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Over the weekend, music aficionados were gifted producer battles from the best in the business. In addition to The Dream and Sean "The Pen" Garrett's wild head to head, Ne-Yo and Johntà Austin's standoff was one for the books.
The gentlemen squared up on Instagram Live Sunday (March 29) after much fanfare. The rules were simple–Show up sober, play 2. 25 songs apiece, no unreleased music, the songs can be from any genre and the time limit would be up to 90 seconds for each song.
Soon, the battle kicked off with sentimental tracks like "Unfaithful" by Rihanna and "I Miss You" by the late Aaliyah. As spectators like Usher, Tyrese, 9th Wonder, Diddy, Tinashe, Snoh Aalegra, Eric Bellinger, Brian Michael-Cox and more entered the chat, the songs got bigger and better.
Rounds 3 and 4 saw the big guns come out. Austin played tracks from Aaliyah and Chris Brown with Ne-Yo playing his own songs and hits from Beyonce. "When all else fails, you got to bet on yourself" he hilariously said before playing his 2008 hit, "Miss Independent."
The final round left fans in a frenzy as Austin played Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" and Ne-Yo ending with "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce. The entire match was a delight as both men praised each other for their pen game.
Superproducers Swizz Beats and Timbaland helped kicked off the current trend last week when they gave fans part 2 of their 2018 match. We also got to see a match between Boi-1da and HitBoy over the weekend with an unleased track with Roddy Rich and Drake.
But Sunday's battle was all about R&B, specifically tracks from the aughts that are often sampled today. Most fans and spectators landed at a draw for the battle as it was just too hard to land on a winner.
See the full list of tracks dished out below.
Johntà - "Get Gone" by Ideal (1999)
Ne-Yo- "That Girl" by Marques Houston (2003)
Johntà- "I Miss You" by Aaliyah (2002)
Ne-Yo- "Unfaithful" by Rihanna (2006)
Johntà- "Like That" by Mariah Carey, Fatman Scoop and Jermaine Dupri (2005)
Ne-Yo- "Knock You Down" by Keri Hilson featuring Ne-Yo (2009)
Johntà- "Don't" by Bryson Tiller (2014)
Ne-Yo- "She Got Her Own" by Jamie Foxx, Ne-Yo and Fabolous (2009)Round Two
Johntà- "Stingy" by Ginuwine (2002)
Ne-Yo- "Own It" by Mack Wilds (2013)
Johntà- "Yo! (Excuse Me, Miss) by Chris Brown (2006)
Ne-Yo- "Stay" by Ne-Yo featuring Peedi Peedi (2006)
Johntà- "Don't Forget About Us" by Mariah Carey (2005)
Ne-Yo- "Spotlight" by Jennifer Hudson (2005)
Johntà- "Just Be A Man About It" by Toni Braxton (2000)
Ne-Yo- "Do You" by Ne-Yo (2007)Round Three
Johntà- "Shortie Like Mine" by Bow Wow featuring Chris Brown and Johntà Austin (2006)
Ne-Yo- "Bust It Baby Pt. 2)" by Plies featuring Ne-Yo (2008)
Johntà- "Need A Girl" by Trey Songz (2009)
Ne-Yo- "Go On Girl" by Ne-Yo (2007)
Johntà- "Sweet Lady" by Tyrese (1998)
Ne-Yo- "Make Me Better" by Fabolous featuring Ne-Yo (2007)
Johntà- "Like You" by Bow Wow featuring Ciara (2005)
Ne-Yo- "Leave You Alone" Jeezy featuring Ne-Yo (2011)Round Four
Johntà- "With You" by Chris Brown (2007)
Ne-Yo- "So Sick" by Ne-Yo (2005)
Johntà- "Shake It Off" by Mariah Carey (2005)
Ne-Yo- "Take A Bow" by Rihanna (2008)
Johntà- "Can't Help But Wait" (2007)
Ne-Yo- "Sexy Love" (2005)
Johntà- "I Don't Wanna" by Aaliyah (1999)
Ne-Yo- "Flaws and All" by Beyonce (2006)Round Five
Johntà- "Come Over" by Aaliyah (2003)
Ne-Yo- "Miss Independent" (2008)
Johntà- "Poppin'" by Chris Brown (2007)
Ne-Yo- "Mirror" by Ne-Yo (2006)
Johntà- "Be Without You" by Mary J. Blige (2005)
Ne-Yo- "Let Me Love You" by Mario (2004)
Johntà- "We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey (2004)
Ne-Yo- "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce (2006)
After spending a decade in prison, including four years on death row, Lonnie Franklin Jr. was found dead in his San Quentin State Prison cell on Saturday (March 28), CNN reports. The cause of death is still unknown. Franklin was 67.
In July 2010, Franklin was arrested for the deaths of 10 people, the majority being women, in South Los Angeles in the 80s. The convicted serial killer preyed on women, sexually and physically assaulting them before taking their lives. Diana Ware, who was the stepmother of victim Barbara Ware, told PEOPLE that she’s shocked at Franklin’s death but “I won’t say I’m pleased he died but at the end there was justice for all the bad things he did in his life. We can now be at peace.”
Terry Thornton, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s spokesperson, said while no signs of trauma were apparent, “they don’t know why he died.” An autopsy report will be conducted by the coroner’s office in Marin County.
In 2016, a court sentenced Franklin to death for his crimes as he faced several first-degree murder charges and an attempted murder charge. His youngest victim was a 15-year-old girl named Princess Berthomieux.
Franklin’s DNA was taken by an undercover officer who acted as a waiter at a pizzeria that the convicted murderer frequented. The officer was able to take a DNA sample from a pizza crust that Franklin didn’t finish, leading investigators to finally find a match and connection to the previous deaths. Investigators noticed Franklin was arrested in 2003 for a felony charge, but no DNA was collected at that time. It wasn’t until a year later that Proposition 69 was passed which mandates DNA to be collected from those that get arrested. Franklin’s arrest for the string of murders also came way of "familial DNA analysis." The ex-sanitation worker’s son was arrested and charged for felony weapons possession and when his DNA was taken, it showed similar strains to the saliva found on the victims' bodies. Authorities gathered enough sufficient evidence to arrest and charge Franklin.
In a time of social distancing to weaken the spread of COVID-19, some people are spending time keeping in touch with family and friends and growing deeper bonds with the ones they love. That’s the case for Drake when he shared photos of his toddler son, Adonis Graham, and a lengthy message on Instagram Monday morning (March 30).
“Laughter is your best medicine, but tears can also be a powerful release. Let go of any judgment you may have around that. Remember that you are never alone, and if you need to be reminded of that ask for support and it will show up,” Drake wrote. “Everything comes down to intention, and even though there are conflicting energies circling around us you must KNOW...It will rebuild.”
On his Scorpion track “Emotionless,” Drake responded to the rumors that he fathered a child, rapping “I wasn’t hidin’ my kid from the world/I was hidin’ the world from my kid.” To the public, rumors of the 33-year-old's child began to pick up steam when Pusha T mentioned it on his 2018 diss track "The Story of Adidon." The two-year-old’s mother is Sophie Brussaux, who had a brief relationship with the "God's Plan" rapper. A few of the photos featured on Drake's IG include him holding his son alongside Brussaux, and a throwback photo of Drizzy's parents.
Read his full note below.
View this post on Instagram
What is most important for you right now is to connect to your own inner light. This will create the biggest opening of all. Trust that you have all of the power within to make this happen, and in order to do that connect to the people and things that bring you a lot of joy. When the mind starts to move into overthinking or fear, shift your attention right away to something bright. It doesn’t matter what has happened in the past or what is happening around us now, you can always make the choice to break free of the wheel of suffering and panic and open up to your own light. We are powerful manifestors , so once you make the choice in the moment to shift your awareness to something good, it will show you in your reality. Be conscious, especially right now of fears coming in from others, and recognize that not everything should be held by you. Laughter is your best medicine, but tears can also be a powerful release. Let go of any judgment you may have around that. Remember that you are never alone, and if you need to be reminded of that ask for support and it will show up. Everything comes down to intention, and even though there are conflicting energies circling around us you must KNOW...It will rebuild. But in order for that to happen, you have to do exactly that. Trust. You have the biggest heart and that is your greatest gift. It’s impossible to always control your surroundings, but when you shift the focus to how you want to feel, everything will conspire to assist you. I love and miss my beautiful family and friends and I can’t wait for the joyful day when we are all able to reunite. Until then please keep your lights on.