Kanye West (Pg. 2)

5) Kanye Is Brilliant At Utilizing Talent

Not since the prime ‘90s era of Dr. Dre has a hip-hop producer mastered the art of orchestration. On his monumental albums The Chronic and Chronic 2001, Andre Young tapped into the greatness of a stable of MC’s (D.O.C., Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Lady of Rage, RBX, Eminem, Jay-Z, Devin The Dude, and Xzibit), musicians and vocalists (Colin Wolfe, Scott Storch, Mike Elizondo and Nate Dogg) and production talents (Daz, Mel-Man, and Lord Finesse). Like Dre, Kanye West understands that having A-list talent on your album does not simply translate to stellar material. Which is why his various collaborations over the years with a diverse range of acts—Twista and Jamie Foxx (“Slow Jamz,” “Goldigger”); Rhymefest (“Jesus Walks”); Maroon 5’s Adam Levine (“Heard Em’ Say”); Lupe Fiasco (“Touch The Sky”); Brandy (“Bring Me Down”); and Young Jeezy (“Amazing”)—has never seemed forced.

But West’s most impressive display as a studio ringleader so far has been his meticulous overseeing of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. With a murderer’s row of guests that includes Rick Ross, RZA, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Charlie Wilson, Kid Cudi, Mike Dean, Elton John, John Legend, Bon Iver, Pusha T and frequent collaborator Jon Brion, often times you blink before realizing that a group effort is even taking place.

AOL’s Tracey Ford specifically points to Nicki Minaj’s star-turn on the fan favorite “Monster” as proof of West’s savvy musical instincts. “When you listen to Nicki on ‘Monster,’ it’s clear that Kanye allowed her to shine on his own track,” Ford says. “He knew well enough to put her on the song and let her totally take it. I don’t think Kanye did it just because Nicki had a lot of buzz. That’s just him being a great producer and knowing what fits.” 

However, New York Times scribe Jon Caramanica says it helps that the forward-thinking West capitalizes on his superstar status. “Here is where it helps to be [extremely] rich and famous,” he explains. “Because you can be in the room one day and say, ‘Hey, I really think Rick Ross would sound good on this one part.’ 24 hours later, Rick Ross is in your studio. But the thing about Kanye is he’s not bringing these people in to necessarily make him sound better. It doesn’t sound like a bunch of guest appearances. Kanye is bringing them in because he has a genuine fundamental understanding and respect for what they do. Even if you are just hearing someone for just four bars, you know that’s the most thought through four bars that they could have done.”

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Donnie McClurkin Sent To Hospital Following Car Accident

Gospel legend Donnie McClurkin couldn't be more grateful after surviving a car accident this past Wednesday (Dec. 12).

The "We Fall Down" singer was driving on the road in the earlier part of the day when he passed out and began weaving into traffic. He reportedly struck the middle concrete island.

Following the incident, he posted a selfie of him on the hospital bed in scrubs on Facebook. Along with the photo, he explained that he woke up from the accident with stitches on his left thumb, on top of having a sprained wrist, and hurt knee. His car was also completely totaled.

"I AM ALIVE!!!! Somewhat mangled, stitches on left thumb, sprained wrist, hurt knee, but I’m still here! God and two angels saved my life!," the Grammy-winning artist wrote.

He also mentioned that two "angels" pulled him out the car to safety and medical attention. "I owe them...I am still here by the grace of God! Thank you, Lord...thank you!" he added.

On Friday (Dec. 14), McClurkin posted to his Facebook page again, sharing several photos of his destroyed car. "This is the totaled car that two angels rescued me from ....after passing out while driving I don’t remember most of what happened a day and a half ago...but God," he wrote. "I overrode doctors and sisters advice and flew to KENYA today for ministry Saturday @ TWO RIVERS. and home on this Sunday to celebrate life."

In happier news, McClurkin also took time to plug in his new Christmas single titled "My Favorite Things." Check out McClurkin's posts on social media and stream his new song below.

READ MORE: Big K.R.I.T. Drops Surprise Gospel-Influenced 'Thrice X' EP

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Nicki Minaj's Boyfriend Kenneth Petty Received 18 Violations During Prison Stint

Nicki Minaj's new boyfriend, Kenneth Petty has a very troubled past.

On Friday (Dec. 14), TMZ revealed court documents disclosing Petty's history of disciplinary actions while he was an inmate in New York for manslaughter from 2006 to 2013.

When he entered the correctional facility, he was reportedly written up for creating a disturbance. Later during his stint, he was hit with a slew of disciplinary actions following a series of violent actions that included fighting, making terroristic threats, and "disobeying a direct order."

In 2009, prison faculty placed him in solitary confinement for four months as part of being reprimanded for nine different violations. Petty lost privileges that included the usage of the inmate telephone service, recreational activity, and the prison canteen.

In addition to his prison violations, Petty is a convicted sex offender. At the age of 16, he was tried as an adult served a four-year sentence for attempted rape of a minor.

Petty, who hails from the same borough as Nicki, Queens, knew the platinum-selling rap star since she was a teenager. They dated for a short period years prior to reuniting.

Minaj posted various photos of her and Petty going on a vacation getaway earlier this month. Sources close to Minaj told the celebrity gossip website that the 36-year-old hip-hop artist is  "happier than she's been in years" with Petty.


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Sandy Hook Elementary Evacuates After Bomb Threat On 6th Anniversary Of Mass Shooting

Sandy Hook Elementary School was reportedly forced to evacuate its students and administration on Friday (Dec. 14), after receiving a bomb threat, CNN reports. The incident occurred on the sixth anniversary of the school's tragic mass shooting.

Newtown, Connecticut Police Lt. Aaron Bahamonde stated that the threat didn't appear to be substantial, but they decided to  evacuate the facility as an extra precaution.

Bomb squads reportedly swept the school and surrounding area for explosive devices but did not discover anything on the property. They later concluded that there was no immediate threat. The school administration dismissed students and faculty for the rest of the day however, considering the previous incident.

As previously noted, Sandy Hook endured a horrific mass shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult, staff members.

Earlier this month, thousands of documents were released about Lanza that revealed his mental state and social status in the years leading up to the shooting.

The shooting is not believed to be in connection to the recent string of bomb scares around the nation that targeted major politicians including the former first families Barack and Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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