Kendrick Lamar's debut album inspires college course

Kendrick Lamar's Debut Album Inspires College Course

Compton's great kid Kendrick Lamar is best known for slaying the mic and topping charts with his 2012 debut good kid, m.A.A.d city. Now, hit songs from the album such as, “Swimming Pools” and “Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe” have become the prominent topics of discussion at Georgia Regents University this fall.

According to USA Today, the course titled “Good Kids, Mad Cities” will analyze the role of urban living and how it plays a substantial role in the development of today's youth.

“With Kendrick’s album, you’ve got gang violence, you’ve got child-family development in the inner city, you’ve got drug use and the war on drugs, you’ve got sex slavery, human trafficking – a lot of the things that are hot-button issues for today are just inherent in the world of Compton, California,” said Prof. Adam Diehl.

The topic goes hand-in-hand with K. Dot's LP, a conceptual album based on his upbringing in Compton. The coursework also includes some of the iconic material from esteemed film director Spike Lee and poems from African-American Pulitzer Prize Winner Gwendolyn Brook. Students will also visit cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Dublin.

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Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP

A Second Man Convicted In The 1998 Death Of James Byrd Jr Will Be Executed Today

Jasper, Texas became the epicenter of the nation in 1998 when James Byrd Jr's dismembered body was found outside of a predominately black church. The rest of his body was found about a mile and a half away.

Byrd was beaten by three white supremacists men and tied to the back of a pick-up truck and reportedly dragged three miles. All men were found guilty for his brutal murder. One was sentenced to life in prison, one was executed in 20111 and another will be put to death today. (April 24) According to CNN, Jon William King, 44 who's been on death row for 20 years, will die by lethal injection.

King has long maintained coconspirator Shawn Berry was solely responsible for Byrd's death. King has appealed his conviction, alleging ineffectiveness from his defense team. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his case last October.

In 2011, Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed and Shawn Berry was sentenced to life While murders are devastating, Byrd's dragging death placed a blinding spotlight on the racial tension in America. The fallout from the case helped to pass the nation's hate crime bill, named after both Byrd and Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming teen who was viciously beaten to death.

Byrd's family, however, have opposed the death penalty and made it clear they would prefer King be sentenced to life in prison. Byrd's son Ross has been quoting saying "You cannot fight murder with murder."

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Marshawn Lynch Reportedly Plans To Retire From NFL

Pro-footballer Marshawn Lynch might take another indefinite break from the National Football League. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Lynch will step away from the turf "after two seasons playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders."

CBS Sports reports Lynch prepared to share his decision on staying in the league or exiting after the NFL Draft, which is set to take place on Thursday (April 25). He's been with the Raiders since 2017.

Prior to suiting up for his hometown's team, Lynch launched his pro career with the Buffalo Bills where he was stationed from 2007-2010. Following that stint, the 33-year-old entrepreneur traveled across the country to play for the Seattle Seahawks from 2010-2015.

Following his last year with the Seahawks, Lynch publicized his retirement by posting a picture of hanged up cleats on Twitter. In 2017, Lynch laced up once more to join the Oakland Raiders. During a press conference, Lynch shared that he wanted to play for the team before their move to Las Vegas, as a symbol to young children that someone from their town is a part of this movement.

"With me being from here and continuing to be here, it gives them an opportunity to see someone who actually did it, who is from where they're from, someone they probably idolized," he said, per USA Today. Lynch also shared the atmosphere he would encounter on game days.

"The way we feel about where we're from, and why we represent so hard is because we know what the struggle is and how we get down," he said. "Every home game that I get to come to this [stadium], I'm probably going to be riding with the whole town."

After two seasons playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders, Marshawn Lynch is not planning to play football again, league sources tell ESPN.

Now, with the three-day draft kicking off Thursday night in Nashville, the Raiders have one more potential need to address: running back.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 24, 2019

✌🏿 pic.twitter.com/wesip4IhOR

— Shawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch) February 8, 2016

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Lee Daniels Details 'Empire' Cast's Latest Feelings About Jussie Smollett

The cast of Empire is currently in the process of healing in the aftermath of Jussie Smollet's hate crime scandal. In a new interview with Extra, series creator, Lee Daniels detailed how the actors and crew feel about Jussie and the whole debacle.

"The cast is upset," he admitted. "It is a sad time and we are slowly healing."

Daniels did not reveal whether the cast believes Smollett staged his alleged hate crime earlier this year, but he said that he will not judge him. "What I am learning right now is that I can’t judge," he explained. "That that judgment is for that man wearing that black coat with a gavel and God. I can only support him because he is like my son, he is my son, so I am with him. I can only support him and I can only give him compassion."

As previously reported, the actor, who stars as Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox drama, told Chicago police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on Jan. 29. As the investigation continued, the attention turned to Smollett. He was arrested on Feb. 20, and indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report and allegedly staging the incident. Those charges were subsequently dropped, but the city of Chicago is suing the actor for $130,000 for the time spent investigating the matter.

Check out Lee Daniels interview with Extra in the video above.

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