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The BIG Q&A: The-Dream Speaks Candidly On Christina Milian, Suicidal Thoughts and Why He's The Dopest Artist Alive

It’s 12:45 a.m. and The-Dream has just forked down his last bit of calamari at an Upper Eastside red-lit favorite. He’s fed and friendly. But even with a happy belly, R&B’s love-and-lust obsessed virtuoso is still a bit on edge. The midnight munchies arrive just after the Grammy-award-winning songwriter made the king decision to call off his video shoot after a 3-hour+ setup that didn't meet his standards. But that level of quality control doesn't make Dream a narcissistic asshole. Really, in-between the f-bombs and braggadocio, Terius Nash is an undeniable and frighteningly unstoppable talent. And get this—he’s also pretty damn nice.

The 33-year-old responsible for more than a handful of your favorite stuck-on songs (seven of them can be found on Beyonce’s 4) just wants a bit of recognition. Unlike an online news story he shows me on his Blackberry that dismissed him as an insubstantial rapper or his theory that VIBE wouldn’t have graced him with the August 2009 cover sans his topless ex-wife posed in front of him. So yeah, Dream has a reason to feel fairly perturbed, which is why he makes up for lost praise by showering it on himself. Why wait for the public to recognize what he already knows?

Nights before his free album 1977 drops, the slimmed down bachelor made space in the backseat of his Rolls Royce to speak candidly about his broken past and what should be a bright-ass year.—Tracy Garraud


Around this time last year, you deleted your Twitter account after a statement you made about Ciara was taken out of context. What made you want to reenter the hashtag world?
I have a better understanding of social things now. I think from being in 2007 this very private person and going from A to Z so quickly, I had to stop myself from telling people things that were so real that they couldn’t even comprehend. So now I see it in a way where it falls on your ear and you get to go home and think about it versus saying it so say straight and honest that you’re just so shocked and probably angry that I said it that you’re not even listening to what the f--k I said. Dream just spoke the truth and it’ll be two people who said that and then the other thousand will be like that ni--a’s crazy. So now the positive percentage of that is up because I figured out how to explain it in a certain way that will just kill the negativity.

Ah, like that response you recently tweeted to counter accusations about swaggerjacking Hov and Kanye’s Watch The Throne album.
[Laughs]. Right. That was like ‘What are you talking about, they’re my ni--as.’ Number one you can’t copy something that’s original. Lorenzo Ghiberti did that sculpture in the 1400s. I’m sorry it’s the same color, but all of us are in a clique. It’s like your friends, yall are probably going to have the same likings. And it kinda helped actually because anyone who didn’t know how the Watch The Throne cover looked or whoever didn’t see my 1977 cover can see it now. I was like genius, retweet that! If it was a commercial release it probably wouldn’t have been that cover, but it’s not a thought if it’s a cover for a small thing I’m doing. I saw that bronze sculpture maybe ten years ago and said I;m going to use that for something I just don’t know what. It also enlightens people to who Lorenzo is in case they didn’t know. But of course there’s going to be hate.

Right. Yeah for someone who has such a strong niche of stans, it seems like you get a lot of hate when the internet gets a hold of you. 
Some people aren’t smart enough to understand the intellectual part of a being. That’s why as a 30-year-old you don’t have a conversation with a 15-year-old. I don’t dine with 15-year-olds and talk about life. Our experiences are completely different. So now I don’t take it personally. It’s just sad because these are the times where we celebrate failure when it used to be about living vicariously through artists and celebrating success. There’s certain things you can’t say about me. We could call Christina [Milian] right now and she would never say that I’m not there for anything. So I have to just know myself in this space and not need anyone else to know it.  The people around me know who they’re dealing with and that’s all that really f--king counts. You can’t count, you’re in an apartment somewhere writing on a blog. How do you count? You only count if I let you count.

Before we started this interview you pointed out a news story about Beyonce’s NYC concert series where you weren’t given rightful credit for penning the majority of her album and was even labeled as a rapper instead of a singer. Would you rather be recognized as a god of songwriter and have people forget you as an artist or would you rather be a god of an artist and have people downplay your songwriting?
I’d rather them know what I do best.

Which is?
At this time, being a songwriter. I think what makes me great as a songwriter is there’s still an artist behind it. It’s one thing to just be a writer with one style or a niche, but if you can go into a variety of lanes, that’s a f--king artist. So not only that, but when people don’t know what I do, it’s a calculation of not understanding music. To take away from me, you’re just taking away from music. 

Let’s talk about Love King, which was supposed to be your final album, but ended up being your least memorable. Why do you think that is?

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Hundreds Dead, More Than A Million Affected After Cyclone Devastates Southern Africa

A tropical cyclone that destroyed parts of southern Africa is being called one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit the region in decades. Tens of thousands of people have been left displaced and awaiting rescue after Cyclone Idai ripped through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe last week causing catastrophic flooding, wiping out entire villages and raising concerns over the spread of malaria.

According to the Associated Press, more than 500 people have been confirmed dead, though the number is expected to rise substantially. “There is death all over,” survivor Amos Makunduwa told AP. “It is beginning to smell really bad. The whole area is like one big body of water, huge rocks and mud. There are no houses, as if no one ever stayed here.”

In Mozambique, as many as 100,000 people remain “isolated” without help, the Mozambique National Disaster Management Institute said according to the United Nations. The country’s government estimates that more than 1,000 people have died thus far.

In nearby Zimbabwe, between 8,000 and 9,600 people have been displaced and as many as 200,000 people are in desperate need of food and assistance. The situation is likely to “deteriorate even more” as the numbers increase, said Hervé Verhoosel, spokesperson for The World Food Program. The organization projects that it will cost around $121 million to feed more than a million people for the next three months.

“It is clear that the number of 600,000 will definitely go up in the coming days,” Verhoosel said. “That has of course [an] implication on cost. If we help 600,000 people for three months, that is a cost of $42 million. If we need to help up to 1.7 million people for three months, that will be a cost of $121.5 million. Obviously, we don’t have that money today.”

The WFP is seeking $5 million for Zimbabwe, to provide food, air and logistical support, and $10 million for Malawi where more than 920,000 people are affected by the storm. The country has so far confirmed 577 injuries, and 56 deaths.

Cargo planes were able to deliver food that has “not yet been fully distributed” Verhoosel said. Beira, a port city in Mozambique where the cyclone made landfall, was virtually wiped out making it challenging for people to unload food that arrived at the local airport. “In Beira, the level of water is not the same as in the countryside… inland, the problem is that you have basically water all around,” Verhoosel explained.

The storm has affected over a million people across all three countries. The World Health Organization, and UN are working with local governments to supply aid. In addition, the WHO revealed in a news release that “health experts, medicines and medical materials and equipment are also ongoing for Malawi and Zimbabwe.”

“The displacement of large numbers of people and the flooding triggered by Cyclone Idai significantly increases the risk of malaria, typhoid and cholera,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “WHO stands with the affected people and is organizing assistance to address their urgent health needs.”

Click here for info on how you can help those affected. See photos of the devastation below.

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Fordham University Drops Soulja Boy From Spring Concert Lineup Following Arrest

Soulja Boy’s latest arrest cost him an upcoming gig at Fordham University. The rapper has been booted off the 2019 Spring Weekend concert lineup, which is scheduled for April 27.

“The Campus Activities Board has watched, along with our fellow Fordham students, the headlines that have been in the news as a result of Soulja Boy’s comeback,” the group said in a statement to The Blast. “After careful consideration, the Campus Activities Board has decided to remove Soulja Boy from the Spring Weekend concert lineup.”

In January, Fordham confirmed in that the “Crank That” rapper would be headlining the concert event as part of his 2019 tour.

The 28-year-old recording artist was arrested for probation violation last Friday (March 15), after checking in with his probation officer. He was accused of possessing firearms and ammo, but was released from custody hours later.

Following his release, SB headed to a Los Angeles Clippers game to perform at the halftime show.

 

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Eunetta T. Boone, TV Producer, Writer And ‘One On One’ Creator, Dead At 63

Eunetta T. Boone, veteran television producer and writer, creator of sitcoms One on One and Cuts, and showrunner of Raven’s Home, died Wednesday (March 20), Deadline reports.

The details behind Boone's death have not been released. She was 63.

Boone’s long list of writing, production and story-editing credits include Living Single, My Wife and Kids, The Hughleys, The Parent ‘Hood, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Lush Life, the latter of which co-starred Fresh Prince actress Karyn Parsons. Boone also taught screenwriting at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, and wrote the film Who Is Doris Payne? about the infamous elderly jewel thief.

Last November, Boone signed on as showrunner and executive producer of the Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven spinoff, Raven’s Home. Production on the sitcom has been shut down for the rest of the week in wake of Boone's death. Series star Raven Symone posted a tribute to Boone on Instagram Thursday (March 21).

“My heart is heavy following the loss, of RH EP, Eunetta Boone,” she wrote. “Eunetta was a pioneer and an inspiration to everyone she met. She was a masterful story teller, an empathetic leader, and a beacon of light to so many. Sending love and my deepest sympathies to Eunetta’s family and friends and all who knew and loved her. She will be missed. Thanks for everything Eunetta.”

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My heart is heavy following the loss, of RH EP, Eunetta Boone. Eunetta was a pioneer and an inspiration to everyone she met. She was a masterful story teller, an empathetic leader, and a beacon of light to so many. Sending love and my deepest sympathies to Eunetta’s family and friends and all who knew and loved her. She will be missed. Thanks for everything Eunetta.

A post shared by Raven-Symoné (@ravensymone) on Mar 21, 2019 at 2:41pm PDT

The Disney Channel released a statement praising Boone for her storytelling and leadership. “She did so well what she enjoyed most — mentoring creative talent,” the network said in a statement, per The Wrap. “Eunetta will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by everyone who knew her. All of us at Disney Channel grieve her passing and send our deepest condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.”

Boone earned a journalism degree from the University of Maryland, and a Masters from Columba University. She began her career as a sports writer in Baltimore, and became the first black women to cover sports in the city, as well as one of a few black women sports writers in the nation to work for a major outlet.

See more dedications to Boone below and watch the video above for some of her writing tips.

Eunetta Boone. One of our vets. You have seen her work on television comedies from “My Wife and Kids” and “The Hughleys” to “One on One” and “Living Single.” She worked as a screenwriting instructor at UCLA Extension in between gigs. Rest well, sweet lady. Thanks for the laughs. pic.twitter.com/741tpIL4a5

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 21, 2019

She was a few of the black female showrunners during the 80’s & 90’s..once The UPN network shut down it was hard to get a show on the air..#RIP & thanks for your creativity.. Eunetta T. Boone Dies: ‘One On One’ Creator, ‘Raven’s Home’ Showrunner https://t.co/6zTGyEmJGR

— Loni Love (@LoniLove) March 21, 2019

Eunetta was a pioneer in the entertainment industry. https://t.co/YakqIdOkV5

— Shaun Robinson (@shaunrobinson) March 21, 2019

RIP Eunetta T. Boone. pic.twitter.com/yjo1BP3Jfh

— The Black List (@theblcklst) March 21, 2019

My cousin Eunetta T. Boone created the shows "One on One" and "Cuts" and was the first person to welcome me to LA and showed me Hollywood! She was such a good person and genuine soul. Smh. #RIPEunetta

— DJ Steph Floss (@djstephfloss) March 21, 2019

I'm very sad to learn about the passing of Eunetta Boone. When @JohnDBeckTV and I were on our very first writing staff (The Hughleys), Eunetta went out of her way to teach us how to behave in room. I don't think she would call herself a mentor, but I will.

— Ron Hart (@Scatter) March 21, 2019

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