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Girlfriends cast members recall the comedy series, which began reruns on Netflix on Sept. 11 -- 20 years to the day the series premiered on UPN.

New and existing fans all over the world are excited to watch "Girlfriends" and its strong Black and biracial women, Tracee Ellis Ross (Joan Clayton) and Jill Marie Jones (Toni Childs), Golden Brooks (Maya Wilkes) and Persia White (Lynn Searcy).

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The ladies recall memories of the series and their experiences.

"It was really special to see a story about four Black women, all whose stories were about mostly each other and not about the man they were pursuing," Ross, now the star of ABC's "Black-ish," tells USA TODAY. "And at the core of the show was about the relationship between these women, and how to be a friend."

Brooks said emotions varied as the cast tackled the show's serious issues: colorism, mental health, AIDS, interracial dating, celibacy, infidelity, and being biracial.

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"It seemed very novel," said Brooks (2nd from right), "In actuality, we as women of color, we do these things every day. We have varied emotions. … And I just think that it was beautiful to see Mara sort of unfold and introduce that to pop culture because you hadn't seen it" before.

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Girlfriends series creator Mara Brock Akil this week signed a new developmental deal with Netflix, according to USA Today.

Akil, who is experiencing her own personal drama at home, didn't respond to USA Today's requests for comment.
 

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Actor Larenz Tate recently spoke about raising Black sons in America. Tate and his wife of 14 years, Tomasina Tate, share three sons" Myles, 14, Zander, 12, and 6-year-old Zion.

During an appearance on TV One's UNCENSORED, Tate said his acting career has given his family a luxurious lifestyle, but he and Tomasina make sure their sons know that, despite their money, life is rough for a Black man in America.

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Tate said he and his wife tell their sons that Black boys are held to different standards than males who don't look like them.

"In this society, you as a young Black boy and how you are seen; you're gonna have great times, you're gonna have highs and lows," he said. "You're gonna have missteps, but understand with your missteps come consequences and your consequences are always gonna be more severe than those who don't look like you. It is what it is and we have seen that firsthand."

Tate said he doesn't want his boys to stop "living up to their full potential."

"So they understand, and I'll say don't let that reality stop you from being the best version of who you are and living up to your full potential, or feeling like you're boxed in, you can't do anything, you can’t breathe. Just understand how it goes. If you get stopped [by police], it's gonna be different for you than a kid who doesn't look like you."
 

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Former NBA star Stephon Marbury (left) is not a fan of fellow Brooklyn native Jay Z.

In a recent interview, Marbury (pictured in 2001 with his daughter, Xaviera) explained his ongoing beef with the husband of Beyonce Knowles.

In an interview with Heavy.com, Marbury, 43, said Jay Z sold drugs to pregnant women and created crack babies who are causing most of the crime in the inner cities.

Marbury is baffled that the aging rapper was never forced to take responsibility for his past behavior.

"I look at Jay-Z and I say, 'Wow, here you are trying to be something that you're not. You're not an advocate for Black people, you sold drugs to Black people and you rapped about it and talked about it.

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"How do you do that? Like, I'm trying to figure that part out; like, you can't make that right. This ain't snitching, this ain't telling on nobody, you told on yourself already... You sold drugs to people where you're from Jay-Z in Brooklyn in Marcy [Projects], you got them on crack — whatever it is cocaine whatever it is that you were selling to them. Whatever you say you was ‘cooking up’, that’s what you did."

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Some say Jay Z redeemed himself when he married then-pop superstar Beyonce. The 50-year-old rap mogul carefully cultivated his public image by donating to charitable causes and speaking out against police brutality and the criminal justice system.

But Marbury says Jay Z is a fraud masquerading as the Black community's savior.

"So now, you got your people high, you sold drugs to people that was pregnant now you created crack babies — these same babies that are going out killing grandparents … I'm confused. But that's what it is. That's what happened."

Why does Marbury harbor so much hate for Jay Z? He hints that Jay Z may have set him up to get robbed. Two gunmen stole his $150,000 diamond studded chain while his car was stopped at a traffic light.

Jay Z later dissed Marbury in a track on the Bad Boys II soundtrack in 2003, titled "La-La-La (Excuse Me Miss Again)."

The track - a remix to Jay Z's "Excuse Me Miss" - includes the lyrics:

"Pink diamond necklace, strawberry wrist/Please excuse yourself, you're very sick/Don't confuse me with Marbury out this bi***/Run up on me at the light, you could lose your life."

Marbury recalls where he was the first time he heard the track.

"I was in Atlanta,” he told Brandon 'Scoop B' Robinson. "I was in Atlanta inside of a club and when I heard it, I knew exactly what it was about."
 

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Jane Fonda regrets turning down some sexual healing from R&B crooner Marvin Gaye after he flirted with her.

"He wanted to and I didn't," the 82-year-old actress and former activist told Maureen O'Dowd during a Q&A with The New York Times.

The two women discussed the famous men she's known over the decades, as well as the one that got away.

O'Dowd began the "confirm or deny" segment of the interview by suggesting Fonda's greatest regret was that she never had sex with Marxist Che Guevara, to which the star responded, "No, I don't think about him. Who I do think about, and what is a great regret is Marvin Gaye."

"He wanted to and I didn't," Fonda explained. "I was married to Tom [Hayden]. I was meeting a lot of performers to try to do concerts for Tom and the woman who was helping me do that introduced me to Marvin Gaye."

When asked if Gaye's pickup line included "Sexual Healing," Fonda said, "I needed some but he didn't say that, no."

After Gaye passed away in 1984, Fonda discovered that he'd kept a picture of her on his refrigerator door.

Fonda has been married three times. Her final marriage - to Atlanta media mogul Ted Turner - ended in divorce in 2001.
 

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Rihanna says she has forgiven ex-lover Chris Brown for beating the crap out of her in 2009. Rihanna insists she has gotten over the hurt and betrayal and she considers the hip-hop musician to be the love of her life.

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Brown, 31, was arrested in 2009 for beating Rihanna in his car as they left Clive Davis' Grammy party. This photo was taken at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, hours before the near-fatal beating.

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Brown pled guilty to felony assault and had a restraining order placed on him, preventing him from seeing Rihanna.

The order was later lifted and the pair developed a "very, very close" non-abusive friendship.

Speaking about the relationship during a no-holds-barred interview on Oprah Winfrey's SuperSoul Conversations podcast, Rihanna explains: "We've been working on our friendship again. Now we're very very close friends. We've built up a trust again, and that's - we love each other and we probably always will. And that's not something we're ever going to change. That's not something you can shut off, if you've ever been in love."

She added: "I think he was the love of my life. He was the first love. And I see that he loved me the same way... it's not even about us being together. I truly love him. So the main thing for me is that he's at peace. I'm not at peace if he's a little unhappy, or he's still lonely."

When Oprah asked if Rihanna and Chris have rekindled their romance, she replied: "He's in a relationship of his own. I'm single but we have maintained a very close friendship ever since the restraining order has been dropped. We've just worked on it, little by little, and it has not been easy. It's not easy."

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Rihanna has had difficulty maintaining a stable, healthy relationship with men including Travis Scott, Drake, A$AP Rocky, Hassan Jameel, and others.

Rihanna said mending her relationship with her father, who was abusive to her mother, allowed her to forgive Chris.

"It took me a long time, I was angry for a long time," she admits. "I felt like this is not my fault, this is not me doing this, and still I have to worry - I was resentful, I had a grudge, I was angry, I was dark. It was coming out in my music, in my clothes, in my attitude and I didn't like that feeling, it was heavy."

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She continued: "I repaired my relationship with my dad. I was so angry with him, and I was just angry about a lot of things from my childhood and I couldn't separate him as a husband from him as a father. I felt like if he was a bad husband then he was a bad father. I witnessed a lot as a child. Yes he was (violent)... I remember just thinking one day, why can't I get to a place where I can let somebody in? Why can't I love? I wanted to know why. I would think, 'What is my idea of what is supposed to happen?' I wasn't having a relationship with my father anymore so I wasn't able to connect with a man past a certain point.

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"The minute I was able to realize that my father was probably one of the best fathers in the world. He taught me everything. And as awful as he was to my mom at times, it didn't compare to how great he was as a father. And I had to come to terms with that. And I was able to close that gap with him. And all kinds of emotions started happening after that. All kind of things started making sense."

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She concludes: "I thought I hated Chris and I realized it was love was tarnished. It looked like hate because it was ugly, angry, it was inflamed, it was tainted. And I realized that what it was is I had to forgive him because I cared about him still. And the minute I let go of that, I started living again."

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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.

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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."
 

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Singer Akon is encouraging Black Americans to "let go of the past" and move on from the brutal history of slavery.

The 47-year-old Senegalese star insists his fellow Africans have "overcome" their past and the cruelty their ancestors faced as slave traders ripped families apart.

"We've kind of overcome the thought of slavery, we don't even think about it," Akon said during a new interview with VladTV.

"The only time we think about it, honestly, is when we're doing tours at Goree Island. Outside of that, people have lived and moved way beyond the slavery concept."

Goree is a tiny island off the main harbor of Dakar, Senegal, a pivotal destination for slave trading from the 15th to 19th centuries.

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Akon believes American Blacks could benefit by "letting go" of slavery, because it's such a large weight to carry. He said Black people will never make progress until they let go of the past.

"I think it's the art of just letting the past go and moving towards the future. I think, in the U.S., they have this stigma of just not letting go of the past and blaming the past on every mishap or, you know, disappointment. I think as long as you hold onto that past, there's a lot of weight that you carry with you everywhere you go. It's hard to move forward and move fast when you've got a weight on your back. You just gotta let it go."

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The "Smack That" singer urges "brainwashed" Black Americans to travel to Africa, where they'll be accepted.

"Do you want to stay here (in America) and continue to be treated this way or just go back home, where you're no longer the minority. You actually are the majority, and you control your destiny, your future, and your land... They just need to go... America did a good job at brainwashing (them). The moment you mention Africa, they start shaking. They don't even know why."

Watch Akon's interview below.
 

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CeeLo Green sparked controversy on social media when he chastised hip-hop's leading female rappers for being immoral.

Green reacted after Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion dropped the music video for their collaboration "WAP" on Thursday, Aug. 6.

The video, which takes place inside a CGI whore house, shows various strippers and media personalities portraying whores as Megan and Cardi rap over a Frank Ski sample, "There's some whores in this house."

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CeeLo targeted Cardi and Megan for focusing on attention-seeking and social media likes than making good music.

"A lot of music today is very unfortunate and disappointing on a personal and moral level," CeeLo said in an interview with Far Out magazine.

CeeLo recalled the days when singers and hip-hop artists used metaphors and analogies to prevent youngsters from deciphering adult content in their music.

"There was once a time when we were savvy enough to code certain things. We could express to those it was meant for with the style of language we used. But now music is shameless, it is sheer savagery."

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CeeLo continued: "Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, they are all more or less doing similar salacious gesturing to kinda get into position. I get it, the independent woman and being in control, the divine femininity and sexual expression. I get it all." He added bold feminine sexual expression "comes at what cost?."

CeeLo also tapped OG rapper Nicki Minaj to step up and be the guiding light for female rappers who have lost their way.

"You have the 'Heads of State,' like Nicki Minaj or someone who is up there in accolade: success, visibility, a platform to influence. Nicki could be effective in so many other constructive ways, but it feels desperate," he said.
 

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Tiffany Haddish has confirmed her rumored romance with emotionally unavailable rapper Common.

The Girls Trip star was first linked to the rapper-songwriter at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, when they live-streamed a virtual date on social media. They were then spotted together at a Black Lives Matter protest in June.

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In a chat on Steve-O's Wild Ride podcast, Tiffany told the former "Jackass" star that she is in a relationship with the Grammy-winning rapper. She said she and Common, 48, are "twins" after she shaved her head a couple of weeks ago.

"I am in a relationship. This is my first time ever dating a celebrity. I f**ked one, but this is my first time dating one. Being in a relationship with one," said the 40-year-old Sagittarius.

"This is hands down the best relationship I've ever been in. Knock on wood! I've lost 20 pounds since I've been in this relationship. I feel more confident in me and it's not him that's doing it. I'm just way happier and it's like knowing I got somebody that cares about me, that really has my back. It seems like he does anyways. And I love it. I love him."

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Tiffany and Common, real name Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., first met on the set of 2019 movie The Kitchen, but they didn't take their friendship to the next level until much later.

The two became close At the start of the pandemic after they both got tested for Covid-19 while working on a charity project with Bumble.

That was when they started "f**king", as the South Central Los Angeles native so eloquently stated.

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She also revealed Common is a big fan of her new bald look, adding: "I've been talking about cutting my hair for years... He said it was beautiful. He's like, 'Wow, you did it man. You've got a lot of courage. You look so beautiful. I love it.' And I'm like, 'Ahh, put your head on my head'."

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Rapper Tip "T.I." Harris is calling for $44 trillion to be paid out as "reparations" to Black Americans who can prove they are descendants of African slavery.

T.I., 39, called for reparations during an appearance on The Breakfast Club on Thursday.

T.I. plans to sit down with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to make his "goal" a reality.

"This is my goal. My goal is to get every black person in America that's a descendant of slavery one million dollars, at least. That'll take about 44 trillion. So that's my goal, so I'm working up on 44 trillion."

He also called for Black ADOS to spend their money at Black businesses only.

"Everything black people spend money on, it should be a black company that provides it," he said. "If we make up for 13 percent of this nation's population, we should make up for 13 percent of the ownership of land. We should be representing at least 13, 14 percent on boards, financial institutions, and so on and so forth. That should be persistent or consistent throughout, but it is not."
 

Co-host Charlamagne tha god agreed, saying "militias" and "white supremacists" are going crazy in America.

"You spoke about the militias and the white people going crazy," said T.I. "This is only happening because they see that their position is dwindling. This is only happening because they're becoming irate, because it's becoming known that the hateful racist whites, their run is over. Period. Their run is over. The jig is up."

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A loyal reader uncovered an old post that appears to validate August Alsina's statement that A-list actor Will Smith gave him permission to pursue his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, 4 years ago.

In an article first published on Dailymail.com in 2005, Will said he and his wife had reached an agreement to preserve their marriage while satisfying their needs at the same time.

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The couple reportedly gave each other permission to sleep with other partners, as long as they didn't go behind the other spouse's back.

Will said to get your wife's permission first before you cheat. He added that desiring another partner is only natural.

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"Our perspective is, you don't avoid what's natural," he said in 2005.

"You're going to be attracted to people. In our marriage vows, we didn't say forsaking all others".

"The vow that we made was that you will never hear that I did something after the fact. If it came down to it, then one can say to the other, 'Look, I need to have sex with somebody. I'm not going to if you don't approve of it - but please approve of it'."

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The father of three said, even though he and Jada saw other people, he never fell out of love with her.

"I don't let a day go past that Jada doesn't feel like the Queen of the World," Will said.

"I make sure every single day that she knows how I feel about her."

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Viola Davis finally made the cover of Vanity Fair magazine after winning an Oscar Award, an Emmy, a Golden Globe Award, and more accolades as a star on the Black A-list.

The dark, moody cover features "The Help" actress wearing an afro wig and a blue dress with a cut out back detail.

"It's about frickin' time," wrote ShowBiz411's Roger Friedman. "It would have been nicer on the September issue, and a cover photo where you could see her face, but we'll take it!"

The cover was shot by Dario Calmese, the first Black photographer to ever shoot a Vanity Fair cover, according to Friedman.

"Change comes slowly at Vanity Fair," Friedman wrote. "Radhika Jones [a person of color] has been the editor in chief for how long now? But we'll take it!"

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In the cover feature, Viola said she planned to attend protests calling for justice for George Floyd, the Black Minnesota man who was killed in police custody in May.

Davis's close friend and neighbor, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, talked her out of it because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I immediately talked her out of that." Davis told Vanity Fair via email.

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"Both of us cried," Spencer continues. "This WAS our civil rights movement, and we were sidelined because of health issues. We felt isolated from the movement."

Davis told VF she regrets accepting her role in The Help, a box office hit about racism in the deep south told from the perspective of a domestic housekeeper.

"There's no one who's not entertained by 'The Help.' But there's a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people, because I was in a movie that wasn't ready to [tell the whole truth]," Davis said, adding that the film was "created in the filter and the cesspool of systemic racism."

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Davis, 54, admitted she took the role in the hopes that it would make her "pop" in Hollywood. "I was that journeyman actor, trying to get in," she said.

And while the movie increased her visibility in Hollywood, the job offers weren't pouring in.

She said when people ask her why she transitioned to television rather than continue making movies, she said, "I always ask them, What movies? What were those movies? Listen, I got 'Widows,' but if I just relied on the Hollywood pipeline... No, there are not those roles."

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Evelyn Lozada called into Nick Cannon's morning show to share her perspective on monogamous relationships.

Evelyn, 44, said she prefers to be in a longterm relationship with one man.

Nick explained what most women already know about men but choose to ignore.

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"Relationships, in general, I think you definitely have to get to know somebody for at least this seven months," Lozada said. "I feel like the first three months are all full of you [getting] to know somebody."

"I feel like happy here is when you really get to know somebody that's when they, you know, put their guards on and are really open and comfortable having conversations."

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Nick, who shares 9-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe with singer Mariah Carey, burst Evelyn's bubble by explaining that monogamy is unnatural for men.

"Men don't subscribe to monogamy because they feel like it's not natural in their DNA," he said. "It's that hunting mentality, but it's also like 'yo if we suppose to be fruitful and multiply... there's not many creatures on earth that are monogamous."

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Evelyn has dated numerous professional athletes without much success. Her failed relationships include ex-husband Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson (pictured) and former baseball star Carl Crawford, with whom she shares a son.

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Nick and Mariah tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on Windemere Island in The Bahamas in 2011. They divorced in 2016.

Nick welcomed his second son, Golden Cannon, with Instagram model Brittany Bell in 2017. He has been linked to scores of women, including Kim Krdashian-West, Rozanda "Chili" Thomas, Christina Milian, and Amber Rose.
 

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"Black-ish" star Jenifer Lewis appeared on MSNBC's "The Beat" to discuss President Donald Trump's "madness" and "blatant cruelty."

Lewis said: "I speak to the Millennials, those kids grew up with me as the aunt on Fresh Prince, the mother in a lot of African-American movies and I have a special relationship with them, and I'm here to say to the protesters continue peacefully protesting. Get what you need in this great challenge before us. Don’t stop all the diversity, the millions upon millions, it's a sea of humanity that is out in the streets right now saying that's enough of the oppression on killing our children in the streets. They know it's wrong. There has to be reform. And it can’t be a modest bill, Mr. Trump. We have to get to the root of the racism, the deep hate. I have never seen so much hate. It’s so disturbing. We have to come together. we cannot be divided."

The 63-year-old comedienne and character actress plays the mother of lead actress Tracey Ellis Ross on Black-ish.

When asked who she plans to vote for in November, Lewis said, "Well, that choice should be Mr. Biden. We have had enough of this madness, the blatant cruelty, the lies upon lies. We could have been warned back in January. Look how many people have died. This is wrong. We need leadership. My friend, today, do you wear a mask? You don't wear a mask? Well, he doesn't wear a mask. Pence didn't wear a mask, and then you see him in a mask. Leadership, this is the greatest country in the world. Well, you know what? No. The world is great. And that's what has to be new."

Lewis, who was diagnosed with sex addiction and bipolar disorder in 1990, told PEOPLE in 2017, "I have peace of mind now; I'm in my skin. It took years to get to that place, but I did it -- and I have a smile on my face."

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Tip "T.I." Harris is no fan of conservative commentator Candace Owens. He says Owens is a lost cause, due to her endless criticism of George Floyd, the Black man who died when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.

During an appearance on Nick Cannon's Power 106 radio show, T.I. called on Black Twitter to cancel Owens, according to EURweb.com.

"We can have an intelligent discussion. You can either change my mind. I can change your mind. But we still moved forward," he continued. "I don't think dropping each other off is the answer all the time."

But when it comes to Owens, T.I. said she's a lost cause.

"Candace Owens. She got to go. She can't come," he said, before suggesting she's a "paid plant" whose goal is to "come out here and speak against everything the majority of us are standing for."

"So white people are always right? You telling me law enforcement is always right? You telling me the United States of America has always been right when it comes to dealing with us? And that's her story. And you can't trust that story because we have facts that tell us otherwise ... She seems to have forgotten that she's black. She has turned in her black card and crossed over."

T.I. and Owens butted heads during the 2019 REVOLT TV summit in Atlanta, where the rapper called Owens "dangerous" and claimed she was "being used for propaganda."