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WorldStarHipHop EXPOSED: The Truth Behind The Controversial Site [Pg. 4]

Q has polished off a plate of chicken tenders when Kat calls from prison. They exchange pleasantries. “Four months without dick?” says Q. “Your pussy is gonna be like your ass. Gotta make sure your first dude isn’t a dirtbag—he’s gonna love you.”

Conversations like this one unwind World Star’s DNA. Strip clubs, jailed groupies and raunchiness are part of its makeup. A common complaint from critics is that the site presents a negative image of Black people. In response, Q dusts off the familiar trope that WSHH is the “CNN of the ghetto.”  “We’re just the messenger,” he says. “Maybe that will help Blacks or minorities say, ‘Wow, I don’t want to be on World Star, I don’t want to be on blast.’”

But World Star’s content isn’t all that is in question. Skeptics have accused Q of juicing viewership numbers. On a weekday afternoon, the count for Torch’s track “Bang Yo City” went from an astronomical 6,706,079 to 6,709,233—an increase of over 3,000—in approximately two minutes. On YouTube, one critic demonstrates how holding down the “refresh” button generates mega-views. Q denies this accusation. “We don’t have time to sit there and hit Control-R all day,” Q says. He admits to the controversial practice of counting visits to the homepage as “views” for the main video feature, even though it may not have been played. “It’s like watching a video on MTV Jams,” he says. “You don’t know if 2 million people or 10 million people are watching.”

World Star’s viewership may be subject for debate, but their revenue is real. According to the site’s rate card, they charge $500 to post a video, $1,250 for mixtape/DVD trailers and $5,000 for X-rated clips. Putting content in the featured top box costs $2,500 a day, while there is no charge for videos from established artists. Q says that Cîroc vodka paid several hundred thousand dollars for a comprehensive yearlong campaign. Money rolls in through Paypal, corporate checks and knots of duffel-bag cash (one of Q’s associates even alluded to a system where money was picked up at the front desk of hotels). Now, in hopes of growing into an empire, World Star has expanded into management and bookings, and inked a deal with Ed Hardy to introduce a World Star clothing line.

In fact, Q rarely misses an opportunity to squeeze a buck from his brand and beyond. One girl begged him to take down a clip in which she stripped naked while rapping along to Nicki Minaj’s verse from “Monster.” Like many humiliating moments inspired by alcohol and caught on camera, the clip ended up on She was desperate to get the footage off the Web, so she contacted Q and tearfully begged him to remove the clip. “She had been disowned, kicked out of her house,” Q remembers, sounding sympathetic. Eventually he relented and took down the video, but only after she coughed up $500. “She had to pay up!” he cackles, rubbing his thumb and forefinger together.

Because of his shrewd, if crude, practices, Q enjoys the luxuriant lifestyle of the rap star he once hoped to become. He stays at The Ritz Carlton, pops bottles of Patrón and makes it rain at strip clubs. When visiting New York, Los Angeles or Miami, he travels with security—a necessary expense. “I’m an important figure in the world with this Web site,” Q says, reveling in his position at the hot center of hip-hop gore. “But it just takes one person to say, ‘I hate that fucking site,’ and punch me in my eye.” V

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”


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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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