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Insomniac Events Eyeing 50/50 Deal With Live Nation, or Vice Versa

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) -- North America's largest dance music event held annually in Las Vegas drawing some 300,000 ravers to the lit-up oasis -- might have a new partner soon.

Insomniac Events, who throws EDC and its current five-city spin-offs in New York, Chicago, London, Puerto Rico and Orlando, is rumored to be selling a 50% stake of its company to the Live Nation empire. The Wall Street Journal reports that the cut for half ownership of the Los Angeles based events company is in the $50 million ballpark.

The purchase would give Live Nation, America's largest concert promoter, a bigger stake in the EDM market. In 2012, Live Nation bought out fellow LA-based dance music promoter HARD Events and the similar U.K. brand Cream, which is a major player in the Ibiza club scene and worldwide Creamfields festivals.

The EDC/Live Nation deal would be another Cinderella story in the dance music world. Insomniac Events was founded by Pasquale Rotella, whose first event was a warehouse party in South Central that only drew 300 people. Today, EDC Las Vegas is Insomniac's flagship event and in it's 17th year. It announced last week that it sold out of its entire ticket allotment for 2013.

"The most important key to my career has been simply staying alive -- keeping Insomniac afloat through all of the different challenges," Rotella confided in VIBE last July. "The dance music culture has been so scrutinized and beaten up, and we’ve been at the forefront, holding the torch and defending it as good."

Indeed, Rotella has faced hardships. The EDC events have been scrutinized for their prior mismanagement of security, that some allege is to blame for the 14 drug-related deaths since 2006 at Insomniac events. Rotella is dealing with bribery and other charges too, though he's pled not guilty. Additionally, new regulations in Las Vegas are putting the 2014 EDC in jeopardy.

"I am most grateful for being able to survive and continue doing what I love through the ups and downs," Rotella told VIBE.

EDC considers themselves "no longer simply a music festival" but a "one of a kind entertainment experience combining the worlds top DJs, leading-edge production and art."

"I want to build out my own festival venue that is perfectly tailored to our unique needs as a music and arts festival producer," Rotella told VIBE of his future aspirations. "Our team is developing some new event brands. Plus, I hope to expand into new markets, including Brazil – which we’ve been talking about for a while. We’re getting close."

So, while the structure of ownership looks to change, it's clear that the music will still rage on.

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Malcolm X’s Daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, Speaks On His Legacy And Netflix Docuseries

In commemoration of the 55th anniversary of his assassination, Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, spoke out on her father’s legacy and the popular Netflix documentary, Who Killed Malcolm X? 

Speaking with Democracy Now on Friday (Feb. 21), Ilyasah praised the filmmakers behind the six-part docuseries for their work in attempting to uncover, “Who killed our father? Who took the life of a very young man who challenged the moral compass of world nations.”

Ilyasah was just two years old when her father was assassinated in front of her, three of her sisters and her mother, Betty Shabazz, who was pregnant with twins at the time. A week before Malcolm’s murder, the family’s home was firebombed.

Ilyasah has no memory of her father’s assassination which took place on Feb. 21, 1965, inside Harlem's Audubon Ballroom. Malcolm was preparing to give a speech in the venue and invited his family to sit in the front row.

“I’m really grateful that I don’t have memory as my older sisters I’m sure can recollect, being 6 years old and 4 years old, the trauma and chaos and understanding that our father never came home,” she said. “And especially to my mother who was a young woman that actually saw bullets just tear my father’s body apart.”

The interview details the days leading up to Malcolm's death, including France banning him from entry into the country three weeks before his assassination. Malcolm who was only 39 years old when he died, traveled to Europe during the first week of February in 1965. He was turned away at the airport in France without explanation and subsequently forced to fly back to London where he delivered what would become one of his final speeches at the London School of Economics.

“He realized this was bigger than the Nation of Islam,” Ilyasah explained of Malcolm being banned from France. “The Nation of Islam itself did not have the power to keep him [out of France] and France did not want history to include that Malcolm was assassinated on their land. And so that speaks volumes, and my father understood that his life was not just challenged by the Nation of Islam. It was much bigger than that.

“It’s important to look at the work that he was doing,” she added. “Challenging world powers, challenging world nations for taking control of an [unequal] distribution of the world’s wealth.”

Ilyasah also dismantles the notion that her father “miraculously became Malcolm X” after he went to prison by detailing how his upbringing shaped his interest in political activism.

“He was always a leader,” she said. “He was always compassionate, he was always a learned young man. His parents instilled specific values in him and his siblings. The importance of self love, compassion, [and] care.”

Watch the full interview in the video above (Ilyasah’s portion begins at 12:17).

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Gregg DeGuire

Jhene Aiko Reveals Release Date For ‘Chilombo’ Album

Jhene Aiko announced the release date for her third studio album and what appears to be the album artwork on Friday (Feb. 21). The album titled, Chilombo, after Aiko’s sur name, is slated to drop on March 6 and promises to be some of her “realest” work to date.

“Just typed out all the lyrics to the free flows that are #CHILOMBO #phew realest s**t I ever wrote,” the Grammy-nominated tweeted on Monday (Feb. 17). Aiko described the album as an compilation of her previous work. “If sailing soul(s), sail out, souled out and trip had a baby #CHILOMBO.”

just typed out all the lyrics to the free flows that are #CHILOMBO 👏🏼 #phew realest shit i ever wrote....

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) February 17, 2020

if sailing soul(s), sail out, souled out and trip had a baby #CHILOMBO 🌋

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) February 17, 2020

Last month, Aiko dropped the track “P*$$Y Fairy (OTW),” which is expected to be on the album. Aiko’s last album, Trip, was released in 2017.

See the Aiko's latest album artwork below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

"Chilombo" March 6th 🌋

A post shared by Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo 🌋 (@jheneaiko) on Feb 21, 2020 at 6:00pm PST

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Jojo Announces ‘Good To Know’ Album And Tour

Jojo has a new album, Good to Know, dropping this spring and will be hitting the road for a headlining tour kicking off in April, the singer announced on Friday (Feb, 21).

The album title encompasses all that Jojo has learned “in the past few years,” she explained in a statement. “Every piece of feedback, criticism (internal or external), whatever it is — it’s all just information. And it’s all good! I’ve been lucky to have the space to reflect on my own journey up to now, and I hope people can take comfort in the fact that I am not anywhere near perfect, and I will never sugarcoat anything. We're all constantly living and learning and that’s what makes this life fun.”

The 'Good to Know' tour launches at Seattle’s The Showbox on April 21, and wraps May 30, at First Avenue in Minneapolis. Presale tickets will be available beginning Monday, Feb, 24. Additional tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, Feb. 28.

Click here for more information.

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