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Goon Squad

Bump J Gives His First Post Prison Interview In Chicago

Bump J speaks for the first time since his April release from federal prison.

When legendary Chicago rapper Bump J was released from federal prison this past April, it was a glorious moment for the city’s rap scene. Last night (May 15), he took to the Windy City airwaves for his first interview in 8 ½ years.

The Windy City don made a visit to Chicago’s WGCI 107.5 on the Tone Kapone Show this past Monday (May 5) to talk about his prison stint. He explained to Tone Kapone, his cousin, what occurred on the night of his arrest and how, despite his national fame and success, why he never left the streets alone and never considered himself to be a rapper.

“Really, to tell you the truth Tone, I never really made a transition fully over [to] rap from the streets,” admits Bump. “Everything happened kind of fast and I just was out there in the streets real heavy. I always had one foot in the streets still. I just never made that transition fully and I was still doing what I was still doing.”

Bump says that he was arrested while he was on his way to a show. Police officers discovered he had active warrants and immediately hauled him off to jail. During the conversation, the Goon Squad rapper also explained how he still managed to keep his ear to the streets of Chicago by being able to download music from the computer (despite constantly being monitored) and received much of it from his older brother Chi-Town Shake.

“I always had a relationship with [Lil] Durk. We’ve been talkin’ since he really took off,” he said. “Lil Herb [G-Herbo] and Lil Bibby they’re from over east and that’s a proud moment when I see that. I mess with all the artists really, like [King] Louie…I got a guy right now and I’m on the first single on his album, Ty Money. I mess with the whole city, really.”

As far as mainstream artists, he says he’s a fan of artist such as fellow Chicagoan, Chance the Rapper, as well as Young Dolph, Yo Gotti, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Future, among many others. When asked about Chief Keef’s rapid rise to fame and the troubles that came with it, he had an eye opening response. “I was reading something from—I forgot where I read it, but Lil Reese had a quote [that said], ‘In all of the other states I’m a rapper. In Chicago, I’m BD (Black Disciples)."

Bump J left no stone unturned in their 11-minute conversation as he gave his perspective on on the rampant street violence in Chicago. For context, when he was arrested in 2007, the number of homicides was 443 compared to 2012’s total of 500 and 2016’s staggering total of 762.

WATCH: G-Herbo Announces New Song With Chicago Legend Bump J

"From the outside looking in, it looks crazy just sitting in my cell looking at things. But, when I was in it, like you said, it was always violent. Chicago always been a violent town. It’s just now it’s a lot of silly stuff happening,” said Bump. “More than that, it’s just so much more magnified now with social media and everyone being a reporter with their phones. It’s a lot more magnified, but it is getting reckless and it’s out of control really. We gotta start with the youth in my opinion.”

Bump concluded with advice to the younger, up and coming artists in Chicago, in regards to how they should stay focused on making music and what he would have done differently during his ascension in the mid-2000s. He even revealed what rappers reached out to him, whether or not he will sign to a label, and how it felt to play basketball with his son after being incarcerated for so long.

LISTEN: Lupe Fiasco Releases a 10-Year-Old Remastered Version Of “Coulda Been”

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Koffee Wins Grammy Award For Best Reggae Album

Since 1985, the Best Reggae Album category has been in inception. Each year, a man has taken home the gramophone, but 35 years later, a rising artist is here to make history. On Sunday (Jan. 26), Koffee won the title for her debut album, Rapture. Last year’s recipients were Sting & Shaggy for their 44/876 album.

“I’m very honored, I’m very happy and I’m satisfied, I would say,” the "W" singer says. “I put a lot of work into my first project and to see that it has been recognized on this level has really fulfilled me so I’m very thankful.”

In a previous interview with VIBE, Koffee shared her thoughts on being a woman musician in a male-dominated genre such as reggae. “I feel like it’s a big responsibility, and ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’ So I don't look at it as, ‘Oh, I’ve made it.’ But I acknowledge that I’m in a position where I have a responsibility now to fulfill and to pull through. It just pushes me to work harder, make more things happen, and just keep it going.”

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Sean 'Diddy' Combs accepts the Salute to the Industry Icons Award onstage during the Pre-GRAMMY Gala on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
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Diddy Calls Out Grammys' Lack Of Respect For Hip-Hop And Black Music

Sean "Diddy" Combs delivered a motivational speech as he accepted the Salute to Industry Icon Award at the 2020 Pre-Grammys Gala hosted by Clive Davis and the Recording Academy (Jan. 25). At the tail end of his time at the podium, Combs took a moment to bring to light an ongoing subject that could not be ignored: The Grammys' lack of respect for the genre of hip-hop and Black music as a whole.

"The last few days I’ve been conflicted," he started after thanking everyone in attendance at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. "I’m being honored by the industry that I love, the family that I love. But there’s an elephant in the room, and it’s not just about the Grammys.

"There’s discrimination and injustice everywhere, at an all-time high. But there’s something I need to say to the Grammys [...] Every year, you all be killing us, man. Man, you talk about the pain. I’m speaking for all the artists here, the producers and the executives. The amount of time that it takes to make these records, to pour your heart out into it … and you just want an even playing field. In the great words of Erykah Badu, we are artists and we are sensitive about our shit. We are passionate. For most of us, this is all we’ve got. This is our only hope."

Combs went on to give The Recording Academy a deadline. “I’m officially starting the clock. Y'all got 365 days to get this sh*t together. We need transparency, we need diversity. They’re [The Academy] a non-profit organization that’s supposed to protect the welfare of the musical community. But it’s going to take all of us to get this done. It’s going to take the artists and executives to recognize their power. So sign me up. I’m here to help make a difference and help us have a positive outcome."

After breaking down the impact and significance of hip-hop music and his mission of preserving black culture, Diddy went on to honor fellow artists who have been snubbed in prior years.

"And I want to dedicate this award to Michael Jackson for Off the Wall, Prince for 1999, Beyoncé for Lemonade, Missy Elliott for Da Real World, Snoop Dogg for Doggystyle, Kanye West for Graduation, aye yo, and Nas for Illmatic. Clive, I love you to death. I love you, I love you, I love you."

Prior to Diddy's 40-minute acceptance speech where he reflected on his 30+ career in the music industry and acknowledged those who had a hand in it, former Bad Boy artists Faith Evans, Carl Thomas, Lil Kim, and Mase took the stage to perform throwback hit songs from their respective careers. Combs' son, Christian aka King Combs, also joined the artists to perform "I'll Be Missing You" in remembrance of the Notorious B.I.G.

Watch and read Diddy's full acceptance speech below.

--

Now to my other family, my musical family. During the hardest year of my life [the death of longtime love Kim Porter], all of you were there to check on me and push me up. And I want to tell you I appreciate that. I love that. And I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t get those messages. I want to thank everybody here from the bottom of my heart that really cared about me. And we are a musical family. We have to be there for each other.

And now because we are a family, I have to be honest. [For] the last few days, I’ve been conflicted. I’m being honored by the industry that I love, the family that I love. But there’s an elephant in the room, and it’s not just about the Grammys. There’s discrimination and injustice everywhere, at an all-time high. But there’s something I need to say to the Grammys. I changed my middle name to "Love." So it’s Sean “Love” Combs now. So I say this with love to the Grammys because you really need to know this.

Every year, you all be killing us, man. Man, you talk about the pain. I’m speaking for all the artists here, the producers and the executives. The amount of time that it takes to make these records, to pour your heart out into it … and you just want an even playing field. In the great words of Erykah Badu, we are artists and we are sensitive about our sh*t. We are passionate. For most of us, this is all we’ve got. This is our only hope.

Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys to the point that it should be. So right now in this current situation, it’s not a revelation. This thing’s been going on. It’s not just going on in music. It’s going on in film, it's going on in sports and it's going on around the world. And for years we’ve allowed institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us. And that stops right now.

I’m officially starting the clock. You’ve got 365 days to get this shi* together. We need the artists to take back control, we need transparency, we need diversity. This is the room that has the power to make the changes that need to be made. They have to make the changes for us. They’re a non-profit organization that’s supposed to protect the welfare of the musical community. That’s what it says on the mission statement. That’s the truth. They work for us.

We have the power. We decide what’s hot. If we don’t go, nobody goes. If we don’t support, nobody supports. We control what’s cool, we control what’s hot. We control what your kids listen to, what they dance to, we control what’s a video game, we control how they wear their pants, sag their pants…we control everything.

Now we’re not going to solve this tonight. But it’s going to take all of us to get this done. It’s going to take the artists and executives to recognize their power. And I’m standing here today not to just bash you all because as I said, you’re a non-profit organization. We just need to get it right. And I’m here for the artists.

So sign me up. I’m here to help make a difference and help us have a positive outcome. I believe all of my brothers and sisters out there will be willing to work on getting this right. Because we just want it right. We just want to be able to go to the Grammys. You’ve got to understand. We’ve seen Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson; Michael Jackson’s holding eight Grammys and he was dropping the Grammys. But you know why he was dropping the Grammys and why he got eight Grammys? Because they never nominated him for 'Off the Wall'! So Thriller was his revenge. It wasn’t his honest work. It was his revenge. He’s like, all right, you all want to f**k with me?! I’m going to take your souls. And then we had 'Thriller.'

My goal used to be about making hit records. Now it’s about ensuring that the culture moves forward. My culture. Our culture. The black culture. And for me to be worthy of receiving an icon award, I have to use my experience to help to make a change. And on that note, I’m finishing up: Y'all all got 365 days.

And I want to dedicate this award to Michael Jackson for 'Off the Wall', Prince for '1999,' Beyoncé for 'Lemonade,' Missy Elliott for 'The Real World,' Snoop Dogg for 'Doggystyle,' Kanye West for 'Graduation,' aye yo, and Nas for 'Illmatic.' Clive, I love you to death. I love you, I love you, I love you.

 

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While accepting the Industry Icon Award, Sean @diddy Combs called out the Recording Academy and urged artists to take back their power. “Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys,” he said before dedicating his award to classic black albums that never won a Grammy. They include #Beyonce (Lemonade) @missymisdemeanorelliott (Da Real World) Nas (Illmatic) and @snoopdogg (Doggystyle). 🎥: @desire_renee

A post shared by VibeMagazine (@vibemagazine) on Jan 26, 2020 at 2:38am PST

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Lil Wayne performs at the 2019 Outside Lands music festival at Golden Gate Park on August 09, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
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Lil Wayne Reveals Release Date For ‘Funeral’ Album

Four years after initially announcing the project, Lil Wayne took to Twitter on Thursday (Jan. 23) to reveal that his  Funeral album will drop next week.

“Welcome to the funeral, closed casket as usual,” Tunechi says in the album teaser. The Grammy winner also tweeted a link for fans to pre-order physical and digital copies of the album as a CD, vinyl or “digital cassette.” The online shop features album merchandise, including long-sleeved shirts, hoodies and beanies.

In a recent interview with VIBE, Lil Wayne said that even though his recording process has drastically changed since his prolific mixtape days, he still finds enjoyment in going to the studio to create.

“I love the difficulty of trying to fit in with what’s going on today, making sure I sound likable to the ears today and having to remind myself that it’s not about what it was back then. Going to the studio now, for me, is awesome. I used to go to that muf***a and do 12 songs a night. Cut a beat on, I’m going to go and you let me know when to stop,” Wayne said.

“...I can’t wait to get in the studio now every night, just to see what I can come up with. [Before] it was just me going to the studio and saying, let me kill ten more songs and then I’m going to go home or do whatever I was doing. Now, it’s let me see what I come up with. Self-discovery, rebirth – call it whatever you want to call it but it feels awesome, I swear to God.”

The New Orleans native’s last studio LP, Tha Carter V, dropped in 2018 after years of delays. In 2019, the 37-year-old rapper embarked on a joint summer tour with Blink-182, but the jaunt was marred by difficulty as Wayne walked off stage during one show and threatened to quit. He changed his mind hours later.

Even with all the tour trouble, Blink-182 had nothing but good things to say about Weezy. “The one day where he walked off stage, he had said, ‘I just felt like they didn’t like me,’ so he walked off stage,” drummer Travis Barker explained in an interview last year.

Funeral drops on Jan. 31. Check out the album teaser below.

1/31 https://t.co/7VtPC39vT6 pic.twitter.com/FQrLNA8ptn

— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) January 23, 2020

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