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Ashanti, Ja Rule, Wu-Tang Clan, and Redman Make History at Staten Island Peace and Unity Festival

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On Saturday, July 10, hip-hop made an illustrious impact on Staten Island, one of New York City’s most underestimated boroughs. The inaugural Staten Island Peace and Unity Festival took place this Saturday with Ashanti and Ja Rule as headliners alongside Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, and Redman. Sponsored by community organizations The Water Team, Uncle Chase Entertainment, Wakeem Entertainment, and 3J’s Creation Entertainment. Spearheaded by Kay Woods, CEO of The Water Team, the objective of the event was to encourage unity among New Yorkers after the aggressive limits of the now year-long pandemic, especially Staten Islanders.

At the top of the show, Kay Woods disclosed the mission of the festival. “The main purpose of this concert is about peace and unity. It ain’t about nothing else,” Kay Woods disclosed to the audience. “We ain’t doing this for the gram.”

Ja Rule and Ashanti kicked off the concert with their signature team dynamic and ran through their most favored hits in the likes of “Mesmerize,” “Always on Time,” “Down Ass Chick,” “Happy,” “Livin’ It Up,” and more. The festival marks Ashanti’s first time visiting Staten Island, a borough of New York where Murder Inc’s music played a role in the coming of seasoned trends.

Ja Rule Staten Island
Ja Rule performs at the 2021 Staten Island Peace and Unity Festival
Ashanti Staten Island
Ashanti performs at the 2021 Staten Island Peace and Unity Festival

Catching up with the R&B princess, she shared that she did not have any expectations about performing on Staten Island for the first time, and all she wanted was energy and love. The promising borough certainly fulfilled that desire as their outpouring of love was on full display.

“I really didn’t have any expectations. I didn’t know what we were coming into,” said Ashanti. “I felt like I wanted it to be energy and love and it definitely was.”

The Grammy award-winning singer highlighted her induction to the Class of 2022 Hollywood Hall of Fame during her performance and was moved by the response she received from Staten Islanders.

“You know what really surprised me, the reaction that I got when I said that I am getting a star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame,” said Ashanti. “That felt like family.”

Cappadonna Staten Island Peace and Unity
Cappadonna performs at the 2021 Staten Island Peace and Unity Festival

Staten Island is known for its role as being the birthplace of the Wu-Tang Clan. In return, the legendary group has managed to play a chunky role in the global recognition of the “forgotten” borough. New York City boroughs such as Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are places where voluminous hip-hop events are known to take place and Staten Island is on the verge of joining the lineup.

Ghostface Killah Method Man Staten Island Peace and Unity
Ghostface Killah and Method Man perform “Ice Cream” at the 2021 Staten Island Peace and Unity Festival

In what is considered a legendary performance, Wu-Tang Clan members Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, and Cappadonna took to the stage alongside the funk doc himself, Redman. From Cappadonna’s slaying of his hit “Slang Editorial” to Ghostface Killah and Method Man’s nostalgic “Ice Cream” verses and even down to Young Dirty Bastard taking to the mic to the parts of his father, the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, the festival brewed a moment that will go down in Staten Island’s hip-hop history, as such shindigs are rare.

In a sit down with Ghostface Killah, when asked about his stance on Wu-Tang’s iconic status on Staten Island, the “Mighty Healthy” emcee explained that he rarely thinks about it, but when he does he is humble about his role in putting Staten Island on the map.

Ghostface Killah Staten Island Peace and Unity 1
Ghostface Killah performs at the 2021 Staten Island Peace and Unity Festival

“I know what we did and whatever I do is just regular,” said Ghostface Killah. “I’m humble to it and I’m grateful that the most high has aligned me with who he has aligned me around, to be on that one team to spread this to the world.”

Staten Island rapper Yah-Sin, who also happens to be the nephew of Method Man, finds importance in Wu-Tang performing on “the island” as the presence of such legends “remind islanders that legends and great legacy can be created right here and reach out to the entire world.”

Chatting with Method Man, he shared that while he knows and understands Wu-Tang’s prominence on Staten Island, he poses the question as to what figures of his stature can do for their hometown communities:

“You have to give back more than just give back. Your presence alone is sometimes good but it ain’t good enough. Especially in situations where people are hungry, people are starving,” said Method Man.

“You can come around and give turkeys on thanksgiving, but once that turkey is gone, what they got to eat next?”

Redman Method Man Staten Island Peace and Unity
Redman and Method Man perform at the 2021 Staten Island Peace and Unity Festival

He continued, “There are people out there who will work for what they want. They are ready to work now. It’s just that the opportunity has passed them because they are not in a position or in a place where they can be seen and heard and be put into those places where they can provide for their families and take care of themselves. So what we do is, we put these festivals together hoping to inspire somebody to want better for themselves.”

Inspectah Deck Staten Island Peace and Unity
Inspectah Deck performs at the 2021 Staten Island Peace and Unity Festival

The Wu-Tang Clan also used the festival as an opportunity to publicly present Staten Island legends, the Force MDs with the platinum plaque they earned from their contribution to Ghostface Killah’s debut album Ironman.

The festival was a Staten Island affair that introduced a new tone to the borough’s hip-hop status. As the theme affirms, “peace and unity,” its historic reputation is mostly due to the social fellowship of rivaling local towns such as Stapleton and Park Hill, both stomping grounds of the Wu-Tang Clan. Originally, the event was set to take place for two days with Lil Durk slated to headline day two, July 11. However, day two was postponed due to matters that were beyond the control of the organizers.





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Nas Reveals Release Date, Artwork and Tracklist For Next Album “King’s Disease 2”

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King's Disease 2 Nas album release date artworkNas has announced his next studio album, which will be titled King’s Disease 2, and it’s dropping very soon.

UPDATE (August 3rd, 2021): The tracklist for the album has been revealed.

The project will contain 15 songs and features from Eminem, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, YG, Lauryn Hill and more. Check out the full tracklist below:

Previous story (July 29th, 2021):

The project will hit stores on August 6th. Check out the cover art below:

Nas King's Disease 2 cover





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PDX Native Nyukyung Gets Futuristic With His Latest Single “No Luck”

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Nyukyung

Nyukyung is an artist who for quite some time now, has been known for always bringing stellar visuals in for each track he drops. This time with “No Luck,” he does the same as he brings a new concept that not many typically see. 

Directed by AZE, Nyukyung brings us into the future by showing an opening scene of a high tech city based out of the future. Immediately, this catches attention and makes way for Nyukyung’s opening line of “Lost so many friends it’s only been one year.”

Besides the video appeal, Nyukyung also is lyrical as he talks about his past life and the things he’s been through, as well as where he’s headed in the future. This aligns with the video concept, making “No Luck” an all around solid project from music all the way to the visual. 

Listen to “No Luck” on Spotify: 

https://open.spotify.com/album/3gYM988rnSQvZ5aXaCPXe5?si=0l4v2P7ETH6NowmGvB9GoQ&dl_branch=1

Watch the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CNaqTMnexA



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DaBaby Still Receiving Fall Out For His Homophonic Comments!!!

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There was a change to the lineup in the popular event”Lollapalooza”. There were some great performances. But DaBaby was not one of them. In fact, DaBaby was pulled from the roster the day he was to perform.

dababy

DaBaby’s Apology Was Not Enough

Summer is the time for all sorts of outdoor concerts and festivals. And, the Lollapalooza is one of the best events. The Lollapalooza was held over the weekend in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois. Celebrity performances we head up by singer Miley Cyrus, Tyler the Creator, Marshmello, Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion, Journey, Foo Fighters, G Herbo, Grandson, Machine Gun Kelly, and Roddy Ricch. As you can see, the entertainment was lit. However, DaBaby was replaced at the last minute with rapper G Herbo.

Needless to say, the homophonic comments DaBaby made while on stage at the Miami Rolling Loud music Festival are hurting his career. While DaBaby has apologized, it has not stopped him from receiving backlash. Sir Elton John, Madonna, and movie maker Questlove spoke out against DaBaby.

The 50-year-old Roots drummer (born Ahmir Thompson) called the Red Light Green Light rapper an ‘idiot’ and ‘wrong’ and ‘not cool at all.’

In a statement from Lollapalooza, the venue’s spoke person shared this,

“Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight.”

Not only is DaBaby losing gigs, but he is also losing endorsements, as well. Some are saying that since DaBaby is being mentored by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson things have gone left. The “Rockstar” rapper has enjoyed a lot of success. Although, now his popularity may dwindle. On the other hand, T.I. has spoken up for DaBaby.

“Everyone up in arms and upset about what DaBaby said. I understand people saying that they feel that it’s insensitive,” T.I. said in an Instagram Live session. “I think you guys have to understand that onstage, that’s not the place that rappers go to be sensitive and soothe everybody’s feelings. It’s a place to go to have a good time.”

Clearly, DaBaby is either a pure genius, in terms of gaining publicity, or he is insensitive to the plight of others. Either way, this issue has sparked quite a debate. Wouldn’t you say?

 

 



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