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Bobby Valentino Denies Leaking Cell Phone Pics For Publicity

The running joke among Internet heads is that celebrities like Cassie, Rihanna and Jamie Foxx have been leaking nude photos of themselves to swell up publicity. That was the assumption, too, when racy photos of Bobby Valentino—which showed him surrounded by a bunch of girls—hit the Web a few weeks ago.

According to the Atlanta-bred singer though, the snapshots were just a case of an iPhone gone AWOL.

“I saw them alright. I got a lot of phone calls about it, too,” Valentino told VIBE. “Long story short, I was on the road and I lost my phone [two days prior] and I already knew what it was gon’ be when I lost my phone and I still ain’t got it back and I hope no more pictures of me land on the Internet.” 

With his new album, Fly on the Wall, coming soon, it seemed like opportune timing, especially since the nature of the photos wasn’t too lewd. But Bobby V insisted he would never stoop to those measures. The girls, he added, were just random chicks.

“I really ain’t into the big publicity stunt thing, trying to do things—especially negative things—to get publicity. ’Cause I’m really family oriented. When my mama said she seen the pictures on the Internet I felt a certain way,” the singer explained. “I grew up in a good family and I got morals and values so I don’t wanna be the person that’s naked on the Internet just to get album sale. I know a lot of artists do that, but that ain’t me so honestly I just lost my phone. I had a phone and just a couple things I had in my little picture log. I just had a couple pictures that were sentimental in there so they just got out to the world.” 

Valentino is more focused on offering good music when his album drops this summer.

“I’m really stepping it up. I got some stuff that’s gon’ be what some people might say is weird, but it’s gon’ be still good soulful R&B. I’m definitely doing some out the box stuff as far as the sound. This is my fourth album, so I didn’t wanna just keep doing the same thing over and over.” 

While producers Tim & Bob are helming the majority of the disc, the singer also plans to hit the studio with Ryan Leslie. “I’ve definitely been a fan of his for a while,” said Bobby V. “Anytime he drops something I’m one of the first people to cop it.” —Clover Hope

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Buku Abi Fires Back After R. Kelly Posts Birthday Video

Buku Abi has seemingly responded to the media attention surrounding R. Kelly's birthday video message to her earlier this week. Buku requested that no one, including her father, refers to her by "Joann."

"My name is BUKU ABI. Not Joann, not dojo, not '[space] daughter,'" Buku insisted. "Nothing besides Buku will work for me. If you don’t know me personally, please don’t call me anything but Buku or Buku Abi."

While Buku didn't address anyone directly, the message was likely in reference to R. Kelly's video in which he used Buku's government name, Joann, in his birthday wish.

This wouldn't be the first time that Buku Abi has emerged on social media to address the controversy surrounding her father. In Jan. 2019, Buku released a statement amid Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, referring to him as a "monster." During his viral interview with Gayle King, Kelly suggested that Buku had been manipulated by his ex-wife, Drea Kelly, into believing he was a bad person.

Check out Buku Abi's message below.

 

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#RKelly’s daughter has something to say amid her father’s birthday wishes to her 👀😩

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Mar 22, 2019 at 4:59am PDT

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Hundreds Dead, More Than A Million Affected After Cyclone Devastates Southern Africa

A tropical cyclone that destroyed parts of southern Africa is being called one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit the region in decades. Tens of thousands of people have been left displaced and awaiting rescue after Cyclone Idai ripped through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe last week causing catastrophic flooding, wiping out entire villages and raising concerns over the spread of malaria.

According to the Associated Press, more than 500 people have been confirmed dead, though the number is expected to rise substantially. “There is death all over,” survivor Amos Makunduwa told AP. “It is beginning to smell really bad. The whole area is like one big body of water, huge rocks and mud. There are no houses, as if no one ever stayed here.”

In Mozambique, as many as 100,000 people remain “isolated” without help, the Mozambique National Disaster Management Institute said according to the United Nations. The country’s government estimates that more than 1,000 people have died thus far.

In nearby Zimbabwe, between 8,000 and 9,600 people have been displaced and as many as 200,000 people are in desperate need of food and assistance. The situation is likely to “deteriorate even more” as the numbers increase, said Hervé Verhoosel, spokesperson for The World Food Program. The organization projects that it will cost around $121 million to feed more than a million people for the next three months.

“It is clear that the number of 600,000 will definitely go up in the coming days,” Verhoosel said. “That has of course [an] implication on cost. If we help 600,000 people for three months, that is a cost of $42 million. If we need to help up to 1.7 million people for three months, that will be a cost of $121.5 million. Obviously, we don’t have that money today.”

The WFP is seeking $5 million for Zimbabwe, to provide food, air and logistical support, and $10 million for Malawi where more than 920,000 people are affected by the storm. The country has so far confirmed 577 injuries, and 56 deaths.

Cargo planes were able to deliver food that has “not yet been fully distributed” Verhoosel said. Beira, a port city in Mozambique where the cyclone made landfall, was virtually wiped out making it challenging for people to unload food that arrived at the local airport. “In Beira, the level of water is not the same as in the countryside… inland, the problem is that you have basically water all around,” Verhoosel explained.

The storm has affected over a million people across all three countries. The World Health Organization, and UN are working with local governments to supply aid. In addition, the WHO revealed in a news release that “health experts, medicines and medical materials and equipment are also ongoing for Malawi and Zimbabwe.”

“The displacement of large numbers of people and the flooding triggered by Cyclone Idai significantly increases the risk of malaria, typhoid and cholera,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “WHO stands with the affected people and is organizing assistance to address their urgent health needs.”

Click here for info on how you can help those affected. See photos of the devastation below.

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Fordham University Drops Soulja Boy From Spring Concert Lineup Following Arrest

Soulja Boy’s latest arrest cost him an upcoming gig at Fordham University. The rapper has been booted off the 2019 Spring Weekend concert lineup, which is scheduled for April 27.

“The Campus Activities Board has watched, along with our fellow Fordham students, the headlines that have been in the news as a result of Soulja Boy’s comeback,” the group said in a statement to The Blast. “After careful consideration, the Campus Activities Board has decided to remove Soulja Boy from the Spring Weekend concert lineup.”

In January, Fordham confirmed in that the “Crank That” rapper would be headlining the concert event as part of his 2019 tour.

The 28-year-old recording artist was arrested for probation violation last Friday (March 15), after checking in with his probation officer. He was accused of possessing firearms and ammo, but was released from custody hours later.

Following his release, SB headed to a Los Angeles Clippers game to perform at the halftime show.

 

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