Murphy’s Law: Because I’m Right And You’re Wrong

During my brief time on this God forsaken earth, I’ve come to realize a few idiosyncrasies about myself. First off, I’m a shameless cocktail snob. Give me the understated genius of a Brandy Alexander or the fuck-you-pay-me glory of an Old Fashioned (Brooklyn’s Weather Up Bar has the lost art on lock) over a rum and coke any day. Secondly, I have an unhealthy hatred for the following: Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns (Can we just call it Amos & Andy Redux?); Dane Cooke (C’MON SON!) ; the ridiculously clutch but raging phony that is Kobe Bean Bryant; 50 Cent Stans (On the real, Curtis is one of the few rappers I could kick it with. Beyond the music, he’s an engaging cat. But some of his more hardcore followers remind me of the same obnoxious, deranged robots who quote Glen Beck like he’s Nietzsche); that “Tick Tock” chick; the unhinged white-rage represented by the Tea Party; and Gucci Mane (I’m really getting too old for this shit…).

Now the proverbial last-but-not-least: I’m a know-it-all.

Friends, journalism peers, family members, former co-workers, ex-girlfriends, and assorted haters can attest to this. From music to sports to politics to claiming the best place to buy pizza in America (The Art of Pizza Inc.’s deep dish pie in Chicago…I’m such a homer) and everything else in between, if I’m even remotely schooled in the subject, consider it a showdown. You can blame Mary G. Murphy for such hubris. God bless her, but I never had a chance. She’s a bigger know-it-all than the kid.

However, this is not some aimless asshole affliction. On the contrary, it has fueled my thirst to know/learn/dissect beyond my comfort zone, which on the real, is something we should all aspire to. You should be as well-versed in the best-written show on TV after Mad Men (Battlestar Gallactica’s Sci-Fi channel spin-off Caprica) as you are with the sobering reality that the political right’s eye-winking mascot Sarah Palin should indeed be taken seriously. Remember, we live in a country where some folks believe President Barack Obama is on the streets passing out Little Red Books on some Chairman Mao shit. It’s nuts out here, ya’ll. Free Huey!

This is indeed the premise of my blog Murphy’s Law (You can thank VIBE’s resident EIC for the, um, riveting title. Damn you Jermaine Hall.)  Bottom line: Every Wednesday and Friday, consider this an arena to discuss, debate and exchange ideas of the trivial and world-shaping variety with a steady barrage of argue-inducing lists, dream battles, and know-it-all diatribes. This is barber shop/hair salon talk at its most confident, opinionated and irreverent. After all, a blog is only as good as it’s responses.

Oh yeah, a few things to wrap your head around…

1. Usher is ridiculously overrated.

2. The smartest guy in the room should just come to the conclusion that bi-partisanship is bullshit. (Note to conservatives: don’t ever invite Obama to debate with you on camera ever again.)

3. Shouldn’t Taylor Swift just cut a check to Kanye West? I guess I didn’t get the memo that the Grammy’s were handing out Album of the Year awards to tween acts marketed to Miley Cyrus’ fans. 

4. And while we are on the Grammy’s, why was that moving acceptance speech by Michael Jackson’s two oldest kids Prince and Paris better than the actual tepid, overblown 3-D MJ tribute?

5. Apparently there are no young black “it-girls” in Hollywood, according to Vanity Fair. 

6.The more gorgeous the woman, the more of an insecure wreck she is (Someone please tell Halle Berry to have a long talk with Rihanna).


Until then, always mean what you say and say what’s on your mind.—Murph


With all apologies due to Mick Jagger, Keith “Murph” Murphy may not be a man of immense wealth, but he does have taste. For over a decade, the Chicago-born journalist has sparred with brazen hip hop moguls (Jay-Z); Hollywood royalty (Quentin Tarantino); political powerbrokers (Rev. Al Shaprton); redemption-seeking pugilists (Mike Tyson); R&B divas (Mary J. Blige); and lyrically great white hopes (Eminem). His work has appeared in such publications and sites as VIBE, Essence, The Root, and KING, and he is a frequent commentator on CNN, Fox News, VH1, and A&E Biography.




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D'Angelo And Maxwell Were Originally Scheduled For A 'Verzuz' Battle

It's no secret. Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have been working hard to pair up some of hip-hop and R&B's biggest stars for their Verzuz celebratory battles. To date, the duo has successfully hosted 24 of these events on Instagram Live and their streaming partner, Apple Music. Now, what you rarely hear about are the matches that could have been. In a live conversation following D'Angelo's damn-near-solo set—that many R&B lovers didn't know they needed—Swizz Beatz and Timbaland revealed how the soulful crooner was originally scheduled to take part in Verzuz alongside fellow "neo-soul" singer Maxwell.

"I'm not gonna lie. That sh*t took very long. Let's give people the story," starts Swizz. "What was supposed to happen was D'Angelo versus Maxwell on Valentine's Day. That didn't work out, but the fact that D'Angelo was still ready to go and still motivated, we had to celebrate him— matter who was on stage with him. We had to celebrate that king because, as you can see, those songs that he played tonight, man, that's real music."

He continues: "This is a celebrational stage and we couldn't play around with him. We had to let him get his garden because he showed up and showed out. That man pulled up to Verzuz three hours early. D'Angelo was the earliest person in Verzuz history tonight so don't get him showing up [at] the time he did mixed up with the pre-show which was by DJ Scratch."

Message received, but could you imagine how many more ladies would've gotten their lives on that night of love? Can you imagine the attempted falsetto singing done by viewers on that special and rare night? It would've been nice to see D'Angelo and Maxwell on the same bill, that's for sure.

Watch Swizz and Timbo talk about the match that could have been while clearing the air about D'Angelo's start-time at around the 4-minute and 20-second mark of the video below.


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Rapper Bobby Shmurda poses backstage at Power 105.1's Powerhouse 2014 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on October 30, 2014 in New York City.
Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Power 105.1

Bobby Shmurda Returns Home After Serving 6 Years In Prison

After serving 6 years, Bobby Shmurda is finally out. The rapper, born Ackquille Pollard, was granted a conditional release from the New York state prison, Clinton Correctional Facility, on Tuesday morning (Feb. 23) and will serve the remainder of his 7-year sentence on parole. According to reports, Shmurda “will be under community supervision in Kings County until he completes his sentence on February 23, 2026.”

In true celebrity fashion, Shmurda was brought home in a private jet this morning. Earlier this week, Migos' Quavo told Billboard that he would do the honor of picking him up upon Bobby's release. "I'm going to get my guy. I'm personally gonna go pick up Bobby Shmurda. I'm bout to go get him. I'm gonna let him show you how I'm gonna pick him up, yessir. It's gonna be big."

And that he did.


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In December 2014, Shmurda was arrested at New York City's Quad Studios and was charged with conspiracy to murder, criminal possession of a weapon, criminally using drug paraphernalia, and reckless endangerment follow a two-year probe by the New York Police Department. In 2016, the former Epic Records signee and his childhood friend Rowdy Rebel accepted a plea deal and were sentenced to 7 years in prison.

“They kind of did it dirty at the end of the day,” Bobby explained in a phone interview with VIBE back in 2016. “They had offered me five (years) but then they said if I take the seven, then I’ll be taking it so that they could give Rowdy seven because they were going to offer him 12. I didn’t want my bro to do 12 years because at the end of the day, we didn’t really do nothing, but they playing dirty. So I’m going to take one for the bro.”

Now that Bobby is out, he'll be spending time with family and friends and getting his head back into creating new music. Watch his FaceTime call with his mother, Leslie, down below.

Welcome back, Bobby.

Bobby Shmurda on facetime with his mom after being released from prison

— Bobby Shmurda Updates (@bodboybobby) February 23, 2021

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Fred The Godson attends the Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Launch at The Griffin on March 31, 2014 in New York City.
Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Fat Joe, Jim Jones and Bronx Community Celebrate Fred The Godson's Street Naming On His Birthday

Today (Feb. 22), the great MC, Fred The Godson, was honored posthumously with a street naming by his Bronx community and hip-hop industry comrades. Among the dozens of those that showed love to the rapper that passed away in April 2020 due to COVID-19 were BX native Fat Joe and Harlem repper Jim Jones. The street's South Bronx location of Leggett avenue and Kelly street will now also be called Fredrick "Fred The Godson" Thomas Way.

While snow fell heavily, the crowd of supporters and the organizers stood strong and watched as the sign was unveiled to cheers of joy. The Fred The Godson Foundation worked hard to make this day happen on what would have been Fred's 36th birthday. "Shortly after Fred’s passing, the Fred The Godson Foundation was created to carry on his legacy for his children and family, and the commitment to his dreams for the Bronx," says the foundation's mission statement. "The mission is to inspire, empower and nourish individuals, children and families in underserved communities, starting with Fred’s birthplace. The foundation will foster community unity through the common pursuit of wellness, prosperity, and opportunity."


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Known for having one of the most celebrated flows that included a barrage of double entendres and metaphors that were rarely matched, Fred was a respected MC with enormous skills that were able to get him featured on the famed 2011 XXL 'Freshman' class magazine cover along with Meek Mill, Mac Miller (RIP) and Kendrick Lamar. Jim Jones had some heartfelt words for the one named 'Gordo' at the ceremony, "Fred inspired me to do this music, a lot all over again. There was a time I really didn't want to do no music...and Fred would say, 'Nah, you gotta get in that booth Capo.'"


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The Thomas family announced thank you's and love to Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr. of District 17 in the South Bronx, Bronx Borough President Ruban Diaz, NYPD's 41st Precinct, and the Bronx community for helping make the Frederick “Fred the Godson” Thomas Way street co-naming possible.

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Much respect to the legacy of the husband and father, Fred The Godson.


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