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US rapper Drakeo the Ruler stabbed to death at LA festival

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US rapper Drakeo the Ruler has died after being stabbed at a music festival in Los Angeles.

The 28-year-old, whose real name was Darrell Caldwell, had been scheduled to perform at the Once Upon a Time in LA festival on Saturday night.

His publicist confirmed his death to several US media outlets on Sunday morning.

The artist was reportedly stabbed during an altercation backstage around the time he had been due to perform.

Los Angeles police are investigating, but told reporters no arrests had been made as of Sunday morning.

Drakeo the Ruler had more than 1.5m monthly listeners on Spotify, and collaborated with Canadian rapper Drake on the single Talk to Me.

Paramedics responded to a call about a stabbing at about 20:40 local time on Saturday (04:40 GMT on Sunday). Reports say the rapper was then taken to hospital but later died from his injuries.

The BBC has contacted his representatives for comment.

The festival’s promoter, Live Nation, confirmed that there was an “altercation in the roadway backstage” at the event, which was also scheduled to include performances from rappers 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg.

“Out of respect for those involved and in co-ordination with local authorities, artists and organisers decided not to move forward with remaining sets so the festival was ended an hour early,” it said.

Writing on Twitter, Snoop Dogg said he had been “in my dressing room when I was informed about the incident and chose to immediately leave the festival grounds”.

“My condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Draeko the Ruler,” he said. “I’m praying for peace in hip-hop”.

As news of Drakeo’s death spread, other performers shared tributes on social media.

“Always picked my spirit up with your energy. RIP Drakeo,” Drake wrote on his Instagram stories early on Sunday.

The rapper Saweetie tweeted: “Man Drakeo was always hella cool and respectful. Prayers up for his family. RIP The Ruler.”

Jim Jones urged his peers to stay safe. “They know who we are cause of our fame but we don’t know who they are because of our fame,” he wrote in an Instagram post.

“Feels like we lost a rapper every week this year. There was a time when we [were] protected in th[e] community, we were treated as super heroes. Not no more.”

 

‘Nervous music’ pioneer

Known for his offbeat cadence and cryptic lyrics, Drakeo was born on 1 December 1993 in South Central Los Angeles and raised by a single mother.

After spending much of his youth in correctional facilities, he was drawn to music as a way of escaping the pitfalls of street life.

His first mixtape, I Am Mr Mosely, was released in 2015 and pioneered a jerky, polyrhythmic sound he called “nervous music”.

He later recorded verses for the mixtape Thank You for Using GTL over a phone while he was being held at Men’s Central Jail awaiting trial in connection with the 2016 shooting death of a 24-year-old man.

Drakeo was later acquitted, but prosecutors sought to retry him on conspiracy charges. He entered a plea deal and was released from prison in November 2020.

In an interview with The Ringer shortly after his release, Drakeo said his aspiration was to “get my mom and everybody that I can take care of out of poverty”.

“I’ve got to make sure that they’ll never have to want for nothing again. I want to show people that no matter how hard the situation is, my story proves that anything is possible.”

He wasted no time, issuing a mixtapes in late 2020, followed by his debut album, The Truth Huts, earlier this year.

Although his music never troubled the charts, he was recognised as an innovator by his peers.

In a post on Twitter, LA writer Jeff Weiss called Drakeo the “greatest west coast artist of a generation, a legend who invented a new rap language of slippery cadences, nervous rhythms, and psychedelic slang”.

SOURCE: BBC

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Netflix Commits $1 Million towards Scholarships in Africa

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Netflix , the world’s leading entertainment streaming service, has  announced a commitment of US$1 million towards the newly-established Netflix Creative Equity Scholarship Fund (CESF) for film and TV students in Sub-Saharan Africa. The scholarship fund forms part of Netflix’s global Netflix Creative Equity Fund  launched in 2021 to be allocated to various initiatives over the next 5 years with the goal of developing a strong, diverse pipeline of creatives around the world.

The scholarship fund will cover the costs for tuition, accommodation, study materials and living expenses at institutions where beneficiaries have gained admission to pursue a course of study in the TV & film disciplines in the 2022 academic year.

The Netflix CESF is targeted for rollout across the region in the academic year commencing in 2022, starting with an open call for applications in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, in partnership with social investment fund management and advisory firm Tshikululu Social Investments (https://bit.ly/3qLORX2) as implementing partner/fund administrator in Southern Africa. Fund administration partners for East Africa and the West and Central Africa regions will be announced in due course.

“Netflix is excited by the potential of the next generation of storytellers and we’re committed to investing in the future of African storytelling in the long-term,” says Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Content in Africa. “We believe there are great stories to be told from Africa and we want to play our part by supporting students who are passionate about the film and TV industry so they too, can ultimately contribute to the creative ecosystem by bringing more unique voices and diverse perspectives to African storytelling that our global audiences find appealing.”

How it works:

The Netflix CESF is designed to provide financial assistance, through full scholarships, at partner higher educational institutions (HEI) in South Africa to support the formal qualification and training of aspiring creatives from a SADC region country that wish to study in South Africa, and are able to obtain the necessary permissions to do so. The following countries will be eligible: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In the SADC region, the fund will be available to students who have obtained admission to study in various film & TV-focused disciplines, for the 2022 academic year, at the following partner institutions:

Students interested in applying for scholarships for the 2022 academic year will be able to find additional information, application criteria, a list of partner higher education institutions (HEI) and will be able to apply online on our fund manager and advisory partner, Tshikululu’s website (Tshikululu.org.za). Applications are now open until 04 February 2022 at 23h59 CAT.

The Netflix CESF will also benefit students from other parts of Africa – particularly East Africa as well as West and Central Africa. Fund administration partners for East Africa and the West and Central Africa regions will be announced, along with the calls for applications, in due course.

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Cummings Blasts Weah After Unprovoked Attack On Peaceful Protest

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Liberian opposition leader Alexander B Cummings has launched a stinging attack on President George Weah after government forces today launched an unprovoked attack on peaceful protesters in Monrovia, injuring multiple people.

 

The protesters displayed banners and posters calling for justice and indicating solidarity with Cummings, the leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), who is being prosecuted by the Government of Liberia on discredited, politically motivated charges of “forgery and criminal conspiracy”.

 

Cummings accused the Weah administration of abusing its authority to restrict Liberia’s political space ahead of the 2023 presidential elections.

 

“Today, thousands of Liberians took to the streets of Monrovia to exercise their right to peaceful assembly. This right is one of the cornerstones of Liberia’s democracy, bestowed to us through our constitution. These peaceful, lawful protesters have been tear-gassed, wounded, and arrested by police,” Cummings said.

 

“I have stood firm and calm when the government has violated my own democratic rights, through the manipulation of courts and casting false accusations. I cannot remain calm when the democratic rights of my fellow Liberians are violated, and law-abiding citizens are left bleeding on the streets on Liberia.”

 

Footage and pictures of the protest have been circulating widely on Liberian social media, showing multiple injuries and abuses by police.

 

Cummings, a former international business executive, called on Weah to govern in line with international democratic standards, or move aside in favor of others who can.

 

Cummings said, “The weak leadership of President Weah has brought the Liberian economy to the brink of collapse; the events at this protest, combined with the bogus charges levelled against me, is further evidence that he is now abusing his position and using every tool, including democratic institutions, at his disposal to cling to power. Enough is enough.”

 

The ANC leader called on his countrymen to defend the country’s young and hard-won democracy.

 

He said, “Now, I speak to all Liberians – whether my supporters or critics. Liberia cannot continue in this downwards spiral. Our democratic rights are not guaranteed. We – the upholders of democracy – need to protect them. Our chance to choose the government we deserve, and deliver the future we deserve to a future generation of Liberians, comes in 2023. I stand with you. I hear you.”

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Social audio platform Stationhead launches new web interface, a first for live social audio

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Live social audio platform Stationhead is now accessible via its new web interface, making it the first entry in the social audio space to allow users to broadcast their own streaming audio shows—fully integrated with streaming music—directly from the web without using an iOS or Android app. In the wake of the new web interface launch, host engagement has increased by 50%.
Stationhead’s new web platform provides users with the ability to integrate premium recording hardware, giving professional creators even more options. With over 3.5 million active users and 20k+ active hosts spending an average of more than two hours on-platform per day, Stationhead continues to expand and improve its capabilities for all users.
“Stationhead has exploded in popularity this year. Our exponential organic growth is a testament that radio needed to be reinvented for the world we’re living in today,” Ryan Star, CEO and co-founder of Stationhead, tells Billboard. He goes on to explain about the new web interface, “As we continue to grow, it is critical to give our users even more ways to stay connected with each other and for our hosts to be able to take it to the next level.”
Stationhead continues to see extensive adoption by top tier artists since its launch, with Cardi B, Camila Cabello, Megan Thee Stallion, Brandi Carlile and Raekwon all making live appearances on shows. Coldplay is now using Stationhead as their primary radio outlet, featuring broadcasts from members of the band, and Ed Sheeran and Halsey have also held listening parties via Stationhead while The Maine and Vanessa Carlton have established their own artist stations on the platform. Most recently, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak joined guest host D-Nice for a listening party debuting their new record as the superduo
Silk Sonic.
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2022 Grammy Awards rescheduled to April 3 in Las Vegas

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The 64th annual Grammy Awards have a new air date. (more…)

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Actors, Keith Powers and Ryan Destiny split after dating for 4 years

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Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers are calling it quits. (more…)

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T.I. says no one can outrap him

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T.I. is laying claim to the throne. (more…)

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