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Birdman On Nicki Minaj Vs. Lil Kim, Tyga & Bow Wow

Well, Nicki doesn’t surprise me anymore. I be around her a lot and I think she’s very talented. I think she has surprised other people, but not me. Going back to when we first signed her I felt that she had this special talent. Nicki can rap…she has style; she is classy with it. She has all the elements. And she is around the best that’s doing it today. She has a team, but Nicki is handling her own.

Given Cash Money’s past policy of staying out of beefs, did you know Nicki was going to go at Lil’ Kim?

Real talk, but maybe Kim asked for it. Usually we don’t try to make money like that…that’s not our theory. We make great music. We have never been the type to make songs about motherfuckas. I think Nicki is speaking in general, not just Kim personally. A lot of motherfuckers have been hating on her success. To me, they are all asking for it. I don’t think any of them has as a talented clique as Nicki. We a movement.

What comes to mind when you hear Eminem call your girl Nicki Smalls?

That means a lot. It’s great that Nicki is being recognized. Everybody is paying attention. For her to be working with Em and these different acts outside of Cash Money shows that she's handling her own business. Nicki sings, she raps…we try to have well-rounded artists. Wayne is the same way. He raps, sings and plays guitar. Same with Drake with his singing, acting and rapping. We are molding them to not just be rappers. Just don’t limit yourself.

Another Cash Money/Young Money artist that's been making noise recently is Tyga. Why do you think fans are finally embracing him?

I think it’s all his hard work. Tyga is driven. It was great for him to be on tour with Drake. That was a good move. And really Tyga can go…he can rap. That young boy can do it. I think he’s the next big star from the clique. And I think Bow Wow is next.

You mentioned Bow Wow. A lot of music sites and blogs rolled their eyes when the news that he was signing to Cash Money came out. What was it about Bow Wow that helped you see him as a viable artist beyond his heartthrob success?

I think Bow Wow is great. He has a great record out right now with him and Chris Brown (“Aint Thinkin’ About You”). I think Bow Wow is going to surprise a lot of people with his album. I see greatness in the young boy. Remember, Bow Wow is already a star. He has platinum albums and [movies]. But now he’s in a different atmosphere; with a different crew. All I’m doing is bringing that great music to him; I’m putting him with the Waynes and the Drakes and letting him do his thing. But at the end of the day, Bow Wow has to do him. And he’s adjusting great.

Chris Paul’s New Orleans Hornets have been one of the surprise teams in the NBA so far. Care to make a bet on their chances of winning the NBA Finals trophy?

[Laughs] It’s funny you asked that. We're on our way to the Hornets game where they will be [playing] the Miami Heat. The Big Three are not to be played with, them boys are strong. But I think we have a good team. We'll see.

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Schoolboy Q Drops New Album 'CrasH Talk'

Schoolboy Q's new album, CrasH Talk is here. The rapper's fifth studio album arrived on Friday (April 26).

The album is comprised of 14 tracks and features special appearances from Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, 21 Savage, YG, Kid Cudi, Lil Baby, and 6lack. It includes the pre-released track, "CrasH."

According to Q, this wasn't the first version of his album. He actually canned two albums because "they were trash." At the time, he said he was going through a lot of lows in his life. "I'd be in the house smoking weed, just waiting to go to the studio every day," Q told GQ. "That's not a good life. That brings on depression."

It was his fellow TDE members Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock that inspired him to keep working on the album. And the rest is history. CrasH Talk follows 2016's Blank Face. Stream the new project below.

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Wendy Williams Reportedly Hires New Manager After Firing Estranged Husband

Wendy Williams hired a new team members after splitting from her estranged husband, Kevin Hunter, earlier in the month and firing him as her manager.

Veteran producer Bernie Young has signed on as Williams’ manager and executive producer of The Wendy Williams Show, Page Six reports. Young replaces Williams’ estranged husband who was reportedly booted as executive producer of the show after she served him with divorce papers.

Young worked as co-executive producer of the Rosie O’Donnell Show from 1996 until 2002, and Martha Stewarts’s talk show, Martha, from 2005 until 2012.

Williams split from Hunter amid rumors that he had been cheating on her for several years with a woman named, Sharina Hudson. Hunter and Hudson allegedly welcomed a child together late last month. Williams supposedly gave Hunter only 48 hours to move out, and cut off his funds.

Following news of the split, Hunter released a statement apologizing to Williams. “I am not proud of my recent actions and take full accountability and apologize to my wife, my family and her amazing fans,” he said. “I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs.”

Aside from a few jokes and flirty comments, Williams hasn’t said much about the split from Hunter. The 54-year-old daytime talk show host, who has battled drug addiction, announced that she was moving out of the sober house that she had been living in following a reported relapse.

 

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California Approves Bill Banning Racial Discrimination Based On Hairstyles

California is set to become the latest state to ban racial discrimination based on hairstyles. Senate Bill 188, also known as The Crown Act, was introduced by state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) in January and unanimously approved in a 37-0 vote Monday (April 22).

The bill outlines the proximity between race and hair and how the history of the U.S. has been “riddled with laws and societal norms” that equate  “blackness’” which includes physical traits such as “dark skin, kinky and curly hair” with inferiority, and therefore subjecting black people to “separate and unequal treatment.”

“This idea also permeated societal understanding of professionalism,” Morgan states in the bill. “Professionalism was, and still is, closely linked to European features and mannerisms, which entails that those who do not naturally fall into Eurocentric norms must alter their appearances, sometimes drastically and permanently, in order to be deemed professional.

“Despite the great strides American society and laws have made to reverse the racist ideology that Black traits are inferior, hair remains a rampant source of racial discrimination with serious economic and health consequences, especially for Black individuals,” Morgan continues.

Furthermore, dress codes and grooming policies prohibiting “natural hair” have a “disparate impact on Black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter Black applicants and burden or punish Black employees than any other group.”

The 1964 Civil Rights Act banning racial discrimination extends to afros as well, but doesn’t include other hairstyles. As pointed out in SB 188, “courts do not understand that afros are not the only natural presentation of Black hair. Black hair can also be naturally presented in braids, twists, and locks.”

Although the bill has yet to be signed into law, the state isn't alone in making moves to end the racist bias against natural hair. In February, New York City passed a similar bill in February imposing a $250,000 penalty for hair discrimination.

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