Rapper XXXTentacion has reportedly died after being shot in Florida

20-year-old rapper XXXTentacion, born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, has died, TMZ reported.

The musician was reportedly shot in South Florida after leaving a motorcycle dealer and was taken to a nearby hospital, according to TMZ. An adult male was confirmed dead by the Broward Sheriff’s office in Broward County, Florida, in a tweet posted late Monday afternoon, but had not yet been identified as XXXTentacion. When Teen Vogue reached out to the sheriff’s office for comment, the office said they were not yet confirming the identity of the victim.

Prior to his reported death, XXXTentacion had previously been charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering, for which he was set to stand trial, according to Pitchfork. He had also received additional charges of witness tampering and was on house arrest until a judge granted him permission to go on tour in March. In June, the Miami New Times published a profile of the rapper; the outlet also spoke to his alleged victim who detailed her allegations against him.

In May, Spotify removed XXXTentacion’s music from its in-house playlists (along with fellow musician R. Kelly’s music), citing that it didn’t follow their Hate Content and Hateful Conduct policy. Later, Bloomberg reported the music would eventually be added back onto Spotify playlists.

The rapper’s most recent album, ?, was released in March. Billboard reported that his discography has earned more than 3.96 billion on-demand streams, which include audio and video.

Taken from Teen Vogue. Read the original here.

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In the Louvre, Beyoncé proves there’s power in repurposing art history

There’s a moment in Beyoncé and Jay Z’s video for “Apes**t,” about two minutes in, when Bey stands in formation in front of the painting The Coronation of Napoleon. She has, as the art historians who run @tabloidarthistory have pointed out, refocused the center of the image. Instead of Napoleon standing in front of the Pope to crown his own bride—itself a moment of breathtaking audacity—our eye is on Beyoncé’s body dancing in front of Josephine’s, her own head poised to take on the crown.

The video reminded me of a similar scene in the first episode of FX’s Pose. A drag family, made up of queer men and trans women in late-eighties New York, is looking for the best way to dazzle at an upcoming ball—so they decide to rob a museum’s costume exhibit. After they’ve hidden from security at the museum’s closing time, they stalk through the museum to the soundtrack of The Mary Jane Girls’ “In My House.”

Three of the trans women stop before different pieces of art; the house mother stops before a carving of a Pharaoh’s head that looks exactly like her own and smiles. Another woman stops in front of the sculpted body of an Egyptian guard that’s lost its head. Most poignantly, the final woman stands in front of a face carved in black stone with the same features as her own, except the statue’s nose has been worn away or destroyed. The woman reaches out for a moment, a look of longing on her face, before she’s forced to turn and get to business.

That scene in Pose imagines marginalized people in a place of power—an art museum—but only in that space after hours, sneaking in, claiming their space for only a few minutes before breaking a window to escape and alerting the police to their trespassing. It’s a moment of triumph that the viewer knows is going to be punished very shortly, and it’s a testament to the actress Indya Moore that she infuses the moment with something besides naked transgression—with desire and recognition.

In contrast, Beyoncé and Jay Z inhabit the halls of the Louvre as conquerors. The video is nothing if not a statement of ownership and unabashed pride in holding on to a space, a claim to the complicated position of mastery and the role of a master. One of the pleasures of the video is knowing that there’s no punishment coming. As they tell you themselves throughout the song, Beyoncé and Jay Z confidently belong there.

Visual art, at least in the last 200 or so years in the Western world, has always served two purposes: to display wealth and to display cultural power. Now, in our current economy, sometimes it’s literal currency. Beyoncé and Jay Z, unabashed lovers of capitalism, are establishing their ownership of all of this. It’s a celebration of these multiple meanings of art and a declaration that the art they make together occupies the same space.

On the Everything Is Love track “Black Effect,” Beyoncé sings, “I would never let you shoot the nose of my pharaoh.” It’s a reference to the myth that Napoleon’s army shot the nose off the Great Sphinx—either subconsciously or deliberately to obscure its African heritage. It’s a persistent story, one that seems to be validated with every broken pharaoh’s head, the broad noses lost to history, black influence in the world of cultural and monetary capital violently erased. And so too in what Beyoncé sings, that verb of permission, let, is the promise of self-determination, a rewriting of that myth with black people as actors.

The choice to film in the Louvre is filled with meaning. The museum is a showcase of looted art from other cultures, and the location can also be interpreted as a reference to black American artists’ historic obsession with Paris and French culture. France has long been viewed as a kind of escape from America and American race limitations, as a space of cultural and social freedom, despite the country’s own history of racism and colonization. I’m not suggesting that Beyoncé and Jay Z provide a workable alternative to the history of colonization through their art, but the artistic decision to center material wealth—and the fact that we measure that wealth through art—complicates, in the most thrilling and interesting ways possible, what freedom actually looks like.

Later in the album, on “Nice,” Beyoncé sings, “I ain’t never seen a ceiling in my whole life”—but this video raises questions about what we are actually striving for as free individuals, as people who try to build something bigger and stranger than ourselves and our past histories. What a strange and wonderful use Beyoncé has made of her cultural power, to repurpose art history as a kind of Easter egg in her videos. She asked us all to spend our weekend reading the history of images, meticulously building a text for us to read into it what we will.

But in all the art history references in the video, one—the Faith Ringgold work Dancing at the Louvre, pointed out by art historian Alexandra M. Thomas—especially stands out.

Ringgold works in narrative quilts, in fabrics, and Dancing at the Louvre shows a black woman and four younger black girls in fancy dress, frolicking in front of the Mona Lisa with carefree abandon, toward a kind of freedom that shares something with the kind Beyoncé holds out for us.

Kaitlyn Greenidge is the author of the novel  We Love You, Charlie Freeman.

Taken from GLAMOUR US. Read the original here.

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AKA’s much-anticipated album is out now!

The album that everyone has been waiting for has finally dropped! AKA released his third studio album titled ‘Touch My Blood’ in the early hours of this morning. For the past few months, he has been dropping singles to give us a taste of what we can expect and it’s been getting a lot of attention, to say the least.

The album features 16 tracks and features production assists from Tweezy, Anatii, Makwa Beats and Gemini Major. It wouldn’t be an AKA album without some hot artists featuring on his tracks and these include JR, Okmalumkoolkat, Kwesta, L-Tido, Kiddominant, Yanga Chief, Stogie T and Kairo (AKA’s daughter) even features on an outro track ‘Daddy Issue II.’

You can download his album now on iTunes.

Congrats to the rapper!

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Zonke drops her brand new album!

After the roaring success of her album Work of Heart, multi-award winning vocalist Zonke been on a hiatus. But music lovers are over the moon that, that hiatus is finally over. After teasing us with her groovy return-to-form single called ‘Together’ she has finally dropped her latest album titled L. O. V. E – which stands for Living Out Various Emotions. Zonke has long been one of the most accomplished songwriters on the local music scene.

She describes the album as one that takes you on a journey; whether you are happy or annoyed in your relationships, you’ll find a song on this album. There are different emotions love takes you on.

Take a look at the listening party of her album here:

You can download her album now on Apple Music, iTunes and Google Play

Congrats Zonke!

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Ne-Yo’s latest drop Good Man features afro-beat and dance-hall sounds

Grammy-Award winning artist, Ne-Yo releases his seventh studio album titled Good Man.

Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Smith, is giving us new smooth sounds that remain true to his good man narrative. A journey dating back to 2006, where he dropped In My Own Words, a debut album that broke records and received platinum certification. It featured hit singles like ‘So Sick’, ‘When You’re Mad’ and ‘Sexy Love.’

That was followed by Because Of You, with a single of the same name which became his most successful song after ‘So Sick.’ In it, he worked with Fabolous on ‘Make It Better’ and Jennifer Hudson on ‘Leaving Tonight’, including Rihanna’s ‘Hate That I Love You’ in which he features.

The Year Of The Gentlemen, Libra Scale, R.E.D and Non-Fiction followed, exactly in that order.

The singer, songwriter and producer is known for his pen skills, having written hits for other artists, the likes of Mario, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Rihanna and Beyonce.

Good Man is a 20-song album with slow melodic tracks such as ‘U Deserve’ and ‘LA Nights’. It also provides us with dance hits such as the latest single ‘Push Back’ featuring Bebe Rexha and Stefflon Don, which is an infusion of dance-hall and afro-beats.

Romeo Santos makes appearance on ‘Nights like These’ and PARTYNEXTDOOR features on ‘On Your Mind’, Eric Bellinger on ‘Hotbox’.

Track-list of Good Man below:

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Ghana Meets Naija just happened, and we’re hacked we missed it

Imagine ‘dutty whinin’ to the illest Afro Beats bangers from West African superstars like Wizkid and Dice Ailes. Then, picture this – tucking into a delectable plate of Jollof rice served with the tastiest stew. Oh man; we’re so hacked that we’re Mzansi-bound right now, and did not get to attend this awesome concert.

But thanks to the Internet, we were able to peep a few pics and vids of the best moments at, the annual, Ghana Meets Naija concert.

A post shared by Wizkid News (@wizkidnews) on

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Oh well, there’s always next year!

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TrapHouseJazz master, Masego drops new single

Masego A.K.A Uncle Sego’  has released a new single as for his forthcoming album. 

The ‘Lady Lady’ titled single, serves as a re-introduction of Masego, whose sound is a fusion of jazz, soul and hip-hop. He recently came down to SA (read his low-key real home beacuse have you read his name?) to entertain us at the Cape Town Jazz Festival earlier this year.

The multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer gives us the usual smooth sultry but groovy sound with this single, produced by TDE’s Sounwave’s. The single is an emotional ode to the powerful women in his life.

The Jamaican- American never lied when he said he does everything, after teaching himself to play bass, drums, guitar, piano and saxophone back in high school.

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