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The Trump Administration put together a $265 million effort to round up the biggest rappers, singers, and actors in the entertainment industry to appear in a failed ad campaign about Covid-19. Lil Wayne, Roddy Ricch, Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert, Ludacris, Ice-T, and Nicki Minaj were among at least 247 celebrities vetted by the Administration, according to documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee and published by Politico on Thursday (Oct. 29).
The Department of Health and Human Services paid a contractor $256 million to complete the tax-payer funded public service campaign by Election Day. TheAdministration “vetted spokespeople based on their political positions and whether they support President Trump,” House Democrats argued.
Fors Marsh, a strategic communications firm, won a $250 million contract with HHS a week before, Atlas Research secured a $15 million contract. The campaign was the brain child of Michael R. Caputo, the department's assistant secretary for public affairs.
The 34-page spreadsheet dubbed the, “PSA Celebrity Tracker,” includes notes on each celebrity’s political affiliation, possible comments about Trump and coronavirus, criminal history (if applicable), demographic, and whether or not they expressed interest in appearing in the PSA. The entry listed Wayne as a “maybe; follow-up” option who previously supported President Barack Obama, “doesn’t like Republicans, ” and is popular among “Black Americans,” “super spreaders,” and the “general population.” It’s unclear what transpired between Wayne and the Trump Administration in regard to the PSA. He did of course meet with Trump this week and endorsed his re-election campaign.
Jay-Z was listed under “maybe; follow-up” as well. The notes state that Hov spoke with his manager and might, “Reconsider depending on who signs.” The entry lists Jay's criminal history, and support of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Eminem, Lil Baby, Beyonce, Travis Scott, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Kerry Washington, Issa Rae, Donald Glover, Chance the Rapper, and John Legend were also on the list.
Luda, Viola Davis, Dwayne Johnson, George Lopez, Zoe Saldana, Trevor Noah, Betty White and Britney Spears were some of the celebrities who turned down the offer, and it appears that most of the people on the list simply didn’t respond.
Singer Marc Anthony accepted but did not want his coronavirus quotes used for Trump’s election campaign, CNBC reports. Gospel legend CeCe Winans recorded a PSA but pulled out after receiving backlash once the clip hit the internet late last month.
City Girls, Big Sean, Jhené Aiko, Brandy, 2 Chainz, and more made the 2020 BET Hip-Hop Awards a night to remember. Hosted by DC Young Fly, Karlous Miller and Chico Bean of 85 South, the socially-distanced event went down on Tuesday (Oct. 27).
Doubling as a sounding board for socially conscious commentary and voting engagement, the show featured several references to Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and other victims of police brutality. The night included a statement from vice presidential hopeful and Howard University alum, Kamala Harris, in celebration of HBCU’s.
Although there were more performances than awards given out during the ceremony, the show was full of surprises. Master P received the I Am Hip Hop Award presented to him by former No Limit artist, Snoop Dogg. Rapsody won her first award ever for Best Hip-Hop Lyricist, Pop Smoke was posthumously awarded the Best New Artist trophy, and Lil Baby accepted the Impact Track honor for, “The Bigger Picture.”
YBN Cordae paid homage to Juice Wrld, and Quavo performed a tribute medley to Pop Smoke. The award show also honored other late rappers, including Fred Da Godson.
Watch some of the performances and cyphers below.City Girls Perform “Kitty Talk” & “Jobs” Big Sean, Jhené AIko and Ty Dolla Sign Perform “Body Language” Brandy, Erykah Badu, Teyana Taylor & H.E.R. Perform Ladies First Cypher Beenie Man, Bounty Killa, Skip Marley & More Participate In Reggae Cypher Tobe Nwigwe Performs “Try Jesus, Don’t Try Me” 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne Perform “Money Maker”
After a three-year album hiatus, Ty Dolla $ign released his latest studio effort, Featuring Ty Dolla $ign, on Friday (Oct. 23).
The 25-track album features appearances from Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi, FKA Twigs, Roddy Ricch, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani, 6lack, Young Thug, Music Soulchild, Skrillex, Quavo, Anderson Paak, Post Malone, Kanye West, and more.
Powered by previously released singles, “Ego Death,” Expensive” and By Yourself,” the new album flexes a different music muscle for the Grammy-nominated recording artists who steered clear of making club records.
“I was intentionally trying to not make club songs [talking about] hoes and *itches and all the sh*t I used to talk about,” Ty told Vulture in a recent interview. “I was trying to, like, talk about my life, and what it is now, and really do something different with it. I got a daughter going to high school this year, and she’s paying attention, and all her friends are paying attention, so I can’t talk as crazy or do the crazy sh*t that I used to do.”
Stream Featuring Ty Dolla Sign below.