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Q&A: Charlie Wilson Talks Recording 'Bound 2' For Kanye's 'Yeezus' LP

Charlie Wilson is a busy man. The Grammy-nominated, legendary vocalist, who is set to receive the BET Lifetime Achievement Award later this month, is still promoting his no. 1 R&B album Love, Charlie. Indeed, Wilson, who has influenced a legion of singers over the years (from Guy’s Aaron Hall to Justin Timberlake) both as a member of the Gap Band and on his solo run, is featured on Kanye West’s much-buzzed-about release Yeezus. A frequent collaborator of the newly christened father, Wilson has long been an in-demand talent sharing the recording booth with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Bun B, and Pharrell. Now the endearing talent, who has survived drug addiction, cancer and a changing musical landscape, sits down with VIBE to discuss his feature on ‘Ye’s latest hell-raising work, his BET honor, and conquering Europe. —Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)
VIBE: You're featured on Kanye West’s Yeezus album on the track “Bound 2.” Can you explain how that collaboration came together? Charlie Wilson: ‘Ye, man… first he was trying to get me to do some G.O.O.D. Friday stuff in Hawaii, but the day that they called me I was just waking up from anesthesia from having back surgery. At that time, Hawaii really sounded good to me [laughs]. I wanted to get out of there. My people even asked, “What do you want me to tell Kanye’s people…do you want to go?” And I’m like, “Yeah right… I can’t even get to the door with this walker.” So we missed that session. I later asked my manager if Kanye and them ever called us back, then a few months later ‘Ye hits me up and says they were in Paris and wanted me to come there. This was for his new album [Yeezus]. Kanye is an artist that knows what he wants. What type of direction did he give you for “Bound 2”? Being in the room with 'Ye, he’s very particular about what he wants you to do in the studio. Yes, he listens to me and gets off on the stuff that I’m doing, but he’s very particular about what he wants you to do. But when you come up with some new lyrics or he comes up with a new adlib he is going to beat that up and keep beating it up until that thing makes sense to him. But it’s a lot of fun working with him and seeing him jump around when things are coming to life. It sounds like a party, huh? When I came in for ‘Ye’s session, the first thing I did was pick him up and he’s like, “What’s up family?” I just found out that he and [Kim Kardashian] were expecting a baby and I picked him up so high that 'Ye was like, “Man…you happier than me!” [Laughs] When I started singing someone told me that a new life came into the session. One of the people in the house said, “Mr. Wilson, before you got here the sessions were kind of dead. You brought so much life…everything started changing in the house.” They even told me that Kanye was smiling more [laughs]. I was like, “Wow.” So bringing some happiness to a situation is something I do. I’m not the guy coming into the studio with my face all frowned up like I’m so hard that I can’t say hi. On June 30th, you are set to receive the 2013 BET Lifetime Achievement Award. What does this honor mean for you as someone that has been in the music business for over 40 years and has gone through so many ups and downs? It’s sweet, man. It’s kind of hard to explain. Sometimes I get too emotional trying to explain it because I’ve been through so much. When I was a lot younger, I didn’t get a chance to achieve the things I wanted to achieve because of certain people or the label I was with at the time. So I’ve worked real hard…I’m clean and sober now. The devil is tricky, man. He will put a short film of your past and just have it on rewind to where all you see is your past going—the bad part of your past. After I got the chance to unplug that and forgive certain people it took a long time just to get up and get cleaned up. But it’s great… this bunch around me knows what’s going on around me every single day. They know how hard it’s been to get me where I am today. Do you wake up some days and think: I have one of the greatest voices all time in R&B? I’m not that arrogant [laughs]. I’ll joke around and say that I must be the greatest, but there’s been so many great people and musicians in this world who are a lot older than me that can still do it. It’s like, “Oh my God…how can they still sing like that?” I asked God for one thing in my darkest hours: If I ever get a chance to do this again, I just want to be able to inspire people. So I guess he granted me that. You are set to go on a European tour starting on July 10 in France. What can fans overseas expect from Charlie Wilson? A lot of the fans in Europe are going to see me for the first time and wonder who in the hell is this? I remember when I went to London with my full band. The lady that booked the place was like, “Oh, my God!” When she saw my show she was like, “I was totally in the dark about the man.” We are going to do some music festivals I’ve never been on. Europe calls me America’s favorite uncle. So now I have to show them what we do over here.
Charlie Wilson’s European Tour Schedule July 10, 2013 Montpellier, France La Grande-Mott Casino July 12, 2013 London, UK UK Shepherd’s Bush Empire July 14, 2013 Rotterdam, Netherlands Netherlands North Sea Jazz Festival July 15, 2013 Paris, France Trianon July 17, 2013 Basel, Switzerland Metro Grand Casino Basel July 19, 2013 London, UK Lovebox Music Festival

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Tyler Perry Orders Independent Autopsy For Nephew Who Died In Louisiana Prison

Tyler Perry has hired a medical examiner to perform a second autopsy on his nephew’s remains after the 26 year old was found dead inside his cell at Louisiana's Union Parish Detention Center earlier in the week. Gavin Porter’s death was reported as a suicide but Perry and his family don’t believe that he took his own life.

Porter was serving 20 years for manslaughter after fatally shooting his father in front of his mother, Perry’s sister, over a “senseless argument,” the writer-director wrote on Instagram on Thursday (Feb. 27).

“The murder shook our entire family,” Perry shared. “Despite his horrible act, before he went to prison I went to see him in the local jail. I assured him that we all still loved him, but it was important to all of us, including his mother, that he was punished for this horrific crime that he committed. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

“Call me naive, but it was my hope that after serving his time, and really reflecting and showing much remorse and asking God for forgiveness, that he would have been able to come to work for me, joining all the other former inmates who work for me and turn his life around just as they have. But that day will never come.”

Officials told the family that Porter was placed in solitary confinement last weekend following a fight with other inmates.

“Three days ago, I got the horrible news that he allegedly committed suicide in prison,” Perry continued. “I say allegedly because, unfortunately, our criminal justice system and prisons have been notorious for cover ups and/or getting it wrong.”

Perry hired former New York City medical examiner, Dr. Michael Baden, who investigated JFK’s assassination, testified at the O.J. Simpson trial, and performed independent autopsies on Mike Brown and Aaron Hernandez, among others. The result of Porter’s second autopsy are expected “soon,” according to Perry.

The prison requested an investigation into Porter’s death and the alleged fight that occurred prior to his passing. “We respect the family’s right to request another autopsy to be done. This is not an unusual request.We are continuing our investigation and awaiting autopsy results,” a rep for the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office told TMZ in a statement.

Union Parish Detention Center has made headlines before over its treatment of inmates. In 2018, the prison settled a discrimination complaint for placing a detainee in segregation for six months because he was HIV positive. The following year, two prison guards were arrested for beating an inmate that complained about not getting a lunch tray. Another guard was fired and charged with malfeasance in office and simple battery for attacking an inmate “who was causing a disturbance” from his cell.

Read Perry’s full statement below.

 

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My Nephew Gavin Porter

A post shared by Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) on Feb 27, 2020 at 2:15pm PST

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Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant reacts during the Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals in Boston, Massachusetts, June 17, 2008.
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Kobe Bryant’s Sister Gets Tattoo In Honor Of Her Late Brother And Niece

Kobe Bryant’s sister immortalized her late brother and niece with a new tattoo. Sharia Washington’s tattoo features a black mamba snake shaped to look like an infinity sign with Kobe and Gigi's basketball numbers “2” and “24.”

Washington posted an image of the tattoo on Instagram on Wednesday (Feb. 26) thanking artist, Peter Barrios, for his work.

Vanessa Bryant reposted the image with the caption, “My sister-in-law got this cool tattoo to honor #GigiBryant and #Kobe. 2-24 forever. Love you @shariawash.

 

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Thank you @peterbarriostattoo 🙏🐍💕

A post shared by Sharia Washington (@shariawash) on Feb 26, 2020 at 5:26pm PST

 

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A post shared by Sharia Washington (@shariawash) on Jan 31, 2020 at 12:43pm PST

LeBron James and fellow Lakers player, Anthony Davis, got tattoos in Kobe’s honor last month.

The lives of the NBA legend and his 13-year-old daughter were celebrated during a public memorial held at the Staples Center earlier in the week, where Vanessa eulogized her late husband and daughter.

The memorial included speeches from Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal, as well as performances from Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and Christina Aguilera.

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Dylann Roof Stages Reported Hunger Strike After Accusing Prison Staff Of Harassment And Abuse

Dylann Roof reportedly staged a hunger strike in prison  because he says he's being “targeted by staff,” harassed and abused.

The White supremacist mass murderer, who is on death row for killing nine Black parishioners at a historically Black church in Charleston, S.C. in 2015 and is the first person to receive the death penalty for a hate crime, sent a letter to the Associated Press earlier in the month accusing prison staff of mistreatment. Roof also alleges that staff feels justified because he’s “hated by the general public.”

Roof is imprisoned at Terre Haute Federal Prison in Terre, Ind. The 25-year-old killer was attacked by a fellow inmate in 2016. Roof now alleges that he has been the subject of unprovoked harassment and abuse and “treated disproportionately harsh.”

Roof launched the hunger strike after allegedly being mistreated by a Bureau of Prisons disciplinary hearing officer amid previous complaints over being refused access to a copy machine.

Roof’s allegations have yet to be verified. His lawyers are currently appealing his death sentence.

According to his letter to AP, Roof claimed that his hunger strike lasted “several days.” He ended the strike because he passed out after corrections officer tried to “forcibly” take his blood and put an IV in his arm.

“I feel confident I could have gone much, much longer without food,” Roof wrote in the letter. “It’ just not worth being murdered over.”

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