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Nike Denies Involvement with Lil Nas X ‘Satan Shoes’ Containing Human Blood

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Lil Nas X has dropped a new controversial sneaker called ‘Satan Shoes.’

What We Know:

  • According to CNN, the unofficial custom Nike Air Max 97s was created by the “Old Town Road” artist and New York street-wear company MSCHF. The pair of ‘Satan Shoes’ featured a bronze pentagram pendant, an inverted cross, and Luke 10:18 written on the side, which is a Bible verse depicting Satan’s fall from heaven. On top of that, the shoe’s sole contains red ink mixed with a single drop of human blood drawn from the MSCHF team members.
  • The shoes were made to coincide with Lil Nas X’s latest single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” which was released on Friday, March 26th. On Monday, MSCHF released 666 pairs of the satanic sneakers to be sold at $1,018 per pair. The collaboration sold out in under 1 minute.
  • The shoes sparked outrage among high-profile critics like the evangelical pastor, Mark Burns, who called the design “evil” and “heresy.” Others like Washington state representative Amber Krabach blamed Nike for their involvement, tweeting, “When someone asks you if they can make Satan Shoes under your brand… YOU SAY NO.”

  • Nike released a statement to NBC News addressing the controversy, writing, “We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF. Nike did not design or release these shoes, and we do not endorse them.” The rapper also reacted to the criticism in a short YouTube video on Sunday titled “Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe.” which shows Lil Nas X holding the sneaker before the video cuts to the clip from “Montero” of him giving the devil a lap dance.
  • The rapper appears not to be holding back. Lil Nas X snapped back at critics a day after releasing the “Montero” music video, tweeting, “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the s**t y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay,” he wrote. “So i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”

MSCHF is known to produce a number of controversial art pieces, including limited edition ‘Jesus Shoes’ also made from Nike Air Max 97 sneakers, featuring a steel crucifix and “holy water” sourced from the Jordan River.

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John Davis, One of the Real Voices of Milli Vanilli, has Died from COVID at Age 66

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John Davis, the singer who was one of the unseen voices for the 80s duo Milli Vanilli, died from COVID-19 complications at the age of 66.

What We Know:

John’s daughter Jasmine broke the news on his Facebook page Monday evening. “Unfortunately my dad passed away this evening through the coronavirus,” she stated under a video of him singing. She also said through John’s “laughter and smile, his happy spirit, love and especially through his music,” he positively impacted many people.

John’s voice became popular in the late 80s when German R&B Group Milli Vanilli, composed of singers Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan, released their debut album Girl You Know It’s True in the United States. He came across Milli Vanilli’s producer, Frank Farian, after moving to Germany and working as a studio singer and bass player in the late 70s. Farian eventually asked him to join the group as a backup singer after firing Charles Shaw; Farian believed Shaw was telling people the truth about the duo’s vocal secret.

The hit song, “Girl You Know It’s True,” which John did a soft rap for, hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and stayed there for 200 weeks. The band’s popularity led them to recognition at the 1989 Grammys, where they won the award for Best New Artist.

Eventually, Farian, Pilatus, and Morvan revealed to the public that the duo used other people’s vocals for their album. The announcement resulted in the Grammys rescinding their award in 1990. After the revelation, Farian re-created the group with John and the other backup singers and called it the Real Milli Vanilli; it also included the original Milli Vanilli frontliner, Brad Howell.

The Real Milli Vanilli released The Moment of Truth, originally made as Milli Vanilli’s second album, in 1991. The record came out in Brazil, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand. In addition, it made Germany’s Top 20 that year, with one of its singles, “Keep on Running,” climbing to No. 4 in the country’s charts.

Alongside his recognition with the two music groups, John issued two solo albums: Joker in 1980, and Still Be Loving You, recorded with Farian, in 1990.

Morvan took to Twitter to express his feelings about John’s death. He thanked John for all the love he spread, and also said how much fun the two shared “with the help of music.” The two stayed close friends after the musical scandal.

Milli Vanilli’s official Twitter account shared their condolences as well. The tweet emphasizes the importance of John’s contribution to the band’s fame.

Moreover, Jasmine went on to create another Facebook post with a link to a GoFundMe page. In the link, she writes that the Davis family cannot manage funeral expenses, but would like to help John experience “one last performance” with those he loved. She explained that any donations would help the cause. As of Friday, €17,319 had been raised, exceeding the petition’s €13,500 goal.

Black News Alerts honor John’s impact on pop culture, especially as it went unseen for so long. We send our thoughts and prayers to John’s family and hope he rests in peace.

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Lil Jon Is Getting a Home Renovation Show on HGTV

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The artist is set to release a new series titled Lil Jon Wants to Do What?

What We Know:

  • The premise of the show will have Lil Jon providing “skeptical homeowners with unconventional renovation ideas that seem impossible to execute.” The shooting begins in Atlanta this month. HGTV has stated that Lil Jon and co-host Anitra push homeowners out of their comfort zones with ingenious renovations and ideas. Lil Jon has expressed that he doesn’t follow design trends and that he’d rather be a trendsetter.
  • Lil Jon’s co-host Anitra Mecadon from the DIY Network. Mecadon has designed edgy restaurants, boutiques, and galleries for 10 years in Atlanta. She has a background in art and theatre, as well as having a degree in interior design. On Mega DensAnitra designs and builds rec room sanctuaries.
  • The show will debut this summer and do tapings around Lil Jon’s hometown. One of Lil Jon’s ideas is building a fully decked-out speakeasy. He is the second rapper to get a home design. Vanilla Ice had a show about renovations in 2012.
  • Home renovation shows are becoming increasingly popular, which highlights home flippers, contractors, and designers. Celebrities have made appearances on Celebrity IOU as well. Celebrity IOU is a show where A-list celebrities surprise people that have left a huge impact on their lives with renovations inside their homes. Jan Latman, president of HGTV, expressed that she was enthusiastic and excited for the show’s release.

Lil Jon is a Grammy award winner and recently turned 50 in January.

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Comedian Paul Mooney Has Died at The Age of 79

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Paul Mooney, the  “Godfather of Comedy” famous for working with Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle, died Wednesday morning at the age of 79 in his Oakland home at around 5:30 a.m. According to sources, Mooney suffered a heart attack.

What We Know:

Mooney’s publicist, Cassandra Williams, confirmed the news to The Hollywood ReporterIn addition, Mooney’s official Twitter account released the information on social media.

Mooney was born Paul Gladney on August 4, 1941, in Shreveport, Louisiana. He created the stage name “Paul Mooney” after being inspired by Scarface actor Paul Muni. He started his entertainment career by working as a circus ringmaster, then broke into comedy after watching Lenny Bruce live.

Mooney met his longtime comedic partner Richard Pryor for the first time in 1968. However, the encounter ended with Mooney throwing Pryor out of his apartment when Pryor suggested an orgy. Despite the sour first impressions, the two became close friends and collaborators; the two co-wrote episodes of Sanford & Son before pioneering The Richard Pryor Show, a short-lived and controversial variety show. Mooney proceeded to assist Pryor in writing some sketches for some of Pryor’s Grammy-winning comedy albums like …Is It Something I Said? and Live on the Sunset Strip. Furthermore, he was also one of the writers of Pryor’s autobiographical movie, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling. 

Pryor and Mooney’s relationship was so close that Pryor insisted Mooney write all his sketches for his 1975 appearance on Saturday Night Live. The classic SNL skit, “Word Association,” was created by Mooney.

Besides his culturally impactful partnership with Pryor, Mooney cultivated his behind-the-scenes and on-screen. He was a major writer for many influential Black sitcoms, such as Good Times, In Living Color, Pryor’s Place, and the Real Husbands of Hollywood. In addition, he starred in several films; his most notable roles include Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story, Marvin in Bustin’ Loose, President of the NAACP in Hollywood Shuffle, and Junebug in Bamboozled. 

Mooney continued his legacy by helping comedian Dave Chapelle create his notorious Chapelle’s Show. Throughout the show’s two-season run, Mooney worked as a writer and actor. He is most remembered on the series for playing Negrodamus, a Black version of philosopher Nostradamus. As Negrodamus, Mooney would provide “answers to life’s most unsolved mysteries.” One that many viewers recollect is when Negrodamus answered why White people love Wayne Brady.

Furthermore, Chappelle describes Mooney’s craftsmanship as very passionate. He told Vulture that one does not mess with Mooney and his ideas.

“You don’t f*ck with his writing, his material, his sketches … and you certainly don’t tell him what to do! Trust me, I’ve learned,” said Chappelle. Fortunately, Mooney’s firmness in his work has resulted in many classic skecthes, films, and recordings.

After news of Mooney’s death came out, several celebrities fled to social media to pay their respects. Director Ava DuVernay called Mooney “a comedy giant.” She emphasized his fearlessness about discussing feelings and experiences many found difficult to express. Actress Viola Davis described him as “funny and poignant,” and showed gratitude for seeing him live.

Mooney’s daughter, Spring, took to Twitter to disclose her feelings about her father’s death. She asked for “time” as her “best friend just died.” She emphasized how much she loved her father, and how she feels broken. Paul’s other children have yet to make public announcements.

Paul Mooney’s work can be categorized as honest. He implied multiple times comedy needed people who spoke the truth on certain topics. At times, he himself felt shocked at his sincerity in his humor. Paul told NPR in 2006 that when people would tell him they were surprised by his words, he agreed. “It comes from somewhere other than me,” declared Paul.

Mooney leaves behind his four children: Shane, Dwayne, Daryl, and Spring. We send our thoughts and prayers to Mooney’s family, friends, and fanbase as they mourn the loss of a comedic and cultural genius.

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