J. Cole And Dale Earnhardt Jr. Make A North Carolina Connection On ‘ESPN’ Magazine

If you’ve peeped the latest cover of ESPN Magazine and wondered how J. Cole linked up with Dale Earnhardt Jr., it actually all started with a random shoutout. On “Note To Self,” the final track on 2014 Forest Hills Drive where the rapper verbally lists his thank-yous, he drops a line to the famed racer, "Dale Earnhardt Jr., that shit you said to me changed my life." Only, Cole had ever met the NASCAR star – until now. “There was an interview Dale Jr. did that asked him what he plays before races, and he said ‘J. Cole 'Power Trip,’ which freaked me out,” Cole shares in their new story. “What is Dale Earnhardt Jr. doing playing my shit? How did he even find out about it? You don't think somebody on that level would ever hear your stuff. From there, I never forgot.” As far as how Earnhardt Jr. stumbled upon J. Cole (like he’s that hard to find), blame it on Pandora. Once the racing star learned that the rapper was a North Carolina native, he was sold. “‘Power Trip’ was coming up on my Pandora station a lot. I found out Cole was from North Carolina, and when you like a guy's music and you find out he's from where you're from, you tend to start to follow him,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I heard he had a new album, and it started popping up on my Twitter timeline that there was this shoutout.” SEE ALSO: Review: 15 Thoughts On J. Cole's Excellent '2014 Forest Hills Drive'

Cole also made a point to ensure his and Earnhardt Jr.’s fans that they may have more in common than they know. Chalking any divisive notions about their unlikely-to-collide worlds up to stereotypes, he remarked that union threatens “the powers that be.” “Our worlds have a lot more in common than people want to think. Stereotypes prevent the worlds from colliding and connecting more,” he said. “The powers that be like it like that. They like it that the cultures don't mix, because if they ever were to mix, they would realize they're in the same boat and have a lot more in common than they have differences.” Read the full ESPN cover story featuring J. Cole and Dale Earnhardt Jr. here.

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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 Basketball Hall Of Fame Induction Scheduled For 2021

After being pushed back several months, Kobe Bryant’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction will take place next year, the NBA announced on Saturday (Nov. 28). Bryant is scheduled to be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in May 2021.

Additional inductees include NBA ballers Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, and WNBA great Tamika Catchings. Hall of Fame weekend, which was originally scheduled to take place in August, was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event is now scheduled for May 13-15, 2021.

NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich also made the 2021 Hall of Fame class, as did Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, and Bentley University women’s coach Barbara Stevens.

With a combined 48 All-Star Game selections, and nearly a dozen NBA championships between them, Bryant, Duncan, and Garnett lead the 2021 Hall of Fame class. Eddie Sutton, Former Oklahoma State, Kentucky, who died in May, joins Bryant as a posthumous inductee.

Bryant died in a plane crash this past January. The NBA legend passed away with his 13-year-old daughter, Giana Bryant, and seven others.

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Chadwick Boseman Celebrated On What Would've Been His 44th Birthday

The internet was flooded with tributes to Chadwick Boseman on Sunday (Nov. 29) for what would have been the beloved actor’s 44th birthday.

Michael B. Jordan posted a black-and-white photo of him embracing his Black Panther star co-star at last year’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards. “Continue watching over us King,” wrote Jordan. “Happy Birthday. Miss you.”

Fellow Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o shared a photo of her and Bsoeman captioned, “Deeply loved, sorely missed.”

In honor of Boseman, Marvel added a touching tribute to the Black Panther intro on Disney+.

Long live the King. #WakandaForever pic.twitter.com/FHiJDVQ3NS

— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) November 29, 2020

Boseman died from colon cancer in August after quietly battling the disease for four years. The South Carolina native’s death came as a shock to many as he only informed a small circle of friends and family of his cancer diagnosis. Boseman’s final film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, debuts on Netflix next month.

See birthday dedications from Jordan, Davis, Nyong’o and more below.

 

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Remembering you today, @chadwickboseman. Happy Birthday King pic.twitter.com/wwmNpSerXw

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) November 29, 2020

Thinking of your passion, love, and your light today, @chadwickboseman. Happy Birthday. Wishing we could time travel back to this moment. pic.twitter.com/df94mUaS6b

— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) November 29, 2020

Happy Birthday to Chadwick Boseman, rest in paradise❤️ pic.twitter.com/5LVyPeT5w8

— . (@MEENAVOGUEE) November 29, 2020

You will always be our king. Remember Chadwick Boseman on what would have been his birthday today. pic.twitter.com/j1MLTQqow2

— Marvel UK & Ireland (@MarvelUK) November 29, 2020

“(Chadwick Boseman) was in his way a historian — of other people’s magnetism and volition. Excellence and leadership spoke to and sparked him. They had to. No one approximates this much greatness without a considerable reserve of greatness himself.” - Wesley Morris, NY Times pic.twitter.com/R60GSPZEjh

— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) November 29, 2020

Remembering the inimitable and magnetic Chadwick Boseman on his birthday. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/KdHPnJu1CY

— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) November 29, 2020

Chadwick Boseman would have been 44 years old today. He meant so much to so many people.

Rest In Peace and Happy Birthday. pic.twitter.com/UtXhH0PI08

— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) November 29, 2020

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Jeremih’s Mother Opens Up About His Battle With COVID-19

Three weeks into his battle with COVID-19, Jeremih has been removed from the ICU and transferred to a regular room at the Chicago medical center where he is receiving treatment. The 33-year-singer was at his mother, Gwenda Starling’s, home when he started feeling ill earlier in the month.

Within a couple of hours, he couldn't walk properly and decided to go to the hospital, where he has been since Nov. 5. “A couple hours later he was calling me saying, ‘Mom, I need to go to the hospital. All of a sudden he couldn’t walk,” Sterling told ABC Chicago. “He was barely walking. He was holding his stomach.”

Thankfully, Jeremih’s condition got worse from there. He was in critical condition and placed on a ventilator. Starling described the experience as a “tremendous nightmare.”

“The whole family was just so saddened and just shocked, first of all. After we gout out of that whole shock thing, it was like ‘OK, we’ve got to pray.’”

Jeremih’s condition has slowly improved over the last several days. His mother noted that she knew he was healing when he started asking her for real food. “I got so teary-eyed, but I get so joyful at the same time because he’s pulling through,” she said.

The family hopes that he will be home by Thanksgiving. “It may be a bit much to ask God, but I figure we’ve been asking for everything else.”

Watch the full interview below.

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