ATLANTA, GA (September 25, 2020) Music and entertainment icon Tip "T.I." Harris is celebrating his 40th birthday on Friday, Sept. 25, by releasing the self-directed visual for his latest single "Ring" feat. Young Thug, which premiered on a billboard in Times Square.
Directed by T.I. and Phillyflyboy, the vibrant music video features the two Atlantan trap stars out-styling each other. Released via Grand Hustle, the track is produced by DY Krazy and Chopsquad DJ.
While ringing in his milestone birthday, T.I. has also formally announced that his highly anticipated 11th solo studio album - The Libra (The Legend Is Back Running Atlanta).
Marking nearly 20 years since his debut album, T.I. is continuing to deliver hits that resonate with fans across the world while serving as president of Grand Hustle Records, which has produced multiple breakout artists.
Tip "T.I." Harris - Ring ft. Young Thug
SR rated: 3/5 roses
Justin Bieber tapped Chance The Rapper for a feature on his gospel-themed track "Holy."
The music video features Justin as a down-on-his-luck oil refinery worker who is involved an interracial relationship. Actress Ryan Destiny plays his Black girlfriend.
"I don't believe in nirvana, but the way that we love in the night gave me life, baby," Justin sings.
The NY Times calls the song "devotional R&B, blending themes of loyalty and faith with those of romantic commitment."
Justin Bieber - Holy ft. Chance The Rapper
SR rated: 2.5/5 roses
Alicia Keys released her seventh studio album, Alicia, on Friday. The project, which was originally scheduled for release in March, is Alicia's first studio album since 2016.
The list of collaborations include heavy hitters Jill Scott, Miguel, Snoh Aalegra, and Khalid.
The first singles off the album, "Time Machine", "Perfect Way to Die" and the reggae-infused tracks "Underdog" and "Wasted Time," were warmly received by Alicia's fans.
The album's standout songs include the piano driven tracks "You Save Me" (ft. Snoh Aalegra), "Truth Without Love," and the melodic "Show Me Love" (ft. Miguel).
1. "Truth Without Love"
2. "Time Machine"
3. "Authors Of Forever"
4. "Wasted Energy"
6. "3 Hour Drive" (ft. Sampha)
7. "Me x 7" (ft. Tierra Whack)
8. "Show Me Love" (ft. Miguel)
9. "So Done" (ft. Khalid)
10. "Gramercy Park"
11. "Love Looks Better"
12. "You Save Me" (ft. Snoh Aalegra)
13. "Jill Scott" (ft. Jill Scott)
14. "Perfect Way to Die"
15. "Good Job"
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Kanye West defended rap mogul Jay Z upon his return to Twitter on Friday following a temporary ban for sharing a journalist's phone number on his timeline.
Kanye, 43, tweeted screenshots of messages by blogger Akademiks, featuring the headline, "Jay Z Allegedly Sold Kanye's Masters to Get Own Masters Back."
"Don't let the system pit us against each other," Kanye tweeted on Friday. "JAY IS MY BROTHER ... I have eternal love for all artist that have been through and are still trapped this crooked system. Jay still doesn't get his own masters back for ten years. I will see to it that we all get our masters."
He added: "we will change the paradigm."
Kanye, who is battling Universal Music Group for ownership of his masters, posted his entire contract on Twitter earlier this week.
Several music industry execs who read through the contracts concluded that Jay Z sold Kanye's first six albums in order to get his own masters back.
@lavidaNOTA, a South African label owner, wrote:
"Kanye contracts SUMMARY: Apart from the inducement which Kanye had to sign to get his advances. This shows that Jay Z sold the masters to first 6 @kanyewest's albums just so he could get his own back. He did so knowing Def Jam won't sell them back to Kanye in future. That's BEEF!
"[Kanye] owns album[s] 7-10 but the most lucrative and most critically acclaimed albums are owned by Roc-A-Fella which is wholly owned by Def Jam... The majors will never sell you your masters because that's what gives them market share and drives profits and Jay Z knew that."
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Now we know why Kanye West hates Jay Z with a passion. Kanye went on a Twitter rampage, posting his contracts and urinating on his Grammy Award.
@lavidaNOTA, who calls himself The Authority, is a South African record label owner who read over the contracts that Kanye posted on Twitter.com this week.
@lavidaNOTA writes, "I have 16-years experience in the music business... It took me all night to understand Kanye's contracts. Aspiring artists have no idea what they are getting themselves into. This is why it’s important to ask people who have been through it for advice!"
Apparently, Jay Z sold the masters to Kanye's first six albums just so he could get his own masters back.
"Kanye contracts SUMMARY: Apart from the inducement which Kanye had to sign to get his advances. This shows that Jay Z sold the masters to first 6 @kanyewest's albums just so he could get his own back. He did so knowing Def Jam won't sell them back to Kanye in future. That's BEEF!"
"[Kanye] owns album[s] 7-10 but the most lucrative and most critically acclaimed albums are owned by Roc-A-Fella which is wholly owned by Def Jam... The majors will never sell you your masters because that’s what gives them market share and drives profits and Jay Z knew that."
@lavidaNOTA says Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey banning Kanye from Twitter had nothing to do with him posting a Forbes editor's phone number.
"Jack Dorsey aka @jack was jogging with Jay Z just a few weeks ago. Now Kanye is banned from tweeting for 12-24 hours. Sounds about rights!"
Dionne Warwick made a surprise appearance during Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle's Verzuz battle on Sunday night, as the trio performed their song "Superwoman."
Gladys and Patti, both 76, faced off during the social media clash, performing their respective hits, as 600,000 viewers tuned in for their battle, including Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson.
The musical powerhouses delighted fans with their vocal talents and their good natured exchange between songs.
But it was Dionne's appearance at the end of the clash that drew the most attention, with the 79-year-old joining Gladys and Patti to perform "Superwoman" - their 1991 single - and "That's What Friends Are For," which Dionne won the Grammy for song of the year and best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals in 1986.
"I haven't seen you guys in so long," Dionne commented as she joined Gladys and Patti on stage.
Other notable points during the evening included Patti kicking off her shoes to perform "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and also saying, "We all have to vote. Period, pooh."
The phrase comes from Black ghey slang and has gained popularity, thanks to hip-hop star Jaydawayda releasing a song called "Period Pooh" in 2019.
Gladys and Patti also gave shoutouts to Michelle Obama, saying she will be the next Black president.
Black Twitter reacted enthusiastically to the battle on Sunday. Many of them weren't born when the songs were released on vinyl and then CDs.
Monday, September 7, marked 24 years since American rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur, born Lesane Parish Crooks, was shot multiple times by a gang member in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.
Tupac, stylized 2Pac, died on September 13, 1996 in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 25 years old.
Fans remembered Tupac on the anniversary of his death on social media Monday. Many posted photos and lyrics in tribute of the fallen warrior. He is pictured above with his younger step sister Sekyiwa "Set" Shakur and god brother, rapper Yaki Kadafi, born Yafeu Akiyele Fula, who was accidentally shot in the head in 1996 at age 19.
Tupac launched his rap career after moving from New York City to San Francisco Bay Area in 1988. He had achieved modest success by the time he released his debut album 2Pacalypse Now in 1991.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Tupac was one of the pioneers of so-called gangsta rap that glorifies gang culture, sexual promiscuity, misogynistic lyrics, drug culture, sexism, and anti-homosexuality.
Gangsta rap would go on to have a negative impact on young Black boys who quoted Tupac's lyrics that promoted gang violence and degraded women.
Supplied by WENN.com
Understanding his impact on young Black youth, Tupac took his music in a different direction with the release of Me Against the World in 1995.
It was his third studio album and was considered his most introspective and thought-provoking work.
Supplied by WENN.com
The album included the hits "So Many Tears", "Temptations" and "Dear Mama," in tribute to his mother, Afeni Shakur, who died of a heart attack in 2016 at age 69.
Tupac prophesied his own death in the 2nd track off the album, titled "If I Die 2Nite."
Going insane, never die, I live eternal, who shall I fear?
Don't shed a tear for me, ni**a, I ain't happy here
I hope they bury me and send me to my rest
Headlines reading 'Murdered to death', my last breath.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Irish-born rock legend Ian Mitchell has died at age 62, the Bay City Rollers confirmed in a social media post on Wednesday. He is pictured as a teen at the height of his fame in London, England in 1976.
The British musician's death was announced in a post on the band's official Facebook page, which read: "We are deeply saddened by the news of Ian Mitchell's death.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Wendy, their family and friends," they said, adding, "Rest In Peace, Ian."
The Bay City Rollers were considered the second coming of the Beatles in the 1970s. Their hit song "Saturday Night" was ignored for two years in Europe until the single hit No. 1 on the U.S. Hot 100 Billboard chart in 1976.
Bay City Roller-mania hit the United States like a tornado when the group arrive on U.S. shores in 1976. Medics and nurses were on duty at all venues because female fans fainted when the group toured the U.S. for the first time.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Mitchell is pictured far right with bandmates (L-R back) Derek Longmuir and Leslie Mckeown, (L-R front) Eric Faulkner and Stuart "Woody" Wood in August 1976.
Ian, who unlike his bandmates hailed from Northern Ireland, was just 17 when he was recruited by the group to replace bassist Alan Longmuir. Ian spent just seven months with the band before leaving in late 1976 due to apparent infighting among its members. He was replaced by Pat McGlynn.
Ian went on to form the band Rosetta Stone before he quit in 1979. The group continued without him before parting ways in 1984.
In later years, he continued working on solo projects as well as joining in reunions for both the Bay City Rollers and Rosetta Stone.
No cause of death was disclosed.
Keri Hilson was a fresh faced newcomer more than a decade ago when her record label told her to diss then-superstar Beyonce Knowles on a track.
In an interview with Claudia Jordan, Hilson recalled dissing Beyonce on her song "Turning M On" and how the fake beef hurt her spirit.
Hilson claims her label made her diss Beyonce, and she was too young and insecure to tell them no.
Hilson, a 37-year-old Sagittarius, said she took a 9-year hiatus from music to heal herself due to clinical depression.
She said she contemplated quitting the business altogether. "I just knew I needed time to get back to myself."
Hilson said she was "incredibly" unhappy following the breakup of an 11-year relationship.
"I was 17 to 28 years old in that relationship, so I did not know life alone. I did not know and love and accept myself. I didn't know who the hell I was."
Brandy Norwood (left) and her arch nemesis Monica will face off against one another on Timbaland and Swizz Beatz's next online Verzuz battle.
The two R&B singers, who topped the charts in 1998 with their smash hit "The Boy Is Mine," will face each other for the latest installment of the popular web series on August 31.
"#History," Brandy wrote on her account. "Thank you @monicadenise and @verzuztv for making this happen. Let's celebrate!!!!"
"This will be historical," Monica noted on her own account. "It's an honor @brandy."
Dan Callister/Getty Images
Monica (right) then encouraged fans to send in their requests:
"What songs would you all like to see us bring to @verzuztv !! Celebrating these catalogs is for the culture with love! From Young Women to Adult Women we've been with y'all! Name the songs you love."
The news comes amid drama between Monica and rap mogul Master P who dragged the mother-of-three for interfering in his brother Corey Miller's murder case.
Miller, 49, was convicted in 2009 of the shooting death of a 16-year-old fan at a nightclub in Louisiana. Miller maintained his innocence but was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
While Master P thanked social justice activist Kim Kardashian for her efforts to secure his brother's freedom, he called out Monica for using his family for clicks and views.
Master P, born Percy Robert Miller, 55, took to social media to apparently shade Monica for jumping on the No Limit Chronicles bandwagon.
"I don't know you and I ain't trying to get to know you, just for the record," Master P told Monica in a scathing Instagram post.
While Verzuz was started in March to keep fans entertained amid the Covid-19 lockdowns, viewers will be expecting the friendly competition to heat up between the pair, amid longstanding rumors of intense rivalry and arguments between the artists over the years.
Brandy and Monica will go head-to-head at 8 p.m. ET on Instagram/verzuztv and Apple Music.
Rap fans can't get enough of Atlanta rapper KashKash's hit song "Throat Babies". Young woman packed a Georgia nightclub to see KashKash perform his hit on Tuesday.
Clearly, Covid-19 is a thing of the past in Atlanta. There wasn't a face mask in the house, as rap fans sang along to every word of the raunchy song.
In case you don't understand mumble rapping, here is the chorus:
Sexy lil' b*tch, sexy lil' ho*
I love the way you walk, love the way you talk
Let a young ni**a come play in your throat
Deep stroke your throat ’til I make you choke
Throat babies, I'm tryna give ‘em to you
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A$AP Ferg filmed a music video for his track "Green Juice" in New York City on Thursday, Aug. 6.
Yes, that's a hair headband he's wearing. It's the new trend in hairstyles that are designed to look like accessories.
Ferg and his crew went mask-free for his music video that featured some of New York's finest dancers.
Ferg recently released a new track featuring rappers Nicki Minaj rapper MadeinTYO. "Move Ya Hips" is Ferg's third collaboration with Nicki Minaj. They have had success in the past with Ferg's "Plain Jane" remix and "Runnin" from the Creed II soundtrack.
Nicki released her latest LP Queen in 2018. The rapper and her husband, Kenny Petty, are awaiting their first child together. Kenny already has 5 children from previous relationships.
Megan Thee Stallion (left) limped into a studio to record a new track with Cardi B, weeks after she was shot in both feet, allegedly by rapper Tory Lanez.
Cardi B is hoping to replicate her collaboration success by teaming up with Megan on her latest track, titled "WAP."
The "Bodak Yellow" rapper has enjoyed modest success with tracks such as "Finesse" with Bruno Mars, "Motorsport" with Nicki Minaj and Migos, and "Girls Like You" with Maroon 5.
NYP/BLM / BACKGRID
The mom-of-one hopes to continue her hit streak by joining forces with Megan, who toppled her from her throne last year.
The pair announced the news on Instagram on Monday, revealing that the new song will be released on Friday, Aug. 7.
@TheHapaBlonde / BACKGRID
Megan is one of hip-hop's hottest stars, easily surpassing Cardi in popularity. Most recently she teamed up with Beyonce on a chart-topping remix of her tune "Savage."
Cardi, 27, shared the cover art for the new tune on her social media page. The image shows her and Megan, 25, sporting matching updos and sticking their tongues out.
"WAP" marks Cardi's first song as a lead artist since she dropped her single "Press" more than a year ago.
Jagged Edge released their 10th studio album 'A Jagged Love Story' on July 31. Jagged Edge fans have long anticipated the release of this follow up to their last album Layover in 2017.
Jagged Edge consists of identical twins Brandon and Brian Casey, as well as Kyle Norman and Richard Wingo.
The group reunited with producer Bryan Micheal Cox to helm the mid-tempo lead single "Seasons Of Us".
The group and Cox have a previous track record of making hits such as "Lets's Get Married", "He Can't Love U" and "Where The Party At?" All of the songs are written by the twins of the group, Brandon and Brian Casey and production includes legends; Jermaine Dupri, Brandon Michael Cox, Carl Breeding, Jay Fooley and Demetrius Bell.
Brandon reflected on the new album by saying, "A Jagged Story is about our love for music, what we do and the fans that allow us to do it. Thank you for allowing us to intersect."
'A Jagged Edge Love Story' is available now on all platforms. LISTEN: https://lnk.to/JEalbum
Jagged Edge - Intro X Falling Out of Love
SR rated: 2.5/5 roses
Photos: Johnny Nunez/WireImage
Juice WRLD (left) replaced rapper Pop Smoke (right) atop the Billboard 200 chart after debuting his posthumous album, Legends Never Die.
Juice WRLD's new release topped the U.K. charts on Friday and now it landed at No. 1 in the U.S. with the biggest sales week of 2020. The album scored equivalent sales of 497,000.
Photo by FilmMagic
Juice WRLD (pictured) replaces another late rapper, Pop Smoke, at number one. Pop's debut album Shoot for the Stars falls to No. 2, marking the first time two posthumous releases have scored the top 2 spots.
Legends Never Die is Juice WRLD's second number one album in the U.S., following the success of last year's Death Race for Love, which topped the Billboard 200 in March, 2019.
The new album is the first release of new music from the rapper since his overdose death in December.
The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical falls to number three, while Lil Baby's My Turn and Hollywood’s Bleeding by Post Malone round out the top five.