Thousands Participate in National School Walkout Day to Call for Gun Reform

On April 20, thousands of students throughout the country participated in National School Walkout Day to help keep the conversation focused on gun reform. There have been 89 school shootings just in 2018, and the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February helped create a nationwide movement powered by students to force politicians to make our communities safer. 

The walkouts were scheduled for this specific day because it is the anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings, when two students killed 13 people back in 1999. 19 years later, not much has changed in the way of making sure other devastating shootings don’t happen anywhere, especially in a place like a school. 

Although people of all ages—and people of color in particular—have been advocating for gun reform for many years now, many will agree that the current movement, powered by the students from Parkland, feels different. As president Barack Obama wrote in his TIME entry citing the students leading that movement as one of the most influential people of the year, “By bearing witness to carnage, by asking tough questions and demanding real answers, the Parkland students are shaking us out of our complacency.”

One other important thing to remember about the teenagers of today is that they’ve grown up with social media. That might help to explain why this current movement for gun reform has been so powerful: when they go out to protest, everyone can see it, watch it, and be inspired by it, and that’s by design. 

Below are some of the most powerful posts shared on social media on National School Walkout Day. 


  • The Columbine High School shooting in 1999 remains one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, and every year they mark the anniversary of the tragedy as a Day of Service. The importance of having the walkout on this day brings awareness to this tragic event.


  • Soon after the shooting in Parkland, one of the ideas to help curb a tragedy like this in the future floated around by Trump and his administration was to arm teachers. It is, of course, a horrible idea. Teachers across the country took to social media to speak against the proposal, and in this tweet, one teacher from Columbine High School makes an emotional case against the entire premise. If we can't even pay our teachers properly, how do we expect them to also be trained shooters capable of killing children they've been teaching for years? 


  • The walkout on April 20 is already the second massive planned school walkout protest this year. In March, thousands of students walked out of classrooms in solidarity with the 17 people killed in Parkland, Florida.  


  • The protests are not about skipping class. Instead, today's walkout—and all other big protests on this issue—are designed to make sure politicians in Congress with the ability to make schools everywhere safer for students don't forget what their job is. 


  • Many have attempted to stifle the voices of the teenagers involved in these protests, arguing they're too young to know what they're talking about. In some cases, these young activists have even been trolled in truly disgusting ways by prominent right wing and conservative figures. 


  • Despite the loud opposition, poll after poll shows that the majority of the country supports the student's list of demands when it comes to gun reform. Besides this, the young activists across the country have plenty of powerful people on their side, too. Celebrities, including Oprah and George and Amal Clooney, as well as major brands like Gucci donated healthy checks to the March for Our Lives event in March.  

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Tiffany Haddish Turned Down a ‘Get Out’ Audition: ‘I Don’t Need No Extra Demon Curses’

After Tiffany Haddish appeared in Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele's comedy Keanu, Peele asked her to audition for another little project he was working on—Get Out.

But Haddish wasn't having it. While on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Haddish explained why she doesn't “do scary movies.”

“I don't do that. That's demonized kind of stuff,” she recalled telling Peele at the time. But when Peele explained it wouldn't have demons, Haddish had other thoughts on the Academy Award–winning film's plot. “That's the white man trying to take people's souls out their body and opening up brains. That sounds like some demon stuff to me,” she said. But she did tell Peele that she'd watch it…”in the daytime.”

In the interview, Meyers went on to say how working behind-the-scenes of a horror film might be better than watching it. But Haddish heard the tales of The Exorcist, or as she calls it “one of them white scary movies,” where the set was allegedly cursed.

“I don't want to get in no curses. People already curse me out enough as it is, I don't need no extra demon curses,” she said.

It seems to have worked out for Haddish though, as she's been prospering in the industry with a stacked set of projects underway including the TBS series The Last O.G. with Tracy Morgan, which just broke records for the network. Although she might have gained the wrath of Beyoncé (or at least the Bey Hive) for dishing on an incident where an yet-to-be-named actress bit Beyonce on the face.

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Hawaii Mike, Andrea Drummer, and Chris Sayegh on Making Weed-Infused Gourmet Food | ComplexCon(versations)

At ComplexCon 2017, “Hawaii” Mike Salman (co-founder, Chef for Higher) sat down with chefs Andrea Drummer (co-owner, Elevation VIP) and Chris Sayegh (founder, The Herbal Chef) to break down what it's like working in the cannabis-infused fine dining industry.

Drummer opens up about her path, which surprisingly started after she spent time as an anti-drug counselor. A move to Los Angeles and an open mind soon changed her outlook on edibles. “As I started to learn more and understand the propaganda, and that I was a part of it, I think that was a major part of my journey,” she says. 

They also discuss what goes into planning a full course dinner, share some of their favorite dishes to make, and how the legalization of marijuana in California will affect their business.

Watch the full conversation above, and keep it locked to Complex as we'll be sharing more ComplexCon(versations) panels featuring LaVar Ball, Deray McKesson, Virgil Abloh, and more.

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Bo Derek Hopes Ancient Egyptian Queen Is ‘Flattered’ by Kim Kardashian’s Controversial Braids

It’s almost like Kim Kardashian knows that every time she does something slightly controversial, an army of people online will spend an enormous amount of energy responding to her, perpetuating her name and the brand she has created across the world. Wild, right? Anyway, here we are again: after going on a wild Instagram and Twitter posting spree in which she shared a series of increasingly nude photos taken by photographer Marcus Hyde, Kim was once again accused of cultural appropriation, this time for her hairstyle.

In all of the now-viral photos, she sported Fulani braids, also known as cornrows, a hairstyle closely associated with black women and black culture. Rather than give credit where credit is due, Kim dubbed the style “Bo Derek braids,” referencing the hairstyle that white actress Bo Derek wore in the 1979 movie 10. Derek came to Kim’s defense, tweeting that “it’s just a hairstyle.”

Derek went on to trace a history of the braids: Kim was only copying her, and she was only copying Ann-Margret’s backup singer from a Vegas show, and everyone is only copying Queen Nosfretari. That history might be contested (as People notes, Egyptian Queen Ahmose-Nefertari was buried in braids, but not cornrows) but the point that many have made is that the hairstyle has become a cultural icon, and in American society, black culture is systematically stolen by those who don’t belong to it. The issue of cultural appropriation arises when that person who is stealing a custom benefits in ways that the originating culture never has, either by money or by attention. The cultural appropriation argument posits that mainstream culture loves the things that black people create, but doesn’t love or support black people themselves.

Derek, for example, has previously defended Kim’s youngest sister, Kylie Jenner, against the same cries of cultural appropriation when she wore the same cornrows. At the time, Derek said she would prefer to “save my efforts toward important racial and cultural issues” rather than get upset over what is merely a hairstyle. However, critics would argue that a hairstyle does amount to a cultural issue, and by tackling everyday issues, we can all become more aware of internalized biases and unconscious prejudices and work to fight against them. Larger, more overt “racial and cultural issues” are aided and abetted by less obvious acts, such as cultural appropriation.

Kim has yet to respond to either her critics or Derek for standing up for her. She did, however, post a photo implying that she gives absolutely “no fucks”—she’s even sending gifts to her haters—so that’s probably enough to know where her head is at.

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Religious Leaders in Senegal Say Rihanna Is Illuminati, Don’t Want Her in the Country

You'd think most countries would be jazzed if Rihanna graced them with her queenly presence, but that's apparently not always the case.

Some people in Senegal are not happy about Rihanna’s visit on Friday. As the Guardian reports, an association of some 30 Islamic groups called No to Freemasonry and Homosexuality have asked the Senegalese government to cancel the singer's visit to the west African nation. According to them, Rihanna is guilty of colluding with the Illuminati to promote homosexuality. “Rihanna doesn’t hide it: she’s part of the Illuminati, a branch of Freemasons,” said spokesperson Cheikh Oumar Diagne. Talk about zero chill. Looks like someone’s been spending a little too much time on Reddit.

As ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education, Rihanna will be attending a conference, provided she’s allowed to enter the country, which she probably will, because wtf. French president, Emmanuel Macron, will also be in attendance. The Global Partnership for Education is an organization that seeks to fund education for underprivileged children in 65 countries. Given the admirable cause behind Rihanna's visit, the outcry among Senegal’s religious leaders seems that much more odd. Diagne also alleges that Rihanna had scheduled her visit to overlap with a Freemason’s conference that was to take place on the same dates. 

Anyway, the IRL conference will be hosted by the Senegalese president, Macky Sall, in partnership with Macron. The country's interior minister, Aly Ngouille Ndiaye, has promised to ensure the safety of all those in attendance. “We’re hoping that the conference marks the moment that momentum shifts globally on education and education funding,” said former Australian prime minister and GPE board chair, Julia Gillard. “Over the last few years, there’s been growing global interest in education, particularly girls’ education, but financing hasn’t yet followed. We need a step change.”

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Lil Pump Diss, Joe Gets Honest About Jeezy, Meek Mill Denied Bail | Everyday Struggle

On today’s #EverydayStruggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska run through the day of daily news topics, including Meek Mill getting denied bail, Joyner Lucas’ new Lil Pump diss, Jimmy Iovine’s comments on streaming services getting money, and much more. The episode also featured Joe getting very honest about Jeezy and his next album. 

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Fans Are Somehow Surprised at Drake’s Love for MF DOOM

Meme machine and all-around multi-hyphenate Drake is a big MF DOOM fan. We already knew this. Still, an Instagram post from Drake Monday caused a small wave of apparent shock.

 

Just keep ya eye out like aye aye captain 🐐

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Dec 3, 2017 at 9:07pm PST

Drake's caption choice, of course, is merely a line from the 2004 Madvillain track “Accordion.”

The 6 god's wise MF DOOM fandom was previously confirmed way back in 2013, but that hasn't stopped fans from freaking the fuck out.

Some conjured up mental images of a Drake x DOOM collab, while others chided Drake fans:

Though absolutely no part of Drake's Instagram post should be interpreted as a sly DOOM collab announcement, we do know he's been in the studio in recent months cooking up somethingPi'erre Bourne, for one, has been working on trying to convince Drake to hop on a Life of Pi'erre 4 track. Bourne is also working on Drake's forthcoming new album.

5a1602015091f02ce813d405

Hopefully, the new Drake drops before he enters his recently announced six-month music hiatus.

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Paul Rosenberg May Have Revealed the Title of Eminem’s Upcoming Album

Paul Rosenberg tried to spread the word about Yelawolf's upcoming album Trial by Fire, but it looks like he has simultaneously​ unveiled the title of Eminem's much anticipated new project. On Wednesday, Rosenberg posted a photo of himself holding the physical copy of Yelawolf's third studio effort with the caption, “@Yelawolf TRIAL BY FIRE comes out this Friday 10/27! #cdbaby.”

 

Look what arrived at the Shady offices today! @Yelawolf TRIAL BY FIRE comes out this Friday 10/27! #cdbaby

A post shared by Paul Rosenberg (@rosenberg) on Oct 25, 2017 at 1:26pm PDT

In the background, there appears to be a harmless looking billboard promoting a medication called “Revival.” 

However, the medication sports the backwards “E” synonymous with Em's logo. Reddit detectives then pinpointed that the full ad online was placed by Interscope Records. There's also a website for “Revival” that offers some clues, hinting at Em's involvement with what seems to be the fake medication. “Revival” is said to treat the ailment “Atrox Rithimus,” which is also not a real thing. 

If you call the number 1-833-243-8738 you'll be greeted by a voice that says “Thank you for your interest in Revival, the No. 1 slightly invasive treatment for Atrox Rithimus. You only get one shot to beat AR,” an obvious reference to Em's song “Lose Yourself.” Dr. Dre and Eminem's song “I Need A Doctor” is also playing in the background. The automated message then continues, “Don't miss your chance with Revival. Please hold to speak to a patient care representative.” 

We reached out to Eminem's rep for a comment though have yet to receive a response. We'll update when we hear back. If this is actually a part of the promotional campaign for the new album, which it sure looks to be, it's pretty creative and thorough. 

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#LifeAtComplex is a daily vlog that offers an inside look at Complex. Watch as Tony Mui takes viewers behind-the-scenes in the office—you never know who or what will pop up.

On today's episode Tony and Al unbox a special package from Adidas. Zoe continues to cook up “music” in the studio, meanwhile Chopz and Frazier talk about the incident that occurred over the weekend between Lil B and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. 

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6 Dogs Shares “Faygo Dreams” Video, Explains His Unique Perspective on Life and Music

Like many fans, I had already heard pieces of the story behind 18-year-old artist 6 Dogs' upbringing before we met—he was homeschooled and raised in a religious household in Georgia, and his mom grounded him when she discovered his music. He persisted, and his unique blend of minimal hip-hop elements, hypnotic deliveries, and dream-like melodies earned him a dedicated and enormous following. Many of his songs have millions of plays, and “Faygo Dreams” has over six million on SoundCloud alone. But throughout his rise over the last year, he's remained an enigma, maintaining distance from the spotlight and holding onto his private lifestyle.

In late July, 6 Dogs came to New York City for the “Faygo Dreams” video shoot, and we planned to link up in Washington Square Park. Going into our meeting during a sunny day in New York City, I knew I wasn't hanging out with the average teenager. I expected someone shocked and possibly overwhelmed by the chaos of New York City, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

If I were to take a guess, I would say 6 Dogs was unimpressed by NYC. After speaking with him, I would even go so far as to say 6 Dogs is pretty unimpressed with the entire world that he was somewhat sheltered from his entire life. 

There couldn't be a crazier time for 6 Dogs to experience the world, but he's taking full advantage of the outsider perspective he has on life, and he's wrapping his head around a plan. Check out the video for “Faygo Dreams” above and keep scrolling for our full conversation with 6 Dogs.

6 Dogs
Photo by Jonathan Astacio

How did “Faygo Dreams” come together?

When I was making the song I just had the hook and my friend had this amazing beat. We made it in the library during lunch. We went in the library for a week, just tweaking and stuff. I was writing some stuff down and it all was corny. I decided to scrap the entire song and rewrite it about five minutes before I left to record it. Then I thought, “What’s something really cool? Faygo.” Then I thought, “What’s something else really cool? Dreams.” Then I put it together.

What about the video?

The video was a dream that I had. It was one of the craziest dreams I’ve had in my life, and I’m very into my dreams and trying to decipher them. You ever have dreams where you just know things without them being explained, even if it doesn’t match up in real life?

Yeah, like the dreams are an alternate reality.

So basically, I was in this arcade but it was purgatory. It wasn’t scary or anything, it wasn’t hellish. It was just a regular arcade, you could get food at the concession stand, you can play games. I was in this corner of the arcade playing one of the games and I ended up beating the game.

After I beat the game, it brought up three prizes that I could choose from. The first prize was that I could bring this kid I grew up with back to life—he killed himself last year. The second one was that I could bring Michael Jackson back to life, and the third prize was a bouncy ball and some quarters.

I was going through my options. I was looking at the kid I could bring back to life and decided, “I don’t need to bring him back. He’s at peace, he’s in a better place.” So then I got to Michael Jackson and I was like, “He doesn’t need to come back.” I just got an extremely negative vibe looking at the screen. So I ended up taking the bouncy ball and some quarters. It wasn’t like I wanted it, but it was the only option.

Did you ever figure out or look deeper into this dream that led to the video?

The thing with the video is, there’s a lot going on. You know there’s something there, and it’s something profound and incredibly deep, but you don’t know exactly what it is. By the end of the video you’re probably going to have more questions than answers.

For me as an artist, it’s not really my job to give you everything in a nice box with a bow on it. I’m not just going to give it to you, I kind of want to just give you this big mess and let you take a whack at it. That’s what this video is going to feel like.

The thing is, this dream could mean very much more but I haven’t explored that. With some things, you just don’t know and that’s kind of where I’m at with life. I have a few things that are solid in my life and aren’t moving, but there are other things where I have more questions than answers.

It’s interesting to think about. I have so many questions. The other day I was walking around I was like, “Yo, this is crazy. We’re on this ball that is just floating in space and we call it Earth. That is insane.” Things like that just make me wonder what is actually going on—this all is so weird. I’m enjoying it and I love it, I just don’t understand it.

That’s just kind of the thing with a lot of my stuff, some things contradict each other, some things don’t make sense, it’s really up to the listener.

Talking down about other people and talking yourself up and disrespecting women is crazy. It’s sickening how bad it is. The fact that people are putting that on a pedestal and applauding it is crazy.

I think in life you get put in situations like in that dream where you have the option to change certain things, but after thinking it through you just don’t do anything. That’s what the quarters and the bouncy ball reminded me of—sometimes things are fine the way they are.

Exactly, I didn’t even make that connection but me choosing the quarters and the ball is where I am in life. I don’t really know what’s going on but I’m cool with it. It’s nice, existing is a really nice thing. I don’t take it for granted or anything.

Where did the curiosity come from?

I’ve always been like that since I was a kid. Take Legos, for example. I would never use the instructions with the Legos, and I would never build what was on the front of the box. I would always build something random. I’ve always questioned everything because everything is so weird. Why would you not question everything?

I question everything, but at the same time I’m not freaking out. I’m just like, “Yo, that’s crazy, that makes no sense.” It’s in the back of my mind, but I’m always chilling. It’s a weird combination. I have friends who are deep and philosophical and I’m kind of like that too but I just have accepted that there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just not gonna know, I’m gonna keep trying and sometimes it’ll work, sometimes it won’t. At the end of the day I’m just chilling and creating.

Do you think that your music will inspire the deeper thinkers and help them find some of the answers they’re looking for?

Yeah for sure, I feel like I’m helping them understand themselves. It sounds corny, but everyone doesn’t have to be like me. Everyone doesn’t have to think about the deepest thing ever with a blank look on their face. If I inspire them to understand themselves, that’s cool, because for me, I’ve just been talking about how I feel. With the whole flexing, talking about myself, money, and talking about girls stuff, I’m not really with that. That’s another thing that makes absolutely no sense to me, and that is what rap is currently. I don’t understand it at all. It blows my mind on a regular basis.

Rap as a genre?

Not as a genre, just the content. I love the sound, but the content feels like someone sitting in the booth with headphones on, rapping into the mic while they’re looking in a mirror saying, “Dang, I look good” and then talking about themselves. I just don’t understand it, if someone was just bragging in person in front of me, I’d be like, “Yo, get out of my face, you’re weird.” Then there's the stuff that’s said about women, if you said any of that stuff in a public area you’d get jumped. The stuff they’re saying is wrong.​

Isn’t that trippy how in rap, that kind of talk is normal and it’s the kids that don’t talk about those things that are labeled weird?

Talking down about other people and talking yourself up and disrespecting women is crazy. It’s sickening how bad it is. The fact that people are putting that on a pedestal and applauding it is crazy. That’s one thing about humans that makes me think like, “Yo, you guys are weird.”

So then who or what inspired you to become 6 Dogs and make your music?

I grew up homeschooled in Georgia, kind of in the mountains. My mom’s Christian so I was completely removed from music as a whole. All we really listened to was Christian music. I think that plays to my advantage, because I have an outside perspective and I’m not influenced by certain things that most people would be influenced by. That really attributes to why I’m so different.

The first rap that I ever really listened to was MC Hammer, and then when I started actually getting into the genre it was Lil Wayne, some Drake, Kanye’s hits. “All Of The Lights,” “Power,” stuff like that. Then I started progressively getting more into it, but a few months ago I just stopped listening to rap completely.

I have friends that’ll play stuff and be like, “You know that Pharrell song?” and I’ll be like, “No, I don’t know that Pharrell song.” They’ll show it to me and I’ll take a little inspiration. That’s why I think being so removed is an advantage, because whenever I do hear stuff, it’s later than everyone else and I’m hearing it for the first time.

What made you decide to do music? It seems like you put a lot of thought into it.

I was a lifeguard and I would work six hours a day just thinking about it. I’m not a normal person, I don’t want to be another sheep. Making music is one of the biggest stages in the world, and music is the universal language. I’m good at coming up with ideas, eventually I want to get into movies. I want to make an anime show one day. It’s not just music, it’s creating. I want to create every day.

Also I was going through stuff when I started and needed an outlet, so music helped me a lot. That was the catalyst—me feeling bad and wanting to do something about it.

Are you in a better headspace now?

Totally. I’m just existing. I’m chilling and enjoying what comes my way.

I was just trying to be trendy. I’ll be real with myself. But the stuff that I have been starting to make doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve made. It sounds really good though

Did you already know what to do as 6 Dogs, and what would and wouldn’t work for your music?

Nah, I was just trying to be trendy. I’ll be real with myself. But the stuff that I have been starting to make doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve made. It sounds really good though, and I'm talking about stuff that I find important. That’s it. I’m not trying to do what everybody else is doing. Let’s be honest, it’s about time. I feel like everybody knew that the idea of what everyone considers to be a rapper was going to collapse eventually, because it doesn’t make sense.

How do you think you’re going to adjust to the music industry?

A ton of labels have already hit me up. I have a manager now, I’m getting a lawyer. I know how it works, I know that there are mistakes and you have to watch your back at all times. It’s fine, it’s nothing I can’t handle. I already get the gist and I have my foot in the door.

It’s about to get crazy, I know a bunch of people are going to hit me up. It’s going to be challenging but I have my friends, I have a girl, she’s sitting right across from me. I have everything I need already and I don’t really need anything else.

The only thing that’s going to change is how much money is in my bank account. I’m not clout chasing or anything, that’s so dead. I’m just making solid music. People get too caught up in all this stuff and make it all complicated. There’s a formula, but a lot of people get tripped up and hang out with people that only say yes.

Where do you see 6 Dogs in a few years?

I’m going to be doing the same stuff with the same people. Again, the only thing that’s going to be different is the money in my bank account. I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I’ll be a household name. Sooner than four or five years, probably a year, maybe two. The stuff that I’ve been working on… I think I’m starting to find my groove and starting to get into a rhythm. I see things going really well.

Do you have a name for your project or a timetable for your plan to release?

I don’t have a name, and I don’t want to set a date because I don’t want time to be a factor in the project. I want the project to be perfect. I’m not saying it’s going to take a year, but I don’t want to say two months and then be pressured to make that time. I want to take my time and make every song really good.

6 Dogs GIF
Image via Jonathan Astacio

 

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