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    Date: May 03, 2021
    Posted By: Ryan Mccormick

You could have forgiven Sama Abdulhadi for giving up.

The Palestinian DJproducer was arrested on Dec. 27, 2020 and held in a Jericho jail for eight days after coordinating and playing a livestream event for Beatport at a site called Maqam Nabi Musa, about 30 minutes east of Jerusalem. The location is commemorated as the tomb of the prophet Moses and is currently used as both a place of worship and, since 2019, a tourist attraction featuring a hotel and dining.

Abdulhadis event was the first electronic music performance to take place at Maqam Nabi Musa. A leader of the burgeoning -- although still largely underground -- Palestinian electronic scene since her 2018 Boiler Room set went viral, Abdulhadi had intended to use the livestream to showcase artists from Palestine and the Middle East. Instead, she ended up in a jail cell, where she had to shower using a bucket of water and where she stayed into the first days of 2021.

When she got out and home to her family in Ramallah, Abdulhadis situation had become an international story.

The heart of the matter was essentially public opinion. While Abdulhadi had secured all of the proper permits from the Palestinian authorities to host the livestream, when word got out that a woman was playing techno at the site, an angry crowd turned up in protest, shutting down the show and looking for someone to blame for the perceived impropriety. Authorities arrested Abdulhadi. Critics accused her of desecrating a holy site; others said shed simply become a scapegoat.

While Abdulhadi is typically based in France -- where she moved years ago after gaining acceptance into the artist-in-residency program at Cité internationale des arts and where she currently resides on a residency visa -- shes hasnt been legally allowed to leave Palestine since the arrest.

But Abdulhadis enthusiasm about sharing the electronic sounds and stars of her home region hasnt waned, even as shes become entangled in the regions cultural conservatism and complicated geopolitics. In April, she kicked off a new three-party livestream series with Beatport featuring acts from around Palestine and the Middle East. The final installation begins Monday (May 3) at 9 a.m. ET via Beatports Twitch, Facebook and YouTube. The show will feature sets by Palestinian artists including Orabi, Yasmine Eve, Julic and Abdulhadi herself.


    Date: Apr 28, 2021
    Posted By: Roula Lynch

Britney Spears is getting a chance to speak to the court directly about her conservatorship.

Samuel Ingham, Spears’ court-appointed attorney, made the request for his client to address the court herself at Tuesday’s (April 27) hearing in Los Angeles. Ingham told Judge Brenda Penny, who is overseeing the singer’s conservatorship, as well as Britney’s parents, James and Lynne Spears, that Britney wants to talk to the court herself over the status of her conservatorship. The request came at the end of the Tuesday’s hearing when Ingham said he still had some “housekeeping issues” to discuss.

“Conservatee asks the court for a status hearing so she she can address the court directly,” Ingham told the judge.

In addition, Ingham said Britney was requesting that the hearing take place as soon as possible.

“My client has asked that it be done on an expedited basis,” said Ingham.

Penny agreed to Britney’s request, setting the hearing for June 23 and saying “the purpose of the status hearing would be the status of the conservatorship.”

The other matters, including Britney’s request to appoint Jodi Montgomery, a private professional fiduciary, as her conservator instead of her father James, who she asked to resign, were continued until July 14 by mutual agreement of Britney and her parents legal teams.

The original hearing was scheduled to address Inghams motion filed on March 23 asking James to resign as Britneys conservator and to appoint Jodi Montgomery, a private professional fiduciary, in his place. Montgomery has been serving as the pop singer’s temporary conservator since Sept. 9, 2019 when her father temporarily relinquished his role citing health reasons at the time.

Spears court documents filed at the time also make clear that her requested appointment of Montgomery does not mean in any way that she is giving up her rights in the future to end the conservatorship entirely.

“[Spears] expressly reserves the right to petition for the termination of this conservatorship,” states the court filing. “Nothing in the within petition shall be deemed to constitute a waiver of that right.”

If approved by the court, Montgomery will have the sole authority to retain 247 caretakers and security guards for Spears. She will also have the power to restrict and limit visitors except for Ingham. Montgomery will also be given the power to communicate with any of Spears’ doctors.

According to the boxes checked on the petition form, Spears requires a conservator because she is unable to properly provide for her personal needs of “physical health, food, clothing, or shelter” and unable to manage her financial resources or to resist fraud or undue influence.

Last August, when Judge Penny extended Spears conservatorship until 2021, Ingham filed a motion saying his client did not want her father to continue to serve as her conservator. Ingham said at the time in court papers that the “conservators rescued her from a collapse, exploitation by predatory individuals and financial ruin.”. Ingham described the first phase of her conservatorship as a “triage” to save her, but he says since then, her life and needs have changed. Ingham says he believes that the changes being requested by Britney are in her best interest.

He describes Britneys second phase of her conservatorship, that ran until her Las Vegas residency ended on Dec. 31, 2017, and her last live tour performance on Oct. 21 , 2018, as her performing period. During that time, Spears needed the assistance of a personal manager, a business manager as well as many other individuals. But now, Ingham says Spears is in a new phase with different needs and wishes and she has no desire to perform.

“We are now at a point where the conservatorship must be changed substantially in order to reflect the major changes in her current lifestyle and her stated wishes,” Ingham writes in the motion.

Ingham also said at the time that Britney is “strongly opposed” to her father continuing as the sole conservator of her estate. Instead, she prefers to have a qualified corporate fiduciary appointed to serve in this role, according to Ingham. Ingham said in those court papers that he expected her dad to “aggressively contest” Britney’s wishes.

There were technical issues during Tuesday’s hearing, which took place remotely. At one point, James blurted out, “Lynne, mute your phone!” Things between the two parents appeared strained. Prior to Tuesdays hearing, James legal team filed court papers on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing Britney’s mother Lynne of not acting in her daughter’s best interests. According to his court papers, James says Lynne has not been involved in her daughter’s conservatorship until very recently and is causing undue delay and “stirring up more unnecessary media attention.” While James says he has been “very cautious, limited, and thoughtful in dealing with the media,” the filing says Lynne has “exploited her daughter’s pain and trauma for personal profit by publishing a book about (Britney).”

James also accuses Lynne of intentionally or carelessly serving Sam Lutfi, Britney’s former manager, with court papers. “Factually speaking, the Conservator obtained two permanent restraining orders against Mr. Lutfi and was in litigation with him for about seven years after Mr. Lutfi sued the Conservatorship in 2009,” reads James motion. “Mr. Lutfi does not have any interest in this Conservatorship, and his counsel should not have been served with Lynne Spears’ objections.

According to James court papers, “Despite having zero involvement in her daughter’s conservatorship until very recently, Lynne Spears is asserting claims as if she were a party directly involved in the litigation (which she is not).”


    Date: Apr 09, 2021
    Posted By: Stefan Archuleta

DMX, the iconic hip-hop artist behind the songs Ruff Ryders Anthem and Party Up (Up in Here) whose distinctively gruff voice and thoughtful messages in his rhymes made him one of raps biggest stars, has died, according to a family statement Friday. He was 50.

The Grammy-nominated performer died after suffering catastrophic cardiac arrest, according to a statement from the hospital in White Plains, New York, where he died. He was rushed there from his home April 2.

His familys statement said DMX, whose birth name was Earl Simmons, died with relatives by his side after several days on life support.

Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart, and we cherish the times we spent with him, the family said, adding that his music inspired countless fans across the world.

Memorial plans were not yet set.

DMX -- who rapped with a trademark raspy delivery that was often paired with growls, barks and What! as an ad-lib -- built a multiplatinum career in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but he also struggled with drug addiction and legal problems that repeatedly put him behind bars.

His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity, his record label, Def Jam Recordings, said in a statement describing him as nothing less than a giant.

Fellow hip hop artists remembered him likewise, with Eve praising him as one of the most special people I have ever met and Nas calling him Gods poet in an Instagram post.

DMX made a splash in 1998 with his first studio album, Its Dark and Hell is Hot, which debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The multiplatinum-selling album was anchored by several hits including Ruff Ryders Anthem, Get At Me Dog, Stop Being Greedy and How Its Goin Down.

DMX followed up with four straight chart-topping albums including ... And Then There Was X, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, The Great Depression and Grand Champ. He released seven albums, earned three Grammy nominations and was named favourite raphip-hop artist at the 2000 American Music Awards.

DMX arrived on the rap scene around the same time as Jay-Z, Ja Rule and others who dominated the charts and emerged as platinum-selling acts. They were all part of rap crews, too: DMX fronted the Ruff Ryders collective, which helped launch the careers of Grammy winners Eve and Swizz Beatz, and relaunch The Lox, formerly signed to Bad Boy Records. Ruff Ryders had success on the charts and on radio with its Ryde or Die compilation albums.

Along with his musical career, DMX paved his way as an actor. He starred in the 1998 film Belly and appeared in 2000s Romeo Must Die with Jet Li and Aaliyah. DMX and Aaliyah teamed up for Come Back in One Piece on the films soundtrack.

The rapper would later open Aaliyahs tribute music video, Miss You, alongside her other friends and collaborators, including Missy Elliott, Lil Kim and Queen Latifah, after Aaliyahs 2001 death in a plane crash at age 22.

The rapper also starred in 2001s Exit Wounds with Steven Seagal and 2003s Cradle 2 the Grave with Li.

But while DMX made his mark as one of hip-hops most recognizable names for his rap artistry and as an actor, the rapper was personally stifled by his legal battles -- he was repeatedly arrested and jailed within a decade -- and drug addiction. His addiction first took hold at age 14 when smoked a marijuana cigarette that was laced with cocaine.

Earl Simmons was a wonderful, caring father, and a sensitive, thoughtful man, said Lyor Cohen, a former executive at Def Jam, in a statement. Unfortunately, Dark Man X took over and ran amok, tormented and struggling to find the light. ... DMX gave me the inspiration to keep going at Def Jam when rap became soft and silly.

DMX pleaded guilty in 2004 after he posed as an undercover federal agent and crashed his SUV through a security gate at New Yorks Kennedy Airport. He was arrested in 2008 on drug and animal cruelty charges following an overnight raid on his house in Phoenix. He tried to barricade himself in his bedroom but emerged when a SWAT team entered his home.

In 2010, he was sentenced to a year in prison for violating terms of his probation. After he was admitted to rehab numerous times over the next year, he said he had finally beat his drug addiction.

First responders helped bring DMX back to life after he was found in a hotel parking lot in New York in 2016. The rapper said he suffered from asthma.

A couple years later, DMX was sentenced to a year in prison for tax fraud. Prosecutors said he concocted a multiyear scheme to hide millions of dollars in income from the IRS and get around nearly 2 million in tax liabilities.

After his release, DMX planned a 32-date tour to mark the 20th anniversary of Its Dark and Hell is Hot. But the rapper cancelled a series of shows to check himself into a rehab facility in 2019. In an Instagram post, his team said he apologized for the cancelled shows and thanked his fans for the continued support.

Besides his legal troubles, DMX took the initiative to help the less fortunate. He gave a group of Philadelphia men advice during a surprise appearance at a homeless support group meeting in 2017, and helped a Maine family with its back-to-school purchases a couple years later.

Last year, DMX faced off against Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, which drew more than 500,000 viewers.

You cant be a fan and not feel empathy for him in his journey, hip-hop and electronic music producer Flying Lotus said in an interview while DMX was hospitalized this week. You think of `Belly and all the great stuff that he was part of. But he was dealt such a weird hand, I think, with the drug stuff. And I just have empathy.

Survivors include his 15 children and his mother.


    Date: Apr 04, 2021
    Posted By: Leila Anderson

May you enjoy this day surrounded by friends, family, and plenty of chocolate!


    Date: Mar 27, 2021
    Posted By: Ryan Mccormick

Ultra Music Festival faces a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of ticket holders who paid hundreds of dollars to attend the event but did not receive refunds after this year’s festival was effectively canceled as the COVID-19 pandemic began to disrupt life in South Florida.

The Miami city government’s agreement with the electronic dance music festival allowed organizers to stage the three-day event at Bayfront Park in March. When the fears over the spread of the novel coronavirus caused local governments to cancel large events and eventually shut down the local economy, Ultra was among the first events taken off the calendar.

Organizers and the city insisted the festival had not been canceled, simply “postponed” for a full year, and organizers refused to issue refunds. Most tickets cost several hundred dollars, depending on when they were purchased, with VIP tickets selling for 1,500.

Instead, people could receive credits for either the 2021 or 2022 event in Miami — even though, at this point, those events are not even guaranteed under Ultra’s contract. Miami commissioners have yet to consider approving a deal to bring the festival back in 2021.

That decision, whenever it is made, will be set against a backdrop of uncertainty over the future of large-scale events in Miami and persistent opposition from downtown condo dwellers who say Ultra poses a threat to their health and hearing, disrupts their enjoyment of Bayfront Park and creates a nuisance right outside their homes.


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