Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry votes to ban use of Confederate flag

Scotland’s foremost country music venue has voted narrowly to ban the use of the Confederate flag because of its “toxic” associations with slavery and white supremacy.

Members of Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry voted 50 to 48 to maintain a ban brought in by the venue’s managing committee last month. The emergency general meeting on Monday evening was the culmination of a bitter internal dispute that resulted in the resignation of the committee’s president two weeks ago.

The row centred around the use of the red and blue cross in a flag-folding ceremony – known as the American Trilogy and accompanied by the eponymous Elvis Presley hit – at the end of every club night.

In a statement on Tuesday, vice-president Karen McCulloch confirmed there would be “no display of the Confederate flag in any shape or form within Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry”.

She added: “It has been disappointing that a hardcore of members refused to see that our club, like others, had to move with the times and stop using a flag that has come to symbolise toxic beliefs in America and elsewhere.”

“We were effectively making a stand against racism and it’s a huge relief that a majority of our members believed this was the right way to proceed.”

The Guardian understands that in recent years, and in particular since the Black Lives Matter movement grew to global prominence in 2020, there has been increasing discomfort about the flag’s associations amongst Opry members and visitors, and some bookings cancelled because of its prominence.

The National Theatre of Scotland, which scouted the Opry earlier in the year as a potential venue for a show, withdrew its interest explaining to the management that the flag is “now widely acknowledged as having racist connotations”.

The bruising row continues to play out on the Opry members’ social media pages, with some raising concerns about putting off black and Asian guests, others urging members to unite for the good of the club and one accusing those who reportedly ripped up membership cards at the meeting of “behaving like spoilt children”.

The club, which was founded in 1974 and immediately became one of Glasgow’s most popular venues, attracts committed enthusiasts who dress in authentic Western attire and line dance to live music.

With a seated capacity of 450 over three levels with two dance floors, it has also hosted gigs by the likes of Teenage Fanclub and Franz Ferdinand.

Musicians and promoters who work at the Opry describe it as a social club as much as a music venue, emphasising its inclusive approach, especially to those with disabilities.

One promotor told the Guardian: “Like a lot of people, I support the decision and hope this diffuses the situation in what is a magnificent and welcoming venue.”

Bafta-winning Scottish screenwriter Nicole Taylor – whose film Wild Rose, starring Jessie Buckley as an aspiring country singer and single mother, used the Opry as a backdrop – said: “It’s a place I really love – welcoming, inclusive, accessible, where hen nights jostle with the older crowd.”

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Taylor, who spent Saturday nights at the Opry as a teenager, says she was drawn to the genre that expressed emotion growing up in a city where people did not traditionally talk about their feelings. “There’s a country song for every shade of feeling.”

Paul Kerr, who writes for Americana UK covering the Scottish scene, suggests the Opry represents “an old-fashioned version of country and western, stuck in the cowboy era with replica guns and quick-draw competitions”.

“Along with that goes a more middle-aged crowd who are perhaps not as aware of the changing views of the Confederate flag, particularly since Trump was elected.”

“The bands who play the Opry are a very trad form of country music, Nashville and southern-oriented, and I suspect the nearly half of members who voted to keep the flag were cleaving to those traditions, rather than supporting any racist association”.

The Opry is named after the venue in Nashville, Tennessee, where the Country Music Awards banned the confederate flag in 2022. Emerging stars such as Luke Combs distance themselves from that imagery and established artists including the Chicks and Lady A have changed their band names, amidst growing understanding that people of colour and LGBT+ have felt routinely excluded from the country music scene.

Kerr said: “There is a groundswell now in country music asking why there are so few black artists or people of colour in the audiences.”

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Happy Birthday to Ya!, Barry Gordy!

Today, we raise our voices and instruments to honor the legendary Barry Gordy, a maestro who orchestrated the harmonies of Motown and left an permanent mark on the legacy of music history.. Born on November 28, 1929, Barry Gordy emerged as a musical star whose vision transcended genres and boundaries. His journey began in Detroit, Michigan, where he founded Motown Records in 1959. With a dream in his heart and an unwavering belief in the power of music, Gordy created a platform that would become synonymous with soul, rhythm and blues, and the timeless Motown sound.

Motown Records became a cultural phenomenon under Barry Gordy’s leadership. The label gave rise to some of the most iconic artists in music history, including Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and The Temptations, among others. With chart-topping hits like “My Girl,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and “Dancing in the Street,” Motown dominated the airwaves and captured the hearts of listeners worldwide.

Barry Gordy’s impact extends beyond his role as a musical virtuoso. He was also a visionary entrepreneur who defied conventions and shattered racial barriers in the entertainment industry. Motown became a haven for African American artists, providing them with a platform to showcase their talent and break through the segregation that plagued the industry at the time.

Beyond the glitz and glamour of the stage, Barry Gordy’s success can be attributed to his genuine understanding of human emotions and his ability to tap into the universal language of music. His songs not only entertained but also resonated with listeners on a deeply personal level, creating an emotional connection that transcended time and space.

As we celebrate Barry Gordy’s 94th birthday, we acknowledge the enduring legacy he has created right here in Detroit. His contributions to music and culture continue to inspire generations of artists and enthusiasts alike. The Motown sound remains a source of joy, nostalgia, and celebration, proving that the rhythms he cultivated are indeed timeless.

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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

The Best Food and Drink Events During Miami Art Week 2023

Miami Art Week is officially upon us once again. The week-long extravaganza, which runs from December 4 to December 10, started as a celebration of all things art. Still, through the years, it has expanded into all facets of South Florida, including food.

With a bevy of pop-ups, collaboration dinners, and culinary activations happening throughout the Magic City this week, here are the best bets.

Bar and Cocktail Events

glasses on table.
LPM Miami x Ketel One x Lucy Glasser
Ruben Pictures – LPM Restaurant & Bar

LPM Miami x Ketel One x Lucy Glaser

LPM Miami and Ketel One have partnered with local artist Lucy Glaser to present a special cocktail, ‘La Sucette’. The cocktail will be served in limited-edition, hand-painted glassware created by Glaser and inspired by French artist Jean Cocteau. The La Sucette cocktail, a Vodka Highball with fat-wash strawberry yogurt vodka, citric solution, and a homemade rosé lollipop garnish, is available for purchase, and guests can take the custom glassware home.

Details: The event runs from December 4 to December 10 at LPM Miami at 1300 Brickell Bay Drive, Brickell. The La Sucette cocktail is priced at $21, served in collectible glassware.

Atwater Cocktail Club Takes Over Sweet Liberty Drinks and Supply Co.

During this year’s Art Week, local Miami Beach watering hole Sweet Liberty collaborates with Montreal’s Atwater Cocktail Club, ranked 32nd on “The World’s 50 Best Bars” list, for a one-night pop-up. Hosted by Kate Boushel of Atwater and Naren Young of Sweet Liberty, the event will offer a selection of unique cocktails combining both bars’ styles. Additionally, live art exhibitions by Roberto Porres, co-founder of Atwater Cocktail Club, will feature artworks for sale.

Details: Sweet Liberty Drinks and Supply Co., 237 20th Street, Suite B, Miami Beach. Wednesday, December 6. Open to the public.

Locale Firenze Takes Over the Roystone

Downtown Miami’s latest cocktail bar the Roystone is hosting Locale Firenze, ranked 46th on “The World’s 50 Best Bars” list, from December 7-9 as part of its ‘World’s Best’ series. Locale Firenze will serve unique cocktails, complemented by musical performances and an art gallery featuring local artists. The event includes a reservation-only session from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., followed by public access until 2 a.m.

Details: The Roystone, 100 NE 1st Avenue, 4th floor, Downtown Miami. December 7 to 9. $75 deposit is required for early reservations, including two cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Book via Resy.

Art Week Dinners and Special Menus

Maty’s Shack, a Shake Shack’s beef blend topped with cheese, Huachano-style pork sausage, fried egg, onion, and rocoto mayonnaise.
Shake Shack

Maty’s x Shake Shack

Chefs Valerie and Nando Chang of Maty’s and Itamae have teamed up with mural artist Eric Junker and Shake Shack for a Miami Art Week event on December 5 and December 6. This two-night takeover at Maty’s features a menu combining Shake Shack’s flavors with Nikkei-Peruvian cooking, including items like Maty’s Shack burger, Huancaína Cheese Fries, Chicha Lemonade, and a Lucuma and Brownie Shake. Additionally, guests can participate in an art installation by Junker, coinciding with the launch of Shake Shack’s canned wines featuring his artwork. A portion of the ticket proceeds will support Food Rescue South Florida.

Details: The event takes place on December 5-6 at Maty’s at 3255 NE 1st Avenue, Midtown Miami. Tickets are $40 per person, covering the full menu, a Shack canned wine, an art experience, and a piece of artwork by Eric Junker. Tickets can be purchased at

Capital One Dining with José Andrés and Dominique Crenn and Artist Alex Israel

Capital One celebrates Miami Art Week by offering visual and dining experiences to cardholders and the general public. The events through Capital One Dining will feature collaborations with The Cultivist, artist Alex Israel, and chefs José Andrés and Dominique Crenn with special ticketed dinners. Israel will debut Snow Beach Frozen Treats, a pop-up inspired by his childhood frozen yogurt shop in Los Angeles, with a retro ‘80s theme. Additionally, cardholders can enjoy Sunset Social, a panoramic city view event with music by Mark Ronson and DJ Jazzy Jeff. All events are hosted at 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami, with public access to Snow Beach Frozen Treats on December 8.

Details: Events take place at 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. VIP access for Capital One cardholders on December 6 and 7 with exclusive dinner menus. Public access to Snow Beach Frozen Treats on December 8, noon to 3 p.m. Tickets are available on Capital One Dining.

Sushi Bar Miami Beach Dinner with Richard Geoffroy

Sushi Bar Miami Beach will host an exclusive dining and sake-tasting event on Sunday, December 2nd, featuring a collaboration with Richard Geoffroy, the founder of IWA and former chef de cave of Dom Pérignon. The event includes two seatings offering a 17-course omakase menu paired with four unique sake pours from IWA and a welcome pour of Dom Pérignon Champagne.

Details: Sushi Bar, 1438 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach. Sunday, December 3, seating at 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Price: $275 per person for a 17-course omakase menu with sake pairings. For reservations, visit Sushi Bar Miami Beach’s website.

Graffiti Artist Bisco Smith at Giselle Miami

On Thursday, December 7, Giselle Miami hosts a special event for Miami Art Week featuring a live art performance by graffiti artist Bisco Smith. The evening includes a silent auction benefiting Project Art Box, accompanied by DJ Louis Dee’s live music.

Details: Thursday, December 7 at Giselle Miami, 15 NE 11 Street, Downtown Miami located atop E11EVEN Miami. For reservations, visit

Queen Miami Beach Art Exhibits

Queen Miami Beach will host two art exhibitions during Miami Art Week. On December 8, in collaboration with Dot Fiftyone Gallery, the venue will display artworks and sculptures by various artists. The following day, December 9, Queen presents “Ab Ovo” by Italian artist Camila Ancilotto who will perform live sculpture painting, integrating her Renaissance-inspired techniques, and 20 percent of art sale proceeds will support Lotus House Miami.

Details: Queen Miami Beach, Paris Theater, Miami Beach. Art exhibitions on December 8 and 9, with seatings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close. To reserve, call 786- 373-2930 or visit

Fiola Miami Art Week Dinner with Alexander Mijares and Patron Tequila

Fiola Miami, an award-winning Italian restaurant in Coral Gables, is hosting an Art Week event on Tuesday, December 5, collaborating with local Miami artist Alexander Mijares Alexander Mijares and Patron Tequila. The event will showcase the unveiling of Mijares’ new art installation, which will be displayed throughout the restaurant while enjoying a five-course tasting menu.

Details: December 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Fiola Miami at 1500 San Ignacio Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33146. Purchase tickets here.

Food & Art Programming

dining room. Marion Miami.

Marion Miami Art Week Events

Marion Miami is transforming into an art and dining venue with two events during the week. The first event features artists Franck Brill and Manuel Angarita creating live art alongside Marion’s Asian-inspired cuisine. The second features visual artist Mark Rios, known as “Mr. Drippings,” who will paint a live exhibit featuring a surprise celebrity.

Details: Thursday, December 7 and Saturday, December 9. Marion Miami, 1111 SW First Avenue, Brickell. A special live art exhibit will be held on Friday, December 8, starting at 1 a.m. Reservations can be made by calling (786) 717-7512 or visiting

Liv in the Clouds at the Epic Hotel

Liv in the Clouds at the Epic Hotel Art Residency program presents an art exhibition by local contemporary painter Liv Dockerty. The exhibition showcases Dockerty’s new large-scale works that capture the dynamic colors of clouds at sunset, utilizing her unique interference paints that change color based on viewing angle. Complementing the art, Area 31’s executive chef Sezer Deniz and Dockerty have created a special Art Week menu with small dishes and cocktails inspired by the artwork.

Details: “Liv in the Clouds” exhibition at Kimpton Epic Hotel, 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Downtown Miami. Art and dining experiences available during regular hotel and restaurant hours.

Jägermeister Presents Gustavo Barroso’s “Infinite Growth”

Jägermeister is partnering with Brazilian artist Gustavo Barroso for an exhibition during Miami Art Week, featuring his new sculptures made from repurposed Jägermeister bottles and an interactive machine installation showcasing Barroso’s use of glass and an interactive installation developed with Zach Umperovitch, an expert in chain-reaction machines.

Details: The exhibition, “Infinite Growth” by Gustavo Barroso, will be open at The Set, located at 776 NW 21st Terrace, Miami. It’s open to the public on Friday, December 8, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, December 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Kaleidoscope Exhibition at Love Life Cafe

During Miami Art Week, Wynwood’s Love Life Cafe transforms into an art hub for the “Kaleidoscope” exhibition. This event showcases diverse artistic expressions on the cafe’s walls, accompanied by a live DJ performance. Attendees can enjoy the cafe’s offerings, with food and drinks available for purchase.

Details: Saturday, December 9, from 8 p.m.. Love Life Cafe, 545 NW 26th Street, Wynwood, Miami. Open to the public. Food and drinks for purchase.

Miami Art Week Celebrations at R House

Longstanding Wynwood restaurant R House is set to host a series of events during Miami Art Week. Highlights include “Yas Queen,” an after-dark drag performance on December 8, and Drag Brunches on December 9 and 10. International artist Antonyo Marest will be live painting a new mural, showcasing his Art Deco style. To cap the week, there will be an HBOMax drag makeover event on December 9, with makeovers by Athena Dion and Latrice Royale from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and a debut performance by the makeover participants.

Details: R House, 2727 NW 2nd Ave, Wynwood. Events span from November 24 to December 9. Drag show times: Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m., with brunches on Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. HBOMax drag makeover event on December 9 during brunch. For reservations and more info, visit here.

Mandarin Oriental, Miami x Christopher “Flore” Florentino

During Art Week the Mandarin Oriental, Miami will collaborate with Art Angels gallery and artist Christopher “Flore” Florentino to showcase his “Urban Cubism” paintings. Throughout the hotel, guests can check out Flore’s artworks, including exclusive pieces for the hotel and La Mar by Gastón Acurio. MO Bar + Lounge will offer four cocktails inspired by Flore’s style and new culinary options, while La Mar will display Flore’s art, and chef Diego Oka will create three dishes inspired by Flore’s art. Additionally, the artist is doing a limited print release of one of his paintings to be exclusively sold through La Mar.

Details: Mandarin Oriental, Miami, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell. Art and dining offerings are available during regular hotel and restaurant hours.

Food and Drink Events

food hall.
Inside Julia & Henry’s.
Julia & Henry

Around the World in 25 Bites at Julia & Henry’s

On Wednesday, December 6th, Julia & Henry’s offers an event where guests can sample a bite from each of its 25 vendors with a specially designed “Palate Passport.” The event includes dishes from chefs like Yann Couvreur, José Mendín, and Michelle Bernstein. Tier 2 passport holders will also enjoy three specialty drinks from La Época, BoxElder Craft Beer Market, and The Lasseter. The event features live music and painting by DJ Barbi Kolm and interactive art activities on the 2nd and 3rd floors.

Details: Wednesday, December 6, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Julia & Henry’s. Event access requires a passport, available for purchase at $75 per ticket. Tier 2 tickets for guests over 21 include additional drink options. Purchase here.

Marriott Bonvoy and American Express Miami Art Week Activations

During Miami Art Week, Marriott offers a range of culinary and artistic experiences. On December 7 and 8, Marriott Bonvoy and American Express will host an exclusive dinner at The Restaurant at W South Beach, featuring a multi-course meal by chef Kwame of NYC’s Tatiana. Additionally, the 7th annual Marriott Bonvoy Art Basel Card Member Party is scheduled for December 9 at the W South Beach Pool, with art by Kelly Dabbah and music by DJ D-Nice. The Resy Lounge, presented by American Express and Delta SkyMiles, will provide a beach-front pop-up for Untitled ticket holders, featuring events like a cocktail party with Ayesha Nurdjaja and dinners with chefs Gregory Gourdet and Virgilio Martinez. American Express also hosts #TheAmexBrunch on December 9 at The Miami Beach EDITION, an immersive event celebrating Black art and culture with a menu by chef Akino West of Rosie’s Miami Beach.

Details: Dinner with Chef Kwame: December 7 and 8, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., at The Restaurant at W South Beach. Marriott Bonvoy Art Basel Card Member Party: December 9, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., at W South Beach Pool. Resy Lounge Events: Cocktail Party with Ayesha Nurdjaja on December 5, 7:30 p.m.; Dinner with Gregory Gourdet on December 6, 7:30 p.m.; Dinner with Virgilio Martinez on December 7, 7:30 p.m.; all in South Beach. SAVOR & SOUL™ #TheAmexBrunch: December 9, 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at The Miami Beach EDITION.

Basel House at Fabel Miami

During Miami Art Week, Basel House at Fabel Miami features events from December 7 to December 9. The schedule includes the Art Hearts Fashion X Fabel Dinner Party with fashion shows and dining on December 7, Brunch En Blanc, an all-white themed brunch with guest DJs and artist talks, on December 8, and the Gospël X Fabel Dinner Party with dining and music sets the same evening. The series concludes on December 9 with a Health & Wellness day, offering meditation, fitness classes, and wellness activities.

Details: Fabel Miami, 50 NW 23rd Street, Suite #110, Wynwood. Art Hearts Fashion X Fabel Dinner Party: December 7, 8:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Brunch En Blanc and Artist Talks: December 8, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Gospël X Fabel Dinner Party: December 8, 8:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Health & Wellness: December 9, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Purchase tickets here.

Art Week at Smorgasburg Miami

During Miami Art Week, Smorgasburg Miami in Wynwood hosts events from December 7 to December 10, featuring food, beverage, and art experiences in collaboration with partners like Coca-Cola, DoorDash, Diageo, and Fever Tree. The market will include live mural paintings, special food and drink offerings for Art Basel, and craft cocktails. The event is open to the public without the need for an RSVP.

Details: Smorgasburg Miami, 2600 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. Thursday, December 7, and Friday, December 8, from 6 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, December 9, and Sunday, December 10, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

An Evening with Massimo Bottura, Lara Gilmore, and Jay Cheshes

Massimo Bottura and Lara Gilmore will discuss their new book, “Slow Food, Fast Cars,” in a conversation hosted by Books & Books and moderated by Wall Street Journal writer Jay Cheshes. The event includes a book signing and reception.

Details: Thursday, December 7 at 7 p.m. at Books & Books at 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Tickets include one copy of “Slow Food, Fast Cars.” Purchase tickets here.

The Art of Agave at Casa Ya’ax

Casa Ya’ax, a new Wynwood restaurant, celebrates Miami Art Week with four nights of immersive agave-centric culinary and theatrical experiences from December 6 to 9. Each evening, chef/owner Omar Montero will present a five-course dinner with unique agave-based spirits, accompanied by cocktails from Sabina Sabe bar, Oaxaca. The event features a journey through the history and mythology of agave, with music and theatrics by Sophisticated Minds and director Josefina Pieres.

Details: ‘The Art of Agave at Casa Ya’ax’ takes place from December 6-9 at Casa Ya’ax, 51 NE 24 Street, Suite 101, Wynwood at 8:30 p.m., priced at $150 per person, including dinner, two cocktails, and agave pairings. After 10 p.m., the venue opens to the public for cocktails and tacos, with a DJ. Tickets can be purchased here.

Art After Dark at Cote Miami

Art After Dark at Cote Miami takes place from December 7 to 17 at Michelin-starred Cote Miami, showcasing private art collections from collectors like Amanita, Artline, Craig Robins, and others in partnership with Artline and American Express. The event features an “Art After Dark Feast” from December 8 to 10, highlighting this year’s theme, “Relationships,” curated by Simon Kim, Rosa Sue Kim, and Ji Park of Artline.

Details: COTE Miami, 3900 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami Design District. Reservations can be made here.

Boia De x Glass2Grass: Glass & Gourmet

Experience the “Glass & Gourmet” event at Boia De on Friday, December 8, combining glass art from Glass2Grass artists like Ksukebey and Sibbelley with Michelin-starred dining. The event features a VIP dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a general admission party with a buffet, open bar, and music.

Details: Boia De, 5205 NE Second Avenue, Friday, December 8 VIP event: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. $350, includes exclusive gifts and early access. General Admission: 8 p.m. – Midnight. For more information and reservations, visit here.

Sip & Paint at Pubbelly Sushi

Pubbelly Sushi is hosting a series of Art Basel Weekend events from December 7 to 10 across its various locations in Miami. The events include Sip & Paint sessions for $50 per person, featuring painting activities, wine, and live DJ sets by D.J. Barbi Kolm, who will perform live painting. Additionally, the Dadeland location will transform into an art gallery showcasing the work of Florida International University students. Menu items, the Tora Doya Crispy Rice, and the Starry Night cocktail, inspired by artists Danny Doya and Van Gogh, will also be featured.

Details: Thursday, December 7, to Sunday, December 10. The Sip & Paint events happen on December 7 at Pubelly Dadeland from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; December 8 at Pubbelly Brickell from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; December 9 at Pubbelly Aventura from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and on December 10 at both Pubbelly Miami Beach and Pubbelly Pembroke Pines from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., respectively. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Young Thug’s lyrics to be used as evidence in court

 American rapper Young Thug. (Courtesy/AP)

Jeffery Lamar Williams popularly known as Young Thug is being accused of racketeering with prosecutors accusing him of co-founding a street gang called YSL (Young Slime Life).

 On Monday during the opening statement, Adriane Love, Deputy District Attorney of Fulton County said that Young Thug’s lyrics were relevant to the crimes allegedly committed and “bore a very eerie significance to real life.” 

She proceeded to include part of the lyrics in her opening statement allegedly associating the rapper with murder. “We didn’t chase any of the lyrics to solve any murders,” Love said. “Law enforcement in Fulton County chased the murders and found the lyrics.”

Some of the rap lyrics being cited in the YSL indictment are, “I never killed anybody but I got something to do with that body…I told them to shoot a hundred rounds…Ready for war like I’m Russia…I get all type of cash / I’m a general,” from hit song Anybody starring Nicki Minaj. Other songs included Take It to Trial, by Young Thug, Yak Gotti, and Gunna where they rapped about not being afraid of going to court. Bad Boy by Juice WRLD featuring Young Thug and Ski by Young Thug and Gunna.

The Atlanta rapper has been in jail since May 2022 and was charged with 27 other individuals associated with the YSL gang. The gang was linked to murder, carjacking, and robbery by the district attorney’s office.

“This indictment is significant because it targets 28 people who decided to become involved in a criminal street gang and really do havoc in our community,” said District Attorney Fani Willis on May 10, 2022, in a press conference citing the indictment. 

Using the lyrics as evidence sparked a lot of outrage and sparked a movement known as “”Protect Black Art.” 

When a motion was filed in December to stop prosecutors from using the lyrics, the motion was denied by Judge Ural Glanville allowing the 17 sets of lyrics in the indictment to be used as evidence.

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30 Under 30 2024: Meet The Young Artists And Designers Reimagining How We See The World

From an AI-driven fashion house to a gallerist reframing how art is sold, these 30 visionaries are the vanguard of creativity.

By Simone Melvin, Osman Can Yerebakan and McKenna Leavens

Although he is just 25, model, artist, and actor Chella Man has been breaking boundaries for most of his life. From being IMG’s first trans and deaf model to becoming one of the only disabled actors playing a superhero (on DC Universe’s Titans), Man says pushing the envelope of mainstream media has been beautiful and terrifying. “There are people who have been working in these industries for 40 or 50 years, and it’s their first time working with a trans or disabled person,” he says. “Which is just mind-blowing because there’s no framework, and it fuels my motivation to construct one.”

New York City’s youngest gallerist—Paul Hill— is also taking leader the way in what he considers an antiquated industry. Hill’s gallery falls under his brand, Strada World—an art “ecosystem” aimed at reimagining art sales for emerging artists. In addition to showcasing buzzy performers such as Doja Cat and Teezo Touchdown, Strada has partnered with brands like Nike and Spotify and exhibited young artists whose works have gone on to be acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “We are here to change the art world, and change it for the better,” the 24-year-old Hill says.

Hill and Man join 28 other innovators on this year’s Forbes Under 30 Art & Style list. The Class of 2024 was reviewed by a panel of expert judges, including fashion designer Tan France, star of Netflix’s Queer Eye and columnist for GQ; Winnie Harlow, a model-turned-entrepreneur and alumna of the Under 30 Class of 2022; music producer and rapper Swizz Beatz, a passionate art collector focusing on Black artists; and photographer and filmmaker Laurie Simmons, one of the leading figures of ‘The Pictures Generation,’ an influential art movement of the 1970s and ‘80s.

Kendall Jenner wears dresses by Bottega, earrings by Mega. Hair by Shay Ashual. Makeup by Mary Phillips. Styling by Dani Michelle.Jamel Toppin for Forbes

The honorees are redesigning the future of their respective fields—including some who use artificial intelligence. Ramin Ahmari, founder of the AI-driven fashion brand Finesse, uses technology to predict trends and forecast consumer demand. Finesse customers vote on 3D renderings of clothes they want to buy from the website, and the company—which has racked up $56.4 million in funding—uses the data to prevent overproduction. Other listers, like Isabella Lalonde, are crafting the designs that are setting the trends of the future. A year after graduating college, she launched Beepy Bella, a jewelry and accessory label that caught the attention of young stars like Olivia Rodrigo, Grimes, Bella Hadid, and Bad Bunny. “I remember Grimes messaging me on Instagram when I just started, saying ‘I love your work’—and it feels nice that people whose work you respect, also respect yours,” Lalonde says. After having her jewelry showcased in HBO Max’s Euphoria, she has since taken her L.A.-based business to retailers, including Nordstrom, SSENSE, and soon, Urban Outfitters.

Supermodel-turned-entrepreneur Kendall Jenner made the list with her first venture into the business of premium tequila. Forbes estimates that Jenner’s 818 Tequila made around $25 million in sales in 2022.

Meanwhile, art adviser Kendra Walker is blazing a trail in her native state of Georgia. The 27-year-old founded Atlanta Art Week in 2022. “There’s great talent in Atlanta,” she says. “I think an art week within the city will create more long-term relationships with larger players throughout the world.”

Farther north, the state of Vermont appointed Tillie Walden its newest cartoon laureate, and at 26, she’s the youngest artist to receive the honor. Walden, who has published more than 10 books, often centering queer narratives, is also one of the youngest recipients of an Eisner Award, often referred to as the Oscars of the comics industry.

In Canada, Nia and Justice Faith Betty launched Révolutionnaire, an apparel company for dancers of color and have since sold out of collaborations in stores across Canada, the U.S., and Taiwan. The sisters champion social impact and activism, having worked with the nail polish brand Essie to create inclusive hues and raising $1 million for volcano relief following the 2021 La Soufrière eruption in Saint Vincent.

While dividing his time between New York City and Los Angeles, celebrity stylist and author Andrew Gelwicks has a clientele that includes Sarah Jessica Parker, Catherine O’Hara, and Idina Menzel. And making impact around the globe is Gisela McDaniel: an indigenous Chamorro visual artist whose work has been shown in Germany, London, New York, India and at galleries such as Jeffrey Deitch, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami.

This year’s Art & Style list was edited by Simone Melvin, Mckenna Leavens, and Osman Yerebakan. Click here for a link to the complete Art & Style list, and for full Under 30 coverage, click here.


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RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

The Brooklyn Museum Announces ‘Giants: Art From The Dean Collection Of Swizz Beatz And Alicia Keys’

The Brooklyn Museum Announces ‘Giants: Art From The Dean Collection Of Swizz Beatz And Alicia Keys’
Photo Credit: Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Museum announced its upcoming exhibition Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. On view from February 10–July 7, 2024, this is the first major exhibition of the world-class collection of multigenerational Black diasporic artists owned by the iconic couple.

From their passion for collecting albums and musical equipment to their unwavering support of Black artists, Giants offers a rare look into the Deans’ expansive collecting history. The exhibition brings together some of the most notable artists in history, including Gordon Parks, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lorna Simpson, Kehinde Wiley, and Nina Chanel Abney.

The Brooklyn Museum Announces ‘Giants: Art From The Dean Collection Of Swizz Beatz And Alicia Keys’
Ebony G. Patterson,
. . they were just hanging out . . . you know . . . talking about . . . ( . . . when they grow up . . .)
, 2016.

“Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys have been among the most vocal advocates for Black creatives to support Black artists through their collecting, advocacy, and partnerships,” said Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Brooklyn Museum. “In the process, they have created one of the most important collections of contemporary art.”

The exhibition’s title refers to several aspects of the Dean Collection, such as highlighting both legendary artists and contemporary artists, and the monumental works by such creators as Derrick Adams, Arthur Jafa, and Meleko Mokgosi. Along with examining the links and legacies among multigenerational Black artists, the exhibition also encourages discussions inspired by the works on view—critiquing society and celebrating Blackness. 

The Brooklyn Museum Announces ‘Giants: Art From The Dean Collection Of Swizz Beatz And Alicia Keys’
Amy Sherald, Deliverance. 2022.

Paying homage to legendary elder artists, the section On the Shoulders of Giants features work by artists who have left an indelible mark on the world. The Giant Conversations section explores how artists have always critiqued and commented on the world around them. The artists on view address a range of issues Black people have faced throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In the last section of the show, Giant Presence, monumental artworks form an impressive finale in the Museum’s Great Hall atrium. Works on view also celebrate Blackness and champion the beauty, resilience, distinctiveness, connection, and joyousness within communities across the globe.

The accompanying exhibition catalog will be published by Phaidon and features a foreword by Brooklyn Museum Director Anne Pasternak, interviews with artists in the Dean Collection, and a conversation between the Deans and exhibition curator Kimberli Gant.

Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from February 10 – July 7, 2024.

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‘It’s remarkable’: ‘A Spectacular Black Girl Art Show’ in Charlotte spotlights female artists

In a large room at the QC Sound Stage in west Charlotte this past weekend, upbeat music met visitors’ ears, while brightly colored sculptures and portraits of children, animals, and flowers caught their eyes at “A Spectacular Black Girl Art Show.”

It was the show’s fourth visit to Charlotte, creating a temporary venue to highlight and celebrate the work of over 70 Black female artists.

In the room, Tamia Dallas stood next to her collection of small and large portraits of children’s faces. Dallas drove from her home in Virginia to participate in the event. She said she’s thrilled to be surrounded by Black female artists.

“There are so many of us, and we’re coming together to do something positive and showcase our talent and artwork; it’s just amazing. It just feels very incredible,” Dallas said.

Tamia Dallas stands next to several of her portraits.

Elvis Menayese



Tamia Dallas stands next to several of her portraits.

Dallas is a high school art teacher who bases some of her portraits on her students; she said that being a part of the show will help expose her students to the platforms available to them.

“A lot of my students are very talented, but they don’t really know what to do with their art,” Dallas said. “So, this is very inspiring for them because I use them in my work, so they got very excited to see themselves in a more creative abstract light.”

A few steps away from Dallas sat Teryn Moorefield, surrounded by large paintings of babies with either their mouths wide open, poking out their tongues or staring innocently. Moorfield started painting in high school to overcome a range of negative feelings.

“When I was overwhelmed, I had a lot of different emotions and anxiety going on. And it was about getting a chance to escape into something that I could make completely on my own,” Moorefield said. “Using whatever colors would make me happy, using whatever pictures would make me happy or warm inside, and just having a field day with it. No matter what the color is. Being able to just let it all out, onto a picture or into a painting, and creating something as an outlet.”

Moorefield said she paints babies’ faces as her form of outlet for several reasons.

“They just make you feel good, and when you see them, they just make you happy and fill you up,” Moorefield said. “I like to do them where I make their eyes a little bigger, or portraits where the babies are looking at you because it kind of lets you into their soul a little bit. They open their eyes and look at you with such amazement.”

Teryn Moorefield sits in a chair surrounded by her artwork.

Elvis Menayese



Teryn Moorefield sits in a chair surrounded by her artwork.

“A Spectacular Black Girl Art Show” came to Charlotte this past weekend. The exhibition featured the work of more than 70 Black female artists.

Joshua Love walked around the room, chatting with the artists and the public until the event’s announcer called him onto the stage.

Love is the curator of “A Spectacular Black Girl Art Show.” He organized the first show in an Atlanta church in 2019 to celebrate a group of females he noticed going unrecognized. Since then, the show has been to more than 25 U.S. cities.

Love said he decided to host the event in Charlotte for the fourth time because the city welcomes diversity.

“Charlotte is a city that appreciates Black experiences, that calls them to a place that encourages them to think outside the box,” Love said. “Charlotte is an eclectic city, a melting pot of a lot of different backgrounds, worldviews, and ideas, and that’s essentially what art is, and I think that’s why Charlotte resonates with the show.”

Alicia Neali Robinson has been living in Charlotte for about three years. Robinson’s painting of Black men and women has been placedon a table while other paintings rest against the table on the floor. She said her paintings work to combat harmful words that she comes across describing Black people.

“I was just hearing a lot of negative comments on their features,” Robinson said. “Just being Black, the nose is too big, or the skin is too dark.”

Alicia Naeli Robinson stands near her paintings that depict the beauty of Black men and women.

Elvis Menayese



Alicia Neali Robinson stands near her paintings that depict the beauty of Black men and women.

In Robinson’s paintings, Black people are symbolized as being at peace and powerful. A crown is painted on a man’s head to portray royalty in one painting.

“I just wanted to spread something positive, to show that we are, indeed, not what people say we are, but we are beautiful people and were smart and intelligent people, so I just wanted to show that,” Robinson said.

Love said “A Spectacular Black Girl Art Show” and its sibling show, “A Marvelous Black Boy Art Show,” have generated more than $5 million in sales for participating artists. Love said it’s vital for people to support each other in these spaces that highlight a range of skills Black people possess.

“We are consumers of art, but we are also creators of art. And to see us creating art and buying art from each other is such a powerful tool that I hope many of us recognize and accelerate more Black people buying from Black people,” Love said. “And it’s quality, attention to detail, and it’s done in excellence, patience, and wisdom, and it’s remarkable.”

This past weekend won’t be the show’s last trip to Charlotte. It’s expected to return in April 2024 to continue providing a platform that celebrates and unites Black artists.

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Yale Jazz Initiative releases new Christmas album 

Professor Wayne Escoffery led the ensemble to create their new album, titled “This Christmas with Night is Alive,” blending holiday classics with contemporary jazz.

Staff Reporter

Courtesy of Wayne Escoffery

Ahead of the holiday season, the Yale Jazz Initiative released an album on Oct. 1.

The album, now available for listening on Apple Music, YouTube and Spotify, is called “This Christmas with Night is Alive.” Yale lecturer and American saxophonist Wayne Escoffery led an ensemble of musicians from the University and beyond, blending traditional holiday tunes with contemporary jazz.

This project is a landmark in Yale’s Jazz Initiative, showcasing a synergy of experienced artists and emerging talents from Yale. It features the Black Art Jazz Collective, including Jeremy Pelt and James Burton III, as well as musicians such as bassist Richie Goods, pianist Xavier Davis and drummer Quincy Davis. There are a total of eight tracks on the album, all renditions of some of the Christmas biggest hits: “Let it Snow,” “We Three Kings,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” “White Christmas,” “This Christmas,” “O Holy Night” and “The Christmas Song.”

“I thought the [artists] really did a good reinterpretation, staying right on the line of jazziness while keeping the features of the original tunes,” Evan Branham ‘24 told the News.

According to Escoffery, the album was created with the intention to be enjoyed year-round. It maintains complex jazz harmonies and rhythms and preserves the traditional “integrity” of Christmas songs, he added.

The album also marks a musical milestone for Yale junior Teddy Horangic ’25, who recorded for the first time as a primary artist on the album and a major vocalist for three of the tracks. 

Horangic told the News she grew up first on a sailboat and later in a renovated bus which she said has had a strong influence on her musical style. She found her rhythm in the diverse sounds of bluegrass, country, punk, R&B and soul that permeated the various places she grew up in, she said.

But it was jazz that resonated with her, a discovery she made at the age of 10. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she took a gap year and dove into the New York City music scene, busking in Tompkins Square Park and performing at various venues across the city. 

“I was really being educated by mentors who would let me sing with them, literally learning on the job playing with people on the street,” Horangic said. “I basically came to Yale with a background of being a working musician in New York City, which is a very different lifestyle.”  

At Yale, she continued her involvement in jazz under the guidance of Escoffery, who also gave her the opportunity to perform in the Christmas jazz album. Horangic described the experience as a significant “learning opportunity.” 

Her experience recording the album was a departure from her usual live performances. 

“It was an amazing opportunity, my first time. It’s a fun album, and it was a great learning experience,” Horangic said. “[In live performances], you have to be aware of your audience and how they’re feeling the music. [Meanwhile for studio recordings, it’s more] “being able to be in a space with [other musicians], which was pretty amazing.” 

She told the News she is planning to record more albums in the future.

Escoffery explained that the album also highlights the prominence of jazz in the greater New Haven community, particularly the genre’s role in telling and cementing the histories of communities of color.

“Jazz is America’s classical music, born out of the Black American experience,” he said. “It fosters diversity and inclusion. So it’s important to have America’s really indigenous music that came out of the Black American experience represented at Yale.”

“This Christmas with Night is Alive,” is available for listening on YouTube at This Christmas with Night Is Alive – YouTube.

LUKAS NEL <!– –>

Lukas Nel covers Art Student Life for the Arts Desk. Originally from Stellenbosch in the Republic of South Africa, he is a second semester junior in Davenport College studying EECS and Mathematics, who is passionate about art in all its forms.

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Clark Atlanta University Art Museum Fall 2023–24 Exhibition Season

From the venue:

“Hidden Gems: AUC Faculty and Staff Exhibition”

The Art Annuals created an unparalleled community of Black artists; this exhibit continues this tradition by celebrating the AUC and the growth of programs that focus on the visual arts, like the AUC Art Collective. Students are coming together to learn and explore Black Arts at Spelman Museum of Art and CAUAM but there is a population’s creativity whose work is unknown to all of us, the faculty and staff at CAU, Morehouse, and Spelman. The call for art was responded to by faculty and staff from a variety of departments and disciplines. Discover the depth of our community that is called the AUC, our Hidden Gems.

“The Audacious Platform”

“The Audacious Platform” foregrounds the significance of Clark Atlanta University as a site for the display and critical examination of African American art from the forties until the present. A limited survey of the permanent collection, it includes works acquired during the Atlanta Annuals (1942-1970), which was an ambitious and surprisingly bold endeavor that emphasized African American art in an era when black art was rarely considered in mainstream institutions. The works from the Annuals are contrasted with later acquired pieces that provide insight into the institution’s presentation of African diaspora art from the American and Global South.

From “Black Spring” to the Eternal

Inspired by Charles Alston’s 1962 painting “Black Spring” and a work from David Driskell’s “Young Pines” series, this exhibition highlights depictions of natural scenery and their metaphorical implications from the permanent collection. Ranging from visual commentaries about sociopolitical issues to the idea of transcendence, these works, which were created from 1905 to 2015, encourage reflection on the ways African American artists engage rural, urban, and cosmic landscapes to convey ideas about their place within society. It also draws attention to explorations of humanity in relation to spiritual and celestial realms.

“Wilay Mendez Paez: Portals to a New World”

“Wilay Mendez Paez: Portals to a New World” provides insight into the artistic practice of the Atlanta-based, Afro-Cuban artist. Wilay is the inaugural fellow for The Workshop, a multi-year Clark Atlanta University Art Museum initiative that seeks to close the distance between artist and audience by highlighting the steps fundamental to the creative process. The artist will conduct a series of public workshops illustrating the role of writing, sketching, and modeling in his work. He will also expand an existing project that uses sculpture rather than face covers to give visual form to masks as a broad concept. Masks, for Wilay, are more than a form of disguise and ornamentation. His sculptures, similar to performances in costumes in African and African Diaspora masquerades, draw attention to objects as conduits for reflection about social interactions. They conceal, protect, and serve as a site for developing new vantage points.

This project was made possible with funding support from the City of Atlanta/Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

For groups larger than ten (10), please email Sol Mason at dmason at to reserve space for your group.

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Celebrating 20 Years Of Seth Troxler And Talking The Current Music Scene: ‘There Is, In My Mind, No Longer A True Underground’

It all begins with thumping bass. Then, driving synths enter. Celestial tones follow before the drums kick in. Quick yet gentle beats take center stage, with tinkering tunes later making their way to the forefront. Elements of the song begin to disappear, bringing audiophiles back to the beginning. The sonic qualities slowly renter, but in a different order from how they started.

These are the sounds of “Moment.”

These are the sounds that started Seth Troxler.

This year, Troxler celebrates the 20th anniversary of “Moment,” which he created when he was 17 under his former alias, Young Seth. Shortly after, the tastemaker began going by his legal name and current stage name, Seth Troxler.

The sound designer saw early success as he played Berlin’s Panorama Bar mere weeks after finishing high school. His fame has catapulted since. He was voted No. 3, No. 2 and then No. 1 in the Resident Advisor Top 100 DJs polls. His three accolades were received in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 polls, with him reigning in the last year.


Troxler has graced the stages of esteemed clubs and parties, such as CircoLoco, Watergate, Fabric, Warung, Robert Johnson and Womb. He has also gotten behind the decks of famed festivals, including Movement Electronic Music Festival, ZoukOut, Tomorrowland, Glastonbury, Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, Wonderfruit, Sónar and Burning Man. From “stillWON’T4GETU” to “Dead Room; Trust; Dexter,” “Hate” and “Pills,” the producer has created numerous hits designed for the underground.

When defining Troxler’s sound, some might assume house or techno. This assumption wouldn’t be accurate as his catalog cannot be categorized as one style. When asked to describe his sound in three words, he says, “The best genre is no genre.” Although he hit more than three words, his answer is correct. His response stays true to who he is as an artist, adding, “I try really not to be definable.” His chameleonic sonic capabilities have led him to stay progressive throughout his storied career.

“I really try to play music from all different kinds of electronic music genres and outside [of electronic music],” Troxler says. “[With] so many different people, you can say, ‘Oh, they play exactly this or that.’ But I’m one of the few deejays where you turn up to hear me play, and you don’t really know what to expect. You’re like, ‘Oh, he’s doing this today or doing that today.’ I think my fans like that, but I guess some people like what it says on the can. For me, [my fans are] like, ‘Okay, he’s playing something totally different,’ which I think is exciting.”

However, Troxler is more than just a music producer. He’s a cultural commentator, entrepreneur, restauranteur and art curator. The recent launch of his Slacker 85 label is just one example of his vast and multifaceted capabilities.

The imprint focuses on fusing art and fashion, spotlighting culture and highlighting the eccentric, obscure and wide-ranging sounds that are coming from various artists and genres. One instance of the cultural aspect is seen in Lost Souls of Saturn, a live project that combines music, storytelling and technology to explore new ways to access human perception and challenge the ways we see the world. It has been showcased in renowned museums worldwide, including New York City’s The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), London’s Saatchi Gallery and Switzerland’s Fondation Beyeler. Lost Souls of Saturn is one of the many ways Troxler comments on the cultural zeitgeist.

“[Slacker 85] is about trying to find cultural moments,” the artist says. “Even the crazy things—the bats or the naked video with the dog—were all taken from very big pop culture moments. The bat video [was] obviously from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” where on the other side, the naked video was a reference to Stefan Sagmeister, a very famous Austrian [born] and New York [based] graphic designer. Everything I try to do always has these kinds of…there’s always this trail that goes back to some cultural moments. So I, really both musically and image-wise, try to find points in culture that can be exposed and turned into a tongue-in-cheek funny thing.”

According to the sound selector, the ‘90s have recently become popular. Troxler grew up in this era, which he says “was about the anti-hero.” He believes we’re currently in a cultural place where commercialism and wealth are idealized, and the “alternative” has been lost. He says music, culture and fashion have historically worked together to represent the current zeitgeist during any time period. He cites that 60% of United States residents live paycheck to paycheck, adding that England also faces a housing crisis. The Vanguard says there is a disparity between what is being shown on television and what is actually happening. He sees music and clothing as ways to represent current affairs, noting how vintage clothing was popular in the ‘90s because it was “what people could afford after the ‘80s and Reaganism.”

“I think the youth really have lost a feeling where they feel like they can actually gain anything, go forward, own a house or have a future,” the entrepreneur says. “So many people are living really in the now, [and] I think the music and the ideas that I want to push are reflective of that.”

Troxler says it’s “incredible how big club culture has come” since the start of his career. He says raving was a niche culture “for outsiders” in the ‘90s and the aughts. Now, he says, the scene attracts people from all areas of life, such as queer folks and Black people, and allows them to intersect and meet on the dancefloor—with them even creating their communities with those they meet. Troxler finds that the dance music scene is “much more [of an] open home for everyone to find themselves outside of somewhat cultural norms and really become these somewhat weekend warriors.”

“Years ago, it would be impossible to think artists like myself or like John Summit would interact, but John [Summit] and I are friends,” the Detroit-raised producer says. “There are so many different crossovers now between what the industry has become. There is, in my mind, no longer a true underground. With Beyonce’s new album and Honey Dijon working on that, and Luke Solomon and so many different underground producers getting Grammys for making house music…we’ve come to this full circle moment.”

The trailblazer says Jellybean and David Morales worked on massive pop records during the ‘80s and ‘90s. He says dance music artists creating mainstream songs is cyclical, and we are seeing it now so that once again, “electronic and dance music are at the forefront of society.”

Troxler recently relaunched his esteemed Tuskegee Records imprint, founded with dynamic duo The Martinez Brothers. The initial goal of the 2014-founded label was to uplift Black, Latin and minority talents. This is particularly notable as Troxler is a Black artist, and The Martinez Brothers, comprised of Steve and Chris Martinez, is a Puerto Rican production pair. Troxler says dance music was founded on queer folks and Black and Brown communities, but he and The Martinez Brothers realized hardly any artists in those spaces were being represented in the current scene.

“There were so few artists from our communities coming forward, and [dance music is] coming from these great legacies,” he says. “We’re like, ‘This is tragic.’ So we formed this label, Tuskegee, to elevate a lot of these voices. And then, this was years ago when the conversation wasn’t as [progressive], record labels and all these people were like, ‘Oh, that’s racist. You can’t only feature artists who are Black and Brown.’ We’re like, ‘Why not? It’s a cultural exploration.’”

Troxler says his intention wasn’t to segregate artists by ethnicity but to focus on dance music’s heritage. The label shut down four years ago, but it’s reopened with a focus on spotlighting emerging talent.

“[The Martinez Brothers and I] always thought it was important for us as established artists to support young people and try to create an image where people can also resonate,” Troxler says. “I think with anything, when people see people from their backgrounds—whether it be women artists, Black artists, whatever—it makes the idea or the dream seem more possible. I think what’s really important is representation and the more representation that there is, the more people start to realize that they can also be part of that dream.”

The Kalamazoo, Michigan-born artist believes the dance music industry has become more inclusive. He says that five years ago, before the pandemic, conversations around representation took place. Now, he says, he’s seeing “the fruits of that labor” with “so many more artists coming up from different backgrounds [and] really having a huge moment.” Troxler adds that people need to enter conversations about race and sexuality by being conscious of differences, which he sees more of, particularly with younger generations since they are “so much more aware” of those topics.

Indeed, Troxler boasts an illustrious resume with his career achievements, genre-defying sounds, artistic abilities in many spaces and work to champion underrepresented and burgeoning acts. The unbound producer follows his own path, one that is full of creativity and has an eye on what’s next. Keep watching Troxler. He is sure to continue to impress.

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