247 The Sound Entertainment News Archives for 2022-09

Coolio, West Coast Rapper Behind "Gangsta's Paradise," Dies at 59

Coolio, the Grammy-winning Compton rapper who was behind the global hit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died. He was 59.


His manager, Jarez Posey, told The Hollywood Reporter that Coolio died Wednesday afternoon at a friend’s house in Los Angeles. “He went to use the bathroom and never came out,” he said. No cause of death was given.


Indelibly associated with West Coast hip-hop and gangsta rap, Coolio reached worldwide success in the mid 1990s with three of his albums — It Takes a Thief (1994), Gangsta’s Paradise (1995) and My Soul (1997) — crossing over into the mainstream, driven by a clutch of more chart-friendly singles, including “Fantastic Voyage,” “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)” and “C U When U Get There.” The single “Gangsta’s Paradise,” featuring R&B singer L.V., was boosted by its appearance in the 1995 Michelle Pfeiffer drama Dangerous Minds and went on to sell over 5 million copies worldwide.


Coolio composed the theme song for the 1996-2000 Nickelodeon sitcom Kenan & Kel, starring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell; voiced the character Kwanzaa-bot on Futurama; and appeared in such movies as Dear God (1996), Batman & Robin (1997), Submerged (2000) and Stealing Candy (2003).


“This is sad news. I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio,” rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube tweeted.


“Coolio was the West Coast Flavor Flav. He loved telling everyone that. We was supposed to perform together this Tuesday. #RIP my friend,” tweeted Flava Flav. A number of other hip-hop artists and entertainment figures have also responded to Coolio’s death.


Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. in Monessen, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 1, 1963, Coolio grew up in Compton, California. In interviews, Coolio has said he became a fan of hip hop after hearing “Freedom” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. He was taken by the flow of rapper Melle Mel and said he tried to imitate his style. He was also hugely inspired by LL Cool J and Ice T. He penned his first song at 15.


A regular performer in the Los Angeles rap scene, Coolio joined the group WC and the Maad Circle in 1991 and recorded the album Ain’t a Damn Thang Changed.


He would then go solo and in 1994 signed with Tommy Boy Records which would release his debut studio album It Takes a Thief. The album, which featured classic G-funk beats of the era mixed with Coolio’s more lighthearted take on the gangsta lifestyle, would peak at No. 8 on the Billboard 200, eventually reaching platinum status, and spawned the hit single “Fantastic Voyage.”


The radio-friendly “Fantastic Voyage,” which sampled the 1981 song of the same name by Lakeside, would hit No. 3 on the Billboard singles chart and give the rapper his first crossover hit. F. Gary Gray, who would later go on to direct FridayThe Fate of the Furious and Straight Outta Compton, directed the music video for “Fantastic Voyage.”


Building upon the success and notoriety of It Takes a Thief, Coolio released his second album, Gangsta’s Paradise, in November 1995. At a time N.W.A. members Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E and Ice T were dominating the charts but attracting official opprobrium for glorifying gangsta culture, Coolio was able to find success with chart-friendly music that featured less confrontational lyrics.


Produced by Coolio, Christopher Hamabe, Devon Davis, Doug Rasheed and Bryan “The Wino” Dobbs, Gangsta’s Paradise‘s lyrics delved into the grimmer aspects of street life but maintained a sense of hope. It was a commercial and critical hit, achieving 4 Mics out of 5 in The Source‘s review. The album featured the singles “Gangsta’s Paradise,” “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)” and “Too Hot.”


Released in August 1995, “Gangsta’s Paradise” interpolates Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise” and begins with a line from Psalm 23:4 — “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” — before Coolio adds, “I take a look at my life and realize there’s nothin’ left.” The song was a breakout global hit, soaring to No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and reaching the top spot in over 25 countries.


The song featured in the John N. Smith high school drama Dangerous Minds and the accompanying music video, directed by Antoine Fuqua, featured Michelle Pfeiffer reprising her role from the film. The music video has accrued over 1 billion views on YouTube.


The legacy and cultural impact of the “Gangsta’s Paradise” was wide-reaching, and it inspired a parody “Amish Paradise” by “Weird Al” Yankovic which initially Coolio objected to, but in later years the rapper admitted he regretted his early opposition. To this day, the song is included in many Greatest Songs of All Time lists.


On the back of the huge success of “Gangsta’s Paradise,” “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)” reached No. 5 Billboard Hot 100, and “Too Hot” peaked at No. 24.


Gangsta’s Paradise, the album, peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200, and would go on to double platinum status with sales north of 2 million in the U.S. alone, becoming the rapper’s best-selling record. Buoyed by the hit singles, the album also broke through internationally, reaching the top 20 in major markets like Germany, Australia and the U.K.


In 1996, he won the Grammy for best rap solo performance for “Gangsta’s Paradise,” written with Kylian Mash, and received another nomination for Record of the Year. In a stirring rendition at the 38th Annual Grammy Awards, Coolio and L.V. performed the song with a full live orchestra and gospel choir.


The next year, Gangsta’s Paradise was nominated for best rap album. His first of six career Grammy noms was for best rap solo performance for “Fantastic Voyage.”




At the zenith of his success, Coolio’s third studio album, My Soul, quickly followed in August 1997. Despite warm reviews, the record, the rapper’s last on Tommy Boy, failed to recapture the success of Gangsta’s Paradise, and peaked at No. 39 on the Billboard album chart, reaching gold status. The lead single from the album fared a little better, with “C U When U Get There,” which featured the distinctive sample of “Canon in D Major” by Johann Pachelbel, hitting top 20 in the U.S. and numerous countries around the world. The follow-up single, “Ooh La La,” however failed to chart in the U.S. but did internationally.


Coolio would go on to release five more studio albums — Coolio.com (2001), El Cool Magnifico (2002), The Return of the Gangsta (2006), Steal Hear (2008) and From the Bottom 2 the Top (2009) — all independently released, but his star was on the wane as gangsta rap became less popular.


Outside of music, Coolio had a long list of film and television credits, often appearing as himself in genre films and comedies. He was the subject of the 2008 reality show Coolio’s Rules, which lasted six episodes.

Doja Cat Says She Lied About Her Next Album Being Rap And It Will Actually Be R&B

Doja Cat is a pro at getting attention, whether that’s through genuinely perfect pop songs or a public beef with a Stranger Things kid. So it’s no surprise that she’s having fun promoting her highly anticipated album, which she has been doing through continuously confusing fans with contradictory messages.

In May, she told Elle in an interview that the LP would be “predominantly rap.” The other week, while talking with CR Fashion Book, she said it would have a “’90s German rave kind of vibe.” And today, she’s claiming on Twitter that those were all lies.

“im not doing a german rave culture album you guys i was pranking the outlet that interviewed me about it,” she wrote in the first tweet. In a separate follow-up tweet, she wrote: “I’m doing an R&B album.” To top it off, she sent out one last tweet to really drive the point home: “Straight R&B no rap at all.”


Pranking a journalist is definitely something Doja Cat would do. However, how do we know that this isn’t her way of pranking fans? How do we know that the LP will actually be R&B? Whatever it is, it’ll be a surprise, so she’s certainly doing a great job of building the anticipation.

Muni Long's New Album Set To Arrive This Month

Muni Long’s highly-anticipated album, Public Displays of Affection: The Album, is slated for release on Sept. 23rd.

The “Hrs & Hrs” singer will combine her previous EPs, Public Displays of Affection and Public Displays of Affection Too, for her album with five more tracks including “Plot Twist” and her Saweetie-assisted single “Baby Boo.” The LP marks Long’s first full-length debut since partnering with Def Jam back in March. “The reason ‘Public Displays of Affection’ worked is because love was absent in R&B,” she explained in a statement.

Last year, Long shared a statement with VIBE about the 2021 EP. “This project was very different for me,” the award-winning songwriter expressed. “On my other projects, typically I just go in the studio, and I know what I’m going to do and get it done. With this EP, I really went in the studio writing the music, and it was times I caught myself crying. I’m not the most touchy-feely person. So, for me, putting all my feelings on this project is sort of like my ‘public display of affection.’”


n regards to her upcoming 18-track album, Long shared on Instagram, “I’m so happy to finally be able to give you this full project. I’ve spent so many hours crafting this, putting my heart and soul into each and every track. I want to give you all more of what you love and deserve. These songs, these stories, and these experiences are fueled by love and affection; that of which I have for all of you. From my heart to yours.”


Public Displays of Affection: The Album Tracklist

1. Conversation

2. Cartier

3. Crack

4. Lemons

5. Ain’t Easy

6. To Do List

7. Hrs & Hrs

8. Plot Twist 

9. Plot Twist (Interlude)

10. Time Machine

11. Butterfly Effect

12. The Words

13. Pain

14. Another

15. No Signal

16. No R&B

17. IMU

18. Baby Boo featuring Saweetie

August Alsina says Tory Lanez punched him over Jada Pinkett Smith drama

August Alsina, ex-boyfriend of Will Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, has found himself in a violent “entanglement” with fellow R&B singer Tory Lanez. 

Blood seeping from his bottom lip, Alsina, 30, took to social media on Sunday to claim Lanez, 30, sucker punched him after an unharmonious encounter at a Chicago concert hall over the weekend. 

Footage of the moments leading up to the singers’ contentious confrontation had surfaced on Instagram by Monday morning. 

In the clip, which was posted by @YouCan_This and has amassed more than 37,000 views, bystanders are heard persuading the man, alleged as Lanez, not to engage in violence with Alsina since he’s “already shot Megan [Thee Stallion].” Lanez is currently facing charges of felony assault and carrying an unregistered firearm for the July 2020 shooting of the rap queen. He has not been convicted.


Lanez’s recent scuffle with Alsina, however, allegedly stems from the latter’s much-storied sexual relationship with Pinkett Smith, 51. 

“As I’m exiting the building after the show last night, a 4-foot-11 leprechaun ran down on me with 8 oversized security n—-,” Alsina explained in the caption of an Instagram share Sunday. The post featured a battered Alsina leaning against the walls of an elevator, bleeding from his mouth. 


“Tory continues to ask…why I didn’t dap him up,” continued the “Entanglement” crooner. “I go on to tell him I was a fan of him and didn’t understand him speaking on my business publicly in the past.”

Back in July 2020, Lanez, née Daystar Peterson, released a snippet of a song on which he voiced his desire to have sex with Pinkett Smith. In the ditty, he vowed to never “snitch” on the married movie star for her infidelities, as Alsina had done. 


Based on the shady lyric, Alsina assumed Lanez “didn’t like” him, according to his Instagram post. 

Pinkett Smith’s ex also claimed that, owing to his list of health issues — including a recent bout of partial paralysis — doctors had advised him not to shake hands with too many folks while on tour in order to reduce his exposure to “corona & monkey pox.”

Alsina went on to allege that Lanez took a puff of “cocaine”-laced cannabis before he punched him in the face, ran behind an armed security guard and fled the scene.  


“There was never a ‘fight,’” Alsina concluded. “Simply an assault.”

Representatives for Alsina did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for a comment.

Lanez, however, denied any involvement in the incident. “I don’t know what everybody talking about…But I’ve been in the studio,” he said via Instagram.

“I’m not in anything negative,” Lanez continued, punctuating his purported guiltlessness with halo-emojis. “I’ve been working on myself and being a better person.” 

Spokespersons for Lanez were also unavailable to provide The Post with a comment.

Boyz II Men's Wanya Morris' Sons Form R&B Group, WanMor

Meet Big Boy, Chulo, Tyvas, and Rocco—sons of R&B legend Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men. The young men have formed a new quartet known as WanMor and are the first artists to be signed to Mary J. Blige’s new label, Beautiful Life Productions, and 300 Entertainment. 

“There’s been so much conversation about the state of R&B, and the next generation of R&B artists. This generation has been giving us great R&B, and that feeling, that soul and that sound remains in our DNA,” Blige expressed in a statement. “When we heard WanMor sing, we knew we could stop looking. They are IT! Supporting and cultivating true R&B talent is why I started Beautiful Life Productions, and I couldn’t be more proud to do this with these young men.”


Kevin Liles, chairman & CEO of 300 Entertainment and Elektra Music Group, added, “WanMor is what we have been missing in music. There’s no one out like them. It all comes down to their voices, songs, and fans. WanMor is bringing the superstar R&B group back. R&B is not dead. At 300, we are excited to partner again with Mary J Blige and her Beautiful Life team.”


Hailing from South Jersey, WanMor has spent the past five years cultivating its sound and has already performed on major stages including Madison Square Garden and the Crypto.com Arena. Despite having appeared on America’s Most Musical Family, Sesame Street, The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, and Little Big Shots, the group recently released their debut single, “Every Pretty Girl In The City,” set to be featured on their debut EP arriving this fall.

“’Every Pretty Girl In The City’ is a celebration of all girls in every city whose ‘pretty’ shines from the inside out,” WanMor explained in a statement. The track showcases their dynamic harmonies while the video highlights their unique and charming personalities.

Watch the video for WanMor’s debut single, “Every Pretty Girl In The City” below.



John Legend Tributes His Wife In "Wonder Woman" Video

John Legend celebrates his wife on the anniversary of their wedding anniversary by releasing the video for “Wonder Woman”.


The song was included on his eighth studio album “Legend” which was released recently via Republic Records.

The visual is a tribute to the power and grace of women and was shot in Italy by filmmaker Nabil Elderkin, who originally introduced the couple in 2006 and who directed the video for “All of Me” in 2013.



Usher Releases 'My Way: 25th Anniversary Edition' Album

Usher is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his landmark sophomore album, My Way, in a major…way. The R&B icon has reissued the album with a special 25th-anniversary edition. 

The expanded edition includes all the original songs from My Way, plus reimagined versions of three tracks: “My Way (Ryan James Carr Remake),” “Nice & Slow (Ryan James Carr Remake)” and “You Make Me Wanna… (Ryan James Carr Remake).”

Usher previewed alternative tracks during his Tiny Desk concert in June. 

Today (Sept. 16) at 7 p.m. ET, Usher will premiere his 25 Years My Way mini-documentary on his YouTube channel. The Dolapo Sangokoya-directed doc will feature interviews with Usher, Jermaine Dupri and Ryan James Carr.

It will also include behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the reimagined tracks, as well as never-before-seen archival footage of Usher from the album’s era. 



My Way was released on Sept. 16, 1997, on LaFace Records. It debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 chart and later peaked at No. 4.

The album earned Usher his first chart-topper on the Billboard Hot 100, “Nice & Slow.” The lead single “You Make Me Wanna…” and the title track both peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100. All three singles were co-written by Usher, Jermaine Dupri and Manuel Seal.



Lizzo Now Has an Emmy and Three Grammy Awards

That same year, she hosted a 30-minute meditation on her Instagram to promote “healing during this global crisis.” Titled, “Because I Love You,” the video has drawn more than 3 million views to date. She begins the practice by playing her flute in front of burning incense and her collection of crystals, soothing her followers with a different sort of sound in lieu of the cancelled Houston Rodeo she was scheduled to perform that evening. While the flute wasn’t Sasha, her beloved instrument, which even possess its own Instagram account, it was a breezy toot, a more lightweight version of the melodic device.

“Fear does not exist in my body,” Lizzo says in the video, sharing her intended mantra for the session.”Fear does not exist in my home. Love exists in my body. Love exists in my home.” A month later, she joined SZA on Instagram Live with her flute to host another healing meditation.


Her enthusiasm for meditation has even seeped into her concerts. A Tweet from The New Yorker writer Helen Rosner commented on Lizzo leading a crowd at Radio City Music Hall through a guided meditation during her 2019 performance. (Writer’s note: “Truth Hurts” with a side of a self-love practice? How did I miss this?)


Meditation isn’t the only wellness routine that holds significance for the pop icon. On TikTok, she’s documented time spent hiking, doing a cold plunge, even working toward the Splits. (Yes, this is your sign that you, too, can come into the Splits. Just like Lizzo.)



But at the end of the day: celebrities, they’re just like us. In a recent Tweet, Lizzo expressed a sentiment that so many of us share: “I want my night routine to be: face mask, gua sha, leave-in/twists/bonnet, night tinctures/sups, toe spacers, mouth guard, guzzle 1L of water, no phone, breathwork, meditation, [and] wrist guard,” she wrote. “But my night routine is: Bathe/brush teeth/pass out w phone in hand.” #Relatable

Whitney Houston Gets Her Own Biopic in 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody'

The writer of Bohemian Rhapsody has a new musical biopic: I Wanna Dance With Somebody, about the life of the late, great Whitney Houston. The film is directed by Kasi Lemmons and stars Naomi Ackie from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as the iconic pop star — although Houston’s singing voice in the trailer is unmistakably her own.

The film, which was co-produced by Houston’s longtime record producer Clive Davis, chronicles her rise to stardom and fame. (Davis is played in the film by Stanley Tucci.) And, yes, Houston’s husband and R&B and hip hop star Bobby Brown is a character in the film as well. He’s played by Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders.

You can watch the first trailer for the film below, which makes it look like a pretty standard musical biopic with one ace in the hole: Houston’s incredible voice and music.


Here is the film’s official synopsis:

I Wanna Dance with Somebody is a powerful and triumphant celebration of the incomparable Whitney Houston. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, written by Academy Award® nominee Anthony McCarten, produced by legendary music executive Clive Davis and starring BAFTA Award® winner Naomi Ackie, the film is a no-holds-barred portrait of the complex and multifaceted woman behind The Voice. From New Jersey choir girl to one of the best-selling and most awarded recording artists of all time, audiences are taken on an inspirational, poignant—and so emotional—journey through Houston’s trailblazing life and career, with show-stopping performances and a soundtrack of the icon’s most beloved hits as you’ve never heard them before. Don’t you wanna dance?




Mariah Carey Releases 'Butterfly: 25th Anniversary Expanded Edition'

Music icon Mariah Carey has reissued her groundbreaking fourth album, Butterfly, with a special 25th-anniversary edition.

“I will never forget the day I released this album to the world,” Carey shared on Instagram. “I had never felt more exposed and vulnerable yet free and euphoric at the same time. It was a true EMANCIPATION (no pun intended!) of my spirit, soul and innermost feelings which I poured into every lyric and every note on every song.”

She added, “25 years later and it’s still one of the proudest moments of my life and career. I hope you enjoy reliving this journey with me.”

The expanded edition features eight bonus tracks, including fresh remixes, never-before-released acapellas and live tracks, as well as Carey’s reinterpretation of the fan-favorite “The Roof,” with vocal support from Brandy.

In a January interview with Rated R&B, Brandy exclusively talked about her experience working with Carey.

“I can tell you the experience was so beautiful. She’s breathtaking, number one. She has a beautiful soul,” Brandy told Rated R&B. “When I was in the booth, doing whatever she wanted me to do, it was just beautiful to be coached by her. I loved working with her. That was a dream come true.” 


For one of the remixes mentioned above (“Butterfly”), Carey enlisted rising producer Amorphous to create an anniversary club version.

He wrote on Instagram, “Thank you @MariahCarey for inviting me to take part in celebrating your legacy on #Butterfly25 with my take on such a classic and personal record. I am so blessed and grateful. this is truly a dream come true!!!”

Not only is the album available for streaming, but also on vinyl. It includes a 2LP standard edition pressed on Champagne Wave vinyl and a 4LP deluxe edition pressed on 180g Gold Nugget vinyl. The vinyl is packaged with a lyric and photo booklet, as well as rare remixes.


Carey also has visual plans to celebrate Butterfly’s 25th anniversary. Next week, she will premiere a new Honey music video documentary. She also plans to share classic live performances throughout the month. 


Released on Sept. 17, 1997, Butterfly debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. It spawned the Hot 100 chart-topping singles “Honey” and “My All.”

The former song received two nominations at the 40th Grammy Awards, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song. Carey also picked up a nod for “Butterfly” for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

In March, Carey updated her certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). “Honey” advanced to 2x multi-platinum for exceeding two million equivalent sales units and “Breakdown” featuring Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone reached gold status (500,000 copies sold). 


Mariah Carey Butterfly: 25th Anniversary Expanded Edition Tracklist

1. Honey (5:00)
2. Butterfly (4:34)
3. My All (3:51)
4. The Roof (Back In Time) (5:14)
5. Fourth of July (4:23)
6. Breakdown (feat. Krayzie Bone & Wish Bone) (4:44)
7. Babydoll (5:06)
8. Close My Eyes (4:20)
9. Whenever You Call (4:21)
10. Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise) (3:49)
11. The Beautiful Ones (Featuring Dru Hill) (6:58)
12. Outside (4:46)
Bonus Tracks:
13. Whenever You Call (feat. Brian McKnight) (4:21)
14. The Roof (When I Feel the Need) (feat. Brandy) (4:53)
15. Butterfly (Live from the Late Show with David Letterman) (1997)
16. My All (Live from VH1 Divas Live) (5:27)
17. Fourth of July (Acapella) (4:17)
18. Outside (Acapella) (4:15)
19. Butterfly (Amorphous Anniversary Club Remix) (6:05)
20. Honey (Another Taste of Honey David Morales Remix) (7:56)

RnB star R Kelly convicted of child pornography

Disgraced R&B singer R Kelly, who is serving a 30-year sentence for sex offences, was found guilty of child pornography and other charges on Wednesday after a month-long trial in his hometown of Chicago.


Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was convicted of three counts of producing child pornography and three counts of enticement of a minor.


The three-time Grammy Award-winner was acquitted by a federal jury of seven other counts, including charges that he obstructed justice in a previous trial.

Kelly and two ex-associates had been accused of rigging the singer’s 2008 child pornography trial in which a jury delivered a verdict of not guilty.


Kelly’s former manager, Derrel McDavid, and an ex-employee, Milton “June” Brown, were tried alongside the singer in the latest trial and were also acquitted of obstruction charges.


The 12-person jury took around 11 hours over two days to deliver the verdicts, which could add additional decades in prison to the 30 years Kelly is already serving.


A minor victim declined to testify in the 2008 trial because of alleged threats and bribes, but the now 37-year-old woman took the witness stand this time.


“The guilty verdicts finally hold Robert Kelly accountable for the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl, and they help right the wrongs that occurred in a prior prosecution in Cook County,” the US attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, John Lausch, said of the 2008 trial.


“The damage Mr. Kelly inflicted on his victims is immeasurable. I want to thank the victims for their strength, perseverance and courage in coming forward to testify at trial,” he added.


No sentencing date was immediately set. Kelly faces 10 to 90 years in prison for these new convictions, Lausch’s office said in a statement.


Excerpts from videos depicting sexual abuse by Kelly of girls as young as 14 were played for the jury during the trial.


Kelly was convicted in New York in September last year of recruiting teenagers and women for sex.


The I Believe I Can Fly artiste was found guilty of eight charges of sex trafficking and one count of racketeering in the New York case.


Faces further charges

Kelly’s conviction in New York was widely seen as a milestone for the #MeToo movement: it was the first major sex abuse trial where the majority of the accusers were Black women.


It was also the first time Kelly faced criminal consequences for the abuse he was rumoured for decades to have inflicted on women and children.


Kelly also faces prosecution in two other State jurisdictions.

In the New York case, his accusers described events that often mirrored one another.


Many of the alleged victims said they had met the singer at concerts or mall performances and were then handed slips of paper with Kelly’s contact details by members of his entourage.


Several said they were told he could bolster their music industry aspirations.

But prosecutors argued all were instead “indoctrinated” into Kelly’s world — groomed for sex at his whim and kept in line by “coercive means of control,” including isolation and cruel disciplinary measures.


Core to the New York case was Kelly’s relationship with the late singer Aaliyah.

Kelly wrote and produced her first album — Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number — before illegally marrying her when she was just 15 because he feared he had impregnated her.


His former manager admitted in court to bribing a worker to obtain fake identification allowing the union, which was later annulled.





Sevyn Streeter Releases New Song '23'

It’s giving thick. Sevyn Streeter puts a bid in for song of the summer with “23,” co-produced by Needlz and Domgotbeats.


The hot girl banger underscores Streeter’s bomb songwriting, having the ability to write songs with more depth while keeping a sense of playfulness in mind for others.


She refers to Michael Jordan, who donned No. 23 on his jersey during his Chicago Bulls stint. Streeter delivers big energy from top to bottom, emphasizing the natural killer body she worked to obtain.

“I been working out all summer for these pics / Milkshake, gettin’ thick / All this Pucci got this booty lookin’ big / Bitch, I’m one of one, eleven out of ten,” Streeter boasts.




Streeter accompanied “23” with a music video directed by MdotforMayor, where she and a couple of baddies bring their milkshakes to the yard.

“It was literally 100 degrees the day we shot this, but we still had a fuq’n ball doin it,” Streeter wrote in an Instagram caption.


The new song follows Streeter appearing the Dixson’s video for “Cherry Sorbet,” on which she features. The song is coasting within the top 20 on charts, including R&B radio and Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay list. 


Collaborations aside, Streeter’s “23” comes behind the updated version of Drunken Wordz Sober Thoughtz, released in February. The deluxe edition included five more songs than the original, which she shared last September. It features guest appearances by Chris Brown, Lucky Daye, Jeremih, Bia, A$AP Ferg and Lavi$h. 


Drunken Wordz Sober Thoughtz garnered year-end praise, getting featured on Rated R&B’s 30 Best R&B Albums of 2021 list.





Summer Walker and Ari Lennox's 'Unloyal' Hits No. 1 on Billboard's Adult R&B Airplay Chart

Summer Walker’s sophomore album Still Over It has produced a hit single. “Unloyal,” a duet with Ari Lennox, has reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay chart.

It marks Walker’s first chart-topper in a lead role and her second overall. The news comes less than a week after the single topped R&B radio.


Trey Songz’s “Back Home” scored Walker her first leader on the Adult R&B list in November 2020, and it remained atop the chart for three weeks.


She came close to securing her first-ever earlier that year with “Playing Games.” Her 3x multi-platinum single, lifted from 2019’s Over It, peaked at No. 2 in the June 27, 2020, issue.



A post shared by Rated R&B (@ratedrnb)



Lennox previously scored her first career No. 1 single with “Pressure.” The certified gold song, which includes co-production Elite, Bryan-Michael Cox and Jermaine Dupri, spent three weeks at the summit earlier this year.


Back to “Unloyal.” The Erykah Badu-influenced tune entered and peaked at No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100.


It also reached No. 17 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Meanwhile, it continues to grow legs on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, currently at No. 16.




“Unloyal” is lifted from Walker’s second album, Still Over It. Released in November 2021 via LVRN/Interscope Records, the album started at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 after selling 166,000 equivalent units in its opening week. Still Over It was preceded by the single “Ex for a Reason” featuring JT of City Girls.


In August, Walker joined The Weeknd for the “Best Friends (Remix).” She also teamed with Amazon Music to release an exclusive EP titled Summer Series (Amazon Music Live)


When it comes to collaborating, Walker and Lennox are inseparable. In preparation for the Washington, D.C. native’s second album age/sex/location, out Sept. 9, she recruited Walker for the song “Queen Space.” It appears on Lennox’s surprise EP Away Message, released Aug. 31.  



Lennox’s forthcoming album age/sex/location will follow her 2019 debut, Shea Butter Baby. Her second LP includes the previously shared “Pressure” and “Hoodie.”

She is hosting a series of daily events ahead of the LP, including a listening party and an official album release party, to name a few. Get more details here. 

Her debut album was named Rated R&B’s Best R&B Album of 2019. The J. Cole-assisted title track and “BMO” were among the focus tracks from Shea Butter Baby.


The former track was certified platinum for U.S. sales of more than one million equivalent units.


Meanwhile, “BMO,” co-produced by Elite, Omen and Ronald Gilmore, is now certified gold for exceeding 500,000 equivalent units.

Akon says Michael Jackson took pills before his death as he was too excited to sleep

Rapper Akon has claimed Michael Jackson took pills prior to his death as he was too excited to sleep while planning the "greatest show on earth".

The Mr Lonely singer, 49, was speaking ahead of a hugely anticipated documentary about the King of Pop’s demise. And the R&B star Akon revealed the drive Jacko had was both a gift and a curse in the build up to his London concert residency in 2009.

Akon believes the Thriller star's obsession with his work played a part in his death from an overdose of anaesthetic Propofol and benzodiazepines 13 years ago.

Speaking to The US Sun, Akon said revealed the music icon was so excited to perform on the 50 dates pencilled in as he was keen to remind the world exactly who he was.

"He didn’t even sleep," Akon said. "That is why he was taking sleeping pills because he was too damn excited.

"He would be up for weeks at a time thinking about how he wanted everybody to have the most amazing experience, he wanted to create something that was going to be talked about for centuries."

Akon then claimed that if you have that level of energy, you simply don't sleep. He added: "You are going to need help to get sleep because your mind is constantly moving and your energy and your flow [are] electric to the point where you cannot turn it off."

Akon, who collaborated with the Beat It star on his critically acclaimed Thriller 25 album, said the star was constantly pushing himself to the limit and wouldn't stop until he achieved the best result possible.

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