Listen: Dance Music Rising Star Armand Peña Is About To "Blow"

Armand Peña is the Miami based dance music artist getting ready to "blow" the lid off Erick Morillo's Subliminal Records with a massive release, tomorrow (June 25). The hot summer track, "Blow," features pristine vocals from Crystal Waters, as well as co-collabs from Subliminal’s Harry Choo Choo Romero and Alex Alicea. Just in time for the release, Peña dishes on his Subliminal label boss Erick Morillo, Miami living and spinning.

Stream "Blow" Early Now:

VIBE: Subliminal Records is your main stay. What is it like to have Erick Morillo as your boss? What important advice have you received from him?
Armand Peña: Erick can be very spontaneous. One time it was really late at night and Mr Morillo calls to ask for a change on a record I was doing at the time. I believe it was the “Tonight” record. Erick is definitely a workaholic. As far as advise, he told me “If you keep doing what you’re doing you will have my support”. It was an honor since I've been a fan since reel to reel days.

We are premiering you new track on VIBE exclusively. What influenced ‘Blow’?
It happened before WMC this year. I was talking to Crystal Waters which is another amazing moment in my career as I have always been a big fan. So I asked her that I was working on a project and I would love to have her get involved in it. She replied she was busy but she would see what she can do. A few weeks past and she calls me and here we are. BLOW!

You worked on it with fellow label mate, Harry Romero. What was it like to share this track with him?
Harry is the most down to earth dude. It was great to work with Harry he has so much knowledge that all you can do is take it in and learn as you create a tune together. His guidance has been essential to my career and he's my dog.

Should we be on the lookout for any upcoming artists on Subliminal?
Yes, ME!! haha

You live in Miami. Where is your favorite place to hangout, when you are not spinning?
When I'm not spinning I love happy hours at Doraku.

What do you love most about Miami?
The weather. Miami Heat!

Every year you throw the ‘Welcome to Miami Party’ to signify the beginning of Ultra and WMC. How did you get started throwing these shindigs? What is the most memorable one to date?
Wow it started 6 years ago with a well known name in this industry Paul Harris. We wanted to do a party amongst friends, it wasn't about money or politics. It was about this concept ok lets call all our friends from around the world and have the play make some money and have a good time in Miami during WMC at the world famous Nikki Beach. Ever since its been a yearly event featured on MTV, Mixmag and a few other magazines. We also know tour the party around the world, Germany, Switzerland, Miami. I love it!

What was it like working with Crystal Waters on this track?
Like I said before I've been a fan and having worked with her on this record still hasn't set in. But one word describes how I feel about working with the amazing artist. DOPE!!

If you could do a collab with any hip hop/R&B artist, who would it be with?
I would like to do a collab with Rick Ross. That shit would be gangsta.

What are you most excited about for this year? Any intriguing remixes, performances, collabs?
This year besides the Blow release, I have another release coming out on Steve Angello's label Size X (He personally wrote back to me about the record).. Its an original and I'm excited about this project. Stay tuned...

Grab Armand's "Tonight" on Beatport.

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Maryland Judge Overturns Jury's Decision To Award Korryn Gaines Family $37 Million

A Maryland judge has overturned a jury's decision to award the surviving family of Korryn Gaines $37 million. The 23-year-old was shot twice, along with her 5-year-old son Kodi, during an hour-long standoff in August 2016. The child survived Gaines did not.

According to CNN, Baltimore County Circuit Court Associate Judge Mickey J. Norman stated in an opinion Cpl Royce Ruby's conduct was "entitled to qualified immunity," which translates as Ruby was well within his rights as a member of law enforcement and is "shielded from liability for civil damages."

Norman's opinion states Ruby acted within the margins of the law. "This court has found that Corporal Ruby is entitled to qualified immunity and therefore, his shooting of Gaines was not unlawful."

However, Norman states the damages Gaines' surviving family was seeking were "excessive and shocks the conscience."

The jury awarded $32.85 million to Gaines' son Kodi, $23, 542 for his medical bills and $4.53 million to Gaines' daughter Karsyn Courtney. The jury also found it fit to award Gaines' mother Rhanda Dormeus $307,000 and $300,000 to her father Ryan Gaines.

Judge Norman said the court would grant a new civil trial on account of this new opinion.

J. Wyndal Gordon, Gaines' family lawyer said the family is disappointed but not "defeated nor deterred from doing what must be done now."

"We have great appellate issues and an excellent opportunity to have reviewed not just the recent decision but some of the earlier decisions in the case that were disfavorable," Gordon said. "Nobody told us the road would be easy. I don't believe God brought us this far to leave us. This case is by no means over. We will fight to the finish to preserve the jury's verdict and restore justice to the family."

Baltimore County police spokesperson confirmed that Cpl Royce Ruby is still a member of the department.

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Alberto E. Rodriguez

Jussie Smollett's Attorneys Deny Actor Paid $3,500 To Orchestrate Attack

Sources close to the Jussie Smollett investigation have spoken with several media outlets and allege new evidence shows the Empire actor may have orchestrated the attack, and even paid men $3,500 to go through with it.

The two men who are brothers were arrested Wednesday and released Friday (Feb. 15) without charges. Both men are cooperating fully with Chicago police, and authorities found records they purchased a rope at a local hardware store, which was used during the attack.

Smollett's attorneys, Todd S. Pugh, and Victor P. Henderson, quickly denied the claim made by authorities.

"As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with," the statement read. "He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."

On Jan. 29, Smollett was leaving a Subway fast-food restaurant when the actor alleges to have been attacked by two men who beat him, poured bleach on him and tried to hang a rope around his neck. The 35-year-old entertainer, who identifies as gay, said one of the men shouted "This is MAGA country" as well as other racial and homophobic slurs.

Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said one of the men appeared on Empire and have past affiliation with Smollett.

During his interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America Thursday (Feb. 14), Smollett expressed frustration about not being believed. Sunday morning (Feb. 17) the hashtag 'JussieSmollettHoax' trended on Twitter. The Internet was split with many offering a digital "I told you so" due to the reports, while others, particularly members of the black LGBTQ community, questioning why many were quick to believe the word of law enforcement.

Us straight men waiting on the LGBT community to apologize after Jussie lied

— Flickens McCray (@Mickens__) February 17, 2019

No idea what actually happened w/ Jussie Smollett. But do know that 4 years ago, Chicago PD spent 13 months justifying Laquan McDonald’s murder before releasing dashcam video showing he was walking away before being shot at 16x by an officer. Why are we just accepting their word?

— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) February 17, 2019

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Dave Chappelle Personally Provides Tickets To Couple Who Were Scammed On Craigslist

One couple's Valentine's Day was made thanks to Dave Chappelle after they were scammed out of $500 dollars on Craigslist trying to buy the tickets to see the comedian.

Diedra and Eddie Dickens story was brought to light by WBTV on Wednesday (Feb. 13) when the couple shared how they were robbed online. In an effort to surprise her husband for Valentine's Day, Diedra attempted to buy tickets to see Chappelle on Valentine's Day after hearing he would perform in their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. After she was unable to find tickets on Ticketmaster, she tried Craigslist where she found a perfect match for her and her husband, who would've needed a wheelchair accessible seat.

“They were seats one through four so those would be great because I could put my husband in seat one at the end of an aisle and that kind of good stuff,” she said.

But after sending $500 via Apple Pay to the seller, she never heard back. Diedra filed a police report after she was unable to get in touch with the seller.

“I was having good faith and it cost me $500,” she said. “You have no empathy or goodness, or I don’t know, maybe no soul."

After their story was shared on the local news, Chappelle's team caught wind of what happened and decided to surprise the couple on Thursday (Feb. 14), who decided to have dinner with friends.

Last night we told you this Charlotte couple was scammed out of hundreds of dollars trying to buy @DaveChappelle tickets on Craigslist. Tonight we were there as DAVE HIMSELF hand-delivered the group tickets! Awesome! @WBTV_News

— Alex Giles WBTV (@AlexGilesNews) February 15, 2019

Shocked and amazed, the couple was thrilled to meet the comedy legend who hand-delivered real tickets to his show. He chatted and took pictures with the couple while sharing the importance of buying tickets from credible platforms.

"Someone on my team called me, actually last night, and told me about this situation and we thought it'd be fun to do that for someone for Valentine's Day," he said to WBTV, who helped him find the couple. "I didn't expect to be on the news doing it but I'm glad, that's good. It's good that people know to always get your tickets from reliable sources and take every opportunity that's presented to you to be kind, especially if it's something that's easy to do."

Here’s a portion of our interview with @DaveChappelle. Great quote - “Take any opportunity that’s presented to you to be kind, especially if it’s something easy to do.” @WBTV_News

— Alex Giles WBTV (@AlexGilesNews) February 15, 2019

Check out the good deed above.

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