MF Doom, the cerebral and willfully mysterious rapper and producer beloved by hip-hop connoisseurs for the complex rhymes he delivered from behind a metallic mask, has died. He was 49.
His death was announced Thursday in an Instagram post signed by his wife, Jasmine, who said that Doom had “transitioned” on Oct. 31. A spokesman for Rhymesayers, a label for which Doom recorded, confirmed his death. No cause was given.
Known for close collaborations with producers such as Madlib and Danger Mouse — and for his use of a variety of alter egos including King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn — Doom, born Daniel Dumile, cut a proudly idiosyncratic path through rap music in the 1990s and 2000s, burrowing deep into a self-made comic book-style mythology even as hip-hop reached increasingly commercial heights in the pop mainstream.
His music was dense but funky, gloomy yet streaked with an off-kilter sense of humor; his records helped clear a path for younger hip-hop eccentrics like Playboi Carti and Tyler, the Creator.
“My soul is crushed,” Flying Lotus tweeted Thursday, before adding that 2004’s “Madvillainy” album was “all u ever needed in hip hop.” On Instagram, El-P of Run the Jewels thanked Doom “for keeping it weird and raw always.”
Of his decision to perform in a mask, Dumile, who was born in London and grew up on Long Island, told the New Yorker in 2009, “I wanted to get onstage and orate, without people thinking about the normal things people think about. Like girls being like, ‘Oh, he’s sexy,’ or ‘I don’t want him, he’s ugly,’ and then other dudes sizing you up. A visual always brings a first impression. But if there’s going to be a first impression I might as well use it to control the story. So why not do something like throw a mask on?”
Chinese-Canadian NCAA division one basketball prospect Ben Li has received all the Asian-related racist jibes under the sun.
“I’ve heard all the names right when I step onto the court. From the players it’d be all comparisons to any Asian thing – soy sauce, Jackie Chan, Yao Ming, small eyes. Like I’d be shooting free throws and another team would be standing right there saying ‘can you even see the rim?’ and all that,” the 19-year-old Lehigh University, Pennsylvania first-year said.
Born in Toronto to native Chinese parents, Li defied the odds, stereotypes and stigma to make history as the first ethnic-Chinese player to make the All-Canadian game last year. It is but only the beginning of the forward’s mission to reach the NBA and the Chinese national team.
Already touted as the “Chinese Zion Williamson” by adoring media, Li hoped his unconventionally large physical presence on the court would help rid the arena of any prejudices. Otherwise he will have to take into his own hands.
“It’s definitely annoying but over time, their words didn’t matter to me. Most of the time they were trash-talking and all that, they were usually down. So any time they’d say anything, most of the time I don’t say anything back and just point at the scoreboard,” said Li, all 1.98m, 105kg of him.
“It’s actually pretty fun to get to prove people wrong or when they expect me to not really do anything. Then I showcase my game. Sometimes they start talking trash and I’d get my stuff going and dominate the game. That’s pretty fun sometimes.”
Li regularly seeks advice – be it basketball or identity related, or both – from hero-turned-friend Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese-American who famously graced the NBA with the “Linsanity” era of 2012. That he is now exchanging texts with the man he watched on TV is another “pinch me” moment in his fledgling career so far.
“I definitely want to shout out Jeremy Lin,” said Li, who he featured alongside on a Chinese basketball TV show in 2019.
“This year, he gave me his number and offered me an outlet to ask questions if I’m struggling or need any advice. I look up to him like a bigger bro. That’s kind of surreal to me because he was my role model.”
“When I first met him, I told him I was just trying to get scholarships and play division one basketball so my parents wouldn’t need to pay a cent for me at university. I think that’s where it kicked off because he could relate to me and had to go through a lot of things. He’s even been kind enough to offer to get a workout in together. That’s surreal. That person you watched, that got you into the sport I’m in now. Now I can just to talk to him. It’s just crazy.”
No racial slur is justifiable, but the ignorance may be partly to do with the lack of Asian faces in the game. That applies throughout all age groups, from little leagues to the NBA, where you could count the number of Asian players on your fingers.
Li’s athletic talent had grown to the point that he would need to head south from his native Canada. The path to a division one scholarship offer was meticulously planned and it was only a matter of time before calls came flooding in.
“I had to do what was best for me and expose myself to more schools and coaches. When I got to Virginia, my coach started calling schools in to come watch. Over time, my stock grew and my coach even told me that people were calling asking ‘is the big Asian guy still available? Can I come watch him work out?’” he said.
“I do this for the younger generation looking for knowledge from anyone in my situation. They’ll read this as the next Asian guy who wants to play division one basketball. My goal on top of playing in the NBA and the national team is to inspire the next generation of Asians to break out of their comfort zones.”
“I feel like there’s a stigma that we’re less than other people in a sport just because of the colour of our skin – and I think that’s kind of bulls***. If you just put in the work and screw what other people think, you can go wherever you want to go in your sport. I don’t want other people thinking they can’t get past something if they’re Asian.”
Facebook Inc. is again being sued for allegedly spying on Instagram users, this time through the unauthorized use of their mobile phone cameras.
The lawsuit springs from media reports in July that the photo-sharing app appeared to be accessing iPhone cameras even when they weren’t actively being used.
Facebook denied the reports and blamed a bug, which it said it was correcting, for triggering what it described as false notifications that Instagram was accessing iPhone cameras.
In the complaint filed Thursday in federal court in San Francisco, New Jersey Instagram user Brittany Conditi contends the app’s use of the camera is intentional and done for the purpose of collecting “lucrative and valuable data on its users that it would not otherwise have access to.”
By “obtaining extremely private and intimate personal data on their users, including in the privacy of their own homes,” Instagram and Facebook are able to collect “valuable insights and market research,” according to the complaint.
Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo is having an outstanding 2020 season and looks to be on track to make his first Pro Bowl.
Thus far, Koo has converted on 96 percent of his kicks, making 24 out of 25 field goals. He’s a perfect 5-for-5 on his attempts from 50 yards or more, trailing only Jason Sanders of the Jets.
Koo joined the Falcons in 2019 after the team parted ways with long-time veteran, Matt Bryant. Koo went 23-for-26 the rest of the way and made it a point in the offseason to become more consistent with his kicks.
That hard work looks to be paying off for Koo, as for the 26-year-old leads all NFC kickers in Pro Bowl voting.
On Tuesday, New Yorkers commuting through the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway station will find it transformed with vibrant portraits of Black, Asian and Pacific Islander people along with anti-discriminatory messages like “I did not make you sick” and “I am not your scapegoat.”
The series is the work of the neuroscientist turned artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya (pronounced PING-bodee-bak-ee-ah). In August, Ms. Phingbodhipakkiya was named a New York City Public Artist in Residence through a program that has partnered artists with city agencies since 2015. She is one of two artists currently embedded with the city’s Commission on Human Rights, which invested $220,000 in this campaign.
Ms. Phingbodhipakkiya’s “I Still Believe in Our City” series was created as a response to a grim statistic. From February to September, the Commission received more than 566 reports of discrimination, harassment and bias related to Covid-19 — 184 of which were anti-Asian in nature. It’s a troubling spike not just appearing in New York, but in Asian-American communities across the country.
“My goal with this art series was to turn these hurts into something beautiful and powerful,” Ms. Phingbodhipakkiya said in a phone interview. She added, “I really wanted to find a way to say, despite everything we have faced as Asian-Americans and New Yorkers, that I still believe in New York.”
From Nov. 3 to Dec. 2, the series of 45 pieces will be displayed in the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, a central hub that serves a diverse group of commuting New Yorkers. Ms. Phingbodhipakkiya said that it was also the site of a reported, Covid-related bias incident in March, when a 26-year-old Asian-American man reported he was spat on.
A description of that incident has been included in one of the pieces, alongside portraits of Asians and flowers that Ms. Phingbodhipakkiya said have symbolic meanings in Chinese and East Asian cultures. Other panels offer information and historical context about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and statistics about Asian-owned businesses.
An angry, hate-filled Twitter call to attack Chinese people in the streets of France after the country went into a second COVID lockdown has been followed by a dozen assaults on Asians and fuelled the flames of anti-Asian sentiment.
The first time anti-Asian racism surfaced in France at the start of the pandemic earlier this year, it was characterised as xenophobia.
It was a fear and distrust of the “other,” with people of East Asian descent lumped together as presumed carriers of the coronavirus that had started in Wuhan, China, says Sun-Lay Tan, spokesperson for Safety for All, a collective of 46 Franco-Asian associations in France.
This time, it’s taken a much darker and angrier tone. “It’s no longer just xenophobia. It’s hate,” he said.
Immediately following President Emmanuel Macron’s televised address to the nation at the end of October announcing a second lockdown across the country, a Twitter call to attack every Chinese person on the street began gaining momentum, garnering about a thousand likes and getting shared in equal numbers.
Replies to the original tweet, which has since been flagged and taken down, were also laced with violence and venom:
“Hitler should have killed all the Chinese, not the Jews.”
“Put me in a cage with a Chinese I’ll have fun with them. I want to watch all their hope fade from their eyes.”
“It’s a hunt for Asians, for slanted eyes and yellow dog-eaters.”
“You’re only good for bringing back disease.”
What concerns Tan and other anti-racism activists is that these Twitter calls have gone offline and manifested in brutal attacks on Asians of all backgrounds in Paris. The day after the tweet was posted, a male Asian student was assaulted in an unprovoked attack while playing table tennis in the park with a friend (permanent ping pong tables are fixtures in some Parisian parks). According to Le Parisien, his attackers shouted “dirty Chinese” while assaulting him with pepper spray.
Asians are no stranger to being singled out by thieves and pickpockets in the Paris region as it’s mistakenly believed that they carry bundles of cash and are easy targets. But the most recent spate of attacks are driven by something more sinister, Tan said. “Previously, Asians were targeted for their money and were victims of robberies and muggings. Now, it’s not even money. It’s just out of hate.”
In another incident, a 37-year-old Asian woman identified as Françoise was attacked by a young couple who followed her off the city bus. Prior to the attack, a few words were exchanged about the young woman’s coughing fit and mask. The couple got off at the same bus stop as Françoise and attacked, pulling her hair, spitting and punching her in the face, yelling, “It’s because of you, you ch**k that we have coronavirus” and “Go back to China and eat dog,” reports Le Parisien.
“There’s been a crescendo of hate since the second lockdown, and a call to violence that we didn’t see before,” said Laetitia Chhiv, president of the Association of Chinese Youth of France.
Along with the coronavirus, the collapse of Asian businesses in Chinatown, and the threat of another terror attack – France is on its highest terror alert following the beheading of high school teacher Samuel Paty and an attack in Nice that killed three people – Asians in France now have to worry about being targeted in hate-related assaults.
“Safety has become their number one preoccupation lately,” Tan said.
Along with fear and anxiety, there’s a feeling of anger and disbelief at the misplaced hate, added Chhiv.
“They don’t understand why there’s so much hate. We are not responsible for the coronavirus and yet we’re insulted, assaulted and held responsible.”
Since the spike in assaults, Tan and Chhiv have launched a joint campaign through their groups warning Asians to be vigilant of their surroundings and to file a police report in the event of an attack. Because more often than not, Asian victims – particularly immigrants and the elderly – are less likely to go to the police, for reasons ranging from language barriers to shame, or lack of faith in the judicial system.
But it’s hoped a recent legal victory will change that. On the 12th of November, the French courts sentenced a trio of men two to seven years in prison for targeting, violently assaulting and robbing exclusively Asian women – believed to be easy targets – in the Paris region in 2019. Of the 28 victims identified, only six took part in the legal proceedings. But it’s a major victory that Chhiv hopes will encourage the community to trust the legal system.
Meanwhile, the Paris prosecutor’s office has launched a formal investigation into the original Twitter call to attack Chinese “for inciting public provocation to carry out a physical attack of a racist nature.”
“We want to send the message that no, you can’t say whatever you want on social media and call for attacks on an entire population for no reason,” Chhiv said.
She also points out that social media played a big role as a vehicle for hate in both the assassination of Paty and the anti-Asian discrimination currently playing out across France. During a lesson on free speech, Paty showed his class a cover from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which depicted a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad naked on all fours. One outraged Muslim parent waged a social media campaign against the teacher, which caught the attention of the killer who had no prior connection to the school or teacher.
“Social media can be a conduit for hate,” Chhiv said. “The fury on social media is nefarious for society. All it takes is for one person with bad intentions to stumble on a hateful post and use it to justify their violent behaviour.”
Philadelphia City Council voted Thursday to apologize for the MOVE bombing 35 years ago that left 11 people dead, including five children, and burned 61 homes in West Philadelphia.
The resolution, approved almost unanimously (Councilmember Brian O’Neill said he opposed it), represents the first formal apology offered by the city for the May 13, 1985, bombing. It also establishes the anniversary of the bombing as “an annual day of observation, reflection and recommitment.”
Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, whose West Philadelphia district includes the neighborhood destroyed by the bombing, sponsored the resolution. She introduced it days after the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. less than a mile away from the site of the bombing. She linked the two events in a speech to City Council last month.
“We can draw a straight line from the unresolved pain and trauma of that day to Walter Wallace Jr.’s killing earlier this week in the very same neighborhood,” Gauthier said. “Because what’s lying under the surface here is a lack of recognition of the humanity of Black people from law enforcement.”
In 1985, police dropped an explosive device on the roof of 6221 Osage Ave. after a daylong confrontation with the Black radical and naturalist group MOVE, as officers attempted to evict them from their compound. The majority of the victims were Black.
W. Wilson Goode Sr., who was mayor at the time, called on the city to issue a formal apology in an op-ed published by The Guardian before the 35th anniversary. “The event will remain on my conscience for the rest of my life,” he wrote.
Twitter tirade: The former GOP senatorial candidate took to Twitter to attack author Viet Thanh Nguyen after her loss to Democratic Senator Chris Coons during the Senate election in Delaware on Tuesday.
Witzke began her attack after Nguyen tagged her in a tweet showing Coons receiving a total vote count of 290,996 (59.5%), while the Republican candidate received 185,442 (37.9%).
Nguyen also added a link to Witzke’s previous tweet where she urged for Western Europe to begin the mass deportation of Muslims in the region.
“It would be a shame if President Trump revoked your refugee status and sent you back to the third world where you belong,” Witzke said in her response to Nguyen.
Witzke assumed Nguyen was not a legal voter in her follow-up response, and doubled down on her remarks, calling him an “ungrateful refugee.”
The former GOP candidate then included the Democratic Party into their conversation and accused them of voter fraud.
“I don’t play the grateful refugee,” Nguyen said in his post. “That’s just a way of being silenced and being patted on the head. We can be grateful for the opportunities we’ve gotten in this country while recognizing its racist and white supremacist origins and reality.”
“This racism sometimes benefits those of us who are Vietnamese or Asian or refugees or immigrants, and this racism sometimes targets us. That’s how racism works. It makes you afraid to be the target so you shut up and hope you just reap some of the benefits. That’s what people like Lauren Witzke want. Compliant minorities who know their place.”
Witzke later blocked Nguyen on Twitter on Thursday night.
According to The Radio Hall Fame’s website, the organization, a project of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, “honors those who have contributed to the development of the radio medium throughout its history in the United States.”
“We Made It!!!! 2020 Radio Hall of Fame Inductees!!!” DJ Envy wrote alongside his Instagram post. “Thank You to all of you for riding with us.. @breakfastclubam.”
Angela Yee thanked “The Breakfast Club” fans while sending praise to her fellow inductees. “What an accomplishment! We are in the Radio Hall of Fame class of 2020! Congrats to @angiemartinez @realsway @donniesimpsonsr for being legendary personalities in this 2020 class,” she wrote. “And for everyone who listens to us in the morning and is part of our family, thank you so much for this honor!”
In Charlamagne tha God’s Instagram post, he owed his accomplishments to God. “One day people will look back and give us respect for how we impacted the culture the past decade,” his Instagram caption read. “All Praises and Glory Due To God and sincere Thanks and Gratitude to everyone who listens to us on the radio, via podcast, YouTube, however you consume your breakfast, THANK YOU for being a part of our club.”
“The Breakfast Club” is no stranger to recognition. They previously earned the top spot on The Source Power 30 Radio and DJ’s list and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award back in January. Video clips from many of their interviews have gone viral on numerous occasions over the years.
In the video posted on Twitter, Poor asked students if anyone was from outside the U.S., and a student responded that he was from Wuhan, China. After hearing where the student was from, Poor made this comment.
“Let me get my mask on.”
Following the backlash on Twitter, Poor wrote in a later email that the comment, which was in reference to Wuhan being the origin of COVID-19, was a joke. While Poor may have meant this comment to be humorous, some MU students do not see it in that way. Many students have replied to the tweet saying that they found the comment to be racist and xenophobic.