walks away from the film, she seems like she’s caving to Simmons, and if she stays with the film, then she’s putting her name on something that she feels doesn’t quite hit the mark.”
Even though Oprah took time to set the record straight on her reasoning to leave, one things fans noticed she didn’t address was the overwhelming concern that Oprah seemingly exposes Black celebrities for personal gain, while ignoring their white counterparts who are experiencing the same allegations or worse.
“What a joke. So Oprah could pay attention to “inconsistencies” in this instace, but not in Leaving Neverland? That “documentary” was full of lies and proven falsehoods. Yet she still endorsed it,” one Twitter user wrote.
Which is a fair question, over the years Oprah has been called out for her seemingly brazen attitude towards Black celebrities. From her interaction with Toni Braxton when she was overcoming her bankruptcy after a shoddy record deal to her triggering interview with comedienne Monique’s family, after it was requested for her not to do so; Oprah has undeniably done some underhanded things to Black celebrities.
While this does not negate her contributions to Black culture and strides she’s created in entertainment, it is time that we have a real discussion about her love affair with problematic celebrities and her brazen approach to the Black celebrities in their time of need rationally without allowing adoration or lack thereof to get in the way. It’s time that we examine the celebrities the same way we do our friends, if they don’t have our best interest as a whole in mind, maybe we shouldn’t support it.