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Bob Levey

Travis Scott Agrees To Super Bowl Halftime Performance On One Condition

"I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in."

Travis Scott sparked a big controversy after he announced that he'll be performing alongside Maroon 5 at the Super Bowl halftime show in Feb. 2019. Fans argued that the rapper was blatantly going against Colin Kaepernick, who has sued the NFL for collusion after his inability to land on a team after jumpstarting a movement to bring awareness to social injustices in the United States. Despite the public outrage, however, Scott has released a statement on Jan. 13, explaining why he chose to go ahead with the performance.

According to the "Sicko Mode" artist, he agreed to the show on one condition. "I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in. I know being an artist that it's in my power to inspire," he said, most likely referencing Kaepernick's silent protest during the national anthem. "So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation."

Scott negotiated a donation to Dream Corps, Van Jones' organization. Dream Corps was founded in 2014 and holds a mission "to inspire action, serve justice and improve people's lives."

"I am proud to support Dream Corps. and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change," La Flame added.

Jones applauded Scott on Twitter following the announcement, writing, "this is great news! Welcome, @trvsXX. Glad to have you with us, brother!"

While Scott's donation is a noble act, it might not be met with the same approval as other artists who were previously in his shoes. His statement comes briefly after Rihanna, Cardi B, P!nk, and even Amy Schumer announced that they would not be taking part in the Super Bowl festivities due to their support of Colin Kaepernick and the right to protest. Artists like Meek Mill and Jay-Z also expressed frustrations with Trav for not backing out of the gig.

However, there's arguably precedent to Scott's move. In 2013, Jay-Z launched a collection with the upscale retail store Barneys, with the store donating 25 percent of the proceeds to Jay's scholarship foundation to help underserved youth go to college. But that April, 19-year-old Trayon Christian alleged racial profiling against the retailer: after purchasing an expensive Ferragamo belt, he was stopped by detectives, handcuffed, and detained at a police station. While many called for Jay-Z to terminate the partnership, he instead leveraged renegotiated to make Barneys increase its donation to 100 percent of the proceeds. Many critics still felt that Jay-Z made the wrong choice. Only time will tell if this proves to be a smart move by Travis Scott.

Super Bowl LIII is set to air on Sunday, Feb. 3.

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Beyonce And Travis Scott Are Reportedly Working On Music Together

Who would have imagined Beyonce and Travis Scott would be embarking on new music together? According to Tone Stith, talks of a collaboration between the two artists were buzzing for L.A. songwriters.

Speaking to VIBE for our Views From The Studio series, the 20-year-old shared how his single "Good Company" with Swae Lee and Quavo was created with Beyonce and Travis Scott in mind.

"I made the track originally for Travis Scott and Beyonce because somebody told me they were looking for a song but he [Swae] heard the track and was like, "Let me do something with this."

"Good Company" was also conceived by way of a pick-up basketball game. "They just came over to the house one day. Swae Lee came over first and we were playing basketball," the singer continued. "I don't know if everybody loves basketball, it was a good ice breaker."

Nobody was aware that the "Sicko Mode" rapper was in talks of collaborating with Queen Yonce herself, but we are obviously all here for it. The Houston natives are fans of each other as Bey attended Scott's Astroworld tour last year with Jay Z.

Stream Tone Stith's "Good Company" single below.

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Beyonce Applauds Meghan Markle For Including Black Traditions At Wedding

This Black History Month, Beyonce has been honoring a number of public figures who have contributed to their communities. On Wednesday (Feb. 20), Bey penned a heartfelt tribute to Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle for her philanthropic work and for her culturally-inclusive royal wedding.

In the post, which is published on her official website, Beyonce commended Markle on her "charitable work in communities of color." "Meghan’s background as a film and tv actress has allowed her to use her platform for good," the singer wrote. "As a global ambassador for World Vision, she traveled to Rwanda to see how access to clean, safe water impacts children, an issue that is near and dear to our hearts. She also visited and supported the Myna Mahila Foundation in Mumbai, an organization that helps solve the menstruation challenges many women and girls in the community face."

The Lemonade artist also praised the Duchess for incorporating traditions from her own culture in her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018. "[She] brought many Black traditions to her Royal Wedding including a Chicago-based Black pastor, an amazing gospel choir, and a young Black cellist" she continued. "At the wedding her culture was front and center, and she and Prince Harry have continued to push the race relations dialogue forward both near and far."

She concluded her note, by congratulating Markle on her pregnancy. "In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas,” Bey added. "Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy."

The tribute comes shortly after honored Markle on Instagram after winning Best International Group at the 2019 Brit Awards with husband, Jay-Z. The video showed the power couple standing in front of a reimagined image of Markle as the Mona Lisa as their single "Apesh*t" played in the background. "We wish you so much joy," Beyonce wrote in the caption of her Instapost.

Read Beyonce's full tribute here.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Thank you to the Brits for the award for Best International Group. I won this award back in 2002 with my besties, Kelly and Michelle. How lucky am I to have been in a group with my other best friend, the GOAT Hova. 🙌🏾 In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy.

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Feb 20, 2019 at 2:48pm PST

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Shareif Ziyadat

Chicago PD Blasts Jussie Smollett For Faking Hate Crime To Promote Career

Update: 9:00 am ET (Feb. 21, 2019) -  The Chicago Police Department held a press conference  on Feb. 21, at 9:oo am CT after Jussie Smollett was arrested for filing a false police report. Additionally, police claimed the actor sent fake hate mail to himself in an attempt to "promote his career."

"Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said. "Why would anyone especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? ... How can an individual who’s been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the city in the face with these false claims?"

Johnson added: "I just wish that the families of gun violence got this much attention because that's really who deserves the kind of attention that we're giving this particular incident."

Original story below...

Jussie Smollett has reportedly been arrested and is in the Chicago Police Department's custody on Thursday (Feb. 21) Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi confirms. He has reportedly been charged with one count of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

"Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives,"  Guglielmi announced on Twitter. "At 9am at #ChicagoPolice Headquarters, Supt Eddie Johnson, Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the investigation prior to the defendants appearance in court."

Smollett has been charged three weeks after he told law enforcement that he was the victim of an alleged hate crime. He claimed that two Trump supporters brutally attacked him in the early hours of the morning in Chicago. The assailants allegedly doused him with a liquid substance and hung a noose around his neck before yelling racial and homophobic slurs.

Following his initial statement, police noticed several holes in his statement. After several interrogations, officials interviewed two brothers believed to be involved with the attack. Footage last night proved that the two had purchased several supplies that may have been used at the time of the incident. The newly-surfaced video, along with other evidence obtained by the police, prompted the charges brought against Smollett.

Smollett's attorneys,Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, issued a statement to USA Today, maintaining Smollett's innocence. "Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

If Smollett is convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

Press Briefing: Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives. At 9am at #ChicagoPolice Headquarters, Supt Eddie Johnson, Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the investigation prior to the defendants appearance in court. pic.twitter.com/9PSv8Ojec2

— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019

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