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Maliah Michel On Finding Drake's Love, Their First Kiss (Pg. 2)

Was he physically abusive toward you?
No, that’s one thing that he didn’t do. He was a boxer, too. But he never, never hit me.

How old were you at the time?
I was about twenty-two … living in my truck after I left my fiance. My life was basically the church and my two dogs. I lived in church literally, two-thirds of the day

When did you transition into music videos?
A director who I met, Derrick White, was trying to get met to do videos for a while and I finally just said yes one day. He casted me in the Ying Yang Twins feat. Mike Jones “Bad” video. After that Sean Cummings who was working for
Smooth said he wanted to shoot me. Then everything started rolling along. King hit me up after that and gave me my first feature. But it took me a while to get my name out there.

Well, you certainly have made a name for yourself. Recently, your part in Drake’s “Find Your Love” really caught people’s attention. How’d you link with Aubrey?
Drake had actually come to the club where I work at in Houston called Dreams. I think that’s where he first saw me. I didn’t even get to speak to him that night and like a week later everybody started telling me Drake shouted me out in a song. I thought that it was so cool because I hadn’t even talked to him before. I mean, obviously he saw something he liked [
laughs].

So prior to Drake name dropping you on “Miss Me”, you guys never even shared a conversation?
Yup, I was so flattered, too —especially with me being used to the strip club environment, where guys are always just… thirsty and on you. This guy didn’t even say anything but gave me props on a song.

Were you immediately attracted to him?
Who doesn’t think Drake is cute? [
Laughs] But I don’t really listen to a lot of music or watch TV, and instantly I loved his music. Yea so…

You weren’t just a little jealous of Drake confessing his love for Nicki Minaj on the same song?
I love Nicki Minaj, too! [
Laughs] who doesn’t?

Well, so how did you end up starring in “Find Your Love”?
A friend of his Jazz Prince, J.Prince’s son, called me and told me that his artist wanted me to come to Jamaica to shoot this video. At the time I didn’t know it was Drake, so I was like “Oh by the way, can you tell Drake thanks for the shout out?” And right after that he told me he called me back. So later on that night Drake called me directly and told me that he was the one shooting the video and how he wanted me for the lead part. I got to admit I was really geeked and could barely talk.

You were starstruck?
I was all groupied out [
Laughs]… all smiles.

What were your first thoughts of him after that first phone call?
My first thoughts were that he was just so humble and respectful. It was almost weird, I didn’t expect him to be like that… even now that I know him a little better he’s just really a down to earth guy. He can have his moments but he’s really a good guy and I felt that way since the first time I talked to him.

How was it working with Drake on a professional level?
He’s very easy to work with. Out of all my shoots, “Find Your Love” was definitely the most memorable. Drake is very at tentative and he catered to me, doing everything he could to make me feel comfortable. He just was giving me pointers and everything.

Yea, your onscreen chemistry seems so natural, almost like you guys really are a couple…
It was so funny because when we were shooting the beach scene. The director, Anthony Mandler, was like “Come on, come on! You got to make me feel this!” And we had never kissed or anything before, so I just went for it and kissed him! And we started kissing for real and everybody just started cheering.

So are you dating Drake?
Um… Drake and I are good friends, and we like hanging out… having fun together. That’s all that anyone needs to know at this point.

But it’s safe to say that you guys stay in constant contact with each other, right?
Um.. yea we’re close friends.

He seems to have his mom around a lot. Have you met her yet?
[
Giggles] oh lord…

I mean she’s a huge part of his life, you must have bumped into momma Drake somewhere…
Yea, she’s amazing… a really beautiful person. His mother really gave me a whole other opinion of him, even though my opinion was very high. He’s just  amazing as far the respect level and his mother helped me to see that it wasn’t an act. That’s all I’ll say.

Do you think he’ll sell a million in one week?
I think he can do it. 
Thank Me Later is one of those CD’s were you can listen to without skipping a song. Drake has a different flavor to him.

Are you guys planning on doing anything special in celebration?
[
Giggles] Um.. no, I’m just chilling and he’s busy. Nice try!

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Russell Simmons Accusers Detail Sexual Assault Allegations In ‘On The Record’

On the Record offers a detailed look into multiple sexual assault allegations against Russell Simmons, fears that Black women have about sharing their stories, and the lack of intersectionality within the #MeToo movement.

In the 97-minute film, which debuted on HBO Max on Wednesday (May 27), former record executive Drew Dixon grapples with her decision to go public with accusations against Simmons, and the concept of “race loyalty” that Black women battle when they’re attacker is a Black man.

Directed and produced by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, On the Record does a deep dive into the misogyny and sexism permeating through hip-hop. Of course, hip-hop has never been a monolith. The roots of the culture are steeped in protest, and although the genre didn’t invent misogyny or sexism (which is noted in the film), Black women have had an understandably complicated relationship with hip-hop.

“You stand in solidarity with the movement as a Black woman,” Dixon explains. “You don’t parse the sexism within the movement as a Black woman. We were so excited about hip-hop and what it meant that we laughed it off…and now that I’m older I realize that language set a tone. But I didn’t see it that way at the time.”

Dixon, a former A&R at Def Jam, began her music industry career in the early ‘90s as an A&R for Def Jam where she worked with the likes of Redman and Method Man, Tupac Shakur, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Mary J. Blige, and more.

One night in the mid-1990s, Dixon claims Simmons lured her to his apartment under the pretense of wanting her to listen to a demo track on a stereo located in his bedroom. As Dixon recalls, she walked into the bedroom and attempted to figure out how to turn on the CD player.“The next thing I know he [Simmons] is naked wearing a condom and he just grabbed me…and he threw me in the bed. He wrestles me to the bed and pins me down and I’m fighting and I’m saying ‘no!’ He’s telling me to ‘stop fighting!’ in a very cold, menacing, detached voice that I’d never, ever heard from him before.”

Dixon says she blacked out during the alleged assault. “Which is something survivors often do. It’s like a self-preservation tactic.” The next thing that she remembers is being naked in a tub with Simmons whom she says was casually talking to her as if they had had a consensual encounter. Dixon says she left his apartment, walked 22 blocks home, climbed in the shower and began to sob. “I was reduced to nothing. In that moment, I was trash. Nothing about anything that makes me who I am mattered. I was a physical object. A physical device. Some physical thing that he [Simmons] utilized for his pleasure.”

A few days later, Dixon says that she told a friend and former A&R, Miguel Mojica, about the sexual assault. She also continued working at Def Jam for a “little while longer” before resigning. Dixon went on to work at Arista Records where she says that she endured sexual harassment from L.A. Reid.

Reid denies Dixon’s claims calling the allegations “unfounded, not true, and represent a complete misrepresentation and fabrication of any facts or events alleged therein as having occurred.”

Dixon didn’t speak publicly about the accusations against Simmons and Reid until a 2017 New York Times interview. On the Record chronicles the moments leading up to the article's release, the NYT’s vetting process -- which included an extensive background check-- and the ripple effect that the experience had on Dixon's life and career, namely in that she quit the music industry.

“For 22 years I took one for the team,” she says of keeping allegations against Simmons quiet for decades out of fear of letting “the culture” down and not being believed. “Russell Simmons was the king of hip-hop and I was proud of him. I didn’t want to let the culture down. I loved the culture. I loved Russell too.”

In the film, Dixon also opens up about her children and the life that she built after the music industry. She split from her husband and moved from New York to California to start a new chapter. The film also features a discussion between Dixon and two other Simmons accusers, screenwriter, Jenny Lumet, and Sil Lai Abrams and activist writer, and former Def Jam executive assistant.

More than a dozen women have accused Simmons of sexual assault or misconduct, eight of which are featured in the film. Some of Simmon’s accusers share similar accounts to Dixon’s allegations.

“I have issued countless denials of the false allegations against me,” Simmons notes in a written statement featured in the film. “I have lived my life honorably as an open book for decades, devoid of any kind of violence against anyone.”

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George Floyd’s Family Wants Minneapolis Police Officers Arrested For His Murder

The family of George Floyd are demanding justice after the 46 year old was killed by Minneapolis police earlier in the week. Floyd’s cousin and brothers want the four officers involved to be arrested and convicted of murder.

“We need to see justice happen,” Floyd’s cousin, Tera Brown, told CBS This Morning. “This was clearly murder. We want to see them arrested. We want to see them charged, we want to see them convicted. He did not deserve what happened to him.”

In reactions to the Floyd's murder, tens of thousands of people took to the street in Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities around the country.

“I don’t want the protests to just be for show. I want to see action,” continued Brown. “I want to see these people pay for what they did. We need to hold them accountable.”

Floyd was described as an “amazing” person who was well loved and “never did anything” to anyone. “Everybody loved my brother. I just don’t understand why people want to hurt people, killed people, they didn’t have to do that to my brother,” said his brother, Philonise Floyd.

Two of the four officers involved have been identified as Tou Thao, and Derek Chauvin, the latter of whom is the officer who put his knee in Floyd’s neck as he begged for air and later died. All four officers have been fired.

Former NBA player Steven Jackson took to social media to pay tribute to his longtime friend whom he called his twin. “Floyd was my brother, we called each other twin,” Jackson said in an emotional video. “My boy was doing what he was supposed to do and ya’ll go and kill my brother.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Where we from not many make it out but my Twin was happy I did. I’m gonna continue to make u proud fam. It makes me so angry that after all the things u been through when u get to your best self that they take u out like this. Fuk Rest Easy Twin

A post shared by Stephen Jackson Sr. (@_stak5_) on May 26, 2020 at 7:04pm PDT

Minnesota is no stranger to police brutality. The Star-Tribune published a list of the 193 people who have died “after a physical confrontation with Minnesota police” since the year 2000 (excluding car accidents during police pursuits). The database includes Philando Castile, the 32-year-old cafeteria worker killed by a Minneapolis cop during a traffic stop in 2016. Castile’s murder was the first, and possibly only time, that a Minnesota police officer was criminally charged for killing a civilian, although the former officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted.

Watch the interview with Flynn's family below.

 

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Waka Flocka Flame Say He’s Dedicating His Life To Suicide Prevention And Mental Health Awareness

With the month of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Waka Flocka Flame shared a major announcement with fans. The rapper and reality star is dedicating his life to suicide prevention and mental health awareness, he shared on Monday (May 25).

“I’m officially dedicating my life to suicide prevention and mental illness! Ya’ll not alone Waka Flocka Flame is with ya’ll now,” he tweeted.

Waka’s younger brother, Coades “Kayo Redd” Scott, died by suicide in 2013. In a follow-up tweet, Waka revealed that he’s slowly learning to accept his brother’s passing.

“You have no idea how it feel[s] to wanna [take] your own life man…my little brother took his own life man…and I deal with this fact every birthday because his birthday [is] the day after mines [sic] June 1st. This year I’m officially accepting the fact that he’s in a better place.”

The 33-year-old recording artist, whose other brother was killed in 2000, opened up about losing his younger brother in a 2017 episode of The Therapist, where he revealed that Kao tried to get in contact with him prior to committing suicide.

“Before my little brother died, I ain’t pick up the phone and I seen him call. I was like, ‘f**k lemme call Kayo back, as soon as this s**t lover.’ And I called him back, no answer.”

“What if I would’ve picked that call up? What the f**k is my little brother going through that made my little brother kill himself?”

 

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