Chief Keef Pays Respect To Fredo Santana On 2nd Anniversary Of Death

Fredo Santana never had extreme mainstream success but as a leader in drill music, he played a major role in its proliferation across the world. The rapper’s life was cut short two years ago today when he died from kidney failure. The game hasn’t forgotten about him since his passing. His friends and family, in the rap game and out, have continued to carry on his legacy since his passing.

On the two year anniversary his passing, Chief Keef, Fredo’s cousin, took to Instagram to share a throwback picture the two back when they were younger. Keeping the caption simple, Chief Keef wrote, “Better smiles than Hard times.” DP Beats and Lil Reese both showed some love in the comment section Chief Keef’s post.

G Herbo also took to his Instagram Story where he showed love to the late rapper on his death anniversary. Sharing a photo Fredo seated on a throne, writing “Long live] Big Boss aka Trap God aka Real Savage CEO.” Last year, G Herbo hit the ‘Gram to raise awareness about people with PTSD, especially in a place like Chicago where death is prevalent in the Southside. This was partially inspired by Fredo Santana who explained months before his death that he was using drugs as a way to cope with his own PTSD.

Kendrick Lamar’s "Alright" Is Our Generation’s Triumph

“Alls my life I had to fight, nigga!”

During a peaceful 1963 demonstration against segregation laws in the city Birmingham, Alabama activists were met with violent attacks from high-pressure fire hoses and police dogs producing some the most disturbing and iconic images the civil rights movement.

Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" Is Our Generation's Triumph

Fire fighters use fire hoses to subdue the protestors during the Birmingham Campaign in Birmingham, Alabama, May 1963 – Frank Rockstroh/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty s

“Alls my life I had to fight”

In 1921 the Greenwood district Tulsa, Oklahoma – an almost exclusively black neighborhood filled with thriving businesses was attacked by a mob angry white residents. Dozens were killed. It’s christened the single most violent act racial violence in American history. 

Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" Is Our Generation's Triumph

Tulsa, Oklahoma after the race riots. Injured and wounded prisoners are being taken to hospital by National guardsmen – Hulton Archive/Getty s

“Alls my life I had to fight, nigga!” 

August 2014, police ficer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking national outrage and weeks protests to follow. 

Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" Is Our Generation's Triumph

A demonstrator protesting Darren Wilson’s shooting death Michael Brown is arrested by police ficers in St. Louis, Missouri – Joshua Lott/Getty s

“Alls my life I had to fight”

August 2005, impoverished residents New Orleans, many them black, waited on government assistance after Hurricane Katrina ravaged Southeast Louisiana. Due to slow federal action, many would lack basic necessities like water, housing, and health care.    

“When you know, we been hurt. Been down before. When our pride was low, looking at the world like where do we go. And we hate po-po, want to kill us dead in the street for sure. I’m at the preacher’s door. My knees getting weak and my gun might blow but we gone be alright.”

It was author and activist James Baldwin who said, in his 1956 book Sunny Blues: “All I know about music is that not many people ever really hear it. And even then, on the rare occasions when something opens within, and the music enters, what we mainly hear, or hear corroborated, are personal, private, vanishing evocations. But the man who creates the music is hearing something else, is dealing with the roar rising from the void and imposing order on it as it hits the air. What is evoked in him, then, is another order, more terrible because it has no words, and triumphant, too, for that same reason. And his triumph, when he triumphs, is ours.”

Kendrick’s triumph is indeed our triumph on “Alright.” His decree imminent victory in the face terror pierces through our inter-mutual spirits even if for a moment. The song forces you to hear the volumes tidings he arranged in less than 800 words. A dynamic message. The 2015 song which became an anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement will forever live on and exuberantly embody the power hip-hop.  

Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" Is Our Generation's Triumph

Five years after Eric Garner’s death, people gather in protest, July 17, 2019 in New York City – Spencer Platt/Getty s

Chuck D and Public Enemy dubbed hip-hop the “black CNN.” This will always be the truest legacy the culture. On To Pimp A Butterly, Lamar boldly and impenitently charges the menaces capitalism, racism, and discrimination. A radical exposition blackness in the current social context. A tale our plight towards unblemished equality. Like Public Enemy and NWA did with “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” and “Straight Outta Compton” Kendrick Lamar fashioned the way we view the world with his third studio album. 

Pitchfork named Kendrick Lamar’s thought-proving single “Alright” from his black power manifesto To Pimp A Butterfly, song the decade. In my opinion, TPAB is the most important rap album this generation. So much hip-hop is criticizing an analyzing systems oppression – police brutality, poverty and social injustice in all forms. 

In the same article, Pitchfork said, “It’s not every day, or even every decade, that a song will become platinum-certified, Grammy recognized, street ratified, activist endorsed, and a new nominee for Black National Anthem; that it’ll be just as effective performed before a massive festival audience or chanted on the front lines at protests; that it’ll serve as a war cry against police brutality, against Trump, for the survival the disenfranchised. Inspired by a trip to South Africa, Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” bears a message unbreakable optimism in the face hardship.”

Hundreds years ago as slaves we sang joyful songs to get us through the daily brutalities chattel subjugation. During the civil rights era, we marched as an independent army demanding the civil liberties that America continued to disallow. Now, years later, we still need this variety music to heal from the dreary tangibilities the time. It’s a feel-good record that reminds you struggle’s beauty while inciting a resolve altruism. Lamar boxes with hopelessness and optimism on an unforgettable beat. It is a beautifully conducted waltz in a ring controversy. 

Black people have been rebelling against the power structure through music for generations. The songs we sang during slavery had to be partially euphemistic; the messages hidden in the complexity the linguistic gymnastics we still do. It was the bedrock for the ways we speak today. It was our own little undetectable, daily uprising in passing. In many ways, this is hip-hop’s precursors. Ta-nehisi Coates described how rap gave him the earliest sense what writing should mean. This stated in his New York Times best-selling book Between The World and Me. I feel the same as Coates. Listening to these street journalists reporting from and for the unrepresented voices in America shaped my social consciousness. This too was my earliest inkling literature’s true power and purpose. Rakim was my Shakespeare. Ice Cube my Allan Poe.

I was about 10 years old when I first experienced a protest. In the city St. Petersburg two white police ficers had killed an unarmed, teenage black motorist. After the police department refused to shared information the community became furious. I remember ducking down in the car as projectiles flew threw the air and the muffled rumble chants filled the cool Florida air. Right after that experience was when I first heard “The Point No Return” by Ghetto Boys. I found refuge in the song’s lyrics given the anger I felt – not fully understanding the gravitas this situation but knowing that I always saw other black men dying on the news at the hands police. 

“Alright” was chanted during protests and rallies in the years since its release. As songs my early youth gave me a form solace in times unrest so did this composition. Due to its social timing and indignation black America, the song quickly grew into the soundtrack to calls for justice. The track grew popular in the shadow several high-prile police killings which involved unarmed black men.  

“I’m fucked up, homie, you fucked up but if God got us then we gone be alright.”

Part avouchment, part affirmation. The song’s hook proxies its brilliance. Under Kendrick’s commanding voice we all collectively wrapped our arms around each other in a show unity and asserted that – even if it does not feel like it right now – we will be okay. And further, we are in this fight together. We symbolically linked arms across the nation in a season new awakening driven by feelings cheated social impartiality.  

A cocktail hope, anger, depression, “Alright” harvests some deep-rooted theoretical analogies long tied to the black psyche in terms the false perception America’s dream. Kendrick’s disposition expresses a glimmer hope shrouded in equal resignation. He’s torn. Back and forth Lamar goes, a display internal struggle. Pleased with the progress yet contending nothing has ever changed. Wrestling with the idea that given oppression’s stronghold, will things ever truly change?

The balancing act between hopefulness and sadness. The weight on his shoulders. He speaks for a group people. He’s trying to tell people to rise up: you have the talent, you have the talent and ability and promise. The other side is accepting the realities the world we live in. Even though he’s Kendrick Lamar, a celebrity, when everything boils down he can just as easily be another statistic. A powerful message. Giving yourself a chance to believe. 

Several other artists have made songs that speak to the same conviction as those articulated in “Alright.” Each era hip-hop has had a commensurate anthem. The 80s had “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy and “Fuck the Police” by NWA. The 90s had “Changes” by 2 Pac. The 2000s have “Be Free” by J. Cole and these songs hang in the rap section black history’s esteemed gallery art.  

Hip-hop artists haven’t just written songs about change, they’ve been consistently linked to activism. Beyonce’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl, with an outfit honoring the Black Panthers, was an unforgettable moment. Diddy’s “Vote or Die” campaign during the 2004 Presidential election. J. Cole and Talib Kweli joining demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri after Mike Brown’s shooting.

The messages conveyed in “Alright” by way To Pimp A Butterfly are reinforced through Kendrick’s performances and the song’s visual artistry. Lamar stood on top a cop car during most his 2015 BET Awards performance. Here he directly accosts the power structure not law enforcement but injustice. In his set, the police car works as a physical embodiment the inadequacies in criminal justice. Demonstrations like the Watts riots 1965 produced images reminiscent Kendrick’s show. 

During his 2016 Grammy performance, Kendrick came out with faceless soldiers who represented the disenfranchised and exploited people upon which the American dream is built. This is further highlighted by the initial soundbite “America, God bless you if it’s good to you.” Turning the ideological motif “God Bless America” on its head. This acts as a perfect precursor to his performance the song “XXX” which references both gun violence and police brutality against blacks.

Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" Is Our Generation's Triumph

Kendrick Lamar performs in shackles at the 2016 Grammys – Kevork Djansezian/Getty s

Dave Chapelle came out during an interlude the same performance to remind the audience that “the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America, is being an honest black man in America.” 

Kendrick was interviewed during Austin City Limits. The moderator asked him, “When you write a song or make a record do you think about how it’s going to affect people. The impact that it could have?” K-Dot responded, “Prior to this album, prior to a lot my new music – a lot the records were just for me. It was more a selfish type thing. Until I seen that people out here actually connect with it just as deep or even more than me writing it. So, now I go into the aspect how can I make something that’s personal for me but also personal for that’s listening to it. So, when I go in to make a record like that. To Pimp A Butterfly. I go in with the mind state that it has to connect. Not only for me and my culture but for people from other walks life. People around the world.”  

One the most lasting and polarizing images involving the song came in Cleveland, Ohio. In unity and solidarity, protesters began chanting “we gone be alright” after being pepper-sprayed by police. A viral moment that echoed across the digital sphere. This song was that rare moment James Baldwin spoke – when we truly hear the music and its message. When the undeniable connection happens between artist and consumer. With “Alright” Kendrick’s triumph was our triumph.

Drake Shows Off His Poetic Prowess With Lengthy IG Caption

Drake has been teasing fans with new music for a long time now but in typical Drake fashion, he is making sure most information stays under wraps. The Canadian artist is one the biggest acts in the entire world and in 2019, he didn’t release a project although he did come through with some singles here and there. 

Just yesterday, Drake took to Instagram where he flexed some his poetic prowess as a way to get fans excited about what he might be writing. As you can see, Drake came through with some interesting bars and rhyme schemes that will surely have fans demanding a project in the near future. Unfortunately, these bars didn’t come with some sort announcement, such as a release date.

“Psychic readings, Corporate meetings, Power lunches, Private funding,100 push ups 100 crunches, Final touches, Lemon squeezes, Island breezes, Press releases, Moving speeches, Multi tasking, Torches passing, Strong attractions, Forceful actions, What’s really cracking, I’m maintaining thanks for asking,” Drake wrote.

For now, we’re going to have to be patient when it comes to new Drake music. It takes time to craft a great album and we’re sure the artist is dotting his i’s and crossing his t’s before dropping another body work.

Ruby Rose’s "Batwoman" Reveals Sexual Orientation To Gotham City

Gender and uality are two topics that have been discussed quite a bit over the last few years. The LGBTQ+ community has seen a lot more visibility over the last little while which has led to more inclusion in the media, particularly TV shows and movies. One the examples this is CW’s brand new series, “Batwoman.” The title character, otherwise known as Kate Kane, is played by actress Ruby Rose who has been quite open in the past about her uality. 

On the latest episode the series, Kane comes out to Gotham City as gay. This revelation comes as quite the risk because the more she tells about herself, the more likely it is people will figure out she is “Batwoman.” It’s important to note that Kane made this decision after seeing another character struggle to come out to their parents.

Kara Danvers players Supergirl who is the one who ends up writing the article about Kane’s uality. Perhaps the most significant part this revelation is the fact that “Batwoman” is now the first openly gay title character in a superhero series. This is a huge step for LGBTQ+ visibility and with “Batwoman” leading the way, we could see other series take this route in the future.

Via]

Hip Hop Week In Review: Eminem’s Surprise Album & Royce Da 5’9’s Beef With Yelawolf

HipHopDX – This week in Hip Hop, Eminem dropped his surprise album Music To Be Murdered By. Also, Royce Da 5’9 unleashed his new single “Overcomer” featuring a diss aimed at Yelawolf, and 2 Chainz cut down his dreads.

Eminem Releases Music To Be Murdered By

Eminem surprised fans with a new album titled Music To Be Murdered By on Friday (January 17). The LP featured 20 tracks and guest appearances from Royce Da 5’9, Q-Tip, KXNG Crooked, Young M.A, Anderson .Paak, Black Thought and the late Juice Wrld.

Slim Shady also released a video for the single “Darkness” at the same time.

It didn’t take long for listeners to catch on to all the people Em disses on the album. Among them include Lord Jamar, Machine Gun Kelly, Joe Budden, Kanye West, Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, just to name a few.

However, there was no diss to be found for Nick Cannon.

Stream Eminem’s Music To Be Murdered By here.

Royce Da 5’9 Disses Yelawolf

Royce Da 5’9 shared the Westside Gunn-assisted track “Overcomer” off his forthcoming album The Allegory on Thursday (January 16). On it, Royce takes a clear shot at former Shady Records labelmate Yelawolf.

“Yelawolf this is your first and your last pass,” Royce spit. “I ain’t gon’ put it on blast, your punk ass know what this about/You think it’s ’bout being loud or tryna be hostile/Till you get found face down on the ground outside of Kid Rock house/Though you a vulture pundit, I hope you get sober from this/Men lie, women lie, so do numbers.”

In a since-deleted response, Yelawolf posted a pair of red boots on Instagram with the following caption: “YOU AND ME video dropping soon from the sold out Fillmore in Detroit .. but numbers do lie don’t they @royceda59. yo @eminem get your hype man before the wolves do … I ain’t worried.”

Royce caught the post before Yela deleted it and fired back.

“I can remove you quicker than you Deleted this post, David Duke and nobody can stop me,” he wrote. “See, you want it to be one way…But it’s the other way.”

Read more about Royce Da 5’9’s beef with Yelawolf here.

2 Chainz Cuts His Dreads

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This my second cut of the year

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2 Chainz cut his dreads ahead of the release for his collaborative track “Dead Man Walking” with Future.

“This my second cut of the year,” he wrote in a caption on Instagram.

Listen to 2 Chainz’s “Dead Man Walking” featuring Future here.

Reviews

– Redman — 3 Joints
– Nick Cannon — The Miseducation Of The Negro You Love To Hate
– Stunna 4 Vegas — Rich Youngin
– 070 Shake — Modus Vivendi
– Mick Jenkins — The Circus

#DXCLUSIVES: Stretch & Bobbito, 30 Roc & S1

Stretch & Bobbito Conquered Radio, Now They Have An Album Called ‘No Requests’

Stretch and Bobbito spoke to HipHopDX about the making of their debut album No Requests and the origins of its title.

“I’ve done everything from the most underground music-centric to the most horrible Las Vegas mainstream with a line of hostile white women asking for bad music,” Stretch pointed out. “No Requests is kind of tongue-in-cheek. It’s not meant to be too serious, although we actually don’t take requests. With regards to the album, you don’t need to make requests because we got you.”

Read the full interview with Stretch and Bobbito here.

Producer 30 Roc Explains How Windshield Wiper Noise Ended Up On Roddy Ricch’s ‘The Box’

30 Roc detailed how he made Roddy Ricch’s No. 1 hit song “The Box” and where the “EEE-ERR” sound heard throughout the song came from in a conversation with DX.

“Anybody who listens to music knows it’s his voice,” 30 Roc explained. “That’s not possible. It’s possible for me to do that, but if I was to put that in the beat without him laying the vocals, I felt like it would throw the beat off.”

Check out the entire interview with 30 Roc here.

S1’s Memoir Reveals How Rhymefest Facilitated Life-Changing Kanye West Collaboration

S1 a.k.a. Symbolyc One dropped his new book titled Pray.Focus.Plan.Execute: A Memoir by S1 and shared an exclusive excerpt from it on DX. He also opened up about his intentions for the written work, which dropped on January 15.

“My purpose, not only for writing this book but also in life, is to impact, inspire, encourage and motivate others,” S1 told DX. “I’ve been blessed to accomplish so much in my life. So, I felt me sharing my personal life and career experiences of success and more importantly, my failures, would align with my purpose of achieving that.”

Read the excerpt and more about S1’s book here.

Eminem Criticized By Manchester Mayor For Ariana Grande "Bomb" Lyric

Eminem proved he’s still his controversial self on Friday when he dropped the album Music To Be Murdered By out nowhere. The album is chock-full shocking material, and he doesn’t shy away from calling out certain people by name, including Machine Gun Kelly, whom he has had beef with for quite some time. However, one namedrop was particularly not well-received by some listeners. Eminem included a lyric in his song “Unaccommodating that referenced a terrorist attack that occurred at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in 2017: “But I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game/Like I’m outside an Ariana Grande concert waiting.” The tragedy left 23 people, mostly children, dead, and 130 more injured, and has deeply traumatized the singer.

On Friday, after the surprise album had dropped, Manchester mayor Andy Burnham addressed the upsetting line in a statement. “This is unnecessarily hurtful and deeply disrespectful to the families and all those affected.” Mr. Burnham’s sentiments were echoed by Figen Murray, the mother Martyn Hett, who died in the attack. In a tweet that has seen been deleted, Figen voiced her disapproval for the lyric, writing, “Feels like he is piggybacking on the fame Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber and says distasteful things about other celebrities. Not clever. Totally pointless. And before all Eminem fans pounce on me, I am not interested and will not engage.” Figen revealed that she ultimately deleted the tweet because “I knew I would get lots abuse and insults.”

Figen has campaigned for the introduction Martyn’s Law, which would require venues to introduce more stringent security checks. Martyn’s former partner, Russell Hayward, also expressed his disappointment in the lyric.

It’s disappointing but not surprising that #Eminem would use controversial lyrics about the Manchester bomb, dragging the victims’ families & Ariana back into a very dark time,” Russell tweeted. “Not sure how popular he is these days but I hope any success he gets from the back this is worth it.”

DaBaby Claims That He Gave Up Weed On New Years

New year, new DaBaby. Many us make pledges on New Year’s Eve to change our lives for the better, and DaBaby is no different. It appears that the southern rapper has given up getting high in 2020. The revelation came on Sunday (January 19) when DaBaby posted a picture himself on Twitter. Draped in diamonds and rocking a Louis Vuitton sweatshirt, DaBaby was lowkey stunting for the picture. Fans soon began to comment on the picture, stating that DaBaby looked super high in the shot. One user tweeted, “Baby you look high asl in this one.” The rapper responded by simply writing, “I haven’t smoked since the ball dropped.”

Another user guessed that DaBaby was at least tipsy in the picture in question, which turned out to be true. “Wine Only,” stated DaBaby when asked if he still drinks. “But bruh nem had me on the Patron last night,” he admitted. Its possible that his arrest for possession marijuana last year is playing a role in how DaBaby wants to handle 2020. DaBaby is also in some new trouble after footage him assaulting a hotel worker went viral last week. DaBaby has already responded to that incident. 

 

U.S. Navy Has Top Secret UFO Docs That Can Cause "Grave Damage" To National Security

The existence aliens has been wildly debated, although you’d be a fool to think that there isn’t life outside the planet earth. While there hasn’t necessarily been concrete evidence proving that aliens exist, it appears as though the Department Defense has some documents and footage related to UFO spottings. 

In response to a public records request filed by Vice, the Navy has revealed that there have been briefings about UFO spottings including one between the USS Nimitz and an unidentified flying object. The Navy responded to the FOI request, writing they had, “discovered certain briefing slides that are classified TOP SECRET. A review these materials indicates that are currently and appropriate Marked and Classified TOP SECRET under Executive Order 13526 and the Original Classification Authority has determined that release these materials would cause exceptionally grave damage to the National Security the United States.” Adding, “We have also determined that ONI possesses a video classified SECRET that ONI is not the Original Classification Authority for.”

Despite admitting to the existence the footage, a rep for the Pentagon said that there are no plans to release it. “However, I can tell you that the date the 2004 USS Nimitz video is Nov. 14, 2004,” the spokesperson told Vice. “I can also tell you that the length the video that’s been circulating since 2007 is the same as the length the source video. We do not expect to release this video.” 

"Game Of Thrones" Prequel "House Of The Dragon" Gets Premiere Date

Though Game Of Thrones ultimately left a sour taste in many mouths, the series as a whole still remains beloved. And there’s always The Winds Of Winter, if George R.R. Martin ever finishes writing that particular lethan. Suffice it to say, Thrones is still very much in the mix, and HBO’s recently announced prequel series House Of The Dragon will likely reinvigorate the spark upon its arrival. With Martin holding it down as an executive producer, the new show will center around the Targaryen dynasty, as loosely portrayed in Martin’s Fire And Blood compendium.

"Game Of Thrones" Prequel "House Of The Dragon" Gets Premiere Date

Frederick M. Brown/Getty s – House Of The Dragon Showrunner Miguel Sapochnik

Now, a report from Deadline confirms that House Of The Dragon will be arriving in 2022, though HBO President Programming Casey Bloys has hinted that it’s too early to provide anything concrete. He did, however, confirm that the writing stages were well underway — casting, on the other hand, has yet to begin. “Obviously it’s a big, complicated show,” explains Bloys, but it’s poised to be in good hands all the same. Miguel Sapochnik, who many consider a defining voice  Thrones, is tapped to be showrunner alongside series writer Ryan Condal. 

Are you looking forward to a return to Westeros in 2022? Who knows — perhaps George will have finished the book series in its entirety by then.

]

Quentin Tarantino Plans To Direct "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" Spin Off Series

Quentin Tarantino plans to direct a Once Upon a Time in Hollywood spinf series based on the show within the movie titled Bounty Law.

“As far as the Bounty Law shows, I want to do that, but it will take me a year and a half,” Tarantino told Deadline in a recent interview. “It got an introduction from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but I don’t really consider it part that movie even though it is. This is not about Rick Dalton playing Jake Cahill. It’s about Jake Cahill.”

The acclaimed director has written five episodes and plans to direct all them.

“Where all this came from was, I ended up watching a bunch Wanted, Dead or Alive, and The Rifleman, and Tales Wells Fargo, these half-hour shows to get in the mindset Bounty Law, the kind show Rick was on,” he said. “I’d liked them before, but I got really into them. The concept telling a dramatic story in half an hour. You watch and think, wow, there’s a helluva lot storytelling going on in 22 minutes. I thought, I wonder if I can do that? I ended up writing five half-hour episodes. So I’ll do them, and I will direct all them.”

Tarantino also plans to release an extended cut  Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Chuck D Calls Out Grammys For ‘Same Old Jive’ Following Deborah Dugan Ousting

Five months after Deborah Dugan joined the Recording Academy as its CEO and president, the powers-that-be at the Recording Academy have placed her on administrative leave — and Chuck D has something to say about it.

The news of Dugan’s departure was announced on Friday (January 17).

“The Board of Trustees felt this action to be necessary, due to serious concerns that recently were brought to our attention,” interim Recording Academy President and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said in a statement. “While we are unable to share the details of the concerns to protect employee privacy, please know that the Board has retained two independent third-party investigators to conduct independent investigations into allegations that have been made.”

Dugan’s attorney Bryan Freedman responded to the ousting on Twitter, writing, “What has been reported is not nearly the story that needs to be told. When our ability to speak is not restrained by a 28-page contract and legal threats, we will expose what happens when you ‘step up’ at the Recording Academy, a public nonprofit.”

Freedman added, This is what happens when you step up. #grammys #thisiswhathappenswhenyoustepup #stepup #deborahdugan #grammyssomale #fixgrammysnow #oldboysnetwork #grammysstepup.”

The “step-up” is a jab at former chief executive Neil Portnow’s suggestion following the 2018 Grammys that female artists should “step up” in response to a lack of awards representation.

The Public Enemy frontman, who is preparing to accept a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in April, has issued an open letter to the Grammys and Hip Hop. He makes it abundantly clear he applauds Dugan’s efforts while shaming the “ignorant, testosterone-fueled, usually old white men” who tend to thwart any real progress.

“They want to keep it the status quo and make sure things like Hip Hop stay the poster child of their fuckery,” he wrote in part. “In 1989 we protested the Grammys because they refused to acknowledge a new art form called Hip Hop/Rap. I responded with the lyric, ‘Who gives a fuck about a goddamn Grammy.’ We fought to be recognized and for things to change. We kicked that door in for others to come through.”

Chuck D Calls Out Grammys For 'Same Old Jive' Following Deborah Dugan Ousting

The pioneering Hip Hop legend also applauded Dugan’s efforts to affect serious change and expressed his disappointment in the “same old jive,” noting he was aware Dugan was “having her own struggles” within an academy “that thinks Public Enemy ended in 1992.”

“After 35 years in this industry, folks should know that I always defer any individual accomplishment, always giving salutes to those before me and trying to open the door for those after me,” he continued. In agreeing to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award when Deborah called me was no different.

“We discussed these issues and what need to change. Hip Hop can’t be judged by a bunch of old corporate guards who rewrite history to serve their corporate bottom line.”

Chuck also condemned the Grammys for questioning DJ Lord’s position in the group. Lord has been behind the 1s and 2s as part of Public Enemy for over two decades.

“We had to haggle, to educate, to justify why a core member of our group for the past 22 years, DJ Lord, should be a part of this award,” he added. “We had to question why our biggest UK hit and the them to the global Paralympics Games ‘Harder Than You Think’ was left out.”

Chuck ended his letter by stating he isn’t surprised Dugan is out.

“Never could I have imagined that pushing for the recognition our art form deserved would turn into artists being coerced into disrespecting the craft, themselves, the culture and other people only to chase the bag and validation from corporations and award shows who don’t care about you. I hope this letter will be a wake-up call for them. New folks but the same ol bullshit pattern doesn’t change a thing.”

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards take place on January 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Walmart Apologizes For Insensitive Paul Walker Tweet

Walmart’s social media manager was a little too quick with a recent response to a user since their supposed joke was received as insensitive. After a fan the store’s Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls expressed on Twitter that they would be speeding to the nearest location to cop the strawberry and cream-flavored bites, Walmart responded writing: “Hey, Paul Walker. Click it, or ticket.”

Considering that Paul sadly passed in 2013 after a car crash in California, the Twitterverse was quick to call out the tone-deaf comment. “OMG. You can delete it all you want @Walmart but whoever posted that better be fired. So tasteless. RIP Paul Walker – died in my hometown,” one user wrote, while another added, “WalMart referencing a Workaholics line from 2011 (that was from an episode that aired before Paul Walker died) 7 years after Walker died and the line would be in poor taste is just another reason to not encourage the brands.”

Walmart has since apologized for the tweet, writing: “We apologize to Paul Walker’s family, friends and fans. The tweet was posted in poor judgment and has been removed.”

Some users, however, didn’t see the harm. “I get why people are mad at the WalmartPaul Walker thing, but I feel like this was more a fast and furious reference, because he literally drove fast in the movies. Also this was a quote from some show I don’t think they meant it to come f as disrespectful.”

Let us know what you think.

Ariana Grande Faces Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over '7 Rings'

A rapper is pop star Ariana Grande for copyright infringement, claiming that she copied the chorus of “7 Rings” from one of his songs.

The suit also names Universal Music Group as a defendant as well as several others.

Josh Stone, who performs under the stage name DOT, is claiming that the following lyrics from “7 Rings,” which Grande repeats multiple times in the song, comes from a song that he wrote and recorded in 2017 called “You Need I Got It”:

I Want It,
I Got It.

In “You Need I Got It,” Stone repeats the following lyrics:

You Need It,
I Got It.

In Stone’s lawsuit, which he filed in the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of New York, he claims that he played his song to music producer Tommy Brown, who has been known to work with Grande.

Stone further claims that a pair of forensic musicologists have concluded that the rhythms and the notes in the two songs have considerable similarities as well.

His suit states: “Literally, every single one of the 39 respective notes of ‘7 Rings’ is identical with the 39 notes of ‘I Got It’ from a metrical placement perspective. Said another way, the rhythm and placement of the notes and lyrics are identical.”

“7 Rings” has reportedly generated over $10 million in revenue. The song was nominated for a pair of Grammy Awards, among the five nominations that Grande received in total.

Interestingly, the late Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein received songwriting credit for the track because it samples “My Favorite Things” from the duo’s famed musical The Sound of Music.

So far, neither Grande nor her representatives have issued statements in response to the suit.

She made news earlier in the day when Eminem a song that made reference to the 2017 bombing at one of her concerts in Manchester, England.

UFC 246: The Long & Winding Road To Conor McGregor Vs Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone

Patience is a virtue. Especially so, in the case Donald Cerrone vs Conor McGregor. Their mounting animosity has been left to simmer for over five years. Although they’ve both spent the past few years flitting between the 155 & 170-pound divisions, the two have ostensibly been ships passing in the night, travelling on completely different paths that seemed like they may never intersect. While Conor was brokering a lucrative boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, before coming up short in the culmination his feud with Khabib Nurmagomedov, “Cowboy” has been competing at an expeditious rate.

UFC 246: The Long & Winding Road To Conor McGregor Vs Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone

Conor McGregor at UFC 229 – Harry How/Getty s

For clarity, Cerrone has stepped into the Octagon seven times between 2018-2019, with his McGregor bout serving as his 51st pressional fight. Within that same sample, the Notorious two-time UFC champion has fought once and had his athletic accomplishments overshadowed by his antics outside the cage. Peculiar as the matchmaking may seem to the uninitiated, a square-f between McGregor and the Cowboy hasn’t been hastily thrown together. In fact, it’s the culmination years near-misses and confrontational run-ins.

However, it wasn’t always this way. And during their initial encounters, the two fighters from blue-collar backgrounds were actually cordial to one another. When they appeared on the same card at 2015’s UFC Fight Night 59 in Boston, backstage footage revealed that the two exchanged pleasantries before the veteran told the fast-rising Irish newcomer to give Dennis Siver “hell” for good measure. But as Conor’s star rose and he morphed into the sport’s biggest crossover star, so too did the irrepressible need to make an enemy out every unsuspecting fighter within a mile radius. At the UFC’s star-studded “Go Big” conference, Conor shifted his focus from his upcoming contest with featherweight titan Jose Aldo to take aim at then-lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos and his opponent, Donald Cerrone. 

“I see stiffness when I look in that 155-pound division,” McGregor remarked. “I feel like they’re stuck in the mud almost. The featherweights, they hit like flyweights. So, it’s nice down there just destroying them and killing that whole division. But I have my eye on that 155 division.”

Never one to suffer perceived fools gladly, Cowboy didn’t hesitate to ridicule the prospect McGregor moving to a heavier division: “Conor has no right coming up to ’55. There’s no way; he’s not gonna stand a chance. We’re too big for him, too strong, so you can take your little English ass and get on.”

UFC 246: The Long & Winding Road To Conor McGregor Vs Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone

UFC 205 – Michael Reaves/Getty s

Yet as the years rolled on, Cerrone would have to eat those words when Conor snatched the 155 strap from one his former foes Eddie Alvarez, with undeniable finesse at UFC 205. On the other hand, an opportunity to fan the flames he and Cerrone’s brewing beef fell into his lap in 2016 when he decried Cowboy’s performance in a losing effort to Rafael Dos Anjos. Contested for the Lightweight title, The Notorious One chalked up Cerrone’s 66-second TKO defeat in the biggest fight his career to simple cowardice. “Cerrone pussied out on that big time,” McGregor proclaimed. “He’s fighting again this week or sometime soon. Ask Jose] Aldo if he can fight this weekend. He cannot fight. When you win by KO, by stoppage, by a true stoppage, you put your opponent out action for 10 months to a year. He quit in there inside that Octagon. That’s why he can go now next weekend and say ‘Oh, I fight every week’ and this and that — you can fight every week if you go in and quit. If you were willing to die in there, you wouldn’t have those turnarounds.”

During a February 2016 fan Q&A that preceded his bout against MMA’s other “Cowboy,” Alex Olivera, Cerrone trashed McGregor’s remarks in succinct fashion, stating, “Conor called me a quitter but I didn’t even get started in that fight.” With McGregor heading into the stratosphere, 2016 onward saw the trail go cold as Conor became too much a transcendent star to be within the reliable Albuquerque-based scrapper’s grasp.

As Crumlin’s most famous son began to reconcile with his own uncertain future, Donald’s resounding victory over Alexander Hernandez within two rounds encouraged McGregor to re-open the door Twitter: “For a fight like that Donald, I’ll fight you. Congratulations.” Fourth months later, Cerrone would lobby for the fight after rendering Al Laquinta unconscious, declaring, “I want the title, whatever that means. Unless, Conor McGregor you want to fight me in July. I’m ready.” Now, almost one year to the day since McGregor’s call-to-arms on social media, the two will finally meet in the middle the octagon tomorrow, Saturday, January 18.

Both record-breakers in their own right, it’s a fight that, if kept on the feet, is combustible in the best way imaginable. Similarly adept in the striking realm, the disparity comes in the ground game and it’s an area the sport that Cerrone unquestionably has the edge in. A black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu that harbours considerable wrestling skills to boot, a recent interview with Brett Okamato would suggest that Conor’s Instagram side-swipe “the first one to shoot’s a cowbitch” has compelled Cerrone to keep things standing: “You know, I probably should,” Cowboy said taking him down, “but I don’t think I will. I like to fight too; I like to get in there and throw down. Everyone says his stand-up is amazing, so why not go and test it?” Regardless what game plan Cerrone implements, Conor and his team seem to be treating victory as a foregone conclusion.

Alongside McGregor claiming that he’d still beat Cerrone while afflicted “by the flu,” his longstanding coach John Kavanagh told Ariel Helwani that he sees his prized fighter besting his adversary with little to no exertion. “Whether it’s something that happens in the first minute or if it goes the distance, if it goes 25 minutes, I don’t see it being a war. I see it being very one-sided.” 

UFC 246: The Long & Winding Road To Conor McGregor Vs Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone

UFC 202 – Steve Marcus/Getty s

However, there’s no shortage esteemed figures that believe the fight won’t be as cut and dry as Conor and his SBG comrades believe. “I see a lot people writing Cowboy f,” protested UFC welterweight champ Kamaru Usman, “like he’s just a wash because he’s won some and lost some, but Cowboy’s a very dangerous fight for Conor. I know he’s a pressional and he’s going to come prepared but I think… Conor has underestimated an opponent before Nate Diaz] and he paid for it. And when you light a fire under Cowboy, he’s going to get going.”

Amid all the speculation that surrounds UFC 246’s main event, one thing that’s certainly changed is that the two are now operating within a headspace mutual respect. Exhibited in numerous interviews, it’s perhaps expressed through a newly-humble Conor’s chat with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani: “Me and Donald have a history. Not a long history, but we’ve had a history. It’s an exciting bout. It’s a fan-friendly bout. It’s a fight that excites me. I appreciate Donald, I have to say,” McGregor revealed. “He’s fought a lot times since the last time I saw him, at the Aldo press conference many, many years ago (in September 2016).”

A bout which could realistically go either way, we as fans should approach this action-packed contest without getting bogged down about what it means for the rankings or where either man goes afterwards. Ever the picture contentment, this was epitomized by Cerrone’s typically blasé response to Brett Okamoto when asked what it truly represents. “This is like a fan’s dream fight and I’ve got the best seat in the house. So, I think I’m going to be super pumped. And at 170? Thank you. All the way around, a good time.”

Who have you got in McGregor Vs Cerrone? Sound f in the comments below.  

Damon Dash Says He Will "Always Love" Aaliyah With Throwback Pic On Her B’Day

Even with a new fiancé and a baby on the way, Damon Dash is still head over heels in love with former girlfriend and late R&B icon Aaliyah. On what would’ve been her 41st birthday yesterday (Jan. 16), Dame made sure to let all his Instagram followers know that his affection for the “One In A Million” singer will go on and on and on. 

“Happy birthday…will always love you,” Dash wrote as a caption on a pic the pair at the premiere Nicole Kidman’s 2001 thriller The Others in New York City, following up by writing, “never knew what being in love was like till I meet you…now I know how to recognize it when it’s real…” Dame and Aaliyah began dating in summer 2000 after a heavily-photographed July 4th weekend party at the Hamptons mansion he shared with former business partner Jay-Z. It was rumored that Hov and Baby Girl may have been in the talking phase during the time, but that’s never been confirmed other than Dame himself saying that Jay was “trying to get to Aaliyah.” While Dame hasn’t really had the best luck with press lately, from going at Jay-Z (yet again) and suing WeTV to even beefing with his own daughter, it’s good to see him showing us the best side his personality. 

Watch this clip Dame and Aaliyah during the good ol’ days, having a night out on the town in 2001 at another movie premiere for Planet Of The Apes. Happy birthday, Queen: