It’s been a rough month for A$AP Rocky who’s currently behind bars in Sweden over an incident that occurred at the top July. His fans, friends, and peers have rallied together, calling for his freedom. Even Donald Trump, out all people, publicly came out in support A$AP Rocky, at least at the request Kanye West. Machine Gun Kelly is the latest rapper to speak out against Rocky’s incarceration. TMZ recently approached him to ask about his take Pretty Flacko’s situation where he declared, “Fuck Swedish fish.”
Machine Gun Kelly was asked whether he’d be boycotting any Swedish products in wake Rocky’s situation. The cameraman suggested boycotting Swedish Fish. MGK cracked a smile but clearly, the cameraman was feeling himself. He began listing f a shit-ton Swedish products and companies. He listed f Swedish Fish and Ikea before getting to Spotify — a company that MGK can’t afford to boycott. “No more Spoti — whoa,” MGK told the cameraman. “But Swedish Fish — cancel Swedish Fish until A$AP’s free,” he concluded.
In other MGK-related news, Young Thug announced that he was going on a joint tour with Machine Gun Kelly this fall. The tour is set to kick f on September 30th in Toronto and includes opening performances from Polo G, KILLY, Strick, and YBN Nahmir. Stay tuned.
Gaslamp Killer, a producer from L.A., was hit with accusations drugging and raping two women in 2017. Since then, his career took a major hit. He was a resident DJ at Low End Theory in Los Angeles but they dropped him following the accusations rape. After one woman, Chelsea Tadros’, came forward with allegations, he sued her for defamation. He denied the allegations, saying, “would never drug a woman, and I would never put anyone in a situation where they were not in control, or take anything that they weren’t fering.” However, he’s now dropped his lawsuit against his accuser as they choose to “move on with their lives and put this lawsuit behind them.”
Gaslamp Killer and Tadros issued a joint statement this week. The DJ revealed that he’ll be dropping the lawsuit while a discussion took place with himself and Tadros.
“Mr. Bensussen discussed with Ms. Tadros the events July 5, 2013 to understand the basis for her Twitter post on October 12, 2017. Mr. Bensussen did this in good faith as an earnest effort to resolve this issue. After their discussions, Ms. Tadros acknowledges she does not know who drugged her, and both parties recognize that Ms. Tadros could have been drugged by one the many attendees that were present on July 5, 2013,” he statement reads. “Ms. Tadros continues to maintain that she was drugged and thereby unable to consent on July 5, 2013. Mr. Bensussen maintains that he has never drugged or raped anyone, and that he did not have any indication that Ms. Tadros was drugged or unable to consent. Furthermore, had Mr. Bensussen known or believed that Ms. Tadros did not or was unable to consent, he would not have engaged in any sexual activity.”
Nicki Minaj recently hosted episode 14 of Queen Radio with special guest Chance The Rapper. During their conversation, Nicki revealed Kanye West told her he’s a reborn Christian, which isn’t necessarily surprising when factoring in his Sunday Service events.
Nicki made the reveal as she and Chance discussed religion, spirituality and God.
“I want to touch on, just briefly real quick, and I’m going to go,” Nicki said. “Because I felt the same exact way. Sometimes in the music business, we think that other artists don’t believe in God or are aren’t spiritual as we are, and stuff like that. So we automatically go to the normal, ‘Oh, what up?’
“Then when you find people, because I just was with Kanye, and he told me he’s a born-again Christian now. Like my first instinct was, ‘I’m so proud of you,’ because I could see there’s a peace that he has now that just surpasses everything.”
She also implied her boyfriend Kenneth Petty, who recently obtained a marriage license for the couple, has a strong sense of faith.
“To everybody listening, if you have a man that says he don’t believe in God … one time somebody told me this, that, ‘I don’t believe in God,’ and it scared the living hell out of me,” she said. “I ran like there was no tomorrow. So I just want to say, because a man needs a strong woman in his life, like whether that woman is praying or meditating or just supporting you or giving you those talks, people don’t understand how far that goes for men.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Chance and Nicki discussed his new album, The Big Day, the best verse he’s ever written in his life (“We Go High”) and his own relationship with ‘Ye. Listen to the full episode here.
This morning, Minaj woke up to the news and she reacted quickly, letting out a few embarrassed emojis. Then, she told her fans to cool f before some more drama popped f, telling them they’re ficially on “time out.” The majority them obeyed but others are still out here acting a fool, continuing the hashtag and keeping the feud going.
So far, Cardi B has not commented on the matter. Would you like to see a freestyle battle between these two so a winner could be announced once and for all?
Bronny James Jr. has been impressing people this Summer with his talents out on the basketball court. There is no denying that he has the potential to be a great player and whenever he steps out onto the court, people pay attention. Having said that, it shouldn’t be surprising that he likes to get a little flashy when he plays the sport that he loves. Just like other basketball players, Bronny sure does love his sneakers and recently, he took to the court in a custom pair Space Jam Nike Kyrie 4’s.
The pair was made by sneaker customizer @sierato and showcases various characters from the Space Jam movie. It’s a dope pair kicks that surely turned a few heads when he wore them the other day. The Space Jam theme makes sense when you consider who his dad is starring in the sequel to the original movie. Not only is this pair a nod to the movie but a nod to his father as well.
You can seem some photos the sneaker below. They certainly aren’t for everybody but if you’re a pop culture nerd, these could be a pretty great piece to any collection.
Katy Perry has lost a massive copyright infringement lawsuit involving ‘Dark Horse’.
A California federal court jury has ruled that Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” was stolen from Christian rapper Marcus Gray, who performs as ‘Flame’. The decision, issued Monday afternoon, quickly moves the proceedings towards the damages phase, where Perry could face millions in penalties and the forfeiture of future earnings from the song.
The trial lasted for about one week before today’s decision was issued. It’s unclear if Perry will appeal the decision, though Perry’s attorneys are petitioning U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder to toss the jury’s decision as meritless given the evidence presented.
The lawsuit was lodged by Gray, Emmanuel Lambert (i.e, ‘D.A.’ Truth’), Chike Ojukwu, and Lecrae Moore; the group’s song, ‘Joyful Noise,’ was originally released in 2008. “Dark Horse” was released in 2013.
Also found liable were Lukasz Gottwald (aka Dr. Luke), Karl Martin Sandberg (aka Max Martin), Henry Walter (aka Cirkut), songwriter Sarah Hudson, and rapper Jordan Michael Houston (aka Juicy J), who appeared as the featured artist on the song. Capitol Records, Warner Bros. Music Corporation, Kobalt Publishing and Kasz Money Inc. were also named defendants.
Throughout, Perry and her attorneys argued that ‘Dark Horse’ was entirely original, with only vague similarities between the songs.
Perry stated that she’d never heard of Flame’s track. Similarly, track producer Dr. Luke claimed that he’d never heard of the song, while pointing to the Flame’s relative obscurity.
A side-by-side comparison of the track certainly reveals striking similarities (check out a comparison below). But early on, Perry’s legal team argued that ‘Joyful Noise’ was simply too obscure to be noticed — much less copied. Any similarities were simply a coincidence.
Earlier, however, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder refused to toss the case, pointing to substantial views of ‘Joyful Noise’ on platforms like YouTube and even MySpace. “[Plaintiffs] have demonstrated a triable issue of fact as to access because ‘Joyful Noise’ achieved critical success, including a Grammy nomination, and was readily available and viewed millions of times on YouTube and MySpace,” Snyder stated.
Gray and his legal team countered that Perry, Dr. Luke, or others involved in the writing process may have heard ‘Joyful Noise’ during the Grammys, where it was nominated prior to the release of ‘Dark Horse’. That sounded like a stretch, though Snyder felt a trial was merited.
Still, ‘Joyful Noise’ has little notoriety compared to ‘Dark Horse’.
On YouTube, “Joyful Noise” has approximately 3.6 million views, while ‘Dark Horse’ has 2.6 billion, making the latter one of the biggest songs ever on YouTube.
Similarly, “Joyful Noise” has 3.37 million plays on Spotify, compared to 609 million for “Dark Horse”. Incidentally, plays of “Joyful Noise” are now likely to surge given the court finding, though perhaps for all the wrong reasons. As for reactions, we’re still waiting for official statements and reactions from within the industry, but the finding is undoubtedly creating another questionable verdict for the industry.
And, a sense that arbitrary copyright verdicts can drop on anyone’s head — even if the commonalities are coincidental.
Casanova was accused calling for a beatdown on a woman after she was caught filming him on camera. Shortly after the incident, he turned himself in to police and was charged with felony robbery in the second-degree. Now, he’s facing a lawsuit from the alleged victim for assault, TMZ reports.
The incident went down nearly a year ago at the Good Stuff Diner in New York City. The woman, Niya Rucker, claimed she sat down at the diner near Cas where he was with a group friends that included two women. She said that she was on Instagram Live showing f her food when Casanova “mistakenly believed” that she was filming him. Rucker claims that neither one the women were his wife and that’s why she things went south quickly. She said Cas told one his friends to “take whatever action” that was needed to get the phone.
The rapper’s friend allegedly put her in a chokehold before taking her cell phone and deleting the video. But she also claims that he continued to assault her, causing her to bleed heavily out her mouth and chin. Following the altercation, she went on Live to show f her injuries. She also said that she suffered other injuries such as cuts and damage to her teeth.
Ed Sheeran’s No. 6 Collaborations Project has continued to have a strong hold on the Billboard 200’s coveted spot after debuting at No. 1 last week. Landing closely behind is The Lion King: The Gift album, which thanks to the Beyoncé touch, has debuted at No. 2 for the week ending July 25.
Nas’ The Lost Tapes 2 also made its entrance on the chart this week, barely squeezing into the Top 10, while Iggy Azalea’s In My Defense struggled in its first week, settling in at No. 50.
Meanwhile, Hip Hop/R&B is still dominating the chart with Lil Nas X, J. Cole and Dreamville, Chris Brown, Lizzo, Khalid and Post Malone all holding steady in the Top 10.
Who’s World Is This?
Following Nas’ seminal debut, 1994’s Illmatic, the Queensbridge Hip Hop legend nabbed his first No. 1 album with 1996’s It Was Written. Since then, 1999’s I Am…, 2006’s Hip Hop Is Dead, 2008’s Untitled, 2012’s Life Is Good have all landed in the coveted spot.
With Nas’ latest effort, The Lost Tapes 2, he earned a No. 10 position with 23,345 total album equivalent units, 11,619 pure albums and a streaming count of 14,160,149. It’s a step down from last year’s NASIR, which hit the chart at No. 5 with roughly 77,000 total album equivalent units sold in its first week.
Read The Lost Tapes 2 review here.
As The Lion King continues to rake it in at the Box Office, the Beyoncé album intended to supplement the film, The Lion King: The Gift, has landed at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The project sold a total of 53,578 album equivalent units with 11,438 of them coming from pure album sales. The 27-track effort also collected a streaming count of 50,255,527.
The Gift marks the pop superstar’s second Top 10 debut of 2019 (following Homecoming: The Live Album) and ninth Top 10 effort as a solo artist. 2016’s Lemonade also revisited the Top 10 this year.
Read The Lion King: The Gift review here.
In Her Defense …
Iggy Azalea’s latest effort, In My Defense, has made its chart debut at No. 50 with 11,261 total album equivalent units, 5,779 pure album sales and a streaming count of 6,672,064.
The Aussie pop rapper is aware the project is getting bad reviews, which she recently addressed on Twitter.
“Babe, relax,” she tweeted. “Critics have literally NEVER given any album I’ve made a good review, and I’m still here! What did you think was gonna happen.”
In My Defense is Iggy’s first studio album since her 2014 debut, The New Classic, which hit No. 3 upon its release thanks mostly to the massive success of “Fancy.”
Read the In My Defense review here.
Top 10 Billboard 200 Rap & R&B Albums For The Week Ending 07/25/2019
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.
Beyoncé — The Lion King: The Gift — No. 2 — 53,578 (11,438) [50,255,527]
Lil Nas X — 7 — No. 4 — 43,147 (384) [53,402,001]
J. Cole & Dreamville — Revenge Of The Dreamers III — No. 5 — 41,421 (802) [55,347,521]
Chris Brown — Indigo — No. 6 — 37, 070 (2,284) [43,915,330]
Lizzo — Cuz I Love You — No. 7 — 32,566 (4,036) [33,020,573]
First, after indefinitely delaying ticket sales, the festival’s financial backer officially declared the event canceled. Then, after losing its producer and changing venues twice following multiple permit denials, Woodstock 50 finally found a new place to hold the ‘iconic’ event.
According to embattled festival co-founder , Woodstock 50 will finally take place in Maryland.
There was just one major problem Lang and his team of organizers overlooked. Moving the event 350 miles south of constitutes a breach of contract. Headliners Jay-Z and John Fogerty quickly pulled out shortly after news of the new venue.
Quickly spinning the major cancelations, Michael Lang unveiled some ‘good’ news. Woodstock 50 won’t enforce the longstanding – albeit already-nullified – contracts with performers. They’re welcome to perform if they’d like.
Now, with barely over two weeks left until the August 16th-18th event, Lang and his team have attempted a new strategy to attract festivalgoers.
Will anyone – especially artists – show up to Woodstock 50 ‘Free?’
Speaking to Washington D.C. radio station WTOP, an unidentified Woodstock 50 spokesperson confirmed organizers will provide “complimentary” tickets to the music festival at the Merriweather Post Pavilion.
“Merriweather requires ticketing. For the peaceful enjoyment of all, thoughtful logistical planning has taken place for Woodstock 50 at Merriweather.”
The ‘complimentary’ price tag comes with a major caveat, however – they’re only good for a single day.
There’s just one problem with the concept – no charitable organization has signed on to promote the event. Instead, Lang will simply “encourage [attendees] to donate” to their favorite causes.
So, how do organizers plan to make money? Simple, says TMZ. Merely sell overpriced VIP tickets to dedicated concertgoers and recover some money to pay employees.
That’s not the only problem, however.
Following Jay-Z and John Fergerty’s cancelations, Woodstock 50’s website no longer lists any headliners. Instead, the lineup page now reads,
“As our celebration evolves, we’re committed to bringing unique voices to the stage. Stay tuned for updates as we strive to create an event rooted in peace, love, and music that can be a force for positive change in the world.”
Speaking about the lineup problem, Variety revealed Lang and his team’s new strategy to lock down big-name headliners – simply guilt them into performing.
Stating artists agents, managers, and attorneys have received a “new plan” from Woodstock 50 last Friday, the media outlet explained,
“The thinking behind [Lang’s new plan] being: if you’ve already been paid, why not play and benefit a cause? Skeptically, one could also deduce that Woodstock organizers are trying to minimize their legal liability, anticipating an onslaught of lawsuits to come.”
Basically, the burden to see who will perform at the ‘charitable’ Woodstock 50 event now rests on artists’ shoulders.
“Woodstock founder Michael Lang is, according to sources, scrambling to find a headliner to commit, hoping that others will follow suit. Could that be Miley Cyrus, founder of her own aptly-named Happy Hippie foundation, whose mission is to “rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth, and other vulnerable populations” — or Imagine Dragons, who have also been active in LGBTQ causes? Chance the Rapper has donated millions to Chicago-area schools, his cause is certainly worthy.”
But, will ‘guilting’ artists into performing at Woodstock 50 really work? According to an insider close to Lang, the embattled festival co-founder certainly hopes so.
KXNG Crooked has been staying busy with HipHopDX’s show Crook’s Corner, but his hosting duties haven’t slowed down his musical output. After relaunching his Hip Hop Weekly series earlier this year, the West Coast lyricist has dropped a new EP titled Menace II Sobriety.
The veteran MC’s latest work is comprised of four tracks. The EP arrives just a few months after his Weeklys Vol. 2 project, which was the second compilation of his Hip Hop Weekly releases from 2019.
Check out Crooked’s Menace II Sobriety stream, cover art and tracklist below. Also, watch the latest episode of Crook’s Corner here.
1. Menace II Sobriety
3. Life of a Bandana
Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee has reportedly signed a deal with ESPN that will include a role as color analyst on Thursday night college football primetime games, as well as regular appearances on “Get Up!”
McAfee, 32, will be on the Thursday night broadcast alongside his former teammate Matt Hasselbeck, Adam Amin and Molly McGrath. Those college games will be in competition against the NFL’s weekly Thursday night games airing on NBC, but McAfee might be electric enough to bring some additional eyes to ESPN on Thursday nights.
“Fans are about to learn what I have experienced firsthand: Pat is one the most insightful and entertaining people in the world to watch a football game with,” said Hasselbeck. “He combines a wealth on-the-field experience with his natural comedic nature, making him a unique personality that has the ability to captivate an audience. Viewers are in for a treat on Thursday nights and, personally, I can’t wait for the experience calling games with him.”
McAfee, who abruptly retired in 2016 after eight NFL seasons, spent some time as an on-air personality with Barstool Sports before inking a multi-year deal with WWE in February.
Given his ties to WWE, one would assume that McAfee will also be a part future XFL broadcasts, which will air weekly on ABC and FOX in 2020, complemented by games on ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and FS2.
Heading into last season, not many people were giving the Toronto Raptors much a chance to win the NBA championship. Despite acquiring Kawhi Leonard trade, many thought he wouldn’t give the effort necessary to win. Of course, that was totally false as Leonard took over down the stretch and gave the Raptors their first-ever NBA title. Now that Leonard is a member the Los Angeles Clippers, there has been a bit a debate as to whether or not Kawhi Leonard deserves to have his jersey retired by the team.
In a new interview with Sportsnet, Raptors superfan Nav was adamant that Leonard shouldn’t get his jersey retired and that while Leonard may have been instrumental in the team’s win, there were a lot other factors at play.
“The championship] was not just because him,” Nav explained. “It was because Fred] VanVleet. It was because Marc Gasol guarding Joel] Embiid. It was because Kyle] Lowry playing his heart out. It was a lot people. Not just because Kawhi.”
When it comes to Kawhi’s decision to join the Clippers, Nav said the two-time NBA Champion made a huge mistake.
“I thought he would make the right intelligent decision, but he didn’t make that intelligent decision,” Nav explained. “He’s gone. I’m the least interested in him now. I’m focused on my people, my team. We’ll give him love before the game, we’ll give him love after the game, but for those 48 minutes, I’m going to be throwing every towel, every jersey I can find for him to miss the free throw — and all the fans are going to join me in making the noise.”
Leonard’s next visit to Toronto will certainly be interesting.
Supastition’s new project Sacrifice might be the most important release of his career. All proceeds from the EP will help cover medical costs and expenses for his wife, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in March.
The veteran MC’s latest work is based on sacrificing dreams for the sake of one’s family. The eight-track EP includes collaborations with Blueprint, Yamin Semali, Poodie the Byz, U-George and DJ Robert Smith.
Check out Supastition’s Sacrifice stream, cover art and tracklist below.
1. Solitaire (Scratches By DJ Robert Smith)
2. Smoke & Mirrors
3. Killing Time (Scratches By DJ Robert Smith)
4. Black Cloud f. Yamin Semali
6. Tombstones f. Poodie the Byz & U-George
7. Blind Loyalty
8. Someday Soon f. Blueprint
Paula Jai Parker, who played Joi in 1995’s classic comedy Friday, spilled some tea during an interview with VladTV. While speaking to DJ Vlad about fostering relationships in the entertainment industry, the veteran actress revealed she once saw Diddy on the wrong side of a beatdown.
“I met Puffy, he was getting beat up!” she said with a smile. “But we love Puffy. I be like, ‘Leave Puffy alone! I be the first one.”
Parker added, “Oops,” after Vlad asked her about Diddy getting beat up in the past.
“I thought everybody knew,” she said. “I didn’t know people didn’t know. Sorry Puffy.”
Earlier in the conversation, Parker explained why she didn’t show up in any of the Friday sequels. She also detailed her reasons for turning down a role in Ice Cube’s directorial debut The Players Club.
Wendy Williams‘ life will be on display for all to see when her biopic premiers on Lifetime. TMZspoke with sources over at Lifetime about the film, and it looks like several juicy details in Wendy’s past will be put front and center. The media site reports that sex, cocaine, date rape, and fat shaming will be important aspects the story that show how Wendy persisted through adversity and struggle to reach her position.
The movie will detail Wendy’s life from 10-55 years old. The biopic will cover intimate topics such as her coke habit, sex life, fat-shaming from her family, and an exclusive story date rape at the hands a chart-topping artist. The film, entitled Just Wendy, will also tackle racism and sexism in Hollywood, details her marriage to Kevin Hunter, and her relationship with Mo’Nique. Will Packer is set to direct. Wendy and Leigh Davenport are handling screenplay duties. TMZ caught up with Wendy, who claimed that she doesn’t want anyone famous playing her. She believes it will only distract the audience from the story. The cameraman asks Wendy if she would want Blac Chyna to play her, an idea that was shot down by Wendy immediately.