Incarcerated Women Fighting Fires Isn't "Badass," It's Slavery

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They're dying on a job that makes $2 a day

A new video by NowThis that romanticizes the 250 incarcerated women who are fighting the California wildfires is being called out for its failure to acknowledge that these women are the victims of a type of slave labor.

Although the video does mention the grotesque reality of the situation—that incarcerated women are dying on the job and their wages are far below what could possibly be considered equitable pay—it also tries to spin the situation as being an example of feminism and altruism.

According to TIME, incarcerated individuals are paid a mere $2 per day fighting fires, and in instances of wildfire when they need to work around the clock, an additional $1 per hour is tacked on. In addition to the immorality of these low wages, TIME points out that risk of injury is significantly higher for incarcerated peoples than professional firefighters due to lack of training.

This "volunteer" position also comes with an offer of time off their sentences and a suggestion that this opportunity can translate to real-life job experience in the future, but, upon release, individuals have found that no jobs are being offered to them.

Even if the incarcerated women spoken to by NowThis have found enjoyment in being able to leave the prison and give back to the community, it does not suddenly erase all of the inherent problems with the prison industrial complex continuing to profit and benefit from sending these women into dangerous situations.

Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.



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"In the midst of chaos there's opportunity"

Following the travesty that was Fyre Festival, Ja Rule wants to take another stab at creating a music festival. Good luck getting that off the ground.

On Thursday, the rapper spoke to TMZ, where he revealed that he was planning to relaunch Icon, an app used to book entertainers, which is similar to Billy McFarland's Fyre app. He told the outlet that he wanted to create a festival similar to Fyre to support it.

"[Fyre Festival] is heartbreaking to me. It was something that I really, really wanted to be special and amazing, and it just didn't turn out that way, but in the midst of chaos there's opportunity, so I'm working on a lot of new things," he says. He then gets into the fact that he wants to form a music festival. "[Fyre] is the most iconic festival that never was... I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn't hear it from me."

Ja Rule actually doesn't seem to think he is at all responsible for what came from Fyre Fest, claiming in a Twitter post that he was "hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, led astray." Even if that's his feeling, he should realize that anyone involved with Fyre shouldn't ever try their hand at music festivals again.