Will Smith Battles Himself In “Gemini Man” Trailer

Los Angeles, CA – Will Smith is fighting the ultimate enemy, himself, in the new trailer for the Ang Lee-directed movie Gemini Man.

The trailer for the futuristic sci-fi action-drama was released Tuesday, April 23, by Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media. Scored to a sinister rendition of Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” the Academy Award nominee goes toe-to-toe with a 25-year-old version of himself.

“The emotional and physical challenges of making this film have been the most demanding of my career,” Smith told The Wrap. The film had been shelved by Walt Disney Studio in 1997 languishing for years until the technology to render the same actor decades apart was possible.

The cast also includes Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong.

Gemini Man will open in theaters October 11.

Police Make Arrest In Lil Lonnie Murder

Jackson, Mississippi – According to news station WAPT, authorities have made arrests in connection with the 2018 murder case of Lonnie Montrel Taylor, better known as rapper Lil Lonnie.

Jackson police department identified Monya Davis and Antoine Carr (both 21 years of age) as primary suspects on Monday (April 23). WAPT reports that Davis was arrested back In March in Texas and currently awaits extradition to Mississippi, while Carr was arrested in Austin earlier this month and was denied bail during a court hearing on Monday (April 22).

Both Davis and Carr face murder charges for allegedly killing the rapper last year.

The 22-year-old rapper was reportedly gunned down in his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi on the night of April 29 in 2018. According to the report, shots were fired into the back of Lonnie’s SUV while he and a female passenger were traveling on Montbello drive. He was subsequently struck by the shots, lost control of the vehicle, crashed into a house, and later died at the scene.

Jackson Police held a press conference on April 22 to share details on the arrests made and developments in the case, in which police expect more arrests to be made.

JPD news conference on Lil’ Lonnie murder arrests

Posted by 16 WAPT News on Monday, April 22, 2019

Jackson City Councilman Kenneth Stokes spoke to WAPT about Lonnie saying he wants to get a park named in his honor and intends to get the rapper’s killers “off the street forever.”

“It’s a joyous day that some killers, who in this city killed Lil Lonnie, have been captured. Now we want to take them through the judicial system, the court system, to make sure we can get these killers off the street forever,” says Stokes.

The rapper’s sister, Crystal Capler also spoke to the news station, saying that the killing of her brother was “senseless.”

“It was senseless. He didn’t do anything to anyone — any harm to anyone — to bring this on him,” Capler says.

According to Capler, Lonnie did not know his alleged killers and authorities have been unable to determine a motive behind the fatal attack.

Lonnie first rose to prominence in 2015 when his hit track “Colors” gained national attention. “Colors” currently sits at more than 11 million views on YouTube.

Revisit the video to “Colors” below.

Suga Free Talks New LP: “I Used To Dream Of Rapping This Way”

San Bernardino, CA – Rakim once said “age don’t count in the booth,” and that’s especially true when it comes to living California legend Suga Free — a one-time pimp turned MC.

Heavily influential to many artists from the West Coast, notably Kendrick Lamar, his debut album Street Gospel, produced entirely by DJ Quik, remains a regional classic, revered by all who were there or who were blessed to be put onto it.

27 years later — and a fruitful catalog of music to boot, he’s on the verge of releasing what he considers to be the best work of his life. Having spent the last while balancing duties as a father and tireless artist, he takes refuge 8000-feet above sea level in the San Bernardino mountains.

View this post on Instagram

THE RESURRECTION, I have so much peace.

A post shared by Suga Free (@officialsugafreethapimp) on

“I like to hear myself think and concentrate on my craft,” he tells HipHopDX. “My whole career I’ve been recording studios within the city … with traffic outside and stuff like that. I want to finish off my recording career on land that’s barely been touched by man.”

Though he’s dropped collaborative material and made some notable appearances, there has been 10 years since his last solo “studio album,” Hi Power Pimpin.

“I took a long break, which was a much needed … you know, I could say that now,” he says.

Rooted in the funk he grew up idolizing, his new project, Resurrection, which he lovingly refers to as a rebirth of sorts, is a family affair featuring many longtime collaborators, such as DJ Quik, and also his childhood friend, Kokane.

View this post on Instagram

#TheResurrection 🔥.

A post shared by Suga Free (@officialsugafreethapimp) on

“It’s still a friendly competition, with a lot of MCs out here,” he says, adding “I did a lot of studying. I wanted to be able to look myself in the mirror and say, after all my life, that I was the best I could be … I think I went beyond my call of duty.”

Many things have changed in Suga Free’s life over the years — namely his children, who he credits as driving motivation to excel.

“My children make me want to work hard. They make me want to continue and carry on,” he explains. “We’d like to be providers and lead the way with positivity and all that.”

However, he still admits to actively shielding them from the harsher realities of his content. “I don’t want to create the ambiance of them knowing that, you know, I’m down the hallway in my studio with a mouthful of profanity … I grew out of that mantra. I have another house in our district where I record.“

In a way, his newfound life as a family man is a second chance, as a child he fathered in a young relationship was taken away from him, an experience he credits for both fostering a deep-rooted resentment, and giving him what he calls “the stomach” for pimping.

Getting into the game at the age of 17, and just a few years later — as he described to Vlad TV — being on the road to pimping a hole through the stratosphere, he references a close call for finally pushing him to leave the life behind him.

“The Lord didn’t want me to do it. He showed me that if I didn’t stop he would take something from me … it scared the daylights out of me.”

“I never thought I’d stop. I’m glad I did, man,” he explains. “I felt funny when I stopped … I called one of my film friends and I was like, ‘Man, you know, this feels weird.’ He said, man, I don’t want you to say this to me no more, cause you’re the only one of us who could stop pimping and still get a bitch.”

He likens the bars inspired by his vivid experience on the streets — a lifestyle he was actively living during the recording of his classic debut — to the novels of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines.

That same bitterness that had allowed him to live the life he was living also pushed him to channel his experiences into music — once he came to appreciate and understand it.

“I didn’t want to be just good at know what I did on the microphone. I wanted to be great at it. And if I’ve I had my hands more than one thing at a time, then you know, I was only going to be good,” he explains. “I put it up, put [music] first and I’m seeing those results.”

Now at the age of 49-years-young, he appears to be the most focused he’s ever been, even describing the decade-long lull since his last solo studio album as a rope-a-dope — a boxing fighting style attributed to the great Muhammad Ali.

“They thought [Ali] was resting, they thought he was hurt … when Forman was all swung out, he licked that ass up. Man. I know I did that,” he says with a laugh.

He’s quick to acknowledge that he’s blessed to have a fanbase that remains rabid for new material. “My music is a medicine that I created for myself to get me a through the darker points in my life,” he says humbly, “It just so happens that the same medicine happened to help other people, too.”

To say that Suga Free’s energy is infectious is an understatement. When told that the hype feels like that bestowed on an artist about to drop a long-awaited debut, he quickly agrees — reiterating how far he’s come with his craft.

“When I first started rapping, I dreamed of rapping the way I rap now. Me and Kokane were just saying the other day if somebody could have told us when we were in the fourth grade that we’d be [almost] 50 when we made our best collaboration ever … man. We really tripped off of that.”

Promising fans that he exercises his freedom of speech, he notes that they’ll definitely — among the more somber fare — find his humor intact. “You’ll laugh your ass off.”

Late Kristoff St. John’s Father & Daughter Challenged Over Will: Report

The ill-timed passing actor Kristf St. John seems to accumulate legal trouble. With no valid will in sight, the St. John family involved lawyers and entered negotiations surrounding what to make the late entertainer’s assets. “The Young and the Restless” star, who portrayed the character Neil Winters for 30 years, was found dead in his Woodland Hills home last February. Coronary reports indicated heart failure as the reason behind St. John’s passing.  

Late Kristf St. John's Father & Daughter Challenged Over Will: Report

Alexander Sibaja/Getty s

To grant clarity in the affair, Los Angeles Superior Court judge Deborah Christian granted co-administrative powers to both Kristf’s father and daughter. The latter was for the purpose selling a condo previously owned and lived in by the deceased. The temporary powers were considered effective until July 22nd and set in motion despite the competing petitions for ownership placed forth by both parties. 

Late Kristf St. John's Father & Daughter Challenged Over Will: Report

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty s

Paris St. John, the actor’s mother, now states Kristf did not live in the condo at all. On the contrary, she claims the daytime series star resided in a separate rental property while she lived in the mentioned condominium. Now Judge Christian fully intends to delve in the St. John’s matter which includes the condo, the competing petitions as well as the validity a newly found handwritten will reported to be penned by Kristf back in 2017. 

Kim Kardashian’s Photographer Marcus Hyde Attends Coachella After Car Crash

In October 2018, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West‘s personal photographer Marcus Hyde was involved in a near-fatal car crash when he lost control his ride and went over an embankment the PCH. According to reports Marcus’ car fell 200 feet f the main road and he was said to be having seizures as he was transported to the hospital.

Now just six months later, Marcus has been spotted alive and well as he attended Kanye West’s Sunday Service at Coachella this past weekend. In a photo shared by Khloe Kardashian, you can see Marcus parked next to the Kim and her sisters, looking onwards to the show. 

Kim and Kanye set up a GoFundMe page for Marcus after the accident and donated $25K to help him and his family with any hospital costs. There’s been no ficial update on how Marus is doing or how long he will be in the wheelchair, but we can only hope he’s doing well mentally and eventually physically.

“Sunday Service was so special to experience here at Coachella especially for my first time here! Kanye started Sunday Service for healing for himself and his close and family and friends. He had this vision starting a church for few years and it was magical seeing everyone else get to experience it,” Kim wrote on Instagram.

“I’m so proud you babe for doing exactly whats in your heart. The choir and band work so hard and have so much fun! It’s so inspiring to watch. Thank you to everyone who woke up early to spend Easter Sunday with us. It’s a memory we will cherish forever.”

Fortnite Developers Detail Toxic Work Culture, Working 100 Hour Weeks: Report

Fortnite is undoubtedly one the most successful video games out right now. With their constant updates and revamps to the game, they keep things refreshing for their users. Unfortunately, this comes at a price that employees at Epic Games have to play. According to a new report, employees from the company detail excruciating work weeks — upwards to 100 hours — in order to maintain the success the video game.

Fortnite Developers Detail Toxic Work Culture, Working 100 Hour Weeks: Report
Ethan Miller/Getty s

Polygon conducted interviews over the past few months with employees and contractors at Epic Games who’ve admitted they’ve been working extensive hours at the company to maintain the Fortnite‘s success. These laborious hours have many employees working 70-hour weeks while others are logging in 100-hours. A few people have reportedly suffered health issues due to the hours.

“I work an average 70 hours a week,” said one employee. “There’s probably at least 50 or even 100 other people at Epic working those hours. I know people who pull 100-hour weeks. The company gives us unlimited time f, but it’s almost impossible to take the time. If I take time f, the workload falls on other people, and no one wants to be that guy.

Working crunch is reportedly expected and a few people have admitted that those who’ve refused to work weekends got fired. Another source said that the demand has impacted his sleeping patterns and general behavior at home.

“I hardly sleep. I’m grumpy at home. I have no energy to go out. Getting a weekend away from work is a major achievement. If I take a Saturday f, I feel guilty. I’m not being forced to work this way, but if I don’t, then the job won’t get done.”

Despite the claims made by employees, a spokesperson for Epic Games denied that the 100-hour weeks were a common recurrence.

“People are working very hard on Fortnite and other Epic efforts,” a spokesperson said “Extreme situations such as 100-hour work weeks are incredibly rare, and in those instances, we seek to immediately remedy them to avoid recurrence.”

Matt Barnes Blasts Suns Owner For "Wasting" Devin Booker’s Career

When he’s not still thinking about how badly he wants to beat up Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes can be found giving some heated and passionate opinions on basketball. Of course, Barnes is a former player and enjoyed a stint with the Phoenix Suns during the 2008-2009 season. Barnes still pays attention to what does down in Phoenix and on Twitter this morning, the former NBA player lashed out at owner Robert Sarver for the way he’s been running the team.

The Suns have some exceptional young talent including Devin Booker who put up multiple 50-point performances this season. Barnes feels as though Sarver is currently wasting Booker’s talents and that Sarver should actually consider removing himself from the team entirely.

“Coaching isn’t the problem w the Suns] the owner is!” Barnes wrote. “Sarver is the worst owner in the NBA.. Do that great city phnx a solid & sell the team, they deserve a winner! You’re wasting Devin Bookers career.”

The Suns recently fired their head coach Igor Kokoskov after just his first season with the team. The Suns finished the season with a record 19-63 which put them last place in the Western Conference and tied for 29th in the entire league.

Beyonce’s Dad Announces Destiny’s Child Musical: "I Feel It’s Time"

Beyonce‘s father Mathew Knowles was once the manager Destiny’s Child until they broke up and parted ways. Mathew then went on to manage Beyonce’s solo career, but that ended and now years later he’s ready to helm a musical on one the best girl band’s and how they got their start. Mathew announced on Instagram that he is bringing Survivor: The Destiny’s Child Musical to life “with plans for Broadway, London’s West End, and a world tour!”

Beyonce's Dad Announces Destiny's Child Musical: "I Feel It's Time"
Pam Francis/Getty s

“I want to pull back the curtain,” he explained. “I feel it’s time to give the world an opportunity to hear, see and feel the victories and failures that I’ve had as a husband, father and manager who risked everything in pursuit fulfilling dreams—those mine and others.”

The musical will cover how the women got their start, trials and tribulations making it in the industry and the sacrifices they had to make to along the way. There’s no word on who will play Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, LeToya Luckett and LaTa Roberson but keep it locked for more details coming soon. 

Lil Wayne, Post Malone, Billie Eilish & More Tapped For "Life Is Beautiful" Lineup

As the summer approaches, the heart festival season arrives ever closer. Today, Las Vegas-based festival “Life Is Beautiful” has unveiled its lineup, which features a notable hip-hop presence. Some the names included are Lil Wayne, Chance The Rapper, Maxo Kream, Saint JHN, Post Malone, Rae Sremmurd, Sheck Wes, Gunna, and more.

If you’re open minded, plenty acclaimed acts various genres will also be participating, including Vampire Weekend, The Black Keys, Billie Eilish, Of Monsters And Men, Hot Chip, Janelle Monae, and several others. There’s even a panel non-musical contributors, including Desus and Mero, Pod Saves America, and Cirque Du Soleil.  You can check out the full lineup below, “Life Is Beautiful’s” ficial poster. 

Should you be interested in swinging through downtown Las Vegas between Sept. 20th and Sept. 22nd, you can buy tickets to “Life Is Beautiful” on Thursday, at 10 am Pacific Time. Interested in catching this one? If so, keep the ficial website bookmarked for easy access

21 Savage Goes Off On Social Media Star: "Casket Ready With All That Surgery"

Since he was arrested by ICE earlier this year, 21 Savage has kept a relatively low prile. His usual online behaviour has shifted quite a bit. He no longer posts as much as he used to and he’s seemingly living more in the moment. That doesn’t mean that he won’t clap back at somebody who wants to try him though. The Atlanta rapper has been easing himself back into the social media spotlight, singing classic R&B on his Instagram story just like old days. The video was reposted by The Shade Room and an influencer with nearly 5 million followers decided to get cheeky, implying that the artist looks like Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons. Savage was unimpressed with the comment, hitting back with his own insults.

21 Savage Goes Off On Social Media Star: "Casket Ready With All That Surgery"
Paras Griffin/Getty s

The Saint Laurent Don kept his mouth clean, shredding the commenter with a pranity-free response. “Aunty looking casket ready with all that surgery walking round looking like you drink embalming fluid,” he wrote. If you scroll down this girl’s page, every second post is an advertisement, which is actually pretty sad. 21 Savage did her justice though, clapping back in a civil yet absolutely lethal manner. She’ll think twice before hitting him with shade in the future.

Despite his social inactivity, 21 Savage has confirmed that he’s currently sitting on several albums unreleased material. Whether or not he ever decides to release them is up to him.

Is Joe Budden Right About Kanye West’s "Sunday Service"?

Contemporaries in some ways, and arch nemeses in others, what Joe Budden and Kanye West share is a desire to act as contrarians in the hip-hop world. Brought into the game in the early 2000s, their career paths may have splintered f into vastly different areas but their statuses as lightning rods for controversy has been their unifying factor. Kanye, currently steeped in the most divisive period his career, emerged from a period self-imposed radio silence over the weekend to deliver his sermon on the mount. Just under a year after espousing the logic that “slavery was a choice,” the creative mastermind gave revelers in the desert Indio, CA a chance to bear witness to the first public edition his “Sunday Service.”

Is Joe Budden Right About Kanye West's "Sunday Service"?

Choir members at Kanye West’s “Sunday Service” Coachella performance, April 21 2019 –  Rich Fury/Getty s

Save for fragmented clips from the Kardashians’ Instagram stories, these gospel choir-led performances have depicted Kanye as a far-cry from the belligerent, self-destructively minded figure that we got accustomed to back in 2018. Entrenched in the sounds that informed his early production work, rekindling his love affair with soul and the sounds worship has led many to believe that we’re seeing the resurrection the universally acclaimed “old Kanye” before our very eyes. Seemingly attuned to his past, present and future, this spiritual awakening has led to a renewed sense self and the 50,000-strong congregation that gathered to see him at “the mountain” were extended an experiential olive branch that had many ready to absolve him all his transgressions.

In the eyes the eternal skeptic Joe Budden however, this spectacle wasn’t anywhere near as earnest or transparent as it’d been portrayed as in the lead-up to the event. Never one to self-censor, Joe pulled no punches upon hearing the accompanying merchandise that went along with the Sunday Service. Comprised t-shirts, crew necks and $50 socks, the rapper turned podcast host and cultural commentator laid his feelings bare his typically incendiary Twitter account:

“From justifying bigotry on your ppl to Church merch and Coachella choirs…. God bless us all.”

Is Joe Budden Right About Kanye West's "Sunday Service"?

Chance the Rapper was among the performers at Kanye West’s Coachella “Sunday Service,” April 21 2019 –  Rich Fury/Getty s

Submerged in a vat scornful sarcasm, Joe’s latest comments on Kanye’s exploits are in keeping with the exasperation that he’s displayed over the past year. Whenever Ye has made one his more inflammatory remarks, Joe has been quick to declare that the time for heralding the G.O.O.D Music architect as a force for good has elapsed. Taken from the May 2nd edition The Joe Budden Podcast, the NJ native made his feelings known in no uncertain terms: “Self-centred. Self-absorbed. Self-obsessed. Selfish. All the self’s except self-aware… The only point that I’m making is that all his problems as late are personal indictments against him. They’re never for this greater good or this greater cause…. He’s just speaking in f****g riddles.”

Then in September, Joe was once again aggrieved by what he viewed as Kanye’s megalomaniacal tendencies and believed that he had to pay penance for his actions:

“I don’t think this version Kanye is anywhere near the best version Kanye. I don’t think he produces the best version his music anymore, I guess that’s what I’ve been trying to say about Kanye. I need a streak selfless acts from Kanye, that’s how much damage I feel like he has done.”

In conjunction with his latest comments, it becomes clear that Joe Budden has an enshrined outlook on Ye that will require more than token gestures and splashes religious iconography to overhaul. For him, the pricing his new garb unveils his true intentions and is a case misdirection that’s portraying his selfishness and selflessness. As if it wasn’t already clear from context, Joe made his stance all too robust when he replied to Twitter user @lordsunborn’s remark that “I feel the exact same way. Started his strategic marketing to lead up to Coachella Easter Merch.” With the seed implanted, Joe coyly bowed out as he replied, “I’m shutting up.”

Anything but an impartial adjudicator, Joe doesn’t harbour any desire to see a redemptive narrative laid out before Kanye without real, demonstrable admissions wrongdoing. With that said, his partisan viewpoint doesn’t necessarily invalidate his stance or detract any possible truth that it may contain. For most his career, Kanye West has walked a fine line between sacrilege and basking in the glow his salvation. Aware his own inner-duality, the fact that the man who was “here to convert atheists into believers” on “Jesus Walks” is now giving his music a sanctified sheen is no great U-turn. However, where Joe Budden’s concerns lie is whether it’s the product a genuine desire to spread goodwill to all or if it’s informed by the more financially lucrative racket a fraudulent televangelist.

Is Joe Budden Right About Kanye West's "Sunday Service"?

Teyana Taylor at Kanye West’s Coachella “Sunday Service,” April 21 2019 –  Rich Fury/Getty s

Since 2016, Kanye West’s financial woes have been well-publicized. Said to be $53 million in debt at one stage, the lty price tags that come with the new ecclesiastical garments are in keeping with the exorbitant amount money that a pair Yeezy’s also demand. With this in mind, it’s easier for a more sinister perception his motives to seep in. Budden’s stance has found itself with an unexpected corroborator in Sharon Osbourne. Speaking on Monday’s edition The Talk, the artist manager and media personality spoke her wariness around Ye’s recent collection: 

“I don’t like using the term ‘church merch.’ I don’t think the church has anything to do with his merch, and what church, the church Kanye? It’s the same as his service in Calabasas. It’s for celebrities, so he claims… I do love what he’s doing musically, but I suppose everything he does is a business. The same as his shoes, and his music, he’s making a prit, so he’s a businessman, so that’s what you do.”

While she may have balked at the prospect the “The Church Of Kanye,” there is reason to believe that this isn’t as farfetched an idea as it may seem at surface level.

In a recent Instagram post that marked the Coachella service, Kim mentioned that in addition to being an exercise in “healing,” Kanye “had this vision starting a church for few years and it was magical seeing everyone else get to experience.” As throwaway a remark as it may seem, it takes on a greater significance when you consider that the Kardashian clan are no strangers to funneling money into the world religion. Formerly known as LifeChange, the family matriarch Kris Jenner co-founded the California Community Church back in 2009. Led in prayer by none other than the formerly disavowed pastor Brad Johnson, the church goes beyond your average collection plate and asks each member its flock to donate $1000 or 10% their income per month to the church in exchange for access to its wisdom. Known to be tax-exempt, religious organizations and denominations all kinds have managed to accrue immense sums money through the tithe their parishioners. With the know-how at his disposal, it raises the question as to whether Joe Budden could’ve hit the nail on the head and Coachella’s Sunday Service was less a genuine holy experience and more a grandiose recruitment drive for The Church Of Kanye that he’s been prefacing through his recent activity.

Is Joe Budden Right About Kanye West's "Sunday Service"?

Kanye West at his Coachella “Sunday Service” gathering, April 21 2019 – Rich Fury/Getty s

Speculated on by UK tabloid The Mirror and Twitter users alike, only time will tell if Kanye will be filing all the relevant paperwork to turn his music-infused form worship into an institution with legal underpinning. With that being said, it appears that the cynicism that Joe Budden has been exuding over the past year may not be the ramblings a mad man or “hater” and could’ve forewarned us the next phase Kanye West. 

Kanye West Rocks Justin Bieber’s Chain On Instagram

After a lengthy hiatus, it appears as though Justin Bieber is back in the studio and he’s ready to drop his next studio album. The 25-year-old pop star has been more focused on getting his head right, cherishing his wife Hailey Baldwin and trolling the world into thinking they were expecting a baby. During his surprise appearance on stage at Coachella with Ariana Grande, Biebervelli closed out by teasing a new album, which was his first mention an upcoming project this year. When Biebs isn’t in the studio, he’s been working on his Drew House imprint, plastering his smiley face logo all over the world. His brand has even made its way around Kanye West‘s neck, which the Canadian singer was proud to show f on his socials.

Kanye West Rocks Justin Bieber's Chain On Instagram
Gotham/Getty s

Posting a captionless image Kanye West looking straight into the camera with no emotion, the minimalistic post draws attention to nothing in particular. Without context, it’s difficult to imagine why Bieber would post a random picture another artist on his page. If you’re not familiar with the Drew House logo, you definitely did not catch onto this. However, those who are aware Justin’s recent work noticed Kanye’s chain right away, noting that it’s pretty cool that the clothing brand has made its way to the Kardashian-West household. 

Bieber is friends with the younger sisters and for a while, he was rumoured to have been dating Kourtney Kardashian. Now, he’s seemingly hit it f with Kanye.

WWE’s Sasha Banks Wants Out Of Her Contract: Report

WWE superstar Sasha Banks isn’t happy with the creative direction her character and she is reportedly considering sitting out the rest her contract.

Banks allegedly tried to quit during Wrestlemania 35 weekend because she was pissed that her and Bayley dropped the tag team titles to The IIconics after just a brief run with the belts. Ryan Satin  Pro Wrestling Sheet reported the following just days after Wrestlemania:

“Heard from a few sources now saying Sasha Banks and Bayley were laying on the floor the locker room on Sunday, and back at the hotel in front one their rooms, loudly making it known they were unhappy about losing the tag titles.”

According to a report by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio (H/T Ringside News), Banks is now at a “stalemate” with the WWE.

WWE's Sasha Banks Wants Out Of Her Contract: Report

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty s

Meltzer reports (H/T Ringside News):

“Sasha Banks, the situation is unchanged. They are right now at a stalemate and the word— course you know how this goes—but the word is that if she wants to sit out the rest her contract she can sit out the rest her contract. Of course, if you know what that means that means she’s going to be sitting out forever because they’re going to add time for her not working so kinda—these contracts are very, very difficult.”

Banks, a first cousin Snoop Dogg, was given “a few weeks to think things over” and she has not appeared on WWE programming since Wrestlemania 35 on April 7. Her former tag-team partner, Bayley, was sent to SmackDown Live as part the recent “Superstar Shake-up.”

Thousands of Indie Songwriters Rally Against Major Music Publishers' 'Industry Consensus' MLC

Thousands of indie songwriters are now speaking out against major music publishers like Sony/ATV, Warner/Chappell, and Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) over a questionable ‘black box’ collection scheme.

As the U.S. Copyright Office mulls over competing bids to run the Mechanical Licensing Collective, indie songwriters and publishers are becoming increasingly vocal.  Yesterday, the Copyright Office’s deadline for receiving comments on the selection of an MLC proposal lapsed, with hundreds of comments peppering the agency’s site.

Among the detailed commenters was the Nashville-based Songwriters Guild of America (SGA).  The Guild is headed by songwriter and musician Rick Carnes and represents thousands of writers.

In a detailed filing submitted to the Copyright Office and Register of Copyrights, the SGA raised flags over plans by the major music publishers to claim hundreds of millions — if not billions — of dollars in unmatched and unclaimed royalties that likely belong to smaller songwriters.

The issue has been a serious sticking point since major publishers Warner/Chappell, Sony/ATV, and Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), among others, moved to control the Music Modernization Act’s Mechanical Licensing Collective, or MLC.  Those publishers are represented by the National Music Publishers’ Association, or NMPA, which has remained silent on growing concerns about black box claiming processes.

The SGA emphatically underscored a serious conflict-of-interest problem.  “As to the first criterion set forth in the prior section above, transparency and accountability, Congress had reasons for serious concern that certain inherent conflicts created by the MMA would require particularly intensive scrutiny of the Mechanical Collective at both the threshold of its designation, and over the later performance of its duties,” the SGA declared in its filing this week (full submission ).

“The most obvious of these conflicts concerns the role of the Mechanical Collective in seeking to identify the rightful owners of hundreds of millions of dollars in unmatched royalties that will shortly be turned over to the Collective for identification and distribution.”

Carnes is a board member of the AMLC, which opposes the NMPA-backed MLC submission.  The group was largely formed to address perceived issues of unfair collusion among major music publishers.

Also chiming in: MusicAnswers, a group that has drawn more than 3,000 signatories for its ‘Declaration of Principles‘ surrounding fair music compensation and accounting transparency.

According to the group’s filing, major publishers are likely to claim more than a billion in unclaimed royalties, even though they have direct royalty-paying arrangements with major streaming companies like Spotify.

“A Board consisting largely of major music publishers, most of who have (or will have) direct licensing arrangements with digital music services, and whose royalties are therefore unlikely to flow through the MLC, strikes us as an inappropriate choice,” the group commented (full comment filing ).

“Moreover, because those same large publishers will receive the lion’s share of any distribution of unclaimed funds and would
have control over the distribution of those funds, it is a blatant conflict of interest for individuals representing those large publishers to occupy a significant number of the seats on the Board of Directors.”

Just yesterday, the highly-influential Recording Academy , noting that the group needed time to vet through the competing proposals before making a decision.

 

 

Van Jones Roasts Wendy Williams & Her Divorce On Her Show

Wendy Williams hasn’t been having the best year so far. She found out that her husband over twenty years had been cheating on her for half the marriage, getting his mistress pregnant last year. The talk show host fractured her shoulder during an alleged altercation with her husband, who has been gifting his girlfriend with tons expensive gifts over the last few months. On top all that, Wendy relapsed on alcohol, heading to a sober living facility for treatment. Now, she’s back on her show but she just can’t escape the shade. Wendy seems to be obsessed with everybody else’s drama and now that her own dirty laundry is out in the open, she would prefer to dig even deeper into other people’s lives. When she was interviewing Van Jones on her show, she decided to ask about his “soon-to-be-ex-wife” and the political commentator came back with the perfect response. 

Van Jones Roasts Wendy Williams & Her Divorce On Her Show
Robin Marchant/Getty s

The controversial host the show started speaking about the show that Van produces with his wife, noting that they’re getting a divorce. She noticed that he’s still wearing his ring, to which Jones replied: “You got something on your hand too so I ain’t talking about that.” Wendy was caught f-guard by the comments, rolling her eyes and reminding Van that he’s there to answer questions, not ask them.

The moment is genuinely pretty funny and you can tell that Wendy wasn’t upset by it at all. Van Jones is a regular guest on the show so he likely has a close relationship with Wendy. During his most recent appearance, he also spoke about Meek Mill being left f TIME 100’s list the most influential people, Kim Kardashian‘s journey to becoming a lawyer, and more. Watch the clap back below.