Six Wu-Tang Members Talk J. Cole, Therapy & Kung Fu In Rare Interview As RZA Confronts Trump | MSNBC

Six Wu-Tang Members Talk J. Cole, Therapy & Kung Fu In Rare Interview As RZA Confronts Trump | MSNBC

In this extended 2019 interview with Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killah, RZA, Masta Killa, U-God, Inspectah Deck and Cappadonna, MSNBC host Ari Melber asks them about their music, their interest in chess and martial arts films, politics in the age of Trump, and how they look at music and life after 25 years together. RZA brings up J. Cole’s middle child to discuss the different generations in hip hop, and several of the artists discuss how music can be a form of therapy for young people who don’t otherwise “have an outlet for anger, frustration, emotions, sadness.” This interview is a digital exclusive that was part of Wu-Tang Clan’s 2019 appearance on “The Beat with Ari Melber,” an MSNBC show coveting news, politics and culture, which included another segment that aired on TV.
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Six Wu-Tang Members Talk J. Cole, Therapy & Kung Fu In Rare Interview As RZA Confronts Trump | MSNBC

Common On Trump, The Abortion Debate And Why Rap Scares People | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Common On Trump, The Abortion Debate And Why Rap Scares People | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Oscar, Emmy and Grammy-award winning rapper Common joins MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber for a wide-ranging interview, discussing how he dealt with childhood abuse, speaking up for marginalized people in the Trump era, his song exploring abortion debates with Lauryn Hill and much more. Common delves into why he is telling more of his story in a new memoir, including his feeling that some else who “might be going through a similar trauma” will now also be able to talk about it.
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Common On Trump, The Abortion Debate And Why Rap Scares People | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

COLUMN: Yes, all music is political

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A variety of records and CDs can be found at Landlocked Music. Mallory Smith Buy Photos

When Spanish pop singer Rosalía released her old school reggaeton-inspired single “Con Altura” last month, it didn’t take long for anonymous users in the comment section to accuse the singer as a repeat offender of appropriating cultures.

The first time Rosalía was publicly called out for appropriating and capitalizing on cultures that are not of her Spanish origins came in 2018 with the success of her multiple Latin Grammy Award-winning album “El Mal Querer.”

“El Mal Querer” is a conceptual, experimental flamenco pop album. Flamenco is a traditional form of song and dance performed by Andalusian Roma people in southern Spain. Rosalía is not of Andalusian Roma descent, but credits her decision to make a flamenco album on her deep love for the genre that developed when she encountered flamenco as a child.

The reggaeton roots of “Con Altura,” however, are not a part of Rosalía’s upbringing. Reggaeton originates from 1950s Puerto Rico and has seen significant crossover success and acceptance in mainstream American music over the recent years. Daddy Yankee’s 2004 hit “Gasolina” and Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” in 2017 were high-charting songs in the United States the years they were released.

Why do politics have to be brought up when talking about a fun dance song? Because music, even music created fully with the intention to entertain, is inherently political.

It would be hard to argue when listening to the lyrics of “Con Altura,” the title meaning with height in Spanish, that there is a political dimension to the song, but the politics of performance are at play. Why is Rosalía, and not a female artist who specializes in reggaeton, granted a feature on a J. Balvins song that was more or…

Beyonce Producer Just Blaze On Being Cool: Stay In Your Lane | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Beyonce Producer Just Blaze On Being Cool: Stay In Your Lane | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Legendary hip hop producer who has worked with artists like Jay-Z, Kanye, Eminem and Beyonce discusses older generations trying to connect with younger generations, the controversy of a hunter killing a sleeping lion and more in a new interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber and fellow anchor Ayman Mohyeldin.
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Beyonce Producer Just Blaze On Being Cool: Stay In Your Lane | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

How Politics Is Affecting Musicians From Brazil And Venezuela

Brazilian singer-songwriter Luedji Luna hopes her music motivates the people of her country to recognize their power and stand up to government officials.

Two South American countries have been in the news a lot lately. Venezuela’s economy has collapsed in a political crisis and in Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, the country’s new far-right president, has made racist comments and been accused of stoking anti-gay violence. For musicians in both those countries, the news is affecting their work. At the 2019 SXSW Music Festival, NPR Music’s Felix Contreras, host of Alt.Latino, met with many performers who traveled to be at the festival.

Contreras says Brazilian singer-songwriter Luedji Luna expected the conservative backlash after a period of more liberal policies. Luna has been very outspoken in her music about the political unrest in her country.

“I know where I come from, and I know my heritage,” Luna says. “I know that is not my afraid, it’s they are afraid of me — of my power, of our power.”

As Contreras notes, Luna joins a long legacy of Brazilian musicians speaking truth to power.

“During the military dictatorship…

R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty To Aggravated Sexual Abuse Charges | Craig Melvin | MSNBC

R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty To Aggravated Sexual Abuse Charges | Craig Melvin | MSNBC

Disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty inside a Chicago courtroom on Monday after spending the weekend in jail. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.
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R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty To Aggravated Sexual Abuse Charges | Craig Melvin | MSNBC

Joan Baez’s Music Keeps Providing The Soundtrack For Political Struggles

NPR’s Ari Shapiro spoke with musician Joan Baez in February about her first Grammy nomination in 1962 and her newest album, “Whistle Down the Wind.”

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “SILVER DAGGER”)

JOAN BAEZ: (Singing) Don’t sing love songs. You’ll wake my mother.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Joan Baez got her first Grammy nomination more than half a century ago in 1962. This year she released her first album in nearly a decade called “Whistle Down The Wind.” And once again, she’s nominated for a Grammy for best folk album. Like her earlier work, these new songs provide a soundtrack for political struggles from civil rights to women’s equality. When I spoke with her back in February, she told me she thinks of this as a bookend to her first album which came out in 1959.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

BAEZ: The first album had the song “Silver Dagger” on it, this famous, famous old folk song ballad.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “SILVER DAGGER”)

BAEZ: (Singing) And in her right hand a silver dagger.

On this one I asked Josh Ritter if he’d write me a song. And he wrote a song called “Silver Blade.”

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “SILVER BLADE”)

BAEZ: (Singing) I have myself a silver blade. The edge is sharp, the handle bone, a little thing of silver made.

I think in the beginning also there was – I did mostly ballads. And then as the years went by, as in, like, the second and third album, then the political-leaning music came in. And this album now is a combination of those two things, very sparse. We made it in three visits of three days each, which is how I like to work – fast (laughter).

SHAPIRO: Your music was some of the signature protest songs of the 1960s. And in that time, there were songs that everybody sang together at protests, some of them your songs. And today it feels like the protests are as big as they have ever been, but it doesn’t feel like there is a shared soundtrack.

BAEZ: No, I think you’re absolutely right. And in the ’60s and ’70s, we had basically civil rights and Vietnam. It was very clear.

SHAPIRO: Yeah.

BAEZ: Now every single day, there’s a new issue to try and keep up with and deal with and decide if that’s where you want to put your energy. So it’s baffling, as you know (laughter). And it’s not going to get any simpler. So, yes, we need that anthem. It beats shouting. But in the meantime, it’s better shouting than silence.

SHAPIRO: I wondered about “The President Sang Amazing Grace”…

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “THE PRESIDENT SANG AMAZING GRACE”)

BAEZ: (Singing) A young man came to a house of prayer. They did not ask what brought him there.

Oh, gosh (laughter).

SHAPIRO: …Because it feels so specific and so overtly political. And…

BAEZ: Yeah.

SHAPIRO: …It’s a beautiful, simple tune.

BAEZ: Yeah. It’s an amazing little tune. When I first heard it, I had to pull the car over ’cause I started crying.

SHAPIRO: We should say this song about President Obama was written by an artist named Zoe Mulford.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “THE PRESIDENT SANG AMAZING GRACE”)

BAEZ: (Singing) But then the young man drew a gun and killed nine people, old and young.

And then for the first two weeks of trying to figure it out on the guitar, (laughter) I kept crying. I was afraid that when I got in the studio, it…

New Edition Reflect On Their 40 Year History | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

New Edition Reflect On Their 40 Year History | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

In a Special Edition of “The Beat”, R&B group RBRM, formerly known as New Edition join Ari Melber for “fallback Friday” and a wider conversation about their 40 years of success in the music industry and why they wouldn’t trade that longevity for “instant fame”. Each member of the group also reveals which of their songs stands out for them and answers the question from their hit record: “If it isn’t love, why does it hurt so bad?”.
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New Edition Reflect On Their 40 Year History | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Country Music Will Talk About the Hurt, but Not the Politics

The Country Music Association Awards are supposed to be a celebration of one of America’s enduring art forms, a night of star performances, gentle ribbing and a red carpet resplendent with formal wear and the occasional cowboy hat.

But Wednesday, when this year’s awards are presented in Nashville, there is one thing guests probably won’t be doing: having any discussion of gun laws.

For the second year in a row, the CMA Awards will closely follow a mass shooting of the industry’s own fans. Twelve people were gunned down late Wednesday night at a country and western dance hall in Thousand Oaks, Calif. In October 2017, 58 people were killed and hundreds wounded at a country music festival in Las Vegas. Some who survived Las Vegas were there Wednesday night in Thousand Oaks. One of them did not survive the second time.

While much of the entertainment world has tacked sharply and openly to the left in the last two years, with celebrities politicking from awards stages in ball gowns and black tie, country music has taken a more cautious, tight-lipped approach.

“As far as country music goes, it’s sort of no-man’s-land to really go out and make a political statement,” said Andy Albert, a songwriter based in Nashville who writes mainly for country performers.

Cultural and political conservatives are a significant portion of the fan base, of course, and most performers take pains not to alienate them, whether they agree with them personally or not. But country music is far from the politically crimson monolith it is often assumed to be. Big cities in the North and West are major markets for the industry, and in recent years its fans have become younger, as well as increasingly urban and suburban.

Over the last decade, the music itself has become less political, and less macho. Country music of the early to mid-2000s tended toward the jingoist and the masculinist, especially after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Stars like Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry and others brought a bulked-up rural brawn to the genre, in an era when country music was its most publicly conservative.

Image
Eric Church, a self-professed “gun guy,” has said he supports closing gun-show loopholes and banning bump stocks.CreditBrian Ach/Getty Images

The emergence of the bro archetype at the turn of the 2010s began shifting the tone, as male performers — who still dominate the industry, along with a few female superstars — focused more on partying than cultural, or actual, politics.

Over the last couple of years, the genre has shifted again to a gentler, less brute kind of male star: the gentleman. The music has been stripped clean of much of its overt masculinity, and most performers strenuously avoid political conversation.

“It’s just sort of in the water, it’s just understood that none of these artists are trying to use this as a soapbox,” Mr. Albert said of the songs he writes for other musicians. “It’s more likely to get liked and heard and recorded if we can find a way to navigate a political topic without pressing an…

Clayton Jump for Congress 2020 – Amazing Campaign Ad (An HONEST Politician!!!)

Clayton Jump for Congress 2020 - Amazing Campaign Ad (An HONEST Politician!!!)

Clayton Jump’s first campaign ad is a wonder of politics, an honest, direct talk with the voters of Colobraska. Getting a “Jump” on the competition, this isn’t for 2018, but 2020, giving Clayton a chance to lay our his vision and really showcase his trademark honesty and unparalleled integrity. No topic will be out of bounds, as Clayton promises to be the MOST HONEST politician to ever run for office. Voters can ask him anything, about everything, and he’ll give them the straight poop.

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