Friday, June 7, 2024

Eminem's 'Houdini' Makes Big Splash, But Lamar's Record Holds Strong

Despite facing initial criticism from some reviewers, Eminem's new single "Houdini" has become a streaming phenomenon, rocketing to the top of the charts. Released last Friday, "Houdini" is not only Eminem's fastest-selling single in over two decades, but it's also projected to secure a spot in the top two of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

This success comes after some early negative reviews. However, listeners have clearly embraced the track, amassing a massive 56.7 million streams on Spotify within its first week. This makes it the second-highest debut for a rap song on the platform, just behind Kendrick Lamar's "Not Like Us."

The accompanying music video garnered 51 million views on YouTube during its opening week, further solidifying "Houdini" as a major success.

"Houdini" serves as the lead single for Eminem's upcoming album, "The Death of Slim Shady," slated for release later this summer.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

50 Cent Defends Boebert Photo, Trump Comments Also Go Viral

Photo Credit: X/50cent
50 Cent defended his viral photos with Rep. Lauren Boebert in a tweet Wednesday night, stating: "Wait, wait, guys I took pictures with everyone and all you seem to care about is Lauren 🤷🏽‍♂️what did she do in a dark theater that hasn’t been done, my God!"

The rapper's reference to the "dark theater" likely pertains to Boebert being removed from a production of "Beetlejuice" in September; video footage showed her vaping, dancing, taking photos and groping her male date during the performance.

50 Cent and Boebert had both tweeted pictures of the two posing together following his visit to Capitol Hill, which were viewed millions of times. Boebert tweeted she would "still love you if you flipped burgers at Burger King @50Cent, I used to do that myself!"

The rapper also tweeted pictures of himself with several other representatives last night, including Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.), former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.)—though none garnered as many likes and reposts as his picture with Boebert.

50 Cent, who owns the liquor company Sire Spirits (which sells Branson Cognac and Le Chemin du Roi champagne), made a surprise visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday alongside civil rights attorney Ben Crump to advocate for more Black representation in the liquor industry. At a press conference following his visit, he stated he met with leaders of both parties to discuss "economic opportunities for everybody, and it’s really exciting. The response I got makes me feel like there are bright days ahead of us."

Addressing a reporter's question about the significance of Black men in the upcoming election cycle, 50 Cent commented on the trend of Black men "identifying with Trump" in the 2024 presidential election "because they got RICO charges." The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law makes it illegal to engage in racketeering activity and was passed to combat organized crime. Trump and 18 co-defendants were charged in August under the RICO law for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. 50 Cent mentioned he has not yet decided who he will vote for in the presidential election.

In 2020, the rapper appeared to endorse Trump in a tweet criticizing President Joe Biden’s tax plans, stating: "I don’t care Trump doesn’t like black people." However, less than a week later, he tweeted: "F— Donald Trump, I never liked him." He previously endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Diddy Out, Employees In: Revolt Announces Employee Ownership Model

Photo Credit: Instagram/revoltv
Revolt, the media company founded by Sean "Diddy" Combs, announced a new ownership structure Tuesday. The company revealed that its largest shareholder group is now composed of its employees.

In a historic shift, Combs' shares have been fully redeemed and retired, making employees the predominant stakeholders. 

"This is something we've been looking to do, waiting to do, believing that the people who give this company their blood, sweat, and tears should have some sort of upside opportunity if and when we win," said Detavio Samuels, CEO of Revolt, in an interview with Variety. He added, "All the data suggests that companies with incentive pools for their employees outperform the rest. They perform better financially, they perform better with company morale and culture, and they perform better as it relates to retention."

Revolt celebrated the transition on social media, posting, "It's a new day! REVOLT is honored and proud to announce that, in an unprecedented and historic move in the Black media space, our newly projected largest shareholder group are REVOLT's employees. Our mission to become the largest media company powered by creators and fueled by the culture continues. "

Founded by Combs over a decade ago, Revolt was initially a music industry-focused cable channel aimed at boosting Black representation on television. It has since grown into a significant player in digital media, known for popular video podcasts such as "Drink Champs," "The Jason Lee Show," and "Caresha Please."

Combs' decision to step down comes after a wave of legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed in November by his former girlfriend, singer Cassie, accusing him of years of physical and sexual abuse. Although the parties quickly settled the lawsuit, it spurred additional accusations from other women.

The fallout from these allegations has been substantial for Combs, 54. Besides relinquishing his position at Revolt, he sold his stake in a liquor brand for around $200 million and saw the end of a partnership with a New York charter school network he helped expand.

Samuels declined to disclose the amount paid for Combs' stake. With Combs out, Revolt operates without a majority owner. A representative for Combs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Revolt has distanced itself from Combs in recent months as legal issues and federal investigations into his conduct intensified. Despite the separation, the company has been impacted by the publicized allegations against its founder, including the release of hotel security footage by CNN showing Combs in a physical altercation with Cassie in 2016.
In response to recent developments, Revolt has provided access to individual and group therapists for employees. "Even before the lawsuits, Mr. Combs had little to no interaction with the team," said Samuels, who joined Revolt in 2020. He emphasized that the company's focus is on continuing its mission and supporting its staff through these changes.

Revolt, which has more than 110 full-time employees, continues to adapt to the digital age, with its business now largely driven by digital advertising and a significant presence on platforms like YouTube, where it has 2.8 million subscribers. The company also launched a podcast network in 2022, further diversifying its media offerings.