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Asher Roths Talks Maturing, Charity Work, and Almost Leaving Rap [Pg. 3]

I guess this is all coming with just getting older.

That, and also seeing how my music touches kids. I’m 25 now, so I’ve formed my opinions but those 13,14,15-year-old kids haven’t and they look to us. I try not to let it affect my music but I want them to know that I care and give a shit about how they feel.

Can you tell me more about some of your new interests?

I use my voice other ways than just rapping. I’ve started to branch out and speak at conferences, different charities, and stuff like that. I just did the Breast Cancer concert, I worked with Pepsi Refresh speaking at schools, and I’m doing Pencils of Promise building schools in Nicaragua and Laos and it’s going to branch out to all third world countries. But as far as the entertainment business, I just can’t get down. I don’t really like it. Music and hip-hop I will always love, and I’ll always voice how I feel. But you’ll probably see me doing things that help other people. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to have fun and have sex with beautiful women [laughs]. Seriously, though, there’s so much more we need to do and we need people to give a shit. It’s really not that tough to get out and do something small —it all helps. We’re literally building schools for 50 bucks. 5 billion dollars goes into archiving Twitter and we still can’t cure cancer?! That’s just crazy. It’s time to prioritize.

Do you feel like you have a greater calling over music?

It’s just fulfillment for me. I’m not into just making a bunch rap songs about how I’m amazing I am. It might give me shits and giggles. But the shit that gets me out of bed is knowing that we can do something to help better the place we live in.

How long do you think you’ll continue to rap for?

I don’t think I’ll have 10 albums. Three seems to be the magic number. If you look at the majority of artists things get a bit shaky after three albums. With the exception of Jay-Z. [Laughs] But I think somewhere between three and five albums is where I’m heading.  I feel like after that, you repeat yourself a lot. I feel like once you say it once—you shouldn’t have to say it again.

It really seemed like you wanted to step away from the spotlight as it was being put on you more and more with the success of “I Love College”.

I had to step away for a bit. I turned everything off and just went the fuck home. It got to point where there were a lot of band wagon people around. The “Fuck The Money” record with B.o.B. really inspired that. Me and B.o.B. got cool while on we were on tour. I swear to you I did my part in 26 minutes—from writing it to recording it. It summed up how I felt at the time about the music industry.

Were you close to calling it quits though?

I had thoughts but I was just a kid when my music started taking off. The Greenhouse effect happened when I was around 19-20 and my first album 21-22—it came to a point whether I had to decide if I was going to let other people control my life or take reigns. Anybody can say I made the wrong or right decision, but I know it’s what I wanted. I have no one else to blame but myself and I love that.

This is the new and improved Asher Roth [laughs].

You’re going to hear when you hear these records with Organized Noize. People might have had a certain expectation of me to stay as this party kid, but when “I Love College” blew up there was so much more going on in the world. It was just a fun experience for me. I look back realize it was a great attention getter and there was no way better way to introduce myself. Now, I’m just growing up. People don’t stay in college forever. I want people to realize that.

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Ex-Basketball Player, Cliff Dixon, Killed While Celebrating His Birthday

Cliff Dixon, former basketball player and Kevin Durant’s longtime friend, was fatally shot in an Atlanta strip mall Wednesday (March 20), while celebrating his 32nd birthday.

According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Dixon had just arrived at SL Lounge when he was shot multiple times in the parking lot. He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he died from his injuries. Police responded to the incident at around 1 a.m. The gunman fled the scene by foot and remains on the loose, Fox 5 reports.

Dixon turned 32 earlier in the week. His final post was promoting his birthday bash.

 

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We litty tonight @slloungeatl come catch the vibe

A post shared by Cliff Dixon (@cldtoon) on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:21pm PDT

A native of Maryland, Dixon attended Suitland High School where he first met Durant, whose mother ended up taking him in when he was 16 years old. After graduating high school, Dixon attended community college before transferring to Western Kentucky University where he played basketball for two seasons. In 2014, Dixon headed overseas to play ball in Austria.

Durant saw Dixon an “adopted brother. The NBA player's mother, Wanda Durant, extended “deepest condolences & prayers to Dixon’s mother, siblings, friends and loved ones, in a heartfelt statement on Twitter Thursday (March 21). “Our family was an extension of his & we shared wonderful memories. His transition is an incredible loss for all of us who loved him, he will be missed dearly.”

The Durant family extends our deepest condolences & prayers to Cliff’s mother, siblings, family & friends. Our family was an extension of his & we shared wonderful memories. His transition is an incredible loss for all of us who loved him, he will be missed dearly #CliffDixon RIP pic.twitter.com/QuIRt0hIIu

— Wanda Durant (@MamaDurant) March 21, 2019

Dixon was most recently linked to reality star Erica Mena, but the pair split last year. Mena joined Meek Mill, Dave East, and a chorus of others in posting tributes to Dixon on social media.

Read the dedications below.

 

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Damn that’s fucked up @cldtoon rip! Y’all 2 guys showed me nothing but love since we met! #restwellprime I had some good nights with yall! 🤞🏾🤞🏾

A post shared by Meek Mill (@meekmill) on Mar 21, 2019 at 10:02am PDT

 

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I Can’t think of no memories with @easymoneysniper or @tdurant And u wasn’t there. We been cool since like 16-17 years old 🤦🏽‍♂️U was just in my session in Atlanta listening to my album this shit super wacc!!!! Rest in heavenly peace bro u ain’t deserve whatever happen to u all we talked about was ball bitches and gettin to it!!!! God bless you cuzo real shit 🙏🏽 @cldtoon @akbar__v hold ya head I know y’all was close ✊🏾

A post shared by Freaky Forever Mugga � FTD ENT (@daveeast) on Mar 21, 2019 at 3:29am PDT

 

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#EricaMena speaks on the passing of her ex, #CliffordDixon. We're sending our deepest condolences to his loved ones 🙏🏾

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Mar 21, 2019 at 1:09pm PDT

Better days.

Rest In Peace, Cliff Dixon. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/p8Q8UwvRVZ

— Timeless Sports (@timelesssports_) March 21, 2019

Rest In Peace to Cliff Dixon who was killed in Atlanta, GA early this morning celebrating his birthday 😔 pic.twitter.com/n4A0e4SXh5

— DC Maryland Virginia (@DMVFollowers) March 21, 2019

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Kodak Black Says He Was "Just Bullsh*ttin'" About Young M.A. Comments

Kodak Black received backlash earlier this week after he attempted to make advances at Young M.A. After she rejected him, he then appeared to take jabs at her sexual orientation. Now, the Florida native has come forward, stating that he was "just bullsh*ttin'" about his previous comments.

"Bruh, be realistic. I am too fly for that shit. And I got too much 'resources' to go that route," Kodak said addressing the controversy on Instagram Live on Thursday (Mar. 21). "I was just bullshittin', man," the rapper joked. "I know I be jiving. I be jiving around and shit like that y'all know me. And leave her alone!.. Lot of people be sensitive on the internet and in life. People go to saying crazy shit... like come on now."

As previously reported, Kodak was accused of sexual harassment for making suggesting comments about Young M.A. on his song "Pimpin' Ain't Easy." After the Brooklyn artist responded, he questioned her sexual preferences. "How you a girl but don't want your p***y penetrated? How?" He asked. "Don't be mad at me because I want you, baby. Don't be mad at me cuz I want you."

Kodak didn't waste any time moving on to the next troll though. The rapper recorded a new Instagram Live earlier claiming to be on the same level as Biggi, Tupac, and Nas. "I'm the hardest rapper in the game I promise," Kodak said. "Like, when you talk 'bout me, you should put me in a category of like 'Pac, B.I.G, Nas, them n***s, you feel me? Like really listen to my shit. I don't care about how I act, like, on the 'gram."

Watch his latest comments in the video above.

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‘American Soul’ Episode 8 Recap: The Crossroads

Tessa is back, and not only do we finally get the tea on her backstory, but it’s also a full tea party.

Still focused on reclaiming her dance career before she’s too old, Tessa prepares for an audition and comes face to face with her former best friend and former fiancé—the very people who drove her away from dance years ago. We learn that she didn’t just lose her dance career, she lost an entire life—including a baby. And then, she met Patrick. Over the course of the episode, Tessa has long overdue conversations with Prescott, her former fiancé, and Evelyn (Nikeva Stapleton), her former friend. Even though Evelyn played Tessa back in the day, she drops some gems and asks her if she’s really moving forward, or trying to hold on to what was. Tessa ponders the question and, in response, delivers a final audition routine she created during her old dance life in Germany, updated with moves influenced by the Soul Train Gang—a reflection of her new life. After finally having an honest, vulnerable conversation with Patrick, it seems Tessa is ready to genuinely move forward, whatever that may mean.

JT’s brothers in the Continuous Revolution in Progress offer him a chance to “prove (his) worth,” after Detective Lorraine set him up to look like a snitch (which we still don’t understand). Of course, that means participating in another illegal endeavor. We really don’t like Reggie, nor can we understand why JT feels such a staunch loyalty to him, but peer pressure—and thinly veiled threats—are real.

When JT gets “home,” he faces another course-altering decision. After finding a random street character holding his little sister while his mom is in a mid-drug nod, JT finally makes the difficult call to have her committed. We’d be relieved and excited about what this means for him and his little sister if he hadn’t just become more deeply entangled with Reggie and the CRIPS.

The Clarke siblings are ready to assert their independence. Kendall is taking his John Denver albums and moving out (with Flo? Already?); Simone is bucking up to her mom about JT (Simone, your mama might be right on this one); and Encore gets a surprise half-off deal at the studio to record their demo. We owe JT—who we realize is not a real person—an apology for assuming he was going to lose the studio money. He had it in his sock. Smart man. But holding the money might be the only role JT plays in Encore’s recording. While the Clarke siblings are stanning over Lionel Richie and getting ready to go in the booth, JT is at the hospital with his mom. We have a feeling his path will only take him further away from both Kendall and Simone for the last two episodes of the season.

Brianne comes face-to-face with the old life and dream she buried out of necessity for the life she chose to have with Joseph. At the beginning of the season, Joseph mentioned Brianne’s former singing career to Simone, and Simone was shocked even as her mother deflected. But she clearly never let it go—seeing a reminder of her singing days sends Brianne into a rage. Not because something terrible happened (that we know of, yet), but because she’s still so hurt over sacrificing such a big piece of herself. When Nate asks her if she wants to cut the visit to San Diego and her brother’s nightclub short, she says she needs to do something first. Is Brianne going to let the music back in?

Don already made one choice: Soul Train over his family. Now, he faces a fight for the show to survive against Dick Clark’s Soul Show, which airs on ABC, one of Don’s essential syndication partners. The next decision is whether to trust the protest and boycott methods suggested by his friend Conrad Johnson (Todd Anthony Manaigo) or take a more ruthless route with Gerald. Frustrated when the civil course doesn’t seem to be working quickly enough, Don lets Gerald off the leash to execute an alternate plan. But when he realizes Gerald’s tactic—placing plants at the Soul Show protest to start a fight—Don’s bothered. Especially when Conrad’s method ends up yielding results. Don will always be in conflict because he’s rarely comfortable with his decisions. When he operates in the straight and narrow, he feels like he’s being taken advantage of; when he plays dirty, he worries about his public image. When Don tries to detach himself from Gerald’s antics, Gerald checks him. He’s already peeped Don’s struggle between being the respectable negro and being a street dude when the situation requires. “It ain’t like you didn’t know, you just chose not to.”

Don’s hot-and-heavy relationship with Ilsa has fizzled out, Tessa’s quit, Brooks doesn’t see the big deal about a competitive show, and Gerald’s idea of being supportive is sketchy at best, highly illegal at worst. Don has presumably slayed the Hollywood dragons that tried to take him down and should feel victorious. Soul Train is a hit, is officially greenlit for a second season, and is still his. But Don’s realizing he doesn’t have true, close allies around him (Clarence Avant once said of Cornelius in real life that you could fit all his friends in a phone booth, and still have room). Delores is not only ignoring his phone calls—more phone calls than we’ve seen him make the entire season—she’s busy with plans that involve separate bank accounts. Don calls his wife one more time to plead for their marriage on the brand new answering machine he bought her. As he hangs up and the episode closes, he collapses—an early glimpse of the brain trauma that plagued him for the remainder of this life.

What the episode got right: Conrad “CJ” Johnson represents young Jesse Jackson, who partnered with the “Godfather of Black Music,” Clarence Avant, in successfully pressuring ABC to take Clark’s Soul Unlimited off the air.

What we could have done without: The scene with Gladys and Don in the lounge. While it was great to see Kelly Rowland reprise her role as Gladys Knight, and we recognize that she’s supposed to serve as some kind of conscious/guide/good luck charm/something for Don, that conversation didn’t move the plot forward in any real way.

What we absolutely don’t believe: That a black mother in the 1970s—the old school black mama prototype—let somebody call her daughter an “uppity b**ch,” then let the same daughter get in her face and slam doors in her house without some hands flying, somebody getting cursed out, or that door coming off the hinges.

What we don’t understand: The relationship between Brianne and Private Nate Barker. He’s fine and all, but what’s his purpose? Maybe there’s more to come in the next episodes.

We’re excited to learn more about Brianne Clarke in the next episode; she’s been an underutilized character so far. There’s a lot to cover, still, in the remaining two shows of the season: Is Simone going to pursue a career in NY? Is JT going to get his foolish self arrested or worse? Is Kendall going to end up with another baby he can’t support? (We feel like Flo has more sense than that, thankfully). Is Brianne going to get it poppin’ with Nate? Is Don going to somehow end up on Gerald’s bad side? We do know Don is getting a divorce, we just don’t know when. Let’s see what happens next.

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