Tinashe Leaves Little To The Imagination In Latest "Songs About You" Album Teaser

Last night Tinashe came through for her adoring fans when she shared the album cover and full tracklist for her upcoming album called Songs For You. The 15-track fering boasts features from 6LACK, Ms Banks and G-Eazy and will arrive in full on November 21st as an independent artist, not confined to certain restraints a label.

Tinashe has popped up again with yet another visual teaser for her album that sees a close-up image from her project’s photoshoot. The “2 On” singer is posed in a black bralette that leaves little to the imagination. “NASHE,” she captioned the image. 

Another share on Tinashe’s feed is accompanied by a caption that makes it very clear that this album is about someone in particular. “All these Songs For You, baby… (You know who you are),” she wrote. 

Before the release Tinshe’s album info, she shared an intimate video that showcased some behind the scenes moments the album’s creation with a personal voiceover her thoughts. “All the time I feel so authentic with my life and somehow people still don’t understand me. They don’t understand what I’m about. They don’t understand how I move…..They say, ‘Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?’ Which is f*cking weird to me because I know exactly who I am.”

Who’s ready?

Tiny Harris Uses Emojis To Respond To T.I. & Daughter’s Virginity Controversy

T.I. has dipped from the radar ever since he revealed that he attends his daughter’s gynecology visits to ensure his 18-year-old is still a virgin. “Deyjah’s 18, just graduated high school now and she’s attending her first year college, figuring it out for herself,” he said. “And yes, not only have we had the conversation, we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen.”

Tiny Harris Uses Emojis To Respond To T.I. & Daughter's Virginity Controversy
Paras Griffin/Getty s 

The reveal pulled in a lot remarks by people who found the news shocking, eventually leading the podcasters to pull the interview. The “Big Things Poppin'” rapper has yet to respond to his past remarks and his daughter has unfollowed him on Instagram. 

T.I.’s wife Tiny has also remained mute on the situation until recently when she responded to a comment on her Instagram. Tiny shared an image her and T.I. on the move, leading one her followers to comment: “Is Deyjah okay? We care.”

Tiny simply responded with our emojis: “🙄🙄🙄🙄”

Tiny Harris Uses Emojis To Respond To T.I. & Daughter's Virginity Controversy
by @majorgirl Instagram

Lil Yachty recently weighed in on the matter, sharing his opinion on T.I.’s family rituals. “I just feel like when it come to someone’s children on such a personal matter, no one can honestly tell somebody how to raise their children, or how to take care them or how to look after them,” he said. “That’s that man’s child.” 

LeBron James Pays Tribute To His Queen With "Relationship Goals" Post

LeBron James has been able to go through his whole career without any personal scandals and when you’re a big star like him, that’s almost next to impossible. James has been a role model for kids and aspiring athletes around the world and much it is because he has such a sturdy head on his shoulders. While LeBron deserves a ton credit for what he has accomplished, he would probably be quick to tell you that he couldn’t do it without his wife, Savannah Brinson.

In a recent IG post, LeBron gave a cute little shout out to his high school sweetheart that will be keeping “Relationship Goals” accounts in business for the next few months. You can’t help but feel LeBron’s love for his wife pop out the screen.

“The only reason why I can do what I do at the highest level both on and f the floor is my because my best friend got my back regardless the outcome! I’m just the car, she’s the engine! Appreciate you Wonder Woman aka Queen,” James wrote.

Being the wife an NBA star can’t be easy so it’s awesome to see Brinson stick by LeBron through thick and thin. It’s clear that these two have each other’s back no matter what.

Dr. Dre’s "2001" Turns 20: The Creation Of A Classic

Reinvention is among the artist’s most difficult challenges. Especially in the aftermath hard-fought success. As Dr. Dre approached the late-nineties, the Los Angeles producer was no stranger to greatness. His work alongside Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren, and DJ Yella helped usher Gangster Rap into the mainstream, solidifying it as a dominant commercial genre. His time under Suge Knight’s Death Row umbrella, creating alongside Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Daz Dillinger, and Nate Dogg, led to one the great albums our time: The Chronic. Dre’s creative touch had reached Midas levels, to the point where Michael Jackson and Madonna were reaching out for his production.

The first phase Dre’s musical run began in 1986 with the formation NWA, culminating with his 1996 departure from Death Row. A full decade, in which he worked on two group albums (Straight Outta Compton & N***az4Life), a solo album (The Chronic), and Snoop’s Doggystyle. Not to mention his contributions to the soundtracks for Above The Rim and Murder Was The Case, classic singles like “Keep They Heads Ringing” and “Natural Born Killaz.” A discography that would match the pace today’s most prolific artists, one he pioneered as the mind behind the boards. Not only writing and performing, but honing his touch as an audio engineer. An additional talent that would go on to form one his arsenal’s most valuable weapons.

Dr. Dre's "2001" Turns 20: The Creation Of A Classic

Brian “Big Bass” Gardener and Dr. Dre in the studio – image courtesy Gardener, photographed by David Goggin

“I’ve been working with Dr. Dre from the beginning,” explains 2001 mastering engineer Brian “Big Bass” Gardener. “Even before NWA, with World Class] Wrecking Crew. We all know what happened when NWA hit. That was quite an experience. Having the whole crew in their younger mode, hearing that totally different sound. And course, Dr. Dre was the one sitting right next to me ready to dig in.” A scholar who would go on to lead by example, Dre’s eagerness to study Gardner’s craft revealed the depths his vision. A vision that would lead to the creation clockwork hits, a talent not lost on Gardener. “I’ll never forget back when Dre and I were mastering “California Love” and I immediately knew this was a killer hit,” he reflects. “I stopped the 1/2 inch machine on the very first playback and asked him ‘how do you do it?’ He just smiled and said ‘what?’”

THE WATCHER

There have always been darker undertones to Dre’s music. Death Row’s brand gangster rap seemed to favor the late-night stick up, with instrumentals like Snoop’s “Pump Pump” and Dre’s own “Natural Born Killaz” striking menacing chords. A revisitation The Chronic reveals a gritty reality, one reflective the early nineties’ cultural landscape. At the turn the millennium, hip-hop was undergoing a stylistic shift. Best-selling artists like Jay-Z had expanded their sonic palette, forsaking his New York mafioso aesthetic in favor futuristic tones from Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. DMX exploded onto the scene with back to back number one albums. Snoop Dogg had left Death Row in his wake, having linked up with Master P’s No Limit records. Though difficult to believe, Dr. Dre’s position in the game was in an alarming state flux.

Dr. Dre's "2001" Turns 20: The Creation Of A Classic

 Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, circa 1990 – Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s

His work with The Firm, the closest he’d come to lacing East Coast mafioso rap, flew under the radar. His introductory Aftermath Presents compilation album was met with a lackluster response. With his reputation at Interscope dwindling with every move, the signing a young Eminem proved to be among the game’s clutch Hail Mary plays. Creatively reinvigorated, Dre found himself hitting the lab with fervent purpose. With him came a pair musicians in Mike Elizondo and budding pianist Scott Storch, two men that would play an integral role in shaping the modern Dre sound. As Storch tells it, we have Ruff Ryders legend Eve to thank for that. “My first time in LA, I ran into my old friend Eve,” he explains. “At that time, she was signed to Aftermath.” After Eve made the introduction, Storch’s audition process began.

“She brought me in to meet Dre,” he continues. “I didn’t have anything but my fingers with me. No cassettes, no DAT tapes, no CDs any music. Dre was like ‘just play piano.’” And so he did. “I never really left. I kept working. The next day we made ‘Big Egos.’” Speaking about the creation process, Storch likened it to that a band rehearsing, which speaks to the album’s organic instrumentation. “Mike Elizondo on the bass, Dre’s on the MP kicking it live, I’m on the keys,” remembers Storch, a wistful tone in his voice. “It was just music and gelling. Dude, I couldn’t even tell you how much magic is still on tapes that are sitting in Dre’s vaults, that destroys the music today. Crazy shit. We jammed, man. We were jamming.”

With Storch’s arrival came a stylistic shift; while his penchant for eerie-piano progressions would eventually come to define Dre’s new-millennium sound, the vibe was cultivated and birthed on 2001. “I came in and had this weird ominous piano-driven sound. It was something I crafted living in the East Coast, and I brought it to the West Coast. Dr. Dre harnessed it,” explains Storch, putting his role into perspective. “He understood what to do with that and turned it into a new generation West Coast music. It went from being Funkadelic, but still cool and dark, to a new orchestral type thing.”

Dr. Dre's "2001" Turns 20: The Creation Of A Classic

Dr. Dre, 1995 – Steve Eichner/Wire/Getty s

Long Beach rapper Knoc-Turn’al experienced a similar audition process. Having served four years in the penitentiary, Knoc had amassed no shortage bars. Upon connecting with producer Mark Sparks (The Roots), a meeting with Dre was arranged. “I was sitting with my wife, telling her I don’t know what to rap,” says Knoc, reflecting on that day. “It was crazy cause Dr. Dre had walked by when we were upstairs. I thought he was going to the bathroom or something, but he was on the other side the wall listening to me rap. He finally called me downstairs and put on a beat. I started freestyling. He changed the beat, I changed my rap style. He changed the beat again, I changed my rap style. He was like ‘damn, how many people in there? Let’s find out.’”

“I used to be the first muthafucka on the block on the scene and the last muthafucka to leave,” Knoc continues. “Steel sharpens steel. We were a whole bunch great-ass artists that Dr. Dre found and put together. He wanted us to work with each other. It was never a problem in the studio. No egos. Let’s get this shit done – it was epic.” Outlining the core creators as himself, Hittman, Eminem, Ms. Roq, and Mel Man, Knoc revealed that Dre essentially gave them space to let their creativity flow. “Dre let us have freedom to do what we wanted to do. He’d go in there and make the beats. He’d make sure we had whatever we needed, whether it was liquor, weed, whatever. He’d let us create, and he’d pick and choose.”

Though much was being made about the buzzing Slim Shady, the 2001 sessions brought a new protege, Bronson Canyon lyricist Hittman. “Before 2001 started, I did not know Dr. Dre personally,” explains Hitt, reflecting on his journey working with Dre. “Like most fans, I only knew him through his impressive body work. I was brought into the fold because at the time Dre was looking to create or develop a rapper named ‘Lil Homie’ to be an Eazy-E type sidekick for the project.” Citing Mel-Man, Ali S, and Taz Arnold, as the main reasons he ended up on Dre’s radar, Hitt opened up about the pressures inherent in following up a hip-hop classic. “I would say I was more anxious than I was intimidated,” he reflects. “Important to note, the working titles the project in the early stages teetered between The Chronic II and The Chronic 2000. So attempting to maintain the integrity The Chronic while expanding on it definitely contributed to many sleepless nights.”

Coming f the release 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz, a young Xzibit was in the midst breaking out as a rising West Coast star. It would ultimately be the guiding hand Snoop Dogg that would bring X into Dre’s world. “Snoop called me, said he wanted me to do this song,” explains X, referring to the classic “Bitch Please.” “Dre was doing the beat. It was over at Encore Studios, so I went over there. Dre was in there. He was like ‘Check this beat out’ and pushed play. I sat there for fifteen minutes, I wrote my verse and then I laid my verse then I left. I thanked him for the opportunity,” Xzibit laughs. “Dre was like ‘wow, you not gon’ hit me up for no money or nothing?’ Because I already had a record label, I was thankful to even be considered for the record. Dre told me that really stuck with him. A lot people come at him with a bunch bullshit. I didn’t do that. Then it was kinda like, ‘hey, you want to come check out this record? I’m working on a record.’”

Dr. Dre's "2001" Turns 20: The Creation Of A Classic

Eminem, Xzibit and Dr. Dre attend MTV’s Spring Break, 2000 – Frank Micelotta/Direct/Getty s

As Hittman tells it, the stakes were undoubtedly high: “The future Aftermath was riding on this album so it had to be the way Dre envisioned it.” But as Xzibit explains, it’s unlikely Dre was fazed in the slightest. “He’s very nonchalant when he talks about big shit,” reflects X. “That’s one thing you’re going to learn about Dre. It may seem like fuckin’ space travel for us. For him it’s just another hour the day.” Contributing vocals to three the album’s tracks, Xzibit likens the studio sessions to a creative goldmine. “Sometimes there would be a beat, and sometimes there would be a vocal, and he’d move it around,” recalls X. “The groundwork was laid, and they kept adding songs and adding stuff to the songs that already existed.”

“Dre had a vision. He’s an album maker,” says Scott Storch, the admiration evident in his voice. “When he did 2001, he gave us one the craziest albums in history. Skits, everything built-in. A journey. You want to listen to this whole album, not just a track. He knows how to do that.” On that note, even the skits proved innovative; the introductory cut “Lolo” certainly left a lasting impression on Xzibit. “He actually brought a Lowrider to the parking lot Encore,” marvels X. “Miked it up from front to back, so you could hear the hydraulics. How the car crashed. They hopped the car in the parking lot and recorded it. With chords all the way back to the studio. It was the craziest shit I ever saw!”

“Hearing those beats in them finely tuned rooms that Dre chooses to dwell in was sensory overload,” continues Hittman, who can proudly say he contributed to ten 2001’s songs. “It felt as if your heart was gonna jump out your chest, the wax in your ears starts poppin’, everybody bobbing their heads uncontrollably. A surreal experience indeed.” Naturally, such a wealth music would serve as the perfect environment for healthy competition, especially given Dre’s particularly lty standards. “When Dre threw on a beat the vibe would fluctuate from communal enjoyment to competitive skepticism,” remembers Hitt. “You start to see all the writers reaching for pads and pens trying to be the one to come with the illest shit. And whoever came with it is who ended up on the track.”

“The moment I felt that I had proven myself is when the album was finally turned in to Interscope and I had remained on so many songs,” laughs Hittman. “Anyone who has ever worked with Dre knows your placement on a song is not definite until it’s in the mastering phase.” Knoc-Turn’al found himself experiencing a similar process, one that left him feeling wholly validated. “We made over five-hundred songs for that album,” says Knoc. “Dre used to be like ‘Knoc-Knoc, what’s up!?’ That’s what he calls me. Everyone who knows him real well calls him Captain, or Cap. When he came and handed me 2001 before it came out, I saw my name on four songs. I was like, woah. I have arrived.”

Echoing Hittman’s comments, Xzibit confirms that a song’s final lineup remained a mystery until the final release date. “The first record I did for that record was ‘What’s The Difference,’” says X. “Hittman was on the record first. Dre let me take a crack at the verse and it stuck. Hittman was all over the album, so Dre was like ‘You can get on this song.’” Despite the occasional act generosity, Hittman ensures that Dre stood firmly behind his vision. “Perfection is always the goal when working with Dr. Dre,” explains Hittman. “I witnessed it throughout the recording process 2001, whether it was Dre getting the best performances out the artist, himself included, instructing the musicians on the feel or pocket he wanted them to play in, and most critically in the mixing and sequencing portion the project.” It’s no wonder Dre christened himself as The Watcher. Leading by example, applying his brilliance to every strand the album’s DNA. Basically, as Hittman puts it: “You gotta come correct or don’t come at all.”

“Don’t get me wrong, there’s some verses I did where Dre was like ‘Oh hell nah!’” laughs Knoc. “But it was about work ethic. Not giving up. It’s not about being the best rapper, it was about being humble and serious about your career. The more you show up, the better you got. You can’t hang around all these great people and not get better.” And show up he did, relocating to be in closer proximity to the laboratory. “I moved to Sherman Oaks, where Dre had a studio down the street,” he continues. “I didn’t know what was going to be what. I didn’t know if I was going to be on the album. I was doing whatever I could to actually get on the album, cause I knew it was a great opportunity. I’ve always respected Dr. Dre as a producer. There was a point where I was trying to go every day that I could. Even if he wasn’t there, they would let me in and I would try to create something.”

DOPE CALI PLATINUM CLASSICALS

Though much has been made about the legendary singles, from “Still D.R.E.” to “Forgot About Dre,” “What’s The Difference” to “The Next Episode,” a true classic must be stacked from top to bottom. 2001 doesn’t fail in that regard, with Hittman’s favorite song being one his duets with the Doctor. “‘Light Speed!’ One my favorite songs on 2001 to this very day,” he says, looking back on the track’s lengthy creation process. “It’s a trip how that one came about. I remember Dre giving me a beat tape consisting four instrumentals. What you all know now as ‘Bang Bang,’ ‘Fuck You,’ ‘Light Speed,’ and a song called ‘The Game’ that I wish would’ve made the final cut.” By his own admission, however, “Light Speed” was initially underwhelming to his ears.

“Out the four, I liked ‘Light Speed’ the least. At the time it was just the drums and the bassline. I don’t even think it had that plucking guitar sound in it yet. I zoned out to the beat tape for about a week. During our vibe and brainstorm sessions, Dre would ask me if I had for something for that beat in particular, and I’d be like uh, not yet.”

Dr. Dre's "2001" Turns 20: The Creation Of A Classic

Hittman and Mel Man, year unknown – image courtesy Hittman, photographed by Adam Bravin

From the sound it, creative differences were brewing. Hittman and Mel Man on one side, Dre standing fixed on the other. “Dre didn’t agree and was determined to prove us both wrong,” continues Hitt. “He persisted with his inquiry until one night in the studio I spit a verse retrieved from my rhyme infested mind. He suggested that I go in the booth and lay it but this time ‘say it kind behind the beat’ which seemed weird to me but I did it anyway.” After lacing a reference track for Dre, Hittman watched as “Light Speed” began to manifest before his eyes. 

“He, Mel and the musicians were starting to build on the track and it was sounding amazing!” remembers Hitt. “I could not believe how dope the beat was turning out to be. Meanwhile, me, Knoc and Ms. Roq was vibing out and trying to come up with a hook for the song. I think Six-2 was in the house that night as well.” Hitt explains the idea came from Dre’s decision to use THX in the album intro, the brainchild Star Wars creator George Lucas. “I suggested we call the song ‘Light Speed,'” he reveals. “Once we agreed on the title, the hook just seemed to flow. Next thing we knew we’re in the booth laying and layering the hook for ‘Light Speed.’ Around 2:35 in the AM, we’re pleased with our work for the day and preparing to leave,” he continues. “All a sudden we hear the clanking ice and liquid against a plastic cup through the studio monitors, which means Dre must be in the booth and ready to record. Mel looks at me and says ‘Welp, sounds like another all-nighter.’ I gave him a look that said ‘DAMN,’ and we fell out laughing.”

FROM DETROIT TO COMPTON

Before being cordially invited to contribute to the 2001 sessions, a young Royce Da 5’9” was trying to make moves in New York City, negotiating to sign his first record deal. The year was 1999, and his fellow Detroit emcee slash Bad Meets Evil group-mate Eminem had recently linked up with Dre’s Aftermath Records. Five years Em’ junior, Royce found himself taking advice from the rising Slim, who got wind Royce’s budding deal with Herbie Love Bug. “I was about to do that deal and Em was like ‘Herbie Love Bug? Over my dead fuckin body,’” reflects Royce. “He told me to send some music out there, so I Fed-Exed some the stuff I was working on. I’m just chilling at my mom’s crib, and my dad comes in like ‘you got a call. Somebody named Dr. Dre is on the phone.’ I was like What!?

Dr. Dre's "2001" Turns 20: The Creation Of A Classic

Royce Da 5’9″ with Eminem at a New York City venue, 1999 – Catherine McGann/Getty s

“I was like holy shit,” remembers Royce. “My heart dropped. I knew it was him, I caught his voice immediately. He was like ‘I like your shit man, Marshall played me your shit, man. I wanted to see if you wanted to come out here and rock with us. We working on some stuff.’” Before long Royce was in Los Angeles, reuniting with Em in Dr. Dre’s studio. “He was playing all kind fire beats,” continues Royce. “I was just writing stuff. As much as I could. I was just excited to be in the environment. I thought he was a genius, that everything he did was classic. I walked in a Stan.” Still in his early twenties, his debut album Rock City yet to manifest, the 2001 sessions proved a creative goldmine for the lyricist. “Dre was open to trying anything to see how it works,” says Royce. “He never said nothing that fucked with my confidence. I remember being out there for a couple days, by the time it was day two, I wasn’t even nervous about writing no more.”

Though he wasn’t actually in attendance when Em laid down “Forgot About Dre,” Slim was eager to show the track to his Bad Meets Evil groupmate. “He played me ‘Forgot About Dre’ and ‘Kim,’” reflects Royce, singing the latter’s haunting chorus. As he tells it, their excitement playing back the tracks was pure, childlike. “I was like, wow. Em’s always excited about the process. Back then, he didn’t think at all. Now, he’s way more calculated with the way he does what he does. Back then, he was reckless. The studio vibe was so carefree, we didn’t know what we were witnessing. We didn’t realize we were a part history in those moments.”

Dr. Dre's "2001" Turns 20: The Creation Of A Classic

Eminem and Dr. Dre, 2000 – Brian Rasic/Getty s

For Royce, his experience at the 2001 sessions proved to be a masterclass in the process, as taught by the game’s most revered pressor. Yet some his reference tracks, most notably “The Way I Be Pimpin” and “The Throne Is Mine” weren’t entirely fitting within Dre’s overall vision. It was ultimately a shared moment emotional honesty that cemented Royce’s presence on the album. “I feel like the universe has always spoken to me,” says Royce. “I was penning a bunch shit, but I was still a baby. I wasn’t as seasoned with the song structures and the writing as Marshall. Marshall wrote ‘Forgot About Dre.’ He’ll go in there and write a straight-up hit like it was nothing. I was writing all kinds shit, but nothing was really sticking.”

“When I got ‘The Message’ beat, right before I was supposed to go out there, a friend mine got killed,” remembers Royce. “The beat spoke to me. I thought to write about my man from my perspective. I’ma just lay it and see what Dre say. When I’m laying it, Dre is just staring at me through the glass the booth. I’m like, he must not like this one. When I’m done doing the verses, he went quiet for a minute. That’s when he told me about his brother.” In 1989, Dre’s half-brother Tyree Du Sean Crayon was killed during a street fight; he was 21 years old. “The Message” serves as his eulogy, a beautiful moment reflection borne from shared trauma. It’s no wonder Dre opted to close out his masterpiece with the most emotional song his career. “Literally, everything I said to a T, Dre didn’t change anything,” says Royce. “‘I’m still paging you, 911, straight in denial.’ Dre did the same thing. Same thing I was rapping about. It was telling as fuck.”

THE AFTERMATH

Nobody’s done it like Dre. Going from NWA, to Snoop, Marshall, 50, and Kendrick. He’s basically Quincy Jonesed the entire lineage hip-hop. The entire time it’s been in existence he’s been making classic contributions. It’s no surprise he’s one the guys at that billionaire status.”

– Royce

Twenty years later, 2001 remains one the defining albums our time. Those who helped craft it still value the experience as a creative highlight, where different voices connected in bringing Dre’s vision to life. And from the sound it, they knew they were part something timeless. “When I heard ‘Still D.R.E.’ for the first time, we all knew that we had it,” remembers Xzibit. “The album was dope as it was, but when he played the single for everybody. It was like, wow. We’re about to change the world with this.”

Dr. Dre's "2001" Turns 20: The Creation Of A Classic

Dr. Dre portrait, 1999 – David Tonge/Getty s

“I went into Dre’s studio a baby and came out a grown-ass man,” says Storch, who played a pivotal role in bringing “Still D.R.E” to life. “Dre is the Quincy Jones hip-hop. He knows what he’s doing from the programming to tweaking mixes and EQing his snares and kicks in such a way. Fucking genius, man. Dude has got incredible ears and instincts.”

“We all worked together,” says Knoc. “Dre put together a brand new team artists he believed in. The mission was to get that Chronic album done so we could be solidified and go platinum and have our own career. That’s what Dr. Dre does. That’s what he’s always done.” “2001 changed everything about my life,” says Hittman. “Before it came to be, I lived in the hood. Now I live in the ‘burbs’ for instance. I can turn on any classic hip-hop station and eventually hear something I’ve worked on or someone I’ve worked with. I am appreciative and humbled to have been a contributor to such a well-received fering. Chronic class 2001, we did the damn thang!”

But beyond all the memories made, the classic songs created, perhaps there remains an unsung hero tying it all together. “Of course he ran the album by people, but ultimately, if I can be absolutely real, Dre always listens to his wife,” laughs Knoc-Turn’al. “He lets her listen.”

Special thanks to Hittman, Knoc-Turn’al, Xzibit, Scott Storch, Royce Da 5’9″, and “Brian Big Bass” Gardener. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo Trolls Malcolm Brogdon With Petty Insult: Watch

Giannis Antetokounmpo is by far one the best players in the entire NBA and is considered to be a candidate to win the MVP trophy again this season. The Bucks have been playing fairly well this year and could be a title contender if they keep up their pace. Unfortunately, they are without the services Malcolm Brogdon this year as he decided to leave the team for the Indiana Pacers. Brogdon was a huge piece to the Bucks puzzle last season and his absence has been felt early on this season. 

In a recent interview prior to the Bucks and Pacers first game against each other this season, Giannis was asked about what it would be like to play against Brogdon and fered up a pretty hilarious answer. “First all, Malcolm is ugly,” Giannis said before claiming he was just joking. The clip starts at the 3:54 mark.

The Bucks are coming into this game with a record 8-3 while the Pacers are currently at 7-4. Both teams have a record to maintain so it will certainly be a great game. As for the troll, we’re sure Brogdon laughed it f as he and Giannis seem to have a great relationship.

You have to love it when players show their personalities and troll like this. It definitely helps make the league more interesting.

Carmelo Anthony Is Back: LeBron James, Allen Iverson & Others Show Love

After nearly a year away from the NBA, Carmelo Anthony is finally getting back in the game. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 10-time All Star has agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers and he is expected to join the team during their upcoming six-game road trip, which starts Saturday in San Antonio.

Worth noting: one the stops on that road trip is in Houston on Monday night.

Anthony, 35, appeared in just ten games last season before being cut by the Rockets, and he has not appeared in an NBA game since November 8. During that span, Melo received an outpouring support from current and former players who believed he was being blackballed by the NBA. 

In fact, Stephen Jackson recently described how he felt every team in the league received a mass text message informing them not to sign the veteran forward. Says Jackson:

“It’s a mass text that’s sent out to every team, every team’s CC’d, ‘Don’t fuck with him.’ It happened to A.I. It happened to me. It happened to a lot guys and it’s definitely happening to Melo.”

“If anybody today said Melo is not better than 60% the players in the NBA right now, they’re a damn liar. And it’s personal. Melo definitely belongs in the NBA and he definitely got blackballed, it ain’t a secret man.”

Needless to say, Melo’s supporters came out in droves on Thursday night to congratulate him on getting back in the league. Check out some the reactions from players and fans below.

Cardi B & Chance The Rapper Have Opposite Reactions To Their "Mean Tweets"

Twitter never fails to shock anyone when it comes to the number wild tweets that hit the platform nearly every second. The reaction round-ups we do for any given controversy amount in tons wild responses and it’s clearly for that reason why Jimmy Kimmel coined his Mean Tweets segment for his self-titled talk show. 

Cardi B & Chance The Rapper Have Opposite Reactions To Their "Mean Tweets"
Larry Busacca/Getty s 

The latest episode the fensive tweets is a music edition with acts like Billie Eilish, Midland, Luke Bryan, Perry Farrell, Green Day, Leon Bridges and more reading some (admittedly) funny mean tweets. Cardi B and Chance The Rapper joined in on the episode and had opposite reactions to their personalized tweets. 

“I just watched a muted performance Cardi B and that bitch just looks loud without any sound on. Like no thank you,” Cardi’s mean tweet read, prompting her to respond: “How do I look loud? How do I look loud? I’m loud? I don’t even think I’m like loud. Suck my ass.”

Chance The Rapper’s tweet was a little more deep spirited. “Chance the Rapper? More like Chance the worthless spineless dickless soulless purposeless virtueless sellout. Nice Doritos commercial, you piece shit.” The “Hot Shower” rapper laughed it f, asking: “There’s people that don’t like me?”

Watch in full below.

Spotify, Proctor & Gamble Address Racism with 'Harmonize' Podcast

Spotify and Proctor & Gamble are partnering in the launch of a new podcast series called Harmonize, which will discuss racism in America and how music has had a positive impact on it.

The series includes four episodes, all of which are now available exclusively on Spotify. Hosted by communications consultant and writer Jamilah Lemieux, the episodes feature singer and actor John Legend along with rapper and music executive Pusha T as well as music expert Cory Townes.

While the podcast in the future will address all kinds of biases, such as gender, LGBTQ and identity bias, the first episodes are focused on bias against African Americans. In these episodes, artists and cultural commentators share stories of how racism has affected both their personal and professional lives.

Legend is very supportive of the project.

He says, “It is so important to have an open, honest dialogue around difficult topics like race, gender and bias.” Because of this, he adds, “I have huge respect for companies like Spotify and P&G that are creating spaces for artists like myself to have these conversations, which are long overdue.”

Damon Jones, who is the vice president of global communications & advocacy at Proctor & Gamble, also commented on the series. He said, “Together with Spotify, we’re deepening this conversation, illustrating how race intersects music and culture and bringing together a variety of perspectives and experiences we believe will inspire people to take action to address these all too common instances of individual and institutional bias.”

Finally, Danielle Lee, who is global vice president of partner solutions at Spotify, said, “We are proud to amplify the conversation that P&G has so thoughtfully sparked with the launch of Harmonize. Consumers expect brands to take a stand on issues they care about and contribute to society in a meaningful way. Our hope is that Harmonize will expand the conversation around bias in America in an effort to build empathy.”

Machine Gun Kelly Performs For Young Fan Outside Tour Bus: Watch

Young Thug and Machine Gun Kelly are still on the road for their Justin Bieber Big Tour showcasing their wild nights and crazy happenings on and f the stage. More recently, MGK (born Colson Baker) posted a clip to his Instagram that shows one the more chill evenings on the road when he played a song for an adoring fan who went to his concert and never heard her favorite song. 

Machine Gun Kelly Performs For Young Fan Outside Tour Bus: Watch
Daniel Boczarski/Getty s

In the clip below, you can see MGK hop a fence to singing a certain track for a little girl who looks to be under 10-years-old. “This little flower came up to me and said i didn’t play her favorite song at the show so…” he wrote. 

In other MGK news, the “I Think I’m Okay” musician is opening a cfee shop in Cleveland that’s called The 27 Club based on legendary acts who died at that age. “The 27 Club is a bunch artists and entertainers, and popular personalities that have died at the age 27,” MGK said, adding how he wants the shop to inspire positivity in the city. 

“I also want to encourage good highs, like cfee and food and having that kinda bleed through the city instead some the other stuff that tends to get out there,” he added.

Chamillionaire and E-40 To Invest $100,000 in a Minority-Owned Startup

Rapper Chamillionaire announced on CNBC that he and hip-hop artist E-40 are staging a contest that will provide $100,000 to a startup founded by either a woman or a minority.

This is not the first investment for Chamillionaire, whose real name is Hakeem Serik. He was an early investor in Lyft and still holds an investment in it and in many other prominent startups, such as:

  • Ring
  • Cruise
  • Maker Studio

Chamillionaire hopes to use the competition to bring awareness to minority- and women-owned startups, which he believes are currently underrepresented.

“Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy,” he told Squawk Alley, “but it’s even harder for minority and women led companies. These people are solving new and unique problems and I think the only thing in their way is capital.”

He indicated that the problem these entrepreneurs face relates to the fact that it is mostly white men doing the funding, and that they mostly fund other white men. He believes that this competition can help change this.

Those interested in entering the contest, can submit pitches through Convoz, which is a social app that Chamillionaire launched in 2016 to improve public collaboration.

Chamillionaire will actually review the entries personally, along with his team and Republic.co, which is an SEC-registered investment platform that gives startups access to non-accredited investors. That is, small investors.

The rapper has one piece of advice for those who apply. He says, “We’re not just talking about an idea. We’re talking about a real company.”

Also participating in the contest, which will run from November 11 to December 6, is Daymond John, who is a noted Shark Tank investor. He said, “I am so excited to be one of the judges in the $100,000 pitch competition. If you feel that you are ready to pitch and knock it out of the park, I can not wait.”

In 2007, Chamillionaire won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for his song “Ridin’.”

How Should Hip-Hop Respond To Kodak Black’s Sentencing?

From mid-2016 onwards, the narrative surrounding Kodak Black underwent a notable shift. Within months Drake co-signs and debuting on the Billboard Charts alongside French Montana with “Lockjaw,”  the self-proclaimed Project Baby had the law nipping at his heels. Dogged by cases and controversies varying severity, his symbiotic relationship with trouble formed a collective opinion that Kodak was either unwilling or incapable making the necessary changes that’d lead to longevity in hip-hop.

For a fleeting moment, it seemed as though his release from jail in August 2018 had deterred him from getting chewed up in the gears the system again. In the wake dropping his acclaimed post-prison project Dying To Live,Kodak spoke to The Breakfast Club about moving to California and the self-preservation that governed his decision:

“I’m in Calabasas. It’s just different, positive. Ain’t too much black people there,” he said to the chagrin Charlamagne. “In Florida, everywhere I go, people just like me. You is your environment so if everyone pack a nine, I’m gonna need to be on bullshit too. I moved] as soon as I came home this time.”

How Should Hip-Hop Respond To Kodak Black's Sentencing?

Kodak Black at his “Dying to Live” album listening party – Johnny Nunez/Wire/Getty s

Predictably, this levelheadedness wouldn’t last and now we’ve arrived at the logical terminus for the 22-year old. As he doled out a sentence 46 months— as opposed to the ten years that could’ve been imposed, the judge summarized why an extended period incarceration had become a prerequisite at this stage:

“Young people do stupid things,” said Federico Moreno. “But the problem is that you’ve been doing stupid things since you were 15.”

Hidden away for the foreseeable future, the news come hot on the heels reports that he’d hospitalized a correctional ficer. But after the term was bestowed upon him, Kodak’s trademark braggadocio came to the surface in an Instagram post and its accompanying Kevin Gates quote:

“Hold It Down While I’m On Lock. Calling Shots From The Box #Literally 🎯🤞🏾”

Out sight but still dwelling in the genre’s mind, the question turns to how hip-hop as a whole should respond to Kodak’s latest ordeal, if at all.

Depending on who you ask, the artist— real name Bill K Kapri— is either worthy compassion or condemnation. Unapologetically brash, his infamous insistence that he’s “living for the moment” has done little to dissuade him from the wayward path that’s mould him. Since he came out the gate, Kodak’s hubristic claims being “the best rapper alive” or surpassing Tupac and Biggie did little to endear him to any consumer base that went beyond his fervent supporters. And where Kevin Gates reciprocated Kodak’s nod to “RBS (Intro)” with unequivocal love and well-wishes, others have extracted glee from the court’s verdict.

Without a semblance empathy for his plight, many have quantified Kodak’s four-year-bid as karmic retribution in full effect.  

Reviled for his well-documented comments in regards to Nipsey Hustle and his widow Lauren London, the situation and ensuing calls for a boycott his music made him a pariah in the eyes countless fans and artists; to the extent that Dave East felt compelled to remove his feature from new record Survival.

“I just couldn’t have a song called ‘The Marathon Continues’ where I’m talking to my brother—and he’s on it—and a few songs before it, you know,” he told Big Boy. “But like I said, I don’t have no problems with homie.”

Stationed at a point in his career where his fellow artists are actively refraining from association, much like Bobby Shmurda and DaBaby have drawn a line under working with 6ix9ine, it paints a grim prognosis what reception he’ll return to after this  bid.

Projecting an outward refusal to accept culpability that came through in his half-baked apology to Lauren London, as well as storming out his Hot 97 interview after Ebro brought up the ual assault charges levelled at him, it raises the question whether maturity and reflection are what’s needed to realign Kodak’s priorities.

Once again forfeiting the opportunities that the rap game has allotted him, his behaviour continues to fall afoul the renewed perspective that has routinely seeped into his music. From 2017’s Project Baby 2 onwards, his lyrics have exhibited a cognizance his upbringing’s encroaching effect on his mentality and the innate contradictions between best laid plans to change, and the lingering allure that his past still harbours. One minute, he’s defiantly staking his claim to be “Still in The Streets,” before lamenting over personal betrayals and optimistically claiming that “my watch got rocks, no more drug dealin” on tracks such as “Could Of Been Different.”

With a pronounced inner dichotomy on display, it seems that there’s at least part the young artist that wishes to reform. Yet in the recent months since he was apprehended at Rolling Loud in Miami, that confrontational glint has remained present and would emerge on a new freestyle recorded from behind bars. Radiating that same destructive energy which has led some hip-hop consumers to cast him aside, Kodak Black’s jailhouse freestyle included bars that disparaged Southside and Yung Miami for good measure.

“I bought Yung Miami a ring, she wanted 808 baby, when I see her I’ma hit that bitch in her stomach. The way I keep my shit too real, they say I’m fucking up my money.”

As proven by that last couplet, Kodak Black isn’t ignorant the detrimental effect that his conduct has on his standing in the industry. But as tracks such as “Transgression” prove, he feels powerless to change, no matter the cost.

“I hate I fell in love with thuggin’, I give my mama anxiety.”

With one foot still entrenched in Pompano Beach, there’s a reason why they call it the trap. A state play that has led No Jumper’s Adam22 to claim he’s “disappointed in him,” Kodak’s reluctance to relinquish that chapter his life once and for all is at odds with the rags-to-riches narratives that’s been perpetuated by hip-hop’s true greats.

From Hov to Pusha T, there’s no shortage rappers that had once partaken in criminal enterprise to keep themselves afloat. In a modern context, Guapdad 4000 transferred his aptitude for credit card scamming to finessing the rap game, while A$AP Rocky has spoken about close calls:

“I never got in the streets] too deep to the point where I let it get the best me,” Flacko told MTV. “Everybody’s dream is to make it big with that shit and get out. I didn’t make it big so I got out.”

Kodak’s narrative, then, is nothing new. However, the difference is that for everyone from The Ferragamo Falcon to Freddie Gibbs, their criminal dealings were always a means to an end, something they would hope to one day let go. Where, in Kodak’s case, he’s regularly conducted himself with the same destructive attitude that he’d had when he was spending time in juvie. As a result, it makes you wonder whether it’s time to push Kodak’s clear-cut potential to aside, in favour artists who are actively trying to better themselves (and we need not look any further than the rapper Kodak chose to quote on Instagram– Kevin Gates).

An open letter from the incarcerated Kodak contained a pearl wisdom which suggests that he may have finally pinpointed which path to head down.

“4 Months Ago I Was Jus Facetiming Da Baddest Females On Planet Earth, Na Im Makin Jail Calls Waitin On Mail Call.”

But as we know from his lyrics, conjuring up a sentiment and sticking with a new outlook are two very different things. Plus, if he’s found guilty in the pending criminal ual conduct case— which carries a maximum penalty 30 years— it could be too little, too late. If not, there may still be time for Kodak to prevent himself from becoming an allegorical footnote that teaches MCs where the lines between a checkered past and a bright future must be drawn.

As has been made evident in recent years, the only person that can help Kodak is himself. Led into the waiting arms the penitentiary once more, the only hope is for him to finally internalize what he rhymed back on Project Baby 2’sVersatile.”

“Seem like I lost more than I ever gained

Ain’t get nun out these streets but pain

Ain’t get nun out these streets but hard times

‘Cause in these streets ain’t nun but hard times”

Tory Lanez Clowned Drake After Being Booed Off Stage At Camp Flog Gnaw

Tory Lanez and Drake haven’t always been the closest friends. In fact, there was a time when they were mortal enemies. During his come-up, Lanez had taken aim at his fellow Torontonian, attempting to prove to the world that he had the 6ix on lock. The two global recording artists have since patched up their differences, making up a few years ago and uniting the city through their newfound bromance. If you’ve had your eye on the news this week, you surely know about what happened with Drake at Tyler, The Creator‘s annual Camp Flog Gnaw festival this weekend. The audience was waiting on a mystery performer, convinced that Frank Ocean would be performing a set. When Drake appeared in his place, he was booed f stage promptly. It turns out that, after the incident, Tory Lanez felt the need to clown his homie over text message, telling him it was a bad idea from the jump.

Tory Lanez Clowned Drake After Being Booed Off Stage At Camp Flog Gnaw
Amy Sussman/Getty s

During a recent appearance on Real 92.3 Los Angeles, Tory Lanez promoted his upcoming album Chixtape 5, also touching on the Drake situation with Big Boy. “I think personally if the people weren’t waiting on somebody else, I don’t think that it would have been that,” said Tory during the interview. “You know, me and Drake laughed about it. We was deadass on text laughing about it. But it’s just like ‘boy, you know you had no business being at Camp Flog Gnaw.’ He was just laughing like, ‘yo that’s one for the books bro.’ It just didn’t matter to him.”

Tory Lanez’ new project arrives tomorrow. Are you checking for it?

Damian Lillard’s New Adidas Sneaker Revealed: Release Details

Adidas and Portland Trail Blazers’ All-NBA point guard Damian Lillard have ficially introduced his sixth signature sneaker today, along with a November 29 release date. The Adidas Dame 6, priced reasonably at $110, will make it’s debut in an eye-catching “Ruthless” colorway on Black Friday, followed by a “Hecklers” iteration on January 18.

The Adidas Dame 6 “Ruthless” comes equipped with a black textile mesh upper, highlighted with split hues neon pink and green, and accented with a black suede overlay on the toe box.

“I come out to compete against people, but I don’t say a whole lot. I don’t talk trash, I just go at them every opportunity I get,” said Lillard. “There’s a way to go about it in life and in basketball, being compassionate and ruthless. It’s important to have both; I was raised that way.”   

The unique split design is inspired by the many sides Dame’s personality.

“Early in the design process, the many sides Dame’s personality emerged during our conversations with Dame – he’s a leader, a family man, a businessman and more, but when he hits the court, a different side comes out,” explained Jimi Taylor, Senior Footwear Designer for adidas Basketball.

“The silhouette embodies Dame’s multi-dimensional persona from both sides the shoe. The outside speaks to Dame’s focus, while the interior peels back the layers to showcase the inner workings the shoe and celebrates Dame’s ruthless mindset on the court.”

The Dame 6 is also the first model in the Dame series to feature the ultra lightweight Lightstrike cushioning. Continue scrolling for additional images the Adidas Dame 6 “Ruthless,” as well as the “Hecklers” and other forthcoming colorways.

Damian Lillard’s New Adidas Sneaker Revealed: Release Details

Adidas

Damian Lillard’s New Adidas Sneaker Revealed: Release Details

Adidas

Damian Lillard’s New Adidas Sneaker Revealed: Release Details

Adidas

Damian Lillard’s New Adidas Sneaker Revealed: Release Details

Adidas

Damian Lillard’s New Adidas Sneaker Revealed: Release Details

Adidas

Damian Lillard’s New Adidas Sneaker Revealed: Release Details

Adidas

"The Fashion King" Groovey Lew Talks Bad Boy Records History & Bond With Nipsey Hussle

Groovey Lew, who calls himself The Fashion King, has remained relevant throughout Hip Hop’s tenure. The stylist has worked with the culture’s royalty, including Biggie Smalls, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Nipsey Hussle, Lil Wayne, Lauryn Hill and Dave East.

Lew serves as a true visionary that isn’t confined to dressing your favorite artists either. As a fan of the music, he can see talent well before the world does. For instance, Lew grew close to Nipsey when the late artist was just starting to make a name for himself rapping in Los Angeles. The two connected beyond clothes as they both had a solid connection to their community and their spirituality.

The Fashion King is well-respected within the industry, and although he is revered for his iconic looks, many in Hip Hop look to him as a spiritual guide too. One conversation with Lew and a person can immediately sense they’re talking to somebody connected to something deeper. He’s not caught up in trends like social media or the latest Telsa, but he’s into what lasts forever — which may be why his career has spanned over 25 years.

During a conversation with HipHopDX, the Mount Vernon native covered it all. He talked about the need to bring back ownership in clothing lines, something he hoped Dapper Dan would achieve. He also discussed his favorite artists to style, fashion evolution, spirituality and Ital living.

HipHopDX: I know you’re a Mount Vernon native, but you’ve been around the world. Where do you get your sense of fashion from?

Groovey Lew: I’d say just coming up under my pops, my uncles and my aunties. As far as music, I’m from the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five [days]. I was born in ’69, so I came up in the 70s when Hip Hop really started. We was in Mount Vernon on the borderline of the Bronx so I’ve got eight aunties that … you know, they was all beautiful and they was bringing the d-boys and Hip Hop artists to the yards and the Rastas, so that’s how I learned Hip Hop. Knowing about the T-Connection and the clubs and just watching them cats from them days like your Funky 4 + 1.

Just looking at their swag and as I grew and started learning more, seeing like Boogie Down Productions and Rakim and all them cats in their Dapper Dan fits and LL Cool J, that’s where the fashion came from.

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HipHopDX: You’ve really seen Hip Hop grow like you said from its birth to now as this billion-dollar industry. From that time, with you also being a part of the Bad Boy legacy from the beginning, did you see it growing to what it is now?

Groovey Lew: I can’t say I did, but I knew there was something special there. I knew when we was starting it was more fun to us. A bunch of young brothers starting a record label, jumping in with Diddy to lend our hand and whatever we could. It wasn’t like we had titles or anything, it was just like, let’s just do whatever needs to be done. We was all learning and we was having fun with it. I can’t say that [I knew] it would be this big, but I knew it had potential though.

HipHopDX: You’ve styled pretty much everybody that had a name in Hip Hop, from Biggie to Wayne, to Lauryn Hill to Nipsey to Dave East. How has your sense of style changed over the years?

Groovey Lew: My style changes every day. It’s like the weather, bro. I deal with different artists from different hoods/communities and different cities and different states so it’s like some cats are wearing this color, some cats are not wearing that color. Some brothers is wearing their pants like that, some brothers is wearing their hats to the side, to the back. A lot of different things they’re doing means different things where they’re from, they’re representing that.

The style changes depending on who it is I’m dealing with. They add their flavor and I add mine and we just bring it together. It’s like a pot of gumbo. I just really add my seasoning on a lot of stuff. They tell me what they love and what they don’t like and I just bring it to life for them from an idea.

So, it changes as we grow and through the years it changes as well. At first, everybody was not too heavy into like the brand names and we were doing more tailor-made clothing especially in our Bad Boy days, out of leathers and different stuff through our tailor. Then, when Big started rhyming about the Versace’s and the Coogi’s and different things, he advanced us a lot as well. I didn’t know about some of these labels until some of the rappers started speaking on them and then that made me start doing my homework and find out what was going on.

HipHopDX: It’s interesting that you say that because I saw that change happening in the D.C area too. We would only wear are our clothing lines and then it changed to the mainstream labels.

Groovey Lew: We learned a lot from D.C. being around all them cats. They put us on to fly sweatsuits. They used to rock their sweatsuits and New Balance [shoes] and different shit. They were like young d-boys, they was dressed up fresh and clean. In ’87, I went to the Capital Center to my first Go-Go and that shit showed me a whole ‘nother life about music and fashion. I’m like, “Damn, what is this?” D.C was a big influence to our swag.

HipHopDX: There’s a resurgence going on now with artists bringing back the clothing lines. Before it was Sean John and you had Groovy Styles as well. Is that something that you want to bring back the forefront? Having our own swag along with the the big name brands.

Groovey Lew: Yes, I think it’s always important for us to have our own clothing. You know, we’re dealing with Italians, we’re dealing with all types of different people from around the world. Why shouldn’t we have black clothing companies? Representing ourselves from the Sean Johns to the Phat Farms, Mecca, Enyce and Roc Nation. I think that’s important for artists to have their clothing lines.

I just want people to be into it. Not just because you’re an artist and you can sell a million records. If you’re not really into fashion and really want to be a part of it, I don’t feel you should just do it just do it.

If we’re going to do it, let’s do it and do it right and uplift ourselves and make it look clean and fresh. But we should definitely have them and keep them.

I was inspired the most by Pyer Moss when I went to his Brooklyn fashion show this year.

Not that he’s an artist but just as a black designer. He’s pushing the envelope and doing some great stuff. So, we need to do it and we need to represent them more. We’re spending all our money on these Louis Vuitton’s, Gucci’s and Velentino’s and Balenciagas’ and everything else.

I really wish Dapper Dan would’ve put out his own, like DD or something instead of going the Gucci route. That would have really represented us as a whole. You our Tom Ford, you the godfather to black people, so I just wish we would do us a little more because we’re putting a lot of money into these corporations, bro.

HipHopDX: I just saw you did the Rolling Stone cover with Diddy and DJ Khaled, that’s major. Congrats. How was it working on that project?

Groovey Lew: It was good. I was a part of the fashion team with Derek Roche and Jun Choi. We have a team. We were in Atlanta at the Revolt Summit and Diddy always going to keep it going. We had the Revolt Summit, we’re doing panels, after parties, photoshoots, interviews … we just tie everything into one.

It’s always a big honor and respect to be around the big homie [Diddy]. Especially [with] Khaled’s energy. We’re telling him what we think is best for him and how he need to light it up and how he need to stay looking young and fresh. You are the culture. You are a main culture mover in our time.

So, it’s always good to be a part of that and just to be around and learn and meet people. We’re making history as we do these things.

HipHopDX: What is something working with Diddy that people don’t know or misunderstand?

Groovey Lew: The big homie is really cool and he likes to have fun, but a lot of people look at him like … or I’ll say if you do business with him, he’s a monster. Doing business with him is a whole different thing, but when we’re working and we’re into our flow, he’s a comedian and he likes to have fun and he’s really a good person. He likes to help everybody out [that] he can.

People that’s looking at his reality shows or whatever it is, they won’t ever see that until they’re around him on different levels or different flows. Son is a really good cat to be around. His energy is right, you learn so much from him because he’s always working and he’s always giving information.

HipHopDX: Artists look to you for wisdom and spiritual guidance. Is that more rewarding than your legacy as a stylist?

Groovey Lew: Yeah, that’s the main part. When people hire me, they know that I come with a different vibe and a different energy, so if I can give you some information that’s going to stick with you throughout your lifetime and implement something in your daily flow, I think that goes a long way, further than clothing. The clothes are going to come and go, the seasons are going to change. But if I can give you some knowledge of self, that’s going to be forever.

People always saying, “Yo, Groove, I need your energy bro, where you at? I need you to come through. I need you to just sit with me, I need you to vibe with me. I need to just kick it with you.” So many times my clients call me to their homes or studios just to be a part of the energy that’s going on and it’s not about fashion all the time.

So yeah, I think that it’s a balance though. But I think that will definitely last longer than anything about the garments and the fashion.

HipHopDX: Who are some of your favorite artists to style?

Groovey Lew: Well I had the best time with B.I.G. He used to always tell me like, “I write the rhymes, you handle that [clothes].” Basically, “Let me do me and you do you.” Because I used to always check with him, “What you think about the light blue suede or what you think?” He’d say, “You just do that. Leave me alone, I write rhymes and music. You handle the fashion.” B.I.G made the world know me.

And then Nip was just an ill spirit. Nip used to just let me go. Like, whatever Groove, just do you. Whatever you bring to the table is a go. As far as Diddy, he showed me the world.

So that’s the plus of everything because big homie is an artist but then an executive, a leader and everything, so I learned so many things from being around him. I always say them three, but different artists bring different things to my flow.

HipHopDX: You led me right into my next question about Nip. It seems y’all both have a similar connection to the community. Did you feel he was a kindred spirit that you were talking to? You both have very similar auras.

Groovey Lew: Yeah. That’s my brother from another mother on some real shit. I used to always fuck with Nip. It ain’t no bandwagon shit. It ain’t no new shit. I was Bad Boy, up in the industry, moving and doing my thing and I would always go to L.A and run down on Nip’s store when he first opened that shit up. I used to go to Simply Wholesome. My flow was the swap meet, Nip’s store and then Simply Wholesome and that was before any artists knew about the store.

It was just the hood with the gang bangers in certain neighborhoods before he promoted it to the world, changed it and made it new. I used to go to his shows at the House of Blues, then the next day I would go down to the store and show him different things that I recorded from his show and he used to tell me, “Damn, I’ve never seen myself on stage” and stuff like that.

So, I was early with Nip. Just because I was Bad Boy, I used to always sprinkle some love on him and then go support what he was doing and then he started moving forward and getting his shit on being recognized and he was always saying, “Yo Groove, when I get right, we’ve got to do this and we’ve got to do that” as far as fashion and I was like, “Bro bro, I’m here. It’s too easy.”

So yeah, he started getting his bag together and labels and everybody started fucking with him and shit like that he was like, “Yo, let’s go.” Then we just pressed go. I told him — in like 2017 or 2018 — I was like, “Next year, the whole world’s going to know you for fashion, bro.” I said, “That’s my goal for you.”

I told him like, “Yo, in a minute, you’re going to be walking on runways, you’re going to be sitting in the first row at fashion shows. You’re going to be that kid when it comes to fashion.” Because it was so easy, I was like, “You’re me, our body, our height and everything so I have so much to give you from all of my past looks. I’m just going to remix a lot of shit and pass it to you.”

He used to see my pictures and be like, “Bro, I could get that look right there, put it on Instagram, we’re going to go viral.” I said, “Nah bro, my looks on my phone is for me and my wife. I don’t do it for the world so I pushed that energy into him as far as the gear and just let him smash.

HipHopDX: Yeah. It was a sad day for the industry when he was killed.

Groovey Lew: Yeah but really beautiful still because you know, his spirit is here forever. That physical gotta return, but he’s really [Nipsey] Tha Great. People look at him and honor him and they see his life and people that didn’t ever know, they have a chance to learn and look at him. So, it continues like he said, bro.

HipHopDX: You’re right. I think you’re one of the most unknown philanthropists just because like you said, you stay low and you don’t look for recognition.

Groovey Lew: Yeah, I just stay low and keep firing, bro. I don’t need the accolades and all that because I know. The Creator knows. You don’t have to be outside bragging, I did this and I did that. That shit don’t float my boat. I just put my work in and let my work speak for itself.

HipHopDX: With your amount of success, you could easily just work with the top artists and really just be in your own world. But you always choose to stay connected to the hood and to everybody, really. What makes you stay connected?

Groovey Lew: Because I’m from that. I’m from the less fortunate ones. I’ve been blessed to be able to be in this industry and to move around, get money and give thanks. Fashion showed me so many things that I wouldn’t have seen or learned on my own as far as travel. That’s the biggest teaching and experience in that. Traveling to different countries in the presence of presidents and artists, meeting the likes of Stevie Wonder and just all that.

I stay grounded because at the end of the day, that’s where my family is still at. This is just something I go into for work. That’s why I tell everybody I’m not a IBM’er, I’m not a nine to five. I just have a different job and my work takes me to different places, but at the end of the day, I don’t live there. I don’t stay there, I’ve still got to come back home.

One day I’m with homie on some yacht shit in Italy, the next day I’m in the hood with my homies trying to figure this shit out. How they’re going to pay their rent? How they’re going to fucking eat? How they’re going to pay for their kids school? Shit like that. That’s the balance, but there’s more of that going on than motherfuckers that got it. So, I’m in that world more than anything, but I’m blessed that I can get out and do a couple things.

They see me in any hood in Brooklyn, in Compton, in anywhere, coming out of corner stores like, “Yo, you that fashion kid. What you doing out here?” I’m like, “Yo, what you doing out here motherfucker?” [Laughs]. Why I can’t be out here? They say, “I just seen a video on Instagram or I just seen you with Rick Ross,” but I’m the same as you.

I give thanks if you look at me like something else or you respect me for my craft. I give thanks for that, but I just tell them, “I’m just one of God’s favorite sons.” That’s why I have that balance because you’re going to see me in the community and you’re going to be bugging out like, “What you doing in this party? Niggas in here have guns.” I’m like, “Bro, I’m just a regular person.” I just try to stay like that and keep that.

I’m from Mount Vernon, New York, bro. It’s dirty, it’s less fortunate, it’s the poorest city in Westchester. I’m from that so I can relate to any community across the world.

The shit that touched me the most, I was in South Africa in this little bar/club/hole in the wall shit and this kid came up to me. This was like in 2000 and he said, “You’re Groovey Lew. Groovy styles, the one on the back of Biggie Smalls double CD.” That shit touched my heart more than anything. I’m like, “You know me”?

That’s the shit that touched me more than a lot of shit. That’s the shit that I look for more than anything. Those are my rewards.

HipHopDX: With fashion, you’re a true visionary. You can see what’s coming before it’s here. You were Ital before veganism was popular, now it’s a trend and it’s a part of the culture. But you made that decision way before that wave, so what led you to that?

Groovey Lew: Just getting knowledge of self and learning through the Rasta elders. Rastafari is my way of life and with that comes with natural eating and Ital living. 30 years ago I found out the truth, so I stopped putting animals into my body and I stopped using animal products. With that comes how you treat people, how you treat nature. It makes you talk different, it’s a respectful way of talking. It makes you live different. It’s just a whole energy because with that life you’re more in tune to God.

I figured out that food was the medicine and the medicine was the food. And I’ve never been on no bandwagon stuff, but the people that’s jumping on this, this is one of the best bandwagons to jump on so I give thanks to JAY-Z and Beyoncé. I saw them give the people a 21-day challenge and you can win free tickets to a concert or whatever.

Jermaine Dupri promotes some vegan stuff or whoever the artist is or the ball players or whatever. Even if it’s just Muslims that’s holding their Ramadan and just fasting, showing people different sides and there’s different things and there’s different ways to go about things.

If you really look at day one on Earth and the Bible, God said he’ll give you green for your meat. Vegetables and fruit, the plants is all around us. Everything is all around us. We’re jungle people and we’re from that so we’re great kings and queens and there was fruits and vegetables on them tables. You look at the strongest animals and most of the animals, they’re going green. They’re eating green.

I tell people cows don’t even drink milk. Like, why are you drinking a cow’s milk? So when you really just think of stuff and really just take your time, it really makes sense. But we’re so ignorant in different ways and things been passed down through our times and our grandparents and our great grandparents and we’re just keeping it going, but somewhere you have to break the trend and start doing what’s right.

If you know the truth, why wouldn’t you do what’s right? Once I found the truth out, I’ve got to live it. I can’t be knowing the truth and not living it.

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Groovey’s Vegan Coming Soon!!!!!

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HipHopDX: Yeah, your diet affects your wellbeing, your energy and everything. You’re doing your part in spreading that message with opening your own restaurant in Mount Vernon. I think is great because you give the people an option. In Mount Vernon, they don’t have those food options. Was that your inspiration to behind it?

Groovey Lew: Yeah, man, I have to help my community and my neighborhood. They’re just promoting death every day. From the Popeyes to the Chicken Huts to the Chinese restaurants to whatever it is. No disrespect to nobody and their business because we all have to make money, but how can we not have a natural restaurant in the neighborhood? We’ve got to go outside of our neighborhoods and go to Queens, Harlem and the Bronx just to eat Ital food or a vegan plate.

Our elders have cancer and some of them are overweight and just for the Rasta community that’s there to get Ital stew or for the girls and the brothers that’s working out coming from the gym to have fresh juice and it’s something that’s needed and it’s one of my dreams to have that in the town, to promote the health and wealth.

We’re out here mixing the animals’ blood with our blood and it’s got people acting different and turning into monsters and killing each other. So if I can put this into the community and it can change one person, I did my job. But like I said, when we start eating different, we’ll start speaking to each other different, we’ll start speaking more love and we’ll act different and we’ll treat each other better and things like that.

HipHopDX: What’s the name of the restaurant?

Groovey Lew: Groovey’s Vegan restaurant. It’s a team and it’s a family. Y’all see me in the front, but I have some great family members behind me and some great friends that’s rocking with me. Like I always say, it’s bigger than me.

HipHopDX: We talked about you being just connected and you being one of God’s favorite sons. What advice can you give to those who are just trying to find that purpose, trying to find their way?

Groovey Lew: I just say take your time with everything and look inside because the answers are inside yourself. When you go inside, that’s where the answer is. Then, you will master self first and you’ll be able to deal with everything else. When you seek God, all things should be added, so we are God, we are an image of God, we are God having a human experience.

HipHopDX: What advice, personal or business-wise, can you give to up-and-coming stylists? I know a lot of them look at you and admire what you’ve done.

Groovey Lew: I just say to up-and-coming stylists, be nosey, learn everything. Assist people, stay in your own conventions, because I was that. I was running around with Jack The Rappers and the How Can I Be Down [music conference] just learning and asking questions and telling people, “My name is Groovey Lew and I’m a stylist.” They’re laughing at me but just keep pushing and put yourself around things that’s going on as far as fashion and style and whatever it is.

If there’s people doing fashion shows, videos, commercials or whatever, just keep yourself around what’s going on and learn as much as you can. From being around and people keep seeing you, you will get an opportunity.

Somebody’s not going to come to work that day and that might just be the next up. Like, “I need you to handle this.” That’s how it can go and some things happen faster than others but if you really love it, then just stay with it.

It’s a journey, I’m still learning right now. Shit, I’m about to be 50, but I’m learning from the youth as well. I keep re-inventing myself and changing my ways and just stay in tuned to this new culture because there’s a whole new world out there.

Nike Explains Decision To Stop Selling Their Sneakers On Amazon

For the longest time, fake sneakers sold by independent vendors were running amock on Amazon and Nike felt as though they needed to do something about it. In 2017, Nike signed a deal with Amazon so they could sell their products without any fears fakes on the market. While this seemed to work out quite nicely for Nike, it appears as though they have decided to end their partnership with Amazon, according to Sole Collector.

Over the last year, Nike has been shifting its focus to direct-to-consumer efforts and this latest move is yet another example that. Through a statement to Bloomberg NewsNike went in-depth on its decision to cease all sales on Amazon.

Nike Explains Decision To Stop Selling Their Sneakers On Amazon

Paul Morigi/Getty s for Amazon

“As part Nike’s focus on elevating consumer experiences through more direct, personal relationships, we have made the decision to complete our current pilot with Amazon Retail. We will continue to invest in strong, distinctive partnerships for Nike with other retailers and platforms to seamlessly serve our consumers globally,” the sportswear brand explained.

There will plenty other ways to purchase Nike shoes so all you die-hard Nike fans out there won’t have to worry. The Nike SNKRS App continues to be a popular method purchase while online retailers and brick and mortar stores remain great options.