Joe Budden: "Hip-Hop Is A Better Place Without L.A. Reid"

"Good f**ing riddance," Budden said during "Everyday Struggle" on Monday. 

Joe Budden didn't hold back his feelings agaisnt former Epic executive L.A. Reid as he shared his thoughts on the sexual harassment allegations that came to light towards the 60-year-old on Complex's Everyday Struggle.

Budden, who has worked with Reid during his time at Def Jam, laid out the allegations on Monday (May 15), as well as Reid's business dealings, calling him "an executive definition of a flop." Instead of looking at the successes of DJ Khaled and Future on Epic, Budden questioned the rollout of French Montana's album MC4 and Reid's time at Def Jam.

"I did a mental run down at the year at Epic. I automatically went back to French [Montana] and how his album was supposed to come out last summer and it was shipped to Target, but it had to come back," he said. "That was a big deal. Then I looked to the Future contacts with Rocko and how that was a big deal [for Epic.] When this is your year at Epic, this tells me that L.A. is still L.A. L.A. Reid shouldn't have a job in the music industry. L.A. Reid is an executive definition of a flop. Every where he has gone, he's spent more than he has generated everywhere he has gone. Arista is no more."

He then went on to the allegations made by a female staffer and claimed rumors were circulating during his time at Def Jam. Reid served as the head of the label and Island Def Jam from 2004 to 2011. "There were multiple assistants at Def Jam that said that L.A. Reid liked to call 18-year-olds in his office and soliciting sexual [favors]," he said. "I don't know if that got out to the public and how he got another job, this news about the assistants, I don't think this was a secret in the music industry. This speaks to the issue of powerful men and how they're able to come and go as they please. These companies want to rid themselves of the liability. I'm sure there's a Bill Cosby list somewhere."

He added, "I'm just going to say it, L.A. Reid is a sexual predator and now that I have this seat and these allegations are out, let's just let the cat out the bag."

The two seem to be at odds over the course of Budden's time at the label with Reid calling the rapper "too wordy." It's been said over the years that Reid's history with R&B acts featured his strong points, but when it comes to hip-hop, the outcome wasn't so great. "Hip-hop is a better place today without L.A. Reid, good f**king riddance," he said.

Watch his take on the claims above.

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Kodak Black Moved To New Prison After Accusing Officials Of Trying To Kill Him

Kodak Black has been moved to a new prison amid complaints about the treatment that he reportedly endured at a facility in Miami, where he claims officials are “slowly” trying to kill him.

Kodak, who legally changed his name to Bill K. Kapri, was originally housed at FCI Miami. His mother, Marcelene Simmons, and a team of lawyers including Benjamin Crump who represented Trayvon Martin’s parents, arrived at the facility on Thursday (Jan. 23) only to be told that Kodak was on a bus to a Kentucky, the Miami Herald reports. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, Kodak is now being housed at Oklahoma City FTC.

“They new we were coming out here, they knew we were doing this today,” said attorney Devon Jacob. “Their refusal to let him see his counsel is in and of itself, a constitutional violation.”

Meanwhile, Simmons made an emotional plea for her son’s safety. “I want to make sure my son is OK! I don’t want my son to die. If they kill my son, I’ll kill myself too. Please someone help me!”

Last week, Kodak called out Miami FDC official Santiago Torres for allegedly abusing her authority. “There is a big conspiracy going on in the building on me,” he wrote on Instagram. “Santiago Torres is using her position wrongfully in Miami FDC and abusing her authority. She has been writing falsified incident reports on me to take [away] phone privileges that I get once a week while in solitary [confinement].”

Kodak also claims that he’s not receiving mail in a timely manner, and that Torres blocked both his girlfriend and his mother from visiting. “I was denied [a] visit with my mother on December 23, two days before Christmas. Not only does my incoming mail take an average of a month to get to me but they are messing with my outgoing mail as well. “

He went on to accuse corrections officers of starving him last New Year’s Eve. “I was handed an empty tray for breakfast. I brought it to their attention but nothing was done for me since the camera shows them entering a tray through my [cell] flap, but meanwhile there is nothing in my tray when I opened it.

“They are strategically killing me slowly in here,” he continued. “I have been humiliated over and over again. I am highly disappointed in the way they have treated not only me, but all the other inmates in this facility.”

 

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Lieutenant F. Arroyo has been very vindictive towards me and I have a strong feeling it has something to do with me being set up, laced, bruised and brutally beaten two weeks before my court date. There is a big conspiracy going on in this building on Me. Santiago Torres is using her position wrongfully in Miami FDC and is abusing her authority. She has been writing falsified incident reports on me, to take phone privileges that I get once a week while in solitary. Also, doing anything to take my gain time so that I come home literally when I am supposed to. One morning, she pulled me out my cell to tell me she is going to “Take my pretty little girlfriend off my visitation list’. For no other reason but to add insult to my distress. Not being able to see my significant other while locked away in this hell hole. Also, I was denied visit with my mother on December 23, two days before Christmas. Not only does my incoming mail take an average of a month To get to me but they are messing with my outgoing mail as well. My family hasn’t received none of my letters for the holidays. Which is borderline cruel and unethical, but as if all this is not enough, on December 31 New Year’s Eve to be exact, I was handed an empty tray for breakfast. I brought it to their attention, but nothing was done for me. Since the camera shows them entering a tray through my flap, but meanwhile there is nothing in my tray when i. opened it. They are strategically killing me slowly in here. I have been humiliated over and over again. I am highly disappointed in the way they have treated not only me, but all the other inmates in this facility. With their self serving agenda they will always side with their fellow officers whether right or wrong.

A post shared by KILL BILL (@kodakblack) on Jan 16, 2020 at 11:29am PST

In an another post, Kodak speaks about a fellow inmate in solitary confinement named Pete, who allegedly committed suicide after being denied medical attention. “As Pete’s constant cries for help fell on deaf ears, he decided to take himself out of his misery by hanging himself from the bunk.

“It’s sad because everyone was aware of his health issues and one CO could have found it in the kindness of [their] heart to do their jobs and simply call medical, his family wouldn’t be mourning his loss as of now.”

The 22-year-old rapper, who faces sexual assault charges in South Carolina, is currently serving a three-year sentence on a separate weapons charge.

Kodak is expected to be released in 2022.

 

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About four months ago there was a guy in here in solitary confinement that was well known throughout the building Pete was a very kind and generous person and while in solitary confinement Pete’s health condition reached a very advanced Stage while he was in excruciating pain! So, Pete requested medical attention (like myself) which was denied ( like myself) because he felt like he was dying ( like myself ) As Pete’s constant cried for help fell on deaf ears, he decided to take himself out of his misery by hanging himself from the bunk to end his pain and suffering. It’s sad because everyone was aware of his health issues and one C O could have found it in the kindness of the heart to do their jobs and simply call medical, his family wouldn’t be mourning his loss as of now. Everyone here knows of this tragedy but it’s being hidden from the public eye. I am grateful that I was blessed with a platform to shine a light on this catastrophe and the injustices that go on within the land of these walls. My deepest condolences goes out to Pete’s family. I need for y’all to contact me ASAP so I can send my blessings to your direction. Although, there is no price to pay for Pete’s life, I got some money for you all. I am sure it was hard having to greave over him during the holidays. I tried to do this sooner but they are not sending my mail out. [ From behind the cement with lots of love #Bill] ( DM @cdubb_1 )

A post shared by KILL BILL (@kodakblack) on Jan 16, 2020 at 11:34am PST

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Black Texas Teen Barred From Graduation Because Of His Dreadlocks

A black Texas teen was suspended and is barred from graduation because of his dreadlocks, NBC News reports. DeAndre Arnold, a senior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, has to cut his hair if he wants to walk the graduation stage.

DeAndre, whose family hales from Trinidad, has had locks for several years, gets A’s and B’s in school, and wears his hair in compliance with the school’s dress code, his mother, Sandy Arnold, told Houston’s NBC affiliate KPRC. “The dress code is [hair] off the shoulders above the earlobes and out of the eyes,” she explained.

The school district allegedly changed the dress code around Christmas of last year. According to the latest Barbers Hill Student Handbook, hair must be “clean and well groomed.” Students are not allowed to cover their heads, dye their hair, or wear “geometric or unusual patterns (such as Mohawks and Faux hawks) shaved or cut in the hair.” For male students, hair can’t fall below the eyebrows or earlobes and must not extend “below the top of a T-shirt collar.”Beards, goatees and mustaches are also not allowed.

DeAndre’s mother said that she reached out to board members and the superintendent to rectify the issue but with no luck.

“They say that even [when] my hair is up if it were down it would be not in compliance with the dress code. However, I don’t take it down in school,” said DeAndre.

The teen proudly rock his dreadlocks because the hairstyle connects him to Trinidadian culture. “I really like that part of Trinidadian culture. I really embrace that.”

Barbers Hill Independent School District released a statement noting that the district enforces a “community supported hair length policy” that has been in place “for decades.” The statement adds, “Barber Hill is a state leader with high expectations in all areas!”

The teenager's story is similar to that of a 6-year-old boy in Texas whose school also wanted him to cut off his dreadlocks. DeAndre's mother said her son won’t be getting a hair cut. “This is a pat of who he is. So [we're] absolutely not going to cut his hair.”

See more in the video above.

 

 

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Former Recording Academy Boss Says The Grammy Awards Are Rigged

Former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan is accusing the Recording Academy of gender discrimination and sexual harassment, days before the 62nd annual Grammy Awards.

The 46-page complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Tuesday (Jan. 21), claims that the Recording Academy abides by a “boy’s club mentality”  and manipulates the Grammys voting process, among other allegations.

In the documents, Dugan accuses the Recording Academy of attempting to smear her reputation for speaking out against the alleged harassment, gender discrimination, unequal pay, and unlawful retaliation, that she claims to have endured. Dugan, who was recently ousted from her position, also accuses music lawyer Joel Katz of sexual harassment.

Katz “categorically” denied Dugan’s allegations in a statement through his attorney.

Dugan, the Recording Academy’s first female CEO, says she took over after former CEO Neil Portnow resigned “in disgrace after being caught making misogynistic remarks about women recording artists.” Dungan claims that her salary was significantly lower than her two male predecessors, and that she was later told to hire Portnow as a consultant for a $750,000 fee. The documents goes on to claim  Portnow's consultant contract was severed because he was accused of raping a female recording artist.

Portnow denied the rape claim which he called, “ludicrous and untrue.”

Dugan filed a HR complaint in December of 2019. She was put on administrative leave three weeks later. However, the Recording Academy claims Dugan was placed on leave over a bullying complaint from Portnow’s executive assistant. Dugan alleges that the Recording Academy attempted to work out a settlement with her before backing out at the last minute and giving her one hour to agree to a new deal. She later informed the company of her intent to sue.

Dugan's complaint outlines how women and minority groups have been “historically underrepresented” at the Grammys and within the Academy. For example, the docs note that only 10 black artists have won the coveted Album of the Year honor and that R&B artist are typically excluded from top awards in favor of country, rock and pop music. The docs point out some of the criticisms the the Grammys has received, including failing to honor black artists and a lack of diversity among winners. Eminem for instances, won Best Rap Album seven times despite the category being dominated by black artists. Also mentioned in the documents are Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who beat out Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Kanye West for Best Rap Album in 2014. Dugan used Drake and pop star Dua Lipa to support her claim that the show cuts acceptance speeches short if the artist criticizes the Academy.

Further in the docs, Dugan exposes the Grammys nominations process as allegedly being “ripe with corruption.” Submissions are voted on by 12,000 Recording Academy members all around the country. The selections are narrowed down to the Top 20 entries, which are then reviewed by “secret committees.” Dugan asserts that board members on the committees have relationships with recording artists, thus furthering an artist's chance of getting nominated.

“The Board also manipulates the nominations process to ensure that certain songs or albums are nominated when the producer of the Grammys (Ken Ehrlich) wants a particular song performed during the show,” the documents claim.

Click here to read Dungan's full complaint.

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