Memphis Grizzlies Finally Got Rid Of Chandler Parsons: Trade Details

The Chandler Parsons era in Memphis has finally come to an end. 

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Atlanta Hawks have agreed to take on Parsons, while trading Solomon Hill and Miles Plumlee to the Grizzlies.

Parsons, who will make $25 million this season, originally inked a four-year $94.4M deal with the Grizz in 2016 but never lived up to that contract due to a number knee injuries. The 30-year old forward appeared in just 95 games over his three seasons in Memphis, averaging just over seven points and under three rebounds per game.

That said, Atlanta is reportedly willing to give him a shot as they rebuild around their young core.

Wojnarowski writes:

“The Hawks are building around young players, but are open to giving Parsons an opportunity to earn a role in his final year under contract. If another team shows interest in signing him, a contract buyout always remains a possibility.”

Hill, who was acquired by the Hawks on draft night in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, averaged 4.3 points per game in 43 appearances last season. Plumlee averaged 4.4 points per night in just 18 games for the Hawks last year. Both players are entering the final years their contracts as well. 

Irv Gotti Taps Kanye West for ‘Tales’ Song ‘Brothers’

Tonight, Irv Gotti will kick off the second season of his BET anthology series “Tales” with a brand new song from Kanye West called “Brothers.”

Ahead of the premiere, the legendary hip-hop mogul and actor-singer Elijah Kelley sat down with Rap-Up to discuss the highly-anticipated track, which was produced by Gotti and Channel 7 and features Charlie Wilson. According to Gotti, it was no easy task securing the controversial rapper. In fact, Ye only signed off a few weeks ago.

“It took me close to two years to deliver Kanye,” said Gotti. “I love you Kanye, but you have to deal with this major, catastrophically big artist. I just can’t say, ‘Hey, give me a record.’ This isn’t the MC down the block. It’s Kanye West. So it’s gotta be perfect.”

Kanye originally suggested that he use “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” for the episode, but Gotti wanted a new song. “I said, ‘Ye, that’s not special.’ What’s special is a brand new record,” he said before praising Ye. “Kanye is a good guy, man. People need to know that about Kanye. He has a lot of misconceptions. He was in London and he called me. He said, ‘Yo, let’s do the ‘Brothers’ record. He was on some brotherly love, helping his brother out. It came from a great place.”

“Brothers” soundtracks the two-hour episode, which stars Kelley, Thomas Q. Jones, and Isaiah Washington. “It touches on father-son relationships, family, love, and then of course, two brothers and how they could have falling outs but then they understand what’s truly important—coming together,” said Gotti. “It’s just a really, really, really great father-son and brother-man episode.”

Season 2 of “Tales” premieres tonight at 9 p.m. EST on BET.

Drake Is Reportedly Recruiting Kawhi Leonard To Re-Sign With Toronto Raptors

Toronto, ON – There have already been some big moves in NBA free agency this summer, but the biggest decision is still to come.

2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard hasn’t decided yet — at least publicly — whether he’ll leave the Toronto Raptors after one season or return to the reigning champions. The team is doing everything they can to bring him back and reportedly are getting some additional help from none other than Toronto’s own Drake.

According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, Drizzy — a noted fan and team ambassador for the Raptors — is leading his own recruiting campaign to bring Leonard back to Toronto.

“The Raptors haven’t backed off one centimeter and Drake is said to be mounting his own recruiting campaign on top of whatever the freshly minted champions are doing to convince him to stay,” Stein reported.

During the 2019 NBA Playoffs, Drake became a fixture in discussions about the Raptors due to his sideline antics. His vociferous support of his hometown team turned him into a frequent topic of conversation on sports talks shows and even during the broadcasts of playoff games.

While Drizzy may be doing his best to facilitate Leonard’s return to Toronto, the NBA star’s own hometown teams are vying for his services too. Leonard, a Los Angeles native, is being courted by both the Lakers and Clippers.

Kendrick Lamar’s "Section 80" Sparked A Creative Legacy

The case for Kendrick Lamar as hip-hop’s definitive author is strong. It’s difficult to imagine a landscape in which he wasn’t considered among the modern day greats, setting the bar in a variety different categories. From cadence to flow to song structure, Kendrick Lamar continuously pushes his own creativity in a state perpetual artistic evolution. And to think, it all began eight years ago with Section 80. Though there’s some debate as to whether Good Kid, M.A.A.D City constitutes as Kenny’s proper studio debut, Section 80 served as a welcome first impression, a polished and deeply ambitious journey through a young rapper’s mind. 

Hints the adventurous, post-modern writing he’d come to explore throughout his later projects were a staple on Section 80. From toying with focalization to exploring wide-ranging themes addiction and inevitability, Kendrick quickly emerged as one the game’s most challenging lyricists. And most importantly, he did so while still retaining a sense mainstream appeal. Songs like “Rigormortis” solidified his position as a force to be reckoned with, yet his nuanced viewpoints and storytelling appealed to the intellectual sort. Breakout single “ADHD” displayed many facets his musical persona, blending an infectious hook, a well-structured tale, and a slowly-unfurling dose cultural criticism. 

Kendrick Lamar's "Section 80" Sparked A Creative Legacy

Chris McKay/Getty s

Though Jay Rock was, at the time, TDE‘s dominant presence, the label provided Kendrick Lamar with the means to take his vision into a studio setting. Upon its release, Section 80 debuted at No. 113 on the Billboard charts, a far cry from the quest to hold number one, a battle transpiring between the likes Pitbull and LMFAO. Yet many quickly took notice Kendrick’s effort, with the majority critics standing behind the work, for once united in their assessment. It didn’t take long for Kendrick Lamar’s mystique to bubble, from a low-key rapper to watch to one the game’s most thought-provoking emcees. Before long, Kendrick was stealing the show with a guest-spot on Drake‘s Take Care, accessing his widest audience to date – and winning them over in the process.

With production from THC, Sounwave, J. Cole, Tae Beast, and more, Section 80 managed to retain a consistent sonic aesthetic rarely found on commercial mixtapes (or is it an album?) this nature. Often spacey and atmospheric, save for the occasional cinematic anthem (“The Spiteful Chant” still goes) the project’s instrumentation provided Kendrick with enough room to float, allowing his strengths to shine without hijacking the narrative. While he still had much ground to cover before the likes “Control,” the Kendrick found on Section 80 remains an impressive technician, blending old-soul ideology with a young trailblazer’s desire. 

Does Section 80 stand among hip-hop’s essential debuts? That is certainly a matter debate. But what it sparked – the coming age a ble GOAT contender – should never go forgotten. Happy birthday!

Marvel Universe Announces "Marvel Zombies" With X-Men & Avengers

Marvel Cinematic Universe has recently dropped a teaser embodied as cover artwork by Inhyuk Lee for an upcoming project entitled Marvel Zombies. The art piece appears to show zombified versions Captain America, Deadpool, and Wolverine. Marvel has given an October 2019 release date to the book, but no further details as to whether we can expect the project to be a one-shot, miniseries or anything more. Moreover, there’s been no mention on who is apart the creative team. Though, the October date places us just within the Halloween timeframe which is considerably well-timed.

Previously, Marvel Zombies commenced as a five-issue miniseries which was published by Marvel in 2005 and 2006. The series was the written by the creator the legendary series The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman and drawn by cartoonist Sean Phillips with covers by Arthur Suydam. The series is believed to be a spinf Ultimate Fantastic Four, where the zombie version Reed Richards tricks his Earth-1610 doppelganger into opening a portal that gives way into the Marvel Zombies universe. Marvel Zombies brings us to Earth in 2149 as part Marvel’s multiverse. Herein, an infected version Sentry from another universe crashes on earth and spreads an infection to other Marvel heroes which include the X-Men, Avengers, and Fantastic Four. 

Knicks-Inspired Nike Air Foamposite Pro Drops Soon: Best Look Yet

The New York Knicks just struck out in Free Agency and the entire fan base is in mourning right now. For months they were convinced that they would end up with Zion Williamson, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant although that quickly turned sour. Now, Williamson is on the New Orleans Pelicans while Durant and Irving are on the Brooklyn Nets. While free agency was sad, all the Knicks fans out there who are also sneakerheads can find solace in the fact that a Nike Air Foamposite Pro will be coming out in their honor this August.

One the most connected sneaker accounts on Instagram, @zsneakerheadz, revealed some detailed photos the new Knicks-inspired Foamposite today which will surely be a huge hit once it drops. The sneaker has a black upper and an orange Nike swoosh with orange highlights going up the tongue. To complete the Knicks theme, there is a blue outsole that peaks out a bit onto the midsole.

Overall, it’s a pretty clean looking pair Foamposites and according to the post below, it will drop on August 17th this year for $230 USD.

"Breaking Bad" Stars Aaron Paul & Bryan Cranston Continue Teasing Mystery Project

Last week, we reported on Breaking bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul teasing a new project — and we still have no idea what it is about. In what appears to be a cryptic message, the stars have both shared the same photo on their Instagram. The photos reveal two donkeys standing side by side to one another. Speculations thus far indicate that the two donkeys could be both Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston’s characters, but nothing is set in stone.  Considering the pair worked on one the best television shows there ever was, fans have swarmed to the post with high expectations for the return the beloved drama series. Not only were the same photos shared on their individual Instagram accounts, but they also tied with the same captions which read “soon.” Hence, we can surely expect for something, whatever it is, to drop soon. 

And now, they continued the teasing by both sharing identical photos. Only this time, the duo is in what appears to be a swamp which they are crossing with a somewhat worried (or perhaps stunned) look on their faces. One all two familiar, to be frank. The one we saw when Walter White got himself into trouble Jesse Pinkman created. And to tease us even more, the caption reads: “Even sooner.” At this point, we’re itching to know what this is all about.

Drake Reveals His Pick For Song Of The Summer

We saw it happen with “Old Town Road” earlier this year when the TikTok app had a huge effect in creating the latest hit single. Perhaps we’re in the beginning stages the next viral success. This new song has been dominating the airwaves around the country as it continues to gain momentum and now, the young artist has received a coveted co-sign from Drake. Could Ambjaay be in possession the song the summer?

Drake thinks the teenager, who is currently signed to Columbia Records, has a chance at making history this summer. Now that we’re enjoying the warm summer months, we’re waiting to see which track emerges as the clear song the summer. It’s a journey that many artists wish to win, creating hits and dropping their best songs during this season. People are out and about and they want something to dance to. Ambjaay delivered with “Uno” and Drake is recognizing that the young star might be onto something. The track first started to blow up on TikTok and now, it has garnered over 10 million views on YouTube. Drizzy Drake slid into Jaay’s DMs to congratulate him on the success.

“Bro you snapping on everything that song going too insane,” wrote Drake in his first message to Ambjaay. He followed up with some major praise. “I guarantee next 3-4 weeks it’s the biggest song the summer.”

Are you ready for Ambjaay’s takeover? Listen to the hit above.

Drake Reveals His Pick For Song Of The Summer

Jimmy Butler Turned Down Sixers’ $190M Max Offer: Report

Jimmy Butler’s time with the Philadelphia 76ers has come to an end, but it’s not because the Sixers didn’t want the All Star shooting guard on the roster.

According to multiple reports, Philadelphia was prepared to run it back with Butler, Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, but Jimmy turned down their five-year, $190 million max fer. Instead, Butler got his wish to play for the Miami Heat as part a four-team sign-and-trade, while the Sixers used that money to sign Al Horford. 

ESPN reports that Butler’s deal with the Miami Heat is for four years, $142 million. The 29-year old All Star averaged 18.2 points with 5.3 rebounds and 4 assists in 55 regular season games with the Sixers last season. Philly acquired Butler from Minnesota last year in exchange for Jerryd Bayless, Robert Covington, Dario Šarić and a 2022 second-round draft pick.

In the trade for Jimmy Buckets, the Heat sent veteran center Hassan Whiteside to the Portland Trail Blazers and guard Josh Richardson to the 76ers. Additionally, Miami dealt a protected 2023 first-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers. As part the four-team deal, Meyers Leonard will be heading to Miami, while Moe Harkless finds himself with the Clippers.

Chinese Regulators Crack Down on Music and Audio Apps — Including NetEase Cloud Music

 

The Chinese government is targeting music and audio apps like never before — starting with the ultra-popular NetEase.

China’s leading internet-regulation body, the Cyber Administration of China (CAC), is taking steps to reign in the content — and types of content — offered by the top music-centered applications and social-media platforms.

Specifically, the CAC has punished 26 app creators for featuring themes, ideas, and/or media deemed to be in violation of standards. At the time of writing, the terms of these punishments haven’t been released publicly.

However, a few applications, including the ultra-popular NetEase Cloud Music, can no longer be downloaded through China’s Android app stores; the programs are still listed, but they cannot be installed and their descriptions have been edited to warn of their unavailability.

The CAC’s specific complaints are wide ranging.

First, in a statement released by the governing body, the ability of users to broadcast sexually explicit footage (albeit on platforms where doing so is against the rules) was cited as a chief contributor to the crackdown. Additionally, the CAC stated that some of the apps in-question offered audiobooks that contradicted the doctrines of the Chinese government, including audiobooks relating to fantasy and superstition, amongst other topics.

Lastly, the CAC noted that some of the apps’ songs included lyrics that were suggestive and otherwise inappropriate.

The affected companies and app makers are currently working with the CAC to re-list the programs on app stores. Experts have indicated that the “crackdown” is likely to pass once minor concessions are made by the apps’ creators. Many of these same experts believe that the move is part of a larger effort to remind Chinese companies — and companies that are operating in China — of the government’s authority.

For instance, a dating app, TanTan, was removed from Chinese app stores in May, allegedly because users were able to solicit sexual services. It was recently restored in, essentially, its original form.

Awkwafina & Jacob Tremblay To Star In Disney’s "Little Mermaid" Live-Action Remake

Considering the success Aladdin and the anticipation for the upcoming live remake The Lion King, it only makes sense for Disney to continue with its rollout classic animated films getting a modern makeover with real characters. The Little Mermaid is the latest movie in the works and has already expressed interest in having Melissa McCarthy play the villain known as the sea witch Ursula. 

The Hollywood Reporter now reports that Awkwafina & Jacob Tremblay are just two more stars who may be joining the remake as well. According to the publication, Awkwafina would play Scuttle, the seagull friend Ariel while Jacob would play Flounder, Ariel’s best friend, who is a fish.  As we know, the film follows a mermaid named Ariel who yearns to be a human after falling in love with a prince. Ariel makes a deal with Ursula to have her wish come true but must give up her voice 

Aladdin, starring Will Smith, became his highest grossing film beating out his previous number one, Independence Day. “To be in this game as long as I’ve been in this game, and to have my biggest movie at this point in my career, I just want to say thank you,” Will shared in a clip to Instagram. 

Warriors Plan To Retire Kevin Durant’s Number

The Golden State Warriors released a statement on Kevin Durant‘s departure on Monday, in which Co-Chairman and CEO Joe Lacob announced that no player will wear Durant’s #35 for the Warriors again.

Lacob’s statement reads:

“Three years ago, we were thrilled with the arrival Kevin Durant, a transformative NBA player and one the best to ever play the game. He provided our fans and franchise with numerous highlights during his stay here – two NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs, three trips to the Finals, unparalleled efficiency – and carried himself with class and dignity both on and f the court. His commitment to our community was evident each day, including last season when his philanthropic efforts earned him the NBA’s annual Community Assist Award. Today, as he starts a new chapter in his incredible career, we thank KD for all his contributions, for being an integral part to one the most prolific runs in NBA history and wish him well as he continues his Hall Fame journey. As long as I am Co-Chairman this team, no player will ever wear #35 for the Warriors again.”

While Durant left the Warriors in order to team with Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets, and Andre Iguodala was traded to Memphis, Golden State did re-sign All Star guard Klay Thompson to a five-year extension worth $190 million. Thompson, 29, averaged 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season with the Warriors.

The Warriors also acquired All Star guard D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets, although reports suggest he will be traded in a matter time.

Swedish Production Music Startup Epidemic Sound Raises $20 Million, Lifting Its Valuation to $370 Million

Epidemic Sound has announced a fundraising milestone.

The Swedish production music startup has raised $20 million.  Investors include DS Asset Management, a Korean firm, and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB), a Swedish financial group.  Other investors include Creandum, EQT Mid-Market, and Atwater Capital.  Creandum has previously invested in Spotify and owns a stake in the music streaming company.

With the funding, Epidemic Sound now has a valuation of $370 million.  The startup allows video producers, which include social media content creators (YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, etc.), advertisers, and film producers, to search for and license music.  They can then use the music as soundtracks in their videos.  Current clients also include major agencies and Netflix.

Users won’t find content from major artists here.  Instead, they’ll find music from indie artists and other musicians.  According to Epidemic, the “biggest creators” make tens of thousands of dollars a month.

Plugging its own revenue without revealing its financials, the startup also states it has grown its revenue “100% year-over-year.”  Profitability remains unknown.  Epidemic also offers musicians an upfront payment for each track the startup buys. It claims to pay a 50/50 split on royalties from music streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL, and Deezer.

Epidemic will use the money to fund its expansion into Asia.  With DS Asset Management’s backing, the startup will open an office in Korea.

Speaking about the funding and its move into the country, Oscar Höglund, the startup’s Co-founder and CEO, said,

South Korea is the cultural hotspot right now for the region.  It’s a net exporter for content.  Music is consumed and played there, but licensing to creators there means it will travel elsewhere in the region, too.

Calling Korea “the first step” in enabling content creators and storytellers to use its music, he added,

Signing K-pop music creators is on our list for 2020 and beyond.

We’re absolutely using our entry into Korea as a way to enter Japan and China.  It’s a phased plan, so we don’t have specifics on timings of when we’ll open up our catalog to each country with localized content, for example, but it’s in our plan.

 


Featured image by Global Panorama.

Hip Hop Album Sales: Lil Nas X’s "7" EP Giddy Ups To No. 2 On Billboard 200

Lil Nas X’s career is currently skyrocketing. Following a performance of “Old Town Road” at the 2019 BET Awards late last month, the 20-year-old joined Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus at the Glastonbury Festival in England over the weekend.

Now, his debut EP, 7,  has entered the Billboard 200 at No. 2, just behind the Raconteurs’ new album, Help Us Stranger. Gucci Mane’s Delusions of Grandeur also made its debut in the Top 10, while Trina’s The One hobbled onto the chart at No. 126.

Elsewhere, Prince’s posthumous collection titled Originals hit the chart at No. 15 and YFN Lucci’s 650Luc: Gangsta Grillz entered at No. 34.

Yee Haw!

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suite life on deck

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A day after coming opening up about his sexuality, Lil Nas X is making a splash with his inaugural EP, 7. With  77,330 total album equivalent units, 3,853 in pure album sales and a streaming count of 90,377,677, the project made its debut at No. 2.

Meanwhile, his breakout hit, “Old Town Road,” has become the longest running Hot 100 No. 1 Hip Hop single at 13 weeks, beating out songs such as Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

Read the 7 review here. 

Delusions Of No. 1

Gucci’s latest endeavor, Delusions Of Grandeur, landed at No. 7 this week with 31,648 total album equivalent units, 628 pure album sales and a streaming count of 36,872,136. It features  a laundry list of guest spots, including Meek Mill, Gunna, Lil Baby, Justin Bieber, Jeremih, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, Lil Uzi Vert and Young Dolph.

The project follows last year’s Evil Genius, which debuted at No. 5 upon its December 2018 release with 51,000 album-equivalent units in first week sales.

Read the Delusions Of Grandeur review here. 

Pop Life

A new collection of Prince songs, titled Originals, has entered the chart at No. 15. The posthumous project reeled in 22,302 total album equivalent units, 20,612 pure album sales and a streaming count 1,425,459.

The musical icon, who died in 2016, has released dozens of albums starting with 1978’s For You and culminating with 2015’s HITnRUN Phase TwoOriginals marks only the second posthumous release, following 2018’s Piano and a Microphone 1983.

Top 10 Billboard 200 Rap & R&B Albums For The Week Ending 06/20/2019

Note: The first number below is this week’s “total album equivalent units” count, an intersection of album sales, single sales, and streams implemented by Billboard’s new rating system. A pure album sales figure is available in bold in parenthesis and information about each album’s streaming count is available in brackets.

  1. Lil Nas X — 7 — No. 2 — 77,330 (3,853) [90,377,677]
  2. Khalid — Free Spirit — No. 5 — 36,436 (5,348) [39,757,961]
  3. Lizzo — Cuz I Love You — No. 6 — 33,415 (4,756) [32,913,59]
  4. Gucci Mane — Delusions of Grandeur — No. 7 — 31,648 (2,628) [36,872,136]
  5. DaBaby — Baby On Baby — No. 8 — 27,507 (496) [38,302,757]
  6. Polo G — Die A Legend — No. 10 — 24,471 (152) [37,180,688]
  7. Drake — Scorpion — No. 12 — 24,098 (698) [31,048,570]
  8. Post Malone — Beerbongs & Bentleys — No. 15 — 23,775 (1,173) [30,537,718]
  9. DJ Khaled — Father Of Asahd — No. 14 — 23,032 (2,343) [25,406,572]
  10. Prince — Originals — No. 15 — 22,302 (20,612) [1,425,459]

Top 10 Billboard 200 Rap & R&B Albums For The Week Ending 06/20/2019

Note: The first number below is this week’s “total album equivalent units” count, an intersection of album sales, single sales, and streams implemented by Billboard’s new rating system. A pure album sales figure is available in bold in parenthesis and information about each album’s streaming count is available in brackets.

  1. Lil Nas X — 7 — No. 2 — 77,330 (3,853) [90,377,677]
  2. Khalid — Free Spirit — No. 5 — 36,436 (5,348) [39,757,961]
  3. Lizzo — Cuz I Love You — No. 6 — 33,415 (4,756) [32,913,59]
  4. Gucci Mane — Delusions of Grandeur — No. 7 — 31,648 (2,628) [36,872,136]
  5. DaBaby — Baby On Baby — No. 8 — 27,507 (496) [38,302,757]
  6. Polo G — Die A Legend — No. 10 — 24,471 (152) [37,180,688]
  7. Drake — Scorpion — No. 12 — 24,098 (698) [31,048,570]
  8. Post Malone — Beerbongs & Bentleys — No. 15 — 23,775 (1,173) [30,537,718]
  9. DJ Khaled — Father Of Asahd — No. 14 — 23,032 (2,343) [25,406,572]
  10. Prince — Originals — No. 15 — 22,302 (20,612) [1,425,459]

Chris Brown Reacts To Backlash Received For “Black B*tches w/ Nice Hair” Line

Despite being on his way to another #1 album with Indigo, Chris Brown has been having to deal with some backlash this weekend. On the new Lil Wayne & Joyner Lucas-featured song “Need A Stack,” Chris raps about only liking black girls with “nice hair,” and that didn’t sit well with some the ladies.

“Diggin’ it, then I’m lickin’ all on that pussy, put it right there/ Only wanna fuck the black bitches with the nice hair,” Chris spits on the song. After hearing this, several ladies have taken to social media to call Chris out and ask him what he meant by that, but he’s not backing down. In fact, Chris is sticking by his lyrics and comparing it to how girls want men with good teeth.

In the comment section a g.o.o.d_vybez post, Chris was spotted laughing the situation f, before saying the only people upset are the “uglies.” “Yall tripping trippin. Y’all bitches don’t wanna fuck da nigga wit da fucked up teeth do you??? Only bitches upset is the uglies (not the black queens)” he wrote while sharing a laughing face emoji.

 Check out Chris’ comments (below) courtesy TheShadeRoom and let us know what you think. Is Chris too harsh or is he right here?