Mystikal Avoids Trial & Settles $3M Tax Lawsuit

Veteran rap star Mystikal’s years-long battle with the IRS has resulted in an amicable victory for everyone involved, The Blast reports.

The 48-year-old artist born Michael Tyler and the United States government notified a judge on Wednesday (April 10) that there was no need to proceed with a trial for the $3 million back taxes lawsuit, as both parties had reached a deal.

“The parties have reached an agreement to settle the plaintiff’s cause of action against the defendant in its entirety, although the necessary documentation has not yet been accomplished. In addition to this Notice, the parties have informed both the Clerk’s Office and Chambers of this settlement,” the court documents obtained by The Blast read.

Although the well-jailed rapper has served prison time for tax fraud in the past, his recent release this past February stemmed from an unrelated rape case in which he did 18 months before being able to be bonded out. That case will reportedly begin later this year.

Mystikal’s frequent prison woes have contributed to an infrequent release of new music. His last studio album was released all the way back in December 2001.

Watch Nipsey Hussle’s ‘Celebration of Life’ Memorial

Long live Nipsey Hussle.

Nearly two weeks after his death, thousands of family, friends, and fans will gather to pay tribute to the Crenshaw rapper during a “Celebration of Life” at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday (April 11).

Over 20,000 people are expected to attend the memorial service for the Grammy-nominated rapper, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, who was beloved in his community for his activism and work in the community.

The two-hour ceremony, which starts at 10 a.m. PST, is expected to feature performances in Hussle’s honor. It will be followed by a 25.5-mile funeral procession that will run from downtown Los Angeles through Inglewood, South L.A., and Watts, traveling past the Marathon Clothing store, where Hussle was gunned down on March 31.

Those who are unable to attend can watch the service a global live-stream on several platforms including BET and TIDAL.

Tickets for the service went on sale earlier this week and were gone within minutes. The only other time Staples Center has hosted a memorial for an entertainer was following Michael Jackson’s death in 2009.

Jussie Smollett Accused Of Purposely Misleading Cops By Saying Attackers Were White

According to a civil lawsuit filed by the City Chicago, Jussie Smollett allegedly misled cops down the rabbit hole by suggesting the men who attacked him were White – which in turn can only mean one thing: the City Chicago believes that Smollett purposedly feds the cops a presumptuous lie in order to buy himself some time with the media.

Jussie Smollett Accused Of Purposely Misleading Cops By Saying Attackers Were White

Scott Dudelson/Getty s

City ficials filed the lawsuit yesterday in the Cook County circuit room where all the action seems to be taking place. The last time city ficials rained down upon Cook County, it was to force a $130,000 tariff into writing. On April 4th, Smollett learned his fate: Smollett would be asked to compensate the Chicago PD for all the “overtime” they were forced into, due to his trickery.

“Smollett] made this statement despite knowing that the Osundairo Brothers are not white-skinned,” the city’s lawsuit suit reads. “By providing this false description, Smollett] purposely misled the CPD ficers to believe that his attackers were white, when, in fact, Smollett] knew that his attackers were the Osundairo brothers.”

As this writing, Smollett is no longer facing criminal charges, but could very well foot the entire $130,000 sum, as tabulated by the PD’s accountancy. The city is firm in their stance that Jussie did not “at any point” inform investigators that the Osundairo Brothers were NOT Caucasian, after filing the original report.

Derrick Rose Brown Down In Tears After Being Traded to Knicks In 2016: Video

On Thursday night, multi-platform sports network Stadium released a new documentary titled, “Pooh: The Derrick Rose Story,” which chronicles Derrick Rose’s journey from his childhood in Englewood, Illinois to his rise to superstardom in the NBA.

Rose, drafted first overall by his hometown Chicago Bulls in the 2008 NBA Draft, spent his first eight years with the team before being traded to the New York Knicks in June 2016. Cameras were rolling as Rose discussed the possibility  being traded by the Bulls nearly three years ago, when a friend informed Rose that his agent, BJ Armstrong, was in New York.

Moments later, Rose received a call from Armstrong telling him the deal was done.

“You do hear about trade rumors here and there, and this last one, the Knicks one was pretty big because it caught a lot people’s attention,” Rose said. “I’m good with being in Chicago. We’re trying to win there, get back on the right track, so that’s the only thing I can think about. Being in Chicago, but I do hear the rumors. I never really thought about packing up and leaving or demanding a trade.”

During his lone season with the Knicks, Rose played 64 games and averaged 18 points on 47.1% shooting. After a brief stint in Cleveland he landed in Minnesota.

The 30-year old point guard recently underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow and will be sidelined indefinitely. In 51 games with the Minnesota Timberwolves this season, he averaged 18 points and 4.3 assists.

Lil Uzi Very Collaborator Says "Eternal Atake" Has Undergone 11 Different Make-overs

Word around town is that Lil Uzi Vert is somewhat a perfectionist. One the contributors to the long-anticipated Eternal Atake album says that part the holdup revolves around Uzi’s obsessive personality, causing him to re-do the project a whopping 11 times and counting. The person closest to the situation was Finesse, the manager Lil Uzi Vert‘s Working on Dying collective. He was the one to pass the message along to Genius, who wasted no time in branding Uzi a weird but calculated methodologist.

Lil Uzi Very Collaborator Says "Eternal Atake" Has Undergone 11 Different Make-overs

Rick Kern/Wire/Getty s

“Uzi’s] one the most creative people that I’ve ever met in my life, and that’s tough man,” Finesse told Genius Uzi’s unmitigated creative process. “It’s tough because he’s such a perfectionist that we’ve probably had 11 versions  Eternal Atake. He records every day. But he’s not gonna put it out until he feels like everyone is to his liking, and sometimes that pace is gonna be slower than what his fans like. So we get it. We understand, but equally speaking he’s working on the best music his life. That’s gonna take time.”

This past week Uzi released two songs that strongly hinted towards the project seeing light in the coming days. With the modern technology at their disposal, “Sanguine Paradise” and “That’s A Rack” were literally time-released to coincide with one another. Where do you stand on the Eternal Atake hype, has the buzz all but fizzled out? Hit us with your thoughts down below.

WWE’s Becky Lynch: Ronda Rousey "Couldn’t Hack Our Schedule"

WWE Women’s Champion Becky Lynch has reached the apex  her pressional wrestling career, and she is still casting blows at her favorite foe, Ronda Rousey.

In the aftermath their Wrestlemania 35 match, during which Rousey reportedly suffered a “severely broken hand,” Lynch has addressed Rousey both on social media and during interviews.

In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, “The Man” took some more shots at Rousey, including how the UFC Hall Famer “couldn’t hack” the WWE schedule.

Lynch tells SI:

“Only four months after having a part-time schedule, after making her debut at WrestleMania – having been on the cover everything, just handed everything, she was crying in her kitchen about how she couldn’t make her husband breakfast. She couldn’t hack our schedule. Yet we do this every single night, 52 weeks a year, yet she couldn’t handle it for four months.”

It has been reported that Rousey’s plan was to step away from the WWE following Wrestlemania 35, in order to start a family with her husband, Travis Browne. The former WWE Raw Women’s champion did not appear on the episode Monday Night Raw immediately after Wrestlemania, leading to speculation that she will indeed be away from the company for some time. Although, her absence could simply be due to her hand injury.

Whatever the case may be, when Rousey does get back in the WWE ring we’re sure Lynch will be public enemy #1.

The Beast Coast Formation: Will They Finally Get Their Due Credit?

Steeped in industry politics since his adolescence, Joey Bada$$ has never been one to withhold his thoughts. After all, it was his own resourcefulness and self-belief that plucked him from youthful anonymity and brought Joey and his Pro Era cohorts into the public eye. Nearly a decade after he was headhunted by Cinematic’s Johnny Shipes, the Flatbush native has gone from boom-bap indebted wunderkind to a top tier MC. Yet despite his artistic prestige and reputation for honest expression, some bars that allude to his stature in the hip-hop hierarchy have ruffled some feathers.

In one the more compelling takeaways from “The Life I Live (Erasode 1),” a snippet new music concludes with Joey tapping into a more boisterous persona than we’ve seen late: “F**k the king New York, I’m the king period.”

The Beast Coast Formation: Will They Finally Get Their Due Credit?

Joey Bada$$ – Daniel Boczarski/Getty s

For the most part, his claim has been largely balked at and paid no mind despite his impeccable abilities and pedigree his work thus far. Viewed as little more than that unchecked bravado that he’s had “since little school,” it feeds into an ongoing predicament that Joey has been entrapped in since he first rose to prominence. At once lauded for his technical wizardry but regularly tarred with the indelible brush being “slept on,” it’s a plight that he’s shared with his Beast Coast brethren in Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies and The Underachievers. Renowned for their indisputable skills, thought-provoking motifs and unique spins on hip-hop convention, Beast Coast’s biggest exports hold the rare distinction commanding fanbases around the world without making any major concessions to the prevailing commercial sound. Cruising in a lane their own devising, the real question is whether or not Joey, Meechy, AK and their fellow Brooklynites have been casualties an industry that places a higher premium on accessibility than ambitious output, and whether or not that course can be altered.

Empowered by their outlier status, there have been occasions where the Beast Coast commune’s discontent with rap’s direction has bubbled to the surface. In one Twitter spree that was soon transfigured into a hot-button issue, Joey Bada$$ vented over the marked decline in quality that he’d observed back in January last year:

“Rap is in a very trash state rn with very few exceptions that don’t even get the love and attention that they deserve. Like where’s y’all ni**as souls at??? Music is the most influential force in the world. Pay attention to what’s being over saturated. It says something about the generation. Sound is vibration.”

As a form rebuttal, his condemnation where the genre was headed was seen as hypocritical after he admitted to co-authoring one the most divisive pop smashes the past couple years in Post Malone’s “Rockstar.” While some believed this invalidated his grievances, it actually demonstrates that Joey’s courage his convictions and desire to forge ahead with less frivolous material has been a hindrance. By ghost-writing the track in part, Joey not only attained his first number one in covert fashion but his chameleonic ability to slip into that headspace proved that he could easily relent and appeal to the charts if he was ever so inclined. Back in 2016, Flatbush Zombies acknowledged that same dichotomy between what holds sway in the public domain and the artists that are cultivating their own identifying sound. During a promotional interview with Tim Westwood, Meechy Darko encapsulated the gap between them and their more chart-oriented contemporaries with poetic flair: “A double-edged sword. It’s beautiful and it’s…disgusting at the same time.”

Not content to leave it at that, he doubled down on his views by parodying the artists that he sees as on the wrong side history:

“It’s about lyrics and content and… some form layers. N****s don’t even be using metaphors no more, it’s just like ‘there’s weed I smoke high’… new song coming out, ‘hoes, money, money.’ That’s the name the new track.”

The Beast Coast Formation: Will They Finally Get Their Due Credit?

Flatbush Zombies – by HNHH

Since then, they’ve been unwilling to renege on this stance and went as far as to proclaim, “Man f**k that (*mumbles*) that mumble rap, It’s that skully low rumble rap” on their 2018 LP Vacation In Hell. Outcasted from the charts but ubiquitous with underground excellence, the combined strength this subset New York rappers has never been more clear than in the past month. In typically left-field fashion, the ficial debut single Beast Coast as a rap group arrived from out nowhere and came in the form  “Left Hand.” The precursor to a collaborative album and summer tour, the foreboding beat from Pro Era’s Powers Pleasant gave each member free reign to regale listeners with their own accomplished flows and wordplay. As one consummately delivered verse bleeds into one another, it’s clear that aligning PE, UA and FBZ on one track makes for a murderers’ row MC’s that few could trifle with on a bar-for-bar level.

Joyously received by fans, “Left Hand” not only whet our appetite for a project that we didn’t even know we needed but has taken Beast Coast into a new facet the industry where they’re regarded as a cohesive unit. Whether it’s a conscious decision or a fortuitous coincidence, their decision to formally consolidate their efforts could impose the group on a conversation that they’ve been regularly omitted from on a technicality. When it comes to fantasy warfare between modern hip-hop collectives, the two constants in the debate are the West Coast’s Top Dawg Entertainment and the creative utopia Dreamville. Headed up by globe-trotting superstars in J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar but bolstered by a undercurrent less commercially ble but no less cherished artists such as Ab-Soul, Isiah Rashad, Bas, J.I.D, Reason and King Mez respectively, the concept the two labels duking it out on wax has left hip-hop heads tantalized late. Although fewer platinum plaques adorn their walls, Beast Coast’s decision to progress from an abstract concept into a conglomerate has demonstrated that their roster boasts just as much talent as these two industry staples, reinforced by Nyck Caution’s “Left Hand” rallying cry “name another crew that we less than!” 

The Beast Coast Formation: Will They Finally Get Their Due Credit?

The Underachievers – Johnny Nunez/Wire/Getty s

Although they’ve rebuked any notion integration with the mainstream in a way that TDE and Dreamville never aimed to, their decision to come together as a “supergroup” is likely to garner them no shortage new converts. Never one to dilute their message, “Left Hand” served as an indication what to expect and made it clear that their stock-in-trade won’t hinge around easily consumable hooks but from those classic philosophical, social and existentialist concepts that are transcribed into the form hip-hop. Once the album drops, the newly acquainted will likely make a beeline for each entity’s back catalogues in much the same way that veterans such as Run The Jewels and Freddie Gibbs & Madlib received a new lease life after repacking themselves as groups. With that, their legacies could be given that intangible boost that they’ve always sought to come out the “slept on” ranks. Annexed on the outskirts wider acclaim for too long, the eternally underrated crew may finally get their due as one a powerhouse in hip-hop.

Only time will tell if the Beast Coast union will finally grant Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies and The Underachievers the universal praise that they’ve earned tenfold. True to themselves and their vision at all costs, no one ever encapsulated their manifesto quite like The Glorious Dead’s own Erik Arc Elliot during an interview from October 2018 and his summary still rings true as they prepare to embark on the next chapter:

“Ten years from now, when we look back on the music we’ve created, we can be proud knowing that we were representative the Flatbush we’ve always known.”

Jacquees Claps Back at Ella Mai After Shady Tweet

Jacquees and Ella Mai’s R&Beef continues.

On Tuesday (April 9), Tory Lanez brought out the “Bed” singer during his show with Drake at London’s O2 Arena. While on stage, Jacquees performed his own hits as well as his popular remix to Mai’s “Trip.”

After hearing about the performance, the “Boo’d Up” songstress sent out a tweet seemingly aimed at the Cash Money crooner. “i’d be so embarrassed if someone brung me on stage and the only thing i could sing was someone elses song because nobody knew my actual music. poor thing,” she tweeted.

Jacquees released his remix to “Trip” on YouTube and SoundCloud back in September. It racked up millions of streams before it was removed following a copyright claim from Mai’s label 10 Summers.

Now Jacquees has responded to the diss, claiming that he and Mustard, who produced the song and signed Ella to 10 Summers, had already worked things out.

“Me and @djmustard already cleared this up we plan on working we on the next page,” he wrote. “I’m doing what I do. Much success to ya Ella Mai.”

He also clapped back at Mai’s claim that no one knows his music by listing off his certifications. “Yea and everything gold or Plat …B.E.D. AT THE, CLUB OCEAN, YOU, YOUR PEACE NEXT!” he added.

Jacquees Claps Back at Ella Mai After Shady Tweet

His girlfriend Dreezy also stepped in to defend her man. “1st of all he hate performing that song,” she said. “They put him on the spot and he did what he was sposed to do. Every single he dropped is gold or plat, humble yourself girl.”

Tory Lanez also jumped in, saying that Jacquees did not want to perform the “Trip” remix, but did so after being persuaded. “I brought my lil brother out to HIS OWN SHIT… My ni**a ain’t even wanna perform the remix .. matter fact he hate performing it,” said Tory. “But I put him on the spot . Cuz I figured we was in London at the O2, 30,000 in the stands and bunch of kids was asking for the REMIX . On another note @jacquees U killed ALL the songs u performed tonight ! Keep shining my ni**a.”


LeBron James, Chris Paul & Carmelo Anthony Cheer On D-Wade At Final Game

Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade has been on a farewell tour this season and it finally came to a close on Wednesday night as his team took on the Brooklyn Nets. Unfortunately for Wade, his final game ended with a 113-94 loss, although Wade was able to pick up a triple-double. The Heat superstar received standing ovations from the Nets fans and was shown a ton respect throughout the game. Perhaps the best thing all night though was Wade’s cheering section which consisted LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul.

After the game, reporters spoke to LeBron about why he felt it was so important to support D-Wade in his final game. 

“Listen, we all started this journey together,” James said according to ESPN. “Obviously, CP came into the league a couple years after us, but we have a brotherhood that is just so much more than basketball. CP played last night, we had our last regular-season game last night and Melo is right here in New York, so we kind made the plan and made the decision to come up here.”

Wade was clearly emotional after the game and explained what it meant to have such great friends in attendance.

“Obviously, it means a lot to have them here],” Wade said. “They know that I will always be there for them, especially in a moment like this. No matter what I’m doing, I will be there for their last game. It was cool to see those guys over there. I’m glad they came, but at the same time I wish they weren’t here because the whole time they kept telling me to shoot, shoot, shoot. But it was great. We’ve got a brotherhood. Those are my brothers.”

The Heat have been eliminated from playf contention so Wade’s career has ficially come to an end.

Dawn Richard Talks Reuniting With Danity Kane & Reconciling With Aubrey O’Day: "I Was Skeptical"

Dawn Richard has had quite the journey throughout her career. The world watched as the singer auditioned for Diddy back in 2005 for Making The Band on MTV and saw the rise pop girl group Danity Kane. By 2009 DK was a wrap and Richard was working with Bad Boy Records, eventually joining Diddy and Kalena Harper to create Diddy-Dirty Money. 

Since that time the 35-year-old has continued to evolve both pressionally and musically, so it’s no surprise that when Jezebel asked her to name an artist she considered to be groundbreaking, she gave herself the title. “I don’t want to be cocky but, yeah,” she said. “I think what we’re doing is pretty f**king groundbreaking. And I had to say me because you know the reality is when you’re independent, you don’t get cheerleaders. So you have to co-sign yourself because if not, you’ll miss the moment.”

Dawn Richard Talks Reuniting With Danity Kane & Reconciling With Aubrey O'Day: "I Was Skeptical"
Jason Merritt/Getty s

In January, Richard released her fifth studio album new breed, but she’s never far from reuniting with her Danity Kane sisters. Five years ago the women got together to revamp themselves as DK3, considering only three the original members agreed to regroup. That same year things fizzled once again, but in 2018 the ladies gave it another go.

“The recent DK reunion is awesome,” Richard said. “We just choose to never give up on the brand and who we are and the fans, right? They’ve been very loyal to us. And though we have put them through the f**king ringer…man. We’re like that boyfriend that just keeps f**king up, right? They’ve been very loyal to us and so, I think we understand that and we want to give them what they deserve.”

Things weren’t always so friendly with bandmate O’Day, but Richard revealed that they talked things out and decided that even though they were on the same page, they needed to look at the bigger picture in order to work together and get that paper. “So, there was reconciliation between me and Aubrey,” she said. “She text me and said, ‘I’d love to talk.'” I was skeptical at first but she came from a genuine place and we talked for like, eight hours. We realized that we come from different places. I wanted to explain to her the reality what it is being a black female. We never really that conversation me and my journey as a black woman in this industry and her journey as a white woman and the differences in how we see things. And though we don’t agree on everything as women, we don’t always have to agree on everything and still get the job done.”

Teairra Mari Says She Ended 50 Cent’s Career

Throughout 50 Cent‘s career, he has feuded with a high number rappers and entertainers. Most recently, his most frequent targets have been Floyd Mayweather and Ja Rule. In the last few months, Teairra Mari has come out nowhere to become his primary nemesis, suing him for revenge porn, losing that lawsuit, and then refusing to give up the money she owes him. The Love & Hip Hop star released a diss track against Fiddy this week and she’s only continued to attack him online. Could Mari be one the bravest foes 50 Cent has ever faced? Today, she reposted one his uploads, commenting on how silly he looks and claiming that she ended his career.

The statement that she closes out with is definitely a stretch but in her mind, Teairra Mari ended 50 Cent. She says as much in her repost, telling the rapper that his career started in Detroit with Eminem so it’s only right that it comes to a close in the same city because her. 

“@50cent Ur goy ass would spend 22k on some dumb ass shit like this,” wrote the reality star on a photo Curtis’ new sunglasses. “U can’t buy class Curt ..Ur 43 grow up. I guess u do?? SO GO BUILD A SCHOOL U MORON ‼️Serious shit is going on I hate 2 go back&forth but some1 should’ve ended this Imposters career a long time ago..Who would have thought it would’ve been me??? I guess Detroit Birthed u so Detroit finishes u too #GETTHESTRAPON YOUR DONE.”

Who do you think will ultimately walk away with the W here? Or is the battle already done because Curtis’ win in court?

Neighborhood Nipsey Hussle’s Authenticity Never Faltered

The paradox authenticity has developed into a recurring problem in mainstream hip-hop discourse. A rapper must be authentic to be respected, yet should their upbringing be morally unfound by today’s standards, they might find themselves shunned by public opinion. Conversely, those who preach what they don’t practice will struggle to find respect in a game that appears to value the real. Yet for many fans varying demographics, hip-hop serves as a gateway into another world, a vicarious glimpse into conditions unknown. Occasionally, such conditions breed violence as a means survival, a lifestyle that’s difficult for the inexperienced to understand. As with all good storytelling, it helps to have a reliable narrator, capable sharing truths both vulnerable and brutal. Revealing the darker corners to better put the light into context.

Nipsey Hussle made no secret his formative years, nor his involvement in the Rollin 60’s Neighborhood Crips. As such, gang life became his reality, and a frequent thematic topic in his music. A 2010 interview with Complex finds him reflecting on early single “Hussle In The House,” which drew controversy over its alleged promotion gang business. Yet Nipsey maintained his position as a purveyor truth, difficult though his truth may be to hear for some. “I’m not promoting it,” he said. “I’m just speaking on it.” In the same interview, he’d stress the importance living in one’s reality, and not simply toggling one’s affiliation for the sake entertainment. “If you ain’t put on to this shit, you wasn’t courted on, you ain’t going to the back the buildings to fight, your homies didn’t get put on, you not from a gang,” he claimed. “Not only are you not from a gang, if you ain’t press a line and put in work, not necessarily kill nobody but you know, put yours on the line.”

 Neighborhood Nipsey Hussle's Authenticity Never Faltered

Ser Baffo/Getty s

Nipsey never shied away from the lifestyle he chose. Yet he also understood the importance moving forward, finding an answer wherever a question might arise. When he died, he died a pillar his community, an influential figure to thousands. Few dwelled on his gang-affiliation, because that same affiliation helped him understand those living under similar circumstances. It’s not fair to call Nipsey’s journey a “redemption arc,” because he never sought nor needed redemption – or approval, for that matter. He simply spoke the truth as he understood it, allowing himself room to grow as both a man and an artist. His refusal to milk gang culture as a fetishized commodity spoke to his sense respect; for that reason, his status as an authority continues to go unquestioned. Perhaps the perfect encapsulation his spirit in that regard comes courtesy his two-part “Blue Laces” series.

I’m from Westside California, they run up on ya
Ask you where you from and check yo’ tats under yo’ clothin’
Hustla, go hard make sure my knot swollen
Fuck it, say the wrong hood bullets explodin’
I trust few, people these days ’cause that’s golden
I seen n****s get killed for who they roll with
And chose to keep inside they circle
Satan sittin’ on your sa
Same n****a that shot you was the one you used to smoke with

In the first installment, originally released as the fourth track his 2010 mixtape The Marathon, Nipsey paints a bleak picture his home turf. Off the bat, Nipsey stresses the complex dynamics gang affiliation. A bleak picture, and it might be tempting to write his bars f as “promotion” a dangerous lifestyle. Yet given Nipsey’s reputation as an honest lyricist, it’s easier to understand his declaration as a simple statement fact. Without being subjected to the whims the streets, Nipsey wouldn’t have been in a position to elevate to such lty heights; not only as an entrepreneur, but as a role model for youths stuck in his former position. For those, Nip’s words hold resonance, as he details the framework his code: understand that violence can pop f at any moment and trust a select few, lest the violence befall you.

Shoot-out with no aim, so they no yo’ name
‘Cause when yo’ mama paid rent that was yo game
So when yo’ homeboy bled, that was yo’ pain
And if ya’ll both catch a case you don’t say no names
That’s just the code the color my shoe strings

“Blue Laces” arrived during a time where “gangsta rap” felt like the product a bygone era. Perhaps speaking on the topic with such an authoritative voice helped cement Nipsey as a promising young voice in the early-decade landscape. Rather than pandering toward musical trends, Neighborhood Nip put himself on wax, allowing outsiders to live vicariously, while giving those in similar circumstances a rallying voice. Fast forward to 2018’s Victory Lap, which found Nipsey revisiting “Blue Laces” with a newfound perspective. The mere fact that he chose to pen a sequel speaks volumes. Consider his circumstances – on the verge being Grammy nominated, and deep into several entrepreneurial endeavors. Yet on “Blue Laces,” Nipsey deftly navigates the past and present, reliving a traumatic memory through the distanced perspective a man at peace.

Neighborhood Nipsey Hussle's Authenticity Never Faltered

Johnny Nunez/Getty s

There is one key thematical distinction between the “Blue Laces” tracks. Where the first centered around Nip’s reality as a gang member, the sequel finds him reflecting from a position wealth and material success. Where some rappers rattle f their collection cars and jewels for the mere sake boasting, Nipsey uses them as a means to ground the progress his journey. Yet Nip understands that his success was borne the authentic groundwork he once laid, all those years ago. “Third generation, South Central gangbangers that lived long enough to see it changing,” he muses. “Think it’s time we make arrangements, finally wiggle out they mazes.” Yet unlike some who find success, relocate, and essentially “rebrand,” Nipsey saw the power in where he came from and moved to harness it. “City council meetin’, they got Hussle speakin’, billion dollar project bout to crack the cement,” he raps, in the triumphant second verse.  “So one our investments had become strategic.”

I flashback on that shootout at the beach, twenty deep
You tried to squeeze, your gun jammed and they released
Blood on your tee, how many stains? I see three
The bitch started to panic so I made her switch seats
Drivin’ now, police chopper ahead flyin’ now
Really not too spooked, calmly asked me, “Am I dyin’ now?”
All I know is keep you calm and collected
Crackin’ jokes like, “N***a, now you gon’ be finally respected”

In an interview with NPR, Nipsey spoke about recording “Blue Laces 2” with Big Reese in the studio. “I went and I did the third verse and the third verse blew me away,” reflects Nipsey. “It was hard for me to get it out. I was overwhelmed because how truthful it was and how real it was Reese].” It feels as if the third verse is the connective tissue between both songs, a glimpse into the man Nipsey was, living the life he once detailed in the original chapter. While his depiction a blood-soaked beachfront shootout might feel out place in the sequel, consider Nip’s own reflection. He originally created the song during a single studio session, laying down a single verse after another. Yet the idea that such a “real” reflection, overwhelming by his own omission, would follow the first two verses speaks to the authenticity prevalent throughout “Blue Laces.” As he carries the memory with him on wax, so too does he in reality. There is no judgment after the fact, nor does Nipsey move to distance himself from his younger self. As is his way, he simply speaks the truth as he sees it, multifaceted and complex though it may be. And we’ll miss him for it. 

50 Cent Clowns Floyd Mayweather Over Showdown With "Filipina In Manila"

With talks a Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao II seemingly back on the table, fans are puttering about its potential outcome. As history would have it, Floyd stole the W rather convincingly in their first encounter, mind you, with a wounded Manny Pacquiao at medium strength. Make what you will, but had Manny revealed the nature his injury before the 2015 bout, he would have lost a great deal PPV buys in the process. So they went ahead with the fight and the rest is history.

50 Cent Clowns Floyd Mayweather Over Showdown With "Filipina In Manila"

Denise Truscello/Wire/Getty s

Fast forward to 2019, and the ball is seemingly in Floyd’s corner. Unlike Money May, Pacquiao never pulled out boxing in a semi-retirement stance, even during the many successive parliamentary campaigns he put forth in his home country the Phillippines. In fact, Manny Pacquiao is a major league strap holder, his WBA Welterweight title bestowed upon him during Keith Thurman’s lengthy injury layf. Now that Keith is back to full-strength, Manny Pacquiao could very well be one his next 2 or 3 opponents. 

Even so, Manny Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach have given fight fans every indication that a Floyd rematch is the prime directive. Floy’s recent trip to a Manila mall is a clear indication that a rematch is well within the realm possibility. If anything, Floyd’s trip to the Philippines did produce one meme-worthy moment, when a Pinay woman berated him as they crossed paths on an escalator.

Thanks to 50 Cent the viral-push the video clip has been given new life. As always, 50 Cent is pretty unyielding when it comes to his oldest friend-turned-foe. “Hahaha nigga thought he was Obama for a minute till he heard what she said,” grimaced 50 Cent, before stooping down to emulate the Pinay woman once more. “LOL I DON’T LIKE YOU, CHICKEN YOU A CHICKEN I HATE YOU.” In other news, Manny did sign a nearly identical Rizin deal to the one Floyd Mayweather acted on during the holiday season.

Nikki Bella Opens Up About John Cena Dating Another Woman

A few weeks back, WWE superstar and actor John Cena was spotted with a mystery brunette, later identified as Shay Shariatzadeh, a product manager from Vancouver, Canada.

The photo surfaced not long after Cena’s ex-fiance, Nikki Bella, confirmed her relationship with her former “Dancing With the Stars” partner Artem Chigvintsev. On Wednesday’s episode The Bellas Podcast, Nikki reacted to Cena getting back on the dating scene, and explained what was going through her head when she first saw the photos his new love interest.

 

Nikki had previously said that seeing Cena with a new girlfriend would “kill her,” but she was singing a different tune on her podcast.

After seeing the recent photos, Bella explained (H/T Page Six):

“I opened it up and when I saw the photo, it was weird,” Bella, 35, said, before sharing that her emotions quickly took a turn. “Sometimes when you get a text, or you see a photo, or you see your significant other flirt with someone, you know how you get those knots in your stomach and it hurts? You either want to poop your pants immediately … or you just have the craziest tummy ache? Neither that happened to me.”

“When I saw the big smile on his face with the paparazzi photos, I think that’s why I didn’t want to s–t my pants,” she continued. “I felt happy for him. I am very happy for him. As long as John is happy, I’m happy.”

“I was actually just really curious to see who he was going on dinner dates with,” before teasing, “Which, you know, they’ll never be like ours. Just kidding. Sorry, that’s the girl in me! Let me get back to being a woman.”

That said, Bella says she’ll still deliver a “rack-attack in a heartbeat” if the woman breaks Cena’s heart. “Still protective that man,” Bella added. 

"Game Of Thrones" Producers Are Concerned Season 8’s Ending Will Upset Fans

The showrunners that worked on Game Thrones’ final season are worried the ending they’ve chosen will split the fanbase the same way the “Made in America” ended on a middling note for The Sopranos. While I personally like and understand the rationale behind David Chase’s open-ended finale. With that said, David Benif and fellow executive producer D. B. Weiss don’t want their creative baby to suffer a similar unjust fate.

Bienf and Weiss spoke with Entertainment Weekly yesterday in the building to Season 8’s premiere date. “A good story isn’t a good story if you have a bad ending,” Bienf said when given the chance to voice his concerns over the episodic screenplay. “Of course we worry.”

Bienf also spoke about how the expectations over GOT’s climactic push is similar in scope to the anticipation that built over The Sopranos 6th and final season – to the point where he’s refusing to shield himself from the ongoing debate, even if it keeps him up at night.

“I’ve gotten into a lot arguments with people about why that was a great ending, but people felt legitimately cheated and that’s their right to feel that way, just as it’s my right to feel like they’re idiots,” he told EW.

And yet, there’s nothing Bienf or Weiss can do about it now, since the Season 8 premiere date (Sunday, April 14) is already locked and loaded. Perhaps by broaching the subject The Sopranos presumed “bad finish” Bienf, they can reshape the way people conceive a poor ending or a cliff hanger. Nothing lasts forever folks.