247 The Sound Entertainment News Archives for 2023-02

Ice T Says He Stopped Rapping After Artists' Music Became "Goofy" And "Soft"

Ice-T is sharing why he decided to stop releasing rap albums and according to him, it’s because of Hip-Hop culture’s shift in look and sound by the younger generation. In an interview with Variety, the 65-year-old spoke about becoming disillusioned with the direction that rap music was heading during the 2000s.


“The music got goofy to me,” the artist, born Tracy Marrow, told the publication. “The kids started looking weird. It all turned into something I wasn’t comfortable with.” He also points to a downtick in record sales for himself and other acts from his era as evidence in the changing tide of what was deemed popular in the mainstream and among the youth.



“There was a point where I was selling tons of records, then it cooled off. I felt a certain way. Then I realized Public Enemy, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and Wu-Tang Clan weren’t selling records, either,” he explained. “There was a paradigm shift. These kids got softer, and soft is not something I’m able to give audiences. The first word in hip-hop is ‘hip’ so how something stays hip for over 10 years is difficult.”

While Ice-T recently teamed up with longtime collaborator Afrika Islam for the 2021 project Uncut, the rapper’s last full-length solo album, Gangsta Rap, was released in 2006. In 2008, the West Coast legend became embroiled in a back-and-forth with rapper Soulja Boy after accusing the artist of “killing Hip-Hop” on a mixtape.

Earlier this month, Ice-T received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a moment he also touched on during the interview. “When I started making records, I didn’t come into the music business thinking I would be a star,” he said of the honor. “I was just seeing if I could get a fan base. I didn’t want to be the best rapper. I just wanted to be mentioned among the greats: LL Cool J, Run-DMC.”

Speaking of LL Cool J, Ice-T recently shared that he and LL Cool J have ended the beef that was sparked by their battle in the late ’80s. The hatchet was buried between the two as the pair both performed as part of the Grammy Awards’ Hip-Hop 50 Tribute, which also included an appearance by Run-DMC.



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FCC releases viewer complaints about Rihanna's 'indecent' halftime show

Rihanna's Super Bowl halftime show performance caused quite the "disturbia" for a handful people who tuned in.


The Federal Communications Commission received 103 complaints from viewers, with many griping that the performance was overly sexual. Some people even said it was pornographic.


"This year the halftime show was so indecent I had to turn off the TV because of the pornographic content," one person claimed, according to TMZ. Another said, "I don't care what someone worships but children shouldn't be exposed to pornography and as an adult I don't wish to see it. … Where has decency gone? How about respect for others and self?"

Some people took issue with the pregnant singer's backup dancers. One person said the dancers "were patently offensive and completely inappropriate for children."

Of course, the number of complaints about RiRi's performance pales in comparison to issues viewers had following the infamous Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl. The FCC received more than half a million complaints at the time.

SZA's 'SOS' Tops Billboard 200 For 10th Nonconsecutive Week

SZA’s SOS reign doesn’t appear to be slowing up anytime soon as the album has topped the Billboard 200 chart for its 10th nonconsecutive week. The last album by a female artist to spend 10 weeks at No. 1 was Adele’s 25 between 2015 and 2016. The last R&B album to do so was Mariah Carey’s eponymous debut, which logged 11 consecutive weeks atop the chart in 1991, Billboard reports.

SZA’s sophomore LP has broken records held by Whitney Houston’s Whitney, Usher’s Confessions, Janet Jackson’s janet, and Beyoncé’s self-titled albums.


This feat comes after the New Jersey-bred songstress was named Billboard‘s 2023 Woman of the Year. In an interview with the publication, the 33-year-old teased details about the upcoming deluxe edition of SOS, which will reportedly have 10 new tracks. She also explained what’s to come following that release.

“After I do the deluxe, I’m hoping to be able to accept that this chapter is done. I’m looking forward to actually feeling proud of myself and not just smiling and nodding at accolades but really feeling it internally and knowing that I’m good enough,” SZA explained.

However, her hard work has paid off considering her first-ever arena tour is sold out. “I am deeply excited to pop a** and cry and give theater,” she added about her show. “I want it to feel like a play on Broadway, but more like Suspiria and Cirque du Soleil in the weirdest way. I want it to be smart and exhilarating and exhausting and exciting like a party, but also like a therapy session.”


Nicki Minaj Returns With Cover Art For New Single "Red Ruby Da Sleeze"

Fresh off the high-energy of Trinidad’s Carnival, Nicki Minaj has announced her next single, “Red Ruby Da Sleeze.” The track will be released on March 3, seven months after her explosive “Super Freaky Girl” hit in 2022.


The Queen rapstress announced the track on Thursday (Feb. 23) via Instagram as she included behind-the-scenes clips from the single’s video shoot, followed by the “official artwork” for the single. The cover art sees Minaj standing in a restaurant’s kitchen as the chef prepares a dish.


In the photo, Minaj wears her signature hairstyle of two buns with chopsticks (in which any Barb would know that means she’s talking her sh*t) and a snug Jean Paul Gaultier dress with yellow pumps.


A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj)

The Jamaica Queens icon raps the lyrics to “Red Ruby Da Sleeze” in the BTS clips as a bashment party takes place behind her. Clearly, the video was filmed amid Trinidad’s Carnival in her homeland.


Sporting one red and one pink bun in her hair, she raps, “Red Ruby Da Sleeze, Chinese on my sleeve/ These wannabe Chun-Li’s, anyways, Ni Hao/ Who the f**k told bi**hes they was me now?/ I knew these bi**hes was slow, I ain’t know these bi**hes senile.”


The track is Minaj’s first solo release since the Rick James-sampled “Super Freaky Girl,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. According to Billboard, the record-breaking hit was the first No. 1 debut for a Hip-Hop song by a female artist with no accompanying acts since Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” in 1998.


Take a look at the official cover art above and BTS video clips from “Red Ruby Da Sleeze” below.




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Snoop Dogg Adds Death Row Records Catalog To TikTok

Snoop Dogg has added the Death Row Records music category to the popular social media app TikTok. Billboard reports the move comes ahead of a wide streaming release of the songs and albums on digital streaming platforms.


The record label was acquired by the Doggystyle rapper in February 2022 and the 51-year-old artist pulled the library from streaming.


“Since I took Death Row off streaming almost a year ago, not a day goes by without people asking me to put it back up,” Snoop Dogg said in a statement. “As the Super Bowl rolled around, I knew fans would be looking for the music from our iconic performance in 2022, so I wanted to reintroduce the most historic catalog to the people.”


The catalog will be available exclusively on TikTok through SoundOn, marking the “first-ever catalog reissue to release exclusively through Sound On.”

“We were hearing from a lot of artists that they loved being on TikTok and trying to build their community and hopefully reach really big audiences, but they were pretty overwhelmed, they didn’t really understand how to get onto TikTok, get music onto TikTok, get an account set up on TikTok, figure out how to position themselves in the right way TikTok global head of music Ole Obermann expressed to Billboard in 2022.


“The goal is, really, that we find the promising artist and we walk them from the backstage door right onto the main stage and they’re there, they’re performing, it’s an incredible show and they’ve found their audience.”

50 Cent Understands When Nicki Minaj Gets Upset, Says Cardi B Is Living "The American Dream"

In a recent digital cover story with Billboard, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson pulled back the curtains on building his media empire. While discussing topics like working with Dr. Dre and Eminem and having a plethora of his own “rap beefs,” Jackson also shared his thoughts about Nicki Minaj and Cardi B’s dynamic, two of the biggest rappers to come out of New York City since Fif’s 2003 debut.


“Hip-hop culture makes you battle,” he said to Billboard‘s Carl Lamarre. “I love Nicki Minaj, but the funny sh*t is, I like watching her when she’s upset. I like that because she has something that comes from the experience of living in South Jamaica.”


The fellow Queens borough native added, “I’m looking at it like, ‘Yo, I know they think she’s nuts, but they only think that because they don’t understand.’ I get it. She thinks you’re trying to play her.”


Fif’s understanding of Nicki stems from the many trials she has faced as she’s demanded her respect in the music industry. As a respected pioneer of rap (who just so happens to also be a woman), Nicki has been unapologetically vocal about “industry machines” going against her to keep her from garnering what she feels she deserves.

The 40-year-old mother of one has also pointed out the “unfairness” that she’s experienced in contrast to her rap counterparts. Whether being “snubbed” at award shows, having her songs miscategorized, or accusing streaming services of being “in bed” with rival artists’ camps, Minaj’s numbers have always spoken louder than any critic of her music.


Although 50 has made it clear time and time again that he rides for Minaj and has an abundance of respect for the wave she’s created, he also had a few things to say about her rap rival Cardi B.


“When Cardi B came, I thought she was dope,” the TV mogul reflected on the Bronx sensation’s rise to stardom. “She’s from the bottom. She was in Club Lust in Brooklyn. [Going] from that, and making a hit record and turning into who she did? I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t like to see that.”

He added, “It felt like she got everything — married, the baby — it came fast. That’s the American dream right there.”



The Get Rich or Die Trying icon hasn’t spoken too often about Cardi B publicly, but the last time he did he sided with Minaj over the two artists’ “beef.”

In 2017, online footage surfaced of Minaj’s frequent collaborator Tekashi69 turning up to the Queen rapper’s music in the club. As DJ SpinKing abruptly switched to Cardi’s “Bodak Yellow,” 69 still danced. The DJ announced, “I’m sorry Nicki, I’m team Cardi B on this side.”


50 decided to let it be known whose side he was on when he commented on the video with “No @djspinking that’s female sh*t stay out of that, now Nicki gonna get mad at 69 for turning up, trust me she on her South Side sh*t.”

Speaking summing up his sentiments about the two ladies in 2023, Fif told Billboard: “When her [Cardi] and Nicki clash, I go, ‘Oh, sh*t, it’s going to be interesting to watch how it plays out.’ Lyrically, I won’t say anything competitively about the two of them, but I love Nicki. I don’t have anything against Cardi.”


He continued, “I think anyone who comes now, she is going to check their temperature. Nicki is going to check if this bi**h is friendly or looking to take over the sh*t.”

Read 50 Cent’s Billboard digital cover story here.

Drake Will Not Be Required To Testify At XXXTentacion Murder Trial

After Drake was ordered to appear in court later this month to answer questions related to the murder of rapper XXXTentacion, a judge has granted the Canadian hitmaker’s request to skip the hearing.


On Tuesday (Feb. 14), Judge Michael Usan ratified an order dismissing a subpoena that would have required the 36-year-old to be deposed on Feb. 24 in relation to the late artist’s death. It was reported that if Drake missed that date, he would have until Feb. 27 to appear for a deposition or risk being charged with contempt.

The Her Loss rapper’s attorney, Bradford M. Cohen, argued that the court’s request of his client’s presence at the trial was “unreasonable and oppressive,” deeming it a publicity stunt.


“It is both unreasonable and oppressive to subpoena an out of state party who has not been mentioned in any reports, any investigation, or referenced to have any involvement in this matter,” Cohen said. “To mandate that he appear for deposition for something that he very clearly has no relevant knowledge of is unreasonable.”



The attorney further shot down the defense’s attempt to connect Drake to the murder of the victim, adding that it was “less for the purpose of discovering relevant evidence and testimony” and simply a ploy to “add more layers of celebrity and notoriety to a tragic and unfortunate event.”


Drake was previously fingered as a possible suspect of the crime by the attorney of Dedrick Williams, one of the four men officially charged with XXXTentacion’s murder. The defense pointed to a post on the “SAD!” rapper’s social media account warning that if he was to ever pass away, that Drake was responsible for any foul play.



“If anyone tries to kill me it was @champagnepapi,” the Florida native’s Instagram Stories read at the time. However, he would later delete the post, claiming that his account had been hacked and that he was not responsible for the post, telling his followers to not take any validity from the statement.


XXXTentacion was murdered on June 18, 2018 after leaving Riva Motorsports in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Dedrick Williams—along with codefendants Michael Boatwright and Trayvon Newsome—has been charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery with a firearm. The triggerman in the murder is believed to be Boatwright, who allegedly shot XXX multiple times after Newsome retrieved cash, jewelry, and a designer bag belonging to the rapper.

The trio face life in prison if convicted of murder. A fourth man, Robert Allen, plead guilty to second-degree murder in 2022 and has cooperated with the state.


Beyonce? Was Paid $4 Million For Cadillac Records, But Ended Up With Nothing Because Of Her Selflessness

These days, Beyonce is extra picky with the roles she selects. That was the case with Disney's Princess and the Frog, as she refused to audition for the role. Not only that, but Beyoncé is keeping things very private these days, refusing to do interviews, and only agreeing to essay style formats, written in her own words.


RELATED - Beyoncé Turned Down A Film That Made $1.2 Billion At The Box Office Because The Role Offered Wasn't Big Enough


In the following, we're going to take a closer look at Beyoncé's time in the film, Cadillac Records. It was an impactful experience for Beyoncé, especially prepping for the role.


Her prep was so noteworthy, that she decided to given up her entire pay to a certain cause. We'll reveal what that was, and which other Hollywood stars decided to give up their entire pay for a role.


Beyonce? Spent Time At The Phoenix House In Order To Prep For Her Role In Cadillac Records

Back in 2008, Beyoncé took on the role of Etta James in the film, Cadillac Records. Beyoncé also took on the role of executive producer. The film wasn't a huge box office hit, bringing in $8.9 million.


The role was an intimidating one for Beyoncé, given that she's extremely different to character she was portraying. When readying herself for the role, Beyoncé checked into the Phoenix House.


She recalls the experience, "I never tried drugs in my life so I didn't know about it all," she said. "It was hard to go there. In the beginning I didn't want to offend anyone, I didn't want to ask the wrong questions or seem judgmental."


"They were so honest, though, and I am so thankful. I don't think I could have understood that level of pain or need. What they do there is amazing. I learned a lot about life and myself."


"She was really the opposite of what people’s perception of me is. She was by no means the sweetheart. She was bold and unapologetic and spoke her mind. I didn’t know if I was even ready for a role like this."


The experience turned out to be a positive one for Beyoncé, though she did admit to feeling intimidated when performing At Last in front of Etta herself.


"I try not to make eye contact [with the audience] until I start singing. But I saw her. It was intimidating. I started to sing. And maybe a couple of sentences into the song, I did this growl that she’s infamous for, and I saw her body posture change. She nudged her son, like, ”Did you hear that?” And I was like, ”Yes! I got her!”

It was a memorable experience for Beyoncé, and she ended up making the kindest of gestures with her pay.


Beyonce? Donated Her Entire $4 Million Salary To The Phoenix House

With a net worth hovering around $500 million, Beyoncé has a lot of funds saved up. However, it was still a classy gesture from Beyoncé, who decided to give up her pay completely, and donate it to the Phoenix House, given her experience when researching for the role.


Star Magazine explained, "Beyoncé has donated her entire $4 million salary from her new film to help a string of drug treatment centers across America."


The publication continued, "The gift by the Houston native was made to Phoenix House, which runs 98 residential and outpatient rehab programs in nine states. She reportedly spent two weeks with patients to research her latest role in Cadillac Records as blues and soul legend Etta James, whose early career was blighted by heroin addiction."


A classy gesture by Beyoncé and as it turns out, she isn't the only one out of her peers to refuse a pay for a film project.

Beyonce? Is Far From The Only Actress In Hollywood To Take On A Role For Free


Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers decided to take on the role for free, given that she's never motivated by money. Lopez said, "I did it for free and produced it. Like Jenny From the Block — I do what I love.


George Clooney would also agree to work the film Good Night and Good Luck for $3, given that it was a special project for his father.


"It's a love letter to [his] old man" — because he's "in the enviable position of being able to force studios to make films that they wouldn’t ordinarily make."


Clooney continued, “It’s me saying [to my journalist father], ‘Thanks for setting the bar that high, for believing so strongly in the responsibility of information,’ and taking it to the level where it cost him a lot of things over the years."


Michael Sheen also made the bold decision himself to be a not-for-profit actor, donating his extra funds to support charitable causes.

Hip-Hop Community Reacts To Trugoy's Death

Trugoy The Dove’s death over the weekend shook up the Hip-Hop community. Given how legendary he and De La Soul are within the culture, many people spoke out to pay their respects and honor the late 54-year-old artist.

“This one hurts,” Erick Sermon wrote on Instagram. “From Long Island from one of the best rap groups in Hiphop #Delasoul #plug2 Dave has passed away you will be missed… RIP.” His caption accompanied a photo of the rapper on the beach smiling.

Chuck D shared a video on Twitter of him and Trugoy, real name David Jude Jolicoeur, giving each other flowers.


“I’m here with the master,” the 62-year-old said in reference to his fellow New York rapper. “A student,” Trugoy replied before the Public Enemy member asked, “When does a student stop being a student? When he becomes a master god himself.” There was a visible camaraderie and admiration between the two.




A post shared by Erick Sermon (@erick_sermon)


“#RestInBeats my Bro #Dave #Trugoy #DeLaSoul forever @hiphopgods,” Chuck D wrote in his caption. 9th Wonder offered a moving Instagram post about how he looked up to many people, De La Soul included. “Everybody needs big brothers and big sisters,” the 48-year-old wrote. “Musically, The Native Tongues family were mine. Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Monie Love, The Jungle Brothers, and De La Soul. This hurts, y’all. This really hurts. Take away the Native Tongues, and you’re taking away a side of Hip-Hop that is so important, and so vital.” 9th continued, “My God. Rest in Peace and POWER, David Jude Jolicoeur, also know as Trugoy….PLUG 2….. of @wearedelasoul.”




A post shared by Patrick Douthit (@9thwonder)






A post shared by De La Soul (@wearedelasoul)

The Alchemist offered love to the late rapper via Twitter on Monday morning (Feb. 13). “Dela Soul raised us. RIP TRUGOY. Love to Pos & Mase .” Trugoy’s cause of death is currently unknown, but he opened up about his struggles with congestive heart failure back in 2018 on Instagram. Despite being hospitalized in 2020, he still made an effort to connect with his group members and friends on Instagram Live from his sickbed. His passing comes on the heels of De La Soul’s plan to release their first six albums on streaming platforms. After a tough, long battle with their former label Tommy Boy Records, the Hip-Hop group was able to finally come out on the winning side. Now, they must celebrate the momentous occasion one member down. VIBE sends its condolences to Trugoy’s group members Posdnuos and Maseo, his family, and loved ones. See more of the love poured out for the Hip-Hop legend above.


Rihanna Reveals Pregnancy During Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show Performance

Welcome to the #FentyBowl, presented by Apple Music (and the National Fenty League). On Sunday (Feb. 12), Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show was nothing short of heartwarming and sensational as the singer-turned-billionaire returned to the stage for the first time in seven years.


Not only did she take fans on a ride through her timeless discography—seemingly under the musical direction of Adam Blackstone—the Fenty mogul also unveiled that she and A$AP Rocky are expecting baby No. 2. The couple currently have a son, who they welcomed in May 2022. She announced that pregnancy in Feb. 2022. The surprise has been confirmed by Rihanna’s rep.


Draped in a red monochromatic ensemble on a suspended stage, Rih opened her 13-minute set with “B***h Better Have My Money” as her hand subtly rubbed over her belly. Fans immediately flooded Twitter with speculations.



She continued to ride her wave of nostalgia with classic gems including “Where Have You Been,” “Only Girl,” “We Found Love,” “Rude Boy,” “Work,” “Wild Thoughts,” “All Of The Lights,” “Run This Town,” and “Umbrella.” Yet, just as the song suggests, “Find light in the beautiful sea/I choose to be happy,” Rih closed out her performance with her 2012 hit, “Diamonds.” Though she never addressed the spiraling rumors, her reps did confirm the baby speculations.


Unreal. @Rihanna #AppleMusicHalftime pic.twitter.com/ffPJk08ygg

Ahead of her 35th birthday, Rih first hinted at the reveal when speaking on her set with Apple Music’s Nadeska Alexis at the official Super Bowl press conference. “The physical challenge has definitely been immense, for many reasons, of course. But, I haven’t done this in a minute […] Now I’m saying too much? But it’s a jam-packed show, and it takes a toll on your body, it does,” explained the Bajan icon. In a separate interview with NFL Total Access (below), the Fenty founder teased, “I’m thinking about bringing someone. Not sure though yet,” when asked about any special guests.

Her New York rapper beau and father of her children was, of course, front and center for the entire show like the proud man and lover he is. Rocky was also sporting a custom National Fenty League bomber jacket. She also included perfect product placement for Fenty Beauty and Savage X Fenty as she touched up her face with her blotting powder and had her dancers dripped in custom looks. Watch more clips from Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show performance below and head over to the NFL’s YouTube channel to watch it in full.


Beyoncé Dares You To "Make It Rain" With "CUFF IT (Wetter Remix)"

Beyoncé kicked off her historic Grammy weekend on Friday (Feb. 3) with the official release of a viral “CUFF IT” remix which includes a new verse and additional vocals. The party-ready track was flipped into a bedroom-ready jam by DJ Esentrik who blended the original RENAISSANCE single with Twista’s 2009 song “Wetter.”

“Soooo I’ve been hiding this for awhile and now I can finally say it!” exclaimed the DJ and producer in a tweet revealing the news. “CUFF IT WETTER REMIX IS OFFICIAL! Thank you to @beyonce @parkwood and most importantly the DJs and fans that supported this from the start! Love to all!”


Currently, “CUFF IT (Wetter Remix) is only available to purchase exclusively via Queen Bey’s official website. 


On the updated version, the global music icon adds to the original song, refusing to offer a remix without new lyrics. “Baby make it rain/ Don’t let go till it storms again/ I pray this will never end,” sings Mrs. Carter at the opening of the modified song. She also added additional adlibs and runs throughout the track.


While Beyoncé quietly released the track, Twista shared a “Happy Friday” tweet including three flame emojis, linking back to the “CUFF IT (Wetter Remix).” The original version of “CUFF IT” was released on the 41-year-old performer’s acclaimed album RENAISSANCE issued in July 2022.


On Sunday (Feb. 5), the album added a new level of legendary to Beyoncé’s iconic resume. Picking up wins for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for the aforementioned LP, Best R&B Song with “CUFF IT,” Best Traditional R&B Performance with “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA,” and Best Dance/Electronic Recording with “BREAK MY SOUL,” she became the most awarded musician in Grammy history.


“I’m trying not to be too emotional. I’m trying to just receive this night,” said the mother of three while accepting the award for RENAISSANCE as the first Black woman to take the category. “I want to thank God for protecting me. Thank you, God. I’d like to thank my Uncle Johnny who’s not here, but he’s here in spirit.” Bey later thanked her family and especially the queer community “for your love and inventing this genre.”

Irene Cara's Cause Of Death Revealed

Irene Cara’s death toward the end of 2022 was sad for the music community and beyond. The cause of the late songwriter’s passing has now been revealed.

TMZ reports that the Academy Award-winning actress passed away due to high cholesterol and hypertension. The official report states her cause of death as arteriosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease. The medical examiner who assessed her body post-mortem determined that the Bronx multi-talent also had diabetes.

Irene Cara passed away in her Largo, Fla. home on Nov. 25 at the age of 63. She was known for being a child actress and caught her big break in the television show Fame, playing the fictional singer Coco Hernandez. She also sang the show’s theme song, which later earned her Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.



Cara was also lauded for her appearance in the 1976 film Sparkle. She was awarded an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress In A Television Movie, Miniseries Or Drama Special in 1982 for her work in Sister, Sister. In 1983, she co-wrote and performed “Flashdance…What A Feeling” for the Flashdance which starred Jennifer Beals. Her contributions earned her an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Irene Cara had a musical discography of her own apart from her work with films. She released her first album, Esta Es Irene in 1967, followed by 1982’s Anyone Can See, 1983’s What A Feelin’, and 1987’s Carasmatic. Her final album, Irene Cara Presents Hot Caramel, was released in 2011.

Watch Kendrick Lamar's Daughter React To His GRAMMY Win

Kendrick Lamar’s speech after winning the award for Best Rap Album at the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards was great in its own right, but seeing his daughter’s reaction was simply priceless. In a clip shared on social media by Lamar’s wife, Whitney Alford, the rapper’s three-year-old daughter, Uzi, can be seen watching her father accepting his award at the podium.


As he appeared speaking on the television screen, the toddler enthusiastically exclaimed, “Daddy! He’s talking about us.” Alford repeated their daughter’s words, before Uzi repeated, “He’s talking about us. He’s talking about his family. Uzi and Enoch and mommy.”


Kendrick Lamar was one of the biggest winners at this year’s GRAMMY Awards. Nominated in eight categories, including Song of the Year and Album of the Year, K.Dot ultimately added three more gramophones to his growing collection for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Performance.


The 35-year-old artist touched on the importance of family and the part they played in allowing him to create his acclaimed album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank my family for giving me the courage and the vulnerability to share these stories and my truth with this album,” the Compton native said. “I want to thank my fans for trusting me with these words. As artists, we’re all entertainers. And we say things to provoke thoughts and feeling and emotions. Making this record, it’s one of my toughest records to make, and they allowed me to do that and allowed me to share other people’s experiences.”



Alicia Keys Musical 'Hell's Kitchen' Currently In Development

Alicia Keys is creating a new musical, Hell’s Kitchen, and the production will be based on her life story.


Deadline reports that the 15-time Grammy award-winning artist will develop the musical with New York’s Off-Broadway Public Theater. 


Hell’s Kitchen will be aptly named after the Manhattan hood Alicia grew up in as a young lady, with the synopsis described as a “new musical that tells the story of Ali, a young girl growing up in NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen in the 1990s.” 


Michael Greif (Rent) is set to direct the new project, with the book written by Kristoffer Diaz (Public’s adaptation of Hercules), and choreography crafted by Camille A. Brown (Choir Boy).


While Keys’ new project has yet to cast all roles, lead actors have been selected.


Hell’s Kitchen has cast three unspecified actors, including for the main character Ali — described as “a strong, stubborn girl with a rebellious streak” — Jersey, “Ali’s mother, raising her as a single mom,” and Ali’s father, Davis. “To make it work tonally, I’m aware that there’s an African-American component that is missing, but there will be many voices,” Willis expressed. “Obviously, this is an important piece for all time, but especially now. It’s an important piece for any time; it’s important that the younger generations know about Muhammad Ali and what he stands for and his examples. He’s always going to be an important example.” ALI is slated to hit Broadway in 2024.


A post shared by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys)

Ne-Yo will pay his ex-wife $1.6 million, $150,000 for a new car, and $12,000 a month in child support after finalizing their divorce, says report



  • Ne-Yo will pay his ex-wife a $1.6 million lump sum after the pair finalized their divorce, said TMZ.
  • The R&B star and Crystal Smith were granted a "total divorce" on January 26, according to People.
  • Ne-Yo will also pay Renay $20,000 for moving expenses and $150,000 for a new car, per a report.

Ne-Yo will pay his ex-wife Crystal Renay a $1.6 million lump sum to balance out their real estate holdings after the pair finalized their divorce late last month, according to TMZ. The R&B star, whose real name is Shaffer Smith, and Renay were granted a "total divorce" on January 26, reported People. According to TMZ, which said it obtained court documents outlining the agreement, on top of the $1.6 million, Ne-Yo will also pay Renay $20,000 for moving expenses and $150,000 so that she can buy a new car. Renay will also keep one of their four homes in Georgia, while she will receive $12,000 a month in child support for their three children, of whom they will share custody, said the publication.

Finally, Ne-Yo will give Renay $5,000 per month in alimony for the next three years, per TMZ. Ne-Yo and Renay married in 2016, but Renay filed for divorce in August 2021 after she had publicly accused the "So Sick" singer of having a child with another woman.


"To say I'm heartbroken and disgusted is a understatement. To ask me to stay and accept it is absolutely insane," Renay wrote on Instagram at the time, according to The Independent. "The mentality of a narcissist. I will no longer lie to the public or pretend that this is something it isn't."

"I gained 3 beautiful children out of this but nothing else but wasted years and heartache," she added. "I am not a victim. I'm choosing to stand tall with my head held high. If someone can't love you the way you deserve then it's up to you to love yourself. With no hate in my heart. I wish him nothing but the best."


Ne-Yo responded to Renay's allegations with a statement on Twitter.

"For the sake of our children, my family and I will work through our challenges behind closed doors," he wrote.

"Personal matters are not meant to be addressed and dissected in public forums. I simply ask that you please respect me and my family's privacy at this time."

Ne-Yo's representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Mariah Carey's "It's A Wrap" Gets Streaming Surge Thanks To TikTok

Mariah Carey’s devoted fanbase—affectionately known as the Lambs—are giving her album cuts their flowers. “It’s A Wrap,” a deep-cut from her 2009 LP, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, is currently TikTok’s latest sound craze and has even sparked a viral challenge.


The dance challenge launched in mid January, at Carey’s request, causing the record to soar 1000% in weekly on-demand streams in the U.S. alone. Like most sounds on the app, the sped-up version of “It’s A Wrap” gained traction among fans and even had Carey performing her elaborate choreography to the tune. Complete with backup dancers and a sandwich wrap at the end, the video has amassed over 9.5 million plays on TikTok.



By late January, a slew of the New York songbird‘s diehard fans recreated the dance sequence and Carey wound up reposting her favorite ones. “Battery about to die.. just watched hundreds of videos of IT’S A WRAP ON TIKTOK!!! I can’t even know what to say!!!,” Carey tweeted. During the week ending on Jan. 26, the song earned 1.65 million U.S. on-demand streams, according to Luminate—a significant jump from its pre-TikTok era total.


For the week ending on Dec. 29, it earned 17,000 streams. “It’s a Wrap” was never released as a single, but its digital resurgence follows Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” reign from the recent holiday season. Fans may get the chance to see the Queen of Christmas perform live as she hits the Lovers & Friends Festival stage in May.



Lil Duval Says Today's Hip-Hop Is More About Podcasting Than Music

Lil Duval is not pleased with the current state of Hip-Hop and he has an idea of what is causing the decline in quality. The 45-year-old believes that podcasting has taken precedence over actual music.


“Seem like hip hop has become more about podcasting instead of music now,” the “Smile (Living My Best Life)” artist tweeted on Thursday (Feb. 2). The Jacksonville, Fla. artist’s mentions and quotes were flooded with responses, but a lot of users seemed to agree.


“The conversations just better than the music. 90% of the songs are made in 15 minutes with no thought put into it. Microwave raps,” one user said. Another user seemingly supported the efforts of rappers to get behind another type of microphone. “Everybody just tryna make a way for themselves, they wrote. “Gotta respect the hustle.”



Podcasting has become very lucrative over the years. Verge projected that podcasting will become a $4 billion industry by 2024, in large part due to the number of advertising dollars spent to reach specific audiences. Joe Budden and N.O.R.E have been two of the most successful rappers-turned-podcasters and recently spoke about how others have tried and failed to replicate the same fortune. “You know what’s crazy? I’m looking at these rappers trying shows now, rappers from our era” the Drink Champs host said in a recent episode of The Joe Budden Podcast. “And they are so failing. They doing sports shows, they doing comedy shows … They talkin’ about, ‘Yo, I’m up. I’m just doing this for fun.’ No you are not!”


Budden and the “Nothin’” artist, on the other hand, have inked major podcasting deals in the past. Drink Champs signed a distribution deal with Warner Music Group in January and The Joe Budden Podcast was signed exclusively to Spotify from 2018 to 2020 before they had a falling out. Though other rappers have been able to transition their audiences to support them in creating content in a new medium, very few have seen the same success.

Smokey Robinson Explains Risqué Song Titles From New Album 'Gasms'

Smokey Robinson has addressed the provocative song titles on his upcoming album Gasms.

Speaking with Hollywood Unlocked on the red carpet at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 5), the legendary musician talked through his pending release.

“I wanted people to be curious. You know? People will say, ‘I gotta hear that to see what he’s talking about.’ So that’s what the purpose was,” explained the 82-year-old artist.




Earlier this month, Robinson released the titles of the nine-tracks featured on Gasms and gained viral traction for songs named “You Fill Me Up,” “I Fit In There,” and “I Wanna Know Your Body.” The Motown legend released the album’s lead single, “If We Don’t Have Each Other,” on Jan. 27. “I chose this song as the first single of my new album because it’s different musically and has a slide dance feeling to it, which is different from what I’ve ever done before,” expressed the Grammy Award-winning artist in a statement. “It also has a current rhythm of today that I love, and I hope everyone else does too.”



Ahead of the 2023 Grammy Awards, Robinson was honored  alongside Motown founder Berry Gordy during the MusiCares® Persons of the Year benefit gala on Feb. 3. Lalah Hathaway, The Isley Brothers, John Legend, PJ Morton, and Dionne Warwick all performed during the ceremony.  


During the Grammys, Robinson and Gordy were tributed by Stevie Wonder and Chris Stapleton, with Robinson himself performing “The Tears of a Clown.”

Watch the lyric video for Robinson’s lead single from Gasms below.


Chris Brown Cries Foul, Disses Robert Glasper After Losing Best R&B Album At 2023 Grammys To Him

Chris Brown didn’t take his album not winning at the 2023 Grammys too lightly, and his reaction has fans dragging him on social media.


The “No Guidance” singer’s Breezy (Deluxe) record was nominated for Best R&B Album at this year’s event alongside Mary J. Blige’s Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe), Lucky Daye’s Candydrip, and PJ Morton’s Watch The Sun.

The post Chris Brown Cries Foul, Disses Robert Glasper After Losing Best R&B Album At 2023 Grammys To Him appeared first on Blavity.

But it was Robert Glasper’s album Black Radio III album that took home the trophy, which Brown wasn’t too happy about.

Right after learning that Glasper beat him in the coveted category, Brown took to his Instagram Story to share how he really felt losing out to the talented pianist, producer and multi-Grammy winner.


In another Instagram Story upload, Brown vowed to learn a new instrument in order to win more awards in the future.

“I Gotta get my skills up.. ima start playing the harmonica,” he wrote.

Of course, Twitter users were quick to call out the “Under The Influence” crooner for throwing a hissy fit over his Grammy’s lost.










'Stay at home, save your money': Beyoncé fans try to put each other off in race to secure tickets

Beyoncé tickets are officially out in the world, and fans are frantically competing to secure their spot.

On Wednesday (1 February), the “Break My Soul” singer announced live dates for her Renaissance World Tour.

With general sale tickets released on Friday (3 February) morning, fans have been doing everything they can to secure themselves a spot.

For some people, that means trying to put others off buying tickets. To do so, they’ve joked that Beyoncé is a bad performer and that the tour isn’t actually happening.


“Y’all the Beyoncé tour is a hoax from not real sources so don’t buy tix it’s a scam,” wrote one fan on Twitter.

Another uploaded a video of them “advising: fans captioned: “Take my word for it, Beyoncé tickets really aren’t worth it #BOYCOTTBEYONCE.”


“She just gets worse and worse,” they said in the video, adding “stay at home, save your money”.

Meanwhile, many fans have been sharing the struggles of the race to get tickets.

“If you only know ‘Single Ladies’ and ‘Halo’ GETOUTOFTHEF***INGQUEUE,” wrote one superfan.


One fan who managed to get tickets added: “I must have been a nicer person in a past life than I am now to get Beyoncé tickets at 10am on the dot – absolutely deserved.” Beyoncé’s tour will begin in Europe in May, with UK dates in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Sunderland and London. You can find out more information here. From news to politics, travel to sport, culture to climate – The Independent has a host of free newsletters to suit your interests. To find the stories you want to read, and more, in your inbox, click here.

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