Brandy Confirms ‘Moesha’ Reboot

“Moesha” is headed back to television.

Nearly two decades since the show went off air, Brandy has announced that a reboot of the popular ’90s sitcom is in the works. During Sheryl Lee Ralph’s DIVA Foundation event earlier this week, the actress, who played Brandy’s stepmother Dee Mitchell on “Moesha,” asked the singer if she wanted to see the show return.

“We would like to know, would you like to do a ‘Moesha’ reboot?” asked Lee ( ABC News Radio).

“Yeah! Absolutely,” Brandy responded before telling the crowd, “I’m here to solidify that we’re gonna bring ‘Moesha’ back.”

Added Lee, “There you go. You heard it right here. You will have a ‘Moesha’ reboot.”

“Moesha” aired from 1996-2001 on UPN. Brandy played high school student Moesha Denise Mitchell in the series, which also starred Marcus T. Paulk, Lamont Bentley, Shar Jackson, Countess Vaughn, and her brother Ray J.

In 2017, the cast reunited for the first time in 16 years on “The Real.”

Since “Moesha” ended, Brandy has appeared on shows including BET’s “The Game” and FOX’s “Star.” She recently earned a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance for “LOVE AGAIN,” her collaboration with Daniel Caesar off his album CASE STUDY 01.

TikTok Secretly Hid Content From Fat, Queer, and Disabled Users

TikTok has admitted it adopted a set of policies to suppress the content of ‘vulnerable’ creators. TikTok says the policy was to prevent cyberbullying but hints at censorship.

Moderators for the app were asked to watch 15-second videos to determine if the creator might be bullied. If so, moderators were instructed to add flags to the accounts of these users.

The flags would stop their videos from being shown to audiences outside of their home countries. In some cases, the flags would stop the content from appearing in other users’ feeds.

A German website obtained a list of people who were considered vulnerable by moderators. The list includes people with disabilities, fat people, LGBTQ people, autism spectrum people, or anyone who used rainbow flags in their profile.

A spokesperson for TikTok said the approach was never intended to be a long term solution and that the policies are no longer in use.

“While the intention was good, the approach was wrong and we have long since changed the earlier policy in favor of more nuanced anti-bullying policies and in-app protection.”

The policies were still in place as of September of this year. We reported on instances of on TikTok back then. It seems the net was cast wider than initially believed in terms of censorship.

Online harassment continues to be a problem for many young people. A study in Boston found that students with disabilities were 1.8 times more likely to be bullied than others.

But that same study found that these students received more support on social media and a chance to connect with others like them.

TikTok’s blanket policy of removal is definitely not the best approach to cyberbullying. Pre-emptively removing people before they get bullied is just another path down censorship. Not allowing disabled users to use a platform because they might be bullied is outrageous. Imagine not hiring a person because they use a wheelchair to get around.

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

R&B is not dead, but the past ten years have pointed toward such a conclusion. In 2010, top crooners began resorting to pop tracks for chart-topping success and Drake was, well, singing. While quality was certainly upheld at various checkpoints, the lines were undeniably blurred. There was no longer some clear and comprehensive criteria to classify the genre within the mainstream; but, when the current class torchbearers began to assume their roles in the last half this decade, it’s easy to make out what was happening all along.

Hindsight being 20/20, we see now that history is repeating itself. The collective resurgence R&B in an otherwise lacking landscape finds a parallel in the rise neo-soul around the turn the millennium. Just as audiences then were turned on to the Erykah Badus, Maxwells, and Jill Scotts , today’s listeners are presented with a once-underground class talent with no interest in conceding to traditional constructs set by their predecessors. It’s less a coup the tenets that once buoyed an entire class creators, but is rather a changing the guard, making way for a new era candor and earnest delivery that will likely cue the next’s generation’s cleaning days to come: the age-old sign a classic.

This year, especially, proved to be as much a pinnacle for such creations as it was for the discussion that surrounded them. Debates on the showmanship, fan interaction, and the (still uncrowned) King R&B have underscored the creeping mainstream dominance R&B’s new direction. So much so, in fact, that it seemed we talked less about the music and more about the artist’s actions. At the root it all were some the best outputs that this newest generation artists have created in some time. In this year’s rotation R&B albums, we found breakout bodies work from brewing rookies and undeniable opuses from long-established vets. Similar to the entrance the first wave neo-soul, 2019’s most memorable R&B creations latched onto a strong commonality: nostalgia. Whether taking cues from both Motown’s heroes, New Jack Swing soldiers, or Sidekick-era luminaries, the music found a way to transport listeners to times gone by, introducing us to a successful trend retro-contemporary soundscapes. The year’s outputs prove that we are quickly moving past some SoundCloud phenomenon and are settling into a definitive era R&B’s next paradigm. Here are the top efforts that stood out from the exhaustively impressive pack.

Additional contributions to this list come from:

Noah C

Luke Hinz

Rose Lilah

15. Jacquees – King Of R&B 

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

By the end the hour-long tracklisting Jacquees’ sophomore studio album, the 25-year-old doesn’t necessarily end up making a case for any coronation sorts. But, what he does tremendously well extends the foundation laid by past incumbents.

In the pool young R&B-centric talent, Jacquees has proven to be one the few with clear intentions on upholding the values set forth during the genre’s more definitive eras. On King Of R&B, this quality shines through as he achieves a balance that vacillates between boyish tease and earnest lover. The blending genres isn’t a concern for Jacquees. Instead, he focuses his energy on the contemporary presentation R&B’s hallmarks. He upholds the classic admission guilt on “Cross The Line,” while baring vulnerability and regret on “Warning.” He’s attentive in the sheets on “Round II” and even fills in the blank a fitting duet with the Summer Walker-assisted “Superstar.”

“I understand who done came and who done did that and that and that, but now it’s my turn,” he famously declared when initially crowning himself king. Now, nearly a year later, the brash crooner proves that his conclusion did not come without its due diligence. Jacquees is an undeniable student the game. He’s mastered mirroring and refining the techniques crafted by the genre’s most notable teachers and makes this especially clear on King Of R&B.

14. Mahalia – Love & Compromise

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

Mahalia’s debut album was eight years in the making. What this impressively translates to is the fact that the project’s sound— in comparison to that her contemporaries— is not birthed in response to an evolving landscape, but is rather the result an isolated decade where she perfected her craft. Love & Compromise, then, is refined and assured output that proved to be one the most cohesive albums the year.

On Love & Compromise, Mahalia crafts a thoughtful journey that considers its title at each stop along the way. The first is greeted with Eartha Kitt’s voice purring her philosophy on the folly compromising for a man. This sentiment practically shrouds the remainder the project with the subject matter largely pertaining to an eventual choice to walk away or to avoid the relationship altogether. “Hide Out” is a reflection betrayal as the breakout “I Wish I Missed My Ex” ponders on the satisfaction moving on. The poignant “I Know What You Did” duet with Ella Mai hones in on an ex-lover’s scheming and the Beenie Man-sampling “Simmer” finds the 21-year-old Brit brushing the possibility any serious companionship away.

Armed with an apparent affinity for a multitude influences, Mahalia effectively pieces together an album that seamlessly bobs and weaves between various sounds, rhythms, and even periods in time. She draws from ’90s slow jams on “He’s Mine,” digs into Gospel fundamentals on the project closer “Square One,” and calls to her Caribbean roots on the forenamed “Simmer” alongside Nigerian star Burna Boy. Pairing a competency for leveraging such variety with smart and inclusive songwriting, Mahalia unquestionably constructs something for everyone on Love & Compromise.

13. Blood Orange – Angel’s Pulse 

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

One could make the argument that no one is putting out albums as sonically and thematically cohesive as Devonte Hynes right now. Hynes has stood out for the masterful degree control that he maintains over his art and it only becomes more apparent with each release. His ability to craft such a complete statement is largely due to the fact that he has a hand in every little part it – he writes, he sings and he’s credited for playing ten different instruments on Angel’s Pulse alone.

Considering Angel’s Pulse was presented as a mixtape – rather than Blood Orange’s usual album format – one might have expected Hynes to abandon his fierce dedication to cohesion. However, it still plays like an extended dream. Anyone accustomed to a Blood Orange project could understand his sonic collages as the products a single mind. His ingenious use features allows him to cover as much ground as possible. He ten calls on undervalued female vocalists and tests them in new contexts. Tinashe and Justine Skye both shine in their recurring appearances on Angel’s Pulse. Hynes also orchestrates one his wondrously odd collaborations by placing Venezuelan artist, Arca, and BROCKHAMPTON’s Joba on “Take It Back”. Everything makes sense under Hynes’ curation and Angel’s Pulse is another example his ambitious music feeling effortless.  

– Noah

12. H.E.R. – I Used To Know H.E.R.

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

This year, H.E.R. made a surprise drop when she pieced together two previously-released EPs to craft a full-length album. On the comprehensive I Used To Know H.E.R. project, the enigmatic songstress combines the Prelude and Part 2 EPs last year, adding a handful new tracks and even lengthening a few interludes to fully craft the body work. Tying it all together is a subtle update in the project’s artwork in which a previously blurry polaroid is now clear with an image Gabi Wilson leaning over to teach a younger version herself how to play the guitar.

I Used to Know H.E.R. proves to be H.E.R.’s most important project to date. It arrives at a peak popularity and mainstream success for the once-anonymous siren. It signals the culmination Wilson’s evolution. Whereas H.E.R. 2015 gifted us with a faceless proponent for broad-spectrum tracks on love and relationships, the most recent iteration the singer fers fuller perspective into the life a twenty-something navigating maturity (“21”), money (“Racks”), and mental health (“I’m Not OK”).

11. Daniel Caesar – Case Study 01

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

“It’s all just a big experiment,” wrote Daniel Caesar as he introduced fans to his surprise CASE STUDY 01 album in June.

A lot had changed between then and the time that he released 2017’s debut Freudian. Take immediate cultural success, three Grammy nominations, and way more attention than you’ve ever had before, and the same would be true for anyone.

While still leaning into philosophical influences, the Canadian crooner’s CASE STUDY 01 opens listeners up to a number subjects bombarding his psyche beyond the sweet nothings love that brought him to prominence. On CASE STUDY 01, Daniel Caesar’s bubble expands past the one trope, engulfing ideas faith and mortality. But, to the trained ear, we’ve been here before.

Early patrons Caesar’s catalog will recognize CASE STUDY 01 as a deeper exploration the themes first laid out on 2015’s Pilgrim’s Paradise. Whereas Daniel may have found success as a proponent for love ballads, CASE STUDY 01 finds its magic in the return to form that it presents for Caesar. When you pair such ideas with the inevitable change that Caesar has undergone since then, the result is a listing tracks that still trace remnants romance, but also intertwine the reality fame’s aide in metamorphosis: “Used to steal all my groceries and now I get to the racks/Used to be ugly, but now I hit from the back,” (“Frontal Lobe Muzik”).

This promotion is also reflected in the number extra names present on the effort. Caesar avoids the bloat, keeping a smart balance day one collaborators such as Sean Leon while flexing his muscle with the recruitment Brandy, Pharrell Williams, and John Mayer. It all seems to add up to a detion from the blueprint laid out by Freudian, but CASE STUDY 01 is the necessary pit stop that continues what Pilgrim’s Paradise began.

10. Raphael Saadiq – Jimmy Lee 

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

The past few years have seen Raphael Saadiq take on roles that task the 53-year-old hitmaker with manning his position from behind-the-scenes to play his hand in some our most significant cultural moments. Since 2016, he has served as the composer HBO’s Insecure series and is credited as executive producer Solange’s seminal A Seat At The Table.

However, with the arrival his Jimmy Lee studio effort, Saadiq rightfully adjusts the spotlight onto his own narrative, pulling the curtain back on deeply personal tales addiction and eventual loss. Named after Saadiq’s late older brother who died an overdose, Jimmy Lee finds Ray navigating the years self-discovery that have followed since 2012’s Stone Rollin’. Cuts such as “Riker’s Island” capture the overarching theme the effort while contrasted with a new perspective on the autobiographical “My Walk.”

On Jimmy Lee, Saadiq subtly delivers on an emboldened reminder his dominance in adhering to the genre in question. He attaches himself to the winning formula that he’s always known, rarely departing from the sound that he has long established. In the midst newer voices reworking old formulas, Jimmy Lee is a quieted example just how it’s done.

9. Steve Lacy – Apollo XXI

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

In 2017, Steve Lacy took the music industry by storm. Well, to be fair, he foreshadowed his takeover in 2016 when he joined The Internet and fered a crucial hand to the creation the group’s career-shifting record, Ego Death. His contributions on there became discernable as he started lending his production chops to artists like Isaiah Rashad, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. Blunted drums, sanguine guitar melodies and reverberant bass marked the signature sound Steve Lacy. Headlines like “Steve Lacy Produced That Hot Kendrick Lamar Track Using Only His iPhone” led to him being viewed as the wunderkind to grab for your next album – the future.

Steve Lacy’s Demo (2017) concentrated his magic in a single place, opposed to it being sprinkled across the projects others. It housed the archetype his sound, but managed to show dazzling versatility in just fourteen minutes. His debut studio album, Apollo XXI, proved that, with 43 minutes, Lacy only has more room to explore and impress. He’s willing to stretch his vocals to their limits to embody more personas. On “Playground,” Lacy’s the tour guide a colourful acid trip. On “Lay Me Down,” he gives the breathy moans an R&B god. He reaches back into various eras various genres but always sculpts something that is unmistakably his own.

– Noah

8. Tory Lanez – Chixtape 5

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

The immersive experience Tory Lanez’s fifth Chixtape project began as soon as the Canadian placed a forever-young Ashanti front-and-center on his album artwork. The music itself would deliver on its magic in the flipping the running backlash against Tory’s love for samples by deliberately extracting from the early 2000s cuts that color his inspiration.

Wholly following through on his intentions, Tory Lanez’s creation Chixtape 5 deserves immediate praise for its presentation as a new prototype. With each new flip, a familiar voice is attached. T-Pain is present on the “Jerry Sprunger,” which samples his “I’m Sprung” hit,” Uncle Snoop shows up for a verse on “Beauty in The Benz” which flips his Pharrell-assisted “Beautiful.” Cover star Ashanti doubles up with an appearance on “Foolish” remake “A Fool’s Tale” and Chris Brown once more gets to “Take U Down” on “The Take.”

In an age in which nostalgia reigns supreme, Lanez perfects the trend that he, himself, has helped to craft in the last half the decade. He captures the essence the golden age that inspired his own career. Its a proper homage in an increasingly post-genre landscape, and it makes for Lanez’s most ambitious outing to date.

7. Gallant – Sweet Insomnia 

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

Gallant has been slowly but surely been building up his reputation as an important r’n’b voice the new generation. The Maryland singer is filling a gap left from 2000s-era r’n’b, picking up the mantle and adopting it to fit our 2019 (soon to be 2020) landscape. His voice is silky sweet, while his music explores the boundaries r’n’b, pushing into alternative rock territory yet somehow always bringing it back home to rhythm and blues. His sophomore studio album, Sweet Insomnia, showcases these aspects his artistry in a succinct 13 tracks (and it’s worth noting three those tracks are too-short interludes), with the rock-infused title track as the album’s centerpiece.

The wide, plucky guitar notes “Sweet Insomnia” (featuring 6lack) become somewhat a guiding theme across the warm, cushy tones the album, complemented by Gallant’s vocal dexterity; his voice the blanket atop it all. “Hurt” opens with an acoustic guitar melody that wouldn’t sound out place on a Sufjan Stevens song before it gets buried in lush, modern production. Early stand-out “Sharpest Edges” brings the guitar element on less a folk-level and more a rock-level. As we inch closer to the album’s end with “Sleep On It” brings back the acoustic guitar which pervades the length the song, and equally, showcases how his lyrics ten encapsulate perfectly the pull-and-tug a relationship: “it’d be a shame to waste / Perfect night like this / Saying things that we don’t mean, yeah I know it’s hurting you / Shit, it hurts me too / We’re too stubborn to admit it,” he croons, littering the song with bursts his honey’d falsetto.

– Rose

6Lucky Daye – Painted

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

Lucky Daye’s debut album Painted arrived to listeners in pieces. As the crooner shifted comfortably into place, he gradually treated new ears to bite-sized introductions found in his I and II EPs. Painted would arrive with a conclusive third part, binding it all together to make for one the year’s most textured and enveloping ferings across all genres.

Daye’s influence is deeply rooted in mainstays eras gone by— a facet that can be linked back to forbidden listens Prince and The Gap Band while being raised in a deeply religious Christian home that forbade outside entertainment. A self-proclaimed “infinite soul,” Lucky’s Painted is an unequivocally timeless creation.

Project opener and lead single “Roll Some Mo” acts as the basis for a contemporary trip down memory lane while Lucky and producer Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II lay the framework an effort that takes its cues from all the golden tenets R&B and Soul’s greatest sounds. “Extra” and “Late Night” tune into dance-ready funk influences while “Misunderstood” and “Love You Too Much” display an appreciation and intelligent interpretation modern Jazz and Blues foundations. All the while, Lucky Daye’s intuitive songwriting fasten it all together to underscore an affinity for nostalgia while showcasing a nuanced comprehension music’s current trends. On Painted, Lucky Daye is the wondrous sum all his parts and we’re all better for it.

5. Snoh Aalegra – Ugh, Those Feels Again

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

The amount emotion that finds its way to the surface Snoh Allegra’s ugh, those feels again is palpable. It places a stronghold on the project and produces the Swedish-born singer’s most stirring work. Picking up where 2017’s FEELS left f, ugh finds Snoh Aalegra post-breakup as she navigates a smoldering mix emotion that explores heartbreak, dating, and protection self.

Executive produced by NO I.D., the effort finds its bones in larger-than-life production as Snoh makes an effort to relay her reluctance in indulging in the wave feelings that come attached to love— or lack there. Such reluctance is present with the apprehension moving on and in the regret a failed relationship. A tug between these two factors artfully characterizes ugh, those feels again. As quickly as she gratifies in the highs Side A selects such as “Find Someone Like You” and “Woah,” she retreats to pensive despondence on Side B representatives like “Charleville 9200, Pt. II” and “Be Careful.”

The ease at which she flips the script paints an honest picture the realities navigating heartbreak and finds its value in working out the kinks in love.

4. SiR – Chasing Summer

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

For TDE’s resident soul singer SiR, loneliness is always on tap. His latest project, Chasing Summer, finds him gasping to keep his head above water at times, extracting prickly metaphors and excuses for behavior from the reservoirs his ego. His jazzy sweetness is frequently chased with these more self-serving tendencies, and he gulps down concocted fancies with a fervor on tracks such as “Hair Down” and “John Redcorn.” The irony is that Chasing Summer’s sunny complexion does little to stand in the way SiR’s vaporous ruminations about romance. A pilot’s voice-over serves to guide the listener on what is presumed to be a journey into uncharted lands. But the Inglewood native instead chooses to content himself with more localized stomping grounds as he runs through the gamut emotions, from passion to pain to poison. Temporary love interests notwithstanding, SiR manages to stay firmly in his element, dictating his heart’s desires at will over shimmering instrumentation.

– Luke

3. Solange – When I Get Home

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

The title Solange’s When I Get Home suggests a return to a place familiarity, where the process psychological souvenirs firing between synapses is more cathartic than anything else. This meditative quality is impossible to ignore out the gate, with “Things I Imagined” purring into place through a repetition that massages the cortex. Structure gives way to mantra as the album begins to blossom into an ambient and unshackled pop piece. It’s the opening salvo for an exceptional sonic experience in which most songs barely flirt with the two-minute mark. A labyrinth wafting sights and sounds that toy with the senses lend themselves to this ambiance. Meanwhile, the tendrils Houston mythology wrap their way around Solange’s retreat into this dreamy domain, refusing to let go but allowing her to breath new life into the atmosphere. Though the album is not bereft guests, those whose voices peer out the mist serve a decidedly less ancillary purpose than is typically expected big budget roles. When baby Carti pops up amidst the black solidarity “Almeda,” it feels like a natural progression rather than a commercial-minded addendum. If A Seat At The Table is Solange’s all-consuming magnum opus, then When I Get Home is a soul-funk salve, a freeform mental map where motion is the antidote for weariness.

– Luke

2. Summer Walker – Over It

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

Summer Walker had an amazing year. The singer ficially went from relatively unknown to mainstream moniker, thanks to an impressive debut album, Over It, executive produced by her boyfriend London on Da Track. The album pulled on those nostalgia-ridden heartstrings, not only with production elements that recalled an era bygone, but with the artwork too. The pink-heavy cover shows Summer with her du-rag in place, deep pink eyeshadow plastered on her eyelids and an exaggerated set lashes, mid-phone conversation; a baby pink phone with a chord. While the phone is not fully visible, it’s quite clear that this is a rotary phone. It could be the scene a 2000s-era r’n’b music video. 

The album continues the trend with a few carefully curated samples, namely, Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna” on the early fan favorite (and Usher-featuring) “Come Thru” as well as Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” on the Bryson Tiller-featured “Playing Games.” Summer doesn’t rely on these influences like a crutch though, rather she invokes them to uplift her own sound. It’s a sound that feels effortless, much in the same way our Instagram feeds are filled with “effortless” poses and postures– it’s all surface level. Despite the calmness the music, Summer herself is still a bit messy, still a bit frantic, still figuring out who she is and where she belongs, like many millenials are. It’s these emotions and thoughts that pervade her lyrics. The mix Summer’s raw writing with London’s thoughtful backdrop make the album an enthralling and captivating listen from start to finish.

– Rose

1. Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby

Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019

“Alright, all the ni—as in here, leave, please, on the count three because I need to talk to my bitches,” instructs a recurring voiceover at the tail end Shea Butter Baby opener “Chicago Boy.”

On her debut album, Ari Lennox is both the patient and the therapist. Throughout all 12 selections on Shea Butter Baby, Dreamville’s resident siren carefully walks the line. The body work— three years in the making— is a curative collection Lennox’s diary entries on display for all to see. It’s an anthropologic experiment, giving way to brash assertions uality on cuts such as “Up Late” and “BMO,” celebrating the playful pride autonomy on “New Apartment,” and basking in the brooding heartbreak depicted on “I Been.”

Once again, like her peers, Lennox is reaching back to some form an archive to extract inspiration, most closely resembling the voice neo-soul pioneers. In Lennox’s case, however, it’s less a contemporary update on the subgenre and more a direct continuation the form. She fers no novelty in most the style’s tenets. The lyricism is still as candid as ever, piercing emotion is in full abundance, and meticulously selected production— anchored by jazz, blues and soul roots— serves to complement Ari’s airy and poignant vocals.

What’s more is that she practically does it solo, making little room for no more than two voices from JID and J. Cole. Thereafter, the shop is closed f to strangers as Lennox keeps the communal space Shea Butter Baby sacred. It is here that she bares it all and leaves the narrative open-ended enough for listeners to fill in their blanks in what inexplicably mirrors a reciprocative exchange.



Watch Daniel Caesar and Koffee’s ‘CYANIDE: REMIX’ Video

Daniel Caesar teams up with Koffee in the cinematic video for their collaboration “CYANIDE: REMIX.”

Shot in Jamaica, the short film opens with the Canadian crooner in the ocean bathing a horse. After soaking up the local culture, he and Koffee make their way to a horse race. They sit in the stands cheering on their horse before things take a drastic turn and the crowd is left with stunned looks on their faces.

The original “CYANIDE” appears on Caesar’s CASE STUDY 01. The album also features the Brandy collaboration “LOVE AGAIN,” which earned a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance.

Watch the “CYANIDE: REMIX” video below.

Tiffany Haddish Embraces Jewish Heritage & Throws "Black Mitzvah" For 40th Birthday

Tiffany Haddish realized she’s part Jewish at the age 27 from her father’s side and has decided to embrace her heritage in a major way. The 40-year-old’s new Netflix special is appropriately titled Black Mitzvah and in light her birthday that was just yesterday (December 3rd), the Night School actress threw a party the same name and went big on the festivities. 

Tiffany Haddish Embraces Jewish Heritage & Throws "Black Mitzvah" For 40th Birthday
Emma McIntyre/Getty s

According to TMZ, Tiffany held a party at SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and welcomed friends such as Jimmy Kimmel, Kevin Nealon, Charlamagne Tha God, Sarah Silverman, Sinbad and more. “I didn’t know anything about Judaism for a long time,” Tiffany previously explained. “As I got into that pression as an energy producer, I started learning more and more about the Torah. I could really relate to it. And when I met my father, it really resonated with me. I was like: This is what I am. I did my 23&Me, and it said the same thing. I thought], well, I can’t deny this. I wanna claim it.”

Tiffany’s also been studying Hebrew to understand her culture even more and her whole entire Netflix stand-up is about her newfound love her identity. Watch the trailer in full below.

Massive Attack To Help Study Carbon Footprints of Concerts While on Tour

Trip hop legends Massive Attack have announced that they will be taking climate scientists on tour with them to study the carbon footprints of music concerts.

The news comes in the wake of Coldplay that it would no longer tour until concerts can come up with a way to help the environment instead of hurting it.

Massive Attack made the announcement in an op-ed that founding member Robert Del Naja wrote in The Guardian. On their upcoming tour, the band will take along members of the University Of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre. They will collect climate data during the tour and then analyze it. Their hope is that this analysis will identify means for reducing the carbon footprints of concerts.

The Tyndall Centre plans to afterward share their results with the entire music industry, so that the industry as a whole can adopt the measures that they will outline.

In the op-ed, Del Naja wrote, “For some time, despite taking consistent steps to reduce the environmental impact associated with an internationally touring music group, we’ve been concerned and preoccupied with the carbon footprint of our schedules and the wider impact of our sector overall.”

He went on to say, “This concern has deepened with each new report from the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, and the universal acceptance of the climate and biodiversity emergency. Any unilateral statement or protest we make alone as one band will not make a meaningful difference. In pursuing systemic change, there is no substitute for collective action.”

Dr. Chris Jones, who is a research fellow at the Tyndall Centre, also commented on the arrangement. He said, “Every industry has varying degrees of carbon impact to address and we need partnerships like this one to look at reducing carbon emissions across the board.”

Massive Attack was founded in 1988, and they have sold more than 13 million records worldwide.

Kendrick Lamar Track Bracket: Round 2 Goes Live With Surprising Results

After finishing up the Kid Cudi and Drake track brackets, we were looking for the perfect artist to continue with, scouring through their discography to determine their best song all time. In order to pick the right rapper to study, the subject must have a large enough catalog to fully dissect. It helps if their success can be broken up into eras. We threw your suggestions into a pot and ended up settling on Kendrick Lamar, going live with the first round yesterday and continuing today with some shocking picks remaining.

Kendrick Lamar Track Bracket: Round 2 Goes Live With Surprising Results
Karwai Tang/Wire/Getty s

The people have voted and you came up with the sixteen songs going through to the next round. From this point, you will have twenty-four hours to choose what will land in the quarter-finals. There are still some stellar tracks available to vote for; however, a few classics have already been eliminated. Notably, “Cartoons & Cereal” was booted by “i” and “Humble” took a backseat to the “Backstreet Freestyle.” “DNA” also routed “Blacker the Berry,” which will surprise a number Dot’s fans.

As we close in on the finals, sixteen songs are present in the second round with a decent mix eras still available. “Alright” will face f against “These Walls,” “Love” and “DNA” are matched up against one another, and “King Kunta” will need some power to outlast “Swimming Pools.” Let us know which tracks you’re voting for this time around. In order to participate, head to our Instagram prile, shoot us a follow, and watch our stories to vote.

John Singleton’s Daughter Granted Monthly Allowance Until $35M Estate Is Divided

John Singleton tragically passed away in April this year and was mourned by the entertainment and music community for his amazing strides in the film industry. John was 51 at his passing but his legacy will live on through his beloved films such as Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice, Baby Boy, Shaft and many more. 

John Singleton's Daughter Granted Monthly Allowance Until $35M Estate Is Divided
Kevin Winter/Getty s

Following John’s passing, reports were swirling regarding his estate and which family member would be in charge reported $35 million fortune. TMZ now reports that while the details are still being sorted out, one John’s seven children Cleopatra Singleton has been granted $2,778 a month – as well as a one-time payout $4,150 – exactly what she requested. The 21-year-old is studying abroad and claimed to a judge that her father was supporting her financially and needs the allowance to hold her over in the meantime. 

John’s mother Shelia Ward was appointed the director her son’s estate but Cleopatra didn’t agree with her position once stating that she believes she would abuse her power and liquidate his asset.

“I Will Forever Miss My Brother John Singleton. We Met While He Was A Film Student At USC. Over Many Years People Have Told Me “I’m Going To Be A Filmmaker”, When John Said That To Me The 1st Time We Met, I Believed Him Right Away,” Spike Lee wrote his “brother” after his passing. 

Plácido Domingo Calls Sexual Harassment Claims a 'Nightmare'

In the first full interview he has given since partially derailed his career, legendary operatic tenor Plácido Domingo maintained his innocence, calling the accusations a “nightmare.”

While speaking to El Confidencial in an interview conducted in Spanish, Domingo insisted that he always acted in a gentlemanly manner with women before adding, “gallant gestures are viewed differently nowadays.” He also attempted to excuse these gestures as something inherent in Spanish culture, which he called “warm, affectionate and loving.”

However, some have noted how Domingo, during the course of the interview, refused to outrightly deny the charges against him.

The controversy began this summer when the Associated Press reported, during the course of multiple stories, the accusations of over 20 women who had worked with Domingo. They accused him of both ual harassment and inappropriate ual behavior, which included unwanted touching and kissing.

Even more troubling, some of the women further accused Domingo of hurting their careers when they rejected his advances.

At the time of the accusations, Domingo called them “in many ways, simply incorrect,” believing that his “interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual.” He went on to say that he never “behaved in the aggressive, stalking and vulgar manner described.”

Domingo also said in the interview that he plans on continuing to perform in spite of the controversy, at least until he completes his currently scheduled engagements, which right now run through 2021.

He said, “These have been difficult times but things have died down a bit. I’m keeping on working, studying, rehearsing and performing. That has provided me with the calm I need to face this nightmare.” He added, “I still feel strong and healthy.”

Notably, none of his scheduled performances will take place in the United States. He is currently performing Verdi’s “Nabucco” at Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Spain.

Megan Thee Stallion Questions How She’ll Get Homework Done In Between Photoshoots

Megan Thee Stallion has had quite the breakout year and every accomplishment is well deserved. Between every studio session, photoshoot, red carpet event or festival performance Megan’s been hitting the books since she’s a student at Texas Southern University. The “Cash Shit” rapper is studying Health Administration with a goal to open an assisted living facility. 

Megan Thee Stallion Questions How She'll Get Homework Done In Between Photoshoots
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“Just watching my grandmother] take care my great-grandmother] made me want to create a facility for people who are older to go and have somebody help them with their end–life care,” Megan previously told Vulture

Megan has recently opened up about a small struggle that’s come with now being a household name and having to facilitate her celebrity life while still being a student. “I got a 6 page research paper due tonight and a mf photoshoot today… let’s see how this turns out,” she wrote on Twitter. 

A fan jokingly responded, poking fun at Megan stressing out over just six pages. “Lol damn I wish I was perfect like you,” she replied

“I try not to make me being a rapper a huge deal,” Megan once told Rolling Stone her student life. “Just like I’m missing class sometimes because I have to do a show, somebody else] missed a class because they don’t want to be there. They can’t treat either one us no different. I just try to get all my work done and turned in as soon as I can.”

Restaurant Owned by Drake Shuts Down, Landlord Demands Unpaid Rent

The Pick 6ix restaurant in downtown Toronto, which was an upscale sports bar owned by rap superstar Drake, has been shut down after the building’s owner terminated the restaurant’s lease as a result of unpaid rent.

The restaurant, which opened last year, has long been troubled, having received many . Customers on yelp have complained about poor service, high prices and a snobby atmosphere.

Complaints included a $6-dollar plate fee that the restaurant charged for bringing out a plate to a table with a pre-purchased cake. Allegedly, the restaurant subsequently kept the cake after the customer refused to pay the fee.

But things got much worse for the restaurant on November 18, when it announced that — due to flooding — it would temporarily close. Though they indicated that they hoped to reopen sometime early next year.

However, according to the Toronto Star, the landlord of the restaurant terminated its lease prior to the restaurant’s announcement of the flooding issue.

The landlord reportedly left a lease termination notice on the property, which indicated that the restaurant owned them $67,514.73 in unpaid rent. The landlord further indicated that they tried many times to reach Drake’s management team without success.

However, Jeff Darby, who is the operations manager for the Pick 6ix, is denying the allegations of unpaid rent. He said, “We have always paid rent on time and this month is no different, despite a number of issues with the building — including two floods in the past two years due to issues with the pipes.”

This is not the first time that a Toronto restaurant of Drake has failed. Last year, Frings closed, without providing any reason.

So far, Drake himself has not issued a comment on the matter. Though he certainly should have the means to pay the rent, as he is currently the fifth wealthiest rapper in the world, with an estimated net worth of $150 million.

Interview: The Soul Rebels Reflect On Collaborating With The Late Prodigy

The Soul Rebels’ résumé is stacked — and that’s putting it lightly. The eight-piece New Orleans brass ensemble has collaborated with a laundry list of notable Hip Hop artists — from Nas and Wu-Tang Clan to DMX and The Roots’ Black Thought. 

Comprised of founders Lumar LeBlanc and Derrick Moss, trumpet players Julian Gosin and Marcus Hubbard, trombonists Corey Peyton and Paul Robertson, saxophonist Erion Williams and sousaphonist Manuel Perkins Jr., the colorful collective has been pumping out albums since 1995’s Let Your Mind Be Free. 

Their latest, Poetry In Motion, arrived last month and is bursting at the seams with their signature gumbo of Hip Hop, soul, jazz, funk, rock and pop. It also boasts appearances from the Grammy Award-nominated Tarriona “Tank” Ball of Tank and The Bangas, Robert Glasper, Matisyahu, PJ Morton and Trombone Shorty, among others.

In a recent interview with HipHopDX, Lumar, Julian, Corey and Erion chopped it up about the new album, working with the late Mobb Deep MC Prodigy and their immense love of Hip Hop.

HipHopDX: I feel like naming songs or albums has to be the hardest thing. How did you land on Poetry In Motion?

Lumar: Yes, we went through great lengths to come up with a title for the album. We wanted a title for the CD that was fly, sleek and captivating all in one. This CD was so intense and creativity engaging, that naming it was just as demanding as making it. Our mental processes in naming this CD required capsuling all of the elements of creativity and imagination that each soul put into this record.

A lot of great talent came together, with spontaneity and flow being paramount on this record. When you think of the title, you should feel that this takes you on a continuous musical journey that makes you feel awesome, makes you feel enthusiasm anticipating what the next track will be. Each song builds on the other creating a type of dramatic Poetry In Motion that makes sense of it all. In true Soul Rebels form, the CD title and the different naming of songs were well thought out and planned together.

Julian: Talking with Robert Glasper on the song idea for “Blush,” it was the initial concept for the song and it just stuck.

Erion: When we had the songs in hand, we thought that would be the best title to express how this album sounded to us and hope that it sounds like poetry in motion to the masses.

HipHopDX: When did you first get into music and, more specifically, Hip Hop?

Lumar: I was into music from as early an age as I could remember. In New Orleans, particularly in the Lafitte Housing Projects, music was all around me in the Treme. In kindergarten, I performed at our graduation play. My performance was on drums, and I remember it vividly, something stuck inside of me with that experience, so at 5 years old I began my journey in music.

Hip Hop began much later in my life. Fortunately, I was there when Hip Hop first hit the scene as we know it. In the 70s, I felt like the turntables, the rapping and the DJ made me feel empowered, it seemed to resonate naturally with my street element I was engulfed in in these New Orleans streets. You see, our street music was parades and second lines, but it was raw like early Hip Hop and had an intense persona provided by bass and drums or should I say tuba (sousaphone) and drums.

Corey: Around the age 10 or 11.

Julian: I started listening to Hip Hop in the early 90s. I remember citing Coolio’s “Gangsters Paradise” as a little kid.

Erion: I remember listening to my brother’s Eric B. and Rakim albums back in the day [laughs]. So probably at about 8 or 9 years old. And now we work with Rakim all the time.

HipHopDX: The list of people you’ve collaborated with is nothing short of staggering. Why do you think artists are so drawn to working with you?

Lumar: I feel like artists love to work with us because we are original and different, and our music sounds and feels good. We bring the music to life.  The collaboration element of our game has many facets, one must be highly skilled in order to execute it to perfection, and you have to study the artist you are collaborating with. Timing, sound, style and vibe must all be locked in at all times in order to make both parties feel comfortable and spontaneous.

As Soul Rebels, we accomplish this routinely. We’ve worked with a lot of Hip Hop artists ranging from Nas, GZA, DMX, Talib Kweli, GZA, Black Thought and Melle Mel to Rakim, Slick Rick, Pete Rock, Styles P, Bun B and the young guns Joey Bada$$ and Curren$y. All of the artists we work have deep soul, emotion, style and are extraordinary artists and poets. We like to think we connect with the greats because we share a quality of artistry and openness, and love for music and art. Hip Hop is a fine art.

Corey: The authenticity of the sound is like no other. Also, it’s a opportunity for both sides to create something special.

Julian: We are musicians and we are Hip Hop artists at its most organic form. Hip Hop is a lifestyle. It’s our lifestyle. Also, we love Hip Hop and we’re students of the music, the culture and the style. It’s in our DNA. Artists connect with artists.

Erion: I think it’s something different to them. The movement of live instrumentation with Hip Hop has been sweeping since the MTV Unplugged days with JAY-Z, The Roots, etc. It’s one thing to have a DJ but, from what we hear, to see your music reproduced with live instrumentation is astonishing to most artists and they’ve gravitated to it over the years to give that unique sound.

We’re a group very much rooted in funk and jazz and so is Hip Hop music. When we perform with the great MCs we work with, we breathe life into the music. We bring the music to life and the great MCs we work with. Nas, Rakim, DMX, GZA and Talib Kweli all love that about our collaborations.

HipHopDX: One of those collaborations was with the late Prodigy. What was it like working with him and how did you feel learning he had passed?

Lumar: We lost a great soul when we lost Prodigy. Besides being the dopest of MCs, he was cool as ever. Prodigy grew up around jazz, blues, dance and the arts. His family were musicians and artists, and he had a love and appreciation for jazz. We vibed with Prodigy right from the very first time we worked together. Literally within the first minute, we were all hooked on working together. The relationship with Prodigy lasted for years, and he even brought Havoc into the equation. Right before Prodigy passed away, we brought out Mobb Deep at our show in Brooklyn.

Prodigy was so gifted musically and that transcended perfectly with the band. One intense session was a practice we had at Red Bull studios in Manhattan. I remember him saying, “Man, let’s try this.” It was “Keep it Thoro.” It was amazing! I mean, his flow and feel was amazing. In that session, I had time to absorb why he’s so great. He naturally fits in to the musical piece and becomes one with the band. Blessings to you Prodigy. We miss him a lot.

Corey: It was like losing a good friend, a legend in the Hip Hop world. He was always easy to work with. 

Julian: He was an absolute pleasure and professional. That professional relationship definitely turned into a personal one, and he’ll be greatly missed.

Erion: Man, it was a tough blow to lose him. Playing on stage with him and the energy he brought was one of a kind and we miss him to this day.

HipHopDX: In “Blow The Horns,” part of the lyrics go, “Everything we go/we working hard for…right now, we’re making history.” What makes you wake up every day and give this your all?

Lumar: The journey and the daily grind. I can’t turn my mind off sometimes from the whole entity Soul Rebels. The music, style, flavor, concepts keep growing and growing every time I wake up. This CD was no exception. The music penetrates your whole life.

The thought process is crucial always from the beginning we keep pushing. The only answer I can see is a love and passion for music and the brothers I perform it with that keeps me going more and more this whole journey is spiritual for me. I was born to do this.

Corey: Knowing your why and continuing to strive for greatness, knowing you get out what you put in.

Julian: When you’ve spent your entire life dedicated to your craft you can’t have it any other way than waking up every morning trying to make it better than it was the day before. It’s all or nothing!

Erion: It’s worth it. You see the impact you’re having, especially being a brass band from New Orleans. We’re trying to stretch the boundaries of what people think our music is supposed to be. Any impact that we can have on people is motivation enough.

HipHopDX: What’s your favorite collaboration and why?

Lumar: Wow. My favorite collaboration and why? Hmm, that’s a tough one. I would have to say all of them are special. I put my heart and soul into each person I collaborate with so they all have a special energy that brings something different out in me. That’s what fuels my spirit.

Corey: My favorite would be Curren$y. Being from New Orleans is the first reason, and I feel like the melodies and vibes of his music just works for us as collaborators.

Julian: Nas for sure. He’s my favorite MC. I remember walking to school with Nas in my CD player.

Erion: Nas for sure because he is a legend. He’s easy to work with and it was just a super fun time.

HipHopDX: What makes music magic?

Lumar: Music is life and life is power. Music breathes a certain energy into the universe for all to be part of. I’m just fortunate to be one of its disciples who brings it to the world. I feel blessed everyday day that music found me and took me in, letting me live with it and keep creating it for the world to experience.That’s magic to me.

Corey: It’s a feeling. It says what can’t be said and it makes you feel what can’t be explained sometimes. It’s a healer. It’s the perfect prescription.

Julian: Everyone can make music that’s the magic of it. It’s everyday life you do it without even knowing.

Erion: Energy. The magic happens when everyone is in sync and the vibe is right. It translates in an album or in a love setting.

HipHopDX: What do you have cooking next?

Lumar: Well, for sure we have our constant touring schedule that keeps us razor sharp. We are moving into some more marketing and publicity endeavors with The Soul Rebels and personally, I’m engaging in some fashion and sneaker culture opportunities. I’m personally looking forward to branching out with my ideas on sneaker fashion/lifestyle. I have a show on Sunday nights at midnight on 90.1 KPFT Houston called “The Taste” and I do a sneaker and fashion segment. I hope it keeps growing and flowing.

Corey: More touring, more music and more collaborating with the dopest, biggest MCs of all time and alive.

Julian: Big album release in New Orleans, some heavy touring coming and some really big shows ahead. Stay tuned!

Over Half of Americans Are Concerned About Smart Speaker Data Privacy

As smart speakers gain popularity, more Americans are turning an eye to their privacy. A new report estimates over half of Americans are concerned about smart speaker data privacy.

Pew Research Center conducted a study of U.S. adults to determine American attitudes towards smart speakers. The result reveals that over half of Americans are concerned about data privacy. Unsurprisingly, those most concerned are in the younger demographic.

The study found that one-quarter of U.S. adults say they have a . Adults younger than 50 are more likely to have a smart speaker than those 50 and older.

There’s also a stark divide in who owns a smart speaker. 34% of people with an income of 75,000 or more have smart speakers. Only 15% of people who make 30,000 or less during a year own one of the devices.

Over Half of Americans Are Concerned About Smart Speaker Data Privacy

54% of respondents said they were very or somewhat worried about smart speaker data privacy. As these devices become more prevalent in American homes, these questions will persist.

Recent revelations that Google has access to health data and their plans to buy Fitbit have users leaving in droves. A recent smart speaker growth report showed Google as the only company with this last quarter. As smart speakers become more ubiquitous in our lives, data privacy concerns will continue to rise.

Over Half of Americans Are Concerned About Smart Speaker Data Privacy

58% of respondents say they do not want a smart speaker to take their interests into account. The data harvesting required to teach algorithms about ourselves is too revealing for huge tech companies. 42% said they were okay with more personalized recommendations ⁠— even if it meant more data collection.

Less than half of Americans felt it is unacceptable for smart speaker makers to share audio recordings with law enforcement. That’s quickly become a thing as Amazon has been forced to turn over audio in several murder cases.

Reeperbahn Festival Gets $22 Million from the German Government

The German federal parliament has awarded the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg with €20 million ($22 million) in funding to help the festival grow both at home and abroad during the next five years.

The Reeperbahn Festival is both a performance event that actively seeks new talent from across the world and an important international music marketplace. The latest edition of it took place this past September, and it included emerging international music artists as well as spoken-word artists.

All together, around 40,000 people attended this year’s 900 events (including 600 concerts), which took place at 90 different venues. During its four days, the event also attracted media from 23 countries, and nearly 5,000 music professionals from 56 countries attended the conference that coincided with the festival.

Alexander Schulz, who is the managing director of the festival, told Billboard that the new government funding “will provide planning security for the next five years, thus guaranteeing immense added value for concrete additional program-related measures.”

Prior to the additional funding, the festival had an annual budget of somewhere between €5-6 million ($5.5-6.6 million), which was already heavily subsidized by the German government. Both the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made significant contributions to the festival in 2019.

Schulz says that some of the new funding will be used to commission a study of gender equality, which is part of the gender-balance project that it is developing called Keychange, and other educational programs associated with the event.

Schulz also says that the festival hopes to expand to other countries in the future.

They hope to stage editions of the festival in the following locations:

  • New York
  • Nashville
  • Beijing
  • Los Angeles
  • Ghana

The purpose of the international venues, according to Schulz, is “to enable German and European enterprises active in the music business and their artists to enjoy business-related, sustainable international exchange.”

The Reeperbahn Festival began in 2006.

Coldplay Will Pause Touring Until Concerts Are 'Environmentally Beneficial'

Coldplay front man Chris Martin says the band is halting its touring plans. The group wants to lead the way to environmentally sustainable concerts.

Coldplay’s new album, Everyday Life releases tomorrow. The band will play two gigs in Jordan that will be broadcast worldwide on YouTube.

The first concert will take place in Amman on Friday ⁠— at sunrise and sunset, mirroring the two sides of the new album. The band last traveled the world for their ‘A Head Full of Dreams Tour‘ ⁠— 122 shows spread across five continents in 2016 and 2017.

Martin says the band will take the next few years to figure out how to deliver sustainable touring.

“Our next tour will be the best possible version of a tour like that environmentally. We would be disappointed if it’s not carbon neutral. The hardest thing is the flying side of things.

But, for example, our dream is to have a show with no single-use plastic, to have it largely solar-powered. We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around, so it’s no so much taking as giving?”

Coldplay chose Jordan because the band wanted to pick somewhere in the middle of the world. “Where we normally don’t get to play,” Martin said.

The group will perform a one-off concert for fans in London at the Natural History Museum on November 25. Proceeds from that event will be donated to an environmental charity.

It’s impossible to calculate the environmental impact of one touring band accurately. The music industry’s best guess for live music in the UK is 405,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.

Coldplay Will Pause Touring Until Concerts Are 'Environmentally Beneficial'

Audience travel to the venue and the venue itself make up 67% of the carbon footprint of a tour. That doesn’t account for the crew, trucks, buses, and accommodations for the band and crew.

Coldplay is making a huge statement here ⁠— their ‘A Head Full of Dreams Tour‘ made $523 million. I’m sure the industry will be watching closely as the world continues to focus on .