THE WORD | Chicago’s R&B Singer Ann Marie Inks a Deal With Interscope Records

Chicago-based R&B singer-songwriter Ann Marie, known for her hit “Secret” with YK Osiris, has signed with Interscope Records. Ann Marie took social media and provided this message and video for her fans.

Ann Marie was discovered by rapper and co-founder of City Entertainment Group Mikkey Halsted in 2017 after he met her at a G Herbo concert in Chicago.

“Management was just the best fit for Ann and me, because I wanted to be as hands-on as possible and knew she’d be huge really fast,” Halsted says.

Ann Marie is known for records such as Little Secret ft YK Osiris and Handle It. Ann Marie meshes ‘90s and 2000s-era R&B with contemporary sounds, in a way consistent with Ella Mai, and H.E.R., and she’s been lauded by the hip-hop and R&B press as well as Pitchfork and Rolling Stone.

According to Variety Interscope senior director of A&R Caroline “Baroline” Diaz, who also signed DaBaby, made contact early. “She’s a rare combination of singer/songwriter that speaks for a generation and whose sound is already resonating beyond her Chicago roots,” she says.

Check out some Ann Marie Videos:

THE WORD | Is Drake The G.O.A.T ?

Drake Ties The Beatles for Second-Most Top 10s,  in the Billboard Hot100with Chris Brown’s track "No Guidance" debuting at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Drake is getting closer to proving that his claim of having "more slaps than The Beatles" is actually true.

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 "No Guidance" becomes Drake's 34th top 10 song on the Hot 100, tying him for the second-most ever with The Beatles. What makes this all so interesting, he accomplished all this in a time span less then a decade.

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 "No Guidance" is Drake's 194th entry to the Hot 100 thus far. His first Top 10 hit on the chart was his breakthrough single "Best I Ever Had." Seems like drake is on a winning spree.


Congratulations to Drake for another win on the charts. But with this all being said does this make Drake the GOAT?

THE WORD | Is It fair to say the Raptors won because of injuries?

The Raptors clinched their first title in franchise history with a Game 6 clinching win over the Warriors to complete their fairy tale playoff run. The Raptors are a great story, but many such as FS1 Skip Bayless still thinks there’s no way they win the title without the avalanche of injuries to the Warriors.

With KD going down after playing in one quarter of Game 5, and Klay Thompson going down in Game 6 with a torn ACL, it was injuries that decided the series. It may not be a popular take in Canada, but it’s truth. Others believe the same argument could of been made for the Warriors back in 2015, when Lebron James’s team was handicapped due to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love being sidelined because of Injuries.

THE WORD | Was Kevin Durant ‘misdiagnosed? Are The Warriors to blame for Achilles injury?

After 32 days of rehab, Kevin Durant was finally cleared to play in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but during the 2nd quarter of the game he suffered an Achilles injury. The backlash to the Warriors letting Durant play was immediate, and president Bob Myers noted in his press conference after Game 5 he understood the need to seek out someone to blame for Durant’s devastating injury.

The discussion over the last two days has been all over the map, with debates about whether the Warriors should have been more protective of Durant, who as a competitor would naturally want to play. Some speculated Golden State’s medical staff misdiagnosed the injury, and others felt Durant had been pressured to come back too soon by internal and external chatter. It was hard not to wonder if he’d been rushed back.

THE WORD | Checkout Virgil Abloh's New Art Exhibition at the MCA In Chicago

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Creator of the top Urban Brand Off White and men's artistic director for Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh launched his  first-ever solo exhibition, "Figures Of Speech," of his work will be on display opening Today (Monday, June 10 ) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

The Illinois-born designer, 38, has been creating fashion, objects, furniture, graphic works, painting, sculpture and photography for the last 20 years. Abloh became a household name after working on creative direction for Kanye West’s DONDA firm, where he collaborated with the musician on album covers, concert designs and merchandising.

"I felt the public needed to know more about this artist and why he is important,There are so many ideas embedded in his work and such ambition there. Virgil’s work seems to speak to people from all sorts of different interest groups." Michael Darling, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Chief Curator.

Also Checkout Virgil’s Louis Vuitton creative pop up in Chicago’s west loop.




THE WORD | Barack and Michelle Obama Have Signed A Multi-Year Podcast Deal With Spotify.

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Barack and Michelle Obama's production ( Higher Ground) company will start working with Spotify to produce podcasts. Under the partnership, the Obamas will “develop, produce, and lend their voices to select podcasts,” Spotify said in the announcement, noting that “wide-ranging topics” will be covered. The company did not specify what those might be. The first podcasts from Higher Ground Audio are likely to debut in 2020 at the earliest. Higher Ground and Spotify said they would announce the specifics later

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"We’ve always believed in the value of entertaining, thought-provoking conversation,” Barack Obama noted in a statement. “It helps us build connections with each other and open ourselves up to new ideas. We’re excited about Higher Ground Audio because podcasts offer an extraordinary opportunity to foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think, and, hopefully, bring us all a little closer together.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeEI3RjBNGl/?igshid=1xpz9wvlahw3i


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Michelle Obama said: “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to amplify voices that are too often ignored or silenced altogether, and through Spotify, we can share those stories with the world. Our hope is that through compelling, inspirational storytelling, Higher Ground Audio will not only produce engaging podcasts, but help people connect emotionally and open up their minds—and their hearts.”

https://instagram.com/michelleobama?igshid=1islsoh8x8ts0

This a great thing for the Obama’s & We are more then positive the world can’t wait to see what this podcast has in store.

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THE WORD | RIHANNA BECOMES RICHEST FEMALE MUSICIAN WITH $600 MILLION FORTUNE

According to Forbes, Rihanna is now the wealthiest female musician in the world, ahead of the likes of Madonna ($570 million), Céline Dion ($450 million) and Beyoncé ($400 million).

Most of that comes not from music but from her partnership with LVMH, the French luxury goods giant run by billionaire Bernard Arnault. Rihanna (pronounced "Ri-ann-ah," not "Ri-ah-nah," as she recently clarified) and LVMH co-own the makeup brand Fenty Beauty. Fenty launched in September 2017, it racked up a reported $100 million in sales in its first few weeks. 11 of the 80 women on Forbes' list of the Richest Self-Made Women made their money in beauty or skin care products.

THE WORD | Philadelphia Court Grants Meek Mill New Hearing In 2008 Case

Meek Mill and his fight against the Philadelphia court system and Judge Genece Brinkley has took a turn for the best. The Philadelphia rapper will reportedly now get an opportunity to fight his 2008 conviction on gun and drug charges.

After fighting for years, trying to get an appeal, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has granted his request with a hearing set for July 16. Meek Mill is questioning the credibility of officer Reginald Graham after he was featured in a list of cops that have been involved in corrupt behavior.

He has previously been on probation for the conviction, and then sentenced to two-to-four years in prison after Judge Brinkley ruled that he violated probation for popping a wheelie in New York City.



THE WORD | JAY Z IS HIP-HOP'S FIRST BILLIONAIRE

“It’s bigger than hip-hop … it’s the blueprint for our culture," Swizz Beatz says in the article. "A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us. If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be. Because he’s only just starting.”

Jay-Z has officially become hip hop's FIRST billionaire! Forbes breaks down the report which comes through investments in liquor, art, real estate, and multiple investments such as Uber.


FORBES BREAKSDOWN HOV’s FORTUNE

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Jay-Z has used his music to shill the $300 gold bottles of the "Ace of Spades" champagne since launching the brand with the 2006 video “Show Me What You Got." More recently, his verse on Meek Mill’s “What’s Free" put a half-billion-dollar value on the wine, which seems like a bit too bubbly a number.

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A vast investing portfolio includes a stake in Uber worth an estimated $70 million. He reportedly purchased his piece for $2 million back in 2013—and then wired founder Travis Kalanick another $5 million in an attempt to increase his holdings, but was rebuffed

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Jay-Z’s cognac, a joint venture with beverage giant Bacardi, moves almost 200,000 cases and has grown nearly 80% annually. “Jay-Z resonates with consumers who are attracted to the ultra-premium lifestyle," says Eric Schmidt, Beverage Marketing Corp.’s Director of Alcohol Research.

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This wide-ranging entertainment company started over a decade ago as part of a joint venture with concert giant Live Nation. Roc Nation represents some of the top stars in the entertainment through its sports agency (Kevin Durant, Todd Gurley) as well as its record label and artist-management arms (Rihanna, J. Cole).

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Before the beginning of his stint as Def Jam’s chief in 2004, Jay-Z negotiatedthe eventual return of his master recordings from the aforementioned label that helped launch his career; in a separate deal with EMI, he clawed back his publishing rights. Wise move: his hits now clock close to 1 billion streams annually.

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After welcoming twins in 2017, Jay-Z and Beyoncé bought a pair of homes to match: a $26 million East Hampton mansion and a $88 million Bel Air estate. Jay-Z also owns a Tribeca penthouse, snagged for $6.85 million in 2004.

Art collection

$70 million

In the song "Picasso Baby," Jay-Z boasted about a “Basquiat in my kitchen corner." He probably wasn't kidding. For over a decade, he’s been scooping up masterpieces like Basquiat's “Mecca,” purchased in 2013 for a reported $4.5 million. "He's rapped about it all in detail," says Fab 5 Freddy, a contemporary and friend of the late painter. "Jay-Z helped educate millions of hip-hop fans mentioning Jean-Michel."

Tidal

$100 million

In 2015, Jay-Z submitted a bid to purchase the Scandinavian streaming service’s parent company for just shy of $60 million. He relaunched Tidal later that year with a roster of celebrity investors including his wife, Beyoncé, and other music luminaries, from Kanye West to Calvin Harris.

 

THE WORD | Lil Durk Is Facing 5 Felony Charges, including Criminal Intent To Commit Murder

On May 29,2019, Lil Durk revealed that he planned to turn himself in, which implied that he was expecting to be arrested by police. According to TMZ the Atlanta Police Department has issued a warrant for the Chicago rapper's arrest.

TMZ says the authorities plan to charge Durk with criminal intent to commit murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and associating with a criminal street gang to participate in a crime. At press time, Durk is not in police custody. WSB-TV Channel 2’s Michael Seiden talked with Durk Derrick Banks’ attorney, who confirmed his client will surrender later Today (May 30).

Lil Durk’s attorney said the charges are in connection with a shooting outside The Varsity a few days after the Super Bowl.

THE WORD | NO BOND FOR KODAK BLACK ON WEAPONS CHARGES

A federal judge ruled rapper Kodak Black be held in jail without bond following his arrest on weapons charges which prevented him from performing at the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival. Federal prosecutors went to court Wednesday to appeal a judge’s decision to release the 21-year-old Pompano Beach native on $550,000 bond.

According to CBS Miami U.S. District Court, Judge Federico Moreno said the rapper was a “danger to the community” based on his lengthy criminal record and should be detained until trial and set an August trial date.

Authorities are investigating three shootings in the Miami area with possible connections to the festival. They say one weapon purchased by Black was found at the scene of a shooting in nearby Pompano Beach.

THE WORD | Ciara Accepted to Harvard Business School

R&B star Ciara took instagram yesterday to announce that she is going to attend Harvard Business School. The Harvard BEMS program will teach Ciara to "develop and execute more effective business strategies," "debate and analyze the business and technology trends that are redefining the industry," and "learn how to launch and manage creative products and portfolios more strategically." 

This is very important for Ciara to attain these skills as she launch  her own record and entertainment company, Beauty Marks Entertainment, as well as her production company Why Not You Productions with husband Russell Wilson last month. The latter focuses on backing film, television, and digital content projects that tell "inspiring and aspiring narratives and human interest stories."

THE WORD| Jason Mitchell Dropped From ‘The Chi’ Season 3, Netflix Film

Rising actor, Jason Mitchell, who received his break out role as Eazy-E in 2015 Straight Outta Compton film has recently been dropped by both his agency, UTA, and management company, Authentic Talent & Literacy Management, in what appears to be “allegations of inappropriate behavior”, as phrased by Deadline. The specifics of the accusations like who and what are unclear to the media, it appears that this isn’t the first issue with his behavior. The Chi co-star Tiffany Boone has previously addressed her concerns with the actor which were later resolved. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Boone previously had difficulty filming with Mitchell. It’s said that Boone felt unsafe working with Mitchell and her efforts to continue working with him have gone so far as to having her fiancé, Dear White People actor Marque Richardson, come to set on several occasions. Ultimately, Boone informed the Fox 21 producers that she could no longer work with him. Aside from Boone, several other actresses from the show came forward with grievances about Mitchell. 

The source also added that along with companies UTA and Authentic terminating him, Mitchell has also been released from an upcoming Netflix film, Desperados, which he was already casted but is now replaced by actor Lamorne Morris. Along with the upcoming film he’s reportedly being released from Lena Waithe’s “The Chi” after they’ve been renewed for a third season. The show commented stating that he’d continue no longer than the current season. It’s unclear as to how, the show will move forward with Mitchell’s character, Brandon, considering he plays a vital role to the shows story line. 

THE WORD | Magic Explains Why He Resigned from the lakers

Earlier this year, Magic Johnson stepped down from his position as the president of the Los Angeles Lakers. Now he is finally providing the world with an explanation to why he resigned. During an interview with ESPN’s “First Take” he talked about his tenure as an executive for the NBA team, divulging details about what happened behind closed doors. He specifically talked about his relationship with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, who he said betrayed him.

“So I started getting calls from my friends outside of basketball, saying those things now were said to them, outside of basketball now, just not in the Lakers office anymore,” Johnson continued. “If you are going to talk betrayal, it's only with Rob.”

Things really heated up when he wasn’t allowed to fire Luke Walton , and hire his own Head Coach. He said his decision was thwarted by Lakers COO Tim Harris. Thats when he noticed he wasn’t in full control of Basketball operations to make final decisions.

“The straw that broke the camel's back was I wanted to fire Luke Walton,” Johnson said. “I got things happening that were being said behind my back. I don't have the power I thought I had to make decisions. And I told them, when it is not fun for me, when I think I don't have the decision-making power I thought I had, I got to step aside.”


THE WORD | Billionaire Robert F. Smith pledges to pay off Morehouse College Class of 2019′s student loans

Billionaire investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith had a special announcement during his commencement speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta on May 19. The gift is estimated to be worth $40 million. Smith received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse today and was the class' commencement speaker.

“This is my class and I know my class will pay this forward,” Smith said in his remarks.

Smith is the founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners and is considered one of the wealthiest Black entrepreneurs today. His company, which has an estimated $14 billion in capital, was listed as No. 1 on Black Enterprise’s annual list of the most successful black-owned companies. He’s also made Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, and in 2017 was named by Forbes as one of the 100 greatest living business minds.

THE WORD | Arnold Schwarzenegger Responds after being attacked at South Africa event

Arnold Schwarzenegger was attacked on Saturday in South Africa during the fourth annual Arnold Classic Africa competition.

The actor and former governor of California, was speaking with fans and signing autographs at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg when a man leaped in the air and kicked the actor in the back. According to a statement put out by the event, Schwarzenegger will not be pressing charges.

THE WORD | "'I Can't Skip My Brother And Sister'" - Halle Berry

THE WORD | Trey Songz Is a Father, His fans reactions are priceless

Trey Songz confirmed that he has welcomed a baby boy named Noah, sharing a photo of the infant and captioning it, “My son Noah. We are blessed and overjoyed. Peace .” Songz, did not reveal the identity of the child’s mother.

Songz caught fans off guard Thursday when he cryptically shared a close-up of a baby’s foot on Instagram, captioning it with a blue heart emoji and no other explanation. See below for their reaction.

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THE WORD | Pregnant Chicago woman found dead; baby found alive but in grave condition

A body was discovered just after midnight Tuesday in a trash bin behind a home on the 4100 block of West 77th Place. The Cook County medical examiner's office identified the body on Wednesday as that of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopezi. She was nine months pregnant when she went missing on April 23, and there are now indications that was the day she was killed.

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Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was strangled, authorities said. Police said her baby, who was in grave condition, had been "forcibly removed" from her mother's body. The newborn was found when paramedics responded to a call of a baby in distress April 23, the day Marlen Ochoa-Lopez went missing after arranging to pick up baby clothes from someone she met in a Facebook group, a Chicago fire spokesman said, according to NBC Chicago.

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was nine months pregnant when she went missing after she was last seen leaving the Latino Youth High School were she was enrolled. She had arranged to pick up baby clothes on the day she disappeared, plans she had made through a Facebook group called "Help A Sista Out."

Ochoa was supposed to pick up her 3-year-old son from day care later that afternoon, but she never showed up, her family said. Four people remain in custody in connection to the murder.

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THE WORD | Michael Rapaport Hates on Maverick Carter's USC Commencement Speech

On Friday May 12, Maverick Carter gave the commencement address at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and welcomed the more than 900 graduates to the real world.

Carter used a blend of personal anecdotes, learned advice, and inspirational material to encourage the new grads to aim beyond the safe, low-risk career path and always bet big on themselves. The lessons he imparted came from his experiences of working with LeBron James, but also growing up around his grandmother’s basement casino. Between the two, Carter said he learned how to measure risk versus reward, instantaneously calculating each decision based on upside and downside, and being prepared to take a risk.

Michael Rapaport took to Twitter to chime in with his own thoughts, basically saying he didn’t approve.

Rapaport posted a portion of Carter’s speech along with the tweet: “Ok GRADUATES, this year’s USC Commencement Speaker... LeBron James best friend. GTFOH.” Needless to say, members of LeBron’s team saw the tweet and chime in with their own thoughts. Jimmy Spencer—VP of Uninterrupted retweeted Rapaport and said “This the same Rapaport who’s been trying to work with us?” This prompted LeBron James to respond with a bunch of laughing emojis. Take a look above.