IMPALA Unveils 10-Point COVID-19 Coronavirus Management Plan

The Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA) has created a 10-point COVID-19 crisis-management plan, which features relief-minded recommendations for governments, the European Union, and the independent music industry itself.

The promptly issued response strategy comes less than one week after its COVID-19 Task Force. The first of the guide’s 10 steps calls for a “Joined-up approach across Europe”; IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith previously signaled that the lack of coordination among European governments and companies was negatively affecting the independent music community.

Steps two, three, and four pertain to national governments. Specifically, step two requests “clear rules on event cancellations and lockdowns,” step three asks for financial aid for affected artists and businesses, and the fourth step centers on “sector-specific compensation plans”

The IMPALA COVID-19 Task Force’s next three recommendations apply to the European Union: enhanced loan guarantees for “cultural sectors,” additional crisis-prevention measures, and an amplified awareness of and response to governments’ actions.

The European Union has taken some steps to curb the coronavirus’s spread and minimize its impact, but has left specific prevention policies—including large-gathering bans and lockdowns—to member states. Italy has instituted a full lockdown, for instance, while Sweden hasn’t closed its businesses or its schools.

IMPALA’s final three crisis-management steps focus on the music sector. Bolstered collecting efforts, better digital services (including faster payments), and increased independent-music radio airtime and promotion, respectively, constitute these latter three steps.

Speaking of the 10-point plan, IMPALA Executive Chair Helen Smith said: “This is a call for urgent action…No one should get left behind.”

Also, Francesca Trainini, who is the Chair of the Task Force, said, “The EU should monitor what is happening at national level. We also need to map the results. Italy is just one example where the music sector is crumbling.”

Italy, Spain, Germany, and France have reported over 180,000 coronavirus infections, or nearly 40 percent of worldwide cases to date. Moreover, COVID-19 has hit Italy and Spain particularly hard; the countries’ approximately 11,000 coronavirus deaths account for more than half of the global death toll.

These unfortunate points, along with a correspondingly significant economic impact, prompted IMPALA to call for a unified, calculated response.

 

Netflix, YouTube Cut Streaming Quality In Europe Over COVID-19 Crisis

We can only imagine that those you who haven’t had to work remotely in the midst the quarantine has been running up the YouTube and Netflix streams. In Europe, where the Coronavirus pandemic has hit extremely hard, there seems to be a continental crisis surrounding Netflix and YouTube with both companies announcing that they’ll be reducing the streaming quality for the next 30 days.

Netflix, YouTube Cut Streaming Quality In Europe Over COVID-19 Crisis
Ken Ishii/Getty s

CNN reports that the increase in streaming on both YouTube and Netflix could crash the Internet in the next month in Europe if they don’t act immediately. That being said, EU ficials have already asked the public to stop streaming in HD when necessary to ease the internet. However, both reps for Netflix and Google, who owns YouTUbe, issued statements regarding the use their platforms moving forward.

“We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25% while also ensuring a good quality service for our members,” a rep for Netflix said.

A rep for Google stated they’re trying to ease the stress on the system without rendering the quality for their users. “We will continue working with member state governments and network operators to minimize stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience,” a rep said. 

Well, for those you in Europe, try to go for 1080p instead 4K. I promise it isn’t that bad. 

Norwegian University Bashes U.S. Healthcare System In Message To Students Abroad

Over the weekend, a Norwegian university decided to bash the United States healthcare system in a message that was intended for their students who had traveled abroad.

In wake the coronavirus pandemic, the Norwegian University Science and Technology posted a message on its Facebook page Saturday afternoon, encouraging its students who are studying in countries with “poorly developed health services and infrastructure” to return home to reduce their chances contracting the coronavirus. In fact, they actually name drop the U.S. in the process, saying “This applies especially if you are staying in a country with poorly developed health services and infrastructure and/or collective infrastructure, for example the USA.”

The university reportedly backtracked its initial thought by editing the same message on its Facebook page and removing “for example the USA.” They now have “this applies regardless country.” on the website.

Of course, this shade caught the attention many people on twitter, who decided to sound f on our healthcare system and side with the university’s jab. Check out some those responses (below).

Trump Declares Coronavirus A National Emergency

Coronavirus is ficially a national emergency. After Trump faced criticism over the administration’s approach to testing, he held a press conference following the unsettling growth the virus to declare that he’ll be freeing up billions in federal funds and put Federal Emergency Management Agency in action. This falls under the Stafford Act that gives the government authority for “most federal disaster response activities.” 

“To unleash the full power the federal government … I am ficially declaring a national emergency,” Trump said. “Two very big words.”

Up to $50 billion will be freed for financial aid to Americans in wake the virus. Trump explained that he’s working with each State to provide quick and effective responses to cases Coronavirus. This also means that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will have the authority “waive provisions applicable laws and regulations to give doctors, hospitals – all hospitals — and health care providers maximum flexibility to respond to the virus.”

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused many issues including the cancellations concerts and other public gatherings. The NBA has essentially suspended the season indefinitely to curb the risks contracting the disease while Coachella has pushed back their annual festival to October. 

Megan Thee Stallion Might Face Roadblock In Lawsuit Against Label

Megan Thee Stallion is in the midst a legal battle with her label, 1501 Certified Entertainment but she still managed to release her new project, SUGA last week, thanks to the judge who granted her a temporary restraining order against the label. Even though the project managed to find its way onto streaming services, Meg’s battle against 1501 Entertainment is far from over. 

Megan Thee Stallion Might Face Roadblock In Lawsuit Against Label
Tommaso Boddi/Getty s

In new documents obtained by Bossip, a lawyer for the label has filed a motion arguing that Megan Thee Stallion has no right to take them to court. Although details Megan having to go through arbitration with the label were previously revealed, a lawyer for 1501 has asked to have this case dealt with privately. Ultimately, this would mean that the results the case would not be available to the public.

The agreement is apparently in the very contract that Megan Thee Stallion signed two years ago. The contract states that any disputes between them would be settled in a private matter. If Megan’s case proceeds as she plans, then she’d allegedly be violating their legal agreement. They’re not necessarily arguing aspects this case but would rather have it dealt with behind closed doors. 

A judge has yet to file a ruling on the motion. We’ll keep you posted on any more updates. Read our review  SUGA here.

6ix9ine Gets Prison Release Date

6ix9ine is coming home this summer.

According to the Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator, the embattled rapper will be released from prison on Aug. 2, 2020. His lawyer Lance Lazzaro confirmed the date to Complex.

Tekashi was sentenced back in December 2019. He was originally facing 47 years to life on racketeering and firearm charges, which was reduced to two years. Tekashi cooperated with federal prosecutors by testifying against members of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. His snitching led to the conviction of his former gang affiliates, Anthony “Harv” Ellison and Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack.

He has already served 16 months, which will count toward his sentence. Upon his release, he will be on supervised release for five years, and will have to complete 300 hours of community service and pay a $35,000 fine.

In January, 6ix9ine requested to serve his 24 months under home confinement out of fear for his safety. A federal judge denied the motion.

After Controversy, Sonos Scraps Recycle Mode that Bricks Old Speakers

Sonos is doing away with the company’s controversial Recycle Mode for its trade-up program.

Recycle Mode on devices is a setting that could be activated by customers. Once activated, the speaker could not be taken out of the mode. After 30 days, the speaker becomes inoperable. Sonos offered its customers a 30% discount in exchange for creating garbage.

While named Recycle Mode, all the feature did was brick old Sonos devices.

Sonos is now backing away from its Recycle Mode but will still offer the trade-up program. Customers who own eligible legacy products can get a 30% discount without destroying their speakers. The change means device owners can keep it, give it someone, or actually recycle it.

Recycle Mode was quietly removed from the Sonos app last week. The language that replaced the feature said anyone seeking a discount should call customer service. Sonos will update its website with the new flow for the trade-up program – which won’t require a customer service call.

Last year an e-waste recycling worker brought attention to Sonos’ recycling practices. The bricked speakers are so that Sonos can sell you a new speaker at a discount.

Sonos financial results reveal that 92% of Sonos speakers are and working perfectly fine. It’s mighty hard to sell new speakers to old customers – so the Sonos trade-up program was born. Despite the name, recycle mode is intended to get customers to give up those working, but old speakers.

Sonos says those older speakers will no longer work with its app in a future update. The company says its legacy hardware won’t get new software features going forward, either. Legacy hardware includes the Sonos Play:5, Zone Players, and Connect devices manufactured between 2011 and 2015.

While these speakers will continue to play music, they will prevent newer hardware from updating. Sonos says that’s to keep legacy devices working with more modern equipment.

Shannon Sharpe Offers Harsh Assessment Of Tom Brady: Watch

Shannon Sharpe used to play in the NFL which makes him particularly well-equipped to talk about other players and whether or not they have what it takes to still play at a high level. Sharpe currently cohosts FS1’s Undisputed alongside Skip Bayless and the former Denver Bronco has been known to bring some hot takes to the table. On Friday, that’s exactly what he did while talking about Tom Brady. The QB will be a free agent this season and has a big decision to make in regards to where he goes next.

As Sharpe explains in the clip below, he believes Brady has actually hit the end the road and that he barely has what it takes to be a sustainable quarterback. In fact, Sharpe would take Brees over Brady right now. Of course, Sharpe admits that Brady was better in his prime but as it stands, Brees is more serviceable.

“Moving forward, Drew Brees is a better, more valuable (quarterback)… because I believe he has more in the tank,” Sharpe said. “Tom Brady is on fumes. If I’m him, the next gas station, I’m not passing it. I’m going to fill up, because sometimes you’re like, ‘No, I can get something cheaper down the road.’ Don’t you pass that gas station, Tom, because it’s almost over.”

Sharpe’s comments come f as pretty harsh but he definitely makes an interesting point. Say what you will about Brady’s weapons last year, he simply wasn’t playing at a high enough level for the Patriots to go far. With this in mind, Brady could find this upcoming season to be quite difficult.

#DXCLUSIVE: CJ Fly Readies ‘RUDEBWOY’ Debut Album Release With ‘Grew Up’ Featuring Haile Supreme

New York, NY – CJ Fly‘s debut album RUDEBWOY is slated to roll out March 6.

In anticipation of the Pro Era MC’s project release he exclusively shares his latest single “Grew Up” featuring Haile Supreme with HipHopDX.

Produced by Statik Selektah, the Brooklyn native gets personal and introspective over the robust track.

“‘Grew Up’ is a reflection of surviving certain experiences in the streets of Brooklyn that forced me to mature at a young age,” CJ said in a statement email.

Press play on CJ Fly‘s “Grew Up” and check out his RUDEBWOY cover art and tracklist below.

#DXCLUSIVE: CJ Fly Readies 'RUDEBWOY' Debut Album Release With 'Grew Up' Featuring Haile Supreme

1. GOIN THRU feat. T’nah
2. RUDEBWOY feat. Joey Bada$$
3. BARRELL feat. Haile Supreme
4. GREW UP feat. Haile Supreme
5. SHOW YOU
6. I TRIED feat. OSHUN
7. BLOCK PARTY feat. Kirk Knight
8. CITY WE FROM feat. Conway the Machine
9. JOOKS
10. LV ASCOT
11. STRUGGLIN’
12. HARD TIMES feat. Lexipaz
13. THE PROS feat. PRO ERA & T’na

T-Pain Purchases ‘Fuck T-Pain’ Website So All Profits Go To Him

T-Pain has apparently flipped the script on a super hater who started the “Fuck T-Pain” website. Thanks to his ample bank account, the Grammy Award-winning artist was able to purchase the domain so all profits go into his wallet.

“k so here’s wht happened,” he tweeted on Sunday (February 16). “My dawg sent me the http://fucktpain.com link and instead of trying to take it down and hurt the person that put time into making the site. I simply purchased it from them and now all the profit comes to me. Got it? So buy it up!! I’d appreciate it.”

The Masked Singer winner coupled the tweet with another tweet from one of his haters that reads, “tpain is a terrible artist and he is the ugliest creature on the planet.”

The “Fuck T-Pain” website consists of a barrage of social media posts all trashing Mr. Tallahassee Pain. Comments range from”T-Pain sucks” to “Show me a GOOD T-Pain song where he doesn’t use Auto-Tune. Yup. He sucks. Talentless fat fuck.”

There are also several t-shirts for purchase with the text, “Fuck T-Pain” or “Auto-Tune Sucks.” The shirts are priced at $24.00.

Trump Signs USMCA Into Law, Complete With Global DMCA Protections

President Trump has signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), expanding U.S. copyright law into Mexico and Canada.

President Trump has signed USMCA, a trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, into law. The far-reaching NAFTA replacement includes a multitude of provisions pertaining not only to physical imports and exports, but to many facets of copyright law.

The most prominent of these copyright provisions—and one that’s been decried by creators and companies in the music industry—is a reaffirmed and extended “safe harbor” for internet service providers (ISPs) and digital platforms that enable users to upload (potentially copyrighted) content.

The protection, which is essentially the opposite of the European Union’s , doesn’t hold companies liable for individuals’ copyright infringements so long as they (the companies) quickly respond to removal requests from rightsholders. In order to enjoy continued protection, ISPs and content platforms must ban users who repeatedly upload works they don’t own — though enforcement on that point can be tricky.

This DMCA-style copyright-safeguard system will be applied throughout Canada and Mexico.

Additionally, these nations are in the process of adopting other elements of U.S. copyright policy. That includes extended copyright life (Canada’s copyright spans 50 years after the creator’s passing, but will soon match the U.S.’s 70 years) and an affirmation of artists’ rights to negotiate country-wide streaming deals.

Though many creator-advocate groups have come out against USMCA because of its copyright language, the deal received overwhelming (and ever-rare) bipartisan support in Congress. On December 19th, 2019, 385 Representatives (193 Democrats and 192 Republicans) voted in favor of the law, which was passed in the Senate on January 16th, by a tally of 89 to 10 (including 51 Republicans and 38 Democrats).

Mexican senators approved USMCA on December 12th, 2019, with 107 members voting in favor and just one member voting against the agreement. Canada’s legislature is in the process of negotiating and approving the deal, which will go into effect once Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signs off.

6ix9ine Denied Home Confinement Request

6ix9ine will remain behind bars.

A federal judge has denied the rapper’s motion to serve his 24 months under home confinement. On Tuesday, Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled that Tekashi must remain in jail for the remaining 10 months of his sentence.

“The Court’s determination was, and is, that a 24-month prison sentence is necessary in this case,” wrote Engelmayer. “A shorter sentence would disserve the assembled [factors], including that Mr. Hernandez’s sentence reflect the seriousness of his crimes.”

According to TMZ, Tekashi requested home confinement out of fear for his safety. He is concerned that he may be harmed by members of the Bloods, the same gang he testified against in order to receive a reduced sentence.

The judge acknowledged that the private jail where Tekashi remains doesn’t have the rehabilitative programs of other facilities, but said that granting his request would “eliminate the remaining prison component of his sentence in favor of lesser forms of confinement.”

Tekashi had been facing a minimum of 47 years behind bars on racketeering and firearm charges, which was reduced to two years. He has already served 14 months, which will count toward his sentence. Upon his release, he will be on supervised release for five years, and will have to complete 300 hours of community service and pay a $35,000 fine.

Tekashi’s attorney plans to appeal the decision.

HBO Max Announces "Aquaman" Animated Series

HBO Max has greenlit an animated series titled Aquaman: King Atlantis, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The announcement was made during the 2020 Television Critics Association press tour on Wednesday. Aquaman: King Atlantis will be a three-part mini-series with each episode following a different story from Aquaman’s adventures. 

Entertainment Weekly says the synopsis for the first episode reads, “He’s got a LOT catching up to do. Luckily, he has his two royal advisors to back him up – Vulko, the scholar, and Mera, the water controlling warrior-princess. Between dealing with unscrupulous surface dwellers, elder evils from beyond time and his own half-brother who wants to overthrow him, Aquaman is going to have to rise to the challenge and prove to his subjects, and to himself, that he’s the right man for the trident!”

The mini-series will be executive produced by James Wan, who directed 2018’s Aquaman. Victor Courtright and Marly Halpern-Grase will serve as showrunners.

Neither the cast nor the premiere date have been announced for Aquaman: King Atlantis.

HBO Max is expected to release in May. In addition to Aquaman: King Atlantis, the streaming service will include all HBO shows and films, as well as a number other popular series’ such as FriendsSouth ParkFresh Prince Bel-Air and more.

Chicago’s Homicide Rate Continues To Decline For Third Consecutive Year

The gun violence in Chicago has been a major issue in the city that politicians and community leaders have tried their hardest to curb over the years. Their efforts have led to another significant drop in homicides in 2019 for the third consecutive year, according to CNN. Chicago, which has the third-largest population in America, declined by 13% in comparison to 2018. 2019 recorded 490 murders and police documented 564 in 2018. In comparison to 2016, which recorded 756 — the highest documented number homicides in two decades at the time — homicides have dropped by 35%.

Chicago's Homicide Rate Continues To Decline For Third Consecutive Year
 Scott Olson/Getty s

This marks another strong decline in homicides since 2016 which is when the city began to take major efforts to curb murders and gun violence in the city by hiring more police with an emphasis on community policing as well as providing further investments in social service resources and schools.

“I think that all those things working together — being on the ground, supporting vulnerable victims, supporting vulnerable communities — led to the declines that we saw this year, and particularly over the course the summer,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. 

In addition to homicides going down, the city also saw another significant decline in shootings in the city. Police recorded 2,139 shooting in 2019 which is a 9.6% decline from 2018 which counted 2,367 shooting. In addition, the Chicago Police Superintendent said that there’s also been a decline in robberies by 17%.

Dwyane Wade Set To Produce Docuseries For Walmart’s Vudu: Details

Now that Dwyane Wade is retired, he has a lot more free time to work on projects outside basketball. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Wade will be able to get into the TV space as he is set to produce a brand new Docuseries. This Docuseries has been commissioned by Walmart’s video service, Vudu. In the report, it is stated that this series will be called Legacy and has a pretty dope concept. Essentially, the show will follow young athletes as they attempt to fulfill their dreams being pressional athletes. The twist here is that the subjects will all be children other famous athletes.

Zaire Wade will be one the athletes followed. He is currently playing high school basketball with Bronny James Jr. Former NFL player Randall Cunningham’s daughter, Vashti, will also be in the documentary. Not to mention, Evander Holyfield’s sons Evan and Elijah will also be in the series, too. Evan is training to be a boxer while Elijah is on the Carolina Panthers as a running back.

Dwyane Wade Set To Produce Docuseries For Walmart's Vudu: Details

Stephen Maturen/Getty s

“I’m proud to executive produce Legacy and bring my son’s unique athletic journey to other aspiring young athletes,” Wade explained in a recent statement. “I hope this docuseries leaves viewers feeling inspired through showing the hard work and dedication needed to turn your dreams into reality.”

Stay tuned for updates on this series as we will be sure to update you on when it airs.