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Dawg Fight Star Dada 5000's Latest Backyard Brawl Hit With State Cease-and-Desist Letter

via Miami New Times:

Dada 5000 — the Mohawked, muscled monolith born Dhafir Harris but better known as the P.T. Barnum of Miami’s backyard fisticuffs — spotted them through the window.

It was July 5, and the promoter was chilling at home, the same “Famous Green House” where thousands of knuckle-busters and bloody noses have been recorded. The lawn out back was scheduled for another of Dada’s blowouts, a seven-card fight. But then two men from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) came bearing a cease-and-desist letter, ordering him to stop staging his popular — but unlicensed — brawls.

When Dawg Fight hits theaters, he figures the sport’s popularity with take a quantum leap. He wants to be ready for the next step and is already plotting to hold brawls on boats outside the state’s jurisdiction. “Like LeBron James said he was taking his talents to South Beach,” Dada says, “I’m taking my talents to the ocean.”

Shop owner’s conviction shows Miami’s link to global black market in rhino horn

via Miami Herald:

The conviction of a Biscayne Boulevard shop owner this month was the latest crackdown by a federal task force targeting illegal trafficking in a substance that costs more per ounce than cocaine, or even gold.

Black rhino horn.

The horns, prized in some Asian nations as popular but unproven folk remedies, are at the center of an international black market with a hub in South Florida. High prices and demand have triggered a poaching bloodbath in Africa that threatens the survival of black rhinos and fueled a growing illegal trade in old taxidermy mounts from museums or private collections.

It’s a criminal network run like sex, gun and drug trafficking and is often linked to the same players, said Edward Grace, assistant director for the U.S. Department of Justice’s division of Wildlife Law Enforcement, which oversees a multiagency investigative effort called “Operation Crash.” Crash is another name for a herd of rhino.

“It’s like any drug investigation,’’ said Grace. “Take out cocaine or heroin and replace it with rhino horn.’’

Miami, already a nexus for smugglers dealing in an array of protected wildlife, also has figured in the illicit horn trade. There been three rhino-related busts in the last two years alone.

Steve Stoute and the Emmy Contender, The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop

One of the most exciting contenders for tomorrow’s Emmy Award nominations is VH1’s documentary series The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop.

Based on Steve Stoute’s book, the series acutely and aptly highlights what Stoute describes as the “line from Sedgwick Ave. to Pennsylvania Ave.” In other words, if it wasn’t for the Bronx (Uptown baby!”), this President Barack Obama stuff probably never would be goin’ on. The docu-series features interviews with the likes of Rick Rubin, Nas, Diddy, Mariah Carey, fashion designer and Harlem icon Dapper Dan, filmmaker Brett Ratner, and Sen. Cory Booker (among many others), and it proves—if it wasn’t already clear—that rap culture is a global culture with an incredible, phenomenal, ever-evolving impact.

Stoute teamed up with Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman (the duo behind Cocaine Cowboys) for the series, and the results were powerful. Stoute hoped that they’d use the same “insight and specificity” he’d seen in their 2006 critically acclaimed documentary, and apply their style to his ideas on “the tanning of America.” He was not disappointed.

Stoute has high hopes that the culture will continue to rise, even as it holds onto its roots. An Emmy nomination is certainly one way to increase the visibility. And Stoute isn’t afraid to say that he wants The Tanning of America to get that recognition, not only for himself but for an entire generation that’s contributed to the movement.

I’m hopeful for a nomination because it would send a strong message that—what we’ve all been a part of over the last twenty to twenty-five years—has helped shape the world.”

via Shannon M. Houston / Paste Magazine

Filmmakers give away free marijuana to promote documentary

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