Gayle King, National Treasure

Gayle King's steely poise while an unhinged R. Kelly self-immolates is 2019 International Women's Day mood.
 

In The Case Of N.W.A. Vs. The Police Department

After a routine traffic stop led to his arrest on gun and drug charges, Jamal Knox needed to get something off his chest. Being a hip-hop artist (he performs under the name Mayhem Mal), he expressed himself through song, recording and releasing “F*** The Police.” Pittsburgh prosecutors interpreted this as a threat and charged Knox with issuing terroristic threats and intimidating witnesses. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court later affirmed his conviction on the charges, extensively citing lyrics from the song. Knox’s lawyers argue this was a mistake and are petitioning the US Supreme court to review a first amendment challenge to his conviction. Chance The Rapper, Meek Mill, Killer Mike, and more hip-hop artists filed an amicus brief urging the court to hear the challenge, offering the justices “a primer on rap music and hip-hop.” Killer Mike best summarizes the double standard of the ruling, “Outlaw country music is given much more poetic license than gangster rap, and I listen to both.”
 

Social Justice For Brands

Folks, we’ve reached peak brand. Last night LaCroix’s parent company, National Beverage Corp., released its Q3 earnings report, along with a doozy of a statement from CEO Nick Caporella: 

“We are truly sorry for these results stated above. Negligence nor mismanagement nor woeful acts of God were not the reasons – much of this was the result of injustice! Managing a brand is not so different from caring for someone who becomes handicapped. Brands do not see or hear, so they are at the mercy of their owners or care providers who must preserve the dignity and special character that the brand exemplifies.”

Look, LaCroix is one of if not the hottest beverage brand in the US right now. They’re allowed to have a so-so quarter. What they shouldn’t do is claim that their brand is subject to injustices on par with a handicapped person. Caporella likes to refer to LaCroix customers as “our cult.” Just make sure to let someone who’s not drinking the Kool-Aid edit public statements. Shares of National Beverage Corp are off 15% as of publish time on Friday.
 

Facebook Pivots To Privacy

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a pivot to privacy in a striking, 3,200-word blog post:

“I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever. This is the future I hope we will help bring about.”

This is remarkable, because it is the exact opposite of what Facebook has been doing for the past 15 years. Zuckerberg’s reconsideration seems due, in part, from an episode in which he unilaterally deleted all of his old (some embarrassing) IMs – a Facebook feature apparently only available to one user, him. It’s also remarkable because taken to its logical conclusion, it means the end of News Feed, the core Facebook product and ad revenue source. Dive deeper with Casey Newton and Ben Thompson on the significance of the pivot.
 

 LINKS + LINKS 


  • The 25 songs that matter right now. 
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook now Tim Apple.
  • Why 'Spotify Teardown' is a must-read book.
  • AI will revolutionize how video games are developed and played.
  • Why 3D logos fell out of favor overnight.
  • Disney ends long-standing "vault" program, entire catalog to be available on upcoming Disney+ platform.
  • Generation Z: redefining the business of music.
  • Another reason for Facebook's privacy pivot - their rapidly sinking reputation.
  • Spotify, Google, Amazon, Pandora and Amazon to appeal copyright royalty board rates.
  • Can Tame Impala become one of the world's biggest bands?
  • Whatever happened to all those "Uber for X" companies?
  • Music’s #MeToo reckoning and who really cleans up after rock’s excess.
  • Buddy Guy profiled by David Remnick.
  • Hulu greenlights 10-part Wu-Tang Clan doc series.
  • Alex Trebek announces cancer diagnosis in heartfelt video. 
 

 LISTEN + LOOK 

Billie Eilish
wish you were gay
Desus & Mero ft John Legend Chocolate Galaxy
Stay Free: The Story Of The Clash, Episode 1
Lucy Sparrow
 
 

 FACTORY FLOOR 

Who runs the world?
 

 FRIDAY GIF 

See ya next week...