Posts tagged with "Police Brutality"

image from Polity Press for use by 360 Magazine

DIDIER FASSIN — DEATH OF A TRAVELLER

It is a simple story. A 37-year-old man belonging to the Traveller community is shot dead by a special unit of the French police on the family farm where he was hiding since he failed to return to prison after temporary release. The officers claim self-defense. The relatives, present at the scene, contest that claim. A case is opened, and it concludes with a dismissal that is upheld on appeal. Dismayed by these decisions, the family continues the struggle for truth and justice.

Giving each account of the event the same credit, Didier Fassin conducts a counter-investigation, based on the re-examination of all the available details and on the interviews of its protagonists. A critical reflection on the work of police forces, the functioning of the justice system, and the conditions that make such tragedies possible and seldom punished, Death of a Traveller is also an attempt to restore to these marginalized communities what they are usually denied: respectability.

The Author:

Didier Fassin is the James D. Wolfensohn Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a Director of studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris and a Professor on the Annual Chair of Public Health at the Collège de France.

Advance Praise:

“In seeking to do justice to yet another young life, another racialized suspect, snuffed out in the name of public order, Fassin provides a stunning indictment of a new moral economy: a culture of institutional duplicity that allows police to get away with murder.”Jean Comaroff, Harvard University

“How can an account of a controversial killing do justice to it sociologically and according to the laws of the land, and at the same time politically and humanely? This is the multifaceted conundrum addressed by this beautifully written and meticulously crafted book. A riveting must-read for all those concerned by the broader meaning of death at the hands of the police, in France and in other countries.”Dame Caroline Humphrey, University of Cambridge

Cartooning While Black cartoon via Will Brierly for use by 360 Magazine

Cartooning While Black Gallery Exhibit

Black cartoonists from The New Yorker present their work at the Cartooning While Black Gallery Exhibit at ChaShaMa.

Chashama and Art To Ware present Cartooning While Black, a preview of the art from the upcoming One Idea Press title release, The Anti-Racism Activity Book. Art from the volume, written and illustrated by cartoonist and comedian Victor Varnado, will be shown alongside fellow black New Yorker cartoonists, Yasin OsmanAkeem S Roberts, and Jerald Lewis II. This exhibition is curated by Rebecca Mills.

LOCATION: ChaShaMa Gallery, 320 West 23rd Street, NY, NY

WHEN: Thursday, July 15, 2021, to Thursday, August 5th.

The Anti-Racism Activity Book is a social satire created in the style of a children’s puzzle and coloring book. The exhibit will feature crosswords, word finds, and other nostalgic activity book throwbacks, combined with original cartooning work from Varnado, all using humor to illustrate how dumb racism is.

“Traditionally, very few black cartoonists have appeared in the New Yorker, but recent efforts by the magazine and the cartoon editor Emma Allen have made an exhibit like this possible,” said Jason Chatfield, president of The National Cartoonists Society and New Yorker cartoonist.

“Yasin Osman, Akeem S Roberts, Jerald Lewis II, and Victor Varnado’s illustrative works shown together in the same exhibit will be the first time such a presentation has ever happened,” he added.

As a comedian, Victor Varnado has appeared on Late Night With Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live. His writing and cartooning work have been showcased in MAD magazineVICEMarvel Comics and Salon. Varnado was born legally blind and is albinistic. His New Yorker cartoon created in response to the national unrest following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police was one of the magazine’s most engaging pieces of content in 2020. Like Floyd, Victor also grew up in Minneapolis.

Page Kennedy illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Q×A with Page Kennedy

ACTOR & RAPPER PAGE KENNEDY JOINS 360 MAGAZINE FOR SOME Q&A

By: Heather Skovlund-Reibsamen

Page Kennedy is well known as a rapper and actor within our entertainment industry. Kennedy’s recent acting skills brought him to play “Duck” on Netflix’s “The Upshaws”, one of their newest series to hit streaming platforms starring alongside Kim Fields (Regina Upshaw), Mike Epps (Bennie Upshaw), and Wanda Skyes (Lucretia). He is also known for his roles in “Blue Mountain State”, “Weeds” and his comedic genius skits shared on Instagram and TikTok.

Kennedy’s self-titled album ‘Page’ was released in February 2021 featuring heavyweight rappers Xzibit and Method Man is available now on all streaming platforms – make sure you go check it out!

360 Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing Page Kennedy where we discussed “The Upshaws”, his character ‘Duck’, music, and his fitness journey. We had an amazing conversation about his media roles, the love for Eminem, and also found out that we both favor Cardi B because of the way she represents herself: “Cardi B makes me feel like I know her”, said Kennedy.

Read on to hear about our conversation with Page!

Your Netflix series, “The Upshaws”, came out today- how do you feel about working with it?

PK: I love it, you know I was a part of it, and I still watch the series multiple times. I can’t get tired of it. I can just go to any episode and watch it- it has so many great jokes and the characters are diverse, and they bring their own style, energy and creativity. I think it’s the funniest show on TV.

How is it working with the cast?

PK: Working with the cast is great. You know, you got legends there. You’ve got Kim Fields, the ultimate foremost legend, Mike Epps who is a comic genius, Wanda Skyes- comic genius. They are good people, and everybody is happy to be here, so it makes it fun.

Do you feel that you have any similar traits to your character Duck within yourself?

PK: I’ve been asked that question and, let me see, I look at Duck as a different character than what I typically play. The only similarity that I see between me and Duck is his loyalty. He is loyal to a fault. You know, he spent 7-10 years in jail where he could have gotten less time where he could have ratted out his friend who could have been his co-defendant, but he just took it. I think I have a loyalty like Duck. Other than that, he’s a little different than me.

Let’s talk about your latest album. How did you feel about the creative direction within the videos for “Fear” and “Safe”? How did you work through the process of such a real and raw album?

PK: I wanted to make use of all of my talents to create an art- that was my goal. My goal was to take the amalgamation of talents that I have to coalesce to create art that could be ubiquitous forever. You know, that’s what I feel I accomplished because things are great 20 years from now and it’s still going to be great. You can still listen to Biggie because it’s incredible, it’s timeless and that’s what I wanted to do. I feel like I accomplished that.

Can you tell us about the song “Shine”?

PK: I think that the album needed some respite because it’s very heavy and after you listen to Fear and Safe, it’s so cumbersome that you need some respite. And so that’s what Shine provides. It still takes a look at how difficult 2019 was personally for me and then 2020 was for everyone. The face of darkness, there is light after, and I wanted to show that the Devil will not take that light away. We will shine.

Can you tell us about your album cover?

PK: The cover of the album is confluence of tragic incident of black Americans who have had their lives taken from them at the hands of police brutality. That confluence is to show that they are me. You know, they all make up me; I am the same as them and so I wanted to, through me, show them. Wait until you get to the song “Flowers”, that is my favorite song on the album.

At the end of some of your videos, there is mention of voting- what are you trying to show viewers?

PK: So, creating Fear was so I could galvanize the troops to go vote because we can’t just yell from the rafters “We are being disrespected”, “We are being overlooked”. We have to actually get in the dirt and, you know, do things that cause change. Our biggest voice was our vote. The virality of those videos was to have the embolism of to vote throughout the video. To help people want to get out and vote after they see the deleterious effects of what fear can do on both sides so that’s why you see that throughout the videos.

Let’s talk about your fitness journey. What motivated you to get started?

PK: I got tired of looking at myself in movies and TV fat as hell and I was more attractive in my head than I was externally, so I wanted to match that.

So, there’s a lot of excuses that I think many people use such as “I can’t afford to go to the gym” or “I hurt too much to do this”. How did you push past your own excuses?

PK: I have an additive personality so once I get into something, I’m locked in and I got my mind right and ready. I had help, a tool to help me out with the point of why I was overweight which was my addiction to food. And so, I got gastro sleeve surgery which made my stomach smaller so that I couldn’t overeat. That helped. That was like the catalyst to help me and the working out thing- I already had that down. I had challenges where I would workout 100 straight days and another challenge where I went a straight year of working out without missing any days. My mind was already set to go to the gym, I just needed to get the food stuff right.

Do you still workout consistently?

PK: Yep, I’m still in it. Even when the gyms were closed, I found a way to get the workout in.

What advice would you offer somebody as far as starting out on their journey? If they were with you and undecided about their journey because of lack of motivation.

PK: I would say to make it something that is a part of your daily life that you don’t have a choice of. You don’t have a choice if you need to go to the bathroom or not, you don’t have a choice whether you like eating or not. These are things that must happen regardless of what you want or not. So, if you make the gym or workout a part of that, you take the lack of motivation away. We can have things taken away for us and see how resilient we could be. If you’re in jail or in a weight loss camp or anywhere that caused your free will to be taken away and you are forced to do something, you can do it because you have to. So why have to be in a situation where some other exterior force forces you to when you have a mind and brain that is going to be the thing to make you do it anyway.

Do you have a specific meal plan?

PK: Sometimes, yes. I go in spurts. Some weeks I have no carbs and no sugar. Then some weeks I am a little looser. I just try to be moderate because I could easily go really far one way or really far the other way. It’s not until I’m actually preparing for something that I go super crazy. Other than that, I just try and stay in striking range.

Do you allow yourself to have treats?

PK: Yep, probably more than I should.

What kind of workouts do you do?

PK: Well, when I get off the phone with you, I have a trainer, so I am going to the gym. Wednesday is leg day, which sucks. I work out with a trainer 3-4 days a week and then two other days I have an Oculus virtual reality thing that I do a supernatural workout on or I ride my bike for 20 miles to the beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Is there anything else that you’d like to talk about or anything that you’d like to share with our readers?

PK: I just want them to the importance of the album “Page” and how it’s important to everyone in the world right to be aware of everything that happening right now and everything that’s going on. And that if this album was released by a bigger artist, it would be a Grammy-nominated type of album – that’s how important this album is. I just implore everyone to continue to listen to it and check it out because I think it’s necessary. That’s the main thing that I want- and watch “The Upshaws” on Netflix streaming now.

Breaking News by Nicole Salazar

Breaking News Roundup – Week of April 27

A Jewish gathering in Israel resulted in the deaths of 44 people, and the injury of some 150 others.

The New York Times estimated that crowd of approximately 100,000 people had been congregating at Mount Meron the night prior to the stampede in celebration of Lag b’Omer. This even had been the first legal huge religious gathering since India’s curtailing of coronavirus mutations. A 24-year-old witness told Army Radio that a first row of people collapsed, resulting in the second row of people to also fall due to the pressure of the stampede, and so on. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan tweeted Thursday night, “Our hearts go out to the people of Israel tonight following the tragedy at Mount Meron. We offer our condolences to the families and friends who lost loved ones in this disaster and wish a full and swift recovery to those injured.”

Coronavirus cases soar in India.

A global, record-number of cases has been set for the fifth day straight as of Monday in India. 352,991 cases had been confirmed over a 24-hour period. Immediately, the United States moved to send over medical equipment, medical gear, and other coronavirus resources. President Biden tweeted on Sunday night: “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need.”

North Carolina sheriff requests body camera footage of Andrew Brown Jr.’s death.

A North Carolina sheriff requests that the footage of Andrew Brown Jr.’s death be made publicly accessible. However, a court motion will have to be made to do so. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten clarified “only a judge can release the video.” Wooten has allowed four of the deputies back on active duty after video evidence proved that they didn’t fire their weapons. Three sheriffs who did fire their weapons will remain on leave until the investigation is complete. As of Wednesday, the judge denied making the footage publicly accessible, but allowed Brown’s family to view the recording.

New Orleans Shooting Resulted in Injury to Five People

Early morning on Saturday, a shooting on Bourbon Street in New Orleans resulted in the injury to five people, though none of the injuries are believed to be life threatening. One person was treated on scene, and the rest of the injured people were taken to a nearby hospital. The reason behind what led to the shooting is currently unknown, but detectives are investigating the crime scene.

Wisconsin Casino Shooting resulted in tragedy.

Saturday night, a shooting at the Oneida Casino near Green Bay, Wisconsin, resulted in the death of two people, and serious injury to a third victim. Investigators believe that the gunman had a “personal relationship” with an employee who worked inside the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center at the Duck Creek restaurant. The targeted employee wasn’t working when the gunman took to opening fire, so the gunman instead attacked his target’s “co-workers or friends,” says Lt. Kevin Pawlak of the Brown Country Sheriff’s Department. The main casino and other facilities are closed until further notice, and the investigation is still unfolding.

Medina Spirit Wins 147th Kentucky Derby

The winner of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday was Medina Spirit. This year’s derby is believed to be the most attended event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The prized pony was trained by Bob Baffert, the most accomplished winner of the Derby–this win counting as his seventh victory. Medina Spirit won over second place Manaloun, third place Hot Rod Charlie, and Essential Quality at fourth.

On Wednesday, federal agents executed search warrants to investigate Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment.

The criminal investigation into Giuliani, who served as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has been underway for more than two years already. Trump’s activities in Ukraine, which may or may not involve illegal lobbying, are one of the main focuses of the investigation. Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing, claiming innocence, and has not been charged. A search warrant for a lawyer, such as Giuliani, requires a sign-off from the highest levels of the Department of Justice. Giuliani’s electronic devices including the computer belonging to his assistant. Giuliani’s assistant, Jo Ann Zafonte, has also received a subpoena to appear before a grand jury in court next month.

President Joe Biden surpassed 100 days in office.

During his speech to mark this event in Duluth, Georgia, Biden was interrupted by protesters rallying for prison reform. Biden agreed with their demand and took to praising and acknowledging Derek Chauvin’s conviction.

Some of the other biggest feats of Biden’s 100 days in office so far include administering 200 million vaccines doses as of April 21, passage of the American Rescue Plan to bolster funding vaccinations and improve economic recovery. President Biden also reopened the federal Affordable Care Act exchange, with additional assistance as part of the Democrat’s $1.9 trillion dollar relief package.

Further, Biden rescinded Trump’s national emergency declaration regarding the former president’s “zero tolerance” policy regarding migrant families. Biden has reversed Trump’s travel ban that targeted mostly Muslim countries and secured the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for children brought into America as children.

Biden has also looked to address foreign policy issues, committing to withdrawing troops for Afghanistan before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. Additionally, Biden has looked to salvage the US-Iranian nuclear deal previously put into place by former President Barack Obama. The Biden administration has also issued diplomatic expulsions against Russia in response to Moscow’s interference in the 2020 election.

Looking to address issues of climate change, Biden looks to lower the US’ emission of greenhouse gases. Biden has already pursed this commitment by formally rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement back in February.

Finally, the President has showcased his commitment to social justice by hosting the most racially diverse cabinet in history, dissolving the 1776 commission, signing executive orders surrounding racial equity, and repealing Trump’s ban unto transgender people joining the military.

Biden looks to continue the national shift to greener energy, improve the US’ infrastructure, and invest in a $1.8 trillion federal investment program regarding education, childcare, and paid family leave.

Mare Monstrum/Drown in My Magic, a digital exhibition by David Uzochukwu on Artsy for use via 360 Magazine

David Uzochukwu – Mare Monstrum/Drown in My Magic

Mare Monstrum/Drown in My Magic, a digital exhibition by David Uzochukwu on Artsy

2016 – ongoing.
Italy, Senegal, Germany

Artist statement:

Mare Monstrum / Drown In My Magic channels the power of myth by explicitly visualizing Black merfolk. It envisions water as expanse which the characters can cut through, be safe in. No longer are they subject to whims of the tide, or drift into a void that holds the potential for destruction. Instead, the portrayed are equipped to survive and find freedom in the monstrous.

It almost seems as though Blackness is inevitably linked to a passage through the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, Evros River, whether historic or recent. The potential of self-actualisation lapping at someone’s feet always calls to mind the blood, sweat and tears of those who have come before them. Can new lore shift the entanglement of Black bodies and their environments, making unquestionably clear that they belong?

About the series:

David Uzochukwu’s photographs deliver you into warm and sensitive worlds where humans and nature entwine in search of belonging. Expanses of sand, water or sky embrace Black bodies emanating strength and resilience. Often their limbs morph into fantastical forms against hyper-real landscapes that offer a space for contemplation or escape. It’s this interplay between the natural and supernatural, between the visible and invisible, that imbues the artist’s images with an arresting presence.

Uzochukwu’s ongoing body of work, Mare Monstrum / Drown In My Magic, uses the central idea of Black mermaids to explore both the historical relationship between the African diaspora and the water, and contemporary politics around illegal migration. A great part of the images were made in Senegal in 2018 and show mermen emerging from the seas protecting and healing one another. The most recent images came together in Germany and introduce a whole community of hybrid merfolk in states of solace and rebirth. An incubated baby, a proud centaur and a tender couple, among others, inhabit a boundless realm.

The Austrian-Nigerian artist was born in 1998 in Innsbruck. His photographic practice began as a teenager with intimate self-portraiture that soon gained recognition. He’s enjoyed collaborations with artists including FKA Twigs, Pharrell Williams, Ibeyi and Iris van Herpen. Since joining Galerie Number 8, he’s exhibited at Bozar, Photo Vogue Festival, Unseen Amsterdam, Off Biennale Dakar and LagosPhoto. He was named ‘One to Watch’ by the British Journal of Photography in 2020, and his first co-directed short film, Götterdämmerung, was selected for Max-Ophüls-Preis in 2021. He is currently studying philosophy at HU Humboldt University of Berlin.

“The long history of oppression experienced by people of color in the West makes an unlikely context for art devoted to the fantastical. All the more so when you consider recent developments such as the racist rhetoric and anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration, the chilling roll call of African-Americans killed by US police (Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Philando Castile) and the bigotries unleashed in Britain by Brexit (monkey chants at football matches and a spike in xenophobic hate crimes). Under such conditions, it’s worth asking if a turn to the fantastic by black artists is driven by a desire to escape from the charged and painful circumstances of daily life. Yet the opposite seems to be true. What characterizes much of the imagery being produced today is an eagerness to grapple with urgent questions of culture, identity and history– albeit through imagery that accentuates the extraordinary rather than the everyday. (…)

Ultimately, the Berlin-based David Uzochukwu – whose recent Drown in my Magic project situates a panoply of mythical water creatures within arid landscapes – may speak for all the artists currently finding inspiration in fantasy. The goal, as Uzochukwu puts it, is to reclaim the narrative of fantasy’ by embracing ‘the alien otherness projected onto black bodies in a way that could be read as pure empowerment.’”
-Extract of the essay “A Fantastic Turn” by Ekow Eshun for Unseen Magazine.

Drown in My Magic will go live starting April 16th 2021 on Artsy HERE.

Mare Monstrum/Drown in My Magic, a digital exhibition by David Uzochukwu on Artsy for use via 360 Magazine

Mare Monstrum/Drown in My Magic, a digital exhibition by David Uzochukwu on Artsy for use via 360 Magazine

Chicken N Grits Remix by Yung Pooda feat Trey Songz and Dreamdoll by THE THOM BRAND for use by 360 Magazine

YUNG POODA – Chicken ‘N Grits

ARTIST TO WATCH: H-TOWN RAPPER YUNG POODA

TAPS TREY SONGZ FOR HIT SINGLE “CHICKEN ‘N GRITS” OFFICIAL REMIX: LISTEN HERE.

DEBUTS BRAND NEW VISUAL: WATCH HERE.

2021 breakout artist, rapper and lyricist Yung Pooda raises the bar today with the official release of his “Chicken ‘N Grits” remix with multi-platinum R&B superstar Trey Songz and heavy-hitter Dreamdoll. The Cool & Dre produced track magnifies Yung Pooda’s undisputable versatility as an artist, with a brand-new verse, amplified by infectious melodies from Trey Songz and rapturous rhymes from Dreamdoll. The “Chicken ‘N Grits” remix is assisted by a mind-bending, electrifying visual with all three powerhouse stars, and is available today via It’s A 10 Records on all streaming service platforms.

On the hit-after-hit new remix, Yung Pooda says, “We got the best of the best with Trey and Dreamdoll on the track. They both bring some heat that can’t be topped. Just when you think it can’t get any better, we drop the remix. Run it up!”

WATCH OFFICIAL ‘CHICKEN ‘N GRITS’ REMIX VISUAL HERE
LISTEN TO ‘CHICKEN ‘N GRITS’ OFFICIAL REMIX HERE

Trey Songz shares “Jumping on this remix was a easy call, I love the energy of the original record, it’s crazy. A friend of a friend linked me and Pooda, I jumped on it and we did a video same night.”

Last month “Chicken ‘N Grits” was the #4 most added record at Urban Radio and currently ranks in the Top 35 on Mediabase’s Urban radio chart. And the song continues to catch success across radio, streaming and social media platforms, Yung Pooda continues to garner new fans and accolades as he prepares his debut project, Vivid Pictures.

ABOUT YUNG POODA

“Yung Pooda is winning the battle between life and art…” -Rolling Out

Nothing holds more weight than a promise.

In 2019, Yung Pooda found himself at a crossroads between the streets and the studio. After performing alongside legends such as Boosie Badazz, Slim Thug, and Z-Ro, recording with platinum icon Paul Wall, and igniting a buzz of his own throughout the country, the Houston rapper made an important pledge to himself. His pledge changed the course of everything to follow in its wake.

In the middle of recording and getting in all kinds trouble, I promised God I would get out of the streets and just do music,” he admits. “I stuck to my word.

Long before this vow, hip-hop called to him as a kid in Orange, TX. Pooda’s mother bumped Naughty by Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray” throughout the one-bedroom and one-bathroom house built by his grandfather that he and his mom shared with his grandma. As he puts it, “I used to go nuts to that song!” He used to listen to classics from OutKast, JAY-Z, Lil Wayne, Master P, Ludacris, DJ Screw, and more. When Pooda visited dad, pops actually built a home studio at his spot to cook up beats and DJ.  Growing up, Pooda practiced his skills on the mic and sharpened the wordplay, developing a signature style. He sent shockwaves through the city after a successful showcase, earning endorsements from the likes of DJ Hi-C of Houston’s 97.9 The BOX who said, “He’s always been a lyricist.” Inciting local excitement, he performed multiple tour dates with Boosie Badazz and teamed up with Paul Wall for the single “Beat Up The Block.”

Relocating to Prairie View, he moved into a two-story house with his cousin and two friends where they “were trapping and getting money, but shit got too hectic.” At this point, he reset everything. “There were fights, threats, and all types of shit,” he recalls. “I ended up saying that prayer.”

His music made its way to Jeff Aronson, CEO of It’s A 10 Records, a boutique label with a distribution deal with Empire, who immediately signed him in 2019. Now, he properly introduces his signature sound and vibes on his upcoming LP, Vivid Pictures. In 2020, Pooda made waves on Tik Tok and mix show radio with the release of his first single, “Repeat Dat” which was produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning duo Cool & Dre [JAY-Z, Beyoncé, Nas] along with a reflective song, “Lies Told”- his thoughtful response to social unrest and police brutality. This year, his critically acclaimed newest single, “Chicken N Grits” is bringing him to the forefront. C&G has earned over 30 million Tik Tok views, was the #4 “Most Added” song at urban radio and is in rotation at BET Jams, Revolt and YO! MTV Raps.

The title track “Vivid Pictures” places cinematic verses in between soulful samples and is at the heart of Pooda’s approach to music and life. “There’s a deep meaning,” he explains. “I aspire to be an artist and more than a rapper. I’m inspired by Picasso and Leonardo Da Vinci. When I listen to a beat in my head, I’m putting art together. The eyes are the windows to the soul. Everything is clear. Each song gives you a visual like a movie. That’s Vivid Pictures to me. It’s the frequency I want to be on.

In the end, Pooda fulfills every promise and leaves his mark on the culture in the process. “When you listen to me, I want you to feel enlightened and great,” he leaves off. “I hope you relate to the emotion and know you’re not alone. I’m young enough to make mistakes and old enough to know better. I’m telling my story. I’m human.”

Lil Baby illustrated by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Lil Baby Performing at Grammy’s

PERFORMING ON THE 63rd ANNUAL GRAMMY’S

AIRING SUNDAY, MARCH 14, 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT ON CBS

NOMINATED FOR TWO GRAMMY AWARDS:

BEST RAP SONG AND BEST RAP PERFORMANCE FOR THE BIGGER

The Recording Academy announced that Lil Baby will perform at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. The Awards will air on Sunday, March 14th, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on CBS Television Network from the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown LA.

Lil Baby has been one of the most dominant and critically acclaimed names in rap since his first release in 2017. In February 2020, he released My Turn, which entered The Billboard 200 at #1, hovered in the Top 5 for 14 weeks, and then returned to the #1 selling album of any genre in 2020.

Lil Baby is as authentic as they come. At just 26 years old, he is unapologetically himself, speaking his truth in his lyrics and that connects him to listeners like no other. Last June as the nation protested, Lil Baby dropped a powerful record “The Bigger Picture”; articulating frustration, confusion, and a call to stand up for something much bigger than himself.

My Turn held 14 records simultaneously on The Billboard Hot 100 and Lil Baby has recently surpassed musical titans Prince and Paul McCartney among others in Billboard Hot 100 hits in his young 3-year career. To date, Baby’s catalog reached 22 billion global streams, scored 8 #1 songs at Urban Radio, won the BET Award for Best New Artist, named Vevo’s Top Performing Hip-Hop Artist of 2020, named MVP on Rap Caviar, and won the top award of Global Artist of the Year at the Apple Music Awards. The Bigger Picture was nominated for two Grammy’s (Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song). He has seen widespread critical acclaim from the likes of GQ and Vanity Fair and has graced the covers of Rolling Stone and NME. With such a rapid rise and a relentless stream of critical and commercial hits, it’s clear that Lil Baby is one of the greatest modern success stories in hip-hop.

Rita Azar Illustrates a Basketball Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Jaylen Brown x George Floyd Bill

by Justin Lyons

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics wing, in a press conference Sunday said he would like to see the city of Boston pass the George Floyd bill.

Brown, who has been one of the more active players in social justice conversations throughout the NBA, was asked about the Celtics’ commitment to spend $25 million over the next ten years to fight social injustice.

He said it was a great step, and that change happens over a period of time, but he thinks there are things that can be catalysts for change right now.

“One thing I would like to see in Boston is the George Floyd bill enacted,” Brown said, adding that conversations need to be had about police and qualified immunity. “Some things just need to be held accountable, and hopefully Boston can be a place where a tone is set that can be transpired in other cities.”

Brown went on to say that he thinks Boston is moving in the right direction, but he would still like to see more companies and organizations be diversified as well as more opportunities for people of color.

“I’m proud to be a part of the Celtics organization. I’m proud to have an ownership group, or a leadership group, that’s willing to take these steps because they recognize that we need to live in a better, more forward progressing world.”

The George Floyd bill, or H.R.7120, aims to achieve a few goals.

First, it would lower the criminal intent standard to convict an officer of law enforcement. The standard currently requires that officers act willfully, while H.R.7120 would only necessitate that officers act knowingly or recklessly.

Second, it would limit qualified immunity, which grants officers immunity in lawsuits regarding violations of constitutional rights of civilians.

Third, it would allow the Department of Justice to issue authorizations to investigate departments demonstrating patterns of discriminatory practices.

It would also create a national registry of police misconduct, lay the bricks for prohibition of racial profiling and implement new standards for training regarding racial profiling and use of body cameras.

It passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 236-181, and it will move to the Senate.

Brown’s comments come just weeks after NBA players boycotted games on behalf of Jacob Blake, whom was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and victims of police brutality everywhere.

A reporter asked Brown if he thought the boycott’s message was still effective even as players returned to the court.

“These issues have been here for a very, very long time, and they’re still going to be here regardless of if we protest or not or boycott or not. I think sports plays a huge role in society, and I’m very aware of that, so using our platform is something I’m always going to support,” Brown answered.

While he said the cure for racism might not come from the NBA, the players can always use their platform to let the world know that these issues are important.

Brown, who wears the word “Liberation” on the back of his jersey, scored 21 points and picked up eight rebounds to help the Celtics defeat the Toronto Raptors Friday by a score of 92-87. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet up with the Miami Heat, who are playing on six days of rest after eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games.

The first game of the series begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. EST with the Celtics favored by a point and a half.

Rita Azar illustrates NBA basketball story for 360 MAGAZINE.

NBA Protests

by Justin Lyons

The clock struck 4:05 p.m. on Aug 26 in Orlando, and neither the Magic nor the Bucks were on the court for the tip-off of the fifth game of their playoff series.

Playing their home games just 40 miles from Kenosha, Wisconsin, it’s safe to say that the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police literally hit close to home for the Bucks players.

The Orlando Magic originally took the court for their game, but they decided to leave when it appeared the Bucks weren’t coming. That court was now empty aside from the NBA logos, the regulation markings and “Black Lives Matter” in bold text across the side closest to the scorer’s table.

Then, the tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski came at 4:13 p.m. Orlando time saying that the Bucks officially decided to boycott the fifth game of the series.

News broke later that the Rockets, Thunder, Trail Blazers and Lakers all decided to boycott their games, as well, in a show of unity.

It was the spark that started the fire, as basketball wouldn’t be played again until Aug. 29.

Bucks guard George Hill was one of the most outspoken players on the team regarding the shooting of Jacob Blake, making it very clear that he couldn’t continue to play basketball to distract from the reality of what’s happening in the United States.

The Brewers, the Milwaukee baseball team that plays its home games just a short drive from where the Bucks play, also decided to cancel their Aug. 26 game against the Reds.

Brewers star Christian Yelich said it was a unanimous decision from the team to not play.

“I think the Bucks spearheaded it for us,” Yelich said. “They started the discussion. It gave us a conversation to have. It was eye-opening for us, and we felt like it was the right thing to do.”

The NHL also joined in the protests, postponing games Aug. 27 and Aug. 28.

Later on the night of Aug. 26, Shams Charania reported via Twitter that the Lakers and Clippers, both of which are still contenders for the title, voted to boycott the rest of the season. LeBron James reportedly led the movement to cancel the season, which is no surprise given his history of fighting for social justice.

Giannis Antetokounmpo said the Bucks were able to get in contact with Blake’s father very quickly. Blake’s father was moved to tears by the gesture.

According to an article from ESPN, Antetokounmpo said, “Obviously, it’s gonna be games that you come in and score 30, 35, 50 or whatever the case might be, but that you’re going to remember. The way we felt, we’re going to remember the way we felt for the rest of our lives.”

The Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday, which begs the question of how they will respond. Hill expressed disappointment that he had to be in the Orlando bubble instead of fighting for justice, so it should be interesting to see where the Bucks go from here.

Eyes are also shifting to the NFL, which starts Thursday. The entire nation will have its eyes on protests and social justice initiatives from a league that has been just as outspoken as the NBA.

Rita Azar Illustrates a Video Games Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Colin Kaepernick x Madden 21

by Justin Lyons

Colin Kaepernick is officially back in Madden.

For the first time since 2017, football fans and Colin Kaepernick fans will have the chance to use the ex-49ers quarterback in the signature football game from EA SPORTS.

The announcement came from EA SPORTS themselves, saying, “Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback. The team at EA SPORTS, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game.”

Though Kaepernick is not signed to a team in real life or in Madden, he is available to sign to any team in Franchise mode. He’s also available in Play Now mode.

His jersey is also available in The Yard, a mode new to Madden this year that allows users to express themselves creatively. His signature celebration, which is available upon scoring with Kaepernick, depicts the quarterback raising his fist in the air to signify Black Power.

Kaepernick has been rated 81 overall, which is good for the 15th best quarterback in the league, tied with Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

According to EA SPORTS, that number was determined using data-driven simulations. They did take into account the fact that Kaepernick has not played since 2016, but his mobility and big play ability earned him the 81 overall rating.

EA SPORTS also said players looking to have complete control over their Franchise mode can change his rating however they see fit, including bringing him up to 99 overall. Adjusting his stats to 99 overall would make his only company the likes of Aaron Donald, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Stephon Gilmore and the only 99 rated quarterback in the game, Patrick Mahomes.

Kaepernick was among the first in professional sports to kneel during the American National Anthem in protest of police brutality. Kaepernick opted out of his contract after the 2016 season, and not one of the 32 NFL teams has made a move to acquire him.

Largely suspected of being a victim of blackballing, Kaepernick has since worked as an activist in the community, especially with children. He has led rights campaigns and camps and was the face of a Nike campaign in 2018 that carried the slogan “Believe in something. Even if means sacrificing everything.”

Roger Goodell encouraged teams to sign Kaepernick in a conversation on ESPN in June, just weeks after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.

The killing of George Floyd seemed to awaken large corporations throughout the United States, leading many to make statements, including the NFL.

Though criticized for not speaking out sooner, the NFL and Commissioner Goodell released a statement via Twitter on June 5 saying, “We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.”

NFL teams cancelled practices and scrimmages in the past month after the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Action taken after these events could remove the stigma NFL owners appeared to have when it came to signing Kaepernick, and fans who believe in his message and talent would love to see him on the field again soon.