Coalition of Celebrities Call on President Obama to Reform Drug Laws

Over 100 entertainers have banded together to call on President Obama to change America’s drug laws.

Led by Russell Simmons, the coalition presented a letter to the President on Tuesday, calling for intervention and rehabilitation instead of jail time for non-violent offenders.

From the Associated Press:

The starry group, which also includes Jennifer Hudson, Nicki Minaj, Susan Sarandon and Will Smith, also asks Obama to form a panel to handle clemency requests and to support a measure that allows judges to waive mandatory minimum sentences.

Majority of Americans Think States Should Decide Whether to Legalize Marijuana; What Do You Think?

According to a recent poll, the majority of Americans believe states should be allowed to decide whether to legalize marijuana.

59 percent of respondent said the decision is up to the states; 34 percent thought the federal government should decide.

From Think Progress:

The Controlled Substances Act makes marijuana and other drugs illegal under federal law, but it does not dictate how the states handle drug policy.

Why You Should Be Taking Tyler, the Creator and Kreayshawn Seriously

Last Saturday night, Kreayshawn and the White Girl Mob played a sold-out gig in Hollywood. And according to Spin Magazine, it was an insane show.

“…the audience rushed the stage where they proceeded to completely freak out — bouncing, stripping, cooking, and flipping into the crowd — until the music was done and they were forced bodily from the limelight by the venue’s security. It was intensely electric.”

The next day, she hit the VMAs, where she was nominated (and a favorite) for the Best New Artist Award. She lost to like-minded and equally controversial Tyler, the Creator. Like Kreayshawn, Tyler and Odd Future rose to prominence through YouTube, blogs and social media, don’t fit in any radio format, and have sharply divided critics and fans.

A lot of people aren’t taking Kreayshawn and Odd Future seriously. And that’s understandable. When something comes along that is so alien to mainstream standards and tastes, it always gets dismissed.

But don’t be fooled. Their success is organic and real; not some record label’s scheme. The rise of artists like Odd Future and Kreayshawn (as well as Lil B and Waka Flocka Flame) is subversive to Hip Hop’s status quo. And it might end up being a big deal.

THE WEEKND Continues To Astound With New Mixtape "THURSDAY"

Our prayers were answered yesterday, people.

Last night, Toronto-based R&B mystery man The Weeknd unleashed his brand new mixtape Thursday.  You can follow the link below to snag the free download.

Things have changed drastically for The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) since the release of his first tape House Of Balloons earlier this year. For one thing, there was absolutely no pressure. But since then, House of Balloons has been the most positively-reviewed album of the year thus far. Tesfaye now releases his follow-up to an audience hungry for another dose of a dark, haunted and debauched majesty that we now come to expect (i.e. demand) from The Weeknd.

And our hero does not disappoint.

The Era-Defining Legacy of Amy Winehouse

At this stage in the game, it’s really impossible to know the true nature of Amy Winehouse’s legacy. This kind of thing becomes clear with time and distance.
It might be easy to compare her with other beloved singers that left us too soon, like Billie Holiday or Sam Cooke. And perhaps we’ll position her alongside her cohorts in the 27 Club, like Janis Joplin or Kurt Cobain. To be clear, I’m almost certain Amy will be looked upon with similar admiration and awe; her voice, style and songwriting were unmatched by anyone else of her generation.
But its important to recognize that we experienced Amy in a very different way. There are no youtube videos of Kurt Cobain shooting up heroin. There is very little footage of Jim Morrison’s many disastrous concert meltdowns. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix had more than a few nights out on the town drunk and high. But the paparazzi didn’t follow their every move, and random onlookers weren’t armed with camera phones in the late 60’s. 
Yes, Amy Winehouse’s legacy will be very different from theirs because her many highs and lows were witnessed en masse, in real time, via. youtube, tabloids and blogs. We saw practically every moment of it. For better or for worse. And though it may be difficult to admit, there is just no way this won’t influence the way we perceive her life and work.

Weed and Our Strivings

It feels like marijuana smoke has been filling the sky more than ever these days. Behind every humyn activity follows a library of music to support it; so the existence of music that speaks casually about “weed” implies a culture heavily influenced by “the green”. In America, Black people have witnessed an undying tradition of music being made for smoking marijuana. Rappers like Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y, coming after the origins of Funk along with the antics of Rick James, broadcast a striving of the Black experience. This striving is born of struggle (shout outs to Leonard Harris) and therefore stimulates an attitude of resistance, distinguished from the functionally passive youth violence.