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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 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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Kevin Winter

Fans Shut Down Beyonce Cultural Appropriation Allegations

Beyonce is the latest celebrity to be accused of cultural appropriation after she was spotted at an Indian wedding on Sunday (Dec. 9). Despite some assertions, the BeyHive is swooping in to set the record straight about their queen.

According to reports, Beyonce performed at an early wedding celebration in India's western Rajasthan state. She was celebrating the nuptials of Isha Ambani – the 27-year old daughter of Reliance Industries head Mukesh Ambani – and Anand Piramal, the 33-year old son of another Indian billionaire.


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A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:47am PST

The early festivities, which is custom for Indian marriages, welcomed a handful of celebrity guests including Hillary Clinton, Bollywood stars, businessman, and more.

The controversy surrounding Beyonce sparked after the singer shared an image of herself wearing an extravagant, pink and gold dress with seemingly traditional, Indian accessories, including a headpiece and bracelets. Some critics immediately assumed Bey was culturally appropriating Indian or Hindi culture, but suggested it would go unnoticed due to her social status.

Fans however, shut the allegations down, noting that she was actually paying homage to the culture. They also stated that she was invited to perform at the party by a prominent Indian family and therefore, should be dressed appropriately.

This wouldn't be the first time Beyonce has been accused of cultural appropriation of Indian culture. She was hit with similar allegations following the release of the music video for "Hymn for the Weekend" with Coldplay.

Join the discussion and check out the debate below.


— lah-juh (@fabuLaja) December 10, 2018

why are fake wokes on twitter accusing beyonce for doing cultural appropriation ? IT'S APPRECIATION YOU MFs !! y'all don't know shit about indian culture !! literally sit tf down, even indians aren't mad why are you dumbasses shoving it down our throats as if yall know better

— anupama (@taysmoonchiId) December 9, 2018

Beyonce wearing Indian clothes to an Indian Cultural Event is not cultural appropriation. She was invited by an Indian family and everyone there is wearing Indian clothes. So.

— Ivan (@taexty) December 10, 2018

As someone who is half-Indian and half-Pakistani (aka fully South Asian for those who are not geographically inclined), I do not want to see ANYONE shouting nonsense about Beyoncé and cultural appropriation unless you are South Asian too. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk x

— Shehnaz Khan (@shehnazkhan) December 10, 2018

Ppl commenting on @Beyonce’s IG Indian outfit post, saying it was cultural appropriation, need to have a seat. Embracing another’s culture and shedding positivity on it is not cultural appropriation, it is cultural appreciation. Damn keyboard warriors

— Ramon Salas (@ramonssalas) December 10, 2018

Beyoncé was invited to an indian wedding, to perform there, she's appreciating the culture and the people that invited her There's no cultural appropriation here

— 🅚 (@chained_tofenty) December 10, 2018

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Paras Griffin

Tyrese, Usher And Others Reacts To Jacquees' Claim That He's The King Of R&B

Jacquees has made a bold statement that's ruffled a few feathers.

The Cash Money artist took to social media over the weekend to assert that he's the king of R&B, and from what we can gather, the 23 singer wasn't talking about ribs and barbeque. "I just want to let everybody know that I'm the king of R&B right now, for this generation. I understand who done came and who done did that and that, but now it's my turn. Jacquees, the king." he said.

Some of the Internet raised its digital eyebrow at the boast, while others paid it no attention. Tyrese, however, didn't take kindly to the assertation.

"Ima keep it stack with you," the Transformers star posted. "The young kings of this generation that's been running sh*t since day one are Chris Brown and Trey Songz."

The soul singer continued and accused the Decatur, GA native of employing Tekashi 6ix 9ine tactics. "You got this out of the Tekashi 6ix9ine playbook. Stop trolling, my ni**a. Get back in the booth."

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How Sway..? How.??......... The way we ALL reacted.......... Let me put you up on what’s really movin bruh.. This ain’t Hip Hop my nigha.. You can’t come in this game get hot for a year then try an #T69 nighas and throw that there word #KING around..... Imma keep it a stack with you... The young kings of your generation that’s #been runnin shit is 1 @chrisbrownofficial and 2 @treysongz .... BIG facts! FYI the last real R&B album through and through that has the integrity and blueprint of the culture that was made with NO skips was #ThreeKings you got this out of the T69 play book stop trolling my nigha get back in the booth.....

A post shared by TYRESE (@tyrese) on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:25pm PST

Tank, having gotten wind of Jacquees' statements, refuted his "king" claim. "First, R.Kelly is the king of R&B. The accusations don't disqualify what he's accomplished. Second, if you can't go in the studio by yourself and make a hit record, you're not my king. If you can't sing it better live, you're not my king. I appreciate all the talent out there, but we are using the word "king" too loosely."

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Every artist is supposed to believe they can fly but only one man made it happen. @rkelly body of work is still bible. I love ALL of the artist out now and some are having amazing success but to be the King you have to beat the King and his stats still stand. Imagine if “I Believe I Can Fly” had streaming when it dropped..geesh!!! I’ll let you guys focus on kings and queens.. I’ll stay focused on being around for another 20yrs! #Elevation #RnBMoney #TheGeneral

A post shared by Tank (@therealtank) on Dec 9, 2018 at 9:56pm PST

J. Holiday noted that Michael Jackson sold 20 million after the release of Off The Wall, and said R.Kelly owns the second spot. Eric Bellinger, while in the studio with Usher, simply panned his camera phone to Usher, who sat quietly in a corner.

Are Tyrese and Tank overreacting? Or should Jacquees not make such bold assertions? Sound off in the comments below.

READ MORE: Is R&B Under Siege? Tyrese, Sam Smith, And The Genre's Identity Crisis

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Bob Levey

Tekashi 6ix9ine Refuses To Take Plea Deal In Racketeering Case

Tekashi 6ix9ine is maintaining his innocence in his racketeering case despite the mounting evidence against him. His attorney Lance Lazzaro recently told TMZ that a plea deal is "off the table."

"A plea deal is simply off the table, even if the feds offer one," Lazarro told the celebrity news publication.

Tekashi's refusal to make a deal comes only one day after prosecutors presented photos and videos taken from his phone that prove the Brooklyn native's involvement in at least three armed robberies and shootings that went down in BK earlier this year. While the media found on his device does not show 6ix9ine pulling the trigger or holding a weapon, authorities are suggesting that he was the ringleader of all the crimes and enlisted others to do the dirty work for him. Tekashi's former manager, Kifano "Shotti" Jordan, is the only one who has been identified in the incidents at this time.

Nevertheless, Lazarro maintains his clients innocence, stating that he "was never part of a conspiracy, plain and simple. Nor did he ever participate in any incidents that the government has alleged." Despite his unwillingness to take a plea deal, Lazarro said 6ix9ine is fully cooperating with prosecutors.

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