Apple Music Launches In-App Banner Alerts for New Music

Apple Music Launches In-App Banner Alerts for New Music

A new Apple Music feature is allowing fans to receive updates when their favorite artists release music and videos.

Apple Music users are being alerted of the feature pop-up notification, which also provides an opportunity to opt out of the updates. Inversely, listeners can disable the function in the settings section. Messages pertaining to just-released music will appear in the library tab, and it doesn’t seem that users can tailor the notices so that they’re told only of fresh tracks from their most favorite artists.

Additionally, it’s unclear whether the touted releases are currently part of a paid promotional program—or if they will be in the future. A couple weeks back, Bad Bunny enjoyed after enrolling in Spotify’s Marquee, a pay-per-click marketing option that, for a minimum cost of $5,000, delivers news of music releases to potentially interested fans.

Spotify intends to expand Marquee and roll out other paid-promotion options in the near future, as part of a larger effort to enhance profitability.

Earlier this month, Apple Music . Evidently, negotiations went fairly smoothly, as the agreements will span multiple years; Spotify inked short-term deals with Universal Music and Warner Music in the hopes of securing more lucrative contracts in the future.

However, Apple abandoned its long-sought ability to bundle services, which would have enabled the California company to offer Apple TV, Apple Music, and Apple News Plus in a single package.

A little over one week ago, The Weeknd’s immensely successful newest album, After Hours, broke Apple Music’s existing record for most “pre-adds.” Several of the album’s songs have cracked Apple Music’s Top 100: USA chart, including “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless,” which had secured the second spot and the fifth spot, respectively, at the time of this writing.

Netflix Creates $100 Million Relief Fund for Production Crew Members

Netflix Creates $100 Million Relief Fund for Production Crew Members

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Netflix has established a $100 million fund to assist on-set crew members financially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In keeping with a nationwide shutdown, Netflix halted the production of its many television shows and films earlier this month. And while the decision was tough for actors and fans, on-set professionals, including makeup artists, electricians, sound technicians, camerapersons, and more, found themselves in a particularly difficult position. Like artists, they were (and are) temporarily unable to earn a living.

The majority of the $100 million aid package will be distributed among Netflix employees; the content-streaming giant creates a multitude of programs, from The Witcher to Stranger Things, in-house. These payments will come in addition to the two weeks’ salary that Netflix previously promised cast and crew members.

Plus, Netflix has donated $15 million from the fund to third-party charities that are providing relief to film and television crew members, besides pledging several million dollars yet to other COVID-19 assistance organizations, including SAG-AFTRA’s COVID-19 Disaster Fund.

It’s likely that Netflix’s $100 million fund—and other film and television industry support efforts—will indirectly benefit the music community.

With the production of new shows and movies having halted because of the pandemic, licensing opportunities, and particularly sync, have experienced a corresponding drop off. The more relief visual-media employees receive, the better they’ll be able to weather the financial implications of the pandemic.

The House of Representatives was expected to vote on a $2.2 trillion stimulus package this morning; the legislation will provide unemployment benefits if passed in its current form, as it’s widely expected to be. At the time of this writing, however, Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie was stalling the vote because he believes that the bill is lacking in its support of individuals and is wasteful.

In the music community, , , , Rihanna, and others have stepped up to assist those who’re suffering—financially and otherwise—because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Weeknd Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Postponed Due to COVID-19

The Weeknd Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Postponed Due to COVID-19

Experimental rock band Yeasayer’s Black Panther against The Weeknd has been postponed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The plaintiffs and defendants submitted an extension request to U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield, who approved it today. Now, The Weeknd and Universal Music Group’s response is due by April 29th, while pre-conference materials must be submitted on or before April 9th. The original deadline called for a response to be issued by March 30th.

Yeasayer filed suit against The Weeknd in February (UMG received the complaint on March 9th, however), alleging that his “Pray for Me” track, which he created as part of the Black Panther soundtrack, derived from their “Sunrise” song. The Weeknd’s legal team intends to dispute the allegation, though the artist hasn’t addressed the matter publicly.

As a whole (and particularly after accounting for the far-reaching effects of the coronavirus pandemic), The Weeknd has had a solid month.

The 30-year-old released his first studio album in four years, After Hours, last week, and positive critic reviews have accompanied its immense popularity among fans. Moreover, the 14-track work has charted on the Rolling Stone Top 200 and broken the existing record for the most “pre-adds” on Apple Music. Plus, at the time of this piece’s writing, The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” had secured the top position on Spotify’s United States Top 50 chart.

Notably, The Weeknd hasn’t yet cancelled his long-planned tour in support of After Hours. The 68-show concert series is slated to kick off on June 11th, with a performance in The Weeknd’s native Canada. If the North American leg proceeds as expected, The Weeknd will make stops throughout the U.S. and Canada into early September, before heading to Europe in October.

In other copyright-infringement developments, a judge the $2.8 million verdict that a California jury levied against Katy Perry in 2019. Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” infringement suit , and earlier this week, several music publishers scored a against Wolfgang’s.

Stay tuned for updates about The Weeknd’s copyright-infringement lawsuit and After Hours tour.

U.S. To Surpass China & Italy In Number Of Coronavirus Cases

The United States is on its way to amassing more cases coronavirus than either China or Italy in total , as the number confirmed cases and deaths continues to rise across America. Just yesterday (March 25th), the World Health Organization warned that the U.S. could become the new centre disease. As today (March 26th), according to Worldometer, the U.S. is only 428 infections behind China’s overall total: China has reported a total 81,285 infections throughout its outbreak, while the US has 80,857. Among China’s 81,285 cases, 74,051 people have recovered, while 3,287 have died. There are only 3,947 active cases in China at the moment, a starkly low number compared to the U.S.’s 77,830 active cases. In the U.S., only 1,864 patients have recovered, and 1,163 have died.

U.S. To Surpass China & Italy In Number Of Coronavirus CasesWin McNamee/Getty s

Italy, which was hit hardest by the pandemic, has recently begun to stabilize. Italy has had a total  80,589 cases at the time writing, only 35 more than the U.S. The European country, however, has seen the number new cases decline or remain flat for several days. They currently have 62,013 active cases, with 10,361 recovered and 8,215 dead.

U.S. To Surpass China & Italy In Number Of Coronavirus CasesMarco Di Lauro/Getty s

A major key difference between these countries’ approaches is that China and Italy have imposed nationwide lockdowns in order to “flatten the curve.” However, Trump has yet to invoke such a measure throughout the U.S., instead making highly unlikely promises about reopening businesses and relaxing quarantine practices around Easter (April 12th). Lockdowns could take two to six weeks to take noticeable effect, so if drastic measures aren’t taken soon, the U.S. will be on course to surpass China and Italy’s numbers cases and deaths.

Tekashi 6ix9ine’s COVID-19 Prison Release Bid Gets Denied With Pity

New York, NY – Tekashi 6ix9ne will reportedly have to wait out his sentence despite the coronavirus pandemic that’s currently sweeping the globe.

According to the New York Post, Manhattan Federal Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, who read 6ix9ine the riot act during his December 2019 sentencing hearing, was sympathetic to the 23-year-old’s asthmatic condition but couldn’t allow him an early release.

“At the time of sentencing, however, the Court did not know and could not have known that the final four months of Mr. Hernandez’s sentence would be served at a time of a worldwide pandemic to which persons with asthma, like Mr. Hernandez, have heightened vulnerability,” Engelmayer wrote. “Had the Court known that sentencing Mr. Hernandez to serve the final four months of his term in a federal prison would have exposed him to a heightened health risk, the Court would have directed that these four months be served instead in home confinement.”

Engelmayer revealed requests for early release from an inmate who has already been sentenced are primarily handled by the Bureau of Prisons. He was unable to find a way to intervene.

Although the government opposed 6ix9ine’s bid for early release, Lazzaro is determined to get him out, writing in an email, “We believe the decision is a strong recommendation to the BOP to release him immediately.”

Tekashi 6ix9ine's COVID-19 Prison Release Bid Gets Denied With Pity

Tekashi 6ix9ine Reportedly Thinks He’ll Die From Coronavirus In Prison, Wants Out Now

6ix9ine is afraid he will contract the virus while behind bars. In October, he was briefly hospitalized for treatment of bronchitis and sinusitis.

The controversial Brooklyn rapper is expected to be released from prison on August 2.

He was originally facing 47 years on racketeering charges but due to his cooperation with the federal government and willingness to testify against two Nine Trey Gangster Blood members Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack and Anthony “Harv” Ellison, he was granted a significantly reduced sentenced.

TuneCore CEO Scott Ackerman to Step Down Next Month

TuneCore, a digital-music distribution company and music publisher, announced today that Scott Ackerman will step down as CEO next month.

Ackerman has officially served as the company’s CEO since 2014, and his last day will arrive on April 15th. TuneCore officials are currently searching for a replacement and are expected to make a corresponding announcement in the near future. It’s unclear whether an external hire will assume the role, or if the position will be filled an internal promotion.

Ackerman joined the TuneCore team in 2010 and started leading the company in 2012, following the departure of co-founders Jeff Price and Peter Wells. He is exiting his CEO role on good terms and will continue to serve TuneCore in an advisory capacity.

Ackerman, who has executive experience at eHarmony, Orbitz, American Airlines, and Northwest Airlines, among other companies, expanded TuneCore’s global reach (including by establishing multiple foreign branches) and struck deals with an array of prominent social-media platforms.

TuneCore was founded in 2005 and, besides its Brooklyn headquarters, maintains offices in several U.S. cities, Australia, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. For a fee, TuneCore assists artists with the music-distribution and sales processes, in addition to collecting and distributing international royalties. In 2015, the brand was acquired by Believe Digital, a Paris-based artist-services company.

Two weeks back, TuneCore and Believe launched PIVTL Projects, a hip-hop record label that allows artists to maintain ownership of their master recordings. Moreover, PIVTL Projects provides signed acts with substantial promotional and developmental support.

In other executive-departure news, Paul Rosenberg from Def Jam Records last month. The longtime Eminem associate and Shady Records co-founder had served as Def Jam’s CEO and president since January 2018.

At the time of this piece’s writing, Scott Ackerman hadn’t commented publicly on his post-CEO plans. However, he made clear that the decision to leave was his own, and that he’s eager to continue serving TuneCore while simultaneously pursuing new and exciting professional opportunities.




Spotify Unveils COVID-19 Aid Feature, Matches $10 Million in Donations

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic inhibiting artists’ ability to earn a living, Spotify announced three relief initiatives and charitable undertakings today, all of which are designed to lessen musicians’ financial strain.

First, Spotify has established the COVID-19 Music Relief project. Music Relief doesn’t accept donations, but rather, it directs concerned fans’ contributions towards organizations that are actively aiding artists. MusiCares (the Recording Academy’s charitable wing), Help Musicians, and the PRS Foundation are featured on Spotify’s COVID-19 Music Relief page, and Spotify has pledged to match each donation made through the portal (up to $10 million).

Next, the Stockholm-based company revealed that it will release a fundraising option to artists. From personal (artist-specific) charities to established relief organizations, as well as all others in between, Spotify creators will have the opportunity to solicit financial support directly through their profiles. Spotify won’t charge a fee for the feature, which will be released “soon.”

Lastly, Spotify unveiled reduced costs and free trials on its Creator Tools, including SoundBetter, SoundTrap, and Anchor. These special offers are available presently.

Lockdowns and large-gathering bans have effectively cut artists off from live performance revenue, which typically comprises a substantial portion of overall earnings. As a result, many in the music industry, from IMPALA executives to Recording Academy interim CEO Harvey Mason Jr., are appealing to charities and governments for relief.

Furthermore, some artists are frustrated with the coronavirus situation and Spotify’s perceived inaction, and it’s unclear whether the above described measures will quell their criticism. To be sure, a is calling on Spotify to permanently increase (and triple, no less) artists’ royalties, both to help them amid the coronavirus pandemic and in the future.

At the time of this piece’s writing, the cited petition had received over 1,500 backers, and Spotify hadn’t issued an official response.

Other music-industry companies and artists are also providing support to those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The Recording Academy and MusiCares have donated $2 million to their relief fund, and Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation has pledged $5 million to various charities.

Drake Co-Signs Coronavirus Social Distancing Lyrics

After revealing that his coronavirus test came back negative, Drake is back to self-quarantining in his Toronto mansion where he can play hoops on his private basketball court and show f his prized sneaker collection. Rumors continue to grow about a potential Drake album arriving this year, with some people believing it could pop up as early as next month. Whether or not that happens is currently a mystery. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Drake has been granted some much-needed downtime to work on new music, and he’s scoping around for some inspiration. During his research, he came across a few bars that he just needed to share, related to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing.

Drake Co-Signs Coronavirus Social Distancing Lyrics
Ethan Miller/Getty s

Discovering a tweet imagining how he is songwriting during this health crisis, Drake co-signed the following tweet:

“Drake somewhere in the booth singing ‘I can’t tell if you’re social distancing or distancing yourself from me socially.'”

The bar was not written by Drake himself, but he’s definitely having a good laugh because it. Known for his highly introspective, emotive lyrics, Drake could definitely get on the microphone talking this kind talk and it would flow smoothly with everything else on his mind. 

Do you think we’re in for an influx coronavirus-inspired bangers soon? Could Drake be among the group artists preparing their contributions?

Drake Co-Signs Coronavirus Social Distancing Lyrics

Drake & Funk Flex Fire Shots At Each Other

Drake and Funk Flex have been at odds for the better part the past decade and clearly, they’ve yet to settle the score. Their entire feud surrounds Drake’s pen and whether or not he writes his own lyrics. Surely, it has been proven on numerous occasions that he does but the use “ghostwriters” has continued to haunt the Canadian rapper to this day.

Drake & Funk Flex Fire Shots At Each Other
Jamie McCarthy/Getty s

Things haven’t settled between either party just yet, either. As everyone stays inside their homes, presumably scrolling through the timeline, a few DJs hosted an Instagram Live story to help bring the club to the comfort everyone’s home. DJ Spade and Night Owl Sound were spinning tunes as they hosted an Instagram Live session last night but unlike the actual club, there’s no telling who’ll be joining forces. Drake and Rihanna were among the guests in the Live session, engaging in banter with one another. 

That’s when Funk Flex entered the fray. Though the interaction was kept to a minimum, they made sure to get whatever they had to say f their chest. Drake swiftly caught Funk Flex in the chat, writing, “Funk Flex guh weh pussy.” It appears that Flex got a bit excited when things began to pop f and had to remind Drake that he isn’t “hard.”

“Drake!!! Talking Tuff!!!! (U ain’t tuff n***a),” Flex replied. Clearly the two have no intention squashing their beef anytime soon. Peep the interaction below.  

Warner Music Group Scam Falsely Promises Artists Promotion & Salary

In a new, comprehensive scam that’s targeting up-and-coming musicians around the country, con artists are posing as Warner Music Group (WMG) execs and promising lucrative promotional deals in exchange for sizable upfront fees.

It’s unclear at this time how the scammers are selecting their targets, but the process begins with an official-looking letter, complete with Warner Music Group letterhead, a bottom-banner photograph of multiple buildings, and a (non-Warner Music Group) phone number.

The “Notification of Promotion and Nomination” rather conspicuously lacks paragraph breaks and indicates, “We’ve checked out all your musical activity and you’ve been selected and offered a provisional promotion and nomination with WMG. We encourage your creativity and would love to invest in your potentials. [sic]”

At the letter’s close, targets are encouraged to “be prepared to appear for an interview at our head office.” WMG CEO Stephen F. Cooper’s signature is falsified (or pasted) at the page’s bottom.

A 20-question “application form” accompanies the letter. In it, the target is asked to provide his or her full name, phone number, address, “number of album released [sic],” and information about his or her “next of kin.”

Along the application form’s lower edge, the logos of 11 record and music industry companies, from Republic Records to Island Records (both of which are part of the Universal Music banner), attempt to lend credibility to the document.

Upon sending the completed application away (through the mail or digitally, as the scam is further supported by an active phone number and WhatsApp account), the victim will receive a full-color letter stating, “You are now been [sic] considered for a brand promotion and certification with us.”

To finalize this nonexistent promotion and certification deal, however, the scam’s target must subscribe to a “Benefit Plan.”

The Silver, Diamond, Gold, and Platinum options (which are listed in that seemingly incorrect order) bring different perks and progressively higher monthly salaries (from $2,000 per month to $15,000 per month), but can only be obtained after a “benefit fee” is paid. The latter runs the victim between $200 and $1,500, or 10 percent of the corresponding Benefit Plan.

Of course, excited artists won’t hear back from the scammers after sending payment, nor will they enjoy any of the promised perks. At the time of this piece’s writing, Warner Music Group hadn’t yet addressed the scam publicly, nor had the person or people behind the scheme been identified.

Three years back, a (albeit one that centered on Atlantic Records, a WMG subsidiary) attempted to separate musicians from their hard-earned cash. The perpetrators weren’t identified, but undoubtedly, much frustration was spared, and many dollars were saved, by spreading word of the fraud.


Live Nation Stock Picks Up Steam Following Stimulus Package

Live Nation stock, traded under the symbol LYV, is regaining some of the value that was lost because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its corresponding market shakeup.

Having passed the $75 mark in January, the concert giant’s per-share stock value held steady at over $70 through most of February. Then, as the coronavirus crisis reached Europe and the United States, medical authorities issued clear-cut warnings, and governments instituted lockdowns and large-gathering bans, Live Nation’s stock price plummeted as low as $21.70. (To be sure, this dip was accompanied by a market-wide decrease.)

Now, a couple factors seem to be contributing to an overall market rebound. Chinese officials are preparing to lift the lockdown they instituted in Wuhan, and the country’s COVID-19 infection rate appears to have fallen. Additionally, Senate leaders and President Trump have agreed on a $2 trillion stimulus package that will provide small businesses with loans and most American adults with checks, among many other benefits.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a 2,112-point (11 percent) gain, the largest in history; the S&P 500 also experienced an upward surge.

At the time of this writing, Live Nation was trading at almost $45 per share, over double the aforementioned 52-week low (but still relatively far from the 52-week high). Previously, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino signaled confidence in his company by worth of stock. Several executives followed suit (albeit with smaller investments), and billionaire Mark Cuban revealed in an interview that he too had taken a stake in the company.

Live Nation has each of its upcoming concerts and events, and many investors and music industry experts are speculating about when the company will resume normal operations.

While this timetable is still uncertain (and subject to change), President Trump indicated yesterday that he’d like to have the United States “opened up” by Easter, which will arrive on April 12th. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has helped coordinate the federal government’s response to the coronavirus crisis, said that certain areas’ prevention-minded restrictions could be eased in the coming weeks, as COVID-19 testing becomes more widespread.

Nevertheless, Live Nation’s event postponement will run through at least this month’s end, at which point execs will reevaluate the coronavirus situation.

Drake & Rihanna Take Jabs At Each Other In IG Live Comments

Drake and Rihanna were caught flirtatiously teasing each other in the comments on DJ Spade’s Instagram Live video stream, after Rih fired back at Drake for trolling her about her long-awaited upcoming album. Like many artists stuck in quarantine trying to find a way to entertain their fans, DJ Spade decided to engage over Instagram Live with OVO Sound’s DJ Night Owl Sound in an epic spin battle. Of course, as the esteemed OVO founder, Drake was one the many viewers that tuned into the event. Among those viewers, however, was none other than the Bad Gal herself, Rihanna.

Drake & Rihanna Take Jabs At Each Other In IG Live CommentsJason Kempin/Getty s

The seemingly amicable exes—although it hasn’t always been that way—didn’t just sit back quietly and enjoy the show, though. Drake appears to have initiated the cutting exchange, by hitting a nerve with Rih when he wrote “Rihanna drop R12 right now,” in the comments the live video. By “R12,” Drizzy is course referring to Rihanna’s long-awaited upcoming album (that will technically be “R9,” not “R12,” as it will mark her ninth studio album rather than her twelfth). Fans have been impatiently waiting for “R9” ever since her last project, ANTI, dropped in 2016, but their demand for new music has increased exponentially in the past year-and-a-half or so. Rih has voiced her frustration and annoyance with The Navy (her fan base) for constantly pestering her to drop the album, so Drake’s little comment was sure to get a less-than-friendly response from her.

However, she fired back rather playfully, commenting “They brought a celebrity to the clash…weak!” Drake laughed f the jab and retaliated, writing, “Hahahahhahahaha yo u have a bad attitude @badgalriri.” Rihanna was not going down without a fight, however, as she shot back with, “Give Drake some water.” Their banter appears to be all in good fun, and we’re glad to see that the at-one-time unfriendly exes are on better terms now.

Idris Elba Responds to Cardi B’s Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory

Idris Elba is shooting down claims that he was paid to say he has the coronavirus.

The actor recently revealed that he and his wife Sabrina Dhowre tested positive for COVID-19. While the couple received widespread support after going public with their diagnosis, they also faced some scrutiny.

Now the former “Wire” star is firing back at his critics, some of whom thought he received preferential treatment because of his celebrity status. “I think that the negativity around test shaming is like counterproductive. I don’t see what people get out of that,” he said.

Cardi B went on Instagram Live to share a conspiracy theory that celebrities are being paid to say they have the virus. “I’m starting to feel like y’all ni**as is paying ni**as to say that they got it,” said the “Bodak Yellow” rapper. “And if y’all are paying ni**as to say that they got it, pay me too.”

Elba scoffed at the idea that he would be paid, saying the conspiracy theory can have dangerous impacts. “And also this idea that someone like myself is gonna be paid to say I’ve got coronavirus. That’s like absolute bullshit, such stupidness,” he said. “And people wanna spread that as if it’s like news. That’s stupid. It’s the quickest way to get people sick. There’s no benefit to me and Sabrina sitting there saying we’ve got it and we ain’t got it. I don’t even understand the logic of that.”

While speaking with Oprah for an episode of “Oprah Talks: COVID-19” on Apple TV, he also warned of the dangers of spreading misinformation. “I’d rather go out with a positive, knowing that other people benefited from, you know, the messaging that we’re trying to put out,” said Elba. “You know, stop trolling people, stop sending misinformation. Stop, you know, writing these incredible stories about, you know, conspiracy theories.”

NCAA Changes Mind About Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence’s Coronavirus GoFundMe

Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his girlfriend, Marissa Mowry, have been given the green light to continue their GoFundMe to help those affected by coronavirus, after the NCAA initially shut down their fundraising efforts. On Monday, Lawrence and Mowry, a soccer play at Anderson University, launched the GoFundMe page to raise money for those who have been most deeply impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by fering some sort relief. Despite their good intentions, it was reported that they were asked to deactivate the page by a compliance ficial, as it violated an NCAA policy that prohibits a player from using their name, image, and likeness for crowd funding. 

NCAA Changes Mind About Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence's Coronavirus GoFundMeEzra Shaw/Getty s

Despite Lawrence and Mowry’s initial disappointment, the NCAA decided to make an exception. The association issued a statement the following day, announcing that they will allow student athletes to raise money to help during this difficult time. 

“We continue to work with member schools so they have the flexibility to ensure that student-athletes and communities impacted by this illness are supported, and we applaud Trevor for his efforts,” the NCAA said in its statement. Clemson Athletics also issued a statement their own on Twitter.

“In light current circumstances surrounding COVID-19,” they wrote, “the NCAA reached out to Clemson Athletics this evening informing us that they are waiving restrictions that had been in place and are now allowing institutions to utilize discretion with respect to fundraising efforts.” Lawrence and Mowry later took to his Instagram stories to address the situation. “Shout out to the NCAA,” Lawrence said. “Thank y’all so much for granting a waiver. They’re allowing us to continue to raise money for what we were doing originally.” They explained that they’re going to figure out the best way to raise the money as fast and efficiently as possible and to reach as many folks as they can. They will also be writing letters to those affected by the coronavirus, as well as the health care workers who have been on the frontlines.

50 Cent Praises Pop Smoke & Shares Why He "Fell In Love With The N*gga"

Everyone else hit up Instagram Live on Tuesday (March 24), so 50 Cent decided to throw his hat in the ring. The rap mogul played a few old school jams while viewers tuned in, and course, Fif plugged his alcohol brands unashamedly. During the Live session, 50 Cent took some time to talk about the late Pop Smoke and shared a memory the 20-year-old that impressed him.

50 Cent Praises Pop Smoke & Shares Why He "Fell In Love With The N*gga"
Astrid Stawiarz / Stringer / Getty s

“See, Pop Smoke, that was one my favorites. I liked that n*gga, man. I swear to God, I like that n*gga man,” 50 Cent said. “I met him. We was talking, and I was like, yo. I’m watching him, right. He keep playing with his phone. These little n*ggas play with they phone all the time. I’m like yo, what the f*ck is wrong with this n*gga?”

Fif was getting a little irritated because Pop Smoke was looking at this phone nonstop, but realized that Pop was writing down everything that he was saying. “I said, ‘Oh sh*t,'” Fif recalled. “See it’s a difference between a n*gga copying you. That’s not copying. He never copied one f*cking thing from me. He just looked at it, he saw what was good in it. It influenced him, and he was doing his own thing with it. I fell in love with the n*gga at that point.”

He continued to praise Pop Smoke for paying attention to a veteran giving him some game. 50 Cent also touched on executive producing Pop’s posthumous album and what fans can expect from it. Swipe through below to listen to 50 Cent share memories about Pop Smoke, talk about his thoughts on hip hop’s youth culture’s inability to articulate what they’re going through, and drop some gems on his Instagram Live.