Hip-Hop legend Snoop Dogg is rap's cool uncle.

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Culture Feature

Has "The Breakfast Club" Become a Platform for Racists and Rapists?

Over the last two weeks, the show has given a platform to guests who don't deserve it.

Russell Simmons

Photo by a katz (Shutterstock)

Last summer, Power 105.1's nationally syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club morphed from a long-winded cache of awkward pop culture moments to a respected stop for the 2020 Democratic nominees.

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Logic Bucks Critics on "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind"

The 29-year-old emcee trolls his haters on refreshing new album

Logic is done with hate and negativity.

On the title track of his latest release, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, he raps, "That's why I keep flowin', that's why I keep perserverin' / Even when I'm hearing I'm a bitch, I'm a fag / I'm a motherfuckin' hypebeast, I ain't black in the slight least / I ain't good enough, I should quit, I should kill myself / ''Cause you'll never be Kenny' / 'You'll never be better than Drizzy or Cole' / 'You're losing your hair, you're too fucking old' / These are the comments I'm readin' on Twitter right now / That made me depressed and they pullin' me down / I'm trying to swim but I think I'm'a drown / So I'm'a turn my feelin' into a sound / And play it when nobody else is around."

This opening track sets the tone for the scathingly honest, self-aware, introspective, and devil-may-care attitude that Logic adopts throughout the rest of the project. On Confessions, his sixth studio album, we see a different side of Logic – one that has been notably missing from his more recent releases, and one that often leads to good music (especially in hip hop) – and that is the side that doesn't care what you think. This sentiment manifests itself not only in the album's lyrical content but in how much fun Logic appears to be having on some of these songs.

He's assembled a motley crew of features, too, with no regard to how pigeonholing rap elitists may perceive them. In addition to the Eminem feature on the chart-topping "Homicide," there are also special guest verses from Gucci Mane, YBN Cordae, G-Eazy, Wiz Khalifa, and none other than Will Smith. If nothing else, this features list feels a little antagonistic, as if Logic might be trolling us a little bit. Or, more accurately, Logic seems to be trolling the armchair hip hop critics who will, no doubt, find plenty to complain about when they hear Will Smith rapping with his characteristically buttery old-school flow in 2019; when they find out that the emcee who controversially dubbed himself Bobby Biracial has chosen to feature the other two biggest white rappers in the game on his album; and when they hear Logic dabbling in trap with Gucci Mane on the funky ode to ballin', "Icy." His goal on Confessions may be best summed up by a line in the second half of "Mama / Show Love:" "I'm pushin' 30, my man, it's time to have fun."

In addition to addressing his haters and focusing on doing things his way despite all the criticism, Logic weaves a couple other tangible through lines into this album. On songs like "Wannabe," "Mama / Show Love," "Lost in Translation," and "BOBBY," he goes in on the trappings, difficulties, and stresses that come with fame. On songs like "Pardon my Ego," "Icy," "COMMANDO," and "Still Ballin'," he flaunts his material success. And on "Clickbait," "Cocaine," and "Homicide," Logic flexes his muscle as a cultural critic, satirizing the current state of hip hop, as well as touching on addiction (both to drugs and social media).

Although these themes are all clearly present on Confessions..., together they make the album feel a little bit scattered – as if there was a definite attempt to create a thematically cohesive project, but it never quite came together in the end. The individual songs never really coalesce to become something greater than the sum of their parts in the end. Which is perfectly fine; a great album certainly does not need to be thematically cohesive; however, you get the sense that a concerted effort was put forth to produce an album that was, and so it registers as falling slightly short of what this album seems like it wants to be.

That being said, there are definitely some great cuts on this record. The production – provided primarily by longtime Logic collaborator and executive producer, 6ix, along with !llMind, DJ Khalil, Keanu Beats, Shroom, Bregma, Haze, and others – is on point from the first track to the 16th, with little to no filler. We probably could have done without Will Smith's paternal lecture on "Don't Be Afraid to be Different" (although it was still kind of fun to hear him rap again), and there are definitely a couple of tracks that are more forgettable than others.

Even so, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is firmly rooted in hip-hop (which fans will likely find refreshing after Logic's brief foray into alt-rock and pop for his last album / the soundtrack to his book, Supermarket). And, at the end of the day, even though the emcee is taking a relatively carefree approach to his music, both in terms of the subjects he's tackling and with whom he's collaborating, he is still carefully crafting his songs, bar by bar, and it shows – in the amount of thought put into his lyrics, and the exacting precision of his flows.

Dustin DiPaulo is a writer and musician from Rochester, New York. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University and can most likely be found at a local concert, dive bar, or comedy club (if he's not getting lost somewhere in the woods).

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Culture News

Soulja Boy Accused of Kidnapping and Assault

The woman claims she was left tied up for 6 hours.

Soulja Boy

By Dooley Productions / Shutterstock

A California woman claimed Saturday that Soulja Boy kidnapped her. The victim, Kayla, who was supposedly dating the rapper, was at Soulja Boy's Agoura Hills house Friday night when the two began arguing and Kayla was consequently asked to leave around 2:30 am. While backing down the driveway, she reportedly clipped the curb, drawing an angry reaction from Soulja Boy's assistant who witnessed the incident.

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Tracy Chapman Sues Nicki Minaj

Minaj's "Sorry" is a "Baby Can I Hold You" rip-off

Move over Cardi B, Nicki Minaj found another celeb to mess with.

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Emmy award winner Lena Waithe's new show about the lives of black citizens of Southern Chicago is something so special.

Most Americans have consumed some form of TV - and those that haven't are surrounded by the remnants of it. They see ads for TV shows, listen to people talking about those shows - TV has managed to become a facet of the modern human experience. So, it begs the question: Why are we only seeing the same stories being told over and over again?

Don't get me wrong, we've seen a bit of a TV renaissance in recent years. The age of reality TV has given way to a new era of scripted dramas, dramedies, and the like ranging from Breaking Bad to Supernatural to Game of Thrones. And as great as this new influx of creative energy is - it's also come with a slew of glaring issues. Issues that range from a lack of representation to the mistreatment of minorities that do get introduced.

The Cast of The Chi (Mathieu Young | SHOWTIME)

That's what makes Lena Waith's The Chi such a beautiful outlier compared to most TV we're getting exposed to. I have to give a special disclaimer - I have only seen the first episode due to my lack of money for Showtime (but I'm saving up! I swear!) - so keep in mind that all of my reactions and thoughts revolve around that episode. And man, what an episode it was. Okay, disclaimer over.
The pilot is one of the strongest I've ever seen. Throughout the pilot, we are shown the tragic deaths of two black youths, Jonah and Coogie. They are both shown to be bright, beautiful young men - and their deaths are portrayed and senseless and heartbreaking. These deaths directly and indirectly interconnect the lives of an astounding cast of characters. And they are each used to their fullest throughout the episode, whether we're seeing young Kevin - played by Moonlight star Alex R. Hibbert - witnessing the tragic shooting of another character, Brandon - played by the brilliant Jason Mitchell - delivering a beautiful eulogy in that character's honor, or Emmet- played by the hilarious Jacob Latimore - trying to hide from the woman who has given his third child.

Through these characters, we are given a full spectrum of human emotion. We are shown immense grief and pain, we are shown pride and love, and we are even treated some well timed moments of humor to bring us back from the heartache. And it's done so with such precise balance - you never feel like it's ever too much. The only thing you do is wonder why? How could that happen?

In a world where racial tensions are running high, Lena Waithe puts forward an idea that shouldn't be as revolutionary as it is: That black stories are not only valid, but just as important as white stories. You can feel her passion and her care for the place and the people she writes about. And as an audience member, she managed to captivate me every second. She doesn't turn the South Side into some seedy crime-filled underbelly. She shows you what it is: A part of the Chicago where real people live and hurt and try their best to get ahead. It's got problems and sometimes it's dangerous, but that's not all this is.

Honestly, you have to watch this show. Especially if, like me, you haven't been exposed to these stories before. Plus, it's a damned good piece of TV.

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