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Russell Westbrook Wants Out Of Houston

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Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook wishes to leave the team.

What We Know:

  • Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Russell Westbrook is looking for a trade to get out of Houston. This comes after a week of concerning reports coming out of the Rockets camp.
  • Earlier this week, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that the Rockets were willing to move on from Westbrook after just one year. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon also reported that James Harden and Westbrook were not happy with the direction of the franchise and expressed their concerns to management.
  • Tilman Fertitta bought the Rockets with high hopes of bringing a championship to Houston. Ever since the Rockets lost in the 2018 Western Conference Finals, the team has underperformed. Back-to-back second-round exits in 2019 and 2020 were followed by the resignations of head coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey.
  • The Rockets traded Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook last offseason as an all-in move to get closer to a title. Pairing former league MVPs Westbrook and Harden worked surprisingly well in the regular season but they were lackluster in the playoffs, barely beating the Thunder in seven games and getting steamrolled by the Lakers in five.
  • Westbrook has reportedly informed the Rockets that he would prefer to be traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, or the Atlanta Hawks. According to Charania, James Harden is still committed to the team and wants to stay.

Westbrook still has over $130 million left on his contract over three years. Finding a willing and able trade partner will be difficult, but the Clippers and the New York Knicks have expressed interest.

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Sagar is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo. He graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Trumpet Performance and Economics. Sagar writes for Black News Alerts and the BNA Daily Podcast. He also produces the BossFM Morning Show.

Coronavirus

Dave Chappelle Tests Positive for COVID-19 Cancels Texas Shows

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US comedian Dave Chappelle and recipient of the Mark Twain Award for American Humor arrives at the Kennedy Center for award ceremony on October 27, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Dave Chappelle tested positive for the coronavirus just prior to his comedy show scheduled for Thursday, demanding his future appearances to be canceled, a spokeswoman said.

What We Know:

  • Chappelle was expected to play Thursday through Sunday at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater in Austin, Texas. “Dave Chappelle is quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19,” the comedian is asymptomatic his representative Carla Sims said in a statement.

“His remaining shows at Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater in Austin, TX have been canceled, and ticket holders should contact their point of purchase for refunds,” Sims said in a statement.

  • Live Nation was the producer for the plays, which had a hefty $1,600 per table (plus tax and unspecified fees) entry for a six-person table, or $1,400 for four people.
  • Sims said Chappelle played socially-distanced shows in Ohio since June and moved his shows to Austin through the winter. Rapid testing for the public and daily tests for Chappelle and his team were executed.
  • TMZ, which first published about Chappelle’s positive test, completed the first of the five shows in Austin Wednesday night in the stand, with the rest programmed for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

 

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  • Chappelle was placed to team up with Joe Rogan on two nights. The other three dates were billed as “Dave Chappelle and Friends,” but no specifics on who would appear were given.
  • Rogan was programmed to perform at the shows Friday and Saturday. He apologized on Instagram to followers for the canceled shows, announcing they’d be rescheduled. A post earlier this week confirmed Rogan at Stubb’s with Chappelle and other celebrities, including Donnell Rawlings, Ron White, and Elon Musk.

Refunds will be possible for ticketholders at their time of purchase. Wishing Dave Chappelle a very quick and healthy recovery!

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White House Website Allows Users to Specify Pronouns for First Time

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As soon as President Biden was sworn into office, major changes came to the White House Website.

What We Know:

  • The day President Joe Biden was sworn in, the White House website was updated to allow visitors to specify what pronouns they use. LGBTQ advocates see the change as a small but symbolic example of the Biden administration reaching out to transgender and nonbinary Americans.

  • On Wednesday, the contact form at WhiteHouse.gov added a drop-down menu with pronoun options, including “she/her,” “he/him,” and “they/them.” Users can also select “other” and write in their own selections or indicate they “prefer not to share” their pronouns. The list of prefixes has also been updated to include the gender-neutral “Mx.” along with “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” and “Ms.”

  • Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, former White House LGBTQ liaison under the Obama administration and the first openly transgender person to work as a White House staffer, said, “It’s truly wonderful to see the White House so sensitively and prominently signal inclusion.”

“Allowing visitors, whether transgender, nonbinary or cisgender-identified, to indicate their preferred pronouns when visiting the home of President Biden, demonstrates the kind of welcoming place 1600 Pennsylvania will now be for all Americans,” Freedman-Gurspan told NBC News.

  • The site now includes a Spanish language version of the White House’s communications, a page that went dark when former President Donald Trump took office. The relaunch came the same day President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took the oath of office. Harris is now the first female, first Black, and first South Asian vice president.

This is a small step that President Joe Biden and his administration have already taken after being in office for one day.

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Dallas Martin Named President of Asylum Records

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Dallas Martin. (Photo by Lance Gross.)

Veteran A&R Dallas Martin has been named president of Asylum Records, a trademark of Warner Music Group.

What We Know:

  • After proving himself as one of rap’s most prominent A&Rs (artists and repertoire) of the past decade, playing a crucial role in the careers of artists like Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch, Wale, Rick Ross, and Nipsey Hussle, Martin will direct Asylum beside co-president Gabrielle Peluso. He teams up a label including Wayne “Wayno” Clark, vice president of A&R.
  • “Gabby has done an amazing job with Asylum, with Wayno as a lead A&R, and I’d continue building on their momentum,” Martin states to Complex.

“I see Asylum as a place for raw talent. I want to focus on signing artists who have potential, even if they don’t have big streaming numbers. Asylum will be synonymous with artist development.”

  • Martin would report back to Eliah Seton, president of independent music and creator services of WMG, and Craig Kallman, Chairman & CEO of Atlantic Records. As he starts his new role at Asylum, Martin will continue as part of the Atlantic Records executive team as EVP of A&R.
  • Launching his career in 2008 as an intern at Def Jam Records, Martin joined Warner Records in 2011. He managed Rick Ross’s projects and helped expand the Maybach Music Group roster, including Omarion Meek Mill and Wale. There, he managed all of Meek Mill’s releases, including Dreams Worth More Than Money, Dreams and Nightmares, and the Grammy-nominated Championships, which he spoke more about with Complex following its release.
  • By 2013, Martin had gone on to Atlantic Records and persuaded them to sign the late Nipsey Hussle. He A&R’d the rapper’s Victory Lap album, which featured Roddy Ricch, another artist he brought to the label. He also helped to grow the careers of artists like Cordae and Symba.
  •  “In this first year, I want to make one act a household name. There is nothing more rewarding than breaking an artist, especially when you really believe in them. “I’m already in the studio, with safety measures in place, and I’m ready to put the work in. Let’s go!” He added.

Martin, who remains EVP of A&R at Atlantic, will supervise Asylum’s 2017 incarnation alongside co-president Gabrielle Peluso. Big Congratulations to Dallas Martin!

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