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Wu Tang’s Controversial Album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ Previews Offered To Public For $1

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The WTC’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin album, the mysterious LP that din’t even have a release within the next half century, is now getting a digitized and encrypted update from its new owners who are offering the public a piece of the album for just $1.

PleasrDAO, the crypto company who purchased the secret LP from pharma king Martin Shkreli for $4.75 million, has update the artwork and now giving up a sampler of the album for just a buck. The album is currently being hosted at the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Tasmania, while PleasrDAO had Cali artist Hassan Rahim update the artwork after the first cover because of potential legal issues.

On the album sampler, there is a “Rainy Dayz 2:”, an updated version of the track from Raekwon’s OB4CL album, along with Wu Tang-centered skits like those found on the GZA’s Liquid Swords as well as a guest appearance from Method Man’s Redman. U God even bragged that pop icon Cher appeared on the WTC’s latest double album, which actually wasn’t due to be released until 2103.

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Normani Releases Highly Anticipated Debut Album ‘DOPAMINE’

Normani Drops Sultry New Single "1:59" Featuring Gunna

Normani has officially dropped her long-awaited debut album, DOPAMINE, via RCA Records. This album marks a transformative chapter for the 28-year-old artist as she fully embraces her sexuality and celebrates her journey into divine femininity.

“DOPAMINE” symbolizes liberation and freedom, capturing Normani’s evolution to this pivotal moment. Inspired by the happiness-inducing brain chemical, the album exudes joy and euphoria. Special guest features include James Blake and Gunna, with background vocals from Brandy.

The album starts with the electrifying lead single “Big Boy,” where Normani radiates confidence, boasting about her platinum hits and Billboard successes. With a nod to her Texan roots, she declares, “Pimpin’ like C I was brought up on it,” setting the tone for a bold and introspective album. “Still,” sampling Houston rapper Mike Jones’ “Still Tippin’,” further solidifies her connection to her hometown, with Normani’s voice dripping with swagger as she pledges, “I hold it down for my city.”

Sultry tracks like “All Yours” and “Lights On” highlight Normani’s sensuality with provocative lyrics. “Take My Time” introduces a playful, dance-pop electronic vibe that’s impossible to resist, while “Insomnia” dives into heartache with poignant lines like, “I wish you didn’t call me, cause so much shit reminds me of, cause every time you call me, it’s giving me insomnia.”

The album includes previously released singles “1:59” featuring Gunna, praised by Billboard as “another reminder of the project’s promise,” and “Candy Paint,” described by Paper Mag as “a certified trunk-rattler.”

“Tantrums” offers a surprising twist with James Blake, showcasing a new side of him. The album concludes with the chart-topping single “Wild Side,” featuring Cardi B, a perfect finale to a diverse and dynamic collection.

“DOPAMINE” is a masterful blend of sounds and genres, reflecting Normani’s multifaceted talent. This project, years in the making, is a testament to her dedication and artistry, delivering a body of work that is both personal and universal.

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LL COOL J Returns with New Single “Saturday Night Special” Featuring Rick Ross and Fat Joe

LL COOL J Returns with New Single “Saturday Night Special” Featuring Rick Ross and Fat Joe

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and two-time Grammy® Award-winning hip-hop icon LL COOL J triumphantly returns to music with his new single “Saturday Night Special” featuring Rick Ross and Fat Joe. Released via Def Jam Recordings and Virgin Music Group, the track marks LL’s comeback after a decade-long hiatus.

The new single, produced by Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Q-Tip, kicks off with an innovative sonic approach. LL COOL J, Rick Ross, and Fat Joe navigate the track with lyrical finesse, depicting life’s harsh realities and intricate dynamics and the code of ethics that governs it. Named after the revolver class “Saturday Night Special,” the song explores key players in the hustle, such as the “greedy killer” who reacts violently to disrespect and the “daredevil type” who seeks attention. Emphasizing self-preservation and strategic interaction, the song’s core message revolves around trust and reciprocity in the hustle.

The minimalist, black-and-white music video, directed by JakeTheShooter with creative direction from HiHat, brings the hustler anthem to life. Shot in Miami, Florida, the video features LL, Fat Joe, and Rick Ross performing together.

“‘Saturday Night Special’ is just the beginning,” LL said. “There’s a lot more where this came from, and I’m hype for y’all to hear this new record. We’re doing this for the fans and for Hip-Hop culture.”

The single is the first release from LL’s highly anticipated 14th studio album, The FORCE (Frequencies of Real Creative Energy), set for release this fall. Executive produced by Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, the album celebrates the 40th anniversary of Def Jam Recordings, the label that first launched LL’s career.

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Timbaland and More Honored at 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner

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The 2024 Songwriters Hall of Fame 53rd Annual Induction and Awards Dinner dazzled New York City with a celebration honoring the masterful minds behind some of the most iconic songs. The event, opened by SHOF Board Member and Show Committee Chair Evan Lamberg, recognized the immeasurable impact of legendary songwriters.

Musical icons Hillary Lindsey, Timothy Mosley (Timbaland), Dean Pitchford, Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe (R.E.M.), along with Walter Becker and Donald Fagan (Steely Dan), were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Multi-award-winner Diane Warren received the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award, and 4-time Grammy winner SZA was honored with the Hal David Starlight Award. The evening also posthumously inducted legendary country songwriter Cindy Walker in a special tribute.

The night began with a special performance of Irene Cara’s “Fame,” performed by the 2024 Abe Olman Scholarship recipients. Grammy winner Deniece Williams then inducted Dean Pitchford, performing her hit “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” followed by The Bacon Brothers’ electrifying performance of “Footloose.” Dean concluded his induction with an emotional rendition of “Once Before I Go.”

Irving Azoff honored Steely Dan, calling them “among the best bands ever.” Trey Anastasio of Phish performed a medley of Steely Dan hits, culminating in the induction of Donald Fagan and Walter Becker. Nile Rodgers then honored SZA with the Hal David Starlight Award, followed by her intimate performance of “Snooze.”

Country superstar Carrie Underwood inducted Hillary Lindsey with a powerful performance of “Jesus Take the Wheel,” joined by Keith Urban for a duet of “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” Missy Elliot inducted Timbaland, crediting him with “changing the cadence of hip-hop.” Timbaland then energized the room with a medley of his hits.

Jason Isbell inducted R.E.M., performing “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” The band reunited for the first time in 15 years, playing “Losing My Religion.”

The evening concluded with Diane Warren receiving the Johnny Mercer Award, presented by Paul Williams. Andra Day performed Warren’s Oscar-nominated song “Stand Up for Something.” Diane Warren expressed her passion for songwriting, followed by El Debarge closing the night with “Rhythm of the Night,” celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner remains a spectacular celebration of the art of songwriting, honoring those who have shaped the soundtrack of our lives.

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Rihanna Shuts Down Pregnancy Rumors, Teases Plans for a Larger Family

Rihanna has entered the Diamond Record Club for the third time. Rihanna's 2012 classic "Diamonds" has received official diamond certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.

For months, rumors have been swirling that Rihanna is expecting her third child with rapper A$AP Rocky, fueled by her recent uncharacteristically loose clothing choices.

At the Rihanna x Fenty Hair launch party at Nya Studios in Los Angeles, California, the star finally addressed the speculation during an interview with ET’s Kevin Frazier. When asked about her previous comments on hoping to be a “girl mom,” Rihanna humorously referenced her two sons, RZA, 2, and Riot, 10 months, with A$AP Rocky.

“Look how that worked out,” Rihanna joked, causing a wave of laughter among attendees.

Frazier, probing further, inquired whether this meant she planned on having more children. With a playful tone, Rihanna replied, “You know what, I hope so. I do.”

However, the “Diamonds” singer was quick to set the record straight on the pregnancy rumors. “I’m not pregnant, if that’s what you’re asking,” she said, before quickly adding, “I’m joking, OK,” when Frazier clarified he wasn’t asking about her current pregnancy status.

Rihanna confirmed her desire for a larger family. “I would definitely have more kids,” she said, leaving fans excited about the possibility of future additions to her family.

As she continues to balance her booming Fenty empire and her growing family, it’s clear that Rihanna remains focused on both her professional and personal aspirations.

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Former LAPD Detective Claims Diddy Ordered $1M Hit On 2Pac And Suge Knight

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More allegations continue to mount against Bad Boy Records founder Diddy, as a former LAPD detective who was involved in the Tupac and Biggie murder investigations recently spoke to The New York Times and says that Duane “Keefe D’ Davis accused Diddy of ordering a hit on ‘Pac and Suge Knight back in 1995.

Greg Kading says that he remembered Davis accusing Diddy of ordering a hit on 2Pac, as well as Suge Knight, back in 1995. Kading said that Keefe D told him about a meeting held in a hotel room during a Summer Jam tour, allegedly telling a room full of “Crips”, he wanted them dead. Kdaing said he also remembered Davis saying that he was offered $1 million for the murders from Mr. Combs himself.

“Man, we’ll wipe their a— out quick,” Davis allegedly replied. 

The next year, both Tupac and Suge Knight were shot on the Las Vegas strip after Shakur and the Death Row team got into a physical altercation with Keefe D’s nephew, Orlando Anderson at the MGM before the Mike Tyson fight. Knight suffered a graze wound to the head in the drive-by shooting, but Shakur succumbed to his injuries less than a week after the shooting. He was 25 years old.

In his 2019 book, Compton Street Legend, Davis claimed that he had a gun before searching the city for 2Pac and Knight. Ultimately, he admitted to giving the gun to his nephew. He alleged that Anderson went on to shoot 2Pac four times, ultimately taking his life.

Davis is set for trial for the murder of Shakur in Las Vegas this month.

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Kanye West Says He’s “Justified” In Firing Of Security For Not Cutting His Locs

Kanye West George Floyd

Yeezy is defending his choice to fire an ex-employee, saying he was “justified” in canning a former security guard for not cutting off his locs as a term of employment.

Benjamin Deshon Provo, a former guard at the Donda Academy, filed a lawsuit against West for an unjust and racially motivated termination back in April. New documents obtained by In Touch Weekly yesterday(June 12) state that West and his legal team are looking to have the suit dismissed, denying all of Provo’s claims.

“Defendants are informed and believe, and based on such information and belief allege that Defendants were justified in doing any and/or all of the acts alleged in the Complaint,” the response reads.

“Ye contends that he had not “authorized, directed or ratified any alleged wrongful behavior” and that his decision to terminate the employee were “undertaken in the good-faith exercise of a legitimate business purpose.” West’s attorneys also allege that Provo “unreasonably failed to utilize, take advantage of, and/or comply with Defendants’ complaint/accommodation procedures.”

Court docs filed in L.A. Superior Court back in April claim that Provo suffered “severe emotional distress” as a result of West’s behavior. Provo also claims that Yeezy would ridicule Black employees who sported locs and says that it was done because of his Muslim faith.

Kanye and members of his management team subjected Provo and other black employees to less favorable treatment than their white counterparts,” the lawsuit states. “Specifically, Kanye frequently screamed at and berated black employees, while in contrast, he never so much as raised his tone of voice toward white staff.”

West has requested that the lawsuit be thrown out and his attorney fees handled, but the judge has yet to make that ruling.

Provo has not listed any specific amount in damages in his lawsuit.

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Drake Gives Fans A Look at His New $15 Million Ranch in Texas

Drake Gives Fans A Look at His New $15 Million Ranch in Texas

Drake is touring his new ranch-style home in Texas. He purchased the $15 million home in Washington County in May and is now showing fans the new digs on Instagram.

What is a sporting event without a Drake bet? Ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Drake hit Instagram and revealed a massive bet on the Dallas Mavericks to win the series. Now that Game 3 is over and the Mavs are in a 0-3 hole it looks like Drake has lost some money

Drake dropped $500,000 on the Mavs as the series winner; the payout would be nearly $1.4 million. The Edmonton Oilers also got a bet for Canada in the Stanley Cup Finals, with another $500,000 paying out just over $1,000,000.

“Dallas cause I’m a Texan,” Drake wrote. “Oilers are self explanatory.”

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[WATCH] Dipset’s Hell Rell Explains Why “Backpack Rap” Has Been “Wiped Out”

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On a recent episode of Circle The Block Radio, Dipset soldier Hell Rell gave a very interesting and thought provoking perspective as to why “conscious” Hip Hop has been virtually “wiped out”.

Even though Rell’s points sound a bit like those of a conspiracy theorist, those who have closely observed the rap game for the past two decades can at least understand where he’s coming from.

“They got rid of that whole genre. Who’s the new Common Sense, Talib Kweli or Mos Def? You got a few of ’em that’s trying to get in, but their genre has just been totally wiped the fuck out”, Rell said beginning at around the 33 minute mark.

He added, “We always worked with that genre; we never looked down on the backpackers and the positive n-ggas. We collab’d with them. JAY-Z did songs with them. That genre kinda got wiped out ’cause I think they knew that shit was making n-ggas become more conscious.”

Though Rell’s insight has some truth to it, artists such as Tyler The Creator, Joey Bada$$, J. Cole, K. Dot and others have steered clear of the common destructive themes and Hip Hop and tackled more socially concerning topics in their music.

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WATCH: JAY-Z Performs “PSA” as Entry Music for Tom Brady at Patriots Hall of Fame Ceremony

JAY-Z Delivers Opening Video for 2023 NBA All-Star Game

JAY-Z surprised the masses of New England Patriots fans who piled into the team’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony as he emerged from a smoke-filled stage to perform his classic anthem, “Public Service Announcement,” as Tom Brady’s entrance music.

Ahead of the second verse, Hov said, “Put one hand in the air for the GOAT, Mr. Tom Brady, tonight!” Brady would then emerge onto the field. “PSA” was Brady’s walk-in music during his career in New England. You can see the moment below.

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