Showing posts with label Artist News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Artist News. Show all posts

Monday, June 10, 2024

High Tension in YSL Trial: Young Thug's Lawyer Held in Contempt

The racketeering trial against rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, took a dramatic turn on Monday when his attorney, Brian Steel, was held in contempt of court. This development stemmed from Steel's revelation of a private meeting allegedly held between Judge Ural Glanville, prosecutors, and key witness Kenneth Copeland.

The situation unfolded when Steel informed the court of his knowledge of the unauthorized conversation. Judge Glanville, visibly upset, demanded to know how Steel obtained this information. Refusing to disclose his source, Steel argued that the meeting violated protocol.

"You're not supposed to have communication with a sworn witness," Steel declared, referencing the potential ethical concerns surrounding such an ex parte communication.

The tense exchange escalated when Judge Glanville threatened Steel with contempt if he didn't reveal his source. Despite the heated exchange, Steel wasn't immediately removed from the courtroom. However, the judge emphasized his seriousness, giving Steel a deadline to reveal his source or face further consequences. The back-and-forth continued, with Steel maintaining his stance and Judge Glanville demanding answers before the lawyer was removed from the courtroom.

Lead prosecutor Adriane Love requested that Steel be allowed to return for the remainder of the day's proceedings. The judge ultimately relented, allowing Steel back into the courtroom but reiterating that the contempt charge remained.

This incident adds complexity to the already lengthy YSL trial. Jury selection began in January 2023, a process that took ten months. Since opening statements in late November, the trial has faced repeated delays and is expected to continue into next year.

Prosecutors allege Young Thug is the leader of "Young Slime Life," a criminal street gang responsible for violent crimes. The defense maintains YSL is simply a record label.

Megan Thee Stallion Unveils Striking New Art After AI Fiasco

The alternate cover for Megan Thee Statllion's upcoming eponymously named album.
Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion sparked renewed interest in her upcoming album "Megan" by unveiling striking new artwork over the weekend.

The visuals depict her shedding her skin like a serpent, symbolizing themes of transformation and renewal, offering a fresh perspective on her musical journey. This follows a previous artwork reveal showing her emerging from a butterfly chrysalis, which garnered mixed reactions from fans online.

Set for release on June 28 via her independent label, Hot Girl Productions, "Megan" is a significant milestone for the 29-year-old Houston native, marking her first full-length studio album under her own banner.

However, amid the excitement, Megan faced online harassment after a sex tape reportedly produced by AI went viral. Fans rallied behind her with the hashtag “WELOVEYOUMEGAN,” expressing solidarity and outrage at the attack.

In response, Megan addressed her assailants in a defiant tweet, condemning their actions and asserting her resilience. She wrote, "It’s really sick how y’all go out of the way to hurt me when you see me winning. Y’all going too far, Fake a$$ sh##. Just know today was your last day playing with me and I mean it."

The emotional toll of the cyber attack was evident during her recent performance at Tampa's Amalie Arena, where footage showed her visibly distraught while performing her hit track "Cobra."

This latest ordeal adds to the challenges Megan has faced, including public scrutiny following the 2020 Tory Lanez shooting incident.

The anticipation for "Megan" has been steadily building, fueled by snake-themed singles like "Cobra," "Hiss," and the chart-topping "Boa." Collaborations with artists like Reneé Rapp for the upcoming "Mean Girls" movie and a remix featuring Cardi B have also contributed to the buzz surrounding the album.

In a recent interview with L'Officiel magazine, Megan discussed the album's thematic underpinnings, citing her fascination with snakes as symbols of renewal and spirituality. "We started with the snake because...snakes represent rebirth, spirituality," she explained. "I'm not really a person that's like, Oh my God, sunshine and just super bubbly, happy. I like darker things. I like things that are a little scary. I like things that are unique."

Friday, June 7, 2024

Clean Break: Howard U. Revokes Combs' Degree, Disbands Scholarship, Returns $1 Million

Photo Credit: Facebook/Diddy
In a decisive move, the Howard University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to accept the return of Sean Combs' honorary degree awarded in 2014. This action effectively revokes all associated honors and removes his name from the university's listing of honorary degree recipients.

A statement released by a Howard University spokesperson following a board meeting on Friday cited "behavior, as captured in a recently released video," as fundamentally incompatible with the university's core values. The statement did not specify the nature of the video but emphasized the university's unwavering opposition to interpersonal violence.
Combs, also known as Diddy, reportedly faced recent allegations and a lawsuit concerning assault. These developments likely influenced the board's decision.

The university's actions extend beyond the honorary degree. The board also directed the administration to terminate a 2016 gift agreement with Combs, disband the scholarship program established in his name, and return his $1 million contribution.

An additional $1 million pledge agreement from the Sean Combs Foundation in 2023 was also terminated as no payments towards it had been received.

The Howard University Board of Trustees and administration declined further comment on the matter.

Eminem's 'Houdini' Makes Big Splash, But Lamar's Record Holds Strong

Despite facing initial criticism from some reviewers, Eminem's new single "Houdini" has become a streaming phenomenon, rocketing to the top of the charts. Released last Friday, "Houdini" is not only Eminem's fastest-selling single in over two decades, but it's also projected to secure a spot in the top two of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

This success comes after some early negative reviews. However, listeners have clearly embraced the track, amassing a massive 56.7 million streams on Spotify within its first week. This makes it the second-highest debut for a rap song on the platform, just behind Kendrick Lamar's "Not Like Us."

The accompanying music video garnered 51 million views on YouTube during its opening week, further solidifying "Houdini" as a major success.

"Houdini" serves as the lead single for Eminem's upcoming album, "The Death of Slim Shady," slated for release later this summer.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

50 Cent Defends Boebert Photo, Trump Comments Also Go Viral

Photo Credit: X/50cent
50 Cent defended his viral photos with Rep. Lauren Boebert in a tweet Wednesday night, stating: "Wait, wait, guys I took pictures with everyone and all you seem to care about is Lauren 🤷🏽‍♂️what did she do in a dark theater that hasn’t been done, my God!"

The rapper's reference to the "dark theater" likely pertains to Boebert being removed from a production of "Beetlejuice" in September; video footage showed her vaping, dancing, taking photos and groping her male date during the performance.

50 Cent and Boebert had both tweeted pictures of the two posing together following his visit to Capitol Hill, which were viewed millions of times. Boebert tweeted she would "still love you if you flipped burgers at Burger King @50Cent, I used to do that myself!"

The rapper also tweeted pictures of himself with several other representatives last night, including Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.), former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.)—though none garnered as many likes and reposts as his picture with Boebert.

50 Cent, who owns the liquor company Sire Spirits (which sells Branson Cognac and Le Chemin du Roi champagne), made a surprise visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday alongside civil rights attorney Ben Crump to advocate for more Black representation in the liquor industry. At a press conference following his visit, he stated he met with leaders of both parties to discuss "economic opportunities for everybody, and it’s really exciting. The response I got makes me feel like there are bright days ahead of us."

Addressing a reporter's question about the significance of Black men in the upcoming election cycle, 50 Cent commented on the trend of Black men "identifying with Trump" in the 2024 presidential election "because they got RICO charges." The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law makes it illegal to engage in racketeering activity and was passed to combat organized crime. Trump and 18 co-defendants were charged in August under the RICO law for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. 50 Cent mentioned he has not yet decided who he will vote for in the presidential election.

In 2020, the rapper appeared to endorse Trump in a tweet criticizing President Joe Biden’s tax plans, stating: "I don’t care Trump doesn’t like black people." However, less than a week later, he tweeted: "F— Donald Trump, I never liked him." He previously endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Diddy Out, Employees In: Revolt Announces Employee Ownership Model

Photo Credit: Instagram/revoltv
Revolt, the media company founded by Sean "Diddy" Combs, announced a new ownership structure Tuesday. The company revealed that its largest shareholder group is now composed of its employees.

In a historic shift, Combs' shares have been fully redeemed and retired, making employees the predominant stakeholders. 

"This is something we've been looking to do, waiting to do, believing that the people who give this company their blood, sweat, and tears should have some sort of upside opportunity if and when we win," said Detavio Samuels, CEO of Revolt, in an interview with Variety. He added, "All the data suggests that companies with incentive pools for their employees outperform the rest. They perform better financially, they perform better with company morale and culture, and they perform better as it relates to retention."

Revolt celebrated the transition on social media, posting, "It's a new day! REVOLT is honored and proud to announce that, in an unprecedented and historic move in the Black media space, our newly projected largest shareholder group are REVOLT's employees. Our mission to become the largest media company powered by creators and fueled by the culture continues. "

Founded by Combs over a decade ago, Revolt was initially a music industry-focused cable channel aimed at boosting Black representation on television. It has since grown into a significant player in digital media, known for popular video podcasts such as "Drink Champs," "The Jason Lee Show," and "Caresha Please."

Combs' decision to step down comes after a wave of legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed in November by his former girlfriend, singer Cassie, accusing him of years of physical and sexual abuse. Although the parties quickly settled the lawsuit, it spurred additional accusations from other women.

The fallout from these allegations has been substantial for Combs, 54. Besides relinquishing his position at Revolt, he sold his stake in a liquor brand for around $200 million and saw the end of a partnership with a New York charter school network he helped expand.

Samuels declined to disclose the amount paid for Combs' stake. With Combs out, Revolt operates without a majority owner. A representative for Combs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Revolt has distanced itself from Combs in recent months as legal issues and federal investigations into his conduct intensified. Despite the separation, the company has been impacted by the publicized allegations against its founder, including the release of hotel security footage by CNN showing Combs in a physical altercation with Cassie in 2016.
In response to recent developments, Revolt has provided access to individual and group therapists for employees. "Even before the lawsuits, Mr. Combs had little to no interaction with the team," said Samuels, who joined Revolt in 2020. He emphasized that the company's focus is on continuing its mission and supporting its staff through these changes.

Revolt, which has more than 110 full-time employees, continues to adapt to the digital age, with its business now largely driven by digital advertising and a significant presence on platforms like YouTube, where it has 2.8 million subscribers. The company also launched a podcast network in 2022, further diversifying its media offerings.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Pioneering Hip-Hop Artist Brother Marquis Dies at 58 pen_spark

The best-known lineup of 2 Live Crew poses for a promotional shoot. From left are Fresh Kid Ice, Mr. Mixx, Brother Marquis and Luke "Skywalker" Campbell.
Mark Ross, better known by his stage name Brother Marquis, a founding member of the iconic hip-hop group 2 Live Crew, has died at 58.

The news was announced through a social media post on the group's official page, which read: "Mark Ross AKA 'Brother Marquis' of the 2 Live Crew has went to the upper room #2livecrew..." TMZ subsequently confirmed the death with 2 Live Crew's manager. No cause or manner of death has been made public yet.

Born in Rochester, New York, in 1966, Brother Marquis emerged as a pivotal figure in Southern hip-hop, particularly the Miami bass scene. He rose to prominence in the mid-1980s with 2 Live Crew, the group known for its electrifying delivery and unapologetically raw lyrics that explored themes of sexuality and social commentary.

Their 1989 album, "As Nasty As They Wanna Be," became a cultural flashpoint after a legal battle that ultimately established a precedent for artistic expression in music. Beyond the controversy, Brother Marquis's rapping prowess and the group's innovative sound significantly influenced the evolution of Southern hip-hop.

Beyond 2 Live Crew

Brother Marquis showcased his musical versatility beyond 2 Live Crew in the early 1990s. He formed the duo 2 Nazty with DJ Toomp and released the album "Indecent Exposure" in 1993. That same year, he made a notable guest appearance on Ice-T's album "Home Invasion," contributing to the original version of the iconic track "99 Problems," later remade by Jay-Z into a chart-topping hit.
Brother Marquis remained active with 2 Live Crew reunions throughout the late 1990s and 2000s. In 1996, he rejoined 2 Live Crew with original members Fresh Kid Ice (Christopher Wong Won) and Mr. Mixx (David Hobbs) and released the album "Shake a Lil' Somethin'." The group continued recording and performing until Fresh Kid Ice's passing in 2017. Brother Marquis and Fresh Kid Ice released a final 2 Live Crew album "The Real One," in 1998.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Dee Barnes, Hip-Hop Icon and Dr. Dre Assault Survivor, Issues Urgent Plea for Donations

On Saturday, Dee Barnes, the iconic host of the late '80s and early '90s music video show "Pump It Up!", took to social media with an urgent plea. She’s facing financial difficulties and is seeking to raise $3,000 by Monday.

"Hello EVERYONE! I’m trying to urgently raise $3000 this weekend, my deadline is this Monday 6/3/24. If you are able to donate and share. Thank you, I really appreciate you ALL!” Barnes wrote, providing details for donations via CashApp, Venmo, and PayPal.

The next day, she updated her followers, stating, "Still need your help please! $1,800 to get closer to the goal! THANK YOU!!"

Barnes made history as the first Black woman to host her own music video show on a major network, with "Pump It Up!" airing on FOX from 1989 to 1992. However, her career took a dramatic turn after a violent assault by Dr. Dre in 1991. The attack left her with lasting physical and emotional scars, and despite filing charges and settling out of court, Barnes' career and personal life were significantly impacted. In 2019, she revealed she was homeless, leading to a viral response and a successful GoFundMe campaign. Yet, five years later, she continues to struggle.

Beyond her financial challenges, Barnes has remained a vocal advocate for victims of domestic violence. Recently, she spoke out about a 2016 video showing Sean "Diddy" Combs assaulting Cassie Ventura. "Seeing that video is extremely triggering," she tweeted on May 17. "#DrDre punched, slammed, kicked and stomped me out. #Concussion Logging TF off."

Barnes’ advocacy for domestic violence victims has been unwavering. She expressed her disappointment with Combs and solidarity with Ventura and other victims, tweeting, “I’m disgusted and disappointed with Sean Combs. I stand with #Cassie, #KimPorter and all the other victims of his violent abuse.”

Dr. Dre has publicly apologized for his actions, first in 2015 and later in the 2017 HBO series "The Defiant Ones." He acknowledged, “Any man that puts his hands on a female is a fing idiot, he’s out of his fing mind. I was out of my fing mind at the time, I fed up. I paid for it, I’m sorry for it, and I apologize for it.”

While Barnes has accepted Dre's apology, she continues to highlight the long-term impact of domestic violence and the challenges survivors face in rebuilding their lives. Her recent call for financial assistance underscores these ongoing struggles.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Usher to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at BET Awards; Monét Honored by ASCAP

Usher will receive the Voice of the Culture Award, while Monét, the 2024 Grammy winner for Best New Artist, will be presented with the Vanguard Award at the June 27th ceremony in Los Angeles. (Photo Credit: Bellamy Brewster)
Music industry titan Usher and rising star Victoria Monét are set to be celebrated at upcoming award ceremonies. Usher's enduring impact on music and culture will be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 BET Awards on June 30th.

Meanwhile, both artists will be honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers on June 27th. Usher will receive the Voice of the Culture Award, while Monét will be presented with the Vanguard Award.

"Usher's artistry has transcended generations," said Connie Orlando, BET EVP, Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy, in a statement. "From his chart-topping hits and electrifying performances to his signature sound and dance moves, he continues to be a force in the industry and a champion of Black excellence. We look forward to celebrating his remarkable career with a truly unforgettable tribute."

He is also nominated for four additional BET Awards this year, including Album of the Year for "Coming Home," Best Collaboration and Video of the Year for "Good Good" with Summer Walker and 21 Savage and Best Male R&B/Pop Artist (an award he shared with Chris Brown last year).

Usher's influence extends beyond the stage. As the founding chairman of the New Look Foundation, he has positively impacted over 55,000 youths globally through education and mentorship programs. This dedication earned him recognitions like the NAACP's 2010 Ford Freedom Award Scholar and Morehouse College's 2014 Candle Award.

The artist's recent achievements solidify his enduring legacy. His ninth studio album, "Coming Home," debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, and his collaboration "Good Good" remains a chart fixture. He also won Outstanding Male Artist at the NAACP Image Awards in March.

Presented to ASCAP members who have had a major influence on music and culture, the Voice of the Culture Award recognizes Usher's lasting impact.

“Artistic development is a lifelong journey of experimentation that requires risk for reward, embracing unknowns, trusting your intuition, and believing in your creative vision and God given talent. It means the world to me that my peers, this community of passionate and distinguished songwriters, composers, and authors are inspired by my execution of the craft,” Usher said in a statement.

Monét, a rising star with a voice that's both powerful and intimate, is a three-time Grammy winner this year, including the prestigious Song of the Year award. She is being recognized by ASCAP for her innovative spirit and influence on the future of music. Her artistry extends beyond her own performances, as she's also a talented songwriter who has contributed to the success of other artists.

"Victoria Monét has proven herself not only as a luminous songwriter but also as a flourishing artist who consistently pushes boundaries," said Paul Williams, chairman of the board and president at ASCAP, in a statement.

The 2024 BET Awards will air live on the East Coast on Sunday, June 30, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Rare Wu-Tang Clan Album 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' to be Exhibited in Australia

Once Upon a Time in Shaolin in 2015, photo by Luke Fenstemaker and courtesy of Luke Fenstemaker, Pleasr, and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)
The enigmatic Wu-Tang Clan album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" will be displayed for public listening at the Museum of Old and New Art on the Australian island of Tasmania from June 15 to 24, offering a rare opportunity for fans to experience this exclusive piece of hip-hop history.

Recorded secretly over six years, only one physical copy of the album exists, and it has been heard in its entirety by only a few individuals. The album's display is part of Mona’s "Namedropping" exhibition, which explores rare objects believed to possess mystical properties transcending their material circumstances.

“'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' is more than just an album,” said Jarrod Rawlins, Mona's director of curatorial affairs. “When I was considering status and what a transcendent namedrop could be, I knew I had to include it in this exhibition.”

The album is bound by a legal agreement preventing its commercial exploitation until 2103, though it can be played at private listening parties. Free tickets for curated private listening sessions will be available for a limited number of visitors.

An Album Shrouded in Mystery
Wu-Tang Clan announced in March 2014 that they would produce a single copy of "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," to be sold to the highest bidder. The album, housed in a hand-carved box with a leather-bound book of lyrics and its backstory, was a protest against the devaluation of music in the digital age, said Wu-Tang member Robert “RZA” Diggs in a 2014 interview with Forbes.

In 2015, Martin Shkreli, the notorious "Pharma Bro," purchased the album for approximately $2 million, making it the world's most expensive music album at the time. However, U.S. federal authorities seized the album when Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy in 2017.

From Shkreli to Cryptocurrency Collective
In 2021, the U.S. Justice Department sold the album to an undisclosed buyer to satisfy part of Shkreli's $7.4 million forfeiture order. Later that year, digital art collective PleasrDAO confirmed they had acquired the album, reportedly for the equivalent of $4 million, using cryptocurrency. PleasrDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization and early adopter of NFT digital art, announced their intent to make the album more accessible to fans.

“This beautiful piece of art, this ultimate protest against middlemen and rent-seekers of musicians and artists, went south by going into the hands of Martin Shkreli, the ultimate internet villain,” said Jamis Johnson, PleasrDAO’s Chief Pleasing Officer, in an interview with Rolling Stone. "We want this to be us bringing this back to the people. We want fans to participate in this album at some level."

Wu-Tang Clan's Legacy
The Wu-Tang Clan, originating in Staten Island, New York, in the 1990s, has a storied history in hip-hop. The group's influence extends beyond music, as they have become cultural icons. Their decision to produce a single-copy album was a bold statement about the value of music as an art form.

As the album makes its way to Mona, fans and art enthusiasts alike have a unique chance to engage with a piece of modern music history, even if only for a brief moment. The limited exhibition underscores the album's status as both a rare artifact and a significant cultural statement.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Double Trouble: Sean Kingston and Mom Arrested in Fraud Case

Sean Kingston and his mother Janice (left). Photo Credit: Instagram/seankigston
Broward Sheriff's deputies raided a Southwest Ranches property linked to singer Sean Kingston in Florida on Thursday. The raid resulted in the arrest of Kingston's mother, Janice Turner, 61, on multiple fraud and theft charges.

The months-long investigation, led by BSO's Dania Beach District deputies in collaboration with other units, targeted Kingston's alleged failure to pay for a $150,000 entertainment system, including a 232-inch television, from Ver Ver Entertainment. The company filed a lawsuit against Kingston in February for non-payment.
Attorney Dennis Card, representing Ver Ver Entertainment, alleged outside the raided property that Kingston used his celebrity status to acquire goods and services without paying. "He lures people using his celebrity into having them release things without having him pay for it, and then he simply never pays," Card said.
Kingston, 34, known for hits like "Beautiful Girls" and "Fire Burning," has a history of legal troubles, including previous allegations of assault and theft. In 2011, he sustained critical injuries in a personal watercraft accident in Miami Beach, requiring emergency heart surgery.

Authorities apprehended Kingston later that same day in Fort Irwin, California. According to a news report, he cooperated during the arrest and is expected to be booked into the San Bernardino County Jail.

In an Instagram statement seemingly brushing off the incident, Kingston reassured his followers, saying, "People love negative energy! I am good and so is my mother!.. my lawyers are handling everything as we speak."

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' Named Apple Music's All-Time Greatest Album

Lauryn Hill's seminal 1998 debut, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," has been crowned the greatest album of all time by Apple Music, solidifying its place in music history. The announcement marks the pinnacle of Apple Music's 100 Best Albums list, a celebration of the most influential records ever made.

In a statement to Apple Music, Hill reflected on the album's depth and collaborative spirit: "This is my award, but it's a rich, deep narrative, and involves so many people, and so much sacrifice, and so much time, and so much collective love."

To mark this momentous occasion, Apple Music convened a special roundtable discussion featuring legendary producer Nile Rodgers, Grammy-nominated artist Maggie Rogers, and hosts Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden. They explored the significance of the top albums, with Hill's groundbreaking debut taking center stage.

Released in 1998, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" was a seismic event in the music world. The album blends R&B, hip-hop, and soul, addressing themes of love, identity, and social justice with profound lyrical skill and emotional depth. Despite being Hill's only solo studio release, it remains a towering influence in music.

"This album doesn't just resonate with the people who were around when it came out. It has not dated, not even a fraction," Lowe said during the roundtable. "In fact, it feels more fresh and more relevant the more you listen to it."

Ebro Darden emphasized the album's holistic impact: "It exemplifies and captures popular music of the last 25 years. It’s R&B, it’s hip-hop, it’s independent women, strong women, it’s topical, it’s sampling… I think that’s why it got voted number one."

Nile Rodgers praised Hill's artistry and the album's enduring legacy. "She’s amazing. This record is amazing," he stated, capturing the reverence Hill commands in the music industry.

Apple Music has also produced 100 audio vignettes that narrate the significance of each album. These are available on Apple Podcasts, offering fans an intimate look at the records that have defined generations.

For a look at the complete list click here

Top 10 Albums from Apple Music's 100 Best Albums List:
"The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" – Lauryn Hill
"Thriller" – Michael Jackson
"Abbey Road" – The Beatles
"Purple Rain" – Prince & The Revolution
"Blonde" – Frank Ocean
"Songs in the Key of Life" – Stevie Wonder
"good kid, m.A.A.d city" – Kendrick Lamar
"Back to Black" – Amy Winehouse
"Nevermind" – Nirvana
"Lemonade" – Beyoncé

50 Cent Confirms Diddy Doc for Netflix as Sixth Accuser Emerges

Netflix outbid other networks and services for the multi-chapter series produced by 50 Cent's G-Unit Film and Television Studios. The acquisition follows CNN releasing a 2016 clip showing Combs physically assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Cassie.

Combs acknowledged the 2016 assault in a hotel hallway after the CNN footage surfaced. He issued a video apology, expressing deep regret and calling his actions "inexcusable."

50 Cent, a vocal critic of Combs on social media regarding the allegations, confirmed the Netflix deal on Instagram, taking a swipe at TMZ for using an unflattering photo. "TMZ use this fat boy picture of me because their doc went to Tubi LOL. It's ok guys we're all making good television, mine just happens to be the best! NETFLIX wins the bidding war but if more victims keep coming out, I'm gonna need more episodes," he wrote.

The documentary's production coincides with a new sexual assault lawsuit filed against Combs. Former model Crystal McKinney recently filed a lawsuit accusing Combs of drugging her and forcing oral sex in 2003, according to court documents obtained by TMZ. This marks the sixth such accusation against Combs.

McKinney alleges she met Combs at a New York City nightclub during Men's Fashion Week. She claims he invited her to his studio, where they consumed Hennessy and marijuana laced with narcotics. McKinney asserts that Combs then forced her into oral sex and is seeking unspecified damages.

The new lawsuit adds to the mounting accusations against the Bad Boy Records founder. 50 Cent reacted by sharing a screenshot of the lawsuit news on Instagram.

Combs, 54, a prominent figure in the hip-hop industry since founding Bad Boy Records in 1993, has faced a growing shadow over his career due to the recent allegations. Multiple lawsuits paint a picture of Combs using his celebrity status to prey on and intimidate women.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Kendrick Lamar's 'Alright' Tops Spotify's 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of Streaming Era

U.S. Government, White House photographer., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
While recent headlines have focused on Kendrick Lamar's ongoing creative rivalry with Drake, Spotify's latest "CLASSICS" program cuts through the noise, highlighting Lamar's enduring artistic merit. His critically acclaimed album "DAMN." takes center stage on the list of the 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of the Streaming Era (2015-present).

This recognition places Lamar alongside other titans of the genre, including Drake's own "Know Yourself" (2015) and genre-bending tracks like Travis Scott's "SICKO MODE" (2018) and Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow" (2017). The list reflects the diversity and dynamism of hip-hop in the streaming era, showcasing the evolution of the sound alongside its enduring social commentary.

"Our focus isn't just on chart numbers," said Carl Chery, Creative Director and Head of Urban Music at Spotify, in a news release. "The CLASSICS program is about celebrating the art and culture of hip-hop, recognizing the work that has resonated deeply with fans and critics alike."

This qualitative approach ensures that artists like Lamar are recognized for the depth and influence of their music. Tracks like "HUMBLE." and "DNA." from "DAMN." perfectly embody this, blending innovative production with Lamar's signature lyrical prowess that tackles complex issues.

While "DAMN." is the album highlighted, Lamar's earlier works like "To Pimp a Butterfly" and "good kid, m.A.A.d city" continue to be revered within the hip-hop community. His ability to consistently deliver impactful music throughout his career solidifies his place as a key figure in hip-hop's ongoing narrative.

This recognition by Spotify follows previous chapters of the CLASSICS program, highlighting the influential albums that have shaped the streaming era. Kendrick Lamar's inclusion across these lists further cements his legacy as a defining artist of our time.

To explore the full list of the 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of the Streaming Era, including standouts like "Mask Off" by Future (2017) and "Rockstar" by Post Malone ft. 21 Savage (2018), visit Spotify's CLASSICS program page.

Top 10 Songs of the Streaming Era (According to Spotify's CLASSICS Program):
  1. Kendrick Lamar - "Alright" (2015)
  2. Cardi B - "Bodak Yellow" (2017)
  3. Drake - "God's Plan" (2018)
  4. Lil Uzi Vert - "XO Tour Llif3" (2017)
  5. Future - "March Madness" (2015)
  6. Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert - "Bad and Boujee" (2016)
  7. Travis Scott - "SICKO MODE" (2018)
  8. Sheck Wes - "Mo Bamba" (2017)
  9. Pop Smoke - "Dior" (2019)
  10. Juice WRLD - "Lucid Dreams" (2018)

Diddy Apologizes for 2016 Assault on Ex-Girlfriend Cassie Ventura

Sean "Diddy" Combs apologized in a video for a violent attack on his then-girlfriend, R&B singer Cassie Ventura, in a 2016 video that recently surfaced.

"It's so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you gotta do that. I was f**cked up. I mean, I hit rock bottom. But I make no excuses," Combs said in a video posted on Instagram. "My behavior on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in this video. They're disgusting. I was disgusted then when I did it, I'm disgusted now. I went and I sought professional help. I've been going to therapy, going to rehab. I had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I'm so sorry, but I'm committed to being a better man each and every day. I'm not asking for forgiveness. I am truly sorry."

The video, dated March 5, 2016, shows Combs grabbing, shoving, and kicking Ventura, whose real name is Casandra Ventura. The footage corroborates allegations made in her lawsuit filed last November, describing an incident at the now-shuttered InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles.

Combs previously denied the allegations through his attorney and in a social media post titled "Enough Is Enough." The post was deleted from his Instagram but remains pinned on his X account (formerly Twitter). In April, he posted a video of his 1998 song "Victory," where he is seen running from Los Angeles police, with the caption "Bad Boy for life" and a fist emoji.

In response to Combs' apology video, Meredith Firetog, a lawyer for Ventura with Wigdor LLP, told Variety: "Combs' recent statement focuses on himself, not the victims he has hurt. He initially denied the allegations, suggesting his accusers were motivated by money. Now that the video proves their claims, his apology lacks sincerity and won't sway anyone."

On November 16, 2023, Ventura filed a lawsuit in New York accusing Combs of raping and beating her throughout their relationship, among other allegations. Although the two parties reached a settlement the following day, Combs has since faced multiple lawsuits alleging sexual assault.

In November, Joi Dickerson-Neal filed a lawsuit under the New York Adult Survivors Act, alleging Combs "drugged, sexually assaulted and abused" her and that she was the victim of "revenge porn" created and distributed by the rapper.

In December, another lawsuit filed by a Jane Doe alleged that Combs and R&B singer Aaron Hall took turns raping her and her friends at Hall's apartment sometime between 1990 and 1991. Combs posted his denial that month, and in February denied a separate set of charges from an unidentified woman, calling them "entirely fictional."

Amid these allegations, Combs temporarily stepped aside as chairman of Revolt, and his Hulu reality show was scrapped.

Friday, May 17, 2024

AP style: Combs Assault Video Released After Settled Lawsuit

Surveillance video from 2016, obtained by CNN, shows Sean "Diddy" Combs chasing down his then-girlfriend, Cassie Ventura, in a hotel hallway. The footage, captured from multiple angles on March 5, 2016, appears to corroborate claims detailed in a now-settled federal lawsuit filed by Ventura in November.

In the video, Combs is seen grabbing Ventura by the neck, throwing her to the floor, and kicking her while holding a towel around his waist. Ventura attempts to collect her belongings as Combs shoves her and throws objects in her direction.

Ventura has not commented on the video. Her attorney, Douglas H. Wigdor, emphasized the seriousness of the situation, stating, "The video confirms the disturbing allegations Ms. Ventura made against Mr. Combs."

CNN has reached out to representatives for Combs and InterContinental Hotels for comment, but they have not responded. Combs has previously denied Ventura's allegations.

This incident is part of a broader legal dispute between Combs and Ventura, which includes allegations of sexual assault and other abuses. Despite denying the allegations, Combs settled the lawsuit shortly after it was filed.

Combs continues to face multiple civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct and other illegal activities. In April, authorities conducted searches of his homes in California and Florida as part of a federal investigation into these allegations.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Miami Bust Leads to Drug Program for Diddy Associate

Brendan Paul
Brendan Paul, a 25-year-old traveling companion of music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, has avoided jail time by entering a drug diversion program after his arrest on cocaine possession charges, according to a spokesperson for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.

The former Syracuse basketball player was arrested on March 25 at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, the same day federal agents raided Combs' residences in Miami and Los Angeles as part of a separate sex trafficking investigation. Combs' attorney has called the raids an "excessive show of force."

It remains unclear if Paul's arrest is connected to the investigation into Combs.
Authorities reportedly found cocaine and marijuana candy in Paul's luggage during a search at the airport, leading to his arrest. Paul initially pleaded not guilty, but later reached a plea deal.

"Brendan accepted the prosecutor's offer to permit his entry into the diversion program which, after successful completion, the case against him will be dismissed in its entirety," Paul's attorney, Brian Bieber, said in a statement to Rolling Stone.

The diversion program typically lasts around six months and includes substance abuse counseling. If Paul completes the program successfully, the charges will be dropped.

Combs has denied all allegations against him and has not been charged with any crimes.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Woman Sues DJ Akademiks, Alleging Rape, Defamation

MILLION DOLLAZ WORTH OF GAMECC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Internet personality DJ Akademiks, whose legal name is Livingston Allen, faces accusations of rape and defamation in a newly filed lawsuit in Essex County, New Jersey.

Fauziya Abashe alleges she was invited to Allen's home in July 2022, expecting to be alone with him. Upon arrival, she encountered two unidentified men. The lawsuit claims Allen told these men Abashe was receptive to sex, without her knowledge.

Abashe refused a drink offered by one of the men, identified as an Allen employee. The employee, allegedly stating he was "in charge," insisted she have a drink he prepared.

Later, the employee pressured Abashe to wait for Allen in the hot tub. She agreed, believing the men would leave after setting it up. However, the lawsuit alleges both men forced her to consume alcohol and then assaulted her.

Abashe claims she woke up to Allen assaulting her around 4 a.m. The lawsuit alleges Allen later showed her partial surveillance footage of the assault and refused to provide the full recording.

Abashe contacted Allen later, reporting injuries sustained during the encounter. Text messages included in the lawsuit show she contacted police, who facilitated a recorded call where she questioned Allen. The lawsuit alleges Allen recounted details of the assault during the call.

Allen addressed the lawsuit on social media, saying, "I have no comment beyond what I've previously stated. This will be decided in court. I'm confident in my innocence."

Monday, May 13, 2024

Rap Legend Snoop Dogg to Guide Aspiring Singers on 'The Voice'

West Coast rap icon Snoop Dogg is gearing up to share his rhymes and coaching prowess on season 26 of "The Voice." The announcement comes as the hit show concludes its historic 25th season with a two-part finale on May 20 and 21.

Though this is his first official coaching role, Snoop Dogg is familiar with "The Voice" stage, having served as a mega mentor during season 20. His musical career is a powerhouse, with his debut album "Doggystyle" launching him to stardom and earning him 17 Grammy nominations and millions of albums sold domestically.

Snoop Dogg expressed his excitement about joining the coaching panel during NBC's upfront presentation at Radio City Music Hall on Monday. "Since Reba [McEntire] is the queen of 'The Voice' who brings the sparkle," he said, "I can be the king who brings the style, the funk and the fun."

Beyond music, Snoop Dogg is a multifaceted entertainer. He's a published author with a successful cookbook, "From Crook to Cook," and holds influential positions within the music industry as Executive Creative and Strategic Consultant for Def Jam Recordings. He recently acquired Death Row Records.

Fans can expect Snoop Dogg to leverage his extensive experience and unique style to mentor contestants. Joining him on the coaching panel for season 26 is swing legend Michael Bublé, returning for the first time since his role as a season 3 advisor, alongside returning coaches Gwen Stefani and McEntire.

Childish Gambino Announces Tour and New Album

Musician Donald Glover, known professionally as Childish Gambino, is launching a world tour, "The New World Tour," spanning North America, the U.K., Europe and Australia in 2024 and 2025. The tour kicks off Aug. 11 in Oklahoma City.

Glover also unveiled a reimagined version of his 2020 album, "3.15.20," titled "Atavista." The album features completed versions of tracks and two new songs, "Atavista" and "Human Sacrifice."

The tour includes stops in Kansas City, Milwaukee, Detroit, Toronto, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and more.

In the years since, Glover has expanded his creative portfolio with the critically acclaimed TV show "Atlanta" and his role in the "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" reboot.

"Atavista" is a reworked and enhanced version of "3.15.20," an album Glover released as an unfinished project during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the tour and album, Glover has announced a second album, "Bando Stone & The New World," billed as his final Childish Gambino project. The album will serve as the soundtrack for a film of the same name, due out this summer.

Tickets for "The New World Tour" go on sale May 17. An American Express pre-sale begins May 15.

Childish Gambino 2024-2025 Tour Dates:
08/11 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Paycom Center *
08/12 – Kansas City, MO @ T-Mobile Center *
08/14 – Milwaukee, WI @ Fiserv Forum *
08/15 – Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center *
08/17 – Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena *
08/18 – Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena *
08/20 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena *
08/21 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center *
08/23 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden *
08/24 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena *
08/26 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center *
08/27 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center *
08/29 – Washington, D.C. @ Capital One Arena *
08/30 – Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena *
09/01 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena *
09/02 – Atlanta, GA @ State Farm Arena *
09/04 – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena *
09/05 – Sunrise, FL @ Amerant Bank Arena *
09/07 – New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center *
09/08 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center *
09/10 – Austin, TX @ Moody Center *
09/11 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center *
09/13 – Denver, CO @ Ball Arena *
09/14 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Delta Center *
09/16 – Phoenix, AZ @ Footprint Center *
09/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Arena *
09/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Arena *
09/21 – San Francisco, CA @ Chase Center *
09/23 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena *
09/24 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center *
09/25 – Seattle, WA @ Climate Pledge Arena *
09/27 – Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome *
09/29 – Edmonton, AB @ Rogers Place *
10/02 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center *
10/03 – Chicago, IL @ United Center *
10/31 – Lyon, France @ LDLC Arena #
11/02 – Milan, Italy @ Unipol Forum #
11/04 – Cologne, Germany @ Lanxess Arena #
11/06 – Hamburg, Germany @ Barclays Arena #
11/08 – Oslo, Norway @ Oslo Spektrum #
11/10 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Royal Arena #
11/12 – Prague, Czech Republic @ O2 arena #
11/13 – Berlin, Germany @ Uber Arena #
11/19 – Paris, France @ Accor Arena #
11/21 – Munich, Germany @ Olympiahalle #
11/23 – Brussels, Belgium @ ING Arena #
11/24 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Ziggo Dome #
11/26 – Manchester, UK @ AO Arena #
11/28 – Glasgow, UK @ OVO Hydro #
11/30 – London, UK @ The O2 #
12/01 – London, UK @ The O2 #
12/03 – Birmingham, UK @ Utilita Arena #
12/05 – Dublin, IE @ 3Arena #
01/28 – Auckland, NZ @ Spark Arena #
02/01 – Brisbane, QLD @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre #
02/04 – Sydney, NSW @ Qudos Bank Arena #
02/07 – Melbourne, VIC @ Rod Laver Arena #
02/11 – Perth, WA @ RAC Arena #