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Khaaliq Crowder

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Brock Turner Prison Release

The Lowdown: Brock Turner, former student and swimming star at Stanford, was convicted of rape and given six months in jail, but was released after three.

The Tea: I honestly feel the same way most of the general public feels; it’s completely unfair. It is already messed how many sexual assaults occur on college campus, and most go unreported or without any prosecution. Brock Turner is a wealthy white male which throws him at the top of the social hierarchy of America, and I personally feel that the judge is  terrible for allowing this light sentence. There are many people of color, I or my friends, whose lives get ruined over marijuana charges, or something less serious than rape. The only good thing that came out this how he will be sex offender for the rest of his life; he can’t even go back to Stanford or USA swimming. In all the outcome of this case, there should be a stronger fight for racial equality. Turner, a rapist, should have gotten a stricter sentence, meanwhile other men of color or a lower social class get double digit sentences. Another issue is combating college sexual assaults. It was very fortunate that this particular case made it to a trial while unfortunately many don’t even make it past college administration.

iOS 10 Update

The Lowdown: Apple has released the software update for iPod Touches, iPads and iPhones: iOS 10. The gun emoji was permanently removed and replaced with a water gun emoji due to a request from a gun control advocacy group.

The Tea: It is really messed up that we are at a point in today’s world where the littlest thing, like an emoticon, is seen as offensive. Almost every couple of months, there is a mass shooting about every place we thought was always safe to go: the movies, the nightclub, a school. Why are we not focusing on stopping access to guns in real life then trying to use an emoji that is used for fun? Would it make any sense for me to tweet about a ten page paper I have to complete within 24-hours with the whiny face and a water gun?The answer is no.  I spoke to a fellow student who said that the gun emoji removal supposedly also comes from people using it as a threat when communicating online or via text. Leave it to someone or several people to ruin it for everyone.

New Season of The Real

The Lowdown: The new season of FOX’s daytime talk show The Real premiered and this marks the first season without the original cast. Tamar Braxton — reality show star and R&B singer — was fired as co-host from the show. The show now just has four hosts– Loni Love, Jeannie Mai, Adrienne Bailon and Tamera Mowry.

The Tea: I have not watched the season premiere because I have school work and class to attend, though, I hoped to catch it somewhere as Monica was a guest speaking on the trending #SoGoneChallenge. In all honesty, I never was a big time watcher of The Real I would watch it if there was nothing else on television or a favorite celebrity of mine were a guest. I do not think I am a target audience of the show, which is why I rarely tune in, as I am not a woman or person of the certain age. Most of their topics pertained to females or thirty somethings. I will miss Tamar, and I do not believe the show will be same without her, as she truly kept it real. She spoke her mind, spiced and sparked the show as her counterparts acted very phony. There was also an alleged beef between cast members which did not come to a surprise because even though it looks likes they gel on the show, I really do not believe they are genuine friends. I am pretty sure before the five was put together, they never hung out in same industry circles. I guess we will see how this season pans out without Tamar, who announced she will have her own talk show.

Lady Gaga & the Super Bowl

The Lowdown: Lady Gaga is in talks to be the 2017 Super Bowl halftime performer. Sources say she’s at the top of their list.

The Tea: I really do not like Lady Gaga music-wise like I used to. And even though the Gaga fans will fight me to the end, she is kind of irrelevant in music now. It’s been awhile since she has had a major hit, which is to be wanted out of a pop star’s status. That does not mean she can not put the attention on her. She did an incredible job with American Horror Story and has done away (for now) the outrageous outfits she rocks at red carpet events. Since she is making a comeback to music, maybe the Super Bowl will be that platform for her. My ideas of a halftime performer could be a Justin Bieber, Drake, or Rihanna. Those three are very much making the charts and have enough of a catalog of appropriate songs to perform. There were rumors that Adele was going to perform and a petition for Chris Brown to perform, the former was debunked. Adele is a great artist, but the halftime show is to be uplifting not a time to be thinking about lost love. Chris Brown’s songs post “Rihanna-gate” are not appropriate in any way. The super bowl is a family friendly event, plus the 20 TMZ scandals that came out about him allegedly being violent or reckless probably wouldn’t go well the NFL Super Bowl coordinators or the demographic of the event.

Lil Wayne Retiring from Music

The Lowdown: Rapper Lil Wayne has announced that he will be retiring, and clarified his falling out with longtime friend and mentor Birdman.

The Tea: When Lil’ Wayne said “this is sad day of hip-hop” when discussing the tweets about retiring, it is true in my eyes. Bow Wow has said he was retiring from music after his last one drops. However, we have not cared about Bow Wow’s music since 2005. He was never a serious rapper as he came out at 13- or 14-years old. Wayne on the other hand is very respected in the game; in my top list of rappers of the past 10 years, he in the top 5. His raps are memorable, fast-paced and full of shrewd wordplay. He is also delivered a dope verse on other artists’ tracks. Business wise, Wayne is great for signing Drake and Nicki Minaj, whose career has beyond prospered since 2009. I don’t know if the whole beef between Birdman just has to do with money, or if it stems from an alleged relationship, but it is bittersweet. Birdman met Wayne when he was nine or ten years old in New Orleans and took him under his wing and off the slums. Wayne should think twice before retiring, he has way too much of a following who lives for his music.

Bobby Shmurdas Prison Sentence

The Lowdown: Rapper Bobby Shmurda — known for his 2014 breakthrough hit “Hot N**ga” and subsequent shmoney dance craze —  took a plea deal. According to TMZ, he has plead to a seven year deal on conspiracy to possess weapons and possession of a weapon charges. The conspiracy to commit murder and his other weapons and drugs charges were dropped. He will also serve five years probation. The seven year sentence was dropped to five due to time served.

The Tea: It is gotta suck for a talented rapper like Shmurda with a New York swag and realness who could not continue the hype due to being incarcerated in December at the peak of “Hot N**ga” success. His career is regarded as one-hit wonder status. When he was arrested, he was never able to finish his debut album. The hip-hop and music industry game will be completely different when he’s expected to be released to from jail. Yes, Remy Ma was able to take over hip-hop again after she came home in 2014, but Remy had a huge catalog and resume before she caught a case back in 2008. When she was released, she already had a campaign and support from fans and mentor Fat Joe behind her. At the same time it is a sad existence, as Shmurda is in same age bracket as me (he’s 22, I’m 20) for him to spend his twenties and young adulthood behind bars….

Rob & Chyna

The Lowdown: Rob & Chyna premiered for the first time, which documents the life of Rob Kardashian and Angela “Blac Chyna” White, who are expecting their first child together.

The Tea: The show is part laughs, part cringing, and part intrigued. We have known of the Kardashians for a good ten years, I have only known of Chyna since 2012.  She was always seen with Tyga in his music videos or on Instagram. I did not even know what she sounded like or what her backstory was until this year now that her union with Rob has caught mainstream media attention. She seems like a regular, cool person to be around on the show. Chyna is relatable, as she is one of those black women who is very independent and “gets-things-done-themselves” because nothing is handed, which I know many black women in my family are the same way. Other times, maybe fused with her being pregnant, she just seems to be doing the most. Rob, also, is battling depression which led to him being reclusive, gaining weight to the point he is diabetic and refuses to take his insulin. Honestly, does Rob really thinks he is not going to suffer the medical consequences of not taking his insulin? I guess Chyna might end up having raise Rob’s child herself since he is not taking his treatment seriously. The whole relationship in general however seems fake, less genuine and more fame hungry. Rob probably used Chyna to get back at his sisters while Blac Chyna needed him to distance herself from other video/hip hop vixens and rapper’s baby mamas and to get back at the Kardashians (after Kylie snatched Tyga). Either way it is wrong on many levels.

National Anthem Protest

The Lowdown: Colin Kaepernick has set off an array of games where players are refusing to stand up for the national anthem, as how it is seen as it does not make sense to do so since America has and always oppressed “black people and POC [person of color]. Since then, there is been controversy surrounding this.

The Tea. He is right. Black people in America have always been the victim of oppression. I personally believe he and other athletes should be entitled to protest. Contrastingly speaking it is not the same situation for every sport. Sure, members of NFL and NBA teams would speak out against oppression of our people. I do not believe white people should call them out on their peaceful protests. Perhaps take a walk in our shoes for one day in this country.

Donald Trumps Plea

The Lowdown: Part of Trump’s campaign is trying to arrange for registered African American voters to help get in the White House. He hired former contestant of his NBC show The Apprentice Omarosa, attended a black church in Michigan, and spoke at a rally pleading to black people of America “What the hell do you have to lose?” You are living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed — what the hell do you have to lose?”

The Tea: I think it is incredibly funny how someone who is not black can speak on our behalf. There is no need to explain to someone like Trump that it is low of him to actually think all black people in America are the same and that we are all struggling. Do not let that video of him being in a black church fool you as well. Trump, in my mind, is a very smart person despite his age and upbringing, so that is why no one needs to educate him. Trump is  one of the people who just talks to talk. But, newsflash Trump, and Trump followers, you do not need to worry about us. If we really have anything lose from voting for Trump it would be our dignity. However, I will say it to remind folks: black people in America are all different. Some live in poverty, some lives in middle class neighborhoods like me, and not all of us are out of a job. Some of us go to good quality schools and some go to not so good schools. We as black folks continue to pave our own way as we have no

Khaaliq Crowder, Staff Writer

Khaaliq Crowder is a junior studying communications (journalism) with a minor in black studies. He is a contributing writer, mostly covering the Arts &...

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The Tea