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Obama and Bruce Springsteen Talk Racism in America on Podcast

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*Please be advised that this article contains language that may be offensive or triggering to some of our readers.

Barrack Obama and Bruce Springsteen host Spotify-exclusive podcast Renegades: Born in the USA where the duo explore topics concerning their friendship and America.

What We Know:

  • The former president and rockstar joined together to host a podcast exclusive to Spotify named Renegades: Born in the USA. The two friends spoke freely about “their lives, music, and enduring love of America – despite all its challenges.” The first two episodes cover the friendship between the two men as “unlikely” and race in America, respectively.
  • Bruce Springsteen spoke about his experience with racial slurs said around him, “My friend asked ‘Bruce why did they say that?’ Rather than saying ‘they’re assholes’ I said I don’t know.” Obama added to this conversation with his own personal experience, “Listen, when I was in school, I had a friend. We played basketball together, and one time we got into a fight and he called me a coon.” He then nodded to his upbringing in Hawaii as a direct conflict with the slur. “It’s one of those things that — where he might not even know what a coon was — what he knew was, ‘I can hurt you by saying this,'” Obama continued to his friend, “And I remember I popped him in the face and broke his nose. And we were in the locker room.”

“I explained to him — I said, ‘Don’t you ever call me something like that’,” Obama recounted.

  • The episode comes not a month later from Springsteen and Jeep’s controversial Super Bowl commercial called “The Middle”. In the ad, the rockstar advocates for “finding the middle” in such a divided time. The scene for the commercial is Kansas where Trump claimed victory over in the 2020 Presidential Election, thus muting their point of neutrality. The commercial echoes the Biden Harris “Unity over Division” motto, but seems to contradict itself with its placement, its diction, and its timing. Jeep briefly removed the commercial while Springsteen dealt with his DWI charges. The charges dropped and the commercial went back up on YouTube for no one’s benefit as Jeep is troubled with its Cherokee name as of late.

The Spotify podcast will release more episodes over the coming weeks, but for now, you can listen to the podcast here.

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Cannabis

Jaleel White Launches Cannabis Brand ‘Purple Urkle’

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The Family Matters actor launched his own cannabis brand in a partnership with 710 Labs.

What We Know:

  • Jaleel White’s new cannabis line is called ‘ItsPurpl’, and features variants of a popular cannabis strain ‘Purple Urkle’. The brand will launch onto California dispensary shelves on April 20, 2021. The brand has plans to potentially grow more marketplaces in the future. White revealed in a statement to Forbes that he was frustrated in seeing there was no brand leader for the ‘Purple Urkle’ weed strain.
  • Purple weed is made possible by the use of Flavonoids. Flavonoids are a class of plant pigments and the pigments work in combination with other chemicals to give plants distinctive and varied colors. The main Flavonoid responsible for purple cannabis is Anthocyanin. Anthocyanin gives plants a red, purple, or blue hue depending on the pH level. A more neutral pH level gives plants a purple color.
  • ‘Purple Urkle’ has been around since cannabis was legalized in California. White’s variant of ‘Purple Urkle’ will be sold as eighths. Additionally, the brand will include vape pens with live rosin pods and Noodle Doinks. Noodle Doinks is a hand-rolled joint that has a rotini pasta filter. White has admitted that he plans to create edibles but states, “We gotta crawl before we can walk.”
  • 710 Labs founder, Brad Melshenker, believed that collaboration with White made perfect sense. He revealed that he generally doesn’t do celebrity partnerships, but he and White are actually friends which makes the collaboration genuine. The two individuals met on a flight and connected over their shared love for cannabis.

710 Labs began in Boulder, Colorado in 2009 and has since moved its base to Los Angeles, California.

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Entertainment

Daughter of Dennis Rodman Makes History in Her NWSL Debut

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Trinity Rodman cemented her professional soccer debut with a goal on Saturday for Washington’s Spirit team.

What We Know:

  • Rodman is 18 and just became the youngest player ever drafted in the league as the second overall pick in 2021. She subbed in for fellow teammate Kumi Yokoyama after 55 minutes and scored after playing five minutes during the game. Yokoyama originally put Spirit on the scoreboard with a goal. The Washington Spirit lost the game to North Carolina Courage in the National Woman’s Soccer League (NWSL).
  • Rodman’s father, Dennis Rodman, won five NBA league championships with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls. Dennis is regarded as one of the most prolific defensive players and rebounders in NBA history. Despite her father’s notable accomplishments, she admits that her role model is actually her mother, Michelle.

“I just want everyone to know that my mom’s been my support system in everything in life and she’s my best friend and my rock,” Trinity stated after the game.

  • The Spirit team is due to return to their home at Audi Field and host Racing Louisville FC in the challenge cup on Thursday. Prior to her pro career, Rodman was a finalist for U.S Soccer’s Young Female Player of the Year. She was the standout for the women’s U.S U20 National team. She scored eight goals and six assists at the 2020 CONCACAF U20 Women’s Championship last March.
  • Rodman was originally supposed to play for Washington State as a freshman, but the 2020 NCAA season was postponed until the spring. Trinity plays the forward position and in 2018 played 164 minutes in the U-17 Women’s World Cup and provided one assist. She was the number one high school recruit in the country in 2020 and had extensive international experience, having played throughout the U.S National Team system.

So far, Rodman has significantly impacted Washington’s Spirit team and hopefully can continue to surprise senior players in the NWSL.

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Entertainment

Kid Cudi Pays Tribute to Kurt Cobain with Floral Dress for SNL Debut

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The performance took place days after the 27th anniversary of the Nirvana singer’s death.

What We Know:

  • Rapper Scott Mescudi, a.k.a. Kid Cudi, performed songs from his latest album, Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, on this week’s Saturday Night Live episode. In both of his performances, “Tequila Shots” and “Sad People,” he paid tribute to lost celebrities.
  • While singing “Tequila Shots,” Cudi wore a fuzzy olive-green cardigan. It was similar to one Kurt Cobain sported during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York months before his death in 1994. Underneath the cardigan, he donned a white shirt with a headshot of late SNL comedian Chris Farley, who passed away in 1997.
  • When Cudi performed “Sad People,” he changed into a spaghetti-strap floral-print dress. This was another tribute to Cobain, as he wore similar apparel on the cover of “The Face” in 1993.
  • Many fans praised Cudi for his attire and performance. They were happy that he was spreading awareness about suicide and prevention on SNL. Cobain committed suicide at the age of 27. Cudi has also struggled with mental health issues. In 2016, he registered himself into rehab for “depression and suicidal urges.”  He made the statement on Facebook and signed the post with this real name. He described himself as “a damaged human swimming in a pool of emotions every day of my life” on the social media page. Additionally, he said his depression and anxiety ruled his life for as long as he could remember. He emphasized he would no longer hold himself back. His openness sparked a national conversation on Black men’s mental health.
  • Cudi mentioned on Twitter that Off White CEO Virgil Abloh designed the dress for him. Furthermore, he mentioned that he wanted to commemorate Cobain somehow in the outfit.

In a follow-up tweet, Cudi announced he is collaborating with Off White. He also stated the dress he wore on SNL would be included in the collection. Cudi is continuing Cobain’s legacy of advocacy and acceptance to ensure no one else succumbs to their battle with mental illness.

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