Durant High School Journalism

R. Kelly accused of sexual assault

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R. Kelly accused of sexual assault

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Robert Kelly, famous R&B singer who goes by R. Kelly, has been accused of sexually assaulting and preying on young black teenagers specifically, for the past twenty years. Now, with the largely established #MeToo movement, R. Kelly’s alleged crimes are brought to the forefront of the public’s attention as women continually share their stories of his alleged sexual abuse done unto them.

Most prominently the Lifetime special “Surviving R. Kelly” has created controversy regarding R. Kelly’s alleged crimes against young black women. Many take to social media to share their opinions on: whether Kelly is guilty or not, and assuming he is guilty, whether his music should be muted or respected based on a separation from Kelly’s character.

Celebrities such as Taraji P. Henson and Erykah Badu’s morals have been called into question online. Henson claims that her statements about Kelly were misconstrued and she is in full support of the alleged victims. Badu, contrarily, has been criticized for her rumored refusal to take part in “Surviving R. Kelly,” which producer, Dream Hampton, asked her to join.

Although, Kelly has never been found guilty on any counts, many accusations have been made against him; in 1994 Kelly married an underage Aaliyah while she was just 15 and he was 24, in 1996 Kelly was sued by Tiffany Hawkins for sexual misconduct, in January of 2001 Kelly was indicted on child porn charges and found not guilty, in August of 2001 Tracy Sampson sued R. Kelly for alleged sexual abuse, in 2002 Patrice Jones sued Kelly for assaulting her when she was 16, and in May of 2002 Motina Woods sued Kelly for taping their sexual encounter without her consent. Kelly settled all cases of sexual assault and misconduct brought against him and many of the women signed non-disclosure agreements.

Kelly’s avoidance of any legal repercussions is not definitive proof of his innocence and does not indicate, as many argue, that the women who have shared their stories are lying. According to BBC.com only about 8 percent of all rape accusations are false. This percentage being much smaller than the number of rapes which go unreported each year.

The controversy surrounding R. Kelly in the media right now, regardless of his stance as an innocent or guilty man, could be detrimental to his career and may forever damage his image as a respected artist.

About the Writer
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Hailey Reyes, Editor-in-Chief of Writing & Design

Hailey Reyes is a former staff writer, and former Editor-in-Chief of Writing and Design for the PawPrint Newspaper. Hailey graduated from Durant in 2019. 

Big Hit’s new entertainment group is “TXT”

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Big Hit’s new entertainment group is “TXT”

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Big Hit Entertainment is a company that created the most successful, worldwide music group BTS. Big Hit announced a new boy band on January 10, called “TXT.” Big Hit shared an introductory film to the act.

TXT stands for “Tomorrow X Together”, but Big Hit tells Billboard to read it as “Tomorrow by Together,” as it is written in Korean. The first introduction film, titled “What do you do?”, introduces the first member, Yeonjun, in TXT. At the end of the video, it goes blank and shows a Morse code that fans quickly decoded to translate into “Dreaming.”

Shortly after the introductory film, terms like “Yeonjun,” “BigHit” and the hashtag #TOMORROW_X_TOGETHER began trending, worldwide on Twitter. TXT is Big Hit’s second group after six years since Billboard 200 chart-toppers BTS got their start in 2013. Big Hit has yet to announce TXT’s debut date or the amount of members in its lineup but that doesn’t stop billboard to reach out for further details.

Big Hit Entertainment states: “Tomorrow X Together is a bright and youthful boyband where each member is different from one another, shinning in their own way to create a synergy. Just as how their name suggests, the different members have all come together under one dream in hopes of building a new tomorrow.”

The company also described Yeonjun as a “19-year-old member with outstanding dancing skills.” Big Hit tells billboard that he is the eldest in the group. The company also tells billboard that the name signifies how the act has “all come together under one dream in hopes of building a new tomorrow.”

Since Yeonjun was revealed as the first member of TXT, Big Hit shared teaser videos and imagery for Soobin and Hueningkai over the past few weeks. Each member has been introduced with his own distinct setting and sonic backdrop with their short intro videos all titled “What do you do?” featuring bright rock and roll, EDM and pop. All members are teens.

According to Big Hit Entertainment, Soobin is 18 and the leader of the group, while Hueningkai is 16 years old. Big Hit has gained a lot of attention for weaving a creative storyline throughout BTS career, and already TXT is promising to feature a similarly intriguing narrative, one who dreams are likely to play a key factor.

Already there have been multiple references to dreams in the lead-up to the group’s launch, including Morse code at the end of each intro video spelling out “Dreaming.” It’s unknown whether the idea of dreams has to do with the group’s first single or album title, but it is a bit of a throwback; BTS debuted with the song “No More Dream” in June 2013.

It’s unknown when TXT’s first song will be released because Big Hit has only revealed some of the members and other tidbits, so it is unknown when they’ll put out their first release, but anticipation is high.

About the Writer
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Rodnasha Williams, Business Manager

Rodnasha Williams is a junior at Durant High School and is Business Manager of Fundraising for the PawPrint Newspaper. When she is not taking pictures...

The History of the ‘Meme’

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We all know what memes are. You know, the funny little pictures and videos? We are like moths as memes are like lamps; memes draw us in.

Over the years, memes have evolved into a massive part of pop culture; they have become engrained in our society and virtual lives. But where did they come from? Let’s start from the beginning.

Earlier this year, a comic from the early 1920s was posted to Twitter, which later stirred controversy if it was possibly the first meme ever.

According to a man by the name of Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, memes are “ideas that spread from brain to brain.” Basically, memes are variations of one original joke or picture, and it pertains to a wide variety of people.

Back to the original meme, many credits this as being the first meme, as it set out the first category of memes: the “Expectations vs. Reality” joke.

Memes are a huge part of pop culture. They tend to revolve around events taking place in society during a specific time. They are ever changing, meaning memes are only relevant for a very short period of time, often a month or two on average. After that month or so, the meme slowly becomes less and less relevant, all the while the emergence of a new meme occurs.

Memes became a huge part of our culture along with the rise of the internet and smart phones. While cell phones have been around since 1973, the rise of “smart phones” began in the early 2000s. Brands like Nokia and Blackberry were among the first smart phones, and were the platform for the emergence of other smart phone companies, including, Samsung, Android, and perhaps most popular of them all, Apple. In 2007, the very first iPhone was introduced to the public, and became known as the “father of all smart phones.” This phone was a computer and a camera in one, all the while being touch screen.

This iPhone revolutionized the way people communicated, and changed pop culture forever. People were able to take photos of themselves, upload them on a social media site, like Facebook and/or Instagram, and share their lives with the world.

The idea of uploading images and words online became easily accessible for everyday people; families can now stay in touch online, friends can share funny pictures and videos to others, and ultimately, the door was opened for everyone to be connected.

While it is hard to track down the very first internet meme, meme trends became prevalent on various social media sites. Some of the most iconic memes of the late 2000s included the Pepe meme, Bad Luck Brian, Doge, and of course, the “But that’s none of my Business” meme.

Over time, variations of memes like these led to the creation of new ones. In the 2010s, memes began to display overlaps in society, as they appear to follow trends and events that are occurring in the world.

Memes may only appear to simply be funny pictures with lots of different captions, however there is a deeper meaning behind memes; they are forms of expression. They are essential to understanding the pop culture of Millennials and Generation Z, as memes are apart of the culture of these generations, and how humor has evolved overtime with the influence of technology and global events. They can be put as inside jokes that relate to everyone, as they connect people together and display the growth of a culture. With that, we can say, “Thank You Memes, Very Cool!”

About the Writer
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Meghan Dulay, Editor-in-Chief of Design

Meghan Dulay is a senior at Durant High School and she is Editor-in-Chief of Design for the PawPrint newspaper. Meghan is part of many other clubs at Durant,...

Rapper 21 Savage is being held in custody by ICE

John Lamparski

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21 Savage was born in the United Kingdom and is now in an immigration battle with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As 21 Savage came into the U.S. at age seven and has been living in the states for almost twenty years, many are angry that the ICE is just now questioning his legal status.

ICE was created to protect the borders from illegal immigration, deporting non-citizens back to where their citizenship lies. After 21’s new rap in his song “a lot” about kids being separated from their families at the borders, ICE’s suspicions rose. They questioned if he was from the UK or a legal citizen, and ICE began an investigation.

With much current controversy over family separation at the borders focusing mainly on the illegal immigrants, 21’s story has been broadcasted widely with him being a celebrity in music entertainment. Over ten million illegal immigrants are living in the U.S. along with 21. With many fans speaking out with their opinions on whether he should be granted the ability to stay in the U.S. or not, many other situations like his have also been thrown in the spotlight.

Remaining in custody of ICE, 21’s lawyers are doing what they can to provide him and his fans the support they need in order for him to stay. While the ICE organization has faced some blame in releasing private information, some being false. His legal team has released new statements that include 21 being born in the UK but coming to U.S. at age seven, ICE being incorrect in saying he had criminal convictions, and ICE should grant 21 Savage bond. With lawyers and ICE debating, 21 remains in a cell at an ICE detention center for most of the day.

For what turned out to be nine days, 21 was kept in the ICE detention center until a bond was granted. The bond was set at $100,000, the Atlanta Journal Constitution put out however 21’s attorney Charles Kuck would not admit to that statement. After the bond was set, 21 and his legal team went for a hearing to confirm his legal status. The legal team involved, announced a new statement saying “He will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members and faceless people, he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country.”

21 then continues on to say that his arrest was “definitely targeted” and that he still fears deportation after his arrest.

About the Writer
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Marina Hawkins, Social Media Coordinator

Marina Hawkins is a junior at Durant and is Social Media Coordinator for the PawPrint newspaper. She is also part of the Varsity Cheer team at Durant....

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