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Chuck D on Death of Takeoff: ‘When Corporations Show Up God Leaves the Room’

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “I don’t blame the youth. You’ve got to blame some adults hiding behind the scenes, pied piping and pied papering all of this madness and making this kind of thing seem normal. Was there a shootout at a dice game? Yes. Were Black men involved in that circle? Yes. But it’s somebody pushing buttons and pulling levers and not only doing so but they have been greatly enriched financially by these incidents.”
The post Chuck D on Death of Takeoff: ‘When Corporations Show Up God Leaves the Room’ first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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As family, friends, and fans, continue to mourn the death of Migos member Takeoff, the demand for hip-hop to take a stand against gun violence has grown.
While many have expressed disbelief and anger that the shooting death of the 28-year-old, whose real name is Kirshnik Khari Ball, took place allegedly because of an argument over a dice game.

Fans on social media and the mainstream press have quickly tossed blame at everyone from Takeoff’s bandmate Quavo to clothing boss J. Prince Jr. and even to the slain rap star himself.

And as always, hip-hop has come under fire.

That’s no surprise to legendary Public Enemy frontman Chuck D, whom most recognize as hip-hop’s voice of reason.

In putting in a perspective as perhaps only the “Fight the Power” artist can, Chuck noted that any other industry that has seen as many fatalities as hip-hop would have addressed that issue long ago.

And Chuck doesn’t put the blame entirely on the artists.

“This curiosity of what is this hip-hop thing, what is this Black thing. The world always seems to want to know and mimic our greatness,” Chuck asserted in a 30-minute interview with the Black Press of America’s live morning news program, “Let It Be Known.

“And if they can find a way to finance and have our people mimic us at our worst – the stereotype that generalizes us as a bunch of murderous thugs and metastasize that over a 10-15-20-year period as being normal, then we got a problem.”

He continued:

“I don’t blame the youth. You’ve got to blame some adults hiding behind the scenes, pied piping and pied papering all of this madness and making this kind of thing seem normal. Was there a shootout at a dice game? Yes. Were Black men involved in that circle? Yes. But it’s somebody pushing buttons and pulling levers and not only doing so but they have been greatly enriched financially by these incidents.”

Takeoff’s death counts among a string of murders in the hip-hop community over the past several years.

Other high-profile murders include PnB Rock, Pop Smoke, XXXTentacion, Nipsey Hustle, King Von, and Young Dolph.

“I was in college when Biggie and ‘Pac was killed and thought there was no way we’d ever experience anything remotely close to that again,” media personality Jemele Hill tweeted following Takeoff’s death.

“Now,” Hill continued. “It’s happening so frequently that you barely have time to recover before someone else is killed.”

Chuck noted that a large part of the argument about hip-hop deaths and violence comes from many who don’t consider all available facts.

“There are hundreds of thousands of artists out there,” he said when asked whether the younger artists pay attention to the old heads.

“Who do you count? Do you count the more successful ones because more people like them? When we start getting into followers and likes, those algorithms don’t add up to who we are as a people,” Chuck insisted.

He explained:

“I have ten stations on Rap Station (Radio). We play artists from the underground and under-found. We play artists with a 10-15-year career, women worldwide and in more abundance than in the United States.”

Chuck continued:

“If you only pay attention to what’s being washed up on your shores, you’re going to get a limited view of what it really is. There is really no kind of educational forum that people can go to like in other aspects of life. Our arts and culture should be taught to us. If we don’t control our educational curriculum, we’re going to let corporations teach us. And, whenever corporations show up, God walks out the door.”

In a recent podcast, Takeoff spoke about receiving his flowers before he died.

“It’s time to pop it,” Takeoff said on “Drink Champs.”

“It’s time to give me my flowers. I don’t want them later when I’m not here. I want them right now.”

Chuck said the life artists today lead today, compared to earlier hip-hop stars, is different.

“At the beginning of hip-hop, especially in the real beginning, cats wanted to get away from that,” Chuck recounted.

“They didn’t want to be in the Bronx. New York City had been deemphasized and abandoned by the U.S.A. during a tough fiscal time post-Nixon. Cats saw the emergence of hard drugs coming in out of nowhere. Guns coming out of nowhere, and cats wanted to get away from that, and they didn’t want to [rhyme] about that in the 1980s.

He concluded:

“You had MCs and rappers who adhered to those values and qualities. We could have “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five that talked about what’s going on, but they also made party records to not talk about things people saw every day.

“There was a balance to at least try to bring good times into the picture. People often said Public Enemy bought a political message, but we came from the 1960s, so we remember a time of being broke but not broken.

“Many cats came from the 1970s doing hip hop in the 1980s and 1990s.

“We came from the Black Panther Party doing lunch programs, the Nation of Islam doing things in the neighborhood. We remember Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X being assassinated when they were living people to us.

“On my birth certificate, it says ‘Negro.’ I remember being ‘Colored’ and ‘Black is Beautiful.’ That’s a different period that has been kind of pushed under the rug in Americana.”

The post Chuck D on Death of Takeoff: ‘When Corporations Show Up God Leaves the Room’ first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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IN MEMORIAM International Soccer Icon Pelé Dies at 82

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves. 

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Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Pelé, the international star who was instrumental in three World Cup championships with Brazil across three decades and who energized U.S. soccer with the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, has died.

The 82-year-old legend had been hospitalized since November, and his doctors reported that Pelé’s cancer had advanced, requiring care related to renal and cardiac dysfunction.

He has been receiving regular treatment since doctors removed a tumor from his colon in 2021.

“Father. My strength is yours,” the international star’s son, Edinho, posted on social media.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

He led the Brazilian national teams to World Cup glory in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

In 1956, he joined the Santos Football Club, where he played inside left forward, winning nine São Paulo league championships and, in 1962 and 1963, the Libertadores Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup.

Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves.

“After the 1958 World Cup, Pelé was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government to ward off large offers from European clubs and ensure that he would remain in Brazil,” Britannica researchers wrote.

On Nov. 19, 1969, in his 909th first-class match, he scored his 1,000th goal.

Pelé made his international debut in 1957 at age 16 and played his first game in the World Cup finals in Sweden the following year.

The Brazilian manager was initially hesitant to play his young star. But, according to Britannica, when Pelé finally reached the field, he had an immediate impact, rattling the post with one shot and collecting an assist.

He had a hat trick in the semifinal against France and two goals in the championship game, where Brazil defeated Sweden 5–2. At the 1962 World Cup finals, Pelé tore a thigh muscle in the second match and had to sit out the remainder of the tournament.

Nonetheless, Brazil went on to claim its second World Cup title.

Researchers said rough play and injuries turned the 1966 World Cup into a disaster for Brazil and Pelé, as the team went out in the first round, and he contemplated retiring from World Cup play.

Returning in 1970 for one more World Cup tournament, he teamed with young stars Jairzinho and Rivelino to claim Brazil’s third title and permanent ownership of the Jules Rimet Trophy. Pelé finished his World Cup career, scoring 12 goals in 14 games.

Pelé’s electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals made him a worldwide star.

His team Santos toured internationally to take full advantage of his popularity. For example, in 1967, he and his team traveled to Nigeria, where a 48-hour cease-fire in that nation’s civil war was called to allow all to watch the great player.

Pelé announced his retirement in 1974 but, in 1975, agreed to a three-year $7 million contract with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and to promote the game in the United States. He retired after leading the Cosmos to the league championship in 1977.

Pelé was the recipient of the International Peace Award in 1978. In 1980 he was named Athlete of the Century by the French sports publication L’Equipe, and he received the same honor in 1999 from the International Olympic Committee. In 2014 the Pelé Museum opened in Santos, Brazil.

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COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips

THE AFRO — Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours. 
The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Megan Sayles | AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
msayles@afro.com

We’ve all heard the age-old saying that “hard work pays off.”  But, sometimes, working too hard can do more harm than good.

“Burnout” is a form of work-related stress in which an individual experiences physical, emotional or mental exhaustion caused by their job’s demands. It can also make workers feel distanced from their jobs and engender negative feelings about them, according to the World Health Organization.

Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours.

This makes it even more important for people to know the signs of burnout and the strategies to combat it.

Natasha Charles is the founder and CEO of Intuitive Coaching with Natasha Charles, a comprehensive life coaching and consulting firm. She created the business after gaining 20 years in senior administration roles.

Charles was motivated to open the firm in 2018 out of a desire to create a business focused on inspiring continuous improvement. There, she works with individuals and executives to create lives that they love and offers them personalized solutions to address critical work and business challenges.

“It’s really about thinking about you, the person, and all that you are,” Charles said. “People tend to be very focused on one aspect of their life, and a lot of times, it’s about their career, so it’s really about making space for all of your goals and all of your dreams.”

When someone experiences burnout, Charles said they could be actively doing their job while simultaneously worrying about their other responsibilities and priorities, whether personal or work-related. She also stressed that burnout can be experienced no matter what profession you are in and what you are being paid.

Aside from the physical and mental impacts of stress, burnout can impact finances if it causes an employee to take extended periods of time off or miss work, according to Charles. It can also reduce their productivity.

In the beginning of 2022, the term “quiet quitting” emerged, and for some, it’s being used as a method to avoid burnout. It involves individuals meeting the minimum requirements of their job descriptions, investing no extra time or effort than what is mandatory.

For Charles, quiet quitting is a signal that a person is not fulfilled by their job and may need to think about changing workplaces or careers.

“I get that people are not always able to up and quit, and it can take time to find what that next role is,” Charles said. “I would come from a space of encouraging the person to start thinking about what that is. What is it that you ultimately desire to be doing in your life and seeing your work?”

One of the most important steps in reducing and preventing burnout is educating yourself about the syndrome, so you can be aware of the warning signs, according to Charles. She also said it was crucial for employers to talk to their employees about it.

Awareness can help prevent the shame and guilt that comes with burnout and allow people to give themselves grace.

After a person has weighed whether they are experiencing burnout or not, they should think about how they want to confront it. This could include engaging in self-care, asking for extra support at work or home, and creating stronger boundaries between their personal and professional lives.

When burnout is impacting your performance, it’s time to consider making a career change, Charles said.

To ensure your work life does not invade your personal life, Charles said people need to assess the goals they have for all areas of their life. Once you’ve set goals, it’s easier to devise a plan and set the necessary boundaries to achieve them.

Charles also said it’s important to carve out time for yourself where you’re not constantly checking your phone or email for work reasons.

“There is life beyond your work. There is an entire world out there to be discovered,” Charles said. “There’s a world within us to be discovered as well, and I encourage everyone to invest in discovering those pieces.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting 

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.
The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Canadian rapper Tory Lanez faces more than 20 years in prison and deportation after a jury in Los Angeles found him guilty in the 2020 shooting of hip hop star Megan Thee Stallion.

Lane, 30, was found guilty of three felony counts, including assault with an unregistered semiautomatic weapon, carrying a loaded gun, and discharging a firearm in a vehicle with gross negligence.

The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.

The 27-year-old Megan, whose real name is Megan Pete, testified that Lanez offered her hush money and didn’t care about her injuries and pain suffered because he shot her.

Lanez, who declined to testify, claimed there was another shooter, Pete’s friend who was also arguing with the hit maker as they drove home from a party.

“[Lanez] told me to dance,” Pete told the jury, adding that he also cursed at her following the shooting.

Sentencing for Lanez is scheduled for Jan. 27.

“You showed incredible courage and vulnerability with your testimony despite repeated and grotesque attacks that you did not deserve,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said, referring to Pete.

“You faced unjust and despicable scrutiny that no woman should ever face, and you have been an inspiration to others across LA County and the nation.”

The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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