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What About Your Friends: Behind Shawty Redd's Murder Charge

V EXCLUSIVE: Two weeks after Shawty Redd fatally shot a man in his Atlanta mansion, the successful young producer faces life in prison if convicted on murder charges. As Shawty Redd claims self-defense, LINDA HOBBS uncovers new details about the deceased, a man known in the streets as "Choppo."

Two weeks after Demetrius “Shawty Redd” Stewart was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Damon A. Martin, questions still linger, details remain sketchy, and friendships look torn.

The 28-year-old Atlanta producer behind hits like Young Jeezy's "Trap or Die" and Snoop Dogg's "Sexual Eruption" has been charged with murder and is facing life in prison if convicted. Ever since the New Year's Day shooting, Stewart has been held in a Henry County jail without bond. At Henry County Superior Court on Tuesday, Judge Brian Amer set his bond at $200,000. Shawty Redd is now free on bail and will be allowed to make music, but must wear an ankle bracelet and stay within county limits.

Until his appearance in court, few details had been revealed about what happened inside Shawty Redd's Ballymeade Lane mansion in the gated community of Crystal Lake. “Mr. Stewart was attacked in his own home, and he was well within his rights to defend himself with force,” Stewart’s attorney, Marcia Fuller, said during the bond hearing. “His acts are insulated by the law. It’s in the Georgia Code that you can defend your home, yourself, and even property outside of your home, with deadly force, and not be prosecuted for it.”

A day after the hearing, Fuller told VIBE: “Demetrius was absolutely defending himself during the incident,” she said. “His career will continue. At this point we are waiting for the district attorney to make a decision as to whether or not they are going to go forward on this matter or dismiss it."

According to a source within Shawty Redd’s camp who is familiar with Tuesday’s court proceedings, two of the producers' associates reportedly testified that Martin was "an intruder" who was shot in self-defense, although the police report refers to him as an “associate.”

But according to a source speaking exclusively to VIBE, the deceased—who has been identified as a 35-year-old father from Southfield, Michigan—was actually a close friend of Stewart's known in the streets as "Choppo."

In a 2008 interview with Custom Whipz TV for a cover story in Custom Whipz magazine, Stewart shouted out Choppo and his six-member posse Geto Kingz—that includes Detroit artists Doeboy Reese, Supreme, Big Mudd, Hustleboy Tony Trice, and the crew’s founder Muff Man.

“So who you working with from the D?" the interviewer asked. "Geto Kingz, I know you fucking with them.”

“Aw, yeah, can’t forget about my Geto Kingz niggas out there man,” Stewart said. “They show a nigga much love man. What up big homie Choppo! What up my nigga!”

According to Martin’s best friend—a Detroit producer and engineer who goes by the name Beatz by Squeak—Martin was not an intruder to Stewart's home, and the relationship between the two was much deeper than most people suspect. “He damn near made Shawty Redd,” says Squeak, who picked out Martin’s funeral outfit. “It’s way more to it.”

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President Trump Speaks On A$AP Rocky's Detainment In Sweden

President Donald Trump spoke out in support of rapper A$AP Rocky who has been jailed in Sweden for more than two weeks after an altercation. The Harlem native is being accused of an assault that occurred on June 30.

The Hill posted a short video of Trump's stance on Twitter. "I personally don't know A$AP Rocky but I can tell you he has tremendous support from the African American community in this country," he said. "When I say African American, I think I can really say everybody in this country because we're all one."

President Trump: "I personally don’t know A$AP Rocky but I can tell you he has tremendous support from the African American community in this country. When I say African American, I think I can really say from everybody in this country n/c we’re all one." https://t.co/GCjjZTJ9fn pic.twitter.com/0YR4BOoiLZ

— The Hill (@thehill) July 19, 2019

What looked to be an attempt to clean his slate of the accusations of racist rhetoric, his plea looks to be questionable, according to Variety. "A$AP Rocky is a situation in Sweden, a great country, and friends of mine and the leadership," Trump continued. "And we're going to be talking to them, we've already started. Many, many members of the African-American community have called me, friends of mine, and said 'can you help?'"

On Friday (July 19), a Stockholm court approved prosecutors' request to hold Rocky for at least six more days, stating that he was a flight risk, The New York Times reports. A hearing for the rapper will be reportedly held on July 25 to determine the case's outcome, a spokesperson for the Swedish Prosecution Authority noted.

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Kumasi J. Barnett Flips Classic Comic Books To Highlight An Heroic Black Experience

Marvel and DC movies are raking in millions in the box office telling the stories of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel, Spiderman, Batman, The Flash, Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Superman, just to name a few. These daring and striking films stem from the ever so popular classic comics, and a new spin on the tales comes from a Brooklyn-based artist Kumasi J. Barnett.

Lowell Ryan Projects presents Barnett's The Amazing Black-Man exhibit which kicked off July 13 in Los Angeles. The series features two hundred hand-painted comic books from the DC and Marvel world.

Barnett, however, has painted over these vintage covers to give a very black presence. Replacing all familiar faces with new characters including The Amazing Black-Man, The Media's Thug, Whitedevil, and Police-Man, the narrative for the comics instantaneously change.

He replaces Spider-Man's unforgettable bodysuit to a hoodie and jeans, Superman's logo with stars and bars of the Confederate flag, and turns all of the supervillains into the controversial nemesis –the police.

While flipping the Good v. Evil narrative, Barnett addresses real-world issues and works to resolve the strain of racism in American history and the justice system.

His re-creations pose the questions: What kind of superhero is The Amazing Black-Man? In a society built on systemic racism, does his brown mask hide his identity or define it? Is his costume actually a costume?

The exhibition runs through August 17.

Check out some of our favorite images from his collection below.

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Netflix Releases 'Dear White People' Season 3 Trailer

Loose ends are finally tied, while other storylines and character arcs are more defined in the third season of Netflix's Dear White People. The Justin Simien comedy released its trailer Friday (July 19).

Shadow And Act report a few scenes that season three will deliver includes Sam (Logan Browning) parting ways with her radio show, Troy (Brandon Bell) experiencing a parody or pastiche, and Lionel (DeRon Horton) continuing to live in his identity.

The campus' secret society, The Order of X, also reappears after being discovered in season 2 by Sam and Lionel. Depicting a lighter and easing going tone is a shift from the gloom and murk from previous seasons while still giving a satirical sense of style. As the series moves through its characters dealing with microaggressions and evident racism at Winchester University, the script addresses a range of controversial issues.

Yvette Nicole Brown (Avengers: Endgame), Blair Underwood (When They See Us), Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black), and the show's creator Simien are set to make guest appearances throughout the season, according to IndieWire. 

Season 3 will premiere on Aug. 2.

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