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V Exclusive: Ron Artest Talks New Mixtape, Taking Criticism For Rapping And The Lakers' Major Struggles

Ron Artest doesn't really care if you don't like to hear him rap. He doesn't care if you think he should put down the mic and get more focused on basketball. And he doesn't care if you didn't like to see him release his most recent mixtape, Ball'n, on VIBE.com on Thursday morning—just hours after his Los Angeles Lakers suffered a crushing defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He's committed to doing this music thing. And if you don't like it? Well, too bad. He's not planning on stopping anytime soon, so you'd better get used to it. Shortly after he dropped Ball'n, VIBE.com caught up with Artest and asked him to explain exactly why he can't get enough of the rap game. And in typical Ron-Ron fashion, he didn't disappoint.—Chris Yuscavage

 


 

VIBE: You got a lot of good feedback last June when you released "Champions" after the Lakers won in the NBA Finals. That seemed like it'd be an ideal time to drop a mixtape. So why did you wait more than eight months to put more music out?

Ron: I wanted to put it out right after I put out "Champion." I like to put my music out right after I record it. But the problem is that I do that and then it's not always the best quality. I record stuff all the time in my hotel room, the bathroom, and even in one of my trucks where I have a mini-studio installed. But, I obviously don't have a vocal producer there when I do record in any of those places. I don't have an engineer. I'm there by myself. So a lot of my songs don't sound their best at first and people don't always respect the reason behind it. That's why I really wanted to take my time with this mixtape and get it right.

The funny thing is that, while this is a Ron Artest mixtape, you're actually not on it as much as people might expect. You've got a ton of guest verses from established artists as well as your own artists. Why did you make that decision to scale back your rapping on the project?

I'm glad you noticed that. On the mixtape, I actually only did a few verses and some of the hooks. I couldn't do whole songs because I didn't have the time to do it. That's why you hear so many of features. It's the middle of the season, so I didn't have much time to record whole songs for the project. That's why I called in the reinforcements.

You bring up an interesting point, because you've received a ton of slack for releasing music during the season. It gives people the impression that you're focusing on rapping over playing ball. So, when you do record, when do you find the time to do it?

I record all the time. I record a lot before games. To tell you the truth, I recorded a song before Game 7 of the NBA Finals last year. I like to do that because I have so much on my mind and it's really important for me to let it out. And when I'm able to let it out on a beat and listen to it, it's the best feeling in the world.

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Offset's Father Calls Out Cardi B In Lengthy Post Defending Son

Offset's father Tony has had enough of the family drama between his rapper son and his estranged wife, Cardi B. On Facebook, Mr. Cephus wrote a lengthy post about the devastating effects fame and spotlight have had on his family.

“Right now, my family is going through a tumultuous time,” he wrote in a group for the brothers of the Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Kappa Alpha fraternities. “What you see in the media is only the tip of the iceberg. Social media is a powerful tool, but certainly no place for family situations; however, our youth, specifically my son’s wife doesn’t understand that. She seems to want to take everything to social media without regard to the devastation it has on others, past present and future or specifically what it does to the other children.”

While Mr. Cephus admits that his son has done his "fair share of dirt" and isn't innocent in the recent divorce situation, he says the "whole scenario is a never-ending drama session." He also calls out Cardi for posting a picture of Baby Kulture "out of spite," going against the wishes of Offset and the family.

"It's a tic for tack, mudslinging situation fueled by jealousy, envy, insecurities, psychological issues, drugs, etc, etc, etc," he continued. “While he ain’t perfect, he is mine and as a parent I have a duty to protect him. Right now, I cannot do that."

Offset made headlines over the weekend for hijacking Cardi's headlining set at the Rolling Loud Festival in an effort to win her back; the "Money" MC stated she and Offset were separating in early-December.

"We are talking about a 25-year-old with an unlimited supply of money, women chasing him, people at his disposal, etc.," Offset's father continued. "My whole family is in an uproar right now and I can’t fix it. I would not wish this on anyone. I would give anything to go back to simply being a school teacher and coach.”

Read his entire post below.

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Maroon 5 Scrambling To Find Guest Performers For Super Bowl Halftime Show

Between the NFL’s stance on the National Anthem and the league’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick, performing at the Super Bowl halftime show clearly isn’t as alluring as it used to be.

Maroon 5 has reportedly been scrambling to finding someone to share the stage with them at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show in Atlanta next month, but it’s not for lack of trying. The band is having trouble pinning down special guests because, “No one wants to associate themselves with the NFL,” US Weekly reports.

Cardi B,  who collaborated with the Maroon 5 on the hit single “Girls Like You,”  mulled it over, but ultimately turned down the Super Bowl invitation.

“It’s a no right now,” a source told the outlet of Cardi’s decision.

Andre 3000 and Mary J. Blige were approached to perform as well, per a Variety report. Blige was unable to commit due to scheduling issues. Other alleged names being tossed around include Usher, Lauryn Hill, Nicki Minaj, and Madonna.

Since Atlanta is a virtual hotbed of Black artists who were seemingly overlooked to headline the show, focusing on local talent might be Maroon 5’s safest bet. According to Variety, Migos and Lil Yachty could be in the running to fill the empty spot.

The NFL has yet to officially announce Maroon 5 as the halftime act. Meanwhile, a Change.org petition calling for the band to drop out of the show has received nearly 75,000 signatures.

Super Bowl LIII goes down Feb. 3, 2019, at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

READ MORE: Amy Schumer Joins In Protest Spirit, Turns Down Super Bowl Ads

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Jazmine Headley To Take Legal Action Against NYC Officials Over Police Assault

Police officers might not face repercussions for aggressively handling Jazmine Headley and her 1-year-old daughter, but the 23-year-old is putting justice into her own hands by taking legal action.

In an interview with The New York Times Monday (Dec. 17), the mother confirmed her plans to take her case to court to make sure others don't face the same trauma. Headley is referring to the Dec. 14 incident in which she was arrested at a public assisting office in Brooklyn. Bystander footage showed officers vigorously grabbing Headley and prying her child from her arms.

“It’s the story of many other people, it’s not just my story,” Headley said of her incident. “My story is the only one that made it to the surface.” Charges were dropped against Headley and Mayor Bill de Blasio faced scrutiny for his delayed reaction to the incident.

An NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau review also stood by the officers, citing they did nothing wrong. Instead, blame is being placed on the security officers who first approached Headley about sitting on the floor of the office.

“The NYPD has conducted a strenuous review of what happened because the public deserves answers, and we must take every opportunity to continuously strengthen how the NYPD serves the people of New York City,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement. “This review shows that prior to the incident depicted on public video, NYPD officers are working with the client to de-escalate the situation.”

The Civilian Complaint Review Board is investigating the arrest along with the actions of the security guards.

The incident has opened up a conversation regarding the treatment of those in public assistance offices and the handling of young children.

READ MORE: NYPD Officers Caught Strenuously Pulling One-Year-Old Out Of Mother's Arms

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