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Kanye West (Pg. 3)

4) Ye Is The Best At Transforming Disappointment, Heartbreak and Tragedy Into Riveting Art

From the misfit alienation of De La Soul’s early work and the bi-polar, paranoid psychological drama of Scarface to Eminem’s barebones white-trash testimonies, hip-hop has long been a platform for communicating struggle. Yet for much of this decade, no one has pontificated personal struggle as epically and purely as Kanye West. Here’s an artist whose debut single detailed his own near death 2000 car crash. West welcomed listeners to relive his near tragic accident on the 2003 track “Through The Wire,” with sobering lines like, “Just imagine how my girl feel/On the plane scared as hell that her guy look like Emmett Till.”

When his mother Donda West shockingly passed away in November 2007 from a botched plastic surgery, a courageous West performed his heartfelt tribute “Hey Mama” in front of a sold-out audience in Paris just days after her death. “This is a song for my mother,” he said before breaking down in tears and walking off the stage. Fifteen minutes later, he returned to finish the gig, which those in attendance hailed as an exhilarating show that only added to West’s burgeoning legend. Even West’s self-examination into his failed relationships with his fiancé Alexis Phifer (2008’s dark synth work 808s & Heartbreak) and stripper turned fashion it-girl Amber Rose (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) is riveting stuff.

“He wears his emotions on his sleeve in and out of the studio,” MTV’s Jayson Rodriquez says of West—who on the 808 track "Welcome to Heartbreak" self-deprecatingly rhymed of his own shallow life:  "My friend shows me pictures of his kids/And all I could show him was pictures of my cribs.

“I think that’s what makes Kanye greater than anyone else today,” Rodriquez adds. “It’s his ability to spin the tale of his own personal narrative into a musical thread. You think of MC’s who talk about keeping it real. But what’s realer than talking about your insecurities and personal failures?”

Ford believes West’s brand of self-reflecting Emo-rap has given birth to the new generation of MC’s from Drake to Kid Cudi. “He certainly created that lane,” she says of West’s overall impact. “Kanye helped launch a movement by being the guy that was bold enough to make an insightful song like ‘Big Brother’ about how his mentor Jay-Z on several occasions has pushed him to the side. Kanye’s drive is propelled by him wanting so bad to be respected and loved. That’s what pushes him.”

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Police Conducted Welfare Check On Wendy Williams Over Alleged Poisoning

Police reportedly conducted a wellness check on Wendy Williams at her New Jersey home earlier this year after an anonymous caller claimed the TV personality's husband, Kevin Winter was poisoning her, People reports.

The incident reportedly occurred during Williams' television hiatus in Jan. 2019. According to the police report obtained by People, police arrived at Williams' residence shortly after the call was made. Hunter reportedly answered the door, claiming his wife was recovering from an illness.

Authorities noted that Hunter was "hesitant" to let the police inside the house but eventually did. There, they found Williams in bed with a "blanket covering her from neck to toe." Williams told the cops she was recovering from a broken shoulder.

Williams reportedly "became tearful" when they asked if there was any truth to the poisoning allegation, but she ultimately denied that any wrongdoing was taking place. Police said Hunter "then responded saying something to the effect of there had never been any calls to his house regarding domestic violence."

While the couple might not have received calls to the house, there have been rumors of domestic abuse. Many assumed that was one of many reasons why Williams filed for divorce against Hunter earlier this month. Even so, the Williams maintained that she was leaving on good terms.

"I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs,” he said a recent episode of her self-titled show. "No matter what the outcome is or what the future holds, we are still The Hunter Family and I will continue to work with and fully support my wife in this business and through any and all obstacles she may face living her new life of sobriety, while I also work on mine."

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Johnny Nunez

Matthew Knowles To Produce "Survivor: The Destiny's Child Musical"

Beyonce's father, Matthew Knowles, is reportedly producing a musical based on R&B/hip-hop group, Destiny's Child, according to TMZ. "Survivor: The Destiny's Child Musical" will give fans a behind-the-scenes view of one of the greatest female music groups of all time.

According to Knowles, who previously managed the group during their heyday, the musical will be an honest tale of DC's conception and career. The show's message is that "building a dream takes sacrifice," TMZ reports.

Destiny's Child was a group from 1990 until 2006. The group went through a lot of early changes in regards to its line-up. The group's final line-up was comprised of Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. It's unclear if the musical will walk the audience through those shifts, but Knowles assures fan the music will feature a mix of exciting music and dance routines.

"Survivor: The Destiny's Child Musical" is slated to premiere in Houston in 2020 with additional dates for Broadway and London's West End. Stay tuned for more details.

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Rick Kern/Getty Images for Fast Company

Phylicia Rashad Marks Broadway Directorial Debut With 'Blue'

Phylicia Rashad plans to embark on a new career journey, and its base is Broadway. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the famed thespian will direct a forthcoming play titled Blue.

The production, originally scripted by Charles Randolph-Wright, will hit Broadway in 2020. It's based on a South Carolina family and their journey of self-exploration and the battle of un-hesitant trust in the midst of their wealth. "I am happy to be directing this play that brought me so much joy," Rashad said. "It affirms the importance of theater and its power to touch the human heart."

Randolph-Wright also expressed his elation in the play's resurgence. Rashad initially acted in the production's debut in 2000 and again in 2001. "Part of the inspiration for writing Blue was that I had never seen a family like mine on stage," he said. "I am thrilled that Blue will continue to open doors to a more diverse world, and also spread a little joy."

As she prepares for a new venture, Rashad has continued to showcase her one-of-a-kind talent in front of the camera. The 70-year-old actress recently guest-starred on NBC's This Is Us, a recurring role on FOX's Empire, and on the silver screen with Creed II.

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