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Bruno Mars On Damian Marley Track, Hip-Hop Influences, B.o.B.

B.o.B is on it. I’m sick that I couldn’t get Travie, but I know we’ll do something in the future again. I got Cee-Lo and Damian Marley.

How was that experience recording with Damian Marley?

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to meet him. I just wrote the song called “Liquor Store Blues.” It had this reggae vibe, and being from Hawaii—you know that’s all they play down there is Bob Marley and Damian and Stephen—when I wrote, I was like, “Man, what if we could just get Damian on this?” So we made the phone call, and he came in with open arms and destroyed it.

Did you speak to him at all?

No, I haven’t spoken to him yet, actually. He’s been on tour. He did it right after a show in Washington. But I can’t wait to see him and meet him. I think we got a couple shows lined up together.

So there’s a lot of reggae in Hawaii. What other type of music did you listen to growing up?

I went through phases. When I was younger, I was [listening to] nothing but Keith Sweat, Jodeci and R. Kelly. I swore I was gonna be in an R&B group like Jodeci. [Laughs] Of course, 1950s rock-and-roll, doo wop music, everything on Motown. Then in high school, I got into classic rock, like the Police, Zeppelin, the Beatles. 

Have you always been a fan of hip-hop?

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. That’s all I dance to. [Laughs] Of course, Jay-Z. I was a big fan of The Roots growing up. I was just in love with the sound that they got, just the sound of a live band doing hip-hop. I remember when the Cody Chesnutt song came out [“The Seed”], and I was just floored. It’s not easy to [create] songs with that mixture of rock and soul and hip-hop, and there’s only a handful of them. Like “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. 

Some rap fans think B.o.B. sold out by going a little more pop. What do you think about that?

That’s fine. [Laughs] People can think whatever the hell they want. There’s always gonna be haters and people that don’t like songs and don’t like your music. We’re in the day and age where Twitter and Facebook and iTunes [has sections where] you can leave a comment, but we don’t over-think these things. We’re just tryna make music.

Do you worry about not being edgy enough?

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”

 

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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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