A$AP Rocky Prosecutors Claim White House Has Not Contacted Them: Report

The #FreeASAPROCKY movement is in full effect but is the White House truly involved in aiding in the rapper’s release? We previously reported that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian petitioned their Oval Office contacts to help get the ball rolling on freeing A$AP Rocky from the custody Swedish ficials. It’s been two weeks since he was arrested on suspicion assault, and President Trump tweeted that he’s going to make some calls to help with the situation.

“Just spoke to @KanyeWest about his friend A$AP Rocky’s incarceration,” he wrote. “I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved!”

Kim took to her Twitter account to honor those who she claims have been working behind the scenes on Rocky’s behalf. “Thank you @realDonaldTrump , @SecPompeo, Jared Kushner & everyone involved with the efforts to Free ASAP Rocky & his two friends,” she said. “Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated 🙏🏼🤞🏼.”

However, the Swedish Prosecution Authority has issued a statement to Page Six saying that they’ve not received any contact from the President or any government ficial. “We have had no communication with the White House,” they said, adding that even if someone had reached out to them, it is “not possible for the U.S. President to have any influence on the Swedish legal procedure.”

According to Page Six, four U.S. representatives shared in a joint statement that they have contacted the Swedish government. The Swedish Prosecution Authority may not have been directly involved in that correspondence, but there reportedly have been efforts by the United States government to bring Rocky home as soon as possible.

Tyler, The Creator Acknowledges Taking #1 Spot Over DJ Khaled

There was quite a bit controversy surrounding Tyler, The Creator’s album IGORHis experimental hit record came in at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, topping DJ Khaled‘s star-studded production, Father Asahd. Because Khaled enlisted dozens heavy-hitters as features on his record, there were many in the industry who believed Father Asahd was guaranteed to take the No. 1 spot for weeks to come. 

Yet, Tyler, The Creator‘s beautifully woven IGOR—an album swimming with music greats its own—claimed victory the first week its release. Reports surfaced that tens thousands Khaled’s purchases weren’t counted due to a bundling mix-up, but whatever the case was didn’t take away from the fact that Tyler crafted a No. 1 record.

In a recent interview with Zane Lowe, Tyler finally addresses taking that top spot above Khaled. He said he released IGOR with the belief that the album would be misunderstood and wouldn’t be received well with the public. “I f*cking spent so much time on this sh*t, and whether or not people like it, whatever the f*ck, I just want the idea executed,” he said. “And when that happened, and it goes number one, bro, that sh*t means a lot. I didn’t think people would like this album based on everyone hating Cherry Bomb so f*cking much.”

He added, “So when I put this out and it beat first week, and again, I don’t make sh*t to beat first week or be radio or whatever, but for this work art and that album cover and these videos and me doing this suit-wig thing—and this is no disrespect to Khaled or anyone, but this n*gga had every person in the industry, everyone on that f*cking album. Everyone. Everyone. Cardi B, 21 Savage, Travis Scott, Post Malone, Beyoncé, Jay. Everyone who sells billions records…and the fact that I beat him with this, that isn’t parallel to all the popping music right now, was f*cking crazy, bro. Are you serious? Like, that was insane to me.”

XXXTentacion Joke Has Been Yanked Off Air, Comedienne Responsible Issues Statement

Comedian Dina Hashem’s name may have been trending on Friday, but it wasn’t because her jokes were all the rage with the public. Comedy Central shared a clip Hashem doing standup where she made an XXXTentacion joke that some viewed as distasteful. “He was shot, he was on his way to buy a car with $50K in cash and somebody shot him and took the money,” she said. “Which is very tragic but I think also it would be a very good Venmo commercial. That’s the first thing I thought when I heard that.”

Audience members in the video chuckled at the quip, but the social media backlash was heavy. Many XXXTentacion’s friends and fans bashed the comedienne, even resorting to storming her Instagram with scathing comments. This has forced Hashem to issue a statement saying that the clip will never be shown on-air again.

XXXTentacion Joke Has Been Yanked Off Air, Comedienne Responsible Issues Statement
Rob Kim/Getty s

“I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, that’s never what I want,” she wrote in an Instagram message. “I’m a comic and use jokes to try and make dark topics less painful but I realize not everyone feels that way, and I don’t want anyone to feel badly. It was taken down and won’t air on TV.” Technically, she didn’t apologize, but it’s close enough. However, forgiveness is a fickle thing as XXXTentacion supporters continue to troll the comedian. 

Hashem certainly isn’t the only comedian who has come under scrutiny for jokes that many deemed to be inappropriate. Kevin Hart backed out hosting the Oscars after some claimed that he spewed homophobic jokes. Louis CK came under fire for his remarks about Parkland shooting survivors. Bill Maher caught heat for what some claimed were racist jokes he made during an interview with a congressman. Others include Gilbert Gottfried, Stephen Colbert, Chris Rock, George Carlin, and just about anyone on Saturday Night Live. How far is considered too far?

Melania Trump Gets Involved In A$AP Rocky's Case: 'We're Working With the State Department"

Melania Trump is now intervening on A$AP Rocky’s behalf.

Looks like A$AP Rocky has an unexpected supporter in the White House.  After more than two weeks of detainment in Sweden on flimsy charges, Melania Trump stepped up pressure on Sweden to ‘send him back’ — to the United States, that is.

“We are working with State Department and we hope to get him home soon,” Melania Trump told reporters from the Oval Office on Friday in response to questions about the rapper.  The First Lady was prompted by Trump himself, who credited Melania for raising awareness of the issue to him.

President Trump also addressed the matter, indicating that he had received calls from ‘members of the African-American community’.  But he stopped short of making any demands of Sweden or suggesting next steps.

“A$AP Rocky is a situation in Sweden,” Trump stated.  “Sweden’s a great country and they’re friends of mine, the leadership. And we are going to be calling, we’ll be talking to them, we’ve already started and many, many members of the African-American community have called me — friends of mine, and said could you help?”

Trump then passed the mic to Melania.  “Actually, the one who knew about ASAP Rocky was our first lady, right? She was telling me, ‘can you help ASAP Rocky?’”

Melania then offered her brief statement on the matter.

Trump has also reportedly had conversations with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian about the situation.

A$AP, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained by Swedish police earlier this month after an altercation with local Swedes.  Video of the incident strongly indicated that Rocky and his entourage were unfairly attacked, though Swedish officials have detained the rapper while investigating the matter.

As a result of the unexpected incarceration, A$AP Rocky was forced to cancel the remainder of his European tour.  The rapper also complained of putrid conditions and treatment, though pictures of a typical Swedish cell suggest rather sanitary and livable conditions (at least for a prison).

Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department also addressed the situation.

“We are aware that the Stockholm District Court announced it has granted until July 25 for prosecutors to complete their investigation in this case,” the State Department offered. “One of the most important tasks of the Department of State and U.S. embassies and consulates abroad is to provide assistance to U.S. citizens who are detained abroad.”

Sounds like a lot of soft-touch diplomacy, though Rocky is still stuck in a cell — and has been for 17 straight days.  But underneath this issue is a growing sense of anger towards imprisonment against African-Americans in the U.S., for whom long prison detainments while awaiting trial are common.

Just recently, Jay-Z co-produced a documentary about Kalief Browder, a black teenager from the Bronx who was detained for roughly three years on Rikers Island for allegedly stealing a backpack.  Browder spent two years of his three-year detainment in solitary confinement to escape extreme violence from other inmates — all while awaiting trial.

Browder was detained because he couldn’t afford a bail of less than $1,000, and was ultimately cleared of all charges.  Once released, Browder committed suicide at age 22, likely because of the extreme mental and physical abuse trauma experienced in prison.

G-Eazy & Jada Pinkett Smith Call Out Sweden’s Perceived Racist Treatment Of A$AP Rocky

G-Eazy was arrested in Sweden last year on drug and assault charges, but his situation played out way differently than A$AP Rocky’s current predicament.

After TMZ ran a story calling out Sweden’s seemingly racist actions toward the A$AP Mob rapper, G-Eazy hopped on Instagram and threw in his two cents. G-Eazy admits the reason he was out of jail so quickly is likely due to his white privilege.

“Facts. This is the sad truth… The difference between me and Rocky’s treatment and process in Sweden brings to mind two concepts that disgustingly go hand in hand: white privilege and systemic racism,” he wrote. “Let’s call it what it is. He should not be behind bars right now.

“My heart goes out to my brother @asaprocky and his team. We’re riding for yall. #JusticeForRocky #FreeRocky.”

Jada Pinkett Smith also chimed in Twitter and agreed with G-Eazy’s sentiments.

“Hold it … G-Eazy got to strike a deal a day and half after possession of drugs and assault charges???” she tweeted on Friday (July 19). “But you’re holding Rocky. We got the message loud and clear Sweden. Trust me … we got it.”

On Friday morning, a judge ruled Rocky will remain behind the bars of a Swedish jail until prosectors decide whether to indict him on the assault charges. They are expected to make their final decision by July 25.

In the meantime, several of Rocky’s peers have showed their support by launching a Swedish boycott, including Tyler, The Creator and T.I.

Rocky was arrested in Stockholm on July 2 after he got into an altercation with a group of men who accused Rocky of breaking his headphones.

James Harden Breaks His Silence On Russell Westbrook Trade: Watch

There was a time when NBA analysts thought the Oklahoma City Thunder could be a dynasty that rivaled the likes the Miami Heat, who were also phenomenal at the time. With Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and even Serge Ibaka at the helm, the Thunder had the pieces to be an all-time great team. In the end, the Thunder only went to one NBA Finals and got blown out by LeBron James and the Heat. After that, Harden was sent to the Houston Rockets and KD left for a superteam. Westbrook was left all alone and eventually got Paul George. When George left for the Los Angeles Clippers, he asked for a trade and now, he’s reunited with Harden on the Rockets.

Both players are seen as ball-dominant forces and going into next season, chemistry will certainly be an issue. At a recent Adidas event, Harden finally spoke about the Westbrook trade and said he’s not worried at all about the team’s cohesion.

“When you have talent like that, it works itself out,” Harden explained. “You got guys that are willing to sacrifice, it always works itself out.”

With the Golden State Warriors in decline, the Rockets finally have a golden opportunity to become the best team in the Western Conference so it will be interesting to see how they’re able to make it work.

James Harden Claims His New Shot Will "Look Like It’s A Travel"

James Harden is one the most prolific scorers in the NBA although he has come under fire for the way he’s able to get a lot his points. Many people believe Harden is constantly taking advantage the rules by embellishing contact and trying to draw foul shots. He’s also known for his killer step-back jumper that at times, makes him seem like he’s traveling. There have been plenty instances Harden getting caught traveling and while he’s addressed this before, he’s never admitted to wanting to fix it.

At a recent Adidas event, a young kid asked Harden about his signature move and whether or not he’s really traveling. That’s when the Houston Rockets star revealed that he was working on a brand new move that would have both players and referees questioning themselves.

“This year I’m going to come up with something more creative, that’s gonna look like it’s a travel but it’s not,” Harden explained.

There’s no telling what this special move could be but we’re definitely intrigued. Playing alongside Russell Westbrook will be a whole new experience so perhaps this latest revelation is in direct response to that style change. Either way, the Rockets will be fascinating this season and Harden will be front and center for all it.

 

Donald Trump Admits Melania Brought A$AP Rocky’s Arrest To His Attention

A$AP Rocky will have to remain in a Swedish prison because prosecutors believe he’s a flight risk. But in the good ole U.S A, the big Dorito is fice is working hard to get another American freed from a foreign prison. We previously reported that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West used their political ties to help free Rocky but apparently, it was Melania Trump who brought the matter to Trumpito’s attention.

Melania’s either heavy on Google Trends or she has a pretty decent taste in music. Trump issued a statement in the Oval Office today pertaining to Flacko’s incarceration. “Uhhh, A$AP Rocky’s situation in Sweden. Sweden’s a great country. They’re friends mine,” he told reporters. “We are going to be calling — we’ll be talking to ’em. We’ve already started.”

This turned out to be a perfect opportunity for Trump to try and convince everyone that he’s in tune with the African-American community. “Many, many members the African-American community have called me, friends mine, and said, ‘Could you help?'” He said. “I personally don’t know A$AP Rocky but I can tell you that he has tremendous support from the African-American community in this country. And when I say African-American, I think I could really say from everybody in this country. Because we’re all one.

Clearly, he doesn’t know who A$AP Rocky is since it was actually Melania Trump to put Rocky’s situation on Trumpito’s radar. “We’re working with the State Department, and we hope to get him home soon,” Melania said to reporters.

Peep the cringeworthy clip below. 

Kawhi Leonard Turned Down Russell Westbrook In Favor Of Paul George: Report

Kawhi Leonard had the entire NBA world on their toes a couple weeks ago as he decided on a team to call home. The two-time NBA champion decided to go with the Los Angeles Clippers who were able to acquire Paul George trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was a shocking development that eventually led to another trade involving Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets. As Shams Charania The Athletic explained, Westbrook almost ended up with the Clippers but in the end, Leonard wanted George.

“Sam, I began to hear in the days leading up to Kawhi’s commitment in the early morning hours July 6 that he informed the Clippers that he would sign with them — if they were able to acquire a second star. Russell Westbrook and Paul George became early targets, I was told, but Leonard identified George as the player to get,” Charania explained. “And once the Clippers received word that Leonard was choosing them, they did whatever they could to ensure his commitment stuck.”

Kawhi Leonard Turned Down Russell Westbrook In Favor Of Paul George: Report

Harry How/Getty s

This development just goes to show how much power Leonard had this fseason. He duped the Lakers and Raptors into thinking they had a chance and in the end, he created a dynamic duo in Los Angeles Clippers. With Kawhi and George at the helm, the Clippers are going to be a huge threat to win the championship this season.

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"The Lion King" Is A Visual Triumph Lacking The Original’s Spirit

When Disney announced that they’d be reimagining The Lion King, there was a mix excitement and trepidation in the air. Brought to life under the studious eye Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Jungle Book, Chef), every frame previously seen in trailers suggested that he’d worked his magic once again. Teamed with an accomplished cast voice actors comprised veteran thespians and culture-shifting musical talents, it was easy to be lulled into a false sense what could go wrong?

Now that Disney is seemingly hellbent on bringing their classic films to a new generation, kids will be experiencing these fables for the first time. A low risk, high reward formula destined to bring the money rolling in year after year, it’s a foregone conclusion that The Lion King will be one the highest-grossing films the summer. However, the formula risks producing a rollcall films that can’t outrun the timelessness their predecessors, and that’s exactly the trap that Favreau’s latest remake stumbles into.

Throughout the course the movie, you find yourself accosted by nostalgic visuals. The sweeping grandeur Pride Rock, the sun rising over the African savanna, herds zebras and antelopes all congregating. It’s all there and it looks undeniably majestic. However, this is where one the crucial issues with the film comes in. Where they could’ve gone out their way to contribute a new batch iconic moments, Disney became reliant on the comfort familiar scenes, not unlike a legendary artist middling their way through a greatest hits set.

Like its 1994 forebearer, there’s no denying that this is another feat technological innovation. Where the original took hand-drawn animation to new heights, 2019’s edition brings photorealism to unforeseen levels. At numerous points throughout its “Circle Of Life” opening sequence, it’s easy to forget that you’re watching a computer-generated image rather than one David Attenborough’s awe-inspiringly detailed Planet Earth documentaries. But as it turns out, the vividness these renderings comes at a high price. As opposed to the animation allowing the animal kingdom to emote and express themselves, the impenetrability today’s CGI means that many its pivotal characters are robbed their once-winning personalities.

"The Lion King" Is A Visual Triumph Lacking The Original's Spirit

Gareth Cattermole/Getty s

It’s a mixed bag in both the voice acting and scoring department. There’s no doubt that the decision for James Earl Jones to reprise his role as Pride Rock’s noble leader Mufasa was the right call. As new additions go, Donald Glover’s take on Simba is actually a vast improvement on the occasionally overwrought delivery Matthew Broderick, while Beyonce brings a newfound gravitas to the role Nala. No piece casting is perhaps more ingenious than allowing Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen to recapture the whimsical joy and playfully nihilistic musings Timon and Pumba. While the latter seems like a role that the amiable Canadian was practically born to play, Eichner gets to make a case for Broadway work and showcase his understated comedic timing. 

On the subject comedians, the addition Eric Andre and Keegan Michael-Key as two hapless hyenas is a welcome addition, but sadly Chance The Rapper’s fleeting cameo as a bushbaby is a blink and you’ll miss it affair. On the other side the spectrum, one character who is done a grave disservice in this version is the villainous Scar. Formerly helmed by Jeremy Irons, his portrayal Mustafa’s misaligned brother and his ascent to power had the sort devious pomp and circumstance befitting the story’s Shakespearean origins. But try as he might, the limitations CGI to convey emotion and the momentous nature Irons’ performance proves too much for Chiwetel Ejior to overcome.

Overseen by Pharrell Williams and with Hans Zimmer returning to contribute new elements to his existing score, the legacy Elton John and Tim Rice’s seminal compositions is handled with care. But where the onscreen action sticks as stringently as it can to the original, the soundtrack plays a little more fast and loose with the boundaries. In one the film’s climactic centerpieces, Beyonce’s new fering “Spirit” gives the film a jolt adrenaline, whereas their decision to incorporate a rendition The Tokens’ “The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ is mandela effect-inducing as you strain to remember whether it was actually in the original. 

Sired by Hollywood’s wariness to bank on new ideas, 2019’s The Lion King is by no means inherently bad or unenjoyable. When it hits its stride, such as in the visceral and emotional climactic duel between Simba and Scar, the film evokes that same sense wonderment that you felt as a kid. Yet despite being consistently dazzling from a technical standpoint, it lacks the heart that made its predecessor such a worldwide sensation. 

Eddie Murphy In Talks To Land $70M Netflix Stand Up Special: Report

While we wait for more details surrounding the second installment  Coming To America, the lead actor Eddie Murphy is reportedly working away at landing a lucrative Netflix deal that will give us some stand-up comedy skits. TMZ reports that the streaming service wants to give Eddie the platform to make his comeback and the alleged figure their hovering over is $70 million.

It’s unknown just how many specials the streaming giant will want for Eddie, but it’s not too wild a number considering past payouts to beloved comedians. If you can remember, Dave Chappelle got $60 million for three stand-up specials while Chris Rock got $40 million for two specials.

Eddie Murphy In Talks To Land $70M Netflix Stand Up Special: Report
Kris Connor/Getty s

Eddie was a guest on the new season Comedians in Cars Getting Cfee where he talked to host Jerry Seinfeld about returning to the stage. “Imma do it again, I just have to…everything has to feel right,” he says in the clip below. “I just have to get up there and start working out,” he added, detailing how he’ll have to hit up some comedy clubs to get back in the swing things. 

Eddie’s 1987 movie, Eddie Murphy: Raw is the #1 stand-up film all time at the box fice, pulling in $50.5 million. It’s safe to say his return is over due. 

Former Giants Player Mitch Petrus Dies Of Heatstroke At 32: Report

Tragedy has struck the NFL today as it was announced that former New York Giants fensive lineman Mitch Petrus passed away in Arkansas. It was reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette that Petrus had been saying he felt ill and was eventually taken to the Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock. Shortly upon arriving at the hospital, Petrus died severe heatstroke.

Petrus had been working outside at his family’s shop in heat that was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. His death comes at the same time that a heat advisory was delivered to those living within Arkansas. This dangerous heat warning is spilling into Friday so people in Arkansas should be wary venturing outside. 

Petrus played with the Giants from 2010 to 2012 and even won a Super Bowl with the team before moving on to the Tennessee Titans. The lineman ended up retiring in 2013 and moved back to his home state. Petrus’ death marks the second former Giants player to die in as many weeks. Former back up quarterback Jared Lorenzen died at the beginning July due to an infection.

Our condolences go out to Petrus’ family during this difficult time. 

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Comethazine Drops Dramatic Visual For A Cappella Single “Stand”

St. Louis, MI – After breaking into YouTube’s top trending charts, 21-year-old phenom Comethazine has blessed fans (and even more so producers) with his unorthodox new a cappella single/video “Stand.”

Paired with a dramatic black-and-white treatment, the mildly subdued “Stand” is characterized by a haunting atmosphere. He creates a truly hypnotic effect, harmonizing over his own trailing echoes.

The single is the latest from Bawskee 3.5, which is the third installment of the series that began in 2017 and — officially — is being billed as his debut album.

Comethazine Drops Dramatic Visual For A Cappella Single “Stand”

With well over 107 million combined streams on Spotify alone — and a gold certification for his single “Walk” (which sported an A$AP Rocky-featured remix) — it’s clear Comethazine is just getting started.

Watch Comethazine’s ”Stand” above.

A Race Ting? G-Eazy Treated Very Differently Than A$AP Rocky By Swedish Officials

With Kim and Kanye attempting to work their magic at the White House with Donald Trump, it was starting to look like A$AP Rocky may walk the streets a free man once more. But the most recent news in this whole debacle sees the detained rapper forced to stay behind bars until Thursday at the earliest, having been deemed a “flight risk” by ficials. He is currently facing a total a potential six-year detainment for assault, and when he was first jailed in Sweden, a timeline two weeks was given until his release, but as time goes on his release is being pushed further and further. As the investigation is ongoing, Rocky is being forced to live in solitary confinement, and under deplorable conditions. With the situation seemingly not getting any better, and people beginning to wonder just when it is exactly Rocky would be seeing the light day, we have to wonder just how it is that despite not actually being charged, he’s receiving much worse treatment than his white counterpart, G-Eazy, did with country ficials.

If you recall, in May last year, G-Eazy walked away scot-free any jail time, after he went on a coked-up spree and punched a bouncer in the head in Sweden. At the time, Despite being arrested on charges assault, possession drugs and use narcotics, prosecutors made a deal with him only a day and a half later: he pled guilty to violent resistance, a crime violence against an ficial and illegal drug possession, and was allowed to leave the country immediately. He was sentenced only with a $10k fine and probation, as well as paying $900 to the security guard. As opposed to Rocky, who had clear video evidence showing he was just acting in a manner self-defense, G-Eazy punched the man completely on his own (drugged up) accord, yet the difference in their treatment speaks volumes. If that’s not enough to convince you that this case screams undertones racial discrimination, you may recall back in 2015, when Snoop Dogg was arrested in Sweden after being pulled over and brought into custody because cops suspected he was driving under the influence. He was only released after cops forced him to pee in a cup to determine he was clean. At the time, Snoop swore he would never return to the country. 

Cardi B Pulls Out Of Way Out Festival In Sweden

Although many rappers pledged to boycott performing in Sweden in support A$AP Rocky, there have been a few who’ve gone against it. Yesterday, Cardi B showed her support for A$AP Rocky but she said that she wouldn’t cancel any performances in Sweden because they’ve treated her well in the past. While A$AP’s situation may have not played a factor, it appears that she’s pulled out an upcoming performance in Sweden.

Cardi B Pulls Out Of Way Out Festival In Sweden
JB Lacroix/Getty s

It appears as if Cardi B’s canceled her forthcoming performance at Way Out Festival in Sweden in August. The rapper was scheduled as a headlining act but the festival announced that she wouldn’t be able to make it on their website.

“We regret to announce that Cardi B will no longer be able to perform at this year’s Way Out West. We are now working hard to present a new booking to fill the gap in the schedule caused by this situation,” the statement reads.

No further explanation was provided nor did Cardi B comment on the cancellation yet. However, a few fans expressed their disappointment on social media. 

In other Cardi-related news, the rapper recently appeared in the new trailer for Hustlers along with Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, Keke Palmer and more. This will mark Cardi’s first major film role. Keep your eyes peeled for more information on that.