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John Legend's "In America" Song Invokes Hope For Real Change

John Legend's politically charged record serves as theme song to his WGN series "Underground."  

John Legend is wide awake when it comes to the racial torment African-Americans still face everyday in America. Not long after collaborating with Common for their award-winning song "Glory," Legend is back at it with his new record called "In America," which was inspired by WGN's new series Underground. With the help of songwriter Dave Tozer, the crooner,visits the heinous treatment people of color often face while living in this "free country."

"'In America' was born around the same time I was working on my most recent album Darkness and Light," Legend said in a press release. "It’s a song I was writing while thinking about the duality of America, where it's known to be this place of freedom, equality and where anyone can make it. The song points out the tension between the promise of America, the ideals of America, and sometimes us not living up to those ideals in practice. 'In America' was perfect song for Underground, a series I’m incredibly proud to be a part of, and one that does a beautiful job of portraying a challenging time in our nation’s history while reminding us that change is possible."

on the song, Legend encourages people to keep their hope alive while claiming the land they work so hard to make a life in. "I poured my sweat in America," Legend sings. "This land is my land, it’s America/I broke my back for America/All the money I make, all these chances I take/Just paying my rent, in America." He also cites acts of violence in the name of hate as a plague that has permanently impacted the American culture.

"In America, in America/ I still can’t breathe in America," he sings. "Watch them squeezing my neck/ Watch them bullets connect/ We still gonna fight in America."

"In America" appears in Season Two of WGN's Underground, in which Legend serves as a producer. The Grammy award-winner will also have a cameo role as Frederick Douglas in an upcoming episode that airs April 5.

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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 (à 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

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Aug 13, 2020 at 9:02pm PDT

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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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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Premiere: Beyoncé's 'Ladies First Tour' alum, SINGLTN, Releases New Video “Skin”

When your name is connected to the woman that proclaims 'Black Is King,' your productions have a high standard to live up to and R&B's SINGLTN is well on his way of doing just that. With the release of his newest video single, "Skin," the once model and performer on Beyoncé's "Ladies First Tour" in 2004, brings an early 90s pop appeal with his ode to lavishing the lady in his life. “I’m talking about real relationships. I’m part of the creative process from scratch," says the former background singer for Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson. "It’s a universal, but soulful sound that hopefully appeals to everybody.”

"Skin" also delves into that very "moment your girl walks out all dressed up and ready, and you’re like, ‘I’d rather go back inside and stay home with you, ya know?’” he slyly grins. Having these inner visions by SINGLTN comes from an intense inspiration of great writer, composer and performer Stevie Wonder. Earlier this year, SINGLTN released a heartstring pulling cover of Mr. Wonder's classic tune “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer.” SINGLTN was challenged in taking on such a storied tune, but felt compelled to do so as, “Stevie was one of the artists that inspired me to sing,” he goes on. “I wanted to do a tribute paying homage to him and his legacy. For me 'Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer' is Stevie at his best.

On the other side of personal creations, SINGLTN shines on the loyalty ode "Congratulations." The single that dropped at the top of the year shows the young crooner's status of hanging up his playboy jersey, as he explains, “The player in me has moved on. I found who I want to be with, and I’m off the market.” Check the video below.

Knowing that the entertainment industry will expect a lot from his talent, SINGLTN is ready for the world and for them to hear his messages of love and life that are on the way with full projects and extended creativity, “I’m giving you who I am,” he leaves off. “There’s a message for sure. I want people to walk away realizing I’ve got something to say, and I’m saying it honestly and from the heart.”

Listen to more SINGLTN here.

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