Lena Waithe Goes Sneaker Shopping With Complex | Sneaker Shopping

Emmy award winner Lena Waithe goes Sneaker Shopping with Complex's Joe La Puma at Stadium Goods in New York City and talks about growing up in Chicago, looking up to Michael Jordan, and why she won't wear women's sneakers.

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Chelsea Handler, Lena Waithe, and Young M.A Come Together for Leading Ladies Panel | ComplexCon(versations)

Ever since Donald Trump won the 2016 election, there's been a very prominent, very vocal movement of women in America (and, honestly, across the globe) who've had enough and are fighting for equality. From #MeToo to #TimesUp, their impact has been felt in many avenues, and during the ComplexCon 2017, a special edition of ComplexCon(versations) took place featuring a number of leading ladies in a number of industries. 

Lead by comedian and TV host Chelsea Handler, the panel featured Beautycon founder Moj Mahdara, actor/producer/screenwriter Lena Waithe, hip-hop phenom Young M.A, actor Dascha Polanco, and models Indyamarie Jean and Iskra Lawrence. This group of powerful women discussed everything from the changes in society today to what it's like coming out as a gay woman.

Early on, while discussing Mahdara's upbringing and the struggles she went through regarding her family and her sexuality, Handler dropped some major facts about the world today: “I feel very hopeful, because with everything that’s going on, the world is getting browner and gayer, and nobody can do anything about it.”

Waithe, who became the first black woman to win an Emmy for her powerful coming-out tale “Thanksgiving” during season 2 of Netflix's Master of None, said that, initially, she didn't feel the need to share her story. She ultimately changed her mind, primarily because she realized it was “more layered than the gay thing. My mother was born in a segregated America, so there’s an element, particularly of a black mother wanting her black daughter to not make white people feel uncomfortable.”

“That’s where I think the race thing comes into play,” Waithe continued, “because the fear is not just ‘oh, how are going to be out in the world,’ but how are people going to react to you; you’re going to change the energy when you walk into a room, and that made her feel uncomfortable.” In the end, she did admit that she is “really happy we got to make that episode, and people got a chance to watch it, because it really is a process.”

Young M.A also touched on the issues she faces in the hip-hop industry as a lesbian, and how she will still be considered a “bitch” for even asking why, say, her green room requests aren't being met.

Towards the end, the #MeToo discussion hit, and Waithe kept it a buck. “Just because some of these tycoons have been taken down,” she says, “doesn’t mean that sexism won’t exist in our industry. When Trump goes away, racism is still going to be a part of our society; it’s built into the DNA.” Madhara agreed, explaining how “when you look at who controls the world, it’s really about a board room, it’s about a cap table, it’s about a structure that’s been designed for not us.” Waithe let it be known that, because of this ongoing structure, it's “about how we raise our sons, how we raise our daughters, it has to start there.” 

You can see the entire conversation above, and keep it locked to Complex as we'll be sharing more ComplexCon(versations) panels featuring the likes of André 3000, Virgil Abloh, and more.

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Funk Flex Calls Out “Wack Rappers,” Future Is Back, Waka vs Datpiff | Everyday Struggle

On today’s #EverydayStruggle, DJ Akademiks, Star, and Nadeska debated about Funk Flex calling out wack rappers, Waka Flocka calling out Datpiff, Future’s new song, and much more.

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Ty Burrell Fears Sudden Death While Eating Spicy Wings | Hot Ones

Ty Burrell is one of TV's most iconic dads, playing Phil Dunphy on ABC's Modern Family. Unfortunately, that in no prepares him for the wings of death. Fearing for his life, the actor gamely navigates the Scoville obstacle course, discussing everything from fry sauce, to Karl Malone, to his Mouth Feelings podcast along the way.

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Kanye West’s Collaborators Come Together for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Panel | ComplexCon(versations)

Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a rare kind of classic album—the one where the story of its creation is as fascinating as the end product.

So it only made sense for former Complex CCO Noah Callahan-Bever, who went to Hawaii for part of the MBDTF sessions and wrote a cover story about the experience, to host a ComplexCon(versations) panel featuring some of Yeezy's collaborators. Malik Yusef, Hype Williams, Selita Ebanks, Rick Ross, Mike Dean, and Consequence all shared their stories. 

Yusef traced the album's beginnings back to the now-infamous Taylor Swift incident. The record, Yusef said, was “more of a spiritual thing than a musical thing. It was an energy that took place when [Kanye] made Taylor Swift famous… We went to this artistic, somber-esque mode.” He also shared the story of how “All of the Lights” ended up in the form we know it today. 

Hype Williams and Selita Ebanks discussed creating the visual aspects of the album. Hype mentioned writing the script for the Runaway short film, and then remembered what happened next. “Kanye threw away the script, which he always does,” the filmmaker said. 

Ebanks, who played the Phoenix, recalled improvising her famous dance sequence, and revealed that she got the part at the suggestion of a certain First Daughter

Rick Ross, Consequence, and Mike Dean closed things out by bringing the discussion back to the music. Ross recalled Kanye disliking the first draft of his verse of “Devil in a New Dress.” Mike Dean spoke about his role, spending week after week in a room with Plain Pat.  

“[We'd be] doing 30 parts a day for each song,” he remembered. “Take them downstairs, 29 would get deleted. Every day for eight months.”

You can see the entire conversation above, and keep it locked to Complex as we'll be sharing more ComplexCon(versations) panels featuring the likes of André 3000, Lena Waithe, Ryan Coogler, Virgil Abloh, and more.

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Nipsey Hussle and Crypto Founders Talk to Marc Ecko About the Future of Money | ComplexCon(versations)

At ComplexCon 2017, the ComplexCon(versations) panels weren't all about clothes and music.

What Is Money? Currency and Cryptocurrency was hosted by Complex founder Marc Ecko. He discussed what exactly is going on in the world of new money, with help from a group of experts. 

Joe Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum, a computing platform and cryptocurrency, was first up. He sang the praises of blockchain technology.

“In order to build a money system that's of the people, by the people, and for the people, without centralized central bank control and issuance, you need a data infrastructure that everybody can trust,” he explained. “And the blockchain is that new kind of database system that everybody can trust.”

Lubin and Ecko also talked about a potential revolution in advertising—the idea that crypto could create “attention markets,” where consumers would be paid to look at an ad. 

Iddris Sandu, a 20-year-old tech prodigy who started working at Google when he was only 13, was also on site. He described cryptocurrency as money that “can be used in any scenario, without restrictions.” 

Nipsey Hussle, a business-savvy rapper who is co-owner of Follow Coin, weighed in as well. He explained why he got involved in the world of cryptocurrency (after, to his regret, turning down an early tip from Ecko to invest in Bitcoin). 

“As an entrepreneur, as an investor, I'm trying to be as educated as I can to where the progression of technological capability is going, and what it does to these different categories that, me as an artist and an influencer, I can get involved and bring value,” he clarified.

Galia Benartzi, the co-founder of Bancor, ended the discussion by summing up the need for new forms of exchange. 

“Money is a tool that lets us cooperate and collaborate. It's like language,” she said. “We can program money now to work better for humans, instead of humans working for money.” 

You can watch the entire panel above, and keep it locked to Complex as we'll be sharing more ComplexCon(versations) panels featuring the likes of André 3000, Lena Waithe, Ryan Coogler, Virgil Abloh, and more.

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Cam’ron, Rick Ross, Young M.A, and KYLE Discuss Rap’s Generation Gap | ComplexCon(versations)

The generation gap in hip-hop and the culture's ever-changing mores and rules are constant topics of conversation. So naturally, they became subjects of a Complex Con(versation) at ComplexCon 2017. The panel was hosted by Everyday Struggle co-host DJ Akademiks, and featured new and veteran artists as well as journalists talking about how and why hip-hop has changed. Panelists Rick Ross, Cam'ron, Young M.A, KYLE, and Complex's own Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins discussed the new norms in fashion, MCing, beef, and more.

When it comes to style, Ross noted that hip-hop's staggering growth means that you can no longer tell where someone is from just by how they dress. “The culture became so big, we past that,” he said of regional styles.

Talking about rap, Young M.A lamented the state of the game. “It's not just about the music now. It's about going viral,” she said. She also coined the term “tweef” when talking about the propensity of rappers to beef on Twitter instead of on wax. 

KYLE, for his part, stressed originality. In fact, he said he basically has no choice but to do his own thing.  

“I don't feel pressure to act like other people or rap like other people, because I just can't,” he explained. “I'm not ever going to ever going to be able to put on chains and become the Migos.”  

Watch the full conversation above, and keep it locked to Complex as we'll be sharing more ComplexCon(versations) panels featuring the likes of André 3000, Lena Waithe, Ryan Coogler, Virgil Abloh, and more.

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