HARLEM

The Renaissance: 4 New Artists Bringing Harlem World Back

Once upon a time, Harlem rappers stood in the forefront of hip-hop. Entertainers from Harlem were easily identified via their impeccable fashion sense and natural hustler’s ambition. Diddy, M-A-$-E, Dame Dash, Cam’ron and Big L, those are just some of the greats hailing from the 212 borough. After the crash of the Dipset movement, though, Harlem as a whole lost its momentum. And while there’s been talks of a Dipset reunion, not to mention the fresh presence of Vado, it would take a wave of new kids on the block to resurrect the area as an industry force. Here, we run through the prospects responsible for putting Harlem back on the map.

AZEALIA BANKS
While N.Y. is her birthplace, the mermaid queen took her talents to the U.K., where her career initially took off. After gaining notoriety across seas, Banks returned to the states to capitalize on that success, with her single “212” capturing her funky style. While she focuses heavily on fashion and creativity, her lyrical abilities are not to be slept on. This girl can spit! See: her EP 1991, released this past Tuesday (May 29).

A$AP ROCKY
A$AP Rocky’s rough-and-tumble childhood influenced the 22 year-old Harlemite to jumpstart his rap career. Rocky made headlines last year after signing a reported $3 million dollar contract with Pologrounds/RCA Records, thanks to his sly Southern-dipped rhyme style. Make no mistake, though—he’s reppin’ Harlem all day. Similar to Dipset (and Odd Future), the A$AP Mob crew he totes along consists of both rappers and creative assets.

The “Google Me” singer first hit the scene when she appeared on MTV’s hit series, My Super Sweet Sixteen. After much speculation of signing recording contracts with several labels, Taylor put the rumors to bed last week, inking to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music imprint. Not only is TT respected in the fashion world, she put her money where her mouth is on her mixtape, The Misunderstanding on Teyana Taylor, while penning new tracks and covering songs like Drake’s “Marvin Room.”

VINNY CHA$E
Another multi-talented artist rising out of Harlem, Vinny Cha$e shouldn’t be mistaken with the Entourage character. Cha$e (peep the dollar sign) not only rhymes and stays laced in $wag, but also boasts a background in videography and directing. The Harlem head started out shooting music videos and behind the scenes footage for other big like Cam’ron and Juelz Santana. If Harlem ain’t back, at least the “$” is.

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Porn Site Condemns Users After Searches For R. Kelly's Sex Tape Increase

Searches for the infamous sex tape recorded by R. Kelly and featuring a minor has seen an uptick, and a porn site is condemning its users from trying to find it, because child pornography is illegal.

According to The Blast, porn site xHamster reportedly said that searches for the term ‘R. Kelly’ are up 388 percent since the beginning of January. Of course, this coincides with the release of the six-part Lifetime docu-series, Surviving R. Kelly, which chronicles over 20 years of indecent and immoral behavior towards teenage girls and women.

The site noted that they do not have the infamous tape that involves the controversial musician having sex with and urinating on an underage girl, nor will they ever carry it and other videos like it on their site.

“The R. Kelly tape is not on xHamster, nor would we ever allow it to be,” representatives for the site told The Blast. “Regardless of the news or sensation, a tape featuring underaged is both illegal and immoral.” xHamster also says they will be “disabling searches and putting up messages alerting any searches that the content is not acceptable.”

One of the messages on the site says “Please consider that in searching for and viewing such content, you may be re-victimizing a minor who could not consent.”

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Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Wiloughby said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.

 

 

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Nas Claims Jay-Z Knew About R. Kelly's Predatory Behavior In Resurfaced Interview

R. Kelly's reported predatory behavior was painfully public for decades, leading many to dig in the archives to see just how many of his former collaborators knew of the singer's ways.

This week, a Nas interview with Wendy Williams resurfaced with the rapper angrily calling out Jay-Z for continuing to work with the singer after rumors continued to spread about Kelly's interest in teenage girls. The year was 2002 and for many hip-hop historians, the time of Nas' and Jay's infamous feud.

“That’s not my style,” Illmatic emcee said on Williams’ former 107.5 FM radio show. “I could have shown the R. Kelly video that everybody’s talking about and made fun of it and show pictures of Jay hanging out. You can’t tell me Jay didn’t see a 14-year-old girl come into the studio and sit on R. Kelly’s lap. You gonna tell me he didn’t see no 14-year-old girl come into the vicinity?"

In the early aughts, Jay and Kelly paired up to release Best of Both Worlds after their successful single collaborations, "Fiesta" (Remix) and "Guilty Until Proven Innocent" went to the top of the charts. 2002 was also the year recordings of Kelly engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old circulated around the country and later, the internet. In his interview, Nas brings up Kelly's problems and explained how he saw a "little problems" with his behavior.

“You’ve seen it go down. I’ve been around R. Kelly … I’ve been on tours with him. I didn’t see no 14-year-old, but I talked to the man and see there’s a little problem there. The brother needs help and I pray for him. I’m here for the people. I’m here to talk [about] the truth.”

Nearly 17 years before the 6-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly upended his sex cults, the unearthed discussion shows how complicit people were in the 52-year-old's perversions.

In an unearthed interview from 2002, #Nas tells #WendyWilliams that #JayZ had to have known about #RKelly and 14 year old girls when they worked on #BestOfBothWorlds

A post shared by the Jasmine BRAND (@thejasminebrand_) on Jan 15, 2019 at 7:40am PST

A claim launched long before Surviving R.Kelly aired in January 2019, the rapper professes that both him and HOV knew that Kelly had taken a liking to young girls, though Nas asserts that he never saw young girls while with Kelly.

The Lifetime limited series was a 6-part exposé chronicling the generational abuse faced by young women and girls at the hands of the pied piper of R&B. Director dream hampton previously stated former colleagues of Kelly's declined to be interviewed for the doc including Jay-Z .

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