While the Zimmerman trial dominated the news, leaving an embarrassing stain of fear-mongering and annoyingly pervasive reporting on “news” networks the country over, culture and politics kept trucking. From Detroit’s bankruptcy to Rolling Stone’s insensitive marketing, offense was in the air. Still, music stayed its usual self, highlighting Alice Cooper and FILA’s lifelong partnership with rap’s elite.
News Genius: we don’t want no scrubs either - they can’t get no love from us.
5. “The survivors of the Boston attacks deserve Rolling Stone cover stories, though I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them.”
- Mayor Thomas Menino, Response to Rolling Stone
During the week, Rolling Stone released a controversial cover of Boston Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, featuring a story that will shame the suspect. Regardless, critics still claimed that the spread glorified him with front-page attention. Boston was quick to lash back. At first, silent protests and refusals to “ever buy that rag again” popped up, until the big league came to talk: Boston mayor Tom Menino. Calling out the purposefully tasteless marketing technique, Menino pledged not to make the cover an issue, but to strive to turn the publicity into a second wind for Boston support. While Rolling Stone will probably still come out on top, riding on free speech and controversy, the “Boston strong” message still hit home. To donate, we recommend the Charity Navigator 4 star rated Semper Fi Fund, still taking aid for victim relief.
4. “There are factions, there are groups, there are people that would want to take the law into their own hands as they perceive it, or be vigilantes in some sense."
- Robert Zimmerman, Jr. - Media Statements
The news of the week was, seemingly invariably, the trial and “not guilty” verdict for George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, accused of maliciously assaulting and murdering Trayvon Martin, was found to have legally executed self-defense, due to the lack of witnesses and in light of Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. Zimmerman’s brother, Robert, was quick to fight for his brother’s name, accusing many of racism, calling for peace, and fighting case details. Regardless of the verdict, Robert fears that his brother’s life is in danger, a feeling that may not be that far off - threats came from the New Black Panthers, celebrities, and the community at large. Despite what may be a flawed justice system that allowed a teenager to legally be killed, vigilante justice is not the answer - when we break the law, we make the law invalid for all.
3. “The simple fact is Detroit is in a financial crisis.”
- Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Bankruptcy Statement
Detroit: the wrongful laughingstock of the US, the struggling last holdout of American construction. After years of quiet failure, economic downturn, and increased crime, poverty, and despair, the city has finally officially filed for bankruptcy. When the order clears, Detroit will start fresh, dumping its debts on investors and aiming to rebuild services and the economy. They may be the punchline to so many others, but Detroit is a lesson - this could happen anywhere. Still, if a start-up called Omni Consumer Product appears, you can start to worry.
2. “Left-Eye was referring to FILA kicks in this lyric, using wordplay to also refer to ‘fellas’. To disrespect someone would be to step on the shoe whether the material be suede or leather. That is a no no!”
- FILA, Hip-hop Mentions in History
Few brands can claim a role in the entire span of hip-hop history. From the first days of bright shoes and crazy sweaters to a modern day resurgence with people like Childish Gambino, FILA is one of those brands. Breaking down their most monumental mentions in the rap canon, FILA settled onto, arguably, the greatest club song ever: “No Scrubs” by TLC. Seeing the wordplay on FILA/fellas, they hit the nail on the head: stepping on a fresh pair of shoes in the 90s was a deathwish.
1. “Mumford & Sons are great at what they do, but it's not rock ‘n roll. Don't call it rock 'n roll. That's an offense to rock ‘n roll.”
- Alice Cooper, Modern “Rock ’n Roll”
Few people in the world can say that they physically represent rock ‘n roll - people like Ozzy, Slash, and Gene Simmons. If they had a king, it would be Alice Cooper. So when Alice sat down with FUSE to rant on some of the modern bands taking the “rock” crown, the music world tuned in. Looking to two of the largest, but perhaps most soft, groups today - Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers - Cooper saw an issue: neither are “rock ‘n roll.” Acknowledging their talent, great sound, and popularity, Alice simply took issue with the loss of the aggression and rebellion in the music, replaced with more accessible sounds. We wonder what he thinks of the Dropkick Murphys...