What About Your Friends: Behind Shawty Redd's Murder Charge (Pg. 2)

In his first interview since the shooting, Squeak shed new light on the man Shawty Redd is alleged to have murdered. “Damon wasn’t the kind of guy that was all for the fame and the ‘shouting out’ and all of that. Cause it was almost obvious what he was doing. And people around seen and knew. Gucci Mane knows Choppo personally. Jeezy knows Choppo personally. They know the relationship of Shawty Redd and the Geto Kingz family. Shawty Redd calls Damon ‘big homie.’ I mean, you don’t call somebody ‘big homie’ if they’re not your big homie.”

Squeak says he met Damon Martin around 1986. "We were like 8 or 9-years-old," he says. "We were next-door neighbors actually. We grew up in Southfield, Michigan so it was the suburbs, it was a nice neighborhood. We went to Southfield High School. He was really into sports, and was actually a professional speed skater. He was a quarterback football player in high school. He was real popular."

Squeak says he was the one who inspired Martin to get into the music industry. "I’ve been making music pretty much all my life and I started building my own studio," says Squeak. "When he heard my stuff, he really gained interest and that’s what really inspired him to try to find a way to get my beats heard. This was maybe ’99 or 2000." Describing his friend as "a hustler," Squeak says, "He was selling our CDs and really just trying to get the production part of it off. He was pushing our music."

According to Squeak, Martin met Shawty Redd in 2004 in an Atlanta strip joint called Club Blaze. He remembers Martin calling him to say he bumped into a producer working on Young Jeezy’s new album. Martin’s goal became introducing his crew, Geto Kingz, to Stewart, who at the time was attempting to cement his own credentials in the music industry. According to Squeak, Martin paid Shawty Redd to make beats for Geto Kingz, and also lavishly supplied the producer with money for other expenses.

"Damon was there for him," Squeak told VIBE. "Back then, Shawty Redd wasn’t really that financially stable. [So] Damon helped Shawty Redd out a lot. A whole lot. Car payments, house payments…just anything he needed, all the way down to groceries and cigarettes. Even when he got into his car accident [in 2007], my man paid for the Benz to get out the shop. It was times Shawty Redd didn’t have anything and Damon was always there through the years. He told me that him and Shawty ripped a dollar bill in half and Shawty promised that when he got on, he would be there for Damon, because he respected him being there for him. And Damon always kept that half of the dollar bill in his wallet, and Shawty Redd did as well."

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Teyana Taylor Hints At Music Retirement, Says She Feels Underappreciated

Teyana Taylor is feeling underappreciated. Taylor hinted a possibly retiring from music in an Instagram post thanking fans for her music Spotify end-of-the year numbers.

The “Bare Wit Me” singer wracked up over 167 million Spotify streams, from 15.2 million listeners, across 92 countries. “I ain’t gone [sic] front in times of feeling super [underappreciated] as [an] artist, receiving little to no real push from the ‘machine,’ constantly getting the shorter end of the stick, being overlooked, I mean the list [goes] on and on lol,” she wrote on Friday (Dec. 4).

Taylor added that she’s “retiring this chapter of my story” with the comfort of knowing that she’s walking away with “peace of mind seeing that all the hard work & passion put in was indeed loved & supported somewhere in the world!”

She went on to thank her day one supporters and new fans. “I love you and I thank you for everything & don’t worry y’all know all hustlers have the understanding that when one door closes another will open.”

This isn’t the first time that Taylor has aired out her frustrations with the music industry. She put the Grammys on blast last month for snubbing female R&B singers, and previously spoke out about the mishandling of the rollout of her debut album, K.T.S.E.

Taylor’s last studio project, The Album, was released in June.

Read her full Instagram post below.


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Letitia Wright Responds To Backlash After Post Questioning COVID-19 Vaccine

After catching backlash for tweeting a YouTube video questioning the ingredients of a COVID-19 vaccine, Letitia Wright went back to social media on Friday (Dec. 4) to explain her reasoning.

“My intention was not to hurt anyone, my ONLY intension of posting this video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies. Nothing else,” wrote the Black Panther star.

my intention was not to hurt anyone, my ONLY intention of posting the video was it raised my concerns with what the vaccine contains and what we are putting in our bodies.

Nothing else.

— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) December 4, 2020

if you don’t conform to popular opinions. but ask questions and think for yourself....you get cancelled 😂

— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) December 4, 2020

The criticism started after Wright shared a video titled, COVID-19 Vaccine Should We Take It?, on Thursday (Dec. 3). As the post began circulating social media Wright tweeted, “If you don’t conform to popular opinions but ask questions and think for yourself…you get cancelled.”

Wright also liked a tweet reading “Cancel Black Panther 2 immediately,” and another tweet calling for her character to be recast.

Wright, 27,  isn’t alone in being skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines. According to a Pew Research survey conducted in September, only 32% of Black Americans surveyed said that they would take the vaccine. Some of the distrust dates stems from the 1932 Tuskegee Experiment where hundreds of Black men were unknowingly infected with syphilis.

The U.K. is expected to become one of the first countries to get Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine. The region has received 800,000 doses and will begin mass vaccinations next week. A U.S. vaccine could be released by the end of  December.

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Ashanti And Keyshia Cole Sign On For Verzuz Battle

Season 2 of Verzuz is already off to a good start. Ashanti and Keyshia Cole are next in line for a Verzuz battle, it was confirmed on Friday (Dec. 4).

The R&B stars will go up against each other for a “celebration of women empowerment” next Saturday, Dec. 12. The “Legendary Ladies Night” will be streamed on IG Live and Apple Music.

Yeah, it’s official! The paperwork is IN 🚨🚨 It’s a legendary Ladies Night on Saturday, December 12th with @Ashanti and @KeyshiaCole.

Which Libra you got?!

Saturday, December 12th, 5PM PT / 8PM ET. Watch on our IG or in HD on @AppleMusic.

Drinks by @Ciroc Merch by @NTWRKLIVE pic.twitter.com/UCWJvaEl0y

— Verzuz (@verzuzonline) December 4, 2020

Both multi-platinum selling singers have impressive stats. Ashanti’s catalog of solo hits include “Foolish,” “Rock wit U,” “Rain On Me,” “Happy,” and “Baby.” On the collaborative tip, the Grammy winner joined Ja Rule on singles like, “What’s Love?” and “Always on Time.”

She was also featured on Lloyd’s debut single “Southside,” “Into You” by Fabolous, and “Body on Me” with Nelly. And she of course wrote songs for Jennifer Lopez and more.

Cole’s breakout single, “I Changed My Mind,” dropped in 2004 and her career took off from there. The Oakland native boasts a slew of classic R&B singles like “(I Just Want It) To Be Over,” “I Should Have Cheated,” “Let It Go,” “I Remember,” “Heaven Sent,” “Love,” and “Trust.” As a featured artist, Cole appeared on Sean Paul’s “(When You Gonna) Give It Up to Me,” Young Jeezy’s “Dreaming,” and Diddy’s 2006 single “Last Night,” to name a few.

Although they’re technically going up against each other for Verzuz, there’s no beef between the two artists who previously collaborated for the title track off Cole’s 2012 album, Woman to Woman.

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