The Vixen Q&A: Vashtie Kola (Pg. 3)

Yeah because it's not a t-shirt then. It's an undershirt. 
Exactly. I don't care how skinny you are. You should wear a shirt that fits you [laughs]. Harem pants. I wish that they worked for me. They don't work for me. [Laughs] I guess it's a matter of if it works for you, but I really think that the harem pant might be the one to go because it doesn't work for that many people. I would also say get rid of the alternative to what it is that you're trying to wear. I've been wearing motorcycle boots for  a good six years now. they're the Frye motorcycle boots. I just realized that Uggs makes an alternative. They make an Ugg in the silhouette of my Frye motorcycle boots. If you're aiming to dress like a certain someone or wear a certain style, don't get the alternative version. And I don't mean don't get the cost-effective version, I'm saying get exactly what it is you want to wear. So, I guess getting rid of bootleg items.

Ha! What about some key items every girl should own? 
You should have a great, black cocktail dress— something that's really classic that you can wear in 10 years with anything. You can pair it up with chunky, gun-metal necklaces or you can wear pearls. Something that can work around the trends. I think a really well-made pair of denim jeans. I wouldn't say too much of a distress because those aren't really classic or timeless, but just a really sturdy pair. I know that sometimes denim is really expensive, but i think that if the cut and the quality of the denim is great, it's a must-have. I would also say a really good handbag. It doesn't have to be expensive, just something that will get you through the day. Something that's really attractive and easy and not too clunky is necessary. I would say to invest in one signature jewelry piece. Spend the money on something whether it's a necklace, a pair of earrings, a cuff or a cocktail ring. Spend a little extra money of at least having one signature piece. something that you feel like you could pass down to your future daughter or gay son [laughs]. Because I think that in our age everything is cheap and accessible which I absolutely love, but I realize that the jewelry that my mother had that she passed onto me, or my grandmother, those are things that have lasted the test of time.

You're definitely a jack-of-all-trades. How does it feel to be running your own shit as a female?
Um, it's weird because I don't think about it. I'm so used to being around boys and doing things that boys are mostly known for. Growing up I skateboarded and I was like the only girl with my friends. So I think from that level, I'm kind of used to it. I'm really amazed. I take a look around and I'm like, 'Whoa. I'm really doing this.' I think half of me is used to it because I'm not always in the moment, but the other half of me is like, 'Wow.' My upbringing has been to work hard and do what you do very well. I don't think of it in a sense of 'Oh, look at me.' I just think that I've always been a weird art kid, so I'm not tuned into the exterior.  

So what do you think every girl should know before getting into the entertainment industry? 
Every girl should be prepared to be shot down, to be made fun of, to be called names. You should be championing yourself because if they're not on your team, they're against you. You just have to hold it down. I think that naturally women, all of us, are guilty of wanting to please people. I don't know what that is—having to be pleasant and not being a bitch. I don't know what it is in our culture that we're taught to be very polite. You just need to be aware that if you're coming to the table with something, there's no room for anybody else to put you down. You don't have to tip-toe around what it is that you want and can do. There are times now still where I'll be in a meeting at record label talking about a video concept that I wrote, and when the executive in the office who hasn't met me sees me, he asks, 'Are you modeling in the video?' So, you have to be prepared for it. It's having a sense of humor about yourself.

Right. What are your thoughts on another female boss—Nicki Minaj? 
 I don't really know much about Nicki Minaj, but what I do understand of her— if that's who she and that's how she wants to express herself then I think there's more than enough room for everyone to be represented. As someone who has indirectly become a kind of role model for young women, once I realized that, it changed a lot of how I maneuver. Whether it's on my blog, whether it's what I'm tweeting, whether it's what I say in interviews, I realize there are younger generations of people who are listening to me and who are highly impressionable, and there you have to have a lot of care about the situation. For me personally, I think that every artist should feel open to be who they are, but it's important to show our side of being intelligent and being just as powerful as men. I really respect Nicki Minaj. She puts on this thing of being a Barbie doll, and the history of Barbie has been so controversial because it's been a such a very unattainable standard of a female. Also, Nicki has these characters and dresses very girly, but when she opens her mouth she can take on a male emcee. She can hold her own. 

Agree. What is your hardest experience in the industry as a female?
I think that I'm used to dealing with hardships and it kinda just comes with it. I think in any area, I would probably have as many issues as I have now. I think the gender issue has always been an issue and being taken seriously. I kind of take it for what it is. One of hardest things to deal with, realistically, has been when I was a kid and decided that I wanted to direct music videos. The world of music was such a different place. And I think now as an adult, the music industry is changing greatly, the world of music videos doesn't even exist anymore on TV, it mainly exists on the Internet. So I think working around those changes has been the biggest challenge because it's not what I've known it to be and elected it to be. 


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Killer Mike Gives Emotional Speech Urging Peaceful Protests Amid Unrest In Atlanta

Killer Mike joined T.I., and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in delivering emotional pleas to discourage ATLiens from burning the city as protests broke out on Friday (May 29) in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless victims of police brutality.

“I don’t want to be here,” began Killer Mike. “I’m the son of an Atlanta city police officer, my cousin is a police officer…I got a lot of love and respect for police officers down to the original eight [Black] police officers in Atlanta that, even after becoming police, had to dress in a YMCA because white officers didn’t want to get dressed with ni**ers. And here we are, 80 years later and I watched a white officer assassinate a Black man and I know that tore your heart out. I know it’s crippling and I have nothing positive to say in this moment because I don’t want to be here.”

The Atlanta native went on to share background on his family’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, and other social justice issues. “I’m duty-bound to be here to simply say, 'It is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with the enemy.’”

In what turned out to be another viral moment, Tip called Atlanta “Wakanda” while imploring demonstrators not to destroy the city. “Atlanta has been here for us, this city don’t deserve that. I understand that a lot of others do, but we can’t do this here, this is Wakanda. It’s sacred. It must be protected,” said the 39-year-old rapper.

Mayor Bottoms simply told protestors to simply “go home.”

“Above everything else, I am a mother to four Black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old,” she said. “When I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt. Yesterday, when I heard there was a rumor about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do: I called my son and I said ‘where are you?’ I said ‘I cannot protect you and Black boys shouldn’t be out today.’ So you’re not going to out-concern me, and out care about where we are in America.

“I wear this each and every day and I pray over my children each and every day. What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos.”

WATCH: "If you love this city, go home!"

— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) May 30, 2020

At the request of Mayor Bottoms, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency in Fulton County, and deployed 500 troops from the state's national guard.

They will deploy immediately to assist @ga_dps, @GaDNRLE, @GA_Corrections & local law enforcement who are working tirelessly to subdue unlawful activity & restore peace. We will continue to make all state resources available to local leaders during this emergency situation. (2/2)

— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 30, 2020

See Killer Mike's full statement below as well as photos and video of the protests.

A powerful scene in Atlanta right now, this gives me chills.

— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) May 29, 2020

More shots from Atlanta tonight

— kieron (@kieroncg) May 30, 2020

The chief of police in Atlanta talking and listening to everyone that has something to say#ATLFORUS #AtlantaProtest

— Lilly - BLACK LIVES MATTER (@joonhopekook) May 29, 2020

It’s not just Minneapolis, we are now seeing protests in cities across the country over the death of George Floyd. This is in Atlanta as some smash the glass at our downtown CNN headquarters. #GeorgeFloyd

— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) May 30, 2020

Police cars getting literally destroyed in Atlanta outside the CNN Center

— Fernando Alfonso III (@fernalfonso) May 29, 2020

Downtown Atlanta right now.... PEACEFUL PROTEST ! #BlackLivesMatter !

— KP 🦋. (@kailynnlee) May 29, 2020

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Breonna Taylor’s Family Vows To Continue Fight For Justice: “Please Keep Saying Her Name”

Breonna Taylor must not be forgotten. The family of the 26-year-old EMT who was shot and killed by Louisville police officers in March, released a statement encouraging peaceful protests and the continued fight for justice.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear read the statement from Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, on CNN on Friday (May 29).

“Breonna devoted her own life to saving other lives, to helping others, to making people smile, and to bringing people together,” the statement reads. “The last thing she’d want right now is any more violence. Changes are being made, but it’s not enough. We will not stop until there is truth, justice and accountability. Breonna’s legacy will not be forgotten. And it’s because of all of us saying her name and demanding justice. We are saying her name more each day. Thank you.

“Please keep saying her name. Please keep demanding justice and accountability, but let’s do it the right way without hurting each other. We can, and we will make some real change here. Now’s the time. Let’s make it happen.”

Seven people were shot during a protest for Taylor in Louisville on Thursday (May 28). The shooting victims were treated and are in stable condition, according to Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher. Fisher also reposted a video message from Taylor’s family urging peace amid the protests.

A message from Breonna Taylor’s family urging protestors to be peaceful, go home and keep fighting for truth.

— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) May 29, 2020

On March 13, 2020, Louisville police officers kicked in Taylor’s door without warning and opened fire. Authorities claim that they were executing a “no-knock” search warrant stemming from an alleged drug investigation involving another man who did not live in Taylor’s home, and had already been arrested.

“Police just unloaded 25 to 30 rounds, I mean they’re shooting from the front door, they’re shooting from the window, they’re shooting from the patio,” attorney Benjamin Crump told Essence on Friday. “They’re so reckless, they shoot a bullet into the next door neighbor’s apartment where their five-year-old daughter is asleep in her room. “They didn’t even have to come in her [Taylor's] apartment. They already had the person they were searching for in custody.”

Taylor’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the LMPD accusing the department of excessive force and gross negligence. In wake of Taylor’s murder going public, LMPD has changed its policy and will now require no-knock warrants to have a police chief’s signature. The department also made it mandatory for LMPD officers to wear body cameras.

A 911 call made by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, after the shooting was made public on Thursday. “I don’t know what’s happening somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend,” Walker can be heard saying through tears. Police arrested Walker for shooting at cops whom he assumed were robbers. The charges were later dropped.

Listen to the emotional 911 call below.

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KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

Fired Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin Arrested For Murder Of George Floyd

Fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested for the murder of George Floyd on Friday (May 29), Hennepin County D.A. Mike Freeman confirmed at a press conference.

“Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder and with manslaughter. He has been charged with third-degree murder,” said Freeman.

“There could be more charges later. The investigation is ongoing. We felt it important to focus on the most dangerous perpetrator,” Freeman said when asked if the three additional fired MPD officers will be charged in Floyd’s murder. The third-degree murder charge suggests that Chauvin had no intent to kill Floyd. If convicted, the charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years.

Chauvin's arrest follows three days of protests in an around Minneapolis. On Thursday (May 28), the MPD’s third precinct went up in flames.

The Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct has been set on fire

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 29, 2020

“We have never charged a case in that time frame. We can only prove a case when we have substantial evidence,” added Freeman who maintained that the timing of the arrest was a result of a final piece of evidence, although he refused to go into detail. “We have now been able to put together the evidence that we needed. Folks, I’m not gonna’ talk specifically about this piece of evidence, or that piece of evidence. You will see.”

Freeman did however state the that evidence collected in the case includes citizen video, officer body cam footage, witness statements, and a “preliminary report” from the medical examiner.

Chauvin was the officer filmed jamming his knee into Floyd’s neck as he gasped for air and pleaded, “Please! Please! I can’t breathe!”

The fatal incident unfolded on Monday (May 25) afternoon. Police were called to Cup Food grocery store after Floyd allegedly tried to use a fraudulent $20 bill. MPD claimed that Floyd resisted arrest but a security camera recording shows him walking calmly in handcuffs while being escorted to a patrol car by an MPD officer.

Video footage release by store owner who stated George did not resist arrest as stated on the police report #GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatters

— Que ™ (@RealQDaKidd) May 27, 2020

Additional footage, recorded by a teenage bystander, captured Floyd's last few minutes alive. Floyd, 46, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Chauvin may have already known Floyd as they both worked security for the Minneapolis club, El Nueva Rodeo.

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