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Interview: Sizzla Talks Touring In U.S. Again, Drake's Love For Dancehall & More

Sizzla salutes Drake for allowing dancehall and reggae to influence his chart-topping hits. 

Reggae legend Sizzla might not have been able to set foot in the U.S. since 2008, but he’s fully aware of Drake’s success with island-based records like “Controlla” and “One Dance.” After having his work visa finally reinstated over the summer, Sizzla Kalonji is fully embracing what he loves the most about his career: touring. Not long after breaking his U.S. hiatus at the 32nd-annual Reggae on the River festival in Garberville, California, Sizzla traveled down to South Florida last week to kick off his first U.S. tour in at least eight years.

“It’s a really good feeling after 8 years of really hard work,” said Sizzla.

VIBE got to sit down with the “Give Me A Try” artist days before the beginning of his first U.S. tour in nearly a decade. After reflecting on his Grammy nominated 2013 album The Messiah and his latest LP 876, Sizzla expressed how he felt about Drake’s heavy island influence in his latest chart-topping singles.

Earlier this year, reggae artists like Mr. Vegas and “Controlla” collaborator Popcaan briefly feuded about the OVO rapper not crediting dancehall artists on VIEWS. Sizzla says he thinks it’s great promotion for his beloved genre, but does agree that he needs to show credit where it’s due.

“If Drake is going to take up any dancehall music and remix it, then that’s something good,” Sizzla responded. “It’s a part of the promotion. It’s just that we must just get together to have an understanding to administer the royalties and publishing for the artists so that you don’t have any discrepancies between the either artists.”

READ: Drake Taps Release Date For ‘Please Forgive Me’ Short Film

He also said that he’s fan of the Canadian emcee as an artist. While Drake continues to set major cities on fire during his Summer Sixteen tour, Sizzla will embark on his own journey to bring his new album and his greatest hits to stages across the United States this fall.

Although his 876 Tour kicked off in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Sizzla plans to travel throughout the country to perform no matter what issues he may face. Since it’s been long rumored that his visa wasn’t reinstated due to his past homophobic lyrics, Sizzla has already dealt with the backlash of gay rights groups who refuse to host him in cities like San Francisco.

Watch the interview in full below.

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Cardi B Cancels Concert Due To Alleged Plastic Surgery Complications

TMZ reports that Cardi B canceled an upcoming concert after experiencing what is being reported as plastic surgery complications.

The gossip site reads that the "Wish Wish" rapper was supposed to headline Baltimore's 92Q Spring Bling Festival this Friday (May 24), however, she is experiencing issues stemming from recent liposuction and breast augmentation procedures. Organizers for the festival revealed that the makeup date will be on Sept. 8.

Earlier this month, Cardi confirmed speculation that she got liposuction after appearing on the red carpet at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards.

"I have some news for y’all. I should have canceled today,” she said during the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis on May 5. “I shouldn’t really be performing because moving too much is gonna f**k up my lipo. But b***h I’m still gonna get my motherf**king money back, let’s go!” Later at the festival, she discussed that there were still a few more things she was hoping to fix.

She's been very candid in the past about her plastic surgeries, opening up to Nardwuar about her invasive butt implant surgery.

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LGBTQ Community Grills Texas Republicans Over 'Save Chick-fil-A' Bill

Chick-fil-A has remained in the news for quite some time due to their past anti-LGBT sentiments. Recently, Texas' San Antonio City Council voted for the removal of the fast-food chain from the city’s airport due to its turbulent history of discriminatory statements against the LGBTQ community.

Given the revolutionary changes Texas Democrats are trying to make, Republicans in the state are still fighting to keep Chick-fil-A’s doors open in as many areas as they can. The state's Republican party (that control’s the house in Texas) recently lobbied for the "Save Chick-fil-A" bill, which prohibits the government to take any action against the chain, its restaurants, and its employees, The Washington Post reports.

According to The Texas Tribune, the legislation derives from Senate Bill 1978, “which prohibits government entities from punishing individuals or organizations for their membership in, affiliation with, or contribution...to a religious organization."

Members of the state's LGBT Caucus are trying to overturn the bill by attempting to protect the community against discriminatory actions and language. However, in Texas, there is currently no law in place that prohibits employers and institutions from firing employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Rep. Jessica González (D-Dallas) attempted to overturn the bill, but her amendment failed by 65-76.

In spite of the bill's rebuttal, Republicans maintain their stance on the matter, citing that it’s in their first amendment rights to stand up for the fast-food chain. (It’s also Chick-fil-A’s first amendment right to promote what they believe in their business, in this case, it’s religion). Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) argues that the bill is only promoting religious freedom and not discriminating any community in doing so.

“Look at the language in this bill,” Krause said. “There is nothing discriminatory in the language. …There is nothing discriminatory in the intent.”

Still, Democrats hold their stance on the company’s anti-LGBT sentiments and point out that the bill makes the LGBT community in Texas feel punished.

“Members, this bill is here, being debated on the floor today, to make LGBTQ Texans feel less than, to make us feel attacked by our government,” state Rep. Erin Zwiener, a freshman member of the LGBTQ Caucus, said. “We are living in history, members. Attitudes toward the LGBTQ community have changed rapidly over the past few decades. Young Texans, in particular, are overwhelmingly accepting of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.”

In 2012, Chick-fil-A caused a stir when then president and chief executive Dan Cathy spewed discriminatory remarks against gay marriage. “We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage," Cathy said during a radio interview. "And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”

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Milwaukee County Declares Racism A Public Health Crisis

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele signed a resolution Monday (May 20) stating racism is a public health crisis, and that the county plans to take action.

"Everybody has been reading and hearing about the same set of statistics in Milwaukee for decades," Abele said. "We lead in an unfortunate way the racial disparities in employment, in education, incarceration, income and even things like ... access to capital."

The resolution hopes to take actionable steps to level the playing field in Milwaukee, a playing field that finds minorities disproportionately affected.

Nicole Brookshire, the Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs Director, was with Abele at the signing and spoke on the potential power of the resolution.

"We need to address racism as a public health crisis but on a large scale to make sure that we transform our culture, transform how we serve our residents and we drive solutions that are equitable," she said.

The resolution hopes to assess internal policies and procedures to make sure racial equity is a core element of the county, work to create an inclusive organization and identify specific activities to increase diversity and encourage other local, state and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis.

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