Ashanti Recalls Double Take With Ja Rule at Hip Hop Honors

During Tuesday (October 13) night's airing of VH1's Hip Hop Honors, viewers watched today's rappers do their best impressions of Def Jam icons, but one of the night's most notable storylines was Ja Rule and Ashanti's onstage reunion.

The two former Murder Inc. headliners took the stage to revive their hits "Down Ass Chick" and "Always on Time," the duo's first joint performance in years.

"[Ja] reached out to me," Ashanti told VIBE Wednesday night, a day after the tribute show aired. "We were talking on the phone back and forth for a week or two before the show, and when we saw each other at rehearsals the first time in a long time he gave me a big ol' hug. It was back to years ago. It felt good to be on stage [together]."

As feel-good and historic as it was, however, TV viewers actually watched the tag team's second taped performance. Due to an audio malfunction, the first play of the classics was scrapped and Ashanti and Ja hit the stage for an unscheduled encore.

"I don't think it was [DJ] Chuck Chillout's fault, but something happened with the music to where it started [sounding like] chopped and screw. It was just like, wahh wahh!" Ashanti recalled, imitating Houston's lethargic music effect. "I was like, 'Whoa, what happened?' I would've just automatically stopped, but I just saw that Ja kept it moving and they kept the record going so I was like, 'OK, I'ma go with it'."

She continued, "It threw Ja off for the verses. And the timing, everything was off, off, off. So when we finished, I was backstage, like 'We gotta do this over.' There's no way we were going out like that!"

Another un-televised moment from Hip Hop Honors was the hatchet burying between DMX and Ja Rule. Ashanti had already split--the singer/actor had to do early-morning radio the following day to promote the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, as protagonist Dorothy--but she was glad the on-and-off-friendly MCs made peace.

"I heard they made up. I was so happy," Ashanti said. "Me and [DMX have] always been cool. We took a trip to Africa one time together and we were on the flight for, like, 100 hours. I was always like, it's kind of awkward with, you know, where I was and who I was and then whatever it is that [Ja Rule and DMX] had between each other. So I was glad to see that they made up. That shows we can unite in hip-hop."

Eminem, Foxy Brown, Kid Rock, Mary J. Blige, Method Man, Redman, Ludacris, and Scarface were among the nostalgic night's many performers. -John Kennedy

Watch Ja Rule and Ashanti's performance from VH1's Hip Hop Honors here:

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Amy Winehouse Hologram Tour Postponed Over “Unique Challenges”

Amy Winehouse's hologram tour is officially postponed, BASE Hologram, the company behind the digital production, announced via Twitter Tuesday (Feb. 19).

“In developing the type of highly ambitious, state of the art hologram/augmented reality theatrical event that would truly capture her genius and incredible artistic and social contributions, we encountered some unique challenges and sensitivities,” the company revealed.

The tour, originally scheduled to launch sometime this year, is delayed until BASE can “determine the best path to a creatively spectacular production that would properly honor Amy’s legacy.”

Mitch Winehouse, the “Back to Black” singer's father, announced the tour last fall, which was expected to feature a live band backing a digital projection of Winehouse.

Winehouse died from alcohol poisoning in 2011, following a very public battle with addiction that ultimately cut her life short. Proceeds from the tour will benefit the Amy Winehouse Foundation, an organization that works to prevent “the effects of drug and alcohol misuse on young people.”

Read BASE Hologram’s full statement on the tour delay below.

— BASE Hologram (@BASEHologram) February 20, 2019

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Michael Jackson's Estate Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against HBO

Michael Jackson’s estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO over the upcoming Leaving Neverland documentary set to air next month. Jackson’s estate accuses the cable network of breaching a non-disparagement contract made with the King of Pop back in 1992.

"HBO breached its agreement not to disparage Michael Jackson by producing and selling to the public a one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda to shamelessly exploit an innocent man no longer here to defend himself," Howard Weitzman, attorney for the Jackson estate said in a statement accompanying the lawsuit, according to NBC News.

The statement adds that HBO should have “ensured that Leaving Neverland was properly sourced, fact-checked and a fair and balanced representation.”

Leaving Neverland features alleged accounts from Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both of whom accuse Jackson of molesting them when they were minors. Robson, who attended Jackson’s funeral in 2009, previously testified in 2005 that Jackson never molested him. In 2013, Robson sued the estate claiming abuse. Safechuck also sued for similar allegations in 2014. Both lawsuits were dismissed because the statute of limitations had passed. The two men hope that the film will “educate the public about how abuse like this happens.”

The estate claims that the amount of damages potentially caused to Jackson’s legacy “could exceed $100 million should HBO success in the damage it is intending to cause.” Jackson’s estate also believes the King of Pop's accusers are using HBO as part of their “litigation strategy.”

HBO plans to air the film, as scheduled. In a statement responding to the legal complaint, the network called out Jackson’s estate for going to “desperate lengths” to undermine the documentary. “Our plans remain unchanged. HBO will move forward with the airing of Leaving Neverland, the two-part documentary, on March 3rd and 4th. This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves.”

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Rico Love Wants His Lady To 'Shine' In New Music Video

Through a montage of dark city views paired with silver monochronistic architecture, Rico Love is making sure the main lady in his life blossoms above all possible adversity from her past in the newly released visuals for his latest single, “Shine.”

The video features a beautiful, chocolate-hued woman clad in a pinkish fur coat, who serves as Rico’s main source of love and affection. With his captivating lyrics and a soulful voice filled of conviction, the Grammy award winning songwriter is steadily making his sonic stance on the R&B world.

Love credits his stellar musicianship to his discipline when it comes to studying music. In an interview with The Fader, he details part of his learning process taking it back to his rapper days.

"It’s just like a guy who’s 6’10". He can teach himself how to dunk if he does it every day. I take everything serious that I do. I go 100%," he said. "I study. It wasn’t like I was just this rapper who didn’t listen to Queen, who didn’t understand Rufus Wainwright, that didn't listen to the Beatles. I don’t want to sound like a pompous jerk, but I have amazing taste in music. When you start loving great songs, when it’s time to write one your own ear can understand what’s a great song and what’s not."

Watch the video for "Shine" below.


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