Connect with us

Entertainment

Fan Invites Lil Uzi Vert to College Graduation Two Years After Artist Promised to Cover $90K Tuition

Published

on

Lil Uzi Vert told the fan in 2019 that he would only pay for his tuition on the condition that he finish his degree. That fan is now graduating in January.


Lil Uzi Vert Fan Graduates College

The college student who went viral in 2019 after asking musician Lil Uzi Vert to cover his college tuition is set to graduate in January. 

In the viral video, Raheel Ahmad ran into Uzi at the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania and asked him if he could pay his $90,000 tuition at Temple University. 

“$90,000? I could pay for that,” Uzi said. “But this is the thing, though, if I pay for your college tuition, are you gonna finish college or are you gonna bullshit?”

“Make sure you show me all of your transcripts and everything, show me all of your papers and everything and you can get $90,000 from me,” he added. 

Uzi doubled down on the conditions of his promise in a tweet earlier this year, writing that Ahmad “has to graduate” in order to get paid. 

On Monday, Ahmad posted a video to Instagram where he showed off his diploma and invited Uzi to his graduation ceremony on Jan. 26. He said he finished school with a 3.5 GPA and a major in political science but explained that his journey to get to that point was not always easy. 

“I come from a big family and was raised by a single, widowed mother,” Ahmad said. “Finances were always a struggle. After my dad passed away, we had to live paycheck to paycheck. And honestly, my mom is a hero.” 

Fan Asks Uzi To Attend Graduation

“You may not know this, Uzi, but the day that we met at King of Prussia mall on August 22nd, 2019, I was not in a good place mentally,” he continued. “But our one-minute interaction changed my life for the better. You have given me a sense of hope and optimism. Your acknowledgment and response to my ask for help has shifted my mindset to believe that there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Ahmad said it was “only fitting” for Uzi to attend his graduation ceremony and party since he played such a big role in his steps towards graduation. He has started a social media initiative encouraging others to tag Uzi in posts about the upcoming event in hopes that he will attend. 

Ahmad also said that he plans on using his degree to fight for college tuition prices to be lower and more accessible to students nationwide. 

“College can’t be this expensive when it’s meant to be for a more stable and better future,” he said. “And as a political science major, I’m going to be using my platform to advocate for college tuition reform.”

It is unclear if Uzi has given Ahmad the $90,000. In June, Ahmad said he was set to receive the payment after the fall semester, but he did not specifically say in his video if he has received the money or not. On Monday, the soon-to-be-graduate tweeted that Uzi “hasn’t come thru yet,” implying that Uzi has either not yet paid the tuition or has not RSVPed to the graduation invitation. Uzi has not made a public comment regarding Ahmad’s graduation.

See what others are saying: (Complex) (XXL Mag) (Hip Hop DX)

Entertainment

“Emancipation” Producer Apologizes, Hopes He Did Not “Distract” From Film’s Message By Bringing Photo of Enslaved Man to Premiere 

Published

on

He said he plans on donating his collection of historical images to appropriate institutions.


McFarland Brings “Whipped Pete” Photo to Premiere 

“Emancipation” producer Joey McFarland apologized on Sunday after facing backlash for bringing the original 1863 photo of the enslaved person the film is based on to the premiere. 

“I wholeheartedly apologize to everyone I have offended by bringing a photograph of Peter to the Emancipation premiere,” he wrote in a statement on Instagram. “My intent was to honor this remarkable man and to remind the general public that his image not only brought about change in 1863 but still resonates and promotes change today.”

The photo, frequently dubbed “Whipped Peter,” is one of the most famous images depicting the gruesome realities of slavery in America. He is facing away from the camera, revealing the severe scarring all across his back. According to the Library of Congress, the formerly enslaved man was actually named Gordon. Will Smith plays him in “Emancipation,” which follows his escape from slavery.

While walking the red carpet of the film’s premiere, McFarland carried the photo with him.  

“I have the photo. This is the original photograph from 1863,” he told Variety. “I wanted it to be here tonight. I wanted a piece of Peter to be here tonight.”

While lamenting the fact that so many historical artifacts have not been properly preserved, McFarland told Variety that he “took it upon [him]self to curate and build a collection for future generations.” He said his collection will be donated after he dies. 

His remarks were met with swift criticism from those who thought it was inappropriate for McFarland to not just own the picture, but to bring it to a Hollywood event. 

“Why do you own the photograph? Why did you bring it to a movie premiere if the intent is to preserve it respectfully?” The Black List founder Franklin Leonard tweeted.

“I don’t know, man, but bringing ‘a piece of Peter’ that you ‘own’ to the red carpet of a movie that’s personally enriching you so that you can collect more slave memorabilia that you’ll keep until your death,” he added along with a giphy of Kenan Thompson saying “yikes.”

McFarland Acknowledges Historical Photos “Belong to the World”

Others argued that the photo should belong to Gordon’s family. 

“Being in possession of a symbol that reflects our trauma is exactly what our oppressor would do. He is his ancestor’s child,” another person added. 

In his apology, McFarland said that he hopes his actions “don’t distract from the film’s message, Peter’s story and just how much impact he had on the world.”

Throughout the development of “Emancipation,” McFarland said he discovered many photos of overlooked individuals with important historical stories. He said he always planned to donate them and believes “there is no better time to begin that process than now.”

“These photographs, which existed before me, will be around long after I am gone; they belong to the world,” he wrote.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (The Hollywood Reporter) (The Daily Beast)

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Joe Rogan Holds Spot As Top Podcaster on Spotify in 2022

Published

on

Earlier this year, some threatened to boycott the platform over Rogan and the health misinformation he shared on his show. 


For the third year in a row, “The Joe Rogan Experience” was the number one podcast on Spotify, the company revealed in its yearly “Wrapped” feature on Wednesday. 

“The Joe Rogan Experience” became exclusive to Spotify in 2020 after the host signed a lucrative deal with the audio streaming platform. “Call Her Daddy” by Alex Cooper, also a Spotify exclusive, followed Rogan on the charts. “Anything Goes With Emma Chamberlain,” which will become exclusive to the service next year, came in third.

Rogan’s podcast has made several headlines over the last year as the podcaster faced backlash from medical professionals and major musicians for touting COVID-19 misinformation. Niel Young asked to have his music removed from Spotify in protest of the company’s deal with Rogan, and several other artists soon followed. 

Just a few days later, several clips resurfaced of Rogan using a racial slur. Many called to boycott Spotify for platforming Rogan, but his popularity did not seem to fade by the year’s end. 

There are over four million podcasts available to stream on Spotify and over the last year, the platform has expanded into new markets. 

It also has started launching podcasts from several high-profile figures, including Kim Kardashian’s “The System,” and Meghan Markle’s “Archetypes.” Both of those debuted mid-year and did not crack the annual top-five list.

See what others are saying: (Spotify) (Variety) (Forbes)

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Comedian Gives David Beckham Ultimatum: Exit Role at Qatar World Cup Or £10K in Donations Gets Shredded

Published

on

“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded,” Joe Lycett said in a video.


Pressure on Beckham

Comedian Joe Lycett posted a video on Sunday saying he would shred £10,000 if soccer star David Beckham does not pull out of his deal to be an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup. 

Ahead of the event, which kicks off on Nov. 20, many have been raising concerns about human rights abuses in Qatar. The country criminalizes homosexuality, and it can be punishable by death. 

Beckham’s deal to represent the country was reportedly worth £10 million, and many are frustrated that the athlete took such a big check from a country with known anti-LGBTQ laws. In his video, Lycett noted that Beckham has been openly supportive of his gay fans and was the first premiere footballer to do a photoshoot with a gay magazine. 

In an attempt to get Beckham to bow out of his role, Lycett, who is pansexual, offered an ultimatum.  

“If you end your relationship with Qatar, I’ll donate this £10,000 of my own money, that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting, to charities that support queer people in football,” he stated. “However, if you do not, at midday next Sunday, I will throw this money into a shredder.” 

“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded.” 

Beckham’s Reputation “Shredded”

Lycett said he would livestream the money shredding if that’s what the situation comes to. If Beckham does not back out of the World Cup, Lycett noted he will be forced to “commit what might be a crime,” as destroying legal tender is against the law in the U.K.

“Although even then, I reckon I’ll get off more lightly than I would if I got caught whacking off a lad in Doha,” Lycett quipped.

Lycett then linked to a website titled https://benderslikebeckham.com/, which includes a written version of his message, as well as a countdown to when he will either shred the cash or send it to a non-profit. 

Lycett is not the only U.K star to raise concerns about issues in Qatar. Singer Dua Lipa shut down speculation that she would be performing at the World Cup over the weekend by saying she has no intentions to visit the country until “it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host” the event. 

Other stars, however, including BTS’s Jung Kook, are slated to take the stage. 

See what others are saying: (CNN) (The Hollywood Reporter) (BBC News)

Continue Reading