Kendrick Lamar for 'The Hollywood Reporter' Kendrick Lamar for 'The Hollywood Reporter'

Kendrick Lamar Speaks On Grammy Nominations, Kanye West And Next Album

Kendrick Lamar may be hailed for being a good kid, but he's well on his way to becoming a golden child, especially after snatching up seven nominations for the 56th annual Grammy Awards this Sunday (Jan. 26). Still, he remains as humble as his mix tape days, allowing his bars and work ethic to speak for themselves. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the rapper formerly known as K.Dot talks about his Grammy nods, what he learned from Kanye West while opening for him on his Yeezus tour and his next album. What Yeezy taught him: "Kanye taught me to never to downplay your ideas," adds Lamar. "I learned to always stay as creative as possible and never have any boundaries. Those things that people called 'rants' on-stage are real conversations that we had behind closed doors -- about business and how when you get to a certain level people won't want to see you break through because they only see you as a rapper." The direction for his next album: "I'm still seeing what I feel like," says Lamar. "When I really catch it, I'll be out there with it." On being a Grammy nominee: "I was actually on stage, so I had no idea. Everybody else knew but me. By the time I got off I kinda got the news late. It was a great feeling, everybody was happy, excited. We celebrated in that dressing room." Read the full story here. The full story appears in the Jan. 21 issue of THR.

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Barry King

Diana Ross Defends Michael Jackson Amid Child Abuse Allegations

Diana Ross felt compelled to get something off her chest this past weekend. The legendary entertainer hopped on Twitter on Saturday (Mar. 23) to defend her friend Michael Jackson amid the child sex abuse allegations that resurfaced as a result of HBO's explosive documentary, Leaving Neverland.

"This is what’s on my heart this morning," Ms. Ross, tweeted. "I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is A magnificent incredible force to me and many others."

Ross then appeared to address the Jackson critics and protesters by referencing her 1965  smash with The Supremes: "STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE."

MJ and Ross shared a loving friendship up until his death in 2009. In addition to collaborating on a number of musical and theatrical projects (The Wiz [1978]), Ross was also named as a secondary caregiver for the King of Pop's three children.

The "I'm Coming Out" artist's new statement in defense of Jackson comes nearly three months after HBO premiered Leaving Neverland. The doc included testimony from Wade Robson and James Safechuck who alleged Jackson molested them when they were young boys.

The documentary and resurfaced allegations have created a divide among fans and music lovers. While many organizations and radio stations have opted to remove Jackson's music and artifacts, others have continued to honor him. Some fans have also launched protests in their local communities, maintaining Jackson's innocence.

See Diana Ross' tweet below.

This is what’s on my heart this morning. I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is A magnificent incredible force to me and to many others.STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE

— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) March 23, 2019

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Joe Scarnic

Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”

 

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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

A post shared by the Jasmine BRAND (@thejasminebrand_) on Mar 22, 2019 at 5:32pm PDT

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