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#GoodMorning from #BrooklynGirlCode™ ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️

Tems Higher

Good morning! It’s Hump Day Wednesday here at #BrooklynGirlCode™ and we all can use something to pick us up!

I first heard Tems‘ voice last summer on Wiz Kid‘s 2021 summer smash “Essence.” When you first hear her voice it is undoubtedly one that rings in your ear long after the song is done playing. With her recent Billboard Hot 100 hit “Wait for U” (released on May 3, 2022), the Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer is letting us know that she is here to stay! Her voice is so elegant to say the least and here at #BrooklynGirlCode™ … we love elegance! Today, Tems gets five cups of hot brewed coffee on us! Lol! Hit the link below and let the music sooth you! Enjoy your hump day! -xoxo <3

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#Exclusive #Marzz #Interview Coming Soon to BrooklynGirlCode.com

This weekend, #BrooklynGirlCode™ had the opportunity to hang out in the studio with young R&B sensation #Marzz. Most notable for the hits “Countless Times,” “Cleopatra” and “KMS,” this talented singer hailing from Louisville, Kentucky is sure to make your head go… 🤯! Full interview coming 🔜 exclusively on BrooklynGirlCode.com! -xoxo 💕💓

Singer Marzz and #BrooklynGirlCode™ Founder/Editor Aziza Hassan pose for a picture at Manhattan Beach Recording studio in New York City on June 4th, 2022. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode™
Singer Marzz poses at Manhattan Beach Recording studio in New York City on June 4th, 2022. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode™
#BrooklynGirlCode™ Founder/Editor Aziza Hassan interviews singer Marzz at Manhattan Beach Recording studio in New York City on June 4th, 2022. Video courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode™
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Fireboy DML, 21 Savage & Blxst Bring the Summer ‘22 Vibes on “Peru” Remix

"Peru" remix cover art
"Peru" remix cover art
“Peru” (remix) official cover art.

Fireboy DML keeps bringing the heat with his hot new “Peru” remix track featuring 21 Savage and Blxst. The song produced by Nigerian record producer and songwriter Shizzi is sure to make you get up out of your sandals this summer and hit your best two-step on the dance floor! But don’t take #BrooklynGirlCode’s word for it. Listen to the track below and let us know what you think. Enjoy the summertime everyone! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

Comedian Kevin Hart jammin’ out to “Peru” with friends.
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#BrooklynGirlCode™ #NewMusicFridays: #Brandy Strikes Back at Jack Harlow + Maino, Jim Jones and Fivio Foreign Drop New Summer Heat “Slide”

Wooh! It’s going to be a hot summer! Music veteran Brandy Norwood was not here for any new rappers not putting some respeck on her name! The world- renowned R&B singer dropped her “First Class” freestyle this past week dissing Hip-Hop newcomer Jack Harlow. The diss track comes after Jack Harlow paid a visit to Hot 97’s “Ebro in the Morning” morning show and confessed that he did not know who Brandy was. That was not a good move. Brandy went on Twitter to let the world know that she will “murk” Jack Harlow on his own beat and then followed-up with her own version of Harlow’s “First Class” freestyle. Lesson of the day… do not play with Miss Norwood.

Brandy sends a tweet to let fans know exactly how she feels about Jack Harlow
Brandy sends a tweet to let fans know exactly how she feels about Jack Harlow.

Also in music news, New York City rappers Jim Jones, Maino and Fivio Foreign drop their new summer anthem “Slide.” The song samples Drag-On‘s 1999 song “Down Bottom” featuring Juvenile off the Ruff Ryders Ryde or Die Vol. 1 compilation. We are definitely here for all this summer heat. Listen below and let us know what you think and please stay cool this summer because it’s going to be a hot one! -xoxo

Brandy Norwood strikes back at Jack Harlow with her “First Class” freestyle.

Rappers Jim Jones, Maino and Fivio Foreign drop new summer anthem “Slide.”
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#NYC Celebrates #TheNotoriousBIG on His #50th Birthday with Series of Special Events!

Notorious B.I.G. Metrocard

Notorious B.I.G. Metrocard
Photo of a limited edition MetroCard commemorating the Notorious B.I.G.’s 50th birthday.

If it’s one thing that you’ll learn while listening to a song by The Notorious B.I.G., it’s exactly where he was from. The late Brooklyn legend made sure that whomever was listening to his music knew that Brooklyn, N.Y.C. was his home! May 21st marks the 50th birthday of Christopher Wallace known to the world as The Notorious B.I.G. and known to many as the greatest rapper of all time. To commemorate the Hip-Hop giant on his Golden 50th, his hometown will host a series of special events.

On Friday, May 20th, the Empire State Building will host a lighting ceremony to honor the iconic rapper. Visitors will be able to take pictures with a life-size photorealistic avatar of Biggie on the building’s 80th floor conservatory. The lighting ceremony will also include appearances by singer Faith Evans, rappers Lil Kim, Jada Kiss and Lil Cease as well as Biggie’s daughter T’yanna Wallace. Well known protégé of The Notorious B.I.G., Lil Kim also announced via Instagram that she will be hosting her 2nd annual B.I.G. Dinner Gala on Friday, May 20th to honor her late mentor.

The Barclays Center wil display images of Biggie’s records on their screens throughout the weekend. Finally on Saturday May 21st, shortly after sunset, the Empire State Building will light up with the colors red and white with a rotating crown and the number “50.” The colors red and white will symbolize the colors of The Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 debut album Ready to Die.

Cover art for The Notorious B.I.G’s 1994 debut album Ready to Die.

In addition to all of this, the MTA will be releasing a limited edition MetroCard to commemorate the Hip-Hop giant. The MetroCard will only be available at three Brooklyn train stations including Lafayette Avenue; Clinton-Washington Avenue and Atlantic Avenue on the A, C & G train lines. So while fans are traveling to all these special events, they can also have a little piece of Christopher Wallace with them!

The Empire State Building representing for The Notorious B.I.G. bay-bay-bay-bay!

What a way to celebrate the greatest rapper to ever grace the microphone. #BrooklynGirlCode™ will be celebrating privately like we do every year for The Notorious B.I.G’s birthday by turning up the volume on our speakers as high as it can go and blasting Biggie’s timeless hits all weekend long. That’s how we show our love for Biggie because it’s the Brooklyn way! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ <3

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#BrooklynGirlCode™ #Weekend #Recap: Rihanna & A$AP Rocky Get Married (In a Video), #Drake #Swordfights (In a Video), #NancyPelosi Visits Ukraine + The 2022 Met Gala!

Well, well, well… it was another eventful week and #BrooklynGirlCode™ has all the highlights! Parents-to-be Rihanna & A$AP Rocky exchanged vows in A$AP Rocky’s new music video for his song “D.M.B.” Drake tried his hand in the ancient sport of Fencing in Future’s new video “Wait For U” featuring UK singer TEMS. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited war-stricken Ukraine and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy making Pelosi the highest ranking U.S. official to visit the country since the war began. The stars came out in droves this past Tuesday for Vogue’s annual invite-only Met Gala. And lastly, Muslims all over the world celebrated the end of thirty days of fasting during the month of Ramadan with Eid-al-Fitr on May 2nd.

It was definitely a week for the history books but now that the weekend is here, we can kick back, relax and be happy that we made it! What are your plans for the weekend? Whatever you do, just make sure you enjoy yourself! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ <3

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna in the "D.M.B." video
A$AP Rocky and Rihanna get married in the “D.M.B.” music video.
Drake sword fights in Future's new music video "Wait For U."
Drake sword fights in Future’s new music video for “Wait For U” directed by Director X.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on April 30th, 2022.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on April 30th, 2022.

Kendall Jenner at the 2022 Met Gala.
Kendall Jenner at the 2022 Met Gala. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com.
Lizzo at the 2022 Met Gala
Lizzo at the 2022 Met Gala. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com.
Women in Malaysia celebrating Eid al-fitr.
Women in Malaysia celebrating Eid al-Fitr.

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#EidMubarak from #BrooklynGirlCode™ 👩🏾‍💻📿

Muslim women in Nairobi, Kenya performing prayer.

Today is a special day for Muslims all over the world. It marks the last day of fasting from sunrise to sunset for the month of Ramadan. Known as “Eid al-Fitr” Muslims all over the globe observe the holiday once a year as it marks the time that the Holy Qur’an was revealed.

To celebrate the holiday, Muslims congregate with friends and family and enjoy plenty of good food and gift-giving. As a kid celebrating Ramadan, I always looked forward to my Umi (mother) giving me and my siblings edible gifts such as chocolate rabbits and other sweet stuff.

These days there is so much to be grateful for in life and now Ramadan means so much more to me as an adult than it did when I was younger. For everyone celebrating the holiday today, enjoy! -xoxo 🤎📿😎

Muslim women in Alaska preparing to break their fast with an Iftar meal. Photo courtesy of The New York Times.

Muslim women and girls in Nairobi, Kenya performing their Eid al-Fitr prayers. Photo courtesy of Middle East Eye.

Women in Malaysia celebrating Eid al-fitr.
Women in Malaysia celebrating Eid al-fitr. Photo courtesy of About Islam.

Photo courtesy of Aziza Hassan’s Instagram account.

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Is #Future the #Best #Rapper Alive?!!

Rapper Future covers GQ magazine’s May 2022 issue.

Is Future the best rapper alive? GQ magazine surely thinks so! The Hip-Hop star covers the May 2022 issue of the popular men’s magazine and he came dressed to impress!

Future for GQ magazine styled by GQ’s Fashion Director-at-Large Mobolaji Dawodu.

Ever since Future first stepped on the scene back in the early 2010’s releasing his series of classic mixtapes 1000, Dirty Sprite, True Story, the Atlanta native has been pumping out hit after hit for our listening pleasure. With the unique talent to switch up his flow on every single track according to the beat, Future definitely makes #BrooklynGirlCode’s list of top rappers in the game. So, please don’t count Future Hendrix out when discussing your top five — dead or alive!

Check out the full cover story here via GQ.com and scroll down for more cool pics of Future from his GQ spread! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

Future for GQ magazine styled by GQ’s Fashion Director-at-Large Mobolaji Dawodu.
Future for GQ magazine styled by GQ’s Fashion Director-at-Large Mobolaji Dawodu.

Related: Organized Noize Speak On Putting Southern Hip-Hop on The Map, Bringing Creativity Back to The Game & Their New Critically Acclaimed Self-Titled EP

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Keeping Up With The Kardashians Is Saying “Bye-Bye!”

Photo of The Kardashians courtesy of NBC Universal.
Photo of The Kardashians  courtesy of NBC Universal.
Photo of The Kardashians courtesy of NBC Universal.

Popular reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians is ending. What is the reason for the show ending after twenty successful seasons on air? There are a few reasons that can be contributed to the E! network finally pulling the plug on one of its most viewed shows. Like the old saying goes, “all good things must come to an end” and the Kardashians are no exception to this rule.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians first aired on October 14th, 2007 on the E! network. The new millennium had brought many new changes and the world was still adjusting to the new phenomenon known as “Reality TV.” The Kardashians brought a new edge to the Sunday night lineup with each family member having a unique personality that made viewers want to keep coming back for more. In its first season, Keeping Up with the Kardashians became the highest-rated series aired on Sunday nights for 18-year-old to 34-year-old adults. Over 1.3 million viewers tuned in every week to watch the Kardashians. So, why is the show ending?

It’s no secret that the Kardashians are one of the most famous families in the world. Initially, KUWTK served as the perfect platform for the Kardashians to propel to superstardom and become a household name. The emergence of social media in the early 2010’s saw the Kardashians making the move from television to the internet to further promote themselves and their brands. With each Kardashian raking in over one hundred million followers on Instagram, social media became the family’s main marketing engine. The more followers the Kardashians amassed on social media, the less people tuned in to watch KUWTK on televisioncausing a huge decline in the show’s ratings.At its peak, KUWTK raked in 4.8 million total viewers. The ratings eventually dropped to 810,000. Viewership proved to be just one reason for the show ending. After twenty seasons of being on air, the Kardashians needed a break. Kim Kardashian explained the decision to end the show in an interview with Grazia magazine stating:

“Sometimes we just need a break. It’s really simple. We just need a minute to regroup. You know, we haven’t had a break for 14 years. We’ve gone in filming a season, then a spin off and I think there’s no other way to say it other than, we just live such big lives. And we have kids now. And they need us.”

Kim Kardashian was undoubtedly KUWTK’s breakout star. Prior to KUWTK, people might have known Kim Kardashian because of her friendship with fellow reality TV star Paris Hilton. KUWTK‘s success turned Kim Kardashian into America’s new “It Girl” and she was able to use her fame to launch her popular makeup line KKW Beauty and her clothing line Skims. Kylie Jenner also used her newly found fame to become a successful business woman in her own right. Kylie’s makeup brand, Kylie Cosmetics would eventually bring in over nine hundred million dollars in revenue making her one of the richest women in the world. Khloé Kardashian saw huge success outside of KUWTK as well launching her notable clothing brand Good American in 2016. However, the show proved to be not so much of a stepping-stone for the eldest sister Kourtney Kardashian. In 2019, Kourtney publicly announced that she was leaving KUWTK to spend more time with her children. Kourtney Kardashian’s departure from KUWTK was another sign that it was time to wrap things up on the set.

Finally, after twenty successful seasons Keeping Up with the Kardashians is ending. But where there is an ending, there is always a beginning. In December 2021, the Kardashians announced that they will be continuing their show on popular streaming service Hulu. Simply titled, The Kardashians, the show will debut on Hulu on April 14th, 2022 and pick up right where KUWTK left off. So, although the Kardashians are ending their ground-breaking show on E!, there are still a bunch of new future projects for the Kardashian crew. Thanks for the ride ladies! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

Sources: E! News, Grazia, People, LA Times

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Happy #InternationalWomensDay from #BrooklynGirlCode™ !!!

Special Google banner designed by Thoka Maer displayed on March 8th, 2022 honoring the progress of women worldwide.

I’m so happy The Creator made me a WOMAN!!!

All over the world women are idolized for their strength, courage and their ability to give life to other humans. And although modern technology has changed the way women are viewed, there’s no changing the genuine DNA of SHE! So, if you’re a woman reading this then today is your day! Celebrate your womanhood especially today on International Woman’s Day. Do something ultra-feminine and be happy that The Creator made you a Woman! -xoxo 🌺💕❣️🎁😎

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#BrooklynGirlCode™ Event Recap #NYCMenTeach Presents: A #HipHopCypher !!!

NYC Men Teach: A Hip Hop Cypher official event flier.

It was a star-studded event this past Friday when NYC Men Teach presented: “A Hip Hop Cypher.” Everyone bought their best rhymes and poetry to the cypher while some of today’s top Hip-Hop artists and influencers stopped by to drop some beautiful gems for the next generation of Hip-Hop artists. Celebrities who were in attendance included Big Tigger of BET’s Rap City, the lovely Free (formerly of 106 & Park), Philly’s own Freeway who was celebrating 19 years of his debut album Philadelphia Freeway; News anchor/activist Dr. Marc Lamont Hill who dropped tons of Hip-Hop knowledge on us, DJ Whutever and Umar Bin Hassan of legendary spoken word group The Last Poets who served as the elder for the evening’s festivities.

Everyone bought their A-game to this successful and positive event. What a way to cap off Black History Month 2022! Thank you to the moderators Nathaniel Smith, Vincent Deas and DJ Faro who kept us dancing to the hits all night! Special shoutout to all the great people over at NYC Men Teach for putting together such an informative and insightful event! Keep educating! -xoxo

Event moderator Vincent Deas as well as famous rappers Freeway, Big Tigger and Free were all in attendance!
Featured Poet for the night Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets and Event Moderator Nathaniel Smith.
Miss Free Marie giving some insight on the music industry.
Big Tigger holding it down for the Hip-Hop pioneers.
Philadelphia’s finest, rapper Freeway showing some love in the cypher.
News Anchor/ Activist Dr. Marc Lamont Hill spreading all of his Hip-Hop knowledge!
What a fun night shared with family and friends!
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#BrooklynGirlCode™ #TBT’s: Nina Simone’s “To Be Young Gifted and Black!”

“In the whole world you know, there’s a million boys and girls who are young, gifted and Black. And that’s a fact!” -Nina Simone

It was the summer of 1969. Singer/songwriter Nina Simone was at the height of her career. Simone was performing at the Harlem Cultural Festival in New York City and decided to introduce her new song, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” to the world. The song which was inspired by Simone’s late friend and famous playwright, Lorraine Hansberry turned out to be the ultimate ode to Black Excellence! The song would later be featured on Nina Simone’s live studio album Black Gold and would also become an unofficial anthem for the American Civil Rights Movement.

In honor of Black History Month, #BrooklynGirlCode is taking a trip back in time to the summer of 1969! Young gifted and black…oh what a lovely precious dream! Check out an exclusive throwback interview of Nina Simone speaking about the song below and enjoy! -xoxo <3

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#BrooklynGirlCode™ #TBT’s: #AmberRose and #KanyeWest Understood the Assignment !!!

It was the early 2000’s and we were all still getting adjusted to the new millenium and what was to come. Then enters Amber Rose! We didn’t know who she was. All we knew was that she was Kanye’s latest muse and she could dress her @$$ off! There’s been a lot of talk lately. But, when it comes to Kanye’s best dressed leading ladies, Amber Rose understood the assignment for sure! Her “street chic” style even rubbed off a little on Ye influencing his Yeezy brand that he would establish later on after the two split. Either way, Kanye and Amber gave us a whole lot of fly fashion to gaze at while they were together.

In honor of #TBT, #BrooklynGirlCode™ has compiled some of Amber Rose and Kanye West’s best looks from the early 2000’s. Enjoy! -xoxo <3

Kanye West and Amber Rose attend the PAPER Magazine 25th Anniversary Party in New York City (2009). Photo courtesy of Patrick MacMullan.
Kanye West and Amber Rose attend the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards… Fave!!! Photo courtesy of Just Jared.
Thanks for stopping by, come back soon! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ .
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Vivica A. Fox Shares Update on Longtime friend Regina King

“She is surrounded by so much love y’all. Our community is right there for her.” – Vivica A. Fox

“I was with Regina King last night and she’s alright…” actress Vivica A. Fox recently spoke on her show Cocktails With Queens and gave viewers an update on how her longtime friend Regina King is doing since losing her son Ian Alexander Jr. to suicide last week. “This has been absolutely one of the longest weekends I’ve ever had in my life. It’s like I can’t stop crying.” Vivica said on the show while holding back tears.

“She is surrounded by so much love y’all. Our community is right there for her.” Our love and support go out to Regina King during this difficult time. Scroll down to watch full video. -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ 👑 👑💜💜

Actresses Vivica Fox and Regina King via Essence.com.

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#GoodMorning from #BrooklynGirlCode™ ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️

Photo courtesy of Rashidaaz Instagram.

You know the vibes … #NowBlasting🎶 #MovedToMiami #RoddyRich #LilBaby #HipHop #GoodMorning from #BrooklynGirlCode™ ☕️☕️☕️.

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#CoachFranke Celebrates 50 Years of Coaching Division I Women’s #Fencing at #TempleUniversity

Coach Franke and former Temple Fencer and #BrooklynGirlCode Creator, Aziza Hassan pose at the 2021 Temple Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Nikki Franke celebrates fifty years of coaching the Division 1 Women’s Fencing Team at Temple University this year!

Coach Franke and former Temple Fencer and #BrooklynGirlCode Creator, Aziza Hassan pose at the 2021 Temple Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Coach Franke (right) and former Temple Fencer and #BrooklynGirlCode Creator, Aziza Hassan (left) pose at the 2021 Temple Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

I was a young inexperienced teenager when I walked into Coach Franke’s fencing room in McGonigle Hall for the first time. Looking back now, I didn’t know anything (competitive-wise) about my weapon, Sabre. Coming from Brooklyn, New York and fencing only on a recreational level at the Peter Westbrook Foundation, I had only one national tournament under my belt. But, Coach Franke was still willing to take a chance on me.

This is what makes Coach Franke the great coach that she is, the chances that she’s willing to take on young inexperienced fencers. After transitioning over to Sabre from Foil the previous year at the suggestion of my then coach Mika’il Sankofa, I had to sharpen up my skills asap to prove to Coach Franke that she wasn’t just doing me a favor. Along with the help and support of Zoila Palacio who was the Sabre & Epee coach at Temple University, I went on to become a three-time NCAA Championship competitor as well as an All-American fencer for Temple University. Compared to my teammates back home who were already going on to compete at the 2000 Summer Games in Athens, I was far behind.

However, with the support of Coach Franke and Coach Palacio, I was able to go on and compete and gain high results in several international senior world cups all over the world between the years of 2006 and 2015.

This year makes 50 years that Coach Franke has been coaching up the young ladies at Temple University. I’m so glad that I chose Temple University as my school back in 2000. This is definitely a decision that I never regret. Here’s to 50 more years Coach Franke! Hoot! Hoot! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

Update: Coach Franke will be inducted into the 2022 class of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.
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#PeppaPig Gets Savage on Twitter & Takes Shots at Kanye West’s New Album #Donda !!!!

Kanye West gets Trolled by Peppa Pig
Kanye West gets Trolled by Peppa Pig
Kanye West gets trolled by popular British cartoon Peppa Pig.

They say when you’re on top that everyone is going to come for you! Well surprisingly cartoons are not exempt from this group! Kanye West dropped his highly-anticipated tenth studio album Donda this past week and Peppa Pig was caught trolling the Chicago rapper in a now-deleted savage and sassy tweet! The popular British animated pig who is no stranger to music also recently dropped her sophomore studio album titled Peppa’s Adventures: The Album. Peppa Pig’s album (which we’re sure is way more kid-friendlier than Kanye’s) was given a higher rating (6.5) by Pitchfork. Unfortunately, Kanye’s Donda album only received a 6.0 rating by the publication.

Well, it didn’t take long for Peppa Pig to let the world know on Twitter that her album was rated higher than Yeezy’s! Peppa Pig got into savage mode real quick taking shots at Yeezy for the whole world to see! Shortly after Peppa Pig’s official twitter account posted the tweet, it was deleted. Still, this has to be the funniest thing we’ve seen all week and we had to share.

Moral of the story… don’t mess with Peppa Pig and her music! Check out the bossy tweet from Peppa Pig’s official Twitter account below! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

Peppa Pig's official Twitter Account trolls Kanye West's 'Donda' album on September 1st, 2021.
Peppa Pig’s official Twitter account trolls Kanye West’s ‘Donda’ album on September 1st, 2021.
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A Night w/ Umar Bin Hassan @ Petra’s!

Poet Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets
Poet Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets
Official Petra’s event flier for Poet, Umar Bin Hassan of legendary spoken word group The Last Poets.

Umar Bin Hassan of legendary spoken word group, The Last Poets will be performing at Petra’s bar in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 21st, 2021. Special guests performing on August 21st include Bluz Rodgers, Tony McCullough, Antonio Diaz plus other invited guests to be announced. Should be a night filled with some beautiful people! When I asked my dad for a quote about him performing at his upcoming show on the 21st, he replied:

“Yeah, I’m excited about it. I’m excited about it. Okay?” -Umar Bin Hassan

For more information about this show please contact Jibril Hough @ 704.258.0304. -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

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#Women In #Music: Art Vs. Business

Rapper Cardi B Performing at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

In today’s monetized music business, women are pushing the envelope and shattering traditional glass ceilings that were once set in place to keep men on top. With so many women in the industry currently making moves both in front and behind the camera, it’s becoming more and more obvious that music may be the surest way to skip all the loop holes and go straight to the top in corporate America. But who gets taken advantage of now that the women are becoming the leaders?

One of the main discussions in the music business today is the over-sexualization of women. From Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion‘s racy “WAP” performance at this year’s Grammy Awards receiving FCC complaints to Rihanna and Beyonce respectively showing off their bare bodies to promote their clothing lines, there’s no doubt about it, sex in the music business is “a thing.”

Rappers Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B give a racy and controversial performance at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

I guess the real discussion might be, can you succeed in the music business while staying true to yourself? Especially in today’s industry when it seems the female artists are often baring it all with hopes to become a household name. It actually still may be very possible. Ethiopia Habtemariam, a music executive who was recently promoted to Chairman & CEO of classic American imprint Motown Records is proof of this.

After joining Motown Records just seven years ago in 2014, Ethiopia Habtemariam rose through the ranks of corporate America while overseeing some of today’s most popular artists like Lil Baby, City Girls and Vince Staples. Habtemariam made it to the tippy top of the music industry where the bosses reside and she didn’t have to be overly sexual or twerk anything in front of any camera.

Motown Records CEO & Chairman Ethiopia Habtemariam.

Then you have Mona Scott-Young, a Haitian-American television and music executive who is responsible for creating the popular reality television series Love & Hip-Hop that has garnered a lot of attention over the years for perpetuating a bad image of hip-hop artists. Mona Scott-Young recently made the news for claiming that she gets way more criticism than her white male counterparts (i.e. Ryan Seacrest, Andy Cohen) due to the fact that she’s the only Black woman in her position. The interesting thing about Mona Scott-Young’s story is that her Love & Hip Hop show actually creates a platform for up-and-coming music artists to be seen. It was Love & Hip-Hop that introduced Cardi B to the world right before the sex-driven, Bronx-born rapper took the music industry by storm. So, can we be that mad at Mona Scott-Young for the image that Love & Hip-Hop portrays? Cardi B is undeniably one of the most successful hip-hop artists in history to date. Who knows if she would have reached this pinnacle without being featured on Love & Hip Hop? It’s almost like a double-edged sword.

Success is success is success! However, it’s harder for the older generation of music lovers to accept this brand new world of music. They’re the ones who grew up watching Lauryn Hill do it with such grace and class.

Lauryn Hill was and still is a beautifully talented artist who sold millions of albums and made a lot of money while keeping all her clothes on — a true gem in Hip-Hop. Still whether behind the camera, in the office or on stage at The Grammys, women in music, both the artists and the executives are raising the bar for many generations to come. And we definitely love to see it! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

Singer/Rapper/Songwriter/Actor Lauryn Hill.

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#PopSmoke’s New Album #Faith Is On the Way!!!

Pop Smoke 'Faith' cover art

Just when we thought summer couldn’t get any hotter🔥🔥, Pop Smoke‘s management team recently announced that the late Brooklyn rapper has another posthumous album dropping for our listening pleasure! The new album, appropriately titled Faith after the tattoo on the rapper’s left eye has a star-studded lineup to boot! All-star features on Faith include Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Chris Brown, Dua Lipa, Tory Lanez, Quavo, Kodak Black, Tyga, Swae Lee, Takeoff, Youngboy Never Broke Again and several others.

Faith is the follow-up to Pop Smoke’s chart-topping 2020 release Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. Faith is set to be released on July 16th, 2021 and we are ready! Congrats to Pop Smoke’s family on all his recent success. Check out our exclusive interview with Pop Smoke’s mother Audrey Jackson that we featured on #BrooklynGirlCode back in April. Long live Pop Smoke! 💫💫💫

Rapper Pop Smoke
Photo of Rapper Pop Smoke courtesy of Complex Instagram.
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Congrats to #ZailaAvantGarde on Winning the #Scripps National #SpellingBee!!

Zaila Avant-garde shows off her pretty new hardware after winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee on July 8th, 2021. Photo courtesy of Scripps National Spelling Bee Instagram account.

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word “Murraya” is defined as a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees (family Rutaceae) having pinnate leaves and flowers with imbricated petals. However, to a young 14-year-old girl from New Orleans, Louisiana by the name of Zaila Avant-garde, the word “Murraya” means a whole lot more than that!

On July 8th, 2021 Zaila Avant-garde made history by becoming the first African-American (Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica was the first Black contestant to win the title in 1998) to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the competition’s 96 year history. The event which was televised live on ESPN on Thursday evening drew a VIP crowd including First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden who was there to witness Avant-garde become a national champion! In addition to her spelling talents, Avant-garde also enjoys playing basketball and holds three Guinness World Records for dribbling the most basketballs at one time. She’s amazing! With everything going on in the world right now, it’s little victories like these that are so special.

Congrats to Zaila Avant-garde and all the contestants of this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee. Watch the video of Avante-garde becoming a national champion by spelling the word “Murraya” below. It was the twirl at the end for us! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

Zaila Avant-garde is the winner!!
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Good Luck to the #PeterWestbrookFoundation at the #Tokyo2020 #Olympics Next Month!

Olympian Peter Westbrook speaking to his Fencers at the Fencers Club in New York City.
Olympian Peter Westbrook speaking to his Fencers at the Fencers Club in New York City.
Olympian Peter Westbrook speaking to his Fencers at the Fencers Club in New York City.

“This is a lily white sport. Make no bones about it.” – Peter Westbrook

Peter Westbrook knows all about the sport of fencing. The six-time Olympic bronze medalist has been sending African-American fencers to the Olympic Games for the past two decades. I, myself started fencing at the Peter Westbrook Foundation when I was eleven-years-old and I’ve had the opportunity to know Peter Westbrook not just as an Olympian but as a human being. And trust me — they don’t make them like him anymore!

Next month for the Tokyo 2020 games, the Peter Westbrook Foundation will be sending a quarter of Team USA’s men’s fencing team to compete. This is something no other organization has done to date. Check out the cool news special CBS New York recently did highlighting the Peter Westbrook Foundation below. Good luck to my PWF fencing family at the Tokyo 2020 games next month. I’ve been knowing these Good Men all my life!! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

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Audrey Jackson Is Making Sure the Legacy of #PopSmoke Continues Through His #ShootForTheStars Foundation!

#BrooklynGirlCode creator, Aziza Hassan (left) with Audrey Jackson, mother of rapper Pop Smoke in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2021. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.

It’s hard to believe it’s been one whole year since Brooklyn rap phenomenon Pop Smoke (born Bashar Barakah Jackson) passed away. The young, talented rapper was just getting his feet wet and becoming a huge force to be reckoned with in the music world when he was taken away from us during a home invasion in Los Angeles, California on February 19th, 2020. Popular for his slick dance moves and unique rap voice, Pop Smoke was gaining traction and fame all over the world and he wasn’t letting his foot off the brakes. Although his passing was a huge loss to Hip-Hop and his family and friends, of course, Pop Smoke’s mother Audrey Jackson is making sure that her son’s legacy lives on through his Shoot For The Stars Foundation. The foundation created by the late rapper is a non-profit foundation that aims to inspire inner-city youth to reach their goals despite living in difficult circumstances.

Audrey Jackson, mother of rapper Pop Smoke poses in front of a portrait of her son in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2021. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.

On April 10, 2021 #BrooklynGirlCode along with Renayssance Entertainment got the opportunity to speak with Pop Smoke‘s mother Audrey Jackson and discuss her plans for her son’s foundation. The event held at popular Brooklyn spot, The Brooklyn Estates was apart of a full spa weekend hosted by Miss Jackson for mothers of hip-hop artists who lost their children to violence. The private event turned out to be a huge success drawing popular media outlets like News 12 Brooklyn and Fox News. Audrey Jackson is a very kind woman on a serious mission to keep her son’s legacy alive and she won’t stop until her mission is complete! Check out the full exclusive interview with Jamel Oakman of Renayssance Entertainment below.

For more information on the Shoot for the Stars Foundation visit shootforthestars.org. Long Live Pop Smoke!

Jamel Oakman for Renayssance Entertainment interviewing Audrey Jackson at The Brooklyn Estates in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2021. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.
Audrey Jackson, mother of rapper Pop Smoke getting ready to speak with the media in Brooklyn on April 10th, 2020. Photo courtesy of #BrooklynGirlCode.
Fun times in Brooklyn with friends! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3
At this year’s 2021 Billboard Music Awards, Pop Smoke won several awards for his posthumous album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon. Pictured above is Pop Smoke’s mother Audrey Jackson at the BBMA’s on May 23rd, 2021 along with a family member holding all her son’s trophies.
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“You Can Kill the #Revolutionary But, You Can’t Kill the #Revolution!” – #FredHampton

A young Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little) in Omaha, Nebraska.

Brother Malcolm (born Malcolm Little) passed away on this day, February 21st 1965 in Harlem, New York at the Audubon Ballroom. Born in Omaha, Nebraska on 1925, Malcolm X (later becoming known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) would go on to become a leader for Civil Rights for Black people all over the world. Black Panther Fred Hampton once said, “You can kill the revolutionary but, you can’t kill the revolution!” It all makes sense now. -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode. <3

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#ShirleyChisholm, A #BrooklynGirl With A Vision!

November 30th, 2020 marked the 96th birthday of politician, teacher, author and activist Shirley Chisholm. Although she is not mentioned as much as she should be when discussing American politics, Chisholm was an extremely important figure in the American political system.

Shirley Chisholm (born Shirley Anita St. Hill.) began her decorated career as a teacher’s aide in Harlem, N.Y. in 1946. Seven years later in 1953, Chisholm officially entered the world of American politics advocating for Lewis Flagg Jr. who became the first Black judge elected in Brooklyn.

Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress where she served seven terms (1969-1983). In 1972, Chisholm became the first African-American candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America. As well as the first woman ever to run for the Democratic Party as a presidential nominee.

However, in 2005 (only 15 years ago) when Shirley Chisholm passed, there were no national memorial services or even a nationally-televised special to honor her. Why? Chisholm single-handedly paved the way for all of today’s top political figures including fellow Brooklynite Ruth Bader Ginsburg who recently passed in September 2020.

In 2015, ten years after her death, Chisholm was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2019, Shirley Chisholm State Park opened to the public in East New York, Brooklyn . The state park created to honor Chisholm in her hometown is the largest state park in New York City stretching 407 acres. Now all we need is a giant-sized statue erected in Washington D.C. to honor Chisholm who was a giant-sized figure herself.

Let’s start celebrating our heroes while they are still here living and breathing! Shirley Chisholm was a true Brooklyn girl with a vision! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

“Our confrontation must be against an all-time vision of America. Our confrontation must be against Blacks in the cotton and tobacco fields. Our confrontation must be against women in the kitchen. Our confrontation must be against Blacks at the back door and women at the bedroom door. Those bad, old days are dead.” – Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm x United States Vice President Kamala Harris courtesy of Shirley Chisholm Institute.
New York City’s first Black Mayor, David N. Dinkins standing in front of a portrait of Shirley Chisholm.
Shirley Chisholm teaching early in her career.
Shirley Chisholm teaching early in her career.
Shirley Chisholm at work.
Shirley Chisholm seated with the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971.
Political Activist Rosa Parks and Shirley Chisholm together at an event.
Image of Shirley Chisholm State Park in Brooklyn, New York.
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#TBT’s: #Two Intelligent #BlackMen Are Better Than One! #HappyBirthday #BobbySeale! 🖤

Black Panther Party founders Bobby Seal and Dr. Huey P. Newton in front of the official Black Panther Party headquarters
Black Panther Party founders Bobby Seal and Dr. Huey P. Newton in front of the official Black Panther Party headquarters
Black Panther Party founders Bobby Seal and Dr. Huey P. Newton in front of the official Black Panther Party headquarters. Photo courtesy of Jason Porter Pinterest page.

Today marks the 84th birthday of Black Panther Party founder, political activist Bobby Seale. Bobby Seale was born in Liberty, Texas on October 22nd, 1936. The oldest of three children, Bobby Seale moved to Oakland, California with his family when he was eight years old. Seale would later go on to form the very controversial, but very important Black Panther Party along with Dr. Huey P. Newton in Oakland in 1966. The party which eventually dissolved in 1982 aimed to inform and educate African-Americans on their civil rights and provide free food to residents in inner-city communities.

Black Panther Party founder Bobby Seale.
Black Panther Party founder Bobby Seale. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post.

In his later years, Seale wrote a few books, starred in popular television documentaries and became a college professor teaching Black Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA (where my Temple Owls at?!). At 84 years old, Bobby Seale is still on the move educating and empowering. Happy Birthday to a true American Legend! And thank you for coming together with Dr. Huey P. Newton to form the Black Panther Party because two intelligent Black men are better than one! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode.🖤

Photo of Black Panther Party founder Bobby Seale
Photo of Black Panther Party founder Bobby Seale. Photo courtesy of Moor Info.

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“Try To Add A Little Bit of Bright Color To A Really Dull World.” – xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode!!!💖

2012 Photo of #BrooklynGirlCode Creator and Editor, Aziza Hassan

We made it to the weekend once again! And with all the dull, solemn, tired energy going around these days, I thought it would be nice to post a bright image from a trip I took back in 2012 to Puerto Rico (pre-social distancing). It’s hard to stay motivated and excited in these times but it’s also very important to do so. So, when you’re getting ready for work, etc. this upcoming week remember to try to add a little bit of bright color to a really dull world! Enjoy your Sunday! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode 💖

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Robert Pattinson to Play #TheBatman in New Warner Bros. Film

Robert Pattinson as The Batman

So word on the street is Robert Pattinson is set to play The Batman in the new Matt Reeves film that is set to be released by Warner Bros. Films in late 2021. However, last week Page Six reported that Robert Pattinson was recovering from Covid-19. Well if this is true, we really hope that he gets well soon because #BrooklynGirlCode is a known supporter of anything related to The Batman and Gotham City! Page Six reported that the Twilight actor who was once engaged to Uk singer FKA twigs had fallen ill during production causing everything to come to a hault. Other acclaimed actors who are set to be featured in the new The Batman film includes Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell and others. Who’s your favorite Batman of all time? Let us know! Get well soon Robert because we’re really looking forward to this film!! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

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#Brandy and #Monica Take Us Down #MemoryLane With a Record-Breaking #Verzuz Battle!

Brandy and Monica in "It All Belongs To Me" official music video

Brandy and Monica in
Brandy and Monica in “It All Belongs To Me” official music video

It was “Ladies Night” this past Monday, August 31st, when music legends Brandy and Monica put their differences aside and came together for one night only to perform their classic R&B hits for Verzuz. The battle which was streamed live on Instagram and Apple Music broke the internet with more than one million viewers tuning in to watch the two superstars battle it out classic for classic! Of course these two divas came dressed to impress! Brandy played it cool and casual in an eccentric Libertine “Prince of Chintz” blazer while Monica stunned in an adorable retro-style Fendi oufit designed by fashion designer Baba Jagne. However, the best part of the night had to be the official check-in from Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris who called in to wish the ladies well while rocking her own alma mater Howard University on a relaxed-fit sweatshirt. The only thing that would’ve made the night complete for us is if Mekhi Phifer would have came out and made a special appearance for the duo’s Grammy award-winning single, “The Boy Is Mine.” It never happened, but it was still a very memorable event!

Check out some cool footage from the Verzuz battle below. Looking forward to the world tour ladies! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

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#RestWell #Coach #JohnThompson! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode

Legendary Basketball Hall of Fame Coach John Thompson passed away surrounded by family at his Arlington, Virginia home on August 30th, 2020. In 1984, with the assistance of NBA legend Patrick Ewing, Coach Thompson became the first Black coach to lead an NCAA Division I basketball team to the national championship beating the Houston Cougars in the finals. During his tenure with the Georgetown Hoyas (1972-1999), Thompson lead his team to a 596-239 (.714) winning record. Thompson who was a Washington D.C. native was also a two-time NBA champion playing for the Boston Celtics alongside Bill Russell from 1964-1966. In 1988 at the Seoul Olympics, Thompson served as the head coach for the Unites States Men’s basketball team. Under Thompson’s instruction, retired NBA player and 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Allen Iverson would go on to set the Georgetown University record for highest career scoring average (22.9 points per game). In 2017, Patrick Ewing took over as head coach for the Hoyas. However, it’s obvious that no one will ever make the same mark in Georgetown that Coach John Thompson made. Rest well to a true sports legend!
Coach John Thompson with Coach John Chaney
2 Johns. 2 Legends. Coach Thompson x Coach Chaney. Rest well to Coach John Thompson! Image courtesy of Temple Men’s Basketball Instagram.
Coach John Thompson at work in 1996. Photo courtesy of the New York Times
Coach John Thompson at work in 1996. Image courtesy of the New York Times
Coach John Thompson with NBA legend Patrick Ewing.  In 1984, Ewing helped lead the Georgetown Hoyas to their first national championship. Photo courtesy of Georgetown University Instagram.
Coach John Thompson with NBA legend Patrick Ewing at Georgetown University. In 1984, Ewing helped lead the Georgetown Hoyas to their first national championship. Image courtesy of Georgetown University Instagram.
Coach John Thompson and NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson sharing a laugh.
Coach John Thompson and NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson sharing a laugh. Image courtesy of Allen Iverson’s Instagram.
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The #ABC Network to Honor Actor #ChadwickBoseman Tonight at 8pm EST!

Chadwick Boseman via ABC News Instagram

The ABC network will be honoring the life of actor Chadwick Boseman tonight in a special Sunday evening presentation. The network will be playing the Black Panther movie in its entirety on Sunday night beginning at 8pm EST. The Black Panther will be followed by a special presentation on the actor’s life. The presentation will begin tonight at 8pm EST. Chadwick Boseman who passed away on August 28th from complications due to colon cancer was a native of Anderson, South Carolina. Boseman was only 43 years old but in his short time here, he starred in several feature-length films including 42 (2013); Message from the King (2016); Captain America: Civil War (2016) and 2018’s blockbuster hit Black Panther where he immortalized the character of T’Challa, King of Wakanda. Make sure to tune in to ABC tonight. Rest In Power to Chadwick Boseman!

Actor Chadwick Boseman and Director Ryan Coogler on the cover of Variety Magazine
Actor Chadwick Boseman and ‘Black Panther’ Director Ryan Coogler on the cover of Variety Magazine.

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Marvel Comic Writer Stan Lee and Actor Chadwick Boseman
Marvel Comic Writer Stan Lee and Actor Chadwick Boseman.

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Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa, King Of Wakanda
Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, King Of Wakanda.

 

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#ThankYouVince: Vince Carter Retires from #NBA with Record-Breaking Career!

#ThankYouVince for all your sportsmanship and best of luck with your media career! Check out Vince Carter’s podcast “Winging It With Vince Carter” via The Ringer currently streaming. -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ 🏀 ❤️

Photo of Vince Carter by Jason Miller for Getty Images.

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#StayStrong and #KeepStriving! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™🖤

#BrooklynGirlCode™ Creator Aziza Hassan in Brooklyn, New York on June 3rd, 2020.

You couldn’t have told me three months ago that this would be the state of the 🌍 today! Everyday it seems like something new is threatening our normal lives. It feels like we’re living in the Apocalypse. As humans and as a Black woman—especially, I’m aware of struggling and facing adversity first hand. But I’m also aware that my ancestors have been through much worse. The events that are currently taking place in America are a clear reminder that we have a whole lot of work to do and that we have to keep pushing. This is what makes us who we are! So please stay strong and keep striving because there is a higher power stronger than all of this chaos! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ 🖤

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May 19th Marks The 50th Anniversary of #TheLastPoets Groundbreaking #Debut Album!

Cover Art for The Last Poets 1970 self-titled debut alum.

The year was 1968. In Harlem and all over the world an uprising was occurring due to the major events that had taken place earlier in the decade. For African-Americans, it seemed like all hope had been lost. All of our prominent leaders had been either erased or shot down by mysterious forces.

To call yourself a musician or an artist in today’s world and not be aware of The Last Poets and what they did for the music culture and American culture—period is an atrocity (in my opinion). You better do your research! And with all that is going on in the world right now, this is the perfect time to do it!

On May 19th, 2020 @ 7pm EST, we will be celebrating The 50th Anniversary with an epic livestream event! Video Music Box, UHHM and Seeds of The Last Poets presents: “Bridging the Gap: An Evening of Conversation w/ The Last Poets.” The virtual event hosted by legendary VJ Ralph McDaniels of Video Music Box will feature appearances from Rakim of Eric B. & Rakim, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Chubb Rock, Doug E. Fresh, Jessica Care Moore, KRS-1, Black Thought, Jadakiss and many more! You don’t want to miss this!

Just hit the link below to reserve your tickets for next Tuesday’s epic livestream event and enjoy the show! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ ✊🏾🖤🎵🎶

Reserve your tickets now and share the event with friends!! >>> The Last Poets 50 Year Celebration!

Official event flier for The Last Poets livestream event happening on May 19th, 2020 @ 7pm EST.
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The World 🌍 (and #Coachella) Before Social Distancing!

#TBT’s to #Coachella 2018 when social distancing was an unknown verb… 😢 It was the best of times and what a time to be alive! Who would’ve thought that just two short years later the whole world would be a different place? Thank goodness for pictures to help us hold on to all the special memories for a while. Check out some of our best photos from Coachella 2018 aka “Beychella.” While we quarantine, we’ll just close our eyes and imagine we’re there. Better days ahead! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival