Rapper and fashion designer Lil Debbie rose to fame as part of the Oakland-based White Girl Mob, starring alongside fellow white woman rappers Kreayshawn and V-Nasty in viral hits like “Gucci Gucci.” Since those days she’s struck out on her own and moved to Los Angeles. Since hooking up with controversial, eccentric rapper/entertainer/pop culture icon RiFF RaFF, Lil Debbie has created multiple million view hits, including “SQUiRT” and “2-Cups.” A new EP, “California’s Sweetheart,” is scheduled for Fall of 2013. We caught up with Lil Debbie at the Orange County Observatory to chat about the challenges of being a white woman rapper, the difference between the Bay and Los Angeles, and diversity in the music industry.
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Photo from simstaplease.tumblr.com.
We thought we’d start the week with the trailer for “Fruitvale Station,” a new film from first-time director Ryan Coogler that’s been cleaning up on the festival circuit, taking home the Grand Jury prize at Sundance and Best New Film at Cannes. “Fruitvale Station” is a dramatization of the story of Oscar Grant, a story many of you may remember. Oscar Grant was shot to death on Bay Area Rapid Transit by Officer Johannes Mehserle less than five years ago. The shooting, which occurred when Grant was unarmed, received enormous amounts of publicity, and sparked a wave of protests, many but not all of them peaceful, as did Mehserle’s acquittal on charges of murder.
Oakland has become one of the most multicultural cities in the United States but to some that’s not so amazing. Some are saying this shift is causing Oakland to lose its “soul”. Known as the city that was the hub of African-American culture on the West Coast, birthed the Black Panther movement, etc., Oakland is facing a shift that other major cities are facing as well. This shift has created a climate of Old Oakland vs New Oakland. New Oakland being a place where Pacific Islanders raised in Oakland can film an R&B video in front of a Taco Truck, what does this shift mean for the city and how welcome is it? Details after the jump. Read More
Cenk interviews Jessica Hollie, a community activist from Oakland, Calif., who made a city council testimony about her fear of police violence against black men. Video after the jump. Read More
The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School prompted the latest effort to tackle gun safety. But unfortunately, shootings are common in many urban areas across the country. The blog Crime in Chicago Read More
An interesting clip we found over at i am OTHER that got our attention especially after we posted that story about street artists and police relations in Los Angeles: “Oakland police have the community on edge over killings of unarmed youth and repression of free speech. Graffiti Against The System (GATS) Read More