Samaria Rice -- Al Sharpton's National Action Network Hosts Its National Convention In New York
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Tamir Rice’s Mother Commemorates What Would Have Been His 18th Birthday

Six years after he was killed by Cleveland cops, Samaria Rice reflects on losing her 12-year-old son. 

In commemoration of what would have been his 18th birthday, Tamir Rice’s mother opened up about her son’s legacy, and the final day of his life.

“You don’t get over nothing like this,” Samaria Rice told the Columbus Dispatch. “It’s an empty feeling of loss when you don’t have your puzzle complete.”

Tamir was killed by officers from the Cleveland Police Department on Nov. 22, 2014. The 12 year old was playing with a toy gun at a park across the street from his house when a 911 call was placed, resulting in two officers rushing to the scene. Officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed Tamir within two minutes of arrival. Neither  Loehmann or the other officer, Frank Garmback, were  prosecuted to killing Tamir. Loehmann was eventually fired from the Cleveland Police Department for failing to disclose details about his job at the Independence Police Department where he was deemed emotionally unstable (the firing decision was appealed by a police union). In 2018, Loehmann was hired by another Ohio police department but withdrew his application days later.

Rice, a mother of four and grandmother, recalled the moment that a group of neighborhood children knocked on her door and informed her that Tamir had been shot by police. She didn’t believe them at first, but once she got to the park, Rice saw her son lying on the ground. A group of officers stopped her from going near his body.

In the ambulance, Rice held onto her son’s hand but was told to stop touching him because his body was considered evidence. Tamir died the following day.

“People ask me all the time, ‘How are you holding up?’ I’m telling them I do know that it’s through the grace of God.”

Later in the interview, Rice revealed that the murders of Auhmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, all at the hands of white men — some of whom were police officers — took her to a “dark place.” In response to recent protests against racism and police brutality, Rice encouraged demonstrators to take the movement to legislators and the Supreme Court. “Those are the powers that be.”

When asked what her son could have become had he not been killed, Rice shared some of Tamir’s many talents. “He mastered all the sports that could be mastered. So [maybe he would have been] the next LeBron James, Odell Beckham..I really don’t know because he was robbed of that.”

Although the Rice family was awarded a $6 million judgment over Tamir’s murder, the city of Cleveland never admitted wrongdoing. In 2016, Rice founded the Tamir Rice Foundation in her son’s honor. The four-year-old organization champions police reform.

Rice also opened the Tamir Rice Afrocentric Cultural Center, which will house after-school programs focussed on tutoring, mentoring and arts, including music and dance.

“I am building a legacy,” said Rice. “To show people my strength and to show people I have not given up. I have to do this for him. I am his voice.”

See tributes to Tamir below.

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Drake Debuts “Laugh Now Cry Later” Feat. Lil Durk

Champagne Papi hit fans with his second single in a matter of months.  “Laugh Now, Cry Later” arrived on Friday (Aug. 14) along with a cameo-heavy music video.

In the visual, Drake lives out his dream of being a professional athlete, complete with an oversized “draft day” suit (à la LeBron James in 2003). The 33-year-old rapper also shows off his range as both a dramatic actor (he sheds a tear, or two) and comedic actor.

Drizzy tapped director Dave Meyers for the music video, which features appearances from Kevin Durant, Marshawn Lynch, and Odell Beckham.

According to Drake's Instagram, “Laugh Now Cry Later” will appear on his forthcoming studio album, Certified Lover Boy.

 

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Laugh Now Cry Later off my next studio album CERTIFIED LOVER BOY 👌🏽 video link in bio

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Aug 13, 2020 at 9:02pm PDT

Drake’s last single, “Toosie Slide,” seemed tailored for the TikTok era and quickly shot to the top of the Billboard charts. “Laugh Now Cry Later” will likely make its way to the TikTok crowd, but the song offers a celebratory anthem perfect for the club, and other post-pandemic shenanigans.

Peep the music video below.

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NO I.D.’s Entire Music Catalog Acquired By Hipgnosis

Chicago super producer NO I.D.'s entire music catalog has been sold to Hipgnosis. The company acquired 100% of the Grammy winner’s global copyrights and publishing royalties, including writer’s income, Billboard reports.

Founded by music veteran and artist manager, Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis is a British music IP investment and management company “established to offer investors a pure-play exposure to songs and associated musical intellectual property rights.”

“Not many have the best intentions for the artist and the creators,” No I.D. said in a statement. “Merck and the Hipgnosis team have shown that they are a safe home for the songs that score our lives.”

Born Earnest Dion Wilson, the Windy City native -- and longtime producer for Jay Z and Kanye West -- has worked with a long list of recording artists including Jhene Aiko, Common, Big Sean, Killer Mike, Drake, Young Jeezy, Vince Staples, Rihanna, Rick Ross, and more. His extensive catalog includes “Run This Town,” “I Used to Love HER,” and “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune).

“The words NO I.D. are a stamp of excellence on any album,” said Mercuriadis. “From Kanye West’s '808s & Heartbreak’, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and 'Yeezus’ to Jay-Z’s astonishing run from 'American Gangster’ through 'The Blueprint 3’, 'Magna Carta Holy Grail’ and '4:44’, Dion has been in the middle of everything that is great about Hip Hop for more than two decades. He is a special creator and everyone in the Hipgnosis Family is proud to have him standing next to us.”

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Watch Ciara Celebrate Black Excellence In “Rooted” Video

Ciara connects to her roots and celebrates Black excellence in the music video for “Rooted.” Released on Thursday (Aug. 13), the up-tempo track, featuring Ester Dean, plays as a love letter to Blackness and a reminder that “everything you need to survive and thrive is rooted in you.”

The music video was filmed just two days before Cici gave birth to son, Win Wilson, and is the latest release under her record label, Beauty Marks Entertainment. A portion of the song’s proceeds will go to support Grantmakers for Girls of Color, a philanthropic organization “dedicated to cultivating investments in support of girls of color (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific American) in the United States.”

The inspiring music video ends with a note of motivation from Ciara, “To all my Young Rosa’s and Young Luther’s keep marching. Don’t stop fighting for what you believe in. To all my Black Queens and Kings, continue to plant and spread seeds of love, hope and pride in your tribe. Everything you need to survive and thrive is rooted in you. Stay rooted.”

Watch the music video for  “Rooted” below.

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