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SOULJA BOY: The Full Oct/Nov Cover Story [Pg 2]

Midas touch aside, S. Beezy wants to compete with rap’s elite. So for the first time he finds himself creating an album with lyrical aspirations. As a pre- lude to his third major release, The DeAndre Way, due in November, he’s showcasing his improved pen via a steady stream of mixtape material. Sir Swagger even humbled himself and sent Kanye West a rough version of “Speakers Going Hammer” for approval. Back when Soulja was taking a critical beatdown, West took to his blog to endorse the young spitter. “Soulja Boy is fresh as hell, and is actually the true meaning of what hip-hop is supposed to be,” West wrote on kanyeuniversity.com back in 2008. “He came from the ’hood, made his own beats, made up a new saying, new sound and a new dance with one song. He had all of America rapping this summer. If that ain’t hip-hop then what is?”

“A lot of people rate [Kanye] as a top lyricist. And that’s where I’m catching flack,” says Soulja, who appreciated Yeezy coming to his defense during Ice-T’s attacks. “He didn’t have to do that, but him [cosigning me] might get some of these niggas off my ass. Hopefully if I can put out quality music like a Kanye I’ll get that respect that I feel I deserve.”

Nevertheless, The DeAndre Way’s first official single, “Pretty Boy Swag,” shows no aspirations whatsoever of competing with a Yeezy verse. As elementary as it is subjective, the sparse track’s sole purpose is to illuminate young pimpin’s fame and fortune. Yet the die-hard Soulja Boys and Girls are eating it up. At press time “Pretty Boy Swag” is No. 49 on Billboard’s 100 and No. 4 at urban radio. But it’s safe to say the song will do nothing to silence any haters.

Why the fascination with Soulja Boy opinion polls? They exist in extremes. He’s either adored (Preteen boys rocking S.B. shades and little girls sporting S.B. tattoos) or loathed. A brief Google search reveals that Soulja Boy’s critics are just as passionate as his fans. “Niggas will cut your balls off and hand ’em to ya lil’ young ass,” said Bay Area rap- per Spice 1 in ’08. Such abhorrence might make any entertainer cautious in public. Not Soulja Boy.

“Since I’ve been famous I haven’t been in any fights; I haven’t been punched; not even talked shit to,” he says. “Just one shoot-out.” Whoa.

The shoot-out that Dre references has until now been documented only as a 2008 robbery, during which unknown thugs entered Way’s home with guns. Despite past confirmation—as when he re- counted the home invasion on Big Boy Radio in January 2009—Soulja now says there was no actual rob- bery. His account of the incident now goes like this:

It’s hours after the Atlanta album release party for Soulja Boy’s second album, isouljaboytellem. S.B. and his crew are back at his South Georgia mansion. According to Soulja, he and a friend are in the studio recording, when suddenly they hear one of the man- sion doors get kicked in. Immediately thereafter he hears his boy yell, “Who in this house?” The friend tackles one of the intruders, but a few more run in behind him. His boy tosses Soulja a pistol. Soulja says he cracks open the studio door and sees one robber carrying an AK-47 assault rifle, a second in- truder heading upstairs and a third running to the right of the rapper’s view. He contemplates shoot- ing the AK-47 operator: “I’m thinking if I shoot this nigga I can get that gun and shoot all these niggas at the same time,” says Soulja. “So I jumped out, shot at the dude four times and missed. He ducked down and ran.”

Soulja then hears a repeated “boom” rising closer and louder. He figures another robber must have broken in through one of his basement windows. He shuts the studio door and waits for whomever it is to reach the top step. Once the invader emerg- es, Soulja says he jumps out and shoots him. “He started yelling, so I [shot him] like two more times, he recalls. “Then he turned around and started run- ning. So I popped his ass like two more times in the back, and he hit the floor.”

Nervous now, S.B. and his boys run back into the studio and shut off all the lights. That’s until a member of Soulja’s crew busts in the studio scream- ing that another friend has been kidnapped. A man- sion-wide search ensues, until the frantic victim runs back into the house claiming the robbers tried to kidnap him, and insisting that they all leave the house immediately. They all jump in their cars, and only return when the intruders have fled without tak- ing any goods.

At least, that’s how Soulja Boy tells it. “I didn’t really want nobody to know that I shot somebody,” he says, appearing relieved to finally get his ac- count out. “My label [didn’t] want that out there [be- cause] when the robbery went down I had fans like 9, 10 [years old]. But being that I’m 20, I don’t give a fuck no more. Ain’t nobody take shit [from me that night].”



BESIDES MEGAWATT YOUNGSTERS like Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, there are few under-21 entertain- ers more consumed by their celebrity than Soulja Boy. And as a Black hip-hop artist, he faces chal- lenges unbeknownst to Miley and Justin. Having ex- ited his wonder years under the spotlight, he knows there’s a bull’s-eye on his chest. And it’s only grow- ing. He’s learning that everybody’s gunning for him— whether hip-hop purists or stick-up kids.

His most recent lesson in fame 2.0 came at the tail of last July, when hip-hop’s proud groupie of the minute Kat Stacks posted a two-cut video on the Net of her hanging out with Soulja in a hotel room. S.B. is recognizable in one part, but absent in the more controversial section of the clip, where Stacks calls him “a motherfuckin’ cokehead” and shows three lines of a white substance in an empty hotel room as evidence.

“When I first got the phone call, I didn’t wanna see it... So I called him up to discuss it,” says Soulja Boy’s father, Tracy Jenkins, 38, via cell phone. “You’re always concerned, because in this type of business people get addicted on drugs [easily]. I didn’t want that for any of my kids.”

Once again DeAndre Way found himself refut- ing drug use to his father.

“I get tired of it ’cause I know 100 percent it ain’t true,” says S.B. back at Doppler. “But outside of my mom and my dad it’s nobody’s business.”

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Nicki Minaj Reportedly Splits With Longtime Managers Cortez Bryant, Gee Roberson

Nicki Minaj is reportedly moving on from her longtime managers, Cortez Bryant and Gee Roberson, subsequently severing her relationship with Blueprint/Maverick Management. According to Billboard, the business decision was “mutual” and “amicable” but Minaj doesn’t have a new team yet, sources told the outlet.

Minaj parted ways with the team prior to her surprise appearance on Ariana Grande’s headlining Coachella set last Sunday (April 14), Variety reports. No other details were reported about the reason for the apparent split with Roberson and Bryant who head the Blueprint Group, an Atlanta-based company that formed a conglomerate with Maverick.

The “Barbie Dreams” rapper has been managed by Blueprint for the most of her career and remains on the company’s website under their list of clients which includes Lil Wayne, The Roots, Rich the Kid, CyHi the Prynce, and Jill Scott.

In other Minaj news, the 36-year-old recording artist wrapped up the European leg of her Queen world tour late last month. Minaj has yet to announce the dates for her U.S. installment of the tour.

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Dave East Thinks “Old Town Road” Is “Super Wack”

Don’t expect to see Dave East sporting a cowboy hat and listening to Lil Nas X’s hit, “Old Town Road.” The New Yorker didn’t hold back while offering up his honest opinion of the song.

“This f**king 'Old Town Road' s**t is f**kin’ wack,” the rapper said in a video posted on his Instagram story that began circulating the 'net Wednesday (April 18). “I don’t know what the f**k is going on with hip-hop, with rap. I ain’t no hater man but that s**t is wack with a cape on it. It’s super wack.”

Dave East says “Old Town Road” is “wack”...do y’all agree? 👇🎶🤔 @DaveEast pic.twitter.com/npW1gKmnfe

— WORLDSTARHIPHOP (@WORLDSTAR) April 18, 2019

Despite being removed from Billboard's country charts for not embracing enough country music elements, the Billy Ray Cyrus-assisted remix to “Old Town Road,” pushed its way to No. 1 on the Billboard singles charts. The song also scored 143 million streams in a week, breaking a previous record held by Drake.

As his popularity continues to grow, Lil Nas X wants to move past the country music drama. "I didn't want it to get to that point where it was more popular because of controversy than the song itself," he recently told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

In response to East’s comments, the music newcomer reportedly tweeted that he’s “not mad” at the rapper. “Just [an] oh well moment,” he supposedly wrote in a post that was later deleted.

Fans of the song were fare less diplomatic in reacting to the critique, while others defended East for simply sharing his opinion.

Peep some of the reactions below.

Nah Dave East really got on here with ZERO HIT RECORDS OF HIS OWN and tried to hate on a nigga who might fuck around and go diamond on his first swing. Literally some hater shit if I ever saw it. The worst shit about it is that the song not even rap it’s country (on purpose) LOL https://t.co/5jaGpcsiHD

— Little Bro (@DjChubbESwagg) April 18, 2019

We do not listen to dave east in the car. We do not listen to dave east at the bar. We do not listen to him here or there. We do not listen to him anywhere. https://t.co/Ft6T5ko3sB

— Popcorn Playa🦊 (@AuntieMemm) April 18, 2019

Dave East throws a vigil for Nip it’s “awww man Dave East a real one” Dave East says Old Town Road is trash it’s “I can’t even name 5 Dave East songs”...the innanets a weird place

— The Marathon Continues 🏁 (@RT_DeezNutzzz) April 18, 2019

Sooo Dave East a Bad human Being for having an honest opinion?

— Count Rackula aka 2Cup Shakur aka Durt Cobain aka. (@MeechIsDEAD) April 18, 2019

Dave East music fire, but he sounds like a hater rn...

How do you have static with a person for going viral with a country song lmao

— Dontai (@ImDontai) April 18, 2019

Dave East is supposed to dislike “Old Town Road” ..... because HipHop needs him to!! 💪🏾💪🏽

— El Viejo Ebro (@oldmanebro) April 19, 2019

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Dee Barnes Talks Dr. Dre. Attack, Goes Silent When Asked If He Sexually Assaulted Her

It’s no secret that pioneering hip-hop journalist Denise “Dee” Barnes was viciously beaten by Dr. Dre in 1991, but there are still details of the harrowing incident that remain a mystery. Barnes, who received an outpouring of support since revealing that she’s homeless, appeared on The Wendy Williams Show Wednesday (April 18) to discuss her living predicament and the night that she was assaulted by Dre, but when asked if the music mogul sexually assaulted her, Barnes went silent.

As Barnes recalled during the interview, Dre attacked her at a Def Jam party in Los Angeles in retaliation for her interview with Ice Cube after he split with N.W.A. According to Barnes, she was standing near a stairway talking to someone when Dre grabbed her by the hair and rammed her head into a brick wall. “Dre approached me out of nowhere [and] grabs me by my hair. He picked me up, lifted me up off the ground [by my hair and] slammed me up against a brick wall several times.

“I didn’t see but he had a bodyguard with him and he kept the crowd from helping [me] by threatening the crowd with a gun,” continued the former Pump It Up host. “The person that was talking to me, was the only person who tried to intervene, he got pistol whipped [and ] lost two teeth.”

Barnes remembers being disoriented as she lay on the ground, unable to walk down the stairs. “I grab the rail, I pull myself back up and run into the women’s restroom. He follows me into the women’s restroom,” she said before taking a pause. “He continued to assault me in the women’s restroom.”

“Were you sexually assaulted?” Williams prodded.

“I’m not comfortable talking about everything right now,” Barnes replied.

“Your silence is speaking volumes,” added Williams.

In a 1991 interview with Rolling Stone, Dre brushed off the incident casaully stating that he threw Barnes “through a door.” The assault came back to light in 2015 after it was noticeably absent from Straight Outta Compton, along with Dre’s abuse of his ex-girlfriend, Michel'le with whom he has a child. Dre later released a public apology, although he didn’t mention Barnes or Michel'le directly. “I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives,” he said in a statement. He also addressed the beating in HBO's The Defiant Ones series in 2017. “I was out of my f**king mind at the time. I f**ked up. I paid for it. I’m sorry for it. And I apologized for it.I have this dark cloud that follows me, and it’s going to be attached to me forever. It’s a major blemish on who I am as a man, and every time it comes up, it just makes me feel f**ked up.”

Dre, whose birth name is Andre Young, pleaded no contest to assaulting Barnes. He was sentenced to probation and community service and went to become a multi-millionaire entrepreneur, Grammy-winning solo artist, and sought after producer. Meanwhile, Barnes was blacklisted from the music industry after she was attacked.

During a much happier moment in her Wendy Williams Show interview, Williams presented Barnes with a $15,000 check to help her get back on her feet, and offered her a book deal.

Watch the full interview below.

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