Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival Day 3: Bodega Education Initiative 'Beyond The Mic'

The continuation of the 2011 Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest, which has been extremely on point for the past three days, decided to delve into the Hip Hop discussion from a cultural impact point of view. Held at The Higgins Hall Auditorium of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn right off of Lafayette St, the Bodega Education Initiative was an educational presentation that left everyone in the room with a pride to be incorporated into the Hip Hop world.

Councilman Ras Baraka opened the event with a few words on his history with Hip Hop. “Hip Hop represents a big black fist---a shout” he said in his thought-provoking speech. A screening of Copyright Criminals, a intensely fascinating documentary, gave a great report on the importance of sample-based music and the question on whether it’s valid to call music sampling ‘lazy’ and if it’s right to prosecute DJ’s and artists that sample music (the example of Gilbert O’Sullivan suing Biz Markie over the unauthorized sample of his song Alone Again (Naturally) on Biz’s Alone Again is definitely an eye-opener).

After the documentary, a discussion was held with Brooklyn Funk Productions Ysae Southwell, entertainment lawyer Matthew Middleton, The Bomb Squad’s Johnny Juice and Audio Two’s Milk Dee on board as panelists. All guys answered with a unanimous “no” when asked is sampling considered lazy. Ysae compared sampling to a mosaic and considers it “an orchestration” while Milk posed the question “How is sampling any different from one artist being influenced by another artist?”

When the discussion was over, individual panels were held throughout the venue, with The Hip Hop Journalism one being the main focus. Journalists Christopher Weingarten and Kelefa Sanneh, along with Hip Hop DX Editor-In Chief Jake Paine, sat on board to discuss the ever-burning question “is this the end of music journalism?” Weingarten commented that it’s “not at the end, but we’re in a ‘down.’ Budget is the main reason.”

Senior Vice President at Berklee College Of Music Dr. Larry Simpson closed the event with a few words of his own on the Hip Hop culture. “[Hip Hop] has impacted every aspect of life” he said in his speech. He also awarded the winner of the freestyle battle Emcee Jermaine with a Berklee Music Scholarship for a free course at the prestigious school, said to be the largest music college in the world and home to over 200 Grammy winners (think Esmeralda Spalding).

The day commenced with a performance by The J Dilla Ensemble (pictured above), a collection of musicians of various colors and creeds that really stole the show (the violin solo could only be described as dope). The positivity coming from this year’s Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest is going on until Saturday, so get to Brooklyn and experience the movement! — Keenan Higgins

Check out http://www.bkhiphopfestival.com/2011/ to get a full schedule of the remaining events

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Dr. Dre Released From Hospital, Will Receive 24-Hour Home Care

Dr. Dre was released from L.A. Cedars Sinai Medical Center on Friday (Jan. 15), nearly two weeks after he suffered a reported brain aneurysm. Ice T confirmed the news tweeting, “Just FaceTimed with @drdre. He just made it home. Safe and looking good.”

The 55-year-old music mogul will remain under 24-hour care for the next few weeks as medical professionals continue to monitor his progress. Doctors are still unclear on what caused the aneurysm.

Dre’s hospital release comes days after new details were revealed in his divorce from estranged wife, Nicole Young. According to court documents publicized this week, Nicole accuses Dre, birth name Andre Young, of putting a gun to her head in 2000 and 2001. She also details other alleged abuse incidents in 1995 (before they were married) and in 2016, when he allegedly punched her in the face and kicked down her door.

The Grammy winner has denied Nicole’s abuse claims.

Nicole and Dre tied the knot in 1996. The pair share two adult children, Truice and Truly. Nicole filed for divorce last summer.

In addition to demanding that Dre cover her legal fees, Nicole wants the court to take the abuse allegations into account when “awarding support and fees.” Dre has already agreed to pay $500,000 of Nicole’s legal bills and $2 million in temporary spousal support.

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Cardi B Lands Leading Role In Comedy ‘Assisted Living’

Cardi B is making her way back to the big screen. The Bronx native officially landed her first leading role in the upcoming Paramount comedy, Assisted Living.

According to Variety, Cardi will play a small time crook struggling to find a hiding place after her latest heist fails. Her character, “Amber,” disguises herself as an elderly woman and hides out at her grandmother's nursing home. The film is described as a “raucous comedy” similar to Mrs. Doubtfire and Sister Act.

Paramount acquired the rights to Assisted Living in 2019. The film’s script was penned by This Is Us writer, Kay Oyegun.

Cardi, 28, made her film debut in the 2019 celeb-heavy stripper flick, Hustlers. The “WAP” rapper appears to have hinted at her Assisted Living role in a recent interview with Billboard where she dished on filming scenes for Fast & Furious 9.

“After ‘Hustlers’ I filmed a little bit for 'Fast & Furious' so I felt like ‘I’m ready for this,’ I knew what to expect,” she explained. “But the characters were a little different so I was like ‘Oh wow, I’m going to need more acting classes.’ I’m planning on doing a movie this year and I’m going to be the lead role so I’m like ‘I need to execute this flawlessly.’”

Besides film, Cardi was a judge on the Netflix completion show, Rhythm & Flow, and landed her own Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries.

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Wendy Williams Reveals She Was Date Raped By ‘80s R&B Singer

Wendy Williams revealed that she was date raped by  ‘80s R&B singer, Sherrick, early in her radio career. The talk show host shared the story with reporters while promoting her Lifetime biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

“He mesmerized me with his twinkling eyes,” she recalled. “He flipped the interview around to where he was interviewing me — I was just gaga over this man and he asked me to go to an album release party with him that night.

“Before the party, I was date raped by him,” said Williams.

Sherrick, born Lamotte Smith, was a member of the group Kagny, whose song is featured on The Last Dragon soundtrack. He signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1987 and scored a marginal hit with the single “Just Call” off his debut self-titled album. Sherrick struggled with sobriety but declared himself “drug-free” before dying of unknown causes in 1999.

Williams says that she was raped in Sherrick’s Washington D.C. hotel room and it, unfortunately, wasn’t her first time being sexually assaulted. The New Jersey native had been date raped in college. “Those types of things happen to girls all the time and they’ve been happening a lot, to a lot of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and their great-great-grandmothers too.”

From the sounds of it, Sherrick's widow doesn't exactly believe Williams' story. She not only questioned Williams' account but wondered why she waited so long to go public, and why she didn't call police at the time of the incident.

“As I will never minimize or dismiss the horrid actions of sexual assault, I am saddened that Ms. Williams feels the need to publicly make these allegations when the man she is accusing is no longer on this earth to defend himself,” Lynne Conner Smith said in a statement to Page Six.  “Our family does not know Ms. Williams and are not aware of any relationship or encounter they may have had.”

The sexual assault will be chronicled in the film, as well as other details from Williams' life -- like her rise to talk show fame, her battle with drug addiction, and marriage to ex-husband Kevin Hunter.

Wendy Williams: The Movie premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 30.

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