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Kanye West and Drake Team With Amazon to Stream Free Larry Hoover Benefit Concert

Photo Credit @Ye Instagram

Christmas is coming early for hip-hop fans, at least those with an Amazon Prime account.

The world’s largest online retailer announced on Tuesday, the Free Larry Hoover Benefit Concert, headlined by Kanye West and featuring a guest appearance from Drake will be streamed globally on its platform.

The news was applauded by fans of both rap icons, as ticket prices for the Dec. 9 concert, which will take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, have soared since its announcement — with some going as high as $7,500, not including taxes and fees, on Ticketmaster.
While the prices might seem outrageous, they were not unexpected. In addition to this being the first time West, who recently changed his name to Ye, is headlining a show in five years, it also will be the first time the two rappers have worked together in years.

In fact, the long-running beef between Drake and West, which the latter first called for an end to in an interview with N.O.R.E. on Drink Champs early in November, following the Astroworld disaster, will be “put to rest” at the concert according to West.

The concert will stream live Thursday (Dec. 8) at 11 p.m. EST/8 p.m. PST on Amazon Prime Video, Twitch and the Amazon Music app in more than 240 countries and territories across the world. In addition to being available through Amazon’s services, the concert will be live-streamed in IMAX theaters across the U.S. for a one-night-only event. Tickets are now available for purchase on IMAX’s official website. The concert will also be available to view on-demand through Prime Video following the live event.

“We’re extremely proud to be working with Kanye and Drake on this historic concert in support of a cause they are both so passionate about and to collaborate across Amazon for this epic entertainment event,” Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said of the collaboration in a statement.

“Kanye and Drake have spent their careers pushing boundaries and defining culture, and we’re excited to give fans around the world a front-row seat to this concert,” added Tim Hinshaw, head of hip-hop and R&B for Amazon Music. “We have made Amazon Music and Prime Video destinations where artists can make their most ambitious ideas a reality — his concert is just the latest example.”

The concert is intended to raise awareness of Larry Hoover’s incarceration and fight for freedom after decades behind bars. The co-founder of the Gangster Disciples, Hoover was found guilty of murder, extortion and money laundering among other charges in 1997 and is currently serving six life sentences. Additionally, it will benefit advocacy groups including Hustle 2.0, Ex-Cons For Community And Social Change and Uptown People’s Law Center.

West has been working to free Hoover, whose sentencing has sparked controversy and calls for sentence reform, for several years. In 2018 he asked Donald Trump, whom he avidly supported during his presidency, to grant him clemency, but the request was not granted.

Nick Cannon Mourns Loss of 5-Month-Old Son to Cancer

Photo Credit @NickCannonShow Twitter

A day after his alleged leaked nudes created a firestorm of thirst on social media, Nick Cannon returned to the spotlight Tuesday for a much more somber reason.

The 41-year-old television host and father of seven shared that his youngest, five-month-old Zen, had passed away from brain cancer while speaking with the studio audience of "The Nick Cannon Show."

“Over the weekend, I lost my youngest son to a condition called hydrocephalus that was pretty much a malignant, invasive midline brain tumor, brain cancer,” an emotional Cannon said. “It’s tough.”

According to Cannon, the family first suspected there might be a problem with Zen, his child with model and partner Alyssa Scott, when they observed the toddler having breathing difficulties.

“I always noticed he had a cough and so I wanted to check it out,” Cannon said. “He had this interesting breathing and by the time he was two months, I noticed he had this nice sized head too — a Cannon head. We didn’t think anything of it. But I wanted to take him to the doctor for his sinus and breathing. We thought it would be routine.”

Unfortunately, the diagnosis proved to be bleak.

“Ultimately, it was cancer in the brain and the tumor began to grow a lot faster,” Cannon said, before sharing that he spent this past weekend with his son in California and, "not only did we get to see the sunrise, we got to see the sunset."

He brought out fellow television host and therapist Dr. Laura Berman — who lost her son Samuel to an accidental drug overdose in February at the age of 16 — to discuss the grief of losing a child. Cannon who said, "I didn't know how I was going to handle today, but I wanted to grieve with my family," dedicated the show to Zen.


Drake Withdraws 2022 Grammy Nominations

Courtesy Republic Records

Longtime Grammy critic and four-time winner, Drake has removed himself from consideration for awards at the upcoming 64th edition of the annual Recording Academy fete — considered by many the industry standard for identifying and celebrating excellence in musical achievement.

Nominated for Best Rap Album for “Certified Lover Boy” and Best Rap Performance for the track “Way 2 Sexy,” the 35-year-old decided to withdraw his 48th and 49th nominations after consulting with his team.

According to Variety, which broke the news, a representative from the Recording Academy confirmed the nominations were withdrawn, but the Canadian rapper did not release any information pertaining to the reasoning behind the decision.

This is not the first time Drake has been at odds with the awards show. He has called for them to be replaced with something more equitable in the past, declined to submit his hit album “More Life” for consideration in 2017, and, perhaps most famously, delivered a blistering rebuke to the academy when accepting the Grammy for Best Rap Song (“God’s Plan) in 2019.

                                     Credit champagnepapi/Instagram
Drake took to Instagram in 2020 to lay out some of his grievances with the Recording Academy. 

“We play in an opinion-based sport, not a factual-based sport,” he said. “You’ve already won if you have people who are singing your songs word for word, if you’re a hero in your hometown… Look, if there’s people who have regular jobs who are coming out in the rain, in the snow, spending money to buy tickets to your shows, you don’t need this right here. You already won.”