NEW YORK — Jay Z has declared the war on drugs an “epic fail” in a short film he wrote and narrated.
The four-minute clip posted online by The New York Times on Thursday features Jay Z’s narration over an artist’s illustrations.
In the video, he complains “young men like me who hustled became the sole villain” when strict drug laws were introduced in the 1980s. He also suggests treatment of drug dealers is hypocritical given that states like Colorado have legalized marijuana. He also blames mandatory minimum sentences in part for the sharp rise in the U.S. prison population.
Jay Z has frequently rapped about his past as a crack dealer.
‘South Park’ mocks anthem controversy
LOS ANGELES — “South Park” has taken on the controversy over San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest.
Wednesday night’s premiere episode of the Comedy Central cartoon’s 20th season focused on a protest of the anthem by elementary school children. It also featured a reboot of a version of the song by director J.J. Abrams, who successfully restarted the “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” franchises.
The episode ends with Abrams’ version being played at a 49ers game. The song was preceded by an announcement asking everyone to “rise, or sit, or take a knee to honor America.”
“South Park,” which is known for quickly satirizing controversial issues, also has its Mr. Garrison character running for president, taking on the persona of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Marsalis leads CBS tribute to Safer
NEW YORK — CBS News paid tribute to late “60 Minutes” reporter Morley Safer on Thursday with some New Orleans jazz from Wynton Marsalis, a letter from the prime minister of his native Canada and a few hearty laughs.
Safer died May 19 at age 84, eight days after CBS announced his retirement and four days after “60 Minutes” aired a special about his work during more than 50 years at CBS, most on the newsmagazine he joined in 1970 in only its third season.
“I believe he held onto life until that broadcast aired,” said Jeff Fager, “60 Minutes” executive producer and once one of Safer’s story producers, at a Manhattan memorial attended by broadcast luminaries like Tom Brokaw, Ted Koppel and Charlie Rose.
CBS has become sadly adept at organizing these memorials as a generation of stars from the “60 Minutes” golden years died, including Ed Bradley, Mike Wallace, Bob Simon, Andy Rooney and founding executive Don Hewitt.
Vedder, Browne, Cash promote anti-guns concert
NEW YORK — Eddie Vedder, Jackson Browne and Roseanne Cash will headline at New York’s Beacon Theatre as part of the livestreamed Concert Across America to End Gun Violence.
Organizers said Thursday it’s one of the Sept. 25 events featuring more than 1,000 artists at 250 venues across the United States.
Don Felder, Carnie Wilson, Sebastian Cole, Ryan Cabrera and Ed Begley Jr. will appear in Los Angeles. Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins will perform in Santa Barbara, California.
The OperaCreole troupe will be among the featured artists in New Orleans.
Prince tribute concert lineup, on-sale date unknown
MINNEAPOLIS — Organizers of a family-sanctioned Prince tribute concert in his hometown of Minneapolis have yet to announce a lineup of musicians or ticket sale plans for the Oct. 13 show at the city’s new NFL stadium.
The delay has frustrated Prince fans who’ve already booked flights and rooms in anticipation, but they said they took some heart Thursday after a New York public relations and marketing agency said it’s come aboard to help manage the event.
“Hope to be in touch in next 24 hours with all questions answered on The Official Prince Tribute,” Lois Najarian O’Neill, a partner in The Door, said in an email to The Associated Press. She did not provide further details.
L. Londell McMillan, a longtime attorney for the late superstar who is helping to manage his estate’s entertainment assets, told the AP last month that the lineup would be announced after Labor Day. He tweeted Sunday, “Big Week Ahead! #KeepTheFaith” and an icon of rain falling on a purple umbrella, but didn’t immediately return a call Thursday.