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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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Kevin Winter

Fans Shut Down Beyonce Cultural Appropriation Allegations

Beyonce is the latest celebrity to be accused of cultural appropriation after she was spotted at an Indian wedding on Sunday (Dec. 9). Despite some assertions, the BeyHive is swooping in to set the record straight about their queen.

According to reports, Beyonce performed at an early wedding celebration in India's western Rajasthan state. She was celebrating the nuptials of Isha Ambani – the 27-year old daughter of Reliance Industries head Mukesh Ambani – and Anand Piramal, the 33-year old son of another Indian billionaire.

 

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A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:47am PST

The early festivities, which is custom for Indian marriages, welcomed a handful of celebrity guests including Hillary Clinton, Bollywood stars, businessman, and more.

The controversy surrounding Beyonce sparked after the singer shared an image of herself wearing an extravagant, pink and gold dress with seemingly traditional, Indian accessories, including a headpiece and bracelets. Some critics immediately assumed Bey was culturally appropriating Indian or Hindi culture, but suggested it would go unnoticed due to her social status.

Fans however, shut the allegations down, noting that she was actually paying homage to the culture. They also stated that she was invited to perform at the party by a prominent Indian family and therefore, should be dressed appropriately.

This wouldn't be the first time Beyonce has been accused of cultural appropriation of Indian culture. She was hit with similar allegations following the release of the music video for "Hymn for the Weekend" with Coldplay.

Join the discussion and check out the debate below.

Screaming!!!!! pic.twitter.com/nTLSWeRhGJ

— lah-juh (@fabuLaja) December 10, 2018

why are fake wokes on twitter accusing beyonce for doing cultural appropriation ? IT'S APPRECIATION YOU MFs !! y'all don't know shit about indian culture !! literally sit tf down, even indians aren't mad why are you dumbasses shoving it down our throats as if yall know better

— anupama (@taysmoonchiId) December 9, 2018

Beyonce wearing Indian clothes to an Indian Cultural Event is not cultural appropriation. She was invited by an Indian family and everyone there is wearing Indian clothes. So. https://t.co/mTvsa911i4

— Ivan (@taexty) December 10, 2018

As someone who is half-Indian and half-Pakistani (aka fully South Asian for those who are not geographically inclined), I do not want to see ANYONE shouting nonsense about Beyoncé and cultural appropriation unless you are South Asian too. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk x

— Shehnaz Khan (@shehnazkhan) December 10, 2018

Ppl commenting on @Beyonce’s IG Indian outfit post, saying it was cultural appropriation, need to have a seat. Embracing another’s culture and shedding positivity on it is not cultural appropriation, it is cultural appreciation. Damn keyboard warriors

— Ramon Salas (@ramonssalas) December 10, 2018

Beyoncé was invited to an indian wedding, to perform there, she's appreciating the culture and the people that invited her There's no cultural appropriation here

— 🅚 (@chained_tofenty) December 10, 2018

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Paras Griffin

Tyrese, Usher And Others Reacts To Jacquees' Claim That He's The King Of R&B

Jacquees has made a bold statement that's ruffled a few feathers.

The Cash Money artist took to social media over the weekend to assert that he's the king of R&B, and from what we can gather, the 23 singer wasn't talking about ribs and barbeque. "I just want to let everybody know that I'm the king of R&B right now, for this generation. I understand who done came and who done did that and that, but now it's my turn. Jacquees, the king." he said.

Some of the Internet raised its digital eyebrow at the boast, while others paid it no attention. Tyrese, however, didn't take kindly to the assertation.

"Ima keep it stack with you," the Transformers star posted. "The young kings of this generation that's been running sh*t since day one are Chris Brown and Trey Songz."

The soul singer continued and accused the Decatur, GA native of employing Tekashi 6ix 9ine tactics. "You got this out of the Tekashi 6ix9ine playbook. Stop trolling, my ni**a. Get back in the booth."

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How Sway..? How.??......... The way we ALL reacted.......... Let me put you up on what’s really movin bruh.. This ain’t Hip Hop my nigha.. You can’t come in this game get hot for a year then try an #T69 nighas and throw that there word #KING around..... Imma keep it a stack with you... The young kings of your generation that’s #been runnin shit is 1 @chrisbrownofficial and 2 @treysongz .... BIG facts! FYI the last real R&B album through and through that has the integrity and blueprint of the culture that was made with NO skips was #ThreeKings you got this out of the T69 play book stop trolling my nigha get back in the booth.....

A post shared by TYRESE (@tyrese) on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:25pm PST

Tank, having gotten wind of Jacquees' statements, refuted his "king" claim. "First, R.Kelly is the king of R&B. The accusations don't disqualify what he's accomplished. Second, if you can't go in the studio by yourself and make a hit record, you're not my king. If you can't sing it better live, you're not my king. I appreciate all the talent out there, but we are using the word "king" too loosely."

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Every artist is supposed to believe they can fly but only one man made it happen. @rkelly body of work is still bible. I love ALL of the artist out now and some are having amazing success but to be the King you have to beat the King and his stats still stand. Imagine if “I Believe I Can Fly” had streaming when it dropped..geesh!!! I’ll let you guys focus on kings and queens.. I’ll stay focused on being around for another 20yrs! #Elevation #RnBMoney #TheGeneral

A post shared by Tank (@therealtank) on Dec 9, 2018 at 9:56pm PST

J. Holiday noted that Michael Jackson sold 20 million after the release of Off The Wall, and said R.Kelly owns the second spot. Eric Bellinger, while in the studio with Usher, simply panned his camera phone to Usher, who sat quietly in a corner.

Are Tyrese and Tank overreacting? Or should Jacquees not make such bold assertions? Sound off in the comments below.

READ MORE: Is R&B Under Siege? Tyrese, Sam Smith, And The Genre's Identity Crisis

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Bob Levey

Tekashi 6ix9ine Refuses To Take Plea Deal In Racketeering Case

Tekashi 6ix9ine is maintaining his innocence in his racketeering case despite the mounting evidence against him. His attorney Lance Lazzaro recently told TMZ that a plea deal is "off the table."

"A plea deal is simply off the table, even if the feds offer one," Lazarro told the celebrity news publication.

Tekashi's refusal to make a deal comes only one day after prosecutors presented photos and videos taken from his phone that prove the Brooklyn native's involvement in at least three armed robberies and shootings that went down in BK earlier this year. While the media found on his device does not show 6ix9ine pulling the trigger or holding a weapon, authorities are suggesting that he was the ringleader of all the crimes and enlisted others to do the dirty work for him. Tekashi's former manager, Kifano "Shotti" Jordan, is the only one who has been identified in the incidents at this time.

Nevertheless, Lazarro maintains his clients innocence, stating that he "was never part of a conspiracy, plain and simple. Nor did he ever participate in any incidents that the government has alleged." Despite his unwillingness to take a plea deal, Lazarro said 6ix9ine is fully cooperating with prosecutors.

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