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TMZ, GoFundMe

A 7-year-old girl is in critical condition after she was struck by a stray bullet while riding in a car in Atlanta's affluent Buckhead neighborhood on Monday, Dec. 21.

Kennedy Maxie, of Mableton, was shot in the head while riding in a Lexus with her mother and aunt near Phipps Plaza after doing some Christmas shopping.

The child's aunt said she heard several gunshots as she drove past Phipps Plaza. She drove on until she realized Kennedy had been hit, and rushed her to Scottish Rite's Children's Hospital.

Police say a fight between two groups of men broke out in the parking lot outside Saks Fifth Avenue. Investigators are reviewing surveillance video for more leads.

Gang bangers from Chicago and other lawless, lockdown cities have poured into Atlanta to take advantage of the city's wide open atmosphere amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Music producer Jermaine Dupri is among the city's high-profile residents who expressed outrage over the ongoing gun violence. He tweeted that Atlanta police should do more racial profiling to sweep out-of-towners with guns off the city's streets.

"If you really from the A, it's time for us to come together and stop all this shooting shit at Lenox and now Phipps," Dupri tweeted on Christmas Eve. "The police need to get together, the profiling needs to go to code red and I can give a f*ck about y'all getting mad about me saying this. lil kids getting shot is wack."

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At a press conference on Tuesday, interim Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said "social gatherings" at Buckhead's Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza are attracting more criminals with guns.

"It is very concerning," Bryant told reporters. "Part of that is the proliferation of weapons that we are seeing on the streets... This is unique to what we have had in the past."

Atlanta police have investigated 150 shootings in Atlanta this year. At least 8 shootings have occurred at Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza since December 2019.

"It's very, very sad," said Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore. "It's just unbelievable the level of gun violence that we're seeing."

City Councilman Howard Shook blasted Atlanta's city leadership in a statement, calling the child's shooting the "latest and most painful example of the utter lawlessness that defines what it means to live in Atlanta."

"It will take a lot to turn this around," he continued. "But here, in descending order, are the three things we need to begin: 1). Leadership; 2). Some Leadership; 3). Any leadership."

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms defended her administration's efforts to curb the crime wave caused by out-of-towners.

"This is a challenging time in Atlanta and across our country," Bottoms said. "While we continue to keep public safety as a top priority, senseless gun violence continues to impact innocent lives, like that of the precious 7-year-old girl who was struck by a stray bullet (Monday) night. We owe it to our children, as well as to all of our communities, to do everything in our power to eliminate gun violence."

Simon Properties, which owns both Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza across the street, promised to install metal detectors at Lenox Square Mall entrances and hire police dogs to sniff out guns concealed on shoppers.

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Simon Properties

No plans were announced for Phipps Plaza, which is considered the more affluent of the two malls. Phipps is the main destination for lawbreakers because shoppers include celebrities, pro athletes, trust fund kids and other high-wage earners.

A GofundMe page has raised over $42,000 for the family. Additionally, a $15,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the gunman.

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Rapper Ecstasy, co-founder the rap group Whodini, has passed away at age 56, according to multiple reports.

Rapper Questlove of The Roots broke the news on social media on Wednesday. "One love to Ecstasy of the legendary Whodini," Questlove wrote on Instagram. "This man was legendary and a pivotal member of one of the most legendary groups in hip-hop. This is sad man."

No cause of death was disclosed.

Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Ecstasy, real name John Fletcher (right), formed the group Whodini with Jalil Hutchins (left) in 1982. Four years later, DJ Grandmaster Dee (center) joined the group.

Whodini released 6 studio albums, four were certified platinum. The group was best known for their hit singles "Friends", "One Love" and "Freaks Come Out at Night." Their single "Magic's Wand," was the first rap song accompanied by a music video.

Fans and friends flooded social media with tributes.

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"My God, this one hurts me so bad," tweeted Jermaine Dupri, who toured with the group as a teenage backup dancer. He captioned a throwback video of himself with the group: "I can't even believe I'm typing this. Ex, you know I love you. Thank you for every word, every conversation, every good time. May your soul rest in power."

Photo by FayesVision/

Jermaine Dupri rushed to defend his friend, Usher Raymond, when the R&B crooner teased his new single - and everyone thought he was singing about herpes.

According to TMZ, the diminutive music producer and part-time DJ, cleared the air when speculation ran rampant that Usher's new single "Confessions Pt. 3" contained a reference to his "sickness."

"Don't let that 'sickness' lyric fool you," JD tweeted on Wednesday. "The song is about a girl cheatin' on him and gettin' pregnant by another man. She is then being stuck with the decision to keep or abort it. Now that he knows, Should he stay or Leave???"

Usher teased the new single during his live set at the Cricket Lounge this week.

    "Remember that time I was sitting up sick, couldn't sleep on the middle of the night? / And you said bae let me take you to the ER / I said 'Nah, Imma be alright / Well, the next day I found out from f*cking around that the sickness I had was life / And I was fixed with the decision to keep it / Knowing I had to get rid of it, rid of it, live with it / You don't know, he don't know, I had to deal with it."

The song concludes with: "That's the test to see if you're strong."

Then, addressing the audience directly, Usher says, "You realize what I just told you? You don't realize it, huh? Well, you can play it back."

Johnny Nunez/WireImage

After Jermaine Dupri allegedly told NY DJ Funkmaster Flex that Jay-Z urged him not to sign a deal with the NFL, the music producer now claims Jay-Z never told him to back out of an NFL deal. JD denied the allegations in an interview with V-103's Big Tigger on Wednesday.

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Johnny Nunez/WireImage

The backstabbing continues over Jay-Z's new deal with the NFL that opens the door for the aging rapper to become part owner of a NFL team. Music producer and DJ Jermaine Dupri, 46, was surprised to hear about Jay-Z's lucrative deal with the NFL, because the 50-year-old rapper urged him not to sign a similar deal last year.

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Jermaine Dupri is making blog headlines again after he appeared to throw shade at one-hit wonder Lil Nas X. Dupri came under fire when he called today's female rappers glorified "strippers". Now he is going in on Nas X, whose song "Old Town Road" is arguably the most popular record of all time.

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(L-R) Da Brat, Jermaine Dupri and Bow Wow attended So So Def and WE tv hosts the exclusive screening of Power, Influence & Hip Hop: The Remarkable Rise Of So So Def and the Season 3 premiere of Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta, held at the London Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. on Tuesday.

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