V Exclusive! Shanell Talks ‘Nobody’s B*tch’, Debut Album, & Industry Challenges

Shanell is far from the industry standard and she’s ready to share her raw talent with the world. Stepping out from behind the shadows, the 28 year-old serves up “Nobody Bitch—“a 14- track mixtape with the right amount of sass and angelic vocals to put all doubters to shame.

It’s “unapologetic girl power,” she says of the tape which drops Monday.

Striving to be more than the chick with the gypsy-inspired nose wear, Shanell has constantly been at work this year, tactfully crafting her debut album. Hoping to hold fans over with “Nobody’s Bitch,” the tape features production by Bolow and FKi, as well as appearances from Busta Rhymes and Too Short. Shortly after her listening event at New York City’s Jungle City Studios, Shanell sat down with VIBE to discuss the inspiration behind her mixtape, her debut album, and industry challenges.

A lot of artists in the industry start out behind the scenes, but what about your musical style stands out?
First of all I fuse every genre--except for country—every genre together. I fuse it together. The subject matters are a little blunter than what people would expect a singer to sing about, so I think that’s just the stand out point for people who don’t listen pass the shallow level. But, then the depth of it, I come from a musical theater background, so the triple threat in me—a lot of the big artists you know now are either they just sing or they can dance and really can’t sing. They don’t write their records, but I do everything.

In the listening you said, your mixtape is ‘unapologetic girl power’ with several songs dealing with sexual topics, so how important is it for women to embrace their sexuality?
Very. We run the world and we don’t even know it. I would hate to say it like this, but the slogan is, “Pussy is Power.” Not even giving it up, but just knowing that you have it, knowing that you’re a woman and you have the strength within you to control and do what you want to do. I think men have kind of made us feel bad about being women, and have us covering up, have us not saying certain things. That’s what they do so we don’t take over them.

Why name your mixtape “Nobody’s Bitch?”
I was mad one day and in this business, it’s a male dominated business and I’m not even on no feminist thing. I love men. But, it’s hard for women to come up in this business without [Pauses] having somebody saying you’re sleeping with somebody, somebody say “You can’t do.” We can do this, so people think I sing and I smile and I dance around, that I’m a pushover, but I’m not. So, I was like, I’m going to call my mixtape “Nobody’s Bitch,” because that’s something somebody would like to say to their boss, boyfriend, girlfriend, or the person that bumps into them on the street.

So, with all of those rumors (sleeping with Lil Wayne, etc.) was there ever a time where you wanted to give up?
No, I wanted to fight. I wanted to fight everyday and everyone who said. But no, I never wanted to give up because of that. The only times I think it’s tough, but I never wanted to give up. The times I’ve been on the verge of a nervous breakdown, was every time there’s been a push back or “We’re going to choose another song,” so those are the only times I felt like that. I don’t really care what people say. That messes with who I am or what I do.

Where do you gather your inspiration from?
From my homegirls when they come over to my house after they done fought with their boyfriends or cheated on their boyfriends or found their boyfriends cheating on them or got fired from their job. It’s just conversations where I figure if we talk about this, everybody else wants to talk about it. Let me put it in a song.

What do you hope listeners will gather from you "Nobody's Bitch?"
The main reason why I put it out is I get people hitting me like “What do you do?” Am I that artist that people know my face and my chain on my nose, but don’t know what I sound like? So, I was like, “Let me give something to listen to while I prepare this album.” So, I just want people to get a better idea of what who Shanell is sonically.

If you had to choose, what are the three stand-out tracks on the tape?
“F—Me Daddy,” because of the video, “Last Time,” with Busta Rhymes is one of my favorites, and “None Tonight.” “None Tonight” was a song a slept on, but I feel like it’s a female anthem. Just to see women screaming it. It reminds of Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” a little bit. It’s an acoustic lead song.

Where are you now in terms of your studio album?
Pretty much, I’m halfway done. I want to collaborate with some other writers. I never really done that before. But, Miguel, I respect him as an artist and a producer. PJ Morton, I want to work with Ryan Leslie, so I pretty much did everything that I could do by myself, but now I want to collaborate with some writers.

Have you done any collaborations yet?
None that I’m keeping on the first album.

When can we expect the album to drop?
I don’t know. Summertime. The summertime of some year.

Summer 2013?
Probably because I like summer releases. That’s when people feel good and music sounds so much better from me.

So, as this summer comes to a close, what can fans expect from Shanell in the near future?
I’m working on a tour, just me getting in the studio. This is the first year that I’ve actually had this much time to be in the studio. I’ve been on tour for the past few years. So, I’ll probably finish out this year in the studio and working on setting up a tour for next year.

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Netflix, HBO Max Acquire Streaming Rights To ‘Chappelle’s Show’

Dave Chappelle’s self-titled sketch comedy show is headed to streaming services. The popular series will hit Netflix and HBO Max on November 1.

“The best news you’ve heard all year: Chappelle’s Show is coming to Netflix US,” the streaming giant announced on Friday (Oct. 30).

The best news you've heard all year: Chappelle's Show is coming to Netflix US pic.twitter.com/yMOOaf3BDA

— Netflix Is A Joke (@NetflixIsAJoke) October 30, 2020

HBO Max acquired Chappelle’s Show, Inside Amy Schumer, Reno 911, Nathan For You, and Key & Peele in a non-exclusive licensing deal between ViacomCBS and the Warner-media-backed streaming outlet, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The deals expands on a previously forged $500 million deal between HBO Max and Comedy Central for the streaming rights to South Park.

Chappelle’s Show aired on Comedy Central from 2003-2006. The series came to an abrupt end after Chappelle famously walked away from a $50 million deal with the cable network. The comedian stepped out of the spotlight for a while before re-emerging, and eventually signing a $60 million Netflix deal.

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Beyonce Knowles-Carter attends the European Premiere of Disney's "The Lion King" at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on July 14, 2019 in London, England.
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Beyoncé Says She’s Focused On “Joy,” Shares How 2020 Changed Her Life

Beyoncé posed for three separate covers for the December 2020 issue of British Vogue. The covers debuted on Friday (Oct. 30), and were shot by 21-year-old Kennedi Carter, the youngest photographer in history to shoot a British Vogue cover.

In a rare interview with British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, Bey shares how 2020 changed her life. “It would be difficult to experience life in a pandemic and the current social unrest and not be changed,” she says. “I have learnt that my voice is clearer when I am still. I truly cherish this time with my family, and my new goal is to slow down and shed stressful things from my life.

“I came into the music industry at 15 years old and grew up with the world watching, and I have put out projects non-stop. I released Lemonade during the Formation World Tour, gave birth to twins, performed at Coachella, directed Homecoming, went on another world tour with Jay [Z], then Black is King, all back to back. It’s been heavy and hectic. I’ve spent a lot of time focussing on building my legacy and representing my culture the best way I know how. Now I’ve decided to give myself permission to focus on joy.”


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British Vogue December 2020

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Elsewhere in the issue, which , hits newsstands on Nov. 6, Queen Bey speaks about her mission to elevate Black voices, and how becoming a mother changed her outlook, particular after welcoming her first child (Blue Ivy Carter) and giving birth to a son. “After having my son, Sir Carter, I felt it was important to uplift and praise our boys and to assure that they grow up with enough films, children’s books and music that promote emotional intelligence, self-value and our rich history. That’s why [Black is King] is dedicated to him.”

In other Bey news, the adidas x Ivy Park “Drip 2” collection debuted on Adidas.com on Thursday (Oct. 29), and in Adidas stores on Friday (Oct. 30). Needless to say, the online portion nearly sold out within minutes.

The lot includes women’s, men’s and gender neutral clothing options that includes cozy, oversized, and cropped hoodies, figure-hugging biker shorts, tights, bodysuits, sneakers, hats, socks, and more. The line comes in coral, canary, azure, honey, and dark green color pallets, and is available in plus sizes.

See photos below.


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Trump Administration Vetted Rappers For Failed Covid-19 Ad Campaign

The Trump Administration put together a $265 million effort to round up the biggest rappers, singers, and actors in the entertainment industry to appear in a failed ad campaign about Covid-19. Lil Wayne, Roddy Ricch, Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert, Ludacris, Ice-T, and Nicki Minaj were among at least 247 celebrities vetted by the Administration, according to documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee and published by Politico on Thursday (Oct. 29).

The Department of Health and Human Services paid a contractor $256 million to complete the tax-payer funded public service campaign by Election Day. TheAdministration “vetted spokespeople based on their political positions and whether they support President Trump,” House Democrats argued.

Fors Marsh, a strategic communications firm, won a $250 million contract with HHS a week before, Atlas Research secured a $15 million contract. The campaign was the brain child of Michael R. Caputo, the department's assistant secretary for public affairs.

The 34-page spreadsheet dubbed the, “PSA Celebrity Tracker,” includes notes on each celebrity’s political affiliation, possible comments about Trump and coronavirus, criminal history (if applicable), demographic, and whether or not they expressed interest in appearing in the PSA. The entry listed Wayne as a “maybe; follow-up” option who previously supported President Barack Obama, “doesn’t like Republicans, ” and is popular among “Black Americans,” “super spreaders,” and the “general population.” It’s unclear what transpired between Wayne and the Trump Administration in regard to the PSA. He did of course meet with Trump this week and endorsed his re-election campaign.

Jay-Z was listed under “maybe; follow-up” as well. The notes state that Hov spoke with his manager and might, “Reconsider depending on who signs.” The entry lists Jay's criminal history, and support of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Eminem, Lil Baby, Beyonce, Travis Scott, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Kerry Washington, Issa Rae, Donald Glover, Chance the Rapper, and John Legend were also on the list.

Luda, Viola Davis, Dwayne Johnson, George Lopez, Zoe Saldana, Trevor Noah, Betty White and Britney Spears were some of the celebrities who turned down the offer, and it appears that most of the people on the list simply didn’t respond.

Singer Marc Anthony accepted but did not want his coronavirus quotes used for Trump’s election campaign, CNBC reports. Gospel legend CeCe Winans recorded a PSA but pulled out after receiving backlash once the clip hit the internet late last month.

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