Ron Browz Killed Auto-Tune Before Jay-Z

Though Ron Browz’s new collabo with Foxy Brown, “Ride Ya Bike (She’s A Biker),” is his first Auto-Tune-free single, the Harlem producer and rapper claims he had plans of going au natural long before Jay-Z pulled the trigger with “D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune).”

“What’s weird was that before ‘D.O.A.,’ I had started recording songs without Auto-Tune. People don’t know that,” Browz recently explained to VIBE. “[Ether Boy] was going to be half-and-half. So when he came out with ‘D.O.A.,’ I was like ‘Wow.’ And it was just time for me to show people I can rap.

“But you can’t just give Auto-Tune to your mother and be like ‘Hey Ma, go on Auto-Tune, you’re going to make a smash.’,” the rapping producer continued. “No. I still had to write lyrics that people could sing along with. So I’ve just been recording songs with and without it.”

That said, Browz’s 2010 mantra—the simpler, the stickier—won’t veer too left from his past formula. “What I did for [“Ride Ya Bike (She’s A Biker)”] is like all my previous songs. I just play the beat, put my headphones on and say whatever comes to mind,” he reveals of his songwriting process. “I don’t care how dumb or how silly you think it sounds, because I know the catchiest songs end up being big records. And in this industry, hooks are the most important part of the song.”

Having mastered the craft of creating mindless melodies that catch on—think “Arab Money,” “Pop Champagne,” and “Jumpin’ Out The Window”—Browz was stumped when rumors bubbled last October that he'd been dropped from his label, Universal Motown.

“When I was up there, I had the Drake momentum. I had all these big records' and then for some odd reason they felt like [my album] shouldn’t come out,” he said. “The album was dope, features from Diddy to Keri to Lloyd Banks to Amerie and I’m like ‘What’s going on?’

“I don’t know if it was ‘D.O.A,' I had no idea what the hold up was,” he continued. “[I knew] the people wanted it ’cause I’m on the road every weekend. Then when ‘Gimme 20 Dollars’ came out and they didn’t get behind the record, I was like ‘I gotta go.’ So I took the initiative and told Universal I wanted to leave. I didn’t get dropped; it was a mutual understanding."

Yet despite 2009’s setbacks, Browz, hasn’t felt at all stagnant or even dependent on his old accessory of choice.“I’ve been going harder with Ether Boy Records, but I’m accepting offers [for a deal]. It freaks me out that people make it look like I disappeared. The whole 2009, I was just on the road crazy! I’ve been to Africa, Japan. I’m going to Germany for two weeks. I’ve literally been on the move,” he says. “This coming album is going to be a brand new energy—a brand new me. Definitely more regular voice, maybe a little bit of Auto-Tune, but really just me bringing my capabilities to the max.”

Though Browz has no plans of independently releasing his Universal-shelved, debut album Ether Boy, he is currently preparing for a Spring release of his sophomore effort. —Tracy Garraud

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Stephen Curry Breaks Another Three Point Record

Stephen Curry's three-point shooting average has made him a player to watch in the NBA for the past five seasons. Now, one of the league's favorite shooting guards has set a new record by scoring eight or more three-pointers in three straight games.

The well-known Golden State Warrior hit the courts Wednesday night (Jan. 16) to play the New Orleans Pelicans. The NBA champion finished with 41 points, ending with a 147-140 win against the Louisiana-based team.

"Sometimes when you get hot like that, you really don't see anything but the rim," Curry said, according to ESPN. "And you just try to stay on balance and get to your spot wherever that is. These are shots I work on. I have confidence in them. I know my teammates do."

Alongside Curry's record-breaking performance, the Warriors and Pelicans set a new NBA stat by scoring the most three-pointers in a game. The feat surpassed the Warriors and Sacramento Kings' game with 43. The Oakland team also happens to be the first to score 140 points back-to-back since 1998.

Wednesday night's matchup was described as a "pickup game" by Warriors coach Steve Kerr and cemented the team's legacy, breaking one record after the other in a matter of hours.


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Janelle Monae And Cardi B To Perform At The 61st Annual Grammy Awards

According to a press release, Janelle Monae and Cardi B are among the first performers announced to hit the stage for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10.

Monae is up for two honors including Album Of The Year for Dirty Computer, while Cardi could win a total of five awards, including Best Rap Album and Album Of The Year for Invasion Of Privacy. The Wondaland artist performed "We Are Young" with the group .fun during the 55th Annual ceremony, and the Bronx-bred MC rapped alongside Bruno Mars during a performance of "Finesse" at last year's big event. Both Dirty Computer and Invasion Of Privacy were named to the list of VIBE's Best Albums of 2018.

Some of the other announced performers for the evening's festivities include Post Malone, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Dan + Shay and Kacey Musgraves. More performers will be announced as the Grammys draw closer.

"The 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards are produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures for the Recording Academy. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer, Ben Winston is executive producer, Louis J. Horvitz is director, Chantal Sausedo is the talent producer, and David Wild and Ehrlich are the writers," said the statement.

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Family Of Murdered Florida Woman Awarded $500 Million In Civil Suit

Eighteen years after the death of Kalil McCoy, her surviving family has been awarded $500 million in damages.

In 2001, McCoy, 20, was shot in the head by Frederick Lee Wade, 19, after an argument over opening a window inside a vehicle. According to reports, Wade and two other men in the car at the time discarded McCoy's body and concocted a story about what happened. Her body was found two days later.

Lynette Roebuck, McCoy's mother blamed Wade for her daughter's death. He was originally sentenced to life in prison, but after winning a retrial, is now serving a reduced 45-year-prison sentence.

"Wade will still have a little bit of life left. But this will always be over your head. If you get a dime, it is not going to be your dime. It will be Kalil's dime," Roebuck said.

"He still gets an opportunity to get out of prison and live. He could be 70 on a cane walking around to a park or movies. But my daughter can't do any of that. This will make a statement and let people know,"

The other men involved, Kennard Deshun Mahone and Jonathon Marichal Brooks, served one year in county jail with 12 years probation. They were also named in the civil suit.

Despite the ruling, it's unlikely all three men will pay the sum in total. Wade has constantly said McCoy's death was an accident, claiming the gun went off accidentally.

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