Posts tagged with "Beyonce"

Chloe x Halle illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

CHLOE X HALLE

RELEASE ALTERNATE VERSION “TIPSY” AND COVER OF “SENDING ALL MY LOVE” FOR SPOTIFY SINGLES

LISTEN HERE 

Chloe x Halle has shared two new tracks for the latest installment of Spotify Singles, marking the second-ever Are & Be-branded Spotify Singles release. 

Recorded in LA, Chloe x Halle performed a stripped-down version of their hit single “Tipsy” from their recently released album Ungodly Hour as well as a cover of Zhané’s “Sending My Love,” with Chloe x Halle adding their subtly electronic 90s-R&B-inspired twist. Listen to both songs HERE.

“We first fell in love with ‘Sending All My Love’ by Zhané because our parents would blast it all around our house in Atlanta,” says Chloe x Halle. “We fell in love with the fact that they’re a duo as well, and how their voices blended so nicely together.  It was very inspiring to us as a duo too!” 

Ungodly Hour is available HERE.  

www.chloexhalle.com
@chloexhalle

About Spotify Singles

Driving more than four billion streams since the program began in 2017, Spotify Singles was created to give artists an opportunity to record new versions of their own songs, and the songs of the artists they love. The Singles scope includes a unique version of each artist’s own song (Side A) and a cover song of their choosing (Side B). To date, there have been over 300 Singles recorded as part of the program.

BONGO BYTHEWAY

BONGO BYTHEWAY’S LATEST WINS

No stranger to prodigious acclaim across music genres spanning from Hip-Hop to Gospel and R&B to Afrobeat, Grammy Award-winning super-producer, songwriter, entertainer Bongo ByTheWay makes significant Q4 wins with his most recent productions on Ty Dolla $ign’s Billboard-charting project Featuring Ty Dolla $ign with “Status” and “Everywhere;” R&B sensation DaniLeigh’s My Terms” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR and “Last Night” off her recently released album, Movie; Sevyn Streeters sultry, tropical banger “Kissez” featuring Davido and the heavy-hitting, chart-topping single “Gifted” by Cordae featuring Roddy Ricch.

Bongo has aided in creating an array of the most regarded music we have received in this generation — creating a track record for seamlessly fusing genres, styles and proficiencies that have remained unparalleled since his emergence on the music scene. What is the key to his refined talent, an ear for music excellence and budding legacy, you may ask? His dynamic upbringing; being of Nigerian descent and more. Bongo has seen a multitude of successes creating profuse amounts of hits, working alongside industry leaders and creating sonic-excellence only he is capable of producing. Consistently creating bangers across all genres of music that separates him from your standard creatives, this is only the start to his budding legacy as he continues to forge a blueprint for future producers following his path.

Bongo has aided in creating an array of the most regarded music we have received in this generation — creating a track record for seamlessly fusing genres, styles and proficiencies that have remained unparalleled since his emergence on the music scene. What is the key to his refined talent, an ear for music excellence and budding legacy, you may ask? His dynamic upbringing; being of Nigerian descent and more. Bongo has seen a multitude of successes creating profuse amounts of hits, working alongside industry leaders and creating sonic-excellence only he is capable of producing. Consistently creating bangers across all genres of music that separates him from your standard creatives, this is only the start to his budding legacy as he continues to forge a blueprint for future producers following his path.

Keep up with Bongo ByTheWay

WEBSITE: https://www.bongobytheway.com

IG: @BongoByTheWay 

About Bongo ByTheWay

Uforo “Bongo” Ebong, better known as Bongo ByTheWay, is a Grammy-winning platinum record producer originally from Nigeria and raised in both Florida and Rhode Island (currently residing in Los Angeles, CA). Bongo became known for his unparalleled talent with production; he also plays bass, piano and a multitude of other percussion instruments. As a child who grew up in the church, Bongo took to music as an outlet early on and received teaching from his musically inclined older brother beginning at age eight. By the time he was eleven Bongo began creating his own beats and got his first major placement on a Musiq Soulchild track when he was only 18. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Florida, Bongo relocated to the entertainment epicenter of Los Angeles to focus on his music full-time. But despite his early expression of talent and validation from big names in the industry, Bongo ByTheWay never stopped striving to get better and better and merge his instrumentalist background with the wave of new technology available. As the rising super-producer has explained, I grew up appreciating organic sounds. I played in the church, I grew up listening to Erykah Badu and The Roots, people that really have that feel of the instrumentation. But at the same time, I do appreciate the nuances of technology because they allow you to express yourself in a new way and have different soundscapes that are cutting edge.” 

As his career was taking off majorly beginning in 2013, Bongo became widely known for his production on Big Sean’s number one album Dark Sky Paradise and Documentary 2 by The Game. Bongo’s unique high-caliber production turned heads throughout the industry and has since led him to producing tracks for Roddy Ricch, Nipsey Hussle, Jeremih, Eric Bellinger, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Ty Dolla $ign, Snoop Dogg and Future among many others. He’s a 4-time Grammy nominated producer for songs with YBN Cordae and BJ the Chicago Kid and his landmark Grammy Award winning production on “Free From It All” by Hip Hop – Gospel crossover star Lecrae and his extensive discography has cemented him as one of THE most sought-after producers for popular urban music. In the summer of 2020, even amidst a global pandemic, Bongo ByTheWay secured two Billboard number ones for his chart-topping production on Teyana Taylor’s The Album and Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. A high-achieving person by nature, there’s no doubt that BongoByTheWay won’t stop his grind, no matter how many accolades he earns. As this super-producer says himself, If you’re not truly passionate about it, you’re not going to go the extra mile.”

Beyonce illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Ivy Park x Adidas to Drop Drip 2.2

By Hannah DiPilato

After an incredibly successful clothing drop of the Adidas x Ivy Park collection, Beyoncé is at it again with a darker line. Adidas x Ivy Park’s Drip 2 sold out almost instantly, but a line that Beyoncé dubbed “Drip 2.2: Black Pack” is coming soon. 

The Ivy Park Instagram account, @weareivypark, posted a teaser video of the collection captioned “THIS IS MY PARK.” Beyoncé also uploaded three posts on her Instagram to showcase the collection’s styles.

The line will debut on the Adidas website in the United States on November 17 and worldwide on the Adidas website on November 18. The collection will be available in-store on November 19. Hopefully, if you weren’t able to snag something from the first collection, these three days will be your lucky chance. 

Drip 2.2 has much more neutral colors than the original Drip 2 drop. Drip 2 had a variety of bright green and teal colors and Drip 2.2 will feature black and nude. This makes the upcoming collection a bit more versatile and fitting for the winter months. 

According to Teen Vogue, the designs “are similar to the last two drops; biker shorts, [sports] bras, a jumpsuit, sweats, fanny packs, and more. The only thing that’s really changed is the colors.” 

A landing page announcing the launch can be found on Beyoncé’s website that shows off some of the styles we can expect next week. Teen Vogue also featured images of the collection. 

British Vogue will feature Beyoncé on the cover of their December issue this year. Beyonce is shown in many stunning outfits throughout the shoot. In one image, she is showing off one of the neon looks from the Adidas x Ivy Park Drip 2 collection. The neon green jumpsuit is paired with a bold, dazzling necklace and a bright green bucket hat. 

The three beautiful covers of Beyoncé were photographed by Kennedi Carter. According to Billboard, the 21-year-old photographer is the youngest photographer to shoot a cover in British Vouge’s history. 

The December issue will also include an interview with Beyoncé conducted by Edward Enninful that shares how Beyoncé conquered 2020. She even shares that the most recent Ivy Park collection was inspired by quarantine. 

“During quarantine, fashion was a place of escape for me. My kids and I came up with Fashion Fridays,”  Beyoncé said. “Every Friday, we would dress up in my clothes or make clothes together and take each other’s pictures. It became a ritual for us and an opportunity to handle this crazy year together,”

“The newest Ivy Park collection was inspired by this new tradition. It consciously uses bright, bold colours to remind us to smile,” she continued. “I used a lot of neon yellow and coral mixed with baby blue and earth tones that felt soothing. They brought me joy and made me smile in the midst of a tough time for all of us.”

This interview allows Beyoncé to dive deeper into her thoughts on fashion and her Ivy Park x Adidas collection. Along with the interview being featured in the December issue of British Vogue, it’s available on Vogue’s website

Ivy Park has been killing the athleisure game since it was founded in 2016. The company was originally joined with the popular store Topshop, but Beyoncé split from the Topshop name after allegations against the Ivy Park co-founder Sir Phillip Green. 

Beyonce spoke in Elle about the origin of Ivy Park. “I would wake up in the morning, and my dad would come knocking at my door, telling me it’s time to go running, said Beyoncé. “I remember wanting to stop, but I would push myself to keep going. It taught me discipline.”

In 2019, the collaboration between Ivy Park and Adidas was launched and marked the rebranding of Ivy Park after splitting from Topshop. Now Ivy Park and Adidas are making waves with their joint collections. The collections have featured athletic clothing as well as spunky accessories. 

Follow Beyoncé on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to make sure you don’t miss updates about the collection. You can also follow Ivy Park on Instagram and Twitter for recent updates. Make sure to mark your calendar for the release of Drip 2.2.

Sneaker Illustration for 360 mag by Kaelen Felix

Beyoncé’s Ivy Park × Adidas dropping new collection on Oct. 30

21 hours ago, Beyoncé posted on Instagram a photo that read “THIS IS MY PARK” over a field of wild poppies, just below a purple mountainscape. She tagged @weareivypark, her iconic clothing brand, and the infamous @adidas. The post was captioned, “DRIP 2 October 20.”

Evidently, Beyoncé is planning her second Ivy Park drop, which will reveal a second collection on Oct. 30, ten days from today. But, aside from the Instagram post, little is known about what the collection has to offer.

Its predecessor, the capsule collection, sold functional athleisure and was cherished by many celebrities, including Zendaya, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, and Reese Witherspoon. It sported mostly maroons and oranges and was adored by those select few who got their hands on it.

The second collection keeps the promise Ivy Park makes on its website, first posted when the first collection sold out almost immediately. Aside from clothes, it also sold sneakers and accessories between $25 and $170, according to Kelsey Garcia of PopSugar.

“This IVY PARK capsule collection is only the first in an ongoing partnership with our world-class ally, adidas,” it says. “Thank you for being part of the flow. Stay tuned.”

Beyoncé announcement comes after weeks of her posting for Black Lives Matter, offering tributes to Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Jacob Blake, and other Black Americans killed at the hands of law enforcement, and the release of her film/visual album, Black is King.

Next Friday, we will finally see what Beyoncé has to offer us, in a highly anticipated clothing drop that could literally be anything.

CHASE B x OMB Bloodbath x KenTheMan – For Me

Columbia Records recording artist and producer CHASE B has teamed up with rising Houston rappers OMB Bloodbath and KenTheMan on his new single “For Me.” Listen HERE. Bringing life to the popular viral phrase “for me,” CHASE has also premiered the music video for the track today, which features a cameo from Houston legend Slim Thug. The track is already a Houston club staple, as showcased throughout the visual. Watch HERE.

CHASE is nominated once again for Best DJ at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards, along with Best Group with the JACKBOYS. CHASE recently celebrated his first #1 single on the BILLBOARD HOT 100 as a producer on “Franchise” with Travis Scott, MIA & Young Thug.

“For Me” is the follow up to CHASE B’s latest release “Cafeteria” featuring Don Toliver and Gunna.

Follow CHASE B 
Instagram | Twitter Website
About CHASE B:
CHASE B has the DJ/producer career many of his peers dream about day and night. Aside from being one of the most in-demand sonic tastemakers, spinning at premium venues from the Vegas strip to South Beach, the Texas native is also the official DJ for hip-hop mega star Travis Scott. His DJ pursuits have now matured into executive producer goals with a debut album due later this year via Columbia Records. His first single “Mayday” featuring Sheck Wes & Young Thug was just a taste of what’s to come, earning him a nomination at the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards for Best DJ. He wrapped up 2019 with a #1 album on the Billboard Top 200 as part of the Travis Scott Cactus Jack label compilation album, JACKBOYS, which also earned him a 2020 BET AWARD nomination for Best Group. His latest release “Cafeteria” was a collaboration with Don Toliver and Gunna, which CHASE premiered on the first episode of Season 2 of his Apple Music Beats 1 .WAV RADIO show with Travis Scott, where he also announced his joint album with Don Toliver, ESCAPISM is coming soon. CHASE is nominated once again for Best DJ at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards, along with Best Group with the JACKBOYS. CHASE recently celebrated his first #1 on the BILLBOARD HOT 100 as a producer on “Franchise” with Travis Scott, MIA & Young Thug. Always ahead of the curve, CHASE linked with rising Houston rappers in his new single “For Me” ft. OMB Bloodbath and KenTheMan. An entrepreneur, CHASE opened a streetwear boutique called Space Village with Travis in their home city of Houston in March 2020. With a fearless ambition, relentless work ethic, and supreme music mind, all assume inevitable longevity for CHASE B. If his trajectory is any indication, more years simply means more wins.

About OMB Bloodbath:
While 2020 was a wild ride for everyone, it was Houston’s own OMB Bloodbath’s pivotal year. The release of “Dropout” with fellow Houston star Maxo Kream fanned the flames for what was to come, as the song cracked the million mark in no time on YouTube. Her hustle paid off, when Blood secured a deal with 10:22 PM and Love Renaissance (LVRN), in partnership with Interscope Records. Raised in H-Town’s Third Ward, Blood has a long history in music, from loving it to later making it. Starting with poems that transformed into rhymes, Blood pounded the pavement, dropping mixtapes like Escape From Section 8 and her Nothing But The Moon series. Her record deal was monumental, as she was the first artist from the Third Ward since Beyoncé to sign a major label deal. With the release of her dynamite follow-up “Bolt,” Blood has already hit 300k in views, and keeps on climbing. With skill, talent, and will, OMB Bloodbath is here to tell real stories to real people.

About KenTheMan:
Heating up Houston’s female hip hop scene, KenTheMan gained early buzz from her hit single “He Be Like” and viral freestyles which all have received millions of streams.  She’s gotten praise from Cardi B, Mulatto, Rubi Rose for her heavy hitting bars. In August 2020 she released her debut EP.

ROLLS-ROYCE GHOST

By Cassandra Yany × Vaughn Lowery

As of late, 360 was able to spend some time with the newly reimagined Rolls-Royce Ghost at the illustrious Fairmont in Austin. Prior to our arrival, the staff and media representatives all tested negative for COVID-19.

Our room at the Fairmont was spacious and we had a gorgeous view of the city. The hotel was filled with modern art and had a number of amenities available for our enjoyment, including an outdoor pool which was fitted with chaise lounges alongside large cabanas which illuminated at night. The hotel compliments Austin’s identity as a city on the rise, and the Rolls Royce New Ghost is similarly ascendant. Both have been reimagined for an elevated, excellent future. Full of innovation and prosperity.
During this event, we were ecstatic to be in the presence of friends, colleagues and advanced automotive architecture, and to be doing so safely. It was gratifying to come together and experience the Ghost’s artistry during this prolonged time of uncertainty.



Design

The Rolls Royce New Ghost was designed with a client-centered approach and with technological advancements to drive with ease. It has been termed “future-focused with a minimal aesthetic.” CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös describes this model as “the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce yet.” It is offered in a variety of colors including Arctic White, Salamanca Blue, Tempest Gray and Gunmetal Gray. 360 had the experience driving Artic White, an electrifying yet brilliant shade certain to capture the attention of all.

360 Magazine President, Vaughn Lowery, said, “This vehicle is for an obsessive perfectionist, it’s a driver’s car – ergonomically fabricated for those who enjoy to drive or be driven.”

A team of specialists, engineers and craftsmen researched Ghost clients’ interests, opinions and taste patterns to meet drivers’ preferences. The style of the Ghost was created using the ‘Post Opulence’ philosophy, which designer Henry Cloke said is “about simplicity. [It’s] about something that doesn’t shout at you, but it whispers.”

Starting in the front, the bonnet has been lowered and tested for aerodynamics, which gives it a new look. The Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament can be lowered or raised using controls from the driver’s seat, perfect for that personalized touch. The New Ghost’s dashboard is lighter than that of the first model, giving the vehicle an overall more spacious feeling. It features hundreds of illuminated lights that resemble a constellation surrounding the Ghost nameplate, lighting up an evening like stars do a night sky.



The interior contains open-pore wood accents, which create a relaxing and serene experience. The headliner is adorned with celestial fiber optic lights, which can be dimmed or brightened from the driver and passenger seats. Occasionally, you might catch a streak of light that mimics a meteor. It is truly a one of a kind visual experience.



The trunk is power-operated, completely carpeted (even under the lid) and provides ample space to store any and all belongings.



Technology

The 2021 Ghost is a new and improved style of its 2010 predecessor. Engineers combined dynamic highlights from the portfolios of numerous types of cars into this edition. It was formulated to remove as much energy transfer as possible from the road into the body with the goal of creating a smooth ride.

The Ghost was built with sound absorbing materials which reduced the level of noise inside. Touch enabled media screens fold in and out automatically from behind the driver’s and passenger’s seats, providing entertainment for those sitting in the back. Wooden trays emerge as well, ones that can be used with or without screens.

A bespoke audio design allows passengers to use dials on the rear doors to control the stereo volume to their preference. Beyond this, the back seats have headrest pillows and individual controls that allow you to move forward or backward, and design the back of the seat to your desired level of comfort. There is also a refrigerator located behind the center console in the rear seats, perfect for storing beverages on the go and the definition of opulence behind the wheel.

The inclusion of USB-C ports is another phenomenal addition, as well as the wireless charger in the arm rest. Though there is no AI system such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, the tech was on-demand and had a hands-free bluetooth function, a wireless hotspot, and Rolls-Royce Assist at your beck and call. Rolls-Royce Assist connects to an emergency services call center if necessary.These are the standard technical features for the New Ghost, but each Rolls Royce can be configured to its unique driver to make it “a motor car that is yours, and yours alone.”

Performance

The New Ghost’s all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering makes driving easy, regardless of road conditions. The car is planted firmly to the ground and corners very well. It was built on Rolls-Royce aluminum spaceframe architecture, which has been adapted to make way for advancements. The steering is much stiffer and more precise than that of the first Ghost, and the braking is more powerful.



The Planar system increases agility through the Wishbone Damper unit above the front suspension assembly, which creates a secure and effortless ride; the Flagbearer system, which uses cameras to read the road and prepare the suspension system for any upcoming changes in the road surface; and the Satellite Aided Transmission, which uses GPS data to pre-select the optimum gear for approaching corners.



Furthermore, the New Ghost is equipped with a 6.75-litre, twin-turbo V12 engine. The doors open and close electrically, which made for an easy entrance and exit. Engineering Lead Jonathan Simms, said the team “pushed [their] architecture even further and created a car even more dynamic, even more luxurious and, most of all, even more effortlessly usable.”



Additional Features

The iconic Rolls-Royce logo on the wheels is weighted so that it is always facing upright. Also, the key color is customized to match the accents of the car, a note that will be appreciated by any driver looking for a personal touch. Other notes in the interior include the inside of the doors being completely leather and having an embossment of the Spirit of Ecstasy. A button on the rear doors allows passengers to shut them automatically from the inside, and a tap of the door handle will close them from the outside. There is also a hidden umbrella that pops out from the rear doors when needed.




With so many refined and client-centered designs, it is no wonder celebrities like Beyoncé and Floyd Mayweather have strong connections to the moniker. Beyoncé has her own 1959 Silver Cloud Rolls Royce convertible. In her most recent project, Black Is King — the musical film available on Disney+ for her 2019 album “The Lion King: The Gift” — the artist sits atop the hood of a cheetah print Rolls Royce to match the catsuit she is wearing in the scene. The boxing legend similarly showed off his automobile collection earlier this year, which includes at least six Rolls Royce’s. The Rolls-Royce is undoubtedly the most iconic brand in pop culture, including being the most mentioned brand in top-charting songs. The Ghost edition is particularly bold amongst Rolls-Royce’s many stars, and anyone seeking to solidify their luxurious lifestyle need look no further for their ride.

Experiencing this sophisticated and sleek model awoken all of our senses during this challenging time of introspection. The presence of beauty and craftsmanship gave us a feeling of hope as well as pride. Rolls-Royce has long set the bar on lavish vehicles, and the 2021 edition of the Rolls Royce Ghost is no exception. For those interested in a slice of the high life, the Ghost is the very definition of it.

Felt Hats by Tenth Street.

BEYONCÉ x ADIDAS

By Payton Saso

Beyoncé first collaborated adidas with her launch of Ivy Park. Now, the singer is back with a new collaboration. On September 18 the Beyoncé x adidas Superstar Platform will be released and available to purchase through the adidas App.

This shoe is a reinterpretation of the adidas Superstar, “however, the tooling begins to sculpt to a platform shape, bearing in tow an aggressive, near brutalist aesthetic. The midsole, though partly left untouched, quickly begins to protrude out, extending from all sides as it does in height,” Sneaker News described.

The adidas website describes the launch as “The meeting of two icons: Beyoncé lends her elegance and perspective to the iconic silhouette for the 50th anniversary of the Superstar.”

Teen Vogue recapped the history of Ivy Park, stating that the brand, “relaunched just last April with adidas where they would be collaborating, but also Beyoncé would be designing her own sportswear apparel and footwear for the brand, which includes the classic sneakers.”

This remake of the Superstar is the first of its kind by reshaping the shoe and adding a platform. This isn’t the first time Beyoncé has repurposed the classic adidas style to brand them with her Ivy Park line. Earlier this year, she launched four shoes with the brand. “All showcasing the collection’s bold styling, and incorporating utilitarian details,” adidas announced, and adding never seen before colors to the brand.

The sneakers, however, were reportedly leaked prior to their original release date but this doesn’t seem to be bothering Queen Bey too much as she was seen enjoying a vacation in Croatia on a $2 million a week yacht.

While the Ivy Park name already holds its own in the fashion industry and pop culture, collaborating with adidas is its newest mark in the industry. The brand first launched in 2016 and was cofounded with TOPSHOP founder, Sir Philip Green, but Beyoncé is now the sole owner after Green faced sexual harassment allegations in 2018, according to BBC.

The singer originally alluded to her collaboration in the January issue of ELLE Canadae, which 360 Magazine covered. With new magazine covers, movies, music and fashion, this year has been busy for Queen Bey.

The singer released a visual album, “Black is King” earlier this year which was a revival of “The Lion King.” Beyoncé was also recently enlisted by the United Nations, along with other celebs, “a film promoting actions to tackle the world’s biggest issues from the COVID-19 pandemic to poverty and inequality” according to USA Today.

It is no surprise to her fans that the singer is staying booked and busy, and are anticipating her latest drop with adidas.

The shoe’s which drop today, September 18 on the adidas app, cost $200 US dollars. Through the app customers can purchase the shoe, or enter a giveaway which closes on the drop date to win themselves a pair of the exclusive sneaker.

Lewis Capaldi – Before You Go

Lewis Capaldi‘s hit song “Before You Go” finally hit No. 1 Monday on Mediabase‘s Top 40 and Billboard‘s Pop Songs and All Format Radio Songs charts.

Its 36-week climb to the top of Mediabase’s Top 40 and 37-week climb to the top of Billboard’s Pop Songs chart are the longest of both respective lists. The previous record was a 31-week climb up the Billboard Pop Chart set by “Eastside,” the 2018 hit from Benny Blanco, Halsey and Khalid.

Capaldi also joins Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Bruno Mars as the only artists to reach No. 1 with each of their first two entries, as “Someone You Loved” reached No. 1 in Dec. 2019.

“Before You Go” was first released Nov. 2019 on the extended version of Capaldi’s album “Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent.” Since then it has done nothing but grow and spread, even cracking a billion streams.

Capaldi said “Before You Go” is about his aunt who died of suicide, also calling it the most honest and personal song he has ever written.

“It’s about loss, regrets and the fear that we sometimes never understand what someone is going through despite our best want to be everything that person needs,” Capaldi said.

Capaldi picked up a GRAMMY nomination for his song “Someone You Loved” and performed “Before You Go” at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards where he was nominated for PUSH Best New Artist.

Instead of taking time to sit back and enjoy praise from outlets like Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly, the Glasgow-born singer-songwriter is now working on his second album.

Netflix – Cuties

By Cassandra Yany

One of Netflix’s newest films, Cuties, has garnered much attention and backlash since its Sep. 9 release on the streaming platform. The coming-of-age film depicts a young girl as she tries to navigate her life as a pre-teen growing up in a Muslim family living in Paris.

Many critics have spoken out against the film, which currently holds the no. 7 spot in Netflix’s ‘Top 10,’ for its depiction of 11-year-old girls dancing and behaving in an indecent manner. According to the New York Times, the movie was first deemed controversial in the U.S. in August when Netflix released the promotional artwork. The original marketing for the film displayed an image of four young girls in skimpy dance costumes posing provocatively.

This, along with the trailer, prompted opposers to start petitions online and call for the removal of the film from Netflix’s catalog. Netflix apologized and changed the artwork for the film to a more innocent photo of the same four characters walking down the street with shopping bags, donning bras and underwear over their clothes.

Last week’s release of the film has sparked conversation once again amongst parents, politicians and others, causing #CancelNetflix to trend on Twitter. Lina Nealon, the Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has spoken out against the film saying “While we commend Director Maïmouna Doucouré for exposing the very real threats to young girls having unfettered access to social media and the internet, we cannot condone the hypersexualization and exploitation of the young actresses themselves in order to make her point.” She called for Netflix to cut the “sexually-exploitive” scenes from the film, or remove the film from the platform altogether.

On Friday, Hawaii Rep. Tulse Gabbard tweeted, “@Netflix child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children… Netflix you are now complicit.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz penned a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr Friday calling for the Department of Justice to start an investigation into the production and distribution of the film to “determine whether Netflix, any of its executives, or anyone involved in the making of ‘Cuties’ violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.”

Cruz wrote that “the film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial nudity” falsely claiming that there’s a scene exposing a “minor’s bare breast.” The Associated Press reported that one of Cruz’s representatives, Lauren Aronson, said that the senator has not seen the film.

According to the Washington Times, some critics are even calling on the Obama’s— who have a production deal with Netflix— to take action against the film. Deadline stated that “The reality appears to have been lost in the storm, and the truth is very few of the people reacting so strongly will have actually seen the film.”

Netflix told USA TODAY “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up— and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

Director Maïmouna Doucouré defends the film, saying that it works to shed light on these issues so they can be fixed. Cuties first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23, where it won the Directing Jury Award for the dramatic film category. According to the New York Times, the movie did not stir up much conversation in France after its theatrical release (as Mignnonnes in French) in August.

Deadline reports that Doucouré did not see the promotional material prior to when it was circulated on the internet. She said that she received death threats as the outrage grew over these images. She told the news site that the film is not apologetic about the hypersexualization of children, but instead is her “…personal story as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal western culture and a conservative culture at home.”

Cuties was Doucouré’s feature directorial debut. Similar to the film’s main character, Amy, Doucouré is of Senegalese descent and grew up in a Muslim culture in Paris. In an interview at Sundance, she said she first had the idea for the movie after attending a neighborhood gathering in Paris where she saw a group of 11-year-old girls doing a stage performance of a “sensual” dance. She was shocked to see girls that age dance like that in short clothing. “We can’t continue to close our eyes about that,” she told the interviewer.

Doucouré researched for a year and a half, meeting with hundreds of pre-teens who told her their stories. She learned about their ideas of femininity, and how their self image is affected by the emphasis of social media in today’s society. According to IndieWire, the young actresses’ parents were on board with the project to spread awareness of the issue, and there was a psychologist working with the girls throughout filming who is still helping them throughout the release process.

The film is centered around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who has recently moved to a housing development in a poor suburb of Paris with her Senegalese, observant Muslim family. She looks out for her brothers, takes care of responsibilities around the house, and is in the process of being taught how to ‘be a woman’ by  her aunt.

One day after prayer, Amy walks by the laundry room and sees a girl her age dancing to music playing from her phone. In a subsequent scene, Amy is seen trying to straighten her hair with a clothing iron, burning part of it off as a result. 

Amy learns that her father, who is still in Senegal, has taken a second wife and will be coming to Paris soon to have the wedding. Her mother, Mariam, tries to hide her reaction to the news, but Amy sees her grow upset and take her frustrations out on herself. This is where Amy’s behavior begins to shift; she starts to reject her culture and identity, and instead tries to conform to fit in with the other girls at school. 

At school, Amy is teased for her clothes and lack of fashion sense, so she begins to wear her younger brother’s t-shirt to match the crop tops that her classmates wear. After seeing a group of girls her age dancing after school, Amy steals her cousin’s iPhone to learn how to dance, herself. She comes across their social media accounts and begins taking selfies, imitating what she sees on their profiles. 

Amy finds herself a spot in the girls’ friend group and dance troupe, and as a result, begins to neglect her responsibilities at home. Amy starts to show more self expression, wearing her hair natural rather than pulling it back. She also begins to explore the internet more, finding videos of almost-naked women dancing rather suggestively and moving their bodies in ways that an 11-year-old probably shouldn’t be watching. 

Taking what she found online, Amy practices dancing with her friends and teaches them how to twerk. This is where the movie begins to make viewers slightly uneasy. It was jarring to see these young, innocent girls tainted by this inappropriate content and doing dance moves that they didn’t understand the implications of. It appears that this was the intention of director Doucouré, as she stated in an interview with Netflix that the film is “…a mirror of today’s society; a mirror sometimes difficult to look into and accept but still so true.”

Some of the scenes, frankly, are very disturbing to watch. These include the girls dancing provocatively for two older male workers at a laser tag facility so that they wouldn’t get in trouble for sneaking in, as well as Amy beginning to undress for her cousin once he found she had stolen his iPhone in an attempt to smooth over the situation. Perhaps the most disturbing scene is when Amy takes a picture of her genitals to post on her social media profile so that people at school would think she’s mature. While there was no nudity shown in this scene, the implied action was horrifying to watch. 

At the end of the film, Amy performs with her dance troupe at a local competition. Dressed in revealing outfits, they dance immodestly in front of a crowd of people who quickly seem unsettled. (This is the scene from which the original promotional photos were taken.) Toward the end of the song, Amy freezes as she begins to think about her mom, then runs off the stage crying. She goes home where she asks her mom not to attend her father’s wedding. Her mom continues to get ready for the event, but tells Amy that she doesn’t have to go.

Instead of going to the wedding, Amy steps outside and begins jumping rope. This scene depicts a mixture of her two identities: she is wearing jeans and a crop top with her hair down, but is surrounded by people of her culture dressed in traditional garments. After suppressing her family’s background for a majority of the movie, Amy is finally able to find the balance where her multiple cultures intersect in order to be her honest self. 

After watching Cuties, it is evident that it is not meant to promote this behavior among young girls, but instead provide commentary on what is happening today and warn the adults who see the movie. The harsh reality is that more pre-adolescents are exposed to this type of content than we think. Any child who has access to a smart device and social platforms have the potential to see a video not meant for them. Take TikTok for example: racy dances to Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” as well as a recent trend where women make “thirst traps” to Beyoncé’s “Rocket” are some of the most popular videos on the app right now. Young TikTok users can easily see creators on their For You Page enjoying themselves while engaging in these trends, causing the young viewer to want to do the same.

When speaking to Deadline, Doucouré said, “What happens is young girls see images of women being objectified, and the more the woman becomes an object, the more followers and like she has— they see that as a role model and try to imitate these women, but they’re not old enough to know what they’re doing.” In a separate interview, she posed the question, “Isn’t the objectification of a woman’s body that we often see in our Western culture not another kind of oppression?”

Overall, Cuties shows the dangers of uncensored media for young children and displays how impressionable they can be. It also shows the journey of Amy’s self-discovery and learning how to blend her multiple cultures in order to shape her identity. Unfortunately, the risqué nature of the film overshadows the storyline and the message is lost for a number of audience members.

In various articles, Doucouré is quoted discussing the meaning of the film in the broad context of femininity and what it means for young girls to enter womanhood in this digital age. During her aforementioned interview with Netflix, she stated “The real question of Cuties is can we, as women, truly choose who we want to be, beyond the role models that are imposed upon us by society?”

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Independence Day Drink

2020 Labor Day Celebrations

By Cassandra Yany

In the face of COVID-19, Labor Day weekend looked very different his year. Absent were the large family cookouts and pool parties, or the big end-of-summer beach crowds. Many cities even had to omit public fireworks to prevent mass gatherings. Though the long weekend did not bring the celebrations we’re used to, there were still plenty of safe ways to enjoy the holiday.

Virtual events allow you to take part in more activities in different locations than you would have been able to physically. Made in America, a festival started by Jay-Z in 2012, was set to take place in Philadelphia this past weekend. On July 1, festival organizers announced that it would be rescheduled to Labor Day weekend 2021. They said in a statement “Collectively, we are fighting parallel pandemics, COVID-19, systemic racism and police brutality. Now is the time to protect the health of our artists, fans, partners and community as well as focus on our support for organizations and individuals fighting for social justice and equality in our country.”

This year’s lineup went unannounced, but last year’s festival was headlined by Travis Scott and Cardi B. Since the physical festival was canceled, a livestream showcasing the best performances took place on the music streaming service TIDAL throughout the weekend. The virtual festival included sets from Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lizzo, Coldplay, Rihanna and many other chart-topping artists.

Nationally, a Labor Day virtual race was held by The Best Races for runners to run anywhere on their own time and submit their results. Participants who registered for the full package received a personal coach who was available Monday through Friday to provide help and answer questions during training, and provided encouragement and support on the day of the race.

Runners across the country were able to choose the distance of the race they wanted to participate in. Depending on what package they signed up for, they received a certificate of completion and digital medal, a 3-inch medal sent to their homes, a printable custom bib, a custom digital photo card that contains the race results, a digital running journal, a t-shirt, optional course maps and an optional pen pal program. 

Based in Portland, the Oregon Labor Movement held a statewide virtual Labor Day celebration and call to action on Monday. The organizers brought light to issues taking place in the state saying, “Working Oregonians are facing three crises at once: a deadly global pandemic, an economic free fall, and long-standing institutional racism.”

The event began at noon and featured talks from Oregon’s labor leaders, elected officials, and working Oregon citizens regarding their desire for change and their pursuit toward justice for workers. This event came after Portland’s rise to national prominence for their Black Lives Matter demonstrations and federal agents entering the city in recent months.

A number of virtual events were held in Los Angeles this past weekend, as well. HomeState, the LA-based Texas Kitchen, held its first Margarita Showdown in 2019, but had to move it online this year due to the pandemic and social distancing measures. The virtual event took place Saturday via livestream. Margarita makers in the area competed to see whose drink was the best.

Voters received eight bottled margaritas, along with limes and garnishing salt to try the different submissions from the safety of their homes. The winner chosen was El Compadre, a local Mexcian restaurant. The event was hosted by comedian Cristela Alonzo, and featured musical performances by Chicano Batman, Spoon, Questlove, Fred Armisen, Local Natives and Angela Muñoz. All proceeds from the event benefit the organization No Us Without You! and the Watts Empowerment Center.

The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories in Santa Monica hosted a virtual Labor Day Pies class on Sunday. In the class, participants were taught how to make a s’mores pie and key lime pie. Registration for the class included access to the Zoom video meeting, as well as the recipe and shopping list. Recipes can also be found on Gourmandise’s Instagram.

Some cities were able to hold in-person events following social distancing guidelines. Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, located in the Seaport District, upheld its tradition of free admission on Labor Day. The museum is typically closed on Mondays, but was open from 10 am to 5 pm for guests who reserved tickets. 

Monday was the last day for guests to see the exhibits Tschabalala Self: Out of Body and Carolina Caycedo: Cosmotarrayas. Also on display were the Sterling Ruby, Nina Chanel Abney and Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama exhibits. The ICA has increased cleaning and follows Massachusetts COVID guidelines by requiring all staff and visitors to wear face coverings, and allowing a restricted number of guests each hour. Spaces that don’t allow physical distancing are temporarily closed, and exhibition labels and printed materials have been made available online to reduce touch surfaces.


In New York City, a Labor Day Paint in the Park event was held in Central Park. The two-hour socially distant class was led by a master artist who gave step-by-step painting instructions. Participants were required to wear masks and sit six feet apart. Admission included a pre-sketched canvas and painting supplies, and parties were encouraged to bring food and drinks to snack on during the class.

For those who wanted to enjoy the holiday by relaxing at home with their favorite movie or TV show, a number of stores had sales to mark the end of summer. There were countless deals that shoppers could take advantage of to celebrate their work.
Many workers have faced great adversity within the past eight months, some losing their positions and having to move quickly to find a new one, and others doing their job in a way they never thought they would have to. Whether you stayed in or got out of the house for some socially-distant fun, Monday was definitely a day worth celebrating.