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VIBE Scene: Essence Music Fest/Ford Motors 4th of July Weekend [Video/Photos]

New Orleans was on cajun fire this 4th of July weekend as Essence Magazine rolled into town for the 18th annual Essence Music Festival. Celebrity spotting (Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, etc.) was mixed with good food and regular folks having a grand time. It was the perfect way to enjoy a holiday break in the "Big Easy"!

Ford Motors was one of the main sponsors of the festival, flying down a group of writers, editors and bloggers to experience the event and test drive the all-new fleet of Ford vehicles for 2011 and 2012. The revamped Ford Explorer, Ford Edge and Ford Focus were the hit of the show at the ride and drive they provided at the Convention Center in New Orleans. I was driven around in the Explorer through out the weekend enough to know I was good on whippin¹ it around the city, so I tried the smaller Edge on them mean streets (peep the pics here). To my surprise I liked it a lot. Between the smooth ride and the super digital interface of the center console, I was able to have fun and try to confuse the computerized voice assisted MyFord lady. I kept asking her to get me a cheeseburger and with her replies hilarity ensued. My man SékouWrites (simplyrides.com) is going to post that video soon.

Riding around in the various cars weren¹t the only thing that Ford had planned for us. They graciously planned a balanced trip of music shows with VIP access and free time for us to enjoy all that the ³Crescent City² had to offer. From all of the amazing food (like Daisy Duke¹s shrimp poe boy to Calcasieu¹s fried cheese grits), Bourbon Street¹s livid lifestyle and the southern hospitality exhibited by all, I had the time of my life. Peep the video below of my trip through my directing/shooting skills, then view the video by Ford Motors (they gave away a car at the show!) and judge for yourself why you need to be there next year. - Datwon Thomas, Editorial Director VIBE.com

Kanye On Stage1 Kanye On Stage2 Malik of The Game Mustang for Cancer Ford Booth 1

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Cardi B Will Reportedly Have Her Own Las Vegas Residency

Cardi B is reportedly getting her first Las Vegas residency. According to The Associated Press, the “Money” rapper will have a residency at the Palms Casino Resort in anticipation of the debut of its newest complex, KAOS.

“Above and Beyond, G-EAZY, Kaskade and Skrillex are among the other artists who will have exclusive residencies at the complex,” the report reads. KAOS will reportedly open in April. “KAOS is part of the Palms’ $690 million renovation that features state-of-the-art technology designed to enhance performances including a rotating 360-degree DJ booth.”

This news comes just a week after the announcement of Drake’s reported residency at the XS Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas. The musical reportedly “inked a 12-show deal over the next two years."

Cardi B has shown no signs of slowing down. She is currently nominated for five Grammy awards, and she is set to perform at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. She also made headlines recently for her thoughts about the current partial government shutdown, clapping back at detractors like Tomi Lahren.

"You’re so blinded with racism that you don’t even realize the decisions the president you root for is destroying the country you claim to love so much," she wrote on Twitter with a statement aimed at the political pundit.

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Illinois Man Awarded $1.25 Million After Cops Tackled Him For Stealing His Own Car

A former Northwestern University doctoral student was awarded $1.25 million after police tackled the then 25-year old assuming he was trying to steal a car that was actually his own.

The Associated Press reports Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz confirmed the settlement amount had been reached Wednesday. (Jan. 23) Crosby was an engineering major in 2015 when the incident occurred.

Crosby’s attorney Timothy Touhy said his client was attempting to repair something with his car when a white woman watching called local police to report what she thought was a robbery.

The unidentified woman then followed Crosby in his car as he left his apartment and headed to a science building on Northwestern's campus, giving police his location.

Crosby reportedly exited his vehicle with his hands up but was immediately tackled by law enforcement when he didn't obey orders to get on the ground. Cops later determined Crosby was the owner of the vehicle but charged him with resisting arrest.

A spokesman for the Evanston police said the use of force was justified at the time because officers assumed a theft was in progress. Crosby was the victim of knee strikes and open-handed strikes.

A judge threw out the charges.

“It’s his hope that as a result of this case, that all of us begin a discussion on implicit bias and begin to recognize it and begin to discuss it between yourselves and your friends,” said Steven Yonover, who represented Crosby in the case.

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10 Year Old Commits Suicide After Being Bullied For Colostomy Bag

A 10-year-old Kentucky boy committed suicide after being bullied incessantly by classmates, who reportedly picked on for using a colostomy bag.

Seven Bridges' mother found him dead in the closet on Saturday (Jan. 19). Tami Charles was reportedly out grocery shopping, and the boy's father Donnie was at a church choir practice. Charles called Seven, her only child, a miracle baby, as she was told that she wouldn't be able to have children.

"Seven had a tough start. He was born with a condition that required a colostomy bag. Even after several surgeries, he would still have problems with leaks. Charles said it became a reason for kids to make fun of him," reports WHAS11 in Kentucky. According to Charles, her son underwent 26 surgeries from the time he was born.

"WHAS11 talked to Charles and Seven in September after an alleged bullying incident on his bus ride home from Kerrick Elementary School," the site continues. This is unfortunately not the first time bullying has severely affected Seven and his family. "He said he was called the N-word by a student. His friend told him to beat-up that student, and when Seven refused, he said the bus buddy started choking him." This incident was detailed on Tami's Facebook page.

Seven, who was planning on going to another school to start sixth grade, was told by his mother than the bullying would end when he changed schools.

“The balls that were dropped,” Tami said of the flawed system that couldn't protect bullying victims at the school. “It wasn't that [Jefferson County Public Schools] didn't have these tools, they just weren't at our school. It wasn't that they didn't have these tools to help the victims of bullying, they just weren't there, they weren't used."

Due to the manner of the boy's death, insurance will not cover the costs of his funeral. If you'd like to help the family, please click here.

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