Nas and Jr. Gong Finish What They Started

In hip-hop these days, it seems like artists great and not-so-great can't avoid the urge to try a Best Of Both Worlds-type offering. There's the trend-starting Jay-Z and R. Kelly, lopsided Weezy and Birdman, forever-too-young Bow Wow and Omarion, and then Nas and Damian Marley, an Africa-minded doublet that creates perhaps the most divergent sound styling of all. It's most evident as this full version of "As We Enter," an uptempo, mic-sharing number originally leaked to the web as a one-minute snippet in summer '09, hits the web in its still-unquenching, nearly-three-minute entirety. What's new, here? Nas handles the spit-fire hook--fortified with cash register pulses and shouted refrains--followed by Jr. Gong trading conversational, cobweb-thin bars with his Queens-bred collaborator. They're not quite "like two Obamas," as Esco audaciously boasts, but when Distant Relatives drops in April, these two partners-in-rhyme will surely bring a change we can all believe in. --John Kennedy

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R.LUM.R Shares Visuals For New Single "How This Feels"

With his forthcoming debut album set to drop this fall, R&B artist R.LUM.R released his latest single and paired visual "How This Feels" on Friday (July 12). He recently inked a deal with Island Records earlier this year, and his new track "builds on the momentum" the entertainer has achieved since he first climbed into the music scene with his breakout single "Show Me."

The Florida-born singer delivers vulnerable lyrics and piercing falsettos in the songs hook when asks, "So can we be real/About how this feels?" As he goes back and forth from guitar chords to nocturnal R&B, R.LUM.R's latest melody lights a fire into his next chapter in the music industry.

The opening scene of the visual shows the vocalist staring at a burning old-school Cadillac set on fire. The picturesque film continues into the opening verse on owning up to intimate feelings and connections that could be conflicting or dangerous if pursued. "I don't wanna lead us in the wrong direction/Force or fake a feeling cause we both need affection/End up co-dependent cause we can't deal with depression/The way we need/ So can we be real?/About how this feels," he croons.

"With this first visual, I wanted to make sure to do something more striking and interesting than I've ever done that makes you feel the isolation that is so felt in the music," he said in a statement. "I think we did it with 'How This Feels,'"

His widely successful single "Frustrated" reached Top 10 at Urban AC Radio in 2017. Most recently he released his project AFTERIMAGE, which reached over 100 million global artist streams.

"I really believed in what Erykah Badu used to say about music, ‘Once I release it into the world, it’s no longer my story.’ Once the audience listens to it, it’s their story. I can’t wait to see how people interpret it. There’s growth to be done, and you don’t have to be afraid of it.”

Listen to "How This Feels" up top.

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David McNew

Charlottesville Killer Receives Life Sentence Plus 419 Years

James Alex Fields Jr will spend the rest of his life behind bars for driving his car into a crowd of counter-protestors in Charlottesville, Va., which injured many and killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

According to reports, Judge Richard Moore sentenced the 22-year-old white supremacist to life in prison plus 419 years. Fields, who reportedly had a picture of Adolf Hitler framed by his bed, drove from Ohio to attend the 2017 Unite The Right Rally with fellow racists and neo-Nazi's to protest the removal of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue.

The event also drew Heyer and other counter-protestors who marched against white nationalism. The violence forced local authorities to declare an unlawful assembly and begin the process of demobilizing everyone. Later on the same day, Fields drove his car into a crowd killing Heyer and hurting others.

The event caused already bubbling racial tensions in America to spill over when during a press conference Donald Trump blamed "both sides" for the turmoil.

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DMX Is Cleared In The Case Of A 'Stolen' Corvette

Rapper DMX will reportedly not face any charges after it was believed his was driving a “stolen” vehicle back in May.

The rapper reportedly left a Los Angeles restaurant in another person’s car, after the valet accidentally gave him and his entourage the wrong set of keys. The valet mix-up created a potential issue for X, as authorities believed that driving a stolen vehicle was grounds for a probation violation as it pertained to his tax evasion case. Police reportedly were able to retrieve the vehicle, and no one was arrested.

“DMX met with his probation officer and everything is fine,” the MC’s attorney, Murray Richman, told TMZ. “We're told the rapper's in the clear as far as a potential probation violation goes.”

As far as his professional life goes, DMX reportedly joined the cast of Chronicle Of A Serial Killer back in April. He also gave a rousing sermon at Kanye West’s Sunday Service performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in the spring.

“Doors that were once closed are now open for me,” he said. “I am God’s favorite child…I have supernatural increases and promotion. Like the restoration of everything the devil has stolen from me. This is the day, time, and moment for me to experience the free grace of God.”

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