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V Exclusive! The Return of Warren G

After spending some time behind the scenes plotting his next move, West Coast rap legend Warren G is back in the forefront. With his mixtape No One Can Do Better fresh in the streets and his production credit on Young Jeezy and Ne-Yo’s “Leave You Alone” record, G is letting his haters know he never left the game. VIBE caught up with the “Regulator” rapper for an exclusive in-depth interview where he opened up about the death of his longtime friend Nate Dogg, overcoming the naysayers, what’s up next with his music and more. --Jonathan Cruse

VIBE: How did you get the chance to work with Jeezy and how did he get the record “Leave You Alone?

Warren: I mean I’ve always known [Young] Jeezy and we said we would work together. Then one of my buddies that’s real good friends with one of his buddies -- My buddy Faye is real good friend with Scrap and Scrap was in LA and he hollered at my buddy asking, ‘Can you get to Warren and see if he can bring some beats down to play for Jeezy?’ So, I threw some tracks on a disc and went on down there. So we listening to the beat and he took two of them, he said, ‘all of them are dope but I like this one and I like that one, OG give me a couple of weeks and I’m gonna bring some good shit back.’ He hit me back two weeks later and was like, ‘Yo G, we got us one.’ I was like ‘what’ and he was like, ‘We got us one and I put Ne-Yo on it.’ He said he was at the listening party and they played “Leave You Alone” 15 times.

Do you know where your mind was when you produced that certain beat or was it just one of those beats that you just knocked out and didn’t think much of it?”

Well I mean I remember doing it, it wasn’t too long ago I was in the studio just grinding going hard and making beats. When I make beats, I have artists in mind when I’m doing the record and he [Jeezy] was one of the artists that I had in mind because I know he could do something great over that beat along with other artists like Jay-Z and Drake. A lot of artists come in the game but you have to be able to know how to structure and also make a song where people can understand. That's why “Leave You Alone” is such a good record because it hits everything that is going on. Every male and female is going through that and it’s not like it’s a bad thing. It's real love but you know you keep f*cking up but I can’t leave you alone because I love you.

On Twitter you always try to remain positive and drop some knowledge to anyone trying to follow their dreams. Is that something you usually do as far as becoming an unspoken mentor to other up and coming artists?

Man, I just kind of say how I feel. I don’t be trying to mentor or do any of that stuff. I just kind of do it because I know that there are people out there that are trying to get their sh*t heard and it’s stressful sometimes so I’m was just basically telling them that if you fall, just get back up and dust yourself off and try again. Even now I’ve been working hard and I have just been shut down by a lot of people, people that I love and grew up with so it’s like damn. I felt like it’s me against the world and I still kind of feel like that. That shi*t hurts sometimes when you just feel like that. So I try to give inspiration whether you are a rapper, producer, football [player] just whatever you are doing, keep going hard at it and keep faith. I’ve been up and I’ve been down during this time I was in this music. A lot of people like wrote me off like, ‘damn that nigga he on his way out.’ See, that shi*t right there, that’s what I love, I love for a motherfucka to hate on me or hate me because that makes it even better. I ain’t ever hated on no one like that and I don’t care who it is. A lot of people until this record started blowing--People are calling like ‘Warren we are happy for you.’ And it’s certain people that have called that I haven’t heard from in I don’t know how long. The way I look at it is I still I accept all the good sh*t that comes in and I give the good sh*t right back out. I know when I was down how I was being treated by you, you, you and you. I’m working with everyone and I think I just proved that with this Jeezy record.

So what do you think of the new breed of West coast rappers such as Kendrick Lamar, Ab Soul, ScHoolBoy Q and Jay Rock with their whole Black Hippy movement they got going on?

I think they are doing their thing and they are making good music. I really like that Ab Soul cat. I’ve been liking his stuff for a longtime he’s dope not saying that the other guys aren’t dope but he just stands out to me as a producer. I look at artists like ‘I can put something up under them,’ and they be off the chain.

So I’m assuming you haven’t worked with any of these artists?

I did some shit with Jay Rock but I never put it out. It's dope. It’s called “Still Living in the Ghetto” and I did a song with Kendrick Lamar on 9th Wonder’s album.

Was there something that sparked your comeback even though you never stopped working?

No, I never stopped working, I just kind of been in the cut and was like when you are not right in people’s face they kind of write you off. A few things sparked and lit that light up in my head, ‘like what am I doing? I have to step it up and get back right now.’

Do you mind sharing what one of those things that sparked you wanting to get back in the forefront of things?

I ain’t ever stopped. I was just kind of in the cut watching what’s going on and been on the road with Snoop and different people but like I said I heard a few things that were said and I was like, ‘man I can’t believe somebody said that, like what did I do to you?’

I’m assuming you wouldn’t want to share with the public who that person was maybe?

I mean nah, it ain’t one of my close loved ones that I grew up with and I don’t want to get into all of that. I mean I’m no buster but I don’t get into the whole twitter beef and stuff like that. Its stressful times with the economy and in stressful times people want to feel good and I’m gonna give them some good music that they can smoke to, ride to, dance to, make love to. That’s why I’m glad this record is doing well [Leave You Alone] like every radio cat that I know that is banging it is like, ‘man we were missing this and we are so happy Warren that you are putting this music back in the game.’

I had the opportunity to catch up on your newly released mixtape No One Can Do Better and you have some top features on it, not to mention the late great Nate Dogg. Do you mind going into the making of the mixtape, your mind frame and what it was like putting it out without your friend being here?

I was on Twitter talking and having fun and I hit up DJ Klassik from The Fleet DJs one day and we started talking and Klassik was like ‘me and my DJ’s want to do a mixtape on you Warren’ and I was like ‘go ahead and put it together’ and that would be cool because it will reintroduce me to the new generation so they could understand what I did in music and contributed to the game. Being able to listen to something that has my homeboy Nate on it is surreal and people been asking me how I feel since he been gone. I feel terrible and I felt like saying ‘f’ all this music and everything but I can’t do that. I have to let him live [on] through me and the music that we have done and nobody has heard. But it’s cool though, I do get f*cked up sometimes when I do something and I know that he would nail it and I’m sitting up here with some motherf*ckers who have no clue. I just be like, ‘man I wish Nate was here right now. He would murder this.’

Do you have like one solid track that you love on your new mixtape and you can listen to constantly?

Well my favorites are “Havin Things” and “Gangsta Love.” “Havin Things” was a record that should have been a fucking single. It was with me, Nate and Jermaine Dupri and I liked the way Nate came in.

So I know it’s still the early stages but you plan on hitting the road and touring with this mixtape and your future EP?

Yeah I’m getting ready to hit the road real soon and I just got a bunch of offers for shows so it’s going down.

Are you going to be dolo or touring with other artists?

I’m gonna have a lot of the artists that I’m working with out there with me. I fuck with YA. Their whole crew is dope. You know Pac had the Outlawz--this is my version and those little n*ggas are vicious and hungry and they know how to make songs. My dawg Black Nick -- just a bunch of cats. They are all gonna be heard as I plan to drop shit out on them.

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Man Who Recorded Murder Of Ahmaud Arbery Arrested

A third man has been arrested in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., who recorded Arbery’s murder, was taken into custody on Thursday (May 21), the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced.

“The family is extremely relieved,” attorney S. Lee Merritt, who represents Arbery’s mother, said in response to Bryan’s arrest. “We didn’t know if this was going to happen, but we all knew that it should happen.”

Arbery was killed on Feb. 23, while out for a jog. It wasn't until two months later that his story went viral prompting an investigation by the GBI after the local D.A., who was previously over the case, declined to make any arrests.

According to jail records, 50-year-old Bryan was booked into the Glynn County Jail on charges of felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. Bryan made his first court appearance on Friday (May 22) where his lawyer filed a motion for a speedy trial.

Bryan accompanied father and son, Gregory McMichael, 64 and Travis McMichael, 34, as they followed and cornered 25-year-old Arbery before the younger McMichael shot him to death. The McMichaels claim the shooting was self-defense.

Father and son were arrested for aggravated assault and felony murder earlier in the month. All three men are being held at the same jail.

The mugshots of Gregory and Travis McMichael, who have been charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. pic.twitter.com/O0M6vPMs1Q

— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) May 8, 2020

Merrit noted that Arbery's family hopes the men will be convicted. “Well obviously we want to see the arrests lead to a formal indictment then a vigorous prosecution and conviction. But there are other people we believe were involved. We spoke with the DOJ earlier today about their investigation into the corruption that delayed these arrests in the first place.”

An attorney for the elder McMichael claimed that the pair are victims of a  “narrative driven by an incomplete set of facts.”

“While the death of Ahmaud Arbery is a tragedy, causing deep grief to his family -- a tragedy that at first appears to many to fit into a terrible pattern in American life -- this case does not fit that pattern,” attorney Frank Hogue said. “The full story, to be revealed in time, will tell the truth about this case.”

The murder remains under investigation by GBI in partnership with the District Attorney Joyette Holmes of the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office.

See more on Bryan's arrest in the video below.

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Quavo Talks Earning His High School Diploma At 29

Quavo officially belongs to the class of 2020. The 29-year-old Migos rapper announced that he graduated from high school on Friday (May 22).

“Finally can say I graduated high school class of 2020,” Quavo captioned an Instagram post of himself sporting a blue cap and gown.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Finally Can Say I Graduated High School Class Of 2020 We Lit 🔥 Now What College Should I Go To? 🧐 And To Celebrate We Gonna Drop SMASH TONIGHT 🔥🌊 BERKMAR HIGH NAWFSIDE BABY

A post shared by QuavoHuncho (@quavohuncho) on May 21, 2020 at 4:26pm PDT

Now that he's a high school graduate, the Georgia native is considering attending college, as he shared in an interview with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Radio alongside Migos members, Takeoff and Offset. During the talk with Tunechi, Quavo expounded on his decision to get his diploma.

“I was doing stuff for the community and schools… always involved and just me being considered like a dropout you’re not really like an alumni,” he said before explaining that one of his former high school teachers is now a principal and encouraged him to get a diploma. “He hit me up like 'you should go back and get it.' I went back and got it.”

Quavo added that Weezy was, “definitely one of my inspirations for going back to school.”

The rapper, whose birth name is, Quavious Keyate Marshall, attended Lilburn’s Berkmar High School, where he was the starting quarterback for the 2009 season. Quavo dropped out of high school in his senior year.

Peep the Migos’ Young Money interview below.

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Disney World Could Help Revive What’s Left Of NBA Season

The 2020 NBA season could be headed for a revival. The league is in talks with Disney World to potentially restart what's left of the 2019-2020 season this summer, the NBA confirmed on Saturday (May 23).

“The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing,” NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said in a statement.

“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place.”

The NBA was forced into cancellation amid the COVID-19 outbreak, specifically after Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, contracted coronavirus and exposed several other plays to the disease, including teammate Donavan Mitchell.

Since then, several former and current NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19, the most recent being basketball great Patrick Ewing.

“This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly,” Ewing said upon announcing his health diagnosis over the weekend. “I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.”

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