2 Chainz
Over the course of the last 12 months, 2 Chainz has enjoyed a year that's been almost too good to be true.

5 Reasons 2 Chainz Shouldn't Sign to Kanye West

Over the course of the last 12 months, 2 Chainz has enjoyed a year that's been almost too good to be true. Since changing his name in early 2011 from Tity Boi to 2 Chainz, he's made dozens and dozens of appearances on other artists' songs. He's released his critically-acclaimed mixtape, T.R.U. REALigion. He's taken over the radio with his hit, "Spend It." He's signed to Def Jam. And, he's even managed to get into the good graces of Kanye West, who asked 2 Chainz to appear on "Mercy," the first single from the G.O.O.D. Music compilation album that Kanye & Co. are currently putting together.

In fact, 'Ye apparently feels so strongly about 2 Chainz's talent that he took to his Twitter account late last week and sent out a tweet that had some folks speculating about whether he had signed 2 Chainz to his label. "2 Chainz is charging 100k for a verse now," the tweet read, "cause he's G.O.O.D!!!!!!"

Quite the accomplishment, eh? Well, yes…and no. You see, while getting a co-sign from Kanye was, is, and probably always will be a good thing, we're not so sure that we want to see 2 Chainz signed to Kanye's label (as of today, no official announcement has been made and 2 Chainz has denied that he's signed to G.O.O.D.) We actually think he'd be better off if he just kept going down the path he's been going for the last year or so. So, we put together a list of the 5 Reasons 2 Chainz Shouldn't Sign to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music. It'll probably be all good if he does end up signing to G.O.O.D., but we think it could be even better if he sticks to the script and does his own thing.—Chris Yuscavage

Reason #1: The last time 2 Chainz was signed to another rapper's label, it didn't work out so well.
As a member of Playaz Circle, 2 Chainz (then known as Tity Boi) and his partner Dolla Boy released two albums, Supply & Demand (2007) and Flight 360: The Takeoff (2009), on Ludacris' label Disturbing tha Peace. And while both spawned minor regional hits, neither really gave 2 Chainz or Dolla Boy the kind of visibility you'd expect. Part of that was because they never got the right push from the label. But, a larger part of it was because they were simply stuck in the mix with a bunch of other artists signed to Luda. That tends to happen when you're signed to a major rapper's label. And, who really wants to be put in that situation?

Reason #2: 2 Chainz already has plenty of visibility without the help of a major rapper like Kanye West.
Say what you want about 2 Chainz right now—he's awesome, he sucks, he uses the same rhyme scheme on every song—but you can't say that the guy hasn't worked his ass off (he calls it "griming") to get his name and his face out there. And, he's largely done that on his own. So, he doesn't really need Kanye's co-sign in order to get people to check for him. He's managed to get plenty of attention for himself. Signing with 'Ye might help increase his visibility, but it also might stunt his growth at this point if G.O.O.D. tries to have a hand in how he's marketed to the public. If you're 2 Chainz, why risk it?

Reason #3: We'd rather have 2 Chainz focus on his own solo debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story, than have him working on the G.O.O.D. compilation.
The "Mercy" guest appearance was a BIG look for 2 Chainz. Of all the guest appearances he's done in 2012, that was the one that really made us sit up and say, "This guy might become a bonafide superstar by the end of the year." At the same time, if he did sign with G.O.O.D., he'd be forced to contribute a lot more to the G.O.O.D. album. That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing for us, but it would take up a good amount of his time and force him to work on something other than his debut album right now.

Reason #4: Pusha T, Cyhi Da Prynce, Mos Def, Q-Tip, and Teyana Taylor are all already signed to G.O.O.D.
How exciting was it when Pusha T signed to G.O.O.D.? The thought was that he'd finally get to release his long-awaited solo album. And, yet, he's yet to do it. Same for Cyhi. Same for Mos Def. Same for…well, you get the point. If 2 Chainz signs to G.O.O.D., he'd have to either get in the back of the line and wait his turn to release his music or skip to the front of the line and potentially piss off people who've been waiting for all of the artists listed above to drop their albums. Either way, it's not a great look for 2 Chainz. So, instead of signing 2 Chainz, how 'bout 'Ye gets to work on making that Pusha solo album happen?

Reason #5: It should be almost time for 2 Chainz to get his own label.
2 Chainz is obviously not on Kanye's level yet. But, we say "yet" because he's slowly building up his discography and putting himself in a good position to one day have his own label. That day probably isn't too far off, either. If all goes well with his debut album and he's able to continue building momentum, 2 Chainz will likely get his own label at sometime in the near future. Unless, of course, he's stuck in a deal with G.O.O.D. and waiting around for his sophomore album to drop. So, in the short term term, G.O.O.D. might sound like a good idea. But, in the long term, it's probably best for 2 Chainz to keep "griming" on his own. You "good" with that, man? We sure hope so.

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Man Exonerated After Serving 45 Years Forced To Sell Prison Artwork For Money

A Detroit man who served 45 years behind bars for a crime that he didn’t commit, is forced to sell his personal collection of artwork that he made in prison. Richard Phillips, 72, doesn’t have steady income at the moment, and his lawyer is currently battling the state of Michigan to get him compensated for the wrongful conviction that stole his freedom.

"I don't have an income right now," said Phillips while showing off his paintings to Fox 2 Detroit. "This is my income."

In the early 1970s, Phillips was wrongfully convicted for the murder of Gregory Harris. He was sentenced to life in prison but always maintained his innocence. “I would rather died in prison than admit to a crime I didn’t do,” Philips said.

Phillips was convicted through an eyewitness account implicating him and a second man, Richard Palombo. In 2010, Palombo admitted that Phillips had no involvement in the murder and that he didn’t even know him. A new investigation was launched in 2014, nearly 20 years later Phillips appealed his murder conviction.

Last March, Wayne County Prosecutors Kym Worthy dropped all charges against Phillips, officially freeing him from prison. “There’s nothing that I can say to bring back 40 years of his life. The system failed him. There’s no question about it,” Worthy said at the time. “This is a true exoneration. Justice is indeed being done today, but there’s nothing that we can do ... to bring back those years of his life.”

Art played a big part in helping maintain his sanity through the sentence. Though he remained optimistic, Phillips admitted that he never truly believed he would be released. To pass the time, he began painting. He pulled inspiration from everywhere: his favorite artists, photos and even tapped into some of the loneliness that he felt in prison. "It was created in a harsh environment. But it goes to show you that beauty can come from something ugly."

Last year, Detroit's Demond Ricks was awarded $1 million for spending 25 years in prison on a wrongful conviction. As it stands, Phillips is the longest-serving wrongfully convicted former prisoner in U.S. history.

Phillips' artwork will be on display at Michigan's Ferndale's Level One gallery beginning Jan. 18.

See more on his artwork in the video below.

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Gladys Knight Defends Decision To Perform National Anthem At Super Bowl Amid Criticism

Glad Knight says she wants to “give the National Anthem back its voice.” The music legend released a new statement defending her decision to sing  the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in Atlanta, next month, amid criticism from fans.

Several artists turned down offers to perform at the Super Bowl in protest of the league’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick. Knight clarified that her choice to sing has nothing to do with Kaepernick, and she doesn't exactly agree with the anthem being "dragged into the debate."

"I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight said in a statement to Variety. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

The 74-year-old singer also noted that she has been on the forefront of social justice issues for much of her career. "I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words,” Knight said. “The way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good.

"No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it,” she continued. “I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us."

Knight isn’t alone in catching heat for joining the Super Bowl lineup. Travis Scott and Big Boi, both of whom will perform with Maroon 5 at halftime, received backlash as well.

Earlier in the week, reports surfaced claiming Scott had a meeting with Kaepernick that ended with “mutual respect” and “understanding.” Kaepernick’s girlfriend and Hot 97 DJ, Nessa Diab, denied the report tweeting, “There is NO mutual respect and there is NO understanding for anyone working against @Kaepernick7 PERIOD. #stoplying.”

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Wendy Williams Postpones Show Return Due To “Complications” From Graves’ Disease

Wendy Williams is promising to get back to The Wendy Williams Show by the end of January, after delaying her return two previous times.

Williams announced another extended hiatus from her talk show as she continues recovering from a shoulder injury and recent “complications” brought on by Graves' disease, according to a statement posted to the show’s Instagram account Friday (Jan. 18).

“Over the past few days, Wendy has experienced complications regarding her Graves’ Disease that will require treatment,” reads the statement. “Wendy will be under the strict supervision of her physicians, and as part of her care, there will be significant time spent in the hospital. Despite her strong desire to return, she is taking a necessary, extended break from her show to focus on her personal and physical well-being.

“Wendy thanks everyone in advance for their well-wishes and for respecting her and The Hunter Family's privacy during this time.”

The statement included a message of support from Debmar-Mercury, the company that syndicates The Wendy Williams Show. “We wholeheartedly support Wendy in this decision to take the time she needs and we will welcome her back with open arms the moment she is ready.”

Williams will return with new episodes the week of Jan. 28.

 

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A Note from The Hunter Family As Wendy Williams Hunter previously shared, she fractured her shoulder and has been on the mend. Over the past few days, Wendy has experienced complications regarding her Graves’ Disease that will require treatment. Wendy will be under the strict supervision of her physicians, and as part of her care, there will be significant time spent in the hospital. Despite her strong desire to return, she is taking a necessary, extended break from her show to focus on her personal and physical well-being. Wendy thanks everyone in advance for their well-wishes and for respecting her and The Hunter Family's privacy during this time. Statement from Debmar-Mercury For over ten years, Wendy has been a vital part of the Debmar-Mercury family. We wholeheartedly support Wendy in this decision to take the time she needs and we will welcome her back with open arms the moment she is ready. The Wendy Williams Show will air repeat episodes the week of January 21st and will produce original episodes with a variety of hosts starting the week of January 28th.

A post shared by Wendy Williams (@wendyshow) on Jan 18, 2019 at 9:34am PST

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