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Brittney Griner Detained By Russia For 3 Weeks After Drug Arrest At Airport

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Get home soon, sis!

Las Vegas Aces v Phoenix Mercury - Game Four

Source: Christian Petersen / Getty

If the recent invasion of Ukraine wasn’t terrifying enough for the thousands of Black refugees caught in the middle, the New York Times reported that Russian customs officials had WNBA player Brittney Griner detained. The Phoenix Mercury center was arrested at an airport near Moscow for drug possession.

Russian Federal Customs Service said they detained Griner after they allegedly found vape cartridges with hashish oil derived from cannabis after conducting a search of her luggage. Although the news just broke Saturday morning, the basketball star has been in Russian custody since the arrest happened at least three weeks ago in February.

It’s unclear how the timing of Griner’s arrest plays into the mounting tension in the region since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a “special military operation” against Ukraine on Feb. 24, but the situation looks worse and worse with each passing day. Putin called U.S. sanctions against Russia “akin to a declaration of war” on Saturday.

The seven-time WNBA All-Star isn’t a newbie when it comes to traveling through Russia. When she’s not leading the Mercury to the championships, she Griner plays overseas in the off-season. Since 2014, she has played for the UMMC Ekaterinburg Russian women’s basketball team. The country’s officials knew exactly when and where to expect Griner back in town, so until we get further details, this is all looking funny in the light.

The Phoenix Mercury released a statement about Brittney’s detainment.

 “We are aware of and are closely monitoring the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia. We remain in constant contact with her family, her representation, the WNBA and NBA. We love and support Brittney, and at this time, our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home.”

Cherelle Griner opened up about the agonizing wait for her wife to return home safely in an Instagram post featuring a picture of the couple boo’d up on the beach during happier times.

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife’s safe return from Russia. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. I love my wife wholeheartedly, so this message comes during one of the weakest moments of my life. I understand that many of you have grown to love BG over the years and have concerns and want details. Please honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely,” Cherelle wrote.

University of Pennsylvania Ph. D student and history scholar of Blackness in Russia Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon explained to MSNBC how serious the situation is for a Black American openly gay woman in the custody of Russia, which has waged a war on LGBTQ people long before this latest conflict with Ukraine.

“There is a precedent for this and it does not look good,” St. Julian-Varnon said. “These aren’t your typical possession misdemeanor charges. She is facing charges for large-scale transportation of narcotics,”which could carry a 10-year minimum prison sentence.

Brittney’s detainment raises more questions about double standards for Black women in sports. It’s a shame one of the biggest and most decorated stars in the WNBA isn’t paid like her similarly accomplished NBA counterparts. Many people also pointed out that the arrest would have immediately been a high-profile international incident handled differently if she was a man or White like other Baylor players detained in foreign countries under similar circumstances.

While concerned fans and loved ones wait for more details and good news about Griner, it’s important to remember we only know what Russian officials want us to know. Instigating racial tensions and manipulating information in America is one of their specialties so we should be critical about any information they share about this incident.

We’re wishing for Brittney’s safe and quick return home to her loved ones.





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Michael Jackson Estate To Release 40th Anniversary “Thriller” Edition With Unreleased Songs – Halla Back Free Promotion

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After being re-released in 2001 and 2008, Michael Jackson’s Thriller is set to be reissued for the third time following its 40-year anniversary. According to Sony and the Michael Jackson Estate, the album will be sold in a double-disc format including a copy of the original album and one of unreleased songs that failed to make the album.

This announcement came not too long after MJ the Musical received 10 Tony nominations for its continued Broadway success. Led by actor Miles Frost, the musical highlights the life and career of Michael Jackson. 

Being known as the top-selling album of all time with over 100 million copies sold worldwide, Thriller shattered expectations as it won 8 Grammys at the 1984 award show including Record of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, and Album of the Year. In addition to its record-breaking Grammy success, Thriller has gone on to spend over 500 weeks on Billboards’s 200 list, making it only the 12th album to ever do so. 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

For those in the United States, the album is set to be released in an alternate album cover at Target while those shopping at Walmart can purchase a limited commemorative 40th-anniversary slip mat. 

[via]





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Chlöe Previews 3 New Songs, Asks Fans To Pick Her Next Single – Halla Back Free Promotion

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This has been a successful solo season for Chlöe Bailey, but we still have yet to receive her official debut. Fans aren’t too worried about its arrival now that the “Have Mercy” hitmaker is teasing her next single. We recently received “Treat Me,” another racy track from the Chloe x Halle star, and just ahead of its arrival, Chlöe confirmed that her album was completed.

“I don’t control dates or anything, but just know i’m super proud of this project. it means absolutely everything to me,” she tweeted back in March. “I’m so happy right now. I haven’t been that active and i miss you guys every single day, but just wanted to check in so you know i’m working and making everything special for y’all.”

Amy Sussman / Staff / Getty Images

This evening (May 17), Chlöe returned with teasers of several songs that are in the running to become her next single. “Which song should I drop next? [eyeball emojis],” she wrote in the caption to her Livestream. The choices were “For The Night,” “Suprise,” and “Cheat Back”—all R&B bangers that her fans were begging to hear full versions of.

As fans gave their votes as to which song reigned victoriously, they also jumped in with their feature choices. Chlöe has yet to even share the record’s title let alone her collaborations, but we’re sure we will hear much more in the weeks to come. 

Check out Chlöe’s songs below and let us know which one you’re vibing with.





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DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH: Meaner – “Loneliness”

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Meaner Loneliness

In this new entry in our ‘Diamonds In The Rough’ category, we want to introduce you to upcoming artist Meaner and his brand new single titled “Loneliness”.

Meaner is back with his brand new single “Loneliness”. This track speaks about the hopelessness and fear that comes with feeling lonely, an issue that the artist has struggled with as a young teenager and had to face further when the lockdown struck, “Know you have to find you role In this world one day mean peeps You don’t need to be guilty Just because you don’t succeed”. Meaner was inspired by his friend’s opinions on loneliness as well as his own experiences. With this song, Meaner reaches out to remind people of their inherent worth and that there’s always someone out there to listen.

Meaner combines a chill beat with some smart and deep lyrics. We love the vibes on the tune; this one will definitely go into our playlists.

Listen below:



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