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Guardian Documentaries presents ‘The Black Cop: An Officer Atones His Past’

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The Black Cop, a short documentary supported by the BFI Doc Society Fund (awarding National Lottery funding) and commissioned by Guardian Documentaries, tells the story of Gamal Turawa, otherwise known as “G”, a former Metropolitan Police officer who admits to racially profiling and harassing Black people in the early days of his career.

This story is a multi-layered one and sits in the centre of three pivotal moments in recent history; from the Black communities’ resistance of oppressive policing, to the push for equality from the LGBTQIA community and the aftermath of the West African farming* phenomenon.

Using archive and dramatic reconstruction to illustrate his story, “G” takes viewers on a journey through his childhood and professional development as he grapples with issues of racial and sexual identity and acceptance. He admits, despite being a victim of racialised bullying himself, to targeting young Black men for controversial stop and searches in a quest for finding acceptance in the force. He delves into his once complicated relationship with race and how it became  a bargaining tool while seeking recognition from white colleagues.  Most importantly, “G” shares how he turned these experiences around and now dedicates his time to helping others on their quest for self-acceptance.

A private fostering or adoption arrangement outside the remit of the local authority where white families took care of black children. It gained notoriety in response to a growing population of African student families taking up temporary residence at British universities in the mid-1950s. The practice continued until the 1990s.

The Black Cop will be released on the Guardian website on Wednesday 19 January 2022.

Cherish Oteka, Director of The Black Cop comments:     ‘To date, many of the documentaries I’ve made have explored identity,  discrimination and institutional bias but never through the lens of  someone who sits on all sides of the conversation. The Black Cop is an exploration of self-hatred and the devastating effects it can have. “G” isn’t someone that we can easily discard as a horrible person, he is someone who acted out of pain as we all have. In one person and one story we present a villain, victim and hero and begin to  understand the potential that we all have in being any one of these  if not all three.’

Lindsay Poulton, Head of Documentaries at the Guardian comments:‘We are delighted to have had the opportunity to support Cherish to explore this story of identity and acceptance and are proud of the creative, thoughtful documentary that they have made. It has been a pleasure to witness this film spark insightful conversations at film festivals and we are excited to launch it on our digital platforms.’

Lisa Marie Russo, Executive Producer for the BFI Doc Society Fund comments: ‘We were struck by Cherish and producer Emma Cooper’s compassionate approach to telling the complex story of “G.” Cherish’s intimate and immediate interview style, supported by emotional archive and sometimes shocking visuals, mark them out as a talent to watch.’

The Black Cop has been screened at Aesthetic Short Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Out On Film, Atlanta’s International LGBTQ Film Festival, The Pan African Film & Arts Festival, Leeds International Film Festival, American Black Film Festival and British Shorts Film Festival.

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Cardi B Wins $1.25 Million in defamation lawsuit against YouTuber Tasha K

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Cardi B won her defamation lawsuit against Latasha Kebe a blogger and YouTuber known online as Tasha K — and has been awarded $1.25 million in damages, Billboard reports. (more…)

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2022 in Music: The Year TikTok Takes Over

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Music research and analytics platform Viberate have just published their annual “State of Music” address. To make it, Viberate analyzed massive amounts of data (more than a trillion data points, thousands of artists and playlists, millions of tracks and videos, and hundreds of festivals) gathered from key social media and music channels, including Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, Beatport and radio.

The report draws unbiased conclusions, such as which artists performed the best in their respective genres, what got played and liked on different channels in 2021, and which key music trends to look out for in 2022.

The data shows that of all the analyzed artists, only 1% rule the social media and music channels. The lion’s share of engagement and fanbase growth belongs to the top 500 artists, pushing the artists in the long tail of streaming and social media into inventing solid promotional strategies if they wish to break through.

It is also interesting to see that Hip Hop and K-Pop artists are smashing it in streaming but are snubbed on the radio. While online engagement numbers crown Hip Hop and K-Pop as two of the most popular genres, radio is all about Pop and Rock. Multilingual (non-English) tracks thrive online but seem to have trouble getting through radio gatekeepers. Trends suggest that may yet change in 2022.

According to the data, some of the trends that will define the music business in 2022 are: (1) multilingual music going more mainstream, (2) personalization at the forefront, (3) TikTok acting as a career launchpad, (4) short videos gaining power, and (5) further blending of genres. Here’s a short rundown of each trend (for the full list, see the link below):

Multilingual music will go more mainstream. South Korean sensation BTS made it onto Viberate’s top 5 list on almost every channel, while YouTube saw a huge rise in the popularity of Asian Pop and Latin genres (especially Reggaeton). Unlike radio or TV, online music channels have little to no gatekeepers, thus pushing non-English music into the mainstream.

“Personalized everything” will drive an artist’s success. This means that labels, artists and other professionals will benefit from fan-first approaches to their promotion, merch and distribution. Personalized experiences also go hand-in-hand with securing digital revenue such as tipping, NFTs or paid subscriptions.

TikTok will act as a career launchpad. Not only was TikTok the most visited website in 2021, it also helped artists like Tokischa, Will Paquin or Crawlers break through and boost their streaming numbers. In a way, Spotify “seals the deal” – the artists who transform a TikTok hit into solid streams are the ones with real potential. We can therefore expect more talent discovery and promotional efforts to focus on TikTok and social media.

Short videos will rule. Easily digestible formats such as TikTok videos will be the most useful promotional format for artists to stand out and get discovered. As audiences celebrate the DIY approach, content will be more important than production value.

Genre lines will blur further. Rising and breakthrough acts such as PinkPantheress prove genre bending and blending is more popular than ever. Artists and their audiences prefer moods to traditional genre labels, with the trend extending to popular streaming playlists for specific occasions (driving, studying, relaxing, etc.). For example, Spotify’s “Songs to Sing in the Shower” playlist has a hefty 6.4M followers.

See the “State of Music” address for the full list of trends, best-performing artists and music tastes of 2021.

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Ari Lennox reveals she wants to be dropped from her record label

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After a recent interview with a controversial South African podcaster went sideways when the host asked her a sexually explicit question, Ari Lennox is tired and wants to be free.

(more…)

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Iconic French fashion designer Thierry Mugler dies aged 73

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French fashion designer Thierry Mugler has died at the age of 73, his representatives have announced.

(more…)

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Young T & Bugsey Release Long-Awaited New Mixtape “Truth Be Told”

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Brit-nominated rap duo Young T & Bugsey release long-awaited new mixtape Truth Be Told, out now via Black Butter. A fifteen track project that follows colossal debut Plead The 5th, and sees the Nottingham-hailing rappers join forces with some of the most exciting names in the UK and internationally.

Just weeks after the release of “Blessings” featuring Jamaican musician Chronixx, the new project lands alongside brand new single and video ‘Nice’. Watch here.

Young T & Bugsey deliver yet another striking track, fueled with an enticing beat that the pair ride effortlessly. This time they’re backed by fellow TikTok viral star, Blxst – the LA-based rapper and producer who catapulted into the spotlight last year with his US Gold certified project, No Love Lost. Combining their signature bars and smooth melodies, the Teeeezy C directed visual sees the duo perform amidst colourful serene settings, and is an ode to the women they love.

Truth Be Told 2020 debut Plead The 5th, which boasts over 1BN+ Global Streams and features some of the pair’s biggest singles to date, including brit-nominated smash hit “Don’t Rush”. Featuring recently released Big Bidness and November offering “Roberto C” featuring Unknown T, the new mixtape is a further display of Young T & Bugsey’s commitment to their sound knowing no bounds and it’s this musical dexterity that has earned them a stamp of approval across the UK and beyond.

Truth Be Told shows the duo in a whole new light, with guest features from M Huncho, Aitch, Chronixx, Blxst, Unknown T, Jasmine May and Nafe Smallz. The project details the complexities of relationships, the harsh realities of dealing with adversity and sacrifice, acting with more intention, whilst admirably embracing their African and Caribbean heritage. It’s a demonstration of Young T & Bugsey being ready and willing to express some of their most personal circumstances to date, and feeling a new sense of responsibility towards themselves and those closest to them. Adding to what is already an impressive catalogue and further honing in on their chemistry, Truth Be Told is another monumental body of work.

 

“After the success of our debut project, Plead The 5th, with stand out Hits like Strike a Pose and the worldwide smash Don’t Rush, we knew we had to take our time with our follow up mixtape. ‘Truth Be Told’ continues the illustrious run of head jolting, dance floor prompting Young T & Bugsey music, with an added flair this time around and refreshing sense of musical and personal growth! We’re excited for fans to go on this journey with us.”  says Young T & Bugsey.

 

Being based outside of London, Young T & Bugsey met aged 15 whilst working in KFC. Having followed a less-travelled path to success, the duo are rarely out of the limelight – having been tipped by BBC Radio 1Xtra, co-signed by Stormzy, and going on to spearhead the emerging Nottingham rap scene. The duo’s single “Ay Caramba” with fellow rapper Fredo became their first top 40 single, and they consequently went on to be named the first act from their city to achieve a Platinum Certified single.  2020 saw the release of debut mixtape Plead The 5th , an impressive first body of work featuring hit singles “Strike A Pose” featuring Manchester rapper Aitch, and the Headie One backed smash “Don’t Rush.” The single quickly became a global success and an unavoidable soundtrack to 2020, achieving one of the most exciting viral moments seen from a UK act. Young T & Bugsey went on to receive three Brit Award nominations, plus a stellar performance at the 2020 ceremony alongside Headie One. They reached even further heights when they were nominated for two BET Awards and became the first UK Rap duo to hit The Billboard Hot 100 List. Young T & Bugsey are firmly cemented at the forefront of UK rap and they’re just getting started. Stay tuned for more from them this year.

‘Truth Be Told’ Tracklist

  1. Truth Be Told
  2. Big Bidness
  3. Oh Lordy feat. M Huncho
  4. Caliente feat. Aitch
  5. Hall Of Fame
  6. Home Run
  7. Blessings feat. Chronixx
  8. Tense
  9. Nice feat. Blxst
  10. Roberto C feat. Unknown T
  11. Glitter Ain’t Gold
  12. Celly
  13. 5th Not Atlanta
  14. Prada Bae feat. Nafe Smallz
  15. Outro
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Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, & Playboi Carti To Headline The Smokers Club Fest April 30th In So-Cal

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Get ready to blaze up as The Smoker’s Club Fest takes over Glen Helen Amphitheater on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Celebrating hip hop as one of the leading forces in paving the way for cannabis culture becoming mainstream, the festival lineup includes Kid Cudi, A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Schoolboy Q, Wiz Khalifa, A&AP Ferg, 2 Chainz, Dom Kennedy, Lupe Fiasco, Joey Bada$$, Flatbush Zombies, Yung Lean, Wale, Curren$y, Danny Brown, Rico Nasty, Earl Sweatshirt, Sofaygo, Pierre Bourne, Sahbabii, Cochise, Lucki, Yeat, AB-Soul, Jay Rock, Berner, Zack Fox, The Alchemist, Clams Casino, Mick Jenkins, Reason, Smoke DZA, Casey Veggies, Domo Genesis, The Underachievers, The Cool Kids, Kirko Bangz, Pac Div, Kreayshawn, Ken Car$on, Bktherula, Babyxsosa, Zeelooperz, Coco & Clair Clair, Tisakorean, Destroy Lonely, Sid, Shyne, Bad Neighbors, Sparoh Homicide, Meechie, Abby, Jasmine, Belis, Eryn, Yayo, Dacartune, Slayter, Nymlo, McFly, Lul Bob, and Stinje.

There will be a special presale beginning Monday, January 24th at 10am PT for fans who sign up for early access to passes online at smokersclubfest.com. Following the presale, any remaining tickets still available will go on sale to the general public beginning Monday, January 24th at 2pm PT at smokersclubfest.com. GA tickets start at $222.99 and VIP tickets start at $408.99.

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