Sista Solange

How Beyoncé's younger sis may sidestep the trappings of success\rI wrote all those words last week discussing "A Milli" as a pop meme, and I missed the most obvious example to date: "Diva," from Beyoncé's new I Am ... Sasha Fierce. The track is not just inspired by Lil' Wayne's hit; it's a shameless rewrite-and..\n

How Beyoncé's younger sis may sidestep the trappings of success

I wrote all those words last week discussing "A Milli" as a pop meme, and I missed the most obvious example to date: "Diva," from Beyoncé's new I Am ... Sasha Fierce. The track is not just inspired by Lil' Wayne's hit; it's a shameless rewrite-and not a very convincing one at that. "A diva is a female version of a hustler," Beyoncé sings over concrete-mixer bass. But she doesn't sound like she's buys the claim (so why should we?). Instead she sounds trapped by her own success, uncertain where to turn next.That isn't a problem for her younger sister, Solange. Five years ago, Solange released Solo Star, the kind of R&B album that creates no expectations for a follow-up. But following her work on "Upgrade U" and "Get Me Bodied," two highlights from Beyoncé's 2006 album, B'Day, a buzz began to gather for a sophomore effort. Released in late August, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams is as appealingly unvarnished and full of surprises as her debut was not.[youtube] recent R&B records, by Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse, and Raphael Saadiq, take off from late-'60s Motown; Solange, however, cleverly models tracks like "I Decided, Pt. 1" on that label's earlier, percussion-heavy hits (see: the Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go?"). The fast-climbing dance hit "Sandcastle Disco"-currently No. 22 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart-features a classic breakbeat from the Monkees' "Mary Mary," which no one's done much with in a while, and an oddly appealing metaphor ("I'm nothing but a sandcastle/Baby, don't blow me away"). On "This Bird," Solange rebukes rumors about her depression and drinking-"Just shut the fuck up," she demands-over a track borrowed from ambient-electronic cult favorites Boards of Canada. The collaboration seems willful on paper, but is natural when you actually listen.Far less surprising is that Cee-Lo, the vocal half of Gnarls Barkley, co-wrote two of the album's strongest cuts: "Sandcastle Disco" and "T.O.N.Y." Sol-Angel is kin to Gnarls' two albums: R&B at its base, it style-hops freely, as promiscuously as it feels like; its lyrics are as angst-ridden and matter-of-fact as you'd find on an indie-rock album. (That straightforwardness goes for the singing, as well: Solange doesn't attempt her older sister's diva stylings, preferring to sound more impetuous and spontaneous.)[youtube] much as her helpmates bring to the table, Sol-Angel feels first and foremost like the work of the woman on the cover. The title overreaches, and, at times, so does the music: specifically, the techno coda tacked onto the end of "Cosmic Journey," a duet with crooner Bilal. Yet the album seldom seems like the work of someone showing off his/her quirky side. Most of the time, you get the sense of an artist expressing who she is with minimal fuss, which is rare in major-label pop of any stripe. That impression holds true whether she's preempting comparison with her big sis-as on opening number "God Given Name," where she proclaims, "I'm not her and never will be"-or singing about a failed one-night stand on "T.O.N.Y.," which humorously stands for: "The other night--why?"If this album turns into the kind of sleeper hit, Solange may end up trapped by her success--feeling as if she has to be ever-quirkier every time out--as surely Beyoncé has by hers. For now, however, it's a triumph worth basking in.

This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

via WFMZ / YouTube

John Perez was acquitted on Friday, February 21, for charges stemming from an altercation with Allentown, Pennsylvania police that was caught on video.

Footage from September 2018 shows an officer pushing Perez to the ground. After Perez got to his feet, multiple officers kicked and punched him in an attempt to get him back on the ground.

Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

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