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

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Missy Elliott Makes History as NASA Sends Her Hit to Venus

Hold onto your inflatable chairs and dust off your butterfly clips, because Missy Elliott just took "Supa Dupa Fly" to a whole new level: Venus. NASA beamed the iconic 1997 hit across 158 million miles of space on Friday, July 12, making it the first hip-hop track to ever reach another planet.

Missy's lyrics hitched a ride on NASA's Deep Space Network, traveling at the speed of light to give Venus a taste of that '90s hip-hop flavor. And where better to blast this female empowerment anthem than the planet named after the goddess of love and beauty herself?

"I still can't believe I'm going out of this world with NASA through the Deep Space Network when 'The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)' becomes the first-ever hip-hop song to transmit to space!" Elliott said in a statement. "I chose Venus because it symbolizes strength, beauty, and empowerment, and I am so humbled to have the opportunity to share my art and my message with the universe!"

The transmission, facilitated by the Deep Space Station 13 radio dish antenna in Barstow, California (aptly nicknamed "Venus"), took just 14 minutes to reach the planet.

Brittany Brown, director of Digital and Technology at NASA Headquarters, said the collaboration was a natural fit.
"Both space exploration and Missy Elliott's art have been about pushing boundaries," Brown said. "Missy has a track record of infusing space-centric storytelling and futuristic visuals in her music videos, so the opportunity to collaborate on something out of this world is truly fitting."

"The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" is only the second song ever transmitted into deep space, following the Beatles' "Across the Universe" in 2008.

The transmission comes ahead of two upcoming NASA missions to Venus, DAVINCI (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging) and VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy), scheduled for launch in the late 2020s. The Deep Space Network, which has been operational since 1963, will be instrumental in receiving data from these missions.

NASA hopes the transmission of Elliott's music will inspire future generations of scientists and explorers, just as Missy's music has inspired generations of artists and fans on Earth. Perhaps, somewhere out there in the cosmos, extraterrestrial life forms are already grooving to the beat.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Court Dismisses Federal Gun Charge Against Boosie Badazz

TrillEntCMG, via Wikimedia Commons
Rapper Boosie Badazz, legally known as Torrence Hatch, had his federal gun charge dismissed on Friday by the United States District Court Southern District of California. The charge stemmed from his arrest last June in San Diego, where he was accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The dismissal marks a significant legal victory for the rapper, who has been entangled in multiple legal battles in recent years. Boosie's lawyer confirmed the court's decision, though specific details surrounding the dismissal remain unclear. The rapper was reportedly filming a music video in San Diego when police observed a firearm in his waistband during an Instagram Live session.

Court reporter Meghann Cuniff shared a photo on X, formerly known as Twitter, showing Boosie and his attorney Meghan Blanco outside the San Diego courtroom. During the hearing, Boosie grew emotional and expressed his intentions to take his family on vacation to celebrate.

"I'm at a loss for words right now, man," Boosie said in a video posted on his Instagram. "I'm gonna take me a trip cross country, bro. Go to about three different countries. God is good, boy. He'll make a way out of no way. That [expletive] love me, bro."


Boosie also shared his gratitude on social media, posting: "CASE DISMISSED!! GOD I JUST WANNA SAY THANK U!! YOU NEVER LEAVE ME, U MAKE A WAY OUT OF NO WAY. U MADE ME BEAT SOUTH BATON ROUGE, U MADE ME BEAT CANCER, U MADE ME BEAT DEATHROW, U MADE ME BEAT GUN SHOTS, U MADE ME BEAT FED CASES, U FORGAVE MY SINS #itrustnugod EVERY TIME IT LOOKED LIKE IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE YOU SHOWED THEY ASS! TO ANYONE IN TROUBLE CALL ON GOD I DON'T CARE HOW BAD IT LOOKS HE WILL DO IT! HE WILL MAKE A WAY OUT OF NO WAY. Shoutout to my attorneys @missanairam @daali5150 WE DID IT!! Shoutout to my prayer warriors @standingongodsword @donkspeaks and all my fans who said a prayer. TO EVERYONE WHO SHITTED ON ME N SAID I WAS GOING TO JAIL, TO THOSE WHO WANTED ME LOCKED UP N TO THOSE WHO DID ME WRONG THINKING I WOULD BE IN JAIL, JOKES ON U [EXPLETIVE]."

'Illmatic' Tops Billboard's List of Greatest Rap Albums, Nas Reacts

Nas has received the ultimate accolade for his debut album, "Illmatic," as Billboard names it the greatest rap album of all time. The legendary rapper expressed his gratitude and excitement on Instagram acknowledging the honor and the support from his fans: "Thank you to @billboard! N the people !!! We here #1 illmatic."

The album, which includes hits like "N.Y. State of Mind" and "The World Is Yours," has been widely regarded as one of the greatest albums in the genre's history.

In Billboard's ranking, "Illmatic" beat out other iconic albums such as Dr. Dre's "The Chronic," Lauryn Hill's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," OutKast's "Aquemini," and The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Life After Death."


The top 10 list also featured 2Pac's "All Eyez On Me," Snoop Dogg's "Doggystyle," Eric B. and Rakim's "Paid in Full," JAY-Z's "The Blueprint" and Slick Rick's "The Great Adventures of Slick Rick."

However, the list stirred some controversy with certain album placements. Billboard ranked Cardi B's "Invasion of Privacy" at No. 29, ahead of JAY-Z's "Reasonable Doubt," Kendrick Lamar's "good kid, m.A.A.d city" and Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP." Albums by Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Uzi Vert were also ranked above OutKast's "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik," MF DOOM and Madlib's "Madvillainy" and Run-DMC's "Raising Hell," raising eyebrows among some hip-hop fans.


Nas reflected on his journey and the creation of "Illmatic" in a heartfelt Instagram post earlier this year. He recounted how he dreamed of working with his favorite producers and how he achieved that vision with the help of Large Professor, DJ Premier, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, and DJ LES. He expressed gratitude for their contributions and for the album's lasting impact.

In addition to Billboard's recognition, Nas and "Illmatic" were recently honored by the New York State Senate. Senator Jamaal T. Bailey highlighted Nas’ achievements, saying, “Nasir Jones, poetically known as Nas, was making the greatest Hip Hop album of all time, Illmatic. Nas has been a Hip Hop griot — the rapid response system for the streets, for lack of a better term.”
As 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of "Illmatic," Nas is planning to celebrate with special live performances. He is set to perform the album with the Las Vegas Philharmonic at the Encore Theater in Las Vegas, with shows scheduled for August 29, 31, and September 1. This event follows a previous symphonic performance of "Illmatic" with the National Symphony Orchestra in New York City in 2018.

"Illmatic" was groundbreaking for its innovative use of an all-star producer team and for Nas' extraordinary storytelling, capturing the struggles and dreams of life in New York City. Upon its release, the album entered the Billboard 200 at number 12 and peaked at number two on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It has since achieved Platinum status and sold over 2 million copies in the United States.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Notorious B.I.G.'s 'Ready to Die' Marks 30 Years With Reissue

The Notorious B.I.G.'s groundbreaking debut album, "Ready to Die," is set for a special 30th-anniversary reissue on September 13th. Rhino Records announced the reissue last Friday, months after the album's induction into the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry, solidifying its cultural impact.

The two-LP reissue will feature newly reimagined limited edition cover art and will be available in both black and color vinyl editions. The black vinyl version will be sold through Rhino.com and biggiemerch.com, while the color vinyl edition will be exclusive to select retailers.

Author and journalist Justin Tinsley, in his essay for the Library of Congress induction, described the album as a response to "American capitalism and just how deadly the pursuit of money could be and was for so many—in particular, young Black folks in America."

The 6x platinum-certified album, celebrated for hits like "Juicy" and "Big Poppa," each with over 1 billion streams, continues to be recognized as one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever, appearing on lists like Apple Music's 100 Best Albums of All Time and Rolling Stone's 200 Greatest Hip-Hop Albums of All Time.

The reissue comes 30 years to the day after the album's original release, marking a milestone for a record that shaped hip-hop's golden age and solidified The Notorious B.I.G.'s place as a rap legend.

Track Listing for Ready To Die (30th Anniversary)

LP One: Side One
Intro
"Things Done Changed"
"Gimme The Loot"
"Machine Gun Funk"
"Warning"

Side Two
6. "Ready To Die"
7. "One More Chance"
8. "F*$K Me"
9. "The What"
10. "Juicy"

LP Two: Side One
"Every Day Struggle"
"Me & My Bitch"
"Big Poppa"
"Respect"

Side Two
5. "Friend of Mine"
6. "Unbelievable"
7. "Suicidal Thoughts"
8. "Who Shot Ya"

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

B.G. Wins Court Battle: Free to Write Lyrics While Under Federal Supervision

A federal judge has rejected a request from prosecutors to prohibit rapper Christopher "B.G." Dorsey from promoting violence in his music while on supervised release, citing First Amendment concerns. However, U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan ruled that B.G. must submit copies of any new songs to the government for review before their release.

The ruling, issued Friday, is the latest development in a case that has sparked debate about an artist's right to free expression versus the government's responsibility to enforce the terms of supervised release. B.G., known for his 1990s hit "Bling Bling," came under scrutiny after performing with other rappers who have felony convictions and releasing lyrics that prosecutors said glorified violence.

In March, parole officers requested B.G.'s arrest for violating the terms of his supervised release, but he was later released on his own recognizance. Prosecutors asked Judge Morgan to impose restrictions on his lyrics, arguing they could undermine his rehabilitation.


B.G.'s attorneys argued that such restrictions would constitute an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech. Judge Morgan agreed, stating that the condition "may be an unconstitutional prior restraint."

However, Judge Morgan acknowledged the government's concerns and ordered B.G. to submit his lyrics for review before release or promotion. If deemed inconsistent with his rehabilitation, prosecutors could request modifications to his supervised release terms.
B.G., a member of the Hot Boys rap group, was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2012 for illegal gun possession and other charges. He was released to a halfway house in fall 2023 and began a two-year period of federal supervision on Feb. 1.

The case has drawn attention from other prominent artists like Megan Thee Stallion and Jay-Z, who have condemned the use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal cases. B.G.'s attorneys expressed satisfaction with the ruling, emphasizing it allows him to continue his artistic work while addressing the terms of his supervision.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Flavor Flav Flavors Up Red Lobster

Photo Credit: X/FlavorFlav

Seafood fans have a new reason to say, "Yeah boyee!"

Fans of the legendary Public Enemy hype man can enjoy Flavor Flav’s Faves, an exclusive off-menu meal at Red Lobster. The collaboration comes after Flav showed his love for Red Lobster by ordering the entire menu in an attempt to “save the Cheddar Bay Biscuits” when the chain faced financial difficulties earlier this year.
Red Lobster’s partnership with Flavor Flav, known for his larger-than-life personality and signature clock necklaces, has resulted in a meal featuring a handpicked selection of the chain’s seafood favorites. The meal is available at Red Lobsterrestaurants nationwide and includes Maine Lobster Tail, Snow Crab Legs, Garlic Shrimp Scampi, and Bacon Mac & Cheese, plus a choice of one side. To order, diners just need to ask their server for Flavor Flav’s Faves.

"As a long-time Red Lobster fan, I’m fired up to bring a little bit of my own flavor to fans with a meal featuring my seafood favorites," said Flavor Flav, known for hits like "Fight the Power" and "911 Is a Joke." "You gotta get to Red Lobster and give it a try because this signature meal is hype, boyee!"

Flavor Flav's Faves
Red Lobster’s Chief Experience Officer, Sara Bittorf, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration. "When you have someone like Flavor Flav who shows their love for a brand by ordering the entire menu, you know there is a lot more fun to be had. Flavor Flav’s passion for Red Lobster is unmatched, and we’re excited to bring our guests a flavor experience unlike any other."

This collaboration comes just in time for Red Lobster’s Crabfest, featuring new dishes like Creamy Crab Carbonara, Crab & Lobster Duo, and Snow Crab & Crab-Topped Steak. Guests can also indulge in the Crab Your Way option, choosing from wild-caught Snow or Bairdi Crab, with flavor options including Cajun Butter, Roasted Garlic Butter, or Simply Steamed.

For more details on Red Lobster’s menu or to find a nearby location, visit the Red Lobster website.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Usher's Legacy Takes Center Stage at BET Awards

Photo By Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET 

The 2024 BET Awards celebrated Black excellence Sunday night, with a lineup of high-energy performances and a moving tribute to Usher, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hosted by Taraji P. Henson at the Peacock Theatre, the event opened with an electrifying performance by Megan Thee Stallion, who emerged from an egg in a nod to her latest album artwork. She ignited the night with "Hiss," followed by "Boa" and "Where Them Girls At."

Drake led the nominations with seven, including album of the year for "For All The Dogs (Scary Hours Edition)." Nicki Minaj followed closely with six, including album of the year for "Pink Friday 2."

Usher's tribute was a standout moment. Introduced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Usher watched as a parade of artists honored his career. Childish Gambino opened with "U Don't Have to Call," followed by Keke Palmer's rendition of "U Make Me Wanna." Summer Walker, Coco Jones, Marsha Ambrosius, Chlรถe, and Tinashe contributed with performances of Usher's hits.

L.A. Reid and Babyface, co-founders of Usher's label LaFace Records, presented the award. Overcoming technical difficulties during his acceptance speech, Usher expressed gratitude and humor about his journey and those who supported him, including Jermaine Dupri.

Lauryn Hill revisited tracks from her groundbreaking album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," bringing out her son YG Marley for "Survival" and "Praise Jah in the Moonlight." Hill closed her set with Fugees member Wyclef Jean performing "Fu-Gee-La."

The diverse lineup included Ice Spice previewing her upcoming album "Y2K," GloRilla descending from the ceiling for "Yeah Glo!" and "TGIF," and Tyla performing "Jump" with Skillibeng and Gunna.

Victoria Monรฉt, who won video of the year for "On My Mama," performed her hits, while Sexy Redd, Tanner Adell, Doechii, and Shaboozey showcased their talents.

Usher and Victoria Monรฉt emerged as the night's biggest winners. Usher received the Lifetime Achievement Award and best male R&B/pop artist. Monรฉt won video of the year and captivated the audience with her performances.

For a complete list of winners click here

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Kanye West in Moscow: Concert Rumors Swirl, Putin Meeting Speculated

Kanye West arrived in Moscow today, fueling rumors of a potential concert and a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. The rapper's visit coincides with the birthday of Gosha Rubchinskiy, the new creative director of West's Yeezy brand.

Russian media outlets reported West's arrival, citing footage appearing to show him in the Moscow subway. While sources suggest the visit is primarily to celebrate Rubchinskiy's birthday, the possibility of a concert hasn't been definitively ruled out. There have been no official announcements from West's representatives or potential venues regarding a performance.
In December 2023, West appointed Rubchinskiy to lead the Yeezy design team. A statement from Yeezy at the time hailed the move as "a milestone in design history."
The 47-year-old rapper, known for past statements praising President Putin, was filmed walking with an entourage in Moscow, wearing baggy white trousers and a white hoodie. Videos circulating online show him shopping and interacting with fans.

West posted "Hello, Moscow" in Russian on VKontakte, the country's state-monitored social media platform, on Sunday. He was also seen in a Moscow underpass, a hotel lobby, the Gum mall, and Red Square.

Reports indicate West is staying at the Four Seasons Hotel near the Kremlin, where the Presidential Suite reportedly costs around £10,000 ($12,450 USD) per night.

West's visit to Russia has sparked controversy, as most Western celebrities have distanced themselves from the country following its invasion of Ukraine. However, West, who has faced criticism for various controversial statements and actions, remains an exception. His past praise for Putin raises questions about the nature of his visit and potential interactions with Russian officials.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Watch: Flo Milli Debuts New 'Never Lose Me' Verse in Soulful Tiny Desk Set

Screengrab: YouTube
Known for her sharp lyrics and distinctive style, rapper Flo Milli took her talents to NPR's Tiny Desk concert series recently, marking her first performance with a full band. The set, released earlier today, is part of NPR's Black Music Month celebration showcasing the talent and diversity of Black women in music.

The rising star from Mobile, Alabama, opened with an energetic medley of "Conceited" and "Bed Time," setting the stage for an engaging performance. Backed by Atlanta's Band of Brothers and her backing vocalists, the Floettes, Milli showcased her versatility, transitioning smoothly into a soulful rendition of her breakout hit "Beef FloMix." The song, a fan favorite from her 2020 debut mixtape "Ho, Why Is You Here?", proved its enduring appeal in this new arrangement.

The highlight of the set came at the end, when Milli and her band switched to acoustic instruments for a stripped-down version of her single "Never Lose Me." In a special treat for the audience, she debuted a brand new verse exclusive to the Tiny Desk performance.

Milli's Tiny Desk appearance is a significant milestone in her career, which has been on a steady rise since the release of "Ho, Why Is You Here?" She followed up her debut with "You Still Here, Ho?" in 2022 and "Fine Ho, Stay" in 2023, earning a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and critical acclaim, including recognition from Rolling Stone as "one of the most fun rappers alive."

This Tiny Desk concert, a celebrated platform for showcasing musical talent, underscores Flo Milli's growing influence in the music industry.

Watch the full performance below.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Will Smith's Redemption Song: Hip-Hop Icon Returns to the Mic at BET Awards Sunday

Will Smith, the Oscar-winning actor known for blockbuster films like "Men in Black" and chart-topping rap hits as one half of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, is set to make a musical comeback. Smith will perform new material at the 2024 BET Awards, marking his first major musical appearance in several years.

Smith first rose to fame with DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, known for lighthearted hits like "Summertime" and "Parents Just Don't Understand," which earned them a Grammy Award for best rap performance. His transition to acting proved equally successful, with iconic roles in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and "Ali," earning him critical acclaim and box-office success.

Recently, Smith contributed "Light Em Up," a collaboration with reggae artist Sean Paul, to the "Bad Boys for Life" soundtrack. The track, released in early 2024, marks his first new music in nearly half a decade.

Smith's career has not been without controversy. His 2022 Oscars incident, in which he slapped comedian Chris Rock onstage, sparked a media firestorm and led to a temporary break from the spotlight. His return to the BET Awards stage signifies a new chapter, where he aims to reconnect with audiences through his music.

Connie Orlando, BET's executive vice president of specials, music programming and music strategy, said, "From his start as a rapper to 'The Fresh Prince' to being a box-office king, we are honored to welcome him back to grace the BET Awards stage."

The 2024 BET Awards will also feature performances from GloRilla, Ice Spice, Latto, Ms. Lauryn Hill and YG Marley, Muni Long, Sexyy Red, Shaboozey, Tyla and Victoria Monรฉt. Usher will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Taraji P. Henson will host the event for the third time.

The BET Awards will air live on Sunday, June 30, at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on BET.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Ambush Claims Life of Jacksonville Rapper Julio Foolio at Tampa Hotel

Charles Jones, also known as Jacksonville rapper Julio Foolio. (YouTube)
Florida rapper Julio Foolio was fatally shot early Sunday while celebrating his 26th birthday.

Julio Foolio, whose real name was Charles Jones, had told his 1 million Instagram followers he had "the best birthday ever," before the tragedy.

Jones had been hosting a pool party at a rented Airbnb in the Tampa area Saturday afternoon. The event grew so large that police responded, shutting it down and forcing the guests to leave. Jones and others later moved to a nearby Holiday Inn.

At approximately 4:40 a.m., gunfire erupted in the hotel's parking lot, killing Jones and wounding three other people, according to the Tampa Police Department. The injured victims are in stable condition. The medical examiner's office has not yet confirmed Jones' identity.

Jones' attorney, Lewis Fuso, described the incident as an ambush. "Mr. Jones was reportedly ambushed in the hotel's parking lot," Fuso said in a statement.

Jones was known for his association with the Jacksonville-based gang KTA and had survived previous attempts on his life, including a 2021 shooting in Jacksonville, after which he taunted his attackers on Instagram.

The investigation is ongoing, with Tampa police reviewing surveillance footage from the hotel. No suspects have been arrested as of Sunday afternoon.

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 Reneรฉ 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.

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