href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 19, 2022Paul Archuleta / Sean Zanni, Getty Images (2)

Chris Brown appears to be offering congratulations to A$AP Rocky and Rihanna on their newborn baby.

On Thursday (May 19), a short time after news broke that A$AP Rocky and Rihanna's child had been born, Chris Breezy put up a post on his Instagram Story that seemingly shows him sending well wishes to the happy couple.

"Congratulations," the post reads, along with a heart, praying hands and pregnant person emoji.

Chris Brown congratulates RihannaChrisBrownOfficial via Instagramloading…

Naturally, the post drew mixed reactions on social media, considering Chris Brown's infamous past with Rihanna. The two entertainers dated in the late 2000s. However, the relationship ended when Chris assaulted Rihanna in 2009. He received five years of probation for the crime.

"Chris brown I get it but you gotta let it go brova 😭😭😭😭😭😭," one person reacted to Chris' post on Twitter.

"And BREEZY congratulated Rihanna. Really sweet and mature @chrisbrown," someone else posted.

"The problem with Chris Brown 'congratulating' Rih is that he’s NEVER shown that energy with his own children’s mothers," another person added.

This isn't the first time Chris Brown has reached out to Rihanna on social media. In 2019, he jumped into the comment section of one of her Instagram posts, called her a queen and inquired about her new album.

News broke of the birth of Rihanna and A$AP Rocky's child today, but according to TMZ, the baby was born on May 13 in Los Angeles. The couple reportedly welcomed a baby boy. The name of the child has not been revealed.

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna came out officially as a couple in November 2022. They revealed RiRi was with child back in January, when the pop star showed off her baby bump. This is both A$AP Rocky and Rihanna's first child.

See more reactions to Chris Brown congratulating A$AP Rocky and Rihanna below.

See 10 of the Shortest Beefs in Hip-HopBeefs within rap that ended quickly.Filed Under: A$AP Rocky, Chris Brown, RihannaCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 19, 2022Sean Zanni, Getty Images

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna are officially parents.

This afternoon (May 19), TMZ revealed that Rihanna had given birth to her and Rocky's first child—and it's a boy. The gossip outlet claimed their sources say the singer gave birth last Friday, May 13 in Los Angeles. It remains unknown, however, what the child's name is.

It was confirmed A$AP Rocky and Rihanna were dating back in November of 2020, after months of speculation. During a GQ magazine interview the following year, the Harlem, N.Y. rapper called the singer "the one."

“So much better when you got the one," A$AP Rocky told the publication. "She amounts to probably, like, a million of the other ones.” He added, "I think when you know, you know. She's the one."

In January, Rocky and Rihanna revealed they were expecting their first child together by showing off Rih Rih's baby bump in a photoshoot, which caused Drake memes to run rampant on social media. False breakup rumors surfaced in April, which the couple didn't even bother with taking the time to address. In A$AP Rocky's new video for the track "D.M.P.," the rapper proposes to Rihanna. However, the music video proposal was confirmed not to be the real thing.

The newborn comes during a trying time in the couple's lives. Last month, A$AP Rocky was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon in connection to a shooting that took place in Los Angeles on Nov. 6, 2021. Police say the rapper pulled out a gun and shot a man following an argument. Rocky's next court date in the case in scheduled for Aug. 17.

See Rappers Who Have A Lot of KidsFiled Under: A$AP Rocky, RihannaCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/kathy/” rel=”author”>Kathy IandoliPublished: May 19, 2022Daniel Prakopcyk

Show & Prove: SSGKobe
Words: Kathy Iandoli
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Louisiana is known for its rich, soulful roots, as well as reinventing the paradigm for music, which is exactly what SSGKobe is bringing to the rap landscape. The 18-year-old rhyme slinger was raised just two hours outside New Orleans in Centerville, La., and has blown up with his diverse blend of melodic hip-hop. His buzzing track “Thrax” became a TikTok darling at the start of 2021, propelling the song to crack the 5 million mark on YouTube alone. Now, the track is at 24 million Spotify streams. He followed with the intoxicating “Calabasas” featuring $not last March, armed with a video directed by Cole Bennett of Lyrical Lemonade that broke Kobe’s previous record with over 6 million YouTube views. The song also has nearly 18 million Spotify streams. The rapper’s brand of flipping harmonies with rhythmic rapping has become his trademark, and he’s just getting started on his road to stardom. “There are a lot of big changes going on in my life right now,” the young artist explains. “I’m taking it day by day."

Growing up, SSGKobe, born Tyreek Solomon Pellerin, balanced his time between living with his parents and grandmother, each influencing his musical palate with a variety of artists. “My grandma and my dad had me on Al Green, Percy Sledge, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, that type of R&B,” he explains. “With my mom, it was Teena Marie. She listened to a lot of dance and disco-type of stuff.” With two sisters and a brother, Kobe discovered rap on his own, gravitating toward artists like Chief Keef, Lil Wayne and Kevin Gates, while later listening to Juice Wrld and XXXTentacion as he got older. When it came to formulating his style, “I just combined everything,” Kobe adds. “Listening to different genres of music definitely helped with being able to write, change flows, sing, rap and mix it together.”

At age 13, Kobe formally started making music, recording his first song with his mother’s iPhone 6 and layering it with Auto-Tune through FL Studio. “My friends were making music at the time, uploading it to SoundCloud, and they were getting like thousands of plays,” he says of his beginnings. “And they were getting a lot of Instagram likes, and I was like, Man, I want to do this.”

With a razor-sharp focus, he kept going, on a constant mission for self-betterment. “My mindset was to try and get better with every song,” Kobe affirms. “That was my No. 1 goal: my next song should be way better than the song I just put up.”

His rap name comes from a nod to Dragon Ball Z. The SSG stands for “Super Saiyan God” and “Kobe” comes from his favorite basketball player, the late Kobe Bryant. At 14, the then-aspiring entertainer dropped his first project, 2018’s Rebirth, though a year later, he saw real traction with the release of “Wyd?,” which showcased his knack for storytelling amid woozy guitar-stringed production. “That song did the best out of any song I had ever done,” he recalls of the time. “It got on the SoundCloud charts, too!”

He watched the track’s numbers grow and utilized his friends’ respective fan bases to further promote his music. 2019 proved to be a busy year for the maverick. That fall, SSGKobe released Project X, a five-track effort featuring forthright gems like “Suicide,” showcasing vulnerability and range. By winter, the rhymer unveiled another five-track EP, M3.

Ssgkobe Archive [NTR] · Ssgkobe – Project X

Then a family vacation that same year proved to be serendipitous when Kobe decided to record a Triller video while he was on the trip. That clip was the one that helped catch the attention of influencer, DJ and Field Trip Recordings label founder Zack Bia, who reached out to Kobe and the two began working together in a creative partnership. Zack soon started promoting the rising rapper to his network of celebrities, even playing the artist’s songs during DJ sets. The buzz started growing as model Bella Hadid even vouched for Kobe by posting his track “Tired of Me” to her Instagram Stories in early 2021.

Last April, the rap ace dropped the EP KO., which Zack creatively worked with the newcomer on. A month later, Kobe became a Columbia Records artist. During that time, Zack was still sending Kobe’s music to connects like Cole Bennett. The result was Bennett directing some of Kobe’s visuals, including the explosive “MIA,” which includes an homage to The Nightmare Before Christmas and over 4 million YouTube views.

Kobe’s cosigns have only continued growing, as collaborations with artists like Lil Tecca (who produced “All Day”) and Lil Yachty (a collaborator on “FUK EM”) have broadened Kobe’s reach. The self-proclaimed Harry Potter fan’s style is somewhat reminiscent of the likes of the aforementioned Juice Wrld and XXXTentacion, but his versatility in genre-bending mixed with poignant bars are all his own. “I feel like one of the biggest things with him is that he has a way of saying things that can stick,” multiplatinum-selling, Grammy-nominated producer Charlie Heat says. Heat has produced a few of Kobe’s tracks, including “Escape Your Love” featuring Trippie Redd. “A lot of guys, especially now, are good at making vibes, they’re good at making cool things, but [Kobe] really has something to say and has life experiences to talk about.”

Heat, whose top-tier production credits include Kanye West and Lil Uzi Vert, among others, knows a diamond in the rough when he sees one. “I think I have a pretty good pulse for pointing out superstars, based on my track record,” Heat explains. “And I feel like when I think back on my career, [Kobe] is going to be at the top of the list of people they remember me for.”

Expect Kobe’s major label debut, U4EYA (pronounced Euphoria), to bring a graduated elevation to his music, as the first single “Don’t Miss,” released at the top of 2022, finds him leaning into his newfound fame over ZaySkillz’s ricocheting beat. Kobe has made it a point to carefully curate everything for the rollout, right down to the color scheme. “Right now, purple is the color for U4EYA,” he explains. “So, the video for ‘Escape Your Love’ is a continuation of ‘Don’t Miss,’ where it has the same kind of magic. We’re just building a story to get the people invested.” The LP arrives later this spring. 

SSGKobe’s story is just beginning. His unique vocal style and love for multidimensional beats will continue to set him apart from his peers, one track at a time. 

“I feel like this is the moment where it’s really about to all take off,” he expresses matter-of-factly. “I can feel it.” 

Read the cover story with Playboi Carti and check out the other interviews in the magazine with Fivio Foreign, Latto, DaBaby, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J, Joey Bada$$Denzel Curry, Hit-Boy, Big K.R.I.T.RZA, Saba, Morray, Kali, Sleepy Hallow, Nardo WickATL Jacob, Pink Sweat$, Saucy Santana, Jason Lee, Angie Randisi and Colby Turner in the new issue of XXL magazine, which is on newsstands now and in XXL's online shop.

See Playboi Carti’s XXL Magazine Spring 2022 Cover Story Exclusive PhotosFiled Under: Feature, SSGKobe, XXL MagazineCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/kemethigh/” rel=”author”>Kemet HighPublished: May 19, 2022Scott Legato / Cole Burston, Getty Images (2)

It’s hard for anything in music to be fully original, but sometimes, a shared sound between artists is far too identical. More often than not, rappers call out other rappers who jocked their sound in interviews, songs and social posts. Now, majority of the time, these moments are delivered in a good ol' fashion subliminal. But some rhymers have actually said it with their chests.

Remember Soulja Boy’s The Breakfast Club interview at the top of 2019? A nice handful of viral moments and memes were created throughout the hour-long convo, but the most remarkable was when the "Founding Father" said that Drake stole his sauce on Drizzy's 2010 hit "Miss Me." The reference point goes back to Souja's 2007 track "Wuzhannanan." “He copied my whole fucking flow,” Soulja proclaimed on the radio show.

That wasn’t the first time that Drizzy got questioned for rap robbery. Just a couple years prior, XXXTentacion accused the 6 God for style-swapping in 2017. The two songs in comparison were X’s multiplatinum-selling 2015 hit "Look At Me" and Drake’s More Life cut "KMT." XXX tweeted and deleted his frustrations out on Twitter. "I'm not the first nigga he bit, nor will i be the last, drake a pussy nigga money don't buy you respect," X wrote.

Elsewhere, Vince Staples wanted some respect put on his name for the artistry he put forth on his 2017 track, "Bagbak." In a tweet sent out one year later, Vince called out Valee for taking his flow on "Wamp Wamp." "We not even gonna talk about Bagbak second verse with the Valee wamp wamp flow everybody was stealing," he typed on the platform.

Rappers being accused of stealing another’s sound is a common thing in hip-hop. So with that fact on the table, XXL highlights seven instances where rappers barked about being bitten. At least so they say. Check out rappers who accused other rappers of stealing their sound.

  • Soulja Boy Airs out Drake for Thieving His Bars and Flow

    Before Drake became a hip-hop G.O.A.T., he had to do his due diligence of tossing records out until they stuck. One of those was Thank Me Later's “Miss Me”—a platinum-selling Lil Wayne collabo that went diamond in the streets upon its release in 2010. The song features plenty of quotables, most notably Drake’s line that goes, “I said, ‘Tell me what's really goin' on/Drizzy back up in this thing, I'm ready, what's hannenin'?” Well, it turns out that those lyrics were a re-wrap of what Soulja spit on “Wuzhannanan,” which dropped in 2007.

    Over a decade later, Soulja Boy went on The Breakfast Club and cleared the air. “Stop playing like I ain’t teach Drake everything he knows,” Soulja began. “He copied my whole fucking flow. Word for word, bar for bar.” Drizzy later responded in an Instagram DM that Soulja leaked himself. "You know it's always been love all jokes aside…,” he wrote in the message before addressing another claim and joking about the meme.

  • XXXTentacion Accuses Drake of Stealing His Flow

    Just months before XXXTentacion's SoundCloud classic "Look At Me" reached platinum certification in 2017, Drake dropped the official version of a previously teased record with Giggs called “KMT.” Drizzy's verse drew comparisons to the flow that X used in “Look At Me.” So, fans ran with that narrative and eventually, both artists addressed the matter. "It's crazy that people think that after all this time, after all I've been through, that I'm the type of person to go and take that and make it my own,” Drake said in an interview with DJ Semtex. “I'm not stupid, I'm not a shit person like that."

    X wasn’t hearing that though, at first. He went on Twitter afterwards and came for Drizzy’s neck, saying, "I'm not the first nigga he bit, nor will i be the last, drake a pussy nigga money don't buy you respect” amidst a series of other tweets Speaking exclusively with XXL, X explained more of his feelings on the Toronto rapper. "If Drake is gonna take the flow, and I don’t know if he legitimately did, but if that is the situation, at least reach out to a nigga, help a nigga out in this situation,” X said. “I’m going through a lot right now, so it would have been nice if before that happened to me, for Drake to have reached out to me personally."

  • Vince Staples Calls out Valee for Biting His Style

    Back in 2017, Vince Staples released “Bagbak,” a single for his sophomore album, Big Fish Theory. A year later, Valee released his gold-selling record “Wamp Wamp” with Jeremih. And in it, Vince seemingly thought that he heard one of his old flows utilized. On Twitter, Vince referenced the track directly and also claimed that Valee wasn’t the only one swiping. “We not even gonna talk about Bagbak second verse with the Valee wamp wamp flow everybody was stealing,” Vince tweeted before putting a positive ending on his statement. “That song came out before wamp wamp too shoutout the whole Chicago I love that song.” Valee didn't respond.

  • Bizzy Banks Calls out CJ for Stealing His Approach and Lingo

    The drill scene is constantly evolving nowadays and two of the people who caught the wave along the way are Bizzy Banks and CJ. Last year, before his incarceration, Bizzy called out his peer CJ for appropriating Bizzy's style. Bizzy’s 2020 track “Neo” has lyrics that include, “Can’t fuck with no bitch that’s basic/Look at my swag the drip is contagious/I call up grace the face is amazing.” And on CJ’s 2020 song “Hit Up,” there are similar lyrics that go, “Can’t fuck with no ho that’s basic, uh/I used to run up checks and really break it/I told that bitch just taste it, uh/Look at my face and tell me it’s amazing.”

    Frustrated, Bizzy went on Instagram and wrote, “That CJ nigga need to give me my credit no cap. Nigga jacking my lingo & flow and I’m tired of not getting the recognition I deserve.”

    CJ responded days later and included 22Gz, who questioned CJ’s gang ties. “I don't really like doing this because we all from the town, we all from New York, you know what I'm saying? But at the end of the day, them niggas mentioned my name first,” he said on Instagram live. “Them niggas could both suck my dick, respectfully.”

  • Teejayx6 Questions Lil Pump for Running Off With His Sauce

    Considering how his career was built with the association of scam rap, Teejayx6 is no stranger to fraud. But when it comes to his flow, it’s a different story. Dating back to 2020, Lil Pump released a song snippet on Instagram. Teejay peeped and responded to the video on Instagram writing, "Wow everybody tag @lilpump for stealing my flow." "Tell that nigga i need a song now with me & @kasherquon on it back from when he captioned dynamic duo," he added.

    Lil Pump, not being one to hold his tongue, seemingly responded of course. "Stealing who flow?! Nigga, I made this shit! Nigga, I run this shit,” Pump said in a video uploaded to social media. Pump didn’t say Teejay’s name directly, but given the recency of the post at the time, it can be confidently assumed that he was addressing the recent flare up around this particular situation.

  • Doe Boy Comes for Desiigner Over Future Sound Likeness

    With 2015’s “Panda,” Desiigner came into the rap game in a blaze of fire. The five-times platinum-selling record was a smash. Given its popularity, people noticed that the rising artist sounded a lot like Future, who was also going dummy at the time. Freebandz member Lil Donald dropped a diss track in 2016, in which he confronted Desiigner for riding the wave. And Doe Boy, another FBG seed, doubled down with a Twitter comment that read, “Fuck dat nigga we Fbg ova dis way #FreebandShooters” with an assortment of gun and explosion emojis.

    Later in 2017, in an interview with DJ Vlad, Doe Boy confirmed that he thought Desiigner was flow-jacking Pluto, but also admitted that he wasn’t hip to the details of the situation upon coming home from jail. Doe Boy pinned the media for stirring up the narrative. “Let me clear the situation up. It ain’t what I thought it was,” Doe Boy said. “I ain’t know what was really going on with the situation. I had to figure out before I knew I was wrong for doing that. Future don’t have no problem with him for real.”

  • Valee Thinks Tyler, The Creator, Nicki Minaj and 6ix9ine Used His Delivery

    In 2018, more people started to get hip to who Valee was and the artistry that he brought to the table. Around that time, a good amount of fans flocked in on social media and called out other rappers for stealing Valee’s swag. Fellow rapper Trippie Redd doubled down and cosigned the same claims on Instagram, stating, “Shout out to the boy Valee. I see everybody biting yo sound. How does it feel? This shit feel amazing, ‘cause you a fucking G.O.A.T.”

    Later that year, Valee spoke on the case in an interview with Mass Appeal. "I never get the time to get mad because I’m so happy that they didn’t do it right. Anybody that uses the flow, Tyler, the Creator, 6ix9ine, Nicki Minaj, no matter how big they are, it just makes me happy because you’re so big but you can’t do something right,” he said. The accused artists never responded to the matter.

See 10 of the Shortest Beefs in Hip-HopBeefs within rap that ended quickly.Filed Under: 6ix9ine, Bizzy Banks, CJ, Desiigner, Doe Boy, Drake, Feature, Future, Lil Pump, List, Nicki Minaj, Soulja Boy, Teejayx6, The List, Tyler The Creator, Valee, Vince Staples, XXXTentacionCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 19, 2022Johnny Nunez, Getty Images

It looks like Nick Cannon might be done having children.

On Wednesday (May 18), Cannon sat down for an interview with E! News' Daily Pop, where he talked about new music and fatherhood.

"I don't know if I would have designed it this way but it's one of those things," Cannon said of having several children with multiple women. "When you're blessed with the gift of children, as we all know I've been through so much, I find solace. I find peace in my children, and I find purpose."

While Nick loves his children, he admitted that it might be time to stop. He said he has already talked with a doctor about getting a vasectomy, a surgical procedure that renders a man sterile.

"I'm not out here looking [to have more]. I already went and got my vasectomy consultation," he shared.

Cannon continued: "I'm not out here looking to populate the Earth completely, but I’m definitely looking forward to taking care and loving all the children that I currently have."

The Wild 'N Out creator is currently expecting his eighth child with model Bri Tiesi. Cannon and Tiesi hosted a gender reveal party back in January, revealing she is pregnant with a boy. Cannon tragically lost his youngest son to brain cancer last December.

Last summer, during an interview on The Breakfast Club, Nick Cannon explained why he has so many children with different woman.

"That’s a Eurocentric concept when you think about the ideas…you’re supposed to have this one person for the rest of your life," Cannon said. "And really, that's just to classify property when you think about it. When you go into that mindset if we're really talking that talk. The idea that a man should have one woman? We shouldn’t have anything. I have no ownership over this person."

He added, "I think because I've been through so much in my life: physically, mentally and spiritually. The best place that I find is the time that I spend with my kids, and the energy and to get as much as that as possible. To pass on all that I've lived into something else. That's why I do it, man."

Nick Cannon is slated to release his new mixtape Raw N B: The Explicit Tape on May 20.

See the Biggest Discographies in Hip-HopFiled Under: Nick CannonCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 18, 2022Rony Alwin

Is this the end of the Migos?

On Wednesday (May 18), Twitter account @Kurrco noticed that Offset had unfollowed Quavo and Takeoff on Instagram. Generally seen as the millennial sign that a breakup of some sort is afoot, naturally, rumors began to circulate that the close-knit rappers are disbanding.

"Migos done finally split up lol damn," one person tweeted.

"Migos breaking up would be worse than the Beatles," another person typed.

"Rap is dying. thug arrested, migos may have split, keed died, wtf is goin on this week man," someone else added to the Twitter conversation.

The news of possible troubles within the Migos camp comes the same day that it was announced that Quavo and Takeoff will be dropping new music as a duo called Unc and Phew, a reference to their familial bond. The song is titled "Hotel Lobby." It is unclear if this played a role in any friction that may be occurring.

Previously, the trio seemed as close as any rap group, with all three members releasing solo albums and group projects, including their most recent LP, Culture III, in 2021. During a December 2018 interview with XXL, the trio talked about sticking together despite working separately.

“This shit is just showcase,” Offset said of the solo releases. “We just wanted to show the world that it can be done and you still be home team. But the group is for all the shit.”

“All of the great groups that we’ve seen have never let their group be what they could have been,” Quavo added. “Ain’t nothing gonna stop us but us and God. Everything else is in this water.”

XXL has reached out to the Migos' rep for comment.

See more reactions to speculation of a Migos split below.

See 10 of the Shortest Beefs in Hip-HopBeefs within rap that ended quickly.Filed Under: Migos, Offset, Quavo, TakeoffCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 18, 2022Bishop Nehru via Instagram

Bishop Nehru has released a controversial new video, which appears to show the rapper injecting heroin in the name of research.

On Tuesday (May 17), Nehru released the video for his latest single "Heroin Addiction." It features a title card disclaimer that reads, "On March 21, 2022, I decided to film myself trying HEROIN to note its short-term side effects. Here’s what happened… [please DO NOT try this at home.]"

In the visual, Bishop Nehru appears to be in a kitchen with a piece of aluminum foil lined with a powdery substance, a spoon and a needle. He goes on to light the spoon with the powder on it until it bubbles. He eventually injects the needle in his arm.

From there, we see Nehru appearing to suffer from the effects of the drug. Between shots of restless sleep, he vomits multiple times and looks very disoriented.

The YouTube description comes with another disclaimer: "DISCLAIMER: THIS VIDEO WAS MADE FOR ART PURPOSES SPECIFICALLY! WE AT THE NEHRUVIAN FAMILY DO NOT CONDONE OR PROMOTE THE USE OF HARD DRUGS, BUT WE SUPPORT & SPEAK FOR THOSE EFFECTED WHO MAY NOT HAVE A VOICE FOR THEMSELVES. IF YOU EVER NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO HIT ME IN THE DISCORD. THANK YOU."

The video has gotten mixed reviews. "@BishopNehru Crazy how after all the work u been putting in all these years, your fake heroin video was the one to get people talking," one person tweeted. "It goes to show what really gets peoples attention, don’t listen to hate bro, the video went over a lot of people’s heads."

Other people were not sold. "Bishop Nehru had assistance from Nas, MF DOOM, and Wu-Tang Clan and now he’s sticking in needles for clickbait. This is sad," another person commented.

As of now, it remains unclear what Nehru’s goal behind the video is. Obviously, it could be a commentary on addiction. But it could also be a case study on shock value and how people and the media flock to it.

The new single is in promotion of the new mixtape Bishop Nehru is dropping of the same name on Friday (May 27).

See Bishop Nehru's "Heroin Addiction" video below.

See 52 of the Most Controversial Hip-Hop Album Covers Since 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty As They Wanna BeWhich rapper has the most controversial album cover?Filed Under: bishop nehruCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 18, 2022Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Young Thug and his YSL associates are responsible for over 50 murders and instances of gun violence, according to the Fulton County, Ga. district attorney.

Last Friday (May 13), Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis spoke with local Atlanta news station WSB-TV about her office's investigation into the alleged violations of RICO laws by Young Thung, Gunna and 26 other YSL affiliates. The indictment reportedly includes allegations of three murders and dozens more violent crimes. One murder victim has been identified as Donovan Thomas. Thug is accused of renting the 2014 Infiniti Q50 sedan from Hertz that was used in Thomas' murder.

“[Thomas' murder is] extremely significant," Willis said. "It occurred back in 2015. And what myself and any law enforcement member can tell you as a result of that the back-and-forth gun violence and murders that have occurred, have probably been in excess of 50 since 2015—triggered by that in the back-and-forth between that [YSL] gang and other gangs.”

Young Thug is not accused of pulling the trigger in any of the murders. The rapper's lawyer, Brian Steel, is pushing back on all claims against his client. "Mr. Williams has committed no violation of law, whatsoever," Steel told XXL in a statement last week. "We will fight this case ethically, legally and zealously. Mr. Williams will be cleared."

As previously reported, Young Thug, Gunna and 26 other affiliates of YSL were indicted on RICO charges, with a 56-page indictment accusing the record label of being a violent street gang cofounded by Thugger in 2012. The allegations on the indictment include charges of conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, murder, armed robbery and participation in criminal street gang activity.

Young Thug was arrested on May 9 following a raid on his Buckhead home in Atlanta. Gunna turned himself in the following day. As a result of the raid on Thugger's home, he was charged with seven additional felonies including possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; VGCSA-possession of a schedule III, IV or V controlled substance with intent to distribute; possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of a sawed-off shotgun; sawed-off rifle, machine gun, dangerous weapon, or silencer; and three separate charges of unlawful for person employed by/associated with criminal street gang to conduct/participate in criminal activity.

Both artists are currently being denied bail, despite Young Thug's attorney's recent emergency bail motion, which claims Thug's rights are being violated in jail.

See 22 Hip-Hop-Related Police RaidsThese rappers had some serious run-ins with the police.Filed Under: Gunna, Young ThugCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 18, 2022Hulu via YouTube

The trailer for the new XXXTentacion documentary has been released and it shows a gripping teaser into the life of the late polarizing rap star, including his mother, Cleopatra Bernard, addressing XXX's abuse allegations.

On Wednesday (May 18), Hulu unveiled the trailer for their new documentary Look at Me: XXXTENTACION, which is due out later this month. The preview shares various moments from the rapper's promising career, which was cut short when he was shot and killed on June 18, 2018. One section of the preview touches on the battery allegations XXXTentacion faced in 2017, when his ex-girlfriend Geneva Ayala accused him of various acts of violence against her.

"Jahseh was like, 'No, mom. It's not true.' And a part of me took that and run with it," Bernard says in the trailer.

XXXTentacion denied the claims in an interview with XXL in 2017. The case was still open when the rapper died. It was officially closed two months after XXXTentacion's death. Following his passing, in 2019, Geneva would appear in his posthumous video for the song "Hearteater."

XXXTentacion's documentary was first announced back in 2019, on the one-year anniversary of the South Florida rhymer's untimely death. It premeired at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival in March. The film is set to debut on Hulu on May 26. Directed by Sabaah Folayan, the upcoming doc, "offers a sensitive portrayal of an artist whose acts of violence, raw musical talent and open struggles with mental health left an indelible mark on his generation before his death at the age of 20," according to the film's synopsis.

Watch the trailer for Look at Me: XXXTentacion below.

See Rappers We’ve Lost in 2021Sadly, several rappers passed away in 2021.Filed Under: XXXTentacionCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/georgette/” rel=”author”>Georgette ClinePublished: May 18, 2022Shamaal

Show & Prove: Nardo Wick
Words: Georgette Cline
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Twenty years ago, Clipse’s “Grindin’” was the soundtrack served at school lunch tables everywhere as kids banged on tabletops to mimic the Korg Triton drum presets used by producers The Neptunes. Two decades later, rap fans have a new track just as palpable: Nardo Wick’s “Who Want Smoke?.” The baleful, stomp-inducing song, featuring sound effects of the rapper stomping on the floor as he ponders, “What the fuck is that?” has been ringed with a social media craze, praised remix, more than 100 million combined Spotify streams, a Billboard Hot 100 spot, platinum certification and some controversy.

The steely appeal of Nardo’s rhymes paired with the creative use of his voice to accentuate sounds on “Shhh,” “Pull Up” and “Lolli” have pushed the 20-year-old rhyme slinger into hip-hop’s forefront in less than a year. A new face in street rap, he cleverly depicts life through his pensive brown eyes. The Sunshine State is where his lyrics started to bubble, but TikTok was the initial slingshot to success for “Who Want Smoke?.” “It felt good, like, OK, I’m doing something right,” Nardo says of the song taking off on the platform with over 7 million views on just the viral challenge videos alone. “It ain’t like I made the song for TikTok. TikTok just took it. It was natural.” So was his gravitation towards music.

Born Horace Bernard Walls III, the Jacksonville, Fla. native kept his ears tuned in to Future, Gucci Mane, Eminem and T.I. as a kid. “I’ve always been a music person,” Nardo expresses. “I loved listening to music.” By age 5, the former Pop Warner football running back would write “little raps.” He remembers at age 7 being intrigued by the “whoosh” sound Guwop made to mimic bullets in the air on “Vette Pass By.” Without realizing it then, Nardo would be inspired to incorporate his voice as a special effect in his own music years later.

Unfortunately, childhood also brought him hardships. His mother, Qown, who’s now his manager, went to prison for fraud when he was 8 years old. Her five-year sentence matured young Nardo, a middle child with an older brother and younger sister. He lived with his dad while she was away, but prioritized communication with the matriarch. “I just used to miss her,” he reflects on his mom’s absence. “I’d go see her two times out of the year. Then I’ll write her and talk to her on the phone.” Nardo’s mom returned home when he was 13, just a year before he put his early rhymes to the test.

Dreams of success and money were the motives for the aspiring artist at 14 to kickstart his goal of rapping. For three years, he worked to perfect his skills. “I had to practice, practice, practice and to understand, watch interviews and stuff like that,” he admits. His dad bought equipment to build a home studio. Once Nardo got funds to go to a professional studio, by 17, he was recording novice tracks like “Face Shot,” a stripped-down guitar number that finds him on the hunt for the opps.

Armed with 2020 songs “Lolli,” “Came Up” and “Slide,” now at over 2.7 million combined Spotify streams, Nardo’s vivid imagery of life in the streets and the violence that comes with it, all supported by canny, droll lines, began to take shape in his rhymes.

By that year’s end, streams were running up, yet Nardo felt a personal lag. “Before [my signing] happened, I felt like it was taking too long,” he recalls. His breakthrough moment happened in a police car. In November of 2020, he was arrested after cops found a gun in a car he was a passenger in. The driver owned up to the weapon, but Nardo still got hit with carrying a concealed firearm charge. He has since pleaded not guilty in the ongoing case. While headed to jail, a record label rep was in his email inbox and another when he bonded out.

Eventually, the hip-hop go-getter signed with former LEP Bogus Boys member Frank “Moonie” Criddell’s Flawless Entertainment in January of 2021, the same month “Who Want Smoke?” hit DSPs. By February, Nardo also inked a major label deal with RCA Records, fresh off the minacious track, which flew into the TikTok vortex later that year. More than 185,000 videos with his song, ranging from hilarious to straight odd, are on the app. The “Who Want Smoke??” remix featuring Lil Durk, 21 Savage and G Herbo, coupled with a Cole Bennett-directed video last October—now at more than 105 million YouTube views—sent Nardo soaring onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart with a No. 17 debut. Kids have taken him mainstream, too. They’ve used his hit song in social media videos of themselves pointing cellphones like guns at school, which resulted in suspensions reported by local news outlets.

Aaron “Dash” Sherrod, SVP of A&R at RCA, signed Nardo to the label last February. He commends the rap newcomer’s concentration amid early success. “He comes from [the streets], but he’s really focusing on his career,” says Dash, who’s also a former Interscope A&R that signed the late Juice Wrld and Playboi Carti. “[Nardo]’s really trying to challenge himself. Once ‘Who Want Smoke?’ went platinum, everybody was celebrating. And he was like, ‘Yeah, that’s what’s up.’ I was like, ‘What the fuck you mean?’ He got other goals.”

His 18-track debut album, Who Is Nardo Wick?, climbed to No. 19 on the Billboard 200 last December, thanks to songs like “Me or Sum” with Future and Lil Baby. Nardo aims to beat that feat with his sophomore LP, due later this year. He’s gone back to his roots by recording with an engineer at home for some of the process. Intuitive creative decisions are already coming into play and words of wisdom from Lil Baby may help with choices. “How to move, operate throughout the music, how to get more money from other things,” Nardo reveals of talks with the 4PF founder. He’s also hopeful for a Drake feature in the future: “He’s the man.”

Ultimately, Nardo, who’s on a headlining tour now, wants to be a hip-hop great in the same vein as legends Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Eminem and Tupac Shakur. “Stay consistent, keep putting out great music” are bullet points on Nardo Wick’s legacy plan.

No smoke with that.

Read the cover story with Playboi Carti and check out the other interviews in the magazine with Fivio Foreign, Latto, DaBaby, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J, Joey Bada$$Denzel Curry, Hit-Boy, Big K.R.I.T.RZA, Saba, Morray, Kali, Sleepy Hallow, SSGKobe, ATL Jacob, Pink Sweat$, Saucy Santana, Jason Lee, Angie Randisi and Colby Turner in the new issue of XXL magazine, which is on newsstands now and in XXL's online shop.

See Playboi Carti’s XXL Magazine Spring 2022 Cover Story Exclusive PhotosFiled Under: Feature, Nardo Wick, XXL MagazineCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 18, 2022Kevin Mazur, Michael Gonzales, Getty Images (2)

Lil Wayne recently threatened to get paws put on Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Just after midnight on Wednesday (May 18), Wayne lashed out against Cuban on Twitter in a post the rapper deleted shortly afterward. "Mark Cuban don't make me get u smacked boy," Tune typed in the since-deleted post. "U playin [with] me?? I will piss in ya fkn mouth ho."

In a follow-up post, Wayne added, "Ya lil bitch it's up."

The recent friction between Lil Wayne and Mark Cuban appears to have started when Tune called out the Mavericks' star player Luka Doncic on Twitter.

"Luka a ho," Wayne, who had been sitting courtside for the Mavericks versus Phoenix Suns NBA Playoffs series, tweeted on May 8 during Game 5 of the series.

The Mavericks ended up winning the series over the Suns in impressive fashion on Sunday night (May 15), by a score of 123-90. Luka had 35 points in the close-out game as Lil Wayne watched on. The rapper then became the butt of jokes and memes. Even Mark Cuban got in on the fun, reposting Wayne's Luka tweet, along with the line, "It’s a shit show, put you front row." A lyric from Lil Wayne's "Uproar."

Wayne clearly didn't like the barb from Cuban and being made fun of, so he decided to clap back.

It was all good just a decade ago. Wayne and Cuban have been cordial in the past with one Twitter user pointing at a Lil Wayne tweet from 2011, where the New Orleans rapper expressed excitement over partying with the Mavericks and Cuban after they won the NBA championship.

See 10 of the Shortest Beefs in Hip-HopBeefs within rap that ended quickly.Filed Under: Lil Wayne, Mark CubanCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/xxlstaff/” rel=”author”>XXL StaffPublished: May 17, 2022chasinn.loot via TikTok

DaBaby has been curved by a fan yet again.

Yesterday (May 16), popular video creator Chasinn Loot posted a TikTok of DaBaby with a swarm of fans following Baby's performance at Wild Splash in St. Petersburg, Fla. The "Rockstar" rapper seemed to be preparing to leave but attempted to grab a kiss from a seemingly unsuspecting woman in front of him.

The woman turned to DaBaby as he was swooping in, lips puckered, and she immediately backed out of view from the camera.

This isn't the first time DaBaby has gotten rejected by a fan. In fact, this isn't the first time it has happened this year. In April, video went viral of the North Carolina rhymer trying to kiss a fan and subsequently getting turned down.

In the aftermath of that particular moment, he offered confusing responses. At first, in the comment sections of a Shade Room post, he said, "I'm sorry bae," and then in a separate comment, he wrote, "Bae was upset that I blew a kiss at her lil buddy first."

Later, via his Instagram Stories, DaBaby seemingly denied that he even tried to kiss the fan at all. "Y'all Go head on man," he wrote with a laughing emoji. "Me and my booboos love each other to death but ain't no kissin goin on."

You can watch that video for yourself here, and the latest video of DaBaby getting rejected below. Still no word from him this time around on if he believes he tried to kiss this second fan.

See 52 of the Most Controversial Hip-Hop Album Covers Since 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty As They Wanna BeWhich rapper has the most controversial album cover?Filed Under: DaBabyCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 17, 2022Paras Griffin, Getty Images

Calboy is in police custody in Georgia after a warrant was issued for his arrest last week.

On Tuesday (May 17), Calboy, born Calvin Lashon Woods, was taken into custody by the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office in Gwinnett County, Ga. The Chicago rapper was booked at 8:27 a.m. local time, according to police records obtained by XXL. As of press time, he has not been given a bond. He has officially been charged with aggravated battery.

XXL has reached out to Calboy's team for comment.

calboy arrested for batteryGwinnett County Sheriff’s Officeloading…

As previously reported, the Gwinnett County Police Department issued a warrant for Calboy's arrest back on May 12. Police say the rapper attacked a man at Rabbit Hill Park in Dacula, Ga. on May 4. "The victim was left with a broken leg, facial lacerations, facial and torso bruises, and other injuries," according to the GCPD's press release about the incident. Witnesses were urged to reach out to GCPD investigators or Atlanta Crime Stoppers with information that would lead to Calboy's arrest and even offered a cash reward.

Calboy made the hip-hop headlines back in March after he called out DaBaby, referencing the North Carolina rapper as a life-size weirdo mascot. The comment, which came after DaBaby aligned with himself with former King Von nemesis YoungBoy Never Broke Again for a joint album, caused DaBaby to fire back.

Calboy rehashed the beef earlier this month when he dissed DaBaby during an interview on VladTV. "[DaBaby] a mascot," Calboy said when asked about his issues with the "Rockstar" rapper. "That's what I feel. You gon' jump on anything that's popping. He really an industry prostitute."

Calboy is prepping the follow-up to his most recent project Long Live the Kings, which dropped in 2020.

See 22 Hip-Hop-Related Police RaidsThese rappers had some serious run-ins with the police.Filed Under: CalboyCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/joeyech/” rel=”author”>Joey EchPublished: May 17, 2022Steph Chambers, Getty Images

LeBron James has revealed his top five favorite hip-hop albums of all time.

On Tuesday (May 16), LeBron James hit up Twitter during some apparent downtime to offer up a question-and-answer session to his 51.3 million followers. While LeBron was taking the time out to connect with the people, one Twitter user, who goes by @SierraAPorter95, asked the Los Angeles Lakers small forward to list his top five hip-hop albums.

While explaining that he has many rap albums that he would've liked to mention, King James obliged the Twitter user by offering up five LPs that many people also consider to be some of the greatest of all time. In a tweet that has since racked up over 5,500 likes, the four-time NBA champion listed Dr. Dre's The Chronic, Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle, Jay-Z's The Black Album, The Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Death and Nas' It Was Written. 

’Bron's list of his top five hip-hop albums elicited a large response from fans all across Twitter, with most offering praise to the future NBA Hall of Famer for his choices. Many Twitter users also pointed out the fact that LeBron James has long been known for his affection for the 1990s era of the rap game.

LeBron James has had a long, storied history with hip-hop and some of the game's most revered figures. He's often been seen kicking it with Drake, he's had Lil Wayne perform at his birthday party and he even once served as an A&R on 2 Chainz's 2019 album Rap or Go to the League. The legendary baller and his G.O.A.T. status have also been the subject of many rap songs through the years from artists like Rick Ross, Drake, Yo Gotti and more.

The Los Angeles Lakers megastar is actually no stranger to the mic himself. In 2011, during an NBA lockout that shortened the season that year, LeBron James hit the booth with fellow NBA legend Kevin Durant to record a track called "It Ain't Easy."

See 11 Rappers You Might Not Know Had Signed Record Deals With Professional AthletesFiled Under: LeBron JamesCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/xxlstaff/” rel=”author”>XXL StaffPublished: May 17, 2022Danita Bethea

Show & Prove: Kali
Words: Grant Rindner
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Booming, minimalist, with a brilliantly simple call-and-response hook, Kali’s 2021 song, “MMM MMM,” has inspired thousands of TikToks, but there’s one that the Atlanta-bred rapper tends to think of first. 

“It’s this video of this girl. She’s driving in a car, she looked crazy, but she was screaming ‘MMM MMM’ with her whole soul,” Kali recalls. “She was changing some of the words a little bit, but she was just like, ‘He want my number, had to hit him with the ‘Mmm Mmm!’ Mad as hell, like her man just pissed her off. It just stuck with me because I was like, she really gets it. That’s how I was feeling when I was making the song.” 

That clip embodies what makes her brand of hip-hop great, and why she’s set herself apart in a city oozing with talent: it creates a sense of catharsis. Kali’s two biggest hits to date, the ATL Jacob-produced “MMM MMM” and 2021 breakout “Do A Bitch,” are songs fans rap along to with their full chest. She would never say lines like, “I don’t want that nigga, my IG just stay on his screen” timidly, after all. Plus, her first official project, This Why They Mad Now, which was released last year, is a kick-in-the-door announcement of arrival. 

But during a conversation via Zoom in February, Kali is affable and considered, not exactly the firebrand that some of her music suggests her to be. The 21-year-old, born Kaliya Ashley Ross and raised in the north Atlanta suburb of Roswell, has been rapping since she was a preteen. Her stepfather was a producer, and he helped her record her first tracks at just 12 years old. Also, a former accomplished youth soccer player, Kali talks about her music career with the kind of driven attitude you’d expect of a professional athlete. 

“Since I was so young making music, obviously I was still trying to figure that out,” she shares. “It took me being young, making music, teaching myself how to record and make my stuff sound crisp to really get the full me in the song. I’ve been taking this seriously for about four years now. From the start to now, I definitely learned my sound.” 

She honed that sound, which nestles squarely between the Lattos and the Foogianos of the current Georgia talent boom, at the age of 19. The rising artist almost had a chance to share her talents with the world when she was slated to try out for Netflix’s rap discovery series, Rhythm + Flow, in 2019. However, the judges decided to unexpectedly cut the auditions short. That, coupled with her very first project before This Why They Mad Now being deleted from the internet, left Kali in an unenviable position. 

“I had a two-month stint where I was like, I don’t know if music is for me,” Kali admits. “My music kept getting taken down and I was moving around too much. And then with ‘Do A Bitch,’ I was like, Let me stick it out and write a song again.” Serendipitously, the first beat she listened to from Telly, a producer who had been emailing her packs for ages, turned out to be the instrumental for “Do A Bitch.” 

The Rhythm + Flow debacle did have another major silver lining: it brought Kali together with Houston MC KenTheMan when they met during auditions. Subsequently, Ken has become a close friend and outspoken booster. “I’ve always told everybody, ‘This girl is a superstar. If I had a label, she would be the first person I’d sign,’” Ken says. 

Ken describes Kali as “the sweetest girl I’ve ever met in my life,” and the two have a clear bond that transcends music. They’ve spent Thanksgiving together in Houston, which also happened to be where they wrote their standout 2021 collaborative track “Ain’t FWM.” Ken is extremely confident in Kali’s future, and it seems the only thing the two butt heads over is when Kali will hurry up and release her new stuff already. 

“When I tell you that if I could leak that girl’s unreleased, I would,” Ken adds. “She’s got so much. I just be like, Damn, man. It’s crazy how hard-working this girl is.” 

In February, Kali became an Atlantic Records artist. By March, she released her Toxic Chocolate EP, which she jokes “is giving a whole lot of toxic energy, but in a good way.” The first single, the simmering duet “UonU” with Yung Bleu, is a song for people going through the emotional ringer. This time, women’s hypocritical partners are accusing them of the very indiscretions they’re committing themselves. Then there’s “Eat It Up” featuring BIA, an X-rated number over a beat reminiscent of Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait (The Whisper Song).” With this eight-track EP, Kali continues to embrace a change in her creative approach that really began with “MMM MMM” and has stuck through recent writing. 

“In the beginning of me taking [music] seriously, I would be shy about having people in the studio, so I would have to write beforehand,” Kali conveys. “I just wanted to make sure I got something done in the studio and I wasn’t really comfortable rapping in front of people, so I was just writing. As the years passed by, I taught myself how to freestyle. I’ve taught myself now, how to go in the studio, get on the mic and put the words together.”

With this increased confidence, she’s working more off in-the-moment emotion and sudden inspiration. It’s a less calculated approach that still yields focused music thanks to her penchant for precise flows. 

“This Why They Mad Now was me trying to be seen,” Kali says of her debut project. “I’m taking this seriously and y’all need to pay attention. [Toxic Chocolate] is like, Oh, she’s coming and she’s here to stay.” 

Kali spending this spring on the road opening for Latto on The Monster Energy Outbreak Tour is proving just that. Kali also wants to put together her own headlining run when the time is right. For now, the rhymer is enjoying the liminal space between being an artist to watch and a bona fide star, like an athlete waiting to hear their name called in the first round of the draft.

“I tell my team all the time that it still has not sunk in yet,” Kali expresses. “Sometimes I’ll be like, ‘Oh for real? They want me to perform? I’m going on tour?’ It’s still so new to me and so crazy, because I was manifesting all of this and it’s all happening to me.”

Keep getting them mad. 

Read the cover story with Playboi Carti and check out the other interviews in the magazine with Fivio Foreign, Latto, DaBaby, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J, Joey Bada$$Denzel Curry, Hit-Boy, Big K.R.I.T.RZA, Saba, Morray, Nardo Wick, Sleepy Hallow, SSGKobe, ATL Jacob, Pink Sweat$, Saucy Santana, Jason Lee, Angie Randisi and Colby Turner in the new issue of XXL magazine, which is on newsstands now and in XXL's online shop.

See Playboi Carti’s XXL Magazine Spring 2022 Cover Story Exclusive PhotosFiled Under: Feature, Kali, XXL MagazineCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 17, 2022Alexander Tamargo / Rich Polk, Getty Images (2)

Ma$e is accusing Diddy of wrecking the former Bad Boy rapper's recent festival set.

On Saturday (May 15), Ma$e was one of the performers at the Lovers & Friends Festival in Las Vegas. However, the set did not go swimmingly. According to concertgoer @NigelDPresents, the Harlem N.Y. rapper's performance suffered from issues from the jump.

"So Mase came out like 7 minutes late," Nigel D tweeted. "Also may have had some techinal issues because he started stalling for a little while after doing a few songs. With a large lineup like this you know some people will get their set cut….."

Ma$e did reportedly end up getting his set cut short, which he blamed on the powerful forces of Diddy.

“I see what’s going on," Ma$e told the crowd. "I’m used to being hated on. I’m used to what’s going on. Somebody, somewhere paid a few dollars to stop my show. But that can’t stop somebody like me. I don’t get ran away too easy. I just wasn’t made for that. So I’m gonna take my time.”

"Thank you, Puff," he added. "You know he paid for that, right? I got you, nigga. I heard you loud and clear."

The incident comes two months after Ma$e rehashed his beef with his former label owner back in March, when he released the diss track "Oracle 2: Standing on Bodies," seemingly out of nowhere.

"Since Cain killed Abel, I'm able to kill Cain/Love don't steal, my nigga, change your name," Ma$e spits on the track.

A week later, Ma$e later doubled down on his disdain for Diddy, going in on the Bad Boy head on Instagram Live. "When I see the hurt and the pain of other people on Bad Boy, that motivates me to say something," Ma$e told nearly 1,000 people watching the feed. "So I don't be deemed as a person who just made a bunch of money and turned a blind eye. I'm not going to be like the rest of the people around Puff that don't tell him he's wrong. I'm not gonna be like the yes men around him that see him ruining people lives and never tell him he's wrong. More people on here will tell me I'm wrong, but won't say anything to him. They'll judge my beliefs, they'll judge my Christianity and they'll say nothing to Puff. They'll say nothing about it's a concert for Biggie and Biggie own daughter couldn't get in. They don't say nothing about that. But all of his friends got 50 and 60 tickets. We're done with your games."

XXL has reached out to Diddy's team for comment.

Check out footage of Ma$e's botched Lovers & Friends Festival set below.

These Rappers Haven’t Dropped an Album in A While and We’re Still WaitingFiled Under: Diddy, MaseCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/joeyech/” rel=”author”>Joey EchPublished: May 16, 2022TMZ

Video has surfaced online of a fight apparently involving Freddie Gibbs just before his scheduled performance this past weekend in Buffalo, N.Y.

On Monday (May 16), TMZ obtained footage of Freddie Gibbs being attacked near Buffalo's Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant after rampant rumors spread across the internet throughout the day that the Indiana-bred rapper ran into some heavy smoke. The alleged incident went down before Freddie Gibbs was scheduled to hit the stage for the Buffalo, N.Y. stop of his Space Rabbit Tour on Saturday (May 14).

Many throughout the rap world believe that the altercation is a direct result of a spat between Gibbs and Benny The Butcher, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., which has been going on for months.

In the chaotic video, Freddie Gibbs can be seen in a green shirt and light-colored shorts being attacked by a mob of angry individuals. In the midst of Gibbs taking punches and kicks left and right, the person shooting the chaotic video can be heard saying, "Welcome to Buffalo."

Prior to the release of the video, photos of Freddie Gibbs began to circulate on social media on Monday (May 16), in which Gibbs can reportedly be seen performing on stage in Benny's hometown with a ski mask, seemingly attempting to cover up a swollen eye.

It has also been rumored that during the fight on Saturday, Freddie Gibbs had his chain snatched, but those rumors have apparently been denied by Gibbs in a screenshot of an alleged text message that is believed to have been written by the "Big Boss Rabbit" rhymer himself.

While it has not been confirmed that Benny The Butcher or any of his associates were involved in Saturday's fight, the apparent attack on Freddie Gibbs in Buffalo, N.Y. follows a heated back-and-forth between the two former collaborators. Freddie Gibbs began trolling Benny on social media back in March of this year after the "10 More Commandments" MC implied that he and Freddie's working relationship "came and went" during an interview on Spotify's Most Necessary: Live.

From there, Freddie Gibbs took exception to Benny's comments and even went as far as to mock the Griselda Records spitter after he was shot in the leg during an attempted robbery in November of 2020.

See video of Freddie Gibbs being attacked in Buffalo, N.Y. below.

See the Wildest Moments of Rappers Losing Their Most Valuable BelongingsYoung Thug, Eminem, Kanye West and more.Filed Under: Benny The Butcher, Freddie GibbsCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: May 16, 2022Robin Marchant, Getty Images

A second man has been sentenced to prison for his role in the 2018 overdose death of Mac Miller.

According to court documents obtained by XXL, Stephen Walter pleaded guilty to one count of Fentanyl Distribution on Monday (May 16) and was sentenced to 210 months or 17.5 years in prison. Prosecutors said that Walter was directly involved in directing fentanyl-laced pills to be distributed and then sold to Mac Miller, which later caused his death.

Walter, 49, is among the three defendants who were charged with distribution of fentanyl, resulting in Miller’s death and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in death. Additionally, Walter was also charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition.

As previously reported, Ryan Reavis, 39, was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison for his role in supplying the fentanyl-laced pills to the late rapper. A third man, Cameron Pettit, 30, has not resolved his case as of yet.

In the documents, prosecutors said that Walter knew that the pills contained fentanyl or some other federally controlled substance and allowed Reavis to distribute the pills to Pettit, who then sold them to Mac Miller. The Pittsburgh, Pa. rhymer received the pills two days before he succumbed to a fatal drug overdose on Sept. 7, 2018. Miller's personal assistant discovered him unresponsive in his Studio City, Calif. home and paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Before his death, Mac Miller released his fifth studio album, Swimming, which received critical praise from fans and critics alike. The collection also became his first musical project to earn a Grammy Awards nomination.

See Rappers We Lost in the 2010sFiled Under: Mac MillerCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: May 16, 2022Scott Dudelson / Johnny Nunez, Getty Images (2)

Photos of Freddie Gibbs with an apparent swollen eye have surfaced online following rumors that the Indiana rapper had an altercation with associates of Benny The Butcher.

Last Saturday (May 14), Freddie Gibbs was in Buffalo, N.Y. for a scheduled performance on his Space Rabbit Tour when he was attacked by purported associates of Benny The Butcher. Tory Rogers, a music artist from Buffalo, N.Y., allegedly witnessed the attack (rumored at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant) and recounted the incident on his Twitter account on Saturday night.

"I just saw Freddie Gibbs get beat up and his chain took while I was eating in buffalo Ny @FreddieGibbs @Akademiks @WORLDSTAR #explore #WSHH," he tweeted. "Chain off video."

"Freddie Gibbs was running in his security didn’t help," he continued. "It was bad."

It appears that Rogers had captured the harrowing incident on video.

"Video coming soon chain gone," he wrote. "Freddie [Gibbs] chain was snatched doing the video tell DJ ak to hit me up then I’ll upload the video everybody tagged him."

On Sunday (May 15), photos surfaced online of the Gibbster eventually performing at his Buffalo show but with a swollen eye. It appears the Bandana creator was wearing a balaclava (aka ski mask) to cover up his injuries. Swipe to check out the photos below.

As far as Gibbs' chain being snatched, the rhymer refuted those claims in an alleged text screen shot. Wack 100 also spoked about Gibbs allegedly getting his chain snatched while he was chatting on Clubhouse. Watch the video below.

Freddie Gibbs and Benny The Butcher have been verbally sparring with each other for the past few months with Gibbs trolling the Griselda rapper on social media. Their feud initially started when Benny claimed that a possible collaboration with Gibbs “came and went” during Spotify's Most Necessary Live interview. Gibbs took offense and have been poking fun at Benny and even mocking his November 2020 attempted robbery incident where the rapper was shot in his leg.

XXL has reached out to Freddie Gibbs and Benny The Butcher’s reps for comment.

See Rappers Who Had Their Chain Snatched Over the YearsFetty Wap, Tyga, Quavo and more.Filed Under: Benny The Butcher, Freddie GibbsCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: May 16, 2022@linkuptv via Twitter

Rick Ross doesn’t do alcohol shots, at least not on camera. A video of Ricky Rozay went viral after he rejected a woman trying to give him a shot of alcohol.

On Sunday (May 15), Instagram user @linkuptv shared a video of Rick Ross filming himself reciting the classic bars from Meek Mill’s 2012 anthem “Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)” while at a club. A woman is standing next to him and is holding a shot of alcohol. The female clubgoer then decides to tap Ross’ phone with the shot glass and then get the Miami bawse to drink from it.

Rozay, not feeling the gesture, quickly moves her hand away before the video abruptly ends. The viral clip has garnered over 71,000 views, so far, and has been reshared hundreds of times on social media.

An extended video shows Ross actually vibing and lip-syncing to Mill’s motivating words on “Dreams and Nightmares.” At one point, the rap mogul stares into the camera as if he’s looking directly at the Philadelphia rhymer.

“I did it without an album/I did shit with Mariah,” Meek’s lyrics are heard as Rozay taps himself on his shoulder to remind viewers that he’s also on the Mariah song that Meek is referring to.

Ross then makes the sign of the cross to show the truthfulness and sincerity in Meek’s rhymes. The Maybach Music Group honcho lip-syncs, “Lil' nigga, I'm on fire/Icy as a hockey rink, Philly nigga, I'm flyer/When I bought the Rolls Royce they thought it was leased/Then I bought that new Ferrari, hater, rest in peace.”

The video clearly shows that Ross still has respect and great admiration for Meek despite what appears to be an estrangement between them lately.

Watch the video below of Rick Ross vibing off of Meek Mill’s "Dream and Nightmares" below. We also added Meek’s music video below as well.

Read 10 Wild Stories That Took Place During Hip-Hop ToursFiled Under: Rick RossCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/robbyseabrookiii/” rel=”author”>Robby Seabrook IIIPublished: May 16, 2022
Jerritt Clark, Getty Images / Jason Koerner, Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz / Prince Williams, Wireimage

Acronyms have been part of hip-hop for decades. Naughty by Nature's 1991 hit, "O.P.P.," is an early example of how hip-hop acronyms can take off. Whether shortening a word, making up a new one or finding a creative way to make an existing word stand for something entirely different, rappers have been flexing their own lexicon since the genre began. The issue that arises in some cases? Sometimes, the newly created words are nonsensical or the added value doesn't flow right in a sentence. Hip-hop has always been rife with creativity, but when it comes to acronyms, things can sometimes go haywire. Subjective as it may be, some of the worst hip-hop acronyms exist over the years.

There are so many rap crews nowadays that abbreviate their names to three letters. It's become somewhat of an adventure to find out or guess what each of them mean. Funny enough, some of the most popular groups at the time also have the most ridiculous acronyms. The acronym for the group YBN, formerly consisting of Nahmir, Cordae and Almighty Jay, stands for Young Boss Niggas, which is as generic as it gets. The group was really a gaming crew turned rap collective, and they all collaborated for the first and only project as a unit, YBN: The Mixtape in 2018. The tape went gold, Nahmir and Cordae have both had successful songs in their careers, but Young Boss Niggas is no more.

Atlanta rapper Russ has his own acronym, which is a label called DIEMON. Do It Everyday Music Or Nothing is what it breaks down as. Russ kicked off the name in the early 2010s, and now it's a full-fledged independent label led by his success. But even with all that, the name is still clunky. However, Russ has had the name long enough and the money is rolling in, so it works for what is is.

Check out some of hip-hop's worst acronyms below.

See the Worst Hip-Hop Acronyms to ExistWhich acronym is the worst?Filed Under: Ab-Soul, Feature, Galleries, Gallery, GS Boyz, Jim Jones, Russ, SOB x RBE, Trinidad Jame$, tyga, will.i.am, ybn almighty jay, YBN Cordae, YBN Nahmir, yfn lucci, YN Jay, Young DroCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/peterberry/” rel=”author”>Peter A. BerryPublished: May 16, 2022Lexander Bryant

Something Good
After ditching the majors, Big K.R.I.T. is calling the creative shots in more ways than one. His own label, touring and new music are priorities, but so is his human side.
Interview: Peter A. Berry
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Short for King Remembered in Time, Big K.R.I.T.’s rap moniker is a reference to legacy, but the 35-year-old is just as focused on the present. Since releasing his debut mixtape, See Me On Top, in 2005, the rapper, born Justin Lewis Scott, has released 23 solo projects and built a loyal, cult fan base while establishing himself as one of the most dynamic artists the South has to offer.

Born and raised in Mississippi, K.R.I.T. began getting serious attention from fans and critics alike with the release of his 2010 mixtape, K.R.I.T. Wuz Here. He signed a deal with Def Jam Recordings that same year. After releasing multiple critically acclaimed projects on Def Jam, K.R.I.T., citing changing relationships at the label, chose the independent route and departed in 2016.

Now, he’s got his own label, Multi Alumni. Years removed from feeling the pressure to make stream-friendly records and commercial singles, K.R.I.T.’s leaned into his status as a stalwart of the underground, a status he reaffirmed with Digital Roses Don’t Die, a “love story” album he dropped this past February. Coated in 1970’s-esque funk and soul, as well as his own nimble songwriting, the project is just the latest sign of his evolution as a rapper, singer and producer.

This year, he’s focused on touring and expanding his label and roster he has brought on board. He has also been collaborating with a lot more artists. K.R.I.T. has plenty of ideas and concepts in the vault, but he’s taking his time when it comes to his next project.

Connecting with XXL on a chilly February evening, just one week ahead of the release date for his Digital Roses Don’t Die album, K.R.I.T. discusses Southern rap, his respect for André 3000, life as the head of a record label, the makings of a great lyricist and the human being within.

XXL: What have you been up to over the last six months aside from putting together this album?

Big K.R.I.T.: Oh, man. Just life. I think everybody’s been going through a lot. Even going from 2021 to 2022 was just an adjustment, right? It’s like normally back in the day before COVID, new year, new things I’m going to do, boom, boom, boom. It was kinda like, You know what? I’m still in the house. You’re still just trying to figure things out here and there. But it’s just dialing in, starting to concentrate more on finalizing the album. What that feels like. What a tour looks like.

At this point in my career, [it's about] what performing looks like, and really what kind of message am I trying to send to people. Because we all been through a lot in the last few years, man. And so, for me, it was just thinking about all that along with the rollout and stuff, too. Just trying to be as authentic in myself as I possibly can.

That sounds very wholesome.

Thank you.

How would you describe your place in hip-hop right now? Is it different from the place where you wanted to be when you were starting out?

It’s hard to explain, man, because it was a lot of me trying to prove myself because of where
I was from. I’m from Mississippi. So, I had to do a lot of traveling, a lot of interacting with people in order to prove my capacity to do music, not only on a production level, but on a rapping level, and be very stern in that not only can I produce, but I am a lyricist and a top-tier lyricist and I’m from Mississippi. So, it was that. I had to push and it became a lot of aggression, a lot of frustration at times because of the geography lottery.

The music industry tailors itself more to vacation destinations and not necessarily towards places. It might be a small town that people are unaware of. So, that created this narrative for me to always feel like I needed to prove myself. And it didn’t matter what room I was in. It didn’t matter how much music I put out or how creative I got. It was just to prove myself. And I found myself at this moment, I think it was probably after Cadillactica going into 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time, where I didn’t really care about proving myself anymore because I had done so much music. We toured and we had seen the love and we had the experience of being with a label and not being with a label and everything being independent. And I’m just doing what I love to do. That was enough.

André 3000 is known for telling everyone that, “the South got something to say.” Do you think Southern hip-hop is really getting the respect it deserves?

I think it’s appreciated. I think it’s still a narrative of the South having to prove itself on a lyrical basis sometimes, just based off of the conversation when they talk about top-tier lyricists or artists. I think Bun B is probably in my top five lyricists, and people don’t notice that. André 3000 might be one of the greatest lyricists ever and people don’t really put [him] in that category. And I think about what artists from the South normally have to do to even be put in that category.

Because CeeLo and André 3000 are amazing singers, too. And they are amazing lyricists that’ll probably body you. But you have to become that to even be noticed in a sense. And David Banner was one of the first people that I saw he had to do so much to be noticed. He produced his own beats. He rapped and he would travel and he’s making these amazing sounding records and he’s going from city to city. And he is really one of the first people that I saw like, “I got to do both. I can’t just be a rapper. I got to produce a rap in order for people to listen to me. And if they don’t like my rapping, they going to like my beat. If they don’t like my beat, they going to like my rapping. It’ll get me in the room with people.” So, sometimes I feel like the amount that you have to do, especially if you’re from the deep South, in order to make noise in the hip-hop industry is a lot.

You speak about lyricism a lot. What is it, to you, that makes a great lyricist?

Obviously being transparent. Writing it from the heart. And being able to understand cadence, similes, is very important. Metaphors. And how do you create a story in a way. And everything’s pretty much been talked about, but to really touch on topics in a way that people aren’t familiar with. To come up with something in a way where people are like, “Man, I never thought of it like that.” And then to do it on records that people don’t expect.

I go back to André 3000 about this because André 3000 would jump on a record that you know is a club bounce record and fuck off and say some shit. And you’re like, “Hold on. Damn. That was beautiful. I didn’t expect that.” On that wave. And not even so much be caught up sometimes in the lingo of what everybody else is saying, too. Obviously, it’s very easy to get caught up in certain keywords that actually play into what a hit record would be in the moment. But to kind of veer away from it and just try your own wordplay, your own cadence. I think E-40 is an amazing lyricist because he’ll just fuck off and make up words. You’ll be like, “Damn, man. Hold on. What does that mean?”

You’ve been on a major label and worked as an independent artist. Do you find it’s easier to make a profit being independent versus being on a major label? How do streaming and video plays play into that for you?

I would say first off, streaming is still a different thought process and idea for everybody. Streaming is still one of those things where you’re trying to figure it out. I’m blessed to tour. Touring is still a major part in what we do. And so, it’s still that hand-to-hand aspect, actually seeing people and everything’s still being tangible, immersing, stuff like that. But streaming is still this thing up and down where back in the day, a CD was a CD. It was a physical copy. And you know that they got the CD. Now we’re not in that world anymore.

So, I’m still learning a lot more about it. But what I do appreciate more now is the freedom to drop music whenever and however I want to. Whatever I put into it, I can see it in what comes back. Normally, with a label, it’s a tad bit different with the people you may work with. You might not have any real relationship with them. You might not know who they are. But they’re still a part of the process of your album coming out, whether they’re busy or there’s a lot of other people on the label.

I like to think of it as an airplane runway. I feel when you’re independent, it’s like you’re more on a private kind of facility where your plane takes off when you like, “All right, I’m ready to go.” But when you’re with a label, it’s like a major airport. It’s a lot of planes that might take off in front of you, or your plane might have to wait a little longer because this is about to take off.

big krit 2022 xxl spring issueLexander Bryantloading…

You’ve got your own label, Multi Alumni. What’s it like to be in control of something and being able to help more people?

This is the first year where it’s really going to be the telltale of what it’s going to be in a sense when it comes to other artists. But I’m transparent. A lot of times when it comes to the music aspect, the only thing I would lend to an artist that would come to me, normally I would want them to already be creating their own music in a sense. What they see themselves as. The only thing I’d be doing is quality control. The idea of like, “Well, maybe let’s change this kick drum, this snare. Maybe the hook could be a little stronger.”

At this point, what do you want to be remembered for?

Oh, man. I mean, obviously being a king of what I do. Humble. Transparent. I mean, music for the most part is what people know me for. But the human side, right? Being the kind of person, especially when it came to interacting with people throughout my career, that I was authentically myself and that I actually help in a sense.

When it comes to mental health. When it comes to substance abuse and these things that us as artists don’t get the opportunity to talk about as much as how they might have affected us. I was definitely and still am, one of those people that I’m very much aware of how music has inspired people and how some of the songs that I’ve done in my past might have made people crunk, turn up. But, in those songs, there might have been some rhetoric that now I know I’ve had to change. That I’ve rapped about my own faults and flaws and my mental health and depression, anxiety and getting therapy.

So, it’s one of those things where being known as a King Remembered in Time, not only for music, but as a person that really advocated people getting help mentally and physically, and then knowing themselves and being aware of their triggers. And then voicing that in order to have a really healthy concept of themselves and actually find true happiness is the most important thing for me to be remembered in a sense. I am a part of the music industry, but I’m human, right?

Read the cover story with Playboi Carti and check out the other interviews in the magazine with Fivio Foreign, Latto, DaBaby, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J, Joey Bada$$Denzel Curry, Hit-BoyRZA, Saba, Morray, Nardo Wick, Kali, Sleepy Hallow, SSGKobe, ATL Jacob, Pink Sweat$, Saucy Santana, Jason Lee, Angie Randisi and Colby Turner in the new issue of XXL magazine, which is on newsstands now and in XXL's online shop.

See Playboi Carti’s XXL Magazine Spring 2022 Cover Story Exclusive PhotosFiled Under: Big K.R.I.T., Feature, XXL MagazineCategories: News, XXL Magazine


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: May 16, 2022No Jumper via YouTube / Jarritt Clark, Getty Images

It looks like it pays to be Drake’s doppelgänger. Fake Drake claims to be getting $10,000 to perform at shows.

On Sunday (May 15), Instagram user @6ixdriptv posted a video featuring fake Drake performing Drizzy’s 2018 track “God’s Plan” inside a packed club. “The caption reads, “Be Honest, Would You Pay Frake $10K To Perform At Your Party??” along with a questioned face emoji, an owl emoji and a money bag emoji.

The fake Drake appears to have confirmed his new performance fee by sharing videos taken from videographers of his performance that night on his Instagram Stories. If this is true, then it’s a major price jump from the $5,000 fee he was getting last year.

It was last November, when Fake Drake, who goes by Izzy in real life, revealed that he gets paid five bands just for walk-throughs. At the time, the Drizzy impersonator, who’s also from Canada, was donning the same Certified Lover Boy haircut as the Toronto rhymer.

"I’m touring, I’ve got some music events I gotta show up to," he explained to the No Jumper podcast. "People DM me like, 'Hey, you wanna come to my event because I can’t pay Drake—he’s too expensive. I’ll pay you $5,000.' $5,000 just to show up. They pay my Airbnb, they pay the flight, they hook it all up."

In April, the fake Drake confused some people in Miami when he did a walk-through for a restaurant rocking a black OVO hoodie, yellow pants and white sneakers. Now the Drake imposter is donning weaved-in braids to look similar to the OVO Sound leader’s braided hairstyle.

Check out a video promotion of Fake Drake’s management announcing the prices are going up below.

Here Are the Highest-Paid Rappers of 2021, According to Former Forbes EditorA former Forbes reporter has compiled a list of the highest paid rappers of 2021.Filed Under: DrakeCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: May 15, 2022Chicago Police Department / David Dee Delgado, Getty Images

R. Kelly has reportedly formed an unlikely friendship with the accused Brooklyn subway shooter while locked up in jail.

According to a New York Daily News report, published on Saturday (May 14), R. Kelly and accused Brooklyn Subway Shooter, Frank James, reportedly have become friends at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Three insiders at the facility have told the publication that both Kells and James get along well in the jailhouse. Since both men are deemed high-risk inmates, they are being housed in the same unit.

“Both do get along. They actually sit together and eat together,” revealed one source. Another insider, familiar with the situation, told the newspaper: “They talk about TV shows. They go out to rec together. They’re buds.”

As you may know, Kelly was convicted of multiple charges, including sex trafficking, and is awaiting sentencing, while James is awaiting trial for his role in the mass shooting on the N train on April 12. Both men are not sharing a cell. Kelly has his own room, while James has a bunkmate in his cell, according to a source.

R. Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, told the New York Daily News that the R&B crooner does not have control of who he buddies up with at MDC. “Mr. Kelly is not in control of who he is housed with,” she said. “A friend is someone you voluntarily hang out with.”

James’ lawyer declined to comment on the friendship between Kelly and James.

Interestingly, numerous insiders at the MDC have told the newspaper that R. Kelly spends his time singing to lift his spirits. One source reportedly recalled the embattled singer once delivering an impromptu a cappella performance of his anthemic hit “I Believe I Can Fly,” while in his prison work clothes. Kells also sings in his cell, occasionally, much to everyone's joy at the facility. “He does live performances and all,” said an insider.

R. Kelly’s sentencing is set for June 15. The singer faces life in prison with no parole.

XXL has reached out to R. Kelly’s attorney and reps at the Metropolitan Detention Center for comment.

See 44 of the Longest Prison Bids in Hip-Hop HistoryC-Murder, Max B, B.G. and more.Filed Under: R. KellyCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: May 15, 2022Issac Baldizon / Anna Webber / Cole Burston, Getty Images (3)

Denzel Curry had to get some things off his chest while he was on social media. During his Twitter rant, Denzel said that Kanye West’s Donda album and Drake’s Certified Lover Boy project could’ve been better.

On Saturday (May 14), Denzel Curry jumped on his Twitter account and started tweeting some of his observations on pop culture. Randomly, the 2016 XXL Freshman offered his critique on Ye and Drizzy’s last projects.

“Donda and CLB could’ve been better, yall niggas rich and got the greatest musicians at your disposal,” he tweeted. The 27-year-old rhymer then added, “The artwork for both projects were booty.”

While Denzel Curry may have a point, Kanye’s Donda album artwork is simply an all-black cover, while Drake’s CLB illustrated cover features 12 pregnant women emojis lined up wearing different colored blouses and holding their rotound bellies.

Denzel's comments come after he salutied Kendrick Lamar on Friday (May 13) for his stellar work on his just-released album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. “Trust nobody only ya mama nem,” he wrote, referring to the MM&TBS track, “Father Time."

Denzel raised some eyebrows earlier this week with his proclamation that he’s the best rapper alive, period.

In an XXL interview, the South Florida rhymer talked about his new album, Melt My Eyez See Your Future. When asked what’s next for him, Denzel declared, "Just look out for me. Look out for any of the next projects that’s ’bout to come out. I’m ’bout to shake the whole game up. I don’t care what anybody got to say, bro. I’m the best rapper alive. Point blank, period."

You gotta love Denzel Curry’s confidence as a bonafide lyricist.

See Hip-Hop Albums That People Hated When They First Came Out and Over Time Became BelovedWhich album were you not a fan of at first?Filed Under: Denzel Curry, Drake, Kanye WestCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: May 14, 2022Million Dollaz Worth of Game / Arturo Holmes / Michael Tullberg, Getty Images (3)

Mack Maine has responded to Gillie Da Kid’s claim that Lil Wayne was scared when he saw Gillie at Jackson State University.

On the It's Tricky Podcast with Raquel Harper, Gillie was explaining his past drama with Lil Wayne and Cash Money Records, a label he was once signed to in the early 2000s. Weezy and Gillie have traded diss tracks at each other, with the latter claiming he ghostwrote most of the songs on Wayne’s 2004 album Tha Carter.

While there may be tension between them nearly 20 years later, Gillie said he saw Tunechi recently at a Jackson State University event and claimed Wayne was shook and fled the scene.

"Yeah, but no,” the veteran rapper-turned-podcaster explained to Harper about his interaction with Wayne. “He looked up [and] I was in the doorway [he showed that Wayne offered his hand for a handshake], and [he] got the fuck out of there. Real talk."

Mack Maine, who was also at the JSU event, caught wind of Gillie’s comments and called it cap. The Young Money Records president jumped on his Instagram page on Friday (May 13) and shared a video of the encounter. In the clip, it looks like Weezy and Gillie exchanged a pleasant handshake, but it doesn’t look like Tunechi was scared.

"[B]oy boy boy this Hollywood sh*t crazy!! Please watch both videos," Mack wrote in the caption with several tears of joy emojis to represent his laughter. "And say say @rocktopics ya know I luv ya but please keep us out them type convos you’ll probably never get the truth. I know the name of ya show is 'It’s Tricky' but don’t let em trick ya!"

Mack also suggested that Gillie was lying about ghostwriting for Wayne on Tha Carter.

"And if ya wrote the Carter 1 who wrote the Carter 2 and 3 and 4 and 5," he typed, adding more tears of joy emojis and blue caps to represent capping (or "lying"). He also added the hashtag, #BojangleNewEraAssNikka.

Gillie did express that he would love to interview Mack Maine on his popular Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast. Let’s hope this happens so the two men can settle their differences.

Check out Gillie Da Kid’s interview with It’s Tricky podcast below. Fast-forward to the 13:31-mark to watch Gillie explain his past drama with Lil Wayne and Cash Money Records.

See 10 of the Shortest Beefs in Hip-HopBeefs within rap that ended quickly.Filed Under: Gillie Da Kid, Lil Wayne, Mack MaineCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: May 14, 2022Santiago Bluguermann / Jason Mendez, Getty Images (2)

Kendrick Lamar’s new project, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, is garnering plenty of critical praise from fans and critics alike. However, Kendrick is facing backlash for featuring Kodak Black on his celebrated album.

Following the release of Kendrick Lamar’s fifth studio album on Friday (May 13), K-Dot fans jumped on Twitter to call out the Compton, Calif. rapper for featuring Kodak several times on the project amid the sexual assault allegations against him.

If you recall, in November of 2016, Yak was accused of allegedly raping a teenage girl inside his hotel room in South Carolina.

In April of 2021, Kodak accepted a plea deal and pled guilty to first-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months of probation. During his hearing, the South Florida rapper addressed the victim, who watched the proceeding on a virtual live feed. “I apologize this happened, and I’m hopeful we can all move forward,” he said.

Since the release of Kendrick Lamar's new album, many people have slammed him for including Kodak on the project and trying to redeem a “problematic/toxic individual" through the themes on his album.

"I think that we've entered this annoying trend of 'conscious' rappers/artists thinking they are doing something enlightening and/or edgy by attempting to redeem and/or reimagine problematic/toxic individuals in society. Kendrick Lamar sadly chose Kodak Black on purpose," tweeted journalist Ernest Owens.

"The betrayal stings because these artists think they are giving these trash ass individuals 'grace' in a way that society isn't — but they are actually perpetuating a violent cycle of divorcing them of true accountability," he continued. "Why must Black women and others be denied justice?"

"The annoying part is that artists that know better should do better but somehow they get passes in the name of 'being human,'" he added. "Somehow 'being human' keeps looking like collaborating with abusers and rapists, but never seeing solidarity with their victims. The hypocrisy."

Owens went pn to say that he didn’t see any meaningful value in a Kodak Black feature on MM&TBS.

"There's nothing noble, complex, or nuanced about Kendrick Lamar giving Kodak Black another check, platform, and audience at a time when he continues to be embroiled in so much controversy," he wrote. "Dude took a plea deal after being accused of raping a girl when she was in high school."

Owens concluded, "So many of the themes of #MrMoraleAndTheBigSteppers is rooted in confronting trauma around sexual abuse and/or the presumption of such. The fact that Kendrick Lamar would include Kodak Black on that album is a 'contraction' that sours a lot of focus away from that exploration."

A lot of fans shared Ernest Owens' criticism of Kodak being on Kendrick’s album.

"I really love Kendrick Lamar’s album! And that being said, I hate the rapist is featured all over it," a user tweeted. "I expected better on that front. Like seriously, Kodak is not that damn good for y’all to be ignoring the rape conviction idc."

Check out more fan reactions of Kendrick Lamar featuring Kodak Black on his album below.

These Tone-Deaf Hip-Hop Moments Prove Rappers Can Get Hit With Serious BacklashFiled Under: Kendrick Lamar, Kodak BlackCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/trentfitzgerald/” rel=”author”>Trent FitzgeraldPublished: May 14, 2022Prince Williams, Wireimage / Erika Goldring, Getty Images (2)

Boosie BadAzz said that he dissed YoungBoy Never Broke Again on a song because he didn’t want to kill him.

In a video interview with Vlad TV, which premiered on Friday (May 13), Boosie spoke candidly about his song "I Don't Call Phones I Call Shots,” where he responded to NBA YoungBoy’s lyrical dart aimed at him on “I Hate YoungBoy." When asked around the 28-second mark of the interview why he responded to YB, Boosie said matter-of-factly, “‘Cause I don’t want to kill him.”

“I didn't really promote the song,” the Back to BR creator continued. “I just wanna say what I had to say. I just felt like I say what I had to say over the mic and that's it. Like I say, it’s my first and last time speaking on it."

Boosie BadAzz went on to explain that his issue had to do with YoungBoy not clearing any of his songs.

“That’s one thing I can speak on you know, you clearing all of these other nigga songs, but [you're] supposed to be my dawg, you ain’t clearing my shit,” he said. “I didn’t like that shit.”

Boosie was asked if YoungBoy had called him and wanted to work things out, would he consider it? He said, “Nope.”

“I don’t want to talk to that nigga,” Boosie scoffed. “I don’t play that. You hurt my feelings. That nigga had me hot.”

Based on what Boosie said in the interview, it appears he and YoungBoy had songs together, and Boosie is upset that he cleared YoungBoy’s songs with him, but he didn’t reciprocate and cleared any of his.

In the past, Boosie has always been supportive of YoungBoy. In March of 2021, be tweeted his support for YoungBoy when he was arrested after fleeing from police and put in jail.

So it’s sad to hear that their working relationship is over.

Check out the Vlad TV interview with Boosie BadAzz below.

See Wild Rap Beefs That’ll Probably Never Be ResolvedPusha-T and Drake, YG and 6ix9ine, and more.Filed Under: Boosie Badazz, NBA YoungBoy, YoungBoy Never Broke AgainCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/xxlstaff/” rel=”author”>XXL StaffPublished: May 14, 2022Prince Williams, Wireimage

Atlanta rapper Lil Keed has died.

Early Saturday morning (May 14), rumors of Lil Keed's passing began circulating on social media. Lil Gotit, Keed's brother, confirmed the news on Instagram around 1:30 a.m. A rep for Lil Keed also confirmed to XXL that he has died. The late rapper's cause of death is not known at this time. Keed was 24 years old when he passed.

"Can’t believe I seened u die today bro I did all my cries I know what u want me to do and that’s go hard for Mama Daddy Our Brothers Naychur and Whiteboy #ImaHoldthisShitDown," Gotit wrote in an Instagram post of a photo featuring himself and Keed.

In Gotit's IG Story, he also included a note about his brother's passing. "@lilkeed Whyyy bra whyyy u leave me bra," he wrote, adding several smiling face with tear emojis along with a selfie.

lil gotit lil keed deadlilgotit via Instagramloading…

Lil Keed, a 2020 XXL Freshman, came to prominence in hip-hop as part of Young Stoner Life Records under Young Thug. After kicking off his rap career in 2016, Keed's divergent sound captured fans' attention as he paired his melodic flair with sing-song flows and falsetto voice throughout his rhymes. A consummate example of rap's new-age sound, his projects Trapped on Cleveland, Trapped on Cleveland 2, Keed Talk to ’Em, Long Live Mexico and Trapped on Cleveland 3 showcased both consistency and cool. "Nameless," a 2018 gem from Keed Talk to ’Em, the Love Live Mexico track "Snake," released in 2019 and "Wavy (Remix)" featuring Travis Scott, included on Keed's Trapped on Cleveland 3 album, are standouts in his discography.

In his XXL Freshman interview two years ago, Keed, born Raqhid Render, shared the ultimate vision for his career. “My goal and my intentions for my future? I wanna be a megastar," the 300 Entertainment artist said. "I don’t wanna be no superstar. I wanna be a megastar.”

He also spoke fondly of YSL leader Thugger. "Young Thug has influenced me as far as like, how to conduct business and how to be a businessman and how to move and be militant-minded and just take care of business," Keed explained. "I like the way he handles business and he a real father. He take care of everybody he need to take care of. So, that make you a real man. I’m a real man, myself."

News of Lil Keed's death arrives several days after Young Thug, Gunna and other associates of YSL were hit with RICO charges. Young Thug and Gunna remain in jail after their bonds were denied.

The hip-hop community is shocked and saddened by Lil Keed's passing. Zaytoven, Trippie Redd, Doe Boy, Lil Gnar and more share their thoughts on the rapper's death below.

Zaytoven heard of Keed's passing and went to Instagram to honor him. The producer worked with Keed on the 2020 collab project A-Team. "@lilkeed working wit u was a honor and pleasure. Rip," Zay posted to IG with a photo of him and Keed.

Doe Boy tweeted, "R.I.P Lil Keed Pray For YSL."

Trippie Redd, who toured with Keed in the past, shared several videos of the late rhymer on IG. "Bro I can’t believe this I was always encouraging u to take this rap shit serious I brought u on tour with me because I had faith in you can’t understand this one truly hurting my soul rest easy brother 5Life," Trippie wrote as the caption to the post.

"Rip lil keed … wtf can’t believe I’m seeing dis rn. im sick to my stomach. my brudda was a good hearted nigga fr," Lil Gnar tweeted.

Quana Bandz, Keed's girlfriend and mother of his daughter NayChur, shared a lengthy post on Instagram. She detailed her sadness and provided news that she and Keed are expecting another child.

"I love you sooooo much baby what I’m post to do with out you 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," she wrote. "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 my Mind is lost baby. You told me everything I’m sooooo sorry I didn’t fly to LA I know I could’ve saved you baby you really showed me all you needed was MY LOVE you gave me that I gave you that. IM SORRY please just tell me this a dream come home. YOU PROTECTED US. Whyyyy DADDY. You a fighter bru I was on my way I was RAQHID …..these 8 years you been in my life you showed me nothing but love I’m sorry baby I’m sorry for whatever I did anything I did I’m sorry let me make it better."

She continued: "You my backbone you my spine you my heart baby IF I DONT KNOW ANYTHING I KNOW YOU LOVE ME & MY BABY MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD WE fight we argue but you know we was what each other needed… YOU GAVE ME THE WORLDDDDDDDDD. Anything I wanted …. Needed you got it / did it for me with no questions ask! BABY you was just on the phone with me in the bed HOW you leave like that without saying that was gone be your last goodbye your last I love you our last FaceTime ! SMH baby please tell me I’m dreaming I wanna wake up and this shit be a dream. CALL ME BACK DADDY. My head spinning ‍ my body numb I don’t even feel myself typing Raqhid you know I’m so weak for you baby WEAK AS HELL for you . SOOOOOOO WEAK SO WEAKKKK SO FUCKINNNN WEAK FOR U BRO THIS SHIT HERE HIT HARD. WHO IM GONE MAKE LOVE TO NOW ???? WHO GONE KISS ME IN MY SLEEP ALL NIGHT? Who gone rub my Belly ? RAQHID WHY U LEAVEEEEE ME MAN. You was my boyfriend my best friend my slime my twin my ride or die! WHATEVER u on you know I was on it 10x Worst. THESE FUCK ASS NIGGA KNOW THEY COULDNT FUCK WITH U AND THEY HATE THEY. MY BD NEVER LACK YALL PUSSY ASS NIGGAS DONT NEED TO BE ACTIN LIKE THIS YALL BODY EITHER. GOD WANTED MY BOY HOME he had better plans. SLAT IN PEACE PRINCE SLIME WE LOVE U FOREVER I hope I have a son he gone be your 1st JR‍ #LONGLIVEPRINCESLIME ❤️"

See more reactions to Lil Keed's death below. R.I.P.

Lil WopKap GJacqueesNesslyFatherRetchDJ SchemeAlex TumaySee Rappers We’ve Lost in 2021Sadly, several rappers passed away in 2021.Filed Under: Lil KeedCategories: News


href=”//www.xxlmag.com/author/cvernoncoleman/” rel=”author”>C. Vernon Coleman IIPublished: May 13, 2022Todd Owyoung, Getty Images

Rap OG Ice-T is constantly dropping gems on Twitter and recently put up a post that appears to address situations like the one Young Thug has found himself in recently.

On Wednesday (May 11), Ice-T shared a video of Thugger on an episode of the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast from last May. In the clip, co-host Wallo267 tries to school Thug about staying out of situations that will get him locked up.

"I'm speaking from a place of trying to give niggas some real game," says Wallo, who served 20 years in prison for an armed robbery before founding the MDWG podcast with his cousin, rapper Gillie The Kid. "Because I'ma tell you some shit, Thug. It's lonely than a muthafucka in [prison]."

In a follow-up tweet, Ice-T dropped some words of advice himself. "It’s Easy to make the Streets think you’re a Gangster… It’s HARD to convince the Feds you’re NOT.. Via ICE T," he typed along with a diamond emoji.

On Monday (May 9), Young Thug, Gunna and 26 other people associated with YSL were indicted on RICO charges. The Fulton County District Attorney in Atlanta has accused the record label of actually being a criminal street gang, which has committed dozens of crimes over the last decade including murder, armed robbery and drug distribution. Gunna surrendered to authorities the following day. As of press time, both artists have been denied bond and remain locked up at the Fulton County Jail.

Young Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, issued a statement to XXL, denying the rapper’s criminal involvement in the matter. "Mr. Williams has committed no violation of law, whatsoever. We will fight this case ethically, legally and zealously. Mr. Williams will be cleared," he said

Steel recently filed an emergency motion to get Young Thug a bond, claiming the rapper's rights are being violated due to the conditions he is in in jail.

Ice-T isn't the only celebrity to offer an adage about the situation. Comedian D.L. Hughley recently commented on the arrests on social media. “People seem to forget, the power of life and death is in the tongue!” he tweeted. “If you call yourself #Thug and #Gunna what you probably gonna do is go to jail! #TeamDl."

Check out Ice-T's tweets below

See 52 of the Most Controversial Hip-Hop Album Covers Since 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty As They Wanna BeWhich rapper has the most controversial album cover?Filed Under: Ice-TCategories: News