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Next: Jhené Aiko

The pint-sized singer gets you lifted with her spacey soundtracks

Born: March 16, 1988
Hometown: Slauson Hills, CA
Claim To Fame: 'Sailing Soul(s)' mixtape; "3:16 A.M."
My Obsession: Cats. I'm like a young old crazy cat lady

Poke around the Los Angeles studio where Jhené Aiko created her 2011 mixtape, Sailing Soul(s) and it's easy to grasp the singer's source of sensual inspiration. The studio itself is a turn-on: Mirrors line the control room ceiling, while candles flush the walls with a reddish glow. There’s even a neighboring shower with see-through glass panels and an elevated platform. But you might hesitate to get comfortable—this very recording hub is a renovation of porn god Ron Jeremy's old movie set.

"I recorded in a sauna that they converted into a booth, revealed the 24-year-old vocalist (name pronounced JAH-NAY AI-EE-KO). "I'd always joke and say that's why everything is coming out so hot. Don’t take the Slauson Hill, Calif., native’s (née Jhené Aiko Chilombo) humble brag lightly. Her moody mixtape procured a cult of emo admirers, forging free-spirited advances ("Hoe"), baby papa drama and preggo anxieties (see the abortion-mulling “You Vs. Them”) onto wax. “I was like ‘should I be a mom or should I be a singer?’ but found that I could be both,” says the Aiko, now mother to 4-year-old daughter Namiko.

Before the multiethnic songstress—she’s Japanese, Black and Native American—experienced her own musical solstice, the youngest of five trailed the family hustle. At 12, she signed to T.U.G./Epic Records, former home to manager Chris Stokes’ short-lived teen group Gyrl (Aiko’s older sisters Miyoko and “Mila J” were members) and defunct boy band B2K, for whom Jhené opened on 2003’s Scream Tour III. After the five-year partnership staled, she networked her way onto tracks with then-Internet-famous MCs like Drake and Kendrick Lamar. The aforementioned Souls, laced with whispery vocals and pensive lyrics, sealed a deal with legendary beatsmith No I.D. for his Def Jam-parented Artium imprint. “She has a signature voice [and] is real adamant about her melodies, flows and wordplay,” says frequent collaborator Ab-Soul of Black Hippy, who cites Frank Ocean as a worthy comparison. “She could almost hop into a BET cypher [because] she's got bars but is still elegant R&B.”

The petite singer admits she'd formerly hit bongs to craft hit songs. "Until recently I got high writing because I wanted to be super honest," says the inked-up Pisces, who boasts 13 tats. “I learned to channel that high without needing any substance." Her 2013 debut LP, Souled Out, reaches new emotional heights, led by the suicide-probing single "3:16 A.M." Yet there's something for the tough-guy playlists, too. “You can still feel like a G when you’re listening to me talk about being depressed,” she says. “You can relate to it. That’s important that we don’t just listen to music to be distracted. We can actually listen to music that helps us get through things.”

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French Authorities Reportedly Investigating Rape Claim Against Chris Brown

French authorities are reportedly investigating Chris Brown after a woman allegedly accused the R&B singer of rape. According to the French tabloid, Closer, a 24-year-old woman claims that Brown raped her in his hotel room.

The unidentified woman alleges that she met Brown at a Parisian night club in rue de Ponthieu, near the Champs-Elysées, on the night of Jan. 15 into Jan. 16, before heading back to his room at the La Mandarin Oriental. The woman also accused Brown’s bodyguard of abuse, Closer reports.

Brown was recently spotted taking in the festivities of Paris Fashion Week, and smooching rumored flame, Ammika Harris. The “Undecided” singer shared video from dance rehearsal in the French city over the weekend. He has not commented on the reported rape allegation.

Brown is currently embroiled in a separate civil lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by Brown's friend, Lowell Grissom, during a party at the Grammy winner's home last year. Brown requested that the lawsuit be dismissed.

“For the last 10 years anybody who comes at him should know they're going to meet the full force of my firm,” the Virginia native's lawyer, Mark Geragos, warned in an interview last year.

The woman has since filed court documents on Jan. 7, asking a judge to block Brown’s request that she give up phone and text records citing privacy concerns. According to The Blast, the woman asserts that she already turned over hundreds of documents, including text messages, emails and medical records.


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Spotify Testing Feature That Allows Users To Mute Certain Artists

Spotify users will be able to mute certain artists, for their listening pleasure. The streaming company introduced a “don’t play this artist feature” as apart of a new IOS app update, according to Thurrott, which got its hands on an early version of the feature.

The block button allows listeners to banish specific artists from their personal music libraries, and stops them from popping up in automatically curated playlists, and other pages on the music streaming app. In order to utilize the mute feature, users clicks on the menu above an artists’s page and selects the “don’t play” option. The feature doesn’t work for songs that the artist may be featured on, the Verge reports.

The update could be a middle ground for Spotify as it faces increased pressure in wake of the #MuteRKelly movement, and Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly  documentary. A petition calling for Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube to remove R. Kelly’s music from its services is close to garnering 150,000 signatures.

Last year, Spotify briefly removed Kelly, XXXTentacion and T-Kay (a Texas rapper convicted of murder) from featured playlists due to the company's hateful conduct policy. “We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions -- what we choose to program -- to reflect our values,” the company explained in statement to Billboard last May. “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator."

Spotify abandoned the plan after pushback from fans of the artists singled out, and industry heavyweights like Top Dawg Entertainment founder Anthony Tiffith, whose label imprint is home to Kendrick Lamar, SZA, ScHoolBoy Q and more.

Tiffith reached out to Troy Carter, Spotify’s global head of creator services, and threatened to remove his artists’ music from the streaming service. “I don't think it's right for artists to be censored, especially in our culture,” Tiffith told Billboard. “How did they just pick those [artists] out? How come they didn't pick out any others from any other genres or any other different cultures? There [are] so many other artists that have different things going on, and they could've picked anybody. But it seems to me that they're constantly picking on hip-hop culture."

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The Internet Reacts To Carmelo Anthony Being Traded To The Chicago Bulls

According to a tweet sent out by ESPN's Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets have agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and cash considerations to the Chicago Bulls. However, he will likely not play any games.

"Anthony won't play a game for the Bulls, league source tells ESPN. He will be released and become a free agent if he clears waivers," tweeted Wojnarowski. " is possible that franchise holds off on waiving him until the trade deadline, league sources tell ESPN. Bulls could include him in a one-for-one trade, but can't aggregate his contract in another deal."

Since today is a national holiday (Jan. 21), the official word will reportedly be held off until tomorrow. Wojnarowski reports that his "best bet" would be to wait it out until the trade deadline (Feb. 7) to find another opportunity with another team.

The Houston Rockets have agreed to trade Carmelo Anthony and cash to the Chicago Bulls, league sources tell ESPN.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

The NBA office will not execute the trade today because it's a holiday, league sources tell ESPN. To clear the way for Kenneth Faried to sign and play tonight in Philadelphia, Rockets had to waive to James Nunnally. Trade call on 'Melo will likely be Tuesday.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

Anthony won't play a game for the Bulls, league source tells ESPN. He will be released and become a free agent if he clears waivers.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

Social media caught wind of the news, and reacted with shock and of course with laughs via some hot takes.

"Melo is revolutionizing the 'farewell season' by signing a contract with each NBA team before he retires, truly ahead of his time," one tweet read, while another said "Melo is being held hostage by teams. Hopefully this means Liam Neeson will have a movie saving him come out around the trade deadline."

Check out some tweets below.

Melo is being held hostage by teams. Hopefully this means Liam Neeson will have a movie saving him come out around the trade deadline.

— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) January 21, 2019


— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) January 21, 2019

[email protected] fans looking at GM Lebron when Melo becomes free agent.

— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) January 21, 2019

Carmelo Anthony will not play a game for the Bulls, but it is possible that franchise holds off on waiving him until the trade deadline, league sources tell ESPN. Bulls could include him in a one-for-one trade, but can't aggregate his contract in another deal.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

For Anthony, his best bet is waiting until the Feb. 7 trade deadline to find his next team. He can wait for roster spots to open, trades to happen, etc, that'll create the best opportunity for him. Anthony wants to find a place to contribute.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

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