The Meteoric Rise of Brianna Perry

The Meteoric Rise of Brianna Perry

It's midnight and by any definition of the word we are deep in one of Miami's hoods. Ain’t nothing glitzy about it. The sirens of police cars going by are frequent, and the fellows leaning over metal fences are sipping on something wrapped up in paper brown bags. Even the local dogs sniffing around seem to be hustling for anything that resembles a meal. But just around the corner on a lot heavily lit by industrial lighting, a collection of the finest automobiles are forming a semi-circle around a group of dancers, popping their hips with impressive force. They are all young and cute, dressed in sexified version of athletic wear, looking like hot cheerleaders ready to play ball. Out of this group of ladies emerges Brianna Perry, female rapper on the rise, who steps out and takes charge, spitting rhymes to her super catchy “Back Der.”

Her appeal is undeniable. An army of handlers, makeup artists, and choreographers that make up her entourage are bopping heads to a track that can easily become an anthem for hot girls everyone. "Sitting like a boss, feet up, red bottoms say you paid, speak up, diamonds lay up on my chest like C-cups, trying to keep up,” Parry raps directly into the camera, delivering every line effortlessly. There is something about her that is eerily reminiscent of Aaliyah. Not because they look alike; their fluid physicality and the subtlety of delivery seem to come from the same bag of tricks. But where Aaliyah's voice was soft and marked with breathy soprano, Perry's is anything but. This femcee's brash vocal depth rivals that of Foxy Brown and MC Lyte. This juxtaposition makes for one unexpected mix. “I like being the surprise in the room,” Perry admits.

Despite all the hoopla on set, Perry is poised and unaffected, seemingly unaware of the mini media storm brewing all around her. First, the New York Times ran a huge article about state of female rap, with glowing reviews of her skills. Then Beyoncé shared Perry's “Marilyn Monroe” video, calling it one of her faves. "It's her time," says Elvin Prince, aka Big Chuck, president of Poe Boy Music Group, whose roster includes Perry and Flo Rida. "I've known her since she was a little kid; she is talented and driven and going to the top."

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34 black female cadets from West Point's Class of 2019 pose at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Cadet Hallie H. Pound/U.S. Army via AP

Black Women Cadets To Make History At West Point Graduation Ceremony

A record number of black female cadets are set to graduate from West Point (The United States Military Academy). After completing four years of education and "testing their limits," 34 black women will be walking across the stage at the 2019 commencement ceremony for the first time in the school's 217-year history.

Earlier this month, the black female cadets came together for a pre-graduation group photo. Little did they know, the photos of them in traditional Old Corps uniforms with ceremonial sabers would make their rounds on social media.

“My hope when young Black girls see these photos is that they understand that regardless of what life presents you, you have the ability an fortitude to be a force to be reckoned with,” shared one of the cadets, Tiffany Welch-Baker, in an interview with Because Of Them We Can.

Although West Point admitted its first black cadet until 1870, the academy didn’t graduate its first black cadet until the Reconstruction in 1877. In 1979, Vincent K. Brooks was made the first black captain of the Corps of Cadets. In 2017, Simone Askew became the first Black woman to lead the Corps of Cadets.

Senior cadet Stephanie Riley told The Associated Press in another interview: “I just showed myself and those who thought I couldn’t do it initially that yes, I can. And not just, ‘Yes, I can.’ I can show other little girls that yes, you can come to West Point. Yes, you can do something that maybe the rest of your peers aren’t actually doing. And yes, you can be different from the rest of the group.”

The class of 2019 includes a total of 223 women, another milestone since the first female cadets' graduation in 1980. The total number of graduation African-Americans doubled to 110, while the number of graduating Latinos became the largest, 88, in the academy's history. West Point also appointed Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams as its first black superintendent in July 2018.

Not only will West Point be graduating its 5,000th female cadet, but it will also have its highest number of female Hispanic graduates, 19. The commencement ceremony is set for Saturday, May 25, with Vice President Mike Pence delivering the commencement speech.

Congratulations to the black ladies of West Point's graduating Class of 2019!

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Hennessy

Art At Work: Kadir Nelson And Hennessy Unveil Marshall "Major" Taylor Sculpture at NYC's WTC3

Last spring, VIBE was invited to the screening of a Hennessy sponsored screening of a mini-commercial documentary on one of the most unsung athletic hero's of African-American history in Marshall "Major" Taylor. The seven-minute doc, explained the life and legacy of the first international African-American superstar. In the late 1800's Taylor dominated the cycling scene with power and endurance. With the viewing happening at the New York Times building, a special treat was waiting to be shown to the excited crowd. World renowned visual artist, Kadir Nelson made a monument for Taylor, the man that broke barriers with his pedals and passion.

Fast forward to May 15, 2018, Nelson was celebrated for that same Hennessy commissioned statue (which went along with Hennessy's Wild Rabbit campaign, narrated by Nas) of Taylor and it being permanently placed in New York's World Trade Center 3 (WTC3). Known as one of the world's busiest travel areas, the World Trade Center is a landmark destination for millions of visitors who will now see the immortalized cyclist's frame, sculpted  by Nelson. “The Major” will be displayed starting later this year near the north entrance of 3 World Trade Center, with the Oculus and National 9/11 Museum in the background. The sculpture will live in WTC as part of the Silverstein family’s World Trade arts initiative, entitled The Silver Project. The piece is the towers first installment of art and will shine as a beacon for all creatives and those seeking inspiration in all walks of life. Nelson will also have his first studio space in the same building.

 

To witness the amazing life of Marshall "Major" Taylor, watch the doc above.

 

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FX's ‘Pose’ Unveils Gripping Season 2 Trailer

Pose fans’ patience will be alleviated with the second season's premiere next month. To get viewers ready, FX debuted its 45-second trailer on Thursday (May 23), packed with an array of moving storylines.

Set in New York City’s ‘90s time period, the characters will explore life-altering changes in their careers and health. For Blanca, the status of her HIV-positive diagnosis will take precedence as the House of Evangelista begins to navigate a newfound arena of prominence in the ballroom scene.

In an interview with Billboard, producer and activist Janet Mock dished on what to expect for the upcoming season. "There's a rule in the writers' room that we do not talk about what we're going to do, but I think that it's really going deeper every episode,” Mock said. “As viewers kind of notice, we tend to focus in on a character that we may not have known as much before, right? For example, this week will really be central around Lil Papi’s character, his relationship with Blanca and things [that] have been alluded about throughout the season. There will be some of the origins stories of characters that we may not have heard as much from before, but whom people of course love because they are either on Team Abundance or Team Evangelista.”

Ahead of its June 11 return on FX (10 p.m. EST), watch the trailer above.

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