Richard Phillips
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Man Exonerated After Serving 45 Years Forced To Sell Prison Artwork For Money

Richard Phillips has yet to be compensated for the wrongful conviction.

A Detroit man who served 45 years behind bars for a crime that he didn’t commit, is forced to sell his personal collection of artwork that he made in prison. Richard Phillips, 72, doesn’t have steady income at the moment, and his lawyer is currently battling the state of Michigan to get him compensated for the wrongful conviction that stole his freedom.

"I don't have an income right now," said Phillips while showing off his paintings to Fox 2 Detroit. "This is my income."

In the early 1970s, Phillips was wrongfully convicted for the murder of Gregory Harris. He was sentenced to life in prison but always maintained his innocence. “I would rather died in prison than admit to a crime I didn’t do,” Philips said.

Phillips was convicted through an eyewitness account implicating him and a second man, Richard Palombo. In 2010, Palombo admitted that Phillips had no involvement in the murder and that he didn’t even know him. A new investigation was launched in 2014, nearly 20 years later Phillips appealed his murder conviction.

Last March, Wayne County Prosecutors Kym Worthy dropped all charges against Phillips, officially freeing him from prison. “There’s nothing that I can say to bring back 40 years of his life. The system failed him. There’s no question about it,” Worthy said at the time. “This is a true exoneration. Justice is indeed being done today, but there’s nothing that we can do ... to bring back those years of his life.”

Art played a big part in helping maintain his sanity through the sentence. Though he remained optimistic, Phillips admitted that he never truly believed he would be released. To pass the time, he began painting. He pulled inspiration from everywhere: his favorite artists, photos and even tapped into some of the loneliness that he felt in prison. "It was created in a harsh environment. But it goes to show you that beauty can come from something ugly."

Last year, Detroit's Demond Ricks was awarded $1 million for spending 25 years in prison on a wrongful conviction. As it stands, Phillips is the longest-serving wrongfully convicted former prisoner in U.S. history.

Phillips' artwork will be on display at Michigan's Ferndale's Level One gallery beginning Jan. 18.

See more on his artwork in the video below.

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Rico Love Wants His Lady To 'Shine' In New Music Video

Through a montage of dark city views paired with silver monochronistic architecture, Rico Love is making sure the main lady in his life blossoms above all possible adversity from her past in the newly released visuals for his latest single, “Shine.”

The video features a beautiful, chocolate-hued woman clad in a pinkish fur coat, who serves as Rico’s main source of love and affection. With his captivating lyrics and a soulful voice filled of conviction, the Grammy award winning songwriter is steadily making his sonic stance on the R&B world.

Love credits his stellar musicianship to his discipline when it comes to studying music. In an interview with The Fader, he details part of his learning process taking it back to his rapper days.

"It’s just like a guy who’s 6’10". He can teach himself how to dunk if he does it every day. I take everything serious that I do. I go 100%," he said. "I study. It wasn’t like I was just this rapper who didn’t listen to Queen, who didn’t understand Rufus Wainwright, that didn't listen to the Beatles. I don’t want to sound like a pompous jerk, but I have amazing taste in music. When you start loving great songs, when it’s time to write one your own ear can understand what’s a great song and what’s not."

Watch the video for "Shine" below.

 

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Ali 'Lilou' Ramdani of France competes at the 2014 Red Bull BC One Breakdancing World Finals.
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Breakdancing Proposed As Potential Sport For 2024 Olympics

According to CNN, a proposal has been made to add breakdancing as a sport during the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Breakdancing is one of four events suggested for inclusion, along with surfing, climbing and skateboarding.

"We are pleased to see that Paris 2024's proposal for new sports to the Olympic programme is very much in line with the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020, which is striving to make the Olympic programme gender-balanced, more youth-focused and more urban," read a statement from the International Olympic Committee. Other mediums such as Squash, snooker and chess put their proposals in, but were not selected.

Breakdancing, which is one of the four elements of hip-hop, was introduced as a sport during the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. Thanks to organizations such as Red Bull's BC One, the legacy of breakdancing lives on through workshops and competitions throughout the world. Last year's Red Bull BC One Breakdancing World Championship was held in Switzerland.

“Obviously, if people know the history of the hip-hop culture, then they'll know that we are the original hip-hop," “B-Boy Ronnie” Abaldonado told VIBE of breakdancing's influence during Red Bull BC One Camp in Houston. "...We're here not to just teach people how to dance, but also to educate them on hip-hop and breaking.”

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Blueface Uses Transphobic Language To Call Out Fan Who Entered His DM's

Rapper Blueface reportedly exposed DM's allegedly sent by one of his transgender female fans, and in doing so, he called the young woman "it."

According to the "Thotiana" rapper's Instagram Story, a young woman attempted to spend the night with him and slid into his DM's. However, he details he was not interested, and used transphobic language in his photo evidence.

"'It' tryed [sic] to get me wit all these d**c succing [sic] videos," the 22-year-old wrote. "Not happening that's out...If you think I linked up wit this t***ny you smoking d**c." He posted a few of the messages sent by the young woman, which appeared to be unanswered. However, many pointed out that his responses to her inquiries were deleted for his own Story.

Blueface is currently facing prison time stemming from his arrest for possession of an unregistered handgun. The charge is a felony, and reportedly carries a maximum of three years behind bars. In November 2018, the California native was allegedly involved in a robbery and a vehicle-to-vehicle gunfight.

As expected, his personal life and views don't appear to be affecting his professional life. His song "Thotiana" is sitting at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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A post shared by DJ Akademiks (@akadmiks) on Feb 20, 2019 at 8:13pm PST

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