Only 4 Albums Have Gone Gold Or Platinum This Year

Earning Gold and Platinum certifications in 2019 seldom feels like an exact science. What once was a simple matter exchanging money for an album’s worth music, streaming has altered the game to a drastic level. Today, a new report from RIAA has confirmed that only four albums have gone Gold or Platinum, as the midway point 2019: DJ Khaled‘s Father Of Asahd (Gold), Tyga‘s Legendary (Gold), Juice WRLD’s A Deathrace For Love (Gold), and Ariana Grande‘s Thank U, Next (Platinum).

Only 4 Albums Have Gone Gold Or Platinum This Year

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The whole thing is rather curious, given that the former two albums were both plagued by narratives underselling. DJ Khaled’s Father Of Asahd notoriously fell below Tyler, The Creator’s Igor, which ultimately failed to reach the certification. Tyga’s “Legendary” won out on the strength a pre-released single; case in point, the album’s first week numbers were between 21,000-24,000, a far cry from the expected haul for a gold project. And yet T-Raww sits among the exclusive crowd, the beneficiary today’s streaming system. That’s not to say their accomplishments are hollow, but they do shine a light on some the more infamous practices, from bundling to stream-farming older singles.

Last spring, I wrote a piece reflecting on whether going platinum still carried the same weight as it once did. The landscape has changed, that much we cannot deny. Consider taking a look at the aforementioned Platinum piece for further context, including a list pre-streaming albums that secured the honor before the system could be gamed so freely. What do you make this news, which finds DJ Khaled, Tyga, Juice WRLD, and Ariana Grande forming a coalition 2019 sales juggernauts? Is that representative the greater musical landscape?  

Air Jordan 1 High OG "UNC To Chicago" Slated For 2020: Details

The Air Jordan 1 is one the most iconic shoes all-time and boasts dozens upon dozens colorways. Every single year, Jordan Brand comes through with a plethora new models the sneaker and usually, they are a huge hit amongst sneakerheads. The shoe can be paired with pretty much every outfit so it’s no surprise that is has become so popular. While it started out as a basketball shoe, there is no denying that it has become a lifestyle staple that will probably never go out style.

Thanks to the Instagram sneaker account @zsneakerheadz, we now have a photoshop rendering a new Air Jordan 1 colorway that will be exclusively released in women’s sizes. The shoe is being called “UNC to Chicago” and is supposedly going to release in the Spring 2020. The shoe gets its name from the fact that it has a red toe box which represents the Chicago Bulls and a powder blue back heel which pays homage to Michael Jordan‘s alma mater, UNC. 

The rest the sneaker is black while the midsole is white and the outsole is red. This model is gearing up to be an interesting colorway that will certainly be a highlight next year. 

Will you be copping?

Chris Brown Defends ‘Nice Hair’ Lyric

Chris Brown is coming under attack again, this time over lyrics on his new album Indigo.

On his song “Need a Stack” featuring Lil Wayne and Joyner Lucas, Breezy sings about his preference for black women with “nice” hair. “Only wanna f**k the black bitches with the nice hair,” he sings.

The controversial line didn’t go unnoticed. Many fans took offense to the lyric, posting their reactions on social media. Some wondered what he meant by “nice” hair, while others questioned his need to insult black women.

After facing backlash on social media, Chris stepped in to defend himself. “YALL TRIPPIN TRIPPIN. YALL BITCHES DONT WANNA F**K DA NI**A WIT DA FU**ED UP TEETH DO YOU?????!!!!” he commented on an Instagram fan page.

He also took a shot at those complaining about the lyric. “ONLY BITCHES UPSET IS THE UGLIES (NOT THE BLACK QUEENS),” he added.

The singer released his ninth album Indigo on Friday (June 28). Despite the controversy, the project is expected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with an estimated 110-125,000 equivalent album units.

His personal life is also making headlines. Brown is reportedly expecting a second child with his ex-girlfriend Ammika Harris.

Nas Chills With Aaliyah & Missy Elliott In Iconic Throwback Pic

Yesterday, hip-hop legend Missy Elliott enjoyed her 48th birthday, looking back on a career lined with hits and accomplishments. To celebrate the occasion, another iconic figure in the rap game -Nasir Jones- took to Instagram to fer a nostalgic and emotional throwback picture. The picture itself finds Nas posted up with both Missy Elliott and the late Aaliyah, holding it down at what looks to be a suit-and-tie affair. Wine in hand, Nas looks debonnaire between his former collaborators; he recorded “You Won’t See Me Tonight” with Aaliyah for 1999’s …I Am, and “Hot Boyz Remix” with Missy Elliott in the same year. 

Nas Chills With Aaliyah & Missy Elliott In Iconic Throwback Pic

Christopher Polk/Getty s

“Happy Birthday The Great @missymisdemeanorelliott,” writes Nas, in the accompanying caption. “Love ya Soul Aaliyah!” While the sentiment is certainly positive, it’s difficult to see Aaliyah and feel anything other than sadness; her presence remains felt to this day, with many wondering what might have been were she still among us. All we can do is honor her memory, and pictures like this help us do exactly that. Respect to Nas for sharing a vintage flick from his collection, and we can only hope there are more to come.

Happy belated birthday to Missy Elliott, a true pioneer in the rap game! Check out the iconic picture below. 

Azealia Banks Has A Dramatic New Look: Rainbow Hair & Pink Contacts

Is anybody surprised? Azealia Banks loves to shock people. She’ll come forward with some scathing opinions, drop very raunchy songs and try out dramatic new looks from time to time. A few weeks ago, the rapper shared several photos herself without eyebrows. Once they grew back though, Azealia decided that it was time to go for something different and perhaps even more shocking. The artist uploaded a shot herself with rainbow-colored hair and freaky pink contact lenses.

Azealia Banks Has A Dramatic New Look: Rainbow Hair & Pink Contacts
Karl Walter/Getty s

Banks is somebody that loves to push boundaries any chance she gets. If she has an idea in her mind, she’ll go for it and she’ll put in 100% her effort. Today, she woke up and decided she wanted to look a little different. Instead trying out a different shade make-up or copping some new picks for her wardrobe, the star went all-out, sporting rainbow tresses à la 6ix9ine and popping some pink contact lenses in her eyes. Her fans are actually feeling the new look too, which is something Azealia was worried about. She commented on the post: “Lol I thought you guys would hate this look and ask if I’ve taken acid again but thankfully you like it.”

If there’s one thing that Azealia Banks is, it’s true to herself. She doesn’t care what people think her and she’ll continue to do her every day.

Lil Baby Aligns Himself With "The Female Rap Wave"

On June 28th, Lil Baby did his part in upholding the women who share in his pression, or as he calls it: “The Female Rap Wave.” Lil Baby isn’t foreseeably trying to segregate the sexes with his Twitter post. If anything, his assertion helps introduce this conversation to an audience that isn’t normally disposed to thinking, much less speak about gender inequality in rap.

Considering Saweetie has one the hottest songs in rotation, the infectious “My Type” – and Noname garnered Metacritic’s highest rated album 2018 for the much-lauded Room 25 – you’d have to think the hip=hop is closer than ever, to expunging this gender phenotypes. And I haven’t spoken Cardi B, City Girls, Nicki Minaj, Rapsody, Megan Thee Stallion, 070 Shake, CupkakKe, Lizzo, Princess Nokia, or Rico Nasty, to name but a few the leading contenders in the so-called “Female Rap Wave” that’s been in effect since day one. S/o to Roxanne’s revenge plot one time. 

Of all the leading practitioners I just named, Megan Thee Stallion has arguably been the most outspoken when it comes to hip-hop’s double standard over gender typification. During a Fader cover piece, Hot Girl Meg insisted that if it weren’t got this double standard, she’d be “out there making little noises like Uzi and Carti.” Those who understand the oppressive nature commercial hip-hop were quick to assign her verbiage the proper discretion it was due. Kudos to Lil Baby for playing his part!

Lil Baby Aligns Himself With "The Female Rap Wave"

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Stephen A. Smith Freaks Out Over Knicks Free Agency Moves

Stephen A. Smith has ficially lost all faith in the New York Knicks.

After the Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis last season, the team entered free agency on Sunday night with enough salary cap space to sign two superstar players to max contracts. What they came away with was Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis and Wayne Ellington, while the Brooklyn Nets acquired Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

The Knicks didn’t commit to any long-term deals, which is the silver lining as they continue to rebuild, but Stephen A. Smith wasn’t in a “glass half full” type mood after the Knicks missed out on the marquee free agents.

“Need a few minutes to gather my composure. Some how, some way, I’m just trying to hold it together, you know. Lifelong Knick fan. Years mediocrity. I thought this was going to be it, at least weeks ago,” Smith said.

“$70 million dollars in cap space. Porzingis gone. Porzingis can’t be gone, and we don’t get KD, and we don’t get Kyrie. No way! This can’t happen! This can’t happen! But it happened. The New York Knicks, with KD on the market, Kyrie on the market, Klay, Kemba, Jimmy Butler. They can’t get someone to come to Madison Square Garden.”

After sharing his own, deeply depressing reaction video on twitter, Smith joined ESPN’s The Jump to expand on his feelings. Check out that footage in the video embedded below.

Polo G’s "Die A Legend" Is No. 1 On Top Rap Albums Chart

Currently, Polo G’s Die A Legend project is occupying the Top Rap Albums chart at No. 1 after the project pushed another 29,000 equivalent album units in the weekend ending with June 20th. 

It becomes only the fourth album this year to hit No. 1 on the chart without having debuted there, bringing Polo G into the company A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, who did so with Hoodie SZN, DJ Khaled (Father Of Asahd), and Nipsey Hussle (Victory Lap).

Die A Legend is the same effort that houses Polo G’s breakout “Pop Out” single with Lil Tjay. That track itself spends its third week in the top 10 the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, moving from No. 7 to No. 9. It also slips down on the R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales chart 13-15 and 2-6 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs chart. Even with a 21% drop, the track was streamed 28.1 million times in the span one week in the United States alone.

In radio, however, the track does get a boost 32-27 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, cracking an audience 6.7 million. You’ll find it reaching a new peak on the Rap Airplay chart as well at No. 21 in addition to a No. 24 spot on the Rhythmic Songs chart

 

 

"Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 3" Title Addressed By Director James Gunn

While Avengers: End Game is being prepped for re-release, fans are chatting about the return Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol 3. There is no certainty with regards to the film’s release, when the movie will begin shooting or whether Thor will be apart the new film, considering the Avengers’ ending. When asked about it, Chris Hemsworth told Cinema Blend: “I’ll work with any those guys.” Additionally, for some time now, the movie has been getting some attention because its rumored name. Gossip indicates that the GotG, Vol. 3 will be named Asgardians the Galaxy with reference to Hemsworth’s character Thor. Director and writer James Gunn has since given a bit insight into what is going on because fans are freaking out.

Gunn has shared a screenshot his direct messages on Instagram wherein a devoted fan wrote to him on numerous occasions to beg the director not to name the upcoming film Asgardians the Galaxy. The director took a break from The Suicide Squad to make things perfectly clear for everyone. “Don’t worry,” read the text which appeared on top the direct messages the director received. Thus, we may not have many details, but we know for sure the latter won’t be the name.

Kevin Durant Will Join The Brookyln Nets

As promised, Kevin Durant has ficially announced his decision to move forward with the Brooklyn Nets, migrating away from the West Coast with The Board Room making the ficial announcement Instagram Sunday evening.

The post indicates that the deal is a max contract, meaning that the superstar will earn $164 million with Brooklyn over the next four years.

It marks a major disappointment for the New York Knicks who were, for some time, the frontrunners in courting Durant pending his free agency. More than likely, Durant won’t touch the court at Barclays Center during this first season as he recovers from a torn Achilles suffered during this last stint with the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors were prepared to keep Durant, fering the player a five-year $221 million max deal. It ultimately proved to be ineffective. Durant will now join Kyrie Irving who is slated to confirm his deal with Brooklyn as well. Reports also suggest that DeAndre Jordan, a close friend KD’s, could very well follow behind him and head to New York as well.

July 6th is the date in which all deals will be finalized.

The Game Buys His Son New BMW & Throws Him A Rager For 16th Birthday

The Game is a generous person, so course, he went all out for his son Harlem Taylor for his 16th birthday. The ceremonial 16th birthday marks the beginning young adulthood, so naturally, The Game gifted his son with a grown-ups favorite toy: a luxury vehicle. Harlem was blessed with a new BMW SUV, dressed with a bow as onlookers took pictures. In videos acquired by TMZ, it looks like The Game invited Harlem’s entire school to the party. 

The 16th birthday party included performances by Blueface, Trippie Redd, and Tee Grizzley. The Game spent most the night behind a camera filming his son’s special moment, so it is unsure if he hopped on stage himself. The proud father also jumped on Instagram to praise his son’s growth. “I named you Harlem because that’s the 1st city in New York I had ever been to & during my time there, I felt it’s strength, culture & I learned a lot its history so I felt it appropriate for my 1st born,” wrote The Game in a lengthy caption. “If you weren’t born who knows where I’d be in life, but I am 100% positive it wouldn’t be here, as I didn’t even know how to properly love or appreciate anything til I met you. 16 years later & wow… look at you !!!”

50 Cent’s "Paternity Insult" Met With Laughter From Estranged Son Marquise Jackson

50 Cent‘s derision his eldest son Marquise Jackson didn’t go unnoticed. It all started with Marquise uploaded a video himself dancing about during his father’s Barclays Center concert. Evidently, even the most disenfranchised father/son relationships are rooted in sentimentally. Why else do you figure Marquise would attend and seemingly enjoy a 50 Cent concert when his father has all but confined him to a leper’s life enforced seclusion.

Don’t forget, it was 50 Cent who once proclaimed that if his son was completely out the picture, he would never suffer “a bad day” ever again. The compassionate side in all us waited on 50 Cent to finish that sentence to a positive effect, but alas that never occurred – and when shamed by an Instagram commenter on his son’s appearance in general admission during the concert, Fty replied, “I got a blood test that’s not my kid da fuck outta here.”

Thanks to the watchful eye The Shade Room’s curatorial staff, it’s come to my attention that Marquise Jackson, not only noticed the paternity joke, but acknowledged its presence on the open waters social media – his response coming in the form a Maury Povich meme, captioned with a standard ROFL emoji. Under any other circumstances, I would fear for psychological torment, but Marquise seems to be in on the paternity joke, if not completely amused by its utterance. So there’s that…

Rapsody Announces "Eve" Album For August, Complete With A Queen Latifah Duet

In a revelatory op-ed titled “No Boys Allowed,”Rapsody definitively revealed her plans for Eve, the full-length project she intends on releasing in August. The main construct behind the album is the empowerment Black Women, as she aptly demonstrated during a pre-amble with Essence’s Sydney Scott.

The tracklist for Eve is peppered with song titles bearing the name leading figures such as Whoopi Goldberg, Nina Simone, Oprah Winfrey, and Aaliyah. She’s also included a duet with Queen Latifah titled “Hatshepsut” in reinforcing the idea “a strong village Black Women” standing by her at every corner. Eve is slated to drop sometime in August, barring any last minute changes to the batting order.

The motion to celebrate Black Womanhood isn’t a new convention for the North Carolina emcee. On Mother’s Day 2019, Rapsody endeared herself to the cause by enlisting Buddy for a commemorative single titled “Phylicia.” The song was evidently made out to Phylicia Rashad, the actress who portrayed the institutional character “Clair Huxtable” on the beloved Cosby Show.

“Their strength and their resolve and their classiness and their love and their fight and how much they carry within my own family, it really spoke to me,” Rapsody explained, with regards to her personification Black Idealism (as opposed to a more pessimistic view the culture). “I was always open and aware that I had that and how beautiful that was and that everybody doesn’t have that.”

Rapsody’s reclusive nature has been for hip-hop heads for some time now. Thanks in part to a residency under 9th Producer at the Jamla studios, Rapsody has devoted herself to quality or high-density content. The results speak for themselves. Are you intrigued by the conceptual framework  her forthcoming album? Give us your thoughts in the comment section below.

Snoop Dogg Says 50 Cent Owes Him Money, Takes His Car

Snoop Dogg is turning the tables on 50 Cent.

After demanding payment from Rotimi, Teairra Mari, and Randall Emmett, the G-Unit mogul is now the one in the red.

While backstage at the Masters of Ceremony concert at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Friday night (June 28), Snoop spotted 50’s custom Versace Lamborghini Aventador parked backstage and decided to take it as payment for the money he owes him.

“50 Cent, ni**a owe me some money, so I’m just gonna take the ni**a car right now,” said Snoop in his video, which 50 posted on his Instagram account. “50, I’ma gonna take your car cuz till you give me my money.”

Snoop marveled at the pricey whip, which features a blue and gold color scheme. “This motherfu**er sweet. This motherfu**er made for a Crip,” added Snoop. “Look at this motherfu**er, Versace everything.”

50 later acknowledged that he may actually be in debt to his “P.I.M.P.” collaborator, who he brought on stage during Friday’s show. “@snoopdogg took my BIG CRIP out the Barclays ‍♂️what the fuck going on,” said 50, adding, “wait I do owe him for coming out.”

He also posted a photo of him and Snoop on stage at the Masters of Ceremony show, adding, “It all starts like this, then you owe a ni**a. because he had hits before you.”

In a video the next morning, 50 revealed that he got high off Snoop’s supply, even though he didn’t smoke. 50 invited him to perform during his set, but he didn’t realize that he was charging him…so Snoop took his car instead.

“@snoopdogg tripping I had to go get my car back from him,” said Fif. “you play to much Cuz, want me to help you get it.”

50 eventually got his car back, much to Snoop’s surprise. “How the f**k y’all let 50 take the fu**ing car back while I was sleeping, man?” said Snoop in a video the following morning. “I was supposed to keep the car all motherfu**ing night. Y’all some stupid motherfu**ers.”

Watch it all play out on social media.

Federal Judge Blocks Indiana’s Second-Trimester Abortion Ban

This past Friday, a federal judge halted an Indiana law that would have sanctioned doctors who performed second-trimester abortions. The law was scheduled to go into effect on July 1st and would have made the aforementioned act a felony. Judge Sarah Evans Baker was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan and has served since. She granted the preliminary injunction temporarily and prevented the law from being enacted. The decision came just hours after the US supreme court refused to hear a case which defended a similar law in Alabama. The judge’s move played an important role in the ongoing fight against restrictive abortion bans. 

Federal Judge Blocks Indiana's Second-Trimester Abortion Ban

Hagen Hopkins/Getty s

To note, a slew anti-abortion law has swept the nation lately. The most recent being Missouri getting their last abortion clinic’s license renewal declined, which jeopardized the status anti-abortion clinics in the state. Luckily, the clinic continued to provide abortion services as a court injunction remained in effect. Nevertheless, the latter occurred shortly after the introduction Alabama’s highly restrictive abortion-ban which was signed into law. Bill HB 314 would hit doctors with up to 99 years in jail for performing abortions. Alabama followed in the footsteps Georgia, which advocated for the passing a “fetal heartbeat” bill to halt mothers from undergoing an abortion if a health pressional can spot a fetal heartbeat