Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Angela Bofill, Renowned Singer of 'This Time I'll Be Sweeter,' Dies at 70

Angela Bofill, the acclaimed R&B and jazz singer known for hits like "This Time I'll Be Sweeter" and "I Try," died Thursday morning at her daughter's home in Vallejo, California. She was 70.

News of her passing was shared on her personal Facebook account in two separate posts.

"On behalf of my dear friend Angie, I am saddened to announce her passing on the morning of June 13," read the first post. It noted that her funeral will be held at St. Dominick's Church in California on June 28 at 1 p.m.



A follow-up post added, "Just to clear up the confusion. On behalf of Shauna Bofill and her husband, Chris Portuguese, we are saddened but must report that Angela's passing yesterday is indeed true. We thank Melba Moore and Maysa for their early condolences. Thanks for your many posts."

The messages were signed by her friend and manager, Rich Engel.
Bofill, born Angela Tomasa Bofill on May 2, 1954, in the Brooklyn area of New York City to a Cuban father and a Puerto Rican mother, began her professional career in her teens, recording her first studio album, "Angie," in 1978. The album included the chart single "This Time I'll Be Sweeter" and the jazz composition "Under the Moon and Over the Sky." Her second album, "Angel of the Night," released less than a year later, outperformed its predecessor and included hits like "I Try."

Raised in The Bronx, she grew up listening to Latin music and was also inspired by African-American performers. During her childhood, weekends were spent studying classical music and singing in New York City's All City Chorus, which featured the best singers from high schools across the five boroughs.

She attended Hunter College High School, graduating in 1972, and later studied at the Manhattan School of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in 1976.
Bofill faced significant health challenges due to two strokes in 2006 and 2007. She took a five-year hiatus from performing to concentrate on her recovery, making a triumphant return to the stage in 2011.

In a December 2020 interview with Essence magazine, Bofill laughed off rumors of her death that had circulated online months earlier. "Friends calling up, ‘Oh my God, am I talking to the ghost of Angela Bofill?’ Thank God it’s not true," she said.

Reflecting on the tributes that poured in during that time, she expressed gratitude. "You always must welcome love," she said. "I figured, ‘They really like me!’ [I’m just] laughing at it, really. It’s better to have a sense of humor.”
“I feel happy performing again,” she told The Denver Post in 2011. “I need the crowd. It's in my blood to entertain. Any time a crowd comes to see me, I’m surprised. I don't sing anymore, yet people still come. Wow. Impressed.”

In the same interview, Engel recounted Bofill’s career during the 1970s and '80s, highlighting her exceptional vocal range: "She had a rare voice. She could hit low notes and could hit high C. Her pitch was perfect.”

Despite complications from her strokes, Bofill maintained a positive outlook. “But my voice no sing. I'd rather not sing. Awful. It cracks me up! Funny! I laugh about it. But very grateful — still living. Never take things for granted,” she said.

Throughout her career, Bofill released numerous albums and hit singles, including "Something About You," "I'm on Your Side," "Let Me Be the One," and "I Just Wanna Stop." She was one of the first Latina singers to find success in the R&B and jazz markets.

In 2023, Bofill was inducted into the Women Songwriters Hall of Fame, a testament to her enduring influence and contribution to music.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Timbaland Inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame, SZA Honored with Starlight Award

The 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony Thursday night was a celebration of musical legends and contemporary hitmakers, with Grammy Award-winning producer and songwriter Timbaland and R&B sensation SZA taking center stage.

Timbaland was honored for his decades-long influence on hip-hop and R&B. The Virginia native's extensive catalog includes chart-topping hits like Missy Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On," Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'" and Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River."


Elliott introduced Timbaland, praising his transformative influence on the music industry.

During his acceptance speech, Timbaland acknowledged his late collaborator and friend Aaliyah, stating, "I want to thank baby girl, rest in peace, I hope you're watching." His tribute was followed by a medley of his greatest hits.

SZA was awarded the Hal David Starlight Award, recognizing young songwriters with significant impact. In her acceptance speech, she emphasized the personal significance of songwriting, stating, "Writing is where I felt like a person, that I had value." Receiving the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, she added, "validates my entire career."
The evening also featured the induction of alternative rock icons R.E.M., with all four original members reuniting for a rare performance of their hit "Losing My Religion." Nashville songwriter Hillary Lindsey and Steely Dan co-founder Donald Fagen were also inducted, with Fagen paying tribute to his late partner Walter Becker. Jason Isbell performed a cover of R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)."
"Footloose" and "Fame" lyricist Dean Pitchford was also inducted, with the Bacon Brothers and Denise Williams performing his iconic hits. The ceremony culminated with a tribute to Diane Warren, who received the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award, and a performance celebrating the 40th anniversary of her hit song "Rhythm of the Night."
    2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductees:
    • Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley
    • Hillary Lindsey
    • R.E.M. (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe)
    • Steely Dan (Donald Fagen)
    • Dean Pitchford

    Special Award Recipients:

    • SZA (Hal David Starlight Award)
    • Diane Warren (Johnny Mercer Award)

Thursday, June 13, 2024

WATCH: Jay-Z's Surprise Performance Steals the Show at Brady's Patriots HOF Ceremony

Tom Brady's New England Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony received an unexpected jolt of star power Wednesday night when Jay-Z took the stage for an electrifying performance.
In front of 60,000 fans at Gillette Stadium, Jay-Z opened the ceremony with "Public Service Announcement (Interlude)," the song synonymous with Brady's entrance onto the field during his Patriots career. The six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, who played 20 seasons in New England, was visibly moved by the tribute.
The crowd, which included former teammates, coaches, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, roared as Jay-Z raised his hand and declared, "Put one hand in the air for the GOAT, Mr. Tom Brady, tonight!"

Brady, who retired after the 2021 season, expressed his gratitude to the fans, his former teammates, and coaches, and called Jay-Z's performance a "special moment."

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Juvenile's Iconic Anthem Celebrated with 'Back That Azz Up Day' in New Orleans, Tour to Follow

The 25th anniversary of Juvenile’s iconic hit "Back That Azz Up" will be celebrated with a major North American tour and a special honor from his hometown of New Orleans.

On Tuesday, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell proclaimed June 11 "Back That Azz Up Day" to honor the song's enduring impact on the city's musical heritage. The announcement coincides with the launch of the "Back That Azz Up 25th Anniversary Tour," which kicks off July 7 in New Orleans.
Juvenile, whose real name is Terius Gray, expressed his excitement about the tour and the proclamation. "It's amazing to see it still resonate with people today," Juvenile said. "And I can’t wait for the moment each night of the tour when the song drops."

The tour will make stops in major cities across the U.S., including New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, before concluding in New Orleans on New Year’s Eve. Tickets for the tour are available for pre-sale via Ticketmaster with the code CHORD, and general sales will begin on June 15 at 10 a.m. local time.
Cantrell's proclamation highlights the cultural significance of "Back That Azz Up," noting its influence on more than a billion listeners since its release in 1999. The song, a second single from Juvenile's quadruple-platinum album "400 Degreez," was produced by Mannie Fresh and features Lil Wayne. It has been a defining track in the bounce music genre and landed on Rolling Stone’s "Top 500 Songs of All Time" in 2021.

In addition to the tour, Juvenile has had a series of local successes over the past year. He collaborated with Urban South Brewery to create "Juvie Juice," a spiked iced tea and lemonade drink, and released a limited edition of "400 HOT Degreez CheeWeez," a popular New Orleans cheese curl. His 10-song set on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert, featuring performances with Mannie Fresh, Trombone Shorty, and Jon Batiste, has also been well-received.

Back That Azz Up 25th Anniversary Tour Dates:

07/07 – New Orleans, LA @ Essence/Donna Color Explosion
07/20 – San Francisco, CA @ Midway
07/27 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Criterion
08/03 – St. Louis, MO @ The Factory (Chesterfield)
08/09 – New York, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl
08/10 – Washington, DC @ Howard Theatre
08/11 – Harrisburg, PA @ Reverb
08/13 – Columbia, SC @ The Senate
08/14 – Birmingham, AL @ Iron City
08/15 – Memphis, TN @ Minglewood Hall
08/16 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Lawn
08/17 – Chicago, IL @ Radius
08/18 – Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe
08/22 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
08/23 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl Vegas
08/30 – Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
08/31 – Asheville, NC @ Rabbit Rabbit
09/01 – Norfolk, VA @ The Norva
09/05 – Columbus, OH @ Temple Live
09/06 – Indianapolis, IN @ Murat Theater
09/07 – Detroit, MI @ The Fisher
09/19 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
09/22 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
09/23 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
09/24 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore
09/25 – Edmonton, AB @ Midway Music Hall
09/27 – Louisville, KY @ Palace Theatre
09/28 – Huntsville, AL @ John Hunt Park
09/29 – Little Rock, AR @ The Hall
10/03 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
10/04 – Waukee, IA @ Vibrant Music Hall
10/05 – Charleston, SC @ Firefly Distillery
10/06 – Fort Smith, AR @ Temple Live
10/08 – Wichita, KS @ Temple Live
10/10 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
10/12 – Reno, NV @ Grand Theatre at the Grand Sierra Resort
10/13 – Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Hall
10/16 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
10/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
10/20 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
10/31 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre
11/09 – San Antonio, TX @ The Espee=
11/10 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s
11/14 – St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
11/15 – Miami, FL @ Fillmore Miami Beach
11/20 – Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern
11/22 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
12/01 – Fort Worth, TX @ Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall
12/04 – Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theatre
12/05 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
12/06 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre
12/07 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
12/08 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
12/09 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre
12/10 – Montreal, QC @ Beanfield Theatre
12/11 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
12/12 – Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall
12/14 – Cleveland, OH @ Temple Live
12/15 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
12/19 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
12/20 – Chattanooga, TN @ The Signal
12/21 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
12/31 – New Orleans, LA @ Saenger Theat

Monday, June 10, 2024

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

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.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Simone Biles Wins Record-Breaking Ninth All-Around Title at U.S. Gymnastics Championships

Photo Courtesy USA Gymnatics
Simone Biles secured a record-extending ninth all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Sunday, decisively defeating Skye Blakely. This victory cements Biles' status as the most decorated gymnast in history and sets the stage for her pursuit of a third consecutive Olympic all-around title in Paris.
Biles, a dominant force in gymnastics for over a decade, showcased exceptional athletic prowess throughout the competition. Her score of 119.750 comfortably surpassed Blakely's 113.850. The competition was notably affected by the absence of fellow Black gymnast Shilese Jones, who was sidelined by a shoulder injury. Despite this, the event underscored the depth of talent within the Black gymnastics community, with Biles standing as a beacon of inspiration for future generations.

Beyond her athletic achievements, Biles has made significant contributions as an advocate for athlete safety and empowerment, particularly within the Black community. Historically underrepresented and facing numerous barriers in gymnastics, Black athletes have found a powerful ally in Biles. The "Simone Biles Legacy Act," which mandates increased oversight within the U.S. Olympic Committee, is a testament to her commitment to creating a safer and more equitable environment for future athletes, especially young Black girls who look up to her.

Biles' triumph at the U.S. Championships adds to a career marked by both dominance and resilience. In 2020, at the Tokyo Olympics, she made headlines by prioritizing her mental health and stepping away from competition. This courageous decision sparked a global conversation about the pressures faced by athletes, resonating deeply, particularly among young Black women who identified with her vulnerability and strength.

From her early years in foster care to her rise to international stardom, Biles continues to inspire athletes of all backgrounds. Her routines, known for their technical difficulty and grace, constantly push the boundaries of what is possible in gymnastics. Off the mat, Biles leverages her platform to promote diversity and inclusion within the sport, encouraging young Black girls to chase their dreams on national and international stages.
Biles' latest victory at the U.S. Championships is a testament to her enduring dominance. As she prepares for Paris, she remains a central figure in gymnastics and a powerful cultural icon. To young Black athletes, she is more than a champion; she is a symbol of hope and inspiration, embodying the possibilities of perseverance and excellence.

Reflecting on her win and her journey towards Paris, Biles told NBC, "Today, it was just getting out there and getting comfortable and confident in my gymnastics and hopefully going to Olympic trials and making that next step towards Paris. I couldn't be more proud of how I'm doing this time of the year, just getting that confidence. Over and over, getting myself back in front of the crowd. And just doing what I do in practice."

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.

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 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 @ Crypto.com Arena *
09/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Crypto.com 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 #

Friday, May 10, 2024

Philadelphia Soul Pioneers The Spinners Announce New Album 'Full Circle'

The Spinners: Jessie Robert Peck, Marvin Taylor, Ronnie Moss, C.J. Spencer and Henry Fambrough
In celebration of their 70th anniversary, legendary R&B vocal group The Spinners are set to release their anticipated album "Full Circle" on May 25. The album marks the final recordings featuring original member Henry Fambrough, a founding member of the group known for his smooth baritone vocals and signature falsetto.

Fambrough, who died in February at the age of 85, joined The Spinners in 1954. He played a pivotal role in shaping the group's sound and propelling them to stardom. His soulful delivery on hits like "I'll Be Around" and "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" helped solidify The Spinners' place as one of the most influential R&B groups of the 1960s and 1970s.

"Full Circle" will feature 10 brand-new tracks distributed by Reservoir Recordings. Executive produced by Bernard Grobman, the album includes singles like the soulful ballad "Easy on Me" and the up-tempo "After Hours."

The Spinners will embark on a North American tour in May to coincide with the album launch. Renowned for their lasting impact on R&B history, the group's chart-topping hits like "I'll Be Around," "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love," and "The Rubberband Man" helped shape the landscape of Philadelphia Soul for over six decades.

Emerging from the doo-wop scene in the 1950s, The Spinners rose to prominence in the 1960s under the guidance of legendary producer Thom Bell. They crafted a smooth and sophisticated sound that blended classic soul with intricate harmonies and sophisticated orchestration. Their music became synonymous with Philadelphia Soul, a subgenre characterized by its lush production, romantic themes, and soulful vocals.

"The Spinners' influence on music history continues with their new album, aptly titled 'Full Circle,'" said Faith Newman, Reservoir's Executive Vice President of A&R and Catalog Development in a statement. "Each track is a testament to the group's enduring legacy and the timelessness of their catalog."

"Full Circle" promises to solidify The Spinners' position as musical icons. Fans can expect a return to the group's signature sound with new music that showcases their unwavering dedication to their craft. The band's influence continues to resonate across generations, leaving a significant influence on the hearts of millions worldwide.

"Full Circle" Tracklist (to be released May 25th):
  • After Hours
  • Rainy Saturday
  • Easy On Me
  • Dreamin' Bout You
  • U're Not There
  • New Level
  • I Can
  • Hostage (Can't Let You Go)
  • Totally Beautiful
  • My Angel Love

Monday, May 6, 2024

West Coast Cool Meets Pigskin: Snoop Dogg Scores Historic Bowl Sponsorship with Gin & Juice

In a move that throws a playful pass at NCAA traditions, hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg has teamed up with his new premium spirits brand, Gin & Juice By Dre and Snoop, to sponsor the Arizona Bowl. Dubbed a "groundbreaking agreement" in the official press release, this marks the first time an alcohol brand has secured the presenting sponsor role for an NCAA bowl game.


Set to take place on December 28th in Tucson, Arizona, the "Snoop Dogg Arizona Bowl Presented by Gin & Juice By Dre and Snoop" promises a unique fusion of gridiron excitement and Snoop's signature laid-back vibes. While the Arizona Bowl traditionally donates 100% of net proceeds to charity, this collaboration presents a bold new direction for the event. For Snoop, it's an opportunity to combine his passion for football – evident through his management of the Snoop Youth Football League – with promoting his latest venture.

"I've sent many players through my SYFL to colleges (and the NFL), so it's only fitting that I bring the 'juice' back to college football," remarked Snoop in the press release. The term "juice" nods to his iconic 1994 song, adding a nostalgic touch to the partnership. The impact on fan experience and overall reception remains to be seen, but with Snoop leading the charge, spectators can anticipate an unparalleled game day experience. In addition to the on-field action, festivities will include charity events, a special "SNOOPER Bowl" featuring youth teams, and ample opportunities to sample Snoop's latest Gin & Juice flavors.

The partnership represents a significant achievement for Playfly Premier Partnerships, the agency responsible for securing the deal. Utilizing fan data, Playfly aimed to "redefine how college sports and entertainment intersect," according to Founder and CEO Mike Schreiber. While some may view this as a positive evolution in collegiate athletics, others may question the implications of commercial sponsorship in the NCAA sphere. Nevertheless, the "Snoop Dogg Arizona Bowl Presented by Gin & Juice By Dre and Snoop" is poised to leave an indelible mark on the landscape of college football, signaling a new era of collaboration and innovation.

Rapper Jim Jones Involved in Airport Scuffle, Says He Acted in Self-Defense

Rapper Jim Jones was involved in a physical altercation at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Saturday, May 4th. Cellphone footage circulating online shows Jones engaged in a scuffle with two other men on a downward escalator.

According to witness accounts, Jones became involved in an argument with a man, described as older and bald, while descending the escalator. A second individual joined the altercation shortly thereafter. Airport security personnel intervened and separated the parties before any serious injuries were reported.

Jones later addressed the incident on social media, claiming self-defense. "I was minding my business and defending myself," he stated. He added a cryptic remark, saying, "They got what they were looking for."

Police are investigating the cause of the altercation. No charges have been filed at this time.


Wednesday, May 1, 2024

More Than Music: Blige's Strength of a Woman Movement Grows with $100,000 Fund

Mary J. Blige has partnered with Pepsi to empower Yonkers women. Fund grants $100,000 to local organizations supporting education and advancement.

Mary J. Blige, the undisputed Queen of Hip-Hop Soul and recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, stands at a crossroads. While whispers of a graceful exit from the music spotlight within the next five to six years have emerged, Blige's unwavering commitment to uplifting Black women continues to burn brightly.

"There's definitely gonna be more acting, and retirement in, like, five or six years," Blige shared in a recent interview with Extra TV. "But for now, I'm still doing what I'm doing, just at a different pace."

Blige's legendary voice may be transitioning to new stages, but her dedication to empowerment takes center stage at the annual Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit. Now in its third year, the event is set for May 10-12 in New York City.



"This festival is more than just music," Blige emphasized. "It's a celebration of resilience, a space for us to share stories, and inspire each other to keep pushing forward."

Workshops, panels, and empowering performances promise to create an unforgettable experience, but Blige isn't content with just conversation. Partnering with Pepsi, she's launching the Pepsi x Mary J. Blige Strength of a Woman Community Fund, a $100,000 initiative specifically designed to support underserved women in her hometown of Yonkers, New York.

"Pepsi has been an incredible partner from the start," Blige remarked. "Now, with their support, I can finally come home to Yonkers and give back to the community that nurtured me."

The fund will award grants to local organizations tackling critical issues faced by women, including education, financial stability, and food security.

"Through this fund, we aim to uplift those who are often overlooked," Blige stated. "It's about creating opportunities for them to thrive."

Monday, April 29, 2024

Watch: 'Lion King' Prequel Gets Trailer; Beyoncé's Daughter Blue Ivy Carter Cast

Photo Credit: Beyonce.com

The excitement surrounding the upcoming "Mufasa: The LionKing" prequel roared even louder with the release of its teaser trailer on Monday. The trailer itself fueled anticipation, but it was the star-studded cast that truly captivated audiences.

Directed by Barry Jenkins, the photorealistic-animated prequel features a returning cast of beloved characters. John Kani reprises his role as the wise Rafiki, while Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner return as the hilarious duo Pumbaa and Timon, respectively. Donald Glover steps back into the role of Simba, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter rejoins the cast as Nala.

However, it was the addition of another member of the Carter family that stole the show – Blue Ivy Carter, Beyoncé's 12-year-old daughter, makes her film debut by voicing Kiara, Simba and Nala's daughter.

Blue Ivy Carter: A Timeline

  • **Jan. 7, 2012:** Blue Ivy Carter is born to Beyoncé and Jay-Z at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
  • **Jan. 8, 2012:** Beyoncé and Jay-Z release a statement and photo welcoming Blue Ivy to the world.
  • **Feb. 1, 2012:** Blue Ivy becomes the youngest person to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to a feature credit on her father's song "Glory."
  • **2015:** Blue Ivy is credited as part of the choir on Coldplay's song "Up & Up."
  • **2018:** Blue Ivy begins attending West Hollywood's The Center for Early Education.
  • **2020:** Blue Ivy features on her mother's track "Brown Skin Girl," winning a Grammy Award as the youngest winner in a non-competitive category.
  • **Nov. 2020:** Blue Ivy narrates Matthew A. Cherry's book "Hair Love," sparking speculation about future voice acting endeavors.
  • **Jan. 21, 2023:** Blue Ivy joins her mother onstage for the first time, singing "Brown Skin Girl" at a private show in Dubai.
  • **May 26, 2023 (present):** Blue Ivy joins her mother on the Renaissance World Tour as a dancer for "My Power" and "Black Parade."

The teaser offers a captivating glimpse into the film's narrative. Rafiki narrates the legendary tale of Mufasa to a young Kiara, voiced by Blue Ivy Carter. Flashbacks then reveal the origin story of Mufasa, portrayed as an orphaned cub who embarks on an extraordinary journey after encountering Taka (voiced by Kelvin Harrison Jr.), a sympathetic lion. Thandiwe Newton, Anika Noni Rose, and Keith David round out the cast, bringing life to key characters in Mufasa's life.

Blue Ivy's involvement in the film marks a significant milestone in her burgeoning career. Born into music royalty, she has already made waves in the industry, credited as a featured artist on her mother's hit song "Brown Skin Girl," which earned her accolades as the youngest winner of both a BET Award and an MTV Video Music Award.

Watch the trailer below.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Watch: Ne-Yo Brings Hits and New Song 'Two Million Secrets' to NPR's Tiny Desk Concert

R&B singer Ne-Yo brought his smooth vocals and songwriting talents to NPR's Tiny Desk concert series on Friday.

Ne-Yo launched into a four-song medley of his hits, including "Because of You," "So Sick," and "Sexy Love," before surprising fans with a new song, "Two Million Secrets." Ne-Yo described the new track as a "personal reflection" on growth and redemption.

He further showcased his songwriting prowess with covers of songs he wrote for Rihanna ("Take a Bow"), Beyoncé ("Irreplaceable"), and Mario ("Let Me Love You").

The intimate concert concluded with Ne-Yo's signature anthem "Miss Independent."

Born Shaffer Chimere Smith, Ne-Yo is a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter with multiple platinum-selling albums. He remains a force in R&B, both with his own music and as a sought-after songwriter.

Watch the entire performance below.

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