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Rapper and social activist Killer Mike is the first ever recipient of Billboard's Change Maker Award.

The award was created to honor an artist or group that "speaks truth to power through their music, celebrity and community," according to a statement from officials at Dick Clark Productions and NBC which will host the upcoming Billboard Music Awards.

"They are socially conscious, politically aware, active in their community and charitable with time, money and/or influence to improve the lives of others," a press release reads.

"Killer Mike's dedication to equality, social justice and financial literacy in the Black community has catapulted him as a headlining figure of social responsibility and activism, as demonstrated in the wake of the slayings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks."

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Mike, real name Michael Santiago Render, 45, is active in campaigning for social justice and equality, including leading voter registration initiatives and helping to create entrepreneurial and educational opportunities for the black community.

"This award highlights and recognizes the attributes of a true social justice warrior in the field of music who has made exemplary strides to lead the community in positive changemaking advocacy," Datwon Thomas, vice president, cultural media at Vibe/MRC Media and consulting producer for the Billboard Music Awards, said in a statement.

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"We selected Killer Mike for his contributions to the current movement and culture and his tangible efforts to make national and grassroots change."

The award will be presented by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at the APEX (African American Panoramic Experience) Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

The 2020 Billboard Music Awards will be hosted by Kelly Clarkson and broadcast live from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday at 8pm ET on NBC.

WENN

Rapper Shawty Lo, born Carlos Rico Walker, died in a single-vehicle traffic accident in Atlanta on September 21, 2016.

The accident happened around 2:20 a.m. when Walker, 40, lost control of his Audi A7, went over a guardrail, hit two trees and caught on fire. He was ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene.

He left behind 11 children and thousands of heartbroken female fans, some of whom had hoped to become baby mama No. 12.

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One of Walker's baby mamas was ex-girlfriend Jai Jai, who went on to become a rapper in her own right.

Walker's funeral procession stopped at the Blue Flame Lounge, one of his favorite strip clubs on the outskirts of Atlanta.

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Walker, 2nd from right, was a founding member of the hip hop group D4L. The group reached national prominence in 2005 when their single "Laffy Taffy" topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and went on to be certified 3X platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

In 2007, he released his solo single "Dey Know", which was included on his solo debut album Units in the City, released in 2008. His second studio album, R.I.C.O., was released posthumously in March 2017.

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An attorney for Migos star Takeoff dismissed allegations of forcible rape as "patently and provably false".

The "MotorSport" rapper, real name Kirshnik Khari Ball, made headlines on Wednesday after he was slapped with legal action from an unidentified plaintiff.

The woman claims the 26-year-old Georgia native forced himself on her during a private house party in Los Angeles in June. The private party was hosted by Daryl 'Durel' McPherson, an occasional DJ for Migos.

After the alleged rape, the woman drove herself to a nearby hospital for a rape kit. Medical staff observed physical evidence of forceful rape and notified Los Angeles Police Department officials.

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The woman is suing for sexual battery, assault, and emotional distress, but Takeoff's lawyer is confident he will be able to clear his client's name in court.

His attorney, Drew Findling, tells TMZ, "We have reviewed the allegations and have similarly done our own due diligence.

"What has become abundantly clear is that the allegations made against Takeoff are patently and provably false. The claims and statements made regarding this lawsuit indicate that the plaintiff's representatives have not spoken with relevant witnesses or reviewed available evidence."

Findling said Takeoff, who is in a longterm relationship with LaKeya Darshay, does not have a rapey personality.

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"Takeoff is renowned for his artistic talent as well as his quiet, reserved and peaceful personality," Findling continues. "In this instance, those known personality traits have made him a target of an obvious exploitative money grab."

"As his counsel, we are well aware and well versed on the importance of civil and criminal prosecution of true sexual assaults. This is not one of those situations."

The alleged incident remains under investigation by the LAPD, but the plaintiff's lawyer, Neama Rahmani, is unhappy with the lack of progress in the case.

"Justice has been slow in this particular case," Rahmani tells Billboard.com. "It is a month and a half since the rape and no arrests have been made."

LAPD investigators are notorious for dragging their feet while investigating crimes involving celebrities.

Photo

Da Brat took to Instagram to show off her new custom pickup truck on Thursday. The 44-year-old rapper-turned radio jock and reality TV star took her 2017 Ford F450 pickup truck to Monster Customs in Marietta, GA to get it tricked out with new wheels, tires, bumpers, a motorized bed cover, TVs in the headrests and an awesome sound system!

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Young Thug

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I knew this would happen as soon as President Obama and his homie Jay Z began promoting homosexuality to young black youths. Incredibly, an up-and-coming Atlanta rapper is "acting gay" because "that is the Atlanta way"! :blink:

According to Allhiphop.com:

Apparently there is some “free thinking movement” in the A that is all the rage in the gay nation AND the straight nation there. So Young Thug is “passing” as gay even though he is truly not. I REPEAT – HE IS NOT GAY. I’m going to need that no more man to man “BAE” usage. LOL! But I’m no “hater.”

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Chris Kelly and Chris Smith

CNN is reporting that Chris Kelly, left, of the rap duo Kris Kross has died at age 34 of a drug overdose.

Kelly was found unresponsive at his Atlanta home Wednesday. He was pronounced dead around 5 p.m. at Atlanta Medical Center. Kelly’s death is being investigated as a drug overdose, Fulton County police Cpl. Kay Lester told The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death on Thursday.

Kelly, also known as Mac Daddy, along with Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith, also 34, (pictured above right) formed the successful kiddie rap group Kris Kross in 1992 at age 13. The group rocketed to fame with hit records "Jump" and "Warm It Up", off their debut album, Totally Krossed Out.

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Yung Teddy

Up-and-coming Atlanta rapper Yung Teddy was found shot to death in his Austell, GA home Wednesday night, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Police responding to a report of shots fired found the 23-year-old rapper, real name Justin Mitchell, deceased around 10:18 p.m.

According to a bio on his Myspace page, Yung Teddy has been in the rap game since the age of 10. His first mixtape, "Almost Famous", was released summer 2006.

Investigators are asking for the public's help in finding two suspects who may be involved in the shooting. According to the AJC, "the first [suspect] is described as a black man with a thin build, between 20 and 23 years old, and about 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-9. He was last seen wearing a gray sweater, dark pants and a black beanie hat. He was armed with a handgun.

The second suspect is a black man, 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-6 tall. He was last seen wearing a multicolored beanie hat and a navy blue bandana covering his face."

Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call police at 770-499-3945.

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