247 The Sound Entertainment News Archives for 2022-02

Aiyana-Lee Releases Debut EP 'Wednesday's Child (Side A)' - See Behind-The-Scenes 'Gangster of Love' Photos! (Exclusive)


Aiyana-Lee is ready to make her big debut!


The 21-year-old rising R&B-pop sensation just dropped her debut seven-track EP Wednesday’s Child (Side A) on Friday (February 25), and Just Jared is bringing you behind-the-scenes of her new music video for “Gangster of Love,” which is currently Top 10 at U.S. R&B radio and just recently got a live daytime TV premiere on The Real.


“The ‘GOL’ video is a visual piece that really captures the essence of the song emotionally,” she explains to Just Jared of the music video.


“My creative partner, Nicole Anderson and me, sat together and crafted this treatment, instantly inspired by the power of the song. Nayip, our incredible director did a great job adding and bringing it to life! I hope the cinematic essence and story captivates and immerses people into a story…it’s definitely to be continued.”


The EP includes collaborations with acts like Neff-USebastian KoleNathalia Marshall and singer-songwriter Nicole Daciana Anderson, who is also Aiyana-Lee’s mother, manager and creative partner.


Wednesday’s Child takes its name from a popular nursery rhyme that predicts a child’s character based on their day of birth. It says, ‘Wednesday’s child is full of woe.’ Although I wasn’t born on a Wednesday, I believe we are all Wednesday’s Child,” she says of the EP.


“We’re all dealt a tough hand in life, no matter who we are. Going through troubled times and being an outcast, feeling like the world is out to get you, is something we can all relate to.”


Check out the EP, music video for “Gangster of Love” and the behind-the-scenes photos inside…



Eric Roberson Shares Video for "Lessons" Remix featuring Anthony Hamilton, Raheem DeVaughn & Kevin Ross



Eric Roberson has just unveiled the visual for his star-studded remix to his hit single “Lessons” featuring Anthony Hamilton, Raheem DeVaughn & Kevin Ross.

The remix builds upon the original which quickly became a fun favorite, and brings together some of the brightest stars in R&B right now. In the visual, each takes their turn performing their part of the instant classic song. Eric mentions about the video:


“My inspiration behind the Lessons Remix video was showing four brothers standing together harmoniously sharing the journey they took to find love. I wanted to showcase the brotherhood we share, the electricity behind our showmanship and the power of transparency.”


Also recently, Anthony Hamilton surprised fans with a special treat by bringing to the stage, Eric Roberson, Raheem DeVaughn, and Kevin Ross to perform the song for the first time during his Verzuz battle with Musiq Soulchild.


“Lessons” will be included on Roberson’s upcoming album of the same name to release on April 1st, 2022. Eric will also be releasing his first book, “LESSONS – The Book (100 Thoughts On Life & Love)” on March 1st.



Ashanti announces UK arena tour with Trey Songz and Mario

Ashanti is gearing up to return to the UK this summer, announcing an arena tour with special guests Trey Songz and Mario.


The R&B singer, known for the hits ‘Foolish’, ‘Baby’ and ‘Happy’, will hit the road between May 29 and June 2. She’ll perform at London’s OVO Arena Wembley, Leeds’ First Direct Arena, Birmingham’s Utilita Arena and Manchester’s AO Arena.


Put on in collaboration with UK promoters TCO, Ashanti’s upcoming UK trek will celebrate 20 years of her debut single ‘Foolish’, which was originally released on February 11, 2002.


Her last album was 2014’s ‘Braveheart’, but she announced in December that she plans to re-record her 2002 self-titled debut album, explaining at the time that she made the move “so I can collect my coins”.


The former Murder Inc. singer has become the latest in a growing number of high-profile artists to recreate their older work, in order to regain control of their master recordings.


Ashanti has also starred in a number of films including Coach CarterResident Evil: Extinction, and John Tucker Must Die. Her most recent film was last year’s Honey Girls – she played Fancy G, a pop star who hosts a contest to find the next big solo artist.




Jazmine Sullivan Tests Positive for Covid, Delays Upcoming Tour Stops


Jazmine Sullivan has announced plans to postpone upcoming shows on her Heaux Tales Tour itinerary. The singer confirmed that she tested positive for Covid-19 and is “taking every precaution” to isolate herself.


“My doctor confirmed today that I am positive with COVID. I am taking every precaution to isolate myself. I’m truly sad to have to cancel more shows but health and safety come first for myself, my team and all of you,” Sullivan said in a statement.


“LA’s show tomorrow will unfortunately be cancelled and we are likely cancelling shows for the next week based on my condition and the condition of my crew. We will let you know when the tour will resume once we have made that decision. As soon as we have more information in regards to tickets and rescheduling, ticket holders will be notified via email. Thank you so much for your understanding and support and I’ll be seeing you very soon.”


Sullivan’s statement comes a day after canceling her concert in Sacramento, California, for “feeling extremely under the weather.” 


Over the last few days, Sullivan has been transparent with fans about not feeling well. On Tuesday, she warned her Oakland, California, fans that she would need “a lot of help” at her concert. “Just know I’m doing my best. If I pass out throw some water on me and give me a chicken wing. That might revive me,” Sullivan said jokingly. 



Sullivan’s Heaux Tales Tour is in support of her project of the same name, which was released in January 2021. It includes her gold-selling hit "Girl Like Me" featuring H.E.R. It also includes her platinum-selling single "Pick Up Your Feelings", which is nominated for two Grammy Awards.


On Feb. 11, Sullivan released Heaux Tales, Mo'Tales: The Deluxe. The updated edition includes ten tracks — five songs and five tales, including a tale narrated by Issa Rae.


Sullivan kicked off The Heaux Tales Tour on Valentine’s Day. It was slated to wrap up on March 30, in Chicago, Illinois.

Jazmine Sullivan, Silk Sonic Win on Night Four of 53rd NAACP Image Awards


The NAACP has revealed the winners of fourth night of the 53rd NAACP Image Awards non-televised award categories. Jazmine Sullivan, Silk Sonic and Anthony Hamilton are among the winners.



Sullivan collected three awards, including Outstanding Female Artist, Outstanding Soul/R&B Song (“Pick Up Your Feelings”) and Outstanding Album (Heaux Tales).


Earlier this month, Sullivan released a deluxe edition of  Heaux Tales with ten additional tracks. Her hit single “Pick Up Your Feelings” is also nominated for two Grammy awards, including Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song. Heaux Tales is nominated for Best R&B Album.


Silk Sonic, who is set to kick off their Las Vegas Residency on Friday, won Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration (Traditional) for their smash hit "Leave The Door Open".


The D’Mile and Bruno Mars-produced song is nominated for four Grammy awards, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. It appears on the duo’s debut album, An Evening With Silk Sonic, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.


Anthony Hamilton, who recently appeared in a Verzuz battle with Musiq Soulchild, was awarded with Outstanding Male Artist. In March, he will join Maxwell’s Night Touralong with Joe. The three R&B gents will perform across the U.S. until May 8.


Hosted by Anthony Anderson, the 53rd NAACP Image Awards will air live on BET on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. EST. The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige is scheduled to perform at the ceremony. It’ll mark her first performance since her appearance at the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.



Charlie Wilson Enlists Johnny Gill, Babyface & K-Ci For New Single "No Stoppin' Us"


Charlie Wilson’s new single “No Stoppin’ Us” is an all-star collaboration featuring fellow R&B legends Johnny Gill, Babyface & K-Ci Hailey.


The song puts a modern-day spin on the timeless McFadden & Whitehead classic “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”. The results are a fun, feel-good anthem that will have you grooving and keep a smile on your face.


This is the first new single from Charlie Wilson since he released "All Of My Love" featuring Smokey Robinson in 2020.


The singer is currently on the road performing alongside New Edition and Jodeci as part of "The Culture Tour" throughout the United States.

50 Cent Trolls Mary J. Blige & Michael Jordan Over Butt-Tapping Memes


NBA legend Michael Jordan became a meme once again this week following NBA All-Star Weekend. The Charlotte Hornets owner was caught on camera lightly hitting R&B icon Mary J. Blige’s backside.


A clip of that interaction went viral on social media. Power franchise creator Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson even shared his own one-liners about the MJ and MJB butt-tapping moment.


“See just when we thought it was all fvcked up. LOL,” wrote 50 Cent on Instagram. That post included an image of the former Chicago Bulls player and the Grammy-winning singer with a caption that joked about Blige’s character on Power Book II: Ghost.


Mary J. Blige plays Monet on the Starz network’s 50 Cent-produced television program. Power Book II: Ghost‘s Monet is directly connected to basketball player Ezekiel “Zeke” Cross (Daniel Bellomy) and drug dealer Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.).


50 Cent returned to Instagram to add another lighthearted dig at Michael Jordan and Mary J. Blige. The Get Rich or Die Tryin’ album creator wrote, “All-Star weekend MJ & MJB, he palmed the ball LOL. ”Prior to the NBA All-Star Game, Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent took part in another major sporting event this month. The NFL tapped Blige, 50, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Anderson .Paak for the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show.









Yung Bleu Blasts Tank: "That's Why Ian Record To That Wack Azz Song"


As soon as you mention an artist being the "king" of the genre, emotions erupt. This is what happened after Yung Bleu reportedly retweeted a fan who wrote that the rising star may be the "new King of R&B." The Shade Room uploaded a screenshot of the tweet, including showing that Bleu co-signed the message, but R&B icon Tank reacted with a comment that some people believed was shady.


"I'm glad I'm from a different generation cause yall wild!... [sideways crying laughing emojis]," the singer wrote.


Bleu didn't appreciate the remark and "Another episode of a bitter old *****!" wrote Bleu. "Tank u still waiting on that verse that's why u mad . U supposed to be a Og ! U commenting on shade room acting like.a female. Don't worry I'm not interested in being labeled as no king of r&b I'm about to be a real Super Star soon ! I don't say **** to y'all dudes I be in my own world."


Bleu added, "I already felt you weird energy that's why Ian record to that wack *** song."

Tank is currently working on what's expected to be his final album and he lamented recently about R&B artists not responding to his calls. He penned a message on social media about the decline in camaraderie within R&B and felt as if working on his record was "bittersweet." Bleu has also shared a screenshot of Tank checking with him about collaborating on a track.


Tank has responded to Bleu's post with a video explanation of his original comment. Check out Yung Bleu and Tank below.





The Weeknd May Have Had The Worst Timed Tweet Of All-Time As Russia Begins Attack On Ukraine


Famous R&B artist The Weeknd may have just tweeted out one of the worst timed tweets in Twitter history.


On Wednesday night at about 10:35 pm EST, we began hearing reports that Russia had started attacking Ukraine.


At the same time as the Russia attacks reports began making the rounds, The Weeknd decided to Tweet “Let’s Go.”


Fans immediately blasted The Weeknd over the timing of the tweet.








Patti LaBelle Performs for NPR's 'Tiny Desk (Home) Concert' Series


NPR continues celebrating legendary R&B acts for Black History Month. The Godmother of Soul Patti LaBelle is the latest act to perform for NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert series.


Backed by a full band and background singers, LaBelle opened her 15-minute set with “Something Special (Is Gonna Happen Tonight)” from her 1986 album, Winner In You. 

She then revisited her Grammy-nominated 1983 album, I’m in Love Again, to perform “Love, Need and Want You” and “If You Only Knew.” The latter track peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Black Singles chart, now known as the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and remained atop for four weeks.


The Philadelphia native closed her set with the Labelle classic “Lady Marmalade,” which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975. The song was reimagined in 2001 by Christina Aguilera, Mya, Pink, Lil Kim and Missy Elliott.


In 2021, “Lady Marmalade” was added to the Library of Congress' national Registry, along with music from Janet Jackson and Kool & the Gang.


Watch Patti LaBelle’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert performance below.



Tank Calls Final Album "Bittersweet" As He Laments Over Artists Not Returning His Calls


After decades of creating music, Tank is crafting his final album. He's worked with the best of the best behind the stage and in the spotlight, and the R&B icon is ready to bow out gracefully bow out gracefully. He has defended the genre against critics and mentored several artists on the rise, but it seems that Tank is running into a bit of difficulty as it pertains to having his peers assist with his record.


We live in a culture that is swimming in collaborative projects, whether they be songs or full albums. It is heavily common in Rap and R&B, but according to Tank, not everyone is answering his calls.


"As i close out this last album it’s kinda bitter sweet. I think about the calls i made to continue the connection of r&b camaraderie and all the calls that weren’t returned," he wrote in an Instagram post. "It doesn’t hurt because i needed them it just hurt that making good music together has become about something other than the music. I’m one of the best ever at what i do right now as we speak but that has never been a reason for me not work with anybody."


"The sweet is in the calls that were returned!" Tank added. "The people who did show up and bless me beyond my imagination. I thank you early! For that fans who’ve stayed tapped in my work on this side is done but I will be the driving force behind the scenes getting r&b music back to the top of the food chain!! I write this message in love with the whole r&b universe in mind! It’s bigger than nino brown!"

He added that he still has love for those that have yet to return his calls and he is keeping his line open for them. Check it out below.


Chlöe and Gunna Continue to Spark Dating Rumors


"Chloe and  Gunna" has a nice ring to it, but is love actually in the air? From the flirty comments on Instagram to the pair's courtside appearance at an Atlanta Hawks game in October to Gunna's show of support for Chlöe at the 2021 American Music Awards, fans can't help but wonder if the musicians are dating.


Gunna responded to the speculation during the AMAs, telling Billboard, "We not dating". That was just like a date where you go to the game and catch a vibe. But she's my friend." The "Drip Too Hard" rapper added that after the Hawks game, they headed to the studio and made two songs together - one of which appears on his "Drip Season 4" album.


During a recent appearance on "The Breakfast Club,"Gunna said he's not ready to settle down just yet. But when cohost Angela Yee asked the rapper if he'd be upset if Chlöe started dating other people, he replied, "That wouldn't be very P of her to take my time and waste it. I for sure would keep it P if she moved on, but I wouldn't like that, no."


To add more fuel to the dating rumors, Chlöe and Gunna were spotted holding hands while shopping in West Hollywood on Feb. 10. The Shade Room also posted footage of the two engaging in a little PDA during their outing. And Chlöe attended Gunna's album-release party before the two dropped a very sexy video for their song "You & Me" on Valentine's Day. The two have clearly grown closer over the past few months.


The new photos and videos of the two come after Chlöe tried to downplay the romantic speculation on Instagram Live on Jan. 16. "I feel like everybody wants to know about my love life," she said in a British accent while promoting their collaboration, You & Me".  "My love life is music, darling." That excuse may have worked before, but it seems like there may be more to Chlöe and Gunna's relationship than just friendship. Take a look at all their cute photos together ahead.

MJ to MJB Rear End Smack Down


We all know that Mary J. Blige performed at Super Bowl 2022, and it will be a night to remember. With such a dynamic performance, props are always a must, especially coming from Michael Jordon. 

MJ meets MJB and gives her a warm caress with a little extra affirmation of the cushion with the pushing. The video is yet blowing up Social Media, and many see MJ giving Mary a nice pat on the rear end. We won't go as far to say if he was getting frisky, and we arrive at the conclusion that the height difference can affect your estimation of where your hand lands during awkward occasions like these. 


Many MJB guy lovers now have to wrestle with the thought of what MJ had the pleasure of experiencing which was quite wildin'. 


R&B Songstress KeKe Wyatt Reveals She is Expecting her 11th Child!


R&B singer and songwriter Keke Wyatt and her husband, Zackariah Darring, expect their second child


Ecstatic about the news, Wyatt posted a maternity photo of herself in a red flowing gown with a cut-out that reveals her growing baby bump. “My husband, Zackariah David Darring, and I are proud to announce that our family will be adding a “plus 1” to the Wyatt Bunch!” she captioned the photo.



She concluded her news the hashtags #Baby11, #TrustingGod, #BabyDarring, #TheWyattBunch, #Family and #KekesKids.

The 39-year-old has been married to Darring since 2018, following her divorce from Michael Ford, according to Essence. The pair announced the birth of their first child together on social media, writing, “My husband Zackariah and I are blessed to welcome our beautiful and healthy 7 lb 11ounce son, Ke’Riah Darring,” she writes. “He came to our family on 1/6/2020.”


Wyatt has eight children from her previous relationship with Ford and one from her first marriage to Rahmat Morton.

In a separate post, Wyatt shared two family pictures of the “Wyatt Bunch,” noting that their daughter Kayla Ford “wasn’t available for the picture but you’re with us in spirit Shuga!”



Amid the announcement, well wishes and congratulations poured in from fans and fellow celebrities. NeNe Leakes wrote, “Blessings upon Blessings,” Tamar Braxton commented, “Chile Finally I love u sister,” while Karlie Redd gushed, “Wow You Look Beautiful Congratulations.”


Chad Ochocinco Johnson, former American football wide receiver, hinted at competing with the soon-to-be mother of 11. “KeKe Wyatt really thinks she finna outdo me….,” the father of nine tweeted.


The Indianapolis native says that she believes that God blessed her with the gift of motherhood. She told the Christian Post in 2017, “I think I have an anointing on motherhood. I know it sounds funny, but I really think that it’s a gift of mine. That’s one of my many gifts [and] talents.”








Muni Long Brings Viral TikTok Hit 'Hrs and Hrs' to 'Fallon'


Singer-songwriter Muni Long made her TV debut on The Tonight Show Monday, performing her viral single “Hrs and Hrs.” Accompanied by a band and several back-up singers, Long — whose real name is Priscilla Renea — gave a soulful rendition of the R&B song while decked out in a glimmering gold ensemble.


The sultry ballad, featured on the singer’s latest EP, Public Displays of Affection, is an ode to a lover filled with double entendres and suggestive language. “You sit me up on the counter/Instantly, it’s thunder showers,” Muni Long sings. “Stormin’ for a couple hours/When we finished, take a shower.”


As Long explained to Rolling Stone in January, “Hrs and Hrs” exploded on social media when TikTok users began placing the song in video clips in which they “showed affection and intimate moments with a significant other.”


But before the song went viral on TikTok, Long spent years in the industry writing hits for the likes of Ariana Grande and Rihanna. Despite being signed to a major label early in her career, she ultimately decided to release her music through her own label, Supergiant Records. “I’m not trying to go backwards, go back into that dark system,” she said. “And [maintaining] ownership is where the world is going. We don’t want people telling us what to do.”


She added, “I love when I have a feeling about something and then everyone else feels the same way. It’s confirmation: I should always follow my instincts.”



New lawyer challenges R. Kelly's racketeering conviction; seeks acquittal, new trial


The new lawyer for convicted R&B singer R. Kelly asked a federal judge in Brooklyn on Thursday to overturn the verdict against him or give him a new trial in a set of expected challenges to his racketeering conviction last year.


Kelly is now represented by Jennifer Bonjean, the attorney who helped actor Bill Cosby in his successful bid last year to have the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturn his sexual assault conviction. Her legal career began in Chicago.


Now, Bonjean has argued that federal prosecutors in New York, “invigorated by an influential social movement determined to punish centuries of male misbehavior through symbolic prosecutions,” stretched the boundaries of federal law that was “not designed to punish sexual misconduct like that alleged” against Kelly.


“If the government intends to prosecute Mann Act violations in the fashion it did here,” Bonjean wrote, “it might consider investigating the many influential, wealthy, mostly White, corporate leaders who frequently arrange travel for paramours who later conclude that the experience was less than pleasant.”


Separately, Bonjean argued that Kelly deserves a new trial because his previous legal team “fell apart mere weeks before the commencement of trial.” She wrote that his trial lawyers did not meaningfully participate in jury selection, allowing jurors to be seated despite certain answers on their questionnaires, and one of his lawyers had a conflict with a key witness.


Bonjean wrote that one juror acknowledged on a questionnaire getting the impression from specials or documentaries about Kelly that “he loves underage girls.”


“[Kelly] had no chance to defend himself where most of the jurors in his case were fully aware of his prior legal issues, some had watched the damning docuseries ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ and many seemed to accept that he was known for abusing minors,” Bonjean wrote. “Frankly, everyone in the courtroom seemed to accept that [Kelly’s] jury would be prejudiced against him, and made virtually no effort to empanel a truly unbiased jury.”

Prosecutors have until March 10 to respond.


A jury in Brooklyn’s federal court last fall convicted Kelly of racketeering at the end of a roughly five-week trial featuring 45 government witnesses. The 55-year-old singer faces 10 years to life in prison. His sentencing there is set for May 4.


In the time that has passed, Kelly has shaken up his legal team. Bonjean now represents him in Brooklyn and Chicago. Kelly is charged in federal court here with child pornography and obstruction of justice. That case is set for trial Aug. 1, one year after the start of Kelly’s 2021 Brooklyn trial. The Chicago trial could last three or four weeks, lawyers have said.


Complicating matters here are Kelly’s two co-defendants, former employees Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown. McDavid’s lawyers have complained about being “at the mercy of Mr. Kelly’s problems” and have insisted they want to swiftly go to trial. The charges in that case have been pending since July 2019.


Kelly also faces separate aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges from state-court prosecutors in Cook County, as well as an additional criminal case in Minnesota.

For now, Kelly remains locked up in a federal detention center in Brooklyn.

Police Reports Detail Battery Allegations Against Chris Brown in Miami Beach


Miami Beach Police are investigating allegations of battery by two women against R&B singer Chris Brown, according to reports obtained by NBC 6.


NBC 6 Investigators broke the story last week and obtained copies of the police reports which detail what both women said happened when they were with Brown while visiting Miami Beach.


Both alleged assaults took place more than a year ago, with the first woman claiming she was drugged and raped by the 32-year-old singer while at a party on a yacht that was docked near Diddy's home on Dec. 30, 2020.


According to a police report obtained Wednesday, the second victim said she was not comfortable at that party and decided to leave.

Two days later she and a friend were invited to meet at Brown’s Miami Beach hotel suite and while there Brown approached her and shoved one of his fingers in her mouth, the report said.


The woman alleged Brown’s finger had a white powdery substance on it and that she blacked out for several hours and woke up in the suite without her friends or her phone.

She filed a report with Miami Beach Police after reading about a lawsuit filed in January by another woman who was allegedly at the same yacht party.


In the lawsuit, that woman said she was raped by Brown after he served her drinks. She also told police that after the second drink, her memory became fuzzy.


The report goes on to say the following day, the victim received a text from Mr. Brown apologizing to her and asking her to take a Plan B (morning-after pill).


Miami Beach Police told NBC 6 both incidents are under investigation.

Once the investigation is complete, it will be up to prosecutors to determine if charges could be filed. 


NBC 6 reached out to representatives for Brown and has not heard back. Brown previously wrote on Instagram that the allegations in the civil lawsuit filed against him are lies.


Both women were visiting Miami when the alleged assaults occurred. One lives in Los Angeles the other in Canada.

Earth, Wind & Fire Announce Headline Tour Dates and Special Performance at NBA All Star Game


The Nine-time Grammy Award-winning icons and one of the best-selling artists of all time, Earth, Wind & Fire announces additional 2022 headline tour dates. The tour begins on April 22nd Tuscon, AZ and will make 18 plus stops across North America, including three new shows in Huber Heights & Northfield OH and Bridgeport CT.


Tickets go on sale to the general public starting Friday, February 18th at 10am local time at ticketmaster.com For more information please visit: https://earthwindandfire.com/tour.


The music of Earth, Wind & Fire is more alive then ever before and continues to inspire and reach new audiences both young and old.  Like the Elements in their name, their music has withstood ever-changing trends in the world and shows no sign of stopping as they to create joy and uplifting music that will forever reach a sacred universal atmosphere. Earth, Wind & Fire’s  music is the soundtrack to our lives.


In addition to the tour, Earth, Wind & Fire will put on a special performance of their hit “Shinning Star” as the halftime finale during the 71st NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage Field-house in Cleveland, which will honor the 76 greatest players in NBA history. The game will air at 8pm/ET on TNT network. Make sure you tune in.

50 Cent claps back at his Super Bowl fat-shaming haters with sweet merch


Haters think they can put 50 Cent to shame? Fat chance

The rapper has been mercilessly blasted with fiery fat jokes and body-shaming bombs since Sunday, when he rocked the Super Bowl Halftime show with an upside-down performance of “In da Club” — the iconic hanging stunt he debuted in the 2003 video for the smash hit. 

Despite the 46-year-old’s ability to effortlessly execute the physical feat for fans almost two decades later, cyber critics and wannabe comedians were focused on Fiddy’s apparent weight gain. 

"50 cent Got Fat" now he a dollar,” tweeted a heckler. “50 Cent out here looking like a FAT BAT,” penned another jeerer, alongside a screenshot of the “Wanksta” rhymer suspended in the air. 

Timeline trolls even teased the veteran rapper by backhanding him with his renowned “I love you like a fat kid love cake” lyric from his love ballad “21 Questions.”



But 50 is eating it all up. 

Rather than retaliating against his rude weight watchers, the “Candy Shop” crooner took advantage of the social media attention by promoting his new line of G-Unit streetwear. 


“Get your G-Unit Tank tops & Headbands Now,” Fiddy plastered on Twitter amid the digital fat-shame rain. The Queens native also sidestepped the shade by sharing a meme that begged him and his halftime show co-stars, Dr. Dre, 56, Mary J. Blige, 51, Snoop Dogg, 50, Eminem, 49, and Kendrick Lamar, 34, to headline a collaborative tour. 


50 Cent suggested he and his Super Bowl Halftime show co-stars might go on tour together.

50 Cent suggested he and his Super Bowl halftime show co-stars might go on tour together.

Instead of returning fire at his online detractors, 50 Cent marketed his new clothing line.


And while Fiddy was making the most of the messy moment, his online supporters defended him against the chubby wisecracks. 


“What psychological delusion leads some to believe 50 Cent is FAT!? I don’t even give a f–k about Fifty, but this is ridiculous,” argued an ally. 


“People tried to clown 50 Cent during the Super Bowl saying he got fat knowing damn well most of them aren’t in the same shape they were in 20 years ago either,” said another. 


Usher Announces New Las Vegas Residency Kicking Off This Summer


Following Usher's sold-out, dynamic 20-show run during his first Las Vegas residency last year, it appears the King of R&B is ready to do it all over again. The legendary Atlanta-bred singer will headline a new residency in Sin City at Dolby Live at Park MGM, starting on Friday, July 15.


This second residency is being advertised as “BRAND NEW” as Usher wrote in all caps on Twitter with one obvious distinction being the Dolby Live stage incorporates audience interaction, so everyone feels like they’re having an intimate experience with the Confessions crooner. However, other details about the upcoming 23-show run remain under wraps.


Dates for the new residency are as follows:
July 2022: 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30
August 2022: 26, 27, 31
September 2022: 3, 4, 9, 10
October 2022: 14, 15, 19, 21, 22, 26, 28, 29


Tickets will go on sale next Friday, Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. PT, but pre-sale tickets—available only for those who join Usher’s community by texting (404) 737-1821—go on sale starting Friday (Feb. 18) at 12 p.m. PT until Thursday, Feb. 24 at 10 p.m. PT.


Citi cardmembers will also have access to purchase their pre-sale tickets on Friday (Feb. 18) at 10 a.m. PT until Thursday, Feb. 24 at 10 p.m. PT. Pre-sale access for members of MGM Rewards, MGM Resorts International’s reimagined loyalty rewards program and Live Nation and Ticketmaster customers, starts on Monday, Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. PT until Thursday, Feb. 24 at 10 p.m. PT.


General ticket prices begin at $79, and a limited number of VIP meet & greet packages also are available for each show.


Usher 2022 Vegas Residency flyer

Mary J. Blige Dismisses Super Bowl Halftime Haters: "That's A Small Conversation"


According to Blige, the magnitude of the performance outshines any negativity or complaints from people upset about Rap & R&B artists.


It has gone down in Super Bowl history as one of the most celebrated halftime performances to date, but not everyone was excited about seeing Hip Hop & R&B take to the stage. Over the weekend, history was made when Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige came together to celebrate all things West Coast. The ode to Compton continues to trend across the internet, but the praise came with complaints from people who weren't impressed.

Some were upset that Eminem was the only white person in the show and others were furious to see Rap being applauded, and in an interview with Hot 97, Mary J. Blige dismissed the naysayers. 

Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent


Ebro Darden spoke with Blige about a select group of people thinking the performance was "too raunchy." He asked if she had paid any attention to the commentary and she told him she had not.

"That’s a small conversation compared to how huge that is. Like, Hip Hop is here. It’s more than just a small thing," said Blige. "It’s just as big as Rock 'n' Roll right now. I don’t pay attention to all of that... Someone looked at us...well, somebody looked at Dre and said, ‘We need you,' and Dre looked at me and said, ‘I want you,' and so on and so forth with all his friends. So, I really don’t care about it.”

This was an opportunity of a lifetime and Blige isn't letting anyone steal her shine. Check out her interview below.





'Howard High' Star Keith Sweat Is Bringing His Magnetic Star Power To Tubi


Longevity is a blessing for so few artists in the music industry, and those who can remain in the public consciousness may not always do so through the sole vehicle of song. For generations, our favorite performers would find their way onto a screen — silver, plasma, LED or tempered glass — whether as fully-immersed actors or even being themselves in cameo appearances. But sometimes, you could be thrown for a loop to see someone who you enjoyed as a musician trading sound checks in the studio for multiple takes on a stage.


So when we got the heads up that one of the biggest legends in R&B history was taking another turn in front of the camera for the new Tubi movie, Howard High, it was a pleasant surprise. Well, at least for this scribe who had no idea that interviewing one of the smoothest hitmakers ever, Keith Sweat, would be on his bucket list.


Even if you were way too young to fully appreciate what Sweat was crooning about, you definitely felt the vibe when you came of age. From “I’ll Give All My Love To You” to “Twisted” and so much more, Sweat was a towering figure in the new jack swing era of R&B, and his work — a collection of sexuality, romance, heartbreak and style —  continues to influence today’s sounds. And just like previous generations of musicians who dipped their toes in other arenas,  seeing Sweat on TV or film always brings back those feelings for those who keep his hits as part of their personal soundtracks.


Howard High, directed by Christopher B. Stokes, should be no different. Based on the 2020 miniseries of the same name, the movie is about an underperforming school at risk of closing its doors. However, thanks to its talented performing arts program, the school has a chance to fight for its survival.


Decider had the pleasure to chat with Sweat about much more than his role in Howard High, though the discussion about his involvement in the movie was illuminating on its own. The longtime artist spoke about quitting Wall Street to make music, his mentorship of younger singers, touring in the COVID era, and the state of mainstream R&B in 2022.

DECIDER: All of this time later, did you ever figure out a right or wrong way to love somebody?

KEITH SWEAT: I’m still trying to figure that out. [Laughs]

How did you get involved with Howard High? What made you want to get in front of the camera and not just the mic?


I’ve done a quite of few things in front of the screen. I did this movie that just came out, For The Love Of Money, with Katt Williams and Keri Hilson. I have done quite a few things in front of the camera – I was in front of the camera in New Jack City. I did a few shows on Martin and The Wayan Brothers and that type of stuff, so that was some acting, funny tip though.




I got involved because I go way back with Marques Houston and Chris Stokes. I produced and written songs for Immature so based on that we’ve already known each other by then. Since he knows that lately I’ve been executive producing films and stuff like that. I know he was doing Howard High so we decided to connect with each other.

From the music business, I’ve known him to do up from the music situations we had; we decided to get together and work together on film. That’s basically how it happened. He called me and I fit the role perfectly knowing it’s mentorship. What I’ve done with all the young acts coming up now. They look at me as the OG, so it’s “I want you to come to my video. I want to ask you this question. I want to know this.” So, it’s pretty much the same thing.


It was fascinating to think you were a guy on Wall Street before embarking on a long musical career, taking that leap of faith in late ’70s. What was it that made you say “I can make money in Wall Street, but it’s just not enough, and I want to get myself out there in a different way?” 


I couldn’t say it wasn’t enough. My desire, my passion, was to do music. We all have our own desires and dreams of what we want in life and how we want to excel in life. It’s what makes us really happy. I’ve always been into music. I’ve grown up listening to the O’Jays, Norman Connors, you name it and I grew up listening to it. Kool & the Gang, Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers. When I got the opportunity to do it, of course I was going to jump on it. I wasn’t going to jump 100% all into it because you always have something you got to fall back on in case things don’t work. I realized that I could make a really good living from it.


I did it more so because I enjoyed music and for the passion of it, not because I thought about the money side of it. It was more of I can do this and people will like the songs, like what I’m doing. That’s what made me decide to go forward wholeheartedly with it.

Considering where both the music industry is today, with more niches and more outlets to be heard (or ignored), do you think you could have taken that leap now? 


I think I could’ve did it. Why? Because to be able to sustain is like being able to come out in the beginning. There’s a lot of people who have come out and haven’t been able to sustain. My work ethic is so crazy that I’m always trying to find a way to make it in the game that I love.


There’s certain people that keep reinventing themselves. They reinvent themselves to make themselves relevant. For me, it seems to be very easy for me to do because everybody mess with me on the young side and the older side. You just have to know when to hold and when to fold. [Laughs] Everything ain’t for everybody. Everybody ain’t for everything. You got to know when it’s for you and when it’s not for you.

R&B has shifted quite a bit over the years. What do you think about where the genre is at this moment in 2022 and why artists aren’t getting the same acclaim you have? Where do you see the industry right now? 


Artists are not getting to my level because the format of video has changed. Back in the day, if I dropped a record, it wasn’t just considered an adult-contemporary record. Now, they classified the music so much more than it was back in the day when I came out. When I dropped “Make It Last Forever,” at Warner I was able to go top ten, at number one pop. The music was not so classified as, “This is a black artist. He’s R&B.” Music was just music. Now everything has its own space. They love R&B and with hip-hop back in the day, they were separate. You had your hip-hop charts, you had your R&B charts. They lumped it all together with hip-hop and R&B, they’re on the same charts. That’s why it’s harder for artists to make it. Like for me, it was easy because they didn’t lump all them together like that.


Who do you check for these days? Who are the ones that really get your attention?

I listen to quite a few people. I’m not familiar with all the names. Of course, you know the Chris Browns, the main ones. It’s quite a few people. I mean, I listen to everybody. It doesn’t matter because you have to listen to different genres of music in order to know what you’re dealing with musically.


It would be interesting to see how your mentorship works as someone trying to break through in the game today. You’re the OG, you worked with so many different musicians, you discovered so many folks we love in the 90s and 2000s. How do you mentor an artist?


I can write for anybody. I can write in any form of music because I’m from the streets. I can write whatever. Music has changed. I can understand because all music now are more direct. Back in the day, you couldn’t say certain things even though you meant certain things. You had to put it in a way the radio could play it. Now everything is just so direct and so blunt. It’s not really no different from the way we probably talk. [Laughs] If I get mad at somebody, you’re going to hear all those words. Nowadays, I could say all those things in the record now. It’s changed only now that people can be more direct.


Do you think something is lost, something is gained by the way the lyrics have changed? By how the sound has changed?

I’m cool with certain words, but (not in) every sentence. That’s the problem I have with every sentence.


When you decided to participate in this film, did the plot resonate with you in how many schools around the country have or are struggling to hold on to their music or art programs? 

I think that’s why the film is so good because it just makes reference to what’s happening in most schools right now. They don’t have the money for the arts program or the things that allow the kids to gain more out of school. That’s why the story of the film makes so much sense.


The good thing about it is that people see this and might encourage them. It might give people a sense of “We need to do something about it.” The reason why most of these young kids are acting crazy is because they have nothing to turn to. They need a release, not going to rob the store. They need an outlet, but they don’t have one. If you ain’t got an outlet, what are you going to do but go crazy. You know how life is, they need something to keep them focused. They just have too much time on their hands. When you have too much time on your hands, you get yourself into some trouble.


What did it feel like to step into this role?

Since I’ve done this before, it’s like second nature to me. Acting doesn’t feel no different for me than being on-stage singing a song. Saying it now, I’m acting, talking. When I’m on stage performing, I’m still on stage and I still have to play a certain part, a certain role. When I’m singing, I still have to make people interested in what I’m singing. I still have to engage people while I’m on stage. When you’re acting, you have to engage the person watching you and make them believe you’re that person playing that role. Make them believe this is really happening.

It’s no different than me singing a song and when I put no emotion into it, it’s no good. I really have to impact the song with emotion and feel.


How has it been doing all this work — touring, most especially — in the pandemic?

It hasn’t been challenging for me. When COVID hit, I needed the much needed rest because I’m always on the road. Now, I still tour and it’s not as bad for me as people make it because I still tour. If it gets bad, then we just stay home. But I’m good either way. [Laughs]

R. Kelly To Begin Chicago Trial In August With New Attorney


Convicted R&B singer R. Kelly faces a jury trial in Chicago starting August 1 and will do so after with new legal representation after dumping his original Chicago-based attorneys at a hearing on Wednesday in New York.


Kelly will now be represented by New York civil rights attorney Jennifer Bonjean, who started her legal career in Chicago and who represented the musician at a court appearance on Wednesday. Kelly, 54, was scheduled to be in court two weeks ago, but contracted COVID-19 in his Brooklyn jail cell.


Bonjean was granted a two-week extension after she told a judge that Kelly was unable to participate in his post-trial defense because of the illness. On Wednesday, Kelly told a judge that he no longer wants to be represented by his original legal team and wished for Bonjean to take over his legal defense.


Bonjean, who represented comedian Bill Cosby in his appeal of sexual assault charges and won his release from prison, tweeted on Wednesday that she had just filed an appearance in Kelly's case in Illinois and that trial will begin Aug. 1 in Chicago.

The judge had told Bonjean on Wednesday that trial needed to start as quickly as possible as Kelly has two co-defendants in the case that are seeking speedy trials.


Kelly, who is facing racketeering charges in New York, is represented by Bonjean in that case as well. Kelly was convicted of charges that he used his musical career to further a criminal enterprise. He was found guilty of 12 charges, including having sex with an underage girl as well as bribing an Illinois public official to get a fake ID for a 15-year-old musician so the two could marry.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in May and faces 15 years in prison but faces further charges in Illinois. Kelly is charged with trying to purchase back sex tapes he made with underage girls and also attempting to bribe witnesses in his child pornography case in Cook County in 2008.


Kelly, who has been in custody since 2019, was acquitted of the child pornography charge.



Miguel and Nazanin Mandi Get Back Together


Breakup to makeup.

Just five months after calling it quits, Miguel and Nazanin Mandi are back together. On Tuesday (Feb. 15), the R&B singer announced that he and his wife of three years have reconciled.


Breakup to makeup.

Just five months after calling it quits, Miguel and Nazanin Mandi are back together. On Tuesday (Feb. 15), the R&B singer announced that he and his wife of three years have reconciled.


Back in September, the longtime couple announced that they had split after nearly two decades together.

“After 17 years together, Miguel and Nazanin Mandi have decided to separate and have been for some time now,” said a rep for the couple. “The couple both wish each other well.”

The high school sweethearts went on their first date in 2005 and got engaged in January 2016. They were married in an intimate ceremony in Simi Valley, Calif. in November 2018.

Their friends celebrated their reunion including Melanie Fiona, who commented, “Meant to be.”

Trey Songz Accused Of "Savage" A### Rape In $20 Million Lawsuit


Trey was hit with a $20 million lawsuit by another Jane Doe. According to the unidentified woman, she was in a consensual sexual relationship with Trey in 2016.


However, in March of 2016, Trey Songz allegedly turned into a “Savage rapist.” during an incident at a house party in Los Angeles.

According to TMZ, Trey invited the woman upstairs for some consensual sex. She claims Trey was hell-bent on having a### sex with her, a request she denied repeatedly. 

However, when they entered the bedroom, Trey Songz allegedly pinned the woman down on the ground, overpowered her, and inserted his penis into her a### without her permission.


According to the lawsuit, someone entered the room during the sexual assault, but they quickly left the room upon realizing what was happening.

The woman says she escaped from the house after Trey finished his rape. She fled the home and caught an Uber. The driver noticed the woman was in distress and took her to a hospital.


A medical exam showed “severe a### tearing that could require surgery.”

The woman claims she never told the police that Trey Songz was the aggressor because she was in shock and feared for her life.


Trey Songz claims the entire lawsuit is nothing but a money grab because the latest Jane Doe’s lawyer, Ariel Mitchell, also represents two other women suing Trey Songz for sexual assaults in Miami and New York.


In a statement to TMZ, a representative for Trey said “the timing of this lawsuit is suspect, to say the least, this suit is filed by the same plaintiff’s attorneys whose integrity was called into question earlier today.”


Trey’s representative referred to alleged evidence pointing to witness tampering related to the Miami sexual assault. 


Trey claims Jane Doe’s legal defense in that case allegedly offered a witness hundreds of thousands of dollars to corroborate her claim that Trey stuck his fingers inside of he v##### during a New Year's party at a club in Miami in 2017.

Dr. Dre's Spotify Streams Increase By 185% After Super Bowl Halftime Performance


The Super Bowl 2022 Pepsi Halftime Show, which included a medley of performances from some of the greatest acts in Hip-Hop and R&B, was headlined by legendary producer and artist Dr. Dre.

Following the success of the Halftime Show, which included appearances from Dre’s collaborators Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige, it’s been reported that streams of the Hip-Hop legend’s music on Spotify alone have increased by 185 percent. Two of the songs Dre performed during the show, “The Next Episode” and “Still D.R.E.” from his 1999 album, Chronic 2001, also saw increases of 270 percent and 245 percent, respectively.


The Compton, Calif. native wasn’t the only performer to see a boost in Spotify streams after the show as Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama” saw an increase of 520 percent, while streams of Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” rose 250 percent.


While the show included other standout moments—such as Eminem's decision to take a knee during his set as a show of support for former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick—there were also aspects of the Halftime performance that left fans with questions, which Dre addressed during a recent run-in with TMZ.


When asked about the alteration of lyrics during Kendrick Lamar’s performance, Dre admitted to acquiescing to the NFL’s requests, explaining, “There were a few things that we had to change, but it was, like, really minor things.” He added it was “no big deal” to adjust the lyrics given the platform. The 56-year-old also spoke on Em kneeling on stage and debunked the rumors that the league had taken issue with his stance. “Em taking a knee, that was him doing that on his own and there was no problem with that.”


Describing the performance in its entirety as “fantastic,” Dre also commended his costars for taking full advantage of the opportunity and their overall professionalism, saying, “Everybody was on time and everybody really felt the magnitude of what this was.”



New Edition Announces "The Culture Tour with Charlie Wilson and Jodeci"

Veteran R&B group New Edition headlines an iconic lineup with the legendary Charlie Wilson, along with special guest Jodeci, the bad boys of R&B.


The Culture Tour kicks off a 30-city tour on Feb. 16, 2022, in Columbus, Georgia, with stops in Los Angeles, New York, and New Edition’s hometown of Boston.

In 1983, New Edition released their debut single “Candy Girl” off their self-titled album, hitting Number 1 on the Billboard Hot Black Single Charts, jumping ahead of Michael Jackson's “Beat It.” Since then, New Edition has released more than six studio albums, received multiple Soul Train and American Music Awards, and a Grammy Award nomination.


In 2017, BET Network released their three-part Biopic: The New Edition Story, airing over three consecutive nights. The mini-series attracted 29 million total viewers. That same year, the network honored them with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing the group as one of the innovators of R&B. They have remained one of the most influential R&B groups of the last 30 years and counting, catapulting the solo careers of Bobby BrownJohnny Gill, and Ralph Tresvant, and Bell Biv DeVoe.

Viewers experienced a sense of nostalgia during the American Music Awards in November 2021, when New Edition performed alongside 80s boy band New Kids on the Block. Often credited as the creators of the modern-day boy bands, New Edition will attract fans old and new. Starring all six members, Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky BellMichael Bivins, Ralph Tresvant, and Johnny Gill, this is the group’s first tour in more than five years.


With a career spanning over four decades, Charlie Wilson, also known as “Uncle Charlie,” is one of the few names in music that resonate with multiple generations of music lovers.

Beginning as the co-founder/lead singer for The Gap Band (“Outstanding, “Burn Rubber On Me,” “Yearning For Your Love,”) Wilson later embarked on a successful solo career garnering himself thirteen Grammy Award nominations, eleven NAACP Image Awards (including two wins), the BMI Icon Award in 2005 and the 2009 Soul Train Icon Award. His Number 1 solo hits include “Charlie, Last Name Wilson,” “There Goes My Baby” and “You Are,” to name a few. In 2020 and 2009, he was named Billboard magazine’s Number 1 Adult R&B Male Artist and remains the Top Adult Male Artist with the most Number 1’s in three decades.


Additionally, he was honored by BET with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 with an all-star tribute by Justin TimberlakePharrell Williams, and Snoop Dogg.

Representing the sound that shaped 90s R&B, the iconic group Jodeci joins the tour as a special guest. The group debuted their first album, “Forever My Lady,” in 1991 and has sold more than 20 million records worldwide. They have been the soundtrack to many music lovers’ most memorable moments for over 30 years with hit songs “Forever My Lady,” “Stay” and “Come And Talk To Me.”


After a several-year hiatus, the group has reunited and is ready to show fans why they reign supreme as one of the most iconic R&B groups of all time.

Locations, venues, and dates for The Culture Tour can be found below:

— 2/16 Columbus, Georgia Civic Center

— 2/18 Nashville, Tennessee Bridgestone Arena

— 2/19 Birmingham, Alabama Legacy Arena at BJCC

— 2/20 Atlanta, Georgia State Farm Arena

— 2/24 Philadelphia, Pensylvannia Wells Fargo Center

— 2/25 Norfolk, Virginia Chartway Arena (without Charlie Wilson)

— 2/26 New York, New York Madison Square Garden

— 2/27 Baltimore, Maryland Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena (without Charlie Wilson)

— 3/2 Boston, Massachusetts TD Garden

— 3/4 Cleveland, Ohio Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

— 3/5 Chicago, Illinois United Center

— 3/6 Detroit, Michigan Little Caesar Arena

— 3/11 St. Louis, Missouri Enterprise Center

— 3/12 Cincinnati, Ohio Heritage Bank Center (without Charlie Wilson)

— 3/13 Memphis, Tennessee FedEx Forum

— 3/18 Oakland, California Oakland Arena

— 3/19 Las Vegas, Nevada Michelob Ultra

— 3/20 Los Angeles, California Crypto.com Arena

— 3/24 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas Dickies Arena

— 3/25 Houston, Texas Toyota Center

— 3/26 Bossier City/Shreveport, Louisiana Brookshire Grocery Arena

— 3/27 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Paycom Center

— 3/31 Washington, D.C. Capital One Arena

— 4/1 Newark, New Jersey Prudential Center

— 4/2 Greensboro, North Carolina Greensboro Coliseum

— 4/3 Charlotte, North Carolina Spectrum Center

— 4/6 Jacksonville, Florida VyStar Arena

— 4/7 Tampa, Florida Amelie Arena

— 4/8 Savannah, Georgia Enmarket Arena

— 4/10 Miami, Florida FTX Arena

In partnership with The Black Promoters Collective, a 100 percent Black-owned promotions company composed of veteran live entertainment promoters, The Culture Tour tickets are currently on sale.

Dr. Dre Talks Eminem Taking A Knee, NFL Telling Kendrick Lamar To Take Out Gang References




The chaos of the Super Bowl and its halftime show has subsided and now, Dr. Dre is sitting down to give his take on the performance that stunned Hip Hop and R&B fans worldwide. He was joined by Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar as they relived some of our favorite tracks, but the show was not without its controversy. There were murmurs that Eminem defied the NFL by taking a knee after his portion, but the league issued a statement saying they knew ahead of time that the Detroit icon would follow Colin Kaepernick's lead.

During a casual chat with TMZ, Dre confirmed that the NFL was already aware of Eminem's plans while also detailing the "minor" changes that the league requested.




"There were a few things we had to change but it was like, really minor things," he told the outlet. "Em taking a knee, that was Em doing that on his own and there was no problem with that. I think the beginning of Kendrick's set, he says 'If Pirus and Crips all got along,' they had a problem with that, so we had to take that out. No big deal, we did it, but all in all, everybody came in, we were professional, everybody was on time and everybody really felt the magnitude of what this thing was and what we were gonna be able to accomplish."


"It was a fantastic experience." Dre revealed that once the halftime show was over, Blige met him back at his home where they went into the studio and listened to some new music she was working on. He then offered a public apology to the singer because he wasn't sure if that was supposed to be a secret.

Dr. Dre also joked that his trainer would be upset with him because on the way home from the Super Bowl he decided to stop by McDonald's. "There's something about those fries," he quipped. Check it out below.







2022 Super Bowl roundup: Halftime's electrifying setlist

Eminem (from L) performs with Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, Feb. 13, 2022, Inglewood, California, U.S. (AP Photo)

Los Angeles natives Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg kicked off the halftime show at Sunday's Super Bowl with an electrifying performance of their classic hit "The Next Episode." While Dr. Dre sustained the show with a rendition of "California Love," 50 Cent made a surprise appearance by hanging upside down and performed "In Da Club."


Kendrick Lamar (from L), Eminem, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, and Snoop Dogg perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium, Feb. 13, 2022, Inglewood, California, U.S. (AFP Photo)

Snoop Dogg performs during the halftime show at SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California, U.S., Feb. 13, 2022, Inglewood, California, U.S. (Reuters Photo)


The star-packed lineup, also featuring Eminem, R&B star Mary J. Blige and rapper Kendrick Lamar, made hip-hop the focus of the halftime extravaganza, a platform that draws the world's top musical acts. At SoFi Stadium outside Los Angeles, the musicians sang a medley of hits and traversed the roofs and interiors of a row of white buildings assembled on the football field.


Wearing a sequined white outfit with thigh-high boots, Blige performed "Family Affair" in front of a sparkling group of backup dancers. The performance was followed by her "No More Drama." Kendrick then delivered a fantastic performance of his song "Alright," preluded with "m.A.A.d. City."


Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium, Feb. 13, 2022, Inglewood, California, U.S. (AFP Photo)

Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg perform during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium, Feb. 13, 2022, Inglewood, California, U.S. (AFP Photo)


Rapping his Oscar-winning hit "Lose Yourself," Eminem ended his performance by kneeling and placing his head in his hand, a gesture that former quarterback Colin Kaepernick made during the national anthem at NFL games as a call for racial justice. Kaepernick has not played since the 2016 season as no NFL team hired him after he began kneeling.


Media outlet Puck reported earlier on Sunday that the NFL had told Eminem not to kneel during the performance. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said the report was untrue. NFL staff watched halftime rehearsals this week and the kneeling was included at that time, he said.


Eminem kneels down during the halftime performance at the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, Feb. 13, 2022, Inglewood, California, U.S. (AP Photo)


Eminem kneels down during the halftime performance at the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, Feb. 13, 2022, Inglewood, California, U.S. (AP Photo)


Dre and Snoop finished things off with a performance of "Still D.R.E."

Before the show, Dre and Snoop said that the NFL should have embraced rap years ago and they hoped to open doors for more hip-hop artists. Rap musicians have appeared previously but alongside pop and rock acts.


"THE GREATEST HALFTIME SHOW I'VE EVER SEEN!!!" Los Angeles Lakers basketball star LeBron James, who was seated in the crowd, wrote on Twitter.



Maxwell Inks Second Exclusive Sunglasses Collection With State Optical Co.


Maxwell has realigned himself with STATE Optical Co.. to launch a second limited-edition sunglasses collection. The new line features five styles under the name BLACK _SUMMERS’_NIGHT, sharing the title of his album trilogy started in 2009. 


“Partnering with STATE for this second collection has been an incredible and rewarding experience,” Maxwell explained in a statement.


“Being really hands-on in the creation process, from beginning to end, has been very special and lends to the authenticity of the collection. This collection embodies my style.”


Available in three colorways, including a midnight blue frame, a rose gold frame, and a chrome frame, this collection of luxury sunglasses, priced at $375, go up for sale under an exclusive Valentine’s Day deal. It will give the buyers of the first 50 orders a collectors case signed by Maxwell. They will officially launch on March 1 on the official website. 


Like the REUNION edition, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Vision Council's Open Your Eyes Scholarship (O-YES), helping high school seniors with different resources that desire to take a career path as an optician.


Last year, before accepting the Legend Award at the Soul Train Awards, Maxwell released his return single "Off". It’s the first single to his blacksummers’NIGHT, due this spring. 


The album’s campaign includes a heading Night Tour that features Anthony Hamilton and Joe as supporting acts. The 25-city trek kicks off on March 2 in Dallas at Texas Trust CU Theater. Tickets are on sale now.

Eminem Crowns Kendrick Lamar One of the best lyricists "of all time" ahead of Super Bowl Show


Eminem is set to perform at the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at Inglewood, California’s SoFi Stadium on Sunday (February 13) for an all-star Hip Hop and R&B spectacle alongside Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige. 


Ahead of the big game (and performance), Slim Shady sat down for an interview with SiriusXM’s Sway Calloway, in which he heaped high praise on the youngest member of the Super Bowl Halftime Show lineup, Kendrick Lamar.


When asked by Sway if he agrees that Kendrick is “the most electrifying vocalist of this generation,” Em replied, “I absolutely would agree. Kendrick is at the very top, top tier of lyricists — not just of this generation, but of all time.”


Eminem’s comments hardly come as a surprise given the Detroit rap legend has repeatedly shared his admiration for Kendrick in the past.


“I love Kendrick Lamar,” he told The New York Times in 2015. “The way he puts albums together — front to back, they’re like pieces of art.”


Eminem holds Kendrick’s 2012 album good kid, m.A.A.d city in especially high regard, having told Genius, “When I first heard Kendrick’s debut on Aftermath, I couldn’t believe it. The fact that it was his first real album and he was able to make it into a story which intertwines with the skits like that was genius.”


He added, “That hasn’t really been done that many times, let alone on someone’s first time up. The level of wordplay, deliveries, the beats — it’s just a masterpiece.”

Eminem and Kendrick Lamar even joined forces on “Love Game” from Em’s 2013 album The Marshall Mathers LP 2, although they’ve yet to collaborate since.



MAY 2, 2021

Elsewhere in his conversation with Sway, Eminem admitted the prospect of performing live at the Super Bowl is “fucking nerve-racking,” but that hasn’t dampened how impressed he is by the show Dr. Dre has in store for fans.

“When Dre first asked me and the whole thing started going down and we were like, ‘Ok, this might be actually serious,’ I tried to envision what Dre might do,” he said. “I was thinking like, ‘Yeah, that’s dope that all of us are going to rap together.’ But I didn’t expect the production to be like this.”


Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Mary J. Blige might not be the only big names performing at the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show. 50 Cent is rumored to make an appearance after his 2003 smash hit “In Da Club” was heard being rehearsed at the SoFi stadium, while Ice Cube‘s name is also in the mix as a potential special guest.

In any case, rap fans are in for a helluva show — one that Dre has promised won’t involve any Janet Jackson-esque mishaps.



Jazmine Sullivan Releases 'Heaux Tales, Mo' Tales: The Deluxe'


In the wake of embarking on a headlining Heaux Tales Tour, Jazmine Sullivan has released a bonus edition of her 2021 comeback project. Heaux Tales, Mo'Tales: The Delux, a ten-song extension of last year’s prelude, features "Tragic" the only song that officially preceded it.


“BPW” hears Sullivan confidently speaking about her skills in the bedroom, while “Hurt Me So Good” utilizes all the pitch-perfect wails to communicate the feelings of being unable to let loose of a bad man.


Gathering listeners around the kitchen table for her now-infamous tales, on this new set Sullivan has one where she speaks about blossoming as a woman who felt undesirable.

It’s been quite a long time since we’ve seen Sullivan on tour in support of a proper album, let alone two separate projects. She’ll launch her string of winter shows alongside special guest Tiana Major9 on Feb. 14 in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

The original version of Heaux Tales gave Sullivan one of the best years in 2021, landing atop many year-end albums lists, including Rated R&B. 

It was (and still is) nominated for plenty of album awards, recently collecting nods in categories at the 2022 Grammys, iHeartRadio Music Awards, and the NAACP Image Awards. 

The project’s focus track, "Pick Up Your Feelings" continues to enjoy an astonishing run, peaking at number-one single on the R&B charts last spring. The Nova Wav-assisted track also earned Sullivan her first platinum award.


Stream Jazmine Sullivan’s Heaux Tales, Mo’Tales: The Deluxe below.


Mary J. Blige Says Fans Will be '100 Percent Fulfilled' by Super Bowl Halftime Show (Exclusive)


Mary J. Blige is confident that fans are going to be wowed at Super Bowl LVI. On Sunday, the 51-year-old R&B legend will join Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem for Pepsi's highly anticipated halftime show.


"Just be prepared to have a good time. The show is crazy," Blige told ET's Nischelle Turner at the release party for her new 15th studio album, Good Morning Gorgeous, at The Classic Cat in West Hollywood. "We are leaving everything on the stage."


Blige, who watched Dr. Dre's halftime show rehearsal, also teased the 56-year-old rapper's set, saying, "I mean, I got goosebumps when I saw that set. I was like, 'Oh this is...' It's amazing what’s gonna happen on Sunday."


As for her halftime show look, Blige has just one word: "Wow. That’s all I’m gonna say, wow." 


"I think you want to give them Mary on steroids, just, like, the most beautiful, glamorous, ghetto fabulous whatever! We're gonna take it to a whole other level," she shared. 


Noting that fans will "100 percent" be fulfilled by the show, Blige is also marveling at this major career achievement. 


"I’m blessed, and it’s a lot of hard work and obedience and wanting the best for myself and believing in myself for real and doing the work that comes with that," Blige said. "Because it’s not easy and this is what’s manifesting all these great things that are happening and loving on me, for me, makes everyone else love on you too."


Blige is all about manifesting in her new album, Good Morning Gorgeous, which was released on Friday. 

"I couldn’t give up on myself. I had to say something that was really powerful, that I didn’t even believe, to say it to myself in the morning because who looks good in the morning?" Blige explained of her title track, "Good Morning Gorgeous." 


She added that the inspiration for the album came from a dark place in her life. 

"It was not a good place. It was created and confessed to get me out of a dark situation, and I learned confessing positive things begins to manifest," she shared, calling the writing process "a whole therapy session."


Good Morning Gorgeous is out today, and in addition to her upcoming Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime performance, Blige's Super Bowl commercial for Hologic will also air during Sunday's game. 


Super Bowl LVI airs live on NBC on Sunday, Feb. 13. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. ET. Additionally, the game will be streaming on Peacock, SlingTV, fuboTV and Hulu Plus. In the meantime, stay tuned right here to ETonline.com for more exclusive Super Bowl coverage coming your way before game day

Inside Whitney Houston's devastating final weekend, 10 years later


Two days before her death on Feb. 11, 2012, Whitney Houston showed up to rehearsals for mentor Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy gala, a glitzy night of music and mingling that she was planning to attend. The star-studded bash — which, held the night before the awards, is always one of the hottest tickets of Grammy weekend — was taking place at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton hotel, where the singer was also staying.


Houston’s longtime musical director Rickey Minor was putting the band through its paces for the event, and he noticed immediately that something was different about the woman who was like his “little sister.”


“She pops into rehearsal, and we hadn’t even started, and it’s 10:30 in the morning,” Minor told The Post. “Like, she doesn’t get up till the crack of 3, you know? She’s not a morning person. She loves her sleep, and she’s a night owl, so I never get to see her at 10:30. And she was kind of wet, like dripping. And I said, ‘Where are you coming from?’ She says, ‘I’ve been swimming. I’m getting my lungs back. I’m getting back in shape.’ ”


Whitney Houston performing at the American Music Awards in 2009.
Whitney Houston performed at the American Music Awards in 2009
Getty Images
Whitney Houston and Clive Davis
Houston with producer Clive Davis at his pre-Grammy gala in 2011.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag
The Beverly Hilton hotel
Houston died on Feb. 11, 2012 at the Beverly Hilton hotel.
Getty Images


Houston claimed to be cleaning up her act after years of drug abuse and smoking had taken their toll on her once-pristine pipes. But she was clearly lying to Minor — and perhaps to herself.


Indeed, the comeback that Houston was hoping to have after wrapping her upcoming movie “Sparkle” — a remake of the 1976 musical drama — didn’t happen. She died, at age 48, in the drug-filled bathroom of her hotel room just a few hours before the Davis party was due to begin. The cause of death was accidental drowning in the bathtub, but long-term cocaine use and heart disease were contributing factors.

The shocking passing of the pop diva who once possessed the greatest voice of all rocked that Grammy weekend, turning it into a collective mourning by the music world that had assembled to celebrate its biggest night of the year. Still, amid the surreal sadness, the Grammys carried on the day after Houston’s death.


“Your almost natural instinct right at the beginning was to throw the [originally planned] show out and make the show a tribute to Whitney Houston,” longtime Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich told The Post. “But that wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. So it was trying to find the blend between honoring her memory and then doing a Grammy show right.”


Gerrick Kennedy, author of the new book "Didn't We Almost Have It All: In Defense of Whitney Houston," agreed that, “Nothing would have made the circumstances less horrible. Nothing would have made the moment feel less awful,” he said. “So it just was kind of like, what do you do?”


Clearly still using

Kennedy recalled seeing Houston at the Beverly Hilton two days before her death. The star was in lively spirits when she crashed an E! News interview that Brandy and Monica were doing at the Davis party rehearsals. “In the moment, it was just like, you know, she’s having a good time,” he said. “She was there to see her little babies. But obviously, we now know that clearly, she was not [sober].”


Later that night, Houston gave an impromptu performance of “Jesus Loves Me” at Kelly Price’s For the Love of R&B pre-Grammy event held at Tru Hollywood nightclub. It would turn out to be the last time she ever sang in public.


Whitney Houston leaving club Tru in Hollywood.


The next day, photos surfaced with Houston looking disheveled while leaving Tru. Minor got a call from Houston that day, but she didn’t leave a message and didn’t answer when he called her back. “I never talked to her again,” said Minor, who had formed a close bond with the singer since first working with her in 1982.


Minor got news of Houston’s death from the head of security at the Beverly Hilton. “He said, ‘Come with me.’ And we went to the service elevator, and we went up to the floor. And he said, ‘You know, she’s unconscious. She’s unresponsive.’ And then they cleared the floor, and I was the only one allowed to be on the floor. My head was spinning. Of course, I couldn’t tell anybody. It was an out-of-body experience to me … like some weird freak dream.”


Grammys without Whitney

Ehrlich was busy at Grammy rehearsals when word of Houston’s death spread throughout the Staples Center. “I had two or three people come up to me with long faces,” he said. “And my first reaction was, ‘You’re kidding.’ Because those are things you think when the unthinkable happens. And I could see from their reaction that they weren’t kidding.”


At that moment, Ehrlich — like many who knew and were inspired by Houston in the music industry — felt a very personal loss. “It hurt me so deeply,” said the producer, who had first showcased Houston singing "Saving All My Love For You" at the Grammys in 1986. “We worked with Whitney an awful lot over the years. I felt like we had been there for her for so long. And I had watched, honestly, the steady decline.”


Whitney Houston A portrait of the singer earlier in her career. Getty Images


But Ehrlich and others at the Staples Center found comfort in LL Cool J, who was hosting the Grammys for the first time. “All of a sudden, here he is walking into a show that he was really looking forward to being a part of and being hit with what might have been, you know, the last thing that you want to hear when you were starting a new venture. But he was remarkable … He guided the vibe that was needed behind the scenes and on camera.”


The cover of a new book, The cover of a new book, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All: In Defense of Whitney Houston,” by Gerrick Kennedy. Courtesy of Abrams PresIn fact, it was LL’s idea to honor Houston’s memory with a moving prayer to open the Grammys instead of the monologue he had planned. “To be honest with you, I wasn’t so sure that was the right thing to do,” said Ehrlich. “But basically, they were his words.”

Meanwhile, Ehrlich immediately thought of Jennifer Hudson to perform a musical tribute to Houston and reached out to her. “She was getting dressed on her way to Clive’s party when we finally reached her. And she agreed to do it, very reluctantly. But obviously, [Houston’s death] had a profound effect on her.”

Hudson worked out the stripped-down performance of Houston’s classic “I Will Always Love You” with Minor in another room before Davis’ party. Meanwhile, other artists scheduled to perform at the Beverly Hilton ballroom — including Alicia Keys and special honoree Diana Ross — wondered if they should still do it while Houston’s body was still upstairs.


“I was grappling over what to do,” said Minor. “My input was that everyone will be grieving and mourning. So we celebrate her life separately or together — and we’re here. And if the artists are willing to do it, I mean, it’s a healing thing.”


But Kennedy doesn’t think that the Davis party should have gone on as scheduled. “I thought it was completely disgusting,” he said. “I have never gotten over the fact that this party happened. She’s upstairs, and the coroner is waiting to go up there and get her. It’s appalling to me. It felt like this weird Shakespearean tragedy unfolding where it’s like, this woman who was granted so little dignity in her lifetime can’t even die in dignity.”


Paying tribute

At the Davis party and other pre-Grammy events around Los Angeles that Saturday night, Kennedy describes the mood as “like the apocalypse.”

Then on the morning of the Grammys — with stars such as Bruce Springsteen, Adele, Taylor Swift and Paul McCartney set to perform later in the day — Hudson arrived before everyone else to rehearse in private. “Before anybody came in, it would be a little bit less pressure on Jennifer,” said Ehrlich. “And it’s probably a good thing that I did it that way ’cause she couldn’t get through it. She broke down at least twice while we were rehearsing.”


Jennifer Hudson performs at a taping of We Will Always Love You: A GRAMMY Salute To Whitney Houston on October 11, 2012 in Los Angeles. Jennifer Hudson performs at a taping of We Will Always Love You: A GRAMMY Salute To Whitney Houston on October 11, 2012 in Los Angeles. Getty Images


Ultimately though, Hudson — backed only by a piano — delivered a stirring rendition of "I Will Always Love You." But there wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the Staples Center. “She got through it, but all of us were crying,” said Ehrlich.


Although Adele was the big winner with six Grammys that night, music’s biggest night belonged to Houston. “That is a room full of people, many of whom have walked through doors that she opened,” said Kennedy.


And in the wake of Houston’s death, the Grammy after-parties were decidedly somber affairs. “That’s when it really set in,” said Ehrlich, “and it really hit us how impactful she had been — and how tough it was.”

Bobby Brown on His 'Emotional' Visit to Whitney Houston's Grave in 'Every Little Step' Series


Bobby Brown is hiding nothing from the cameras, including a rare visit to the gravesite of Whitney Houston and their daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. During the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, the R&B singer and his wife, Alicia Etheredge-Brown, opened up about filming that “emotional” experience for the upcoming A&E series Bobby Brown: Every Little Step 


“When the cameras were following me, I didn't want to let anything get in between my life and what I was doing,” Brown shared. “So, I just wanted the cameras to follow me wherever I was going. That day I happened to be going to the gravesite.”

“We also did our best to make that moment his moment,” said Etheredge-Brown, who accompanied him during the visit. “It was very emotional for both of us.” 


While the cameras were following the singer and his wife as part of the series, she explained that this was a genuine moment and great care was taken so Brown could “have his moment” with his late ex-wife, who died 10 years ago on Feb. 11, and daughter, who died in 2015. 



That deeply personal moment is just one of many fans can expect from watching Brown as he moves forward in his life. In fact, compared to his time filming Being Bobby Brown, which aired in 2005, the singer found working on Every Little Step as well as the two-part documentary Biography: Bobby Brown to be a very therapeutic experience. 


According to A&E, the 12-episode series will give fans “an exclusive look at his life with wife Alicia Etheredge-Brown, and their children as he focuses on new business ventures, new music as well as the 2022 reunion with New Edition on The Culture Tour,” while the documentary chronicles his “journey to superstardom and the fallout from his personal struggles with sobriety and the tragic deaths of his two children and first wife, Whitney Houston.”


“Being able to look back on all of the good times and all of the bad times, it gave me a sense of comfort,” he shared, before opening up about his previous series, which documented a far more chaotic time in his life. 



“When I did Being Bobby Brown that was during a time in my life that I was going through a lot of troubles,” he said. Whereas now, “I’m living a life that I can only dream of with my beautiful wife and my kids. It’s been a wonderful time. I’m really proud of the direction my life is going.” 


He added, “I feel I have a lot more control. We work really good together, myself, my wife, [executive producers] Kevin [Swain] and Lauren [Lazin].”  


When asked what he hopes fans get out of watching him on the series, Brown said, “I hope that they take the fact that I’ve gone through the rough patches in my life and I’m living my life in a clean and honest way… Like I was saying earlier, this is more of a therapeutic thing for me. It helps me maintain my sobriety. It helps me with everything I want to do in the future.” 

Biography: Bobby Brown premieres Monday, May 30 and Tuesday, May 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT while Bobby Brown: Every Little Step premieres Tuesday, May 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT with new episodes airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT starting June 7.







R&B Syl Johnson Dead, One Of The Most Sampled Artists By Hip-Hop Producers, At 85


R&B legend Syl Johnson, an artist heavily sampled by Hip-Hop artists, has died at the age of 85. His name might not ring bells, but his music will.


Songs like Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” Wu-Tang Clan’s “Shame on a N***a,” Eric B. & Rakim’s “I Know You Got Soul,” Kwamé’s “Ownlee Eue,” De La Soul’s “The Magic Number” EPMD’s, “It’s My Thing,” Boogie Down Production’s “Criminal Minded,” Kool G Rap & DJ Polo’s “Talk Like Sex,” RUN-DMC’s “Beats to the Rhyme,” Nas’ “Made You Look (Apache Remix),” and Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “The Joy,” starring the late Curtis Mayfield are jams that feature elements of his work, specifically the hit single “Different Strokes,” from his 1968 debut album Dresses Too Short.


In total, according to WhoSampled, more than 300 songs have sampled portions of that one song, making it one of the most important works in Hip-Hop culture.

His family confirmed his death in a statement that read in part, “Fiery, fierce, fighter, always standing for the pursuit of justice as it related to his music and sound … He will truly be missed by all who crossed his path. His catalog and legacy will be remembered as impeccable and a historical blueprint to all who experience it. To his fans around the world, he loved you all. A lover of music and a Chicago icon, Syl Johnson lived his life unapologetically.”


While many have used his work, it was not without cost to the culture.


In 2011, AllHiphop.com broke the news that Johnson sued rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West for the unauthorized use of portions of his song in their composition, “The Joy.” The lawsuit would eventually seek a settlement and the song was able to stand using the sample. Other artists sued by Johnson for using his work without proper permission are names like Michael Jackson and Cypress Hill.


The artist’s daughter is R&B singer Syleena Johnson. Here is a tribute she previously did to her father.


Since his death, she did not speak outside of the family’s statement. She did retweet a promotion for her father’s 2016 documentary Syl Johnson: anyway, the Wind Blows, an in-depth review of his career and life.


Johnson’s brother, Blues legend Jimmy Johnson, died a little over a week before him on January 31.


AllHipHop.com extends our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fans during this time of bereavement.

Beyoncé and Billie Eilish Nominated for Best Original Song at 2022 Oscars


Beyonce has earned her first Academy Award nomination, with "Be Alive" from King Richard up for Best Original Song at this year’s Oscars. Billie Eilish’s "No Time to Die" for the James Bond movie of the same name is also nominated in the category, alongside songs by Diane Warren, Lin Manuel-Miranda, and Van Morrison.


“Be Alive” marked Beyoncé’s first new original music since her 2020 visual album Black Is King, written for the biopic about the father of Serena and Venus Williams. Last year, Beyoncé set a new record at the Grammys for most awards held by a woman, overtaking the singer and bluegrass artist Alison Krauss with her Best R&B Performance win for “Black Parade.” 


Eilish’s “No Time to Die” took home the Golden Globe for Best Original Song earlier this year. In recent years, Best Original Song was won by H.E.R., Elton John, and Lady Gaga. The Coco song “Remember Me” won in 2018 over Sufjan Stevens’ Call Me By Your Name standout "Mystery of Love“ La La Land’s “City of Stars” won the award in 2017—the same year that film was erroneously announced as Best Picture.


Follow the rest of Pitchfork’s coverage of the 2022 Oscars.


Best Original Song 2022 nominees:

Beyoncé: “Be Alive” (King Richard)
Lin Manuel-Miranda: “Dos Oruguitas” (Encanto)
Van Morrison: “Down to Joy” (Belfast)
Billie Eilish: “No Time to Die” (No Time to Die)
Diane Warren: “Somehow You Do” (Four Good Days)

Two Dead Rappers Will Sign the Super Bowl Halftime Show!


The 2022 Super Bowl is around the corner, and this year’s game comes with a truly stacked line-up of talented musical guests.


If you’re anything like me, and only tune in for the halftime show, you’ll be pleased to learn that four rap and R&B icons will be sharing the stage. Award-winning performers Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J Blige, and Kendrick Lamar are headlining this year. The quartet is expected to perform its greatest hits in a thrilling set that’s sure to excite fans. According to VarietyDr. Dre has also invited two deaf rappers to appear alongside him.


Sean Forbes and Warren (WaWa) Snipe will sign the group's performance. Though the Super Bowl has used sign language interpreters during its pre-show, this is the first time the national event will feature deaf artists at halftime.


In a statement given to the Detroit Free Press, Forbes gushed about the opportunity to perform with his idols. “The doors to accessibility are busted wide open with something like this,” he said. “So this is very much a full-circle moment, being from Detroit, being part of the Eminem camp — or even going back to being 12 and listening to N.W.A, Dre, and Snoop on my Walkman. My goal is to get out there, show what we can do, and have fun. And I want to open the door for other deaf performers.”


Last year, Forbes and Snipe were featured in the Super Bowl pre-show. The duo was Jazmine Sullivan's interpreter while she sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and they signed Erich Church’s rendition of “America the Beautiful.” This year, they’ve passed the torch to actress Sandra Mae Frank who will sign the National Anthem and “America The Beautiful” to represent the National Association of the Deaf.


The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will kick things off on February 13th at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The game will include a live audience, but viewers at home can watch the event on NBC and Telemundo or stream it through Peacock.



Queen Naija doing it with Big Sean and new sing "Hate Our Love"


Detroit natives Queen Naija and Big Sean join forces on Naija’s new single “Hate Our Love.”

“Hate Our Love” is a classic love story of feelings and making love for each reason it supersedes all the negativity of being together. No matter what people say or do, their love for each prevails, because Love will always” makes it do what it do.”


Sean kicks off the song sincerely expressing his feelings about the relationship, sharing that from the start, “I can’t lie I wanted you the first time I saw you/tried to diss me till you realized I’m someone you could talk to/You been hurt over and over/tell me what has it taught you?/ Soon as you fell for me though/ I had caught you…”


As Naija sings about her is confusion as to why people want to see their relationship fail ” Boy, love you on your worst day/still see you how I saw you on the first day…/They hate our love/they want to see u fail…”


“Hate Our Love” is Naija’s first solo project since the re-release of her debut album ‘Misunderstood.’


We are loving how Naijas is constantly evolving and her star is shinning with her music and artistry.

Fantasia, Halle Bailey Join Cast of 'The Color Purple' Musical Film


Fifteen years ago, Fantasia starred in Broadway’s The Color Purple, winning tons of acclaim for her award-winning performance as Celie.

The Grammy winner will reprise her role in the Warner Bros. musical adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel.

Fantasia confirmed the news with an Instagram post on Thursday (Feb. 3), writing, “As I sit tonight and reflect on the journey my has taken, I believe I now understand what Redemption truly feels like. The last time I stepped into this character, the similarities between what I portrayed on stage and what I experienced in my own reality were too close for comfort. I’ve learned since then that my pain was only an introduction to a great purpose of meaning and assignment.”


She continued, “I hope that every little black girl who is fighting to be heard and recognized also promises to never give up in spite of the costs.”

Oprah Winfrey, who played Sofia in the Oscar-nominated 1985 film and also has a production credit for the forthcoming musical, shared her thoughts on Fantasia getting the part of Celie again.

“Her rawness and vulnerability, along with her singing talent, means that Fantasia is going to knock it out of the park. Celie has to show such a range of emotion, coming from what feels like no strength to really being empowered,” Winfrey said in a statement from Oprah Daily.

Halle Bailey of Chloe x Halle will play Celie’s younger sister Nettie. She wrote that she’s “feeling oh so grateful to be a part of this historic film” following the announcement.

Speaking on Bailey’s role, Winfrey said, “You have to have a kind of presence that holds the space during most of the movie when Nettie is gone and you only remember her through the letters.”

Fantasia and Bailey join a cast that includes Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Corey Hawkins, Colman Domingo, and H.E.R., who will make her acting debut. 

Marcus Gardley has written the screenplay for the Blitz Bazawule-directed musical based on Marsha Norman’s 2005 book and Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray’s score.

The musical is set to debut on Dec. 20, 2023.

Fantasia last released her Sketchbook album in 2019. It featured the strong R&B radio single "Enough". 

Kem Drops New Music


While Kem is attempting to hit the road and go on tour, he surprises us by dropping a new single "Stuck on You". 


Derek "DOA" Allen produced the song, and this is the first offering from Kem since the release of his album "Love Always Wins" in 2020. 


As the year unfolds, Kem will be touring with Babyface and the "Full Circle" Tour with Host Sherri Shepard all across the United States. 





Janet Jackson Wasn't Proud of Her First 2 Albums


Janet Jackson has been making music for four decades, starting with her self-titled debut album. And while today she enjoys her status as a pop and R&B legend with Grammy Awards and countless achievements to her name, the early days of her career weren’t picture-perfect, to say the least.


As the youngest child in the famous Jackson family, Janet Jackson was in the spotlight practically from the time she was born. She appeared on her family's variety show and their live shows in Las Vegas.

As she grew older, Jackson planned on studying business law in college and didn’t care to continue performing as a singer. But under the management of her father Joe Jackson, she launched her own solo career with her self-titled debut album. The album was released in 1982 — the same year her brother Michael released his record-breaking album Thriller.


Jackson reflected on the early days of her career in her highly-anticipated 2022 documentary Janet Jackson. When looking back on the early days of her career, she was honest about what was happening behind the scenes. “My father was in charge of my life and my career and he was my manager,” she recounted. When asked what she was trying to achieve with her first two albums, she answered honestly: “It was really their albums. It was the kind of music they wanted me to make.” “I didn’t write any of the material,” she continued. “It was just a matter of going to the studio, doing what they wanted you to do, and then you leave.” Jackson didn’t even have a say in the album title or cover art. “I didn’t want my last name to be on the album; I just wanted to go by my first name,” she lamented. “I wanted them to accept me for me, to be interested in this for me, not because I was the brother or sister of [the Jacksons]. But that’s everything that this industry takes advantage of, and they wanted to play on that, and I didn’t want that.” “At the time, I didn’t understand the vision that my father had for me: to be a musician,” she admitted. “Even the cover of the album he chose, and I didn’t want that as the cover of the album. So it was a lot of that.”

What You Never Knew About Mary J. Blige


Mary J. Blige, otherwise known as the "queen of hip-hop and soul," paved the way for future musicians with her strong powerful vocals and hit albums. Over the course of her career, the New York native has become one of the most influential award-winning singers and songwriters, taking home nine Grammy Awards throughout her career (per her official website). A trailblazer in the music industry, Blige single-handedly changed R&B music by pouring her heart and soul into each of her albums and iconic singles, such as "Real Love," "Be Without You," and "Family Affair."


As much as Mary J. Blige has become an absolute icon in the music industry and is adored by many of her fans, she hasn't always had the easiest life. She is no stranger to overcoming adversity, and she faced plenty of hardships throughout her childhood and time in the spotlight that pushed her to become her current successful self. You may be familiar with bits and pieces of Blige's life story, but if you are not, allow us to break down the parts of her past you may not know. 

She had an incredibly tough childhood


From a very young age, Mary J. Blige was exposed to endless amounts of violence, alcohol, and drug abuse in the environments she lived in. Her father, Thomas, was abusive and left their family when she was just 4 years old (via Biography). Blige and her mother, Cora, soon moved to public housing projects in Yonkers, New York. Sadly, she often witnessed abuse towards other women around her, and she watched her mother struggle with alcoholism. Blige revealed during an episode of VH1's "Behind the Music" that during this time she also suffered from sexual abuse from a family friend (via New York Daily News). She said, "The shame of thinking my molestation was my fault — it led me to believe I wasn't worth anything." 


In her teenage years, she dropped out of high school (via The Washington Post) and turned to sex and substance abuse to cope with her traumas. "I ended up becoming my environment," she told Parade magazine in 2007 (via New York Daily News).

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Blige spoke about reliving some of the traumatizing moments in her childhood for her documentary, "Mary J. Blige: My Life." "That was painful because the most painful part is, 'Why so much stuff, so much stuff had to happen to a little girl?'" she said.


She was the youngest female artist to sign up with Uptown Records


Given Mary J. Blige's rough upbringing, the story behind how she entered the music scene is pretty iconic. The soul artist has always had a passion for music growing up and spent a lot of time listening to her mother's soul records and singing in a Pentecostal church in her free time.


One day, Blige took a trip to her local mall just like any teenager would, and sang a cover of Anita Baker's "Caught Up in the Rapture." Impressed by her authentic talent at just 17 years old, her mother's boyfriend at the time shared the recording of her rendition with Uptown Records' Jeff Redd, who later showed it to the CEO, Andre Harrell. It is safe to say they were blown away with her voice because Blige became both the first female artist and the youngest artist to sign with the label in 1989, ultimately kickstarting her career (via Lifetime). With producer Sean Combs (aka Puff Daddy) guiding her into stardom, she started off singing backup while she was still living in the projects before her debut album "What's the 411?" was released in 1992 (via Vanity Fair).


Each of her albums outlines a different season of her life


Over the course of 29 years, Mary J. Blige has become a powerhouse in the music industry. She's produced eight multi-platinum albums and released numerous No. 1 hits, including "You Remind Me" and "Real Love," per her official website. If you are a longtime fan of Blige's soulful, emotional, and passionate tunes, then you know that each album outlines different stages of her life.


For example, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Blige described how the album "My Life" came to be, saying, "I was going through a lot, so this was my way of speaking and trying to get all this stuff out of my heart. ... kind of a cry for help." 

Blige also explained how she normally names albums after "the things that I'm living through or attacking," which is what led her to "No More Drama." "I was tired," she said. "I was sick and tired of being sad and depressed and hating myself." Regarding her 2005 album, "The Breakthrough," Blige shared that, after starting the healing process during "No More Drama," she just "needed a breakthrough in this healing." 


She found love and a lot of heartbreak


Mary J. Blige found real love when she tied the knot in 2003 with Martin "Kendu" Isaacs. According to People, Blige filed for divorce from Isaacs in 2016, ending their 12-year marriage as he was allegedly unfaithful to her and spent more than $420,000 on "travel charges" for him and his girlfriend. Isaacs claimed that during this time he was hospitalized from the stress of their public breakup, which People reported could have been an attempt to receive financial support from the "Family Affair" singer. Their divorce ended up taking a whopping two years and wasn't completely finalized until 2018. 


Since her divorce, Blige has been focused on building herself up and keeping her head high. In an interview with Taraji P. Henson in an episode of "Peace of Mind with Taraji" in December 2020, Blige opened up about her feelings of loneliness since the split. "It gets lonely and it gets sad, but, you know, I just gotta thug this out until something excellent comes along," she said. Although those times have been tough, she made it clear to her fans that she isn't going to hold herself back from finding love once more. "I'm not gonna deprive myself of living ... I'm not gonna deprive myself of romance if ever it shows up."


She started her own organization to inspire women


Mary J. Blige had high hopes for the launch of her organization The Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now. Her goal is to use her personal life experiences to inspire struggling women in similar situations and provide them with education and resources to get better help (via HuffPost). However, in 2012, the charity was hit with multiple lawsuits after some suspicious financial activity resurfaced. 


The New York Post reported that Blige's charity not only didn't have an office or official telephone number, but it also didn't file any tax returns in 2010 and was missing hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. According to TMZ, TD Bank sued the "Real Love" singer after a $250,000 loan was taken out in June 2011. The bank claimed the organization agreed to have the loan repaid by December 2011, but the bank only received $368.33.

Since this incident, the singer has hired a new team of managers to run her organization and took matters into her own hands after claiming her charity was not run by the right people. "As founder and CEO of FFAWN, I am ultimately responsible for anything that goes wrong," she stated. "The problem is that I didn't have the right people in the right places doing the right things. This should have never been allowed to happen, but it did and now we are fixing it." 


She made her TV debut on The Jamie Foxx Show



By now, you may know that Mary J. Blige is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to her music. But did you know that she's also a trailblazer in TV and film as well? The timeline of her acting career dates all the way back to 1998 when she made her first televised debut as an actress on "The Jamie Foxx Show" (via IMDb). At this time, she was already a well-known and established artist, so her premiere on the '90s sitcom was highly anticipated (via Billboard). Blige played the role of Ola Mae, the preacher's daughter in the "Papa Don't Preach" episode, in which she performed two musical numbers, including a rendition of the original song "Share My World." According to People, her character was loosely centered on her upbringing and how she wanted to break into the music industry.




Silk Sonic's Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak Parachute Into 'Fortnite' With Outfits, Radio Station


Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s R&B duo Silk Sonic are skating their way into Epic Games’ “Fortnite” battle-royale game.


In partnership with Atlantic Records, Epic is bringing Silk Sonic into “Fortnite” with ’70s-inspired outfits, a new radio station and a player tournament.


Bruno Mars, in a statement, said: “When ‘Fortnite’ asked me if I wanted to create an outfit for the game, I asked, ‘Are CGI muscles off the table?’ They said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Deal.’ I’ll see you on the Island.” Anderson .Paak commented: “When ‘Fortnite’ agreed to give Bruno CGI muscles, I said, ‘I’m in.’ He could use the help, so I support it. And it makes me cool. Win, win.”


Silk Sonic outfits and accessories will be available in “Fortnite’s” Item Shop starting Feb. 10, 2022, at 7 p.m. ET. But players can compete in the Silk Sonic Cup, taking place Monday, Feb. 7, for a chance to unlock the Mars and .Paak outfits early.


In addition, Fortnite debuted an in-game radio station, Icon Radio, featuring Silk Sonic and hosted by funk icon Bootsy Collins. Players can listen to tracks from “An Evening With Silk Sonic” by turning on Icon Radio in vehicles in the game. Collins commented, “Back in the day I was crazy about arcade games, so being able to bridge the worlds of music and gaming with ‘Fortnite’ is very exciting — both worlds offer players a great way to come together and relax.”


Individually, both Silk Sonic artists have some history with “Fortnite”: In September 2020, .Paak performed a Spotlight Concert Series in the game, and in April 2021, Bruno Mars’ “Leave The Door Open” emote came to “Fortnite.”


It’s the latest music partnership for Epic Games, which has featured “Fortnite” concerts with Travis Scott, Ariana Grande, J Balvin and Marshmello and has featured breakout stars including Hamaki and Tones and I in its Soundwave Series.


“Gaming has become a key touchpoint for music marketing and it’s crucial that we’re meeting fans where they live – which means hours and hours of immersive gameplay on platforms like ‘Fortnite,'” Kevin Weaver, president, Atlantic Records, West Coast, said in a statement. “Working with [Silk Sonic] to execute their creative vision for this incredible multifaceted and first-of-a-kind activation with our amazing partners at Epic Games has been such a massively rewarding experience, and I can’t wait to see it all brought to life.”


The “Fortnite” Silk Sonic Set outfits and accessories include Mars’ Sound Scepter Pickaxe microphone and .Paak’s Sonic Snare Back Bling (both sold with their respective outfits). “Fortnite” also will feature a Freedom Wheels emote under the partnership.


In the Silk Sonic Cup, players can enter up to 10 matches in their region’s three-hour time window to earn points that will unlock the outfits and accessories.


Summer Walker rocking new shaven hair do

Summer Walker rocks her new shaven hairstyle


Summer Walker has a new look for the new year. The R&B singer has shaved off all her hair except for a long ponytail in the middle of her head. She took to her new Instagram account @glctawhre to reveal the brand new hairstyle.


Summer opened up about the standards surrounding beauty during her Mindset interview series. “I love being natural. When I take off my wig, I think I’m a sexy motherfu**a,” she said.


She has never been afraid to be herself, no matter how it’s perceived. “All my life, I’ve had to deal with people thinking I’m weird,” she added. “Anything other than just being yourself is weird. ‘Cause if you’re not being yourself, then who are you doing it for?”

Summer, who released her sophomore album Still Over It in November, will perform at the Broccoli City Festival in Washington, D.C. on May 7.


Summer Rocks the Wig Hairstyle Summer New Shaven Hairstyle






J. Cole declares himself as the best rapper alive.

J. Cole declares himself as the best rapper alive.


J. Cole crowns himself king of the rap game. “On God, the best rapper alive / Headshot, now go and ask the best rappers that died / They’ll tell you he never lied, ni**a.”


“Johnny P’s Caddy” serves as the first single from Tana Talk 4, the fourth installment in Benny’s Tana Talk series, which was produced entirely by The Alchemist and Daringer.


Benny said collaborating with Cole brought out the best in him. “Any rapper will tell you when you’re working with someone like Cole, it’s like a match of wits; you gotta go crazy because you know he is. Iron sharpens iron,” he said. “You want it to be an environment where someone has the presence to push you. It’s dope!”


You can catch the “best rapper alive” at a festival near you this summer. Cole will headline the Governors Ball and Bonnaroo in June.

Ohio Players — Reflecting on the 50th Anniversary of "Pain"

Ohio Players are Reflecting on the 50th Anniversary of “Pain” - February 1, 1972, was their first album

Following the sessions of their 1969-released debut Observations in TimeOhio Players disbanded, leaving behind one vastly underrated LP. Shortly thereafter, several former members decided to bite the bullet and reunite, signing with Detroit-based label Westbound (best known as being the initial home base of Funkadelic), and recording their sophomore effort Pain. Diverging from the style of its predecessor, Pain saw the Dayton-founded group leaning deeper into progressive soul, their incorporation of jazz arrangements and a heavier funk-inflected style resulting in a tighter, more ardent sound.


Released on February 1, 1972, Pain peaked at number 21 on the U.S. Billboard Top Soul LPs chart, with its title track reaching number 35 on the U.S. R&B chart. While still several years out from the commercial success of Skin Tight and their ultimate artistic achievement HoneyPain allowed for Ohio Players to reinvent themselves from their ’60s incarnation, placing more lyrical emphasis on themes of longing, passion, and sensuality. With iconic model Patricia Evans on its cover, Pain became the first Ohio Players release to feature the group’s signature erotic album artwork. Sonically, too, the thicker sound of Pain and subsequent releases was far more tailored to the new decade than was the often lighter quasi-psychedelic Southern soul of years prior.


The brassy swagger of Pain’s classic opening title track provides a sleek wall of sound across its six-minute span, practically having destined it for early-’70s soul radio rotation, while the subsequent “Never Had a Dream” sees keyboardist Walter “Junie” Morrison guiding the group through a blue-cast tunnel of love lost, upon a wave of jazzy synth riffs. Morrison, who had joined Ohio Players in 1970, served as a prime innovator within the group until his departure four years later, after which he eventually joined George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic ensemble as a musical director, his major contributions to the outfit perhaps most remarkable on Funkadelic’s monumental 1978 release One Nation Under a Groove. Elsewhere, funk number “Players Ballin’ (Players Doin’ Their Own Thing)” livens the atmosphere, eventually culminating in the big band bombast of standout track “I Wanna Hear from You,” which manages to offer a bit of Motown charm in seizing one’s heart and nervous system in its undeniable grasp. Progressive blues number “The Reds” balances clever lyricism with solid performances from Morrison and Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, whose wailing guitar maintains a glimmering edge within the track’s smokey stomp. Closing track “Singing in the Morning”—significant for its introduction of Morrison’s infamous “Granny” character, an elderly fan of the band whose presence would resurface on Morrison-era Ohio Players recordings—winds the album down on a smooth note, creating a perfect balance between Pain’s persuasion toward both introspective soul and livewire, anthemic funk.

Like its companion piece Pleasure, released the same year, Pain remains a timeless work, and one of the finest recordings of its genre. Here, the listener is offered an intimate glimpse into the creative process and development of one of the era’s key groups, their collective vision expanding in the years leading up to their mainstream breakthrough. Ultimately, the album represented to Ohio Players what they represented to the genre—a major step forward in sonic and stylistic innovation. The high standard set on Pain cannot be denied, the album’s indigo relevance and masterful composition still shaking the listener 50 years on.

Chloe Bailey Sexy lord Have Mercy IG Photo!

Chloe Bailey commands attention in her stunning IG post in a Sexy All-Black Outfit


Chloe Bailey is always stealing every show on Instagram. She can be referred to as one of the most charming and attractive female artists today.  

Chloe commands attention in every post she drops on IG which has the dogs drooling. In her pose on Jan. 30, she posted a sexy one-piece top with slits in the upper chest and mid-section area. The blacktop matches her solid black thigh-high boots as she shows off what she's working with, leaving the guys fantasying about a job they wish they had. 




R. Kelly Test Positive for Covid 19

R. Kelly Tested Positive For COVID While In Jail

5 month has passed since R. Kelly was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking charges leading him to be sentenced to eight years in prison. Kelly has been behind bars since 2019. His career is now tarnished while surviving Covid 19 while in jail, but now he's tested positive for Covid 19. 

Kelly caught the virus while in a federal lockup in Brooklyn, New York as reported by Rolling Stone. Per Kelly's attorney, no update information has been given on Kelly's status since testing positive.  It is believed that Kelly being with the virus, won't expedite his racketeering & sex trafficking charges any sooner. 




Ari Lennox is Number 1 on R&B Charts.

Ari Lennox enjoying the Number 1 spot on R&B Radio Charts. 


Ari Lennox has come a long way to reach the Number 1 spot on R&B Radio Charts, knocking Silk Sonic's "Smokin' Out The Window" from that spot for the second week now. 


The single "Pressure" was produced by well-known producer Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox, and Elite, which leads to Washington D.C.'s native's first lead on any airplay format. 


247 The Sound has watched Ari Lennox grow with two of her EP's shared across social platforms over 2 years ago. We knew she would be a hit with her soulful sexy voice. We're quite proud of Ari Lennox whose real name is "Courtney Shanade Salter". 


Ari Lennox & Summer Walker will headline the Broccoli City Festival for 2022. Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8 in Washington, D.C., from noon-10 p.m., rain or shine. Saturday’s lineup to include Lennox, Muni Long, Joyce Wrice, Wale, 21 Savage, Lil Durk, Jeezy, Rico Nasty, and Larry June.


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