Chaka Khan Calls Kanye’s "Through The Wire" Stupid, Was "Pissed" When She Heard It

With a career that spans nearly 50 years, Chaka Khan is a legend. Her songs are classics that have been covered by some the greats and she’s worked with just about every music icon in her generation that one can think . The 66-year-old singer is still taking to stages across the globe and belting out fan favorites, but she took a moment to visit with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live. Cohen pegged Khan with questions about her lengthy career and let’s just say that she wasn’t shy about giving her opinion.

“I don’t know if it showed, but he was a lonely person,” she said late artist Prince. The singer also stated that they were like brother and sister, but in the last “year or so” his life, they really didn’t keep in touch. “I was surprised there was anything…I knew that he broke his knees and broke his ankles and carrying on. We were on tour together when it happened. I wasn’t aware there was anything else going on, and that was hard for me not to detect.”

“A song is a free agent,” she said Whitney Houston covering her hit “I’m Every Woman.” “If you can rock the song, rock it. If you can’t, you need to leave it alone.” She added that she didn’t make money f that cover because it was written by Ashford & Simpson, but she did rake in the dough when Mary J. Blige did “Sweet Thing” because she penned that one. However, things took a turn when Ms. Khan was asked to share her thoughts about Kanye West sampling her song “Through the Fire” for his hit track, “Through the Wire.”

She said they talked about it before he began production, but their talk was “very different] than the song turned out, obviously.” She also stated that she wasn’t happy with the end result at all. “He called me when he just got out the hospital. He said, ‘You were so instrumental in my healing process. I changed the words a little bit to the song but I had to eat through a wire. Jaws wired shut through a straw.’ It meant that much to me. It really got my heart, tugged at my string. I was like, yeah, use it.”

“Then when it came out, she mocks the high-pitched chorus]. I was pissed,” she said. “It was a little insulting. Not insulting, I thought it was stupid! If I’d known he was gonna do that, I would have said, ‘Hell no.'” She admitted that she never told him that she didn’t like “Through the Wire,” but she believes her silence toward him has said enough. Yikes.

Guggenheim Partners Says Spotify's $500M Bet on Podcasts Will Pay Off

While Spotify struggles to become a profitable company, a number of Wall Street analysts see podcasts as a safe bet.

Spotify’s most recent financial results emphasized just how much of a focus podcasts will have in the company’s future.

Spotify plans to spend $400-$500M on in 2019 alone.  In the company’s quarterly financial results, Spotify stated that its podcast expansion is an essential strategy for driving ‘top of funnel’ growth. Podcasts offer increased user engagement, lower churn, faster revenue growth, and higher margins.

Oh, and one other thing — they also come with drastically lower royalty costs.  And, from Spotify’s perspective, podcasts also eliminate the endless renewals, haggles, and drama associated with licensing music content.

Already the company has purchased three podcasting companies in 2019, including Gimlet Media, Anchor, and Parcast.

Now, a research team at Guggenheim Partners — led by Michael Morris — has released a report detailing their analysis of the podcast-centric strategy.  The quick summary: Spotify’s moves in the podcast world have elevated Guggenheim’s outlook on the company’s advertising revenue potential and overall growth.

Already,  is showing revenue promise for streaming services.  In its recent analysis, Guggenheim estimates podcasts could generate an additional $250 million in annual revenue for the company.

Morris and the Guggenheim squad took keen interest in app-related stats.

The AppAnnie analytics firm reports that Spotify is now the 9th most downloaded app on Android in Q2 2019.  That’s the highest quarterly ranking achieved by the app in more than two years, with podcasts and expanded audio content one possible cause.

“Sequential improvement in app downloads indicates new and returning user growth, a positive trend and supportive of a bullish view that the company’s global addressable market is well in excess of current streaming music subscriber levels,” Morris said.

Spotify’s focus on original, exclusive content isn’t happening by accident.  The streaming service recently inked a podcast deal with former President Barack Obama, though that’s part of a potentially large number of exclusive content signings ahead.  Alongside its content acquisition, Spotify has also been diversifying their advertising tools to help advertisers reach listeners based on their preferred types of podcasts.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says it’s still a very new market for podcasts.  “Our view obviously is that while we are starting to flock to listen to podcasts, there’s still tremendous growth both in the US and internationally.”

In other words, it’s still ‘early days’ for podcasts — especially when it comes to Spotify’s bottom line.

Stephen A. Smith Hints That He’ll Be In "Space Jam 2:" Watch

Stephen A. Smith is one the most colorful personalities in all sports media so it’s not surprising that he actually has a cameo acting on the daytime soap opera General Hospital. Stephen A. loves to act and sometimes, it feels like that’s exactly what he’s doing on First Take. The man had generated some pretty iconic moments on that show and continues to dazzle us with his charismatic personality.

During the intro to First Take today, Max Kellerman asked Smith how he was doing which led to a bit a teaser from Stephen A. The host explained how he was tired because he had been filming a movie that will be released next year and that he couldn’t divulge too much information. The clip was posted to YouTube by an account bearing Charles Barkley’s likeness and also doesn’t seem to know how to spell.

Either way, Kellerman seemed excited by Stephen A.’s revelation especially since it seems like he is talking about Space Jam 2LeBron James recently revealed that shooting has already started and the release date Stephen A. gave matches up with when the new Space Jam is slated to drop.

Should Stephen A. really appear in Space Jam 2 it might be one the funniest crossovers ever. Smith’s inclusion in the movie might actually be better than LeBron’s.

Young Buck Bombs On 50 Cent Again With “The Story Of Foofy” Diss

Young Buck evidently isn’t done with 50 Cent. After dropping the “Foofy Freestyle” diss track last week, the former G-Unit affiliate is back for more with “The Story Of Foofy.”

Like Pusha T did with his Drake diss “The Story Of Adidon,” the track is set to JAY-Z’s “The Story Of O.J.” instrumental. As the beat rolls along, Buck accuses Foofy of “having no sense” and criticizes 50’s business ethics.

“Tour bus full of choppas, you open up the doors/Looking at me like ‘Damn Buck, this shit is yours?/I’m looking at you like ‘Damn Foofy this shit is war,” he raps.

50 has been relentless with the online antics when it comes to Buck. He’s been accusing him of having a relationship with a transgender woman for months, to the point where Fiddy’s fans are actually approaching Buck in public to interrogate him about his personal life.

Buck was kicked out of the G-Unit clique in 2008, but he and 50 made peace in 2014 — it didn’t stick. In addition to trolling him about his sexuality, the Power co-creator accuses Buck of owning him money — which apparently applies to several people 50 knows.

Listen to “The Story Of Foofy” above.

BJ Penn Fought A Strip Club Bouncer While In Honolulu: Watch

If you’ve been following MMA and the UFC for a long time now, then you have certainly heard BJ Penn and everything he has done for the sport. Penn is a legend in his own right and still fights from time to time, even if his old age gets in the way at times. Regardless, it seems as though Penn has been enjoying himself just a little bit too much recently as TMZ Sports obtained footage him outside a Honolulu strip club on Monday night.

Now you may associate strip clubs with having a ton fun, but in this case, that is certainly not what was happening here. In the video which can be seen below, Penn is on top a bouncer and is fighting with him. 

Witnesses on the scene tried to stop Penn who had the bouncer pinned to the ground and wouldn’t let up. One man even tries punching Penn in the head but he just wouldn’t quit. The owner the club told TMZ that Penn had been escorted out because he was “very drunk” and that cops were eventually called to put an end to the scene.

In the report, it states that Penn had already left the club by the time police arrived so there was no way he could be apprehended.

Eminem’s Father Dead At 67: Report

We’re sad to report on the death Eminem‘s biological father Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr. As reported by TMZ, the famed Detroit rapper’s biological father has passed away at the age 67. He is said to have died from a heart attack at his home. The 67-year-old reportedly passed near Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr. was mentioned frequently in Eminem’s earlier songs, where the rapper claims he was abandoned. He also previously wished death on his father. As mentioned in the report, Em held a major grudge against his dad, speaking about it in songs “My Name Is” and “Cleanin’ Out My Closet.” Eminem has said in the past that whenever he would send letters to his dad, they would be sent back unopened. He also had limited contact with the man, speaking to him rarely on the phone. Marshall Jr. split up with Em’s mother shortly after she gave birth to the rapper.

Eminem's Father Dead At 67: Report
Frederick M. Brown/Getty s

After taking out an ad in the newspaper addressed to his son in 2001, Eminem’s father reportedly remained on the sidelines his famous child’s life. Eminem allegedly did not reconcile with Marshall Jr. 

Rest in peace Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr. We’re sending prayers and positive thoughts to Eminem’s family at this moment. 

WWE’s Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose Tease Romance Angle: Video

WWE superstars Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose have been a pairing in the company since making the leap to the main roster in 2017, as they’ve been featured as part Paige’s “Absolution” stable and challenged for the Women’s Tag Team titles earlier this year.

Now, it looks like WWE could be adding a romance angle to their storyline. During the June 25 edition SmackDown Live, wrestling fans noticed that Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville seemed to be more touchy feely than ever before. 

The first hint came during a backstage segment, where Sonya came to Mandy’s defense. The duo later looked like they were about to kiss in the ring following Sonya’s victory against Ember Moon. According to reports, footage the latter was edited out WWE’s ficial YouTube footage, but you can see the clip in the video embedded below.

Sonya Deville has been open in her support the LGBT movement and is the first openly lesbian performer in WWE history.

She has even recently been dubbed “The Pride Fighter” by WWE, but it remains to be seen if the company will move ahead with a romance angle between her and Mandy Rose.

Prince’s Former Band ‘The Revolution’ Talks "Making History" With "Purple Rain"

Three years ago the world was shaken at the news that Prince Rogers Nelson unexpectedly died at his home in Minnesota. Earlier this month Prince’s Originals was released, a collection unreleased tracks that made their way to the masses with the help Jay Z and Troy Carter. This latest record has sparked conversations about the late music legend, and now his former group, The Revolution, are sharing moments from their Purple Rain days.

It was 35 years ago when Albert Magnoli, a young man who was just out USC film school, decided to partner with Prince and The Revolution to make a concert-centered film. “We didn’t know we were making a major motion picture,” Magnoli told Yahoo! Entertainment. “And working with Prince wasn’t working with the ‘Prince’ who became the worldwide star he became after the movie…He was still considered by most people as a fringe artist. So, we went into the film believing we were making a fringe movie.”

“He was frantically telling us we were making history: ‘We’re making history tonight, this is history tonight!’” said Revolution drummer Bobby Z. as he spoke about the evening the filmed the concert scenes. Wendy Melvoin was just 19 at the time and she said she knew that Prince was tapping into something special.

“Purple Rain, when the idea the movie came from him, when he talked about doing this, and when a whole bunch strangers started showing up at our warehouse, we all realized this is not just chat. This is happening,” Melvoin says. “And we were like, whoa. It almost felt… I don’t know, it felt scary, and I was ambivalent at first, like, ‘What is happening here, and where is he, and why is he not at rehearsal right now?’ But it felt like it wasn’t a mistake. It didn’t feel like it was a fool’s paradise at all. It really felt like, ‘Oh, this is a sure thing.’”

Nipsey Hussle, Cardi B, Tiffany Haddish & More Honored At Social Impact Awards Brunch

Every year BET jam packs their award weekend with events fun for celebrities and fans alike. This year Hollywood Unlocked creator Jason Lee was not only in attendance, but he orchestrated the Social Impact Awards and Brunch where he honored a few famous figures who he believes use their celebrity and social media platforms to help impact the lives others positively.

According to EURWeb, Lee honored Nipsey Hussle, Cardi B, Tiffany Hadish, Floyd Mayweather, Nick Cannon, Karen Clark Sheard, and The Breakfast Club. When asked why he decided to host an awards brunch and not another party, Lee said the idea was sparked after he sat down with The Breakfast Club for an interview. “On one end celebrities are] seeking white media validation and on the other end black media is] feeling like they can’t collaborate,” he said. “I feel like it was an important opportunity to bring us all together to celebrate.”

Hollywood Unlocked co-host Melissa Ford added, “People who are using social media to impact the lives others to speak for the voiceless. Recognition needs to be awarded.” Also at the event were celebs like Sage The Gemini who said he’s working on a new project that features Chris Brown; Laura Govan who’s been doing some acting overseas; along with Michael Blackson, Kyle Massey, Khleo Thomas, Tiffany Pollard, and many more. Check it all go down below.

O-Town Slams Universal Music's Trademark Opposition – "They Have More Money and Nothing to Do"

Universal Music Group (UMG) has filed a new injunction against a boy band group.

The major music group has said O-Town can’t file a trademark.  It sounds too similar to its own popular and iconic label, Motown Recordings.

Two years ago, the band’s members, Jacob Underwood, Erik-Michael Estrada, Trevor Penick, and Dan Miller applied for ownership of the O-Town trademark.  On April 25th, 2019, however, UMG filed a notice of opposition.

The notice reads,

The Contested Mark, as used in association with the goods and services recited in the Application, is so similar to Opposer’s Marks as to be likely to create confusion, mistake, or deception as to the source, sponsorship, or affiliation of Applicants’ goods and services in the minds of consumers and persons in the trade.

In addition, continues UMG, the O-Town mark is “virtually identical” to the Motown mark in “sight, sound and commercial meaning.”  The parent company also says the band used the inspiration for its name from the record label.

The group’s manager, Lou Pearlman, had filed the O-Town trademark in March 2000.  He had also managed other boy bands, including Backstreet Boys and NSYNC.  A judge sentenced Pearlman to 25 years in jail for a large-scale Ponzi scheme.  He fraudulently earned over $300 million of others’ assets.  Due to a lack of funds, the group eventually broke up.

Recently filing their response to UMG’s opposition, Miller, Penick, Underwood, and Estrada wrote,

[Motown marks] have not become associated exclusively with UMG and its goods or services.

In addition, the four members say UMG has yet to dispute other non-associated trademark filings.  These include Motown Missile and Detroit Motown The Bus 36 Muscle.

Since Pearlman’s passing in 2013, the group has reformed.  Yet, O-Town blasted UMG for not contesting their former manager’s original trademark filing.

Underwood said,

O-Town has been selling records for almost 20 years now – we’ve had T-shirts, pillowcases, and everything under the sun sold with this logo on it.  So, if Motown thinks we’re infringing on their rights or have broken the law, why has it taken this many years to say so?

To claim that after 20 years of working as O-Town, there’s going to be confusion about our name is ridiculous.  They let this be a mark when Lou got it around 1999, so if they have a problem with it now, why didn’t you have a problem with it then?

Underwood also stated the major music group is “bored.”  UMG apparently filed the opposition since the label’s lawyers “have nothing else to do.”

Meanwhile, we’re managing ourselves and doing everything we can to keep the band afloat after finally having success with our Kickstarter campaign and being back on tour.

“Every time we file a response, it’s around $7,000… We just want them off our back to avoid going bankrupt trying to fight this.”

 


Featured image by jenniferlinneaphotography (CC by 2.0).

Osundairo Brother Wished Jussie Smollett A “Speedy Recovery” After Alleged Attack

You know the Osundairo brothers who were hoaxed into Jussie Smollet’s alleged hate attack? Well it turns out one the brothers texted the Empire actor his well wishes the day the purported attack. On Monday night, the Chicago Police Department released a mountain documents and visual evidence regarding the lawsuit, which reportedly included a text message between the two parties.

“Bruh say it ain’t true,” Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo wrote to Jussie in a text. “I’m praying for speedy recovery. S–t is wild,” he added.

To add to that, Osundairo’s text was sent on January 29th, likely after news the incident spread on news outlets that very day. If you forgot, the “Empire” star was accused paying Osundairo and his brother Olabinjo to help stage the hate crime attack near the actor’s Chicago apartment, but maybe this is them covering it up with this staged text? Or maybe Jussie was telling the truth all along and they were just his trainers?

Smollett faced felony charges for allegedly staging the hate crime attack, but the charges were later dropped in a shocking move by prosecutors. We’ll continue to keep you posted with any further updates.

Zion Williamson Geeks Out Over Signed Drew Brees Jersey: Watch

Zion Williamson achieved his childhood dream last Thursday when he was drafted into the NBA with the first overall pick by the New Orleans Pelicans. Williamson is one the most exciting prospects in quite some time and many believe he could be what turns the Pelicans into a contender for an NBA Championship. Now that Anthony Davis has moved on, the Pelicans need all the talent they can get and Zion certainly has the power and athleticism to turn the tides.

Today, the Pelicans posted a video on Twitter Zion being welcomed into a hotel room in New Orleans where he is settling in. As he walks into the room, he realizes that there is a framed signed Drew Brees jersey waiting for him in the bedroom. Williamson was visibly excited by the gift and the note that came with it which is symbolic how Zion is the next generation New Orleans superstars.

There are no guarantees that Zion will live up to the hype but he will surely bring a lot eyeballs to New Orleans as they begin their season next year. The Pelicans don’t get much national coverage but Williamson certainly has the star power to change that.

LL Cool J Blames Lack Of Chapstick Sponsorships On His "Black Lips"

LL Cool J is known for many things. He played an essential role in the formulation the Hip Hop we know and love today, he has a series unbeatable classics and he is a ladies man. During his prime, LL Cool J’s signature lip-licking gesture was essential to his sex appeal and it is thus surprising that he never managed to snag any chapstick or lip care sponsorships at the time. And in case you were wondering why, the rapper has recently shared the answer. LL Cool J was hanging out in Midtown NYC this past Monday and when he was asked why his famous lips have never been approached for a chapstick deal, he responded quite frankly. 

“No, they hated my black lips back then,” shared LL with the photographer who posed the question. It is unclear whether LL Cool J was referring to a specific situation or if he meant the reason applied to all chapsticks companies in general, but had his fame been brought to today, a sponsorship would have surely resulted. The two-time Grammy award recipient also stated he was planning on making a return to music. He shared: “yeah, I’m gonna do another album.” 

Amazon Music Debuts 'Handpicked' Artist-Curated Playlists — Starting With Katy Perry

Amazon Music users can now listen to playlists that have been crafted by popular artists and bands.

Amazon revealed the addition to its Amazon Music platform with a debut song collection curated by Katy Perry.  The move is just one part of Amazon’s recent efforts to better compete with other music-streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora.

Amazon is widely considered to be among the top three streaming platforms, though its exact subscriber count remains elusive. Part of that is due to Amazon’s broad range of services, with Amazon Prime Music serving potentially more than a hundred million takers.

Perry’s Handpicked tracks all have two things in common: they’re personally enjoyed by Perry, and they center around a “Moving On” theme, which Perry also chose. Moreover, only one of the 20 included songs (“Never Really Over”) is performed by Perry herself. The collection’s 19 other works come from a variety of other performers, including Blink-182 (“Dammit”), Justin Timberlake (“Cry Me a River”), and Taylor Swift (“Begin Again”).

Songs from The All-American Rejects, Britney Spears, and Ariana Grande also appear.

And yes, Perry’s inclusion of a Taylor Swift song is irrefutable proof that the two have buried the hatchet once and for all. With this in mind, Perry’s recent Instagram post, which claimed that she and Swift have made peace, seems pretty accurate.

Perry also recorded a 30-second introduction for her Handpicked collection, which is available exclusively on Amazon Music. Amazon has indicated that other artists’ Handpicked albums will be featured on Amazon Music in the near future, though no release dates or musicians have yet been specified.

Perry’s playlist release coincided with the first day of summer, perhaps in an effort to help listeners “move on” to the new season.

City Girls’ JT to Be Released From Prison in Next 90 Days

JT is coming home soon.

The City Girls rapper is set to be released from prison early. During an interview with Miami’s 99 Jamz, Pierre “Pee” Thomas, co-founder and CEO of Quality Control Music, revealed that JT will be released in the next 90 days.

“JT will be home in the next 90 days,” said Thomas.

JT, whose real name is Jata Johnson, recently filed documents requesting to be released from a Tallahassee prison early so she could be placed in a halfway house. According The Blast, the judge denied the motion, but it appears that the Bureau of Prisons granted an early release.

As of July 12, 2019, she will have completed “15.6 months (12 months plus 3.6 months earned good time credit), thereby leaving 8.4 months of her sentence to be served.”

In June 2018, JT started serving a 24-month prison sentence for charges related to felony identity theft. She will have to complete one year of probation following her release.

“It’s gonna go by fast,” she told Rap-Up before checking herself in last June. “Nobody will probably even notice I’m gone like that…Well, they’ll notice I’m gone because I tweet a lot and they probably gon’ miss that.”

While JT remains behind bars, Yung Miami has been holding things down for the group. She recently announced that she is pregnant with her second child. “I want this journey to be nothing but positive going forward and I wanted to share this with y’all,” said Yung Miami. “No one knows what is best for me but GOD, and this was just his timing for me.”