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Ro James Discusses Upcoming EP And Working With Miguel

Tattoos, note-worthy resume, D'Angelo comparisons and a bad-boy persona. All seem to be the formula for another R&B commodore but with Ro James, it's just different.

For starters, in between serenading the crowd with singles such as "Adidas" and "Pledge Allegiance" at New York's Canal Room in March, Ro takes a few swigs from a Jack Daniels Bottle. A native New Yorker, the singer birthed as Ronnie James said he began his music career like most great singers: in church.

With his father a preachy pastor, James said he would be forced to sing the gospel. “He always tried to make us sing and I would hate it,” he recalls.

Drawing inspiration from Donny Hathaway to Johnny Cash, James’ sound breaks genre barriers, describing his own sound as "rock n’ soul." His biggest inspiration, though, is Prince. “He wasn’t afraid and he didn’t have a lot of boundaries," Ro said. "He did what he wanted to do and he built a lane for himself, combining a lot of things.”

The admiration for the "Purple Rain" singer is also common ground Ro shares with another R&B rebel, Miguel. Ro's pen game landed him a by-line on Mig's sophomore effort Kaleidoscope Dream, co-writing the sensual tracks “Use Me” with the “Do You.” The writing process didn’t intimidate James because he says they’re close bros.

“Wow,” Ro began when asked how he and Miguel met. It began on MySpace where Miguel expressed interest one of his songs in one of James’ songs and one of his friends named Kesh. “He hit me up like, ‘Yo, I like your music. So tell me more about Kesh’ and from that we just connected and grew,” James said.

While scribing “Use Me,” Ro said he learned to be free in his writing and became a fan organically. “I grew to love his music and he loved mine. We just stayed in contact until where we’re at now.”

Now, James is readying his EP Coke, Jack & Cadillacs, a three-part album that portrays Coke as a woman, Jack [Daniels] as himself (“smooth but it’s rugged at the same time”) and Cadillacs hosting “music that you can just ride out to.”

The project tells the story of James’ first love at 19 and how coming together eventually tore them apart. “Every thing, every song is about something that actually happened,” James said. “I drew inspiration from my own life and the things that I’ve been through.”

With a musical bomb of genres, James wants listeners to “love again" with his EP.

"I want them to feel the soul, the emotion and the honesty," he said. “I’m just ready to share.”

Photo Credit: Finallybrave

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Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the Cleveland Browns warms up prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio.
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College Football Officials Pondering Policy Changes After Incident With Odell Beckham Jr.

A domino effect might be on the horizon after Odell Beckham Jr.'s encounter with LSU players and a security officer that led to arrest warrants and debates about possible NCAA violations.

Speaking to USA Today Sports Thursday (Jan 16) executive director Bill Hancock said officials from the College Football Playoff will investigate practices that allow non-players to engage with players on the sidelines during events such as the national semifinals and championship games.

“Being on the sidelines is a privilege,” Hancock told the outlet. “Along with any privilege comes responsibility, because the focus should be on the people playing and coaching in the game, rather than on any visitors. The CFP will be reviewing its policy for allowing guests onto the sidelines and into locker rooms at future games.”

While the LSU Tigers beat Clemson Monday to secure a spot in the national championship, all eyes were on the Cleveland Browns wide receiver for handing out money to players and slapping the buttocks of a Superdome security guard. The incident took place in the LSU locker room. It was initially reported that the money was fake but it was confirmed that the money was actually real.

Video of the incident went viral and just a few days later, New Orleans Police Department public affairs officer Juan Barnes confirmed that the security guard filed the complaint. An arrest warrant for simple battery was issued against Beckham Jr. on Thursday.

The NFL star and former LSU player possibly committed an NCAA violation "if it’s determined athletes with eligibility remaining received cash," USA Today Sports mentions. OBJ and his representatives are cooperating with authorities, the Browns said in a statement.

Statement regarding Odell Beckham Jr. incident: pic.twitter.com/7cN3jOLCj6

— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 16, 2020

LSU will now investigate the incident to confirm if any NCAA violations were committed and if it will affect any of the players seen in the video.

Many have pointed exactly why the officer was in the locker room in the first place. As the players were celebrating their big win, the security guard allegedly threatened the players who were smoking cigars in the locker room. Stephen A. Smith reacted to the news and the NCAA possible violation as "bogus."

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Jim Jones Hints At A Dipset Movie

With recent individual projects from Cam’ron and Jim Jones gaining widespread acclaim, the latter East Coast rap veteran plans to keep that momentum going with this latest news. According to XXL Magazine, Jones hinted at a movie on their rap collective Dipset, which formed in the late 90s but rose to mainstream prominence in the 2000s.

“We started this as young teenagers. We would’ve never thought that we did what we did and ended up where we are and we’re still here today making money off this industry that we dreamed of being in," he said during an interview on Nick Cannon's Power 106 show. "People know we make music and there’s always a nostalgic value when we pop out and do music. But I do believe we got a story that needs to be seen in hip-hop like no other. I know people have a lot of their own glory story, but we really have an action flick that needs to be told.”

Dipset, which is comprised of Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Freekey Zeekey, Juelz Santana, and former members 40 Cal., Hell Rell, and J.R. Writer, churned out hit after hit like “Hey Ma (Remix),” “Real Ni**as,” "Family Ties," “Dipset Anthem,” “I’m Ready,” “Crunk Muzik,” and more.

A Dipset film will not head to production until Santana’s release from prison, Jones also noted. Santana was sentenced to two years in prison for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. He was also found guilty of possession of a controlled substance. According to his partner Kimbella, Santana is expected to be released in summer 2020.

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Kevin Mazur

Tekashi 69 Fears For His Life In Prison, Wants To Serve Remainder Of Sentence At Home

Tekashi 69 fears for his life in prison, especially after snitching on his old crew. The onetime gang-affiliate, born Daniel Hernandez, received a shortened sentence after cooperating with federal prosecutors, but he wants to serve out the rest of his time on house arrest, or at a halfway house.

“Allowing Hernandez to serve the remainder of his jail sentence under home confinement would be the most reasonable means to adjust and prepare for his re-entry into the community,” Tekashi’s lawyer Lance Lazzaro said in court documents filed on Tuesday (Dec. 15).

Tekashi is currently incarcerated at a private facility for safety reasons. However, his attorney argues that the Bronx native “is still housed with various members of the Bloods” gang.

“As a result of Hernandez's cooperation with the government against multiple gang members with the Bloods, Hernandez's safety is still, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, seriously at risk,” the lawyer pointed out, according to The Blast.

The documents go on to note that Tekashi’s co-defendant, Roland “Ro Murda” Martin, was stabbed nearly a dozen times for severing ties with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. Tekashi fears that he could meet a similar fate if his request isn’t granted. “It is foreseeable that placement in any Bureau of Prisons facility, including any CCC, would jeopardize Hernandez's safety,” the lawyer added.

A judge has yet to rule on the request.

Regardless of whether or not he’s allowed to return home or to a halfway house, Tekashi’s lawyer says that “given the sensitive nature of his testimony,” the “Gunmo” rhymer will have to take “extreme” safety measures, likely for the rest of his life.

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