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

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

BIG3 Co-founder Blasts WNBA as 'Male-Dominated System' After Clark's Record Nike Deal

John Mac, via Wikimedia Commons

Fresh off her historic selection as the number one draft pick by the Indiana Fever, 22-year-old Caitlin Clark has solidified her status as a marketing powerhouse.

Clark is poised to ink a record-breaking $28 million endorsement deal with Nike, which includes the development of her own signature shoe line. This development comes on the heels of her decision to turn down a groundbreaking offer from the BIG3 league, sparking discussions about the future of gender equity in professional sports.

The BIG3, a professional 3-on-3 basketball league co-founded by music icon Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz, reportedly presented Clark with a $15 million package. This offer significantly surpasses the standard rookie salary in the WNBA, which stands at $76,535, highlighting the substantial financial gap between the two leagues.

In a guest column for Outkick, Kwatinetz argued that the WNBA "underpays" its stars, attributing this to a "male-dominated system" that controls basketball and limits opportunities for women. He criticized the NBA for exerting influence over the WNBA, alleging that it hinders women from receiving their fair share.

Kwatinetz further claimed in his Outkick column that Clark "found out about the BIG3 offer at the same time as everyone else," insinuating that her agents, with ties to the NBA, may have shielded her from the proposal.

The BIG3 has positioned itself as a proponent of equality, emphasizing its promotion of diversity by featuring female athletes competing at a high level alongside men. They highlight their female coaches and Black commissioner as evidence of their commitment to inclusivity.

While the financial opportunity presented by the BIG3 was undoubtedly tempting, questions linger about whether Clark, renowned for her finesse on the court, would have thrived in the league's physically demanding, defense-oriented environment. Was the offer truly withheld by her agents, or did Clark harbor reservations for other reasons?

This situation has become a focal point for discussions regarding the unequal treatment of women in basketball. Ongoing investigations by the Department of Justice into the NBA's business practices may shed light on the complexities underlying these disparities.

One thing remains certain: Caitlin Clark's journey is just beginning. Her decisions will be closely monitored, with some viewing her as a potential symbol of resistance to change or a catalyst for progress in terms of compensation and treatment of female athletes.

However, Clark's groundbreaking Nike deal offers a ray of hope. This lucrative endorsement signifies her immense marketing potential and could pave the way for a more prosperous financial future for female athletes in the WNBA. The inclusion of a signature shoe line in the deal is particularly noteworthy, elevating Clark to an unprecedented level of visibility within the sport.

This windfall stands in stark contrast to Clark's WNBA contract. The Indiana Fever will pay her a standard rookie salary, totaling $338,056 over four years. This amounts to a yearly salary of $76,535 in her first year, increasing slightly to $97,582 in her fourth year, should the team exercise their option.

The glaring disparity between Clark's Nike deal and her WNBA contract serves as a poignant reminder of the financial challenges faced by women's basketball players. While Clark's marketability transcends the court, questions persist about the equitable compensation of elite female athletes.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Mary J. Blige and A Tribe Called Quest Lead 2024 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

Mary J. Blige, the "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul," and the pioneering alternative rap group A Tribe Called
Quest lead a strong contingent of Black artists selected for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's 2024 class. The announcement was made during Sunday night's "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Night" episode on "American Idol."

Blige, who began her career with Uptown Records in 1989, broke new ground in the hip-hop soul genre with R&B hits like "Real Love" and "You Remind Me." Her collaborations with iconic rap artists set a standard for blending R&B and hip-hop, notably her Grammy-winning duet with Method Man, "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By," considered one of rap's greatest love songs.

A Tribe Called Quest, formed in Queens, New York, in 1985, quickly rose to prominence with their unique blend of jazz-infused beats and socially conscious lyrics. Their albums "People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm," "The Low End Theory," and "Midnight Marauders" are hailed as classics, influencing generations of artists.

Joining them are legendary singer Dionne Warwick, whose smooth vocals and timeless hits like "Walk on By" and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" created a signature blend of pop, gospel, and R&B. Funk legends Kool & the Gang, songwriter Norman Whitfield (mastermind behind Motown hits like "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and "Just My Imagination"), and blues powerhouse Big Mama Thornton, credited with bridging the gap between blues and rock & roll, round out the class.

These artists, selected from a pool of nominees, helped shape the course of rock & roll with their originality, impact, and influence. The induction ceremony will be held live on Saturday, October 19th, at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio. Fans can tune in on Disney+ or catch a special airing on ABC at a later date, with streaming available on Hulu the following day.

Full List of 2024 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
Performer Category:
Dave Matthews Band
Kool & the Gang
Mary J. Blige
Ozzy Osbourne
Peter Frampton
A Tribe Called Quest

Musical Influence Award:
Alexis Korner
John Mayall
Big Mama Thornton

Musical Excellence Award:
Jimmy Buffett
Dionne Warwick
Norman Whitfield

Ahmet Ertegun Award:
Suzanne de Passe

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

B.I.G.'s Legacy Lives On: 'Ready to Die' Officially a National Treasure

The Library of Congress has announced the latest additions to the National Recording Registry, with notable selections including ABBA's "Dancing Queen," Blondie's "Parallel Lines" and The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Ready to Die."

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden unveiled the 25 new titles on Tuesday, citing their cultural, historical, or aesthetic significance in the nation's recorded sound heritage. The registry now boasts 650 titles, representing a diverse array of music genres and eras.

In addition to The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Ready to Die," other inductees include Gene Autry's rendition of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," HĂ©ctor Lavoe's "El Cantante" and Green Day's "Dookie." The selection process involved input from the National Recording Preservation Board, which considered landmark recordings spanning from 1919 to 1998.

Hayden emphasized the importance of preserving America's musical legacy, stating, "The Library of Congress is proud to preserve the sounds of American history and our diverse culture through the National Recording Registry."

The recognition of "Ready to Die" marks a milestone for hip-hop, as the album, released in 1994, serves as both The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut studio album and his only full-length studio release during his lifetime. B.I.G. was killed in 1997, and his music continues to influence new artists.

Produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs and featuring hit singles like "Juicy" and "Big Poppa," "Ready to Die" is celebrated for its innovative sampling, raw lyricism, and vivid portrayal of street life. The album achieved critical acclaim and commercial success, earning a 6x Platinum certification from the RIAA.

Quotes from music critics reflect the album's enduring impact: "One of the greatest rap albums ever made" (AllMusic), "A near-flawless debut...he effortlessly spins tales both gritty and witty" (Entertainment Weekly), and "It changed the sound of East Coast rap and revitalized the entire New York hip-hop scene" (Source Magazine).

The induction of "Ready to Die" into the National Recording Registry underscores its cultural significance and contribution to the evolution of hip-hop music. As part of the registry, the album will be preserved for future generations to appreciate and study.

Find a complete listing of this year's selections below.

Recordings Selected for the 2024 National Recording Registry
  • “Clarinet Marmalade” – Lt. James Reese Europe’s 369th U.S. Infantry Band (1919)
  • “Kauhavan Polkka” – Viola Turpeinen and John Rosendahl (1928)
  • Wisconsin Folksong Collection (1937-1946)
  • “Rose Room” – Benny Goodman Sextet with Charlie Christian (1939)
  • “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – Gene Autry (1949)
  • “Tennessee Waltz” – Patti Page (1950)
  • “Rocket ‘88’” – Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats (1951) 
  • “Catch a Falling Star” / ”Magic Moments” – Perry Como (1957)
  • “Chances Are” – Johnny Mathis (1957) 
  • “The Sidewinder” – Lee Morgan (1964)
  • “Surrealistic Pillow” – Jefferson Airplane (1967)
  • “Ain’t No Sunshine” – Bill Withers (1971)
  • “This is a Recording” – Lily Tomlin (1971)
  • “J.D. Crowe & the New South” – J.D. Crowe & the New South (1975)
  • “Arrival” – ABBA (1976)
  • “El Cantante” – HĂ©ctor Lavoe (1978)
  • “The Cars” – The Cars (1978) 
  • “Parallel Lines” – Blondie (1978)
  • “La-Di-Da-Di” – Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick (MC Ricky D) (1985)
  • “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” – Bobby McFerrin (1988)
  • “Amor Eterno” – Juan Gabriel (1990)
  • “Pieces of Africa” – Kronos Quartet (1992)
  • “Dookie” – Green Day (1994)
  • “Ready to Die” – The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)
  • “Wide Open Spaces” – The Chicks (1998)

'Like That' Success Drives Future, Metro Tour Hype

Future and Metro Boomin are hitting the road this summer with their "We Trust You" tour, and the hip-hop world is buzzing.

The tour announcement from Live Nation comes amidst a simmering feud with Drake, raising the temperature for these highly anticipated shows.

The dynamic duo is crushing the charts right now. Their album "We Don't Trust You" shot straight to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and their Kendrick Lamar-assisted single "Like That" is unstoppable.

The beef rumors exploded when Kendrick dropped a fiery verse on "Like That," with lyrics widely seen as shots fired at Drake. Cryptic social media posts and a leaked Drake track, "Push Ups (Drop and Give Me 50)," only poured gasoline on the fire.

The 27-date North American tour kicks off on July 30th in Kansas City, MO, with stops in major cities like Atlanta, Toronto, and Los Angeles before wrapping up in Vancouver, BC on September 9th.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 19th at 10 a.m. local time on the Live Nation website. VIP packages are also available for fans who want the ultimate experience.

Find all of the "We Still Don't Trust You" Tour dates below:
  • July 30 – Kansas City, Mo. @ T-Mobile Center
  • July 31 – Saint Paul, Minn. @ Xcel Energy Center
  • Aug. 2 – Milwaukee, Wis. @ Fiserv Forum
  • Aug. 3 – Chicago, Ill. @ Lollapalooza
  • Aug. 4 – Detroit, Mich. @ Little Caesars Arena
  • Aug. 6 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Bridgestone Arena
  • Aug. 8 – Atlanta, Ga. @ State Farm Arena
  • Aug. 10 – Columbus, Ohio @ Schottenstein Center
  • Aug. 11 – Toronto, Ontario @ Scotiabank Arena
  • Aug. 13 – Boston, Mass. @ TD Garden
  • Aug. 14 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Wells Fargo Center
  • Aug. 15 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Barclays Center
  • Aug. 17 – Washington, D.C. @ Capital One Arena
  • Aug. 20 – New Orleans, La. @ Smoothie King Center
  • Aug. 22 – Houston, Texas @ Toyota Center
  • Aug. 23 – San Antonio, Texas @ Frost Bank Center
  • Aug. 24 – Dallas, Texas @ American Airlines Center
  • Aug. 25 – Tulsa, Okla. @ BOK Center
  • Aug. 27 – Denver, Colo. @ Ball Arena
  • Aug. 28 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ Delta Center
  • Aug. 30 – Las Vegas, Nev. @ T-Mobile Arena
  • Aug. 31 – Inglewood, Calif. @ Intuit Dome
  • Sept. 3 – Sacramento, Calif. @ Golden 1 Center
  • Sept. 4 – Oakland, Calif. @ Oakland Arena
  • Sept. 6 – Seattle, Wash. @ Climate Pledge Arena
  • Sept. 7 – Portland, Ore. @ Moda Center
  • Sept. 9 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Rogers Arena

Monday, April 8, 2024

'Lamest S*** I Ever Did': J. Cole Regrets Kendrick Diss

In a surprising turn of events, J. Cole expressed regret over his recent diss track aimed at Kendrick Lamar during his performance at the Dreamville Festival in North Carolina.

During his set on Sunday, Cole reflected on his latest project, "Might Delete Later," and openly admitted to feeling remorse regarding his diss towards Kendrick Lamar.

Acknowledging his own misstep, Cole described it as "the most regrettable, misguided s—t," expressing a desire for reconciliation. This revelation follows a recent feud ignited by songs on both Lamar's and Cole's latest projects.

Cole placed the song last on his surprise new project "Might Delete Later," which dropped on April 5. On the track, he responded to Lamar's verse on Future and Metro Boomin's "Like That," where Lamar took shots at Drake and J. Cole for categorizing him as part of "the big three."

"I'm so proud of ['Might Delete Later'], except for one part," said Cole. "It's one part of that sh—t that makes me feel like, man, that's the lamest sh—t I did in my life, right? And I know this is not what a lot of people want to hear."

Continuing his reflection, Cole expressed feeling conflicted about publicly responding to Lamar's diss and the pressure to engage in the discourse it sparked. He admitted that releasing the diss track "spiritually felt bad" and disrupted his peace.

In a plea for forgiveness and reconciliation, Cole publicly addressed Lamar, acknowledging his greatness and expressing regret for his actions. He concluded by hoping to return to his true path and acknowledging the discomfort he felt over the past two days as a result of the feud.

Additionally, Cole announced his decision to remove "7 Minute Drill" from streaming services as a gesture of remorse for its content.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Beyoncé's 'Cowboy Carter' Scores Biggest Sales Week of 2024

Courtesy Photo: Blair Caldwell/Parkwood Entertainment
Beyoncé has once again ascended to the pinnacle of the music industry, with her latest album "Cowboy Carter" galloping straight to the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart, securing her eighth No. 1 album on the all-genre chart.

According to data from Luminate, "Cowboy Carter" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart dated April 13, with an impressive 407,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. for the week ending April 4. This remarkable achievement marks Beyoncé's biggest week in terms of album units since her groundbreaking "Lemonade" album debuted with 653,000 units back in May 2016.

Notably, "Cowboy Carter" also achieved the biggest week for any album in 2024 and the largest since Taylor Swift's "1989 (Taylor's Version)" debuted with 1.653 million units in November 2023. The album's launch also marks Beyoncé's largest streaming week ever, underlining her enduring influence and popularity across various platforms.

In a historic moment, "Cowboy Carter" simultaneously topped multiple Billboard charts, including Top Country Albums, Americana/Folk Albums, and Top Album Sales charts. Beyoncé becomes the first Black woman ever to lead the Top Country Albums list, further solidifying her status as a boundary-breaking artist transcending genre boundaries.

The success of "Cowboy Carter" was propelled by the release of singles "Texas Hold ‘Em" and "16 Carriages," which debuted and peaked at Nos. 1 and 9, respectively, on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. These achievements mark BeyoncĂ©'s first entries on the country chart and further underscore her versatility as an artist capable of dominating multiple genres.

"Cowboy Carter" boasts an impressive lineup of featured artists, including Miley Cyrus, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Post Malone, and Stevie Wonder, among others. The album's eclectic mix of collaborators adds depth and diversity to Beyoncé's musical repertoire, showcasing her ability to collaborate with a wide range of talents.

In addition to its chart-topping success, "Cowboy Carter" also achieved remarkable sales figures across various formats. The vinyl edition of the album sold 62,000 copies, marking Beyoncé's biggest week on vinyl and the largest week for any vinyl album in 2024.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

From Lizard to Legend: 'The Dragon' Sisqo Unmasked on 'Masked Singer'

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Fans of “The Masked Singer” who thought the Lizard might prevail in the popular Fox reality singing competition were proved wrong-wrug-wrong-wrong-wrong Wednesday when the show unleashed “The Dragon.” This reveal showed that Grammy-nominated singer Mark Althavan Andrews, better known as SisqĂł, was the man behind the Lizard’s mask.

As the Group C final unfolded, SisqĂł's Lizard persona bid farewell to the competition after a spirited performance of "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence. He placed third.

Following his unmasking, SisqĂł, 45, spoke with host Nick Cannon about his love for the show. "My family watches religiously, and they always insisted I was on it!" he said. "So when the opportunity came, I jumped at it – it's been a blast."

During the competition's "smackdowns," Sisqó channeled his resilience into the Dragon's performances. A poignant clue package alluded to his past struggles, highlighting how he overcame the temptations of a reckless lifestyle. Visual clues connected to fellow "Masked Singer" participant Busta Rhymes (as the Dragon), a microphone, and a photo of Beyoncé hinted at moments in his career.

Since his iconic 2000 hit "Thong Song," Sisqo's career has experienced highs and lows. Despite early success, he faced record label conflicts and a reputation for being "difficult."

In a 2016 "Where Are They Now?" interview, SisqĂł reflected on these industry challenges and his desire for more creative control. He continues to make music and tours with the R&B group Dru Hill.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Beyoncé Honored as Innovator at iHeartRadio Awards

Beyoncé took center stage at Monday's iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles, where she was honored with the Innovator Award. Presented by legendary artist Stevie Wonder, the accolade recognizes Beyoncé's career achievements and her role as an influential artist in the music industry.

During her acceptance speech, Beyoncé expressed gratitude to Wonder, who played harmonica on her cover of the Dolly Parton classic "Jolene," featured on her most recent album, "Cowboy Carter." "Thank you for making a way for all of us," she said, acknowledging Wonder's inspiration. She dedicated the award to fellow innovators who have defied labels and created shifts in the industry.

In her powerful remarks, Beyoncé reflected on the challenges of innovation and emphasized the importance of staying true to one's vision despite criticism. She thanked her team at Parkwood, as well as her husband, Jay-Z, and their children for their unwavering support.

'Cowboy Carter,' released on March 29, received widespread acclaim and broke records on streaming platforms. Spotify and Amazon Music reported it as the most-streamed album upon its release, solidifying Beyoncé's status as a global icon.

Featuring collaborations with artists like Miley Cyrus, Post Malone, and Stevie Wonder, the album pays homage to country music legends while showcasing Beyoncé's versatility and artistic evolution.

The iHeartRadio Music Awards also honored other notable artists, with SZA taking home multiple awards, including Song of the Year for 'Kill Bill.' Taylor Swift was named Artist of the Year, and Jelly Roll and Ice Spice were recognized as new artists in the pop and hip-hop categories. Legends like Metallica and Foo Fighters were also honored for their contributions to rock music.

In addition to mainstream categories, the awards celebrated diversity in music, recognizing artists across genres like Latin pop, regional Mexican, K-pop, and African music.

2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards Winners:

Major Awards
Song of the Year: "Kill Bill" – SZA
Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift
Duo/Group of the Year: OneRepublic
Best Collaboration: "Calm Down" – Rema and Selena Gomez
Producer of the Year: Jack Antonoff
Songwriter of the Year: Ashley Gorley

Pop Song of the Year: "Flowers" - Miley Cyrus
Pop Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift
Best New Artist (Pop): Jelly Roll
Pop Album of the Year: Olivia Rodrigo, "Guts"

Country Song of the Year: "Heart Like a Truck" - Lainey Wilson
Country Artist of the Year: Morgan Wallen
Best New Artist (Country): Jelly Roll
Country Album of the Year: Morgan Wallen, "One Thing at a Time"

Hip-Hop Song of the Year: "All My Life" - Lil Durk ft. J. Cole
Hip-Hop Artist of the Year: Drake
Best New Artist (Hip-Hop): Ice Spice
Hip-Hop Album of the Year: Metro Boomin, "Heroes & Villains"

R&B Song of the Year: "Snooze" - SZA
R&B Artist of the Year: SZA
Best New Artist (R&B): Victoria Monét
R&B Album of the Year: SZA, "SOS"

Alternative Song of the Year: "One More Time" - Blink-182
Alternative Artist of the Year: Fall Out Boy
Best New Artist (Alt and Rock): Noah Kahan
Alternative Album of the Year: boygenius, "the record"

Rock Song of the Year: "Lost" - Linkin Park
Rock Artist of the Year: Foo Fighters
Rock Album of the Year: Metallica, "72 Seasons"

Dance Song of the Year: "Strangers" - Kenya Grace
Dance Artist of the Year: Tiësto

Latin Pop / Urban 
Latin Pop / Urban Song of the Year: "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53" - Shakira and Bizarrap
Latin Pop / Urban Artist of the Year: Karol G
Best New Artist (Latin Pop / Urban): Young Miko
Latin Pop / Urban Album of the Year: Karol G, "MAÑANA SERÁ BONITO"

Regional Mexican 
Regional Mexican Song of the Year: "Ella Baila Sola" - Eslabon Armado and Peso Pluma
Regional Mexican Artist of the Year: Peso Pluma
Best New Artist (Regional Mexican): Peso Pluma
Regional Mexican Album of the Year: Peso Pluma, "GĂ©nesis"

K-pop Artist of the Year: Jung Kook
K-pop Song of the Year: "Cupid (Twin Version)" - FIFTY FIFTY
K-pop Album of the Year: Stray Kids, "5-Star"
Best New Artist (K-pop): NewJeans

African Music Artist
Best African Music Artist: Burna Boy

Friday, March 29, 2024

Beyoncé Covers 'Jolene', Features Daughter Rumi on New Album

Beyoncé fans, rejoice! The music icon's much-anticipated country era has officially commenced with the release of her latest album, "Cowboy Carter."

The 27-track record dropped at midnight on Friday boasting an impressive lineup of collaborators, ranging from country legends like Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson to rising stars such as Tanner Adell and country-trap artist Shaboozey.

One of the album's standout tracks is a cover of Dolly Parton's classic hit, "Jolene," featuring Beyoncé's fiery spin on the timeless song. Parton herself makes a cameo appearance on the record, introducing the trap-meets-country track "Tyrant" and delivering her own "Dolly P" interlude, complete with a nod to Beyoncé's iconic "Becky with the good hair" line.

But the surprises don't end there. Beyoncé's daughter, Rumi Carter, makes her musical debut on the album, lending her voice to the poignant track "Protector." The six-year-old's heartfelt snippet sets the stage for an emotional tribute to motherhood.

In addition to the covers and family collaborations, "Cowboy Carter" features an array of musical interpolations, including nods to iconic songs like the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" and Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'."

Beyoncé's signature blend of genres shines through on tracks like "Blackbird," a reimagining of the Beatles' "Blackbird," featuring a duet with Adell.

The album's release comes hot on the heels of Beyoncé's surprise drop of two singles, "Texas Hold 'Em" and "16 Carriages," during the Super Bowl. In an Instagram post, she revealed that "Cowboy Carter" was inspired by an incident where she felt "unwelcomed," likely referring to her controversial performance at the 2016 Country Music Association Awards.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Watch: Big Sean Brings Hits, Heart to Tiny Desk Performance

Detroit rapper Big Sean took the virtual stage for his debut performance at NPR's Tiny Desk concert series. In a 26-minute set uploaded to NPR Music's YouTube channel on Wednesday, he captivated viewers with a 14-song performance accompanied by a small string quartet.

Sporting a Beastie Boys shirt and a Detroit Tigers cap in tribute to the late J Dilla, Big Sean's Tiny Desk debut held special meaning. He left his cap on the set as a keepsake, a tradition among Tiny Desk performers. "This is something my kids can look back on, something my family can look back on to see where I was at in my career," he shared.

The rapper kicked off with "Memories," the opening track from his sophomore album "Hall of Fame." He then showcased hits like "One Man Can Change the World," his Grammy-winning collaboration with Kanye West and John Legend. Pausing between tracks, Big Sean acknowledged fellow Detroiters in the audience and even debuted a new song dedicated to his partner, Jhené Aiko, and their son Noah.

Reflecting on his rise to success, Big Sean expressed gratitude for his fans, highlighting his journey as a "blog-era mixtape rapper" who built a fanbase organically. "To make it out of there, it wasn't easy... It really made me who I am," he remarked, highlighting the resilience and determination that propelled his career.

"Nothing Is Stopping You"
"Play No Games"
"My Last"
"Marvin & Chardonnay"
"All Me"
"I Know"
"Bounce Back"
"One Man Can Change the World"
"On Up" (unreleased?)
"I Don't F*** With You"

Beyoncé Teases Parton, Nelson Collabs on New Album

Beyoncé has caused a stir in the music world by unveiling what appears to be the tracklist for her upcoming country album, "Cowboy Carter."

The Grammy-winning superstar shared a Western-themed poster on social media, showcasing song titles alongside previously released singles "16 Carriages" and "Texas Hold 'Em." Intriguing new titles include "Ameriican Requiem," "Blackbiird" and "Protector."

Fans are especially excited about potential collaborations. "Dolly P" and a cover of the classic "Jolene" hint at a Dolly Parton feature, a possibility Parton herself teased in a recent interview. A track titled "Smoke Hour Willie Nelson" suggests a possible duet with the country legend. Beyoncé also pays homage to trailblazing Black country artist Linda Martell with "The Linda Martell Show."

With 27 titles, "Cowboy Carter" promises to be a major release from Beyoncé, following her 2022 album "Renaissance."

The album is scheduled for release on March 29.

Potential Tracks:
  • 16 Carriages
  • Texas Hold 'Em
  • Ameriican Requiem
  • Blackbiird
  • Protector
  • My Rose
  • Smoke Hour Willie Nelson
  • Bodyguard
  • Dolly P
  • Jolene
  • Daughter
  • Spaghettii
  • Alliigator Tears
  • Smoke Hour II
  • Just for Fun
  • II Most Wanted
  • Levii's Jeans
  • Flamenco
  • The Linda Martell Show
  • Ya Ya
  • Oh Louisiana
  • Desert Eagle
  • Riiverdance
  • II Hands II Heaven
  • Tyrant
  • Sweet Honey Buckin'
  • Amen

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

R&B Legends Headline Massive 'Queens of R&B' Concert Tour

The Queens of R&B Tour. Photo Credit: Derek Blanks with crowdMGMT
In a historic moment for R&B, powerhouse groups Xscape and SWV are teaming up for "The Queens of R&B Tour." They will be joined by fellow '90s hitmakers MĂœa, Total and 702.

The tour was announced on Sherri Shepherd's talk show on Tuesday following a viral video depicting a playful therapy session between the groups. Produced by Monami Entertainment and Live Nation, the tour kicks off June 27 at the Toyota Pavilion in Concord. It will journey through 30 cities nationwide, including stops at Madison Square Garden in New York City and the Kia Forum in Los Angeles.
Fans may remember that Xscape (Kandi Burruss, Tameka "Tiny" Harris, Tamika Scott) and SWV (Cheryl "Coko" Gamble, Tamara "Taj" George, Leanne "Lelee" Lyons) attempted to organize this tour on their 2023 Bravo series, "SWV & Xscape: The Queens of R&B." Despite initial challenges, the groups have united to deliver what promises to be an unforgettable R&B concert event.

"To bring this HERstorical tour to life during Women's History Month is a dream come true," said Mona Scott-Young, CEO of Monami Entertainment. "This celebration of R&B royalty is going to be something special."

Tickets for "The Queens of R&B Tour" go on sale March 26.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Federal Agents Raid Homes of Music Mogul Sean Combs

Sean "Diddy" Combs
Federal agents conducted raids on the homes of mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs in Los Angeles and Miami on Monday.

The raids, conducted by federal investigators with the Department of Homeland Security, may be linked to a possible sex trafficking investigation. Sources revealed to the entertainment news outlet TMZ that multiple individuals have been interviewed by the Southern District of NY regarding sex trafficking, sexual assault, and the solicitation and distribution of illegal narcotics and firearms related to Combs.

Combs' multi-million dollar properties in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles and Miami, FL, were targeted. The allegations stem from several lawsuits, including one filed by Cassie Ventura, Combs' former girlfriend and R&B singer. Ventura alleges she suffered years of abuse during their relationship from 2005 to 2018.

Combs, 54, faces multiple lawsuits alleging historical sexual abuse, all of which he has vehemently denied. One lawsuit, filed by a Jane Doe, alleges Combs invited her to his recording studio in NYC when she was 17-years-old, where she claims he drugged her and subjected her to violent gang rape in 2003.

Another suit alleges that Combs and another individual took turns raping two women in the early '90s. Additionally, Joi Dickerson filed a lawsuit claiming Combs "intentionally drugged" her before assaulting her when she was 19-years-old in 1991.

Combs, through his representative, vehemently denied the allegations, stating, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH," and claiming that he was being targeted with fabricated allegations for his fame and wealth.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) confirmed the raids in a statement, noting that the actions were part of an ongoing investigation with assistance from HSI Los Angeles and HSI Miami, as well as local law enforcement partners.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Hip-Hop Icon Lil Jon Explores Mindfulness With Meditation Album

Courtesy Photo
Andre 3000 traded rapping for the flute, and now Lil Jon, the king of crunk, is swapping "Shots! Shots! Shots!" for soothing meditation mantras.

Hip-hop's most iconic figures are on an unexpected journey of self-discovery, proving there's more to these artists than meets the ear...or the party anthem. Could this be the start of a new era of mindful hip-hop where we go from "Get Low" to finding our inner peace?

In a recent interview with NPR's Ayesha Rascoe on Weekend Edition Sunday March 3, the Grammy-winning rapper and producer unveiled his newfound dedication to meditation, sharing insights into his motivations and aspirations.

"Yeah, it was anxiety and a little stress from a lot hitting me at the same time," Lil Jon shared with Rascoe, reflecting on the catalyst for his exploration of mindfulness. "Turning 50, looking at my life, looking at my marriage and a lot of things, and trying to move on and get through those things."

This transition from his signature party anthems to guided meditation marks a profound shift for the artist, signaling a broader movement toward wellness. Lil Jon's latest album, "Total Meditation," dropped on Feb. 16 and deviates from his customary beats, featuring his own soothing mantras and guided meditations designed to help listeners find calm and focus.

"I found, at this particular point in my life, I really need to go into it a little deeper," Lil Jon explained. "I would meditate every day, say my affirmations, and all of that would quiet me — calm those crazy thoughts and emotions I would have and give me some peace."

Despite his reputation as a high-energy entertainer, Lil Jon stressed the importance of balance and self-care, advocating for rest, sleep, and hydration.

"You gotta turn down sometimes," he emphasized. "You gotta take care of your health."In a subsequent interview with CBS Mornings, Lil Jon discussed the unique aspects of his meditation album and the journey that led him to explore mindfulness.

"I turned 50," Lil Jon disclosed during the CBS interview, reflecting on his motivation. "I started to have... a recurring little thing on my side and it scared me... But I had stopped drinking, and I felt like I started to come out of a fog, and I had clarity."

Lil Jon's venture into meditation underscores a broader cultural shift toward mindfulness and self-care within the hip-hop community, showcasing his commitment to personal growth and wellness.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Watch: Hip-Hop Legend Dr. Dre Immortalized on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Courtesy Photo
Dr. Dre, the iconic rapper, producer, and entrepreneur, was awarded the 2,775th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. The ceremony took place in front of the Jimmy Kimmel Studios on Hollywood Boulevard.

Hosted by radio personality Big Boy, the event included speeches from fellow artists Eminem, Xzibit, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and music mogul Jimmy Iovine.

"I’d like to thank the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for finally deciding I deserve to be in the company of Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and 50 Cent. Who all got stars before me for some f—ing reason," remarked Dr. Dre, born Andre Romelle Young, to the crowd. "It’s all good, I’m finally here!"

Reflecting on his journey from Compton, Dr. Dre shared, "I never imagined a kid from Compton would stand here among my idols."

As a nine-time Grammy winner, co-founder of Death Row Records, and the visionary behind Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics, Dr. Dre solidified his place in hip-hop history. His iconic 1992 solo album "The Chronic" achieved triple-platinum status.

"I want to thank all my fans for supporting me from day one. We've grown up together, and at 60, I appreciate you still rocking with me," Dr. Dre said. "And trust me, I'm far from done. There's much more to come."

Longtime collaborator Snoop Dogg praised Dr. Dre's influence: "There would be no Snoop without Dre. Together, we revolutionized the game, and our music has left an indelible mark on the world."

Dr. Dre's star is located on 6840 Hollywood Boulevard, adjacent to the star of his close friend, Snoop Dogg.


Monday, March 18, 2024

Dr. Dre Breaks Silence: Shares Strokes Ordeal, Applauds Eminem's Influence

(L-R) Dr. Dre and James Corden appear on SiriusXM's "This Life of Mine with James Corden." (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
In a revealing interview, Dr. Dre opened up about a harrowing health battle, disclosing that he suffered three strokes while hospitalized after a brain aneurysm in 2021. He shared the details recently on SiriusXM's "This Life of Mine with James Corden."

The rapper and producer recalled experiencing intense pain behind his right ear, a potential sign of an aneurysm. Despite initially dismissing the discomfort, his son and a friend urged him to seek immediate medical attention.

"Next thing you know, I'm in and out of consciousness, and I ended up in the ICU for two weeks," Dre said.

The severity of his condition was underscored by the three strokes he endured during his hospitalization. Doctors emphasized his good fortune, saying, "You don't know how lucky you are."

Dre expressed surprise at his diagnosis, noting that he maintains a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a focus on diet. He was later diagnosed with high blood pressure, sometimes called the "silent killer."

During the same interview, Dre also sparked social media debate by declaring Eminem the "best emcee ever." The legendary producer praised Eminem's skills on SiriusXM's "This Life of Mine With James Corden."

"I think he's the best emcee ever," Dre shared. "Point blank, period. Of course, there are going to be arguments about that because he's a white guy. I don't think anyone that's rapping can touch Eminem on that microphone."

Thursday, March 14, 2024

New Edition, Frankie Beverly to Receive NAACP Image Awards Honors

New Edition
The NAACP and BET have announced that New Edition will be inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame during the 55th NAACP Image Awards. This recognition celebrates pioneers in their fields whose influence shapes generations to come. Previous inductees include Eddie Murphy, Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Carlos Santana, Little Richard, Sidney Poitier, Earth Wind and Fire and Aretha Franklin.

Additionally, R&B icon Frankie Beverly, frontman of MAZE, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the NAACP Image Awards Dinner on March 14 in Los Angeles. This honor is bestowed upon individuals who have made significant contributions to civil and human rights alongside their accomplishments in the entertainment industry.

Frankie Beverly
NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement, "It is our distinct honor to celebrate New Edition and Frankie Beverly—musical icons who have shaped our cultural landscape with their remarkable talent and enduring influence. We recognize the power of their artistry in showcasing the enduring excellence of Black artists in the arts."

Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET, added, "New Edition and Frankie Beverly’s influence has laid the foundation for modern R&B, shaping the genre's sonic landscape and resonance in numerous ways. We are thrilled to celebrate these musical luminaries, whose melodies are intricately woven into the very fabric of our culture."

New Edition, one of the most successful male singing groups in R&B history, has entertained audiences for over 40 years, selling a cumulative 30 million records worldwide. The group's members, including Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, and Bell Biv DeVoe, have also enjoyed successful solo careers. Their biopic, "The New Edition Story," garnered critical acclaim and a record-breaking viewership of 29 million unique viewers.

Beverly is a trailblazing artist and prolific songwriter. Known for timeless hits such as "Golden Time of Day" and "Before I Let Go," Beverly's influence extends beyond the stage, making lasting contributions to the cultural landscape.

The award show will air live at 8:00 PM ET/PT on March 16, 2024, on BET and CBS.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Beyoncé Saddles Up, Announces 'Cowboy Carter' Album

Get ready to dust off your boots and embrace a whole new side of Beyoncé as she saddles up for her latest musical adventure with her upcoming country-inspired album, "Cowboy Carter," slated for release on March 29.

The announcement of the album's title came on Tuesday. Previously hinting at a country music project and the next phase of her acclaimed 2022 album "Renaissance," Beyoncé officially revealed it as "Act II: Cowboy Carter" through a subtle update to her Instagram bio and a western-themed image on her Instagram Story.

Photo Credit: Instagram/Beyonce
This highly anticipated album serves as the second installment of BeyoncĂ©’s ambitious “three-act project,” building upon the success of her critically acclaimed "Renaissance" album.

The album's unveiling follows a teaser during a prominent Super Bowl advertisement in February, initially referred to as "Act II." BeyoncĂ© offered fans a taste of her new musical direction with the release of two singles, "Texas Hold ‘Em" and "16 Carriages," both of which quickly soared to the top of the charts.

"Texas Hold ‘Em" made an impressive debut by claiming the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, marking BeyoncĂ©'s ninth solo chart-topper. Notably, the song also secured the top position on the Hot Country Songs chart, making BeyoncĂ© the first Black woman artist to achieve this milestone, solidifying her influence across genres.

While details about the album remain scarce, country music icon Dolly Parton hinted at a potential collaboration with Beyoncé during a recent interview with Tennessee outlet Knox News. Parton suggested that Beyoncé has recorded her own rendition of Parton's classic hit, "Jolene," expressing her enthusiasm for the collaboration and praising Beyoncé's vocal prowess.

Hip-Hop Mourns Loss of Bo$$: Def Jam's First Female MC Dead at 54

Photo Credit: GoFundMe
The hip-hop community is mourning the loss of Bo$$ (born Lichelle Laws), the trailblazing female rapper who made history as the first woman signed to Def Jam Recordings. Bun B confirmed her passing at 54 on Monday via Instagram, sharing a heartfelt tribute to the late artist.

"Rest in peace to my big sis Lichelle Laws AKA Bo$$," he wrote. "One of the best female MCs and a dear friend. Give Rick Royal a hug for me. Long Live The Org!"

Bo$$'s influence on the rap scene was undeniable. Fellow icons like Jermaine Dupri, Jadakiss and DJ Premier expressed their condolences and shared memories of working with the Detroit-born legend, whose musical journey began in her hometown before she caught the eye of Def Jam's West Coast division, leading to her groundbreaking debut album, "Born Gangstaz," in 1993.

In recent years, Bo$$ faced significant health challenges, battling kidney disease since 2011. She also suffered a major stroke and seizure in 2017. To support her medical costs, her family launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for a recommended specialized procedure.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Megan Thee Stallion's New Merch Line Supports Women's Well-Being Charities

Planet Fitness x Megan Thee Stallion Crop Top
Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion joins forces with Planet Fitness for "Thee Hottie Drop," a bold merchandise line launched in honor of Women's History Month. This collaboration directly supports Megan's charitable foundations—the Pete & Thomas Foundation and the SeekHer Foundation—dedicated to enhancing women's well-being.

Featuring empowering messages, the collection includes a crop top, sweatpants, and high-rise socks, embodying Megan's commitment to breaking down barriers for women in fitness spaces. "The Hotties loved the last Planet Fitness drop, so we had to run it back with brand new pieces," Megan stated in an announcement touting the release. "But more importantly, I'm proud of the positive impact this collection will bring."

The Houston-born artist, known for her musical prowess, also champions women's empowerment. Her recent hit "Hiss" underscores her influence, complementing her extensive accolades, including three Grammy Awards. Beyond music, Megan leads the Pete & Thomas Foundation, focusing on education, housing and health initiatives for marginalized communities.

Planet Fitness, echoing Megan's advocacy, emphasizes research showing women's struggles with self-care in fitness settings. "We witnessed tremendous demand for the first merch collection launched in collaboration with Megan," said Jamie Medeiros, Chief Brand Officer at Planet Fitness. "Rolling out this new collection to support Megan's foundation and the SeekHer Foundation is a priority for us."

"Thee Hottie Drop" is available at until March 31st.