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Afro-Mexican Artists Battle Colonial Rhetoric Of Black Mexican Culture

"We decided to do this exhibition to subvert and revolutionize certain conceptions brought forward by academia."

In Mexico, there’s been an identity battle between the people and its government to define and recognize authentic Afro-Mexican culture. While Africanity has been left out of the country’s history, one rasta artist and musician, Ras Levy, has been advocating for this portion of the population’s visibility for more than 15 years. His creations, along with those of other artists pushing the movement forward, helped to get the Mexican government to officially recognize the African ancestry present in their country in 2015. This lead to the country allowing the nearly 1.38 million Afro-Mexicans to label themselves as "black" on the 2020 national census forms.

In the one of many events to push forth a narrative that “subverts and revolutionizes certain conceptions brought forth by academia," to one more honest to black Mexicans and their culture, Levy created the “Mexico Negro” exhibit. Making use of the art of socializing, Levy uses music, discussion and pachanga to “expand on the art and recognize ourselves in it.”

#Danzadelosdiablos #RasLevy #MexicoNegro Mayo 2017, Galeria en los #rolloschilangos

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In order to transform a canvas from a blank slate to relatable art, for “Mexico Negro,” Levy uses authenticity. One of his pieces features Emiliano Zapata whose symbolism is important to the Mexican culture because, as Levy puts it, “his fight was relevant.” But this specific piece also serves as a history lesson as it reveals that Zapata had some African heritage, while his pueblo was "home to several Afro-Mexicans.”

Levy tells Remezcla that his style can be compared to the role of the sound engineer in the dub music genre—which grew out of reggae. Just as the sound engineer remixes existing samples to create a new sound, Levy describes his process as taking pre-existing elements “that have already been created and re-envisioning them through colors, strokes, history, spirituality, etc.”

The “Mexico Negro” exhibit is on display in Mexico City at Rollos Chilangos. While Levy doesn't see his work traveling further than the borders of Mexico City and Afro-Mexican spaces, in terms of the diaspora, he believes the future holds a unification of "one African Nation."

#MulatadeCordoba #MexicoNegro #RasLevy

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Cardi B performs on day 1 of Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on September 14, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Cardi B's Latest Freestyle Fuels Anticipation For Sophomore Album

Cardi B is sparking more anticipation for her next album thanks to her latest freestyle. On Monday (Nov. 19), the rapper dropped some bars on Instagram to hold fans over until the release of her sophomore project.

"Just a little something something... hair on healthy," she captioned the freestyle over Cam'ron's classic track, "357." Keeping it natural and raw, the Bronx native posts up in front of Cap'n Crunch and a Costco box full of Vienna sausages to drop her freestyle about the wins and losses she's taken this year.

"I be in the mansion, you be in my mentions / I came right out the trenches to the top of the charts / Lost friends on the way / This s***t is breaking my heart / 'Bout 30 seconds in I'm like where do I start / I don't act I'm a hustler just playing my part,"  she spits.

If anything, this can be a hint to fans that she's gravitating back towards her hip-hop roots, an element heavily heard on her debut album, Invasion of Privacy. In a recent interview with Billboard, Cardi talked about her new album and curiosities about its direction.

"There's certain music that I want to do, but I feel like, [are] people interested in that? I feel like things have changed. It's more like a twerk sound going on right now," she said. "It's just like, 'Should I just do my music around that?' But I cannot just go with what's hot. I still gotta go with what I want to do."

Cardi has no problem adapting to popular music. She's worked with the likes of Selena Gomez on DJ's Snake's "Taki Taki" with Ozuna in 2018 and took her guest spots to another level in 2019 by working with Ed Sheeran ("South of The Border"), Lil Nas X ("Rodeo") and French Montana ("Writings On The Wall"). She also dropped a show-stopping video for "Press" over the summer.

But at the end of the day, Cardi's new music is coming first. "My album is on my mind 24/7,"she said. "It's practically all I'm focusing on."

Enjoy her freestyle (and sleek blowout) below.

 

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Just alittle something something ......hair on healthy.

A post shared by Iamcardib (@iamcardib) on Nov 18, 2019 at 6:55pm PST

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Love To See It: DaniLeigh Choreographed DaBaby's Extraordinary "BOP" Video

Nearly reaching 10 million views in a matter of days, DaBaby's "BOP" music video teaser has A-1 editing, hilarious characters (recorder guy) and perfect choreography. As it turns out, we have DaniLeigh to thank for the rapper's smooth dance moves.

The singer-songwriter teamed up with choreographer Coach Cherry to share her eclectic dance style with the buzzing rapper. "BOP" dropped Friday (Nov. 15) as "BOP on Broadway" with a bevy of dancers taking part in the one-shot style video. Directed by Reel Goats, the teaser feels like the full music video for the single thanks to the three different dance flows including a surprising set by the iconic Jabbawockeez.

DaniLeigh's influence can be felt throughout the video thanks to her signature moves. With her own video reaching 100 million views on YouTube, the singer continued her winning streak with the remix for "Easy" featuring Chris Brown.

The video earned her a Soul Train Music Award nomination for "Best Dance Video" and inspiration for lovers of dance challenges. The Dominican-American might look familiar to many thanks to her contribution to the infamous #InMyFeelings challenge where she managed to hop and bop out of moving car. Ironically, the "Lil Bebe" singer started her career as a backup dancer for the likes of Nelly Furtado and Pharrell. She also choreographed and wrote the treatment for Prince's visuals for "Breakfast Can Wait."

"He wanted it really big in the dance industry so from there, I held auditions and did this video on my own," an 18-year-old Dani told VIBE in 2013. "It's crazy and hard to believe but it was great."

Dani recently released "Cravin" featuring G-Eazy and dropped her debut project The Plan late last year.

Check out the visuals to "BOP" below.

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Netflix Drops Preview Of 'Selena: The Series'

In a video that has amassed over 62,000 views since its Nov. 12 debut, Netflix posted a sneak peek into its upcoming Selena: The Series—Part 1. Within the 60-second clip, viewers witness actress Christian Serratos as the Tejano legend, preparing for a performance in one of Selena’s most iconic outfits.

Serratos has starred in hit series like The Walking Dead, Twilight, American Horror Story: Murder House, and more. In a statement published by Deadline, the show's production company Campanario Entertainment and its president/co-founder Jaime Dávila, praised Serratos for stepping into the "Dreaming Of You" singer's shoes.

“Selena is an inspirational figure who’s transcended generations. At Campanario, we’ve always known it was crucial for this series to find actors with the right mix of talent, charisma, and passion to honor Selena’s legacy and the story of her family,” said Davila. “Our casting director Carla Hool and her team have found an amazing cast to depict the Quintanilla family, and we’re sure fans everywhere will be captivated yet again by Selena’s incredible life.” On March 31, 1995, Selena was murdered, sparking a wave of tributes and films, such as 1997's movie starring Jennifer Lopez as the iconic vocalist.

The program, which chronicles Selena's life and career, is slated to premiere in 2020 with six hourlong episodes. Watch the preview above.

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