Drake Talks His Upcoming R&B Mixtape And 'Deuces (Remix)': 'Usher Was A Big Influence'

After a full day of press—beginning with a live interview with Katie Couric and including stops at MTV and New York’s Hot 97—Drake once again took over another stage in the Big Apple. As a spokesperson for Kodak’s new line of EasyShare digitial cameras and So Kodak campaign, the Young Money rapper/singer closed out last night’s (Oct. 6) private launch event at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square.

Midway through his set, Drizzy took a minute to address a question he'd dodged all day. With news of Lil Wayne being sentenced to serve the remainder of his sentence in solitary confinement, the world was waiting for his thoughts on the situation.

“I haven’t really talked too much about it but I just want to do this next song in honor of my brother,” Drake announced during his set.  “Wherever you are in that prison, wherever they got you, I want to let you know everybody out here thinking of you and we can’t wait till you get home. Free Weezy!”

After running through a handful of hits from his platinum-selling debut, Thank Me Later, Drake sat down with VIBE to discuss his forthcoming R&B mixtape and the overwhelming influence that Rhythm and Blues has had on his music.

“My iPod was on shuffle and I just heard the words—it just hit me. ['Fanmail'] should've gone somewhere. It was just an album intro, but it was just so good. I hit 40 and told him T-Boz is singing nice and low—that’s right in my register,” explains Drake on “I Get Lonely Too,” the first leak from It’s Never Enough. “I thought we could make it the first song to introduce where I am right now mentally on this R&B mixtape. It’s actually track one on the tape."

Drake also spoke on rehashing Usher’s classic “Nice And Slow” flow on his contribution to Chris Brown’s latest all-star studded remix.


“There were a lot of R&B moments that meant a lot to me. Usher was a big influence in that regard. I remember ['Nice And Slow'] meant the world to me,” Drake tells VIBE regarding his verse on Chris Brown’s “Deuces (Remix)”. “I always liked that flow cadence. It stuck in my head for years, and I said to myself that it could be a song on it’s own. I got a chance to use it and the pattern was right. It really made sense as to what I was discussing in the verse—I’m just paying homage to a great melody.”

Without a set release date, Drake hopes to have the free mixtape out before Christmas. Filled with sounds inspired by '90s R&B, the 23-year-old star also reveled that he flipped a classic Avant record—he dubbed the remake “It’s Yours”—which will be included on the project. —Mikey Fresh


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Cardi B Lands Leading Role In Comedy ‘Assisted Living’

Cardi B is making her way back to the big screen. The Bronx native officially landed her first leading role in the upcoming Paramount comedy, Assisted Living.

According to Variety, Cardi will play a small time crook struggling to find a hiding place after her latest heist fails. Her character, “Amber,” disguises herself as an elderly woman and hides out at her grandmother's nursing home. The film is described as a “raucous comedy” similar to Mrs. Doubtfire and Sister Act.

Paramount acquired the rights to Assisted Living in 2019. The film’s script was penned by This Is Us writer, Kay Oyegun.

Cardi, 28, made her film debut in the 2019 celeb-heavy stripper flick, Hustlers. The “WAP” rapper appears to have hinted at her Assisted Living role in a recent interview with Billboard where she dished on filming scenes for Fast & Furious 9.

“After ‘Hustlers’ I filmed a little bit for 'Fast & Furious' so I felt like ‘I’m ready for this,’ I knew what to expect,” she explained. “But the characters were a little different so I was like ‘Oh wow, I’m going to need more acting classes.’ I’m planning on doing a movie this year and I’m going to be the lead role so I’m like ‘I need to execute this flawlessly.’”

Besides film, Cardi was a judge on the Netflix completion show, Rhythm & Flow, and landed her own Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries.

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Wendy Williams Reveals She Was Date Raped By ‘80s R&B Singer

Wendy Williams revealed that she was date raped by  ‘80s R&B singer, Sherrick, early in her radio career. The talk show host shared the story with reporters while promoting her Lifetime biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

“He mesmerized me with his twinkling eyes,” she recalled. “He flipped the interview around to where he was interviewing me — I was just gaga over this man and he asked me to go to an album release party with him that night.

“Before the party, I was date raped by him,” said Williams.

Sherrick, born Lamotte Smith, was a member of the group Kagny, whose song is featured on The Last Dragon soundtrack. He signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1987 and scored a marginal hit with the single “Just Call” off his debut self-titled album. Sherrick struggled with sobriety but declared himself “drug-free” before dying of unknown causes in 1999.

Williams says that she was raped in Sherrick’s Washington D.C. hotel room and it, unfortunately, wasn’t her first time being sexually assaulted. The New Jersey native had been date raped in college. “Those types of things happen to girls all the time and they’ve been happening a lot, to a lot of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and their great-great-grandmothers too.”

From the sounds of it, Sherrick's widow doesn't exactly believe Williams' story. She not only questioned Williams' account but wondered why she waited so long to go public, and why she didn't call police at the time of the incident.

“As I will never minimize or dismiss the horrid actions of sexual assault, I am saddened that Ms. Williams feels the need to publicly make these allegations when the man she is accusing is no longer on this earth to defend himself,” Lynne Conner Smith said in a statement to Page Six.  “Our family does not know Ms. Williams and are not aware of any relationship or encounter they may have had.”

The sexual assault will be chronicled in the film, as well as other details from Williams' life -- like her rise to talk show fame, her battle with drug addiction, and marriage to ex-husband Kevin Hunter.

Wendy Williams: The Movie premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 30.

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YFN Lucci Denied Bond After Turning Himself In On Murder Charge

YFN Lucci turned himself in to Atlanta Police on Wednesday (Jan. 13) in connection with the murder of a man believed to be apart of his crew. The 29-year-old rapper, whose birth name is Rayshawn Bennett, is currently being held without bond at Fulton County Jail.

Lucci faces a felony murder charge, in addition to aggravated assault, participation in street gang activity, and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony. He was denied bond at a court hearing Thursday (Jan. 14).

A day before he surrendered, Atlanta Police held a press conference asking the public for details leading to his arrest.

“The presumption of innocence is a fundamental constitutional right for every citizen,” Lucci's lawyer said in a statement to CNN. “We have no further comments at this time.”


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The victim, James Adams, was riding in a car with Lucci when they drove into rival gang territory, TMZ  reports. Adams and Lucci were supposedly in the front seat of an SUV allegedly shooting at rival gang members when Adams got hit by return fire.

In a 911 call published by the outlet, a witness can be heard telling the operator that a male (Adams) was hanging from the side of an SUV. “They just pushed him out the truck and left him for dead,” the caller says.

Another victim, Kevin Wright, was shot at least once in the abdomen. Wright, however, was reportedly able to drive himself to a nearby fire station for help.

Lucci was the third suspect to be arrested in connection with the fatal shooting.

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