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Dear Mr. President: How Obama Can Nail Tonight's Debates

Music provides the soundtrack to our lives. Whether it's the playlist that pushes us through the work day, the record we bump to at the club or the hymn that bolsters us in difficult times, a song can capture the essence of our experiences. As President Obama prepares for the debate tonight, I can’t help but wonder what he is listening to but there is one song that seems fitting for the occasion, one track that he can lose himself to...

“Look, if you had, one shot
Or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip?”

This debate marks the President's time to reset the campaign. It's a chance for him to take back the narrative that was lost in Mitt Romney's arguments in the debates two weeks ago. Tonight, the President can remind the American public that it was under his watch and calm demeanor that that Osama Bin Laden was put to death. He can reaffirm that America is safer today because the top Al-Qaeda leaders are out of power and the Drone strikes worked. The American people should know that as Commander-In-Chief, Obama does not treat the brave men and women who fight every day to protect our freedom like toy soldiers.

“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on his sweater already: mom's spaghetti
He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready”

In tonight's debate, the President must force the "real" Mitt Romney to please stand up and to call out all the different sides of his opponent. Obama must point out Romney’s contradictory debate performance with the five trillion dollar tax cuts he proposed with no plan to back it; to press the issue of wanting another two trillion dollar-increase in defense expenditures when the Department doesn’t see the need; to clarify if Romney is for more teachers in the classrooms or against (there was confusion there); and if the moderator doesn’t ask, Obama must press Romney to answer if he will provide tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas.

“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You want it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime”

Mr. President, tonight is the night where you lay Romney’s concept of the 47% on the table. Ask him on behalf of those individuals why he believes they “are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims,” as he says. See why he believes his "job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." Those are strong words that must not go unchallenged. Use this as a lesson to teach Romney that a President's job is to look out for all Americans, no matter if they are Republican, Tea Party, Democrat, Green Party, or Libertarian. I can only imagine the rage that was felt on 8 Mile road in Detroit, MI as they rapped…

“All the pain inside amplified by the
Fact that I can't get by with my nine to
Five and I can't provide the right type of
Life for my family, cause man, these God damn
Food stamps don't buy diapers, and there's no movie
There's no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life
And these times are so hard, and it's getting even harder
Tryin' to feed and water my seed”

President Obama, lay out your economic plan for the country. Sell your job plan to get Americans back to work. Tell us why you believe that your vision will allow for everyone to have a fair shot at success and why your policies to grow the economy from the middle out rather than top down will create opportunity for the working class. Tell us how you plan to be the voice of the 47% and let them know they are not renegades but hardworking citizens. Let the 53% who have been patiently waiting to see if your policies will allow for continued success or merely regulated earnings. Let them know it will be success every time. I know this is in you. I know you are not afraid to take a stand.

Mike Muse is the youngest American to raise a million dollars for Obama's campaign. He can be reached at [email protected], on twitter @iammikemuse, and www.IamMikeMuse.com.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”

 

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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

A post shared by the Jasmine BRAND (@thejasminebrand_) on Mar 22, 2019 at 5:32pm PDT

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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