Lizzo is now battling multiple accusations of plagiarism.
But is this really ‘plagiarism’ and ‘copyright infringement,’ or simply similarities and well-known memes?
Over the weekend, 90s dance music singer CeCe Peniston claimed that Lizzo’s song “Juice” contains ad-libs from her 1992 hit, “Finally.” It’s the second infringement accusation against Lizzo in less than a week.
In an Instagram post, Peniston provided videos of both songs, which she insists use the same ad-libs in the choruses. While indicating that she loves Lizzo’s music, Peniston wrote that “this is a clear example of #copyrightinfringement.”
Peniston went on to say that about 40 seconds of Lizzo’s “Juice” uses ad-libs from “Finally.” So, according to her, this is an infringement of her copyright, as she believes that the threshold of fair use is 7 seconds.
“this is a clear example of #copyrightinfringement.”
Peniston is still touring successfully, largely based on her super-success from the 90s. During this time, she clocked multiple top-charging songs, with “Finally” easily the biggest of the lot.
Peniston is the second person within the past week to accuse Lizzo of plagiarism. The first person was producer and songwriter Justin Raisen, who is claiming that the opening line from Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” hit was taken from a song that he, Lizzo and others co-wrote called “Healthy,” which was recorded as a demo.
However, Raisen is not the only person claiming to have written the line. A British singer named Mina Lionesss also insists that Lizzo stole the line from a tweet that she wrote, which subsequently went viral. Raisen even confirmed that the tweet was the inspiration of the lyric that they wrote together.
“Juice” was a single from Lizzo’s hit album Cuz I Love You. The song was a minor hit, especially in comparison with “Truth Hurts,” which went viral two years after it was initially released. Ironically, the searing success of “Truth Hurts” helped to raise awareness of other tracks, including “Juice” and a slew of lesser-known cuts.
Might Quavo‘s mother have started a wave? Following Quavo’s hilariously embarrassing baby picture,Snoop Dogg decided to set his own course and pull a few relics from the stash. Dubbing the photo-series as “Puppy Dogg,” Uncle Snoop shared six pictures drawing back to when he was but a mere “nephew.” Perhaps it was his recent birthday that prompted the spur nostalgia. Perhaps it was simple desire to share with his fans and followers, many whom reached out to usher in his forty-eighth year.
Kevin Winter/Getty s
There’s not much to say about the images, except that they remind us all that even a legend like Snoop experienced his own journey. Not only from the Chuuch to the Palace, but from the high-school football field to the family function. Not to mention, each image serves as a harsh reminder that rustic film-photography is becoming a thing the past. One day every throwback baby picture will arrive with high definition resolution, touched by mild photo-editing and an abundance filters.
Happy belated birthday to Uncle Snoop, and shout out to the young pup. Check out the pics below.
After showing up poorly at the box fice, Will Smith and director Ang Lee’s Gemini Man film is looking at losses at least $75 million after earning just $20.5 million in its opening weekend and closing out this weekend with a global pull $118.7 million.
This weekend, analysts saw hope for the film as it opened up in the Chinese market. But even that wasn’t enough to revive its sales, pulling in a less-than-expected figure $21 million in the territory.
Frazer Harrison/Getty s
Its revenue is stacked against a budget $140 million and an additional $100 million marketing budget shared between four companies: David Ellison’s Skydance Media, Paramount Pictures and the Chinese-based companies Fosun and Alibaba.
The film, which stars Smith as an assasin who is tasked with killing the younger version himself, was bolstered by Ang Lee’s use de-aging technology. However, dismal reviews ahead the film’s arrival were its ultimate demise. As it stands, the film has a Rotten Tomatoes score 25 percent, a career-worst for Lee.
In 10 days, the film’s domestic tally is only $36.5 million, dipping 59 percent in its second weekend, collecting just $8.5 million in North America this weekend in contrast to a weak overseas tally $82.2 million whick pokes holes in the crutch that action-packed films ten find in foreign performance.
The name Azealia Banks causes a strong reaction amongst almost everyone who hears it.
For her stans, she’s one the best rappers in the game, a great dancer, artist, and the founder all the fashion and witchy beauty trends that are buzzing today.
For her haters, she’s obnoxious, racist, both dusty and washed, and possibly on drugs with a failed career. When she dropped her first hit song in 2011, “212,” she was lauded as the next big thing in rap, period. She was feminine, trendy, braggadocious, actually a good artist, a great performer with a growing legion loyal fans. Now she’s known more for initiating one-sided beefs than for releasing music, although every time she does, it’s still received well by her fans.
She came into the game as Miss Banks, before changing her stage name to Azealia Banks and becoming a star. Despite what many may think, Azealia does still have a career…but somewhere along the way there has also been a dissolution. Maybe it’s because our expectations, heavily based f her break-out single, haven’t aligned with who we think Azealia Banks is– or was– supposed to be. Either way, a lot what’s been going on in her public persona is seen as a shortcoming and as a distraction to her true talent. She’s been coming undone in honest, cutting and hateful ways for the past six years. The biggest question remaining is when did this all start to fall apart? Was it one specific event or a series unfortunate events?
Azealia is very intelligent and the underlying themes in her critiques on black entertainers as a whole aren’t necessarily bad. However, she doesn’t allow any discourse to take place, ultimately stifling any growth that could come from her vocalization on issues race or whatever the case may be. Most recently, her comments about Rihanna’s appearance at her much anticipated SavagexFenty show are just the latest nail in her career cfin. Azealia retaliated to a past insult Rihanna allegedly threw at her by recently saying Rih is bald with no edges, calling her fat and reiterated that we will have “no fat f****ing black icons.” She said all this wearing this wig.
The roasts continued with Fenty Beauty colon cleanse jokes.
This all happened right as she dropped Yung Rapunxel IIon Soundcloud which isn’t currently available on any streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. It’s really unfortunate that someone who has worked with top artists like Kanye West, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Pharrell, and Mike Dean is releasing projects with largely no marketing, no lead up, or seemingly no thought. Trolling Rihanna might be a form promotion but this is still just another example how the music has seemed to take a backseat to the antics. In a December 22, 2016 Facebook post, Azealia spoke about her struggles with mental health saying “these people have no ideas about the type uncontrollable chaos that goes on inside your head” and “these people have no idea how gnarly psych-drugs are.” However, acknowledging these issues still doesn’t erase the sting from her attacks.
The list celebrities she’s beefed with is too long to list. In her decade long career she’s had disputes with artists like Diplo, Lady Gaga, Lil’ Kim, Nicki Minaj which have all contributed to the box she’s in now. However, her downfall sped up significantly after Zayn Malik.
In May 2016, Azealia Banks accused Zayn Malik biting her music and style.
Zayn responded pretty mildly and then she responded with this:
The second hand embarrassment while reading this is unavoidable. Who would say these things? It’s also interesting that as Black person in America who’s been vocal about her own oppression, she would take such a militaristic stance. For her to openly support the terroristic nature some the US military tactics in the Middle East and use them lightly in a dalliance over music video themes when innocent people are dying in drone attacks is just tasteless. Period. For someone her intelligence, there has to be better ways to present a point. These are playground antics coming from a grown woman. The “sand n*gga” and “extended family” comment were enough to get Azealia kicked f her headlining spot Born & Bred Festival as well as get dropped from her London agency. Real life L’s. In addition to that, while beefing with Zayn, she came for a 14-year old Skai Jackson which further exposed more sigh-filled moments.
Unfortunately, her unraveling has been three dimensional, ranging from her physical appearance to her Twitter rants to her releases. The only thing that’s remained consistent is her talent. How did she go from releasing instant classics like “212,: which has over 177 million views to making remarks like “Beyoncé needs to stay under Jay Z’s foot where she belongs”? Personal appearance is extremely important for anyone in the public eye. For Azealia to willingly appear on social media or else out in public in a seemingly frantic state, with poorly-styled outfits as well as hair, it’s not a surprise that, by extension, people are receiving her messages poorly. Over the past few years she’s gone from looking like this:
Azealia Banks performing in 2012 – Simone Joyner/Getty s
To looking like this:
Appearance is a personal form expression and one has to wonder what she’s trying to communicate to us with this disarray.
When she does actually give an interview, like her Breakfast Club interview in 2018, marking her last mainstream media interview, she was able to express herself and humanize, or at least properly explain, her criticisms on Cardi B and voting for Trump. About calling Cardi B an “illiterate, untalented rat”:
“I feel like the conversation surrounding black women’s culture maybe two years ago was reaching an all-time high. We were really discussing our power amongst ourselves…]and then there was just like Cardi B. I’m just talking about this caricature black women, that black women themselves would never be able to get away with. Like if if my spelling and grammar were that bad… I’d be cancelled. If Nicki Minaj spelled like that, we’d be ragging on her all day.”
On voting for Trump:
“A big part the reason why I didn’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton is because I felt like her movement was just shrouded in so much white feminism like yes yes yes yes yes we’re just going to get this woman to the presidency and ignore the fact that she and her husband are the reason that so many black families are divided now.”
This interview allowed her to express herself in a more valuable way than any her social media rants. However, whether it’s on the side the media corporations or Azealia’s own lack desire, she doesn’t ten, if ever, have open dialogues to actually discuss and explain her controversial perspectives.
Recognizing her mental health issues is important because it gives light to the stigmas surrounding mental health in general. Remember, she was open about the negative side effects experimenting with psych drugs and how finding the right balance can be a nightmare. “Sleepless nights, persistent paranoia, loss appetite …] and thoughts suicide” are only some the side effects she listed in her post. How do we as an audience and as fans the celebrities that she’s attacking take that into account with empathy when she has outbursts?
Due to the way that black women, especially ethnically non-ambiguous black women, are presented in the media, it’s difficult to use the word “hateful” when describing her rants, but that is what has become most recognizable and synonymous with her online behavior.
We’re living in an age anti-negativity messaging and anti-bullying sentiments, though. The climate online has united a movement towards tolerance which automatically spells an end for someone like Azealia, who has largely negative contributions to the digital space. This is not to ignore the fact that there is a very strong reality to the pain that she feels, and has felt, as a dark skinned black woman in the music industry. However, how you say something can be just as important as what is being said.
A key point that almost no major publication has stopped to consider is the idea that she may very well feel trapped in the entertainment industry. She has little formal education having dropped out high school so the music industry and entertainment industry might feel like her only way supporting herself. Although she does have her e-commerce business CheapyXO, outside that, and music revenue, there may not be a way for her to sustain herself and actually seek treatment, to heal away from the public eye. Taking this into consideration, her need to keep her name in the headlines could be a way for her to maintain her livelihood.
Some the conversations she’s initiating are conversations that need to be had; immigration issues, celebrities’ rights to express presidential support without consequence, race relations, and colorism in the music industry. Using her platform to create a show or podcast where she has these discussions with a reasonable, opposing viewpoint, while she shares her personal experiences as a dark skinned woman in the music industry might be a better way to get her thoughts out and maintain a career. Instead, she’s become known for attacking people with much bigger star power, bodies released music and measurable success, while the critical acclaim that once surrounded her music falls by the wayside.
The new assortment photos show Bey in a red, skintight dress that was covered in Swarovski crystals. The gown is from Maison d’Angelann’s collection with the crystal company. In one the shots, Beyoncé – always one to colour-coordinate and go all the way out – wears red, glittery sunglasses (that don’t appear to enable vision). In another post, the Lemonade artist shared a video that alternates between two photos herself and her husband, Jay-Z. She is seen giving a fishy face in both, but goes cross-eyed in the second. HOV, on the other hand, maintains blank expressions in both. He even indifferently looks f to the side in one shot, as if he isn’t about to be featured on one the most followed Instagram accounts.
After wrapping up its appearance in Atlanta last month, the REVOLT Summit will continue its inaugural run in Los Angeles next weekend. And just ahead its ficial arrival in California, the Summit has announced the addition new talent to its lineup speakers and performers.
Having already been anchored by the support entities such as TDE, new names that include Lizzo, Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae, Lilly Singh, Kahlani, Melina Matsoukas, Storm Reid, and Al Harrington will also be in attendance.
Rich Fury/Getty s for Coachella
“Each will bring their own voice to panel conversations rooted in the business Hip Hop and dedicated to equipping aspiring young leaders with the tools for success,” reads a press release.
For Lizzo, Kehlani, Sign and Reid, that will include taking part in the Follow Her Lead panel where they will unpack being women int he entertainment industry, “breaking barriers, pursuing their passions and chasing their goals on their journey to the top.”
In Al Harrington’s case, he will sit down with Snoop Dogg for The Smoke and mirrors panel where they will discuss the billion-dollar cannabis industry and how the hip-hop community can get in. Harrington’s qualifications for the talk stem from the former NBA star’s Viola Brands company, which specializes in both medicinal and recreational marijuana manufacturing.
The event ficially kicks f on October 25th. Tickets can be purchased at REVOLTSummit.com
Kyrie Irving has left the Boston Celtics behind, but he and Nike still have some projects in the works with Boston-based retailer Concepts. In fact, their latest collab will be available exclusively at Concepts’ NYC location.
Following up on the collaborative “Ikhet” colorway the Kyrie 5 that launched last November comes the “Orion’s Belt” iteration, inspired by Kyrie’s deep fascination with ancient Egyptian culture.
The kicks come equipped with a blue gradient upper, highlighted by starry detailing on the tongue and a gold shroud that nods to the three Pyramids Giza and The Great Sphinx.
“Referenced in the “Orion’s Belt” design, is the theory that the constellation aligns perfectly with all three Pyramids Giza, which along with The Great Sphinx, were believed to be submerged in water at one point. The pyramids on the sneaker’s shroud are in accordance to the actual size and order, while the constellation sits above, on the tongue. The shades along the swoosh and heel-counter represent where the water levels would have receded over time.”
The Concepts x Nike Kyrie 5 “Orion’s Belt” will be available next Saturday, October 26, Concepts NYC (225 Hudson Street) and CNCPTS.COM at 11am ET. Sizes 7-12, 13, 14, 15 will be available for $140.
When you hear about singing competition shows like The Masked Singer and The Voice drawing between eight and nine million viewers an episode, it starts to make sense — why so few people are watching, or have even heard your favorite TV shows. With more viewing options and service providers than ever before, it’s allowed for more niche programming, but that doesn’t guarantee it’ll last very long. Smaller shows require critical praise or a passionate fan base to push it into future seasons potential ratings growth. Oftentimes, success at an awards show can be just the push needed for a lesser-known series to go global like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel did a couple years back. And prior to last month’s Emmy’s, Fleabag would have been sitting at the top this list. But for the time being, there are too many great shows on TV that viewers are simply not watching. Here are 10 the best shows on television that you’re probably not watching.
Let us know in the comments your favorite, most underrated TV series!
One the very few sitcoms on network television worth 22-minutes your time, Superstore is classic NBC Must See TV. Featuring an unforgettable ensemble relative unknowns who steal the show on a weekly basis, you almost forget that the pilot was initially marketed as a starring-vehicle for America Ferrera’s television comeback. This criminally under-appreciated series, currently in its fifth season, puts the Emmy-winning actress in a blue-collar retail environment – a sharp contrast to the fashion magazine setting Ugly Betty. Originally structured around the cliché “will they, or won’t they” love story big-box store employees Amy (Ferrera) and Jonah (Ben Feldman), the show has now expanded to be much more reliant on the main characters’ hilarious Cloud 9 co-workers including Dina (Lauren Ash), Garrett (Colton Dunn), Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom), and the incomparable Mark McKinney as store manager Glenn Sturgis. Smart, quirky, and well acted by all – while Superstore isn’t a ratings or awards darling, it is quality network programming at a time when the big 4 networks continue to struggle for relevancy beyond reality and live sports.
The Deuce (HBO)
From David Simon, the creator arguably the most overlooked show in television history, The Wire, comes HBO’s latest period drama, The Deuce. Telling the story the Golden Age Porn set around 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan, commonly referred to as “The Deuce” – this three season series spans from 1971-1985. Beginning with the prostitution business the early ‘70s, introducing hookers, pimps, johns, and corrupt cops to the story, season two expands into the rapidly growing ography industry. The series’ third and final season is currently airing to its lowest ratings to date. Why no one is watching this series escapes me. Perhaps it will be like The Wire and viewers will fall in love with the show 5-10 years from now. Regardless, the stellar acting performances by stars and executive producers, James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, have gone completely unnoticed thus far – cast in the shadow HBO giants like Game Thrones, Big Little Lies, and Westworld. But take my word for it – if you’re not already watching The Deuce, it’s ficially time to start.
South Side (Comedy Central)
After back-to-back failed pilots at HBO, former Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writers/performers Diallo Riddle (Marlon, Silicon Valley) & Bashir Salahuddin (GLOW, Looking) have finally broken through the scripted comedy gates with not one, but two new hit series. The first being IFC’s Soul Train parody, Sherman’s Showcase. However, today we’re going to focus on their Comedy Central series, South Side. Set around the working class neighborhoods Chicago’s South Side, the aptly titled show follows two recent community college graduates (Sultan Salahuddin & Kareme Young) whose jobs at a rent-to-own retail store take them across town where they meet a variety the city’s most eclectic residents. The show’s police characters, Officer Goodnight and Sergeant Turner as played by co-creator Bashir Salahuddin and his wife Chandra Russell, and its unapologetic love for Chicago add a tone akin to past Comedy Central shows like Reno 911 and Detroiters. Both South Side and Sherman’s Showcase are absolutely hilarious, and while South Side has received a second season order, neither these shows are ratings titans. The only way we get more episodes is if more people start watching.
On Becoming A God In Central Florida (Showtime)
The path from page to screen has been a wild but worthwhile ride for Showtime’s dark comedy, On Becoming A God in Central Florida. Originally developed at AMC with Oscar-nominated director Yorgos Lanthimos set to helm, a year and a half later the show moved to YouTube Premium (without Lanthimos) with a 10-episode first season order. Finally, over a year after moving to YouTube, the series is now a hit for Showtime. Starring Kirsten Dunst as a minimum-wage water park worker who, following the sudden death her husband, climbs her way up the pyramid scheme that ruined her family – On Becoming A God in Central Florida is tonally unlike any other show on television. Blending comedy and drama with a distinct bizarre Florida quality, the series also stars Theodore Pellerin (Boy Erased), Ted Levine (The Silence the Lambs), Mel Rodriguez (The Last Man on Earth), and Beth Ditto (Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot) in roles they were born to play. On Becoming A God In Central Florida has already received a second season pickup along with plenty awards buzz surrounding Dunst’s transcendent performance as Krystal Stubbs. However, the ratings aren’t currently enough to keep the series on the air as long as it deserves.
The Other Two (Comedy Central)
From the minds former Saturday Night Live co-head writers, Chris Kelly & Sarah Schneider, The Other Two is about the unsuccessful older siblings America’s latest 13-year-old overnight Internet sensation, ChaseDreams (Case Walker). Cary, a struggling actor, and Brooke, a failed dancer, both take to their younger brother’s newfound celebrity with envy and opportunity. While Cary and Brooke are obvious proxies for the show’s creators, it’s the role their mother, Pat, played to perfection by fellow SNL alum Molly Shannon – that takes the Comedy Central series from good to great. Chase’s clueless manager, Streeter Peters, also provides a great deal the show’s humor courtesy Ken Marino. Wanda Sykes makes a few appearances as well, playing Chase’s sharp-tongued record executive. Full jokes catered to millennials, The Other Two is a mixture SNL pedigree, an absurd yet true storyline, and the perfect cast to pull it f. Early into its first season, The Other Two was renewed for a second season that is expected to air on Comedy Central early next year.
Set to air its second season in February 2020, Jim Carrey’s dark comedy Kidding was one the best-kept secrets on TV last year. The show stars Carrey as children’s television personality Jeff Pickles, presenter the Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood-meets-Michel Gondry PBS show, Mr. Pickles’ Puppet Time. After suffering a major loss, Jeff is pushed to the brink, torn between work, family, and his own mental stability. Kidding is rooted in great writing and world-altering visuals/puppetry, however it’s the cast that delivers the most each episode. In addition to A-lister Carrey blessing Showtime’s small screen, his exceptional co-stars include Frank Langella as Jeff’s father, Catherine Keener as his puppet maker sister, Judy Greer as his ex-wife Jill, and Justin Kirk as Jill’s new boyfriend. Not to mention the phenomenal introduction to child actors Cole Allen, who plays Jeff’s twin sons, and Juliet Morris as Jeff’s emotionally damaged niece. And just wait until Olympic figure skater Tara Lipinski joins the fray. Kidding is smart, magical, and dark, while still delivered with plenty heart. Now if only more people were watching.
What We Do In The Shadows (FX)
Based on the 2014 film the same name co-created by Jermaine Clement from Flight the Conchords and one the hottest directors in Hollywood, Taika Waititi – What We Do In The Shadows is a horror comedy about four vampire roommates living in modern day Staten Island. Starring the brilliant Kayvan Novak as Nandor the Relentless, a vampire from the Ottoman Empire – Nandor has a servant named Guillermo who serves as the viewer’s non-vampire perspective inside the home. Nandor’s other housemates include Laszio, a noble British vampire played by Matt Berry (Toast London); Laszio’s Romanian wife Nadja, played by Natasia Demetriou; and Colin, a vampire who drains humans energy by boring them, played to perfection by Mark Proksch (The Office). The first season also includes a memorable recurring performance from Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) as Jenna, a virgin whose life changes when she meets Guillermo. What We Do In The Shadows lives up to its film predecessor, while introducing new characters in a fresh American setting. The 10-episode first season came and went much too quickly, making the news a second season returning to FX in 2020 music to its niche audience’s ears.
TNT’s hour-long dramedy set in a Tampa nail salon, Claws, aired its third season this past summer. Originally developed at HBO as a half-hour comedy, Claws and its star Niecy Nash have become one TNT’s flagship series over the past three years. Somewhat a female-driven Breaking Bad, Claws follows five manicurists as they quickly ascend from petty crime to organized crime when they start money laundering. As they navigate the masculine world Florida crime, they must stick together or lose everything. Alongside Nash, Claws co-stars Carrie Preston (True Blood), Judy Reyes (Scrubs), Karrueche Tran, Jenn Lyon (Justified), and Harold Perrineau (Lost, Oz) as Nash’s autistic brother. The fourth and final season Claws is expected to air in June 2020. Catch up on the first three seasons before the Florida-set adventure returns for its final chapter.
Originally developed at Showtime, FX’s drama Snowfall is influenced by, but not ficially based upon the origin story drug trafficker “Freeway” Rick Ross. Created by Academy Award-nominated Boyz N The Hood director John Singleton, the show’s third season recently aired only three months following his sudden passing. The series follows various characters whose lives are on the verge colliding during the 1980s drug trade. Snowfall stars Damson Idris as 19-year-old drug dealer Franklin Saint, Carter Hudson as CIA operative Teddy McDonald, Emily Rios as Lucia Villanueva, the daughter a Mexican drug lord, and Sergio Peris-Mencheta as Mexican wrestler Gustavo “El Oso” Zapata. In a rare feat, as most series audiences either shrink or grow with each year, Snowfall’s third season’s ratings were nearly identical to those its first two. A fourth season Snowfall has been commissioned to return in 2020, marking the first episodes the FX drug drama to not involve Singleton as executive producer. RIP John Singleton.
The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Less than a year after the last episode The Good Wife, co-creators Robert King & Michelle King teamed up with Phil Alden Robinson to create a spinf revolving around Stern, Lockhart & Gardner partner and fan favorite, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski). The Good Fight picks up one year following the events The Good Wife finale when a Madf-like financial scam leaves Diane newly retired with no savings. Lockhart alongside her goddaughter, a ruined young lawyer named Maia Rindell, land at a well-known black-owned law firm working the excessive amount police brutality cases plaguing Chicago. With a revolving door cast members over its first three seasons, fans The Good Wife will take to The Good Fight for the same reasons – great writing brought to life by even better performances. Memorable appearances over CBS All Access’ inaugural series include Delroy Lindo, Justin Bartha, Audra McDonald, and Michael Sheen. A fourth season will air next year.
21 Savage celebrated his 27th birthday last night in Atlanta. The rapper threw a Hot Boys/early 2000s themed party in his hometown which drew in some his celebrity friends. Among those in attendance was 21 Savage’s “rockstar” collaborator, Post Malone. The two have collaborated and made a few hits since the release the song and also hit the road together in 2018. That being said, they’ve definitely got to the money together. Post Malone decided to bless 21 Savage with some bling-bling for the rapper’s 27th birthday. 21 Savage’s manager MegaMeezy hit the ‘Gram with a clip the “Wow” artist unveiling the new Rolex to 21 Savage as a birthday gift.
Post Malone is currently on tour in support his latest project, Hollywood’s Bleeding. The “Runaway” tour, which also features Swae Lee, kicked f in September in Tacoma before concluding in Inglewood, CA with back-to-back nights at The Forum on November 20th and 21st. The show’s have been successful so far, reaffirming Posty’s status as a superstar in his own right. I mean, not many people can sell-out Madison Square Garden but Posty sure did.
Lady Gaga is out in Las Vegas doing the residency thing these days but unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned last night. Lady Gaga had a fan on stage who she began to dance with. However, she underestimated the homeboy’s strength when she climbed him like a jungle gym and tried to straddle him with her legs. The two had a literal second where she celebrated her Cirque-Du-Soleil type flex before the fan couldn’t stand anymore and ultimately tumbled f stage, bringing Lady Gaga down with him.
Everybody is talking about the new Joker movie and Joaquin Pheonix’s outstanding performance in the lead role. People are expecting him to win big come award season and Chris Brown, who is a huge super-hero fan, is also seemingly a lover the flick. Inviting artist James Haunt onto his INDIGOAT tour, Breezy commissioned the painter to spray on Harris’ portrait the other day and now, he’s got the man repping the Joker on the back.
Captioning his post with an ominous “KNOCK KNOCK,” CB stood at the back the bus to extend a co-sign to the most popular film in the country right now. The piece is incredibly well-done, falling in line with the aesthetic that Brown ten chases. We can’t wait to see what else he decides to add to the bus.
The ICY GRL claps back at her man and delivers an ultimatum on the breakup anthem. “If you lyin’, ni**a, then I’m slidin’, ni**a / If you love me and you loyal, then provide that, ni**a,” snaps Saweetie on her rapid-fire verse, while Jhené issues a warning: “You need to stay out of my way.”
This is not their first collaboration. Jhené and Saweetie previously teamed up on the remix to “My Type,” which also featured City Girls.
The original “Triggered (freestyle)” dropped in May and is set to appear on Jhené’s upcoming album, which will consist of all freestyles.
New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson is expected to miss multiple weeks to start the regular season, as a result a right knee injury he suffered during the preseason.
That said, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the injury isn’t severe and that the Pelicans are treating the issue “with an abundance caution” to ensure that he makes a full recovery before taking the floor again.
Needless to say, this puts on a damper on the NBA’s opening night, when Zion’s Pelicans will visit the Toronto Raptors in the first game TNT’s double-header. The 19-year old phenom lived up to the hype in four preseason games, averaging 23.3 points and 6.5 rebounds to go along with plenty highlight reel dunks.
In his lone season with the Duke Blue Devils, Zion was awarded the AP Player the Year in a landslide after posting 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. He has the highest expectations any rookie since LeBron James entered the league in 2003, and it’s going to be a blast to see how his rookie season pans out.
And the wait is almost over – but we’ll have to wait patiently for at least a few more weeks until he makes his regular season debut.
The reclusive singer is set to host a club night called PrEP+ in New York City tonight. According to the magazine Gayletter, which made the announcement on Instagram, the Blonded-branded event is “an homage to what could have been of the 1980s’ NYC club scene if the drug PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) – which can be taken daily to prevent HIV/AIDs for those who are not infected but are at high risk – had been invented in that era.”
PrEP+ is the first in a series of themed nights that aim to provide a safe space and bring people together, with “globally celebrated DJs” providing the entertainment. “PrEP+ welcomes everyone,” reads the announcement. “Zero tolerance for racism, homophobia, transphobia, ism, ableism or any form or discrimination.”
Tickets have already been distributed and the venue will be announced this evening. Photos and video are prohibited.
Ocean’s club appearance follows a recent interview with W Magazine, where he shared his interest in club music. “I’ve been interested in club, and the many different iterations of nightlife for music and songs,” he said. “And so the things I look at now have a lot to do with those scenes: Detroit, Chicago, techno, house, French electronic…”
He’s also been inspired by the New Orleans bounce scene. “I grew up in New Orleans, so the closest to the nightlife scene for me was New Orleans bounce, and that was a lot of trends,” he added. “But it’s so much a part of my childhood and my youth that I don’t really go back to it so much as a touch point. I’m really looking forward. It’s kind of a mix for me.”
Producer Mikey Mike was once kicked out of every bar in his hometown of Salisbury, Maryland. Granted, it’s a town with a population of roughly 30,000 and only two bars — but still, the lifetime ban was enough to for him to say “fuck it” and set his sights on Hollywood.
At the time, he’d already made beats for notable artists such as Wale and Sean Kingston but was having trouble getting his emails answered. So, rather than give up, he took an unconventional route and posed as a star — using the name of someone he thought the execs he was emailing would have grown up watching and fantasizing about.
As if by magic (yes, that’s sarcasm) — his emails were being answered and the execs on the other end of the line were suddenly more than happy to assist the person they thought was an adult film actress.
Ultimately, one of the beats Mikey made fell into Rihanna’s hands (although mistakingly) and she ended up choosing the beat for the song “Jump” off her 2012 album Unapologetic. The rest is history. Mikey finally had the money to make the cross-country leap and RiRi’s album wound up winning a Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 2014 ceremony.
Behind the scenes, Mikey was stashing beats for his own personal project and in 2017, dropped the song “Doin’ Me” with the help of illustrious music mogul Rick Rubin. His dream of working with the Def Jam Recordings co-founder had finally come true. With over 2.4 million YouTube views to date, “Doin’ Me” is taking Mikey to unexpected places — quite literally. (The song appears on Mikey Mike’s Life On Earth: Vol. 1, which dropped in August.)
After launching an ingenious marketing campaign to promote his music (keep reading), he inadvertently launched a therapy hotline.
Now, he and Isaac Heymann, executive producer of the HBO documentary Shangri-La and Rubin’s A&R, are plotting a show called The Search, which will follow Mikey to places all over the globe in search of people who stream his music the most.
In a recent interview with HipHopDX, Mikey talked about his star ruse, meeting Rubin, how a beat intended for M.I.A. became Rihanna’s and why “doin’ him” was the best possible move for his career.
HipHopDX: I am blown away by your story. I imagine most people who come across you are. I want to start at the beginning. You’re trying to push your music, you’re sending it to people and no one’s biting back until you pose as this adult film actress, right?
Mikey Mike: Shout out to Lacey Duvalle.
HipHopDX: Once you started getting emails back from people, what did that initially teach you about how the world works?
Mikey Mike: It was interesting because I had all these people’s emails already. I had a buddy that worked with a publicist in New York, so he had Drake’s personal email, Lil Wayne’s emails and all their managers. I hit all of them up, from me, numerous times. I had enough credibility to be like, “Hey, I got these beats. It’d cool if you could pass them along.”
But nobody said anything. I knew they were seeing the emails. In my head, I was thinking there’s always a way. If they’re looking at these, how do I rope them in? I was in the shower and the water was hitting me … I get the best ideas in the shower when I’m sitting under the water. My landlord hates it ’cause the water bill is three times as high as everybody else’s, but I don’t tell her, “Hey, I sit in there for an hour because that’s where I get all my best ideas.” Anyway, so I was in the shower. It hit me and I was like, “Oh my God, I have to use the mystical power of the vagina to lure these people in.” If I can dangle that carrot, I will get every last one of those motherfuckers.”
All these people I was trying to get to were like Lil Wayne’s manager and were demographically 32-year-old black dudes in the Hip Hop world. So I was like, “Who would they have grown up jacking off to and loving?” I got on the internet and looked up Top 10 black stars and I picked No. 8 — popular but not conspicuous — Lacey Duvalle.
Mikey Mike: I picked an email with Lacey.Duvalle1982 in it. If you put the birth year in, people just go, “Oh my god, it must be her.” Then I hit up everybody and they all got back to me immediately. To answer your question, I would say what it taught me about life is one, vaginas are incredibly magical. I knew they were magical, but now I knew they were even more magical and they knew no bounds.
Then the other thing it taught me, which has gone throughout my whole music career and then just in all of life, was that you have to do things your own way. You got to sneak in the back door. If everybody else is doing something one way, even if it’s the music they’re making, then I don’t want to make music that sounds like that. I don’t want to try to get on the same blogs everybody’s on. It taught me that you really got to blaze your own path if you want to have any chance at anything in life.
HipHopDX: That’s what your whole video “Doin’ Me” is kind of about, right? That is another story in itself. I mean, the fact that somehow, it got to Rick Rubin and he’s like, “Hell yeah, let’s do this shit.” I am blown away. Rick Rubin is one of my heroes.
Mikey Mike: I had the same thing where he was the person that I always … I knew that what I was doing didn’t really fit in a pocket and if it went straight to a Hip Hop and urban crowd, they might not get it completely. If it went to a pop crowd, they might not get it. If they went to a rock crowd, I knew I would get some people from each of those.
So, I knew Rick was the guy that I had to get my music to because he’ll just get it. It’s not like taking it to some A&R, like Capitol, that has no idea what they’re doing. Not to say none of them do, but Rick was the guy in my eyes that I knew would get what I’m doing. When I got to sit there with him, the only validation I ever needed from anybody was that guy.
HipHopDX: What was going through your mind when you’re sitting there across from him?
Mikey Mike: He’s so cool and calm and just awesome, that it’s really casual. I remember before I went over, I was reading something about Eminem. Before he went to meet Rick for the first time, he said he was really nervous and shaking and shit. So I’m like fuck, if Eminem was nervous, I might take a shit on his floor or something. Not literally. But anyway, then I got there and you just meet him. He’s like, “What’s up man? Come in.” And then it just feels like you’re talking to an old friend or something. I guess that’s one of his real allures is that he can put people in that space and at ease.
Mikey Mike: That’s probably why people get the best work being around him is because you feel like you’re sitting with an old friend who’s not judging anything you’re doing or saying. They’re just there and present. I was a little nervous to walk up there, but I wasn’t really nervous. And then when I met him, I wasn’t nervous at all.
HipHopDX: That’s dope. I kind of got that from the HBO documentaries I was watching. I was like, “Oh man. He seems like he’s just so laid back.” He’s interested in learning about you just as much as you’re interested in learning about him. That’s what it felt like to me.
Mikey Mike: Yeah, definitely.
HipHopDX: I guess that remains to be seen if I ever cross paths with him.
Mikey Mike: I think you would find that is the case.
HipHopDX: Let’s back up a little bit. All of a sudden, people are emailing you back and want to work. How does one of your beats end up getting into Rihanna’s hands?
Mikey Mike: I wanted to get to this dude Tim Blacksmith who managed Stargate at the time. They were the biggest producers in pop. They were doing all Rihanna’s stuff. I couldn’t find his email. Then I saw on Twitter him talking to somebody and I went on their Twitter page and they had their email in their profile. I hit them up with the Lacey email and said, “Hey, do you happen to know Dan Blacksmith? I need to get in touch with him.” They were like, “Oh, of course. I can put you in touch with him.” So they gave me his email and then I would always try people like that, coming from me, for the first time. And then if it didn’t work, I would go to Lacey. So with them, I used Lacey to get their email but then hit them up as me. I gave him my artist’s music and just said, “Hey, yada yada,” and they hit me right back. The beat that ended up on Rihanna’s album, I had made for M.I.A.
HipHopDX: Oh shit. Really?
Mikey Mike: I never meant to send it to them at all. So it was crazy. I remember Tim called and he was like, “Yo man, I think this beat might be the dark horse, mate.” He had this crazy accent. He was like, “I think this is the dark horse, man.” And I was like, “What are you talking about?” He’s like, “That M.I.A. beat, man.” I was like, “Oh shit, I sent that to you?” And he was like, “Yeah you did, bro. Yeah, you sent it.” I was like, “I didn’t mean to put it in there.” It was another kind of random act of God — the fact that that beat slipped in there and it became kind of the first big, big break that I had.
It gave me the money to move here and pursue all this shit. It was just the little things that could have been changed by one percent, kind of that butterfly effect thing that, if I hadn’t have accidentally sent that beat in the batch — I was probably hung over and didn’t even know what I was clicking and sent it — I probably wouldn’t be out here. I wouldn’t have had the money to come out here. None of this would have happened.
HipHopDX: So you accidentally sent an M.I.A. beat to the Rihanna people by mistake.
Mikey Mike: Exactly. It wasn’t like something she has used. I made it for M.I.A. It sounded nothing like any of the other ones. I was sending all these Calvin Harris-y up-tempos and stuff for her to write to. So, yeah, that one just slipped in there and that was the one that went on.
HipHopDX: Wow. And that won the Grammy, right?
Mikey Mike: The album did. It was on the album.
HipHopDX: Do you still work with M.I.A. at all? Did you ever end up doing anything?
Mikey Mike: I never did. It was just something I made for her and was trying to get to her. A cool thing I remember is somebody tweeted her and was like, “Hey that ‘Jump’ song on Rihanna’s album, the beat was actually made for you.” And I remember, she tweeted back and she was like, “That’s the only song I liked on that.”
HipHopDX: I was like, oh, that’s pretty dope.
Mikey Mike: That’s a great compliment. Granted, the whole finished song is a whole other story because they had these dudes, Chase & Status from the United Kingdom, add this dubstep part to it just — in my eyes — destroy it. When I heard it, I almost jumped out the window. It is what it is.
HipHopDX: Yeah, I just revisited the Rihanna song and there’s no way I would’ve thought, “Oh, M.I.A. for this one.”
Mikey Mike: Yeah. It was just the main beat minus terrible stuff. No offense, but it was terrible. I’m actually still a little bit salty about it to be honest. Because it was the last single and if it hadn’t had that awful part, it could have done something.
Then you’ve got to go around and be like, I didn’t … For a year, people were like, “Oh, you did the ‘Jump’ track?” And I was like, “Yes, but disclaimer, I didn’t do the terrible dub step part. Never would have put that in there. It ruined the song.” People were like, “Yeah, it was strange. I wasn’t going to say anything, but that part was pretty awful, huh?” I was like, “You’re telling me, man.”
HipHopDX: I understand.
Mikey Mike: It sucks, but it’s just part of it I guess.
HipHopDX: You’ve come up with all these amazing ideas for marketing yourself — the child support posters, the “You’re lonely in L.A.” posters. Are you still doing that kind of marketing?
Mikey Mike: We just actually did it again. The album came out and we put out new flyers that said, “Have you seen this man?” And then it was an updated picture of me still looking deranged, but older, so you see the progression. Then instead of the 2.3 million child support, it says he’s dropped from the label, still laying pipe. Call this number.
Mikey Mike: For me, I knew we’ve burned this one to the ground, but it’s so fun and it never gets old. I think that’s the most important part to me is that it’s fun. And when people see it on the street, they’re like, “What the hell is this?” I get a kick out of that just as much as the fact that it might actually promote the album. The promotion is a bonus.
HipHopDX: You set up a hotline for people to call?
Mikey Mike: That number that people will call, it started on the billboards. So, people would call it and troll it. Then people started calling and randomly asking for somebody to listen to, and I don’t know if it was a word of mouth thing, but people started calling and being like, “Yo, I’m having this going on and yada, yada, yada.” It just kind of turned into this organic therapy line more or less. Not that I have the best advice in the world, but I guess if you just listen, a lot of times the answer pops up if you have a completely outside perspective. So yeah, it started with all these people trolling and then it became this therapy thing and now, a lot of fans call it and random people. There’s people I keep in touch with that’ll hit me up once a week. It’s become a really interesting thing.
Mikey Mike: It’s cool for me too, because it gives me a sense of purpose besides the music, in the way that I’ve got 16-year-old kids that are calling up like, “Hey, I really like this girl and blah blah blah,” and all these things that I’ve been through and that, when you’re 16 or 20, you need guidance on. But it’s sometimes hard to talk about it with people you know. When you can call a stranger and just say anything, people tell me some crazy, crazy shit.
HipHopDX: Wow. So how much time would you say you spend a day talking to people?
Mikey Mike: Just sporadically, all through the day. If I’m in the car, I’ll get a call and I’ll put it on speaker or if I’m walking somewhere. I stay on the phone, maybe an hour a day, but texting and going back and forth just kind of all day.
Mikey Mike: Sometimes, it’ll be a Saturday night and some kid will call, and I’m just sitting there kind of pre-gaming in my house before I leave. We’ll get on the phone and next thing you know, it’s like two hours later because it’s hard to leave when you feel like you’re really onto something with somebody, you know? In my head, I’m like, I’m going to go to a bar and getting trashed right now, or I could be here doing something that means something.
HipHopDX: Yeah, like giving back.
Mikey Mike: It’s not hard to find those opportunities in life, I think. This kind of got presented to me in this way of like, here’s a way to just serve people and do something positive, and you don’t even have to leave your house to do it. You just pick up the phone.
HipHopDX: Tell me about the show you’re doing with Isaac Heymann.
Mikey Mike: Streaming companies, they’ll give you data that says, “A 39-year-old male in Kalamazoo, Michigan played one song 3,764 times.” So the whole thing has become, how do I go find these people? Who the hell plays one of my songs almost four or five times a day since it was released? The craziest part is that we don’t even have the data for “Doin’ Me,” which is by far the biggest one.
When we get back to New York, the whole next tour we’re setting up and this will turn into a show and be tied into the people calling the line and roaming around and meeting these people. We’re just going to find the biggest listeners and playing for them and then playing in their town.
For more information on Mikey and the project, head to his website or call (323) 457-8794.