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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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Rapper Future sold his entire music catalog for a reported $20 million, sparking rumors that he is in financial trouble.

The Atlanta-born rapper has eight children with multiple baby mamas, including a son with Ciara Wilson.

Influence Media Partners has acquired the Grammy-winning rapper's entire catalog from his Freebandz record label which is distributed by Epic Records.

The deal includes 612 songs, from 2004 to 2020, including hits like "Mask Off" and collaborations with Drake ("Life Is Good," "Jumpman"), Kendrick Lamar ("King's Dead"), Rihanna ("Selfish"), and The Weeknd ("Low Life").

"Future is a cultural icon," said Rene McLean, founding advisor for Influence Media Partners, in an interview with Variety.

"He continues to be a blueprint for impact and success in the music industry and has reinvented music in ways that no one has ever expected. It is rare to find someone who moves music and culture at the same speed with his distinct vocal and melodic style. His prolific career and continued popularity more than 15 years into the game is a testament to his undeniable influence on the contemporary music and culture landscape. We're honored to be partnered with him."

Future added:

"I put everything into my music, and I wanted to make sure these were in good hands as I thought about the next chapter of these songs. I'm proud to partner up with Rene and the team at Influence Media and send a signal that this music has timeless value. My music is my art, and these songs represent some of the most precious artwork of my career."

 

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R&B singer Jesse Powell died at his Los Angeles home on Tuesday, Sept. 13, his family announced. He was 51.

Mr. Powell's death was confirmed by his sister, R&B singer Tamara Powell, in a post on Instagram early Wednesday.

"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother and uncle Jesse Powell," she wrote.

"He passed away peacefully in his Los Angeles home. The family asks for privacy at this time as we mourn tremendous loss and celebrate his everlasting legacy."

"Jesse loved music and he especially loved his fans who supported him throughout his career. We want you all to know that you meant the world to him."

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An industry insider says Powell's death was "not unexpected" and his manner of death will be listed as natural causes.

The Gary, Indiana native and his singing siblings, Trina, Tamara and younger brother Jacob, performed at talent shows in the early 1990s.

He was discovered by music industry veteran Louil Silas Jr. who signed him to his independent imprint, Silas Records, which later merged with MCA Records.

The second release off his self-titled debut album was a cover of The Enchantments' song "Gloria" in 1996. Powell's cover of "Gloria" peaked at number 51 on the Billboard R&B chart.
 

 
Powell's signature hit song "You" was included on his self-titled debut album in 1996 and on his second album 'Bout It in 1998.

"You" was released as the second single off 'Bout It in 1999.

"You" quickly became a fan favorite on R&B radio stations. The song peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1999.
 

 
'Bout It was eventually certified gold by the RIAA.

Mr. Powell's fourth and final studio album Jesse was released on October 14, 2003. He retired from the music industry soon afterwards.

Even though Powell's silky smooth voice melted women's hearts everywhere, he was reportedly gay. He never married and did not have children.

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Nicki Minaj dropped the music video for her new song "Super Freaky Girl." The song samples Rick James' hit "Super Freak.'

In the video, the 39-year-old rapper boasts about her bedroom skills while sashaying around her neighborhood in skimpy attire. She also seduces a neighbor's husband in her pink kitchen and tools around the neighborhood in a pink Lamborghini.

She raps:

    They can't be Nicki, they so stupid, I just laugh when they try
    A thong bikini up my a**, I think I'll go for a dive
    His ex b*tch went up against me, but she didn't survive
    On applications I write "pressure" 'cause that's what I apply (Brr)
    P-P-P-Pressure applied, can't f*ck a regular guy
    Wetter than umbrellas and stickier than apple pie

The music video is uncensored, meaning it's NOT SAFE FOR WORK.
 
Nicki Minaj - Super Freaky Girl

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.
 

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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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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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Frederick "Freddie" Waite Jr, the original drummer for British-Jamaican reggae band Musical Youth, has passed away at age 55.

Pictured clockwise, from bottom left: Michael Grant, Freddie Waite Jr., Patrick Waite (1968 - 1993), Dennis Seaton and Kelvin Grant.

A rep for the band confirmed his death in a statement on social media Thursday. "We are sad to announce the passing of Musical Youth's drummer Frederick Waite Jr. Our thoughts go out to him and his family during this sad time. We have lost a musical legend, who inspired many young musicians over the last 40 years. Rest in Eternal Peace."

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Musical Youth is best known for their international hit song "Pass the Dutchie" (1982). The song was No. 1 in 7 countries and went platinum in Canada. "Pass the Dutchie" peaked at No. 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Waite Jr. was just 12 years old when he formed the Musical Youth with his brother, Patrick Waite (bassist) who died in 1985. They recruited the Grant brothers, Kelvin on guitar and Michael on keyboards. Vocalist Dennis Seaton joined the band later as frontman.

Musical Youth found a new generation of fans when their classic single was featured on the US TV series Stranger Things season 4.

The group disbanded in 1985 and returned in 2001 as a duo.

Watch the video below.
 

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Legendary Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier has died at age 81. The news was confirmed by his son Lamont Dozier Jr. on Instagram.

"Rest in Heavenly Peace, Dad!" he wrote, alongside a photo of the two of them together.

Dozier was 1/3 of the legendary Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland, alongside Eddie Holland and Brian Holland, from 1962 to 1967.

They wrote and arranged hit songs for Motown legends, including "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" for Marvin Gaye; Martha and the Vandellas ("Heat Wave"), the Four Tops ("Baby I Need Your Loving"), and 10 out of the Supremes' 12 No. 1 singles, including "Baby Love", "Stop! In the Name of Love", and "You Keep Me Hangin' On".

Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown in 1968 after a contract dispute with founder Berry Gordy. They continued writing songs for Motown artists for the next decade until the lawsuit was settled in Gordy's favor.

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Holland-Dozier-Holland were honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on February 13, 2015 in Hollywood, California. They were joined at the ceremony by Stevie Wonder, Gordy and Mary Wilson, of the Supremes.

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Eddie, Lamont and Brian were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and Hollywood's RockWalk in 2003.

Dozier is survived by his 6 children. His wife, Barbara Dozier, died in 2021.

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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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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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Kelis is on a roll. The "Milkshake" singer continues to drag Beyonce for sampling her record without having the common decency to call her first.

Kelis doesn't own her masters or songwriting credits to her single "Get Along With You," which The Neptunes produced for her 1999 debut album.

Beyonce sampled "Get Along With You" on her track "Energy" off her new album, Renaissance which dropped today, July 29.

Kelis addressed the issue on social media before dropping a video to clarify her comments.

"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?"

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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 said it was "stupid and disrespectful" for Beyonce to sample her song without asking her first. She said her issue is with songwriter/producer Pharrell Williams whom she fell out with in the past.

Rihanna

BACKGRID

Kelis also threw a subtle diss at singer Rihanna for copying her style.

"I feel like Rihanna rode a wave created by Kelis," a fan wrote in Kelis's comments. To which the singer responded, "Let's not open that Pandora's box today lol one step at a time friend."

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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Nicki Minaj released a six-part documentary series on Thursday. The documentary features concert footage and Nicki's struggles to stay relevant in a field crowded with Nicki clones.

"Female rappers weren't really charting at the time. I'm fighting for the girls who never thought they could win," said Nicki in the documentary produced by the Canadian company Bron Studios.

The video features footage from Nicki's recent trip to London, where she was ambushed by screaming Nicki fans.

The trailer drops a few weeks before Nicki releases a new episode of Queen Radio and a single "Freaky Girl" on August 11 and 12.