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(Jan 17.) President Obama speaks about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the importance of persistence in achieving broader goals at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

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Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco, And More Mourn Battle Rapper Tech 9

Battle rapper Tech 9 has reportedly passed away. The artist, born Akeem Mickens, reportedly died Monday morning, XXL confirms.

Fellow battle rapper Buttah From The Block announced the sad news in a message on Facebook. Buttah told XXL that his family and friends were unsure of the cause of death at this time. "We are praying that it was natural causes. He had no signs of harm done to his body," he said.

Tech 9, not be confused with Strange Music's Tech N9ne, was a well-known battle rapper and pioneer. Since news of his passing circulated on social media, a number of hip-hop artists have offered their condolences.

"THEY SAY MY FACE DONT LOOK THE SAME WITH THE STOCK- Condolences to the family of the late great Tech9 of Philly. Rest well," Kendrick Lamar tweeted.

"Rip Tech 9...one of the most entertaining battle rappers. Condolences to his family and friends. May God have mercy on his soul." Lupe Fiasco also tweeted.

Check out more reactions from the hip-hop community below.

THEY SAY MY FACE DONT LOOK THE SAME WITH THE STOCK-

Condolences to the family of the late great Tech9 of philly. Rest well.

— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) March 25, 2019

Rip Tech 9...one of the most entertaining battle rappers.

Condolences to his family and friends.

May God have mercy on his soul.

— “DROGAS WAVE” NOW PLAYING (@LupeFiasco) March 25, 2019

Rest In Peace to the Philadelphia legend Tech 9

— Lloydbanks (@Lloydbanks) March 25, 2019

Rest In Peace Tech 9 one of the funniest and illest battle rappers I’ve seen

— ZXLTRXN (@denzelcurry) March 25, 2019

You know how you say “Nah, he never gon leave us.” Like how we said about Stan Lee.... Thats Tech 9. 😢

— IG: Mickey.Factz (@MickeyFactz) March 25, 2019

Rest Easy to A Philadelphia legend Tech 9 🙏🏾 love & respect to his family and friends. As a fan of the battle rap culture this is a major loss.

— Smoke DZA (@smokedza) March 25, 2019

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LeBron James Has A Message For Los Angeles Lakers Fans

While the Los Angeles Lakers had less than an exhilarating season, its newest addition, LeBron James, isn't going to let the team's losing record deter him from championship pursuits. In an Instagram post, the 6'8" power forward reassured purple and gold fans that the franchise will be better and stronger next season.

"Believe me!" James began. "Promise #LakerNation the spell won't last much longer! I swear. The marathon continues!" The Lakers' record currently stands at 32 wins and 41 losses. In late February, after the team succumbed to a 110-105 defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies, James told reporters that the losing streak is something he can't adjust to.

"The last few years, everyone's so accustomed to the losses that I'm just not accustomed to. I'm not accustomed to it," he said, per USA Today. "I would never get comfortable with losing." Ahead of the 2018-19 season, James joined the team after leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time.

The 34-year-old pro-athlete has seen 13 playoffs since his tenure in the league. His postseason appearances have also amassed three NBA championship titles.

 

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...........‼️‼️‼️👑

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Mar 24, 2019 at 12:43pm PDT

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Keri Hilson Says New Music Is Coming Summer 2019

Keri Hilson is making a comeback. After a lengthy hiatus, the singer announced that she will be releasing new music this summer 2019.

Hilson shared the exciting news with her fans on Instagram on Sunday (Mar. 24). "Today marks 10 years since the release of my first studio album, 'In A Perfect World,'" she wrote in the caption of a photo herself. "I didn’t mean to be gone so long, I only needed my real world to be perfect...It is now. Thank you for your patience. The wait is over. I’m ready. Summer 2019."

It's definitely been a long time coming for Keri. In Feb. 2019, the singer explained her absence from the music scene, attributing it to mental health concerns. "I've lost some pivotal characters in the process of stepping away for my wellbeing," she said at the time. "Though I was prepared for the possibility that some wouldn't understand or lose faith in me as an artist while I dealt with the trials of my life, it still hurts. But I accept the fact that some relationships have just run their course."

It's unclear whether Hilson will be coming out with a single or a full LP at this time. Stay tuned for more announcements in the months to come.

 

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Today marks 10 years since the release of my first studio album, “In A Perfect World...” I didn’t mean to be gone so long, I only needed my real world to be perfect...it is now. Thank you for your patience. The wait is over. I’m ready. Summer 2019.

A post shared by keri hilson (@kerihilson) on Mar 24, 2019 at 3:21pm PDT

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