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Interview: Rick Ross' Sister Tawanda Roberts Talks About Working With The Bawse

Tawanda Roberts personifies the catchphrase: "behind every good man is a good woman." That good man happens to be MMG boss, Rick Ross, who is her little brother. Ms. Roberts uses her business savvy to execute her brother’s vision and has played a role in sealing his deals, such as his beloved Wingstop food chain and recently, Mcigs, for which is he a brand ambassador.

But when it comes to being the brains of an operation, the Mississippi Valley State alumna is not new to this. The mother of two has a bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in management, along with a master’s in public administration from Troy State University. VIBE recent;y caught up with Rozay’s big sis to talk about their working relationship, her role in his business deals and what she said when she found out he wanted to be a rapper.

I know you were involved in helping Ross get the Wingstop deal. What role did or do you have in that?
We got the deal collectively. I make sure I oversee and manage the day to day operations of the Wingstop deal.

Why a restaurant instead of a clothing line or something more "rapper" like?
He ate at Wingstop on a regular basis, and he always visited. He loves the product, and he only joins himself with things that he is really big fan.

How hands on are you in his business deals?
I’m just as hands on as you are going to get. I’m at the corporate office talking to you right now and after I get off the phone I’m going to be in a full fledged hands on day to day going from looking at schedules to inventory and purchasing things.

What’s the working relationship like between you and him since you guys are not only connected through business but also siblings?
Its wonderful. I already know my brother’s vision. I don’t think it could be a better working relationship. I know his vision and I just execute to the fullest. We make decisions collectively. If it’s something that I’m not sure of I definitely call him for his advice. He’s a great, great advisor. I tell him the situation and he definitely knows what should be the next move. So we work together very well.

Has there ever been a business deal that you guys did not agree on that ended up working out?
No, we haven't had any of those but I’ll tell you I can trust my brother and any business deal he thinks would be a great move I support him 200 percent. So everything has been a success so we haven’t had that experience and I hope we don’t.

What’s the hardest thing you have had to deal with being his assistant and his sister?
I don’t recall anything being hard and I don’t know if you would think that would be realistic but I find a solution for everything.

It seems like you guys have a smooth working relationship. How was he as a child? Did you know he would grow up to be what he is now?
No I can’t say that I did. He was just my little brother. I was older than him so as a kid he always just played video games and did his things with friends and he was just my little brother. He was active in football. As crazy as it may seem he was into beatboxing and that kind of stuff.

Since he was beatboxing, were you surprised when he wanted to be a rapper?
No, well he always had a notepad and I was like ‘ugh, he wants to be a rapper. Really?’ I didn't have an option. I knew I had to go to college. I didn’t take him seriously. I really didn’t. So when he got a deal with Def Jam I was like ‘wow!’.

Was he any good at the beatboxing?
I wasn’t really into all that. Beatboxing was annoying to me.

What were you doing before you began your job as his assistant in 2010?
I used to work for the city of Miami Gardens. I was an accountant there.

He asked you to be apart of his team?
I don’t think he even formally asked me. I just saw that my brother needed my help. It was getting to be a lot because I was already kind of working with him. I went to China on a vacation and I just gave my job my month’s notice and told them when I came back from China I was not going to be working there anymore, and I just jumped in full fledged. It was like we have to make sure the bills are paid on several homes and monitoring all that and I just knew that I could not continue to take my brother’s calls on their time so I just knew it was time. As you get bigger you need more manpower.

Was it an easy transition to being his assistant?
I wouldn’t say it was easy. I was business savvy but all the things that come with the music industry is a little different.

What are some of the things you had to learn?
Talking to agents and promoters. Knowing what to ask. Making sure the contract is done the correct way. But basically just knowing the right questions to ask about the venue, the market. Is it a right fit for Ross? Is this the market where we want him to go? There’s a lot of questions you gotta ask.

What was that moment where you made a mistake that turned into a learning experience?
I think a good practice for anyone is to get their backend a day or two in advance if not earlier. It was a deposit for a show date. Don’t way until the day of. The artists is already in the market. If the show didn’t do as well as they wanted to to do they may want to opt out or not pay or cancel the show at the last minute. That has not happened a lot to us but that has happened before. So that was a learning experience.

How did it feel to receive the key to the city of Memphis being that you guys are not from there?
It was a great honor for them to even consider giving him the key to the city. He has five Wingstop’s in the Memphis area and they just wanted to show their support and gratitude for developing economic stability with providing jobs.

What’s a typical day like for you dealing with Ross’ business ventures?
A typical day is taking calls from promoters, agents, people that want to collaborate for different things, talking to attorneys, just all of his brand work and the logistics of working out things for him. Talking to his stylists, his barbers...

What’s your favorite songs by your brother?
“Supreme” and “Ashton Martin Music.” I can put those on repeat over and over again.

Is it difficult to listen to his music sometimes with the foul language and the content?
Not at all. That’s my brother so when he is saying something I understand what he is saying and the message he is trying to get over.

What are some of his upcoming business ventures?
Mcigs and the DGK the clothing line. We have some other things in the works but we can’t disclose that right now.

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Nicki Minaj Reportedly Splits With Longtime Managers Cortez Bryant, Gee Roberson

Nicki Minaj is reportedly moving on from her longtime managers, Cortez Bryant and Gee Roberson, subsequently severing her relationship with Blueprint/Maverick Management. According to Billboard, the business decision was “mutual” and “amicable” but Minaj doesn’t have a new team yet, sources told the outlet.

Minaj parted ways with the team prior to her surprise appearance on Ariana Grande’s headlining Coachella set last Sunday (April 14), Variety reports. No other details were reported about the reason for the apparent split with Roberson and Bryant who head the Blueprint Group, an Atlanta-based company that formed a conglomerate with Maverick.

The “Barbie Dreams” rapper has been managed by Blueprint for the most of her career and remains on the company’s website under their list of clients which includes Lil Wayne, The Roots, Rich the Kid, CyHi the Prynce, and Jill Scott.

In other Minaj news, the 36-year-old recording artist wrapped up the European leg of her Queen world tour late last month. Minaj has yet to announce the dates for her U.S. installment of the tour.

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Dave East Thinks “Old Town Road” Is “Super Wack”

Don’t expect to see Dave East sporting a cowboy hat and listening to Lil Nas X’s hit, “Old Town Road.” The New Yorker didn’t hold back while offering up his honest opinion of the song.

“This f**king 'Old Town Road' s**t is f**kin’ wack,” the rapper said in a video posted on his Instagram story that began circulating the 'net Wednesday (April 18). “I don’t know what the f**k is going on with hip-hop, with rap. I ain’t no hater man but that s**t is wack with a cape on it. It’s super wack.”

Dave East says “Old Town Road” is “wack”...do y’all agree? 👇🎶🤔 @DaveEast pic.twitter.com/npW1gKmnfe

— WORLDSTARHIPHOP (@WORLDSTAR) April 18, 2019

Despite being removed from Billboard's country charts for not embracing enough country music elements, the Billy Ray Cyrus-assisted remix to “Old Town Road,” pushed its way to No. 1 on the Billboard singles charts. The song also scored 143 million streams in a week, breaking a previous record held by Drake.

As his popularity continues to grow, Lil Nas X wants to move past the country music drama. "I didn't want it to get to that point where it was more popular because of controversy than the song itself," he recently told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

In response to East’s comments, the music newcomer reportedly tweeted that he’s “not mad” at the rapper. “Just [an] oh well moment,” he supposedly wrote in a post that was later deleted.

Fans of the song were fare less diplomatic in reacting to the critique, while others defended East for simply sharing his opinion.

Peep some of the reactions below.

Nah Dave East really got on here with ZERO HIT RECORDS OF HIS OWN and tried to hate on a nigga who might fuck around and go diamond on his first swing. Literally some hater shit if I ever saw it. The worst shit about it is that the song not even rap it’s country (on purpose) LOL https://t.co/5jaGpcsiHD

— Little Bro (@DjChubbESwagg) April 18, 2019

We do not listen to dave east in the car. We do not listen to dave east at the bar. We do not listen to him here or there. We do not listen to him anywhere. https://t.co/Ft6T5ko3sB

— Popcorn Playa🦊 (@AuntieMemm) April 18, 2019

Dave East throws a vigil for Nip it’s “awww man Dave East a real one” Dave East says Old Town Road is trash it’s “I can’t even name 5 Dave East songs”...the innanets a weird place

— The Marathon Continues 🏁 (@RT_DeezNutzzz) April 18, 2019

Sooo Dave East a Bad human Being for having an honest opinion?

— Count Rackula aka 2Cup Shakur aka Durt Cobain aka. (@MeechIsDEAD) April 18, 2019

Dave East music fire, but he sounds like a hater rn...

How do you have static with a person for going viral with a country song lmao

— Dontai (@ImDontai) April 18, 2019

Dave East is supposed to dislike “Old Town Road” ..... because HipHop needs him to!! 💪🏾💪🏽

— El Viejo Ebro (@oldmanebro) April 19, 2019

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Dee Barnes Talks Dr. Dre. Attack, Goes Silent When Asked If He Sexually Assaulted Her

It’s no secret that pioneering hip-hop journalist Denise “Dee” Barnes was viciously beaten by Dr. Dre in 1991, but there are still details of the harrowing incident that remain a mystery. Barnes, who received an outpouring of support since revealing that she’s homeless, appeared on The Wendy Williams Show Wednesday (April 18) to discuss her living predicament and the night that she was assaulted by Dre, but when asked if the music mogul sexually assaulted her, Barnes went silent.

As Barnes recalled during the interview, Dre attacked her at a Def Jam party in Los Angeles in retaliation for her interview with Ice Cube after he split with N.W.A. According to Barnes, she was standing near a stairway talking to someone when Dre grabbed her by the hair and rammed her head into a brick wall. “Dre approached me out of nowhere [and] grabs me by my hair. He picked me up, lifted me up off the ground [by my hair and] slammed me up against a brick wall several times.

“I didn’t see but he had a bodyguard with him and he kept the crowd from helping [me] by threatening the crowd with a gun,” continued the former Pump It Up host. “The person that was talking to me, was the only person who tried to intervene, he got pistol whipped [and ] lost two teeth.”

Barnes remembers being disoriented as she lay on the ground, unable to walk down the stairs. “I grab the rail, I pull myself back up and run into the women’s restroom. He follows me into the women’s restroom,” she said before taking a pause. “He continued to assault me in the women’s restroom.”

“Were you sexually assaulted?” Williams prodded.

“I’m not comfortable talking about everything right now,” Barnes replied.

“Your silence is speaking volumes,” added Williams.

In a 1991 interview with Rolling Stone, Dre brushed off the incident casaully stating that he threw Barnes “through a door.” The assault came back to light in 2015 after it was noticeably absent from Straight Outta Compton, along with Dre’s abuse of his ex-girlfriend, Michel'le with whom he has a child. Dre later released a public apology, although he didn’t mention Barnes or Michel'le directly. “I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives,” he said in a statement. He also addressed the beating in HBO's The Defiant Ones series in 2017. “I was out of my f**king mind at the time. I f**ked up. I paid for it. I’m sorry for it. And I apologized for it.I have this dark cloud that follows me, and it’s going to be attached to me forever. It’s a major blemish on who I am as a man, and every time it comes up, it just makes me feel f**ked up.”

Dre, whose birth name is Andre Young, pleaded no contest to assaulting Barnes. He was sentenced to probation and community service and went to become a multi-millionaire entrepreneur, Grammy-winning solo artist, and sought after producer. Meanwhile, Barnes was blacklisted from the music industry after she was attacked.

During a much happier moment in her Wendy Williams Show interview, Williams presented Barnes with a $15,000 check to help her get back on her feet, and offered her a book deal.

Watch the full interview below.

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