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We The Best Artist Kent Jones Explains The Success Behind His 'Tours' Mixtape

Kent Jones reveals how Miami's O.G.s helped him progress. 

Kent Jones has had the magic touch for music since he was in diapers. The South Florida native grew up from a young tot making noise with pots and pans to learning how to play the drums from his auntie. After honing his skills on the piano and the hammond organ as well, he sharpened his understanding of music while taking jazz music classes . That's when he made the decision to start producing.

“By experience, I got around to that side after my musical upbringing made me realize it was something I loved to do," Jones told VIBE. "I love hearing myself. I love making my own songs. After awhile it became my.. I don’t want to say job because it never feels like I’m working so much. But it definitely became a key component to who I am becoming and where I’m going to be.”

Over the years, Jones has developed from skilled producer to budding artist himself. After receiving guidance from veteran's like Fat Joe and Miami producers Cool & Dre, Jones is ready to take DJ Khaled's We The Best Recordings to a whole new level.

His most recent single "Don't Mind" has spread like wildfire over the radio airwaves from the East to the West coast and, like most dedicated artists, Jones is shielding a gold mine of unreleased music until the time is just right.

Don't believe the hype? We spoke with Jones the success of his single "Don't Mind," which was featured on his summer mixtape Tours. He also speaks on life before he was signed and how he got down with We The Best.

Your recent mixtape “Tours” has several different kinds of sounds on there. Do you feel like you’ve solidified your sound at all? If not, are you on your way to doing that?
KJ: Yea I feel like I’ve done it with the tape and the new records I’m working on plus the ones I’m sitting on that aren’t out yet. I feel like it all connects. It connects the biggest line musically because there’s a sound that people have fallen in love with that’s now all over the radio and there’s a sound that’s approaching the blogs little by little. I’ve got a lot music that I’m ready to share. It’s just timing is everything. Everyone is enjoying the “Don’t Mind” record off the tape. We give thanks, but the next project is going to be crazier.

What stands out about “Don’t Mind” in particular to you?
It almost didn’t even make it on the mixtape. Well, I got the tracklisting from the guy who does my artwork and then Dre and Khaled sent me the tracklisting and the track wasn’t on there. So I hit up Dre and asked him what was going on. It was that song and another song. The other song really didn’t make it, but that one we had get something done sonically on there. So Cool mixed down the entire Tours record. So we had to go back in and fix it. Once we got it back to Dre, that’s when it just made it.

When did you know it would be the hit you needed?

I’m gonna be real with you. When I made it, I thought it was a good song with good rhythm. I was saying some stuff. It wasn’t until I took the record up to Orlando. My brother at 104.5 DJ D-Strong was taking a listen to some records and he came across that one. D-Strong told me it was a hit. But I enjoyed making it. The day I made it, because I made the beat and everything in one day, it was before I went on the road. At one point I was like, you know maybe the people will respond to it differently. Now did I expect it to go as crazy as its going? Of course not.

It’s a every radio station in the tri-county area.
Everywhere in the country right now! It’s playing everywhere in the country right now. So it’s just a blessing. We give thanks. The first mixtape has a hit record on it.

I know you work closely with Cool and Dre. How did you guys meet?
We knew some mutual people. They introduced me to Cool while Dre was in L.A. Me and Cool bonded then when Dre came down it was the same thing. We kept building what we have up until now and we’re continuing to build what we for the future. It’s a family situation 100%.

Recently, you’ve been rocking with DJ Khaled's We The Best. What was life like before you were signed and how has your career progressed?
Well, before I was signed, I was just working. But if you mean when did I start seeing the results of my work, then that’s different. I was celebrated for the whole month of my birthday. I started hearing my records all over the radio and in the clubs. But when I got signed, it meant I had to work even harder because there’s always someone out there that wants your career to be over. There’s always going to be somebody that will speak negatively and will want you to stop what you’re doing. I feel like before I was signed I was working hard.

What I will say is that, before I was signed, I always kept the faith. Before I was signed with Khaled, I was signed with Fat Joe for a year. After I was signed with Joe, that’s when people started to know Kent Jones as a producer. I was working to build my own sound for years and years. Joe ended up getting into that thing he into that year. Then I ended up getting with Cool & Dre on the management side, and we built. We did different projects together, and then it was like a snowball effect.

So it’s like now, looking at it in the third person, people actually know who Kent Jones the artist is, and if they don’t, they know the song. And to them, the song is crazy so they want to know who did the song. Now I’m starting to realize that saying it is one thing, but we’re seeing the proof that we’re going to be here for a long time. We’re not here today and gone tomorrow like a lot of these cats.

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Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the Cleveland Browns warms up prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 22, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio.
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College Football Officials Pondering Policy Changes After Incident With Odell Beckham Jr.

A domino effect might be on the horizon after Odell Beckham Jr.'s encounter with LSU players and a security officer that led to arrest warrants and debates about possible NCAA violations.

Speaking to USA Today Sports Thursday (Jan 16) executive director Bill Hancock said officials from the College Football Playoff will investigate practices that allow non-players to engage with players on the sidelines during events such as the national semifinals and championship games.

“Being on the sidelines is a privilege,” Hancock told the outlet. “Along with any privilege comes responsibility, because the focus should be on the people playing and coaching in the game, rather than on any visitors. The CFP will be reviewing its policy for allowing guests onto the sidelines and into locker rooms at future games.”

While the LSU Tigers beat Clemson Monday to secure a spot in the national championship, all eyes were on the Cleveland Browns wide receiver for handing out money to players and slapping the buttocks of a Superdome security guard. The incident took place in the LSU locker room. It was initially reported that the money was fake but it was confirmed that the money was actually real.

Video of the incident went viral and just a few days later, New Orleans Police Department public affairs officer Juan Barnes confirmed that the security guard filed the complaint. An arrest warrant for simple battery was issued against Beckham Jr. on Thursday.

The NFL star and former LSU player possibly committed an NCAA violation "if it’s determined athletes with eligibility remaining received cash," USA Today Sports mentions. OBJ and his representatives are cooperating with authorities, the Browns said in a statement.

Statement regarding Odell Beckham Jr. incident: pic.twitter.com/7cN3jOLCj6

— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 16, 2020

LSU will now investigate the incident to confirm if any NCAA violations were committed and if it will affect any of the players seen in the video.

Many have pointed exactly why the officer was in the locker room in the first place. As the players were celebrating their big win, the security guard allegedly threatened the players who were smoking cigars in the locker room. Stephen A. Smith reacted to the news and the NCAA possible violation as "bogus."

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Whitney Houston And Notorious B.I.G. Among 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Inductees

The 35th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will welcome a mixed bag of legends that include the late Whitney Houston and Notorious B.I.G. as well as Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Nine Inch Nails and psychedelic folk band T.Rex.

According to Variety, the ceremony will air live for the first time ever on May 2 via HBO. Viewers can expect a long list of tribute performances given three of the inductees (Houston, B.I.G. and T. Rex) are no longer with us. Biggie, born Christopher Wallace, is the seventh rapper to given the honor. He joins Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-D.M.C., N.W.A., the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur. The Brooklyn legend is also the first rapper to be inducted since Shakur in 2017.

Artists who were nominated but not inducted this year were Pat Benatar, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, Dave Matthews Band, MC5, Motorhead, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy. Khan has been nominated a total of six times–solo and with her group Rufus.

Last year’s inductees were Janet Jackson, the Cure, Def Leppard, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Roxy Music and the Zombies. It's currently unknown who will induct Houston or Biggie. In the past, fellow music titans have inducted artists. In 2007, Jay Z inducted Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Janelle Monae inducted Jackson in 2019 and Mary J. Blige inducted Solomon Burke in 2001 and Nina Simone in 2018.

Enjoy some of their best moments in music below.

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Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Lopez And Six Other Major Oscar 2020 Snubs

If you listened closely to Monday morning's announcements of the 92nd Annual Academy Awards, there was a certain snark to Issa Rae's reaction to the Best Director nods. With no women or people of color listed, Rae joked, "Congratulations to those men," reminding us of a long list of snubs who are hard to ignore.

Out of the 24 categories presented, just a few people of color were honored. One being Cynthia Ervio for her performance in Harriet and the team behind the critically acclaimed horror-dramedy hybrid, Parasite. Matthew Cherry earned his first Oscar nomination for the touching animated short, Hair Love, which won over the hearts of many.

Meanwhile, notable performances from Lupita Nyong'o to Eddie Murphy seemed to be totally forgotten. Playing two characters worlds apart was a feat Nyong'o accomplished with ease in the Jordan Peele-directed thriller, Us. Still, it wasn't enough to secure a nomination. Murphy's hilarious comeback as comedy legend Rudy Ray Moore in Dolemite Is My Name was a hit with fans and critics alike but hasn't received as much love as it should in the award season. While Jennifer Lopez's role in Hustlers earned her a Golden Globe nomination, she too was shut out from the Oscar's race.

Other snubs are a blend of overlooked performances in general. Take Alfre Woodard and Jamie Foxx for their respected performances in Clemency and Just Mercy. Both actors stepped up to the plate in these crime dramas. We don't know if the rich tradition of slave-driven films have daunted the Academy's vision of seeing black actors play anything outside of it, but the actors showcased their best abilities on the big screen. We received some clarity on Foxx's absent nomination as Variety reports that Warner Bros. studio released the film nationwide until after ballots closed last weekend. Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas' Queen and Slim also took a lot of creative risks that didn't work out in their favor in the awards sector.

But the shut outs weren't limited to just black actors. Cho Yeo-jeong provided a stellar performance in Parasite that went unnoticed for a Best Actress nomination.

As far as music goes, it seemed like Beyoncè would be a shoo-in for "Sprit," her song from The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack which she executively produced. Her flavor of R&B mixed with Afrobeat was daring and met some controversy due to the lack of variety on the project, but "Spirit" was a grandiose yet gentle song that stood out on the project.

And lastly, for the second year in a row, there were no women nominated in the best director category. Nominees included Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Bong Joon-ho, Sam Mendes and Todd Phillips. Keeping all of this in mind makes Rae's subtle shade burn a bit more don't you think?

See reactions to the snubs below.

I’ve been thinking for an hour about how there are more Scarlett Johansson nominations than people of color nominations in the acting category this year. Please make it make sense.

— Andrea González-Ramírez (@andreagonram) January 13, 2020

Lupita Nyong’oAwkwafinaSterling K. BrownAlfre WoodardCho Yeo-jeongEddie MurphySong Kang-hoKelvin Harrison, Jr.Zhao Shuzhen

Just a few of the magnificent performances from last year that the Academy has failed to recognize. #Oscars2020 pic.twitter.com/lh72tUiPj0

— ahmad (@ephwinslow) January 13, 2020

to think that Halle Berry is the only black actress to win an Oscar for best actress in a leading role. No Angela Bassett. No Viola Davis. No Lupita Nyong’o. No Octavia Spencer pic.twitter.com/Kl6JshN3Hs

— c (@chuuzus) January 13, 2020

So they have Scarlett Johansson nominated for both best actress & supporting actress? while Lupita Nyong’o played two masterful characters in the same movie and she she was completely snubbed #OscarNoms pic.twitter.com/IlFjSahEjs

— c (@chuuzus) January 13, 2020

Nominate Jamie Foxx in Just Mercy for anything challenge

— Nicole Gallucci (@nicolemichele5) January 13, 2020

No women directors. All white supporting actress! Where is Awkwafina, JLo, Shuzhen Zhao? Where is Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Lupita, Beyoncé? Queen and Slim, Farewell? So predictable choices very disappointed . #OscarNoms #OscarsSoWhite pic.twitter.com/1CwE15Fskq

— Constantinos Isaias (@Isaiasthoughts) January 13, 2020

Scarlett Johansson got nominated for that high school drama class acting and Lupita didn’t for playing two characters masterfully... #OscarNoms pic.twitter.com/nqdj2qcmHA

— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) January 13, 2020

The Academy dead ass looked at Lupita Nyong'o and said, "We prefer you as a slave."

— Robert Daniels (@812filmreviews) January 13, 2020

The Oscars said f*** y’all social rants.

We are nominating every white we got. Spicy white, old white, off white, eggshell, man white, some white women, and a POC to keep up appearances

The Oscars will never reward Black art fairly #OscarNoms #OscarsSoWhite

— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) January 13, 2020

to quote rihanna: "who is in charge of this account" https://t.co/nLt3EPID3z

— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) January 13, 2020

i genuinely think not nominating j lo is rooted in racism and sexism about the kinds of performances the oscars deem worthy of praise doNOT @ me

— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) January 13, 2020

No shade. Didn't hear any serious Oscar buzz for Ervio coming into the announcements. Fact that there are no other black nominations makes this one look side-eye worthy, as if they were trying to avoid another #OscarSoWhite moment. Lupita, JLo got robbed. Eddie got robbed. SMH. https://t.co/aZcI0qoa04

— Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29) January 13, 2020

I don't even have the capacity to think deeply about the #OscarNoms, I think it'd just make me angry? And it's too early.

— "they're very local" (@dariansymone) January 13, 2020

They really screwed up if I see people mad at the nominations for half a dozen totally different reasons.

— Craig Bro Dude (@CraigSJ) January 13, 2020

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