Atlanta, GA – As criminal justice continues to be a hot topic, Charlamagne Tha God moderated a panel on the problems and fixes for the American criminal justice system with T.I. and historian Shaka Senghor.
During this year’s A3C Festival in Atlanta, Charlamagne led the discussion “How Can We Fix the Criminal Justice System” with T.I. and Senghor. Each man told about their own prison experiences and how the prison can rehabilitate with the right adjustments. They spoke on the difficulties of post-prison life, the school-to-prison pipeline and improper sentencing.
“You create your own destiny,” T.I. stated after hearing Senghor talk about Oprah reading his book. “Each and every last one of you. There’s someone somewhere that has the same amount of problems you have, and won with them.”
Many Hip Hop artists like JAY-Z and Meek Mill have spoken out against the criminal justice system. Mill has gone a step farther by becoming a criminal justice reform advocate. He has used his own experience with the system to speak on the subject.
The past few weeks have been eventful for both Charlamagne and T.I. Charlamagne was accused by Joe Budden on his podcast of helping Netflix to steal the concept for the rap competition show Rhythm and Flow while T.I. claimed Iggy Azalea “a tarnish” on his legacy.
HipHopDX – This week in Hip Hop, a Japanese rapper hopped on a flight to Cleveland in search of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and ended up getting robbed. Also, Joe Budden opened up about Slaughterhouse’s demise and Nas said he wants the Illmatic nostalgia to end.
Japanese Rapper Seeking Bone Thugs-N-Harmony In Cleveland Gets Robbed
A Japanese rapper named Ryo Muranaka took a 6,000-mile flight to Cleveland hoping to meet his heroes Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Instead, he was left robbed and stranded in the city.
“I thought I could get in the US in exchange for my CD,” Muranaka told Fox8 Cleveland. “No. No plan. One-way ticket.”
Luckily, Bizzy Bone has offered to fly Ryo Muranaka back to Japan. However, Krayzie Bone has warned fans to not follow in Muranaka’s steps.
“I will also say this to other fans and artist that are looking to do the same thing as us or this gentleman did — follow your dreams by all means, but you have to be very careful when you go to places you know nothing about,” he told DX. “We’re not from the suburbs, we’re from the ghetto.”
Read more about the Japanese rapper and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony here.
Joe Budden Confirms Slaughterhouse Reunion Unlikely
Despite Slaughterhouse fans’ cries, Joe Budden confirmed they won’t reunite for another album. And apparently it’s partly Eminem’s fault.
Budden talked about the group’s status on an episode of his YouTube series Pull Up with Bandana mastermind Freddie Gibbs.
“But my fight, with that even, without the extra Eminem bullshit is just ownership,” he explained. “I cannot devote this much of my time to a project, eat a fourth from the project, and then it have to go up the chain of command [at Shady Records]?”
Read more about Joe Budden and Slaughterhouse here.
Nas Is Over “Illmatic”
During an interview with Haute Living, Nas said he’s tired of celebrating his iconic album Illmatic.
“I don’t want to celebrate another Illmatic anything,” he said. “I’m done. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for appreciating that record, but it’s over.”
Illmatic was released in 1994 to much acclaim and has been widely regarded as a classic.
Read more about Nas and Illmatic nostalgia here.
– Supa BWE — Jaguar
#DXCLUSIVES: Ice-T, Philthy Rich, Conway The Machine & Mike Mike
Ice-T Reveals How He’s Stuck Around For So Long: “I’m Not Delusional”
In Part 2 of HipHopDX interview with Ice-T, the gangsta rap pioneer talked about his latest solo material and revealed how he’s attained longevity in the music business.
“There was a lot of requests like, ‘Do some rap shit’ and I truly wasn’t motivated,” he said. “I know the new sound is different. One of the reasons I’m still around is because I’m not delusional; I know that rap radio isn’t going to play anything from me in rotation. It’s just not going to happen. I had my day and they’re not playing anybody new.
“They wouldn’t play the best Ghostface Killah record. They won’t play Big Daddy Kane. They won’t play Public Enemy. They’re not going to put us in rotation ever again. We might get on the mix shows; we’d get on that type of stuff, but you’re not going to have that hit record that you might’ve had in the past. So, I wasn’t really motivated. I was like, “Eh, nah.”
Read Part 2 of the Ice-T interview here.
Philthy Rich Reflects On How “Big 59” Strengthens His East Oakland Legend Status
In an exclusive interview with DX, Philthy Rich discussed his beef with Mozzy and revealed the longtime collaborators still aren’t on good terms after they exchanged several diss tracks.
“We haven’t talked or seen each other since then so I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t take it threatening. I’m really not too much worried about it but salute to him. I wish him much success. We just gotta agree to disagree.”
Read the full Philthy Rich interview here.
Conway The Machine Talks Versatility, Shady Records Debut & Support After Getting Shot
In DX’s two-part interview with Conway The Machine, the Griselda Records lyricist spoke about the support system that helped him after he was shot in 2012.
“[Westside Gunn] was very instrumental in my bounce back,” he noted. “West would always make sure I felt the way I’m supposed to feel. I didn’t feel less than, if that makes sense.
“He’d always make sure I had some fly shit on, pulling up on me when he could’ve been anywhere in the world. He’d sit in the house, him and sis, and just chill with me over there and just order some pizza. It’s the little shit. Giving me the talks about what we gonna do, what we about to do. Building my confidence.
Check out Part 1 of our Conway The Machine interview this link and read the second half here.
Mikey Mike Explains How Porn Star Ruse Led To A Rihanna Grammy
Mikey Mike’s production can be heard on Rihanna’s Unapologetic track “Jump” thanks to a sneaky idea he had to email his beats by using a catfish address “belonging” to star Lacey Duvalle.
“I picked an email with Lacey.Duvalle1982 in it,” he said. “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.”
Disney has openly expressed their pro-LGBTQ agenda. Just this past Wednesday, Disney executives confirmed that there’s a gay couple in their animated kids’ show, Star Wars Resistance, and they’re “proud that.” Of course, these decisions have been met with backlash from more conservative folk.
Masika Kalysha has just made clear where she stands in this debate. Kalysha reposted a message on Instagram that reads, “It’s not about homouality or heterouality. Stop promoting SEXUALITY to our children PERIOD. Let kids be kids.” Love & Hip Hop Hollywood star also shared a lengthy caption expanding on why she agrees with this statement:
“This is for the fools that thinks it’s “progressive” when Disney has a gay couple kissing next to Nemo… NO #KB ain’t watching Adam and Eve in ual situations the hell u think I’m supposed to let her watch Adam and Steve lip lockin for. It’s not progressive it’s SUGGESTIVE and I suggest you let a child be a child.”
The Shade Room reposted Kalysha’s post and many celebrities chimed in in the comments to express their agreement. Among this faction was T.I., Lisa Leslie, Asia’h Epperson, Ben Baller and Phaedra Parks. On the other hand, Milan Christopher provided an argument for why their view is skewed. Uuuum Saweetie all the fairytales under the sun always had intimate scenes beloved. Sleepy beauty, lil mermaid, Cinderella, Snow White etc. Now that it’s a rainbow emoji] scene or two it’s a problem? Let me call you & cuzz you out! Gul bye! Lmfaooo,” he commented.
Fabolous was flamed to bits recently after posing a simple question on Twitter. The rapper hopped on social media to ask his 4.1 million followers a question about healthy relationships. The question went as follows: “Asking for a friend…how many times do you argue a day in a relationship…lol. Is once a day healthy?” Now, usually, this kind questioning is not necessarily harmful, but Twitter users did find the question ironic as it came from Fabolous. After all, it was not that long ago that a grand jury in New Jersey indicted Fabolous on four felony charges including one count domestic violence with significant bodily injury, two counts threatening and one count possession a weapon — the scissors he brandished in the previously surfaced footage his altercation with Emily B and her family. Hence, you may understand why many took the question as an opportunity to drag the Hip Hop artist.
“If you knock out my teeth and I’m dumb enough to stay.. we’ll definitely be arguing every day,” was the response one the many users who came at Fabolous’ neck. Once the post made its way to TheShadeRoom, Fabolous even stepped in to say his piece: “Y’all know this was a joke tweet right. Oh ok. Carry on with y’all lives. I’ll do the same. This why u can’t tweet no more & For 12,000 people to even comment like it’s serious is even more a joke. But can’t lie ShadeRoom knows how to get y’all going. Everything is Love on this side. God Bless y’all.” Yikes! That did not go well at all.
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
New York, NY – Bone Thugs-n-Harmony have been a topic of conversation this week after a Japanese rapper traveled 6,000 miles to Cleveland in an effort to meet the iconic Hip Hop group — and wound up getting robbed.
On Friday (October 18), Bizzy Bone stopped by The Breakfast Club to discuss a myriad of topics, including the time Krayzie Bone accidentally shot Wish Bone during a night of criminal activity.
“We was out robbin’ people and they got in the car — Wish Bone came over crazy like, ‘Imma go to jail!’ — the first dude we robbed, we hit him with the 12 gauge,” he begins around the 10:17-minute mark. “Then the next guy that we robbed, we didn’t have no more bullets. We only had like one or two bullets in the gauge. And he had a bag of bullets in the car, so we was excited ’cause we had robbed somebody with a bag of 12 gauge buckshot.”
Bizzy continued, “Me and Lay [Layzie Bone] we was about to rob this house up from Lay Lay mom ’cause they was fuckin’ with Lay Lay mom. We heard they had uzis and shit up there or whatnot, so we was going to rob they house and shit. We were waitin’ on Wish and Kray and we drivin’ two stolen cars … so me and Lay drivin’ and shit and they just drove past fast in the van.
“At that time, that’s when he gets shot, a clean shot. He kept loadin’ it up; only six could fit in that muthafucka. Then he had his finger on the god damn trigger so he shot Wish clean through his leg. That’s what happened. It was totally an accident.”
He ended the anecdote by confirming Krayzie actually did go to jail for the incident.
Elsewhere in the interview, Bizzy talked about being kidnapped as a kid, the abuse he suffered, making “Notorious Thugs” with the late Biggie, his 16 children (nine biological) and what it feels like to be a grandpa.
When Nas unleashed his debut album Illmatic in 1994, he could’ve never predicted the lasting impact it would have on Hip Hop culture. Twenty-five years later, the album is still one of the most revered pieces of Hip Hop music of all time.
But Nas has evidently had enough. During an interview with Haute Living,the celebrated MC admitted the nostalgia has worn thin.
“I’m tired of celebrating it,” he said. “I’m grateful, but it has started to take on a life of its own. I just did the 20th anniversary with the National Symphony Orchestra five years ago and, the next thing you know, five years go by and it’s a calendar that I didn’t ask for showing me how fast time moves.”
Nas also noted he performed another National Symphony Orchestra show this year to again commemorate Illmatic. While he’s appreciative his seminal album means so much to so many people, he has no plans to continue celebrating it.
“Twenty-five years is a lifetime,” he continued. “So I did another Symphony Orchestra show for Illmatic this year; I got another plaque for it. I’m very grateful — it’s so crazy — but to celebrate one album when I’ve made over 10, all the things I’ve worked on — and I’ve been working for so long — to celebrate one album over all else is corny to me.
“I don’t want to celebrate another Illmatic anything. I’m done. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for appreciating that record, but it’s over.”
Nas’ latest album, The Lost Tapes 2, arrived in July.
Conway The Machine’s latest release Look What I Became… has allowed him to showcase his versatility. But the project is merely a preview of what he’s got in store for fans.
The Griselda Records artist says his major label debut God Don’t Make Mistakes is unlike anything he’s released before.
“This album is the growth and maturity of Conway the artist and the person,” he tells HipHopDX.
Conway’s first LP for Shady Records is due out after WWCD — a collaborative album with Westside Gunn, Benny The Butcher and Daringer — drops on Eminem’s label in November. With Look What I Became… out now and the Griselda crew’s group effort coming soon, DX spoke to the Buffalo-bred MC about both projects and much more.
In the second half of the two-part conversation, Conway explains why his upcoming solo album is different from his past work and opens up about the support he received after he was shot in 2012. The skilled lyricist also shares details about Griselda’s Shady debut and reveals why he likes working with up-and-coming producers.
HipHopDX: I’m glad you overcame those dark days after you were shot. When did you feel like you started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? And what kind of support system helped you get to that point?
Conway: It was probably around when I started making Reject 2, honestly. It’s when I started seeing light at my tunnel. I started being comfortable and accepting what it is. This how I’m going to look, this how my shit sound. I kind of just adapted to it. It was around that time. I forget what year that was, maybe like 2014. I finally shook it off. My man Dre, Toya, my mom, aunt, uncle, my nigga Pat-Pat. There was a couple of friends. My little brother and them.
West was very instrumental in my bounce back. West would always make sure I felt the way I’m supposed to feel. I didn’t feel less than, if that makes sense. He’d always make sure I had some fly shit on, pulling up on me when he could’ve been anywhere in the world. He’d sit in the house, him and sis, and just chill with me over there and just order some pizza. It’s the little shit. Giving me the talks about what we gonna do, what we about to do. Building my confidence.
He’d say, “You gonna kill niggas, can’t nobody fuck wit you.” Just building me up. I definitely got to say my family and close homies played an instrumental role in getting me out of those dark days and back into a creative space.
HipHopDX: That’s amazing. Great to hear you had that support and it’s obviously paid off in a big way.
Conway: It’s a blessing. I’m blessed to have the people I got my corner.
HipHopDX: No doubt. There are a few more tracks I did want to touch on on this latest project. On “Half Of It,” it was interesting to hear you on more of a trap-style beat as opposed to the usual gritty and grimy boom-bap. Was that a chance for you to show your versatility?
Conway: Yeah, I just wanted to show my versatility. Just show people that I’m really not just a one-trick pony, man. I’m always big on when people think you going right, go left. I didn’t want people to get used to one particular sound out of me. I felt like they was starting to ’cause if you listen to everything from Reject 1, Reject 2, the Reject On Steroids series, G.O.A.T., Everybody Is F.O.O.D. series, Blakk Tape, it’s like all the music is just super aggressive and on street time. [It’s] talking about different sides of the streets — the robberies, killings and drug dealing and shit.
On this tape, I just wanted to do different types of flows. In order to do that, I had to tap in with some different types of producers who gonna give me a different type of lane. When I’m on them Daringer beats, people expect one thing. That spooky shit, that grimy, that dark, slow, grimy, filthy shit. They ain’t expecting me on a Rick Hyde [beat] coming like that. And still talking my shit but just changing the flow up a little that I knew people wasn’t gonna be used to but that I knew they was gonna love.
HipHopDX: I definitely enjoyed that new wrinkle in your playbook.
Conway: Thank you, man.
HipHopDX: As far as production goes, is it sometimes difficult to find variety when you have someone as reliable as Daringer in your corner?
Conway: It’s not really tough. Sometimes, it’s frustrating though when I do get beats from other producers and reach out, they try to send me the same stuff that Daringer makes. I like dealing with producers for their individuality. I don’t want a nigga to make me Swizz Beatz-sounding type of beats. I would just chat with Swizz. [Laughs] I wouldn’t want Swizz to make me a Neptune beat. I wouldn’t want Pharrell to make me a Daringer-sounding beat. I’m just using them names as an example.
Send me your type, send me your lane. That’s why I’m reaching out! I got Daringer. I can call him. It’s cool though. I’m starting to open up and accept more music now. I like working with up-and-coming producers as well ’cause they still hungry and they ain’t just all shrewd and full of themselves. They hungry and they trying to do some ill shit. I like that energy.
HipHopDX: Are you conscious of trying to keep a balance between established producers and those hungry up-and-comers? On this latest one, you worked with legends like Alchemist and DJ Muggs but collaborated with people like Rick Hyde too.
Conway: No, not really. I can’t say that I go into a project like that. When I’m doing my tapes, I’m just fucking with whoever got the hottest shit. People send me batches and I reach out. It’s funny, that Rick Hyde shit came from Rick Hyde just being hungry. We was riding back from a show or whatever, and he had his laptop out and he just handed me his headphones and played that beat for me. I lost my mind. That wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t just hungry and trying to show and prove that, “Yo, I got heat too.”
At that time, I really didn’t give people the ear because nine times out of 10, I get 100 beats a day and 99 of them shits is trash. I don’t even like to waste my time half the time. People email me beats and send me beat packs. I’m in the car with him and [Hyde] constantly playing me shit and playing me joints. He hungry. He played me that shit and I lost my mind.
Same thing with JR Swift with the “Vino D” beat. He sent that in. These younger producers, they hungry. They on it. I done reached out to guys to get beats — I ain’t going to say no names — and I still ain’t got them. ‘Cause they already established. It might not even be no funny shit, they just got a lot going on. They big, they established. They got a million things to do: family, responsibilities, they own press and all that shit they got going on. Maybe they just ain’t had the time to send them yet. Not saying that they not coming, but you know what I’m trying to say? But them young hungry dudes? They patch right in, ASAP.
HipHopDX:Look What I Became… is a prelude to your Shady debut God Don’t Make Mistakes. As an artist that’s well established at this point, what’s going to be the difference between your debut album and your previous work?
Conway: The transparency in the music, the stories. This is really an incredible album, and I can’t wait for this shit to come out. Every record is different. Every record is a different topic, a different concept, it’s a different scheme. This shit is just next level for Conway. It ain’t nothing like the Everybody Is F.O.O.D. series or the Rejects or none of my old previous projects.
You can really hear it in the music. The shit I’m talking about, I’m talking about things I haven’t ever told anybody. I’m just opening myself like a book to the world, and I think this shit is dope. I got some surprise features. I didn’t even want a lot of features, but I got a couple on there that I was working with. It’s mainly Daringer and Beat Butcha holding the production down, but I got a couple other producers on there that threw a joint or two at me. It’s different, man. It’s just different. It’s next level. It’s the next level up for The Machine.
HipHopDX: I’m sure the Eminem single’s on there and I imagine Benny and Westside are plugged in too. Is there anybody else you can reveal at this time?
Conway: Nah, I’m not going to let them know. I ain’t going to let them know. It’s a surprise! Some of their favorites are on there. Some of their favorite rapper’s favorite rappers is on there. Some of the biggest artists in the game is on there. Some of the illest producers in the game is on there.
HipHopDX: I know the Griselda group project WWCD is coming in November. What’s the timeframe for your solo?
Conway: Right now, man, it’s up in the air. I really don’t even know. I try not to even think about it. I let what happens happen. I just let it flow like that. It’s coming soon. Should be shortly after what MachineGun do.
HipHopDX: As far as that group project goes, not many details about the album have been revealed yet. How much involvement do you have in it and what fans can expect from that as opposed to the Griselda crew’s solo work?
Conway: We all involved with it equally, 100 percent. Me, West and Benny is on every song rapping. Daringer produced every beat, him and Beat Butcha. It’s actually like a real, authentic, all-around Griselda project. There’s no other producers, no other nothing. It’s just me, Daringer, Benny, West and Beat Butcha. [We] was in the studio for three days and made this album. It’s the illest shit niggas going to hear for the year. Album of the year, hands down.
HipHopDX: Was it y’all’s decision to make Griselda’s Shady debut a group effort?
Conway: Yeah, it was pretty much our decision. We really wanted to just get some momentum generated for the God Don’t Make Mistakes album. We all kind of our own entities individually. So, it was like we should just do a group tape. We ain’t did that yet. Just to get ’em ready for the God Don’t Make Mistakes album. That’s how that came about.
HipHopDX: You’ve already got an extensive catalog at this point, but some listeners may have only started paying attention since you linked up with Shady. If somebody is a new fan, where would you recommend they start with Conway The Machine?
Conway: They can start at the beginning, Reject 2. Hall & Nash, tap into them Reject On Steroids or that Blakk Tape, the F.O.O.D. series. Listen to Look What I Became… first, then go start at Reject 2. You’ll learn everything you need to know about The Machine. I guarantee that jaw going to be on the floor. Like, yo, this might be one of the most impactful artists of our generation. [Laughs]
HipHopDX: You’re definitely somebody that Hip Hop heads need to be listening to if they aren’t already.
Conway: My story, the shit I been through, everything I overcame and the music I’m putting out, the quality of it on a consistent basis, it’s only getting bigger and bigger. Look what I became!
HipHopDX: To wrap up, I know you’re a fellow wrestling fan. You and Westside often show love to the legends in your music. Who are some of your favorite wrestlers these days?
Conway: Finn Balor. I still fuck with Brock [Lesnar]. AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, niggas like that. I’m really fucking with Finn heavy though, man. I’m really on that Finn train.
HipHopDX: Those are some good picks. Are you enjoying AEW too?
Conway: Yeah, I fuck with that! And I can’t forget of my boy Randy Orton too, fa sho.
Read Part 1 of DX’s interview with Conway The Machine here.
Last Friday, Lil Kimdelivered her fifth studio album, 9. The veteran femcee has spent the last seven days continuing to promote her record while giving nods to other artists in the hip hop industry who have supported her long-awaited project. She highlighted a message from her good friend Remy Ma, who Kim says will also appear on part two 9, and later the Brooklyn rapper shared a video clip Kevin Gates, who she says is one the wisest people she knows.
In the caption the clip, Lil Kim wrote, “I Am IN LOVEEE with this man!! And not in any disrespectful way at all because the @realdrekagates is my sis and one the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. But to know @iamkevingates is to fall completely in love with him. We would be on the phone for hours and I don’t even realize it because his words wisdom feeds my soul. I could be upset and ready to do something crazy and he would make me see things a whole different way.”
“I got some my best knowledge from him,” the rapper continued. “He is super talented, kind, and one my dearest friends. THANK U FOR EVERYTHING U HAVE DONE FOR ME AND MY FAMILY AND BEING A BIG PART OF MY MOTIVATION FOR MY ALBUM ‘9’ LOVE U KEVIN! U R HIM!!!!!!!! 👑❤️” Check out the video below.
He also shared a few bits about fatherhood, including how he and his daughter clash at times because they’re so alike. “My daughter, she has my fight. Like, she’ll pick a argument and it’s on,” he said Brittney with a smile. “Yeah, she goes in, and I’ve dealt with that myself, and then I realize, ‘Eh, I don’t want to deal with that.'” He laughed and added, “I don’t deal with a mini-me on the argument scene. That’s a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing.”
“One my biggest mottos is: I want my kids to run to me, not from me,” he shared. “So, nothing’s f the table. I tell my kids] all the time there’s three people in the world you cannot lie to.” Ja asks the hosts if they know who those three people are and they couldn’t fer up an answer. So, the rapper gave them one. “Your doctor, your lawyer, and me!” he said while laughing. “I’m the one that gonna get you out it. Whatever it may be, trust me, I have your best interest at heart.” Check out the clip below.
Cleveland, OH – The Japanese rapper who flew 6,000 miles to Cleveland, Ohio with hopes of meeting Bone Thugs-n-Harmony is closer to getting home. In a news report from Fox 8 Cleveland, Bone Thugs MC Bizzy Bone offered to fly Ryo Muranaka back to Japan.
“I’ll get the man a ticket to get back home,” Bizzy said in the clip. “I’m putting my hands out there on behalf of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony to say we do care. And we just want to help the kid, and we appreciate him coming to see us.”
Muranaka arrived in Cleveland earlier this week after selling all of his possessions in an effort to get his music to his Hip Hop heroes. He was discovered alone, broke and robbed of his luggage by local activists James Norton and Kwas Bibbs who have been trying to get Muranaka the help he needs.
Norton and Bibbs said Muranaka was able to meet Layzie Bone who briefly put him up in a hotel.
Krayzie Bone, who also spoke with Fox 8 Cleveland, compared Muranaka’s attempt to Bone Thugs’ own. Before they became Hip Hop legends, they were struggling artists simply trying to get their music to Eazy-E. They took one-way bus tickets to Los Angeles and the rest is history.
Bizzy suggests Muranaka come back to the U.S. another time and do things properly. Krayzie also told HipHopDX, Muranaka needed to have a more solid plan.
“I will also say this to other fans and artist that are looking to do the same thing as us or this gentleman did — follow your dreams by all means, but you have to be very careful when you go to places you know nothing about,” he told DX. “We’re not from the suburbs, we’re from the ghetto.
“The area we grew up in is not nice by any means, and I’m just thankful all they took from him was his luggage and not his life because it gets real like that. So, be very careful and have some kind of plan.”
Showtime Documentary Films has ordered “Supervillain,” a limited docuseries profiling the notorious rapper. According to Deadline, the three-part series will trace how a former New York City deli clerk named Daniel Hernandez became Tekashi 6ix9ine, the controversial rapper-turned-snitch and member of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods.
The series was inspired by journalist Stephen Witt’s Rolling Stone feature “Tekashi 6ix9ine: The Rise and Fall of a Hip Hop Supervillain.”
Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer will executive produce “Supervillain” with Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein of Imagine Documentaries, Gus Wenner of Rolling Stone, Jonathan Chinn and Simon Chinn of Lightbox, and Witt.
“The bizarre and complicated rise of Tekashi 6ix9ine is a story of our times,” said Vinnie Malhotra, EVP, Nonfiction Programming, Showtime Networks. “Beyond becoming one of the most notorious hip hop artists of this generation, his story speaks volumes of the impact of social media and manufactured celebrity in our society. We’re excited to be partnering with such heavy hitters in the world of music and documentary to bring ‘Supervillain’ to life.”
This is the latest 6ix9ine TV project in the works. 50 Cent is also producing a docuseries called “A Moment in Time,” which will spotlight the rise and fall of Tekashi. The 6 to 8 hour-long episodes will also focus on other celebrities including Snoop Dogg, Scott Storch, and 50 himself.
Tekashi was facing a minimum of 47 years in prison on federal racketeering and weapons charges, but could be released as early as this year. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 18.
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.
“Jennifer is my sister, course I would perform,” Ja Rule told Page Six. “If Jennifer asked me to come to the Super Bowl to perform with her, course I will come. When have I ever not come when she asked to perform with her?”
The “Always On Time” rapper worked with Jennifer on 2001’s “Ain’t It Funny” and “I’m Real” from the same year. The “I’m Real” video that sees Jennifer wearing a pink tracksuit won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip Hop video and Ja Rule joked that maybe he’d wear the same outift if he was invited to hit the stage next year. “It’ll be a great moment in hip-hop again,” he added.
He may not have been a central figure the cast, but Sas DeLeon made multiple appearances on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. The 26-year-old is the son Karen “KK” King and brother Scrapp DeLeon; family members who are more permanent fixtures on the show. Scrapp was known for his stint in prison as well as his relationships with Tommie Lee and Moniece Slaughter. On the series, Sas’s connection to Scrapp was the foundation on his inclusion, but f-camera, he’s made headlines for running into some trouble.
In 2016, Sas, real name Lyndon Smith, was at a mansion party in Scottsdale, Arizona when gunfire rang out and he was shot in the head. Then in 2018, police put out a report that Sas was the witness to a murder and they were searching for him, according to Atlanta’s WSB-TV. Even with the unfavorable occurrences, he endured over the last few years and shared that he was doing his best to hold things down while his brother was serving his time for his drug trafficking conviction.
The law caught up with Sas on Thursday as Atlanta’s 11AliveNewsreports both he and another man named James Ruffin were arrested. The outlet states that the pair were taken into custody on charges trafficking after they allegedly attempted to pimp out two teenage girls. Police have yet to share the exact age the girls, but authorities have confirmed that they are under 18. It’s alleged that Sas and Ruffin tried to traffic the girls out state.