K. Michelle on her first love, country music, and ongoing beefs with Lil’ Kim and Iggy Azalea K. Michelle on her first love, country music, and ongoing beefs with Lil’ Kim and Iggy Azalea

K. Michelle Spills The Beans On New Single 'Love ‘Em All,' Her Country Duet & Sophomore Album

K. Michelle is one of the most polarizing divas in modern R&B. The Memphis-born babe’s blunt manor and general lack of fucks (as evidenced on hit reality TV show Love & Hip Hop) won her a large and very loyal following but also made the 30-year-old a magnet for all kinds of online drama. As a result, the soul siren’s excellent debut LP Rebellious Soul didn’t get the critical acclaim it deserved but that didn’t stop the album vastly exceeding sales expectations.

And she has her sights set even higher for mysteriously-titled sophomore set AWBAH. K. recently dropped by the Idolator office in Los Angeles to chat about the album’s killer lead single “Love ‘Em All” and her move towards a broader pop sound. She also revealed that she’s revisiting her country roots (it was her first love) on a high-profile duet and spoke openly about ongoing beefs with Lil’ Kim and Iggy Azalea. See some snippets below:

Are you going more pop on this album?
K. Michelle: I’m always pre-judged from the gate, from Love & Hip Hop. You have to do what you have to do to get where you need to be. But musically, I can play classical piano, I can play guitar and I can sight read music. I grew up around music. My vocal coach was Bob Westbrook, who trained Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. So I grew up yodeling — that was his thing.

I’ve always been diverse in music. My first love was country. The last album was kind of a glorified mixtape — I was so angry and aggressive. But this time, I needed a new vibe. So with “Love ‘Em All” I wanted to be innovative and progressive.

What can you tell us about the new album?
I merged a lot of genres. I have a country record with a big country artist on it — it’s called “God, I Get It”. It’s an amazing record. People are going to be really shocked. I want people to know that I don’t fuck around with music. You don’t have to like me, but you’re going to respect me as an artist. That album is global album, and it’s really exciting.

Please explain your album title. What does AWBAH mean?
It’s an acronym and it’s the name of the album. I started tweeting it before I even started recording the album. We’re actually shooting a mini-movie to announce the title. Everything is going to be super-creative this time and perfect. You’ll see the meaning behind it and why it’s called that, and you’ll get the day of the release and the album title in about three weeks.

You have several beefs going on. What’s the deal with Lil’ Kim?
I remember when R. Kelly first met me, he became my mentor. He always said, ‘they’re gonna get you.’ He said, ‘You’re really talented and you have a big mouth and you’re opinionated.’ I kind of understand it now. I really feel like I’m one of the few female artists who actually say anything. It kind of excites me a little bit, I give them hell!

There’s no real beef with Lil’ Kim. I’m kind of a comedian, I can talk about a situation and make you laugh. But I was just saying how great Nicki Minaj was, Nicki has always been very nice to me. At the VMA’s, I was just happy to see Nicki so I said, ‘Yay, the queen of rap!’ Nobody is thinking about you girl, the VMAs are on!

So I was looking at Nicki, and looking at Jessie J up there singing. Her fans just attacked me, they started to talk about my child. So when they got on my child, that’s when I said ‘fuck you Lil Kim fans.’ And then she hopped in it. Don’t come for me unless I send for you. I did not ask you, you have my phone number so text me. So once you start me, I have to stop myself — YOU can’t! And that’s all.

Read the full interview on Idolator here.

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Cardi B Awarded Crossover Artist Of The Year At 2019 Billboard Latin Music Awards

2019 has been a pretty successful year for Cardi B. In February, Cardi won a Grammy Award for "Best Rap Album," and as of Thursday (April 26), the Bronx beauty was awarded Crossover Artist of the year at the Billboard Latin Music Awards.

The 26-year-old beat out Demi Lovato, DJ Snake and Drake in the category. Cardi's been featured on some of the hottest Latin records that have ruled both 2018 and 2019. She has her hit song "I Like It" with Bad Bunny and J. Balvin, and she's featured in the tracks "Taki Taki" and "La Modelo" as well.

Cardi's win makes her the first female rapper to ever win a Billboard Latin Music Award. The MC took to her Instagram stories to thank the publication for the award, a move that comes after a recent squabble she had with gossip page "The Shade Room."

On Wednesday, in a series of now-deleted Instagram videos, Cardi slammed the gossip page for posts she felt harmed her husband Offset's image. In the video, Cardi called out TSR for allegedly only sharing negative news about her label mates at Quality Management, rather than uplifting them and the rest of the black community.

“Everybody that they know that I’m cool with, they always try to get them set up for people to talk sh*t,” she said. "Offset donated 25K to the Ellen foundation for the kids in Africa. Did The Shade Room post it? No… are they posting any positive sh*t and investment talk that he’s been talking about in his interviews? No. But they sure post the way he had drama with his baby mom. They sure posting about his court cases, right?"

Congrats to Cardi on her win.

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Jussie Smollett's Potentially Final 'Empire' Episode Draws Low Viewership

It hasn't been revealed whether Empire will return for a sixth season. However, if the show returns, there's no word on if Jussie Smollett will reprise his role as Jamal Lyon.

Regardless of the unknown, it looks like fans weren't all the way tuned-in to what may have very well have been Smollett's last episode on the show. Per Variety, Jamal's groundbreaking wedding episode garnered low ratings for the Fox series.

"The episode, in which Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon tied the knot in TV’s first-ever black, gay wedding, returned a 1.1 rating in the key 18-49 demo and 3.8 million total viewers," reports the site. "Those numbers are a tick up on the 1.07 rating of the previous two weeks, but are still down on the season 5 average, which currently sits at around 1.4."

Smollett's character was written out of the last two episodes of the fifth season, due to his highly-publicized arrest in February for allegedly filing a false police report claiming that he was attacked physically and verbally in Chicago. All 16 charges against him were dropped in March.

Recently, his Empire family penned a letter of support for their cast member, urging the show's producers to allow him to come back for the unannounced sixth season.

"[Smollett] is kind. He is compassionate," the letter says. "He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity. He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped."

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SWV Reacts To Female R&B Artists H.E.R, Teyana Taylor, And More

SWV recently sat down for BuzzFeed's "Cocoa Butter" video series to react to the new generation of female, R&B vocalists, and the veteran trio's facial expressions said it all.

The first singer the ladies reacted to was H.E.R. "I'm partial because I just love H.E.R. So she could sing dookie on a stick, and I'll still be like, oh she sounds nice," Tamara Johnson-George said.

"I wanna hear her do something different though," Coko chimed in, adding that she should experiment with more upbeat tempos.

Another notable reaction was given to Chloe x Halle. While the women agreed that the duo sounded a lot like their mentor, Beyonce, they felt that they hadn't heard any songs that "pop."

SWV didn't jump up and down for everyone, but they collectively loved Teyana Taylor. "She's going to be around for a minute," Leanne "Lelee" Lyons says.

The trio started to really dive in and dissect the artists when they moved on to Queen Naija. Although two-thirds of the group said they like Queen, Coko's facial expressions said something else. "You heard her sing live?" She askd. "I just like to hear them sing live because nowadays these girls sound like a computer."

SWV also reacted to Jhene Aiko, Kehlani, and Syd. See their reactions below.

SWV Reacts To Teyana Taylor, Queen Naija, H.E.R. & more! pic.twitter.com/vF4CQNZlTq

— Cocoa Butter (@cocoabutterbf) April 25, 2019

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