RZA Responds Mark Shkreli Wu-Tang Album
Bloomberg

RZA On Selling The $2 Million Wu-Tang Album To Martin Shkreli: “I Could Never Discriminate”

Apparently, RZA is unbothered by the sale of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin to Martin Shkreli.

RZA is now offering his side of the story on Wu-Tang’s $2 million sale of Once Upon A Time In Shaolin to pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli. In a sit-down with Bloomberg TV’s John Heilemann for With All Due Respect, the Wu-Tang founder revealed that he has already cashed out on Shkreli’s big payout, and that he was unaware of his price-boosting of AIDS medication. Remarking that Skhreli “just really enjoyed the music,” RZA recalled meeting him.

“We talked briefly about where he comes from, briefly about what Wu-Tang means,” RZA told Heilemann. “He was actually present when we did a thing at MoMA, where we played [12 minutes of the album], and he was also in that audience. So he heard the 12 minutes, and he just really enjoyed the music.”

After Shkreli’s business practices were revealed, Wu-Tang reportedly “distanced themselves” from him, prompting the pharmaceutical CEO to unleash a few words of fury against RZA and company. In an interview with HipHopDX, Skhreli said: “The guy is fucking full of himself, talking about how his shit is the best ever, how fucking Bobby Digital was the best shit ever. I wasn’t feeling him at all. I figured it was another arrogant rapper.” RZA accepted no part of Shkreli’s perceived “backfire,” however.

“What could backfire from creating a piece of art, having an idea, and to see it grow into fruition? As far as me being arrogant, it depends on what day you catch me, baby,” he said. “But most people that know me respect me, because I am down-to-earth and very communicative.”

Shortly after news hit the Web that Shkreli was the man behind the Once Upon A Time In Shaolin sale, he was arrested on federal charges of security fraud. Heilemann pointed out to RZA that Shkreli claimed he hadn’t even listened to the album, and the Wu-Tang rapper seemed unoffended. He ultimately determined that he couldn’t “discriminate” against anyone who would have wanted to purchase the sought-after, one-of-one project.

“He bought it, he can do what he wants. The power of art is that. I could never discriminate. If the most greatest man in the world was the one who wanted to possess it, it would’ve been his objective. If my enemy came to an auction and was like ‘Yo, I want that picture of RZA, just to throw darts at it,’ it’s being auctioned. I could never, ever, at this age in my life, I could never discriminate who appreciates art.”

Watch a clip from RZA’s upcoming Bloomberg TV interview here.

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Twitter- @daynvegas2019

Day N Vegas Fest: Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Travis Scott To Headline

A new music festival is coming to town, and it's looking like one of the most lit lineups in recent memory.

November is the month for the inaugural Day N' Vegas Festival, which is reportedly going to be held at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds near Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue. Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Travis Scott are expected to headline the event, which takes place from Nov. 1-3.

Other performers at the event include Juice Wrld, Lil Uzi Vert, Megan Thee Stallion, Migos, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, Schoolboy Q and many, many more.

The reaction from the Internet ranged from sheer excitement to inquiries about the validity of the lineup, due to the heat emitting from the flyer. Per Las Vegas' KTNV, the festival is indeed real, and  "Tickets for the festival are set to go on sale June 28 at 12 p.m. and start at $299 for early-bird general passes."

Check out the lineup below.

✨ Day N Vegas Nov 1-3 in Las Vegas 🎰 Tickets on sale Fri 6/28 at 12pm PT ♣️ Only $10 down for a 3 day ticket ♦ https://t.co/FkfhrOFFxi pic.twitter.com/Jxe28EIpQG

— Day N Vegas (@DayNVegas2019) June 24, 2019

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Lil Nas X's '7' EP Reportedly Projected To Top Billboard Chart

Not only does Lil Nas X have the biggest song in the country for the 12th straight week, but there’s a chance that his debut EP will also nab the top spot on Billboard’s 200 Albums Chart.

Per Hits Daily Double, the 20-year-old’s recently-released EP 7 is projected to top the coveted albums chart. According to the site, the EP is projected to move 70,000 units, with 4,000 to 7,000 of those units being from pure album sales.

Besides “Old Town Road,’ Lil Nas X’s other songs on the album are making waves. His new song “Panini” reportedly topped Spotify’s songs chart this past weekend, while his song “Rodeo” featuring Cardi B has also received praise.

Lil Nas X performed “Old Town Road” with Billy Ray Cyrus at the 2019 BET Awards, check out his performance below.

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Rob Longert

Swizz Beatz Brings Something Different To Mariott Bonvoy Amex Customers

Before becoming one of hip-hop's superproducers and graduating from Harvard Business School, Kasseem Dean was just a kid from The Bronx who gravitated to the art he saw. Whether it was the graffiti on the trains and the brick walls or the fashion of the late 80s and early 90s, Dean, better known as Swizz Beatz, digested it all.

Now, with a few hits and Grammy's under his belt, the 40-year-old multihyphenate's newest muse is the upliftment of other living artists by way of The Dean Collection. Collaborating with American Express and Marriott Bonvoy, a new travel program for Mariott International, Swizz Beatz, premiered his latest art installation "Deluxxe Fluxx" inside Manhattan's Skylight Studios.

Created by Brooklyn-based duo Faile & Bäst, members of the media, musicians, art lovers and more were able to take part in the immersive experience, which featured neon-colored lights, old-school arcade games, and music that wasn't "regular," as Swizz said.

Before the night's activities began, VIBE caught up with  Mr. Dean to discuss the newest addition to the collection, what art has done for him and what he thinks art is supposed to do for the masses.

How are you, Mr. Dean? I'm good. I love that you call me Mr. Dean.

Well, that's how I was raised.  Respect. Blessings. My first question to you is: The Dean Collection began in 2014 and from my understanding, you started it because you wanted to support living artists. It's one of the reasons, yes.

So, what triggered the launch? The Dean Collection started as me and my wife's personal collection because we wanted to create a museum for our kids to run when we weren't here anymore. It was all about building a legacy. But then we realized shining a light on living artists with our star power, created more star power and more synergy, more education. More! More! More! This isn't something we should keep private. This is something the masses should know and we should help hundreds of thousands of artists around the world if possible with our gift. It's just been a blessing. What is it about FAILE that you took to? Well, I've been a fan of colors and vibrations for a long time and these guys have been killing it for a long time. They're such masters of their craft. I feel our culture needs to understand FAILE and we should support them and celebrate them as creatives. I just wanted to show the culture an amazing experience and different forms of art, not only canvasses on the wall but also an immersive experience. Even the music I'm going to play tonight is not going to be regular. "I want people to know I celebrate all artists. Whether you're African-American, white, Asian, you name it. We at The Dean Collection celebrate all artists."

What is it about this kind of art, like you said not just canvasses on the wall, that feeds you? Well, it's visually and sonically stimulating. Most of us are in our heads all day-- Superfacts. dealing with what we're dealing with, so if I can bring you into a world that can take you away from negatives and bring you into a positive and a creative state of mind, then we've done a good job and that's what art is supposed to do. Art is supposed to take you to another level. Although my next show might be canvasses, this particular one in New York City I felt that we needed this in the city right now just to shake this up.

I'm a disrupter, my partners Amex and Marriott they've been disrupters as well for a long time, and it's organic. When you come in here you feel like it's about the creativity. Even though we have strong brands backing us--and all artists need strong brands to back them--but its how you collaborate with those strong brands, and the artists trust The Dean Collection to represent them well. What are you wearing? I have on vintage Dickies. This is my Father's Day gift from my wife and my kids. I have on a cool G-Shock that happened to match the vibe. I dig it. Thank you. Oh, and these shades I've got are ECOODA. My last question: You're a kid from The Bronx. Before Ruff Ryders, before Harvard Business School before you met the love of your life how did art keep you? You know, different sides of the art kept me. Growing up in The Bronx, I grew up with graffiti on the trains and on the walls. It excited me. I grew up around fashion where you painted the back of your jacket. It excited me. I grew up around DJs and music and DJing so that excited me. Those chapters have been written before, how they organically came out, I just let it flow.

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