Dr. Dre, former N.W.A rap group member, producer, and entrepreneur, is trying to maintain his reign as the self-proclaimed “first billionaire in hip-hop” by doing some damage control on his women-beating past. On Friday, Dre released a statement to the New York Times attempting to apologize for his misdeeds against women:
“Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I’ve been married for 19 years and every day I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again.
I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”
The apology comes on the heels of the success of the film Straight Outta Compton which chronicles his rise in the music industry as part of the hardcore rap group N.W.A., and the debut of his first album in 16 years at No. 2 on the Billboard chart. So of course, the apology was necessary in order to keep business booming because the negative backlash was gaining momentum as the accounts of abuse against women were racking up. And we all know how that goes, see Bill Cosby’s career, because when a few stories come out about a rich and powerful man’s past of abuse against women, there are plenty more untold stories waiting in the wings.
The big question is, will this apology be enough to absolve Dr. Dre or at the very least make people forget about his women-hating past. No, it’s not enough, but at least it his public acknowledgement to his abusive past and not a campaign of denial until it snowballs out of control, again see Bill Cosby’s career.
Even Apple, where Dr. Dre now works as a top consultant after selling them the headphone company he helped establish, Beats, for $3 billion, is standing behind Dre and issued their own statement:
“Dre has apologized for the mistakes he’s made in the past and he’s said that he’s not the same person that he was 25 years ago. We believe his sincerity and after working with him for a year and a half, we have every reason to believe that he has changed.”
This blanket and tame “apology” will definitely help keep Dr. Dre’s checks rolling in, or Apple’s for that matter, and that’s what’s more important, right?
The musical biopic Straight Outta Compton directed by F. Gary Gray tells the story of the rise of the West Coast rap group N.W.A (Niggas Wit’ Attitude) and its members Ice Cube, Eazy E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella and MC Ren. While the film was highly anticipated and well received at the box office, pulling in over $60 million in its opening weekend, its exemption of the women the rap group used and abused on their way to the top of the charts has not been winning rave reviews.
We’ve rounded up 5 female events left out of the rap biopic – notice the misogynistic theme.
1. The female rap group J.J. Fad, one of the first groups signed by Eazy E’s label Ruthless Records, and their 1988 debut single featuring the hit “Supersonic,” which earned a Grammy nomination (the first female rap group to earn such a distinction, ultimately helping establish the label.
3. Dr. Dre’s violent attack on Pump it Up! host Dee Barnes in 1991 -smashing her head into a wall, and beating her up on the bathroom floor of the Po Na Na Souk nightclub.
4. Dr. Dre’s violent attack on rapper Rapper Tairrie B at a Grammys party in 1990.
5. A lot of other women the hard core rap group worked with -Yo Yo, a female rapper with whom Ice Cube worked with after leaving N.W.A; Jewell and Lady of Rage, with whom Dr. Dre later worked with after N.W.A; collaborations with Michel’le; or even Eazy E’s protege Tairrie B, billed as the first white female hardcore rapper.
Hmm, and the director F. Gary Gray calls it “reality rap” in this Youtube clip. Really?
Dee Barnes fills in some of the deleted history and gives great insight on the culture of violence against women within the black community, music or otherwise, in a Gawker article:
“There is a direct connection between the oppression of black men and the violence perpetrated by black men against black women. It is a cycle of victimization and reenactment of violence that is rooted in racism and perpetuated by patriarchy.”
Barnes’ article on Gawker is worth a read, not only because she sheds light on the women who were left out of the film but as she reflects on the pain of the past she exhibits a level of maturity, objectivity, and restraint that is very hard to attain after surviving abuse, career malignment, and watching your abuser become a household name. At one point she even fondly recalls N.W.A., as being her brothers. Blindie can’t wait to read the memoir of this intelligent, strong woman – Music, Myth, and Misogyny: Memoirs of a Female MC.
This new video featuring Rita Ora and Chris Brown for Ora’s track “Body On Me,” is so damn hot and steamy it has reminiscing of the days of Ri-Ri and Breezy.
How hot and steamy is this video? Well, it makes us kind of like Chris Brown again, and it also makes us think Rita is a good replacement for Rihanna. Ok sure, Rita is no Rihanna -she’s not West Indian, or even black (she’s British and born to Kosovar-Albanian parents), and she’s not dating Chris Brown….yet.
This video also has us wondering if the British flag is being violated the way Rita wriggles and writhes her seemingly naked body under it. Someone alert the queen, oh never mind “stay calm and steam on.”
Vin Baker was an NBA All-Star four times and an Olympic gold winner before ending his basketball career after the 2005/6 season. Now he’s working at a Starbucks in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, in the hopes of becoming a full-time manager.
What’s so great about working at Starbucks when Baker once earned a reported $100 million playing basketball? Well, for starters he used to be an alcoholic, but now he’s sober and holding down a job. He also has the humility and determination to keep moving on and take a regular job similar to the type of jobs the majority of Americans hold. The greatest thing of all is that Baker is taking responsibility for his financial and personal missteps by not lamenting about the lost fortune and the change in direction of his life, but learning from the lessons he has learned in life and planning realistically for his family’s future.
Baker had this to say:
“When you learn lessons in life, no matter what level you’re at financially, the important part to realize is it could happen. I was an alcoholic, I lost a fortune. I had great talent and lost it. For the people on the outside looking in, they’re like ‘Wow.’ For me, I’m 43 and I have four kids. I have to pick up the pieces. I’m a father. I’m a minister in my father’s church. I have to take the story and show that you can bounce back. If I use my notoriety in the right way, most people will appreciate this guy is just trying to bounce back in his life.”
Because no one likes to hear complaints from ball players that have to take a pay cut, no matter what the reason, ahem Josh Smith.
In the wake of Sandra Bland’s death while in police custody, and all of the conspiracy theories surrounding it -the edited dashcam video without a timecode, the mugshot believed to be taken after her death, the reality of how a nearly 6 foot women can hang herself from a 5ft. partition, the public awaits an indictment for the murder of 43 year-old Sam Dubose, who was stopped by University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing during a traffic stop last week and subsequently shot in the head.
Tensing’s body camera video has yet to be released, and the city of Cincinnati is reportedly preparing for civil unrest if it is to be released.
Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said he’s seen the unreleased footage from the body cam video and says, “it’s not good.”
“The video is not good,” Blackwell said. “I think the city manager has said that also publicly. I’ll leave it there.”
There’s a new Cosby show and it’s not being televised, it’s playing out on social media, the press, and in real-time. The plot is a cliff-hanger: what will become of a celebrity that was once highly revered and perceived to be just as wholesome as the character he fabricated for television?
Well, it’s not really a cliff-hanger anymore since the main character’s reputation, career and legacy is taking a nosedive down a cliff.
On Sunday, New York Magazine posted to the internet their cover story featuring 35 women who have come forward to accuse actor and comedian Bill Cosby of rape and sexual misconduct.
The portraits of these 35 women appear on the cover of the magazine. Their stories chronicle decades-long abuse by the once-beloved TV dad. The impact of publishing their stories in one article and featuring their portraits is powerful and overwhelming in their case.
So what will Cosby’s other women say now – his wife, his daughters, his supporters? Will Camille try to attack the integrity of all of these women? Will his youngest daughter Evin Cosby release another delusional statement in defense of her father, saying “He is the FATHER you thought you knew. The Cosby Show was my today’s tv reality show. Thank you. That’s all I would like to say :).” And what of the other three daughters -Erinn, the one that was on drugs, Erika, the artist, and Ensa, the one that recently wed Martin Lord McLean.
Does anyone else find it strange that Lisa Bonet has been conspicuously silent throughout all of this? Bonet was a hot, young actress while starring on The Cosby Show in the mid-1980s, did Cosby attempt to be her mentor also? Is that how she got her own spin-off show, A Different World? Just asking and wondering.
Christoph Waltz stars in the 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, Spectre, as the villain Franz Oberhauser. When asked whether he thought there would ever be an African American James Bond, Waltz said he was open to the possibility but then basically tried to make that possibility seem absurd by asking, “it wouldn’t make sense to cast Martin Luther King with a white man, would it?”
Uh, yes, it would make sense Mr. Waltz, because Lin-Manuel Miranda cast black men as America’s founding fathers, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the musical Hamilton, and it was a smash hit off-Broadway and is winning rave reviews on-Broadway.
Don’t worry, Blindie is still open to the possibility of going to see Spectre at the cinema. We admit we’re suckers for a Bond film.