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Zac Brown Band Will Play Ballparks on 2022 U.S. Tour

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Zac Brown shut down his tour in September after testing positive for Covid and scuttled a New Year’s Eve performance last month in Nashville after contracting the virus for a second time. But Brown and his namesake band are undeterred: On Friday, they announced a sprawling U.S. tour that will find the group playing ballparks and amphitheaters.

Dubbed the Out in the Middle Tour, the trek kicks off April 22 in Greenville, South Carolina, and has dates scheduled into the fall. Along the way, Zac Brown Band will stop at baseball parks like Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Boston’s Fenway Park, and Atlanta’s Truist Park, and smaller stadiums like Hersheypark Stadium in Pennsylvania and Credit One Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. Brown will also headline the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. on Nov. 4.

Caroline Jones and the Robert Randolph Band will open select shows.

“Performing in front of millions of fans around the world is one of the most electrifying and humbling feelings,” Brown said in a statement. “It’s been such an incredible year for the band, debuting some of the best music we’ve ever made, and we are thrilled to continue playing live for our amazing fans.”

Out in the Middle Tour Dates:


Friday, April 22 – Greenville, SC @ Bon Secours Wellness Arena+


Saturday, April 23 – Charleston, SC @ Credit One Stadium+


Friday, May 20 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Paycom Center+


Sunday, May 22 – San Antonio, TX @ Real Life Amphitheater


Thursday, June 2 – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center+


Friday, June 3 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage+


Friday, June 17 – Atlanta, GA @ Truist Park+


Friday, July 8 – Akron, OH @ Dowed Field


Saturday, July 9 – Chicago, IL @ Wrigley Field+


Friday, July 15 – Boston, MA @ Fenway Park+


Thursday, July 28 – Indianapolis, IN @ Ruoff Music Center


Friday, July 29 – Detroit, MI @ Pine Knob Music Theatre


Saturday, July 30 – Mt. Pleasant, MI @ Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort


Friday, August 12 – St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre+


Saturday, August 13 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center+


Sunday, August 14 – Hershey, PA @ Hersheypark Stadium+


Thursday, August 18 – New York, NY @ Citi Field+


Friday, August 19 – Endicott, NY @ En-Joie Golf Course


Friday, August 26 – Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion+


Saturday, August 27 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live+


Friday, September 23 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater+


Saturday, September 24 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion+


Sunday, September 25 – Birmingham, AL @ Oak Mountain Amphitheatre+


Friday, October 7 – Jacksonville, FL @ Daily’s Place+


Saturday, October 8 – Tampa, FL @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre+


Sunday, October 9 – West Palm Beach, FL @ iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre+


Thursday, October 20 – Seattle, WA @ Climate Pledge Arena+


Friday, October 21 – Vancouver, BC @ Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena+


Saturday, October 22 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center+


Friday, November 4 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl+


Sunday, November 6 – Oakland, CA @ Oakland Arena+


Saturday, November 19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Chase Field

+Special Guest: Robert Randolph Band

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Today In Hip Hop History: A Tribe Called Quest Dropped Their Debut Album ‘The People’s Instinctive Travels And The Path To Rhythm’ LP 32 Years Ago

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Ahead of its time to say the least, A Tribe Called Quest‘s experimental, alternative, jazz rap was originally unappreciated by mainstream audiences. It took six years for the Tribe’s first album to hit gold. The album might not have been a huge commercial success at first, but their innovative and comedic sound beautifully balanced the light-hearted social consciousness of their  tracks. Although “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm” was critically acclaimed, some critics felt that the inspired lyricism and unique humor was at times overshadowed by the group’s immaturity and lack of focus. Their debut album did however, generate buzz within the Alternative Hip Hop community that has gained them a devout cult following. Today “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm” is certified gold, and in The Source Magazines‘s 100 Best Rap Albums. Other accolades include a 5 mic rating from The Source, 4 stars out of 5 by the The Rolling Stone Album Guide, and a 3.5 out of 4 stars by the Chicago Tribune.

Regardless of  which generation you belong to, every true Hip Hop fan can remember the first time they heard “Can I kick It?” by saying “yes I can!”…and how it changed their perception of the genre. In honor of this special day in Hip Hop history we did some digging and found old school Source articles reviewing “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm”, so feel free to take a look at the history.

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Today in Hip-Hop History: Nas’ Debut Album ‘Illmatic’ Certified Gold By RIAA 26 Years Ago

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On this date in 1996, the Recording Industry Association of America tallied up the sales of Nas’ debut album, Illmatic, granting the album gold status less than two years after it’s highly anticipated release.

By the time of this certification, Esco was already prepped to drop his sophomore LP, It Was Written, which was expected to receive similar accolades like its predecessor and actually received more commercial success than Illmatic.

The all-star production team(Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Premier) coupled with the likes of Nas’ unparalleled lyrical ability would only produce such a timeless piece of Hip Hop history.

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Republicans Sing Praises of Civil Rights Icon While Blocking Civil Rights

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The Republicans proclaiming their reverence Monday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. make up an all-star roster in the effort to undermine voting rights, a denial of a civil right that disproportionately disenfranchises Black people in the United States.

Democrats are currently pushing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a pair of bills aimed at beefing up federal protections for voting rights in the face of a rash of state-level efforts to restrict access to the ballot. President Biden promised such a bill as one of his first acts in office, but Rolling Stone reported Monday that his allies have been frustrated by a White House effort that they found lacking. The bill’s fate now hinges on a plan to carve loophole for pro-voting rights bill into the filibuster. The legislative tactic with a long history of undermining progress on civil rights, but Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have said they are opposed to amending it.

None of this would be necessary, however, if Republicans were on board with ensuring that every eligible American has the right to vote and access to the ballot. Enter Sen. Mitch McConnell, the top Senate Republican who has unified in his caucus into near-unanimous opposition to the voting rights bill, successfully dooming the federal effort. After Biden spoke passionately in Georgia about the need to protect the right to vote, McConnell last week said the president had given “a deliberately divisive speech that was designed to pull our country further apart”.

Here’s what McConnell had to say Monday on a federal holiday commemorating King Jr., a man who dedicated his life to expanding civil rights before he was murdered at the age of 39.

Nearly 60 years since the March on Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message echoes as powerfully as it did that day. His legacy inspires us to celebrate and keep building upon the remarkable progress our great nation has made toward becoming a more perfect union.

— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) January 17, 2022

Former Vice President Mike Pence wrote in the Washington Post on Jan. 14, that grouped the push to provide federal protections for voting rights with the riot of Jan. 6, 2021, when Donald Trump supporters ransacked the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Democrats’ “plan to end the filibuster to allow Democrats to pass a bill nationalizing our elections would offend the Founders’ intention that states conduct elections just as much as what some of our most ardent supporters would have had me do one year ago,” Pence wrote, presumably yet improbably with a straight face.

Here’s what Pence had to say about King on Monday, 72 hours after comparing a pro-civil rights push — including legislation named after the late civil rights icon John Lewis — to an insurrection, while also defending the restriction of civil rights on the grounds of states rights.

Today on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we honor the memory of a remarkable man and a giant of the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged our Nation to live up to the highest ideals of our founding and his memory will continue to inspire generations to come. pic.twitter.com/8fDenr4Dw9

— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 17, 2022

While federal Republicans fight protections for voting rights, state-level GOP officials are actively pushing legislation to restrict ballot access. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has been on the forefront of this effort for years. He was Georgia’s secretary of state up until 2018, overseeing election rules while also running for governor against Stacey Abrams. (He resigned from that post two days after winning the race.) After the election, Abrams’ voting rights group sued the state over the election system, accusing officials (and implicitly Kemp) of maintaining an election system that violates the constitutional rights of voters of color.

Kemp lapsed into a defense of civil rights in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, when he rejected Trump’s push to overturn the results in Georgia — which went for Biden over Trump in the first presidential victory for a Democrat there since 1992. But in the aftermath of the election, he and his fellow Republicans in March passed legislation that will make it more difficult for many Georgians to vote. There is, as Kemp stated, no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Georgia or elsewhere in the United States, but Kemp’s stated rationale was that he was “putting hardworking Georgians first starts with ensuring that your voice is heard and restoring each and every citizen’s confidence in their vote.”

Nevertheless, on Monday he purported to honor King, saying that we “also recall his actions and are inspired by them to consider how we can best build on that legacy in our own unique ways.”

“Hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love.” – MLK

As we honor Dr. King and celebrate his contributions to our state and country, we also recall his actions and are inspired by them to consider how we can best build on that legacy in our own unique ways. pic.twitter.com/RNrPDRyZUR

— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) January 17, 2022

Another “unique way” to purportedly “build on” King’s legacy comes from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. In April, DeSantis signed a voting law that, according to the Brennan Center, “makes a slew of changes to Florida elections, including making voter registration more difficult [and] modifying rules for observers in ways that could disrupt election administration.” The law, writes Brennan’s Eliza Sweren-Becker, was advanced “under the pretext of addressing unfounded and unspecified concerns about election integrity.”

DeSantis’ is also the animating force behind what he and fellow state Republicans called “anti-riot” law, which was passed in response to the 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations. The bill initially would have provided enhanced legal protections for people who hit protesters with a vehicle, though a final version stripped some, though not all, of those provisions out. On Monday, the day aimed at honoring a protest leader who was repeatedly and ultimately fatally targeted by violence, DeSantis tweeted:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to the principles of liberty codified in the Declaration of Independence. We honor him today for his tireless efforts on behalf of freedom. pic.twitter.com/6ptDxGBq3m

— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 17, 2022

DeSantis’ statement shouts out the “principles of liberty codified in the Declaration of Independence,” a declaration that failed to ban the practice of holding millions of Black people in slavery, which lasted for nearly another century.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the top House Republican, has jointed McConnell in the fight against federal protection for voting rights. His caucus, however, lacks the votes to block House Democrats, but it’s not for lack of trying. On Monday, he tweeted:

From the halls of Ebenezer Baptist Church to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, #MLK spent his life spreading what he called “the gospel of freedom.” He never gave up and never preached hate.

His words and example inspire us today as we celebrate a great American on #MLKDay.

— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 17, 2022

A year before he was assassinated, King in 1967 laid out plans for a “Poor People’s Campaign” that, as described by Stanford University’s King Institute, would engage with “government officials to demand jobs, unemployment insurance, a fair minimum wage, and education for poor adults and children designed to improve their self-image and self-esteem.”

As well as opposing voting rights, McCarthy — like the other Republicans listed above and many, many others tweeting about Monday’s holiday — is a willing participant in Republicans’ decades-old effort to roll back the social safety net.

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