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Pusha T on Bringing Future to the Darkside, His Solo Album, and Cruel Winter

Don't ask Pusha T about pain. His woes bleed through Kanye's production like Scarface at the end of the movie. Like Tony's story, the VA native's life has been filled with guns, powder, heartache, and betrayal. However, to the untrained listener things may seem bright and peachy in Pusha's world. It takes a special kind of intellect to recognize the genius woven into his lyrics. Can your brain really feel P's pain?

Good. Now sit-back and read what G.O.O.D.'s music resident dealer has to say about his new track with Future, upcoming solo debut, and the possibility of a Cruel Winter album.

VIBE: Let’s talk about this “Pain” record you just cooked up with Future. Was it an “email me your verse” type of thing?
Pusha T: Nah, we cooked that up together, man. The beat was created early that morning, and he was there by 9pm that evening to lay the hook.

What made you grab Future for a record that deals with deeper subject matter than what we’re used to hearing from him?
I wanted to experiment in using Future for the hook ‘cause I felt everyone else is thinking to work with him in a club capacity. People needed a record that’s a little darker.

Right, and it worked so perfectly. I don’t think the fans were really expecting that.
Different levels, man, like I’m really open-minded… I think we nailed the chorus, like nailed it. When I figured it out the first time I was like ‘Damn, we’re only missing the Ouija Board.’


[Laughs] You said that the movie Devil’s Advocate really inspired you during the recording process of your upcoming solo album. Can you elaborate on that?

Lyrically, it felt like Devil’s Advocate would be the best representation because it’s like a beautiful sound whether Ye’ did it, whether Neako did it, or whoever. But lyrically, the words are so brash and really harsh. So I made the comparison simply because the Devil’s Advocate is a beautiful movie and really embraces who people are inside. At the same time, it was based around the dark side of life. You know what I’m saying? It’s very deceiving. I just felt like the album has that same undertone.

Honestly, I want to know how the Chris Brown record sounds. Did you step out of the box?
Oh yeah. I got a mean one with Chris Brown on there. I don’t know if I’m stepping out the box but I definitely think Chris is stepping in the box.

Are you still adding guest features?

I’m still working on features. I haven’t really spoken on all the features right now but I’m still working on stuff. Once I get to that point I’ll think about it more. But right now, it’s about making the perfect album.
The Clipse fans just want to hear Malice on there.

Does your brother still critique your music on the regular?
Yeah, Malice calls me periodically and tells me what he likes, and the records he dislikes. We just had a 2-hour conversation the other day. He was like ‘Man I want you to understand that I support everything you’re doing. He was the one who showed me this. He was the one who taught me this. He’s my brother for life.

That’s very evident. I have to also ask about that Cruel Winter album Q-Tip hinted at during the BET Hip-Hop Awards. You were standing right next to him when he said it…
I’m not privy to that information… You know, Tip and ‘Ye, they have their own communication in regards to projects, things like that. Those are different meetings. I don’t sit in on those meetings. There is music…Where and what? I don’t know. I know I’m working on my jawn. So who knows? I’m not privy to say right now.

I recently spoke to RZA who said he gave you like 8 beats, man.
Aw, man! You already know. He was so influential when I was coming up and was big to everyone and everything going on rap-wise around Virginia. I found myself looking for RZA but couldn’t ever find him back then. But now, I have some music from him. We definitely got some singles.

Have you had a chance to start working on Kanye’s solo album?
No, I haven’t. I haven’t at all. I don’t even know what direction it’s going to lead me in right now. We were so busy with Cruel Summer, and I was working on my solo at the same time.

One last thing, what happened to the Cruel Summer movie. I know it debuted at Cannes, but the New York screening never happened. Is it still coming out for the public?
I’m not sure when they’re gonna release it. They have their own plans for that. It was really, really expensive. They have to monetize, really monetize it, first.

From the Web

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102-Year-Old Woman Evicted From Home To Make Room For Landlord’s Daughter

A 102-year-old woman living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Ladera Heights is being evicted from her home of three decades. Thelma Smith was notified on March 8 that she has to move out so that the landlord’s daughter can move into the single-family home, after she graduates from law school.

Smith was on a month-to-month lease and has been paying “very low rent,” her longtime neighbor told the L.A. Times. She has to be out of the home by June 30.

While Smith’s eviction is legal, as landlords have the right to evict tenants to help relatives under L.A.'s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic Survival told the Times that the law is used to “target low-income paying tenants.”

Smith is a former director of the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation, a Los Angeles-based charity aimed at serving underprivileged youth. She has yet to find a new home, and rejected her neighbor’s offer to move in, but it looks like she’ll be getting housing assistance from Arnold Schwarzenegger. The actor and former California Governor vowed to help Smith, whom he called a “dear friend for a long time.”

“Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless,” he tweeted Friday (May 24). Schwarzenegger went on to state that he will be reaching out to Smith. “Landlords, you’ll hear from me too,” he added.

Thelma has been a dear friend for a long time. Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life. It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me too. https://t.co/IJQrclGQ6I

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) May 24, 2019

Landlord Arthur Hilton explained to CBS News that the home was never meant to be a rental property, even though Smith had been living there for 30 years. “This property was purchased by my parents not for rental but for the Hilton family,” he said.

Smith, a widow who never had children, planned to live in the home for the remainder of her life.

See more on her story in the video above.

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Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

Rey Ma Facing Additional Charges In Alleged Assault Against Brittney Taylor

Rey Ma has been hit with additional charges in an ongoing assault case in which she stands accused of attacking former Love & Hip Hop: New York cast member Brittney Taylor. The Bronx native appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court Friday (May 24) where she was arraigned on four misdemeanor charges, according to TMZ.

Although Remy was initially charged with assault, and turned herself in to authorities earlier in the month, she now faces two counts of third-degree assault, one count of second-degree aggravated harassment, and one count of second-degree harassment. She was offered the option to plead guilty to the top charge and enter anger management in exchange for having the other charges dropped but reportedly rejected the deal.

A trial date has been set of July 12.

Taylor claims Remy punched her in the eyed during a run-in at the Pretty Lou Charity Concert at New York City’s Irving Plaza last month. Remy was among the event performers along with Fat Joe, Jim Jones and more. She denies attacking Taylor and claims to have video evidence proving her innocence. TMZ reports that prosecutors have since changed the time of when the supposed altercation took place to line up with the time that Remy would have been at the venue.

Upon leaving the courtroom Friday, Remy didn’t mince words when speaking about going to trial. “Who looks forward to going to trial? I have things to do in my life,” she said according to the New York Daily News. “I have a real job, I have a family, I have a husband, I have a daughter.”

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34 black female cadets from West Point's Class of 2019 pose at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Cadet Hallie H. Pound/U.S. Army via AP

Black Women Cadets Make History At West Point Graduation

A record number of black female cadets are set to graduate from West Point (The United States Military Academy). After completing four years of education and "testing their limits," 34 black women will be walking across the stage at the 2019 commencement ceremony for the first time in the school's 217-year history.

Earlier this month, the black female cadets came together for a pre-graduation group photo. Little did they know, the photos of them in traditional Old Corps uniforms with ceremonial sabers would make their rounds on social media.

“My hope when young Black girls see these photos is that they understand that regardless of what life presents you, you have the ability an fortitude to be a force to be reckoned with,” shared one of the cadets, Tiffany Welch-Baker, in an interview with Because Of Them We Can.

Although West Point admitted its first black cadet until 1870, the academy didn’t graduate its first black cadet until the Reconstruction in 1877. In 1979, Vincent K. Brooks was made the first black captain of the Corps of Cadets. In 2017, Simone Askew became the first Black woman to lead the Corps of Cadets.

Senior cadet Stephanie Riley told The Associated Press in another interview: “I just showed myself and those who thought I couldn’t do it initially that yes, I can. And not just, ‘Yes, I can.’ I can show other little girls that yes, you can come to West Point. Yes, you can do something that maybe the rest of your peers aren’t actually doing. And yes, you can be different from the rest of the group.”

The class of 2019 includes a total of 223 women, another milestone since the first female cadets' graduation in 1980. The total number of graduation African-Americans doubled to 110, while the number of graduating Latinos became the largest, 88, in the academy's history. West Point also appointed Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams as its first black superintendent in July 2018.

Not only will West Point be graduating its 5,000th female cadet, but it will also have its highest number of female Hispanic graduates, 19. The commencement ceremony is set for Saturday, May 25, with Vice President Mike Pence delivering the commencement speech.

Congratulations to the black ladies of West Point's graduating Class of 2019!

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