Charlamagne Tha God, T.I. & Shaka Senghor Discuss How To Fix The Criminal Justice System

Atlanta, GA – As criminal justice continues to be a hot topic, Charlamagne Tha God moderated a panel on the problems and fixes for the American criminal justice system with T.I. and historian Shaka Senghor.

During this year’s A3C Festival in Atlanta, Charlamagne led the discussion “How Can We Fix the Criminal Justice System” with T.I. and Senghor. Each man told about their own prison experiences and how the prison can rehabilitate with the right adjustments. They spoke on the difficulties of post-prison life, the school-to-prison pipeline and improper sentencing.

“You create your own destiny,” T.I. stated after hearing Senghor talk about Oprah reading his book. “Each and every last one of you. There’s someone somewhere that has the same amount of problems you have, and won with them.”

Many Hip Hop artists like JAY-Z and Meek Mill have spoken out against the criminal justice system.  Mill has gone a step farther by becoming a criminal justice reform advocate. He has used his own experience with the system to speak on the subject.

The past few weeks have been eventful for both Charlamagne and T.I. Charlamagne was accused by Joe Budden on his podcast of helping Netflix to steal the concept for the rap competition show Rhythm and Flow while T.I. claimed Iggy Azalea “a tarnish” on his legacy.

Danny Brown Blasts Male Fan Who Heckled Opening Act Ashnikko

Danny Brown recently embarked on the Uknowhatimsayin¿ tour in support his latest album with opening acts ZelooperZ and Ashnikko. Unfortunately, during a recent show in Dallas, Ashnikko had to deal with a heckler who was undoubtedly doing the most to upset her. “last night some lame ass dude was heckling me n shouting that my “music sucks” while I was onstage. put his own headphones on & nearly had me in fuckin tears midset,” she tweeted.

The heckler didn’t go unnoticed and Danny Brown made a concerted effort to address it during his set. “Aye, my n***a. I heard that hoe ass sh*t you said to my niece, my n***a. How you think I’m ‘posed to handle that?” He asked the concert-goer before directly pointing him out. “Yeah, you. I heard what the fuck you said. I heard you, my n***a. I heard the fuck you said my n***a. Ain’t no mothafuckin’ jokes. We respect women.”

“You see me come out here with people, you respect them the same way you respect me if you a fan me, you know what I’m sayin’? Grow the fuck up, my n***a. You was wrong for that shit,” he continued. “Respect women, man. Regardless what, that’s a mothafuckin’ female. What the fuck she supposed to do? You know what I’m sayin’? ‘Cause now, we gotta beat you the fuck up,” he concluded before jumping into “Dirty Laundry.”

Ashnikko thanked him on Twitter for stopping his show to address the heckler. 

Nicki Minaj’s Ex-Stylist Sues Her For Allegedly Not Returning Expensive Clothes

Everyone seems to want a piece Nicki Minaj lately. Besides her feud with Tracy Chapman over copyright infringement, the rapper’s ex-stylist Maher Jridi is suing her over designer clothes. The stylist worked with Nicki in 2017 and claims to have spent thousands on rented outfits from a wardrobe company, but was never reimbursed. According to Maher, Nicki Minaj refused to give back expensive clothes that he borrowed from a third party. The company that fered him the clothes then sued him for $74k and won. Maher is, therefore, suing the rapper for refusing to pay the bill, and causing him emotional distress. 

Nicki Minaj's Ex-Stylist Sues Her For Allegedly Not Returning Expensive Clothes

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Nicki Minaj didn’t hesitate to counter-sue him, claiming she overly compensated him with $12k in the past, and although he promised to repay her, he never did. She also denied his claims refusing to return clothes and demanded the dismissal this suit. Nicki Minaj also recently pleaded for the judge to seal her videotaped deposition with ex-stylist from September 20th. She claimed she has the right to privacy due to confidential information being exchanged in good faith. The motion included, “given Maraj’s fame as a world-renowned rapper and entertainer, she fears the Plaintiff intends to publicly disseminate confidential document discovery and pre-trial testimony in order to embarrass or otherwise damage her.”

Minaj’s lawyer is fighting hard to keep this video deposition sealed, but Maher’s counsel keeps demanding that the judge refuse the motion. Maher is stating that Minaj should not get special privileges only because she’s a celebrity. The judge has yet to rule. In other news, Nicki Minaj was really proud to launch her Fendi collection, which exploded in countries that live for designer brands, such as Saudi Arabia. It seems that the lawsuit over expensive clothes did not tarnish Minaj’s partnership with the expensive brand.

Chris Brown Announces Epic Yard Sale At His House: Gucci, Supreme & More

Everybody knows that you want to go thrifting in rich neighborhoods. Generally, you’ll get the best steals in these areas. You can find some hype designer goods, like Balenciaga, Gucci, Fendi, and more at insanely low prices. And it’s all because the previous owners just got tired them. Seriously… if you’ve never done this, you’ve got to give it a try. Alternatively, if you’re trying to do some star-searching in Los Angeles while also getting some luxury shopping done on the low-low, Chris Brown has the answer for you.

Chris Brown Announces Epic Yard Sale At His House: Gucci, Supreme & More
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Announcing his upcoming yard sale on social media, the singer told the world that details would soon be available regarding his unprecedented activity. Noting that the event will be going on for a total three days, Breezy will be organizing a sale the stuff he no longer wants or needs. “U might see an item (balenciaga, GUCCI, supreme, high end items) that usually will cost $2500 in stores but at my yard sale it will be $200.”

In case you weren’t already interested in picking up some steals for a fraction the price, CB confirmed that the yard sale will be taking place at his crib. So, you already know that Breezy stans will be lining up for days ahead time just to see what his lavish mansion looks like. Will you be keeping an eye on this?

Chris Brown Announces Epic Yard Sale At His House: Gucci, Supreme & More

Future’s "Crushed Up" Kicks Off HBO’s "Watchmen" Premiere

The influence Future‘s The WIZRD is only now beginning to manifest. Considered among the year’s lowkey best albums, Future’s darkest project in a minute featured plenty mysterious and hazy imagery. It’s no wonder that the team behind HBO and Damon Lindel’s Watchmen series, a “remix” Alan Moore’s iconic graphic novel, looked to Big Future for sonic inspiration. In what may very well prove to be the crossover event 2019, the series premiere kicked f with Future’s “Crushed Up,” sending social media into a celebratory uproar. 

The premiere, titled “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out Ice,” was directed by Nicole Kassell. She revealed that it was actually Lindel who co-signed the Future placement, speaking with Complex about the showrunner’s visionary status. “I think one my favorite things about Damon’s work is his use music,” she revealed. “And he’s so good at finding a song that is a perfect contradiction to a scene yet then it somehow works. And the words that song is actually really relevant to the theme the episode or the title the episode.”

Clearly, the wisdom Future knows no bounds. May his presence continue to infiltrate HBO in the coming months. Have you watched The Watchmen yet? 

Future's "Crushed Up" Kicks Off HBO's "Watchmen" Premiere

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PJ Tucker Explains How He Secured The Super Rare "Cheetah" Yeezys: Watch

The NBA’s reigning sneaker king, Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker, recently linked up with Complex’s Joe La Puma at Flight Club’s New York City location for an all-new episode Sneaker Shopping. 

During his latest visit to Flight Club, Tucker shed some light on the exclusive “Cheetah” Nike Air Yeezy IIs that he recently laced up, explaining how his longtime friend put him on to the super exclusive sneakers. Additionally, Tucker says that same friend has a line on the “Grammy” Nike Air Yeezy 1s, and there’s a chance we’ll see them in a game this season.

The “Cheetah” Nike Air Yeezy II was allegedly given to Kobe Bryant in 2012, which makes sense considering the “Cheetah” colorway is inspired by the Nike Kobe 7 the same name. Rumors maintain that the sneakers were gifted to Kobe for the NBA All Star festivities that year, although he ended up wearing the “Galaxy” Kobe 7.

In addition to his ultra rare Yeezys, Tucker also discussed his sneaker free agency, his top five everyday wear sneakers and much more. Check out the full episode below.

Post Malone Makes It Rain In Miami Club From Bag Stuffed With $50K

Post Malone tends to be a humble dude. Despite being one the biggest hitmakers this generation, he’s someone who seems to be easily satiated by a case Bud Light (or several) and a pack smokes (or several). However, on Saturday night, the “Circles” singer decided to celebrate the success his ongoing arena tour by hitting the club. 

Popular nightclub, E11EVEN Miami, hosted a sold-out evening with Post Malone, which he showed up to with a loaded sack cash. Post Malone’s manager, Dre London, shared some shots from the wild affair on Instagram. In them, Posty is seen holding stacks on stacks, which were tossed in the air during his performance and stuffed into the waistbands bottle girls. E11EVEN’s IG page detailed that the bundles bills amount to $50,000. Post also balled out this weekend by giving 21 Savage a diamond-encrusted Rolex for his birthday

In a video recap the night, Post gives a high-energy performance “Rockstar” and tells the crowd, “I’m on a very very very special, super special, fucking wave today man.” He then classically asks, “Can I have another brewksie?” He also shared a heartfelt message with his fans: “I love you motherfuckers more than life and tonight might be the most fun I’ve had in a long fucking time.”

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Read our review Post Malone’s latest album, Hollywood Bleeding, here

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop’s DNA

It’s  March 26th, 1979 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

College basketball fans are getting ready for the NCAA men’s basketball finals. The Indiana State Sycamores willed their way to the winner takes all match, led by Larry Bird, who was drafted sixth overall by the Boston Celtics one year prior. Across the court were the Michigan State Spartans led by an exciting young talent in Magic Johnson. With this one game, perhaps the biggest and longest-standing rivalry in NBA history was about to commence. 

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Throughout 1979, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were considered the best in the NCAA. Bird represented the white working-class man in rural America, while Magic was beginning to usher in a new era basketball, one where the players were flashy and marketable. Their personalities were seen as polar opposites and fans were curious about how this final would play out. This curiosity led to staggering ratings, with 40 million people tuning in to the tilt, according to Sports Illustrated. To this day, no other NCAA basketball game has reached that same amount viewership.

Thanks to a 24-point performance, Magic led the Spartans to a 75-64 win that for many, settled the argument as to who was a superior player. That summer, Johnson was drafted first overall by the Los Angeles Lakers and immediately made an impact. Throughout the 80s, Magic won five NBA Championships, while Bird won three. They would continue to face f in the Finals, in 1984, 1985, and 1987– Bird won the first matchup in ‘84 but Magic won the next two.

Their long-standing rivalry was unlike anything the NBA had ever seen. Two the best basketball players in the league, one white, one black, were battling against each other trying to prove who had the best dynasty. Prior to their NBA careers, the league had hit a low point in 1979 with a Finals rating share 24 — essentially, only about a quarter all TV viewers were tuning in. Once Magic and Bird entered the league, the NBA consistently hit shares over 30, according to tvbythenumbers.com. They even set a record in 1987 with a share 35.

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Bird and Magic changed the way both fans and brands looked at athletes. Not only were they players on the court, but bonafide superstars who could stand next to Hollywood elites in terms notoriety. This was all thanks to how charismatic and likeable they were. With Bird and Magic setting the standard, players like Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, who were drafted into the league in the mid-80s, began to exhibit some the same superstar qualities. At the same time that basketball was ascending into the public’s consciousness, hip-hop was beginning to thrive as a genre. The movement was born in New York in 1973 and remained underground until the mid to late-80s when groups like NWA, Beastie Boys, and Run DMC started to take over. Before long, rappers were referencing the sport in their songs. It was almost impossible to go to a game without hearing the 1984 song “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow. In 1988, Public Enemy and Chuck D came through with the song “Rebel Without A Pause” which referenced Barkley’s ability to throw down dunks. NBA players were starting to dress like rappers f the court. Artists were starting to don Jordans and other basketball shoes.

—–

By the time Shaquille O’Neal was drafted to the Orlando Magic in 1992, basketball and hip-hop were hitting their stride as mainstream successes.

At 7’1,” O’Neal was, not only a huge person but a huge personality. While playing for LSU, O’Neal wowed fans and was immediately given superstar status upon entry into the NBA. In the midst his first season in the league, Shaq did what no other NBA player had done before. He attempted to crossover into the rap game.

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Shaq’s foray into music may have seemed like a bit a reach on surface level, but actually, it was quite organic. During an interview with Slam in 2017, Shaq spoke about how he had been rapping since he was eight years old, influenced by the likes Will Smith and Big Daddy Kane. The Orlando Magic big man eventually gained the respect the hip-hop community when he appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1992 and rapped alongside the Fu-Schnickens. Shaq was able to showcase his ability to flow and sounded as though he had been perfecting his craft for as long as anyone else in the game. 

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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After the success his Arsenio Hall performance, Shaq signed a record deal with Jive. In 1993, he dropped his first album, Shaq Fu. When it came to production, Shaq was able to work with Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest, as well as Meech Wells and Erick Sermon. Wells is famous for his work with Snoop Dogg, while Sermon has built a career working with the likes Redman, Jodeci, Method Man, AZ, and Jay-Z.  “Shaq flew me to Orlando since he was playing for the Magic then,” Sermon recalls. “The studio was dope, we had our own personal chef. The vibe was cool. The Fu-Schnickens were there.”

“It was unique because he was a basketball player,” Sermon continued. “Him standing 7ft, shoe size 22, it was ill. The whole process was real ill. He was real funny.  And he was from Newark, NJ, Redman was his favorite artist, so it was real comfortable.”

The next year, Shaq followed up on the success Shaq Diesel with his sophomore album Shaq Fu: Da Return. Sermon was tasked with production on this album as well, while Warren G, RZA, and Redman also pitched in. In terms commercial success, the album didn’t receive the same critical acclaim as his first, but it still went Gold. Shaq would go on to release You Can’t Stop The Reign in 1996 and Respect in 1998, but neither those projects would have the same impact.

At the time, Shaq’s foray into hip-hop was a bit an anomaly and people were a little skeptical his intentions. Rap was always about being authentic, and to see an already-established NBA player delve into hip-hop was jarring, to say the least. Regardless, Shaq always had co-signs from those making a name for themselves in the industry. By bolstering a significant amount record sales and working with industry legends, Shaq was able to lay the foundation for other NBA players who had artistic ambitions. At the tail end the 90s, it would be Shaq’s own teammate, Kobe Bryant, who would give hip-hop a go. Unfortunately for Kobe, his rap career wasn’t nearly as lucrative as Shaq’s.

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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In 1992, Bryant attended Lower Merion high school at the age 14.

According to Grantland, Bryant met a kid named Anthony Bannister who introduced him to Kevin “Sandman” Sanchez. Sanchez was seen as the best rapper in the school and they quickly formed a rap group called CHEIZAW which featured two other MCs, Broady Boy and Jester. The group stayed together following high school and after hearing Bryant in a studio session, Sony signed CHEIZAW to a record deal in 1998. During the summer ‘98, Bryant stayed at the New York home Steve Stoute, the president Urban Music for Sony at the time. Bryant was in New York to train for the upcoming season and since Stoute wanted him to hone his artistic craft, it made sense for them to stay together. “During his first or second season, that’s when I realized he’s the hardest working person I’ve ever met, by far, because his tireless effort to actually watch, film, and shoot a thousand shots and then go to the studio and work everyday,” Stoute said excitedly, speaking to us over the phone. “He wanted to be a really good rapper, it mattered to him.”

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Kobe’s first track, released in 1998, was a remix Brian McKnight’s song “Hold Me.” The song peaked at no. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and essentially jumped-started Bryant’s career. After the success the song, Sony decided to move forward with an album. In true Kobe form, he was in the studio for hours at a time, writing and rewriting songs with tireless perfectionism. His group was with him throughout the process, as there was every intention for the project to be a CHEIZAW album. Kobe’s dedication to music was admirable since he was also entering his third full season in the league at the same time. It’s worth noting the music didn’t affect Kobe’s numbers at all — he completed his best statistical season up to that point. 

Discussing the legendary NBA player’s brief rap career, Stoute remembers how passionate Kobe was about the music, leading to some big expectations for the first album. Despite the excitement that was building, there was some unfortunate drama on the horizon that would ultimately spell the end Kobe’s hip-hop dreams. Bryant parted ways with CHEIZAW in November 1999 before they had a chance to release a proper debut. According to Stoute, it’s because the group members weren’t working hard enough. However, in the aforementioned Grantland piece, Bannister claims it was because the label wanted them to embrace a pop sound that went against the group’s lyrical sensibilities. This falling out allowed Bryant to fully embrace his role as a solo artist. As for the group, they withered away as it became clear that neither Sony nor Bryant wanted them on board.

The solo Kobe Bryant album was never released. A single with Tyra Banks called “K.O.B.E” debuted in January 2000. Bryant got to perform it that same month at the 2000 NBA All-Star game. Banks’ underwhelming vocals, as well as Bryant’s leather suit and leopard print hat, led to a disastrous performance that had NBA fans recoiling at the very sight it. The music video shot by Hype Williams was scrapped and Kobe decided to link back up with Broady Boy CHEIZAW. At that point, however, Sony had had enough. That same year, Bryant’s album was put to bed and he was dropped by the label. “I think we picked the wrong first single,” Stoute recalled. “He went through the process and tried really hard …] I just think that he made the right decision.”

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Things weren’t all bad for Bryant. That same year, he won his first NBA title and went on to win four more. Funnily enough, he won three those championships with Shaq– which just goes to show their rapper personas never interfered with their play on the court.

 —–

Following Kobe’s short-lived career, Allen Iverson began rapping under the name Jewelz during the 2000 fseason.

Stoute, who was around for that as well, maintains Iverson could have been a huge success had it not been for the NBA’s condemnation  his first song “40 Bars.” Iverson was seen as someone who could pick up the mantle left by Shaq and was eventually signed by Universal Records. Despite this, he was criticized for using misogynistic and homophobic language, including lyrics such as: “Get murdered in a second in the first degree/Come to me with f***** tendencies/You’ll be sleeping where the maggots be.” 

His song caught the attention NBA commissioner David Stern, who was quick to issue a statement saying “The lyrics that have been attributed to Allen Iverson’s soon-to-be-released rap CD are coarse, fensive, and anti-social.” Stern even threatened to kick Iverson out the league entirely. As the threat NBA expulsion loomed over his head, Iverson scrapped the music he was working on and an album never came to fruition. 

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Shaq’s success allowed him to have some credibility within the hip-hop space. However, Kobe and Iverson’s short-lived rap careers completely shifted the narrative when it came to athletes crossing over into music. Now, anyone coming into the space risked being seen as a novelty or simply put, corny. Thanks to this stigma, it would take a long time before we saw another NBA player attempt to immerse themselves in the genre.

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After a dry spell plagued the mid to late 2000s, Stephen Jackson came through with a mixtape in 2012 called What’s A Lockout.

As most basketball fans remember, the 2011-12 season was cut short thanks to a long and strenuous collective bargaining agreement negotiation which had some players wondering when they’d get back on the court. This prompted Jackson to get in the booth and express himself away from the bright lights the NBA.

Jackson immediately looked for ways to make his project stand out and it led to him enlisting none other than DJ Scream to host the tape. Scream had already built a rapport with Jackson and knew his high-caliber raps would surprise fans who didn’t know better. Once they started working on the music, Scream felt it was going to be special as Jackson came with the hunger someone trying to prove themselves to the world. “That project right there was him saying, ‘What’s a lockout?’” DJ Scream explained. “‘I don’t care about the lockout. The lockout don’t affect me. I got other things going, whether it be rap or other things.’”

As Scream recounted, the NBA star didn’t seem too worried about what the reception would be, and sure enough, his music was welcomed with open arms. Fans began clamoring for more projects after realizing how talented Jackson was as an MC. Scream says he wasn’t necessarily surprised by the music’s reception although it was great to see people giving Jackson a chance. “When he got some free time from basketball, he did another tape,” Scream said. “I think he called it Trill Freestyles and took a lot Texas classics and freestyled over those. That went well too, a lot positive feedback.”

With Jackson revitalizing the NBA rapper economy, more athletes would begin making the jump to music. Among the more high prile examples, Lou Williams dropped the project The Album That Never Was back in 2017. Williams was able to get the likes Jahlil Beats and Honorable C-Note to produce for him. The sixth-man the year immediately impressed his producers, including C-Note, who deemed him worthy his best beats. “If you’re really good at one thing, people try to put you in a box but when I first heard Lou Will, I played him my best beats. I was like ‘Bro, you can really rap,’” C-Note said. “I went into that secret stash and played him that shit, shit.”

The NBA rapper craze seemingly hit a new peak in 2017 after an XXL story went in-depth on a secret recording session LeBron James and Kevin Durant had during the 2011 lockout. This story caught the attention producer/engineer Franky Wahoo who worked at Spider Studios in Canton, Ohio. According to an interview Wahoo did with Vice, he was actually present during the infamous recording session and was surprised to find out people knew about it. During the 2017 NBA Finals, Wahoo took to Twitter and dropped a 30-second snippet LeBron and KD’s song “It Ain’t Easy,” which was recorded during that same session. Wahoo promised that if he got 1 million retweets, he would drop the full song. The retweet goal proved to be a little too lty. He never got there, although other opportunities to drop the song came along.

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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TMZ fered some money for the track while LeBron’s agent Rich Paul suggested it could be used for NBA 2K19. Wahoo never accepted any these fers and uncredited demos the song eventually made their way to radio. This forced the DJ to throw the ficial song up on SoundCloud without any promotion. “We were like ‘well we sit on it we do nothing, they leak it I don’t get production credit,’” Wahoo told Vice. “In the industry, you have to protect yourself first so I’m like ‘what if I just put it on Soundcloud?’ The worst thing that could happen is that James’ agent] Paul would take it down.”

The song became a minor sensation, with fans wondering whether or not James or KD would continue to explore their musical prowess. In the end, neither player gave the song much acknowledgment but the fandom surrounding the song displayed a real appetite for more music from some the league’s biggest stars.

With this in mind, there seems to be one player in particular who has completely changed the narrative as far as the bility athletes in the hip-hop space. That man is Damian Lillard the Portland Trailblazers, who goes by the rap moniker Dame D.O.L.L.A. Unlike Shaq and Kobe, fans have been able to separate Damien Lillard the basketball player from Dame D.O.L.L.A the rapper. This distinction lends to the idea that attitudes are changing towards athletes who make music.

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Dame first caught the attention hip-hop fans with his “Four-Bar Friday” series on SoundCloud.

In 2015, Lillard went on Sway In The Morning and dropped an impressive freestyle which immediately had his supporters clamoring for an album. One year later, Dame would deliver on that promise with his debut project The Letter O. The album had a feature from Lil Wayne and showcased Lillard’s ability to craft songs and deliver some scintillating bars. Once again fans were left asking for more and a year later, he dropped Confirmed.

Lillard has gone above and beyond what you would expect from an athlete doubling as a rapper. In November 2016, he started his own record label called Front Page Music, where he signed two artists: Danny from Sobrante and Brookfield Duece. Dame’s dedication to the craft is evident. While some do it for the look or for the exposure, he says he does it because he loves it and at the end the day, he wants the respect his contemporaries.

“I’ve put two albums out. I’ve done features. I got major artists on all my music. I’ve taken all the steps to be respected as a rapper,” Lillard explained. “I didn’t just come out and say, ‘I’m an NBA Allstar and I do music so respect my music.’ I took all the steps that everybody else does doing music primarily to be respected as an artist.”

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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This artistic hunger has led some other NBA rappers to come for his throne. Sacramento Kings young gun Marvin Bagley challenged Dame with a diss track. Lillard immediately replied with a song his own, called “MARVINNNNNNN???” “After I heard the first track where he mentioned my name, I started writing a diss track just in case he ever came for me again,” Lillard recalled. “So the day that he dropped his, I dropped mine the same day. After I dropped mine, I didn’t know how fast he was gonna shoot back so I recorded another one and dropped another one and the next morning he came back with something else but at that point, I was done with it.”

Interestingly enough, a couple months after our interview with Lillard, he found himself embroiled in yet another rap beef. This time, Lillard was going up against the OG the NBA rap community, Shaq. During an appearance on The Joe Budden PodcastLillard made some combative comments about Shaq and even perpetuated some the stereotypes that plagued Shaq’s early foray into hip-hop. Dame claimed he was a better rapper than the four-time NBA champion and said that while Shaq could rap, most people saw him as a basketball player who made music — and not as a bonafide MC.

Even if you agree with Lillard and think Shaq can’t hang with the new kids, there is no denying his influence on the culture. Simply put, without Shaq, there is no Dame D.O.L.L.A. “Shaq paved the way for every NBA player to rap]. Everybody thought they could do what he did but nobody was able to be as successful,” Sermon said. “Shaq, from the heart, grew up hip-hop, being from Newark NJ, knowing what the styles were, he was able to learn the craft and take it seriously.”

Rap Or Go To The League: How The NBA Embedded Itself In Hip-Hop's DNA

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Sermon went on to acknowledge that Dame is one the few holding the mantle left by Shaq in the 90s. “There’s only one NBA player] that’s rapping right now] and that’s Dame Lillard. That happens to be the one that Shaq is beefin’ with Laughs]. But Dame is the only one that is taking it seriously, that I know about.”

Regardless where you fall in the debate, there is no denying how powerful the recent back-and-forth between Dame and Shaq has been for the “athletes that rap” movement. For years, NBA players trying to make a name for themselves in the rap game have been shunned and looked at as a gimmick. This latest rap beef has people talking about Shaq and Dame like they are legitimate artists, which, course, they always have been. The only difference is now they are being acknowledged as such. If Shaq set the precedent with his debut album, then Lillard has set the standard. 

NBA YoungBoy Gets New Tattoo While Cuddling With His Girlfriend

When your name is YoungBoy Never Broke Again, you have your tattoo artist come out to the crib to get some new ink. Even if he wasn’t on house arrest, this is likely a perk being one the hottest rappers in the entire world. Right now, NBA YoungBoy is unable to go on tour or perform any shows, being restricted to his hood for the next year as a result his probation violation. Thankfully for him, he’s still striving musically, netting his first-ever No. 1 album with AI YoungBoy 2 and getting some new ink to celebrate

NBA YoungBoy Gets New Tattoo While Cuddling With His Girlfriend
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The star’s new girlfriend, who is also Kodak Black’s ex, shared a video them cuddling as the rapper got his torso tatted up. They looked comfortable, perhaps even taking a quick nap, with the needle going in and out YB’s skin. The soothing sounds Future Hendrix played in the background. 

The superstar’s girlfriend, who is known as Dej Rose Gold, has been criticized for her connection to the rapper but she swears their bond is real. Commenting back to a fan who asked which rapper she would be going after once she finishes up with YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Dej joked that Tupac Shakur was next on her list. Clearly, she plans on roughing things out with YoungBoy.

Read our review the rapper’s new mixtape here.

Snoop Dogg Goes Back In Time With "Puppy" Era Pics

Might Quavo‘s mother have started a wave? Following Quavo’s hilariously embarrassing baby picture,Snoop Dogg decided to set his own course and pull a few relics from the stash. Dubbing the photo-series as “Puppy Dogg,” Uncle Snoop shared six pictures drawing back to when he was but a mere “nephew.” Perhaps it was his recent birthday that prompted the spur nostalgia. Perhaps it was simple desire to share with his fans and followers, many whom reached out to usher in his forty-eighth year.

Snoop Dogg Goes Back In Time With "Puppy" Era Pics

Kevin Winter/Getty s

There’s not much to say about the images, except that they remind us all that even a legend like Snoop experienced his own journey. Not only from the Chuuch to the Palace, but from the high-school football field to the family function. Not to mention, each image serves as a harsh reminder that rustic film-photography is becoming a thing the past. One day every throwback baby picture will arrive with high definition resolution, touched by mild photo-editing and an abundance filters. 

Happy belated birthday to Uncle Snoop, and shout out to the young pup. Check out the pics below. 

Nick Young Makes NBA Finals Prediction, Says Nuggets Are "Scared Of LeBron"

The 2019-20 NBA season ficially tips f on Tuesday night and if you haven’t yet gone on the record with your NBA Finals prediction the time is now.

Ahead the season-opener, former NBA champion Nick Young sat down for an interview with Complex’s Adam Caparell, during which he made his selection for the 2020 NBA champion and explained why he thinks the Denver Nuggets won’t be as good as everyone thinks. In fact, Swaggy P says Denver is “scared LeBron.”

In addition to his thoughts about Denver, Young predicts that the Golden State Warriors will be an eighth seed, at best.

Caparell: If you have one crazy NBA prediction for the season what would that be?

Young: I will say either New Orleans making the eighth seed or Denver not making the playfs. I don’t think the Warriors going to make it this year. If they do, it’s the eighth seed.

Caparell: Denver was the No. 2 seed last year in the West. To have them go from the No. 2 seed and to not making the playfs this season that’s a hot take.

Young: That could be. They’re scared the Lakers, they’re scared LeBron. Every time Denver played LeBron, and they get killed. They’re going to be scared the Clippers.

Caparell: Who is your champion?

Young: Lakers.

Young, who won an NBA title with the Warriors during the 2017-18 campaign, appeared in just four games for the Nuggets last season before he was waived. He’s currently a free agent and is prepared to ficially announce his retirement if no teams come calling.

“This is pretty much like my last year, if nothing happened,” says Young, per Adam Caparell. “I’m just going to call it, it’s over. No more Swaggy P.”

Nick Young Makes NBA Finals Prediction, Says Nuggets Are "Scared Of LeBron"

Ezra Shaw/Getty s

Stephen A. Smith & Michael Irvin Deliver Explosive Cowboys Debate: Watch

Stephen A. Smith is known for being a wonderful objective sports journalist who looks at the world athletics from a fair and honest point view. When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys, Smith delivers his opinions with a hatred that can only be explained by the fact he had to put up with Cowboys apologist Skip Bayless for a decade. Smith’s opinions on the Cowboys have been consistently questioned by the likes Michael Irvin who, course, is a Cowboys legend.

The two are constantly sparring about the Cowboys on ESPN’s First Take and this was especially true this morning as the Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles last night in convincing fashion. Irvin came into the show with a purpose as he continued to rub the Cowboys win in the face Smith, who couldn’t do anything but just sit there and take it.

As you can see from the clips above, Irvin was in an explosive mood and thought the whole thing was pretty hilarious. Smith laughed at times and tried to get a word in edge-wise but it was too late as Irvin had practically already won. 

With the win, the Cowboys are now 4-3 on the season and have sole possession first place in the NFC East. Meanwhile, Smith’s Steelers have been struggling all season without Big Ben.

 

Nicki Minaj Explains Her Controversial Retirement Tweet

When Nicki Minaj told the world that she was retiring from music earlier this year, her fans begged her to reconsider. The legendary female rapper is considered one the best all time and to see her depart from the game would be heartbreaking to her legion fans. She still has so much to fer but, these days, she’s more concerned with starting a family with her husband-to-be Kenneth Petty. Since last summer, she and Petty have been flaunting their relationship goals across social media and they’re expected to tie the knot within fifteen days. During a sit-down conversation with The Shade Room, she confirmed as much, stating that the paperwork side their marriage will be completed soon. She also had something to say about her controversial decision to quit music.

“When I posted that retirement tweet, I knew that I still had music that I already had recorded that was still gonna come out,” said the Queen. “The retirement was talking about my album, meaning do I want to go back and record my fifth album. That’s what I was talking about. But I knew that, course, features… you know I always get asked to do features and I like features. So, it was really about the fifth album.”

Nicki says that she didn’t know her fans would react the way that they did but, considering how big a name the artist is, she should have seen that coming. Are you hoping for new music from Minaj soon?

Kanye West Considered Quitting Rap Because It’s the ‘Devil’s Music’

Kanye West almost turned his back on rap.

The rapper’s pastor, Adam Tyson, recently spoke with Christian-based media outlet Apologia Studios ( XXL) about Kanye’s religious rebirth and how its affected his music.

“[Kanye] started visiting our church back in mid-May,” said Tyson, who is the senior pastor at Placerita Bible Church in Newhall, Calif.

After showing up to service a few times, he requested to speak with Tyson. “[Kanye] said, ‘About five weeks ago, I got radically saved,’” shared the pastor. “He just started telling me a little about his testimony.”

Kanye told Tyson that he turned to Christianity after feeling the “weight of sin” from fame and the music industry. “The guilt of sin brought him down low,” he said. “He would say the devil basically brought him to a place where he just felt like he was in bondage to his sin. So he said, ‘I got delivered.’”

At one point, he even considered giving up rap altogether. “One time, he told me that he wasn’t going to rap,” Tyson revealed. “I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, ‘Well, that’s the devil’s music.’ I said, ‘Hey, man. Rap is a genre. You can rap for God.’ I think he was already thinking about it a little bit, but I just definitely said, ‘Hey, bro. I think you need to use your talents that God’s given you and use that platform for God.’”

Ye ultimately decided not to abandon his craft, but use it as vehicle to spread his beliefs. He continues to host his gospel-themed Sunday Service performances, which made a recent stop in Jamaica. His religious-themed album Jesus Is King is reportedly now due Oct. 25, while his film of the same name arrives in IMAX theaters the same day.

Rihanna Upsets Fans by Using Chris Brown Song in Fenty Beauty Video

It’s been a decade since Rihanna and Chris Brown split, but RiRi is still a fan of his music.

The singer took to social media on Saturday to promote her Fenty Beauty products, but it was her song choice that raised eyebrows. The clip shows her Glossy Posse lip gloss products in a pool, soundtracked by Chris Brown’s H.E.R. collaboration “Come Together.”

“Gang Gang. just me and my #GlossyPosse !!! @fentybeauty,” tweeted RiRi.

Fans took to social media to voice their disapproval based on their troubled past (The couple split in 2009 after Brown physically assaulted Rihanna). “Years of an abusive relationship brought about by the man singing this song,” tweeted one user, while Rihanna reportedly blocked another fan for their comment.

But not everyone was mad. Others, including members of Team Breezy, shared their support for her Indigo song selection. “That’s why I love you!! I knew that u we’re not a person that carries bad memories from others,” wrote one fan.

It wasn’t long before Chris himself noticed the post and left a heart emoji in Rihanna’s comments. He also showed his approval by reposting the clip on Instagram Stories with the praying hands and smiling face with hearts emojis.