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Lady Gaga Pens Heartfelt "Angel Down" In Memory Of Trayvon Martin

But, we don't quite know how to feel about this.

Lady Gaga just released a new album, JOANNE, and it contains a song dedicated to Trayvon Martin and the #BlackLivesMatter movement titled "Angel Down." While it is a touching song that is befitting to the movement, we're not sure we believe Gaga is the best person to be attaching herself to the organization.

Recently, she began voicing her support of #BlackLivesMatter because of what fans have been expressing to her about their experiences of anxiety triggered by law enforcement.

But, if you can bring your memory back to a photo that was released in 2015 at the same time the "Bad Romance" singer was awarded Billboard's "Woman of the Year" accolade, you might have an air of skepticism clouding your mind as well.

A picture of Gaga posing with two men with chains around their neck and costumed in "black face," is the photo of reference. While this doesn't cause doubt on her empathy of the heinous and unnecessary loss of any human life, we do question her attachment to the movement itself.

Lady Gaga has always lent a philanthropic hand to many causes ranging from Robin Hood to The Trevor Project, so we know that she cares about human life as a collective, but the picture speaks to her lack of awareness of all that the #BlackLivesMatter movement stands for.

This is not a moment, but a movement.

And this movement continues to "[work] for the validity of Black life."

Valid is defined as "acceptable or reasonable" or "acceptable according to law." Two things that black lives have never been classified as in American society--and still are not classified as according to our Constitution which is based on an age-old "We The People...", in which case "people," at the time of the construction of our nation's guide book, were defined as wealthy, white men. So, to have once posed holding the chains of a black-faced slave and then a few years down the road, connect yourself to the #BlackLivesMatter movement is mystifying.

This is not a hatred piece of Gaga, her artistry or empathy. But more simply put with assistance of Solo, "this s**t is for us" and some s**t, Gaga, you just can't touch. And if you want to touch, maybe link up with Colin Kaepernick for a study session beforehand.'

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Premiere: Duck Down Records' Smif-N-Wessun Returns With 9th Wonder-Produced 'Testify'

It's been nearly 25 years to the day since their classic debut Dah Shinin' impacted in January 1995, but legendary Brooklyn duo Smif-N-Wessun is still representing the culture with authority and authenticity. "Testify," the premiere music video from their upcoming album The All, adds another notch to their storied catalogs.

"Testify" begins with old photos of group members Tek and Steele in their 90s heyday, but they don't spend much time there before getting busy with present day rhymes. Over a backdrop from 9th Wonder, the Duck Down Records duo confidently announces their return while solidifying their legendary pedigree. The song gives a short but sweet taste from The All, their upcoming album produced entirely by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council.

“9th Wonder and the Soul Council provide the perfect backdrop for Tek and I to deliver heartfelt lyrical content,” Steele told VIBE. “It’s a true tale of ups and downs, wins and losses, growth and acceptance. It speaks to the hearts and minds of ALL people; particularly our followers and fans of ALL ages and ethnicities.”

‘Testify” is a realistic reflective look back on our accomplishments and failures throughout our career and serves as a precursor to what you will experience on The All,” Steele continued. "This project is a reality check for SNW, one that reflects the struggles and obstacles that we’ve had to endure to survive at the level we occupy in the hip-hop arena. Some, bestow the “Legend” tag upon us (we are very appreciative of that) and we are chronicling that journey throughout the album.”

The All is scheduled for a February 22, 2019 release on Duck Down Records, and is available for pre-order.

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Elle Varner Taps Wale For "Pour Me" Single

Elle Varner brought in the New Year with the new single, "Pour Me" featuring Wale. Hitting streaming services on a lovely Friday morning (Jan. 18), the lovesick boozy bop piggybacks off the success of her September release, "Loving You Is Blind."

With an assist from Washington D.C.'s very own, the "Bad" emcee heads the single with his love-drunk rendition of sexual frustration, riding over the well-placed piano keys and 808s. Varner's voice dominates the track with the healthy mix of rasp she has become known for.

"Pour me one more One more, one more, one more/I'm thinkin' 'bout you, drinkin' 'bout you/All night for sure/Pour me one more/One more, one more, one more/I'm thinkin' 'bout you, been drinkin' 'bout you," she sings.

Speaking with RatedR&B in December 2018, the "Refill" songstress revealed her new single was a "double entendre about being a poor girl who's lost the love she wants. So, pour her another,” she continued. “It has that ’90s feel. It has these hard drums and chords that are just so tickling. It’s me on a thousand.”

Stream Elle Varner's new single "Pour Me" featuring Wale below.

 

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Leikeli47 Drops Video For 'Tic Boom,' Announces North American Tour

Leikeli47's 2019 is off to a great start. The VIBE NEXT star announced her upcoming tour to support her recently-released album Acrylic on Friday (Jan. 18), and subsequently dropped the music video for her song, "Tic Boom."

The neutrally-colored video featured simple-yet-eye catching choreography with dancers in trench coats and fedoras. In a statement, the masked marvel says that there is a deeper meaning behind the track, which was featured on Grown-ish.

"These young women are in a face off with their inner fears; that's why it sometimes may look like they're engaging in a face off with themselves," the Brooklyn-bred musician says of the song. "It's about facing whatever your Goliath is and chopping its head off. That's what 'Tic Boom' is about. It's about owning your moment, mastery, and doing it afraid if you have to."

As for the Acrylic Tour, it will begin on March 19 in Kansas City, MO, and concludes on Apr. 26 in San Diego, Calif. Check out the full list of dates below and cop your tickets today.

3/19/19 - Kansas City, MO - Encore @ Uptown 3/20/19 - St. Louis, MO - Fubar 3/21/19 - St. Paul, MN - Amsterdam 3/22/19 - Chicago, IL - Sub T 3/24/19 - Detorit, MI - Shelter 3/25/19 - Toronto, ON - Velvet 3/26/19 - Montreal, QC - Belmont 3/27/19 - Philadelphia, PA - The Foundry @ The Fillmore 3/28/19 - Brooklyn, NY - Elsewhere 3/30/19 - Washington, DC - Milky 4/01/19 - Boston, MA - The Sinclair 4/03/19 - Pittsburgh, PA - Spirit Lodge 4/04/19 - Atlanta, GA - Loft 4/06/19 - Scottsdale, AZ - Pub Rock 4/09/19 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall 4/10/19 - Dallas, TX - Dada 4/11/19 - Austin, TX - Empire Control Room 4/14/19 - Santa Cruz, CA - Atrium @ The Catalyst 4/15/19 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's 4/16/19 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish 4/18/19 - Portland, OR - Holocene 4/19/19 - Vancouver, B.C. - Fortune Soundclub 4/21/19 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile 4/24/19 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy 4/25/19 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room @ The Observatory 4/26/19 - San Diego, CA - Irenic

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