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On April 1, Chuck D decided to walk back his previous comments on Public Enemy’s split with Flavor Flav, claiming it was a “hoax” meant to serve as a “wake-up call.” Now, Flav returned to his Twitter account to reassure fans that he wasn’t part of the decision and called for our attention to be focused on what’s happening in the world given the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am not part of your hoax, @mrchuckd…there are more serious things in the world right now than April Fool’s jokes and dropping records…the world needs better than this…you say we are leaders so act like one,” Flav wrote before linking to MusicCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
I am not a part of your hoax [email protected],,,there are more serious things in the world right now than April Fool's jokes and dropping records,,,the world needs better than this,,,you say we are leaders so act like one,,,donate to those in need here: https://t.co/7hioasSwuV
— FLAVOR FLAV (@FlavorFlav) April 1, 2020
In a lengthy statement, Chuck D said Donald Trump's controversial decision-making served as part of the catalyst for what he was about to do next. "Hearing the confused mush of political talk while under the bowels of Trumpotus made me use a presidential stage as my platform," Chuck D wrote. "Out of this storm came a plan between Flav and me to remind people that what’s important should have as much, if not more, value than just what’s popular. Thus came the HOAX, our ‘War Of The Worlds.’ Believe half of what you hear and NONE of what you see."
Additionally, Public Enemy Radio released a new album titled Loud Is Not Enough plus its lead single "Food As A Machine Gun."
Reportedly, Flav’s lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Public Enemy Radio was scheduled to perform at a rally for the senator but Flav claims the campaign used his likeness in promotional ads without his permission. That’s when statements on the legendary group and Flav’s split began to take form.
"While Chuck is certainly free to express his political views as he sees fit—his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy," attorney Matthew H. Friedman wrote, via Rolling Stone. "The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy. Those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is, there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav."
It's been years in the making but Latinx superstar Nicky Jam is finally ready to share his truth with the authorized Netflix bio-series, Nicky Jam: El Ganador.
Sharing the trailer this week, the series will highlight Jam's journey in the music industry as well as the struggles he endured in the streets and more. The project is directed by acclaimed film and music video director Jessy Terrero and produced by Endemol Shine Boomdog, a division of Endemol Shine North America. The series will officially hit Netflix on April 21.
In the trailer, we see Jam in three stages: his youth, his rookie days in the game and the actual artist in the present. The creative take is bound to give fans another perspective of the Grammy-winning artist.
“I’ve been hearing from many of my fans on social media and when I talk with them in person, that they’ve been waiting for the chance to see ‘El Ganador’ in the U.S. on Netflix,” said Nicky Jam. “Now they will get to see it starting April 21 and I hope they enjoy it like so many others have across the world. I’m really proud of what we created.”
“I am excited about bringing this level of story-telling that is related to reggaeton music,” added Terrero. “The genre’s popularity gives our story and others like it the opportunity to reach a much larger audience. This is my mission with Cinema Giants. Nicky’s story is inspirational in so many ways. I am proud to be part of it.”
Jam recently celebrated another feat on the Billboard Latin charts. "Muevelo," his buzzy single with Daddy Yankee, reached No. 1 on both the Latín Airplay and Latin Rhythm Airplay charts.
Check out the trailer for El Ganador up top and revisit our VIBE VIVA February cover story with Jam here.
On Wednesday (April 1), Jazz legend Ellis Marsalis Jr., passed away at age 85 from pneumonia set on by COVID-19, the Associated Press reports. The acclaimed pianist’s son Branford Marsalis issued a statement on the patriarch’s passing, noting that he was hospitalized since Saturday (March 28).
“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Ellis Marsalis Jr., as a result of complications from the Coronavirus. He was admitted to the hospital on Saturday and died peacefully this evening. My dad was a giant of a musician and teacher, but an even greater father. He poured everything he had into making us the best of what we could be.” His other son Wynton Marsalis tweeted a series of photos of him and his father, captioning the images: “He went out the way he lived: embracing reality.”
Ellis Marsalis, 1934 - 2020
He went out the way he lived: embracing reality pic.twitter.com/sPyYUuBoIG
— Wynton Marsalis (@wyntonmarsalis) April 2, 2020
In the spirit of passing along his musical knowledge and skills, Marsalis served as a jazz professor at various Louisiana-based universities and schools in his native New Orleans. Those included Xavier University, University of New Orleans, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He also received an honorary degree from Tulane University in 2007.
From playing at local clubs to becoming a mainstay at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Marsalis' musical prowess inspired a line of other famous Jazz musicians, including his former student Harry Connick Jr. "He already knew everything i was trying to learn; but he always made me figure things out for myself," Connick Jr. wrote. "He was a grand master educator, an inimitable pianist, a caring mentor and a dear friend. I wouldn't be who i am without him."
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my heart is heavy today. among the countless lessons ellis marsalis taught me, the most important was the process of discovery. he already knew everything i was trying to learn; but he always made me figure things out for myself. he was a grand master educator, an inimitable pianist, a caring mentor and a dear friend. i wouldn't be who i am without him. i'll miss him with all my heart. my prayers are with the marsalis family today. i love you so much, mr. marsalis. #ellismarsalis