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From 'Sticky Icky' to Caffeine Kick: Snoop Dogg Launches Premium Coffee Brand

Courtesy Photo 
Snoop Dogg, the undisputed king of all things weed, threw the world a curveball with the announcement of his latest business venture on Tuesday.

The rap icon, who has built an empire around his love for the "sticky icky," has now turned his attention to a new type of buzz: caffeine.

That's right, folks, Snoop has traded in his joint for a cup of joe and launched his very own premium lifestyle coffee brand called INDOxyz.

While some may be shocked at this unexpected turn, Snoop's love for coffee has apparently been brewing for a long time.

"My relationship with coffee goes way back. During the many long nights in the studio making hit after hit, coffee provided the fuel that kept us going," he said in a statement.

"Today marks the launch of a new company I created along with my partner Michael, who introduced me to the best-tasting Indonesian coffee. Indo is going to change the industry, I can promise you that."

The coffee is a joint venture between Snoop and INDOxyz co-founder Michael Riady, an Indonesian entrepreneur. A chance meeting between the duo during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the birth of the product, which the company says was motivated by their shared passion for fueling the people and ideas that move the culture forward, by creating a brand inspired by the creative risk-takers and innovators of the world.

"I want to make coffee fun and cool, and having Snoop as a partner gives us that edge. Beyond being a fan of his music, I've long admired Snoop for his hard work and business acumen," Riady said.

The coffee is sourced directly from Riady's homeland and grown by collective farmers on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi. The green coffee beans are intentionally selected before being shipped to Los Angeles, where they are prepared by a master roaster in-house, then brewed and packaged into the brand's exclusive line of cold brew and whole bean coffee.

INDOxyz will launch with an exclusive and limited rollout starting in Snoop's home state of California, followed by Las Vegas, and then a national retail expansion. The cold brew beverage will retail starting at $5.99, and the whole bean will cost $17.99.

All products will be available at the online store, BevMo, GoPuff, Resorts World Casinos in Las Vegas, and will be rolled out in the upcoming months at the following retailers: Erewhon, Vons, Pavilions, Albertsons, Safeway, Sprouts, and Amazon.

Deadly Stampede Breaks Out at GloRilla Concert

Rochester Mayor Malik Evan called the incident a "tragedy of epic proportions." 

One woman is dead and two others are in critical condition after tragedy struck the Main Street Armory in Rochester, New York on Sunday night, as a stampede broke out during a concert featuring popular hip-hop artists GloRilla and Finesse2tymes.

In the wake of the tragedy, Grammy-nominated rapper GloRilla, who performed at the concert, expressed her condolences on Twitter. "I'm just now hearing about what happened wtf," she wrote. "Praying everybody is ok."

According to Rochester police, the crowd surge occurred as concertgoers were leaving the venue after the show and was sparked by false rumors of a shooting.

At a press conference on Monday, Rochester Police Chief David Smith revealed that the injuries sustained by the victims were not caused by gunfire or other weapons, but rather by the chaos of the stampede itself.

"Preliminary reports from people at the scene indicate that these injuries were caused from people being trampled," said Police Chief David Smith, adding that they have not found any evidence of gunshots or stabbings at the scene.

In addition to the three injured women found by the officers when they entered the building, seven other victims were hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evan called the incident a "tragedy of epic proportions." He pledged to hold those responsible accountable and urged anyone with information or footage of the event to come forward.

"We are nowhere near completing this investigation," he said.

Watch the entire press conference below:

Wayne Shorter, Legendary Jazz Composer and Saxophonist, Dead at 89

Tom BeetzCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jazz icon Wayne Shorter, a renowned saxophonist and composer with a career spanning more than 50 years, has died at age 89.

A publicist at Blue Note Records, Cem Kurosman, confirmed his passing on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Shorter, a 12-time Grammy Award winner, was born on August 25, 1933, in Newark, New Jersey. He gained recognition as a composer and saxophonist while performing with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers after studying music at New York University in the mid-1950s. 

In the mid-1960s, he joined the Miles Davis Quintet, playing alongside renowned musicians such as pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams.

Throughout his storied career, Shorter's music evolved from hard bop to experimental jazz and rock-influenced jazz. His innovative sound inspired countless musicians and continues to influence jazz today. 

Shorter even contributed saxophone solos to two soft rock hits, Steely Dan's "Aja" and Don Henley's "The End of the Innocence," which reached the US Top 10. He also played on the Rolling Stones' 1997 album "Bridges to Babylon."

Shorter received numerous accolades for his contributions to the music world, including the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship, the Kennedy Center Honors and the Jazz Foundation of America Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Davis' Second Great Quintet in 2006.

The news of Shorter's death has elicited an outpouring of grief and tributes from musicians and fans alike, who celebrated his immense talent and lasting impact on jazz music.

Fellow saxophone great and composer Charles Lloyd best summed up the general mood while expressing his condolences on Twitter.

"It has been a deeply sad morning to learn that my brother and fellow explorer of the Inner and Outer Universe @Wayne_Shorte has left town," Lloyd wrote. "The Maestro was a visionary, a great composer, and a friend with whom I shared a love for the Eternal Now."

Hip-Hop Icons Wu-Tang Clan and Nas Unite for Worldwide Tour

Courtesy Live Nation 

The saga continues.

Hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan and Nas are teaming up once again for a sequel to their "NY State of Mind Tour" from last year.

On Monday, Wu-Tang shared the news on the group's official Instagram.

"The Saga Continues Worldwide! The #NewYorkStateofMindTour is back — coming to a stage near you," the group wrote alongside artwork featuring the upcoming dates.

The 32-date sequel will kick off in Auckland, New Zealand on May 9 and make its way to Australia, Europe, and the UK before reaching North America on September 20 in Nashville.

Both Wu-Tang Clan and Nas began their careers with genre-defining albums in the 1990s. Wu-Tang Clan's "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)" dropped in November 1993, while Nas' "Illmatic" hit the airwaves six months later.

The tour follows Wu-Tang Clan's historic debut album being added to the Library of Congress' National Registry in 2022. Nas' most recent album, "King's Disease III," was also released in the same year.

This time the tour, which ironically skipped New York, will include a stop in Brooklyn along with cities including Toronto, Chicago, DC, and Seattle before concluding on October 22 in Highland, California.

Tickets for the North American and European dates will be available for purchase on March 3 at 9 a.m. local time through Ticketmaster, while a Live Nation pre-sale will begin on March 2 (use code CHORUS). Alternatively, tickets can be purchased through Stubhub. The general on-sale for Australia and New Zealand tickets will begin on March 6 at noon local time through Vivagogo.

View the complete schedule for the "NY State of Mind Tour" below:

NY State of Mind Tour Schedule

May 9Auckland, NZSpark Arena
May 12Brisbane, AUBrisbane Entertainment Centre
May 13Sydney, AUQudos Bank Arena
May 14Melbourne, AURod Laver Arena
June 2Stockholm, SEAvicii Arena
June 3Copenhagen, DKRoyal Arena
June 5Berlin, DEParkbuhne Wuhlheide
June 6Amsterdam, NLZiggo Dome
June 7Paris, FRAccor Arena
June 9Dublin, IE3Arena
June 12Glasgow, UKOVO Hydro
June 13London, UKThe O2
Sept 20Nashville, TNBridgestone Arena
Sept 22Hollywood, FLHard Rock Live
Sept 23Jacksonville, FLDaily’s Place
Sept 24Tampa, FLSeminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Sept 26Washington, DCCapital One Arena
Sept 27Brooklyn, NYBarclays Center

Watch: Ab-Soul Releases Raw and Vulnerable Tiny Desk Performance on Birthday

On Thursday, to mark his 36th birthday, Ab-Soul released a Tiny Desk concert, which he called his "second second chance."

The performance is a must-watch for all hip-hop fans. Backed by a hand-picked group of musicians he dubbed the "Soulersystem," Ab-Soul delivered a raw and rousing performance.

The Carson, California native's music is defined by vulnerability, pathos, and hope, all of which were on full display in his first-ever appearance on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series.

Surrounded by childhood pictures, some of which graphically detailed his fight with the rare disorder Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which ravaged his skin and left him legally blind, the artist, born Herbert Stevens IV, powered through tracks from his critically-acclaimed new album "HERBERT."

He also paired never-before-heard rhymes with instrumentals from 2012's "Control System" between sets.

Watch the full performance below:

Chuck Jackson, "Any Day Now" Hitmaker, Passes Away at 85

Wand Management, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Chuck Jackson, the legendary R&B and soul singer known for hits such as "Any Day Now" and "I Don't
Want to Cry," has died at the age of 85.

The sad news was confirmed by Ady Croasdell, of UK-based Kent Records, who wrote on social media: "There are confirmed reports that one of the very greatest soul singers of all time, Chuck Jackson, died on February 16th. His passing will be deeply felt around the world." No cause of death was given.

Jackson had an impressive career spanning over six decades, starting in the 1950s as a member of The Del-Vikings before becoming a solo artist and signing with Wand and Scepter record labels. He released over 30 singles throughout his career, including hits such as "Tell Him I'm Not Home," "Beg Me," and "Since I Don't Have You."

In 1962, Jackson released his most famous hit, "Any Day Now," written by Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard. The song earned him a contract with Motown Records and was later covered by Ronnie Milsap. Jackson's "I Keep Forgettin'" was also covered by Michael McDonald and David Bowie.

Croasdell reflected on Jackson's impressive career and legacy in a statement on Kent Records' official website. "No artist had more releases or titles issued on Kent records than Chuck Jackson," he said. He also credited the company's first compilation featuring Jackson's work, "Mr Emotion" (Kent 033), with helping to revive interest in his Wand recordings, which had largely been forgotten about by the 80s.

"Throughout his career Chuck worked hard with his acclaimed live appearances and he continued to sing in great voice up until quite recently," Croasdell said. "He got a terrific reception at the Great Yarmouth soul weekender in 1990 and appeared around Europe on several occasions afterwards — as well as being in constant demand in his home country."

Dionne Warwick, a friend and collaborator of Jackson's, issued a statement about his death, saying: "Another heartache has come my way. Chuck Jackson has made his transition. He was my label mate on Scepter Records and was like a big brother to me."

Eric Holder Jr. Sentenced to 60 Years to Life for Murdering Nipsey Hussle

Photo Courtesy LAPD
Eric R. Holder Jr., the man who murdered Grammy-nominated rapper, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Nipsey Hussle, was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison in a Los Angeles courtroom on Wednesday.

Hussle, born Airmiess Joseph Asghedom, was fatally shot in 2019 outside the Marathon Clothing store he owned in South LA.

Holder, who was also found guilty of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter for shooting two other men at the scene, was sentenced to an additional 10 years for assault with a firearm.

Hussle was a leading advocate against gun violence and a community leader who worked on developing his neighborhood and creating opportunities for kids. 

Prior to his death, he was scheduled to meet with LA Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff and LA Police Chief Michel Moore to discuss ways to stop gang violence across the city. 

After Hussle's death there was an outpouring of grief and tributes from fans, fellow artists and public figures. His funeral was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, drawing thousands of mourners.

In August 2021, Hussle was posthumously honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on what would have been his 37th birthday.

Da Brat Reveals She's Pregnant at 48

Photo Courtesy Twitter

Da Brat, the legendary rapper behind the hit song "Funkdafied," is pregnant at the age of 48.

The hip-hop icon revealed the news in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE magazine published today.

Da Brat, whose real name is Shawntae Harris, and her wife, Jesseca "Judy" Harris-Dupart, CEO of Kaleidoscope Hair Products, said they were inspired to have a baby after their marketing campaign for a new hair product line featured the tagline "extending our family."

"It started as a joke, but then we got a huge response. It was like, 'Oh my God, do we want to actually have kids, and if we do, girl, we better hurry up!'" Harris-Dupart told PEOPLE.

The couple tied the knot in February 2022, and Da Brat said she thought having a baby was "not in the cards" for her at this stage in her life.

"It's been quite a journey," she said, adding that they had to learn a lot about pregnancy and childbirth for women over 40.

Da Brat has been in the music industry for over three decades, with hits such as "Funkdafied" and "Give It 2 You," and has also appeared in films and television shows.

She became the first female solo artist to go platinum with her debut album, "Funkdafied," in 1994.

The rapper recently made headlines after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2023.

Her induction ceremony was attended by several of her peers in the music and entertainment industries, including Mariah Carey, Queen Latifah, and Jermaine Dupri.