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Usher Raymond celebrated the 25th anniversary of his album My Way by recreating the cover art for the album's singles.

Usher was only 12 when he caught the attention of L.A. Reid, founder of now defunct Atlanta-based LaFace Records.

The R&B crooner released his self-titled debut album Usher in 1994 and his second album My Way in 1997.

My Way spawned three hit singles, "Nice & Slow", and Billboard top 2 singles "You Make Me Wanna" and "My Way."

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He was 19 when his single "Nice & Slow" became his first number-one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1998. He is pictured with his first Grammy Award.

On Tuesday, the 43-year-old father-of-four unveiled the new cover art for his singles "You Make Me Wanna" and "Nice & Slow."

Usher's My Way, 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition will include a silver vinyl reissue, plus a lyric and photo booklet.

The My Way anniversary edition is set for release in early 2023.

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16-year-old Usher is pictured with his then-girlfriend, Karon Vereen (Ben Vereen's daughter), and R&B singer Monica, who was 15.

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Courtesy: Vevo LIFT

Vevo, the world's leading music video network, today released breakout ATL rapper Latto's second performance in her LIFT series, "Sunshine," off her critically acclaimed sophomore album 777 that was released in March of this year via RCA Records.

"Sunshine" follows Latto's previous Vevo LIFT performance of "Stepper." The recent BET "Best New Artist" winner has also previously worked with Vevo for Ctrl performances of 777's 'Wheelie" and "Trust No Bitch," and a Ctrl At Home performance of "Youngest N Richest" from her 2020 album, Queen of Da Souf.

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Courtesy: Vevo LIFT

Vevo closely collaborated with Latto to build a world based on transformation. Inspired by the metamorphosis that flowers go through as they grow. After trudging through the dirt in "Stepper's" earthy, gritty set, "Sunshine" let's Latto bloom. Clad in head to toe pale yellow, she wanders through a field of sunflowers - a beautiful, poetic nod to her growth as an artist, while still acknowledging her roots.

Vevo's LIFT program connects today's up-and-coming and most relevant artists to audiences around the world through music video content. Launched in 2011, Vevo's artist development program shines a spotlight on the world's freshest new talent. Vevo LIFT alumni include the likes of Doja Cat, Jorja Smith, Giveon, Olivia Rodrigo and more.

"We've loved working with Latto on her previous Vevo Ctrl performances, and were so pleased to partner with her again on her LIFT campaign," says Jordan Glickson, Vice President, Music & Talent, Vevo.

"Seeing her blossom from one of the world's best emerging talents into the superstar that she is today has been such a privilege. Her drive, passion, enthusiasm and creative know-how made this campaign all the more exciting for us to collaborate with her on. We have no doubt that her raw talent and determination will take her even further, and are thrilled to be a part of her journey to the top."

Source: Press release

Watch the video below.
 

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The Atlanta Falcons tapped singer/actor Rotimi (R) to perform the team's underwhelming new hype song "Rise Up."

The Falcons premiered the song on Twitter before the season opener against NFL arch rival New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday.

In the video, the "Power" star sings: "Red, black, and white yeah/We gone rise up/ATL that city/We go higher."

Rapper Tip "T.I." Harris reacted with anger to the Atlanta Falcons' new theme song.

"Atlanta Falcons, who in the f--k did you call?" T.I. asked. "I don't got no problem with Rotimi. I f--k with Rotimi. He's a brotha, but, bruh, we have so much culture, so much talent in the city... Who did you call?"

He continued: "I know Quavo would'a did it, I know 2 Chainz would'a did it, I know Killer Mike would'a did it, I mean I would'a did it, I know Jeezy would'a did it. Bruh, who approved that? Who's sitting in these meetings?"

T.I. accused the Falcons' marketing team of creating animosity between the team and the fans. "Why do that, man? It's counterproductive," he said.
 

 

To make matters worse, the Falcons, who led 26-10 in the first half, fell to the Saints 27-26 after Wil Lutz kicked a 51-yard field goal with 19 seconds left on the clock.

John Shearer/Getty Images

Nicki Minaj recruited 5 young female rappers for her "Super Freaky Girl Queen Remix."

The "Queen Remix" features verses from JT (City Girls), BIA, Katie Got Bandz, Akbar V, and Maliibu Miitch.

The remix is creating a buzz in Chicago, thanks to "Drill Queen" Katie Got Bandz's verse.

    I'm a very freaky girl so don't bring me to mommas
    If I pull up with that blicky (gun) stickin' out of my Prada
    And I ain't goin' if you broke so go get you some dollars
    I get my own, you know the saying, "Mo Money, Mo Problems"
    He like 'em freaky, pu**y squeaky
    Give me that tongue, make it leaky
    I make it wet, nickname Fiji
    Let him record me, turn it to me, me
    Now he only seeing me, me
    Out on his man, I told him to leave me
    You don't love me, you love that I'm freaky
    Can't play with my heart, better play with your wee-wee

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Katie is a pioneer of Chicagoland's drill music scene. She is best known for her mixtapes "Bandz and Hittaz" and "Drillary Clinton."

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She was working at a fast food restaurant at age 18 when her track "I Need a Hitta" went viral in 2012.

Katie is a reputed member of the OBN (Oak Boy Nation) gang, a Black Disciples set.

In 2017, she was arrested for identity theft. The then-24-year-old tweeted: "B*TCH I'M INNOCENT .. F*CK THE STATE." Her tweet didn't help her case. She was booked into the Cook County Jail.

Now 29, Katie claims she got into the drill music scene to document her life's experience and not to contribute to Chicago's already high crime rate through her music.

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The remix also features Boston rapper BIA ("Whole Lotta Money") after Nicki featured on her Whole Lotta Money remix in 2021. The 31-year-old appeared on Oxygen reality show Sisterhood of Hip Hop.
 
Nicki Minaj - Super Freaky Girl (Queen Remix) ft. JT, BIA, Katie Got Bandz, Akbar V, and Maliibu Miitch

SR rated: 1.5/5 roses

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The Black man who voiced the AI rapper FN Meka says the creators "ghosted" him and never paid him.

Rapper Kyle The Hooligan posted a video on his Instagram explaining that he was the voice behind the controversial non-human rapper.

In the video, Kyle said he collaborated with record label execs Anthony Martini and Brandon Le, the creators of FN Meka.

Kyle said he agreed to lend his voice to the FN Meka project with the expectation that riches would follow after Martini and Le signed a lucrative recording contract for FN Meka.

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Capitol Records announced an unprecedented recording deal with the AI robot, but Kyle said he was never invited to the table.

"I know y'all done heard about this FN Meka stuff. People been DMing me," Kyle said in the video.

"I been trying to keep it quiet because I was gonna really wait 'til this shit blew up for real and went after them. Basically, it's like, they came to me with this AI shit and was like, 'Would I like to be the voice of it?' I thought it was gonna be some collaboration. They promised me equity in the company, percentages, all this stuff. So I'm thinking, OK, this about to be some collab, something different for me, so where I can do my music and be on some AI stuff with this FN Meka character."

After fierce backlash on social media, Capitol Records dropped FN Meka from the label and apologized to the Back community.

That's when Kyle came forward claiming to be the voice behind FN Meka.

"Next thing I know, niggas just ghosted me. Used my voice, used my sound, used the culture and just literally just left me high and dry. I ain't get a dime off of nothing. And they got record deals, all this stuff. I wasn't involved with no meetings or none of that, which is f*cked up. So, honestly, I'm glad they ass got canceled. That's karma for they ass."

But Black Twitter is convinced that Kyle is taking the fall for Capitol Records because the voice behind FN Meka is a white rapper.

Martini and Le claimed FN Meka was modeled after disgraced rapper Tekashi69, a controversial white Hispanic rapper.

Watch the video below.
 

Erika Goldring/Getty Images

NBA YoungBoy is devastated after he was left off DJ Khaled's star-studded upcoming album GOD DID.

YoungBoy Never Broke Again said he is "suffering" in a recent Instagram post.

"I'm suffering with the minutes, s**t sad," he wrote.

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"I'm good what I truly want is coming to me," said YoungBoy, who recently signed to Birdman's Cash Money label for a record $60 million.

He continued: "it might be a little minute but it's coming, I always got what I wanted no matter if I had to pray for it, or steal it, I got it."

Months ago, YoungBoy complained that he is being blacklisted in the industry.

"Why black ball me I'm the good guy," he wrote in early 2022. "I was going #1 two weeks straight with a mixtape so they took it down off the charts I don't give a f**k you still can't stop me [sic]."

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YoungBoy's troubles stem from his long-running feud with Chicago gangster-turned-rapper Lil Durk (pictured).

Lil Durk is among the few drill rappers invited to collaborate with Khaled on GOD DID.

It seems the music industry is siding with Lil Durk against NBA YoungBoy.

YoungBoy's affiliates Quando Rondo and Lul Timm were involved in the murder of Durk's friend King Von in Atlanta in 2020.

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On Tuesday, YoungBoy's crew threw shade at DJ Khaled on Instagram under one of his comments promoting the artists on his album.

"Damn he don't got the goat on there 'lil top' He must not like us too," the comment read, referring to NBA YoungBoy.

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The 18 tracks on GOD DID features Drake, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kodak Black, Future, Gunna, Latto, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, and more.

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Capitol Records cut ties with FN Meka, a computerized AI rapper, amid fierce backlash from real rappers, including The Game.

"CMG has severed ties with the FN Meka project, effective immediately," Capitol Music Group said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday.

Capitol Records continued: "We offer our deepest apologies to the Black community for our insensitivity in signing this project."

The record label made headlines this month after signing FN Meka to a lucrative record deal. The backlash began almost immediately, as many were offended by the robot's misappropriation of Black cultural stereotypes and frequent use of the n-word in its raps.

FN Meka described itself as a "Robot rapper not accepted by this world." The AI rapper showed off digital Louis Vuitton, Rolls Royce cars, and gold chains in its social media posts.

FN Meka is the brainchild of co-creator Anthony Martini, of music label Factory New, which used computer generated graphics to mimic culture vulture Tekashi 6ix9ine for the FN Meka character.

The deal was announced alongside the release of Meka's new song "Florida Water" featuring rapper Gunna.

FN Meka grew a substantial following on social media, including 10 million followers on TikTok.

Other record labels took note of the buzz generated by Capitol Records signing a virtual (non-human) rapper to its roster.

Rappers such as The Game slammed the signing as racist, and others warned that record labels would soon replace problematic rappers with virtual artists that can be easily controlled.

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Capitol Records

Twelve-time GRAMMY® Award winner Babyface and multi-Platinum singer-songwriter Kehlani team up on a new track "Seamless," released Friday by Capitol Records.

The song is off his new album, Girls Night Out, set for release on October 21 on Capitol Records.

The album also features Babyface's collaborations With Ella Mai, Queen Naija, Ari Lennox, Doechii and others.

"Seamless" offers a frank look at a night out that's filled with drama, thanks to a partner who always makes a scene. Kehlani takes the lead on vocals, with Babyface on backing vocals. They co-wrote the track with The Rascals (Drake, Chris Brown, Ariana Grande), who produced alongside Babyface.

"I worked with Kehlani many years ago and I am just so proud of who she has become as an artist and also how well she knows herself and her fans," says Babyface. "I am really honored to have her collaborate with me many years later for such a special project and I love the song we created. Kehlani is one of one and a true superstar."

"Seamless" follows Babyface's collaboration with Ella Mai, "Keeps On Fallin,'" which is the first single from Girls Night Out.

Vibe praised "Keeps On Fallin'" as "dreamy" and ThisIsRnB hailed it as a "classic Babyface track, with a modern R&B vibe."
 
Babyface and Kehlani - Seamless

SR rated: 2.5/5 roses

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Image Press / BACKGRID

Twitter is ecstatic over Beyonce becoming the first thief woman in history to have 7 albums debut at No. 1.

Surprisingly, Beyonce's new album Renaissance topped the Billboard 200 chart despite the dismal reviews from music experts.

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Renaissance is the biggest debut week by a woman in 2022 — and the second-largest week of the year overall — with 332,000 copies sold. It is also her 3rd lowest in album sales.

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The 40-year-old mom-of-three joins Janet Jackson as the 4th female artist with the most number 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart. Janet also has 7 number 1 albums.

Adele's 30 ruled the top of the charts for six weeks (Dec. 4, 2021 to Jan. 8, 2022). Both 30 and Renaissance were released via Columbia Records.

Renaissance is Beyonce's first album since the 2016 classic Lemonade, which deserved its number 1 spot. Especially considering that the first single off Renaissance, the anemic "Break My Soul," failed to impress music fans.

Renaissance also topped the streaming chart - the largest week for a woman - with 179.06 million.

Unfortunately, Beyonce's historical achievement is tainted by talk of thievery and stealing.

Pop singer Kelis blasted Beyonce for stealing her "Milkshake" sample and not calling her first. Bey responded by removing the sample from her single "Energy."

Beyonce's chart dominance sparked rumors of payola and other shady backroom dealings.

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Jason Whitlock roasted pop singer Beyonce in a blistering review of her 7th studio album Renaissance in his podcast.

In his review, the popular sports journalist notes that Beyonce has more in common with rappers Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion than R&B icon Aretha Franklin who demanded "Respect."

Whitlock said the mother-of-three "symbolizes the catastrophic descent of black culture and America's indifference to its fall."

"Expectations have fallen so low for American black people that no one expects Beyonce to mature or make music that uplifts black folks."

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In response to the backlash on social media, Beyonce agreed to remove a word, "spazz," from her song "Energy" because it is considered a slur to people with cerebral palsy.

"What I find fascinating about all of this is that people with cerebral palsy care more about policing the way they're portrayed in the entertainment and media world than black people do," Whitlock said.

"We're the only group with absolutely no standards. The entire rap music industry is built on the N-word... No one cares. Beyonce uses the N-word in "Heated." No one cares," he says.

Whitlock added: "Every minority group aggressively polices how they're characterized in music, television, and movies except black people."

He continued: "Beyonce has black queer bravado. She instantly bowed to disability rights advocates while promoting degeneracy for black people. She doesn't really care about us."
 

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Beyonce removed Kelis' sample from her song "Energy" after the "Milkshake" singer complained that Bey didn't call her first to clear the sample.

Kelis' hit song "Get Along With You" was written and produced by The Neptunes for her 1999 debut album.

Kelis was irate that Beyonce didn't call her out of respect to say she was using the sample on her new album Renaissance.

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"The level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding," she wrote in a post on Instagram. "I heard about this same way everyone else did. Nothing is ever as it seems, some of the people in this business have no soul or integrity and they have everyone fooled."

In a follow-up video, Kelis called Beyonce "stupid and disrespectful" to sample her song without asking her first.

"The issue is that not only are we female artists... there's not that many of us, right?" said Kelis. "We've met each other, we know each other, we have mutual friends. It's not hard, she can contact, right?"

She continued: "It's just common decency, right, it's common decency. Especially because... I know what I own and what I don't own... People are swindled out of rights. It happens all the time."

Kelis' fans say Beyonce removed the sample out of spite because Kelis aired her out as an unrepentant thief.

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Beyonce's latest album Renaissance is predicted to decline 69% from sales of Lemonade, a collection of bitter heartbroken songs by a woman who is fed up with her cheating husband.

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Long-suffering wives connected with Lemonade on an emotional level because they felt Beyonce's pain.

Lemonade sold 650,000 copies in its first week in 2016. Renaissance is expected to sell about half of that in its first week.

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The writing was on the wall when Renaissance leaked last Tuesday. Hardly anyone downloaded it.

Beyonce's team thanked her fans for not downloading the leaked album, but that was just wishful thinking.

On Renaissance, Beyonce, who is married to Jay Z, sings about bedding women. And she angered the cancel culture crowd by using the words "spazz" and "spazzing out" on her song "Heated." The word is considered "ableist" and insulting to the disabled.

"Frankly it's just stupid, coarse, and mean. Who would sing such a thing? A 10 year old?" said Roger Friedman, of Showbiz 411.

Beyonce thanked her loyal #BeyHive for not downloading bootleg copies of her Renaissance album which leaked in Europe 2 days ago.

In posts on her social media pages, Beyonce wrote:

"So, the album leaked, and you all actually waited until the proper release time so you all can enjoy it together. I've never seen anything like it. I can't thank ya'll enough for your love and protection. I appreciate you for calling out anyone that was trying to sneak into the club early. It means the world to me. Thank you for your unwavering support. Thank you for being patient. We are going to take our time and enjoy the music. I will continue to give my all and do my best to bring you joy. I love you deep."

Beyonce's mother, Tina Knowles told Entertainment Tonight that Bey put two years of sweat and tears into the Renaissance project.

Renaissance is the first of three projects Beyonce plans to release this year.

"I'm very, very excited," Lawson said. "I just posted recently that I really miss her singing, and I do. I'm as excited as everybody else. I can't wait for you guys to hear it. She put two years of love into this. Many, many nights all night working. So, I can't wait for the world to hear it."

Renaissance is Beyonce's first album since 2016's classic Lemonade. The 16-track project features collaborations with Grace Jones, Drake and Nigerian singer Tems.

Listen to the Renaissance stream below.

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WENN.com, album artwork

Singer Kelis was hopping mad after she heard a track off Beyonce's new album Renaissance. The album leaked in Europe 2 days before the official release date of midnight on Friday.

Kelis hopped in the comments on her fan page under the username @bountyandfull and expressed her annoyance that one of the tracks, "Energy" samples her hit single "Get Along With You," which The Neptunes produced for her 1999 debut album.

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Kelis was irate that no one contacted her to clear the sample.

"The level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding," she wrote. "I heard about this same way everyone else did. Nothing is ever as it seems, some of the people in this business have no soul or integrity and they have everyone fooled."

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Kelis' comments - which have since been deleted - set off a shouting match between her loyal fans and Beyonce's BeyHive on Twitter.

Beyonce's fanatics say Kelis doesn't own her masters, so she has no say in clearing samples.

This isn't the first (or last) time Beyonce has been accused of thievery. Her petty thefts over the years are legendary.

Beyonce's 7th album includes 16 tracks and features collaborations by Grace Jones, Drake, and Nigerian singer Tems.

Meanwhile, an employee at Beyonce's Parkwood Entertainment got a French grocery store shut down for selling her bootleg CDs.


 

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Twitter

Beyonce's full album, Renaissance has leaked in Europe - 2 days before the official release date.

Renaissance CDs are already being sold in music shops in France.

Twitter users posted photos of the CDs being sold in France and The Netherlands.

Bey's record label is sending cease & desists and take down notices to blogs. The songs are scrubbed from YouTube as quickly as they are uploaded.

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The "Break My Soul" singer had hoped her album wouldn't leak before the midnight release date on Friday.

Beyonce's camp is upset over the leak and the fact that bootleg CDs are being sold without their authorization.

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"Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world," she said in a lengthy statement on her Instagram account. "It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving."

The response to Beyonce's first single, "Break My Soul" was lukewarm when it dropped in the US on June 20.

Renaissance includes 16 tracks featuring collaborations with Grace Jones, Drake and Nile Rodgers.