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VIBE Salutes Hip-Hop Foremother Camille Yarbrough

Camille Yarbrough is hip-hop’s original triple threat. Without her, there may not have been an MC Lyte, Queen Latifah or even Nicki Minaj. Yarbrough, affectionately and appropriately known as “Nana” Camille, is an award-winning performance artist, author and cultural activist. With a career that spans over fifty years she continues to inspire audiences today via her local, long running television show, Ancestor House, via her popular musical CD (also entitled Ancestor House), and via performances and lectures around the world, about poetry, music, Black art and culture.

Her legendary book, Cornrows, which teaches little girls to love their hair, was line dropped in Talib Kweli’s “Black Girl Pain;” her iconic song, “Praise You,” was sampled by Fatboy Slim and former VIBE magazine writer and activist Kevin Powell, regarded her iconic 1975 debut album, Iron Pot Cooker, as the precursor to Lauryn Hill’s best-seller The Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill.

Nana Camille has also served as an educator at City College of New York, taught African dance, co-starred in Lorraine Hansberry's To Be Young, Gifted, and Black, as well as James Weldon Johnson's God's Trombones and Kwamina and appeared in various network specials, soap operas, and the original movie Shaft. In other words, she’s a legend. Read and learn.?Starrene Rhett



 

You’ve talked about how the younger generation have picked up what we know as hip-hop from people like yourself, Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets. It has definitely evolved and changed over the years, so how do you feel about where it is right now?

When I first became aware of these young people creating this form called hip-hop I was so happy so pleased because it was just a tradition. But I think because of the struggle that our people have been through today, we look on television and we see so many of us there doing a variety of things. We go to the movies and we see many movies by black producers, that’s great. It didn’t used to be that way. So, when hip-hop was coming into being I was pleased to see that we would have another medium from which to tell our story, but we have been in the Civil Rights movement. We have changed this country and I don’t think many people have acknowledged that the greatness of people of African ancestry is our struggle. I don't think people see how we made it better for everybody. We opened doors and took down "don’t come in signs," "no black" signs, we forced them down, and so we affected (offended) some people in doing that. There are some people right now in the political world talking about, "We want our country back." That means that they want the negative stuff back again and I think some of them decided to take power over hip-hop because hip-hop was so strong and so pervasive and positive. I think they wanted it not to be so powerful and so they introduce things into it like pornography.

There was a VH1 episode where on one of their programs?somebody went to directors in the porno world and brought them over to direct hip-hop videos, and then came the tits and ass thing, so that our story wasn’t told as much in hip-hop as it was in music in the 70’s and during the movement, when we had music that was inspiring all of us, not just the young, but all of us. So right now, I am not too pleased about it, I am glad that we have Common. He's been under attack for saying something that was true. They don’t want that to become popular again, there are not many others who are really doing the kind of music that inspires young people. There is too much of the vulgarity and name calling and demeaning. Years ago we were referring to each others as kings and queens. Now we’re hoes and bitches. I hope?I think that it’s changing. I think consciousness is coming back because that’s our spirit, we always bring goodness into the world. So that’s where I am at, I love our young people. We will always do this, they are not the first generation to bring their goodness, enlightenment, or their genius into the world. And if there is anything I can do to be of assistance by my example, then I will do that.

Speaking of rappers, Common and Talib Kweli definitely embrace you. How do you feel about that?

It is rewarding, it is pleasing, but I know and they know probably, it is very difficult because those who do not want our stories told actually control the media so when I hear Kweli put the name of my song in one of his songs it is like, "Thank You," I really appreciate it and I know that he is from the land [Africa] because he is trying to bring enlightenment to a world that is going in a different direction. So I always give them praise. I can praise anybody who is standing up and trying, even John Legend who took some of that old music and brought it back up to date and put some of today’s artists in it. He is trying to bring that goodness back, bring that love, soul and family back. So I praise and admire anybody who is doing that.

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LeBron James Announced As A&R Of 2 Chainz's 'Rap Or Go To The League' Album

When he's not on the court, LeBron James spends his time posting videos of him vibing out to some of rap's most recent singles. Now, he's taking his ear for standout cuts a step further by becoming the A&R for 2 Chainz's forthcoming album.

On Mar. 1, the Atlanta native's Rap Or Go To The League project will hit streaming services and music store shelves after being teased for some time. "It's been quite the journey to get here," the "Spend It" rapper wrote on Twitter Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 19). "All night studio sessions, reflecting, & opening up on these records or as I call it therapy! This is my each one teach one body of work, I wanna celebrate black excellence!"

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The soundscape arrives after Chainz released two EPs last year: The Play Don't Care Who Makes It and Hot Wings Are A Girl's Best Friend.

It’s been quite the journey to get here. All night studio sessions, reflecting, & opening up on these records or as I call it therapy! This is my each one teach one body of work, I wanna celebrate black excellence! ..... “Rap Or Go To The League” the album A&R by @KingJames 3/1 pic.twitter.com/08Y2fYKJ6X

— Tity Boi (2 Chainz) (@2chainz) February 19, 2019

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Meek Mill Responds To Comedian Michael Rapaport's Critique

While Meek Mill's pregame performance at the NBA All-Star game on Sunday (Feb. 17) may have been praised by many on Twitter, there was one person who was not impressed by the Philadelphia rapper's appearance. Comedian/actor Michael Rapaport used his Twitter account to critique Mill, but the latter didn't hold his tongue back either.

"Aye @michaelrapaport don't ever use the word trash when you speaking on nothing from our culture unless you tryna get trashed," Meek wrote. "#2 who gave you authorization to be speaking on us? #3 what you charging now?"

Aye @michealrapaport don’t ever use the word trash when you speaking on nothing from our culture unless you tryna get trashed 🤫 #2 who gave you authorization to be speaking on us? #3 what you charging now? Last time I seen You you wanted a selfie 🥴 be great tho on the net 🤷🏾‍♂️

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) February 18, 2019

A couple of tweets after his first response to Rapaport, the "Going Bad" rapper posted a picture with the New York City native who he claims "wanted a selfie" with him.

Me:ayo yo who this? Anonymous: I think it’s the guy from white men can jump? Him: meek you so fire you give me that feeling what hip hop is missing ima fan “can I get a selfie”? Hurry up go head 🤦🏾‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/GJoMZotqG9

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) February 18, 2019

The tweets that got Mill fired up by the 48-year-old entertainer featured references about the rapper's previous beef with Drake and his, in Rapaport's opinion, incapability to rap on beat.

"Where I'm from, if you get dragged by DRAKE & don't respond you're & always will be WACK," Rapaport started.

Where I’m from, if you get dragged by DRAKE & don’t respond you’re & always will be WACK.

At least make it competitive. Re-Up Something

People catching feelings, cause you know I’m right about Meek Mill

— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) February 18, 2019

Meek Mill have a hearing problem? Because he rhymes off the actual beat on everything he’s on. Literally off the beat, like NoFlow

— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) February 18, 2019

The Next Friday actor has yet to respond to Meek's retort.

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Cardi B And Blueface Release Music Video For “Thotiana” Remix

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Decked out in a red bandana-print outfit, Cardi appears in the Cole Bennett-directed visual to spit a sensual verse. “Bust is, bust it, I’m a savage/ Bi**h, throw it back like a 10-year challenge/ Take him to the crib, the I push him on the sofa/ Have his breath smelling like pu**y and mimosa.”

In April 2018, Cardi B unveiled her debut album to fanfare. Since then, the mother-of-one has remained a dominant figure in the music industry and she hopes to further solidify that presence with her upcoming sophomore project. “Hopefully I can get my album done around the same time that Invasion of Privacy came out,” she previously said. “I don’t know how possible that’s gonna to be because I feel like I’m gonna be extremely, extremely busy.”

Until then, watch the "Thotiana (Remix)" video above.

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