Hundreds Mobilize To Protest Deaths Of Alton Sterling & Philando Castile

Comedy Central's Jessica Williams was also present as people of all ages marched throughout the streets of New York on Thursday (June 7). 

Over the years, protests and rallies have followed in the wake of fatal police brutality incidents. This week was no exception as hundreds got in formation and marched through the streets of New York City following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

The fathers' final moments were caught on camera and resonated with celebrities, politicians and even fellow officers driving questions of racial profiling and unlawful police practices being used throughout the country. Kicking off in Union Square, protesters marched west to Fifth Avenue, with some making their way towards the West Highway and others, towards the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. There was also a protest in Newark, NJ.

Comedian and former Daily Show contributor Jessica Williams called for those taking part in the conversation online to let their voices be heard outside of the timeline.

Despite a storm warning in effect, the march continued. Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake, the officers involved in the shooting of Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., have been placed on administrative leave.

On Thursday (June 7), it was announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct an investigation in Minnesota where Castile lost his life to the hands of an identified police officer. His death was captured on Facebook Live by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds when the couple was pulled over for a broken taillight.

5% of us a river of #justice #blacklivesmatter #nyc #manhattan #shutting it down

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According to CBS News, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio shared his thoughts on the growing number of African Americans dying in police custody. “No parent of color or parent of a child of color in this country can watch that and not be afraid. you fear for the life of a child when you see a situation like this,” he said.

Just says before the deaths of Sterling and Castile, Delrawn Small, 37, was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer during a road rage incident in East New York. On Monday (June 6), Wayne Isaacs, 37, shot an unarmed Small three times after he allegedly reached into the officer's car. The New York Daily News reports a probe would follow to see if the officer's actions were justified.

Meanwhile, a peaceful protest took place in Philadelphia which ended in a church. Actress Susan Sarandon was reportedly present.

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Drake Debuts “Laugh Now Cry Later” Feat. Lil Durk

Champagne Papi hit fans with his second single in a matter of months.  “Laugh Now, Cry Later” arrived on Friday (Aug. 14) along with a cameo-heavy music video.

In the visual, Drake lives out his dream of being a professional athlete, complete with an oversized “draft day” suit (a la LeBron James in 2003). The 33-year-old rapper also shows off his range as both a dramatic actor (he sheds a tear, or two) and comedic actor.

Drizzy tapped director Dave Meyers for the music video, which features appearances from Kevin Durant, Marshawn Lynch, and Odell Beckham.

According to Drake's Instagram, “Laugh Now Cry Later” will appear on his forthcoming studio album, Certified Lover Boy.


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Laugh Now Cry Later off my next studio album CERTIFIED LOVER BOY 👌🏽 video link in bio

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Drake’s last single, “Toosie Slide,” seemed tailored for the TikTok era and quickly shot to the top of the Billboard charts. “Laugh Now Cry Later” will likely make its way to the TikTok crowd, but the song offers a celebratory anthem perfect for the club, and other post-pandemic shenanigans.

Peep the music video below.

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NO I.D.’s Entire Music Catalog Acquired By Hipgnosis

Chicago super producer NO I.D.'s entire music catalog has been sold to Hipgnosis. The company acquired 100% of the Grammy winner’s global copyrights and publishing royalties, including writer’s income, Billboard reports.

Founded by music veteran and artist manager, Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis is a British music IP investment and management company “established to offer investors a pure-play exposure to songs and associated musical intellectual property rights.”

“Not many have the best intentions for the artist and the creators,” No I.D. said in a statement. “Merck and the Hipgnosis team have shown that they are a safe home for the songs that score our lives.”

Born Earnest Dion Wilson, the Windy City native -- and longtime producer for Jay Z and Kanye West -- has worked with a long list of recording artists including Jhene Aiko, Common, Big Sean, Killer Mike, Drake, Young Jeezy, Vince Staples, Rihanna, Rick Ross, and more. His extensive catalog includes “Run This Town,” “I Used to Love HER,” and “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune).

“The words NO I.D. are a stamp of excellence on any album,” said Mercuriadis. “From Kanye West’s '808s & Heartbreak’, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and 'Yeezus’ to Jay-Z’s astonishing run from 'American Gangster’ through 'The Blueprint 3’, 'Magna Carta Holy Grail’ and '4:44’, Dion has been in the middle of everything that is great about Hip Hop for more than two decades. He is a special creator and everyone in the Hipgnosis Family is proud to have him standing next to us.”

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Watch Ciara Celebrate Black Excellence In “Rooted” Video

Ciara connects to her roots and celebrates Black excellence in the music video for “Rooted.” Released on Thursday (Aug. 13), the up-tempo track, featuring Ester Dean, plays as a love letter to Blackness and a reminder that “everything you need to survive and thrive is rooted in you.”

The music video was filmed just two days before Cici gave birth to son, Win Wilson, and is the latest release under her record label, Beauty Marks Entertainment. A portion of the song’s proceeds will go to support Grantmakers for Girls of Color, a philanthropic organization “dedicated to cultivating investments in support of girls of color (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific American) in the United States.”

The inspiring music video ends with a note of motivation from Ciara, “To all my Young Rosa’s and Young Luther’s keep marching. Don’t stop fighting for what you believe in. To all my Black Queens and Kings, continue to plant and spread seeds of love, hope and pride in your tribe. Everything you need to survive and thrive is rooted in you. Stay rooted.”

Watch the music video for  “Rooted” below.

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