Linda Fairstein, the former Manhattan sex-crimes prosecutor who oversaw the prosecution of the “central park five” has announced her resignation from several charity boards in the wake of the explosive Netflix documentary, “When They See Us.”
Fairstein was in charge of the Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit when jogger Trisha Meili was found clinging to life following a rape and assault in Central Park over 30 years ago. Despite no physical evidence, Fairstein charged Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Kharey (now Korey) Wise with the crime. All were between the ages of 14 and 16 years old. The five were reportedly coerced into confessing using interrogation techniques that bordered on torture, according to the documentary and those familiar with the case. In 2002, Matias Reyes claimed responsibility for raping and beating Meili and the five were released after spending over half a decade behind bars.
The documentary has reinvigorated outrage against Fairstein, who was largely responsible for the trial. The backlash, which has sparked social media outrage (#CancelLindaFairstein) and calls for her publisher to discontinue her book, likely led to pressure for her to resign from the numerous charity boards on which she served.
Thus far, the charities that she has resigned from including Safe Horizon and God’s Love We Deliver; the Joyful Heart Foundation, as well as stepped down from her involvement with Vassar College’s charitable efforts and alumni programs.
In her resignation letter to Safe Harbor, she wrote the following: “I know the terrible inequities of race, gender, and class that have been a tragically pervasive part of our American criminal justice system for centuries. I have dedicated my career, and my professional and personal passion, to fighting against injustice — and much of that fight has been conducted for and on behalf of the staff and directors at Safe Horizon.”
“When They See Us” is currently available for streaming on Netflix.
Jason Mitchell is being dropped from his starring role on Showtime’s hit series, The Chi and upcoming projects.
It has been confirmed that the up and coming actor will not return for The Chi’s already announced third season. Mitchell will also no longer be starring in the Netflix film Desperados, in which he was set to star opposite Nasim Pedrad, Anna Camp, and Robbie Amell. Furthermore, Mitchell is no longer repped by UTA or Authentic Talent and Literary Management.
None involved would comment on the reason for severing ties with Mitchell. Reportedly, he was involved in an off-set incident during production on Desperados, leading to his dismissal from that project and subsequently from The Chi.
Mitchell has been on the rise since his breakout role in the 2015 film Straight Outta Compton, where he played NWA member Eazy-E. Since then, Mitchell has starred in films such as Mudbound, Kong: Skull Island, and Detroit. He plays a leading role on The Chi, which was created by Lena Waithe. Waithe praised Mitchell at last year’s Television Critics Association winter press tour ahead of the Season 1 premiere, calling him “The Black Tom Hanks.”
On The Chi, Mitchell plays a young man striving to do better for himself, his girlfriend and his family. He dreams of opening his own restaurant one day and owns and operates a food truck. Brandon’s goals take flight after the death of his younger brother, Coogie, who is shot and killed on the streets of Chicago.
A rep at Good Universe confirmed his departure from the Netflix film, Deadline reported. They declined to comment further, however.
Deadline reported that Mitchell was also dropped by his management team at Authentic. UTA and Authentic both also confirmed that he was removed, but did not release statements.
Currently, no information about the misconduct has been revealed. Deadline reported that it happened away from the set. According to the outlet, Mitchell had previously been involved in inappropriate behavior on the set of The Chi, but the situation was resolved and production moved forward with him.
Logic is one of the hottest emcees on the mic, right now. Hailing from Maryland, this bar-heavy lyricist rolls like he could be from one of the five boroughs. Staten Island in particular! Especially with his 2018 release of “Wu Tang Forever” featuring Wu Tang Clan, he seamlessly blends into his own unit within the 36 Chambers. With the track all you have to do is close your eyes, and you are transported to the 199os. W’s in the air flapping, mobbing the stage with a groove that could only can be described with the visual of a head nod and bounce. Could it be that Logic is just a mega fan that has appreciated the group since he was a toddler? Or is there an authentic connection between him and the group? After all on this song, he has Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, RZA, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, Jackpot Scotty Wotty, U-God, Masta Killa and GZA all spitting on this blazing track.
According to Inspectah Deck the love is real. While doing an interview on WIRED with fellow Clan members U-God and Master Killa, he was asked “Is Logic was in The Clan?” The Bronx born Deck answered, “He might as well be. Logic is my little man. I like Logic. He used to be on the road with me back in the day touring. We did a couple of shows.”
Master Killa interrupts and says “Hell no, Logic is not in the Wu Tang. We got to split the pie again?” After some chuckles from the Wu Brothers ensue, but Deck remains firm, “We already got 52 members, Logic come on in man… come on in.”
U God always one to take it to the streets, jokingly added that he “might have to get his chest caved in though.” Referencing an old school gang initiation that young men would go through to get down with a crew.
Everyone extended their love and perhaps the answer is just this… Logic is a unofficially Wu… Maybe in the tradition of Shyheim.
Shyheim dropped a record in 1994 entitled ShyheimAKA the Rugged Child, and affiliate of the Wu, he went on to make movies and star in TLC’s classic “Waterfalls” music video.
Logic’s star is on the rise, with or without the Wu stamp of approval.
In 2017, he won the MTV VMA for Best First Against the System video with his “Black Spider Man” and the BMI R&B/ Hip-Hop Award for Most Performed Songs with his hit “Sucker for Pain.” He has been nominated for a gang of other awards including a Grammy for Song of The Year with “1-800-273-8255.
Logic has one gold certified mixtape, two gold certified albums and one platinum certified album by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
There always seems to be conflict with this Hip-Hop crew. And 50 Cent seems to revel in being at the center of all the drama. We know that for a while now, that Young Buck and 50 Cent have bad a lot of bad energy towards each other. But this week things seem to have taken a turn for the “OH MY GOODNESS KEEP IT ON THE GRAM!”
According to the streets, 50 Cent and Buck are at it again because 50 brought up again, the allegations surrounding his former artist and friend being in a love affair with a transgender woman. Curtis Jackson never seems to let up. On his IG page, posted a remix to Buck’s 2004 joint “Shorty Wanna Ride” by the woman that supposedly is Buck’s undercover lover.
This ain’t new. The Nashville emcee and Jamaica’s Finest has been going back and forth since he was kicked out of the G-Unit crew in 2008. Over 10 years of beef was momentarily interrupted by a 2014 reconcilation for The Beauty of Independence EP. By 2015, they were back to beefing. Aside from the rumors about Buck’s involvement with a transgender woman, this beef between he and Fif is affecting his paper. Fifty don’t care. Buck is currently signed to him and he is keeping him locked stock and barrel. Well… unless someone buys him out.
Fans may step up and do just that. Many supported have launched a GoFundMe account to help raise $300,000 to get Buck off 50’s G-Unit Record label.
Oh no… not a GoFundMe page! The King of Petty lent his hand to make this thing go viral… much like he helped Ja Rule fill seats for that concert a few months ago. 50 posted a link to his IG account so that folk can see just how much he cares.
Everyone knew it. It is no secret that R&B’s Pied Piper probably never read the book from which he swiped the moniker from. Still, that did not stop him from not only using this classic german legend about the musician from Hamelin as a thumb-to-the-nose to all his haters in the early 2000s. It also did not stop him from writing hundreds of hit songs over the last 30 years for the “Who’s Who” in pop music.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, a Cook County judge filed a default judgment on April 23rd against R. Kelly and his attorneys after they went MIA on a series of summonses regarding the current sex abuse lawsuits that have been swirling around the singer.
This is what happened. The law finally locked him up on unpaid child support in early March. According to the Cook County sheriff, while he was behind bars, he was served papers.
Kelly’s newest set of attorneys, Raed Shalabi and Zaid Abdallah, said in a filing dated April 26. “The defendant does not recall being served.” They further state, “The Defendant suffers from a learning disability that adversely affects his ability to read, in essence he cannot.”
These two attorneys said that it was his criminal defense attorney, Steve Greenberg, that actually “informed the Defendant of the default judgment.” Greenberg, himself, actually found out via the media. It was then, and only then, that Kelly sought to immediately retain counsel.
Rapper, producer, label owner, concert promoter and Founder of The Alumni, Kwamé Holland is one of the hardest working rappers from the Golden Era. He is recently took a break from touring and producing hit records for R&B artists and made waves with a revelation about his former boss, Hurby “Luv Bug” Azor’s nose for sniffing out legends.
On The Soren Baker Show while talking about his career, he dropped a little gem the is sure to knock anyone who loved 80s Hip-Hop to the ground.
The first gem was about how his debut album, The Boy Genius, got made.
Though he grew up with Hurby Luv Bug, he was taking too long to produce a demo for the then teenaged Kwamé. Upon referral from a mutual friend, he went to a spot called The Music Building and cut his first joint. He produced a song entitled, “She’s Not Just Another Woman.” No one liked this song. He went back to the drawing board. The day was Christmas morning… and that’s how hit songs like “The Rhythm” and “The Mic is Mine” on that magical night. Six of the eight songs on that debut album was made in that 8 hour session. Kwamé shares the songs with Hurby and Sylvia Robinson (of Sugar Hill Records Fame). Hurby is not responding face enough, and so Robinson offers him a recording contract based off the demo. At the same time, his dad slipped the demo to Sony and they had an interest. This is exciting and upon returning back to Hurby, he finds out that the reason Hurby did not respond as quickly is because he was shopping it to a gang of labels and they were interested. Warner Bros., Atlantic and Epic records were presented by his neighborhood friend. He had a bidding war for the young gent. He wound up signing with another Sylvia… The Sylvia in the business… Sylvia Rhone.
The second gem is why he did not use vulgar language. Mostly for Kwamé, he never wanted to disrespect his Islamic faith or say/do something that would embarrass people that he cared about. He talks about his struggle to be authentic to who he saw himself, and what the crew wanted him to be. Just think about the polka-dots. He was 16, and had a few choice pieces to rock. He inter-swapped three pieces that he had, but some how created a movement. He could not spend money that he did not have.
The biggest gem that he dropped was about two of the dopest rappers of all time. Hurby apparently beat into his head that lyrical rappers would never work in Hip-Hop. The producer had his eyes on the bigger pie in the music industry, and was very much into making a cross-over rap record.
“He would say ‘Kane will never go anywhere. Rakim will never go anywhere. The people I was loving and the people I wanted to be on par with, he was just like it is not going to work. There are a million lyrical tough guys out here. You got to be ‘this,’ the light hearted high school kid that likes to have fun and chase girl.’”
But Kwamé again struggled to challenge his mentor. He understood in his heart that the artists who lasted forever focused more on artistry than gimmicks.
“On one end of the spectrum, you have Hurby saying ‘We got to go pop, we got to go pop’” Kwamé reflects. Then he continues “And then on the other end of the spectrum, I don’t want to be forgotten.”
Kwamé also gave props to people like Slick Rick, LL Cool J, KRS1 and Big Daddy Kane for not only being some of the top rappers of his time, but also for their production skills.
In the 80s and 90s, Philly was known for producing some of the top DJs in the culture. DJs like Cash Money, Miz and Jazzy Jeff set a standard that put “The City of Brotherly Love” on the map. If you were looking for a technician on the wheels of steel, you knew what city on the East Coast had them. Then the millennium rolled around, and Philly started to be known for something different. People started to finally zone in on the plethora of dope emcees being bred on those cheesesteaks, water ice and Frank’s sodas.
Roc-a-fella were one of the first to put a spotlight on these local rappers.
When they cultivated a crop of young lyricists, later known to the world as State Property, the Hip-Hop world took note. A movie, a clothing line and a new way of thinking and rhyme-flipping distinguished Philly from the pack of newbies cracking open the 2000s. A North Philly rapper by the name of Freeway was one of this crew’s top gunners.
Roc-a-fella was not alone.
Another Hip-Hop empire out of New York, Ruff Ryders, also identified Illadelphia as an incubator for rap music gold. They tapped a sexy shorty doo wop to be the darling of their crew named Eve. Eve came to the table, the pitbull in a dress, and did what few femcees have ever done at the time: She crossed over. But she also did that with the support of a whole team behind her. Features galore, she merged glamour and bars each time she took the mic. But there also was another: Cassidy.
The year was 2001 and Roc-A-Fella was on top of the world. The year prior, The Roc dropped Beanie Sigel’s classic The Truth, Memphis Bleek’s The Understanding, a compilation record with DJ Clue? and an album with Amil. 2000 proved to be a bankable year for The Roc, particularly with JAY-Z leading the pack with record that introduced State Property to the world, The Dynasty: Roc La Familia. This set up 2001 for an especially amazing year.
Clue? dropped another record. As did Beans… and history will reflect that JAY-Z solidified himself as an icon by releasing The Blueprint (let that breathe) and a live record with the illy Philly band, The Roots entitledJAY-Z: Unplugged. Needless to say Jay and Dame were stunting all over the place. And everyone wanted them… especially Hot 97’s number one radio DJ and tastemaker, Funkmaster Flex.
With an exclusive invitation up, The Roc took over the Flex show and one of the stars of the night was Philly Freeway. For almost 45 minutes, Freeway and his crew lit up the airwaves with bars after bars after bars. He killed it. But that might have bit him in the butt in the end.
The energy around this night and the work that everyone knew was coming just a few months later, had JAY-Z on the phone (according to Freeway) stunting on Swizz Beatz.
While Freeway does not remember what was said, he did know that after that night they went back to the Bassline Studio for a quick moment to recoup. But shortly afterwards, he was whisked to another studio for another session. JAY-Z was like “Let’s go!”
“That was how it was back then. At any time, you would be called to battle. You had to be prepared to rap at any second. It didn’t matter where or who.”
When he walked in the room, he didn’t know Cassidy by face. But he “knew his name.”
“We knew who each other were. I knew him because he had a name for himself. He would call up Power 99, the radio station in Philly, and he would win all the freestyle contest on the air. There wasn’t social media like it is now and so, I didn’t know what he looked like. But I knew his name.”
Freeway and Beans had been battling all over the city. So it was likely that Cassidy, who is younger, would have know about them also. In fact they duo built them chemistry organically on the Philly battle circuit. Their first battle together was at a local teen club promoted by Philly legend Bobby Dance called “Dances.”
“I was in the crowd and was like let me rock with you. We been cool every since.”
But Cass and Free seemed to be on the opposite parts of each other’s world. Cass was at Central High School (one of the top schools in the city) and Free was in the cut. Without social media and acute geographical and neighborhood bias, their circles would not have met up.
“I believe the boah was from somewhere Uptown and I am from North Philly.”
Back to the studio… From The Roc, Beans, Chris and Freeway were repping. JAY picked Free.
And thus the history was made.
First Round:Cassidy rapped for a little over 1 minute. Freeway did almost 2.5 minutes.
Second Round:Cassidy rapped for a little over 2 minutes. Freeway did a little over 1 minute.
Third Round:Cassidy rapped for a little over 1 minute. Freeway did a little under 2 minutes.
Forth Round:Cassidy rapped for 1 minute. Freeway did a little under 2 minutes.
Fifth Round:Cassidy rapped for a little over 1 minute. Freeway did 2 minutes.
Sixth Round:Cassidy rapped for almost 2 minutes and the battle ended with Freeway asking for a beat to drop.
Freeway without doing a 6th round, rapped 52% of the battle. To that point, some of his rhymes were from the early freestyle on the radio.
“I don’t want to sound like I am making an excuse, but I had been rapping all day. I don’t know what he was doing. After a while, I just went into my bag.”
Had he not been on Flex earlier, he would have probably had the rhymes in tow to go longer. Not only that, you can see there was a different mind frame that Freeway was in during this season. He was not focusing on battling, but more focused at the time being prepared for the freestyling that lead to a check. Also stylistically, they were different.
“Cassidy had more punchlines and personal disses. As a rapper, I speak more personal, dealing with my reality and truth.”
It is true. As you watch the battle, Cassidy has a style most similar to battlers that break down and comes at their competition like a Lux, Mook, dare we say Goodz. Cassidy for all practical purposes is an opponent driven rapper, a style that is great for this current incarnation of battlers. Freeway, on the other hand had content that look at the complexity of urban life like a Shotgun Suge, Chess or T-Top.
The vibe was intense that night, but what could be said was a victory for the hometown is that these two Philly rappers were the leading snipers for these big New York based rap crews. Paving the way for others like Meek Mill to take his place in the landscape of Hip-Hop elite… and for people like Troy “Smack” White.
“Cassidy says that he basically started Battle Rap. I mean, then I can say that too. Smack and I have been friends forever and I freestyled and rhymed for him back in the day. Smack was every where getting every body rapping.”
“What they are doing now in the Battle Rap is incredible! I follow it.”
Some of the artists that Freeway actually likes may blow your mind. As a follower, of course, he loves those who are typically on people’s Mt. Rushmore like Murda Mook, Lux, Hollow Da Don and Arsonal. But he also has a great appreciation for new stars like Geechi Gotti, Ave, Nu Jerzey Twork, Rum Nitty and T-Top. He not only is a fan, but friends with Brizz Rawsteen and Shotgun Suge. Two others that he keeps his eye on are John John Da Don and Tay Roc.
“I might come down if my schedule allows. I got a few shows around that time. If I can’t make it, I don’t have a problem buying the pay-per-view.”
Everyone is excited about the upcoming battle against Philly’s own Cassidy and the Bronx born Goodz on URL in a few weeks. With the card, Resolution, everyone is curious to see if Cassidy can compete with one of the modern eras most formidable opponents.
While the question is out there… Cass has put in enough work to walk him right up to the top stage, with one of their top gunners.
Homie has been smoking dudes on the mic for over 20 years. Anyone who is anyone in Philly’s rap scene is familiar with the lyrical dexterity of Cass, and no one can front on how dope he is as an emcee. Check out a video from Back2BasicsRealRapsTV, of Cassidy explain how he got on.
Also check him out as a buck, sick with the flows showing folk just why many believe that he “been” battle rap’s The G.O.A.T.
Well some people believe that. Clearly, Gilly aka The King Of Philly, didn’t agree (and you know when Gilly speaks… folk listen).
But none of these freestyles, his alleged 5001 victories in battle nor his street life scars- are what people reference when they talk about him as one of the originators of this current incarnation of battle rap. They look to the battle with former Roc-A-fella rhyme spitter Freeway, a contest that legend of Cass rest squarely on.
Back in the day, congregated in a studio, one of the most epic battles amongst commercial rappers not only took place but was captured on video.
Though the footage is grainy, the bars are preserved and presented by two of Philly’s greatest Hip-Hop voices.
In the footage you hear a young Freeway, with his high pitched and sliding scare vocals, spitting some of his most hard-hitting bars. Not to be outmatched, Cassidy brings the charm, clever word play and yes machismo to the field of combat. The overall consensus is that Cass won. His win was based more on the fact that Freeway seems to have ran out of rhymes in the footage, than just the idea that he saturated the atmosphere with superior rhymes. Both emcees where ripe with flows and bars. No one can deny that from the gate when Freeways starts his first round with, “You ain’t f*ing with Free for two reasons: my two kids, my two mouths to fee…” that Cass was not just dealing with any old emcee. This rhyme-fest showcase why the ferocious Philly spit-kicker was so attractive to at the time, the number one crew in rap. However, the rules of the game differed about 15 years ago. Of course your pen had to be nice, but you also had to write like your life depended on it (and have a stash for a “just in case” scenario).
Check out for yourself.
Interesting enough, Cassidy battled (and beat) West Coast rapper, Dizaster a few years ago. And while Diz is one of this generation of battlers faves, lyrically, that battle could not hold up against Cassidy vs. Freeway. Bar-for-Bar both Philly emcees hold a mountain-like weight in the culture that can’t be moved or destroyed.
But on the Resolution card, Goodz will surely try. With only 23 battles under his belt, few can say that they have beat him on stage. Sure you have those two disqualifications… and a few one offs where he joked the entire rounds… but no league owner or fan can say that Goodz is not worth the hefty purse that he requires to hold that glass of Henny and style on these n*ggaz. In fact, even Tay Roc felt the “Goodz Effect” last year when the two battled in Houston. This was the first time that “The Face of URL” and crowd favorite had ever been booed. Cass simply can’t sleep on Goodz. He is known to make people believers.
The sold out Resolution is set for April 27th in Atlanta. Other battles are Tay Roc vs. K-Shine, Nu Jerzey Twork vs. John John Da Don, Rum Nitty vs. T-Top, Shotgun Sure vs. Chef Trez and Yung Ill vs. Brizz Rawsteen. The card will be available on Watchbattlelive.com.
Yesterday, tickets for Nipsey Hussle’s memorial service hit the net and didn’t last twenty minutes before they were gone, unfortunately, some who were able to secure seats were looking for a quick buck on Craigslist. Those listings have now been shut down by the online service.
Tickets for Nipsey’s homegoing celebration were priced as high as $500, but TMZ details were quickly shut down.
Tickets were originally distributed by AXS and were required to have a California zip code for getting the free tickets, however, everyone in the California area was not able to receive tickets. Online messages expressed the anger at those who are looking to make a profit off of the celebration of life.
Nipsey’s celebration will take over the Los Angeles area on Thursday as he will take a “Victory Lap” around Los Angeles on the way to the Staples Center as he will take one last ride through the neighborhoods he supported. The procession will cover 25 miles leading up to Staples.