Music

THE WORD | Fans reacts to The Weeknds New Look

The Weeknd debuted a new look on Monday night at the Toronto Film Festival—and you almost couldn’t tell it was him. The Toronto native was there for the premiere of Adam Sandler’s film Uncut Gems, where Abel makes his feature film debut.

Read some of the best reactions to Abel’s makeover below.

THE WORD | Kanye West is hosting Sunday Service in Chicago

Kanye West is bringing his Sunday Service to Chicago.

The "Brothers" rapper is set to host the event at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on Sunday (September 8) at 9:00 a.m CT. 

The service, which will be about communicating messages of positivity and peace to Chicago’s youth, is free and will be open to the public. However, tickets are required. You can get them HERE! (If they are not old out)

If you're unable to attend the Sunday Service, it will also be Live streamed:

STREAM IT LIVE

Chicago radio stations such as Power 92.3 and WGCI will be broadcasting live as well as doing giveaways. Say stay locked in to get your tickets.


Fans are already auctioning off tickets online:



THE WORD | Roc Nation, NFL to Donate $400,000 to Chicago Charities

The NFL and Roc Nation will donate $400,000 to the Better Boys Foundation Family Services and Crusher's Club. Accordingly to TMZ the two organizations were hand picked by JAY-Z's Roc Nation. Meek Mill and Megan Trainor will visit Crusher's Club, whose mission is to help Chicago youth “restore their lives and improve their neighborhoods.” Appearance from Rapsody and Vic Mensa as well.

The Chicago organizations will set the blueprint for how Roc Nation, the NFL, and the Players Coalition aim to Inspire Change across each NFL city.

A free concert is taking place today , September 5th in the city’s Grant Park that will feature Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor and Rapsody; it is the first in the “Songs of the Season” concert series that was announced last month at a press conference held by Jay-Z and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing the partnership.

According to the source said that this event will be the first in a planned Inspire Change series that will make similar donations in each NFL city. Songs of the Season is a season-long initiative in which selected musicians will create and deliver a song to be integrated in all NFL promotions each month. The songs will debut during an in-game broadcast and will be simultaneously released to all digital streaming platforms worldwide. All proceeds from the songs will go toward Inspire Change.

Check out some pictures and dope moments of Meek Mill and Rapsody Performing at the NFL kick off in grant park.

THE WORD | Nigerian Artists Are Boycotting South Africa Because Of Deadly Violence Against Foreigners

Some of Nigeria’s biggest artists are taking a stand against a recent spate of xenophobic attacks in South Africa by condemning the violence and, in some cases, boycotting the country by refusing to perform there.

At least seven people have been killed in recent anti-African immigrant violence, including two yet-to-be-identified bodies that were found burned inside of shops that had been looted.

The Nigerian government called the attacks unacceptable and vowed to take “definitive measures” in order to protect its citizens.

But Nigerians also started looting South African–owned businesses in Nigeria yesterday, forcing companies like Shoprite and MTN to temporarily shut down.

In a post on Twitter, Wizkid, one of Africa’s most popular musicians, urged South Africans to see other Africans as one, adding that are fighting the wrong war.

Following the end of apartheid in 1994, South African businesses sought for professionals to immigrate and a large number of Nigerians did so. It is estimated that there were 24,000 Nigerians living in South Africa in 2011.

THE WORD | Meek Mill's criminal case is officially closed.

After a years-long fight, a Philly judge this am let Mill plead guilty to one gun charge with no further penalty. The Philly DA office dropped all other charges against him, the final step in overturning his 2008 conviction.

Prosecutors and Meek Mill have negotiated a deal to drop the charges against him in a 2007 case that’s kept him under court supervision for more than a decade. Mill pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge and prosecutors dropped all other charges against him.

A judge accepted Mill’s guilty plea on Tuesday morning.

“I know this has been a long road for you and hopefully this will be the end of it,” Judge Leon Tucker told the rapper.

On July 24, just hours before the Pennsylvania Superior Court threw out his conviction, Mill and Jay-Z announced they were launching a new label called Dream Chasers Records. His growing business empire also includes an ownership stake in the hat company Lids.

THE WORD | DEATH ROW RECORDS FOUNDER TO BE RELEASE AFTER SELL OF COMPANY

Toy company Hasbro purchases Death Row Records. The toy company is known for all your favorite games like Easy Bake Ovens ,Operation, Monopoly, Power Rangers and more. The record label was brought in conjunction of another label for $4.1 billion dollars. This comes after Row was purchased by Entertainment On record label in 2013 for $280 million.

Now I know we’re all thinking like why would a toy company who caters to children take in a gangster rap label. However, the label came with buying another record label. As aforementioned the Entertainment One label brought Death Row Records and when Entertainment One was brought Row went with it. But that isn’t the only weird thing. One of the co-founder of Death Row Record label is about to be release from prison.

And we mean soon soon. His name is Michael O’Harris and according to Hot New Hip Hop he’s getting out like this month soon! Now we don’t know what this means but we heard he was a drug kingpin. Also, he went to jail for attempted murder. So we’re hoping he’s cool with the sale.

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THE WORD | ATLANTIC RECORDS DROPS A 6 FIGURE DONATION TO NIPSEY HUSSEL FOUNDATION

I don’t think none of us are really over the passing of Nipsey Hussel. The falling rapper was killed in front of his store earlier this year. However, in 2017 the rapper began a partnership deal with Atlantic Records and his label, All Money In signing a multi-album deal. During the announcement of the deal the CEO and COO said “Nipsey is not only an extraordinary MC, but a true visionary and innovative entrepreneur. Over the past seven years, he has built an incredible brand that reflects his independent, non-traditional approach to what it means to be a creative artist in the modern music marketplace. We are thrilled and honored that he has chosen Atlantic as his label home.”

So it comes to no surprise that it reported the record label just dropped a six figure amount into the account of the Neighborhood Nip Foundation. The exact amount hasn’t been release however there is proof the good deed is legit.

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THE WORD | Bryan Michael Cox Claims Jay-Z Told Jermaine Dupri to Turn Down a Similar NFL Deal

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Hip Hop Icon Jay-Z has been all over the news recently after holding a press conference with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing a multi-year partnership with the professional sports league, in which the 49-year-old rapper will consult on the halftime show and work with the league’s activism campaign, Inspire Change.
The controversy around the business move is not only centered around the NFL’s problematic relationship with its players of color, but also JAY Z’s own public statements damning the organization, even declining an invite to perform at the Super Bowl. 

“I said no to the Superbowl, you need me, I don't need you
Every night we in the endzone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too” Jayz. The Carters APESHIT

Shortly after the news initially broke, Grammy award-winning songwriter/producer Bryan Michael Cox – credited with some of the biggest R&B hits of the last 20 years (Mariah Carey, Usher, Mary J. Blige) revealed that his longtime friend and fellow Urban hitmaker Jermaine Dupri was offered a deal similar to Hov’s by the NFL a year ago.

Cox says Jay personally contacted JD and told him to decline the very deal (to co-produce the Super Bowl) he’s now signed.  View Cox’s remarks below and let us know what you think.

SKIP TO THE 14:35 MARK TO HEAR COX’S REMARKS:

THE WORD | Big Sean Gifts $100K Recording Studio To Detroit Boys & Girls Club

Big Sean's latest Detroit investment was already humming with action Saturday, as eager neighborhood kids filled his new production studio on the city's west side.

“Detroit is such a musical city, soulful city,” he said. “And there are so many kids that have the talent but just don’t have to resources to record.” Big Sean, according to the Detroit press

Big Sean made the donation during his second annual DON (Detroit’s On Now) Weekend.

The rapper's $100,000 facility at the Dick & Sandy Dauch Boys & Girls Club had them donning headphones, manning audio workstations, tinkering with DJ controllers, and running the lighting gear on a small performance stage. Big Sean looked on smiling as young singers and dancers covered songs by Lizzo and others.

Funded by his Sean Anderson Foundation, the remodeled space follows a fully equipped recording studio he opened at his alma mater Cass Tech in 2015.

“The west side of Detroit is my old neighborhood," he said Saturday, an afternoon full of selfies and hugs with young fans as he unveiled the facility. "It’s a full-circle moment when your neighborhood supports you and holds you high, and you’re in a position to be able to hold it up in your own way and take it further.”


THE WORD | JAY-Z and Roc Nation has inked a deal with the N.F.L.

Just a year ago, on the “Apes- - -” single, Jay-Z said, “I said no to the Super Bowl/You need me/I don’t need you.”Turns out, he might be right about the league needing him.

The NFL is forming a partnership with HipHop mogul Jay-Z. This deal will put him in charge of managing some entertainment options for the league and will tie into the sport’s social justice endeavors.

The partnership will make Roc Nation a co-producer of the Super Bowl halftime show, but does not contain a provision for him to be the halftime performer.

“He was very quick to say that he does not want this to be about him performing, that it was broader than that,” Goodell said in an interview. “It quickly went beyond that. Do I hope he’ll perform in the Super Bowl sometime in the next several years? Yes. But I think we’ll all know if that time comes. He’ll know in particular.” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

Jay Z believes that Roc Nation will have the freedom under the partnership to produce the kind of entertainment that it wants. In a quote from the Washington Post he said the following

“I think we have autonomy,” Carter said. “I anticipate that there will be a lot of — with any big organization, in this building right here we have internal problems. Anything that’s new is going to go through its growing pains. We put what we want to do on the table. The NFL agreed to it. So we’re gonna proceed with that as if we have a partnership.”

In terms of the activism portion of the agreement, it will be tied to the league’s current “Inspire Change” program announced in January. That initiative, which works with the Players Coalition, focuses on education and economic advancement, police and community relations and criminal justice reform.

THE WORD | OVO CHICAGO IS NOW OPEN

Drake’s OVO brand took to Instagram to announce that they will be opening a store in Chicago this weekend. The OVO Chicago store will opened Saturday, August 10 and it featured merchandised with the traditional OVOOG owl.

Owners of October’s Very Own, or OVO, include Aubrey Drake Graham, the rapper known simply as Drake; the musician’s manager and business partner, Oliver El-Khatib; and producer Noah James “40” Shebib.

OVO has two stores in Toronto, where Drake is from. Other stores are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver.

OVO Chicago Location
9 W Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610

A big question some people are asking how did Drake get a store in Chicago before Kanye?


THE WORD | A$AP ROCKY CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL ASSAULT, WILL REMAIN IN SWEDISH JAIL

A$AP Rocky has been charged with assault after a confrontation in Stockholm in June, prosecutors said.

Swedish public prosecutor Daniel Suneson claims A$AP Rocky and two other men assaulted the victim by kicking and beating him with a whole or part of a glass bottle, according to court documents seen by CNN.

All three have been charged for their involvement in the brawl and will remain in custody until the trial, which will begin on Tuesday.

"It is worth noting that I have had access to a greater amount of material than that which has previously been available on the internet. In addition to video material, the injured party's statements have been supported by witness statements," Suneson said.

The prosecutor is relying on cell phone videos, surveillance video from the Grand Hotel and a burger restaurant, text messages from A$AP Rocky's body guard where he talks about the assault and where they say they've recorded it and texts from the assistant's phone.

Footage posted by TMZ and others posted by A$AP Rocky of the brawl have been at the heart of the investigation.

A panel of 4 judges will hear the case, and at least 3 of them must decide an assault was committed for a conviction. If it's a tie, the prosecutor can ask for a new trial. If Rocky is convicted, a judge will decide the sentence a week later.

THE WORD | Noname’s book club

Rapper Noname has started her own book club! The Chicago native, known for her sophisticated lyrics, knowledge of black culture, and overall intelligence and style has formed an overnight club that viewers are eagerly joining. The club started as a subtle idea on Twitter, after she posted book recommendations online and simply asked, “retweet if you’d be a member of Noname’s book club?”

After posting the tweet last week it’s since received over 10,000 likes and retweets. Since then Noname has taken quick initiative to kickstart the club, create a site, and give the list of reading material for the month of August. The book club is something close to her heart, as she posted that her mother was the first black woman to own a bookstore in Chicago. She went on to state “noname books will honor that legacy.”

The rapper is still forming the club and elevating it so that individuals can meet in person to talk about the books, but for now pick your selection and get to reading! Chicago what do you think? Will you join? 

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THE WORD | Meek Mill is now officially off probation after 11 years. Annouces new partnership with Jay z

Today Meek Mill scored a major victory in court when he was granted a new trial in his 2008 case which has dragged on for 11 years now.

A panel of judges handed down their decision Wednesday in Pennsylvania Superior Court -- saying Meek does in fact deserve a new trial, with a new jury and most importantly a new judge who ISN'T Judge Genece Brinkley... who many believe had it out for Meek.

Today has been a blessed day for the Philly rapper, he also announced his new joint venture with his mentor Jay Z. His Dreamchasers Records has entered a joint venture with RocNation.

THE WORD | Jennifer Hudson Headlines Gala That Raises $1.1 Million For Music Education At Ravinia

Nearly 800 guests attended the black tie gala (attire was optional ) hosted by Ravinia's Women's Board which preceeded the Ravina Festival concert. The event was held to support the festival and its Reach Teach Play education programs grossed more than $1.1 million, making it one of the most successful in the 53-year history of the event. 

Chicago's own Oscar- and Grammy- winning Jennifer Hudson made her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut, headlining the concert.

"There was a raw excitement when Ravinia first introduced Jennifer Hudson to our audiences in 2011, and for tonight's gala we welcomed back a masterful artist in full control of her adoring audience and her phenomenal talents," said Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman of Highland Park, who booked this gala and all Ravinia concerts. "As she said onstage, Jennifer often comes to Ravinia as an audience member to watch our headliners perform, and it's that love of music that makes her connect so beautifully with an audience. This was an event people will be talking about for years." Via broadwayworld.com

According to broadwayworld.com It was Ravinia's Women's Board that initiated Ravinia's education programs more than four decades ago, and the all-volunteer board remains the largest supporter of Reach Teach Play, which now serves more than 85,000 people each year. 

THE WORD | Kanye West Managed To Get Out Of $53 million In Debt In 3 Years

On Tuesday (July 9), Forbes unveiled their latest cover featuring Kanye West, who they estimated made $150 million over the past 12 months (his team insisted "the number is even higher"), making him the third highest-paid entertainer over the last year. 

This is a huge accomplishment for the Chicago kid, especially when you weigh in the fact that just three years ago Kanye claimed to be in $53 million in debt...So, how'd he do it? According to Forbes, Kanye's fortune can greatly be attributed to his Yeezy brand and partnership with Adidas.

"I'm just blessed through the grace of God to go from tweeting at Mark Zuckerberg" to ask for money, he said, to where he is today.

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Back in August, The Blast reported that Ye was just shy of joining the billionaire club, claiming that Kanye's Yeezy brand had just reached a valuation of nearly $1.5 billion. The site cited the fact that Kanye was a majority stakeholder of the fashion label as further proof he was right at the line of being considered a billionaire. 

While Forbes reported that Ye still hasn't earned the billionaire title just yet, the mag added "the never-modest" Mr. West would certainly "claim he’s there already. And then some."

THE WORD | BLACK TWITTER IS NOT IN FAVOR OF THIS FREE ASAP ROCKY PETITION. THEY CAN'T "RELATE' TO IT.

Rapper ASAP Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) is currently sitting in a Swedish jail after he was involved in a street brawl in Stockholm earlier this month. Now, his celeb friends are boycotting, signing petitions, and calling out injustice in his defense. They allege he has been denied the right to fair representation and that he's being held in "inhumane conditions." He filed an appeal on Monday (July 8th), but it was denied, so the Swedish court ordered him to spend two weeks in pre-trial detention while police investigate the incident.

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People haven't forgot about the time he turned a blind eye to racial injustices a few years ago. In 2015, ASAP made some comments about Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement that rubbed people the WRONG way. The Harlem took twitter to defend his comments in a series of now deleted tweets.

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Black Twitter didn’t think his “apology” was sincere enough. The Bad Girl of Blogging Diamond Dosage sparked a conversation via twitter that got people talking, and the rest of black twitter chimed in as well.

MORE FROM BLACK TWITTER:




THE WORD | DJ Mustard is now just Mustard, and is clear of record label debt

DJ Mustard is no more. As of this month, the producer is going by “Mustard.” Along with his name he dropped all of his debt. The hit making heavy weight has reportedly sold half of his catalog and bought himself out of every contract he was bound to. Now signed only to himself, it's safe to say we can expect a lot more hits. This is great business move and a model for young artist coming in the music industry. When signing record deals in he beginning of your career you sign over things such as name likeness to the record companies. Artist such as Prince has fought this battle to own his name and modern rapper like Jeezy is another example. Converting his name from Young Jeezy to Jeezy.

THE WORD | Halle Bailey will play Ariel in the live-action ‘The Little Mermaid’

Singer-actress #HalleBailey will be part of #Disney 's world.

Bailey, who with her sister forms R*B duo Chloe and Halle , has nabbed the starring role in Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and will play the role of Ariel, the rebellious daughter of King Triton who longs to live on dry land.

“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” director Rob Marshall said in a statement.

Bailey is joining a cast that includes Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina, while Melissa McCarthy is in talks to play Ursula.

The animated “Little Mermaid” is widely acknowledged as the movie that helped kick off the Disney Renaissance. Other films from that era that have already been adapted into live-action films include “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and the upcoming “The Lion King.”


THE WORD | Dreezy Joins PUMA As Newest Ambassador For Classic Summer Kicks

“PUMA has been a stamp for stylish and comfortable clothes since I can remember. You are what you wear, and PUMA is clean and respected.”

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The Chicago rapper Dreezy made her debut with PUMA in the brand’s latest CALI Bold campaign, Monday (June 17). The footwear apparel giant hand-picked the hip-hop star as its vibrant new face not just because of her incredible fashion sense, but as a means to further incorporate music with fashion and sports—a hybrid culture PUMA prides itself on fostering more and more today.