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RollingStone magazine writes on ‘How Sarkodie Rewrote the Rules of African Hip-Hop’

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Popular American magazine RollingStone has published an article on its website titled ‘How Sarkodie Rewrote the Rules of African Hip-Hop’. 

The feature by Robert Solomon is based on an interview with the Ghanaian rapper who is currently promoting his new album, ‘Jamz’.  Here is an excerpt from the feature:

Sarkodie had a dream — and a problem. He wanted to be a great rapper, but his native tongue, Twi, was not a language many understood, especially outside his hometown of Tema, Ghana. He wasn’t about to be deterred. “I believed that I was able to take Twi somewhere,” he says. “That I was able to push it and go beyond the shores of Ghana.”

Read Also: 50 Cent to produce a TV series on Hushpuppi?

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Sarkodie came up through the underground, and his battle skills and rap-fire delivery set him on an unstoppable upward trajectory as he rhymed mostly in Twi. He earned a rabid fan base across Africa, the U.K., and the U.S. — a feat many African rappers have attempted but failed to achieve — and even took home Best International Flow at the BET Awards in 2019. At the same time, Sarkodie, born Michael Owusu, also became an integral part of a Ghanaian hip-hop scene that’s home to one of Africa’s largest rosters of rappers, with artists such as Kwesi Arthur, Black Sheriff, Yaw Tog, and Medikal constructing cross-continental hits.

As the years progressed, so did Sarkodie’s abilities. His bars have become more clever and considered, full of acerbic wordplay and heartfelt, true-life stories. Sarkodie’s last full-length effort, 2021’s No Pressure, showed off the rapper’s elite lyricism while also pulling in generation- and continent-spanning features from Oxlade, Giggs, Kwesi Arthur, Vic Mensa, and others.

Now, he’s back with another new album — JAMZ, which blends African-inspired hip-hop, tropical Afropop, and vibrant amapiano. Ahead of the album’s Friday release, Rolling Stone spoke with Sarkodie about the new project, his evolution as an artist, and his secrets to his long-term success.

Read the full interview on RollingStone.com.

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UK Based Nana Churcher to Host Oscar Press Lounge in Hollywood

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London based Ghanaian broadcaster, author and motivational speaker, Nana Churcher, has been announced as the host of The Nana Churcher Oscar Press Lounge, an event which is described as the pinnacle of media events throughout the OSCAR weekend.
Scheduled to take place on Friday 8th March 2024 in the heart of Hollywood, it is to celebrate the achievements of the press and talents whilst facilitating a unique convergence of key stakeholders across the entertainment industry.
The Nana Churcher Oscar Press Lounge provides an exclusive platform for interviewing OSCAR nominees and Hollywood celebrities. In addition, it offers an unparalleled opportunity for brands, bookers, producers, editors, bloggers, and writers to engage directly with celebrities in a vibrant and interactive setting.
The evening’s festivities will commence with a glamorous red carpet at 7:00 pm, with the event spanning from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. This red-carpet reception and interview lounge is designed specifically for the press and talent, providing a stage for Nana Churcher to conduct live, on-site interviews with celebrated figures attending the OSCAR awards.
Larry Gaiters, renowned for his work with iHeart Radio, will grace the evening as the Master of Ceremonies, ensuring a night filled with entertainment and insightful conversations.
A roster of confirmed celebrities, including Jax Malcolm, Kash Hovey, Gloria Garayua, Patti Negri, Sebastian Hoyt, Brenda Mejia, Grayson Thorne Kilpatrick, Ken Davitian, Paris Bravo, and Matt Edward promises to make the evening a memorable one.

Others are Suzanne Schaack, Susan Lavelle, Kathryn Hollis Peters, Tracey Louise, Lobat Asadi, Cesar D’La Torre, Jason Zlatkus, Clayton Cannon, Ta’j, Adil C, Brielle Lopez, Emcee N.I.C.E, Ashley Rae Harper, Jan Lucanus, Shaniece Jones, and many more.

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Davido, Jaheim, Jazmine Sullivan, Kirk Franklin and more for Jazz in the Gardens (JITG) in Miami

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Jazz in the Gardens (JITG)

On March 9 and 10, 2024, Jazz in the Gardens (JITG) with the Black Promoters Collective (BPC) brings together a powerhouse lineup for an unforgettable experience with one of the highlights of the weekend’s event will be the addition of sensational singer and award-nominated actress Fantasia.

New performance developments include the electrifying “Welcome to the Crib” set featuring Miami’s Own DJ Nasty and an all-star cast including The Boss Rick Ross, Miami legends Trick Daddy and Trina, the vivacious Ball Greezy, and Dance Hall sensation Wayne Wonder. The “Welcome to the Crib” set plays on Saturday, March 9.

DJ Cassidy is bringing the iconic “Pass The Mic Live” experience to Miami Gardens with an unforgettable lineup featuring Uncle Luke, T.I., Lil Kim, and Too $Hort on Sunday, March 10.

The complete 2024 JITG Lineup includes (in alphabetical order):

Babyface, Ball Greezy, Davido, DJ Cassidy, DJ Nasty, Eric Bellinger, Fantasia, Jaheim, Jazmine Sullivan, Jeezy, Kid Capri, Kirk Franklin, Lil Kim, Marsha Ambrosius, Maxwell, October London, Omarion, Scarface, Summer Walker, Tamia, T.I., Tink, Too $hort, Trick Daddy, Trina, Uncle Luke, Wayne Wonder, and more! Hosted by Rickey Smiley.

JITG tickets range from general admission for two-day entry @ $186.30 to titanium entry @ $1,500.00 on Ticketmaster here.

Sponsors include Miami Dade County and Hard Rock Stadium

In addition to the musical extravaganza, on Friday, March 8th, JITG will shine a spotlight on Women’s Month with a special luncheon honoring trailblazing black female leaders. This historic event will recognize the remarkable achievements of four distinguished individuals now at the helm of major police departments in the Miami-Dade area. Among the honorees are Chief Delma Noel-Pratt of Miami Gardens, Chief Stephanie Daniels of Miami-Dade, Chief Cherise Gause of North Miami, and Chief Harvette Smith of North Miami Beach.

As the festivities kick off, attendees can expect nothing short of an exhilarating opening night party, on Friday, March 8th where DJ Nasty will set the stage on fire alongside special guest DJ, the legendary Kid Capri. Jazz in the Gardens promises to be an unparalleled celebration of music, culture, and the incredible accomplishments of women in leadership.

For more information and tickets, visit https://jazzinthegardens.com/.

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Kodak Black released from jail after drug charge dismissal

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Kodak Black is a free man once again after the American rapper was released from jail on Wednesday (Feb. 21), according to The Associated Press. (more…)

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Former Barcelona footballer Dani Alves sentenced to four and a half years in jail over sexual assault

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FC Barcelona legend Dani Alves has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for sexual assault by the Provincial Court of Barcelona. (more…)

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BUSTA RHYMES HEADLINES RIAA & SPOTIFY EVENT SUPPORTING MUSICIANS ON CALL

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The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA) and Spotify presented their annual event benefiting Musicians On Call (MOC) at newly opened venue, The Atlantis, in DC last night. MOC’s mission to highlight the healing power of music was amplified at the exclusive event as the music community, industry professionals and policymakers came out to support their vital work – delivering music to bedsides in healthcare environments. RIAA Chairman/CEO and MOC Board Chairman Emeritus Mitch Glazier served as the unofficial emcee before introducing Busta Rhymes, who dialed into Platinum-certified tracks from his legendary career.
“Our partnership with RIAA has provided crucial support for our programs for well over a decade. This annual event in our nation’s capital not only helps to support our mission, but allows folks on the Hill to celebrate the healing power of music and the musicians and songwriters who create it,” said Musicians On Call President & CEO Pete Griffin. “Our bedside program is returning to hospitals in the DC Metro area now, and we look forward to welcoming more musicians and music lovers into our MOC community as volunteers. Thank you to RIAA and Spotify for helping raise awareness for our mission and to the iconic Busta Rhymes for such a memorable night!”
The iconic rapper, producer and in-demand collaborator hit the stage with “Ante Up,” “Put Ya Hands Where My Eyes Could See” and Platinum “Don’t Cha” before delivering tracks from his new album BLOCKBUSTA – “OK (ft. Young Thug),” ROBOSHOTTA (ft. Burna Boy),” “BIG EVERYTHING (ft. DaBaby).” He kept the intensity going through Platinum “Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check,” “All I Do Is Win,” “Break Ya Neck” and more as a palpable bounce kept the room on their feet.
From there, the energy seeped into the crowd with attendees transfixed by the larger-than-life, Brooklyn-born performer until the very last beat dropped. Busta Rhymes interrupted his own flow to address the room saying, “I want to make a toast to everyone that put this event together tonight, everyone that plays a role in pushing the culture forward in a productive way, and everyone here that advocates for artists.”
“How lucky are we to be here tonight with this incredible Conglomerate / Epic Records’ superstar of American culture, Busta Rhymes!” said Glazier as the night wrapped. He then joined RIAA COO Michele Ballantyne for a special plaque presentation recognizing Busta Rhymes’ incredible career. “I was going to come out here and tell you all how Busta Rhymes emerged in the Golden Era of Hip-Hop, but he just took us through every era of Hip-Hop tonight! So, we want to make sure we celebrate in the proper way – with this beautiful plaque commemorating your career’s 22 million RIAA certified units for your solo titles and collaborations. We know there are many more to come!”
“Musicians On Call is a special program that brings people together to experience the healing power of song, helping patients and caregivers know that they’re not alone during trying times. Spotify is proud to support this work in our partnership with RIAA so we can all continue our joint mission of connecting people through music. And we applaud the masterful career of Busta Rhymes whose music has bridged genres to unite audiences for decades.” said April Boyd, Spotify Vice President of Government Affairs & Public Policy.
Other notable supporters this year include Alibaba Group, Ford Motor Company, Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), Jewel Box Platinum, National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), Recording Academy and SoundExchange.
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Porn star Kagney Linn Karter dead from suicide aged 36

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Adult film star Kagney Linn Karter — who, according to friends, struggled with mental health — died of an apparent suicide last week, according to a report. She was 36. (more…)

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