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Twista Talks Tainting 'Adrenaline Rush', New Album & 'Slow Jamz' Vs. 'Jesus Walks'

With his eighth LP, The Perfect Storm, weeks away from release, Twista sits down for a candid discussion on past stumbles and successes, stumping video gamers and Kanye West's cold shoulder —John Kennedy

 

VIBE: Rapping to your verse on “Slow Jamz” on Def Jam Rapstar is damn-near impossible. Have you played the game yet?

Twista: I played a little bit with the shorties. I’ve have been doing a benefit and I got a chance to play but I didn’t get into it real hard. Once I heard that my song was on there it definitely made want to see how high I would score rapping along with my own song. I’m glad that I was able to be a part of that one. It’s long overdue.

You have any tips for gamers trying to get to the next level?

Bop your head to the double time beat—not just the slow flow of the beat. And then rap along and you should be able to nail the lyrics a little better.

Easier said than done. Speaking of “Slow Jamz,” that song is part of our Greatest Hip-Hop Single (Of The VIBE Era) Tournament. Is that the greatest Midwest hip-hop song of the last decade and a half?  

It was definitely up there. I remember we would go to certain radio stations where I wouldn’t have any record playing right now before “Slow Jamz” and it was like the top song, having 1,400 spins. It was crazy. So I definitely feel like the song does play a big part of hip-hop history, because this song literally launched Jamie Foxx and Kanye’s careers. And it took my career to another level.

Great record, indeed, but voters thought “Jesus Walks” was greater.

It’s a dope comparison. “Slow Jamz” is a real dope song as far as me having fun and wanting my song to win, but message-wise, you have to give that to “Jesus Walks,” because it carried a positive message. Kanye was talented enough to put together his version of a hip-hop gospel song, and forced people to play it. And if you listen to a lot of gospel rap today, he changed the way gospel rappers make their music.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE IN VIBE'S GREATEST HIP-HOP SINGLE (OF THE VIBE ERA) TOURNAMENT

Amen to that. Speaking of Kanye West, was there ever talks of you signing with G.O.O.D. Music? Seems like it’d be a natural fit.

I actually wanted to at one point. But I don’t know what time of vibe Kanye had with me at that time. He was in New York recording, this is when he was working on “Stronger,” around that time. I mentioned that I would be getting out of my [Atlantic Records] contract and wondered if he wanted to jump down. But I don’t know, I guess it wasn’t a good idea for him at the time. But he should’ve done it. He would’ve had the “Wetter” joint [Laughs].

Wow. And he would be putting out this new album, The Perfect Storm. Where were you looking to go with this one?

We had just made Category F5 so I was looking to continue on the weather theme—The Perfect Storm. Everything was perfect.  We had the big single with “Wetter” so I wanted to recapture the whole creative element that I had with Traxstar—who did Adrenaline Rush—being my producer as well as having creative control of the whole project. I always try to do what the fans expect Twista to do at this point.

It seems like you’re often building on past records, like The Day After being an extension of Kamikaze, Adrenaline Rush and Adrenaline Rush 2007

I probably wouldn’t have titled it [Adrenaline Rush 2007] if I was thinking in the same mindset that I’m thinking in now. I always take pride in being able to  consistently rap the way I rap. So by the time I came with Adrenaline Rush 2007, I was proud of the fact that I could still deliver the same type of flow I could on Adrenaline Rush. I’m always trying to recapture the fans. I felt enough time had passed from Adrenaline Rush to revisit that title and spark up a little interest.

Did Adrenaline Rush 2007 live up to its predecessor?

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Justice For Junior: Five Convicted In Brutal Murder Of Bronx Teen

Five men were convicted in the brutal murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz. A Bronx jury handed down the verdict on Friday (June 14), nearly a year to the day since the 15-year-old victim was chased down by a group of gang members, dragged out of a local bodega and viciously stabbed to death.

Martinez Estrella, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, Elvin Garcia, Jose Muniz and Manuel Rivera, were found guilty on all four charges, according to CBS News. The group faced first-degree murder, second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy and second-degree gang assault.

Jurors reviewed video of Guzman-Feliz’s murder and reportedly began crying while looking at autopsy photos of the teen, described by his father as a “really good kid” who was doing well in school, and aspired to be an NYPD detective.

The five convicted murderers belonged to the Trinitarios gang, prosecutors said. Guzman-Feliz was killed after he was mistaken for a member of a rival gang. Surveillance footage from the night of the heinous murder showed Guzman-Feliz attempting to run to safety inside a Bronx bodega before being caught by the men.

Guzman-Feliz was stabbed multiple times with knives and machetes, and collapsed on his way to a nearby hospital. His death caused outrage around the globe, and launched the viral #JusticeForJunior campaign. A Go Fund Me account opened to raise money for the high schooler’s family brought in more than $340,000 in donations.

“I want to say thank you, Jesus,” the slain teen’s mother, Leandra Feliz, said after the verdict.

“I’m not going to have my son back. But those killers, those murderers, they won’t be outside killing another kid.”

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Nick Cannon To Host Morning Show On L.A. Hip-Hop Station Power 106

Nick Cannon has signed on to host and produce his own morning show on Los Angeles radio station, Power 106, Billboard reports. Nick Cannon Mornings is set to debut on Monday (June 17), during the coveted 6 to 10 a.m. slot.

“Power 106 is one of the most substantial fixtures in our hip-hop culture that has proven time and time again that they are No. 1 and not going anywhere,” Cannon said in a statement. “Los Angeles is used to star players joining star franchises. I’m just honored for the opportunity to make our community and culture proud.”

 

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A man of the community! ✊🏾 @power_106

A post shared by NICK CANNON (@nickcannon) on Jun 14, 2019 at 3:03pm PDT

Cannon’s morning show will replace J Cruz’s The Cruz Show. The radio host left the station in April for Power 106 competitor, 92.3 The Beat. The move reunited Cruz with longtime L.A. radio personality, Big Boy, who left Power 106 for 92.3 in 2015.

In addition to radio, Cannon is the creator and host of MTV’s Wild ’N Out, which has been on the air for more than a decade. He also helmed Fox’s The Masked Singer, a singing competition show that crowned T-Pain as its season one winner, and was recently picked up for season two. Last year, it was reported that Cannon signed a development deal to host a late-night talk show on Fox.

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Judge Finds Probable Cause To Charge Lil Durk With Attempted Murder In Atlanta Shooting

Lil Durk is set to face attempted murder and multiple other felonies after a judge found probable cause to charge him over a shooting in Atlanta earlier this year. Durk appeared at a hearing Friday (June 14) where a police detective testified to viewing surveillance footage that allegedly shows the Chicago native firing a weapon from a car in the early morning hours of Feb. 5, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.

Atlanta Police Department detective Jeffrey Churchill testified to speaking with a “witness”  who was at the scene of the shooting. According to Churchill, the witness was standing outside of The Varsity restaurant where the shooting took place at 5:49 a.m. on Feb. 5.

“Mr. Banks pulled out a weapon. They heard gunfire,” Churchill said.

The 26-year-old rapper, whose birth name is Durk Banks, faces criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, participation in criminal street gang activity, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Alexander Weatherspoon, the 23-year-old victim, was shot in the thigh. Authorities claim that Durk and his codefendant, DeaVonte Bennett, are gang members who knew Weatherspoon and planned to rob him of the $30,000 in cash that he had on him at the time. Weatherspoon reportedly told police that he was carjacked and his jewelry was stolen in the aftermath of the shooting.

Durk turned himself in to authorities last month after learning that a warrant was issued for his arrest. He maintains innocence and also denies being gang affiliated. In an interview prior to surrendering, Durk proclaimed that he had “nothing to hide,” but admitted to having a “bad background” as a child. “I had a rough path but moving to Atlanta I thought it would change my thinking,” he said.

Durk and Bennett remain in Fulton County Jail. They are due back in court next month for a bond hearing.

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