Monday, May 20, 2024

Kendrick Lamar's 'Alright' Tops Spotify's 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of Streaming Era

U.S. Government, White House photographer., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
While recent headlines have focused on Kendrick Lamar's ongoing creative rivalry with Drake, Spotify's latest "CLASSICS" program cuts through the noise, highlighting Lamar's enduring artistic merit. His critically acclaimed album "DAMN." takes center stage on the list of the 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of the Streaming Era (2015-present).

This recognition places Lamar alongside other titans of the genre, including Drake's own "Know Yourself" (2015) and genre-bending tracks like Travis Scott's "SICKO MODE" (2018) and Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow" (2017). The list reflects the diversity and dynamism of hip-hop in the streaming era, showcasing the evolution of the sound alongside its enduring social commentary.

"Our focus isn't just on chart numbers," said Carl Chery, Creative Director and Head of Urban Music at Spotify, in a news release. "The CLASSICS program is about celebrating the art and culture of hip-hop, recognizing the work that has resonated deeply with fans and critics alike."

This qualitative approach ensures that artists like Lamar are recognized for the depth and influence of their music. Tracks like "HUMBLE." and "DNA." from "DAMN." perfectly embody this, blending innovative production with Lamar's signature lyrical prowess that tackles complex issues.

While "DAMN." is the album highlighted, Lamar's earlier works like "To Pimp a Butterfly" and "good kid, m.A.A.d city" continue to be revered within the hip-hop community. His ability to consistently deliver impactful music throughout his career solidifies his place as a key figure in hip-hop's ongoing narrative.

This recognition by Spotify follows previous chapters of the CLASSICS program, highlighting the influential albums that have shaped the streaming era. Kendrick Lamar's inclusion across these lists further cements his legacy as a defining artist of our time.

To explore the full list of the 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of the Streaming Era, including standouts like "Mask Off" by Future (2017) and "Rockstar" by Post Malone ft. 21 Savage (2018), visit Spotify's CLASSICS program page.

Top 10 Songs of the Streaming Era (According to Spotify's CLASSICS Program):
  1. Kendrick Lamar - "Alright" (2015)
  2. Cardi B - "Bodak Yellow" (2017)
  3. Drake - "God's Plan" (2018)
  4. Lil Uzi Vert - "XO Tour Llif3" (2017)
  5. Future - "March Madness" (2015)
  6. Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert - "Bad and Boujee" (2016)
  7. Travis Scott - "SICKO MODE" (2018)
  8. Sheck Wes - "Mo Bamba" (2017)
  9. Pop Smoke - "Dior" (2019)
  10. Juice WRLD - "Lucid Dreams" (2018)

Diddy Apologizes for 2016 Assault on Ex-Girlfriend Cassie Ventura

Sean "Diddy" Combs apologized in a video for a violent attack on his then-girlfriend, R&B singer Cassie Ventura, in a 2016 video that recently surfaced.

"It's so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you gotta do that. I was f**cked up. I mean, I hit rock bottom. But I make no excuses," Combs said in a video posted on Instagram. "My behavior on that video is inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in this video. They're disgusting. I was disgusted then when I did it, I'm disgusted now. I went and I sought professional help. I've been going to therapy, going to rehab. I had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I'm so sorry, but I'm committed to being a better man each and every day. I'm not asking for forgiveness. I am truly sorry."

The video, dated March 5, 2016, shows Combs grabbing, shoving, and kicking Ventura, whose real name is Casandra Ventura. The footage corroborates allegations made in her lawsuit filed last November, describing an incident at the now-shuttered InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles.

Combs previously denied the allegations through his attorney and in a social media post titled "Enough Is Enough." The post was deleted from his Instagram but remains pinned on his X account (formerly Twitter). In April, he posted a video of his 1998 song "Victory," where he is seen running from Los Angeles police, with the caption "Bad Boy for life" and a fist emoji.

In response to Combs' apology video, Meredith Firetog, a lawyer for Ventura with Wigdor LLP, told Variety: "Combs' recent statement focuses on himself, not the victims he has hurt. He initially denied the allegations, suggesting his accusers were motivated by money. Now that the video proves their claims, his apology lacks sincerity and won't sway anyone."

On November 16, 2023, Ventura filed a lawsuit in New York accusing Combs of raping and beating her throughout their relationship, among other allegations. Although the two parties reached a settlement the following day, Combs has since faced multiple lawsuits alleging sexual assault.

In November, Joi Dickerson-Neal filed a lawsuit under the New York Adult Survivors Act, alleging Combs "drugged, sexually assaulted and abused" her and that she was the victim of "revenge porn" created and distributed by the rapper.

In December, another lawsuit filed by a Jane Doe alleged that Combs and R&B singer Aaron Hall took turns raping her and her friends at Hall's apartment sometime between 1990 and 1991. Combs posted his denial that month, and in February denied a separate set of charges from an unidentified woman, calling them "entirely fictional."

Amid these allegations, Combs temporarily stepped aside as chairman of Revolt, and his Hulu reality show was scrapped.

Friday, May 17, 2024

AP style: Combs Assault Video Released After Settled Lawsuit

Surveillance video from 2016, obtained by CNN, shows Sean "Diddy" Combs chasing down his then-girlfriend, Cassie Ventura, in a hotel hallway. The footage, captured from multiple angles on March 5, 2016, appears to corroborate claims detailed in a now-settled federal lawsuit filed by Ventura in November.

In the video, Combs is seen grabbing Ventura by the neck, throwing her to the floor, and kicking her while holding a towel around his waist. Ventura attempts to collect her belongings as Combs shoves her and throws objects in her direction.

Ventura has not commented on the video. Her attorney, Douglas H. Wigdor, emphasized the seriousness of the situation, stating, "The video confirms the disturbing allegations Ms. Ventura made against Mr. Combs."

CNN has reached out to representatives for Combs and InterContinental Hotels for comment, but they have not responded. Combs has previously denied Ventura's allegations.

This incident is part of a broader legal dispute between Combs and Ventura, which includes allegations of sexual assault and other abuses. Despite denying the allegations, Combs settled the lawsuit shortly after it was filed.

Combs continues to face multiple civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct and other illegal activities. In April, authorities conducted searches of his homes in California and Florida as part of a federal investigation into these allegations.