SoundCloud has acted as a platform to discover new and emerging artists who hustle and get their music out to a wide audience of loyalists who follow a musician's career from its inception. After Lil Uzi Vert used the platform as a launching point for worldwide success, Complex has identified the new crop of SoundCloud rappers who are using it to build their brand, distribute their tracks, and create an empire of their very own.
With his unique approach, Squidnice has quickly become a name to know from the New York rap scene. Here the Staten Island representative shares the story behind his name, what his tattoos symbolize, and also kicks a freestyle. Check out the full video up top.
Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who murdered Eric Garner in Staten Island on July 17, 2014, still has his job and reportedly made $40,000 in overtime in the two years since Garner's death. After a painfully slow process, New York's Civilian Complaint Review Board has reportedly substantiated two complaints against Pantaleo confirming that he did indeed use an illegal chokehold on Garner, restricting his breathing, which eventually killed him. Pantaleo originally denied that he used a chokehold, referring to it as a “takedown.”
The chokehold move Pantaleo subjected Garner to is banned from use by the NYPD. Garner, who pleaded with the officers, saying “I can't breathe” eleven times before dying from Pantaleo's chokehold, would have been 47 years old this week. The killing of Garner was captured on video.
Garner was arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. In 2014, a Staten Island grand jury declined to indictPantaleo for the killing of Garner.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board recommended departmental charges against Pantaleo. The CCRB only has the power to investigate police abuse and make recommendations—the NYPD is not obliged to follow them. The CCRB does not prosecute criminal charges.
Pantaleo has displayed a history of misconduct, as evidenced by a CCRB leak that showed 14 allegations of misconduct previous to the choking death of Garner. Pantaleo's harshest punishment for this misconduct was just two vacation days docked while the leaker was fired.
Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, responded to the news on Twitter.
Raekwon is a baseball purist. Growing up in the '70s, playing ball on the sandlots of Staten Island, the legendary lyricist from the Wu-Tang Clan loves the game and hates that so many of its recent stars, like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, are tainted by accusations of steroids use.
He wants an even playing field and the game kept clean of drugs that elevate some players to superhuman status. So if it were up to him, the Hall of Fame would be off limits for another four decades to the likes of Bonds and Clemens.
“Put it like this, when they get to 90, let 'em in,” says Raekwon.
Before he released his new album last week—The Wild, now available from your favorite music service—The Chef dropped by the Complex offices to talk baseball ahead of the start of the season on Sunday. While just about every rapper out there is a basketball aficionado who drops jewels about the NBA and the game they grew up playing, Raekwon was a little different. His sport was baseball, teaming with a bunch of Bad News Bears types in the '70s. He was an infielder and pitcher—he says he had one hell of an arm back in the day—and at age 47 his love for the game, and his favorite squad (the Yankees), is evident. He just wishes they'd let him throw out the first pitch at a game. He all but guarantees he'll one-up 50 Cent.
“I want to do it just to see if I don’t fuck up,” Raekwon jokes. “You get caught off sometimes. But I definitely want to throw a [first] pitch.”
Your move, Yankees.
Check out the video to hear the hilarious stories from Raekwon's youth and why he hopes Bonds and Clemens don't sniff Cooperstown until they're 90.