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Kendrick Lamar Stands By His 'Control' Verse, Explains Story Behind 'Duckworth' with Beats 1's Zane Lowe

"I’m so passionate about hip-hop."

Kendrick Lamar refuses to bite his tongue for anyone in hip-hop. After boldly dubbing himself the greatest rapper alive on his new album DAMN., Lamar doubled down on his statements in a new interview with Beats 1 Zane Lowe.

"I’m so passionate about hip-hop," began Lamar. "I love it to a point that I can’t even describe it. When I heard these artists say they're the best, coming up, I'm not doing it to have a good song or one good rap or good hook or good bridge. I want to keep doing it every time, period. And to do it every time, you have to challenge yourself and you have to confirm to yourself -- not anybody else, confirm to yourself that you're the best, period. No one can take that away from me, period. That’s my drive and that’s my hunger, I will always have. At this point right now, the years and the time and the effort and the knowledge and history I've done on the culture and the game I’ve gotten from those before me and the respect I have for them. I want to hold myself high on that same pedestal 10, 15 years from now."

Lamar also defended his verse on Big Sean's 2013 track "Control", when he fearlessly called out some of hip hop's biggest names. "Yeah, what we doing it for? This is culture," Lamar told Lowe. "This is not something you just play with and get a few dollars and get out. People live their lives through this music. My partners in the hood right now, they listen to rap every day, because it’s the only thing that can relate to their stories and their tribulations. They live and breathe it. You can’t play with this, and you have to take in consideration what you write down on that paper. If you’re not doing it to say the most impactful sh*t or doing it to be the best you can be for the listener to live their lives through, what are we doing here?"

Later in the conversation, Lamar broke down the tale behind the DAMN. deep cut "DUCKWORTH.," which details a meeting between his father and TDE CEO Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith.

When did you when did you realize that that story had happened? When did that story get shared with you?
About a year after I met Top Dawg. I met him when I was sixteen. My Pops came to the studio after I’d been locked in with him for a minute, and... we got a relationship now, bring my Pops through. He heard I was dealing with Top Dawg, but my Pops personally don’t know him as Top Dawg, the industry know him as Top Dawg. Before he was Top Dawg, he was another name. So when he walked in that room and he seen that Top Dawg was this guy, he flipped. Still ’til this day, they laugh and they laugh and they trip out and they tell the same story over and over to each other.

Have you been waiting to tell that story?
Have I been waiting? It was just the right time. Top himself didn’t know I was going to do it, or even execute it in that fashion, to be the last song or to be anywhere. Just making it make sense. I remember playing it for him, he flipped because further than the song, when you really can hear your life in words that is so true to you, and that affected your life one hundred percent through one decision, it really makes you sit back and cherish the moment.

I think that's something we all did playing that record. Like, "Man look where we at. We’re recording music for the world to hear and we’re taking care of our families. We’re blessed." But listen to these words, like -- this is what happened. This is real life. It’s amazing, and since a kid, I’ve always said to myself, "Anything is possible, and it always comes around tenfold confirmation." And that story is confirmation.

Lamar's DAMN. is slated to top Billboard's 200 charts with an estimated 530,000 to 550,000 equivalent album units, potentially making it the largest debut of 2017. Check out his interview with Lowe below.

This article was originally published on Billboard.

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Nicki Minaj Cancels Tour Stop Due To Technical Difficulties

Nicki Minaj is feeling “gutted” and “heartbroken” after she was forced to cancel a tour stop in show in Bratislava, Slovakia Friday (Feb. 22) due to technical difficulties, the “Barbie Dreams” rapper said on Instagram.

“I can’t believe my fans sometimes,” Minaj captioned a cascade of videos of her on stage breaking the bad news to fans. “After waiting for hours & hours, they still tried to be understanding.”

The venue didn’t have the electrical capabilities to support a major “technical aspect” of the show and lost power several times in the process, TMZ reports.

“Production was told the building does not have the power to facilitate my lifts,” Minaj explained. “They’d get the show powered up then the breaker would basically trip after a few mins.”

XL Promotion, the company promoting the show in Slovakia, shared a different story on Facebook. “The Winter Stadium of Andrew Nepelu meets all the technical standards and the agency XL Promotion respected all the conditions sent by the production of Nicki Minaj,” reads the post.

The company blamed Minaj for deciding to cancel, and added that they have done a number of “large world productions” for musical acts including Depeche Mode, Lenny Kravitz, One Republic and “many others.” XL Promotion vowed to refund all ticket holders.

Some of Minaj’s loyal Barbz waited up to seven hours before being told that the show was cancelled, according to comments on her Instagram post and tweets from fans.

Minaj said that she felt “horrible” about the whole thing. The Young Money rhymer also promised to “figure out a way,” to come back and make up for the missed performance, which was the second stop on the European leg of her Nicki WRLD Tour featuring Juice WRLD. The jaunt kicked off in Germany Thursday and rolls into Poland on Feb. 24.

Read Minaj's full Instagram post below.

 

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Gutted. Heart broken. I can’t believe my fans sometimes. After waiting for hours & hours, they still tried to be understanding. Production was told the building does not have the power to facilitate my lifts (which don’t only move me below & very VERY high above the stage, but also move all our props, furniture, dancers, band, etc.), our lighting rig, fog, cryo, confetti, movies/visuals. They’d get the show powered up then the breaker would basically trip after a few mins. Juice WRLD & I waited while they did this over & over for 3 hours. Some of my fans came from Austria, Nigeria, etc. I met w/a lot of them & they had the best, sweetest energy. I’m so disappointed. Slovakia, I love you so much & I’ll do everything in my power to get back to you as soon as I can. I think the venue/promo team probably didn’t expect a rap show to have such over the top production. We run the risk of someone getting hurt if we start the show & smthng malfunctions mid-show. Sorry we couldn’t have a great night together. We’ll be in Poland on Sunday @ a building that can facilitate our show. ♥️🙏🏽

A post shared by Barbie® (@nickiminaj) on Feb 22, 2019 at 4:49pm PST

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R. Kelly Turns Himself In To Chicago Police On Sexual Abuse Charges

R. Kelly turned himself in to authorities in Chicago Friday (Feb. 22), hours after being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Kelly, 52, was met by a flood of cameras when he arrived at the precinct. Officers quickly led him away in handcuffs.

The Grammy winner, whose birth name is Robert Kelly, is expected to remain in custody overnight before appearing in court Saturday for a bond hearing, reports the Chicago Tribute.

Earlier in the day, Cook County State Attorney’s Kim Foxx announced charges against the singer who is accused abusing four victims, three of whom are between the ages of 13 and 17, according to a grand jury indictment. Cook County Judge Dennis Porter authorized an arrest warrant for Kelly with no bail amount.

Kelly has claimed innocence for years, amid numerous allegations dating back more than a decade.

Steve Greenberg, Kelly's lawyer, maintained Friday that his client is an "innocent man," and that all of his accusers are "lying."  Greenberg tweeted earlier in the day, that Kelly would be surrendering between 11 p.m. and midnight, at the Area South location.

If convicted on all charges, Kelly faces up to 70 years in prison. See video of his surrender below.

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DESUS & MERO Bring the Brand to Showtime in Their Series Premiere

"Bodega Boys in the building!" That's how Desus Nice and The Kid Mero started the first episode of their new half hour show on Showtime. The "Bodega Boys," as Desus and Mero like to be called, took their comedic talents from Viceland and secured a slot for their talk show on the network. After airing on Thursday night, they posted the full episode on YouTube to give fans and a new live studio audience a look at what they have to offer.

The first episode of their new series did not disappoint. The two comedians represented their roots in the Bronx to the fullest by incorporating the class bodega backdrop as well as inviting none other than Bronx native, and United States Representative for New York,  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as their first guest. The TV personalities greeted the politician with their now famous "yerrr" and managed to keep things light by bonding over the memes they receive from Twitter users while also managing to keep things serious as they talked about AOC's come up.

In the debut of the show, Ocasio-Cortez made the trip back to the Bronx to chat with the former Guy Code cast members, but the "Bodega Boys" also made a trip down to the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. During the trip to D.C. Desus and Mero presented the member of the Democratic Party with a flag of Puerto Rico, representing her roots, and they also were able to meet representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashan Tlaib of Minnesota and Michigan, respectively.

"Am I a gentrifier?" Ocasio-Cortez asked. "No! How are you a gentrifier? You moved from the Bronx to D.C.!" Mero responded.

Ocasio-Cortez's presence on the show wasn't the only highlight of the first episode. Desus and Mero have added a new element to their talk show, which are skits. The skit the two debuted on their talk show poked fun at the controversial Oscar-nominated film, Green Book. Before presenting the skit, Desus described the film as being, "basically just Friday with racism."

The skit features Mero playing the role of the white driver, Tony Lip, while Desus plays the role of the Black pianist. Throughout the entirety of the skit, Desus and Mero show how they feel "Green Book" was made to make white people feel as if they weren't racist in a time where racism was quite obviously prevalent.

"Wait, there's another one of these movies? What is wrong with you people? Please leave us alone. It's not our job to make white people feel better about race stuff," was a fake quote about the movie included in the skit.

Catch DESUS & MERO on Showtime every Thursday night at 11! You won't want to miss out.

 

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