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Harry Belafonte Questions Timing Of Nate Parker Rape Trial: "What Are We Doing Here?"

The humanitarian and legendary actor praised Parker's upcoming film, Birth of a Nation and the motive behind the resurface of the 1999 trial. 

Legendary actor Harry Belafonte has questioned the timing of Nate Parker's 1999 rape case, resurfacing just a few months before the release of his highly anticipated film, Birth of a Nation. 

According to The Hollywood ReporterBelafonte admitted he didn't know all the details of the case which left Parker not guilty of raping a fellow Penn State classmate. The story was public knowledge since the start of the 36-year-old's career but gained extra traction just before the film's upcoming press tour. The anonymous victim committed suicide in 2012, with her family claiming she was traumatized behind the incident. Belafonte, 89, says the case was reviewed in a court of law and wondered why critics would investigate the incident just before the release of the Nate Turner rebellion drama.

"It's interesting because it's coming out the same time the film's coming out. Of all the stories you can tell, why are you telling this story? And if he was somebody who had committed a crime and got away with it, but he faced the justice system," said Belafonte."The fact that [the system] may have screwed up, the fact that it didn't really take care of justice, the fact that he should have been punished or whatever, is history," the singer added. "The fact is that he was confronted and then he did go through the process. Why are you bringing this up now? What has he done that requires this kind of animus?"

At the time of the case, Parker was a wrestler at Penn State. His roommate and co-writer of The Birth of a Nation Jean Celestin were both charged with the raping the student. They both claimed the sex was consensual and Parker was acquitted of the charge. Celestin's charge was later exonerated over alleged mishandles by his trial attorney, The Daily Beast reports.

Calling the film a winner, Belafonte says Birth of a Nation will touch the souls of the audience. He also wondered of other actors and directors will face the same fate of their pasts returning during career highs.

"How do I put it in a perspective that helps me with greater clarity understand why this is the consequence of something he's done by getting this high-profile, 'cause this film is touching a lot of consciousness. Why isn't that the story?" Belafonte asked."And is this going to be the price that young black women and men pay for making films of substance?" he continued. "Are they going to dig in and get dirt instead of fruit? What are we doing here? And where is the voice that defends him if he in fact is worthy of defending?"

Parker has spoken about case and says he was unaware of the victim's passing. Several of the victim's family members have also questioned the timing of the news. “We appreciate that after all this time, these men are being held accountable for their actions. However, we are dubious of the underlying motivations that bring this to present light after 17 years, and we will not take part in stoking its coals," the statement to The New York Times reads. "While we cannot protect the victim from this media storm, we can do our best to protect her son. For that reason, we ask for privacy for our family and do not wish to comment further.”

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Ty Dolla $ign Releases New Album Feat. Nicki Minaj, Roddy Ricch, Kanye West And More

After a three-year album hiatus, Ty Dolla $ign released his latest studio effort, Featuring Ty Dolla $ign, on Friday (Oct. 23).

The 25-track album features appearances from Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi, FKA Twigs, Roddy Ricch, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani, 6lack, Young Thug, Music Soulchild, Skrillex, Quavo, Anderson Paak, Post Malone, Kanye West, and more.

Powered by previously released singles, “Ego Death,” Expensive” and By Yourself,” the new album flexes a different music muscle for the Grammy-nominated recording artists who steered clear of  making club records.

“I was intentionally trying to not make club songs [talking about] hoes and *itches and all the sh*t I used to talk about,” Ty told Vulture in a recent interview. “I was trying to, like, talk about my life, and what it is now, and really do something different with it. I got a daughter going to high school this year, and she’s paying attention, and all her friends are paying attention, so I can’t talk as crazy or do the crazy sh*t that I used to do.”

Stream Featuring Ty Dolla Sign below.

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Jay Z Launches His Own Cannabis Brand

Jay Z is venturing into the world of cannabis. The  mogul officially announced the launch of his new cannabis brand, Monogram, on Friday (Oct. 23) marking his first product collaboration since becoming chief brand strategists of the Northern California-based dispensary, Caliva, last year.

“Monogram seeks to redefine what cannabis means to consumers today,” the company said in a press release. As many marijuana storefronts have implemented new rules amid the global pandemic, Monogram is also planing to launch an e-commerce sales option, “In an effort to provide a more tailored customer experience.”

Caliva and Hov opened their first Southern California storefront last year. Besides providing quality products, Hov aims to use his position at Caliva to help the formerly incarcerated (many of whom are not reaping the benefits of marijuana legalization) through advocacy, job training, and employee and workforce development.

According to the company website, Monogram uses “expert growers” to ensure that each marijuana flowers receives the “respect it deserves” in every stage of the growth process. Additionally, Monogram flowers are grown in small batches so that every plant gets “personalized attention.”

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Kehlani Plays Bryson Tiller’s Love Interest In “Always Forever” Video

Kehlani stars as Tiller’s love interest in the intimate new music video for “Always Forever,” released on Thursday (Oct. 22).

The stunning visual, directed by Glenn Michael of Toronto’s Kid Studio, is a creative take on how a relationship can become your entire universe. Tyler and Kehlani cuddle up, kiss, and hold hand in the steamy visual, prompting some fans to question the chemistry between the two. They might look pretty cozy, but Kehlani and Tiller are just friends (Tiller welcomed a child with girlfriend Kendra Bailey last year).

 

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🌎🎥💫Thanks Guys. #alwaysforever @kidstudio_ @ichiki @kehlani

A post shared by [ Bryson ] (@brysontiller) on Oct 22, 2020 at 12:35pm PDT

Kehlani shared some close-up stills from the music video on Instagram along with a message thanking Tiller for being a “solid” friend. “To one of my dearest friends…matching tattoos, years worth of stories, nights of dying laughter and holding each other down in the roughest times…I’m so proud of you. Thank you for being solid.”

The post was deleted after fans in the comments continued to speculate if the two were an item. Kehlani shared a follow-up message on her Instagram Story explaining in part, “I post lengthy captions about all my friends. You would have to follow me to know that.”

 

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#Roommates, #Kehlani explains her previous message to #BrysonTiller. (SWIPE for previous post)

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Oct 22, 2020 at 11:53am PDT

“Always Forever” is the latest single from Tiller’s newly released ANNIVERSARY LP.

Watch the video below.

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