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V Exclusive: 'Christmas In Harlem' Producer Hit-Boy Talks Finished New Dipset/G.O.O.D. Music Collaboration

West Coast based producer Hit-Boy may not be the most recognizable name on the shelf but his music has already backed the vocals for a number of hip-hop’s elite.

Crafting Eminem and Lil Wayne’s first collaboration (“Drop The World”) and Mary J. Blige’s ’09 hit single (“Stronger”), the 23-year-old beatsmith also lent his hand to the making of Kanye West’s first Christmas-inspired record, a collaboration between Dipset and G.O.O.D. Music.

“My boy Dala Roc hooked me up with Kanye’s cousin, Ricky," Hit-Boy told VIBE earlier today (Dec. 15). "This was around the time when he started working on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I just kept sending him beats to try and get one on there. Then, on the night of Kanye’s New York release party, Ricky called saying Kanye wanted to use one of my beats for a Christmas song.”

That faithful record sprung a leak earlier this afternoon when an unfinished version of “Christmas In Harlem” hit the blogosphere. Hit-Boy admits that he initially had no intentions for the record to hold a holiday theme, but Kanye wanted to take it to the North Pole.

“There are some Marvin Gaye interpolations in there and it has that old-school feel to it,” he continues of the record, which will feature Cam’Ron, Jim Jones, Vado, Pusha T, Big Sean, and Musiq Soulchild in its final version, according to a Kanye West tweet earlier today. “I never really heard it as a Christmas song but when Kanye heard it, he said it sounded like some classic Christmas music.”

While he had no comment regarding Dipset’s recent Kanye diss track over the "Runaway" instrumental, the producer assures that any past beef is just water under the bridge, “I know Jim Jones killed it, that’s all I’m going to say.”

Hit-Boy says the completed version of the record hits iTunes on Thursday (Dec. 16). —Mikey Fresh

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Tay-K Sentenced To 55 Years For His Role In Deadly Home Invasion

After three hours of deliberating, a Texas jury sentenced Tay-K to 55 years in prison Tuesday (July 23) and ordered him to pay $21,000 in fines for his involvement in a 2016 home invasion that left a young father dead. The jury also sentenced the rapper born, Taymor McIntyre, to 30 years for aggravated robbery, two additional 13-year sentences for the remaining two aggravated robbery charges, plus $8,000 in fines.

The 19-year-old recording artist whose track, “The Race,” went viral while he was on the run from authorities, and charted on the Billboard Hot 100, must serve at least half of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. The sentences will run concurrently because he was a minor at the time of the crimes, Texas news station NBC 5 reports.

The teen was convicted of participating in the Texas armed robbery that resulted in 21-year-old Ethan Walker being shot to death. Walker’s roommate was also shot, although not fatally, and another person was injured.

According to The Fader, Tay-K’s lyrics on “The Race” and screenshots from the music video were used as evidence in the trial. Walker’s mother testified during the trial as well, and his father shared an emotional statement in court last Friday (July 19) after Tay-K was found guilty.

“I have tried to live a good life and I know hate is a very negative emotion but right now there are three people I hate,” Richard Walker said according to the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram. “One is the planner, one is the person who pulled the trigger and one is the person who profited off of this and saw this as a career move,” he said in reference to Tay-K and a handful of others involved in the deadly robbery.

“Every lyric to ‘The Race’ is stained with my son’s blood. Every ‘free Tay-K’ T-shirt that was ever sold has my son’s blood on it,” Walker added. The  victims and their family members have reportedly filed lawsuits against Tay-K to block him from profiting off of the song.

In addition to his current legal predicament, Tay-K faces burglary and capitol murder charges stemming from two separate incidents.

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Wesley Snipes Supports Mahershala Ali As 'Blade'

Marvel fans are rejoicing thanks to the recent announcement of a reboot of Blade. Though there's excitement, some wish that the original lead man, Wesley Snipes, would make a comeback. Instead, Mahershala Ali will take the coveted role.

As per Comicbook.com, Snipes had a message for old-time fans who are disgruntled with Ali’s appointment. "To all the DAYWALKERS losing their minds right now, Chillaaxx ... Such is the ‘business’ of ‘entertainment!’ Much peace to the MCU crew - always a fan," he said.

He also made it a point to celebrate this milestone in Ali's career and praise him for his art, stating, "a beautiful and talented artist whose expressions I look forward to experiencing for many years to come."

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Snipes explained how they created Blade’s look in the 1998 film and described the character’s persona. “Blade, he’s like Shaft, but like Kool Moe Dee at the same time,” he said. “Part of the look we drew straight from the comic book. I think there were versions where Blade had a long coat on, like a cape, and he had the spikes they were like a bandolier around his chest or around his thigh.”

He also stated how thankful he was for the role and legacy it leaves behind. “I’m proud of Blade. I’m thankful for it. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful opportunity, something that is now considered a part of the urban iconography,” he said. “And I made some great friends. We learned a lot about the business, and we traveled around the world.”

Amid Snipe's legacy, most are still excited over The Green Book actor's casting.

MAHERSHALA ALI AS MARVEL'S BLADE?!?!?!?! ARE WE KIDDING?!?!?!

IT'S THE PERFECT CASTING!!! I am so excited!!! I love him! 😭😭😭 #BladeMCU #MarvelStudios #Phase4 #MahershalaAli pic.twitter.com/zor8AZ0h4f

— Maya | Stream #AllNight | (@cmr1397) July 21, 2019

Good morning to Mahershala Ali and whoever brilliantly cast him as Blade. This art gives me all the feels. I CANNOT wait. I need to know who’s writing and directing immediately. #BladeMCU @MarvelStudios @Marvel pic.twitter.com/rP2dJsQhe3

— April (@ReignOfApril) July 21, 2019

Good morning to Mahershala Ali and whoever brilliantly cast him as Blade. This art gives me all the feels. I CANNOT wait. I need to know who’s writing and directing immediately. #BladeMCU @MarvelStudios @Marvel pic.twitter.com/rP2dJsQhe3

— April (@ReignOfApril) July 21, 2019

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Dr. Angela Davis To Be Inducted Into The National Women's Hall Of Fame

Political activist and educator Dr. Angela Davis will be one of many influential women to be honored by the National Women's Hall of Fame. As a former member of the Black Panther Party, Davis was once listed on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted List" in 1970. Now, BET reports that the 75-year-old's recognition includes her 15 years as a Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz.

Striving to bring awareness to civil rights and other social issues, the Alabama-born educator is the author of Women, Race, and Class (1980) and Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003), among others. Celebrating its 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote, the National Women's Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place in New York at Lago Resort & Casino, located outside of Seneca Falls, NY, on Sept. 14.

Additional 2019 class inductees include Academy-Award winning actress James Fonda, and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, appointed by President Barack Obama, Sonia Sotomayor.

"We are pleased to add these American women to the ranks of the inductees whose leadership and achievements have changed the course of American history," said the Hall's President Betty Bayer, Ph.D.

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