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Meet The Lakota Rapper Bringing The Noise About Indigenous People

Healing trauma and building community.

Frank Waln didn't initially set out to be a rapper.

The Sicangu Lakota was born on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, and was told to be something "practical." He was the first person from his high school to get a full ride to Creighton University in Nebraska to study pre-med. After working at Indian Health Service hospital, he left Nebraska in order to pursue his dream of—you guessed it—music elsewhere.

It was when he moved to Chicago to study the audio arts and acoustics at Columbia College that his life found a new direction. "The culture shock I encountered when I moved to Chicago, realizing that people don’t know about Natives. The first week I was here, I met a girl who thought Native Americans were extinct," Waln told In These Times in 2015. It was that conversation that would draw him to speak about his life as a Native American, about how historical trauma and cultural genocide are deeply embedded within that experience, and about healing his community.

💀 Photo by Marc Fraser

A photo posted by Frank Waln (@frankwaln) on

Native Americans in the United States are still feeling the egregious effects of colonization: One in 10 deaths among Native Americans is alcohol related, with a high rate of alcohol fetal syndrome. The suicide rate on reservations is extremely high, with 40 percent of those taking their own life being between 15 and 24. One in four Native people live in poverty, with a high unemployment rate.

"As Indigenous people, we’re born into historical trauma and systems that were built on the destruction of our people," Waln said. "I didn’t know I was poor growing up. We had our culture, family and beautiful things, even though there are drugs, alcohol and violence as a result of the history our ancestors faced. Growing up on the rez made me who I am. I wouldn’t have it any other way."

His upcoming album, Tokiya, a Lakota word meaning, "first born", "first creation" and "first of its kind" is both his first solo album and concept project. "A lot of it is telling the story of how I'm trying to deal and heal from the historical trauma that has been dealt to me through my ancestors and through being a survivor of genocide."

The title of the album is also extremely important, as it sheds light on cultural loss of language that Native people experienced. "My great-great parents were the last people to learn [their] language because of the boarding schools and all that was done to try and wipe out our culture—so I'm trying to incorporate it in my creative process as much as I can."

Waln seeks to discuss colonization of Native people in the United States while still respecting the hip-hop culture's black origins, citing Nas, Dead Prez and Talib Kweli as influences on his rhythmic style. "As an artist, the challenges are complex and on multiple levels. My generation identified with hip-hop, but there were no opportunities to express that, let alone make music. Another obstacle that I’m still working through as an indigenous hip-hop artist is respecting the origins of hip-hop in black culture, and not erasing that."

He also remains vigilant in drawing parallels between two marginalized communities. "Black folks are coming up out of a history of slavery that their ancestors had to endure. And my ancestors and myself we're coming up out of a history of genocide—so we are both being oppressed by this system that was imposed on us," he said in Here & Now earlier this year. "When I moved to Chicago, I started doing workshops and going to schools that were in inner-city Chicago. And I saw the parallels there and I didn't even know they really existed. And then it started to make sense why I gravitated to that music and those stories."

Listen to his beautiful record "Victory Song" here:

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Rico Nasty And Kali Uchis Join Bad Bunny As Performers For 2nd Annual Pornhub Awards

Pornhub has turned things up a notch for their second annual awards show with performances from Bad Bunny, Kali Uchis, Rico Nasty and Tommy Genesis.

The celebration of the adult film industry will also welcome Benny Blanco as Musical Director and British Art Director and graphic designer Peter Savill for the redesign of the show's statue. Last year's inaugural show proved to be a learning lesson for the company. Kanye West's presence attracted most the attention, with everything else including the show's presentation falling to the wayside. The rapper/producer performed last year with Teyana Taylor and also performed his single "I Like It" without Lil Pump (he was arrested at the time for violating his probation).

But with creative daring acts like Rico, Bad Bunny and Kali, the show might be visually stimulating for fans–musically speaking. Benito was previously announced as a performer last month. “Last year, we made history and we’re building on that momentum,” Pornhub's vice president Corey Price told Forbes. “No other awards show has ever even attempted to do what we do.”

The show will compete with the Adult Video News Awards — or AVNs — which honor stars in the adult film industry. Price is hoping to reach its very diverse audience with their selection of performers.

“We’re very excited to announce the additions of several creatives to the 2nd Annual Pornhub Awards Show. Peter Saville is absolutely legendary, having had some prolific output that has gone on to inspire entire generations of creatives,” Price tells VIBE. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Ian Isiah, Kali Uchis, Rico Nasty and Tommy Genesis take the stage with Bad Bunny on October 11th. We are so lucky to have such complementary talents entertaining for us on our big night. ”

The show will take place at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Categories include: Most Popular Female Performer, Most Popular Male Performer, Most Popular Verified Amateur, Top Channel, Top BBW Performer (c' mon diversity), Top Fetish Performer, Most Popular Gay Performer, Most Popular Network and Top Celebrity, among others.

Fans are encouraged to vote for their faves here.

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Actor Hosea Chanchez attends the Inaugural Ball hosted by BET Networks at Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery on January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.
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Former 'The Game' Actor Hosea Chanchez Reveals He Was Molested As A Teen

Actor and director Hosea Chanchez opened up about a traumatizing incident in his youth. Best known for his role on The Game, the 37-year-old revealed he was molested at the age of 14.

In an Instagram post Tuesday (Sept. 3) the actor explained how fear kept him from sharing how a friend's father molested him and threatened him if he told anyone. Chanchez, the child of a single mother, said he viewed the older man as a father figure. "He would always tell me I was like his other son, so I can trust he's always looking for me," he said. "Further building my trust and commitment to his predatory agenda."

But when the actor turned 14, their conversations turned sexual.

"A week before this day, my friend's dad was asking me what type of girls I liked and if I had sex with a girl yet," he said. "I didn't know at the time but he was trying to see where my boundaries were. He was using false hyper-masculinity as a way to sniff out my comfort level with sex and privacy."

Chanchez said as he was given a ride home, his father's friend (who he later revealed to be a man named Issac Sanders) took a detour route and molested him.

"I hope this truth helps to stop child molesting predators from sexually assaulting more children," he said. "Pedophiles have no place in our society they hide in the open and rape children who are afraid to speak up because of shame, guilt, fear, denial and the thought that no one will believe them. I'm doing this to help parents and young children become aware of some of the signs and better protect themselves from sexual predators."

Chanchez was met with support from his peers like Naturi Naughton, Jill Marie Jones, Megan Good, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Pose star Indya Moore. Despite not being in the public eye, Sanchez has returned to the small screen. The actor is currently starring in CW's Black Lightning and is leading a one-man show, Good Mourning.

Produced by Naughton, Chanchez wrote and directed the play about a father who loses his child to leukemia. His grievance lasts 36 days as he finds solace in his daughter's toys. The play carries messages about the importance of mental health in the African-American community.

“Mental health is the backdrop for what’s happening here,” he told the LA Sentinel. “Specifically, in the African American community, and with people of color, and even more specifically, with men, not only is it not acceptable in society to grieve and heal and mourn in the traditional standard as it is for women, but it’s also not as many resources for certain people.”

Chanchez starred in Mara Brock Akil-directed series The Game as Malik Wright, from 2006 to 2015.

 

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Im Hosea chanchez and when I was 14 years old I was molested BY my friends father. This man is a predator, preying on children who’s trust he’s falsely built through lies, manipulation, threats and secrets. I hope this truth helps to stop child molesting predators from sexually assaulting more children. Pedophiles have no place in our society they hide in the open and rape children who are afraid to speak up because of shame, guilt, fear, denial and the thought that no one will believe them. Im doing this to help parents and young children become aware of some of the signs and better protect themselves from sexual predators. (Swipe to read my TRUTH)

A post shared by Hosea Chanchez (@hoseachanchez) on Sep 3, 2019 at 1:36pm PDT

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Rosalia And Ozuna Bring The Heat To The VMAs Stage With 'Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi'

Clad in a black dominatrix-meets-Barbie-doll outfit, Rosalia opened up her colorful set with darkness at the 2019 MTV VMAs with “A Ningun Hombre." The melody pays homage to her Spaniard roots with its flamenco influence. Later, the stage lit up into a colorful collage of red flowers when reggaeton-trap sensation Ozuna joined her on stage for their stellar single “Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi.”

Their chemistry on stage was palpable which left the crowd roaring in praise and admiration for their sexy performance. The 25-year-old finished her set with the electric "Aute Cuture," in front of a brightly lit castle with her name etched on it. Rosalia has had quite a break out year. She won a Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Song, "Malamente."

Rosalia also won two VMAs for best choreography for "Con Altura" with J. Balvin featuring El Guincho and Best Latin Video. Through her colorful art and futuristic way of making an old cultural staple like flamenco new again, she's invading and crafting a new lane for Spanish artists to make it in America—just like Latin artists like J. Balvin, Ozuna, and Bad Bunny have. They are bringing the mainstream world into theirs.

“I respect the flamenco tradition..I love flamenco,” she told Rolling Stone. "It’s very difficult music to sing. But I think of any genre as a snow globe — you don’t admire it for its stillness. You have to shake it up and see how it explodes.”

 

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