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Nelly Throws His Hat Into Biggie-Jay-Nas Debate, Talks Nearly Quitting Rap (Pg. 2)

So where do you place yourself amongst the Biggie, Jay-Z, and Nas’?

When people ask who I think were some of the most influential rap artists of the last decade are, I would say “me.” Now, I’m talking about influential, not saying the best. Just think about where rap is and where it’s going. Everybody is trying to cross genres and step outside the box, do songs with Pop artists which I’ve been doing my whole career.  But it’s not for me to say [laughs]

What’s behind the 5.0 title of the new album?

If you know anything about Menace to II Society… you saw Cain go get his green Mustang 5.0. And when I saw that car I was in awe. I thought that Mustang was the flyest thing ever and it’s a classic if you ask any motorhead. Of course I couldn’t afford it at the time and by the time I did get the money, they stopped making them. But I looked back at that movie and I just thought that this album embodied everything a Mustang is. The power, mystique, the muscle, the energy, that I was think this album is… a classic.

Musically, did you step out of the box and get away from your comfort zone on any tracks?

Nah, not all. I actually think I set myself up for this album. From Country Grammar on up—my own success has been my own worst enemy, when you have the successes of “Over and Over,” “Grillz,” “Dilemna,” ‘My Place,” but I also had “Number 1,”‘E.I.,” “Air Force One.” It’s really a variety of different sounds. I’ve built almost a divided fanbase. Everybody loves me for different types of records. I just think now it doesn’t matter what I do musically. I can come out and sing Opera and if it’s a hit it—it will transcend. That’s where I think I’m at now on my career. Even for the hardcore rap fans—if you’re not a fan of Nelly by now, you’re never going to be a fan of Nelly to a certain degree. I’m just not for you. But if you appreciate music, you don’t have to be fan to appreciate what I do.

So producer-wise, is it familiar cast on this one?

Well, I got Dr, Luke, Jim Jonsin, Polow, Infamous and a few others. I didn’t get with the Neptunes on this record but Pharrell and them is family, they’ve been on every album after Country Grammar.

I heard you got a record with Janet Jackson…

We didn’t get Janet on there, we still trying to figure that one out. But I got an incredible record with Akon & T.I. produced by Dr. Luke. I also got back with Kelly for another monster record. Diddy contributed a big record, pun intended. [laughs]

Any favorites?

They’re like kids, I can’t pick a favorite. I actually love the “Just A Dream” record. This other one called “Go” I think is going to unbelievable. It’s all about picking yourself up after you fall and keep going. I always did the inspirational records but people for some reason don’t go to them. That’s my goal. I want to inspire.

This album has been two years in the making, at any point did you have to start over and scrap songs as the climate of Hip-Hop radio changed?

No, I’m always recording songs. I’m done with this album, and I’m still recording just to be making music. Two years is basically been the time span between all my records except from Sweat Suit to Brass Knuckles which was four. And that just came with so much shit in my life. I’m not going to lie, losing my sister put me through more than I was willing to admit at the time. Now that I look back, I realize I was just pushing and pushing but I was doing it blind. I wasn’t concentrating.

Did you have any serious thoughts about quitting rap altogether at that time?

My sister passed in ’05 and 6 months later my grandfather died.  All through ’06 and ‘07 I felt that way. I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve never experienced death with people that close to me. The more time you spend with someone that’s when it hurts the most. If you’ve been with people for 30 years and all of sudden they’re gone, it affects you more. I did come to a point where I wanted to quit. But I never showed it on the outside. People didn’t know I was fucked up, but that’s on me.

I know you experienced a similar situation recording this album, how are you dealing with that?

My other grandfather recently passed and 3 months later my cousin passed. It’s been a lot but I’m a no-excuse type of guy. I thrive on taking responsibility and trying to build from whatever has ailed you from making it to where you want to be.

On a more positive note, your younger brother was freed from prison last year after being away for nearly your entire career…

Yup, my little brother is free now. I think that was one of things that was holding up the next St. Lunatics album because we were under the impression that he would get one year, and then it was the next year, a couple of months and so on.  But he’s out now so we ready to roll. We’ve got a new album coming out in November as well.

Does he treat you differently now?

Not with me and him. I think when he first got out, he saw me a little different. It’s like before he went in, we were together everyday and then you don’t see them for nine years.

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French Authorities Reportedly Investigating Rape Claim Against Chris Brown

French authorities are reportedly investigating Chris Brown after a woman allegedly accused the R&B singer of rape. According to the French tabloid, Closer, a 24-year-old woman claims that Brown raped her in his hotel room.

The unidentified woman alleges that she met Brown at a Parisian night club in rue de Ponthieu, near the Champs-Elysées, on the night of Jan. 15 into Jan. 16, before heading back to his room at the La Mandarin Oriental. The woman also accused Brown’s bodyguard of abuse, Closer reports.

Brown was recently spotted taking in the festivities of Paris Fashion Week, and smooching rumored flame, Ammika Harris. The “Undecided” singer shared video from dance rehearsal in the French city over the weekend. He has not commented on the reported rape allegation.

Brown is currently embroiled in a separate civil lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by Brown's friend, Lowell Grissom, during a party at the Grammy winner's home last year. Brown requested that the lawsuit be dismissed.

“For the last 10 years anybody who comes at him should know they're going to meet the full force of my firm,” the Virginia native's lawyer, Mark Geragos, warned in an interview last year.

The woman has since filed court documents on Jan. 7, asking a judge to block Brown’s request that she give up phone and text records citing privacy concerns. According to The Blast, the woman asserts that she already turned over hundreds of documents, including text messages, emails and medical records.

 

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Spotify Testing Feature That Allows Users To Mute Certain Artists

Spotify users will be able to mute certain artists, for their listening pleasure. The streaming company introduced a “don’t play this artist feature” as apart of a new IOS app update, according to Thurrott, which got its hands on an early version of the feature.

The block button allows listeners to banish specific artists from their personal music libraries, and stops them from popping up in automatically curated playlists, and other pages on the music streaming app. In order to utilize the mute feature, users clicks on the menu above an artists’s page and selects the “don’t play” option. The feature doesn’t work for songs that the artist may be featured on, the Verge reports.

The update could be a middle ground for Spotify as it faces increased pressure in wake of the #MuteRKelly movement, and Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly  documentary. A Change.org petition calling for Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube to remove R. Kelly’s music from its services is close to garnering 150,000 signatures.

Last year, Spotify briefly removed Kelly, XXXTentacion and T-Kay (a Texas rapper convicted of murder) from featured playlists due to the company's hateful conduct policy. “We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values,” the company explained in statement to Billboard last May. “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator."

Spotify abandoned the plan after pushback from fans of the artists singled out, and industry heavyweights like Top Dawg Entertainment founder Anthony Tiffith, whose label imprint is home to Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolBoy Q and more.

Tiffith reached out to Troy Carter, Spotify’s global head of creator services, and threatened to remove his artists’ music from the streaming service. “I don't think it's right for artists to be censored, especially in our culture,” Tiffith told Billboard. “How did they just pick those [artists] out? How come they didn't pick out any others from any other genres or any other different cultures? There [are] so many other artists that have different things going on, and they could've picked anybody. But it seems to me that they're constantly picking on hip-hop culture."

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The Internet Reacts To Carmelo Anthony Being Traded To The Chicago Bulls

According to a tweet sent out by ESPN's Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets have agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and cash considerations to the Chicago Bulls. However, he will likely not play any games.

"Anthony won't play a game for the Bulls, league source tells ESPN. He will be released and become a free agent if he clears waivers," tweeted Wojnarowski. "...it is possible that franchise holds off on waiving him until the trade deadline, league sources tell ESPN. Bulls could include him in a one-for-one trade, but can't aggregate his contract in another deal."

Since today is a national holiday (Jan. 21), the official word will reportedly be held off until tomorrow. Wojnarowski reports that his "best bet" would be to wait it out until the trade deadline (Feb. 7) to find another opportunity with another team.

The Houston Rockets have agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and cash to the Chicago Bulls, league sources tell ESPN.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

The NBA office will not execute the trade today because it's a holiday, league sources tell ESPN. To clear the way for Kenneth Faried to sign and play tonight in Philadelphia, Rockets had to waive to James Nunnally. Trade call on 'Melo will likely be Tuesday. https://t.co/Oo2IA0nsJP

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

Anthony won't play a game for the Bulls, league source tells ESPN. He will be released and become a free agent if he clears waivers. https://t.co/Oo2IA0nsJP

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

Social media caught wind of the news, and reacted with shock and of course with laughs via some hot takes.

"Melo is revolutionizing the 'farewell season' by signing a contract with each NBA team before he retires, truly ahead of his time," one tweet read, while another said "Melo is being held hostage by teams. Hopefully this means Liam Neeson will have a movie saving him come out around the trade deadline."

Check out some tweets below.

Melo is being held hostage by teams. Hopefully this means Liam Neeson will have a movie saving him come out around the trade deadline.

— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) January 21, 2019

Melo stans: THE BUUUUUUULLS? pic.twitter.com/Y9nYBgNFuX

— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) January 21, 2019

[email protected] fans looking at GM Lebron when Melo becomes free agent. pic.twitter.com/wJy3ujSAIH

— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) January 21, 2019

Carmelo Anthony will not play a game for the Bulls, but it is possible that franchise holds off on waiving him until the trade deadline, league sources tell ESPN. Bulls could include him in a one-for-one trade, but can't aggregate his contract in another deal.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

For Anthony, his best bet is waiting until the Feb. 7 trade deadline to find his next team. He can wait for roster spots to open, trades to happen, etc, that'll create the best opportunity for him. Anthony wants to find a place to contribute. https://t.co/cRgbMalvTl

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

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