Notorious B.I.G. Had Immeasurable Swagger In The Booth: Watch

The Notorious B.I.G’s death will forever remain one hip-hop’s most tragic occurrences. Murdered at the age twenty-four, Biggie Smalls was already well on the way to becoming unparalleled in his artistry. Exuding gravitas well beyond his years, B.I.G’s flow remains the benchmark to which technically gifted emcees are held, his legacy cemented as the long-reigning and inspiring King Of New York. And yet, for many, Biggie is something a mystery, a larger than life figure closer to legend than reality. 

Notorious B.I.G. Had Immeasurable Swagger In The Booth: Watch

Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s

Today, Funkmaster Flex took to Instagram to share a humanizing glimpse at an otherwise mythic figure. The footage finds Biggie in the booth, laying down some vocals for his iconic single “Hypnotize.” While we don’t catch him spitting his verses, the clip depicts him laying a reference for the track’s infectious hook with unparalleled swagger. Much like a brain is said to use merely a fraction its power, so too was Notorious B.I.G. in this video. Seeing him laying down some the bars would have been a sight to see, and we can only hope more archival footage surfaces. 

Shout out to Funk Flex for sharing, and be sure to check it out below. Long live Biggie Smalls. 

Earl Sweatshirt Reveals That He Does Not Own A Cell Phone

There’s no doubt that the addiction to cell phones is real. Most people can’t go a few minutes without their cell phones, especially since apps like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat have been made so accessible. Some people have found ways to reduce their screen time while others just allow the technological takeover to continue. For those who’ve found themselves glued to their cell phones throughout the day, perhaps the Earl Sweatshirt approach can help. 

Earl hit Twitter to reveal two things. 1) He doesn’t own a cellphone and 2) we’re lucky that he doesn’t. Apparently, his #ootd was too fire that there was a possibility someone could’ve died if he revealed it to the Interwebs. “yal lucky i dont have a phone this #ootd so crazy i caught a body,” he wrote. And for those you wondering, he was tweeting from the Twitter Web App like a real one.

Earl’s not the first, and certainly not the last, creative to not own a cell phone. Madlib apparently also doesn’t have a cell phone. Jack White has also admitted that he doesn’t own a cell phone either.

Aside form his cell phone business, Earl has been quite busy in the past twelve months. He released Some Rap Songs roughly a year ago and recently followed it up with Feet Of Clay EP. 

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Big Machine Agrees to Let Taylor Swift to Play Her Own Music Live

Looks like Taylor Swift just won the right to play her own songs at the American Music Awards.

The high-profile battle between Taylor Swift and her former label Big Machine took a surprising turn this morning. After initially refusing to allow Swift to perform her own music at the American Music Awards, the label group — now owned by Scooter Braun and Carlyle Group and overseen by Scott Borchetta — has reversed course.

Here’s their official statement confirming the 180-degree shift.

“The Big Machine Label Group and Dick Clark Productions announce that they have come to terms on a licensing agreement that approves their artists’ performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms. This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performances. It should be noted that recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media. Record label approval is only needed for contracted artists’ audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed.”

The statement confirms that Big Machine was indeed attempting to block Swift from performing her own music at the AMAs.

Despite the statement indicating that Swift doesn’t legally require approval to perform her own music live, it also confirms that the live performance is tied to post-performance, on-demand streams and rebroadcasts.  The live performance isn’t technically a re-recording, but the AMAs clearly intend to re-broadcast and repurpose the Swift performance.

That makes Big Machine’s a bit of a stretch.  “At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special,” Big Machine declared last week.  “In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere.”

Earlier, a Taylor Swift representative presented an email from Big Machine confirming efforts to block Swift’s music in an upcoming Netflix special.

Since the very public showdown, Swift has drawn support from , including Elizabeth Warren and Irving Azoff.

 

 

Travis Scott Says He Doesn’t Consider His Music To Be "Hip Hop"

Hip hop has evolved so much since its nascence that some purists might argue that none today’s music is truly representative the genre. While disputes between old-heads and the new school might continue regarding what is considered hip hop, many new artists aren’t even concerned with categories. The lines between genres has been blurred to such a degree that it seems like a pointless conversation to try to determine what falls into which box. Travis Scott seemed to embrace this standpoint in his latest interview. 

Travis has been nabbed for the cover the first-ever print edition  BAZAAR Men. The Houston rapper was named by the magazine as one the “top men in music”, alongside Maluma, J Balvin and Orville Peck. All these artists were photographed by Kim Jones, who is the Artistic Director Dior Men. Their shots were superimposed on technicolor illustrations created by KAWS.  

In BAZAAR‘s write-up bout Travis’ world-blending influences, it says that he “chafes at labeling his lo-fi, ambient, moody music as ‘hip-hop.’ Says the 28-year-old artist, ‘I would just describe it as different pieces my brain—a mix genres that I listen to on the daily.’

Do you agree with Travis’ perspective? Does genre matter anymore? 

Tencent Talking with Potential Co-Investors for UMG Bid

Tencent is reportedly looking to find co-investors for its bid to purchase a 10% interest of Universal Music Group (UMG) from Vivendi.

According to Bloomberg, Tencent is approaching a number of companies to join it. This includes both Hillhouse Capital and a sovereign wealth fund in Singapore called GIC Pte. If the Chinese tech giant eventually does form a consortium of some kind, it is expected that it will still lead it and complete the purchase within the next couple of months.

Of the 3 billion euro price tag for the 10% UMG interest, Tencent plans to raise a third of it through debt financing with the remainder coming from equity investments.

Tencent (and any minority partners it may take on) could eventually buy as much as 20% of UMG, as the company has a one-year call option from Vivendi for an additional 10% of UMG.

Sources knowledgeable about the talks between Tencent and potential co-investors say that these talks are currently ongoing and that it is far from certain that any kind of consortium will eventually form.

Tencent declined to comment about the report, and so did Vivendi, Hillhouse and GIC.

The news, though, helped Tencent’s stock price rise as much as 2.1% in Hong Kong trading. It comes on the heels of the company announcing last week that its music earnings had by more than 30% in the third quarter of 2019.

Last month, a broker named Oddo BHF indicated that there is a chance that the U.S. government will ultimately block the UMG deal given the current tenuous state of U.S.-Sino trade relations. But because it is believed that the U.S. government does not consider music and entertainment critical sectors of the economy, it is unlikely that the deal will be blocked.

If completed, the deal could help UMG promote its cadre of artists, such as Drake and Taylor Swift, in currently underserved Asian markets.

African American News Coverage Channel To Launch January 2020

Whoever said 2020 was going to be a big year was right. According to Deadline, Black News Channel (BNC) will launch at the top the new year in January and will be a station that only broadcast news related to the African American community. The new platform was co-founded by former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts and TV executive Bob Brillante.

African American News Coverage Channel To Launch January 2020
Mario Tama/Getty s

According to the publication, the network was set to launch this year in 33 million households cable and satellite but moved to 2020 as a way to bank on new technologies and platform services. “Our network is about providing intelligent programming that is informative, educational, inspiring and empowering to our African American audience, so they are participants in a national conversation,” J.C. Watts said in a statement. “If we have the opportunity to include the largest African American audience possible from day one, then that should be our top priority.”

BNC will be available in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York and has signed deals with Comcast, Charter and Dish Network. Former CNN anchor Fred Hickman, and Emmy Award-winning journalists Laverne McGee as well as Anthony Amey are set to the head news anchors for the network. 

BNC launches January 6th. 

Jordan Mars 270 Dropping In Flashy "Electric Green" Model: Official Images

Spike Lee has been a huge sneakerhead over the years and even has his very own shoe with Jordan Brand called the Spiz’Ike. Now, Lee’s son has thrown his hand into the sneaker design ring and as right now, he has been killing it with the Jordan Mars 270. The Jordan Mars is an interesting shoe as it combines elements from many classic silhouettes while also using the popular Air Max 270 technology on the back heel.

There have been a large array colorways to drop so far but now, Jordan Brand is coming through with a lowkey yet also quite vibrant model which can be seen below. The upper is mostly comprised leather and suede with the latter being black and the former being dark grey. These colors merge together seamlessly while “electric green” is placed around the tongue and the heel tab on the back the sneaker.

For now, there is no release date for these although according to Sneaker News, they should be coming soon for $160 USD. Are these a cop or a skip? Let us know in the comments.

Jordan Mars 270 Dropping In Flashy "Electric Green" Model: Official s

Nike

Jordan Mars 270 Dropping In Flashy "Electric Green" Model: Official s

Nike

Jordan Mars 270 Dropping In Flashy "Electric Green" Model: Official s

Nike

Jordan Mars 270 Dropping In Flashy "Electric Green" Model: Official s

Nike

Jordan Mars 270 Dropping In Flashy "Electric Green" Model: Official s

Nike

Jordan Mars 270 Dropping In Flashy "Electric Green" Model: Official s

Nike

Thousands Of Disney+ Accounts Are Being Hacked

Disney+ only released last week, but accounts for the service are already being attacked by hackers. Tech outlet ZDNet.com is reporting that thousands user’s account information are already available on the black market. Many accounts are being posted for free or between $3 to $11.

Disney+ amassed over 10 million subscribers in its first 24 hours release. 

Many subscribers have messaged the support twitter page with complaints such as one user who wrote, “Disney + launch has been absolutely horrible. Their customer service is no help at all and apparently, hundreds accounts were hacked and sold online. My account got hacked & email/password changed, thankfully I canceled my subscription before the hack.” Another user said, “#distwitter has anyone’s @disneyplus account been hacked? My friend’s was; hackers changed email and password. Now she’s completely blocked from her 3-year prepaid Disney+ account. She’s been on hold for >2 hours.” There are tons these complaints hidden amongst other, more tril issues that are to be expected for such a big launch.

So far, Disney has not commented on the hacks. If you use the same password for all your sites, you might want to consider updating your password. Be on the lookout for any suspicious emails about passwords being changed from Disney+.

Instagram Will Begin Hiding Like Counts Globally

Last week, it was reported that Instagram would begin hiding “like counts” starting this week in the US, but according to Tech Crunch, that has now expanded to a global change.

“Starting today, we’re expanding our test private like counts to the rest the world beyond Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, and New Zealand. If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own. While the feedback from early testing has been positive, this is a fundamental change to Instagram, and so we’re continuing our test to learn more from our global community,” an Instagram spokesperson told Techcrunch Thursday.

A number celebrities have chimed in on the move. 

According to Rap-Up.comNicki Minaj expressed her feeling on IG live saying, “So basically no, Instagram is about to take everyone’s likes simply because they don’t want you to go f on the side, forming all sorts businesses and being able to say, ‘I get this amount likes,’ and charging brands. They want you to have to pay them. If you pay them, then that’s why we have all these ‘sponsored’ Instagram posts… They had to shuffle it real quick to let you know, you ain’t the boss.”

Cardi B has also made her feelings on the issue known.

What U.S. Government Investigation? TikTok Is Testing Out E-Commerce

In spite of a U.S. government into its business practices, TikTok is continuing to move forward with its app, by testing out new e-commerce capabilities.

Fabian Bern, who is the founder of a Chinese influencer marketing agency called Uplab, discovered the new feature, which lets users link to products within the videos that they post on the platform. Bern shared his findings with TechCrunch, who then reached out to the company for a response.

A spokesperson for ByteDance, which is the parent of TikTok, said, “We’re always experimenting with new ways to improve the app experience for our users. Ultimately, we’re focused on ways to inspire creativity, bring joy, and add value for our community.”

The idea behind TikTok’s new experimental feature is not exactly new. Instagram has a similar feature in both its Stories and shoppable posts. These are commonly used by influencers for the purposes of affiliate marketing.

It is not surprising that TikTok is lifting features from Instagram, considering that the two are competing in a similar space for a similar audience, with TikTok’s 500 million active users about half of what Instagram has.

Instagram has also copied features of TikTok, such as Reels, which let users create 15-second video clips set to music and share them as stories. Users can select any song available in Instagram’s immense catalog of music, and they can post these clips to both a Close Friend group and a Direct Message.

The new e-commerce feature in TikTok will likely make the platform very popular with brands looking to target young people. More than 40% of its users are said to be between the ages of 16 and 24. Of course, it is this very fact, among others, that has drawn the company within the crosshairs of the U.S. government.

TikTok was also the most downloaded app at Apple’s App Store during the first quarter of this year.

Spotify Is Actively Testing Realtime Lyrics in Certain Markets

Spotify is testing a new feature in its mobile app that provides real-time lyrics in sync with the music it is playing.

The feature, which is powered by something called Musixmatch, scrolls a song’s lyrics in time with the music. The company is testing it in select, yet unnamed international markets, which are said to include Canada, Mexico and Indonesia.

Spotify confirmed the testing of the feature in a statement to TechCrunch. A spokesperson for the company said, “We can confirm we are testing this feature in a small number of markets. At Spotify, we are always testing new products and experiences but have no further news to share at this time.”

On enabled devices, the lyrics appear in their own box underneath the playback controls, where both Behind the Lyrics and Storyline currently exist. The lyrics further display in full-screen mode as well.

A number of years ago, Spotify briefly had a similar feature in the desktop version of their app. After it was removed, many users requested its return. In fact, one such request, which was posted on the company’s user feedback community board, was upvoted more than 14,000 times.

But the company, at least until now, has refused to grant the request. It is not even certain that the feature will remain after testing has been completed, as the company often tests features that are eventually withdrawn.

The move comes in the wake of Apple adding real-time lyrics to its Apple Music app along with the launch of iOS 13.

While the feature in and of itself may not get users to switch from Spotify to Apple as the latter tries to make up the nearly 2-1 advantage the former has in the number of users, it can only help its case by giving it a distinct competitive advantage.

Amazon, too, has added real-time lyrics when music plays on Alexa-enabled devices.

Austin Rivers Eggs On Refs As His Dad, Doc Rivers, Gets Ejected: Watch

Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers could not have been more pleased to see his father, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, ejected during Wednesday night’s game. As seen in the footage embedded below, Doc was tossed late in the fourth quarter for arguing with ficial Tony Brothers while Austin encouraged Brothers to send him packing.

Doc was pissed because he was originally informed that he had two timeouts remaining after the Clippers attempted to challenge a call on the floor, but was later told, with 1:31 remaining, that he had just used his final timeout. Whatever the case may be, Austin made the most his father’s on-court tirade. When asked if he enjoyed the two techs and ejection on his father, Austin smiled and said, “I did.”

Per ESPN:

“I knew it was coming. I could see it. I’ve seen that look before — many times. Once he starts blinking his eyes fast, and he starts imitates Doc getting mad], that’s when I know he is about to level up. So I just started telling Tony to get him. They got him. He’s out here.”

“I was just trying to help out the situation,” Austin Rivers deadpanned. “Listen, guys, I don’t ever like to escalate anything. Y’all don’t know me for that. I’ve always been a peacemaker. That’s just 100 percent Doc’s gotta keep his cool.”

The Rockets went on to win by the final 102-93 as they improved to 8-3 on the season. The Clippers, meanwhile, are now 7-4 as they prepare for a Thursday night matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Chamillionaire & E-40 Announce $100K Investment Contest For Minorities

Houston rapper-turned-investor Chamillionaire and Bay Area legend E-40 announced a contest geared towards investing $100,000 into minority and female-owned tech startups.

Chamillionaire announced the contest during an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Alley, revealing he teamed up with Forty Water, social app Convoz and investing platform Republic.co to facilitate the contest. Shark Tank star Daymond John has been tapped to serve as a judge for the contest.

Chamillionaire was forced to change his strategy on what ventures to invest in after he starting receiving way too many submissions.

“At one point I was getting 30 candidates a month, but when I said I only wanted to invest in women or minorities, I started getting just two candidates a month,” he stated. “Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, but it’s even harder for minority and women-led companies.”

Since winning a Grammy for “Ridin’ Dirty,” Chamillionaire has spent the past few years investing in the tech world. He was an early investor in the ride-sharing app Lyft, along with 40 more startups such as Ring (acquired by Amazon), Cruise (acquired by GM) and Maker Studios (acquired by Disney).

Contest details are available above.

Chamillionaire & E-40 Announce $100K Investment Contest For Minorities & Women

Houston rapper-turned-investor Chamillionaire and Bay Area legend E-40 announced a contest geared towards investing $100,000 into minority and female-owned tech startups.

Chamillionaire announced the contest during an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Alley, revealing he teamed up with Forty Water, social app Convoz and investing platform Republic.co to facilitate the contest. Shark Tank star Daymond John has been tapped to serve as a judge for the contest.

Chamillionaire was forced to change his strategy on what ventures to invest in after he starting receiving way too many submissions.

“At one point I was getting 30 candidates a month, but when I said I only wanted to invest in women or minorities, I started getting just two candidates a month,” he stated. “Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, but it’s even harder for minority and women-led companies.”

Since winning a Grammy for “Ridin’ Dirty,” Chamillionaire has spent the past few years investing in the tech world. He was an early investor in the ride-sharing app Lyft, along with 40 more startups such as Ring (acquired by Amazon), Cruise (acquired by GM) and Maker Studios (acquired by Disney).

Contest details are available above.

Kodak Black Quotes Kevin Gates & Shares Prison Photos In New Post

All week, we’ve been keeping track Kodak Black‘s criminal status, peeping local Florida news sites to update you on anything pertaining to his trial. The 22-year-old rapper was arrested earlier this year for falsifying information on a gun application and he’s been locked up ever since. The star, whose real name is Bill K. Kapri, was facing a maximum sentence ten years in prison for the technical mishap but thankfully, the judge went a little easy on him and only handed down three years. Considering his age, that’s not too bad. Hopefully, he still manages to get out early. In his first social update since being sentenced today, the Project Baby quoted a famous Baton Rouge rapper who has been very open about his time in prison: Kevin Gates.

The subject our latest digital cover story can describe Kodak Black’s mood perfectly right now as the “ZEZE” artist used his lyrics to explain how he’s feeling and what these coming thirty-six months will entail. Using the “RBS Intro” at the beginning Gates’ latest album I’m Him to speak his mind, Black promised that he’s still going to be running things from his cell. “Hold It Down While I’m On Lock. Calling Shots From The Box #Literally,” wrote the rapper on Instagram.

In addition to the message, Kodak also shared two photos in his jumpsuit. The first shows him crossing his arms and cheesing for the camera while the second is the crouching image that started the “clone” conspiracy theories.

Free Kodak.