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Hip-Hop Mogul Wants Beyonce and Jay-Z to Support 'Guns for Greatness'

A millionaire hip-hop mogul has put in a bid to help get guns off of New York City's streets.

Michael "Blue" Williams, head of Family Tree Entertainment, has proposed the city's first private gun buyback program to the NYPD. Dubbed "Guns for Greatness," the system provides NYC residents who return guns with mentoring programs and tickets to highly-anticipated concerts. Williams hopes to gain the support of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who are both scheduled to headline big shows in the city this summer.

“The Beyoncé show is coming to Brooklyn; the Jay-Z show is coming to Yankee Stadium," Williams told the NY Daily News. "Our goal is to reach out to individuals who are in my industry, in my world and who I have an association with and get their support."

Williams -- who is partly responsible for the success of acts like Outkast and Cee-lo Green -- is awaiting NYPD's Commissioner Ray Kelly's approval to move forward with Guns for Greatness. The mogul has already raised $75,000 toward the cause, and hopes to raise an additional $25,000. With the city's youth at the center of the gun violence, they have become Williams' main focus with the proposed program, which will aim to help black and Latino males between the ages 16 and 36.

“This program aims to provide young people with an opportunity to receive guidance and inspiration from committed mentors, an important option that will enable them to experience possibilities other than a life surrounded by gun violence and unnecessary shootings and killing," Williams' letter read.

The mentoring program will remain optional for those who turn in guns for money and tickets, Williams said.

“You can make a decision to take that money and walk back out, or you can make the choice to get a mentor,” said Williams. “In my perfect world, I’d love to have a gift package for signing up for the
mentorship program that is worth way more than $250. I think that when you’re dealing with younger people, you have to offer a little more to incentivize them."

Though Beyonce and Jay-Z have not yet signed on to helped with Guns for Greatness, William's has gained the support of the Hot 97 radio station, IHOP, and several record labels. The mogul hopes to launch the buyback program on March 23.

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Nicki Minaj, Tracy Chapman Fail To Reach Settlement In Copyright Lawsuit: Report

Tracy Chapman’s copyright infringement lawsuit against Nicki Minaj is moving forward after the two reportedly failed to reach an agreement during a recent court-ordered mediation.

Chapman is accusing Minaj of unlawfully sampling her song “Baby Can I Hold You” for the track “Sorry.” Minaj reportedly confirmed in court documents that the song never made it to her album because Chapman didn't approve the sample, The Blast reports.

According to the website, the battling sides “couldn’t reach a settlement,” and an agreement is not “imminent.”

Chapman sued Minaj in the fall of 2018. Months earlier, Minaj revealed that Queen's release date hinged on Chapman. “So there’s a record on #Queen that features 1of the greatest rappers of all time,” she tweeted at the time. “Had no clue it sampled the legend #TracyChapman - do I keep my date & lose the record? Or do I lose the record & keep my date?” Minaj also pleaded for Chapman to get in contact with her.

“Sorry” was never officially released, although  Minaj is accused of leaking the song to Funkmaster Flex who debuted it on his radio show.

The "Megatron" rapper denies committing copyright infringement, and reportedly claimed fair use as her defense. Minaj also allegedly argued that Chapman doesn’t even own the copyright, and is asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

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Kevin Winter

Iggy Azalea Calls T.I. A “Misogynist” For Saying She Tarnished His Legacy

T.I.'s apparent moment of candor didn't sit well with Iggy Azalea. The Aussie called her former Grand Hustle boss a “huge misogynists” in response to him saying that she stained his legacy.

“Imagine thinking I was his biggest blunder lmaoooooooooooooo. Tip. Sweetie. We have a whole list for you,” she reportedly wrote in a series of tweets that were later deleted.

“The tea I could spill on what bulls**t this is but at the end of the day I think people can see it’s clear he’s salty,” she continued. “He’s a huge misogynist and has never been able to have a conversation with any woman in which he doesn’t speak like a fortune cookie.”

Earlier in the week, T.I. told The Root  that he was “actively looking for another female rapper who can undo the blunder of Iggy Azalea.”

“That is the tarnish of my legacy as far as [being] a [music] executive is concerned," said the Atlanta native. “To me, this is like when Michael Jordan went to play baseball.”

Azalea signed to Grand Hustle in 2011, but severed ties with the imprint around 2015. In 2017, Azalea left Def Jam for neighboring Island Records, before going independent. The “Sally Walker” rapper released her sophomore studio album, In My Defense, over the summer.

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Wale Says Record Deals Should Include Mental Health Assistance

Mental health is an issue that record labels should be prioritizing, as Wale explained in an interview with TMZ Live on Friday (Oct. 11). The DMV rapper, who has been open about batting anxiety and depression, and released his Wow That’s Crazy album, during Mental Health Awareness Week, says signing a record deal should come with mental health assistance.

“People live their life for this, and lose their life because of it,” Wale said while discussing the perils of fame. “All of your failures are magnified by 100 because everybody’s watching you.”

The Grammy-nominated recording artist thinks labels should pay for mental health treatment, or have someone on deck to help artists unpack what they’re going through. “Artists generate so much revenue, that’s the least they [labels] can do.”

Wale also noted the difficulty of living life under a microscope, and how coming into money at a young age can be traumatic. “There needs to be a relationship between the mental health agenda and entertainers,” he reiterated. “It doesn’t have to be mandatory but I definitely think they [record labels] should help.”

Watch the full interview below.

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