Prince’s Siblings Sue Estate For $7 Million

Every time we think the Prince Estate has finally settled into non-controversial territory, a report pops up and proves there’s still trouble in the water. This week the late pop icon’s sister and half-brother, Tyka Nelson and Omarr Baker (probable heirs to the estate,) filed suit for $7 million in damages against the estate, accusing current advisers, L. Londell McMillan and Charles Koppelman, of mismanaging profits from a tribute concert that took place in Minnesota last October.

According to Billboard, Nelson and Baker are also pointing at Bremer Trust, the company overseeing the estate as inventories assets ahead of naming a rightful heir, which is likely still months if not years away from being settled. In addition to the claims of mismanaged profits, Nelson and Baker accuse Bremer Trust of not revealing the full value of estate assets. Specifically, revenue streams from Prince’s recordings. Over the last few months, Bremer Trust, guided by McMillan and Koppelman, have negotiated contracts that could bring The Purple One’s catalog back to streaming services before The Grammys air in February. On the one year anniversary of his death, the Estate will host a “Celebration” tribute event at Paisley Park with performances from Morris Day & The Time, The New Power Generation and The Revolution.


Georgia Police Chief Apologizes For Lynching Of Black Man In 1940

LaGrange, Georgia, police chief Louis Dekmar (right) shaking NAACP president Ernest Ward’s hand

A Georgia police chief has apologized for the death of a black man that was shot to death and lynched almost 77 years ago.

In a report from Reuters, Louis Dekmar, LaGrange, Georgia’s current police chief, offered a public apology to the family of Austin Callaway, as well as the rest of the small city’s black community, after recently learning of Callaway’s death. The local police never investigated his death, or kept a record of the mob that took Callaway either.

Callaway was abducted by a mob of white men from the city’s jail back in September 1940, where he was then led into the woods and shot multiple times before being lynched. The young black man was only 18 at the time, having been jailed following allegations that he assaulted a white woman.

Dekmar’s apology is considered a rarity by historians, especially since official gestures like that are uncommon in the U.S. South.

“It was as if it was erased from the memory of the white community,” Dekmar, who is white, said in a phone interview. “But the black community still remembers, and I want to acknowledge that this happened and it was wrong.”

A 61-year-old, Dekmar has served as LaGrange’s police chief for 22 years. How he came to learn of Callaway’s story was when an older black women visited the police station, and upon seeing pictures of older officers said “Those are the ones who killed our people.”

The remark then led Dekmar to ask questions across the community, which resulted in him learning about Callaway.

A ceremony was held for the young black man this past Thursday, where Dekmar spoke to an audience that included some of Callaway’s family.

“What was done was wrong,” Dekmar said during the ceremony. “I, on behalf of the LaGrange Police Department and the city of LaGrange, want to acknowledge the police department’s failure to take crucial action in its obligation to protect Austin Callaway on Sept. 8, 1940. An acknowledgment and apology is necessary to aid in healing wounds of past brutalities and injustice.”

Carolyn Bryant Donham Does Not Deserve Our Forgiveness!!!!!

Vanity Fair published a story that tells of how author Timothy Tyson came to talk with Carolyn Bryant Donham for his forthcoming book, The Blood of Emmett Till.

Donham, the woman who was at the center of Emmett Till‘s death back in 1955, admitted to Tyson in 2007 that her testimony against Till was fabricated. “That part’s not true,” Donham had said in regards to her remarks when she claimed Till had made physical and verbal advances on her.

The Vanity Fair piece goes on to say that Donham “felt tender sorrow” throughout her years, essentially painting the now 82-year-old woman as the antithesis of the 21-year-old that incited one of the most horrific race-related deaths in the history of America.

Does Donham deserve forgiveness for her admittance? Should we turn the other cheek like we have been taught to do time and time again, in the face of someone who fails to do the same for us?

Absolutely. 100. Percent. Fucking. Not.

Two weeks prior to the Donham reveal came the announcement of Dylann Roof‘s sentencing to death, following his shooting of a Charleston church that left nine people dead. Still, even as Roof remained remorseless throughout the trial, many of the families of those slaughtered forgave him.

Black people in America have been conditioned to patiently wait for accountability — for justice. We grow weary throughout the years, never knowing if we are going to witness it in our lifetime, never gaining closure that has weighed on us in ways that most people could never, ever fathom.

We have also been conditioned to forgive people who are undeserving of our forgiveness; that fail to see that just like them all we want is an acknowledgment of our humanity — our existence.

Donham was able to absolve herself of the situation. Following her courtroom testimony she disappeared into obscurity for decades, and was able to witness her children grow up as she continued on with normal life.

Mamie Till never received the same opportunity — same privilege. Instead, she was greeted by the battered and beaten body of her dead 14-year-old son. Her pained and tearful face; her son’s bloated and bloody face — those two faces are hard to remove from one’s mind once seen. Mamie and Emmett will forever be immortalized in black pain — faces that reflect an ongoing fight in this country against bigotry and hate — two words that, in the rise of the Trump presidency, have made a resurgence.

Last year, America witnessed a woman livestream her boyfriend die right before her eyes, after a police officer fatally shot him.

This year, we have seen a resurgence of interest in Kalief Browder, the teenager who was wrongly accused of robbery and served three years at Rikers Island awaiting trial under the abusive hand of guards. He ultimately took his own life two years after being released.

As black people, we wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait, for justice. For the people who have wronged us to finally come forth and hold themselves accountable, because it is that that leads to true progress.

However, I have no sympathy for Donham. I have no sympathy for a person that knowingly accused someone of something he never did, only to admit it more than 60 years later. I have no sympathy for a grown woman who jeopardized the life of a teenage boy and vilified his humanity. I have no sympathy for a woman who was able to retreat from the consequences of her actions, while a mother had to not only face the hate and vitriol of an entire nation, but saw her son become an involuntary martyr for a movement bigger than himself, when all she wanted for him was for him to have a chance at life.

Carolyn Bryant Donham does not deserve forgiveness, her late admittance necessary to the fiber of this country’s racist history, but not atonement to an incident that never, ever needed to happen.

Woman Who Accused Emmett Till Of Harassing Her Admits She Lied

by D.L. Chandler

The brutal 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Chicago boy Emmett Till helped kickstart the American Civil Rights Movement into another gear after his death and the trial of his killers made news headlines. The woman at the center of the case, Carolyn Bryant Donham, claimed the teen flirted with her and harassed her, but now news has emerged that claims she admitted that parts of her testimony were false.

Till and his mother were visiting family in Money, Miss. in the summer of 1955 during the country’s racially segregated Jim Crow period where tensions between black and white Americans were at a high. It was alleged that Till spoke and wolf-whistled toward the 21-year-old Bryant, who was then married to a man named Roy Bryant. Days later, an angered Mr. Bryant and his half-brother, J.W. Milan, kidnapped Till from his family’s home and beat the boy badly before shooting him and dumping him in the Tallahatchie River.

Mrs. Donham, who had since remarried after leaving her husband, largely disappeared from the public eye.

Author Timothy Tyson, a senior research scholar at Duke University, shared with Vanity Fair exclusive details behind the conversation he had in 2007 with the elusive woman. Donham was 72 at the time, and couldn’t remember much of what happened that fateful day in 1955 but did admit Till never made verbal or physical advances.

“That part’s not true,” said Donham to Tyson regarding the claims.

Tyson also recounts her telling him that “nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him.”

Tyson’s upcoming book, The Blood Of Emmett Till, goes into greater detail of the case and Donham’s comments. Today, as mentioned in Vanity Fair, Donham is now 82 and her location has been kept hidden. Tyson and Donham met over coffee and cake, and in hearing her story he says that the case “went a long way toward ruining her life.”

Mr. Bryant, who owned the country store where the alleged incident between Till and his ex-wife took place, and Mr. Milan faced trial later that year. The all-white jury acquitted the men of their crime, even with testimony from the men stating they’d taken Till from the home. And despite Bryant and Milan admitting to journalist William Bradford Huie in 1956 that they did commit the crime, justice never visited their doorsteps. Both men have since died.

The stirring image of Till’s beaten and bloated body made the cover of Jet magazine and galvanized an entire nation in seeking retribution for the heinous crime.

Lil Wayne used Till’s name in the remix for Future’s “Karate Chop,” which angered the family, but the New Orleans rapper eventually apologized.

Here’s How Harvard’s Hip Hop Archive Is Shaping Up So Far

by Somhairle Cinnsealach

Hip Hop producer 9th Wonder has been dedicating his time to building a Hip Hop archive for Harvard’s library.

In 2016, 9th Wonder chose the first four albums to enter the archives as part of a project called “These Are The Breaks,” which he describes as “a collection of albums that are standard of the culture.”

This week, the Jay Z/J. Cole/Kendrick Lamar collaborator stopped by Harvard to see all four albums in their archived form: The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill, Nas’ Illmatic, A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory and Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly.

He shared an image of the albums to Instagram, which picked up a ton of attention.

(Definitely more than a similar one shared last March.)

9th Wonder, working under the direction of historians Henry Louis Gates and Marcy Morgan, is choosing 200 albums to “live forever in the Harvard Library.” The albums will be housed forever in one of the world’s most illustrious libraries “complete with liner notes and the vinyl that was used in the production of the album.”

Another album has already been chosen, 1988’s Lyte As A Rock by MC Lyte. The aim of the project is to preserve 200 Hip Hop albums for posterity. Updates can be found at the Hip Hop Archives website.

9th Wonder was named a fellow of the Ivy League university in 2012, and will play a huge role in deciding which Hip Hop albums are honored in the “These Are The Breaks” project.

The US Falls From Full To Flawed Democracy For First Time

For the first time ever the United States has been downgraded from a “full democracy” to “flawed democracy,” according to a recent study.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, the “erosion of public trust in political institutions” has contributed to a gradual decline for the country’s democracy, with America’s score falling to 7.98 last year from 8.05 in 2015, which is below the 8.00 marker for a full democracy.

Countries are given scores based on the following five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture

Although the United States has free elections, “weak governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation,” are all part of the reason for the demotion (and not just Donald Trump, although what he has done since being in the White House will surely add to that).

“The U.S. has been teetering on the brink of becoming a flawed democracy for several years, and even if there had been no presidential election in 2016, its score would have slipped below 8.00,” the report stated. “Trust in political institutions is an essential component of well-functioning democracies. Yet surveys by Pew, Gallup and other polling agencies have confirmed that public confidence in government has slumped to historic lows in the U.S. This has had a corrosive effect on the quality of democracy.”

“Democracy is in trouble in the West, in the mature democracies of western Europe and the U.S., which are no longer obvious beacons for those striving for democracy in the nondemocratic world,” the study concluded.

However, the United States is not the only country that has been classified as a flawed democracy: Japan, France, Singapore, South Korea and India have also received the label from the study.

On the opposite end of the flawed democracy spectrum is Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Canada and Ireland, all of which are categorized as full democracies.

Main Source—Large Professor, Sir Scratch & K-Cut—Reunites After 25 Years & Reissues “Breaking Atoms”

by Kyle Eustice

In 1991, Main Source featured a then-unknown Nas on its debut album, Breaking Atoms. No one could have predicted the path the Queensbridge legend would take, but it’s safe to say Large Professor, Sir Scratch and K-Cut are supportive of their longtime friend’s success. That’s not to say the other three members haven’t had wins on their own. Large Pro is one of the most well-respected producers in the Hip Hop industry while brothers Scratch and K-Cut are two of the most revered producers in Canada, and have produced/DJ’ed for artists like Big Pun, Queen Latifah and Fu-Schnickens.

To celebrate the album’s 25th anniversary, the group has not only reunited for a show in New York City, but has also reissued the record with Boulder, Colorado-based company, Vinyl Me, Please. The reissue includes color-in-color vinyl, a bonus 7″, gatefold packaging, a foreword from Pharoahe Monch, a 12-page lyric booklet, and an original art print.

“We got back together to honor the 25th anniversary of our project,” Large Professor tells HipHopDX. “It’s been turnt up and packaged up nice with Vinyl Me, Please, a whole new experience. Twenty-five years later, many of the lyrics on Breaking Atoms are still relevant, and the beats are Hip Hop masterpieces. It’s time to separate the past from the future and move forward.”

Main Source hits the stage on February 1 at New York City’s SOBs music venue with Just Blaze, who is hosting the event. Countless people have showed their support and anticipation for the show, which has truly humbled all three members.

“We are excited to release Breaking Atoms after 25 years,” Large Professor continues. “It is a joy to see that people still appreciate this record and we’re looking forward to doing the reunion show in New York City after all these years. All of our friends who participated on the album are coming out to support us and it feels like we are starting all over again. It’s great to reconnect and perform as a group again and we want to thank our true fans, please come out and enjoy the show. Peace to everyone in the nation, peace all over the world—it’s a blessing.”

WorldStarHipHop Founder Lee “Q” O’Denat Reportedly Dead @ 43

by Victoria Hernandez

Hip Hop lost a pioneer today (January 24) with the news that WorldStarHipHop founder Lee “Q” O’Denat has died.

Details are scant at this point, but TMZ reports that Q passed away in his sleep at the age of 43. Their source says he died of a heart attack, although an autopsy will happen later today.

Q, who grew up in Queens, New York, started WorldStarHipHop in 2005 as a platform for mixtapes. The site evolved to become a hub for music videos and outrageous clips. WorldStar has been criticized for the graphic nature of its content, but Q explained his vision for the company in a 2015 interview with the New York Times.

“Hip-hop is for the sex, the drugs, the violence, the beefs, the culture,” he said. “That’s the competitiveness of Hip Hop, so I felt like the site needed to be R-rated.”

Reports of Q’s death come just ahead of the February 3 premiere of Worldstar TV on MTV2. The weekly show will feature comedians and Hip Hop personalities reacting to clips from the site.

Homeland Security Uses Instagram To Bust Chris Brown & Lil Wayne Associate Harrison “Cuban Harry” Garcia In Lean Sting

by Ural Garrett

Miami, FL – There is no doubt liquid promethazine or lean has become the high of choice for many rappers in this era. However, those who partake in the illegal substance may want to chill out on the social media posts.

According to a report from the Miami Herald, the U.S. Homeland Security Investigation agents used the Instagram account of Chris Brown, Future and Lil Wayne associate Harrison Garcia a.k.a. Cuban Harry a.k.a. Muhammad A Lean to bust him for his connection to numerous robberies of that purple drank from various Miami CVS and Walgreens stores.

Although his current account on the social media platform is private, posts showed him driving exotic whips, posting bundles of cash, showcasing tattoos, displaying jewelry and hanging out with some pretty high-profile artists.

Cuban Harry Instagram 1
Cuban Harry Instagram 3

Those posts on Instagram made him a target and allowed authorities to obtain a warrant for his arrest last October before he was later arrested again a few months later. In the news report, Garcia was also caught selling liquid promethazine to federal agents on video.

Talking in front of a federal judge Monday (January 23), the 27-year-old said the Instagram posts were just to increase his followers.

“I had an image to portray, to boost up my followers,” Garcia said. “I guess it’s just the music industry.”

muhammad_a_lean instagram

Photo: Instagram/muhammad_a_lean

Speaking with the judge, he also called himself an addict of the drug.

“I can drink a bottle in like two days. It’s easy to get. It just makes you feel sleepy,” he said. “It helps you focus. People like it in the studio because when you record your songs, it helps your voice.”

Garcia’s trial is set for February 6 where he faces charges stemming from the robberies and racketeering.

Sprint Buys $200 Million Stake In Jay Z’s Tidal

Sprint now has a stake in Jay Z‘s music streaming service Tidal.

The wireless phone service announced that it now has a 33 percent stake in Tidal on Monday, with the former reportedly purchasing the service for an estimated $200 million.

“Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential,” Jay Z said in a press release. “[Sprint CEO] Marcelo [Claure] understood our goal right away and together we are excited to bring Sprint’s 45 million customers an unmatched entertainment experience.”

The deal between the two companies will provide Sprint’s 45 million customers with “unlimited access” to exclusive artist content. However, those that already have Tidal accounts will experience no change in their service. The partnership will also benefit participating artists, with a “dedicated marketing fund” expected to make an annual budget of $75 million that will give the artists the “flexibility to create and share their work” with their fans.

“Jay saw not only a business need, but a cultural one, and put his heart and grit into building Tidal into a world-class music streaming platform that is unrivaled in quality and content,” Claure also said in the press release. “The passion and dedication that these artist-owners bring to fans will enable Sprint to offer new and existing customers access to exclusive content and entertainment experiences in a way no other service can.”

Where the beginning of 2017 finds Jay Z expanding his competitive music streaming service, the rapper and entrepreneur has also been flexing his producing muscles too. Last year he announced a two year film and television production deal with The Weinstein Company, which includes a documentary series on Kalief Browder that will be premiering at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Titled Time: The Kalief Browder Story, the show is set to air as a six part series beginning in January on Spike TV, following its Sundance premiere. The episodes will feature dramatic reenactments of the young man’s life, archival footage, as well as interviews with family and friends.