/  04.04.2022
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REVOLT goes behind the scenes at the 2022 Oscars (clip)

00:03:44

“REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” aired on Friday (Apr. 1) to discuss the connection between hip hop lyrics and street violence. The show also discussed Will Smith and Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars and African countries’ views on Russian President Vladimir Putin invading Ukraine.

Neima Abdulahi hosted the episode, titled “Stopping The Violence: Hip Hop’s Long Fight, Africa’s Divided Diaspora Over Putin, and Black Excellence at the Oscars.” She was joined by Master P, DJ Pretty Boy Tank, rapper J. Stone, author Tariq Nasheed and radio personality DJ Era. REVOLT Entertainment Correspondent Kennedy Rue McCullough also gave viewers an inside look at what happened during the 2022 Oscars ceremony.

Abdulahi opened the show by remembering the life and legacy of rapper Nipsey Hussle. The California native was shot and killed in Los Angeles in 2019, and his death sent shockwaves throughout the hip hop community.

While speaking with “REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly,” Master P, who mentored Nipsey Hussle, said it is important to protect rappers.

“When you kill someone like Nipsey Hussle, someone that was feeding the community, somebody like Young Dolph — who is going to step up to take care of these kids? Who is going to step up and take care of the community? Who’s going to take care of the elderly? So, we should be preserving these people,” he said.

Master P told Abdulahi that rappers are dying at a young age due to a lack of leadership: “So we talk about how the police kill us, and we make these big stories about it, but it’s so many of us killing us, and that’s why we’re dying young. It’s a lack of leadership and a lack of education.”

J. Stone, a rapper and longtime friend of Nipsey Hussle’s, told Abdulahi that rappers sometimes die in their own communities due to jealousy. “There’s a lot of in-house jealousy, and there’s a lot of jealousy from your own peers,” he explained.

Master P added that rappers often receive the most “hate” in their own communities “because people can’t imagine seeing you as this big superstar now when they used to see you every day in the same community as them.”

Radio personality DJ Era told “REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” that members of the Black community need to reflect to stop patterns of violence. “It’s our own people hurting our own people. We need to look at ourselves and realize we are doing exactly what they want us to do, which is kill each other,” Era insisted. Journalist A.R. Shaw joined the conversation and said, “We really need to have more conversations, not just about the lyrics, but also about what’s happening in our communities.”

Next, Abdulahi discussed why Will Smith took issue with Chris Rock’s G.I. Jane joke aimed at Jada Pinkett-Smith. She also discussed Black women being used as punchlines.

Dr. Kari Williams, who specializes in trichology, said that she was shocked when she heard the joke and understood the reactions from both of the Smiths. “There’s a level of loss and pain associated with [alopecia] that we’re not privy to,” she said.

Journalist Shynieka Taylor criticized Rock’s actions and stated he is well aware of the challenges Black women face after making his 2009 Good Hair documentary. “This is Chris Rock, the same guy who made a whole documentary about Black hair and how Black people’s hair — especially Black women — it’s their glory and there’s a lot of racism behind it, a lot of discrimination behind it, a lot of self-esteem issues behind it. Then, you felt like it was okay to make fun of a Black woman during the first time the Oscars decided to have an all-Black production staff?” Taylor asked.

Dr. Williams said Rock’s joke was insensitive and that hair is tied to a Black woman’s identity.  “Our hair has been under attack — and to know that, that [societal] standard has always been a Eurocentric white standard … When it comes to those jokes, I feel that it continues to perpetuate that attack against Black women,” said Dr. Williams.

Taylor added that she understood why Smith physically assaulted Rock.“I can see why Will was upset. Not only are you making fun of my woman in front of the world and in front of all these other cultures — it’s my wife,” she insisted.

On the contrary, author Tariq Nasheed said he believed Smith’s behavior was excessive.“I don’t think Will should have went on stage and hit Chris Rock. I don’t think that was justified, but I understand the lengths some people will go to protect the honor of their significant other if they feel their significant other is being attacked,” he said.

Switching gears a bit, Abdulahi discussed why African countries appear to be divided when it comes to whether they support or condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nigerian politician Gabe Okoye said some African countries are supporting Russia for economic reasons. “It’s not really about Russia, it’s about China. China implicitly supports Russia in this war, and some of [the African] countries are indebted to China. So, what are they going to do? They’re going to try to please the Chinese,” he said.

Chanita Foster, Zimbabwean tourism director, said other African countries are hesitant to publicly oppose the invasion because they are focused on their own political affairs. “I think wisdom is the ability to choose your battles. You never go into a battle that you’re not equipped for. If you look at what’s going on across Africa we’re actually going into election years for a lot of countries right now. They want to speak out, but it’s not something they’re willing to engage in actively right now,” she said.

Later in the show, REVOLT Entertainment Correspondent Kennedy Rue McCullough shared clips of her experience at the 2022 Oscars.

REVOLT Chairman Sean “Diddy” Combs was accompanied by his daughter Chance Combs at the awards show. While on the red carpet, he told Rue, “It’s a blessing to not just have representation. I take my hat off to the Oscars — they put some of us in power.”

Film producer Will Packer produced this year’s Oscars and, besides the drama, the show was inundated with Black excellence. From Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion performing to Will Smith and Samuel L. Jackson receiving their first Oscar awards, there was a lot to celebrate.

Watch a behind-the-scenes clip from the 2022 Oscars up top. Plus, be sure to catch the next episode of “REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” on Friday, April 8, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET on REVOLT’s app.

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