Mary J. Blige Signs TV Deal With Lionsgate

Mary J. Blige is making significant moves in the 25th anniversary year of her triumphant and lucrative career. This time it’s in form of a first-look television deal with the global conglomerate Lionsgate.

The Grammy Award-winner will develop and produce TV series through her new company Blue Butterfly Productions. The agreement also gives Blige the chance to create content across Lionsgate’s numerous platforms.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be working with Lionsgate,” the singer/actress said Wednesday in a statement. “They are incredible collaborators and have been natural partners from when we first started talking. I can’t wait to bring all of our projects to life.”

“Mary is a very talented artist, fearless visionary and an incredible human being. We’re delighted to be working with someone with such a powerful and impactful creative voice,” Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs stated.

He continued saying, “Every art she touches blossoms, and we’re humbled she’s chosen us as her home. We look forward to all the exciting new content, Mary, and her Blue Butterfly banner will bring to our television slate and Lionsgate 360 orbit.”

Blige is one of many new additions to the Lionsgate family. Common, Courtney Kemp, Jonathan Levine and others have signed a pact with the entity this year.

Mary J. Blige is set to go on The Royalty Tour in July with Hip Hop icon Nas. She gave fans a preview at the 2019 BET Awards after receiving the BET Lifetime Achievement Award with a 20-minute set. The performance was praised and celebrated by many in the industry.

The Weeknd Becomes 23rd Artist Ever To Get RIAA Diamond Certficiation

The Weeknd has a just joined an elite club, becoming only the 23rd artist ever to receive a diamond certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.

According to a press release, the Toronto crooner’s 2015 single “The Hills” has moved over 10 million units since its release. It marks only the 29th single in the RIAA’s 60-year gold and platinum program history to reach diamond status.

The Weeknd expressed gratitude for his entourage Twitter on Friday (June 28).

“became a diamond selling artist today,” he wrote. “i’m nothing without my team.”

“The Hills” debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100, replacing his first No. 1 single from Beauty Behind The Madness, “Can’t Feel My Face.” The track remained in the coveted spot for six weeks and has since been remixed by Nicki Minaj and Eminem.

The video for the single was released in May 2015 and has collected over 1.3 billion views on YouTube to date.

Revisit the Grant Singer-directed visual below.

Off-White X Nike Waffle Racer Appears In Blue & Green Model: First Look

Over the past few weeks or so, we have been seeing a ton new track and field sneakers coming from Virgil Abloh’s Off-White and Nike. One those models is the Nike Waffle Racer which has been shown f in a white and a fuschia colorway. Now, it appears as though a third colorway the Off-White x Nike Waffle Racer will eventually hit the market. This time, the colorway is listed as “Vivid Sky/Electric Green/Black” and boasts one the most vibrant looks we’ve seen from the shoe so far.

The upper reveals translucent mesh on top a blue upper, while green laces and a green Nike swoosh create an interesting contrast and pop color to the overall look. From there, the tongue the sneaker is white while the outsole and spikes are black. The look these shoes certainly isn’t for everyone but when you consider these are for track running, the aesthetics begin to make a lot more sense.

According to the post below  @pyleaks, this model will be released during the holidays 2019 and will cost $150 USD. It’s also important to not that this shoe will only be available to women.

Kevin Gates Announces New Album "I’m Him"

It’s been a minute since we’ve heard an update from Kevin Gates, but those times appear to be coming to an end. Within the past week or so, Gates fered up a pair new drops in both “Return Of The Mack” (shout out to Mark Morrison) and “Push It,” which he unveiled yesterday. Now, Hypebeast has confirmed that Gates is readying the release his new studio album I’m Him, which marks his first proper album in a good three years.

Kevin Gates Announces New Album "I'm Him"

Gregg DeGuire/Getty s

As now, further details surrounding the project are relatively scarce, aside from the confirmation that it’s coming. It’s unclear whether recent singles such as the aforementioned pai, and last month’s Charlie-Heat produced “I Got That Dope” will be appearing, but we’d be willing to bet that “Push It” is almost certainly a lock. In fact, “Push It” may very well be an important thematic centerpiece, as evidenced by the press release Hypebeast provided:

“Sometimes, your biggest obstacle is you. A warrior’s greatest gold is truth,” explains Gates. “In the Muhammed Ali way, I’m going to show you how great I am. The idea for the video is me fighting the Old Kevin and becoming the New Kevin. I’m making the transition from a f*ked-up guy with a good heart and great character traits, into a man with a great heart and no fucked-up character traits. It’s opening the process for the world to see. It starts with ‘Push It.’”

With Gates set to announce I’m Him tour dates later this year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the album arrive sooner rather than later. Are you excited for some new Kevin Gates?

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New Music: Juicy J feat. Megan Thee Stallion & City Girls ‘Three Point Stance’

Pop that. Juicy J links up with Megan Thee Stallion and City Girls on his strip club-ready slapper “Three Point Stance.”

Tina Snow kicks off the twerk fest with a bossy verse celebrating the power of the P-U-S-S-Y. The Three 6 Mafia legend, who produced the song with Crazy Mike, pops bandz and adds some Ying Yang Twins-style whispering, while Yung Miami flaunts her designer pussy.

Juicy J recently collaborated with Megan on “Simon Says” off her Fever album. She will hit the road with Future and Meek Mill on the “Legendary Nights Tour” later this summer. Meanwhile, Yung Miami recently announced that she is expecting her second child.

Listen to their “Three Point Stance” below.

Weird Al Yankovic Removes Michael Jackson Parody Songs From Set

Weird Al Yankovic’s built his career f doing parody songs some the biggest records the time. He’s parodied songs by Nirvana, Chamillionaire, and Michael Jackson. In wake  Leaving Neverland, it appears as if Weird Al Yankovic has decided to pull any parody songs Jackson from his future set lists. Weird Al is hitting the road this summer on the Strings Attached Tour which will include performances his biggest records with a full orchestra. He explained that the absence the MJ tracks are due to the current backlash surrounding the King Pop.

“I don’t know if that’s going to be permanent or not,” Yankovic told Billboard, “but we just felt that with what’s happened recently with the HBO documentaries, we didn’t want anybody to feel uncomfortable.” He added, “I felt I had enough fan favorites in the show that I could get away with it. I haven’t gotten a lot pushback; There have been some people who have expressed disappointment, but we decided to err on the side not fending people.”

Yankovic’s move doesn’t seem like it’s in spite the allegations Jackson but rather, treading carefully on a sensitive topic that’s struck an enormous amount conversation and controversy surrounding Michael Jackson’s overall legacy as an artist.

Warriors Have A $375 Million Plan To Keep KD & Klay Thompson: Report

Going into this fseason, there is quite a bit uncertainty when it comes to the Golden State Warriors and whether or not they will be able to keep their superteam together. Klay Thompson is up for a max deal and so is Kevin Durant except both players are injured right now. Durant will miss all next season while Thompson will only be able to rejoin the Warriors at the tail end the year. It is believed that Thompson wants to re-sign, but Durant is a different story as rumors have him leaving the Bay area.

According to Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne ESPN, the Warriors are planning on giving KD five years at $221 million, while maxing out Klay Thompson at five years, $190 million. They would also try to bring back Kevon Looney which means their payroll would be over $375 million next season. This would include $200 million in luxury taxes and the figure makes the Warriors the most expensive NBA team ever.

Rumors have circulated that Durant has sold his property in California and has bought a home in New York which would give credence to the idea that he wants to leave. Free agency opens up on Sunday, June 30th at 6 P.M. EST which means those on the open market will be able to meet with prospective teams.

No matter what happens, this is going to be one the most interesting free agent periods in league history.

Mustard Reveals ‘Perfect Ten’ Tracklisting

Mustard is assembling a star-studded lineup for the Perfect Ten.

Just hours before the project drops, the super-producer has revealed the album’s tracklisting. In addition to the Migos-assisted hit “Pure Water,” the 10 tracks include collaborations with Future, Meek Mill, Ella Mai, YG, A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Young Thug, Gunna, Ty Dolla $ign, and more. The title track also features an appearance from the late Nipsey Hussle.

Perfect Ten, which follows 2016’s Cold Summer, arrives just in time for summer. “Understand that I am the summer and I’m locked and loaded!” said Mustard. “It’s gone be a hot one and I’m not playing this time around…ON GOD!”

Mustard will hit the road with Future and Meek on the “Legendary Nights Tour” later this summer. The 24-city U.S. trek kicks off Aug. 28 in St. Louis and make stops in Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, and more before wrapping Oct. 5 in Las Vegas.

Perfect Ten drops at midnight. See the tracklisting below.

Perfect Ten Tracklisting

1. “Intro” (feat. 1TakeJay)
2. “Pure Water” (with Migos)
3. “On God” (with YG & Tyga feat. A$AP Ferg & A$AP Rocky)
4. “Baguettes in the Face” (feat. NAV, Playboi Carti & A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie)
5. “Interstate 10” (feat. Future)
6. “100 Bands” (feat. Quavo, YG & Meek Mill)
7. “Woah Woah” (feat. Young Thug & Gunna)
8. “Surface” (with Ella Mai & Ty Dolla $ign)
9. “Ballin’” (feat. Roddy Ricch)
10. “Perfect Ten” (feat. Nipsey Hussle)

Joyner Lucas ‘Broke and Stupid’

After stirring controversy with his “Devil’s Work” video, Joyner Lucas is back with his latest for “Broke and Stupid.”

The feel-good clip finds the hometown hero giving back to his community in Massachusetts and putting a smile on the faces of the homeless with free haircuts. He reflects on his journey while throwing out the first pitch at Boston’s Fenway Park and riding shotgun in his Lamborghini.

“This the shit I dreamed about when I was only four,” raps Lucas while standing outside Maria’s Kitchen in Worcester, Mass. “Court evictions, landlords never show remorse / Now I’m in the building / When they greet me, they can hold the door.”

He also name drops some of his famous friends including JAY-Z (“I’m so famous, I can finally hit JAY-Z direct”) and Drake (“I might hit up Drake and tell him to send me the jet”).

“Broke and Stupid” follows Joyner’s videos for “ISIS” with Logic and the viral hit “Devil’s Work.”

He is now gearing up to release his ADHD project and will join Chris Brown on his “INDIGOAT Tour” in August.

#DXCLUSIVE: Fat Joe Affiliate UFO Fev & J Hart Release “Emigres” EP

New York City, ny – Coming straight from the heart of Spanish Harlem, rapper UFO Fev — an artist signed to Fat Joe — teams up with French producer J Hart for their brand new collaborative project, Emigres, which dropped on Friday (June 28). More than just a strong body of work, the EP is also the culmination of a (Hip Hop) brotherhood that began just over two years ago.

“I met UFO two years ago in Spanish Harlem, New York,” J Hart tells HipHopDx. “I interviewed him for my radio show [The Big Bang Show, 107.3FM Reprezent London, UK‪]‬. We had a great vibe and we stayed in touch. Then he asked me to DJ for him during his shows and organically we started to work together and make music together.”

Though the album is spun from the pen of UFO, the album title, which is French for “emigrate,” is more specifically a direct reference to its sonic architect.

“J Hart is technically the muse for the entire project; he represents what Emigres actually is,” UFO explains. “Coming from his homeland to pursue Hip Hop is a tale in its own rights. Usually, people come to America seeking new life, jobs and love but my man came for Hip Hop, that’s gangster.”

Bubbling on the underground scene for a few years now, UFO officially signed with Fat Joe back in 2016 — after close Joe collaborator, Dre (of the production duo Cool & Dre) stumbled on his video for “Mr. Nice Guy” and made the connection. “Once we linked up the rest was history. Joe heard some of the EP (Camouflage) and asked if I’d be interested in joining him on this journey. I have been riding since then.”

UFO is acutely aware of the grandeur of his current situation. “I always pay attention to my surroundings and constantly seek guidance, so being in the position I am is a privilege … Joe is a legend but also a mentor for me, we listen to music and just talk about it,” he says humbly.

“To think I am able to speak about this culture with the forefathers is surreal. Every time [Joe] and I are in the studio it’s pure energy,” he continues. “I always think to myself this was ‪Big Pun‬ at one point. Which is an honor to me, to be able to experience music at a high-quality level doesn’t happen for everyone.”

The creation of the project came at a particularly pivotal moment in both their lives — with UFO having just signed (after promising to give up if it didn’t click) and J Hart having literally just moved to the Mecca.

“My inspiration for this EP came together in real time. I lived this project,” UFO says.

Stream J Hart and UFO Fev’s Emigres, below.

Lil Xan Admits To Relapsing But Is Dedicated To His Sobriety

In early December 2018, Lil Xan checked himself into rehab. At the time, the 22-year-old rapper, real name Nicholas Diego Leano, revealed to TMZ that he was addicted to various substances, including hydrocodone.“Basically a lot opioids,” he said. “I’ve been way worse in the past. I’ve actually been ten times worse than what I’ve been now. I want to do rehab just so I can get over this last hump or stretch so I can finally be just back to Diego.”

Two weeks after admitting himself into a facility, he shared on social media that he was “out and sober.” Anyone familiar with alcohol or substance abuse rehabilitation knows that relapses are apart the recovery process. In an effort to be transparent with his fans about his road to recovery and to elicit support from followers, Xan shared on Instagram that he’s had a minor setback with his addiction.

“I love you guys so much, wanted to let you guys know I’m tapering f the last bit norcos I’ve been addicted to,” he wrote. “You can get better I promise, there’s no shame in relapsing it happens to anyone who goes through these issues, I’ve been feeling like death from withdrawals but I know once I’m sober I’ll feel amazing, I love you guys to death and I’m forever grateful for my fans who have supported me through everything, and I thank my haters for teaching me that negativity on social media doesn’t matter at fucking all haha 😂💔 Love you 💔💔💔💔”

Nielsen: Streaming Reaches Over Half a Trillion Streams & Box Office Success Drives Music Sales

Nielsen has unveiled its 2019 Music Mid-Year report for the United States.

Breaking down , music streaming services reached over 507 billion on-demand streams.  This comes following singles and albums from Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Halsey, Khalid, BTS, and Bad Bunny.

In the first six months of 2019, total album equivalent consumption (which includes albums and on-demand audio/video streaming) rose to 351.6 million.  This figure jumped 15.7% over the same period last year, when consumption reached 304 million.  Total album equivalent consumption audio streams rose 12.7% to 305.2 million

Combining audio and video alone, on-demand streaming reached 507.7 billion streams.  This figure rose 31.6% over the same period last year, when on-demand streaming reached 385.7 billion.  On-demand audio song streaming jumped 27.8% to 333.5 billion.  On-demand video song streaming rose 39.6% to 174.2 billion.

Physical and digital downloads, however, continue to drop substantially.

Physical album sales for the first half of 2019 – including vinyl LPs – declined 15.1% to just 32.5 million.  Total album sales – including physical and downloads – dropped 18.8% to 51.6 million.  Digital album sales and track sales suffered the most, plummeting 24.4% to 19.1 million and 25.6% to 154.1 million, respectively.

In good news for record lovers, vinyl LP sales rose 9.6% to 7.7 million.

For the tracking period of January 4th to June 20th, 2019, Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next ranked as the most popular album.  Her single, ‘7 Rings,’ ranks as this year’s most-consumed song with 777 million on-demand streams.

Thanks to A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s ‘Shallow’ reached 684,000 digital downloads and 316 million on-demand song streams.  Elton John’s biopic, Rocketman starring Taron Egerton, caused an 84% increase of consumption of the singer’s entire catalog.

Also, following the airing of Netflix’s The Dirt biopic of the group, Motley Crue’s catalog consumption skyrocketed 683%.  The dueling Fyre Festival documentaries on Hulu and Netflix allowed Ja Rule to experience a minor 33% consumption of his catalog.  Controversial documentaries on Michael Jackson (Leaving Neverland) and R. Kelly (Surviving R. Kelly) led to a 41% and 13% increase in catalog consumption, respectively.

You can view the complete report below.

 


Featured image by Yan Pei-Ming and Yann Caradec (CC by 2.0).

Lakers Pull Off Another Trade, Clear Up Cap Space For Third Superstar

The Los Angeles Lakers have just cleared up enough space to sign a max free agent this summer, as the free agency period is set to ficially open at 6pm ET this Sunday, June 30.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers have agreed to trade Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards as part the Anthony Davis deal with New Orleans. Furthermore, Davis has agreed to waive his $4.1M trade kicker, creating a total  $32M in salary cap space.

The question now becomes, which All Star player does L.A. throw that money at? Or do they opt to spread that money around to several different players?

In addition to Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving, the star-studded 2019 free agency class includes Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, Khris Middleton, DeMarcus Cousins, Nikola Vucevic, Al Horford, Julius Randle, Brook Lopez, JJ Redick and Patrick Beverley among others. Former Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell, a restricted free agent, could also be had if the Nets land Kyrie Irving.

Prior to today’s trade, the Lakers were already considered the favorite to win the NBA title and their odds will only increase now that they have the potential to bring in a third superstar, or several other talented role players.

Kawhi Leonard, Lakers To Meet When Free Agency Opens This Weekend

The Los Angeles Lakers opened up enough cap space to sign a third superstar on Thursday, as they traded away Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards as part the Anthony Davis deal with New Orleans. Additionally, Anthony Davis waived his $4.1M trade kicker, which gives the Lakers $32M to play with when free agency ficially opens on 6pm ET this Sunday, June 30. 

And now, the Lakers have reportedly secured a meeting with two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. According to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes, “Leonard intends to grant the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers meetings when free agency opens on June 30.” 

A recent report suggested that Kawhi is “seriously considering” returning to the Raptors, where he is eligible to sign a supermax contract. On a recent episode “Get Up,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explained that the Clippers are “hyperventilating right now” in fear Leonard leaning towards Toronto. The Clippers now have to worry about big brother poaching their coveted free agent as well.

“Internally, they’re hyperventilating right now,” ESPN Brian Windhorst explained. “I think Kawhi will give the Knicks a look. I think his decision will be staying with the Raptors, likely on a short deal, a one-plus-one deal. Or look at the LA Clippers where he can invest in going forward.”

Leonard, 27, is eligible to sign a five-year, $190 million supermax contract with the Raptors, while other teams, like the Lakers and Clippers, can fer a max  four-years, $140.6 million. The three-time All Star averaged 26.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in the regular season while leading Toronto to its first NBA title this past season.

LeBron James Hints At The Return Of His Iconic Chalk Toss

If you’re a LeBron James fan, then you know that one the most iconic things about him was his signature chalk toss. This was always done during the pre-game warmup and it would get fans pumped for the show the King was about to put on. If you were to mix the chalk toss with a headband in the middle LeBron’s hairline, you would end up with an automatic 40-point triple-double. Unfortunately, LeBron retired the ritual back in 2014 and hasn’t brought it back since.

Well, that might change as LeBron took to Twitter to tease the return his iconic chalk toss. While replying to a post about the classic tradition, LeBron said “Could be making a return this coming year until forever! Stay tuned.”

James is currently filming Space Jam 2 which means he’s in Hollywood mode right now. If you’re going to be in movies, you have to be a bit a showman so perhaps this news is directly related to that. Now that LeBron plays in Los Angeles, the whole world is watching and the chalk toss would certainly be a way to get some fans excited again.

LeBron was in the prime his career during the chalk toss days so a return to form could be symbolic what’s to come for the Lakers.