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V Exclusive: Teddy Riley Feels ‘Sad and Humiliated’ Over Domestic Abuse Claims

On Dec. 23, Teddy Riley was accused of beating his 18-year-old daughter Taja in the middle of a heated argument. In a lengthy statement released exclusively to VIBE today (Jan. 2), the R&B producer expressed frustration with the aftermath of the incident.

Riley is currently under a restraining order, which was filed by Taja immediately following the fight. The former Blackstreet member continues to deny his daughter's claims that he punched and struck her and her sister Deja. In a statement released to VIBE via his reps Jonathan Hay and Greg Bowman, he states:

“First of all, I am a single father and I have provided for my children to the best of my abilities with unconditional love and the utmost security, commitment and support. Now today, I find myself not even wanting to leave my house because of misperception surrounding my family, whom I have sacrificed and dedicated so much to. It is a very emotional and sensitive time for all of us right now. The situation involving my household over the holidays isn’t being represented right in the media. At this point, I feel further explanation is owed on my part to avoid additional confusion and speculation.”

The producer reenacted the fight in front of TMZ’s cameras on Dec. 31.

Riley explained the confrontation in further detail to VIBE, stating that the family was together for the holidays when an argument arose between he and his daughters, who became increasingly enraged:

“I felt the need to restrain my children as a disciplinarian parent. I would never hit my daughters out of anger; my only intention was to restrain them from hitting me, with as little force as possible. To my dismay, they came at me and started hitting me. I tried to hold them back, to calm them down, but Taja hit me in the face. Then Deja came in and started screaming and punching me in the head, so I directed her toward the bed, away from me, and out of harm’s way. At some point, Taja fell against the wall, scraping her face, which is how the bruises on the side of her face were obtained. I did not deliberately push her into a wall, nor did I punch her.”

Riley continues:

“I told Taja to leave the house and she started spitting on me. I was thinking, ‘How can my child disrespect me in my home? I’m their father!’ Not to mention my own mother was in the house during all this, as was Michael Jackson’s niece, Genevieve Jackson. I called the police, and Taja and Deja decided to call the police at the same time. They told the police that I had a gun and was holding it to them, which was not true in any way. There was never a gun, and the idea that I would ever hold a gun to my own flesh and blood is ridiculous and hurtful. The police came -- the LAPD with six cars and a helicopter – while I was on the phone with their mother. I had nothing but a cell phone on me, but because my daughters had lied and told them I had a gun, they began shouting at me to get down on the ground or they would shoot. The helicopters had their lights on me as I got down to the ground, face down. They asked me to turn my head to the right, then to the left as they approached me, twisted my arms behind my back and lifted me to my feet. They put me up against my car and explained to me that the girls had called them and told them I had a firearm. I couldn’t believe it. A firearm at the girls -- I’d pull a gun at my own girls? I would never do such a thing. I think this is a good demonstration of how a situation like this one can quickly turn from bad to worse very quickly, and a desperate attempt to prove a point could result in an unfortunate situation, even death. Had the police mistaken my cell phone for a gun, it is likely I would’ve been shot several times, right there and then."

Riley had previously blamed himself for a lack of discipline as a father and for spoiling his daughters growing up. In the statement, he explains that he was raised differently:

“I came from The Projects and I could never disrespect my mother, and I never did. I would never tell my mother ‘Shut up!’ I’d never tell my mother anything disrespectful. It was different then, we never disrespected our parents. I never even dreamt of doing such a thing. But now, despite our best efforts, there is a definite difference in our children’s attitudes this generation and a severe lack of respect for authority. But even with that being said, and contrary to what I have been accused of, I would never beat my children for any reason.”

At one point, the family argument spilled over onto Twitter, after Taja posted a picture of her bruised face to her private Twitter account (@Tajariley), but according to Riley, the photo doesn’t reflect what really happened:

“The picture that is out right now of my daughter, Taja, is not a true representation of the events that actually occurred on that day. Taja released a photo to the media to suggest that I had caused the bruises to her face. My daughters know the truth; they know that I did not hurt them. But they are
still very angry with me -- they even hate me at this point. And even though I feel justified in attempting to hold them to a certain level of respect in my home, in retrospect, I would’ve handled this situation much differently. My heart is heavy and it grieves me to watch it play out in the media. I feel sad and humiliated that we’ve been put in a situation where it’s necessary for these details to be released to the public, as I am a firm believer that family matters should remain discreet and worked through privately together.”

Riley also took blame for not diffusing the situation right away:

“The biggest mistake I made in this situation was not immediately talking through it with my girls. They refuse to answer my calls because they dislike me right now and do not want to talk to me. They said something on Twitter, and I replied. Of course, what I said got bleeped out by various media outlets, including ‘Honor thy mother and your father and you will live long.’  I also said ‘Don’t disrespect the hands that feed you’ and I added a Bible scripture so they’d understand the importance of honoring their parents. That’s just how I feel as a dedicated and proud father. At this point, I just want to mend things with them and calm the situation down.”

Riley ended the statement by saying that he loves his daughters and that they will “always be my little girls.” Taja couldn’t be reached for comment as of press time. ––Clover Hope

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Signage is seen at the 2020 Billboard Power List Event at NeueHouse Hollywood on January 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
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Billboard’s 2020 Power List Event Pins Leadership As The Music Industry’s Most Lucrative Tool

The start of a new decade inspired a change of plans for Billboard’s annual Power List. In previous years, the publication ranked 100 music industry professionals for their strides in the business by creating strategies that have propelled artists to the top of the charts and proved that the senior practices of the business can sometimes benefit from a fresh makeover. For 2020’s edition, the brand opted to not rank those chosen professionals but instead gathered and produced a list of honorees including Lyor Cohen (YouTube’s Global Head of Music), Roc Nation’s Jay-Z (Chairman), Desiree Perez (CEO), and Jay Brown (Vice Chairman) to Quality Control’s CEO Pierre “P” Thomas and COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee.

To a resounding applause inside the event’s NeueHouse location on a balmy Thursday evening (Jan. 23) in Los Angeles, Hannah Karp, Editorial Director of Billboard Media Group, explained the reason for the change and the company’s hope that next year will produce another list of futuristic innovators. “For one thing it’s always been hard to compare the power of executives in different sectors,” Karp said. “We also wanted to inspire a new generation of music business executives that honor leadership instead of just leverage.”

The first award of the night, which was named in honor of Jay Frank, a beloved music industry veteran who worked as senior vice president at Universal Music Group (UMG) before he passed away from cancer in 2019, was given to Mitchell Shymanskly, vice president of data and analytics at UMG, for his strides in digital music leadership.

“Jay was a visionary in our field, he saw things differently which is the true definition of an innovator,” he said. “He was looking constantly for an edge and it was a great privilege of mine to have the opportunity to work alongside him.” Shymanskly learned the mantra, “We don’t succeed alone.” That quote was echoed by Columbia Records chairman/CEO Ron Perry, who received the Breakthrough Award. He gave praise to his team for their work and success, especially after a year of witnessing Lil Nas X’s breakneck speed to pop stardom.

While future pioneers both in front and behind the mic filled the room, a living legend who helped shape some of music’s most fortified models also made a special guest appearance. The Clive Davis Visionary Award was presented to Atlantic Records’ Craig Kallman (CEO) and Julie Greenwald (COO) by the man himself, Clive Davis.

Greenwald shared the duo’s singular vision that allows Atlantic Records the ability to remain one of the music industry's pillars of success. “Build and maintain a music company that we love, we surrounded ourselves with an extraordinary team of people and then we signed artists that both Ahmet and Lyor would truly be proud of,” Greenwald said. For women in the music industry, being able to take that stage and receive these awards was a major feat for Jody Gerson, UMG’s CEO, who received the Executive of the Year award. The Executive of the Decade award was given to UMG's chairman/CEO Sir Lucian Grainge. “To me, what is most meaningful is that this is a recognition without qualifications,” she said. “I am being honored not as a female executive, but as an executive. It is my hope that this award will help pave the road for more exceptional and diverse leaders to come. We all deserve to be judged for our merits regardless of who you are or how you identify.”

Gerson also sits on the board of directors for She Is The Music (SITM), a program that promotes inclusivity in the music industry. Gerson revealed that UMG will donate $50,000 to the organization, which aims to provide resources for gender diversity in songwriting, producing, executive positions and more. In 2018, the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative conducted a study on the lack of women representation in the music sector. The research, which was published in 2018, concluded that for the year of 2017 out of 651 producers only two percent were women while men dominated at 98 percent. In the songwriting world, out of 2,767 credited songwriters, 12.3 percent were women while 87.7 percent were men.

Now, with new sights and plans set to change the makeup of the industry, Gerson reiterated that there's no better time than the present to implement new practices. “The moment of change is here.”

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Allen Berezovsky

Lauren London Debuts The Marathon Clothing x Puma Collection

The Marathon Clothing and PUMA are teaming up once again. The brands will be collaborating in honor of the late Nipsey Hussle. His wife, Lauren London, debuted the Marathon Clothing x Puma’s “Hussle and Motivate” collection on social media on Thursday (Jan. 23).

London is featured in the line's campaign shoot with Hussle's close friends, YG, J. Stone, and Pacman Da Gunman. Per a press release: "After first releasing in September 2019, PUMA will re-issue key pieces from the collection for fans and supporters including co-branded tracksuits and t-shirts featuring checkered patterns and TMC motifs, as well as PUMA’s signature California sneakers in black and white iterations."

 

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#HussleAndMotivate

A post shared by Lauren London (@laurenlondon) on Jan 23, 2020 at 5:56pm PST

Another image from the clothing collaboration shows London wearing a white sweatshirt with a message that reads, “We (The Marathon Clothing) honor the unwavering faith of those that never quit. Our products represent their testimony. Life is a marathon.”

A portion of the net proceeds from PUMA’s sales of the PUMA x TMC Collection will go directly to the Neighborhood “Nip” Foundation. Beginning February 1st, the collection will be available again in select retailers and on PUMA's official website.

 

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#HussleAndMotivate

A post shared by Lauren London (@laurenlondon) on Jan 23, 2020 at 5:58pm PST

London previously linked with Puma for a viral video campaign paying tribute to her longtime love. Hustle, whose Victory Lap recently went platinum, will be celebrated at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards with a tribute featuring YG, Roddy Ricch, Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled, and John Legend.

The 2020 Grammy Awards will air on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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Lil Wayne performs at the 2019 Outside Lands music festival at Golden Gate Park on August 09, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
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Lil Wayne Reveals Release Date For ‘Funeral’ Album

Four years after initially announcing the project, Lil Wayne took to Twitter on Thursday (Jan. 23) to reveal that his  Funeral album will drop next week.

“Welcome to the funeral, closed casket as usual,” Tunechi says in the album teaser. The Grammy winner also tweeted a link for fans to pre-order physical and digital copies of the album as a CD, vinyl or “digital cassette.” The online shop features album merchandise, including long-sleeved shirts, hoodies and beanies.

In a recent interview with VIBE, Lil Wayne said that even though his recording process has drastically changed since his prolific mixtape days, he still finds enjoyment in going to the studio to create.

“I love the difficulty of trying to fit in with what’s going on today, making sure I sound likable to the ears today and having to remind myself that it’s not about what it was back then. Going to the studio now, for me, is awesome. I used to go to that muf***a and do 12 songs a night. Cut a beat on, I’m going to go and you let me know when to stop,” Wayne said.

“...I can’t wait to get in the studio now every night, just to see what I can come up with. [Before] it was just me going to the studio and saying, let me kill ten more songs and then I’m going to go home or do whatever I was doing. Now, it’s let me see what I come up with. Self-discovery, rebirth – call it whatever you want to call it but it feels awesome, I swear to God.”

The New Orleans native’s last studio LP, Tha Carter V, dropped in 2018 after years of delays. In 2019, the 37-year-old rapper embarked on a joint summer tour with Blink-182, but the jaunt was marred by difficulty as Wayne walked off stage during one show and threatened to quit. He changed his mind hours later.

Even with all the tour trouble, Blink-182 had nothing but good things to say about Weezy. “The one day where he walked off stage, he had said, ‘I just felt like they didn’t like me,’ so he walked off stage,” drummer Travis Barker explained in an interview last year.

Funeral drops on Jan. 31. Check out the album teaser below.

1/31 https://t.co/7VtPC39vT6 pic.twitter.com/FQrLNA8ptn

— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) January 23, 2020

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