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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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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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#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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#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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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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#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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#JumaaneWilliams Wins Race for #NYC #PublicAdvocate !!!

Jumaane Williams after his victory in NYC on February 26th. Photo via the New York Times.

On February 26th, The Big Apple elected a new Public Advocate into office. The young Brooklyn native who goes by the name of Jumaane Williams is also a self-proclaimed “Hip-Hop Head” and as far as we’re concerned, Mr. Williams has already started off his term on two good notes!

Congrats to Jumaane Williams on winning the election and all the best to him on his new position in office! Brooklyn wins again! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ 😎

Read the original article about Mr. Williams’ big win published in the New York Times on February 27th, 2019 here.