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Megan Thee Stallion's NYT Op Ed And What "Protect Black Women” Means In Pop Culture

The safety of Black Women is more than a social justice catchphrase.

Megan Thee Stallion

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By: Scott Roth/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Scott Roth/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Image by: Scott Roth/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Adam Levine is no stranger to the conversation surrounding his alleged douchery and is now in over his head now that Instagram influencer Sumner Stroh posted receipts to TikTok detailing an alleged affair with The Voice coach.

He's often even embraced it and, like many jerks before him, repeatedly tried to gaslight the public into loving him anyway. "You're a lead singer of a hot band," Cosmopolitan frankly asked the Maroon 5 frontman in 2009. "Does that automatically make you cocky?" "A little," the singer responded. "But in a playful, not arrogant way."

In an interview with Zane Lowe this morning, the singer — who has said in previous interviews that "no one knows how planes actually work" and that he "spends most of his life naked " — told the legendary radio host, among other things, that "there aren't any bands anymore."

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The 10 Best Super Bowl Half Time Shows of All Time: Ranked

Remember when Lady Gaga literally jumped off the top of the stadium?

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira


If you watch the Super Bowl for the football, then we don't have much to talk about.

But if you watch the Super Bowl for the spectacle of the half time show and the commercials? We could get along. There are few performances in a musician's career with stakes as high as the Super Bowl half time show. It's live, the whole thing needs to be assembled in the length of a commercial break, and the whole country is watching and judging your performance.

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Carrie Underwood Roasted Again for Her ‘Sunday Night Football’ Opening Song

A Building Tradition Football Fans Love to Hate

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On Sep. 9 right before NBC Sunday Night Football, Carrie Underwood kicked off the night by singing a new theme song — fans, however, were unenthused by the musical precursor.

Right away, 'Game On' features the Pepsi-Cola logo which immediately gives off a scummy advertisement feel — then it goes on to highlight Underwood in some kind of rave-y, epilepsy-inducing warehouse, singing and dancing to a simple song with a basic rock/country tune.

The theme video also featured select players drinking Pepsi and highlight reels from past games — there's really nothing different about this theme song in comparison to past years. It just seemed like something the network had to throw together to appease sponsors and feature celebrity appearances.

Both Underwood and football fans took to Twitter to complain — some hated all of her theme songs while others just wanted last year's back. Other Twitter users love Underwood, but dislike what she's doing with 'Sunday Night Football.'

However, it isn't just negative emotions — some fans were super excited to see Underwood on stage for another year and pumped her up on Twitter.

Compared to last year, this theme really wasn't that different — ' Oh, Sunday Night' featured the Verizon logo first, then a more "I love America" feel with the flag hanging off the side of a building. However, the song was catchier even though Underwood ended up on a stage — which then made it seem like we were watching the theme to the X Factor.

Underwood has been singing the theme since 2013 — before that, we had Faith Hill from 2008 to 2012 and Pink in 2006. To be perfectly honest, they all sound pretty much the same — the singers didn't even change that much in style.

Perhaps the network just want to play it safe — people tend to have adverse reactions to change, especially in a tradition as old as football. But wouldn't you want to hear, oh I don't know, maybe an R&B version of the theme song? Some say don't reinvent the wheel, but I say we should at least experiment with it.

Amber Wang is a freelancer for Popdust and various other sites. She is also a student at NYU, a photographer and intern at the Stonewall National Monument.

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THE OPTION | Will the Browns Ever be Good Again?

If History is to Be Believed, the Answer is No.

The Cleveland Browns are the worst team in American sports but this wasn't always the case.

And no, this is not hyperbole. The trouble started back in the mid-eighties when the Browns were still a respectable franchise. Their owner, Art Modell, was having some financial issues. Back when he was making money, Modell bought $625,000 worth of land, a plot for a newly renovated stadium. He purchased this land via his company Stadium Corp, which owned the Browns' arena at the time.

Unfortunately for Modell, his fortune took a turn for the worse and to ameliorate his debt, he sold the land back to Stadium Corp for $3 million. Then, he sold Stadium Corp itself to the Cleveland Browns, which he also owned, for $6 million. His partner later sued him, and Modell was forced to reverse the deal. With a damaged reputation, Modell and his team absconded to Baltimore in 1996, leaving a football-starved Cleveland behind. After a three-year hiatus, the Cleveland Browns were resurrected in 1999, but the new team was, in a word, horrible. While Modell's Baltimore Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl in 2001, the new Cleveland Browns started an era of unprecedented struggle.

Since their reintroduction to the league 19 years years ago, the Browns are a pitiful 88-216 in the regular season. They've only had a winning record twice and have only made the playoffs once (they lost in the first round to Pittsburgh) during that span. Over the past few decades, the team has become something of a running joke, the expectant last-place finishers in a league that's specifically designed for parity, giving weaker franchises an advantage during the draft and imposing the same salary cap on every team. Realistically, over the course of two decades, the Browns should have lucked into a decent team, but while they've had some standout players like Josh Gordon and Peyton Hillis, the latter of which suffered the full ramifications of the Madden Curse, the Browns haven't been able to put together any sustained success. Here are some numbers to put things into perspective:

-13 of 16 NFC teams and 10 of 16 AFC teams have made it to their conference championship since 1999.

-There are nine teams that haven't made their respective conference championship since 1999 (Cowboys, Redskins, Lions, Texans (have only been in existence since 2004), Browns, Chiefs, Dolphins, Bengals, Bills).

-Of these nine teams, all but four have made it the divisional round of the playoffs. The Bills, Bengals, Lions, and Browns have not.

-Of these four teams, only the Bills and Browns have made the playoffs less than four times since 1999.

If you looked at the Bills and the Browns from 1999 to 2015, it'd be hard to pick which team had been worse. Yes, you could go back to the mid-nineties and point out that the Bills went to the Super Bowl four years in a row, but that's cheating. Strictly speaking, the Bills and Browns were neck and neck in their competition to become the most embarrassing NFL franchise of all time. From 1999 to 2014, the two teams were 4-4 against one another, and this race to the bottom seemed destined to go on forever. Cue Hue Jackson.

In 2016, the Cleveland Browns were in disarray. They'd just released their meth-addicted starting quarterback and someone, in their infinite wisdom, chose to replace him with the perennially injured Robert Griffin III. Hue Jackson was called in to replace Mike Pettine, who had gone an abysmal 10-22 in his short tenure as head coach. From an internal perspective, what happened next can only be speculated on, but from the outside, it looked as the Hue Jackson managed to turn a team that was tied for the worst NFL franchise of the 21st century into the worst team in NFL history. Over the past two years, the Browns are 1-31. They've won one game. The Browns are the second team in NFL history to go 0-16, and they almost did it in back-to-back years. Despite the fact that no coach in the history of the NFL has gone 1-31 over two seasons, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has decided to stick with Jackson, giving him one more chance this year.

It's not as if the team doesn't look different now. Josh Gordon has stopped smoking pot, Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield are competing for starting quarterback, Jarvis Landry, in possibly the worst location swap of all time, just arrived from Miami, and Carlos Hyde is set to start at running back. The question is, is Hue Jackson the person to lead this retooled squad, and if so, what was behind Haslam making that decision? Hue Jackson was 1-15 in his first year. He's actually gotten worse since he started with the team.

After the disastrous 2017 season, most Browns fans would probably consider four or five wins in 2018 a victory, but with the amount of money the team has shelled out in the offseason, it doesn't seem like the front office is aiming for slow growth. That said, whether or not the addition of a few offensive weapons makes a difference depends largely on the head coach, and right now, Cleveland's head coach is the guy who took them from the bottom of the league to the bottom of the NFL history book.

No matter who they put on the field, the Browns' playoff chances don't look good if Hue Jackson is on the sideline calling the shots. Maybe the team is cursed. Maybe Art Modell siphoned all of Cleveland's mojo and gave it to Baltimore. It would make sense. The Ravens have had two Super Bowls in the last twenty years. The last time the Browns made the playoffs, Lose Yourself by Eminem was at the top of the charts. If Art Modell's ghost is preventing the Browns from winning, they have no chance. The guy sold his own stadium to himself in order to get out of debt. If Modell laid down a curse, it's probably irreversible. But hey, Cleveland did just win their first preseason game. So maybe this is their year. If not, Cleveland fans can take solace in the fact that the original Browns team is playing in Baltimore, and they've been quite successful there.

Matt Clibanoff is a writer and editor based in New York City who covers music, politics, sports and pop culture. His editorial work can be found on Popdust, The Liberty Project, and All Things Go. His fiction has been published in Forth Magazine. Website: Twitter: @mattclibanoff

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Justin Timberlake brings the hits back to the Super Bowl - and Prince?

Last Sunday night, the pop star brought the hits ("Can't Stop the Feeling", "Suit and Tie") but failed to bring any heat

James Atoa/UPI/Shutterstock

Last Sunday night, there was one televised event that no one could take their eyes off, and it wasn't for a good reason - it was thanks to Justin Timberlake's lukewarm halftime show.

There was a solid start with "Rock Your Body", one of his early aughts hits that hasn't aged terribly, as well as renditions of "Suit and Tie" and "Can't Stop the Feeling." What followed was a controversial cover of "I Would Die 4 U", with Timberlake's own vocals as a projection of Prince performing the track engulfed the purple lights. The city of Minneapolis died and lived again, drenching everything in the color purple in honor of the late Prince. With the two pop singers having an infamous spat in the news, many fans were angered and felt like Prince would've hated the tribute - his sister Tyka Nelson, however, has told TMZ that she was pleasantly surprised and felt that her brother would've enjoyed it. Her brother wasn't one to hold grudges, she said.

In a post-show interview with

Jimmy Fallon, Timberlake gave some insight into his decision to perform a Prince tribute. ""It's a moment for me, if I'm being quite honest, because he's always been the pinnacle of musicianship for me," Timberlake said. "When we decided that the serendipity and synergy that we would be in Minneapolis and that, you know, he's such a special thing here, aside from what he is all over the world, I just felt like I wanted to do something for this city and something for him that would be the ultimate homage to what I consider the GOAT of musicians." He explained how they acquired the footage: "We got the actual vocal stems from 'I Would Die 4 U,' the actual recordings, and then we got uncut footage from his performance of it in Purple Rain, and somehow, some way, by the grace of probably Prince looking down on us, it synced up. It was like this crazy serendipitous moment. I just wanted to use that opportunity to do something special for this city, but most of all, for my favorite musician of all time."

Critics have panned this performance, accusing Timberlake of "phoning it in" with a mediocre catalog. To that, I riddle you this - Timberlake's half time show was never going to be great because his discography is, aside from a crowning gem here and there, mostly empty and forgettable. There was nothing of substance being said here. The New Yorker's Amanda Petrusich brought up a good reasoning for this: "As dancers flooded the field, Timberlake eventually made his way into the stands. He cajoled a child into filming a cell-phone video with him. Many more phones turned in his direction. For someone so aware of the way news travels now, his performance was oddly benign—expert, sure (in his decades of pop stardom, Timberlake has never been anything less than expert), but eerily un-self-aware. In 2018, eyeballs do not necessarily equal adulation. It seems fitting that the last thing Timberlake said, before sprinting away, his forehead glinting, was "Super Bowl selfies!" In the end, that was all that mattered."

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