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Ja Rule Calls From Prison, Elaborates on His Charges

Ja Rule, who is currently serving time in prison for a weapons posession charge, gave a call to VladTV recently to discuss his situation. He elaborated on the charges he faced along with the sentence he received. Ja also spoke on Lil Wayne's charge and what made Wayne's legal issues different than the ones he faced. Take a listen below and read the letter he wrote to us. Free Ja!

My first night here was crazy inmates screaming, banging, and kicking the doors calling the male CO’s bitch ass niggas & faggots telling the female CO’s how they gonna fuck em, throwing plates of food out their cells onto the floor LOL. WELCOME TO THE GREEN MONSTER!

This type of shit would never happen upstate at best you’d be in the box for a month at worst the infirmary. I even got into it wit these stupid niggas trying to assassinate my character talkin about I’m snitching to the guards and that I’m getting special treatment. I barked on these niggas and set em straight cause as a man there’s only so much you can take before you snap.

At first I tried to ignore there lil comments until they started talkin shit like they gonna kick my door and all this clown shit. But the funny thing is when I started screaming on them lettin them know they got the wrong nigga they got excited it was like that’s what they wanted to bring the hood out of me. That’s when I realized that I’m dealing wit kids they can’t be niggas my age cause that would’ve lead to instant confrontation not instant admiration.

After I set em straight they wanted to talk & ask me about the industry I could tell they wanted to be my friend but just didn’t know how to go about it. So I chatted wit them for a lil bit before letting them know I was tried and ready to lay down. But as I layed I listened to them talk telling there life stories of how one was born in a crack house and grew up selling crack to his mother and how another watched his father get murdered rite in front of him by some dudes he owed money as they robbed his house and how they were now in jail for crimes of their own one for beating his girl friend the other for a murder. One of them them is 19 the other just turned 23 yesterday. Both with kids of their own.

When will we break the cycle? WILLIE LYNCH LIVES ON… DAMN! When I got here I was happy to see some officers of the same skin color not that I’m racist or anything but in this type of situation and where I just came from you’d be happy to see some of your own too. Prejudice does still exist trust me I’ve been treated and seen it people treated like niggers more in 1 month that I have my whole life I feel like a slave and even tho I haven’t heard anyone say it actions speak louder than words.

As I walk through the door everyone staring like they can’t believe I just walked in cuffed from head to toe. Even tho I don’t feel like much of a star that’s all they see the star that has fallen. But as I look in their eyes I still see the love they still wanna meet me and greet me as if I’m on their own personal stage except there’s no screaming fans, fancy clothes & bright lights. Only screaming inmates me in my orange jumpsuit and little flash lights they shine in my cell at night. It’s hard to feel good signing autographs and taking pictures in this predicament but I did it with a smile cause I love my fans and never say no, no matter what mood I’m in after the meet & greet they took me to my cell where I’ll be housed till my court date it’s not the best but it’s not the worst either they gave me some pillows and an extra mattress so I’ll live. This is my 3rd here and IA already came and got me to investigate my lil meet & greet. I basically told them to fuck off and that those are good cops cause they really were nice to me last thing I wanna see is good people get in trouble cause they got an autograph or a pic from me. You wanna investigate something investigate the crooked Hip Hop Task Force that got me into this shit in the first place.

As I sit in my cell listening to their stories I think about me and my Dad and how I hated to love him for so many years and how I vowed to be nothing like him only to have my mother say “your just like your father” LOL. Which made me curious to know him and of course just as we start to get closer to one another he dies. But I have my closure I learned alot about him and him about me in the short time we spent together. Which makes me think about my kids and how I’m raising them I am a great father and I have broken the cycle even though I’m in prison the foundation has already been layed.

I hate being away from them for 20 months but shit could just as easily been on tour for that long. I feel compelled I wanna help other kids break the cycle. I’ve been to 5 different prisons and all I see is niggas and I ain’t talking about black people I’m talking about ignorance. See the problem wit most people is they don’t smell shit until they step in it and by that time it’s all over your shoe and everybody is tryin to get away from you. Now you have 2 choices you can either wash that shoe or throw it away. A lot of people choose to throw it away meaning they didn’t learn shit but those that choose to wash that shoe tend to watch their step knowing how hard it was to get em clean. I think I’ll wash my shoes this time cause this shit ain’t me. R.I.P William Jeffrey Atkins

BREAK THE CYCLE!

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India.Arie Finds “Steady Love” In Music Video Featuring David Banner

India.Arie reminds us that there’s nothing like the feeling of “Steady Love” in the sentimental music video for the new single from her Worthy album. David Banner stars as Arie’s love interest, and the duo showcases perfect chemistry as they cover many of the relationship bases.

From romantic bliss to challenging moments and everything in between,“Steady Love” speaks to the joyous ride that is falling in love, while the visual brings that feeling to life and ends on a wonderfully climactic note.

In a February interview with Billboard, Arie spoke about the significance of titling the album Worthy.

“The title of the album was Worthy for a couple of years before I had any songs,” she revealed. “I love that word. It’s so potent and encompasses so much [in terms of being] deserving of regard and respect. I always have a favorite word. For a while, it was resilient then authentic.

“When I did the interview with Oprah, she asked me how long unworthiness had been my calling card,” Arie continued. “I realized that I didn’t feel unworthy inside but I could see how I could be giving off that energy to others. It made me double-down on wanting to call this project Worthy and explore why she asked that question.”

The album’s title track is one of the collaborations between Arie and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Joel Cross. “At that point, I knew what I wanted to say. Then all the other songs started to take shape, being about respect. Even the love songs are about how you want to be treated, how you want to treat other people. [Radio personality] Tom Joyner said this album is a perfect blend of message songs and love songs. That’s where I’ve been in my life these last few years. And the word worthy is imbued in all of it.”

Watch the video for “Steady Love” above.

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Megan Thee Stallion’s Southern Rap 'Fever' Dream

Hot Girl Meg is already an urban legend. You can see her on the cover of Fever, looming over a luxury auto in skin-tight leopard print as flames and horses erupt behind her. It’s the undeniable movie poster aesthetic of blaxploitation icons like Pam Grier’s Coffy. It’s a perfect fit for rapper Megan Thee Stallion, whose music channels a Southern rap tradition full of larger-than-life figures like Trina, Gangsta Boo, and her hero Pimp C.

The 24-year-old born Megan Pete started rapping in childhood after accompanying her mother, Holly Thomas aka rapper Holly-Wood, to recording sessions in Houston. Megan’s career began with freestyles at college parties, and she released three mixtapes in three years with her mother as her manager, building her buzz while still completing courses. The rapper is slick and authoritative on the mic as she channels alter egos like Hot Girl Meg, who she calls “the party girl, the polished girl, the turn-up queen.” Her debut album Fever, released last week, is a showcase for this alter ego. Hanging with Hot Girl Meg makes for a fun 40 minutes.

Though her profile has risen to the level of Drake Instagrams and Khalid features, Megan Thee Stallion does not make pop music. She raps, she’s excellent, and she knows it. “I’m a real rap bi**h, this ain’t no pop sh*t,” she ad-libs victoriously on her first song “Realer.” Sure, pop music has eagerly siphoned from rap this decade, but rappers have been drawing lines in the sand since Q-Tip said “Rap is not pop, if you call it that then stop” in ‘91. Nowadays, the A Tribe Called Quest auteur is still pushing rap forward as an executive producer for Fever.

“Sex Talk,” the album’s lead single, is a showcase for Megan’s bars. “I’ma bust quick if your lips soft,” she raps in short bursts around distorted bass and snaps. “Rock that ship ‘til ya blast off.” In her second verse, she accents the offbeat to boast, “I should be in museums because this body a masterpiece.” Though the song’s popularity was eclipsed by the video release for last summer’s more bombastic “Big Ole Freak,” it’s a fitting introduction to Thee Stallion: her range of staccato to elongated flows is catnip for heads like her who grew up on freestyle DVDs, paired with a blown out beat riding the minimalist wave that’s subsumed parties across the country.

Sex is the main concern in Megan Thee Stallion’s work, followed closely by money. Such confident sexuality from a black woman has unfortunately drawn criticism and retrograde questioning from some in the media, but she’s undaunted. “You let the boys come up in here and talk about how they gon’ run a train on all our friends and they want some head and they want to shoot everything up, and they want to do drugs,” she told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “Well, we should be able to go equally as hard. I don’t want to hear none of that ‘That’s offensive!’ or ‘All she talk about is p***y.’”

Megan’s mercenary demand for her pleasures is a refreshing gender swap of rap tropes. On “Running Up Freestyle,” she raps, “He say I should be nicer, well your d**k should be bigger.” She’s blunt enough to make me clutch my pearls on behalf of my gender before I burst out laughing. Later in “Sex Talk,” Megan kicks a would-be lover out when she cues up trap music and he asks “Girl, you tryna trap me?” She’s offended by the insinuation she needs to keep a captive, when she doesn’t need anyone she doesn’t want in the moment. It’s a role reversal that plenty of female rappers have executed previously, but few with the same raw skill.

“Hood Rat Sh*t” opens with a sample of a 2008 viral video, a 7-year-old explaining his desire to do “hoodrat stuff” with his friends. The uptempo drums bounce around cavernous piano chords with gleeful menace like a gaggle of unsupervised kids. Megan’s rhymes launch into double time in the lead-up to the chorus, which she spits like a playground taunt. In the third verse, she gives an evocative example of the title: she’s at the strip club drinking Henny from a champagne glass, “eating chicken wings with a thick bi**h” who’s dancing like the diamonds in her necklace. Her swaggering flow sounds like the reincarnation of Pimp C, with the tall tale verses to match.

Rising Charlotte rapper DaBaby adds a verse over bellowing 808s on “Cash Sh*t.” When Megan says “That’s my dog, he gon’ sit down and listen,” DaBaby describes fixing his partner’s weave during sex and incorporating headlocks into new positions. On its own, his verse might be too direct, like a stranger leering from the end of the bar. It’s perfectly absurd on Megan’s album. He works as a foil to the main attraction, like he’s just trying to keep up.

 

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Real HOTGIRL shit 😛

A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on May 4, 2019 at 9:46am PDT

The only other guest on Fever is Juicy J on “Simon Says,” where he also supplies a beat that sounds like a house party in the middle of a home invasion. “Simon says bust it open like a freak,” Megan raps like a nursery rhyme, a fitting match for the originator of “Slob On My Knob.” The song was the center of a minor controversy over the album release weekend when singer Wolf Tyla implied she had a writing credit and drew an indignant response from Megan. The facts became harder to parse from there. Maybe Tyla wrote the hook, or maybe Juicy did and asked her to record a reference track. (A just okay hook to go to bat for as an unknown ghostwriter, frankly.) In an era where the world’s biggest male stars snipe at each other about fragments of songs they’ve written for one another, this shouldn’t be a story, but a rising female rapper can’t allow any question of her bona fides.

Even if “Simon Says” is entirely ghostwritten, the Three 6 Mafia homage is far from an aberration in Megan’s catalog, or even on Fever. Juicy J produced two other album cuts, future strip club anthems “Pimpin” and “Dance.” Fellow co-founder Project Pat contributes to “W.A.B.,” built around a sample of the group’s “Weak Azz Bi**h.” Three 6’s influence is apparent in so many strains of modern hip-hop, but on Fever Megan places the Memphis collective alongside Houston and New Orleans in a firmly Southern context. The album concludes with Megan declaring herself “Hot Girl Meg from the motherf**kin’ South,” and it doesn’t feel like a conclusion, just a tantalizing cliffhanger promising further misadventures.

Fever is not perfect. “Best You Ever Had” strays a little too close to pop. Halfway through an album of knocking beats, it’s jarring to hear Megan’s voice coated in electronic sheen, sharing space with a recorder loop. In headphones the project becomes a bit repetitive in the back half, but it won’t be noticeable blaring out of club speakers. Given how quickly she’s befriended so many other stellar young female rappers, it would have been great to hear her spar with some of them on her debut.

Nevertheless, Megan Thee Stallion is picking up the baton for Southern hip-hop with a quick tongue and trunk rattling beats optimized for twerking. She inherited the legacy from her mother, as well as an unstoppable work ethic, the kind that kept her from cancelling shows even after her mother’s tragic death this spring because “I know she wouldn’t want me to stop.” Not long ago, a buzzy mixtape rapper signing to a major label like 300 Entertainment was a one-way ticket to clunky albums overstuffed with radio bait. Fever’s cohesion is a testament to Megan’s talent and dedication. Look forward to partying with Hot Girl Meg all summer.

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Megan Thee Stallion Releases Fiery "Realer" Video

Megan Thee Stallion is truly prepping for a hot girl summer. Following up the highly-anticipated release of Fever, the Houston-bred rapper has officially released the visuals for the project's opening song, "Realer."

Red-headed Meg and her friends brandish toy guns, high karate kicks and body rolls as she talks her sh*t. And, much like her project's artwork, there were flames—both literally and figuratively—to be had all around.

Even some of her celebrity peers have expressed excitement over her video's release.

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥❤️❤️

— TRINA (@TRINArockstarr) May 21, 2019

🐎 🔥 https://t.co/54S59MQ8fx

— Wale (@Wale) May 21, 2019

Watch Hot Girl Meg's spicy "Realer" video up top.

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