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    Why Is Cardi B Fighting With Raymonte?

    The rapper exchanged heated remarks with the social media personality Raymonte Cole after he suggested that her skin color was the reason brands consider her “marketable.”The rapper Cardi B found herself embroiled in a sharp back-and-forth with a social media personality this week after he brought up her social class, upbringing and skin color. A quarrel soon erupted over colorism and questions of who gets to profit over which public affect.Of course, Cardi B isn’t one to shrink from a fight, and it wasn’t even the first spat this year to involve a high-profile rapper. But the argument is notable for the difficult issues it broached having to do with colorism — the way prejudice can vary based on someone’s skin color, and how it can lead to stereotypes and differential policing of behavior.Here’s what we know about the charged exchange.What happened?In a TikTok video posted on Wednesday, the social media personality Raymonte Cole lamented being labeled too “ghetto” to be marketable while someone like Cardi B is still able to claim social status and brand deals.“What bothers me as a Black person, you guys say that I’m ghetto,” Mr. Cole said in the video, which he has since removed from his TikTok account. But Cardi B, he said, “is very, very ghetto. She’s way ghettoer than me.”The rapper fired back on X on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s crazy because when I became famous people said I’m ghetto,” she wrote.“To this day no matter what I accomplished I still get called a stripper all because I’m from the ghetto,” she continued. “People misinterpret me because apparently I’m LOUD AND GHETTO.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Alice Randall Made Country History. Black Women Are Helping Tell Hers.

    In “My Black Country,” the musician and author who cracked a Nashville color barrier is telling her story — and hearing her songs reimagined.The country singer Rissi Palmer could not understand why Alice Randall was emailing her.By fall 2020, when Palmer received the message, Randall was a Nashville institution, not only the first Black woman to write a chart-topping country hit but also a novelist whose books undermined entrenched racial hierarchies. Palmer herself was no slouch: “Country Girl,” her 2007 anthem of rural camaraderie, had been the first song by a Black woman to infiltrate country’s charts in two decades. She had just started “Color Me Country,” a podcast exploring the genre’s nonwhite roots and branches.But 11 years earlier, Palmer had fled Nashville, hamstrung by contract disputes, with “my tail between my legs,” she recalled recently in a video interview from her North Carolina kitchen.Randall, however, was very interested in Palmer — and her history. Working as a writer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University, she had urged the school’s Heard Libraries to acquire Palmer’s archives: notebooks, sketches, a dress worn during her Grand Ole Opry debut.“I’ve been in this business since I was 19. I made the charts when I was 26. I’ve had these items the whole time,” said Palmer, 42. “No one has ever called me and said they had value, until Alice. There are more important people, but she saw value in me.”Randall also saw something of herself — and a glimpse of gradual progress — in Palmer. After breaking a Nashville color barrier when her treatise about being an overworked mother, “XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl),” became a 1994 hit for Trisha Yearwood, Randall quit writing country songs.In her book “My Black Country,” which shares its name with her new compilation, Randall posits a sharp rejoinder to the standard country origin story.Arielle Gray for The New York TimesWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ Is a Vivid Mission Statement. Let’s Discuss.

    The pop superstar teased a move to country, then tackled so much more. Three critics and a reporter explore her new album’s inspirations, sounds and stakes.BEN SISARIO I don’t usually say this about news releases, but since Beyoncé says so little about the making of her art, the “Cowboy Carter” announcement was intriguing for noting that “each song is its own version of a reimagined Western film,” and that Beyoncé screened movies while she recorded, including “Urban Cowboy,” “The Hateful Eight,” even “Space Cowboys” (?!).My first reaction to hearing the album was surprised gawking at its range of genre and sound, after she head faked us all into perhaps more limited expectations of “country.” (Of course we should have known better.) Viewed only as a genre-hopping exercise, “Cowboy Carter” might be a confusing jumble. But the film frame puts narrative and character at the center of her message, and with that everything came into clearer focus for me.As a heroine, Beyoncé makes a big, bold statement of her quest in “Ameriican Requiem,” taking on nothing less than American history. She finds villains in Jolene and (ahem) the Grammys. Songs like “II Most Wanted” and “Levii’s Jeans” could be plot-break montages while our conquering cowgirl hangs with some sidekicks she meets along the way. By the final reel she’s recapitulating her complaints and declaring herself the victorious leader of a grand resistance (“We’ll be the ones to purify our fathers’ sins”).SALAMISHAH TILLET I’ve listened to the album so many times now — on a plane, in a spin class, and, as I think she intended, while I drove on the highway (sadly, 280, not the 405). Yes, Ben, she has gone big here! But, instead of longing for some lost past, she is taking on “History” — musical and American — with, as we say in academia, a big “H,” or those big narratives about identity, belonging and discrimination.I almost missed those lyrics, “Whole lotta red in that white and blue, ha/History can’t be erased, oh-oh/You lookin’ for a new America” because I was too busy Proud Marying, jerking and twerking to “Ya Ya.” I think that might be the point — it is as if she saying, “The times are so desperate, I am going to use all the vocal gifts and genres at my disposal to bring the country together and show you how good I am at doing them (again)!”Beyoncé onstage with the Chicks performing “Daddy Lessons” at the 2016 Country Music Association Awards.Image Group LA/ABC, via Getty ImagesWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Lorraine Graves, Pioneering Harlem Ballerina, Dies at 66

    Tall and commanding, she dazzled audiences as a principal dancer for the groundbreaking Dance Theater of Harlem for nearly two decades.Lorraine Graves, a ballerina known for her willowy frame and majestic grace who starred as a principal dancer for the groundbreaking Dance Theater of Harlem for nearly two decades, died on March 21 in Norfolk, Va. She was 66.Her nephew Jason Graves said the cause of her death, in a hospital, was yet to be determined.Ms. Graves broke barriers — not only as a celebrated dancer for a multiracial company that showcased African American excellence in a traditionally European art form, but also, at a towering 5-foot-10 ½, as an exceptionally tall one.For a female dancer, “five foot four, five foot six is considered tall,” Virginia Johnson, a former principal dancer and artistic director for the Dance Theater of Harlem, said in an interview. “Because once you get on pointe, you’re adding another six inches to your height, and so having a partner who’s tall enough to partner you is an issue.”Fortunately, the company had plenty of tall male dancers. That allowed Ms. Graves an opportunity to leverage her unique physicality, which over the course of her career she showed off in performances around the world, including before world leaders like Mikhail Gorbachev and Nelson Mandela.“She was commanding,” Ms. Johnson said. “She had a lot of power as a dancer, and had a magnificent jump.”Dance Theater of Harlem was formed in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell, an international star who was the first African American principal dancer at New York City Ballet, with Karel Shook, a renowned ballet master who had trained Mr. Mitchell.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Louis Gossett Jr., 87, Dies; ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ and ‘Roots’ Actor

    His portrayal of a drill instructor earned him the Oscar for best supporting actor. He was the first Black performer to win in that category.Louis Gossett Jr., who took home an Academy Award for “An Officer and a Gentleman” and an Emmy for “Roots,” both times playing a mature man who guides a younger one taking on a new role — but in drastically different circumstances — died early Friday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87.Mr. Gossett’s first cousin Neal L. Gossett confirmed the death. He did not specify a cause.Mr. Gossett with Susan Sarandon and Christopher Reeve after winning the Oscar for “An Officer and a Gentleman” in 1983.Associated PressMr. Gossett was 46 when he played Emil Foley, the Marine drill instructor from hell who ultimately shapes the humanity of an emotionally damaged young Naval aviation recruit (Richard Gere) in “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982). Reviewing the movie in The New York Times, Vincent Canby described Sergeant Foley as a cruel taskmaster “recycled as a man of recognizable cunning, dedication and humor” revealed in “the kind of performance that wins awards.”Paramount, via Everett CollectionMr. Gossett told The Times that he had recognized the role’s worth immediately. “The words just tasted good,” he recalled.When he accepted the Oscar for best supporting actor in 1983, he was the first Black performer to win in that category — and only the third (after Hattie McDaniel and Sidney Poitier) to win an Academy Award for acting.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Eleanor Collins, Canada’s ‘First Lady of Jazz,’ Dies at 104

    A singer known for her mastery of standards, she found stardom in Canada on TV and in nightclubs. But she was virtually unknown in the United States.When the singer and pianist Nat King Cole’s 15-minute variety show debuted on NBC in November 1956, he made history as the first Black American to host a television program. But just over the country’s northern border, another Black entertainer had him beat: In the summer of 1955, Eleanor Collins had her own show on the CBC, Canada’s national broadcasting network.Though her show was a landmark in TV history — she was both the first woman and the first Black person to host a program in Canada — her selection was hardly a surprise.By the mid-1950s, Mrs. Collins was already widely regarded as Canada’s “first lady of jazz,” known for her mastery of the standards and her commanding performances on radio, early TV specials and in nightclubs around Vancouver, where she lived.“As a young man in the 1950s, having just started my radio career, I was mesmerized by Eleanor Collins,” the Canadian broadcaster Red Robinson wrote in The Vancouver Sun in 2006. “To me, she was Lena Horne and Sarah Vaughan all rolled into one. She had electric eyes and a voice to melt the hardest heart. I was in love with her.”Mrs. Collins was at home in the intimate environs of the jazz club. She had a knack for reading the room — she could easily be the center of attention, but if audience members were more interested in one another than in her, she was equally adept at providing background music.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Beyond Beyoncé: Black Women of Country, Past and Present

    Listen to songs from Rhiannon Giddens, Rissi Palmer, Linda Martell and more.Rhiannon GiddensSerena Brown for The New York TimesDear listeners,Today marks the release of Beyoncé’s eighth solo album, “Cowboy Carter,” a sprawling celebration of country music and a saucy rebuttal to its most close-minded gatekeepers. Its previously released singles, the haunting “16 Carriages” and the rowdy No. 1 hit “Texas Hold ’Em,” reignited conversations about the erasure of Black voices in country music history and the industry-enforced barriers that still make it difficult for nonwhite artists to break through.Although “Cowboy Carter” is quite collaborative, Beyoncé is such a marquee star that all eyes and ears tend to focus on her. So for today’s playlist, I wanted to widen that focus and spotlight some other Black women who have made great country music in their own varied styles.This playlist features early pioneers like the guitarist Elizabeth Cotten and the groundbreaking country star Linda Martell (who makes two appearances on “Cowboy Carter”). It also features Tina Turner and the Pointer Sisters, artists better known for their work in other genres who made impassioned country crossovers that deserve revisiting. Plus, I’ve included younger upstarts like Reyna Roberts, Brittney Spencer and Mickey Guyton, who represent the sonic diversity and genre hybridity of this current generation.This playlist is a sampler rather than a comprehensive tour of Black women’s many contributions to country past and present, and I’m sure it’s missing some names (including Tanner Adell, who appears on “Cowboy Carter” and who Jon Caramanica already recommended to Amplifier readers earlier this month). But I hope it’s a start in expanding your view of country music beyond even the vast scope of “Cowboy Carter.”Let this be a reminder that Beyoncé is not a Lone Ranger. Other Black cowgirls have done the hard work of clearing the path, and there are plenty more riding alongside her, too.Show the world you’re a country girl,LindsayWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    The Sean Combs Saga Is Catnip for Pop Culture Podcasts

    The raids of Combs’s homes have been a primary topic on podcasts and radio shows that cover the Black entertainment world.In the sprawling world of Black pop culture podcasts, its own media ecosystem covering the story lines and people central to the hip-hop genre, the one topic that dominated conversation this week was, unsurprisingly, the latest in the saga of Sean Combs.On Monday, federal agents raided the Los Angeles and Miami homes of Combs, the hip-hop mogul who has been accused in several civil lawsuits of sexual assault. He has vehemently denied all the claims. The news spurred days of freewheeling and varied reactions from radio personalities and podcast hosts whose discourse veered toward humor, speculation and denial, far from the tone struck by traditional news outlets.The rapper Mase, who topped charts as an artist signed to Combs’s Bad Boy record label in the late ’90s before their relationship soured, avoided addressing him by name on the sports-centric “It Is What It Is” podcast a day after the raids, but laughed and said that “reparations is getting closer and closer.”The same day, hosts of the popular morning radio show “The Breakfast Club” criticized the actions of the authorities — which Combs’s lawyer called an “unprecedented ambush, paired with an advanced, coordinated media presence” — as unnecessary: Charlamagne Tha God said he was curious about what information they had to justify the raids. Jessica Moore, known as “Jess Hilarious,” implied that the federal action was reminiscent of a television show. The third host, DJ Envy, agreed, and said the authorities acted like “they were going for the mob.”The former N.B.A. player Gilbert Arenas, who hosts the “No Chill” podcast, posted a 10-minute special episode on YouTube on Thursday that discussed the raids.“It’s over, no, it’s done, they got you,” he said, while laughing.To provide context for his listeners, Arenas said he had been at the scene of more than a dozen raids while he was in “the weed game, the poker game.” He noted that those raids happened between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More