Pop Smoke’s Family Releases Statement Addressing His Murder

Burgeoning rapper Pop Smoke was shot and killed at a home in the Hollywood Hills on February 19.

On Friday (February 28), the family of the late Brooklyn native shared a statement thanking people for the outpouring of love while asking for “responsible reporting” in the process.

“The family of Bashar ‘Pop Smoke’ Jackson would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone for your support,” the statement read. “Every prayer, call, and act of kindness is deeply appreciated as we mourn the loss of our son, brother and friend. Brooklyn knew him as Bashar. He was educated and nurtured in Brooklyn and his rise to fame all developed from the place he proudly represented.”

Pop Smoke's Family Releases Statement Addressing His Murder

The statement continued, “Within the last year, his extraordinary giftedness was revealed to the world, introducing Pop Smoke. Unfortunately, there are no public details available regarding the murder of our loved one. We ask for respect and responsible reporting during this critical time. Inaccurate reports only add unnecessary pain to a grieving family.”

In the wake of his death, many of his peers expressed their condolences on social media. Meanwhile, Pusha T and Jadakiss decided to have their “Hunting Season” collaboration removed from streaming services due to the sensitive nature of the song.

Pop Smoke's Family Releases Statement Addressing His Murder

Pop Smoke Murdered During Home Invasion

“‘Hunting Season’ was a request IcePick Jay (RIP) always had and in light of his death me and Kiss mad an incredible song,” Pusha explained on Instagram. “With that being said, the whole concept of hunting season and the hypothetical ideas of ‘killing rappers’ isn’t setting well with me while mourning the recent death of Popsmoke.”

Jadakiss later pushed back the entire release of the Ignatius album — which “Hunting Season” was originally on — out of respect for the family.

According to the Los Angeles County coroner, Pop Smoke died of a gunshot wound to the torso. He was just 20 years old. Police have yet to make any arrests.

LL Cool J Helps Offset Land Debut Acting Role On ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’

Los Angeles, CA – Offset will make his debut acting role on the CBS crime drama NCIS: Los Angeles. In a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming episode, LL Cool J — who plays former Navy SEAL Sam Hanna — explained how he helped the Migos rapper land the gig.

“Offset and I, we’ve been talking on and off,” LL explained. “He kinda came to me and was like, ‘Yo I would like to be involved with it.’ One thing led to another. You know they did their process went through their thing and here we are.

“When you’re a rap artist, they think you’re gonna play a gangster or a thug or you’re gonna play something closer to the streets. And he’s completely away from all of that.”

Offset plays Kadri Kashan Khan, an undercover CIA Officer who’s been working in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula for years.

Khan blends in with the local tribes by smuggling contraband in an effort to monitor terrorists and track weapons in that region. Hanna and his partner Special Agent G. Callen — played by  Chris O’Donnell — recruit Khan to help rescue one of their own who’s been captured and held for ransom.

“I really hollered at him and was like ‘Yo this is what I want to do,’” Offset said. “I didn’t ever wanna come into acting and be like put in this category of being the bad guy all the time. I wanted to show that I can do anything that someone sets in front of me.”

The episode airs on March 1 at 9 p.m. EST on CBS and will feature the premiere of Offset’s new song, “Danger.”

#DXCLUSIVE: Pounds & Buckwild Drop New Vegas Films-Directed "Legacy" Video

Rochester, NY – Fresh off of the January release of his brand new LP Trafficante, produced entirely by legendary producer Buckwild, Rochester MC Pounds drops off the project’s third official video, “Legacy.”

“I had been waiting to shoot this visual,” Pounds tells HipHopDX. “It was one of my favorite joints on the album.”

The video was filmed by New Vegas Films, who handled the first two videos off of the LP — “Foldable Stock” and “No Way.” He also filmed the video “Finished,” which appeared on last summer’s T.O.N.Y. album.

“I fuck with his style … we work well together bouncing ideas and shit,” he says of his relationship with the director.

Stream Pounds and Buckwild’s “Legacy” visual above. Trafficante is now available on all streaming services.

Megan Thee Stallion Readies New Album ‘Suga’ for May

Calling all Hotties.

Megan Thee Stallion is eyeing a May release for her debut album Suga. The 25-year-old Houston rapper, who graces the cover of Rolling Stone alongside SZA and Normani, reveals that she wants to drop the highly-anticipated project in early May in honor of her late mother.

“May 2nd is my mom’s birthday,” she tells the magazine.

Megan’s mother, Holly Thomas, was a bill collector and Houston rapper known as Holly-Wood, who introduced her to hip-hop and was also her first manager. In March 2019, Megan lost her mom to brain cancer, as well as her great-grandmother, with whom she was also close.

“[The losses] weigh on me, but I know what my mom and my grandma would want me to do,” she says. “My mama is a very strong woman. She raised me to be super strong. If I got the platform to spread positivity, I’m gonna do it.”

Last month, she dropped the album’s lead single “B.I.T.C.H.,” which samples Tupac Shakur’s “Ratha Be Ya Ni**a.” She has been recording in Cabo, Miami, Los Angeles, and Texas with collaborators including SZA, Kehlani, and The Neptunes. Pharrell even gave her the nickname “Megan Thee Machine” for her work ethic.

“I would go in and write a song and the beat would sound one way, but by the time he gets done to it, it’s a whole new song,” she says of working with Pharrell. “I had never worked with a producer before that goes back in on his own beats and changes a bunch of stuff, like post-production. ‘Wow, these beats don’t even be done? That’s crazy.’ ”

The Hot Girl plans to show a more “sensitive” side on Suga, named after her newest persona. “When I started making music, I was making music that I liked,” she says. “I’m making ratchet shit, turn up shit. I’m doing me. I wasn’t thinking about anybody else in my music. I wasn’t thinking about kids, and I’m not thinking about other races. I wasn’t thinking about anybody but me and my brand, but when I go and I see these other artists, and when I go to some of my friend’s shows, and I’m looking at who’s in the crowd, and I’m looking at even my god-sister, they’re six, seven, eight, and they’re singing my songs. I’m like, ‘Okay. Let me give y’all something a little deeper, because I definitely want to grow with my music. I want to grow up with my music.”

Destiny’s Child’s ‘Say My Name’ Gets Remixed in ‘Candyman’ Trailer

Destiny’s Child is getting the Jordan Peele treatment.

The group’s Grammy-winning hit “Say My Name” gets a creepy makeover in the first trailer for Peele’s highly-anticipated reimagining of the 1992 classic Candyman.

The two-minute clip for the horror reboot arrived this morning and features blood, mirrors, bees, and an eerily slowed-down version of “Say My Name,” which spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 2000.

The movie, produced by Get Out‘s Peele and directed by Nia DaCosta (Little Woods), stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Us), Teyonah Parris (If Beale Street Could Talk), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits), and Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead).

The original movie focused on the Candyman, a former slave and artist who was brutally murdered in the 19th century. According to urban legend, he returns when you say his name five times in the mirror. The remake centers around the surviving baby from the first film, Anthony McCoy (Abdul-Mateen), a visual artist who becomes interested in the Candyman legend.

He conjures up the ghost’s killer spirit by setting up an exhibit featuring a mirror during which he dares participants to say his name. But he quickly regrets his decision. “I think I made a mistake. I brought him back,” says McCoy.

Peele previously flipped the Luniz’ ’90s hit “I Got 5 on It” for last year’s blockbuster Us.

Candyman hits theaters on June 12. Watch the trailer below.

Pop Smoke and Quavo Were Working on a Joint Mixtape

Pop Smoke and Quavo collaborated on “Shake the Room,” but they had even more in store.

Prior to his death, the Brooklyn MC revealed that he and the Migos rapper were recording a joint mixtape. In fact, they had already completed nine songs for the project, which was named Huncho Woo.

“Me and Quavo got like nine songs for real,” Pop Smoke told Spotify’s RapCar in a newly-surfaced clip. “You never know. You might just be hearing a Huncho Woo mixtape coming out or some shit like that. You know what I’m saying? Just stay tuned man. Woo shit shoot for the stars.”

It’s unclear if their joint effort will see a release, but their collaboration “Shake the Room” can be heard on Pop’s Meet the Woo 2, which is currently No. 8 on the Billboard 200. The mixtape saw an 11% increase in sales (40,000 equivalent album units) following his death.

Quavo paid tribute to his friend in the wake of his passing. “Got To Kno This Kid! Very Talented Humble Respectful And Appreciative,” he wrote. “Always Ask Questions Big Sponge To Knowledge Fast Learning Young Boss And The Huncho Was Here To Share That Anytime You Called Me! R.I.P.”

Police continue to investigate the murder of Pop Smoke. Four men in hoodies broke in and shot the 20-year-old rapper at his rented Hollywood Hills home on Feb. 19. It’s unclear if he was the victim of a random robbery or if he was targeted. There have been no arrests.

Jhené Aiko Announces ‘The Magic Hour Tour’

Get ready for “The Magic Hour.”

Ahead of her upcoming album, Jhené Aiko has announced dates for a North American tour. The 33-date trek kicks off May 1 in Boston and travels across the U.S. and Canada, with stops in New York, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Vancouver, and Chicago. The R&B songstress will also perform at the Lovers & Friends Festival on May 8 and 9 in Los Angeles before wrapping June 27 at the St. Kitts Music Festival.

Special guests Queen Naija and Ann Marie will join her during the two-month run.

The tour comes in support of Jhené’s upcoming third album Chilombo, which arrives March 6. The 20-track set includes appearances from Nas, Future, Miguel, H.E.R., John Legend, Ab-Soul, Ty Dolla $ign, and more.

Tickets will be available for pre-sale starting Friday at 10 a.m. local time. See dates below.

The Magic Hour Tour Dates

May 1 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theater
May 2 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
May 3 – Washington, DC – Echostage
May 5 – Norfolk, VA – The Norva
May 6 – Richmond, VA – The National
May 8 – Los Angeles, CA – Lovers & Friends Music Festival *
May 9 – Los Angeles, CA – Lovers & Friends Music Festival *
May 11 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
May 13 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre
May 14 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live
May 15 – Gulf Shores, AL – Hangout Festival *
May 17 – Miami, FL – The Fillmore
May 19 – New Orleans, LA – The Orpheum Theater
May 20 – Houston, TX – Revention Music Center
May 22 – Dallas, TX – The Bomb Factory
May 23 – Austin, TX – ACL Live At the Moody Theater
May 24 – San Antonio, TX – Tobin Center
May 26 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom
May 29 – Phoenix, AZ – Marquee Theatre
May 30 – Las Vegas, NV – Chelsea Theatre at The Cosmo
June 1 – Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theatre
June 5 – Vancouver, BC – Malkin Bowl
June 6 – Seattle, WA – Marymoor Park
June 8 – Portland, OR – Roseland Ballroom
June 11 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
June 16 – St Paul, MN – Myth Live
June 17 – Chicago, IL – The Chicago Theatre
June 18 – Detroit, MI – The Masonic
June 20 – Philadelphia, PA – Franklin Music Hall
June 21 – Toronto, ON – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
June 24 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz
June 25 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
June 27 – Saint Kitts – St. Kitts Music Festival *

Offset Makes Acting Debut on ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’

Offset is headed to television.

The Migos hitmaker is set to make his acting debut on “NCIS: Los Angeles.” In a preview clip, obtained by TMZ, Offset plays Kadri, an undercover CIA agent who is approached by Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) and Grisha “G.” Callen (Chris O’Donnell) to save a special agent who’s been captured.

Offset reached out to LL Cool J about making a cameo on the CBS show, but he wanted to make sure he wasn’t typecast. “I never wanted to come into acting and put into this category of ‘You be the bad guy all the time,’” said the 28-year-old. “I wanted to be able to show that I can do anything that someone sets in front of me.”

And he took the job seriously. “I was studying ’cause I wanted to make sure I fulfilled the whole role. I didn’t want to play,” he explained. “I’m doing all my own stunts.”

He received praise from his co-star LL Cool J, who added, “He’s completely breaking type which I think is great.”

Offset will also debut his new track “Danger” during the episode, which airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on CBS. Get a sneak peek below.

Skai Jackson Files Restraining Order Against Bhad Bhabie Over Death Threat

Skai Jackson wants Bhad Bhabie to stay away.

The 17-year-old actress has filed a restraining order against the rapper following her recent death threat, reports TMZ.

Bhad Bhabie aka Danielle Bregoli went on Instagram this week to call out Jackson, who she claims blocked her on social media but created fake pages to diss her. “She’s movin’ sneaky, bro. Don’t go post about me on your fake page, bitch,” said Bhabie before threatening her. “Bitch, I’ll kill you! I’ll really kill you!”

Their beef seemingly resulted from Bhabie hanging out with 20-year-old rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again. “You don’t even know if I’m talking to dude or not,” said Bhabie.

Jackson filed the restraining order in Los Angeles on Thursday. It’s unclear if the judge has approved the order.

Earlier this week, Skai addressed the drama by tweeting a list of her accomplishments. “No time 4 negatives!” she added.

Ice-T Reveals ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Has Been Renewed For 3 More Seasons

Ice-T made a big announcement Twitter on Thursday (February 27). The seasoned MC/actor revealed Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has been renewed for three more seasons, making history in the process.

“Picked up for 3 more seasons! #SVU,” he wrote alongside a skull emoji with its brain exploding, a clear indication he’s just as surprised as anybody else. After all, the show first aired in 1999 and is now the longest-running primetime live-action series in television history.

According to Deadline, NBC has given the show a new three-year renewal for Seasons 22, 23 and 24, “expanding the gap over the previous record mark of 20 seasons set by mothership series Law & Order (1990-2010) and Gunsmoke (1955-75).”

Ice-T has played NYPD Detective/Sergeant Odafin Tutuola since 2000. The show is now in its 21st season and also one of NBCU’s strongest digital performers.

Stro Delivers ‘Back On Saratoga’ Project

Mass Appeal/Grade A Tribe artist Stro has dropped a new project titled Back On Saratoga. The album is the follow-up to his Last Friday EP, a four-track set that was released in June 2019.

The Brooklyn-bred rapper’s latest work is comprised of 10 songs, including the KayvanMD-produced single “Make Time.” Stro’s Mass Appeal labelmate Dave East makes the lone guest appearance on the LP.

Stro Delivers 'Back On Saratoga' Project

Stro Releases “Nice 2 Meet You, Again” EP

Check out Stro’s Back On Saratoga stream, cover art and tracklist below.

Stro Delivers 'Back On Saratoga' Project

1. Uninspired
2. F.O.Y
3. No Biggie
4. Marry Me Now?
5. Kings County
6. Love Of My Life
7. Make Time
8. Mantra
10. Lace Up f. Dave East

Netflix Officially Renews Drake’s Top Boy; Filming to Begin in Spring

Top Boy, a Drake-produced Netflix television show, has officially been renewed for a second season.

Though rumors of the crime-drama series’ continued production surfaced late last year, Top Boy’s social media team recently confirmed the news on Twitter. Having aired two seasons on the UK’s Channel 4 before Drake and Netflix decided to revive it, Top Boy will begin filming its second Netflix season this spring. These new episodes are expected to air sometime in 2020, but an exact release date hasn’t yet been specified.

Additionally, it was announced that series leads Ashley Walters, Kane Robinson (Kano), and Micheal Ward will reprise their roles, as will supporting actor Simbi Ajikawo (Little Simz). Like the initial Netflix season (which was made available in September 2019), season two of Top Boy will consist of 10 episodes; each of the Channel 4 seasons had just four episodes.

Drake, who currently serves as an executive producer for Top Boy, was instrumental in convincing Netflix to pick the series up. Channel 4 had abandoned plans for a third season back in 2014, with the show’s previous episodes having been broadcasted in 2013.

The news is part of an immensely positive month for Drake. At February’s start, a judge  that his sampling of “Jimmy Smith Rap” in “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2” had in fact constituted fair use; several artists have been  of copyright infringement for seemingly less severe infractions.

A week and change after being cleared of legal liability, Drake  a multiyear partnership with streaming platform Caffeine. Details pertaining to the agreement are expected to be made available in the near future.

Earlier today, Peloton  a lawsuit over its unlicensed use of songs; several artists (including Drake) were affected by and associated with the suit. The terms of the settlement have not been publicly revealed.

German Music Industry: Vinyl Record Sales Increase 13.3% In 2019

According to a newly released report from trade group BVMI, Germany’s music industry experienced solid growth in 2019, including a double-digit jump in vinyl sales.

Especially interesting is that even though Germany speaks a different language, is located on a different continent, and has a population that’s less than one-third the size of America’s, its 2019 music-industry numbers bear a striking resemblance to the U.S. figures that were  by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

To begin, Germany’s overall music earnings, including revenue from both sales and streaming, hiked by over eight percent from 2018 to approximately $1.8 billion (€1.6 billion). During the same period, America’s music industry earnings grew by about 13 percent.

Additionally, digital revenue comprised the majority (64.4 percent) of Germany’s music earnings, and streaming made up over half of these profits; 27 percent more individuals streamed music than in 2018. While America’s 2019 streaming income made up substantially more of the market earnings (about 79 percent), the global trend towards streaming is worth noting; German and American music fans are turning to digital listening in droves.

Germany’s CD sales were over 10 percent lower than in 2018 (America’s CDs sold 12 percent less than the prior year), and vinyl sales experienced a double-digit increase in both nations (13.3 percent for Germany and 19 percent for America). Vinyl now accounts for about five percent of Germany’s total music-industry revenue, with the medium representing a nearly identical four-and-a-half percent of America’s total music-industry profits.

While there are differences between the performances and outlook of the music industries in Germany and America, it’s important that both are seeing an increase in total revenue, streaming, and vinyl sales, with fewer and fewer individuals buying CDs.

Regardless of that downward spiral, CDs still accounted for roughly 30 percent of Germany recorded revenue total last year. Tack on vinyl and the total is approximately 35 percent.

Is SXSW Getting Canceled Over Coronavirus Fears?

So far, SXSW 2020 organizers have refused to cancel the event despite rising Coronavirus concerns.  But a great deal can change in two weeks.

South by Southwest (SXSW) 2020 is just two weeks away, and now, even as coronavirus (COVID-19) fears grip citizens around the globe, the mega festival’s organizers have indicated that they don’t intend to postpone or cancel the event.

In a statement, SXSW officials said that while they’re “seeing a handful of cancellations,” these figures aren’t immensely different from those of previous years. Plus, the planners stated that they will work to “prevent the spread of germs” by following Austin Public Health’s guidelines, in addition to issuing updates “as necessary.”

Austin Public Health took to Twitter and reiterated that “no one in Austin/Travis County has tested positive for COVID-19.” The steps being taken by the organization to prevent infections from spreading in Austin, in addition to preventative measures for individuals, were also detailed.

SXSW 2020 is scheduled to begin on March 13th, and guests are expected to arrive from around the world. Over 200,000 individuals attended 2019’s event, which, as in previous years, featured a multitude of film, television, video game, and music-industry celebrities and figures.

Other high-profile events, including Facebook F8 (which was set to start on May 5th) and the  (which had been booked for February 24th) have been canceled over coronavirus fears, as has the  Similarly, British rapper Stomzy  fans that his Asian tour dates have been indefinitely postponed.

Not a few would-be attendees are turning to social media to voice their frustration with the SXSW organizers’ unwillingness to cancel, with one Twitter user writing “the risk to our local infrastructure is too great” for the festival to proceed.

COVID-19 infections first appeared in December of last year, in China’s Wuhan. A less-than-forthright assessment of the situation on the part of the Chinese government is believed to have accelerated the disease’s spread. Cases have been confirmed in multiple nations, with South Korea having reported approximately 1,000 infections and Italy having reported over 650 infections.

Earlier today, the U.S.’s first “community” infection — a case of the coronavirus in an individual who had not recently traveled abroad — was reported in California. In total, 33 Californians have tested positive for COVID-19, and according to Governor Gavin Newsom, nearly 8,500 individuals are being monitored by health officials.

Listen to PARTYNEXTDOOR’s New Song ‘Split Decision’

PARTY season is here.

As fans anxiously await his new album PARTYMOBILE, PARTYNEXTDOOR drops off his new song “Split Decision.” The Toronto crooner brings his moody vibes to the seductive slow burner, which finds him dealing with trust issues in his relationship.

“Just got back from a trip / Caught me with another bitch / I could see it in your face / You gotta make a split decision,” he sings. “Said you’d never trust me again / Said you’d never love me again.”

In November, PND returned from his lengthy hiatus with a pair of singles, “The News” and “Loyal” featuring Drake, the latter which has over 163 million global streams.

PARTYMOBILE, his first project since 2017’s Seven Days EP, arrives March 27 OVO Sound. “I’m taking my time with this album, It’s straight party & unapologetic,” he previously told fans.