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

Monday, August 21, 2023

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky Reportedly Welcome Second Child: A Baby Boy

YouTube Screengrab
Global music sensation Rihanna and her partner A$AP Rocky have welcomed their second child, a baby boy, into the world.

According to TMZ, the couple's new addition was born on August 3rd in Los Angeles. While the baby's name remains undisclosed, sources with direct knowledge shared that it begins with the letter "R."

The 35-year-old singer and A$AP Rocky previously became parents in May 2022 with the birth of their first child, a boy named RZA Athelston Mayers, paying homage to music producer and Wu-Tang Clan member, RZA.

TMZ reported the news of the birth, stating, "Sources with direct knowledge tell us the baby arrived August 3rd in Los Angeles. We don't yet know the kiddo's name, but we do know it starts with 'R' and it's a boy."

The Grammy-winning artist, known for her creative approach to sharing personal news, had earlier announced her second pregnancy in a captivating manner. During her performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in February, Rihanna unveiled her growing baby bump by opening her fire red jumpsuit. The announcement created waves of excitement among fans worldwide, who eagerly awaited the arrival of the new member of the family.

Throughout her pregnancy journey, Rihanna continued to captivate audiences with her dynamic presence. Attending prominent events such as the Met Gala and the Academy Awards, the artist effortlessly embraced her maternity style, demonstrating her unique fashion choices. Rihanna shared her approach to maternity fashion in an interview with People, emphasizing that feeling good is closely tied to looking good. "You put some clothes on, and it's like, when you look good, you feel good," she expressed.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Concert Mic Flung by Cardi B Nets Incredible $99,900 in Auction

Screengrab Instagram
A microphone that once soared through the air in the fervor of a Cardi B concert has landed in the hands of a new owner, commanding a jaw-dropping price of $99,900.

The incident, an eruption of fiery emotion during a Las Vegas spectacle, saw the "Bodak Yellow" star unleash the mic like a guided missile upon a concertgoer at Drai's Beachclub, following a shower of liquid launched in her direction.

Scott Fisher, the architect behind the audio at the gig, initially listed the item for a mere $500 on eBay. Speaking to the New York Post's Page Six column, Fisher said, "I think it's a bit crazy, but to each their own. To some people, it’s a world-famous item and there are definitely collectors that like this kind of stuff."

Cardi B, who was initially under scrutiny as a battery suspect following the microphone toss, can now breathe a sigh of relief. The verdict delivered in the court of justice was unequivocal – no crime committed. In an official statement, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department declared, "After a thorough review of this case and with consultation from the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, this case has been closed due to insufficient evidence. No charges will be filed in relation to this case."

Fisher said he orchestrated the sale as a conduit for philanthropy, with the proceeds going to Friendship Circle Las Vegas, a local organization connecting volunteers with children and young adults facing special needs, and the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity dedicated to restoring independence to severely wounded veterans.

The eBay listing apparently issued a resonant call to action: "If you want a piece of hip-hop infamy and what has now become national and world news, then please bid whatever you are willing to spend...thanks (sic)."

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Beloved 'Cha Cha Slide' Creator, DJ Casper, Passes Away at 58 After Cancer Battle

Photo Credit DJ Casper/Instagram
DJ Casper, the visionary behind the beloved dance anthem "Cha Cha Slide," has passed away at the age of 58, marking the end of a seven-year battle with cancer.

The news of Casper's demise was conveyed by his wife, Kim, through a statement shared with ABC 7 Chicago. In her heartfelt tribute, Kim described him as a "fun-loving, giving person" and expressed the deep loss felt by all who knew him.

"He was a genuine, family-oriented man," Kim shared, underscoring his strong affinity for the city of Chicago. "He loved Chicago with all his heart. He will be greatly missed."

Born Willie Perry Jr. in Englewood, Chicago, Casper acquired his moniker due to his penchant for wearing white attire during his performances. A pivotal moment in his career emerged in 1998 when he penned the first part of the iconic "Cha Cha Slide" for his nephew, who worked as a personal trainer at Bally Total Fitness.

The song's simple yet irresistible instructions, such as "Slide to the left" and "reverse," rapidly gained traction in exercise classes and school gymnasiums. This led Casper to release a follow-up version titled "Casper Slide Pt. 2" in 2000, further cementing his place in music history.
Reflecting on the enduring success of his creation, Casper mused in a 2018 interview with Vanity Fair, "Well, actually, I'm not really surprised. The song got real hot around 2004. And, I mean, today, they've been playing it like it's brand-new. You can hear it in every stadium, every sporting event. They played it at the Olympics. You hear it everywhere, so I'm not really surprised. I'm just happy it's still going, but I'm not surprised."

Even in the face of adversity, Casper maintained a positive outlook. In 2016, he was diagnosed with both liver and kidney cancer. By 2018, the illness had gone into remission, a testament to his resilience. He dedicated his time to visiting hospitals, engaging with fellow cancer patients, and spreading positivity and encouragement, as revealed in a 2019 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.

"I'm here. If God says he's got something else for me to do, he's going to let me continue to see what I'm doing," he said, encapsulating his enduring spirit.

In 2021, marking the 20th anniversary of the dance's creation, Casper orchestrated a global fundraising initiative known as the "Dime Drive." Participants would perform the signature "slide left/slide right/criss-cross" dance he pioneered and donate ten cents toward cancer research, emphasizing his unwavering commitment to the cause.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Pepsi MAX's Campaign Pays Tribute to Biggie's Enduring Influence

Pepsi MAX has announced a collaboration to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, paying tribute to the enduring cultural impact of The Notorious B.I.G. through an international campaign.

The campaign, developed in close coordination with Biggie's estate and family, promises an immersive experience that artfully blends his unique personality, style, and lyrical flow with contemporary music, engaging a new generation of fans while honoring the rapper's immeasurable influence on hip-hop and popular culture.

The diverse virtual and physical experiences planned for the celebration will include street art installations in major cities worldwide and exclusive limited edition Pepsi MAX cans.

Voletta Wallace, the mother of the late star, born Christopher Wallace, and Founder of the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation, expressed her enthusiasm in a statement: "As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop and its profound cultural impact, we're thrilled to honor Christopher's legacy and continue introducing his music to a new generation of fans. His art is truly timeless, and we believe that Pepsi's collaboration will bring his talent to even more music enthusiasts."

CJ Wallace, Biggie's son, added, "My dad is synonymous with rap, and his influence is unmatched. Bringing one of his unreleased flows out of the vault and partnering directly with Pepsi, a brand he loved, is incredibly special."

Pepsi proudly asserts that The Notorious B.I.G. was a dedicated fan of its product. To celebrate his posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020, Pepsi released a remastered freestyle from 1997, featuring Biggie enthusiastically praising Pepsi. The track includes the lyrics: "Nothing can beat the P-E-P-S-I, yes I drink it constantly / Something 'bout the taste feels great, less filling / Tell 'em Biggie said to drink it all, don't test me / Nothing else beats a Pepsi / If it is, let's see/ I'm thirsty."

Accompanying the track is a short animated video by Antnamation, paying homage to Biggie's Brooklyn roots and his fondness for Pepsi.

Born Christopher Wallace in Brooklyn, New York, The Notorious B.I.G.'s artistic journey began with inspiration from a generation of hip-hop artists. Signing with Sean "Puffy" Combs' Bad Boy Records in 1993, Biggie quickly rose to prominence and became one of the most influential rappers of the 1990s era.

Stay updated on the campaign by following @PepsiGlobal's Instagram and Facebook channels.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Steph Curry Stuns Fans With Rap Prowess in 'Lil Fish, Big Pond' Music Video

Screengrab "Lil Fish, Big Pond" video via Twitter
Golden State Warriors' star Steph Curry proves he's a man of many talents as he showcases his musical prowess in a new rap song that's taking the internet by storm. Teaming up with Houston-based rapper Tobe Nwigwe, Curry's debut on "Lil Fish, Big Pond" has already racked up over 16,000 views on YouTube within just four hours of release.

In the music video, Curry and Nwigwe are seen bonding over a fishing trip, but it's the lyrics that have fans buzzing. Curry opens the song with his smooth delivery, boasting lines like "Daddy taught me how to flick my wrist, I'm my father's son" and "They should put the basket in the casket after I am done." It's clear that Curry's skills extend beyond the basketball court.

Watch the video below.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Vallejo, Calif., to Pay Tribute to Iconic Rapper E-40 With 'E-40 Way' Street

The Vallejo City Council in California unanimously approved a measure to pay homage to the local roots of 55-year-old rapper and entrepreneur E-40 by designating a mile-long stretch of Magazine Street in South Vallejo as "E-40 Way."

This decision celebrates the artist's formative years in the area and honors his substantial contributions to the community.

E-40, whose real name is Earl Stevens, achieved widespread acclaim in the entertainment industry throughout his iconic three-decade-long hip-hop career. In 2015, he released a heartfelt song titled "Magazine Street," dedicated to the neighborhood that shaped his childhood.

The dedication of "E-40 Way" between Laurel Street and Old Glen Cove Road stands as a fitting tribute to the multiplatinum rapper and entrepreneur, who has consistently expressed pride in his Vallejo upbringing and showcased his love for the community through various philanthropic endeavors.

Notably, E-40 has supported the Vallejo Salvation Army by donating turkeys for Thanksgiving andoffering food donations to the homeless. He has also generously contributed to his alma mater, James J. Hogan High School, donating over $10,000 to the school's marching band and an additional $12,000 after the school faced vandalism.

Beyond his musical accomplishments, E-40 has flourished as an entrepreneur, establishing diverse wine and alcoholic beverage lines, including E. Cuarenta Cerveza, E. Cuarenta Tequila, Tycoon Cognac, Kuiper Belt Bourbon and Kuiper Belt Gin.

This year holds special significance for E-40, as it marks the 30th anniversary of his debut album in the music industry.

The official dedication ceremony for "E-40 Way" is scheduled to take place later this year, bringing together community members, fans, and local dignitaries to celebrate the artist's enduring impact on Vallejo.

E-40 joins a distinguished roster of musicians with ties to the Bay Area who have been immortalized through street names. In May, the Oakland City Council unanimously voted to rename a section of MacArthur Boulevard in honor of the late rapper Tupac Shakur. The portion between Grand and Van Buren Avenues will now be known as Tupac Shakur Way, paying homage to the artist's profound love and connection to Oakland, where he spent much of his youth.

Oakland has previously honored other notable figures by naming streets after them, including rapper Too $hort and Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Music News Roundup: Iconic Tours and Spectacular Festivals Take Center Stage With Bow Wow's Scream Tour '23, Janet Jackson at ONE Musicfest, and Usher's Harmonious 'Life is a Melody' Campaign

In a symphony of music news, the industry reverberates with excitement as electrifying collaborations and remarkable events take center stage. This week unveils a resounding revival, a highly anticipated festival lineup and a campaign that fuses music and spirits.

Bow Wow Returns with Black Promoters Collective for Scream Tour '23

The original face of the Scream Tour, Bow Wow, triumphantly makes a comeback, partnering with the Black Promoters Collective for the Scream Tour '23. The tour was announced on Thursday and is set to commence on August 18 in Charlotte, NC. It features a lineup of rising stars, including That Girl Lay Lay and Young Dylan as headliners.

For more information visit

ONE Musicfest Unveils Impressive Fall Festival Lineup

ONE Musicfest, in collaboration with Live Nation Urban, unveiled its impressive lineup for the upcoming fall festival on Tuesday. The festival will take place on October 28th and 29th at Atlanta's historic Piedmont Park and promises to showcase a stellar array of talent. Headliners include music icons Janet Jackson, soulful sensation Brent Faiyaz, the incomparable Kendrick Lamar, unapologetic superstar Megan Thee Stallion and chart-topping artist Kodak Black. In commemoration of Hip Hop's 50th anniversary, a specially curated Hip Hop 50 stage will feature legendary acts such as Nelly, DJ Drama, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Quik and Trina.

For more information visit

Usher and Rémy Martin Fuse Music and Spirits in 'Life is a Melody' Campaign

Grammy award-winning global superstar Usher collaborates with Rémy Martin, Cognac Fine Champagne, to unveil the captivating "Life is a Melody" campaign. Striving to bridge the worlds of music and spirits, the campaign invites enthusiasts on a journey where the essence of Rémy Martin intertwines with the melodies of life. In a teaser for the campaign, Usher, seated at the piano, surrounded by Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal and XO bottles, offers a preview of his upcoming album with the track "Comin' Home." As part of the effort, Usher and Rémy Martin will embark on a nationwide tour, presenting "4 on the Floor" pop-up skate experiences infused with the spirit of skate culture, accompanied by Rémy Après Skate speakeasies for a unique cocktail experience.

For more information click here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Jamie Foxx Reemerges With Act of Kindness, Announces Involvement in Luther Vandross Documentary

Screengrab Instagram (@barber_homie_quan)
Jamie Foxx, the multi-talented actor and Grammy-winning musician, has made a remarkable return to the public eye after a period of medical complications.

Foxx, who had not been seen in public for some time, recently caught media attention with a heartwarming act of kindness. He tracked down Terri "Queeni" Glen to return her missing purse.

Glen, who is in Chicago to support her sister in her battle against breast cancer, was riding a pedicab with her sisters on Sunday when they unexpectedly encountered Foxx. Overwhelmed with excitement, Glen eagerly approached the Oscar winner, requesting a hug and expressing her concern for his well-being. Foxx responded with a quote that touched Glen's heart: "I feel good." His smile and genuine appreciation for her inquiry, instead of requesting a picture, left a lasting impression on Glen.

She also noted that Foxx exhibited no speech issues and appeared strong and well. Glen described how Foxx effortlessly got out of his car and approached the pedicab with enthusiasm, confirming his positive state of health in her mind. Foxx's team has dismissed various narratives circulating in the media, including false claims that he was hospitalized after receiving a COVID booster shot or that his family was preparing for the worst.

Following the public appearance, news broke that Foxx is embarking on a new project. He is set to co-produce a feature-length documentary that will delve into the life and career of legendary singer Luther Vandross. This documentary, a collaboration between Sony Music Entertainment's Premium Content Division, Sony Music Publishing, Foxxhole Productions, and Raindog Films, promises an intimate and captivating exploration of his journey as one of the greatest voices in music history.

Foxx's involvement in this project follows a period of medical complications during which he maintained a relatively low profile. Although details regarding his health challenges have been kept private, his act of kindness and return to the spotlight serve as positive indicators of his recovery. Foxx expressed his admiration for Vandross. 

"I think Luther is one of our GOATs," Foxx said in a statement announcing the project. "He's one of the greatest singers in the history of music. It is truly an honor to be a part of the team to help bring this incredible story to the masses."

The documentary, with the full support and participation of the Vandross estate, along with access to his never-before-seen personal archive, aims to capture the essence of his intensely private life, his unwavering passion for music, his global rise and his personal struggles.

Vandross, renowned for his soulful voice and heartfelt ballads, achieved prominence with his debut album, "Never Too Much," released in 1981. Over the course of his career, he earned an impressive 33 Grammy nominations and won eight, solidifying his place as a musical icon.

Sony Music Entertainment's Premium Content Division will distribute the documentary, which is being produced by Trish D Chetty, Ged Doherty, Colin Firth for Raindog Films, and Foxx and Datari Turner for Foxxhole Productions.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Chart Coup: Lil Uzi Vert's 'Pink Tape' Conquers Billboard 200, Dethrones Morgan Wallen

Getting caught on camera using the N-word in 2021, barely bruised the career of current Country King Morgan Wallen. However, after 15 weeks reigning atop the Billboard 200, rapper Lil Uzi Vert finally found a way to dethrone him.

In a triumphant coup, Lil Uzi Vert's latest album "Pink Tape" moved 167,000 equivalent album units in the United States for the week ending July 6, seizing the top spot from Wallen's "One Thing at a Time."

This remarkable achievement makes "Pink Tape" the first rap album to claim the No. 1 position since Metro Boomin's "Heroes & Villains" accomplished the feat in December 2022. The 29-week gap between chart-topping rap albums now stands as the longest since the early 1990s when Ice Cube's "The Predator" and Cypress Hill's "Black Sunday" were separated by a span of 34 weeks from 1992 to 1993.

Lil Uzi Vert's chart dominance is no fluke. With "Pink Tape" topping the charts, he now boasts an impressive repertoire of three No. 1 studio albums. Preceding this latest triumph, his previous chart-toppers include "Luv Is Rage 2" in 2017 and "Eternal Atake" in 2020.

However, Lil Uzi Vert's reign at the top will likely be short-lived. Taylor Swift's highly anticipated release, "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)," is expected to make a massive impact, with projections of moving over half-a-million units.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Watch: 'One Love' Film Trailer Offers a Glimpse into the Life of Reggae Icon Bob Marley

Photo Courtesy Paramount
A Bob Marley biopic is set to hit the big screen over 40 years after his passing, offering a captivating portrayal of the reggae icon's life and musical legacy. The highly-anticipated film, titled "Bob Marley: One Love," released its first trailer Thursday, providing a glimpse into the Jamaican singer-songwriter's extraordinary journey.

In the movie, Kingsley Ben-Adir takes on the role of the reggae legend himself, while Lashana Lynch portrays his wife, Rita. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the feature film delves into Marley's rise to fame alongside his band, The Wailers, as they captivated audiences with their powerful music.

The trailer also offers a glimpse into the aftermath of a 1976 assassination attempt on Marley, believed to be politically motivated. Despite the ordeal, Marley's unwavering spirit led him to return to the spotlight, headlining the iconic "One Love" peace concert in Kingston, Jamaica.

Marley, who succumbed to a rare form of cancer at the age of 36 in 1981, left an indelible mark on the music world with his soulful melodies and powerful messages of love and unity.

The biopic is a collaborative effort, with involvement from Marley's family. Ziggy Marley, the late singer's son, daughter Cedella and Rita serve as producers, alongside industry veterans Brad Pitt, Robert Teitel, Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner.

The film aims to celebrate Marley's extraordinary life and his enduring musical legacy, inspiring generations with his powerful message. It provides audiences with an opportunity to discover the transformative journey behind his revolutionary music and his triumph over adversity.

During CinemaCon, Ziggy Marley, representing the film as a producer, expressed his excitement, stating, "People will deepen their connection to Bob and honor Bob in the right way."

"Bob Marley: One Love" is scheduled for release on January 12, 2024. Fans can catch a glimpse of the film's essence by watching the recently released trailer below.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Iconic Tupac Ring to Command Spotlight at Sotheby's Hip-Hop Sale

Legendary auction house Sotheby's is preparing to showcase its third dedicated hip-hop sale, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the genre and celebrating its profound impact on art and culture. Among the extraordinary collection of historical treasures, one particular gem stands out—the self-designed gold, diamond and ruby ring of rap icon Tupac Shakur.
Photo Courtesy Sotheby's
Crafted by Tupac himself, the ring bears the inscription 'Pac & Dada 1996,' symbolizing the artist's engagement with Kidada Jones and serving as a powerful symbol of love and creativity. It gained global attention when Tupac proudly displayed it during his appearance at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards.

Now, it takes center stage at Sotheby's auction, commanding an estimated value ranging from $200,000 to $300,000.

The ring is presented by Yaasmyn Fula, Tupac's godmother and confidante, who played a pivotal role in supporting his artistic endeavors and achievements.

Accompanying the ring, the auction features a remarkable collection of hip-hop artifacts, including original artwork, historic studio equipment, sneakers, jackets, flyers and rare memorabilia. These items pay homage to influential pioneers such as Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Ice-T and Afrika Islam, showcasing the rich tapestry of hip-hop's cultural impact.

Online bidding for the event will be open from July 18th to July 25th. For those eager to experience these extraordinary artifacts firsthand, a dedicated exhibition will be on display at Sotheby's York Avenue galleries from July 18th to July 24th.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Money Moves: Nelly's Catalog Nets $50 Million in Record Sale

Grammy-winning rapper Nelly has secured a major deal with HarbourView Equity Partners, obtaining $50 million for 50% ownership of his catalog. The partnership marks a significant milestone in Nelly's career, involving the sale of his iconic recorded assets, including chart-topping hits like "Ride Wit Me," "Dilemma" featuring Kelly Rowland, and the mega-hit "Hot in Herre."

While exact figures were not disclosed, TMZ reported that the deal amounted to $50 million. This substantial agreement allows HarbourView Equity Partners to acquire eight albums and a collection of No. 1 singles spanning over two decades of Nelly's illustrious career.

Expressing his excitement for the partnership in a statement, Nelly emphasized the importance of preserving his musical legacy and reaching new audiences. He said, "My music is my legacy which I want to last beyond me, continuing to make my existing fans happy while reaching new generations and new audiences."

Sherrese Clarke Soares, Founder of HarbourView Equity Partners, recognized the cultural significance of Nelly's catalog, which showcases a unique fusion of hip-hop, R&B, and country music. She highlighted the impact of Nelly's works, particularly songs like "Hot in Herre" and "Shake Ya Tailfeather," which defined a distinct era in music. Soares expressed enthusiasm for incorporating these influential pieces into HarbourView's repertoire and supporting artistic endeavors within their ecosystem.

This $50 million deal further solidifies Nelly's position as one of the industry's most successful and influential artists. Throughout his career, Nelly has collaborated with renowned musicians such as Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Usher. His contributions have earned him three Grammy Awards and three American Music Awards, attesting to his widespread recognition and impact.

In addition to his musical ventures, Nelly has ventured into entrepreneurship. He recently introduced "MoShine," his own moonshine brand, paying homage to his hometown of St. Louis, MO.

Currently, Nelly is working on his ninth studio album, "Heartland 2," which serves as the spiritual sequel to his 2021 album, "Heartland." The album, heavily influenced by country music and featuring collaborations with notable country stars, peaked at No. 45 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Hennessy and Nas Pour Out a Special Edition for Hip-Hop's 50th

Hennessy and Nas have partnered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. In this unique collaboration, the leading cognac brand will release a limited-edition Hennessy V.S bottle, designed in partnership with the hip-hop legend, paying homage to the enduring relationship between Hennessy and the genre.

The bottle's unveiling is scheduled for July 20 at a digital mapping event, aiming to showcase the global impact of hip-hop culture. Additionally, Hennessy will introduce Hennessy Album Covers, an AI-led experience that transforms selfies into personalized album covers, drawing inspiration from iconic hip-hop eras as part of their Rep Yours campaign. This campaign invites fans to express their connection to hip-hop through an immersive digital experience.

Nas expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration with Hennessy, emphasizing the brand's significant influence on hip-hop fans across generations. In a statement announcing the partnership, the Grammy Award-winning rapper said, "It means a lot to me to celebrate this legendary moment in hip-hop history with Hennessy, a brand that has supported me for over 10 years. Hennessy is deeply embedded in our culture and continues to inspire generations of hip-hop fans. I'm extremely proud to share our new limited-edition bottle with the world."

The relationship between Hennessy and hip-hop has been intertwined for years, with the cognac brand prominently featured in countless rap songs, solidifying its position as the most referenced spirit in the industry. Renowned artists such as Nas, Tupac, and Jay-Z have made numerous lyrical references to Hennessy, highlighting its prominence within the genre.

Beyond its presence in lyrics, Hennessy has actively engaged with the hip-hop community through collaborations and partnerships. Working alongside renowned photographer Renell Medrano, Nas has narrated a film as a heartfelt tribute to hip-hop. The film showcases imagery of the Hennessy V.S Bottle and offers a personal reflection on the brand's profound impact on the culture.

To enhance the celebration, Hennessy's expert mixologists have crafted three signature cocktails inspired by flavors synonymous with hip-hop: "The Big Apple," "HenNASsy Honey" and "Incredible Hennessy."

For more information and to participate in toasting this seminal moment in hip-hop history through the Rep Yours campaign, click here.

Bob Marley's Iconic Legacy Lives on with Posthumous Album 'Africa Unite'

Album Art: Courtesy Universal Music Group
Reggae legend Bob Marley's musical legacy lives on through the forthcoming release of "Africa Unite," a posthumous album that pays homage to his iconic career and celebrates the fusion of reggae and Afrobeats.

The album, scheduled to be unveiled on August 4, presents a collection of Marley's greatest hits reimagined with the infectious rhythms of Afrobeats, featuring collaborations with contemporary African musicians.

Among the ten tracks on "Africa Unite" are notable artists such as Sarkodie, Tiwa Savage, Teni and Oxlade. Each artist contributes their distinct style and talent to the project, breathing new life into Marley's timeless compositions. The album seamlessly blends the essence of reggae and Afrobeats, delivering heartfelt renditions of beloved songs like "Waiting In Vain" alongside the vibrant energy of "Stir It Up."

Highlighting the significance of the album, Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob Marley, said in a statement, "'Africa Unite' is an album that showcases the importance of Bob Marley in modern-day Africa. The artists featured on this album have reimagined Bob Marley's classics in a way that we know he would have loved and been proud of."

Bob Marley's influence on both reggae and Afrobeats music culture is widely recognized. His pioneering contributions to reggae led to his posthumous induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Additionally, his impact on Afrobeats, a popular genre originating from Africa, is evident in the incorporation of reggae elements such as guitar riffs and offbeat rhythms, creating a captivating fusion that resonates with audiences and continues to shape the genre's evolution.

The album's release is spearheaded by the debut single, a fresh rendition of Bob Marley's timeless anthem "Three Little Birds," performed by emerging Nigerian artists Teni and Oxlade. This rendition preserves the essence of the original while infusing it with an afro-fusion twist, showcasing the contemporary sound that permeates the entire album.

Click here to stream a preview of "Africa Unite."

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Queen Latifah and Dionne Warwick Set to Receive Kennedy Center Honors

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced today the selection of five honorees for the 46th Kennedy Center Honors, and Grammy and Emmy Award-winning artists Queen Latifah and music legend Dionne Warwick are among the distinguished recipients to be celebrated at the annual national celebration of the arts in December.

Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement that the honorees each "explored new terrain, stretched artistic boundaries, and most importantly, committed to sharing their gifts with the world."

Queen Latifah, known as the "First Lady of Hip Hop," has played a pivotal role in shaping and innovating the art form since its early days. Her contributions as a rapper, singer, and actress have left an indelible mark on the music industry and beyond.

In response to her inclusion as an honoree, Queen Latifah expressed her gratitude, stating, "I'm humbled to be included in this incredible list of artists honored by the Kennedy Center. The work the Kennedy Center does is immeasurable, so I'm beyond grateful for this recognition."

Dionne Warwick, the soulful songstress, has captivated audiences worldwide with her signature voice and a trove of hits spanning over six decades. With more than 60 charted hit songs and over 100 million records sold, Warwick has firmly established herself as a music legend.

Reflecting on her honorary title, Warwick shared her joy, saying, "I'm exceptionally happy to be honored by the Kennedy Center. It's very exciting to be recognized for my contributions to the music industry for the past 60 years."

Joining Queen Latifah and Warwick as honorees are actor and comedian Billy Crystal, acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming, and British singer-songwriter, producer, and Bee Gees member Barry Gibb.

Crystal, renowned for his comedic talent, has provided audiences with memorable stand-up moments and hilarious Hollywood scenes for over five decades. Fleming, known as "America's soprano," has brought opera into the mainstream with her luminous voice and artistry. Gibb, along with his late brothers Robin and Maurice, set the music world ablaze in the '60s and continued to define the modern dance era with their distinctive falsetto sound and groovy style.

The 46th Kennedy Center Honors will take place in December. The star-studded celebration, held on the stage of the Kennedy Center Opera House, will feature leading performers from New York, Hollywood, and arts capitals worldwide paying homage to the honorees.

Gloria Estefan, a former Kennedy Center Honoree, will return as the host of this year's ceremony, marking her third time in this role. The awards will air on CBS and stream on Paramount+ on December 3.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Watch: XXL Magazine Unveils 2023 Freshman Class, Defining the Sound of Hip-Hop's Future

XXL has revealed its highly anticipated 2023 freshman class, showcasing 12 emerging stars in the hip-hop genre. The annual list, unveiled on Wednesday, features a diverse group of artists: Finesse2tymes, Lola Brooke, Rob49, Fridayy, GloRilla, 2Rare, SleazyWorld Go, Central Cee, Real Boston Richey, Luh Tyler, TiaCorine and DC The Don.

This year's announcement carries extra significance as it precedes the upcoming 50th anniversary of hip-hop in August. Reflecting on the genre's evolution over the past five decades, the hip-hop magazine compares the birth of hip-hop to the formation of a diamond, with artists selected for the 2023 freshman class embodying the current essence of the genre's sound.

These rising stars stand alongside past XXL freshmen such as J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Travis Scott, Lil Durk, Lil Uzi Vert and Megan Thee Stallion, aiming to make their mark on hip-hop's history. In the coming weeks, XXL will release a series of content, including freestyles, cyphers, and interviews, providing a platform for each freshman to showcase their talent.

Fans eager to dive into the Freshman issue can expect it to hit stands on July 18. In addition to introducing the 2023 class and featuring groundbreaking producer Pi'erre Bourne, who crafted the beats for this year's cyphers, the issue includes interviews with acclaimed artists such as Lil Baby, NLE Choppa, Boosie BadAzz, Toosii, DDG, Saba and others.

Readers will also find insights into the current activities of the 2022 XXL Freshman Class, as well as stories covering hip-hop's affinity for golfing, the emergence of rookie artists and a compilation of the best A.I. hip-hop songs released to date.

ASCAP Announces Dr. Dre as Hip-Hop Icon Award Recipient

Dr. Dre to receive inaugural Hip-Hop Icon Award from ASCAP.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Rhythm & Soul department will honor multi-platinum-selling producer and artist Dr. Dre with the inaugural ASCAP Hip-Hop Icon Award.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the music licensing group announced that the eight-time Grammy Award winner will receive the award, which recognizes ASCAP members who have made a lasting impact on the art and culture of hip-hop, during Thursday's ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards Celebration of 50 Years of Hip-Hop in Los Angeles.

Paul Williams, ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President, praised the selection, stating, "Dr. Dre's groundbreaking early work laid a foundation for hip-hop as we know it today. As a champion for some of today's biggest artists and a successful entrepreneur, he changed the culture around hip-hop."

Williams added, "Dre continues to be a pivotal figure in the music industry, and we are thrilled to recognize him with the inaugural ASCAP Hip-Hop Icon Award as we mark 50 years of hip-hop."

Dr. Dre, an award-winning artist, producer, founder, and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics, has enjoyed an illustrious career spanning decades. He started as a member of the World Class Wreckin' Cru before co-founding the groundbreaking group N.W.A.

In 1992, the Compton, California native launched his solo career with the release of his debut album, "The Chronic." The album achieved triple platinum certification from the RIAA, reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200, and earned Dr. Dre a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance with the hit track "Let Me Ride."

Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment has played a crucial role in discovering and nurturing hip-hop superstars such as 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak and Eminem. Additionally, his collaboration with Jimmy Iovine led to the establishment of Beats Electronics in 2008, followed by the launch of Beats Music. Both ventures were acquired by Apple in 2014.

Beyond music, Dr. Dre's accomplishments extend to other creative endeavors. His contributions to the HBO docuseries "The Defiant Ones" earned him a Grammy and an Emmy. Furthermore, the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show, featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent secured three Emmy Awards.

In 2013, Dr. Dre collaborated with Jimmy Iovine to establish the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. Last year, their efforts expanded to the Los Angeles Unified School District with the opening of the Iovine and Young Center (IYC) Integrated Design, Technology and Entrepreneurship (IDTE) Magnet, a high school offering cutting-edge curriculum to students.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Raphael Saadiq Reunites With Tony! Toni! Toné! After Quarter-Century Hiatus

Raphael Saadiq unveiled a momentous revelation on Tuesday. With an absence spanning close to a quarter-century, the revered R&B ensemble Tony! Toni! Toné! is poised for a renaissance.

Saadiq, a sonic maestro, and his cohorts—his brother D'Wayne Wiggins and Timothy Christian Riley—emerged as architects of musical ingenuity, fundamentally shaping the hip-hop and soul soundscape of the 1990s.

Their upcoming "Just Me & You Tour," an auditory odyssey orchestrated by Live Nation Urban, marks an extraordinary resurrection for Tony! Toni! Toné!, a testament to their musical legacy.

The highly-anticipated tour is scheduled to commence on Sept. 21 at the BJCC Concert Hall in Birmingham, AL. From there, Tony! Toni! Toné! will embark on a coast-to-coast journey, gracing major markets including New York, Chicago, Nashville, TN, and Los Angeles.

The tour will culminate with two performances in the Bay Area: at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA, on Nov. 14, and The Masonic in San Francisco on Nov. 17.

Tony! Toni! Toné! burst onto the musical landscape of the late 1980s, mesmerizing audiences with an alchemical fusion of R&B, funk and soul. Their audacious and groundbreaking new jack swing compositions served as a transformative force, ushering in the heralded era of neo-soul that would indelibly define the melodious tapestry of the 1990s.

Songs like "Feels Good," "Anniversary," and "It Never Rains (In Southern California)" became popular anthems, captivating a generation and etching the group's name onto the hallowed walls of musical history.

Yet, despite their meteoric ascent, the ensemble eventually disbanded, leaving a void in the hearts of their devout followers, who longed for a reunion.

Now Saadiq is answering that call and fulfilling their wishes.

"I've always wanted to put my family back together," Saadiq said in a statement. "Playing with the Tonys again is a thank you to the fans, the Super Tonians, for supporting all my musical efforts. Without those who were with us from Day One, where would I be? But the main reason is that my father, Charlie Wiggins, would've wanted it this way–to see me, D'Wayne, and Tim playing together again."

Saadiq has crafted an indomitable presence in the vast realm of music since the group's dissolution, ascending to stratospheric heights in his solo career. His collaborations with luminaries such as Beyoncé, D'Angelo and Solange highlight his ability to seamlessly blend timeless sophistication with audacious innovation and have earned him effusive acclaim — accompanied by a slew of coveted awards.

"The Just Me & You Tour" setlist will encompass Tony! Toni! Toné!'s greatest hits, taking audiences on a nostalgic journey through their iconic discography. Additionally, Saadiq will showcase his solo material, including tracks from his highly acclaimed albums and hits he wrote for other notable artists.

Fans eager to secure their spots can take advantage of the artist presale, beginning Wednesday. Live Nation and Spotify will also offer presales on Thursday, with general ticket sales beginning Friday. For more information go to

"The Just Me & You Tour" Dates:
Thu, September 21: Birmingham, AL - BJCC Concert Hall
Fri, September 22: Charlotte, NC - Ovens Auditorium
Sun, September 24: Washington, DC - The Theater at MGM National Harbor
Tue, September 26: Baltimore, MD - Lyric Opera House
Thu, September 28: Philadelphia, PA - The Met
Sat, September 30: New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
Sun, October 1: Durham, NC - Durham Performing Arts Center
Thu, October 5: Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre
Sun, October 8: Cleveland, OH - State Theatre
Tue, October 10: Louisville, KY - Louisville Palace
Wed, October 11: Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
Thu, October 12: Chicago, IL - Chicago Theatre
Fri, October 13: Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre
Thu, October 19: Greensboro, NC - Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
Fri, October 20: Columbia, SC - The Township Auditorium
Sat, October 21: Jacksonville, FL - Moran Theater
Sun, October 22: Atlanta, GA - Fox Theatre
Thu, October 26: Memphis, TN - Orpheum Theatre
Fri, October 27: New Orleans, LA - Orpheum Theatre
Sat, October 28: Dallas, TX - Music Hall at Fair Park
Sun, October 29: Sugar Land, TX - Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
Fri, November 10: Las Vegas, NV - Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort
Sat, November 11: Los Angeles, CA - YouTube Theater
Mon, November 14: Oakland, CA - Paramount Theatre
Fri, November 17: San Francisco, CA - The Masonic

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Anita Baker Severs Ties with Babyface After Social Media Backlash

Just one day after venting her frustrations on social media, R&B legend Anita Baker has removed Babyface from her tour.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, Baker announced, "After silently enduring cyberbullying, verbal abuse, and threats of violence from the fan base of our special guest/support act, in the interest of personal safety, I will continue The Songstress Tour alone. Appropriate refunds will be made."

The clash between these revered artists began when the 65-year-old songstress accused Babyface, 64, of violating their tour contract by exceeding his allotted performance time and encroaching on her coveted headlining set. Baker sought to clarify the dynamics, emphasizing that Babyface was intended to be a special guest/support act, dispelling the misconception of a co-headlining arrangement that had fueled unrealistic expectations and aggression from his fans towards her.

While their tour, "The Songstress Tour," aimed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Baker's debut album, tensions escalated as fans of Babyface, dubbed "Kenny's Crazies" by Baker, allegedly took things too far by resorting to threats against the renowned songstress.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Watch: Babyface Mesmerizes in Captivating Performance on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert Series

Babyface, the renowned singer, producer, and songwriter, mesmerized audiences with a captivating performance on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series Friday.

In honor of June's Black Music Month, the legendary artist showcased his massive catalog of hits in a stripped-down setting, delivering a performance that left fans heaping praise on the star on social media.

"Charlie Wilson & Babyface in one week! Tiny Desk is showing out for Black Music Month," one fan Tweeted.

Another added, "This Babyface Tiny Desk is UNREAL."

With the iconic NPR Washington, D.C. studio as his stage, Babyface, also known as Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, took center-mic for a memorable performance that lasted nearly 30 minutes.

The intimate concert featured a collection of the 64-year-old's greatest hits, both self-penned and crafted for other music superstars. From his 1989 love ballad "Whip Appeal" to Whitney Houston's powerful anthem "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" and Tevin Campbell's heartfelt track "Can We Talk," Babyface brought each song to life with his signature smoothness and undeniable talent.

Opening the set with "Two Occasions," a classic he originally performed with his former group The Deele, Babyface set the tone for a concert filled with nostalgia and soulful melodies.

During the performance, he took a moment to pay homage to Whitney Houston, whom he considered "one of the greatest artists ever." Reflecting on their collaboration for the 1995 film "Waiting to Exhale," sharing the story behind "Exhale" and Houston's initial uncertainty about singing on the track.

He revealed, "For the longest time, I hadn't started to write this song because I didn't know whether she was going to sing. And then finally she said she was going to sing, and that kind of explains why on the chorus there's no real lyrics, because I hadn't gotten to that part yet."

The concert featured special guest performances by R&B singers Tank, Chanté Moore and Avery Wilson, adding an extra layer of magic to the proceedings. Babyface's band, comprising music director Erskine Hawkins III on keyboards, Antoine Porter on guitar, Walt Barnes Jr. on bass and Reggie Regg on drums, provided the perfect musical backdrop for the star as he reeled off classic-after-classic.

With each song, Babyface showcased his versatility as an artist, effortlessly transitioning between heartfelt ballads and soul-stirring R&B anthems.

Click on the video above to watch the entire performance.