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The Notorious B.I.G. Is Headed to the Metaverse

The Notorious B.I.G. is coming back to life in the metaverse.

The estate of the late rapper, born Christopher Wallace, is working with Burst Live Inc. and Surreal Events to create a new virtual world called “The Brook” — a reference to the artist’s hometown in Brooklyn — that will feature a hyper-realistic model of the man himself. The activation is expected to launch later this year and will allow fans to explore the virtual environment, purchase virtual real estate in The Brook, attend concerts, and buy and sell NFTs.

To participate, users will be able to create accounts via The Brook website and can access the world on their desktop or mobile devices. The Brook is also expected to have activations later this fall that will require VR headsets.

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“Technology continues to create opportunities that are beyond one’s imagination and I’m excited that we are stepping into the future with a beautiful rendition of a hyperrealistic avatar of my son Christopher,” Voletta Wallace, Biggie’s mother, said in a statement. “I’m thankful for our wonderful team of creative partners for their work to deliver Biggie into new media for his fans to enjoy.”

The hyperrealistic model of Biggie was created from images and videos of the late rapper. The development was led by Remington Scott, the CEO of Hyperreal the VFX director best known for his work on Gollum in The Lord of The Rings and in Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3, and Elliot Osagie of Willingie Inc.

Burst Live Inc. will be responsible for producing content that will appear on The Brook, while Surreal Events will handle the development, hosting and maintenance of the platform. Biggie’s estate is represented by WME, which will provide support for the metaverse project.

The Biggie metaverse project follows a growing number of estates working to create virtual projects on Web3. In March, the Nelson Mandela Family announced it was creating a metaverse project, called “A Long Walk to Meta: Mandelaverse,” with NFT art collections and a “holographic” gala expected to take place in L.A. this summer.

Watch the trailer for The Brook project below, which features the voice of Biggie’s former manager, Mark Pitts.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

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News24.com | Sharks leave it late, but let slip home URC playoff hopes after Ulster slamming

Aphelele Fassi. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Aphelele Fassi. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ulster might have killed the Sharks’ home United Rugby Championship (URC) hopes after beating the men in black 24-21 in Belfast on Friday night.

The manner in which the Sharks succumbed will concern their management; they looked like a hastily assembled Barbarian outfit, without the attacking pizzazz and all of the disorientated defending.

Nothing clicked for the Sharks, and it looked for a long time that they could conceivably leave Ireland without scoring a point on the scoreboard, so comprehensive the mauling. But three late tries saved their blushes, adding some respectability to the result.

AS IT HAPPENED | Ulster vs Sharks

On the face of it, it looked like a close game but Ulster seldom ceded control and looked like a Test team, while the Sharks looked like individuals who’ve played some Tests.

Their losing bonus point took them to 57 points on the URC log, one ahead of Munster, who face what’s likely to be a weakened Leinster on Saturday night, while Ulster’s four points took them to 59, and second place.

The Sharks loss also means the Bulls and Stormers could overtake them in the top four race.

Ulster fullback Mike Lowry scored the first try in the 27th minute after great work by wing Ethan McIlroy, who smartly offloaded near the line to dupe the on-rushing Sharks cover defence.

Scrumhalf John Cooney’s conversion made it 10-0 to the home side after he broke the deadlock with a penalty earlier in the game.

A brutal, Test-feel game claimed James Hume to an early head injury assessment, followed by try-scorer Lowry, who was on the receiving end of an Aphelele Fassi midfield break as he tried to tackle the fullback but got a bloodied temple as payback.

There was no malice on Fassi’s part and Lowry’s tackle technique was flawless. It was an occupational hazard.

The Sharks lacked patience on the ball and couldn’t apply the necessary pressure on Ulster as unforced errors let the hosts off the hook repeatedly.

When they did put phases together after a brilliant Marius Louw first-phase break, Ulster defended manfully and got out of jail with a turnover. They would use this card repeatedly.

The Sharks going into the break scoreless was indicative of their bluntness.

It didn’t take more than four minutes for Ulster to add a second try, despite an early warning, when inside centre Stuart McCloskey shrugged off Louw and Fassi to score under the sticks.

The Sharks, who hadn’t laid a glove on Ulster, were 17 down and desperate with more than half an hour remaining.

Head coach Sean Everitt’s side seemed to have lost the creativity that took them into the top four. And when the artistry couldn’t come together, they took out the sledgehammer but Ulster stood firm.

An hour passed and the Sharks still couldn’t get a point and looked spent and deflated.

VIEW LOG | United Rugby Championship

Everitt made a raft of substitutions, including sapping No 9 Jaden Hendrikse, who was ineffective, for Grant Williams on the hour – the best move of the night.

Eventually, 62 minutes in, Ntuthuko Mchunu tapped and went to the try line from 5m out – a predictable route one ploy if there ever was one but it worked. The Sharks were on the board.

But the joy didn’t last long. Two minutes later, Hume scored at the other end after profiting from a Cooney inside pass, who also benefitted from Rob Baloucoune’s break down the right.

The Sharks scored their second try through Louw but they left it desperately late.

Williams, who sparkled since his introduction, scored a breakaway try with less than a minute left on the clock, which proved inconsequential bar giving the Sharks a losing bonus point.

Scorers 

Ulster – (10) 24

Tries: Mike Lowry, Stuart McCloskey, James Hume

Conversions: John Cooney (3)

Penalties: John Cooney

Sharks – (0) 21

Tries: Ntuthuko Mchunu, Marius Louw, Grant Williams

Conversions: Curwin Bosch, Boeta Chamberlain (2)

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Notorious B.I.G.’s 50th Birthday To Be Celebrated Across NYC

The upcoming weekend kicks off big plans to honor the 50th posthumous birthday of The Notorious B.I.G.  The celebration will continue across NYC, where the late rapper became a hometown hero, over the next two months.

The Notorious B.I.G.


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On May 21st The Notorious B.I.G., also known as Christopher Wallace will be crowned the King of New York. This would have been his 50th birthday. Select areas in Brooklyn and Manhattan will be paying tribute to the iconic rapper.

  • On May 20, the Empire State Building, along with Bad Boy / Atlantic / Rhino Records, will host a ceremony including Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, children CJ and T’yanna Wallace, dear friend James Lloyd (Lil’ Cease), and Kimberly Denise Jones (Lil Kim). Other figures who were key to Biggie’s legacy will also be attending the ceremony.
  • The 102-storied Empire State Building will change the historic landmark’s lights to red and white, featuring a crown spinning in its mast. The historic landmark will illuminate Manhattan as well as pay homage to Biggie’s debut multi-platinum album Ready to Die.
  • The Barclays Center will feature a video montage of classic Biggie records on the massive oculus display above the arena’s entrance to celebrate. It is only several subway stops from Bedford-Stuyvesant, where Biggie Smalls grew up. 
  • New York City MTA will also release a special edition B.I.G. MetroCard on May 21st. You can only get them from the following subway stations.
    • Lafayette Avenue
    • Clinton – Washington Avenue
    • Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center
  • Not wanting to miss out on the celebration of a legend, Amazon music and their music brand, [RE]DISCOVER, will reveal a takeover at the Clinton–Washington Ave. Station. With art based on the iconic “King of New York” photo of Biggie wearing a crown by Barron Claiborne. Fans will be able to scan a QR Code at the station granting them access to a special Instagram filter celebrating the life and legacy of Christopher Wallace. Amazon music and [RE]DISCOVER also collaborated with non-profit Beautify Earth to debut new, custom murals of Biggie created by local artists in each borough of New York, which will be reclaiming previously unused space with images that are inspired by lyrics from his music.

Celebrating the life of Biggie will continue on for the next two months. The New York celebration will continue when Lincoln Center, partnering with Bad Boy / Atlantic / Rhino Records, will host an orchestral tribute on June 10. Featuring music arranged and conducted by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and appearances from special guests, the event will be free to the public. Amazon music will live stream the event exclusively on their Twitch channel as part of celebrating Black music Month.  Exclusive Biggie Smalls merch will also be available for pre-order. 

Also on June 10, Bad Boy / Atlantic / Rhino Records will release a vinyl version of Life After Death. The Life After Death 25th Anniversary Super Deluxe boxed set consists of 8-LPs, a booklet that features rare photos from the album cover shoot, liner notes by Sheldon Pearce, and exclusive reflections from members of the team who worked on the original album.

Recently, Concrete Jungle Studios, an artistic endeavor by Steven Cartoccio, paid homage to The Notorious B.I.G. through the creation of figurines. The statuettes also doubled as exclusive collector items.

Cartoccio has released amazing Hip-Hop statuettes via his Concrete Jungle Studios imprint including Sean Price with the Infinity Gauntlet, Ghostface Killah with a robotic arm, and Raekwon The Chef with a translucent purple arm.

Notorious B.I.G.




Written by Aevum Caelum

Aevum is a local Georgia creative who writes and draws in their spare time while also enjoying animation, video games, politics, government, etc. Their favorite artists are Amine, Doechii, Whitney Houston, Kota the Friend, Doja Cat, Eminem, Lil Nas X, etc.

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Do Hanse: K-pop’s Pop-Punk Poster Child

The Victon rapper on his rock-inspired fashion sense, visual artistry, and the importance of self-expression

This story appears in Rolling Stone India’s K-music Special Issue, on sale now. Buy your copy here.

If you haven’t heard of Do Hanse, you’re missing out. He’s one of the most gifted rappers in the Korean music industry, with the face of a manga protagonist, but there’s also a definite rockstar vibe there courtesy of his many punk-inspired ensembles, piercings and tattoos. He’s unforgettable at first glance and dangerously talented to boot. As the main rapper and producer of K-pop group Victon, Do gained attention thanks to his distinct higher vocal tone, his ability to spit fiery verses like a machine gun, and of course his sharp, cat-like features. He’s bold, fearless and innovative, so we knew the Fashion segment of Rolling Stone India’s ‘K-music Special Issue’ would be incomplete without him 

Scoring an interview with the charismatic rapper was a slight task since he’s currently not promoting solo, and is instead focusing on making new music with Victon; artists generally don’t do press outside their promotional cycles, but he decides to make an exception just for us. His team and ours hurtle through time zones and overflowing schedules to make it work, coordinating frantically as we ignore deadlines and wrestle with translations to lock him in – and, of course, he is absolutely worth every minute of the madness.

“I hope you think more about your own dream rather than thinking about what others think of you,” he says at one point when we connect for our conversation. I had asked what advice he’d give to someone who wants to experiment with their fashion and music and forge a path different from what society expects, like he did. “Don’t lose sight of your path and do what you want while doing some research about it. I think fear is quite an unnecessary feeling to start something.”

“I just think my vibe was a little different from others.” Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Do was one of the first idols in K-pop to not just show off his tattoos, but make them a part of his core style concept – something that was considered pretty taboo up until just a few years ago. In fact, most Korean artists are forced to cover up their ink with clothing, makeup or bandages when they perform during broadcast shows since it’s still prohibited on national television (the after-effect of tales of yore where tattoos almost always meant gang affiliation). He was also one of the first K-pop stars to rock facial piercings – a sleek snake bite on his lower lip and a tiny nose stud. Since then, a lot of idols have been bolder with their body mods – GOT7 member Jay B’s iconic anti-eyebrow piercing and BTS member Jung Kook’s glorious tattoo sleeve are distinct early examples – but it’s taken hitting the 2020s to catch on among the industry as a whole. So how did Do find the courage to dive in as early as 2018?

“I just think my vibe was a little different from others,” the rapper says. There’s a frankness to his answers that I quite enjoy, and a confidence in his words that can only come from someone who knows exactly who they are. “Even when I was very young, instead of the clothes my mom chose for me, I chose my clothes myself.” The visual change took place roughly a year after Victon’s debut in 2016. Do went from being a fresh-faced teen crush to sharp, sleek and suave, eventually morphing into a reflection of punk-rock royalty. The piercings and ink grabbed my attention in Victon’s 2019 music video for “Nostalgic Night,” the lead single off their third EP Identity. Do had made a complete transformation and that, paired with his deadly verse delivery, made him an artist to watch out for. When I ask if he had any specific influences to thank for the evolution of his style, he says that his outlook is more about just wearing what he feels at the moment rather than looking for sources that dictate the way he dresses. “I’ve had many artists and people who were an inspiration to me from time to time, but these days I don’t have any special interests!” Since then, he’s treated audiences to dark and glamorous transformations on every comeback, outdoing himself each time with bold hair styles, nail art, jewelry and couture.

Do’s look these days is a delightful blend that spans pop-punk, cyberpunk, emo, glam rock and grunge – all with a touch of androgyny. “I like trying various styles, so my style keeps changing,” he shares. “About a year ago, I fell in love with pop punk and rock music, so I think I still like the punk look and wear it pretty often. Because I like pop punk and rock music, I think I’m influenced by musicians who do that genre.” His Instagram account is packed full of crisp, flash-drenched shots that feature vibrant hair shades, glittering chokers, chunky shoes and a plethora of black-and-white ensembles – all while putting his ink and piercings front and center. There are splashes of color here and there (in his more recent posts, he’s shown off a neon pink manicure to match his hair) as well as anime-inspired artwork. It’s beautiful chaos and it suits him well. It’s that same vibe that filters into his work as a musician, and not just in terms of the dazzling visuals he presents (we’ll get into that in a moment) but also within his sound. “I do what I want to do spontaneously. That is my style of music making.” 

This spontaneity echoes right back to when he first fell in love with music. “I liked to dance and listen to music since I was young, so naturally I’ve always wanted to do music,” he says, explaining that he initially aimed at being a dancer, but the art of lyricism won him over. “So, while learning street dance and hip-hop songs, I suddenly wondered, ‘What are they singing and talking about?’ While looking for the lyrics’ interpretation, I realized that those rappers wrote what they wanted to say and spit out their lives in the recording studio. I thought it was cool and as a teenager, I was shocked. I just naturally started writing lyrics and rapped like that.” Do changed lanes, becoming a K-pop trainee by the time he turned 18 in 2016, and later that same year debuted with his group, quickly making a mark as a songwriter on their first album Voice To The New World. Over the years, the rapper gained fame as a producer and songwriter on every Victon album, but there still remained a thirst to show audiences what he was capable of as a solo act. “When we were not active as a team, other members showed great performances in musical, radio, drama, and entertainment programs. I always thought, ‘I should show my own skills through music.’” 

After wrapping up promotions for Victon’s 2021 LP Voice: The Future Is Now, Do immediately got to work on his debut EP, Blaze. He dropped the six-track record on his 24th birthday in 2021, led by the fiery single,“Take Over,” and leaped through genres like house, alternative R&B (“Scent”), pop punk (“Public Enemy”) and more, focusing on including what he personally loved rather than catering to the taste of mass audiences. “I have a unique voice tone, but I think there can be some likes and dislikes since tastes change from person to person, so I was worried about it and studied about tones a lot earlier,” Do explains. “Now, I think I’m just comfortable with whatever I feel, and I think I’m putting the tone that just naturally comes out of my body into my music.” He feels there was more freedom in discovering who he really is with Blaze, as compared to previous releases with Victon or experimentation with singles. “When I work on Victon’s music, I try to express the title, theme, and atmosphere of the song in my own style. I think of the overall image of the song. When I do my own music, I feel more comfortable and freer to do as I want, so I try not to put any restrictions on it.” 

The crowning glory of Blaze, however, was “Take Over” and its dazzling music video that sees the rapper reign supreme over a world of glitter, neon, pop art and high fashion. His look in the clip is unlike anything we’ve seen before on a male K-pop star thanks to his waist-length platinum blonde tresses, and he pairs the visuals with stunning Nineties-influenced house drops and grimy trap. Take it in all together, and it’s glorious. “When I produced my solo album, I had many thoughts about the composition of each song and coordinated it with the producers,” Do recalls. “For ‘Take Over,’ which was the main title, I wanted to make a song that would come out during Fashion Week, so I thought about the costumes and the music video concept while making the song. I told the company that I wanted to build a completely different image from when I was working as a team, and it was fun to see the outcome incorporating a lot of my opinions in terms of visuals.” The video features some truly gorgeous wardrobe choices: intricate crowns, bejeweled jackets, plus an all-white look similar to a futuristic knight or king – with pearls and lace in lieu of chainmail – complete with Do seated regally upon a horse. “Take Over” also features some of South Korea’s most prominent names in drag: Nana Youngrong Kim, Vita Mikju, Bambi and Serena, who together make up the art collective Neon Milk. It’s the first time drag queens have featured in a K-pop male soloist’s work, and Do shares that the dance sequence with the quartet is his favorite moment in the entire music video. 

“For ‘Take Over,’ which was the main title, I wanted to make a song that would come out during Fashion Week, so I thought about the costumes and the music video concept while making the song.” Photo: Courtesy of the artist

People are often tempted to find symbolism embedded within every look in “Take Over” (and K-pop videos are usually created with this in mind), but Do wants to put the spotlight on the fashion for exactly what it is. “With ‘Take Over,’ many people remember me with a genderless and kitsch image. Actually, there is no clear message in the song and music video,” he says. “There are many interpretations, including those who think that I am talking about gender issues, but I made this song with a unique and colorful visual and rap as the focus; there’s no special message or meaning. So I think it would be good if you could watch and listen comfortably without much interpretation.”

Do’s sense of styling within music videos comes with an understanding of avant garde – to wear art as fashion. He reminds me of greats like David Bowie, G-Dragon, or Taemin, because his art incorporates fashion to be appreciated for what it is. I tell him this, but he waves off the praise with humility. “Whenever I am asked questions like these, I feel like I need to answer like there are some big reasons and motivations behind my art,” he says. “To be honest, I’m very spontaneous, so I just tend to carry out the images that come to my mind right away. I’m sure I’ve been influenced by a lot of things because I literally do whatever I want to do, so it’s hard to say where specifically I get my inspirations from.” While discussing his various striking stage looks and outfits, I ask if there’s a difference between the Hanse we see onstage versus the Hanse offstage. “I think it is just a matter of me having full makeup or no makeup,” he says, explaining that he personally doesn’t see much of a distinction between these two sides of himself – the man and the artist. “The me offstage is a lot gentler than you think. I think that’s all.” The fierce, androgynous and DGAF attitude he channels onstage flickers up often within the soft-spoken but firm demeanour he slips into during interviews, and what he says immediately makes sense.

As we start to wrap up, we discuss the demands the entertainment industry makes of artists and the pressure many celebrities feel to adhere to mainstream media’s idea of popularity. Do says he’s lucky he hasn’t been forced into an image he doesn’t stand for. “I don’t think I’ve ever had much trouble with disagreements or issues like this because the company respects my opinions and style a lot.” There’s no fear when it comes to trying bold new looks and concepts and that’s exactly the way it should be: artistic expression over hesitation at what critics might say. “I’ve never ever hesitated at all!” he assures me and indeed, it’s hard to imagine him catering to fleeting trends. 

Sure, there are people who don’t understand what Do Hanse is all about – the long hair, makeup, tattoos and piercings still tend to scare a scant handful – but the rapper doesn’t let the hate bother him. “Not only do I not feel the need to respond, but I actually don’t really care at all,” he says breezily. “That’s because I think it’s more stressful not to be able to do the style I want than to just receive such criticism and feedback.”

Watch Do Hanse’s music video for “Take Over”:

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Belgian Court Rules Out Extradition For Spanish Rapper

GHENT, Belgium (AP) — A Belgian court on Tuesday ruled again that Spanish rapper Valtonyc should not be extradited to Spain, where he has been sentenced to prison accused of writing lyrics that praise terror groups and insult the royal family.

The 28-year-old rapper, whose real name is Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran and who has been living in exile in Belgium since 2018, faces prison sentences in Spain totaling three-and-a-half years.

Francis Clarysse, a Ghent prosecutor, told The Associated Press that the prosecution now has 24 hours to decide whether to appeal the decision to Belgium’s highest court, the court of cassation. Tuesday’s ruling marked the fourth time the Spanish judicial authorities’ requests for extradition were denied.

Clarysse said the latest appeal was declared “unfounded, meaning no extradition is possible.”

Spanish rapper Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran, also known as Valtonyc, waits for his court appointment at the courthouse in Ghent, Belgium, on Sept. 15, 2020.
Spanish rapper Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran, also known as Valtonyc, waits for his court appointment at the courthouse in Ghent, Belgium, on Sept. 15, 2020.

AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Valtonyc’s case has become popular in Spain among organizations who claim Spanish authorities are cracking down on free speech.

The singer and composer from Palma de Mallorca was sentenced to prison over songs he wrote when he was 18 that were deemed to have praised terror groups, threatened a Spanish politician with violence and insulted the royal family.

During his trials in Spain, courts rejected Arenas’ argument that the point of rap lyrics is to be provocative and they should be protected by free speech laws.

Rights organizations and activists regarded Valtonyc’s case as an example in a wider legal and political dispute over freedom of expression, rebuking the way prosecutors have overreached in using the criminal code to punish anyone who “glorifies terrorism” or insults the Crown.

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JT of City Girls Addresses Wardrobe Malfunction at Billboard Music Awards

JT


JT of City Girls had everyone talking with her revealing look at the Billboard music Awards.

While presenting the award for Top R&B Artist with Yung Miami at Sunday’s show in Las Vegas, the “Act Up” rapper wore a sparkly silver gown that appeared to expose a little too much skin. She started trending on Twitter as viewers took notice of the wardrobe malfunction.

“JT at the billboard awards like ‘Girl this pussy talk,’” wrote one fan while quoting the Miami duo’s hit “Pussy Talk,” while others criticized her stylist over the length of her dress.

JT at the billboard awards like “Girl this pussy talk”😂

— AmDesp (@AmDesp) May 16, 2022

Not JT COOCHIE BEING OUT DURING THE BILLBOARD AWARDS 😭

— Camryn (@Trulycamryn) May 16, 2022

JT can do no wrong in my eyes. So what if her lips was out. The Pussy Talk Billboards too. Tf.

— Nola B. Darling 💋🐚🧜🏾‍♀️ (@__DaaaamnBria) May 16, 2022

Damn I totally forgot the billboard awards is tonight, I only knew about it cuz I just seen JT’s coochie on the timeline

— Ahmed🇸🇴/Kendrick Lamar’s Publicist (@big_business_) May 16, 2022

Nah JT stylist should’ve made her dress a lil bit longer cause wtf #BBMAs

— ❤️‍🔥 (@allhailragan) May 16, 2022

Amid the viral moment, JT took to Twitter to respond to the speculation, assuring her critics that she was wearing underwear.

“I have on black Panties RELAX,” she tweeted.

I have on black Panties RELAX

— JT-O🦋 (@ThegirlJT) May 16, 2022

In addition to her wardrobe reveal, JT also revealed that City Girls have a new single with Usher coming out soon. “Party record, fun record, cookout record,” she teased during an interview with Billboard.

They will join Jack Harlow on his “Come Home the Kids Miss You Tour” this summer.

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Lil Keed, Young Stoner Life Rapper, Dead At 24

No details about his death have been released.

Lil Keed in red dreads and

Lil Keed attends Rolling Stone Live: Atlanta at The Goat Farm on February 02, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Lil Keed, a rising rap star from Atlanta, has died. The 24-year-old, legal name Raqhid Jevon Render, passed away on Friday (May 13). The news was confirmed by his record label on Saturday, according to VarietyNo details relating to his death have been released. Keed’s brother and frequent collaborator Lil Gotit was one of the first to share the news on social media.

“I did all my cries,” he wrote on Instagram. ” I know what u want me to do and that’s go hard for Mama Daddy Our Brothers Naychur and Whiteboy #ImaHoldthisShitDown.”

Lil Keed was signed to 300 and Young Stoner Life Records, or YSL, in 2018 and mentored by rap star Young Thug who not only gave him advice musically but on all aspects of life. In a 2020 interview with Complex, Lil Keed shared that Thug was the person at YSL he had the most chemistry with.

“He’s just a great person at heart. He’s real pure-hearted. He teaches you stuff. He gives you game. He tells you some shit folks won’t tell you. I know a lot of folks, they say they’re big dogs and all that shit, but they don’t really help their people. He helps his people. That’s why I love him so much. Every time we’re with him is a great time,” he shared.

In the same interview, Lil Keed shared that his dedication to music and making it to the top was driven by his 3-year-old daughter Naychur, his family, and his fans.

“The most important thing I want my fans to know is that I’m doing all this sh*t for my f**king daughter. They know this. I have my daughter on my page every day, all day long. I spend all my time with my daughter. She is getting ready to get out of school in a couple more minutes. I’m about to go get her in a minute. Then of course, my mom and my family. I hang with my family. I don’t go hang with everybody. And then my fans. I was just hanging with some of my fans at the lake a couple of days ago. I go to the lake all the time. I had some friends over there that came and met me. New friends I just met. They live on the lake or whatever. So we was just chilling and sh*t.

Lil Keed Dead

Lil Keed performs onstage during the 2019 BET Experience The Real Stage Hosted By 92.3 at Los Angeles Convention Center on June 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Maury Phillips/Getty Images for BET

Quana Bandz, Lil Keed’s girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, mourned the rapper in a lengthy post on Instagram.

“I love you sooooo much baby,” she wrote. “I can’t breathe right sleep right nothing I don’t even wanna talk to nobody Keed I can’t take this why you leave US bru. What am I supposed to tell Naychur? What am I gone tell our new baby ? Keed I just told you the other day if you left me with these two kids I was gone loose my mind.”

In 2020, Lil Keed was featured on XXL’s annual Freshman List alongside Jack Harlow, Fivio Foreign, Latto, and Baby Keem. His breakout moment, however, came in 2019 when his 2018 song “Nameless” began to gain momentum. The song debuted on Billboard’s R&B Hip Hop Airplay chart on April 6, 2019, and peaked at No. 42 on May 11. The song remained on the chart for eight weeks total and was certified gold in December of 2019.

Lil Keed’s career resulted in two studio albums, six mixtapes, and dozens of features. Countless fans were hooked on his high-pitched melodic style.

VIBE sends our deepest condolences to the rapper’s family and those affected by this loss.



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Rod Wave Arrest Warrant Reveals He Choked Ex-Girlfriend “Till She Couldn’t Breathe”

An arrest warrant became publicly available in the case against Florida rapper Rod Wave. The court document states that he choked his ex-girlfriend while their two children were in the home.⁠

Rod Wave


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The Tampa Bay Times obtained an arrest warrant that provided far more details in the case against Florida rapper Rod Wave. 

The rapper, whose real name is Rodarius Marcell Green, is facing a felony charge of domestic battery by strangulation after the incident that happened on April 24.

⁠Deputies responded to the Osceola County woman’s home that day after receiving two 911 calls in which the woman said the rapper entered her home and became aggressive including straddling her and choking her until she could not breathe. The rapper has two children with the woman, and they were at home at the time of the attack.

The tombstone rapper was arrested during a traffic stop in St. Petersburg less than a week later. He was released from the Pinellas County Jail on a $5,000 bail on May 3. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.⁠

⁠Rod wave or his lawyers have not made any public statements at this time. 

News of the details of Rod Wave’s arrest warrant hit social media and many had much to say about it. On Twitter, a user identified as @nottdeep  was surprised that the artist was very calm and sad on his records but had a violent side. Addressing the warrant the user tweeted, “nigga be sad as hell on them songs and he the villain!” 

Since the “heart on ice” rapper’s arrest, he has been keeping his social media presence very brief.  He stated this morning on Twitter to tweet only two words, “Already won”.

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(Update) Young Thug’s Lawyer Files Emergency Motion For Bond Hearing, Alleges Jail Conditions Are “Inhumane & Torturous”

Brian Steel, Young Thug’s attorney,  filed an emergency motion on Friday for a bond hearing to get the rapper released based on jail conditions.

According to WSBTV, Steel is calling Young Thug’s (real name Jeffery Williams) jail conditions “inhumane and torturous.” TMZ also says that the rapper does not have human contact, and “is being held in total isolation in a windowless cement compartment with only a bed and a toilet.”

As previously reported, police arrested the 30-year-old at his Buckhead home on Monday on a RICO charge, along with 27 other people, including rapper Gunna (real name Sergio Kitchens). The indictment alleges that the 28 individuals named in the indictment are part of the Young Slime Life street gang of Atlanta, and they have been committing crimes in the city since 2012.

Among the 56 counts, Young Thug is charged with Conspiracy to Violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and Participation in Criminal Street Gang Activity, according to jail records. The RICO charge is related to an incident that happened in January of 2013. The gang activity charge is related to an incident from May of 2018.

The indictment also lists Young Thug’s social media posts and lyrics from his music that are considered  “an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.” Specifically, prosecutors recalled the following bars from ‘Ski’ as evidence:

I f**k with slatts and we come to ear rats and I came with fuckin’ piranhas. The indictment also lists, “I tote an FN on me, call Neechi-Neech, it’s a Glock he keep…Duke Rollin’ 60’s, he’s locked in the C’s.

Prosecutors also accuse Thug’s associates of getting permission from him to make a second attempt to kill YFN Lucci while he’s in Fulton County Jail on murder and racketeering charges.

Prosecutors allege that two associates of YSL, CHRISTIAN EPPINGER and ANTONIO SUMLIN, worked to get permission of @youngthug to make a 2nd attempt to murder @YFNLUCCI while he’s jailed in Fulton County.

In addition to the RICO charge, Young Thug also received seven new felonies for drugs and weapons found when he was arrested at his home on Monday. He was also denied bond for the drugs and weapons case with the judge calling him a “flight risk.”

Roomies, we’ll continued to keep you updated on this situation.

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Kendrick Lamar spotted in Ghana ahead of album release

American rapper, Kendrick Lamar has landed in Ghana ahead of the release of his upcoming album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.

A photo of the rapper eating at a restaurant in Ghana went viral.

According to reports, the rapper is shooting a documentary series in the country. He is also expected to hold a private album listening in the country. 

BREAKING: Kendrick Lamar is indeed in Ghana. Deep throat sources confirm to me that he’s been here for a while ahead of his album launch. This is part of a partnership with a giant streaming platform.

The viral picture is from this video of him & his team eating at Kōzo, Accra. pic.twitter.com/7YCSUpB5Iw

— Africa’s ‘Larry King’🎙🇬🇭 (@OleleSalvador) May 12, 2022

To confirm the news, the restaurant Kozo GH where he went to eat, shared a picture of Kendrick Lamar on their Instagram handle.

Security is said to be very tight and the guest list for the listening party is said to be under HEAVY SCRUTINY. Not just anyone would be allowed in.

— Africa’s ‘Larry King’🎙🇬🇭 (@OleleSalvador) May 12, 2022

In April Kendrick Lamar tweeted a new link to his Oklama website announcing the release date for his much anticipated album.

Kendrick Lamar spotted in Ghana ahead of album release

On the site, the rapper revealed his new album’s title and release date: Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers is out May 13.

Lamar teased the record—his “final TDE album,” as he described it—on a website launched in August 2021. “May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling,” he wrote at the time.

“There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown.” He signed the note, “Oklama.”

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers follows Lamar’s Pulitzer-winning 2017 album Damn. Since then, he’s curated and helmed the Black Panther soundtrack, headlined Coachella and Top Dawg Entertainment’s Championship Tour, won a bunch of Grammy Awards, and been nominated for an Oscar.

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