Kendrick Lamar Kendrick Lamar

12 People We Want To Do a Musical Protest for Ferguson

J. Cole

The tragic killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown and riots-slash-protesting in Ferguson, MO have been on everyone’s mind. Now hip hop’s own are beginning to speak out. J. Cole was the first to do a song about the uprising and wrongful killing of Brown, but he isn’t the only one we want to hear from. Many artists  have been taking to their Twitter and Instagram to vent about this uproar but have not sounded off on a song.

Check a list of 12 singers and rappers that we want to hear do a musical protest about this tumultuous time in history.

All Photos: Instagram/Getty Images

kendrick lamar ferguson

Kendrick Lamar

K. Dot could lend his lyrical prowess to a song addressing something he is familiar with—a brutal police force. Kendrick has never had a brush with the law but he is from the home of the infamous LAPD where police brutality is nothing new. In this case, Compton is not the only m.a.a.d city we want to hear the good kid talk about.

remy ma ferguson

Remy Ma

Remy Ma just came home from doing a six-year stint in prison and the people are patiently waiting for her to release more music. Why not take a second and lay some bars about how it feels to come home and see that many things have changed but when it comes to the police, things have not.

 

nicki minaj ferguson

Nicki Minaj

It’s about that time for the head Barb to take a break from talking about how she “sons” these other rappers and showing off her assets. To have Nicki show her conscious side and release a song with some lyrical substance addressing a social issue, something she has never done, would be more compelling than her showing us her backside.

jay z ferguson

Jay Z

When Jay Z talks, people listen. Hova is no stranger to voicing his opinion about what goes on in communities like Ferguson on wax. If he spoke up about the situation, Ferguson residents would have a soundtrack to their protest.

trey songz ferguson

Trey Songz

Trigga usually takes the sexy route when it comes to his music but hearing a socially-conscious, piano-driven ballad or mid tempo tune from the crooner would suffice at this time.

justin bieber ferguson

Justin Bieber

The truth is right now Justin Bieber’s image is quite tarnished. He has been on his worst behavior for a while now and it has been overshadowing his music. TMZ releasing videos of him singing racist remarks as a teen has earned him a place in the  hall of  shame as well. One way to get back on people’s good side and show that he isn’t such a bad guy is to sing a genuine and heartfelt tune about this unfortunate controversy.

wale ferguson

Wale

A spoken word piece putting this outcry for change and revolution into poetic diction would further show hip hop’s social awareness and solidify Wale’s place in this turbulent ut historical moment.

t.i. ferguson

T.I

Tip recently turned to Instagram to vent about what factors have contributed to this uproar in Ferguson in two posts. The Atlanta wordsmith questioned why people are rioting and sounded off about America’s unfair treatment of blacks for generations. Transferring these sentiments in the booth should be the next step.

beyonce ferguson

Beyonce

King Bey doesn’t say much when it comes to social issues. During the Trayvon Martin controversy she supported the teen’s family at a rally and that was it. With police brutality reaching its peak and people being sick and tired, it may be time for Beyonce to speak up to help call for change.

 

game ferguson

Game

Game has no problem speaking up about injustices and does what he can for those in need. He was vocal in the Trayvon Martin situation, even tattooed the slain teen’s face on his arm to pay tribute. Instead of getting a tat this time, the Jesus Piece rapper should show support through doing what he does best and hopping in the booth.

 

pharrell ferguson

Pharrell

Pharrell, Ferguson residents are not happy and we need to you speak up about it. The Oscar-nominated producer did such a stellar job at communicating his joy through song that now we need him to do the same for a not so joyous occasion. A song calling for peace would be right up his alley.

 

kanye west ferguson

Kanye West

Kanye rants and raves about corporations not letting him in and too many other things to name. So why not rant for a cause over some instrumentation? This would be a tangent worth lending your ear to.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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