Jay-Z and his entertainment company Roc Nation have taken out full-page adverts in newspapers across the US dedicated to the memory of George Floyd.
Earlier this week the rapper joined the growing list of notable names from across the worlds of music and entertainment to publicly call for justice for Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Former police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
In his statement on Monday (June 1), Jay-Z called upon Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison “to do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extent of the law.”
Yesterday (June 2) saw Jay-Z and Roc Nation’s philanthropic arm Team Roc take out full-page adverts dedicated to Floyd’s memory, with the ‘In dedication to George Floyd’ piece being printed in such US newspapers as The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Philadelphia Enquirer.
— Team Roc (@teamroc) June 2, 2020
The ad contains a powerful quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. which the civil rights leader made during an address in Selma, Alabama in March 1965.
“A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right,” the King quote reads. “A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.
“So we’re going to stand up amid horses. We’re going to stand up right here, amid the billy-clubs. We’re going to stand up right here amid police dogs, if they have them. We’re going to stand up amid tear gas!
“We’re going to stand up amid anything they can muster up, letting the world know that we are determined to be free!”
As well as Jay-Z, the ad was signed by such organisations as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Women’s Global Initiative and Van Jones’ Reform Alliance. The parents of Botham Jean, DJ Henry and Antwon Rose II, all of whom were unarmed black men who were killed by police officers, also signed.
CNN cites a Jay-Z representative who says that more newspaper adverts will follow in US papers today (June 3).
The Streets’ Mike Skinner says he “shouldn’t have played” Bristol’s Colston Hall
The space is named after former slave owner Edward Colston, but is set to be renamed later this year.
Speaking to the Independent, Skinner said he felt “a bit guilty” about performing at the venue. “Massive Attack haven’t been playing there for years,” he said. “At the time, I just thought it was just a name.”
A statue of Colston was recently pulled down by protestors and dumped in Bristol Harbour, which Skinner called a “fantastic moment”. “It was driven as much by white guilt as black power,” he said. “Even Piers Morgan backs it. If he backs it, I’m pretty confident that we’re good to go.”
The musician also commented on the recent Black Lives Matter protests around the world, calling them “incredibly moving”. “It’s easy for me to say, but I don’t think racist people are the problem, even though they are being quite vocal on Twitter,” Skinner added.
“I think racist systems are by orders of magnitude more damaging. I think what’s going on at the moment is people are starting to understand the difference between racist people and racist systems.”
The Streets shared their latest new song ‘Falling Down’ last month (June 23) – the latest track to be taken from their upcoming mixtape, ‘None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive’. The record will be released on July 10 and will feature IDLES, Ms Banks, Greentea Peng and more.
Meanwhile, the group are also one of a number of artists who are set to play the UK’s first drive-in gigs this summer. The Utilita Live From The Drive-In series will see artists including The Streets, Kaiser Chiefs and Dizzee Rascal perform across 12 venues as fans watch on from their cars.
DaBaby show criticised as social distancing measures don’t appear to be enforced
Concert promoters have been criticised after footage from DaBaby’s Fourth Of July show appears to show social distancing measures weren’t enforced.
The star performed at Cosmopolitan Premier Lounge in Decatur, Georgia last night (July 4), despite coronavirus cases in the state rapidly increasing.
Ahead of the show, organiser MyDJDre told TMZ that the venue would only be filled to 40 percent of its usual 4,000-person capacity and there would be a no mask, no entry rule in place, with masks required to stay on for the duration of the event. Attendees would also be required to have a temperature check done and answer health screening questions at the door.
DaBaby was also said to only be allowing three people on stage with him. However, video footage from the event shows a row of people stood at the back of the stage, albeit seemingly at a safe distance from the star (although not from each other).
In the crowd, meanwhile, many fans could be seen with no masks on or masks pulled down onto their chins and not adhering to social distancing measures.
Fans criticised the promoter of the show on social media, calling holding the event “irresponsible”. “I wouldn’t be bragging that “the whole city came out” in the middle of a pandemic,” commented on Instagram user on one of the promoter’s videos.
Another added: “This is so irresponsible. You should be ashamed.”
On Twitter, more fans expressed their concerns over the show. “I absolutely love Dababy and his music but this is such an awful idea,” wrote one fan. “Risking thousands of lives for a silly ass concert is so foolish. Cancel this ridiculousness.”
I absolutely love Dababy and his music but this is such an awful idea. Risking thousands of lives for a silly ass concert is so foolish. Cancel this ridiculousness. @DaBabyDaBaby @da https://t.co/jbJLA0frCJ
— That guy (@ThatGuy4442) July 5, 2020
Another gig is set to take place at the same venue tonight (July 5) with Moneybagg Yo, Blac Youngsta and Lil Marlo.
DaBaby’s show follows country star Chase Rice performing to a huge crowd of unmasked fans in Tennessee last month (June 27). The musician later responded to criticism in an Instagram video, saying: “I understand that there’s a lot of varying opinions, a lot of different opinions on COVID-19, how it works with live music crowds and what all that looks like.”
He told his fans: “My biggest thing is y’all. Y’all are why I get to write songs, why I get to tour the country, why I get to do live shows and sing you songs and you guys sing them back. You guys are everything to me, so your safety is a huge, huge priority.”
In the UK, only 13 percent of grassroots venues have said they could reopen with two-metre social distancing rules in place.
Axl Rose says his political tweets come “from a sense of outrage, obligation n’ responsbility”
Axl Rose has defended his politically outspoken tweets in a new post, saying they come “from a sense of outrage, obligation n’ responsibility”.
The Guns N’ Roses frontman has often used his Twitter account to criticise Donald Trump and yesterday (July 4) spoke out against the US Surgeon General.
“My disdain 4 current administration n’ what I perceive as its threat to democracy is no secret,” he tweeted today (July 5). “I’m not all that active w/social media n’ tho I more than appreciate anyone who takes an interest in something I might post I don’t really have an interest in how many followers or retweets etc. I have as my political or social issue posts rn’t about me. They’re about the issues.”
My disdain 4 r current administration n’ what I perceive as it’s threat to r democracy is no secret. I’m not (cont) https://t.co/vXSKO5lVBt
— Axl Rose (@axlrose) July 5, 2020
He continued: “In general my posts in regard to current events, politics or social issues r usually coming from a sense of outrage, obligation n’ responsibility to say something at times when I feel not to is being complicit (as opposed to a desire for attention or self promotion.)
“I’m nobody, just a citizen that like everyone else has my own opinions n’ believes in my heart that ultimately I want what’s best for not just r country but for humanity, wildlife n’ r environment n’ other’s as opposed to right, left or any other wing fascism r at least in this country free to disagree.”
Rose added that some people might consider his tweets “a lewd or immature response or opinion”, but said he would “voice an opinion” when someone in the government or public eye “says or does something that in my view supports or caters to the irresponsibility of this administration or various issues w/government or law enforcement”.
In his tweets yesterday, the musician called US Surgeon General Jerome Adams a “coward” and a “piece of shit” over comments he had made about Fourth of July celebrations. Rose also urged Adams to resign after he said American citizens “had to look at their individual risk” before attending any Independence Day gatherings.
In May, the frontman became embroiled in a Twitter feud with US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin after he criticised the government figure for how he handled the impact of coronavirus on the US economy.
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