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Be About It: Pitchfork Launches Voter Engagement And Mobilization Project

"Come and stay for the music, but while you’re at it, pick up your voter registration card.”

In addition to tackling the musical arena, Pitchfork has recently announced their new political platform for their annual music festival, the Voter Engagement and Mobilization project in conjunction with the Illinois non-profit organization, the Public Action Foundation. The Public Action Foundation is the public research and education arm of the non-partisan and non-profit political organization, Citizen Action/Illinois. The platform is designed to increase voter registration and voting education in Chicago and aims to increase political awareness and participation among younger Chicagoans and the underrepresented residents. The project's aim is to register as many new voters as possible for the complete duration of the festival, from July 15 until July 1, as it comes right on time for the upcoming presidential election. There will be voter registration booths throughout the park and all volunteers will receive free admission.

Spearheaded by Pitchfork Festival founder Mike Reed and William McNary, the co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois and the Public Action Foundation, their partnership goes back since the earliest inception of the festival. According to McNary, while the Pitchfork and Interchange concert series rose to prominence in its early days, Reed partnered with Citizen Action a year later and McNary and decided to give a percentage to the proceeds for voter registration. Fast forward to the present, Reed reached out and decided to partner with the local organization once again.

“Fast forward 11, 12 years later from Pitchfork, it’s now coming back full circle. He said, ‘You are the guys I started with. I want to re-engage you guys, are you all still doing it?’" McNary recalls. "He wanted to make sure we were registering what we call the 'underrepresented populations in government.' We believe we can represent the underrepresented population.”


That particular demographic consists of African-Americans, Latino and Hispanic-Americans, unmarried women and millennials. “They’ve written millennials off. We cannot afford to write them off, we will not write them off. We believe that if properly engaged and if properly given a reason to vote, they will not only vote, but they will change the direction of the country in the time to come.”

“Charitable partnerships like this are one way we show our commitment to our community here in Chicago, to help our audience raise awareness and action," says Pitchfork President Chris Kaskie via email. "With this being an election year that the world is following closely and feeling strongly about, we wanted to find a way to get people involved. Through this program, not only will our readers and festival goers have new tools for engagement, but we can give an extra boost to folks doing good work on the ground here in Chicago.”

McNary stresses the importance of consistent voter outreach in this year’s election. “Voter registration, that’s your entryway into the political process and voter education, giving young people a reason to come out and vote, and finally just because you are registered to vote and just because you have a reason to vote doesn’t mean that you will come out and vote,” he says. “Reminding people to vote, those are the three keys to make sure we have a good turnout, starting at the Pitchfork Festival where we will be registering young people to vote. Come and stay for the music, but while you’re at it, pick up your voter registration card.”

The annual Pitchfork Music Festival will be held in Chicago at Grant Park from Friday, July 15 until Sunday, July 17. The lineup will include performances from Anderson .Paak, Jeremih, FKA Twigs, Mick Jenkins, and many more.

 

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It’s going to be a “legendary” 2020 for Dreamville fans. J. Cole’s second annual Dreamville Festival will return to Raleigh, North Carolina next year, the Grammy-nominated rapper announced on Twitter on Tuesday (Dec. 10).

The 2020 Dreamville Festival goes down on April 4, at Dix Park. The lineup, which features Dreamville artists and more, will be revealed at a later date.

Last year’s Dreamville Festival welcomed 40,000 people, according to The News & Observer. Performers included Ari Lennox, Bas, Earth Gang, SZA, Big Sean, Rapsody, Young Thug, 21 Savage, and 6LACK.

The Dreamville Festival will benefit Cole’s Dreamville Foundation and Dix Park Conservancy. Tickets go on sale Wednesday (Dec. 11) at 12 p.m. EST via dreamville.com.

Besides the festival announcement, Cole celebrated the fifth anniversary of his Forrest Hills Drive album on Monday (Dec. 9). “A day late but. Forest Hills Drive just turnt [sic] 5 years old,” he tweeted. “I feel big big gratitude for the year spent making it and for all the love shown to it. S**t crazy thank you God.”

 

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Joyner Lucas Blames Juice WRLD’s Death On Rappers Who Glorify Drug Use

Joyner Lucas blames Juice WRLD’s death on fellow rappers who glorify drug use. Lucas tweeted his thoughts about Juice WRLD's passing on Monday (Dec. 9) writing in part, “He was a product of our generation of rappers who glorified drugs and made it cool.”

Lucas added, “[I’m] blaming [ya’ll] n**gaz for this s**t. All that lean and pills n**gaz glorify and talk about. You teaching the kids to do it. Smh you happy now? RIP @JuiceWorlddd. Gone too soon.”

Juice wrld was 21. He was a product of our generation of rappers who glorified drugs and made it cool. Im blaming Yal niggaz for this shit. 🤦🏽‍♂️ all that lean and pills niggaz glorify and talk about. You teaching the kids to do it. Smh you happy now?Rip @JuiceWorlddd. Gone too soon

— Joyner Lucas (@JoynerLucas) December 9, 2019

Lucas also shared a Juice WRLD interview where the Chicago native shares how Future’s music inspired him to start using drugs at 12 years old.

Rip young legend... To my generation, we gotta be accountable for the shit we glorify. Difference between juice & other niggaz is juice wasn’t proud of it. he talked about being ashamed of using. That’s art. I’m not mad at it. I’m mad hip hop for steering him in that direction. pic.twitter.com/MzYCAsCg7a

— Joyner Lucas (@JoynerLucas) December 10, 2019

Juice WRLD, whose birth name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, suffered a seizure upon at Chicago’s Midway airport last Sunday (Dec. 8.). The “Lucid Dreams” rhymer was headed back home to Chicago after working over the Thanksgiving holiday, and celebrating one of the “best birthdays” ever last week.

Although an initial autopsy on the rapper’s body came back inconclusive, Juice WRLD reportedly swallowed several prescription pills as federal agents were confiscating drugs and weapons from the suitcases on the private plane that he was on, along with his entourage and girlfriend. According to the Chicago Tribune, Juice WRLD began convulsing and went into cardiac arrest at the airport. His girlfriend told authorities that he had a “drug problem” and had taken the painkiller Percocet. He was given a Narcam shot, which is administered in the case of an overdose, but pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Authorities found dozens of vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, two 9 mm pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, and ammunition in the bags on the plane. Two of Juice WRLD’s bodyguards were arrested at the scene for misdemeanor weapons and drug possession.

Juice WRLD was open about his battle with addiction to prescription pills and codeine, both in his music and beyond. Over the summer, he promised to get help for his drug habit in a tweet to his girlfriend. In addition to battling his sobriety, the recording artist was mourning the loss of his father who died earlier in the year.

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Lauren London Pays Homage To Nipsey Hussle In "Forever Stronger" PUMA Campaign

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The 35-year-old actress created the emotional piece, which is described as a “creative vision Lauren wanted to bring to life to signify the continuation of her marathon alongside PUMA.”

Set around the streets of Los Angeles, London narrates the visual with a poem by Samantha Smith. “We are flowing, we are growing, we are open like the red sea,” reads one passage of the poem. “We walk through with confident uncertainty. We kneel here. We heal here. We open our hearts to the heavens. We use our tears to cleanse our canvas. The fear floods us, the love is electric.”

“Pain is the light,” the poem continues. “Pain is insight. The body hurts, but the spirit grows. The flesh is starving, while wisdom overflows. I got a question only Lord knows: does life break us twice?”

The campaign was directed by Danny Williams (Top Shelf Junior), edited by Matt Tolkin and produced by AJR Films. The musical score comes courtesy of Rance of 1500 or Nothin.'

PUMA previously collaborated with Hussle on capsule collection that was posthumously released in September. The collection sold out within 24 hours.

Watch London’s “Forever Stronger” campaign below.

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