Urban Lives Saved by Suburban Gun Mayhem

crimescene(The Root) — Shortly after the Jovan Belcher tragedy I was asked on a television program whether or not theNFL player’s high-profile murder-suicide and sports announcer Bob Costas’ courageous comments about gun violence in the incident’s aftermath would have any impact on gun control in America. I answered that they would not. The reason? Because as I noted during that interview, historically our country has only addressed the issue of gun violence when it touches the lives of those with whom our leaders are most likely to identify. Rarely are those likely to be incidents involving people of color suffering domestic violence or teens of color from low-income communities who are victims of urban gun violence.

Instead the gun tragedies that have actually moved our elected officials to significant action on gun control have been those incidents in which victims are most likely to remind our leaders of their own friends, families and communities, incidents like the 1993 shooting on a Long Island Rail Road train, which killed commuters from New York’s professional class or the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, which made gun control the cause célèbre of white suburban moms, culminating in the Million Mom March in 2000.

Now it appears another incident is poised to finally move our leaders to action once again, 13 years after Columbine. The murder of 20 children and six adults in the quiet and normally safe enclave of Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14 is forcing a conversation about gun control that the shooting of 26 residents in one night inChicago this summer — resulting in the deaths of two teens and injury of 24 others — could not. As previously noted in an analysis by the now-defunct the Daily, more Chicago residents, many of them urban youth, were killed by gun violence in the first half of 2012 than American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan during the same period.

Just think about those numbers for a moment.

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Chief Keef: Hail To The Chief (2012 Online Cover Story)

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Early afternoon, November 15, 2012; Las Vegas, Nevada. While Interscope, 50 Cent, and Wiz Khalifa waited for him in the desert, the real secret of Chief Keef story was playing out back in Chicago.

Inside Joe’s Crab Shack at the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, a team from Interscope Records is awaiting the early-afternoon arrival of 17-year-old Chief Keef in Las Vegas. They have just discovered that Keef missed his flight and won’t be arriving until around 3 p.m. They seem unsurprised.

Chicago rapper Chief Keef—born Keith Cozart—is the most talked-about new talent of 2012, and one of the most hated new rappers in recent memory. While some rap critics consider him a hands-down pick for rookie of the year, others insist he can’t rap, or worse, that he’s a harmful influence on the culture. Still, his sudden rise from obscurity to superstardom has had a fairytale-like arc. Keef is heading to Las Vegas to film the video for “Hate Being Sober” from his major label debut, Finally Rich; the song, produced by Keef’s go-to Chicago heatmaker Young Chop, has the potential to be a major smash, even without its guest spots from established superstars 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa. The cost of the shoot is reportedly, at minimum, $30,000. The production stands in stark contrast to the teenage star’s low-budget videos, many of which were shot in his grandmother’s Washington Park apartment. The plan is for today’s shoot to take place in the Nevada desert, about an hour outside of Vegas. 50 Cent has taken a personal interest in the production, hand-picking the video crew. All Keef has to do is show up.Just under one year earlier, on November 24, 2011, Chief Keef performed his first-ever concert, a surprise appearance in a south suburb of Chicago called Markham, Illinois. The venue was Adrianna’s, a hot spot for both local and touring artists over the past two years. Keef performed four songs from his solo mixtape Bang, including his first viral smash of the same name. His main producer at the time, a Japanese immigrant named DJ Kenn, captured the frenetic show on video. Watching the clip, it was clear that Keef had already become a local superstar to a large subsection of teenagers on Chicago’s South Side. Adrianna’s that night was divided into two different sections by age; during Keef’s performance, one concertgoer estimated that more than 800 kids in the under-21 section were shouting Keef’s lyrics back at him. CONTINUE READING…

Your Sex Life Explained in 25 GIFs

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GIFs are mesmerizing. Not quite a photo, not really a video, those few flickering seconds of animation capture our attention like few things on the web can.  GIF collective #Whatshouldwecallme took GIFs to a personal level, ascribing small moments of animation to specific life situations. While we appreciate their efforts, we’ve noticed an important subset of feelings have mostly gone unnoticed—the sexy ones. Where the freaky GIFs at? Oh yeah, right here: Your Sex Life Explained in 25 GIFs. 

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Kicks of the Day: Nike Roshe Run Premium “Khaki/Sail-Black Tea”

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This month, Nike Sportswear lets loose a new colorway of the Roshe Run Premium. The ever-popular re-up here showcases a Khaki-colored spread, featuring tonal leather branding alongside as well as a contrasting midsole underneath. Multicolored laces accompany the lightweight low-tops, as you can grab your size today through Nike Store for $85.