Talib Kweli In Concert - New York, NY
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Talib Kweli Writes Essay About Free Speech, White Supremacy Following Show Cancellation

"...they think free speech applies only to what they want to say and hear.”

Talib Kweli has posted a Medium post entitled “Free Speech or Die?” dealing with the issue of far-right leaders and their followers objecting to their right to free speech being suppressed. The op-ed comes directly after the rapper canceled a performance at Kansas City’s The Riot Room due to the fact that the Norwegian black metal band TAAKE, who have come under fire for expressing racist and far-right opinions, were scheduled to play the venue this month.

TAAKE–whose lead singer has performed with a swastika drawn on his body and who have been accused of writing anti-Muslim lyrics–subsequently responded to Kweli and the subsequent cancellation of his their U.S. tour. In a long statement, the band complained that “a small minority of left wing agitators are able to force their agenda on the majority, and deprive music fans of their freedom to attend concerts and go about their day to day activities without the fear of reprisals and retaliation.”

Kweli’s new essay opens by discussing far-right activist Jeremy Christian, who killed three men on a bus in Portland when they tried to defend a young woman wearing a hijab from his derogatory comments. He also discusses Richard Spencer, last year’s rally in Charlottesville, and Lane Davis, a former Milo Yiannopoulos intern who allegedly killed his father after arguing with him about Pizzagate.

“The problem is that many on the far right, the side adjacent to white nationalist and Nazi types like Christian, use the principle of free speech as an excuse to say whatever they want without consequence,” Kweli writes. “Like Christian, they think free speech applies only to what they want to say and hear.” He continues: “What today’s right-wing free speech advocates are truly advocating is for Nazis, the KKK, and other white supremacist organizations and sympathizers to have additional, special rights the rest of us do not have: the right to say whatever they want without dissent, argument, pushback, or consequence.”

“My philosophy on seeing someone who is a Nazi or at least sympathetic to Nazis getting punched in the face is anti-violence but pro-karma,” he wrote, discussing Antifa and left-wing protestors’ reactions to far-right rallies and protests. “I don’t believe violence solves a problem—violence only begets violence. I do believe in self-defense, so while I will fight to protect myself and others from the threat of violence, I will not throw the first blow.”

Kweli also explores the history of free speech movement, tracing how a traditional liberal cause became a major point of focus for extreme right-wingers. He discusses the national controversy over “Cop Killer,” the 1992 Ice-T/Body Count single.

“Ice-T has always been an American citizen with the right to free speech, but police were publicly stating they were willing to disobey the law because they did not like what he had to say about them,” Kweli wrote. “By 2016, police were going out of their way to protect white nationalists and neo-Nazis from prosecution, just like they had done for the KKK for many years.”

After discussing recent free speech battles on college campuses, Kweli concluded: “Freedom of speech in America simply means the government cannot arrest you for what you say. This I agree with. This doesn’t mean I must tolerate or listen to what you have to say, and it doesn’t mean that your misinformed opinions must be treated as fact or with respect, either in the flesh or on social media.”

Read the entire essay here.

This article originally appeared on SPIN.

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Tory Lanez Sued For Alleged Attack In Miami Nightclub

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The onetime reality star alleges that Lanez, along with his entourage and security team, punched and attacked him in the nightclub. According to reports, Prince claims to have suffered blunt force trauma to his head, neck, and chest, in addition to contusions, bruises and anxiety, as a result of the incident. He is suing for unspecified damages.

“They backed me into a corner, and once I was there, they started stomping on me, jumping me,” he recalled to NBC Miami.

He believes that the friction stemmed from an Instagram post about music. “They felt that I was insinuating that they stole the record from me, and I was just like, no, I would never do that, that was never my intention. I had no issue with him at all.”

A portion of the incident was captured on cellphone video. Prince stated that he knew Lanez prior to the run-in, and helped get him into clubs before.

His attorney, Marwan Porter of Porter Law Firm, called the violent incident “a chronic problem” with Lanez who is accused of shooting Megan Thee Stallion in July. The 28-year-old recording artist has yet to publicly address either incident.

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Cardi B Opens Up About Filing For Divorce From Offset

Cardi B took to Instagram Live on Friday (Sept. 18) to air out a few things about filing for divorce from Offset.

The Bronx rapper made it clear that she didn’t file for divorce as a publicity stunt to promote her upcoming album. “I’m not doing it for clout and on top of that I don’t need stunts to sell music,” she said. “I’m not [trying to] brag but don’t ever say I’m doing anything for clout. My first album is three-times platinum and I didn’t need no stunts to do that. My [“Wap”] single is no. 1 worldwide why would I need stunts to sell music? I don’t need stunts — [especially] when it comes to family — to sell anything, so don’t play yourself.”

As for the reason for the divorce filing, the estranged couple simply grew apart. “Nothing crazy out of this world happened, sometimes people really do grow apart. I been with this man for four years. I have a kid with this man, I have a household with this man…sometimes you’re just tired of the arguments and the build up. You get tired sometimes and before something happens, you leave.”

“I just wanna' be a free bird,” Cardi said after questioning whether people secretly want infidelity to be the reason for the split.

“I am the f**king clout,” she added. “I never needed anything. I never needed no stunts to sell sh*t.Why would I need anything to sell my next album?”

Speaking of the new album, Cardi has been indecisive about choosing her next single because “WAP” did so well. “That means that my second single has to be even better.”

Towards the end of her venting session, Cardi reiterated that she’s focusing on her work, and revealed that she's starting new business for her daughter Kulture.

 

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A post shared by HIPHOLLYWOOD (@hiphollywood) on Sep 18, 2020 at 10:23pm PDT

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Barack Obama Announces Release Date For ‘A Promised Land’ Memoir

Following the mega-success of his wife’s Becoming release, Barack Obama is poised to debut his own memoir, A Promised Land, this fall. The former president made the literary announcement on Twitter on Thursday (Sept. 17).

“There’s no feeling like finishing a book and I’m proud of this one,” Obama tweeted while explaining that he tries to give an “honest account” of his presidency in the book. The release will also touch on “the forces we grapple with as a nation, and how we can heal our division and make democracy work for everybody.”

There’s no feeling like finishing a book, and I’m proud of this one. In 'A Promised Land,' I try to provide an honest accounting of my presidency, the forces we grapple with as a nation, and how we can heal our divisions and make democracy work for everybody. pic.twitter.com/T1QSZVDvOm

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 17, 2020

The highly anticipated and introspective release takes readers on a “compelling journey” and details Obama’s “improbable odyssey from a young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world.” Included in the memoir are striking personal details about his political education, as well as landmark moments from his first term presidency.

The Obamas secured the reported $60 million book deals around a year after ending their tenure in the White House. Michelle Obama’s book became the best-selling memoir in history.

A Promised Land is currently available for pre-order at Obamabook.com. The memoir will be released on Nov. 17.

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