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What About Your Friends: Behind Shawty Redd's Murder Charge (Pg. 3)

Squeak says Martin covered Stewart's bills for a couple of years, but that their relationship went beyond money. "He would try to shop his production for him, give him ideas. Like Damon had an idea for them to do a website together to scout out producers, because Shawty was an A&R as well." Although Martin mostly shied away from the limelight, he did make a few cameo appearances in a 2007 music video that, according to Squeak Martin financed for Shawty Redd called "One Shot." In the video, Shawty Redd rails against the disloyalty of the music industry. "I only got one shot," he raps on the ominous track. "And I keep a steady aim / Finger on my trigger, ’bout to do the damn thing."

It didn’t take long for Stewart’s visions of stardom to come true. After producing hits for Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane, Stewart eventually received mainstream acclaim after helping to resuscitate Snoop Dogg’s career with the 2008 hit “Sexual Eruption.” That same year, the producer bought his house in the gated Crystal Lake community of Hampton, Georgia. He moved in his DJ, DJ Dyce, his “play brother” Reddnose, and an understudy producer, D.Rich. (Attempts to contact Reddnose, D.Rich, and DJ Dyce were not successful as of press time).

Around the same time, Martin fell into his own financial problems, and Stewart reportedly moved him into a room in his home. Squeak did not officially live in the house, but he did stay there for weeks at a time. "I was driving the [Geto Kingz] artists back and forth [to Atlanta]," he says. "Shawty’s door was always open to us. We didn’t have to call him. The security guard knew us and he would just lift the gate right up when they seen us. So it was a lot of love."

Squeak says he did not witness any major disagreements between Stewart and Martin, but he says there was some friction. "From what I seen, the arguments were basically about stuff like not putting dishes in the dishwasher or something. Simple things,” he says. “A lot of the times, Shawty wouldn’t even come up out his room until like mid-afternoon because they party all night and sleep all day. Since I was a producer, Shawty respected that I knew how to work the equipment so it was like, 'Squeak go head, ya’ll just go pick a beat and record it, whatever.' He didn’t really have to come down. So I was doing a lot of the engineering down there for Tony Trice under Shawty Redd’s production."

But over time Squeak says he noticed a change in the producer's personality: "He was real humble and kind in the beginning. He would cook for us and whatnot, but it seems like the more there was a demand for him [in the industry], he seem like he started to get a little bit arrogant. Sometimes he would just walk in and don’t speak to nobody, and just go upstairs."

It's not clear how these disagreements turned deadly. But an altercation at a local strip club on December 30 may have brought things to a head.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”


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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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