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Pandora's Box: Mashonda Interviews Olivia Longott

Coming into the world by way of Jamaican/Cuban parents, you have no choice but to accept the fact that you are a soul survivor. Couple that with an upbringing split between Brooklyn and Queens and what do you get? A woman that is not afraid to voice her opinion and refuses to give up on her dreams.

I met Olivia Longott in 2000 at a J Records event. At the time she was my label mate and I wanted to attend to support her. When she took the mic I was blown away by the voice that came out of this young woman’s small frame. Olivia went on to earning a #15 spot on the Billboard 200 charts with her debut single “ Bizounce.” After her success, I sadly witnessed Olivia deal with a test that most artist face -The “Don’t Give Up Test." Through the years I was able to relate to Olivia and I felt that our musical stories and frustrations were somewhat similar. I always hoped that Liv, as I call her, would pass the test.

Recently I was able to sit with Olivia one-on-one after almost 10 years. Revealed was a very passionate, caring, and focused woman. After our conversation, I am pleased to announce that Ms. Longott hasn’t given up.

When did you decide to be an artist and how old were you when you landed your first record deal?
I knew I wanted to be an artist ever since I was a little girl growing up singing in the church. I also took piano lessons at 8 years old so I was always a bit musically inclined [Laughs]. I got my first deal when I was 17 when I signed to Clive Davis as the first artist on J Records.

How was your experience working with music mogul, Clive Davis?
My experience at J Records was a learning experience. With Clive Davis being one of the great musical minds of our time, I learned a lot. Unfortunately my time there was cut short by the politics of the industry and me not actually taking my career into my own hands. I was very young and left some decisions up to people who may not have had my best interest at heart, but snakes always reveal themselves when the grass is cut.

How was the transition to being the first lady of G-Unit?
From J Records I immediately took a deal with Interscope Records that later led to my G-Unit situation. The transition to the Unit was pretty smooth. 50 [Cent] and Jimmy Io-vine both made me feel comfortable. At that time 50 was music’s golden child so I felt it was a great situation.

Did you find yourself arguing for creative control at G-Unit?
The problem was with me being an R&B solo artist placed into a group of rappers. I lost my identity. I know 50 had my best interest at heart but it became a marketing struggle. It became more and more difficult for me to be Olivia and not ol’ girl from the Unit. That was the problem.

What was the lowest point for you in your career, did you ever feel like giving up?
I would have to say the lowest point of my career was when Funk Master Flex went in on me for a whole summer. I never understood the motivation for such hostility towards me. Being from NY and my family being from NY, we had to listen to Hot.97 and hear that. That’s part of why I went overseas, to get away from all of that negativity. I just had to go away and reflect on what I was doing, who I was, and find faith. After reflection I decided that I wasn’t going to give up and let my God-given talent go to waste because I felt nobody believed in me. I had to make them believe.

How did you find strength to carry on?
When I came back home, I regrouped and decided I needed to continue doing what I loved to and not let the negativity consume me. It’s been a difficult road back, but what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

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Jordyn Woods Talks Being "Bullied By The World" After Tristan Thompson Drama

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As previously reported, Woods was busted kissing Thompson, Khloe Kardashian’s ex-boyfriend, during a party at his house. After her Red Table Talk interview, Khloe attempted to blame Woods for ruining her family, but after receiving backlash, the reality star changed her tune.

During an appearance at Nigeria’s Homecoming Festival last weekend, Woods spoke about how the public backlash gave her an understanding of what it feels like to be a black woman.

“My little sister was bullied in school and I wanted to show her that if I was bullied by the world you can [get through it],” she said in a video from a panel discussion that was published by the Daily Mail. “I understood for the first time what it’s like being a black woman in  society, and how we can be so disrespected and nobody can really understand to that extent until you have to live it.”

The appearance in Nigeria marked Woods’ first trip to the Motherland. Despite being bullied online, Woods has seemingly bounced back stronger than before the Kardashian drama. After her initial interview with Jada Pinkett-Smith, Woods was flooded with support and has reportedly been scoring various business opportunities in light of the incident.

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Diddy Opens Up About Kim Porter In Emotional Interview

Diddy is opening up about the day his “life turned upside down.” In the May 2019 issue of Essence magazine, the 49-year-old mogul speaks about hopping into “mommy mode” after the shocking death of model/actress Kim Porter, who was his ex-girlfriend and the mother of four of his children.

“She was unforgettable,” Diddy told writer and producer Dream Hampton. “That day turned my world upside down. Three days before she passed, she wasn’t feeling well. She had the flu, and she sent the kids over to my house so they wouldn’t get sick. One night I was checking on her, and she was like, ‘Puffy, take care of my babies.’ She actually said that to me before she died.”

Diddy graces the magazine’s special 49th anniversary cover alongside his and Porter’s 12-year-old twin daughters, D’Lila and Jessie, as well their 21-year-old son, Christian, and 27-year-old Quincy Brown, Porter’s son with Al B. Sure. The Bad Boy Records founder's tween daughter Chance, who was born weeks before the twins, also appears on the cover along with Justin Combs, Diddy’s 25-year-old son with Misa Hylton.

In the six months since Porter's death, the “unconventional” blended family has been working through the massive loss of their beloved matriarch. Porter, 46, died last November following a bout with lobar pneumonia.

Although Diddy believes that Porter was his “soulmate” the pair endured ups and downs that they were eventually able to “heal” from, he explained.

“The betrayal really affected Kim,” Diddy said in reference to his infidelity, before admitting that he feared that he may lose his “best friend,” at one point in their relationship.

Building “trust” mended the emotional wounds. “There was total trust,” he said. “Whenever I was around her, I felt as though God had his hand in it. I always felt like God had sent her. Nobody could love me the way she loved me, especially as, you know, as crazy as I acted. I mean, she loved me through some real s**t.”

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DJ Paul Sues Travis Scott For Copyright Infringement

DJ Paul has filed a multi-million dollar copyright infringement lawsuit against Travis Scott for allegedly stealing his music.

According to TMZ, the Three 6 Mafia member accuses Scott of snatching a portion of the hook from his 1997 track “Tear Da Club Up,” for “No Bystanders” off the 27-year-old rapper’s Astroworld album.

Paul claims that the hooks to both songs are “virtually identical and strikingly similar,” reports The Blast. The lawsuit also notes that the songs sound so much alike that Scott changed his lyrics from to “f**k da club up,” “tear the club up” during his Grammys performance in February, without Paul's permission.

The Memphis native is asking for at least $20 million in damages. However, TMZ reported that Scott reached out to Paul sometime Tuesday (April 23) to potentially work out the legal matter.

The “Sicko Mode” rapper has faced multiple lawsuits over the last two years, including being sued for canceling a music festival performance. Last week, Scott lost a nearly $400,000 lawsuit after being sued for pulling out of a party during Super Bowl weekend. In 2017, La Flame was hit with a lawsuit brought on by a fan who was paralyzed after sustaining injuries during one of his concerts.

 

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