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‘Cruel Summer’ Album Review: Kanye West Indulges His Not So G.O.O.D Instincts

G.O.O.D. Music, Cruel Summer

Release date: September 18, 2012

The best moment on Cruel Summer, the new compilation album from Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music, occurs towards the end of “New God Flow.” When released in June, the track—which like Ghostface’s 2000 song “Mighty Healthy” samples Melvin Bliss’s “Synthetic Substitution”—concluded with West leading a lengthy call-and-response sing-along. Here, on the album version, it closes with a nutty verse from Ghost where he references his eagle bracelet and brags about his lion’s eating habits. It’s not a classic Ghostface verse. It’s not even the best sixteen on the song. But it’s got the element of surprise going for it.

Anyone that follows music blogs or watched this year’s BET Awards has heard nearly all of Cruel Summer’s highlights. The first single “Mercy,” already in the pantheon of great posse cuts; the fiery “I Don’t Like (Remix)”; Jay-Z’s verse on “Clique”; West blacking out on “Cold”; and of course, “New God Flow.” This is the rap game circa 2012—get it first and get it for free. If it sucks, oh well, a new song or mixtape will be out by lunch—but you gotta save something for the paying (ROTFL!) customers, right?

Those suckers are barely rewarded. Well, there’s “Bliss,” a sultry duet between Teyana Taylor and John Legend that combines the right amount of bombast, synths and animal noises. (Seriously, is that the Falconer from Saturday Night Live or Ghost’s eagle?) And, um, and…oh, Raekwon actually says, “Love us or not/the Mark Zuckerbergs of the block” on the otherwise sluggish posse cut “The Morning.” So that’s nice.

In place of the stuff that makes West’s solo albums so great—little things like cohesion, excitement and creativity—there’s ridiculous grandiose arena rap like the opener “To The World,” mawkish snoozers like “The One” and “Creepers,” a tuneless Kid Cudi solo joint. There’s also a spoken word interlude, two verses from CyHi Da Prince and a baffling cameo from West’s favorite rapper Ma$e. Kanye West indulges his worst instincts on Cruel Summer, throwing more and more and more at every song. Being provocative doesn’t always get the people going. —Thomas Golianopoulos

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Diddy Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit With Former Chef

Diddy has reportedly reached a settlement with his former personal chef in a sexual misconduct lawsuit that was filed in 2017, NBC Los Angeles reports.

The settlement stems from a lawsuit Cindy Rueda filed nearly two years ago. Rueda was reportedly Diddy's personal chef from Apr. 2015 to May 2016. She accused the Bad Boy mogul of sexual harassment and unfair wages. She claimed that she never received additional pay for extra work hours during her time of employment.

Additionally, she alleged that Diddy requested that Rueda serve breakfast to him and a guest in his bedroom. During those incidents, she said she was forced to see "Mr. Combs and his guest indisposed and engaged in sexual activity." Upon entering, she alleged that he would then yell and curse at her.

In Aug. 2017, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge sent Rueda's case to mediation outside of the court due to the terms of an agreement she previously signed as an employee for Diddy.

The terms or value of the settlement has not been disclosed at this time.

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Jussie Smollett Facing Felony Charge For Filing False Report

Update: 8:00 pm ET (Feb. 20, 2019) - Jussie Smollett has reportedly been charged with a class 4 felony charge for filing a false police report, according to The New York Times. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

Original story below...

Jussie Smollett is officially a suspect in the alleged attack that occurred in Chicago earlier this year. Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi  announced the news on Twitter on Wednesday (Feb. 20).

“Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony),” Guglielmi tweeted.

Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Detectives are currently presenting evidence before a Cook County Grand Jury.

— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 20, 2019

Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report. Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest.

— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019

The announcement comes only moments after video surfaced of the two brother purchasing ski masks, gloves, and other supplies in a local store. The Osundairo brothers were allegedly hired by Smollett to act out the attack.

Smollett has adamantly denied accusations that he staged the attack. His family, Fox, and many other celebrity friends also released statements defending him. On Wednesday evening (Feb. 20), Smollett's legal team (Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson) issued the following statement:

“Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

Story developing... 

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Dominik Bindi

Video Surfaces Of Osundairo Brothers Buying Supplies For Jussie Smollett Attack

A new video of the Osundairo brothers, the two who alleged Jussie Smollett hired them to stage an attack in Chicago earlier this year, has surfaced online. The video shows Ola and Abel Osundairo purchasing supplies that were allegedly used in the attack.

The video, which was obtained by CBS, shows the two brothers stepping up to the cashier's counter to buy ski masks, gloves, bandanas, sunglasses, and red hats that resembled MAGA hats. At one point in the video, Abel pulls his hood over his head, perhaps in an attempt to avoid showing his face on surveillance cameras.


I tracked down surveillance of the Osundairo's buying supplies before "attack"

Sources say Jussie Smollet told brothers what to buy.

Countless phone calls placed for this.

Visited more stores than I wish to admit. @cbschicago

— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) February 20, 2019

CBS2 reports that the brothers bought the suspected supplies the day before the "attack" on Jussie. While previous videos obtained by the Chicago PD suggest the attackers were wearing ski masks at the time, the new footage does not confirm that Smollett orchestrated the attack.

The Empire actor has reportedly agreed to sit down with the police for another interview. Check out the new video below.

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