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NBA Icon Michael Jordan Soars to Forbes 400's Elite Wealthy Club

President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Michael Jordan during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 22, 2016.
NBA legend Michael Jordan has achieved another groundbreaking milestone in his legendary career, this time off the basketball court. Forbes has officially ranked him at number 379 on its esteemed Forbes 400 list, making him the first professional athlete to ever earn a spot among America's 400 wealthiest individuals.

This prestigious entry into the Forbes 400 is attributed to Jordan's strategic move earlier this year when he sold his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets, an NBA franchise he had acquired in 2010 for approximately $275 million.

Forbes estimates Jordan's current net worth at an impressive $3 billion. His journey to billionaire status began in 2015, driven not only by his basketball prowess but also his lucrative endorsement deals with iconic brands like Nike. This partnership, which started in 1984 with a contract worth $500,000 per year plus royalties, has remained a cornerstone of his financial success. As of the latest data, Jordan continues to receive yearly royalties from Nike, amounting to a substantial $260 million.

However, it's not just Nike that contributed to Jordan's financial empire. Over the years, he inked lucrative contracts with major brands such as Hanes, Gatorade, and Upper Deck, further bolstering his financial standing.

Beyond his wealth accumulation, Jordan has also become renowned for his philanthropic efforts. In celebration of his 60th birthday, he made history with a generous $10 million donation to Make-A-Wish America, marking the largest individual gift ever received by the foundation in its 43-year history.

While Jordan's prowess on the basketball court is legendary, with five MVP awards and six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls during his illustrious 15-season career, his off-court achievements continue to shape his legacy. His strategic investments and business acumen have made him an iconic figure not only in the world of sports but also in finance and philanthropy.

In the larger context of America's wealthiest individuals, Jordan's journey from the courts of the NBA to the elite ranks of the Forbes 400 is a testament to his unique blend of talent, business savvy, and dedication to making a difference.

As of Forbes' latest assessment, Elon Musk leads the Forbes 400 list with an estimated worth of $251 billion, followed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with an estimated wealth of $161 billion.

Forbes reports that the collective net worth of America's 400 richest individuals now stands at an astounding $4.5 trillion, equaling the record set in 2021. This sum even surpasses the 2022 GDP of Japan, which was $4.23 trillion according to the World Bank.

Grammy-Winning Rapper Krayzie Bone Fights Offstage Battle in ICU

Photo Credit: Instagram/krayzie_bone
Krayzie Bone, a prominent member of the legendary rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, has shared a recent health update following his week-long battle in the intensive care unit of a Los Angeles-area hospital. Krayzie, whose real name is Anthony Henderson, has faced serious health challenges in recent weeks.

The 50-year-old rapper was hospitalized last month after experiencing severe health issues, including coughing up blood. He has since undergone surgeries for internal bleeding and required the assistance of a ventilator.

On Tuesday, he took to social media, posting a photo of himself from his hospital bed, where he revealed that he had been fighting for his life for nine consecutive days. He attributed his recovery to his faith, stating, "I only won the battle this time because I know Jehovah God was with me every step of the way fighting for me."

Krayzie Bone expressed his gratitude to fans for their support and prayers during his challenging ordeal.

The Cleveland native, is renowned as a member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, a pioneering group in the melodic rap genre that emerged in the early 1990s. The group's unique style and harmonies propelled them to the mainstream, and they achieved considerable success, including winning a Grammy for "Tha Crossroads."

He has faced health issues related to sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disease that can affect the lungs. He has previously postponed tour dates due to his health condition.

While his hospitalization has brought concern, his recent update provides a glimmer of hope for his fans and supporters as he continues his journey to recovery.

The cause of his hospitalization remains undisclosed, and medical professionals are closely monitoring his condition.

OutKast's 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below' Reigns as Top U.S. Rap Album

Hip-hop legends OutKast have achieved a historic milestone as their 2003 album "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" was officially certified 13x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. This certification solidifies it as the largest-selling rap album ever in the United States.

The iconic album, featuring the hit single "Hey Ya," surpassed Eminem's "The Eminem Show," which received its 12x platinum certification in 2022. The uniqueness of "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" as a double album contributed to its remarkable achievement, with each copy sold counting twice in the certification process.

Celebrating this momentous occasion, Big Boi, one-half of OutKast, shared his excitement on Instagram. He posted a video of himself unveiling a framed plaque commemorating the album's 13 million sales and expressed gratitude to the fans, writing, "Over 13 Million albums sold… OutKast is everlasting. Stank You Smelly Much… To All Y’all."

According to the RIAA, "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" has reached the esteemed 13x platinum status, placing it among the best-selling albums across all genres. The album made waves when it debuted at No. 1, selling over 510,000 copies in its first week alone.

The album's singles, "The Way You Move" and "Hey Ya!" performed exceptionally well, both peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Hey Ya!" remained at the top of the Hot 100 rankings for an impressive nine weeks.

Moreover, "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" earned OutKast the distinction of being only the second hip-hop project to win the Grammy Award for Album Of The Year. This accolade places the album in the same league as the Diamond-certified "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" (10x Platinum), which also received this honor at the 1999 Grammy ceremony.

OutKast has another full-length release that is currently halfway to Diamond status. The RIAA certified 2000’s "Stankonia" as 5x-Platinum in November 2021. Both "Stankonia" and "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" won Grammys for Best Rap Album.

Eminem’s "The Eminem Show" (12x-Platinum) previously held the RIAA certification record for a Hip-Hop album. In addition, the Detroit rapper received RIAA Diamond Awards for 2000’s "The Marshall Mathers LP" (11x-Platinum) and 2005’s "Curtain Call: The Hits" (10x-Platinum).

Other Diamond-certified rap albums include The Notorious B.I.G.’s "Life After Death" (11x-Platinum), 2Pac’s "Greatest Hits" (10x-Platinum), 2Pac’s "All Eyez On Me" (10x-Platinum), Beastie Boys’ "Licensed to Ill" (10x-Platinum), MC Hammer’s "Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em" (10x-Platinum), and Nelly’s "Country Grammar" (10x-Platinum).

OutKast, Eminem or any other Hip-Hop act ever breaking the all-time RIAA certification record appears to be an extremely difficult feat. At the moment, "Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)" by Eagles (38x-Platinum) and "Thriller" by Michael Jackson (34x-Platinum) are battling for first place.

The biggest-selling album ever of any genre in the U.S. is the Eagles’ "1971-75 greatest hits collection" (38x platinum), followed by Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" (34 times platinum), the Eagles again with "Hotel California" (26x platinum), and AC/DC’s "Back in Black" (25x platinum). All of OutKast’s LPs have at least gone platinum, with 2000’s "Stankonia" their second biggest-selling album at five million sold.

Andre 3000 and Big Boi haven’t released new music as Outkast in over 15 years but that hasn’t stopped them from celebrating their timeless classics. A couple of years ago, Outkast celebrated the 25th anniversary of "ATLiens" with a limited reissue.

This year, they’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Aquemini" and to honor the release, the duo have released a psychedelic animated music video for “SpottieOttieDopaliscious.” The legendary jazzy anthem was one of the most influential tracks of the album and has received masterful animation treatment from OK Motion Club.

In addition to the new video, Outkast is releasing a limited multi-colored edition vinyl pressing for "Aquemini."

'Thotiana' Rapper Blueface Receives Probation in Vegas Strip Club Shooting

BhrissCC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Rapper Blueface, also known as Johnathan Porter, has received a probation sentence in connection with a shooting outside a Las Vegas strip club last year. The incident occurred around 4 a.m. on October 8, 2022, leading to his arrest in November.

Known for his contributions to the hip-hop music scene, the 27-year-old gained recognition for his unique style and hit tracks. His breakout single, "Thotiana," released in 2018, catapulted him to stardom, garnering millions of views on YouTube and widespread acclaim.

The sentencing took place on Monday when Judge Kathleen Delaney confirmed a plea deal made over the summer, stipulating a probation-only sentence. Porter received a suspended sentence of 2-5 years in prison, which means he will serve probation.

According to court documents, the victim of the shooting reported being shot in the hand outside the Euphoric Gentlemen’s Club on Windy Road near the Las Vegas Strip. The victim claimed to have recognized Porter at the club and had spoken to him earlier in the evening. The altercation reportedly began when the victim made a comment about Porter talking to some women in a modest vehicle.

Initially charged with attempted murder, Porter's plea deal resulted in reduced charges of battery and discharging a firearm at or into an occupied structure.

In addition to the criminal case, Blueface faced civil lawsuits related to the shooting. Porter's legal team had requested a pause in the civil cases until the criminal proceedings were resolved.

In a separate incident, Porter faced a robbery charge after allegedly stealing a fan's phone at the Palms casino. Records indicate that prosecutors agreed to drop the charge following Porter's sentencing in the shooting case.

Blueface's sentencing includes up to three years of probation, with an underlying sentence of 2-5 years behind bars. Any probation violation could result in a substantial prison term.

Kentavious Traylor, the individual who was grazed by one of the bullets in the shooting, expressed frustration with the judicial process, suggesting that Blueface received preferential treatment due to his celebrity status. Traylor claimed that the incident had a significant impact on his life and job prospects and voiced his disapproval of Blueface and Jaidyn Alexis, presumably a reference to an associate of the rapper.

Watch: Beyoncé's 'Renaissance World Tour' Comes Alive in New Film

Beyoncé is gearing up to mesmerize global audiences as she takes her acclaimed "Renaissance World Tour" from the stage to the silver screen.

Following the tour's triumphant finale in Kansas City, Missouri, on Sunday night, the iconic diva unveiled the hotly-anticipated trailer for "Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé." This cinematic sensation is set to premiere worldwide in theaters on December 1.

The forthcoming film promises an inside look at the extraordinary journey of the "Renaissance World Tour," spanning its inception and grand opening in Stockholm, Sweden, to the climactic finale in Kansas City, Missouri.

It also delves into Beyoncé's unwavering dedication, meticulous involvement in all aspects of production, boundless creativity, and unwavering commitment to crafting a lasting legacy while perfecting her artistry.

"The film encapsulates Beyoncé's unwavering determination, dedication, and comprehensive involvement in every facet of production, showcasing her creative genius and her mission to establish an enduring legacy while elevating her craft," underscores the official synopsis.

Get a sneak peek of this cinematic treat by watching the first trailer below.

Arrest Made in Connection with 1996 Murder of Tupac Shakur

In a significant breakthrough in a decades-old case, Duane "Keffe D" Davis, a Las Vegas man, has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the drive-by shooting that claimed the life of hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur in 1996.

Two law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the arrest confirmed it to multiple media outlets. The exact charges against Davis are yet to be disclosed.

Today's arrest follows a search of Davis' home in July by Las Vegas police as part of the ongoing investigation into Shakur's murder.

While the details surrounding the arrest are limited, it marks a crucial development in a case that has perplexed investigators and captured public attention for 27 years.

During the search, authorities focused on various electronic storage devices, including desktops, thumb drives, CDs, external hard drives, and audio recordings. Notably, they discovered a Pokeball USB drive, a black iPhone, two iPads, a purple Toshiba laptop, and other items.

Shakur, also known as 2Pac, was fatally shot on September 7, 1996, in Las Vegas while riding with Death Row Records co-founder Marion "Suge" Knight after a Mike Tyson fight. Their vehicle was stopped at a red light when a white Cadillac pulled up alongside them. An unidentified assailant fired 14 shots, hitting Shakur four times. He succumbed to his injuries six days later, on September 13, 1996.

Orlando Anderson, a known Crips gang member, was an early suspect due to his involvement in an altercation with Shakur on the night of the shooting. Witnesses in Knight and Shakur's entourage indicated that Anderson may have been the shooter. However, Anderson died in an unrelated gang-related shooting in 1998, and the case went cold.

In 2018, Duane Davis, a former gang member, claimed on BET's "Death Row Chronicles" that he knew who killed Tupac Shakur but did not provide names. He also did not rule out the possibility that his late nephew, Orlando Anderson, was involved. Davis later chronicled these events in his 2019 memoir, "Compton Street Legend."

The arrest of Davis, one of the last living witnesses to the shooting, brings renewed hope of solving the murder of Shakur, an influential and iconic figure in the hip-hop industry. Davis had previously disclosed that he cooperated with federal and local authorities in 2010, sharing information about Shakur's killing and the murder of Shakur's rap rival, Christopher Wallace, also known as the Notorious B.I.G.

Shakur's death left a lasting void in the music world. He achieved remarkable success with albums like "All Eyez on Me" and engaged in a highly publicized feud with the Notorious B.I.G. before his tragic passing at the age of 25. In 2017, Tupac was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, solidifying his status as one of the most influential and versatile rappers of all time.

Rapper and Actor Nashawn Breedlove, Recognized for '8 Mile,' Passes On at 46

Photo Credit: Patricia Breedlove/Facebook
Nashawn Breedlove, celebrated for his role as Lotto in the 2002 film "8 Mile" and his career in rap music under the name Ox, has tragically passed away at the age of 46. His mother, Patricia Breedlove, confirmed his untimely departure through a heartfelt Facebook post.

"In memory of Nashawn, I want to share his steadfast faith in God and his unwavering dedication to his craft," Patricia Breedlove expressed in a poignant tribute. "His character and strength inspired all who crossed his path."

Breedlove etched himself into the annals of hip-hop history with his unforgettable rap battle against Eminem in "8 Mile," a film loosely inspired by the life of the rap icon.

Beyond his cinematic acclaim, Breedlove made significant contributions to the hip-hop landscape. He lent his talents to the soundtrack of the 2001 film "The Wash," collaborating with hip-hop luminaries Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg on the track "Don't Talk Shit."

The New Jersey Department of Health is presently delving into the circumstances surrounding Breedlove's passing, with the exact cause yet to be revealed.

Atlanta Icon Usher to Take Center Stage at 2024 Super Bowl Halftime

In a historic move, Usher is set to headline the 2024 Super Bowl Halftime Show. The iconic singer from Atlanta will grace the stage at Allegiant Stadium, marking the first time the Super Bowl will be held in Las Vegas.

Usher expressed his excitement, stating, "It’s an honor of a lifetime to finally check a Super Bowl performance off my bucket list. I can’t wait to bring the world a show unlike anything else they’ve seen from me before."

Additionally, Usher announced that his ninth album, "Coming Home," will be released on Super Bowl Sunday. This marks his first album since 2016's "Hard II Love." The album will feature his previous 2023 release, "Good Good," featuring Summer Walker and 21 Savage.

Usher has a storied career with 18 top 10 hits on the Hot 100, including nine No. 1s, and four No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200.

Seth Dudowsky, the head of music for the NFL, stated, "Usher is an icon whose music has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape throughout his career. We look forward to working with Usher, Roc Nation, and Apple Music to bring fans another Halftime Show for the history books."

This performance continues the partnership between the NFL and Roc Nation, with past halftime shows featuring renowned artists like Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, The Weeknd, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna.

The Super Bowl Halftime Show will be presented by Apple Music for the second consecutive year. Last year's show with Rihanna became the most-watched halftime show of all time.

Super Bowl LVIII will air live on CBS on February 11, 2024.

Hip-Hop Icons Unite for Transparent Healthcare: Fat Joe, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes Lead the Way

Hip-hop legends Fat Joe, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Method Man, French Montana and Chuck D have joined forces with nonprofit organization Power to the Patients to release a compelling public service announcement. Their message is unequivocal: elected officials must commit to creating a transparent, honest, affordable and equitable nationwide healthcare system.

This call to action coincides with a crucial moment, as the House of Representatives prepares to vote on a pivotal healthcare price transparency bill. The artists are uniting their voices to champion robust and meaningful price transparency laws. These laws would mandate that hospitals and insurance companies reveal real, itemized prices for their medical services and procedures.

"For 50 years now, hip-hop has been a reflection of culture and society, including stories of struggle, pain, social injustice, racial inequality, and community marginalization," declare the artists in the PSA. “Today, we confront a healthcare system that has been rigged against all of us. Hospitals force patients to sign contracts for services without ever showing us actual prices."

They assert that this lack of transparency not only stifles competition but also leads to overcharges, financial hardship and widespread patient anxiety. If individuals cannot afford their medical costs, these contracts often enable the confiscation of their possessions, perpetuating a cycle of fear and preventing millions of Americans from seeking necessary medical care. The artists emphasize that this issue constitutes an “American humanitarian crisis” that demands immediate attention.

Power to the Patients, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving comprehensive price transparency in healthcare, plays a central role in these advocacy efforts. The organization supports legislative initiatives at the federal, state, and city levels, firmly holding hospitals and insurers accountable for adhering to existing federal transparency regulations. Power to the Patients aims to ensure that all Americans are informed about their fundamental right to access accurate and transparent healthcare pricing.

This united call for healthcare transparency builds upon the extensive efforts of Power to the Patients and Grammy-nominated artist and philanthropist Fat Joe. Earlier this year, Fat Joe elevated his advocacy to the highest levels, visiting the White House and meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. His mission: to champion the rights of millions of patients, families, communities, employees, employers, and unions across the nation who have been adversely affected by the current healthcare system.

In June, Fat Joe and Power to the Patients collaborated with healthcare transparency initiatives led by the New York City Council and various union groups. Their collective efforts culminated in the signing of the Healthcare Accountability and Consumer Protection Act by Mayor Eric Adams in June 2023. This groundbreaking legislation established the nation's first Office of Health Care Accountability, enabling New Yorkers to compare healthcare costs charged by different hospitals for identical services.

The stark reality is that over 100 million Americans grapple with medical debt, a leading cause of personal bankruptcy. According to the most recent semi-annual report by the Patient Rights Advocate, only 36% of U.S. hospitals currently comply with the Federal Price Transparency Rule.

This PSA will broadcast on television in Washington, D.C., and be accessible online in select markets across the nation.


Lost at Sea: Travis Scott's Phone Poses Challenge in Lawsuit

Grammy-nominated rapper Travis Scott has found himself at the center of legal troubles once more as his missing phone, submerged in the Gulf of Mexico, becomes a focal point in the ongoing civil litigation surrounding the tragic 2021 Astroworld Festival. Ten people lost their lives, and thousands were injured during the event.

Attorneys representing plaintiffs filed an "emergency motion to compel production" of Scott's phone and other electronic devices, according to Rolling Stone. During a hearing on September 15, Scott's attorney, Steve Brody, revealed that records from Scott's manager, David Stromberg, could be provided by September 27. However, retrieving Scott's phone proved challenging as it had "fallen off a boat in January of 2022 and landed somewhere at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico," Brody informed the judge, Kristen Hawkins. He also noted that they could not access messages from Apple or Scott's phone carrier because Scott had not backed up his phone to iCloud.

Travis Scott's phone ended up in the ocean during a stay in Mexico in January 2022, two months after the Astroworld Festival. Scott was in Cabo San Lucas on January 14, working on his album Utopia, as confirmed by his producer, Wheezy.

Scott's team had previously resisted efforts to obtain his phone, citing confidential information and an unreasonable request. Scott, along with others connected to the festival, faces a vast, multi-district litigation combining numerous individual lawsuits. The rapper was never charged by the police in connection with the festival's tragic events.

Scott's deposition, which lasted eight hours, occurred nearly two years after the Astroworld Festival tragedy in Houston. He answered questions as part of the civil lawsuits.

Ted Anastasiou, a spokesperson for Scott, expressed frustration with the continued media attention on the rapper despite his exoneration in government investigations, including one by the Houston Police Department. Anastasiou noted that Scott remains committed to his Utopia album tour and charitable work in at-risk communities.

Due to a gag order, the content of Scott's testimony remains confidential. The first trial for the lawsuits is scheduled for May 6, 2024, with more than 1,500 lawsuits filed against Scott and Live Nation, the concert promoter. The tragic festival resulted in eight immediate deaths and two additional deaths in the hospital due to crowd-related injuries.

Scott's performance at the Astroworld Festival preceded the crowd surge and tragic deaths. On June 29, a Texas grand jury decided not to indict Scott or anyone associated with the concert on criminal charges.

Following the festival, Scott took a hiatus but returned with his album "Utopia" on July 28, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. It featured collaborations with artists like Drake, Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Bad Bunny, SZA, Future, and more. Scott is set to be questioned again in October after Stromberg's phone and messages have been reviewed.

Convicted Rapper Tory Lanez Heads to State Prison, New Mugshot Surfaces

Tory Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, has transitioned from an inmate in a Los Angeles jail to a state prison, marking a significant development following his conviction on all three charges related to the 2020 shooting of Megan Thee Stallion. Deputies handcuffed Lanez in the courtroom after the jury delivered a guilty verdict.

Before this transfer, Lanez was held in a Los Angeles jail. However, he left the jail in Los Angeles yesterday for North Kern State Prison, situated about 35 miles north of Bakersfield.

This medium-security facility functions as a reception center for new inmates within California's state prison system. Lanez is expected to remain there for several months while awaiting assignment to a permanent location.

In a legal saga that spanned three years, Lanez received a 10-year prison sentence for his involvement in the case. The charges against him included the negligent discharge of a firearm, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded and unregistered firearm.

This sentencing marked the conclusion of a lengthy legal and cultural ordeal involving Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion, who had been friends at the time of the shooting. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Herriford delivered the 31-year-old Lanez's sentence in December. He was convicted of three felonies: assault with a semiautomatic firearm, having a loaded and unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm with gross negligence.

During the trial, Megan testified that Lanez fired a gun at the back of her feet and told her to dance as she walked away from an SUV they had been traveling in, shortly after leaving a pool party at Kylie Jenner's residence. Megan underwent surgery to remove bullet fragments and identified Lanez as the shooter months after the incident.

In a statement read in court, Megan described the ongoing impact of the shooting, saying, "Since I was viciously shot by the defendant, I have not experienced a single day of peace. Slowly but surely, I'm healing and coming back, but I will never be the same."

Before the judge's sentencing, Lanez expressed remorse for his actions and requested either probation or a minimal prison sentence. He emphasized his continued care for Megan and accepted full responsibility for his actions that night.

Texas Southern University to Benefit from Megan Thee Stallion's $150,000 Scholarship Fund

Megan Thee Stallion, the Grammy-winning rapper, is heating up the education scene through a collaboration with the iconic snack brand Flamin' Hot by Frito-Lay.

Together, they're unveiling Flamin' Hot University, an innovative educational initiative that fuses spicy snacks with higher learning.

This isn't your typical campus partnership. According to a statement released about the joint endeavor on Tuesday, it's a remarkable philanthropic venture.

Megan Thee Stallion proudly endorses a unique collection of Flamin' Hot University merchandise. Curated by the acclaimed streetwear designer Melody Ehsani, this range features pieces like the Stallion Varsity Jacket and Hot Girl Club Sweater, promising to infuse bold style into collegiate wardrobes.

However, the heart of this collaboration lies in giving back. The proceeds from merchandise sales will contribute to a scholarship fund, potentially reaching up to $150,000. Who's the recipient of this fund? Texas Southern University (TSU), an HBCU located in Houston and the "Savage" emcee's cherished alma mater. The exclusive merchandise is available for purchase at Aspiring TSU Tigers can find scholarship details here.

Ehsani, the creative genius behind the collection, exclaims, "Every piece in this collection embodies the spirit of Megan Thee Stallion and the fiery essence of Flamin' Hot snacks. I'm thrilled that we're creating bold and vibrant pieces while also giving back to the students at Texas Southern University."

But the philanthropic journey doesn't end there. Flamin' Hot is making a substantial contribution of $100,000 to the Pete and Thomas Foundation, a non-profit organization initiated by Megan in 2022. The foundation's mission? Empowering women, children, senior citizens, and underserved communities in Houston, Texas, and across the globe. Their recipe for success? Focusing on education, housing, and health and wellness. It's an initiative making a lasting impact.

She expressed her enthusiasm for this collaboration, stating, "Creating Flamin' Hot University has been an absolute delight, allowing me to blend my passion for food and fashion. But more importantly, I'm incredibly proud that we're supporting TSU students, establishing a significant scholarship fund, championing the Pete and Thomas Foundation, and highlighting the transformative power of education."

R&B Star Irish Grinstead of 702 Dies at 43

Irish Grinstead
Irish Grinstead, a prominent member of the '90s R&B girl group 702, known for hits like "Where My Girls At?," has tragically passed away at the age of 43. Her representative, Cory Taylor, confirmed the news to USA TODAY on Sunday. The cause of her untimely death remains undisclosed.

In a heartfelt statement shared on Instagram, LeMisha Grinstead, Irish's sister and fellow bandmate, expressed profound grief and the family's request for privacy during this difficult time.

LeMisha wrote, "It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that my beautiful sister and friend, Irish Grinstead, has passed away this evening. She has had a long battle, and she is finally at peace. That girl was as bright as the stars! She was not only beautiful on the outside but also within. Sharing the stage with her was a joy I will cherish for the rest of my life! We, the family, ask for prayers and respect for our privacy as we grieve an outstanding loss to our family. Love always, Misha."

Irish Grinstead faced health challenges in the months leading up to her passing. In December 2022, 702 disclosed on Instagram that Irish was taking a "medical leave of absence due to serious medical issues." The specific nature of her medical condition was not disclosed in the post.

"It is our hope that she will experience a healthy and swift recovery in the upcoming months," the group conveyed at the time. "During this incredibly challenging period, we kindly ask for your understanding of our need for privacy and your continued prayers as Meelah and Misha continue to navigate and represent 702 for scheduled performances in 2023."

Irish Grinstead achieved fame as an integral part of 702, a group named after the Las Vegas area code, their hometown. The group's debut in 1996 saw the release of the gold-certified album "No Doubt," featuring the chart-topping single "Steelo," a collaboration with Missy Elliott.

702's most iconic hit, "Where My Girls At?," claimed the No. 4 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1999. As news of Irish Grinstead's passing spread, tributes from fans flooded social media, featuring music video clips showcasing her signature dance moves alongside her sister and fellow band member, Kameelah Williams.

While "Star" marked the group's last album, released two decades ago, they continued to captivate audiences with live performances, including several scheduled for the remainder of this year.

Irish Grinstead's twin sister, Orish Grinstead, sadly passed away in 2008.

Watch: Ben Affleck Fails to Impress Ice Spice With Rap Skills in New Dunkin' Donuts Commercial

Photo Courtesy Dunkin' Donuts
During the MTV Video Music Awards, Ben Affleck debuted a new Dunkin' Donuts commercial, where he teams up with rapper Ice Spice to create the "Ice Spice Munchkins Drink." In the ad, Affleck's attempts at freestyle rapping fall flat, leading to some amusing moments. The drink, described as "reminiscent of the texture of a cookies and cream shake," combines Dunkin's pumpkin-flavored donut holes with Frozen Dunkin' Coffee. Ice Spice, also known as Isis Naija Gaston, was nominated for four VMAs and won Best New Artist.

Hip-Hop's Golden Night: Diddy, Taylor, and Megan Drama Highlight 2023 VMAs

 Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MTV
In a star-studded spectacle at Newark's Prudential Center in New Jersey on Tuesday night, the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards showcased unforgettable performances, jaw-dropping wins and appearances by some of music's biggest stars.

Hosted by rap legend Nicki Minaj, the event also celebrated the 50th anniversary of hip-hop while recognizing outstanding achievements in music videos.

One of the most anticipated moments of the night was the return of two legends: Shakira and Sean "Diddy" Combs. Shakira received the prestigious Video Vanguard Award, while Diddy was honored with the Global Icon Award.

Both delivered memorable performances, but it was the Bad Boy CEO, who was presented the honor by his daughter Chance Combs, that swept the audience into a wave of nostalgia.

Taking the stage with boundless energy, the music mogul, joined by his son King Combs in a special father-son moment and several surprise guests, treated the audience to a thrilling medley of his greatest hits. The performance opened with the iconic "I'll Be Missing You," a poignant tribute to the late Notorious B.I.G. This heartfelt homage was followed by the infectious "Bad Boys For Life," infusing the atmosphere with an electric vibe.

Megan Thee Stallion and Olivia Rodrigo also graced the stage, admirably representing the next generation of music stars. However, the evening's standout was undoubtedly Taylor Swift, who earned an impressive 11 nominations and eventually claimed the prestigious Video of the Year award for her hit "Anti-Hero."

Yet, the true heart of the 2023 VMAs lay in its celebration of hip-hop. The iconic "Hip-Hop Royalty" performance took fans on a journey through the genre's evolution, from its roots with Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five to the modern era with Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. The tribute underscored hip-hop's profound impact on the music industry over the past half-century.

The event did not shy away from recognizing rising talents in the genre, with artists like GloRilla, Ice Spice and Kaliii making appearances, signaling a promising future for hip-hop.

Nonetheless, the ceremony was not without its share of surprises and drama. Backstage, a momentary exchange between Megan Thee Stallion and Justin Timberlake piqued curiosity. While it appeared as if they were in disagreement, later sources clarified that it was a friendly encounter, marking their first meeting.

2023 MTV VMA Award Winners
  • Video of the Year: Taylor Swift – "Anti-Hero"
  • Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift
  • Song of the Year: Taylor Swift – "Anti-Hero"
  • Best New Artist: Ice Spice
  • Show of the Summer: Beyoncé
  • Group of the Year: FIFTY FIFTY
  • Song of the Summer: Taylor Swift ft. Ice Spice – "Karma"
  • Album of the Year: Nicki Minaj – "Super Freaky Girl"
  • Push Performance of the Year: TOMORROW X TOGETHER – "Sugar Rush Ride"
  • Best Collaboration: KAROL G, Shakira – "TQG"
  • Best Pop: Taylor Swift – "Anti-Hero"
  • Best Hip-Hop: Nicki Minaj – "Super Freaky Girl"
  • Best R&B: SZA – "Shirt"
  • Best Alternative: Måneskin – "THE LONELIEST"
  • Best Rock: Måneskin – "THE LONELIEST"
  • Best Latin: Anitta – "Funk Rave"
  • Best Afrobeats: Rema & Selena Gomez – "Calm Down"
  • Video For Good: Dove Cameron – "Breakfast"*

Chart Triumph: Doja Cat's 'Paint the Town Red' Reclaims Rap's Billboard Hot 100 Crown

In a historic moment for the rap genre, Doja Cat's "Paint the Town Red" has soared to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, ending a year-long absence of rap songs at the chart's pinnacle.

"Paint the Town Red" debuted at a respectable No. 15, but it took the Hot 100 by storm, claiming the No. 1 position after just five weeks. This remarkable feat puts an end to four consecutive weeks of country songs dominating the chart, with Zach Bryan's "I Remember Everything" slipping to No. 2 this week.

For Doja Cat, this achievement is nothing short of extraordinary. "Paint the Town Red" marks her second song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, following her collaboration with Nicki Minaj on "Say So" in 2020. The track achieved this feat with 32.1 million radio airplay audience impressions, 27.7 million streams, and 8,000 downloads in the first week of September. Its success has been further fueled by a viral TikTok dance challenge.

The last rap song to reach the No. 1 spot was Minaj's "Super Freaky Girl" on August 12, 2022, marking a 54-week rap drought. Notably, the late '90s and early 2000s witnessed a similar hiatus between rap No. 1 hits, with rap songs absent from the top spot between Will Smith's "Wild Wild West" in July 1999 and Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me" in February 2001.

"Paint the Town Red" carries additional significance due to its sampling of Dionne Warwick's "Walk on By," last on the Hot 100 at No. 6 in 1964. This sampling posthumously rewards songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, both celebrated for their previous No. 1 hits. Bacharach, whose career spanned 55 years, co-wrote eight Hot 100 No. 1s, while David, who passed away in 2012, co-wrote five No. 1s, all with Bacharach.

Following her chart-topping success, Doja Cat has unveiled the tracklist for her fourth studio album, "Scarlet," scheduled for release on Friday, September 22. This 15-track album includes "Paint the Town Red," alongside previously released hits like "Demons" and "Attention." "Scarlet" notably boasts no featured artists, signaling Doja Cat's determination to shine as a solo artist.

"Scarlet" follows Doja Cat's 2021 album "Planet Her," which generated multiple Hot 100 top ten hits and featured the Grammy-winning collaboration "Kiss Me More" with SZA. Doja Cat's chart-topping "Paint the Town Red" now solidifies her position as a leading figure in the rap and hip-hop scene.

VP Kamala Harris Shimmies to Iconic Beats at Hip-Hop's 50th Bash

Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a gala celebration at the vice presidential residence in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, commemorating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. The event featured a lineup of iconic hip-hop artists and pioneers, including Common, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, and more

The celebration marked a significant milestone in the genre's history, with hip-hop enthusiasts from across the nation gathering to honor its cultural impact. Harris, a self-professed fan of hip-hop, emphasized its profound influence on American culture.

"Hip-hop is the ultimate American art form," Harris declared. "It tells stories that often go unheard, serving as a powerful medium for truth. As the great Chuck D once said, rap is Black America's CNN. It calls us to action."
The event, a collaborative effort between Harris's team, the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective, and Live Nation Urban, drew approximately 400 guests. DJ D Nice, renowned for his Club Quarantine events during the pandemic, co-hosted the celebration, adding musical flair to the festivities.

Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff embraced the hip-hop spirit, dancing to classic tunes, including Q-Tip's "Vivrant Thing." The celebration showcased hip-hop's evolution from a local phenomenon in the Bronx to a global cultural force, intertwined with social and racial justice movements.

Notable political figures in attendance included Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland and Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri. The event underscored Harris's connection to hip-hop, a cultural touchstone that resonates deeply with a diverse range of Americans.

The celebration also featured electrifying performances, with Lil Wayne making a surprise appearance and thrilling the audience with a rendition of "Mrs. Officer" from his critically acclaimed album "Tha Carter III."

Lil Wayne Honored with BMI Icon Award at 2023 R&B/Hip-Hop Awards

The 2023 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, a showcase of music excellence, unfolded at Miami Beach's LIV Nightclub this past Wednesday. Presented by BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), the event shone a spotlight on artists and creators who have profoundly shaped the R&B and Hip-Hop genres.

Lil Wayne, a BMI cornerstone for over two decades, claimed the prestigious BMI Icon Award—a testament to his astounding legacy. With an impressive 53 BMI Awards, his influence on the music landscape continues to evolve. BMI President/CEO Mike O’Neill and BMI VP of Creative Catherine Brewton, based in Atlanta, presented this honor, lauding Lil Wayne's transformative impact on Hip-Hop and aspiring artists.

The event was punctuated by electrifying performances, commencing with an enthralling medley from Big Freedia, followed by Bobby V's rendition of "Mrs. Officer." NLE Choppa ignited the audience with his take on "A Milli," while Trombone Shorty delivered a spellbinding set.

Lil Wayne joins an elite cadre of music creators, including Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Nile Rodgers, Snoop Dogg, The Jacksons, LA Reid, Babyface, Al Green, Isaac Hayes and James Brown, who have forever altered the industry.

Adding to the evening's accolades, rising star Ice Spice was awarded the inaugural BMI Impact Award. In just two years, Ice Spice has garnered acclaim with four top 10 hits on the Hot 100, collaborating with luminaries like Taylor Swift, Pink Pantheress, Nicki Minaj and Aqua.

BMI also celebrated the previous year's top producers and songwriters for the 35 most-performed R&B/Hip-Hop songs in the U.S. The coveted Song of the Year award was clinched by "About Damn Time," authored by Ricky Reed and Blake Slatkin and brought to life by Lizzo. This track, which held the Billboard Hot 100's top spot for two weeks, also secured a Grammy for Record of the Year.

The Songwriter of the Year honor was shared by three outstanding artists. Chris Brown, known for hits like "Baddest," "Come Through," and "Under the Influence," was among them. Doja Cat, celebrated for her contributions to tracks like "Get Into It (Yuh)," "Vegas," and "Woman," also shared the title. Tems, known for impactful songs like "Free Mind," "Lift Me Up," and "Wait for U," completed the trio.

Tay Keith and Lil Yachty shared the title of Producer of the Year, a tribute to their roles in crafting hits such as "Jimmy Cooks" by Drake, "Rich Flex" by Drake and 21 Savage, and "Hot Sh-t" by Cardi B featuring Kanye West and Lil Durk. The ceremony also recognized other outstanding producers, including ATL Jacob, Rob Bisel, Dougie F, Finatik N Zac, RiotUSA and Metro Boomin.

Sony Music Publishing was hailed as BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Publisher of the Year, representing a significant portion of the previous year's most-performed songs, including the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year, "About Damn Time," as well as hits like "Break My Soul," "Get Into It (Yuh)" and "First Class."

In commemoration of 50 years of Hip-Hop, BMI united a constellation of stars, each representing a distinct chapter in the genre's history. New York was brought to life by Ja Rule and Doug E. Fresh, while Too Short celebrated the West Coast. Representing Atlanta, the Ying Yang Twins delivered an explosive performance. Flo Milli introduced the Miami sounds of Trick Daddy and Trina, and other captivating performances included Mannie Fresh and Capella Grey.

Hip-Hop Legends Wu-Tang Clan Team Up With King Ice for Exclusive Jewelry Line

Legendary hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan and Los Angeles-based jewelry brand King Ice have announced an exclusive collaboration inspired by the iconic album "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)." This unique partnership brings together the worlds of music and fashion to pay homage to Wu-Tang Clan's enduring influence.

The Wu-Tang Clan x King Ice collection includes meticulously crafted jewelry pieces such as necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings, all plated in 14k gold. Each item features hand-set stones on the front, side, and back, showcasing the attention to detail that has become synonymous with the Wu-Tang brand.

Enthusiasts of both Wu-Tang Clan and high-quality jewelry will appreciate the versatility of this collection. With 16 distinct pieces on offer, fans can mix and match necklaces with earrings and rings to create their own personalized Wu-Tang style.

A standout piece in the collection is the "Ice Pick" necklace, which draws inspiration from Method Man's iconic pendant. What sets it apart is its concealed compartment, offering a unique blend of style and functionality.

King Ice, a renowned name in the jewelry industry, has previously collaborated with influential figures in music, including Snoop Dogg, Death Row Records and NLE Choppa.

The Wu-Tang Clan x King Ice collection serves as a testament to the impact of Wu-Tang Clan on both music and culture. Prices for these exclusive pieces range from $60 to $500, and the collection is available exclusively at

For fans of Wu-Tang Clan and those with an appreciation for finely crafted jewelry, this collaboration offers a unique opportunity to connect with the group's legacy through wearable artistry.