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Monthly Archives: March 2017

The tiny literary genre has only a few entries but the most accomplished rap memoirs offer insight into worlds that are unimaginable to most

When Gucci Mane announced that hed written a memoir called The Autobiography of Gucci Mane last week, he joined a small but charming offshoot of the literary canon: the hip-hop autobiography. The genre is full of fascinating people, many of whom have used their intelligence and drive to overcome the sorts of economic and social inequalities that a sizable portion of their fanbases cant begin to fathom. At their best, hip-hop memoirs function both as windows into the creative world of incredibly talented individuals, as well as reflections upon the communities that America has left behind. But needless to say, for every frank and thoughtful book like Scarfaces Diary of a Madman, there is one like Kanye Wests Thank You And Youre Welcome, a 52-page collection of Kanye-isms thats so laughably pointless that perhaps even Yeezy himself would rather you forget it. What follows is a selection of the best or at least most fascinating entries into the hip-hop literary canon.

DJ Khaled: The Keys

DJ Khaleds evolution from Miami pirate radio DJ into the PT Barnum of hip-hop is a testament to possessing the correct combination of charisma, a penchant for self-promotion and a borderline delusional belief in your inherent right to fame and fortune. The Keys is structured as half memoir, half self-help manual, combining Khaleds signature catchphrases (Secure the bag! You played yourself!) with anecdotes from his life to produce a series of parables aka Keys which teach the reader how they, too, can overcome haters and live a life stuffed to the gills with successes, wins and other nonspecific manifestations of achievement. The ultimate key, it seems, is that you can sell anything in DJ Khaleds world even a book! as long as you remember the only product worth pitching in our late-capitalist technocratic dystopia is yourself.

The RZA: The Wu-Tang Manual

Part of the fun of being a Wu-Tang fan is they are a hip-hop subgenre unto themselves. Between the Staten Island groups six albums (seven, if you count Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, the only copy of which is owned by late-capitalist villain Martin Shkreli) and the myriad projects released by individual Wu members and their affiliates, the Wu-Tang Clan have created a hermetically sealed world characterized by dense thickets of slang drawing from martial arts culture, chess, comic books, the New York criminal underworld and the teachings of the Five-Percent Nation. You literally need a textbook to understand it all. Fortunately, thats exactly what Wu mastermind RZA and journalist Chris Norris created in The Wu-Tang Manual, breaking down the geography, media, philosophies and unique language that combined to shape the wonderful, weird world of Wu.

Prodigy of Mobb Deep: My Infamous Life

In addition to being half of the legendary duo Mobb Deep and a hip-hop trendsetter par excellence, the rapper Prodigy is an undeniably tragic figure. He was born into a family that included notable jazz musicians, singers, dancers and academics his grandfather was famed saxophonist Budd Johnson, and his great-great grandfather founded Morehouse College and while Mobb Deep albums, such as The Infamous and Hell on Earth, more than live up to his familys musical legacy, Prodigys most fruitful creative years were fraught with violence, drug abuse, missed opportunities, pointless beefs and straight-up mistakes. My Infamous Life is at its best when it details a New York hip-hop scene in which the line separating the studio and the streets was often porous to the point of nonexistence Prodigys rhyme partner Havoc accidentally shot the record executive who they were trying to get to sign them, and Mobb Deep once booked a show with a rival rap crew because it gave them an opportunity to beat up one of the rappers. The rapper wrote My Infamous Life with the assistance of journalist Laura Checkoway while incarcerated on a gun charge, and the book very much functions as a hip-hop tell-all, candid in its disclosures and casual about the harrowing situations the author often found himself in.

Jay Z: Decoded

Few rappers are as publicly successful and privately enigmatic as Jay Z, whose 2010 book Decoded functions as part memoir, part critical self-analysis, detailing the experiences that shaped his music. Decoded shines brightest when Jay turns his eye to his own lyrics, unpacking the sly profundity underpinning his writing and in the process making the case for hip-hop as a capital-A art form. Given Jays on-record precision as well as the presence of co-author Dream Hampton, one of the all-time great hip-hop journalists its unsurprising that Decodeds prose is in a class above most other books in its category. While Jay is generous when it comes to using his unique, astute perspective to comment on race and class in America, there are some topics his relationship with Beyonc most prominent among them that he glosses over or avoids altogether, creating the same sense of curated intimacy found in his music. Still, when it comes to rap autobiographies, Decoded just might be the gold standard.

Violent J of Insane Clown Posse: Behind the Paint

Jay Zs Decoded is a great book in part because its a nuanced, well-written work of literature thats mysterious and guarded in all the right ways. Violent Js Behind the Paint is the exact opposite. While Decoded is very clearly the product of tireless writing, revising and editing, Behind the Paint reads like the profanity-laced ramblings of Violent J, who literally starts the book with his first memory and doesnt let up for 600 pages. But for all its goofiness, Behind the Paint is legitimately fascinating. Violent J is unflinching when delving into the poverty, violence and abuse that defined his impossibly bleak childhood in Detroit. He writes of his birth father stealing the familys life savings out of his mothers hand, having been sexually abused by his stepfather, and reveals that before Insane Clown Posse was a rap crew, they were simply a gang. He also writes of the absurd, borderline Sisyphean efforts required of all musicians hoping to make it big with remarkable candor and cheer. I refuse just to talk about the happy parts of ICP, he writes while discussing the multiple times he and his bandmate Shaggy 2 Dope burglarized a Kinkos because they couldnt afford to pay to print out flyers. Instead, Id rather dump it all on you.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/mar/28/best-hip-hop-autobiographies-gucci-mane-jay-z-wu-tang-clan

Claude VonStroke came from obscurity to win Best DJ over the Chainsmokers. Can he pull off the same trick in a new genre with a new stage name?

Blood is running down a guys arm. He shoves his way across the patio of the Airliner in Los Angeles, a soggy cocktail napkin blooming red under his nose, and bumps into a girl bending over the ledge with a cigarette dangling off her lip. Another girl hands out Jell-O shots to her friends. There are always too many people at Low End Theory, the weekly, world-renowned Wednesday night gathering where beat devotees come to bob their heads and get their minds blown by producers, DJs and rappers. But on this frigid, winter evening, the club is swollen more than normal, and with lots of newbies. Theyre here to see one of their favorite house producers, Claude VonStroke.

There is only one problem. Claude VonStroke isnt taking the stage; Barclay Crenshaw is. I actually forgot to do the thing I was supposed to do in the beginning. I said I was gonna do hip-hop, but then I got really good at house, says Crenshaw, the man behind the VonStroke moniker. Possessing a lovable teddy bear vibe, he sports a bushy beard and an infectious grin. Tonight, in honor of debuting the first hip-hop album he recorded, which is self-titled, hes dressed in a custom-made, khaki safari-style short suit with Hunter S Thompson spectacles. Im definitely more nervous about this project because Ive never done it before. But the first tapes I bought were rap tapes and when I started making music at 11, it was with two jamboxes tape splicing, rapping, beatboxing.

Turning his back on house music even temporarily could be unwise. After all, thats the genre Crenshaw built his small but admirable empire on. Starting with the launch of his Dirtybird label in 2005 and release of his debut Beware of the Bird a year later, he has now dropped two other full-length albums, played festivals all over the world (and, with Holy Ship, on water) and thrown his labels own Campout Festival as well as BBQ parties that draw over 3,000 attendees. Last year, he won Americas Best DJ in a DJ Times annual poll, seeing off EDMers such as the Chainsmokers and Kaskade.

When [the Chainsmokers] come on the radio with my kids in the car, I turn it down and say, I won Best DJ over them, he says, his eyes crinkling as he lets loose one of his frequent chuckles. They cant believe it. But [winning] was all due to my fans. They just crashed the poll.

Of course he is nervous about alienating them. It is never bitterly cold in LA, but at the Griffith Observatory the night after Low End Theory, its so chilly that tourists are bundled up in scarves, mittens, hats, the works. Crenshaw is tired and in a sweatsuit after a long day running a successful independent label while getting ready to leave on a new tour and juggling family duties is hard work but the air, so crisp it almost snaps, is invigorating and the city is glittering like a jewelry box. Its been years since hes driven up to the Observatory, but the new album is inspired by astronomy, sort of: its launchpad is a tale of children being abducted by aliens.

Crenshaws fascination with the supernatural (not to mention his suspicion that he was different) has deep roots. When he was 10, he and a friend latched on to the idea that they were from another planet.

Barclay
Barclay Crenshaw. Photograph: Daniel Peterson

Growing up in Detroit, Crenshaw first bought a jambox and then saved up money from mowing lawns to purchase a sampler. There were no YouTube tutorials to teach him how to use it, but he dug in, obsessed. Eventually, his passion split, and he studied film at the University of Rochester. After graduating in the early 1990s, he drove straight to Los Angeles and got a job interning for a pre-Empire Lee Daniels.

Working as a PA in the film industry, he always dipped back into music in his free time, but the problem was that he didnt know what to do with his music once he made it. So he decided to film a documentary about famous DJs and learn by interviewing them. When he wrapped, he had no money for licensing music. Instead, he made music that approximated each DJs style, and thats how he became a house music producer.

Meanwhile, hed met his wife, who had a stable job and offered him a deal: she would pay the rent and bills and give him a year to get his label and career off the ground. If he could accrue $50,000, he could DJ forever. If he couldnt, hed have to get a real job.

We stole mailing lists from everyone. We had interns go get jobs as interns just to get mailing lists! I hand-mailed vinyls to every DJ in the world. I dont think I ever worked as hard as that, he says, laughing. It paid off. Dirtybird and Claude VonStroke (a joke name dreamed up while he and some artist buds were super high) were born.

Over the past couple years, however, the idea that something was missing gnawed at him. He began fiddling with hip-hop beats and employed a more collaborative process, recruiting live musicians, rappers such as the Underachievers and even his two kids. What resulted are songs that are funkier than the glitchy skitter of Claude VonStroke, and shorter instead of 15 tracks in his 90-minute set, hell play 50.

Its a little exploration, he says. Its going back to the beginning. Like with any expedition, there are inherent risks.

At the Airliner the night before, a chant breaks out: Bar-clay, Bar-clay! Crenshaw is spinning a remix of Busta Rhymes Woo Hah!! (Got You All in Check) that sounds dunked underwater. He morphs into U Are In My System from the new project, a jangly little hip-hop jam featuring the Cool Kids that punches the speakers, hard.

Thats my fuckin dad! squeals a kid in the front row. After his set, a girl and her friends push through the throng to ask him to take a photo for her 21st birthday. His face breaks into a smile. I could be your dad, he says, sounding amazed. They either dont hear him or they dont care.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/mar/28/barclay-crenshaw-claude-vonstroke-hip-hop

Austin, Texas (CNN)CNN caught up with The Chainsmokers at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, where the dance pop duo got candid about the issues they care about, including public education and veteran’s affairs — areas that rely heavily on federal funding.

“It’s really sad to see first-hand the kids that are left behind and have to grow up without some the resources that you expect most kids to have available to them in America,” Drew Taggart told CNN.
Taggart and Alex Pall, who won a 2017 Grammy for Best Dance Recording, debuted their “Paris VR” video at Sony’s Lost in Music showcase in Austin and won the “Woodie of the Year” award at the MTV Woodies awards.
    On Monday, they released “The One,” a new single off their upcoming album, “Memories … Do Not Open,” which is out April 7.
    Taggart’s family works in the public sector — his mother and sister are both public school teachers and his father works for the Department of Veterans Affairs — and he has grown up with an appreciation for public service.
    “The programs that they’re involved in, the schools that they’re involved with, are just getting cut — and I’ve seen the effect that that has on the quality of assistance that they get to provide society,” he said.
    The Department of Veterans Affairs has long been plagued by a lack of resources, lots of red tape and long lines that prevent many veterans from getting access to health care and other services.
    “There’s just so much bureaucratic bulls—, there’s so much paperwork,” Taggart said, adding that this prevented his father, who fits wounded vets with prosthetics and orthotics, from spending enough time seeing his patients.
    President Donald Trump unveiled a new office Monday, the Office of American Innovation, that is set to tackle issues like health care reform at the VA. It will be headed by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.
    Various public schools around the country are also suffering from a lack of resources.
    Recently, Chance the Rapper brought attention to the state of public education in Chicago by meeting with the state’s Republican governor and donating $1 million to schools in the inner city.
    Secretary of Eduction Betsy DeVos, a school choice advocate, has sparked growing concerns among public education advocates that the Department of Eduction will funnel money away from public education to charter schools and voucher programs.
    Pall said he is especially passionate about developing mentorship programs and youth networks to provide under-served children with access to technology and the arts, which are unavailable in various households and at many underfunded schools.
    “It’s as simple as being able to go to Best Buy and go buy yourself a laptop,” Pall said. “It’s about giving them the choice that they choose to be able to follow their dreams … whether its arts, writing, animating.”
    Trump’s proposed budget would cut off funding entirely for several programs, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which provide federal funding to arts and education programs around the country.
    CNN has reached out to the Department of Education and the White House for comment.
    The Chainsmokers said their love for music drives their passion for the arts.
    Their hit “Closer,” featuring Halsey, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and three of their songs — “Closer,” “Paris,” and “Something Like This,” featuring Coldplay — are charting on Billboard’s top 20 this week.
    Their latest album focuses on “moments of tension within our lives,” Taggert said. “That’s the most compelling stuff to us, at least right now.”
    “We’re producers first and we come from the dance music world, so creating some of the songs fresh (is important) and also inherently, Chainsmokers is really important to us,” he added.
    The DJs, who rose to the national spotlight in 2014, are set to headline the 2017 Global Citizens Festival in Hamburg, Germany on July 6 with Coldplay and Ellie Goulding.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/28/politics/the-chainsmokers-new-album-sxsw/index.html

    Fox News host apologizes after saying he could not hear what Maxine Waters was saying because he was looking at her hair, as channel displays images

    The Fox News host Bill OReilly has been criticized after he mocked Maxine Waters appearance, accusing the congresswoman of wearing a James Brown wig.

    OReilly was appearing on Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning when he was invited to comment on a speech Waters gave on the House floor.

    The show played a clip of Waters, a Democratic former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, urging people to continue to stand up to Donald Trump.

    Back in the Fox & Friends studio, OReilly appearing alongside the programs three hosts was asked for his thoughts.

    I didnt hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig, OReilly said, as a man was heard guffawing offscreen.

    If we have a picture of James … its the same.

    As OReilly host of Fox Newss OReilly Factor continued with his comparison, Fox & Friends showed three different close-up images of Waters onscreen.

    Its the same one, one of the co-hosts joked, apparently referring to James Browns wig.

    And hes not using it anymore. They finally buried him.

    OReilly apologized for comparing Waters hair to Browns wig later on Tuesday, Variety reported.

    As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs, OReilly said.

    I said that again today on Fox & Friends calling her old school. Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair, which was dumb. I apologize.

    It is not the first time Waters, 78, has been verbally abused on Fox & Friends.

    In 2012, the Fox News host Eric Bolling, commenting on remarks by Waters, said: Congresswoman, you saw what happened to Whitney Houston. Step away from the crack pipe.

    Bolling is still employed by Fox News, as the host of the weekday show The Five.

    Fox & Friends is known to be a favorite show of Donald Trump the president has repeatedly sent out tweets in response to items he has seen on the show and instructed his followers to watch on Tuesday morning but Trump had not commented on the furor by Tuesday afternoon.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/mar/28/bill-oreilly-maxine-waters-james-brown-wig

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    Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/bazaar/razer-kraken-amazon-deal/

    (CNN)Randy Travis credits his recovery from a life-threatening stroke to “amazing grace.”

    The country music star was hospitalized in 2013 for viral cardiomyopathy, a disorder in which a virus attacks the muscles of the heart, causing it to beat more slowly. That led to congestive heart failure, which caused a stroke that left Travis unable to walk or speak.
    But nearly four years later, the six-time Grammy Award winner is defying the odds.
      Travis told CNN during a phone interview on Saturday that with intensive physical therapy, he’s doing “good.”
      The singer’s wife, Mary Travis, joined him on the phone and compared her husband’s recuperation to “giant baby steps.”
      “It’s little things that mean so much when you’re recovering from a stroke,” Mary said, while speaking to CNN from BeautyKind Unites: A Concert for Causes. “We never know when the end point is but we’re happy with every little change, every little sound, every little word, every new task.”
      A major milestone came recently when the couple was driving through Tennessee.
      “We were coming out of Memphis and overhead was a sign, ‘Nashville’ and he was over in the passenger seat and went, ‘woo hoo’ and he pointed up and he said, ‘Nashville.'” she recalled. “I just sat over there in the driver’s seat and cried because I knew then that he read that sign, and he recognized the word, and then he said it. That’s a huge thing. Huge for us.”
      Randy, who was inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame in October, brought the audience to tears when he sang “Amazing Grace.”
      Mary said the song is his anthem.
      “Going through this ordeal with his health, stroke and flatlining and making it back, when there was every opportunity in the world for God to take him home … we’ve truly lived the life of amazing grace,” she said.
      When CNN asked Randy whether he hoped to record music again, he said enthusiastically, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!”
      Music has been instrumental throughout Randy’s recovery, according to his wife, but only recently could he listen to his own songs.
      “Music is his soul,” Mary said. “It was really hard for him soon after the stroke to listen to his music. I remembered when I first put his music on, he cried and I thought, ok, we’re not ready for that.”
      But now, she added, he’ll listen to his hits, “Diggin’ Up Bones,” “He Walked On Water,” along with gospel music.
      As for worrying about setbacks with his recovery, Mary said the idea of another stroke “doesn’t enter our minds.”
      “We are onward and upward.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/27/entertainment/randy-travis-health-update/index.html

      (CNN)Forget sitting by a roaring fire as snow falls outside — for many there’s no better place to celebrate the festive season than by the water’s edge on a warm summer’s evening.

      But if you can’t escape the cold to hit the ocean this year, these songs will help you to forget the chill and take you to the sea, wherever you may be.
      We’ve got your seaside playlist covered.

        1. “Beyond the Sea,” Bobby Darin

        No sea-inspired playlist would be complete without this song. “Beyond the Sea” has been sung by many artists over the past six decades, but Bobby Darin’s version is undoubtedly the most famous. Despite the performer recording the song in the late 1950s, it’s been used in many recent films from “Austin Powers” to “Finding Nemo.” Fellow actors Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz sung “Beyond the Sea” in the film “A Life Less Ordinary,” while Kevin Spacey lent his vocal chords to it in a biopic about Darrin named after his most famous song.

        2. “Sail on Sailor,” The Beach Boys

        It’s hard to go past The Beach Boys when compiling a list of seaside classics. The group — made up of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, along with Mike Love and Al Jardine — are synonymous with beach tunes and surfing hits. “Sail on Sailor” was released on the 1973 album “Holland,” one of the last albums the Californian pop group released.

        3. “Under the Sea,” from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”

        While perhaps not a traditional party song, it is a childhood favorite for many. In the movie, mermaid princess Aerial longs to join the human world above the water’s surface. However, the king’s advisor, a lobster called Sebastian, tries to convince her otherwise, singing to her about the joys of ocean life, telling her “darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter.”

        4. “Octopus’s Garden,” The Beatles

        The fab four recorded this song for their 1969 album “Abbey Road.” Unusually for The Beatles, this song was written by drummer Ringo Starr, who was also the lead vocalist on the track. The upbeat tune tells of the carefree nature of an octopus’s life below the surface, featuring lyrics such as “in our little hideaway beneath the waves, resting our head on the sea bed.”

        5. “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” Otis Redding

        This was the last song recorded by Redding before he was killed in a plane crash in 1967. It was released after his death and was the first posthumous song to reach the number-one spot on the U.S charts. Redding was also posthumously awarded a Grammy for the song in 1968. He was inspired to write the soulful masterpiece after staying on a houseboat in California.

        6. “The Ocean,” Led Zeppelin

        British rock band Led Zeppelin penned this tune in the early 1970s at the height of their success. It’s believed the band were referring to their “ocean of fans” when they wrote this song, with lyrics such as “singing to an ocean, I can hear the ocean’s roar.” But it’s just as easy for a keen seafarer to imagine dramatic ocean waves when listening to this tune.

        7. “Girl and the Sea,” The Presets

        For a change of pace, this tune could be perfect to get your party started. By electro-pop act The Presets, “Girl and the Sea” is guaranteed to get people on the dance floor. It’s said the duo recorded this song, their debut, in the bathroom of their home.

        8. “Mermaid in the Night,” Jimmy Buffett

        For those who appreciate country music, Jimmy Buffet’s “Mermaid in the Night” is the perfect ocean-inspired song. It appears on the 1989 album “Off to see the Lizard,” just one of the more than 30 albums Buffet has released. This fun tune tells of the singer falling in love with a mermaid while fishing one evening, with lyrics like “I’m in love with a creature from the sea, she brings out the crustacean in me.”

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/08/travel/seaside-songs/index.html

        (CNN)Investigators do not currently see a direct ISIS hand in last week’s attack in London, a British counterterrorism official told CNN on Saturday.

        Khalid Masood was active on the encryption messaging service WhatsApp two minutes before he started his attack Wednesday on Westminster Bridge, but no evidence has emerged to show he was communicating with ISIS at any point, the official told CNN.
        Investigators are looking into communications he had with individuals leading up to the attack that left four dead, including a police officer, the official added.
          ISIS has used encryption apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram to communicate with and provide direction to extremists in recent plots and attacks in Europe, including a July bombing at a music festival in Ansbach, Germany.
          But investigators currently believe Masood was more likely inspired by ISIS rather than directed by the terrorist group, the official told CNN.
          A factor in this early assessment, the official said, is that ISIS has not posted a video showing a pledge of allegiance from the attacker. In contrast, ISIS posted a video from the Berlin truck attack suspect shortly after Italian police killed him near Milan, the official said.

          British officials suspect ISIS likely claimed credit for the London attack after learning about it in the news.
          The official cautioned that much is still unknown about the case and new information may change investigators’ understanding of it.
          Investigators are still assessing whether the attacker plotted alone or acted as part of a broader conspiracy. They’re continuing to probe his contacts in radical circles in Birmingham, Luton and London, the official told CNN.

          Two released, one still in custody

          A 12th arrest was made Sunday in the investigation of the attack, in which Masood ran over pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and then crashed in front of the Houses of Parliament, where he stabbed an officer to death.
          A 30-year-old man was arrested at an address in Birmingham “on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts, Metropolitan Police said. The statement said he was detained under TACT, Terrorism Act 2000, and remains in police custody.
          A 58-year-old man who was arrested Thursday in Birmingham also remains in custody.
          Two people were released Saturday “with no further action,” London’s Metropolitan Police said. They were a man, 27, arrested in Birmingham and a woman, 39, arrested in east London.
          A woman, 32, arrested in Manchester is out on bail pending further inquiries.
          The other seven arrested in connection with the attack were all released “with no further action.”
          All but one of those were detained on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.

          82 seconds that will last ‘forever’

          Saturday, authorities released a timeline of the attack, saying it lasted 82 seconds and started at 2:40 p.m. local time when the car Masood was driving over Westminster Bridge first mounted the sidewalk.
          The car continued along the footpath and the road before crashing into the perimeter fence of the Palace of Westminster, the statement from the London Metropolitan Police said. Masood left the vehicle and was shot by a police officer.
          “Whilst the attack lasted only 82 seconds it will remain in the memories of many forever,” said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, who is the senior national coordinator for UK Counter Terrorism Policing.
          Police also issued a statement from the family of police officer Keith Palmer, one of the four people killed in the attack.
          They thanked people who have supported them and said, “We care about him being remembered for his selfless bravery and loving nature. We miss him so much, but we are also incredibly proud of Keith.”

          Investigation underway

          Friday, Britain’s most senior counterterrorism police officer, Mark Rowley, said authorities are working to establish whether Masood, 52, “acted totally alone inspired by terrorist propaganda or, if others have encouraged, supported or directed him.”
          Rowley said 16 searches at various locations have finished but that five others were ongoing.Officers have seized 2,700 items, including “massive amounts” of computer data, and have had contact with 3,500 witnesses to the attack, many of them of different nationalities, he added.

          Authorities are investigating how the perpetrator, who used multiple aliases, became radicalized. He was born Adrian Russell Ajao but also used the name Adrian Elms, police said Friday.
          Rowley said: “Clearly that’s the main line of our investigation — is what led him to be radicalized. Was it through influences in a community, influences from overseas or through online propaganda?”
          He appealed for anyone who knew Masood well or was aware of his recent movements to get in touch with authorities.
          Born in Kent, Masood had previous convictions, including some for violent offenses, but none for terrorism, police said. His most recent conviction was in 2003 for possession of a knife.

            London Attack: An animated map

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          The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia issued a statement Saturday saying Masood visited Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and from April 2008 to April 2009, when he worked as an English teacher. He also obtained a visa and visited Saudi Arabia from March 3 to 8, 2015, the statement said.
          He wasn’t on the radar of security services, the statement said.
          Masood didn’t teach in any English-language school in the UK, Britain’s Department for Education previously said, citing its records. His criminal record would have prevented him for passing the necessary checks to become a qualified teacher.

          Queen bestows honors

          Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II honored two members of the UK Parliament for their heroics in the aftermath of the attack, Downing Street announced Friday.
          In addition to four deaths, this week’s attack wounded at least 50 others, 31 of whom needed hospital treatment, Rowley said. Two people are in critical condition, and another has life-threatening injuries.
          Two police officers also remain hospitalized with significant injuries, Rowley said. They were injured as the attacker plowed through crowds walking across Westminster Bridge.

          American tourist Kurt Cochran and college administrator Aysha Frade, a British citizen with Spanish roots, as well as Palmer died Wednesday. A fourth victim, Leslie Rhodes, 75, from Streatham in south London, died Thursday night after his life support was withdrawn, according to the Metropolitan Police.
          Romania’s Foreign Ministry said a Romanian woman hurt in the attack was in critical condition after surgery.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/26/europe/london-attack/index.html

          Hey! Listen! Budding game reviewers and aspiring Twitch stars who are looking to invest in quality recording software should take advantage of this sale.

          Roxios game capture software is currently up to 50 percent off. Normally, itd cost $100 or $150, depending on which package youre interested in, but for a limited time, you can grab it for $50 or $120.

          The better deal of the two is the Roxio HD pro package. The device captures gaming in HD (up to 1080p) with your standard HDMI setup. If youre gaming on the computer, it will record while you play full-screen. In edition to comprehensive editing software, you can live-stream directly to YouTube and Twitch, with voiceover. Keep track of your best moments mid-gaming with the flagging feature. Its compatible with Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and 4, and PC.

          The standard package is a good option if youre interested in the very basic features. It captures real-time gameplay on Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. The game plays in HD on the TV, but only captures in 480 p. Where it lacks in quality, the standard software makes up for in editing software. You can trim videos, add commentary, background music, overlays, and more effects. When youre ready to share, you can send directly to Facebook or YouTube from the software.

          You can save $30 on the Roxio HD pro package and $50 on the standard. Check out the sale here.

          The Daily Dot may receive a payment in connection with purchases of products or services featured in this article.Click hereto learn more.

          Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/bazaar/roxio-game-capture-sale/

          What a perfect way to launch a solo career!

          On Tuesday, Saturday Night Live announced that Harry Styles will be making his solo debut this April on their show. Squee!

          Related: Adele Says She May Never Tour Again!

          The NBC hit took to Twitter and wrote:

          Of course, this booking comes mere days after the former One Direction member announced the release date for his first single as a solo artist. It seems like Mr. Styles is ready to make a grand return to the music industry — and we’re glad, because he’s been missed.

          This will be the X Factor alum’s fourth appearance on SNL as 1D were musical guests back in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Obviously, this is the first time he’ll be singing on the show without Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, and Louis Tomlinson by his side.

          Good luck, bro!

          [Image via WENN.]

          Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-03-28-harry-styles-to-make-solo-artist-debut-on-saturday-night-live