The 2022 Billboard Music Awards and Remembering The Notorious B.I.G. on his 50th Birthday
“REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” aired on Friday (May 20) to discuss the Buffalo shooting aftermath, controversy surrounding self-proclaimed relationship expert Kevin Samuels, Diddy’s Billboard Awards takeover, and the life and legacy of Biggie Smalls.
Neima Abdulahi hosted the episode titled “Inside YSL’s Legal Battle, the Billboard LOVE Takeover, and Remembering Biggie.” She was joined by author Tariq Nasheed, journalist Dennis Byron, motivational speaker Shalakemia Moffitt, author A.R. Shaw, activist Hawk Newsome and educator Conscious Lee. REVOLT entertainment correspondent Kennedy Rue McCullough gave viewers a recap of the 2022 Billboard Awards show and journalist Rochelle Ritchie discussed the controversy surrounding Samuels.
Abdulahi opened the episode by discussing Payton Gendron who allegedly shot and killed 10 people and injured three others during a racially motivated attack in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York on May 14. She asked Nasheed if television networks like Fox News should be held accountable for pushing ideologies, like the Replacement Theory, that could provoke viewers to carry out violent acts?
“I’ve been on Fox News many times and I’ve told these people to their faces how dangerous their white supremacist rhetoric is because they’ve been spewing that for years,” he said. “White supremacists believe their numbers are dwindling and they don’t feel like they can replace their numbers so them attacking Black people, that’s not a real solution to their numbers. So, what are these killings really about? The killings are them establishing terror amongst Black people because they need to learn how to rule as a minority. What they want to do is put us in a state of fear so that they can create an apartheid state over here the same way they have in South Africa.”
Abdulahi switched gears and asked Newsome to share his thoughts about H.R. 40, a bill that if passed would establish a commission to recommend appropriate reparations for Black Americans.
“When it comes down to reparations, they just need to cut the check. America has to come to fact with the terms that they will never be right. There will never be justice nor freedom in this country until they address what they did to Black people,” she explained. “Lastly, I am so tired of the unity and healing talk. Where’s it got us. We’re still living in an oppressed society…we need to stop fighting for everybody and focus on fighting for ourselves.”
Next, Abdulahi talks about Young Thug and Gunna’s arrests’ who were indicted under the RICO Act for their alleged involvement in several crimes. Many find it alarming that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will use the rappers’ lyrics as evidence to link them to gang activity.
Byron told REVOLT, “Willis said at the press conference that this alleged gang contributed to 75 to 80 percent of all the violent crimes in Atlanta. You know for her to say that during the press conference, she’s going to have to meet that burden of proof.”
During a press conference, Young Thug’s attorney Brian Steele maintained his innocence. “Mr. Williams committed no crime whatsoever and we will fight until my last drop of blood to clear him,” he declared.
Shaw chimed in, “The thing that makes this case so interesting is that they’re saying his entourage is a gang and so what happens is you have individuals and rappers who come up in environments where you’re still associated with someone you grew up with who still may be associated in doing criminal activity. If they’re still in your entourage, this RICO indictment pretty much allows them to loop everyone in and be charged if someone in your crew is affiliated with crime.”
Kenneth Montgomery, criminal defense attorney, weighed in and discussed how Young Thug and Gunna’s lyrics may be used in their criminal case. “It’s good stories for people just to assume that they’re going to be able to use the lyric, but the lyrics still have to be associated with criminal conduct and they still have to be applied to the rules of evidence,” he said. “Now if they have lyrics that are speaking specifically about a crime, a shooting or a murder or some act of some criminal conduct, then the defense attorneys are going to have some work to do.”
Later in the show, McCullough spoke with celebrities at the 2022 Billboard Awards about Biggie Smalls and the impact he has had on hip hop. Sean “Diddy” Combs said, “I would have to say Biggie is probably the most impactful to me. He’s the greatest…I wish he was here for his 50th birthday.”
Artist Jozzy believes Biggie left an indelible mark on the music industry. “His imprint is everywhere I mean even from the Versace shades. Biggie is just one of those guys that his music is never going to leave. His music feels good at any time of the day,” she stated.
Switching gears a bit, Ritchie discussed the controversy surrounding self-proclaimed relationship expert Samuels. Lee believes Samuels’ content was counterproductive to what the Black community needs to hear.
“I think that he was so polarizing because at a time in our community — uniquely in the Black community — when we were dealing with disproportionate impacts of the Coronavirus, most people from the East Coast to the West Coast were in the streets [protesting for] Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Kevin Samuels thought it was more appropriate to talk about relationship statuses, and women being leftovers, and women being damaged goods, and you know giving his expertise from his two failed marriages. It rubbed a lot of people the wrong way,” he revealed.
On the contrary, Moffitt told Ritchie that Samuels had a positive impact on the Black community. “I feel like Kevin Samuels brought a real conversation to the table. It wasn’t sugarcoated. Tt was definitely issues that were ignored in the Black community with the Black family — with Black women and Black men. I feel like he was very beneficial to us in so many different ways,” she voiced.
Watch a clip from this week’s episode up top. Plus, be sure to catch the next installment of “REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” on Friday, May 27, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET on REVOLT’s app.