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Lil Wayne Responds To Music Video Outrage

Lil Wayne is doing major damage control after footage of the rapper stepping all over an American flag while filming the video for his single "God Bless Amerika" surfaced online.

In the clip, Weezy puts his footprints on the flag after it falls to the ground while he raps, "My country ‘tis of thee/ Sweet land of kill ‘em and let ‘em die/ God bless Amerika/ This ole’ godless Amerika."

After being called a "scumbag" and the like on Twitter, Wayne took to timelines to explain himself. "I didn’t step on the flag on purpose!," he wrote. "It’s a scene in a video where the flag drops behind me and after it drop it’s just there as I perform."

He also wrote a lengthy explanation on his Facebook page, calling it a camera trick.

"It was never my intention to desecrate the flag of the United States of America," he posted. "I was shooting a video for a song off my album entitled God Bless Amerika. The clip that surfaced on the Internet was a camera trick clip that revealed that behind the American Flag was the Hoods of America. In the final edit of the video, you will see the flag fall to reveal what is behind it but will never see it on the ground."

"In most people eyes including my own were raised in that environment, the Hood is the only America they know and the only America I knew growing up," he continues. "I was fortunate from my God giving talents to escape the Hood and see the other beautiful places this country has to offer but most people are born in that environment don’t get that chance. That’s their view of their America. That was Dwayne M Carter from Hollygrove New Orleans view of America. That’s who I’m speaking for in this song." - Ashley M. Travers

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California Governor Signs 'Stephon Clark Law' To Combat Excessive Force By Police

A California law that will change the standards for use of excessive force by police has been signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, The Los Angeles Times reports. The Assembly Bill 392 was signed into law on Monday (Aug. 19) and will be named the “Stephon Clark Law," which honors the 22-year-old who was fatally shot by Sacramento police in his grandmother’s backyard. Local authorities believe he pointed a gun at them and was responsible for a theft in the area.

"They didn't have to kill him like that. They didn't have to shoot him that many times,” Clark’s grandmother said in a press conference last year. "Why didn't you just shoot him in the arm, shoot him in the leg, send the dogs, send a taser. Why? Why? Y'all didn't have to do that."

The law’s new language will state that officers could only use deadly excessive force when deemed “necessary” not within “reasonable” range, which is what the law currently states now. Reportedly, the mandate also prohibits authorities from firing at fleeing suspects who don’t pose any danger on the scene. The law goes into effect in January 2020.

“We are doing something today that stretches the boundary of possibility and sends a message to people all across this country that they can do more and they can do better to meet this moment,” Newsom said.

Initially, though, law enforcement was not keen on this new law and rebutted the bill until it was reformed to their liking. “This is Stephon Clark’s law,” his brother, Stevante Clark told the L.A. Times. “The cost, the price that had to be paid for this, it hurts...I hate that this had to come out of such a tragic situation, but at the same time, it helps the healing process to know his name could possibly prevent something like this from happening again.”

“The bill is watered down, everybody knows that,” he continued.  “But at least we are getting something done. At least we are having the conversation now.”

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Actor Tray Chaney attends "Traffik" Atlanta VIP Screening at Regal Atlantic Station on April 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Codeblack Films

'The Wire's' Tray Chaney Shares His Testament In Self-Entitled Documentary Trailer

You may have seen Tray Chaney as Malik "Poot" Carr on the HBO Emmy-nominated drama series The Wire where he starts as a neighborhood drug dealer in the Barksdale organization and slowly moves up in ranks. He has also starred in a list of roles including Bounce TV's  Saints & Sinners as Kendrick Murphy and was nominated in 2019 at the International Christian Film Festival for Best Actor: Short Film in Angels in Rocket Field. 

After being accepted as an "Official Selection" during the Black Continental Independent Movie Awards in Silver Spring, Maryland, Chaney released the documentary trailer for Undeniable: The Tray Chaney Story under his Undeniable (Wired Different) campaign on Thursday (Aug. 15). The potential docuseries will follow the narratives of the journeys of The Wire cast members, how they landed their roles, what happened when the television series ended in 2008, and what they are doing now.

Under the production of Commodore Independent Filmworks and Safe House Films DC. Chaney's 45-minute episode features testimonials from Big Daddy Kane, Clifton Powell, Kenny Lattimore, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Russ Parr, Jd Williams, Keith Robinson, Anwan Big G Glover, and Black Child. His former co-star Idris Elba also shows his support for the documentary.

"Just know how hard he hustles," says Anwan "Big G" Glover.

The less than 2-minute snippet touches on the framework of Chaney, his eagerness and willingness to learn,  even mentioning his journey on Saints & Sinners as "the work of the Gods".

Watch the trailer for Undeniable: The Tray Chaney Story below.

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Tibrina Hobson

Angela Bassett To Receive The Black Girls Rock Icon Award

Angela Bassett has been an inspiration to black women for decades, so it's only fitting the Black Panther actress is being honored with the Icon Award at the 2019 Black Girls Rock ceremonies.

Created by DJ and entrepreneur Beverly Bond, Black Girls Rock is an award ceremony which aims to honor, acknowledge and celebrate the many contributions of black women.

The 61-year-old actress earned an Academy Award nomination for her brilliant portrayal of Tina Turner in the 1993 Brian Gibson film What's Love Got To Do With It. 

Black-Ish actress Tracee Ellis Ross was a previous Black Girls Rock host, however, this year's mistress of ceremony is Claws and When They See Us actress Niecy Nash.

The star power award will go to If Beale Street Could Talk actress Regina King. Ciara will receive the rock star award, Debra Martin Chase will walk away with the shot-caller award and Grammy-award winner H.E.R. will receive the Young Gifted and Black award.

The Community Change Agent Award will go to the mothers of the movement, Sybrina Fulton, Geneva Reed-Veal, Gwen Carr, Lucy McBath, Maria Hamilton and Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley.

The 2019 Black Girls Rock Awards will air on BET September 8.

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