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Miami Haitian-American Artists Sound Off On Donald Trump's Racist Behavior

"It's sad to see someone so insensitive towards a country and a culture that plays a major role in black history."

At a time where the people of Haiti are battling systematic oppression, American leaders have only given more struggle to the journey. The most damning has been President Donald Trump take on Haiti and the 54 countries of Africa he used expletives to describe.

Response on the opposite end of the conversation has been swift, with African immigrants rising above the slurs and Haitian-Americans coming together to show their pride. Those who've been afflicted by the Trump family for decades have been through with his hateful rhetoric and antics for quite some time, especially in the world of music. We reached out to several Haitian artists and revered names in America's largest Haitian community–Miami, and asked them to reflect on Trump's hateful comments made in the White House.

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Steph Lecor

"As a Haitian-American woman, I am completely disgusted by 45’s aka Donald Trump’s comments towards Haitians and Africans. But let’s face it guys, I’m not surprised. This is a man who’s been blatantly disrespectful towards women and has made numerous racist comments towards after other race other than his own. I don’t feel like this man is worth anymore conversation. I just want to know when is he going to get impeached."

Zoey Dollaz

"It’s just more of a sad situation than a mad situation to see someone that’s so insensitive towards a country and a culture that plays a major role in black history. Haitian people are one of the first people on the face of this Earth with independence. To hear him say that, you just gotta teach yourself to ignore the ignorance but also speak on it because most people are going to be afraid to say something. But Donald Trump, that 'shithole' you’re talking about, has a lot of strong people from there. There are a lot of great people from there and some of those people from there are actually some of the people who voted for you as well."

Supa Cindy

https://www.instagram.com/p/BdjdnKWAiGg/

"When I first saw the quote that the president (and I use that term lightly) said what he said, I was definitely pissed off. But as I kept watching CNN and watching the quote over and over again and actually hearing them say 'shithole' with no bleep, I felt  angry but also more sad. The fact that the president of the free world is saying this ironically before the anniversary of the earthquake that killed over 200,000 people in Haiti..first of all, Haiti is the most beautiful country I've ever seen. Being of both Haitian and Dominican descent, Haiti’s people are so resilient. They build something out of nothing, and when it gets torn down they rebuild.

As far as the Haitians that are in the United States, Trump brought his ass to Lil Haiti during his campaign and asked for the Haitian community’s help and smiled at the Haitian Arts Cultural center where he sat there amongst the community’s leaders and shook hands and acted like he supported a community of people that work so hard to live and survive in the United States. So for him to say what he said just shows his ignorance. He’s heartless."

Billy Blue

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bd1oKYKAXSC/

"First off, he didn’t just say Haiti. He mentioned a lot of places like Africa as a whole and other places. We have a president who speaks his mind. Donald Trump is like one of them dudes who’s blatantly honest, and you gotta tell him, 'Listen, this is not were you be honest. This is where you need to sugarcoat,' and the way of his sugarcoating just seems so flawed. Now one thing about these 'shithole' countries is this: those are the most educated people and children. I come from Haiti. I’ve stayed in Haiti almost nine years of my life so can’t nobody tell me about Haiti. I remember being in Haiti and watching kids at the park from 6 am. to 7 a.m., from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. until all the way until 1 in the morning STUDYING! Haiti and these 'shithole' countries have kids that sit here and memorize a whole 50-page book. And they will recite it word-for-word. We have our good parts. We have our beautiful parts. I’m talking about parts that are so outstanding. Then it’s like where there’s rich, there’s poor. Everyone knows that.

To sit here and hear somebody call an entire country a 'shithole' for the simple fact that THEY couldn’t acquire the same mountains that the Clintons went and bought due to red sand that was need by China and Canada. In case you didn’t know this secret, the Clintons own a lot of mountains in Haiti. I also believe they found natural gas and oil was found in Haiti recently, and they’re trying to keep it a secret, but the people know. Yeah, a lot of y’all know know that Donald Trump wanted land in Haiti. He wanted a lot of the natural resources that were discovered in Haiti. He wanted that. He wanted him and his investors to be part of that and they didn’t get that chance. So of course Haiti is going to be a 'shithole' country to Donald Trump. Of course it’s going to be a personal vendetta towards the Haitians, and it’s bad. It’s f**kery. I’m talking from personal research, by having friends who work in the government, and knowing these things myself. I’ve witnessed it."

Prez P

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcnCFHTnQEU/?taken-by=prezp_becampin

"Yo man Trump is doofy. I’m not going to let him get to me, or let him bring me down. He’s just another bougie, rich motherf**ker. Can’t nobody discredit Haiti bro. Haiti as a whole has been through more sh*t than anyone, and has overcame more than anyone. Those people in Haiti are some of the strongest people you’ll meet in life. To hear him refer to it as a 'shithole' place, it just makes me believe that he’s got a 'shithole' for a mouth."

Michael Brun

"I grew up hearing that Haiti was a sh*thole my whole life. The narrative of Haiti didn't change last week, it's a narrative that has been forced upon our country for decades, by outsiders, by the media, by the world at large and by a bigoted president. Negativity reinforces negativity, and to an impressionable youth who don’t know their true worth, these words became reality. But instead of feeling pity or remorse, myself and a new generation of Haitians saw it as a call to action.

A call to reconnect with the principles in which our country was founded, principles based in unity, bravery and respect. A call to elevate our standards in education, and cultural preservation, and to create a new paradigm for our nation and our youth. A call to take the narrative of our country into our own hands.

We will determine how people perceive our country. A country that served as The Mother of the Americas, who’s people liberated themselves from colonial rule in 1804 and aided both the United States and the rest of the Caribbean in their battles for freedom. A narrative of failure is not Haiti's national anthem, it is 'La Dessalinienne', an anthem retelling the Haitian Revolution and the mantra that unity and strength of mind can overcome insurmountable odds. These are the stories that must be heard by the youth of Haiti. The stories of perseverance, ambition and responsibility for one’s country. Today a new generation of artists, empowered by technology, is taking control of the languages of hip-hop, and electronic music, infusing them with Haitian culture and traditional rhythms, and speaking to millions of people in Haiti and around the globe.

We are writing our own Haitian anthems. These are the voices that will be heard by the next generation of Haitians and these sounds will define Haiti to the rest of the world in the years to come."

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Exclusive: Aaliyah's Madame Tussauds Wax Figure Channels "Try Again" Era

Today (Aug. 21), the newest addition to Madame Tussauds family of icons makes its big debut. After much demand, a wax figure of Aaliyah, or “Babygirl” to long standing fans and music industry peers is now open to the public at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas. The figure, which many fans will agree is long overdue, comes nearly 18 years after her tragic passing.

According to Adam Morey, Studios Manager at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, discussions around the making of an Aaliyah figure began over a year and a half ago. Morey has played a role in establishing the set designs to accompany several of the other celebrity figures at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, but wanted to make sure this one was more about inspiration than flair. “This set, rather than being a recreation of any one particular Aaliyah moment, was instead designed with a message to her fans in mind,” he says. “It’s a message that hopefully reflects her everlasting legacy.”

The new statue plucks Aaliyah straight from a frame in her 2000 “Try Again” music video, where she dons her signature leather pants and metallic bra, belt and choker set (which is still a Halloween costume staple to this day).

“It was clear right away it would be the ‘Try Again’ look for our Aaliyah figure,” he says via email statement. “The look has the sexy, edgy, timeless vibe we try to imbue in the Las Vegas attraction within all our creative choices. Mining popular culture as only Madame Tussauds can, our desire to honor Aaliyah and the look in this way was only confirmed as we see today’s Hollywood stars like KeKe Palmer, Kim Kardashian, Zendaya, also paying homage by recreating their own favorite moments of the Princess of R&B.”

Aside from Morey, one of the critical voices in ensuring the accuracy of this endeavor was that of Aaliyah’s brother, Rashad Haughton, who Morey says granted “unprecedented access” and helped guide the creative decisions for the figure.

“I was involved in the process from the inception of the project,” Haughton says via email statement. “The team at Madame Tussauds welcomed a collaborative effort in choosing the pose and look of my sister's figure. They made sure my mother and I were comfortable and supported through an amazing but understandably emotional process.”

Morey and the sculptors, painters and stylists in the museum’s Acton Studios in London, worked to make sure that all of the Haughton family’s requests for Aaliyah’s likeness were honored, right on down to her tattoos. “One thing we made sure to include was all of my sister's tattoos,” Haughton says. “They are all quite hidden because my sister chose strategic places for them due to her on-camera film work. We know how devout and knowledgeable her fans are and the great artists at Madame Tussauds have no limitations to their abilities when it comes to detail.”

Now, whenever guests make their way to the museum to see the statue, they’ll know it was crafted in love and in reverence of her legacy.

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One Killed In Shooting Involving Rapper Tee Grizzley

Tee Grizzley was involved in a shooting in Detroit that left one dead.

According to reports, his aunt/manager Jobina Brown was killed when the rapper's SUV was shot at. While it's currently unclear if the Scriptures MC was the target, he and the driver of the vehicle were unharmed.

Per TMZ, "The SUV had stopped and Tee Grizzley was getting out of the front passenger seat as the shooter approached on foot and pulled the trigger ... hitting Jobina in her left side. The driver of the SUV told cops he heard Jobina scream right before 3 to 4 shots were fired." The rapper reportedly stayed at the scene while the driver called police.

Ms. Brown was rushed to the hospital, however, could not be saved. She was 41 years old.

This is a developing story.

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Funk Flex Opens Up About JAY-Z, Jermaine Dupri And The NFL

Funk Flex is breaking his silence on the recent controversy involving JAY-Z and his recent involvement with the NFL.

Last week, it was announced that the Jigga Man would be partnering with the league to consult for halftime performance as its Live Music Entertainment Strategist. He also plans on helping them with social initiatives, and he recently became a part-owner of a team. This partnership raised eyebrows, as Jay was a vocal supporter of Colin Kaepernick, who has been allegedly blackballed for standing up (or kneeling) for social justice.

Even more surprising, reports swirled that Jermaine Dupri was offered the deal, but was told by Jay not to accept it. In an Instagram post, Funk Flex wrote that the Atlanta producer was certainly offered the deal.

"I just got off the phone with Jermaine Dupri!" the photo read. "He confirmed that when he was working with the NFL last year, he did get a call from JAY-Z asking him 'How deep are you in with the NFL?' expressing 'That might not be a good idea.'"

"My opinion is probably not what the people I have relationships want to hear but it’s bothering me so I need to discuss," he wrote in the caption. He started off by discussing his issues with Kaepernick accepting a settlement deal, because he hasn't been as "aggressive" on a social justice front (this point, however, could certainly be debunked, as Kaepernick recently announced a new social justice initiative in a new interview).

Later, Flex addresses Jay.

"We are never past kneeling," he continues, referencing Jay's comments about moving past the action towards a solution. "...Jayz In our world is our “Michael Jordan” decided by the people who respect/cherish his accomplishments. Watching that Commissioner’s body language and feeling his desperation to open the Season with the 'STRONGEST AFRICAN AMERICAN POSSIBLE WITH CREDIBILITY' was obvious!"

"If Jayz saw what we all saw in the press conference and feels working from the inside while being paid and receiving a 'stake' in a team is the answer and can spearhead social justice from the inside he is our HERO for life!!!!" he wrote. "BUT if he and the air personalities/social media influencers that Rocknation manages or wants to be managed by them have spun the 'believe in Jayz... give him a chance' campaign to line pockets... this will be remembered and NOT swept under the rug in a few months!"

Let us know your thoughts.

 

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This subject matter has been weighing on me for a sec... I’ve spoken to Jermaine, Fat Joe, Nessa, Pio and TT.... My opinion is probably not what the people I have relationships want to hear but it’s bothering me so I need to discuss... Colin has taken an incredible unselfish stand for bringing light to social injustice that will never be duplicated... and even though his settlement was under 10million for him and Eric (Which covered mostly lawyer fees) I’m not 1,000 percently ok that Colin excepted the deal because it feels that since the deal Colin hasn’t been as aggressive as he once was... I know I’ve been 1,000 percent better with Rocnation as of late so I hope I can be honest and continue our positive relationship... We are never past kneeling... the “fear of the Kneeling” is what pushed the NFL to get more aggressive with unlawful tactics (hence is why they settled with Colin) To dismiss his efforts in front of the NFL Commissioner (the one who spearheaded the Colin corruption was an extreme slap in the face!) Jayz In our world is our “Michael Jordan” decided by the people who respect/cherish his accomplishments. Watching that Commissioner’s body language and feeling his desperation to open the Season with the “STRONGEST AFRICAN AMERICAN POSSIBLE WITH CREDIBILITY” was obvious! If Jayz saw what we all saw in the press conference and feels working from the inside while being paid and receiving a “stake” in a team is the answer and can spearhead social justice from the inside he is our HERO for life!!!! BUT if he and the air personalities/social media influencers that Rocknation manages or wants to be managed by them have spun the “believe in Jayz... give him a chance” campaign to line pockets... this will be remembered and NOT swept under the rug in a few months! TRUST! Time will tell!#JustMyOpinion

A post shared by FunkFlex (@funkflex) on Aug 19, 2019 at 2:00am PDT

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