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LL Cool J To Be First Hip-Hop Honoree At Kennedy Center

This is a Kennedy Center first. 

Ladies love LL, but apparently so does the Kennedy Center. The 2017 Kennedy Center gala honorees were reportedly announced on Thursday (Aug. 3), and LL Cool J made the list. The latest honor means that the rapper will be the first hip-hop artist to ever receive an award at the prestigious center in all of its 46-year history.

LL, whose real name is James Todd Smith, will reportedly be celebrated for his "talent and ingenuity," Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein said in a statement. "Landmark hip-hop artist LL Cool J taught the world how to rhyme as one of the pioneers of the hip-hop phenomenon," Rubenstein said.

Following the happy news, the "I Need Love" rapper hopped on social media to express his gratitude for the incredible honor.  "To be the first rap artist honored by the @KennedyCenter is beyond anything I could have imagined," he wrote in a post on Instagram. "I dedicate this honor to the hip-hop artists who came before me and those who came after me. This simply proves that dreams don't have deadlines."  The rapper also mentioned his late grandmother who offered up some words of advice during the early stages of his career: "if a task is once begun, never leave it ‘til it’s done. Be thy labor great or small, do it well or not at all."

LL Cool J has endured a lengthy and impressive career in music and the Hollywood  industry. From winning Grammy's to starring in major feature films, and hosting a number of TV and awards shows, LL has pretty much done it all.

The Kennedy Center's awards gala will reportedly air on CBS on Dec. 26.

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Stalley Announces U.S. Tour, Releases 'All So New' Single With Jansport J

Ohio rap staple Stalley has returned with news of a new nationwide tour, and new music to go along with it.

On Monday (Sept. 16), Stalley announced The Head Trip Tour, a U.S. trek with 12 dates so far and more shows to be announced. The tour begins in Chicago on Nov. 7, before touring throughout more of his midwestern stomping grounds and rocking Los Angeles before several shows on the East Coast.

Stalley also released "All So New," a single produced by Los Angeles musician Jansport J. The song is his first new release since Human, an EP he dropped earlier this year.

After entering the game with his breakthrough mixtape Lincoln Way Nights, Stalley built his own fan base and eventually signed with Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group. He has since left and gone indie, releasing his own music with guest appearances from the likes of Scarface, Nipsey Hussle, 2Chainz, Ty Dolla $ign and many more.

In a press release, Stalley said that his upcoming material is more personal than ever now that he's working without the restrictions of a label.

"With this music it’s more spiritual - it’s my story," Stalley said. "I've been getting closer to my fans lately, so I really wanted to let them in and have them be a part of my growth and transition into independence. By being independent and having total control of my career, I now have the freedom to create freely and bare my whole self to my true supporters."

Listen to "All So New" above or on your favorite streaming services, and see his tour schedule below.

 

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‪I’m back ten toes, black rose out the soil. See you soon #BCGAlert🚨 ‬

A post shared by Stalley 🏁 (@stalley) on Sep 16, 2019 at 12:32pm PDT

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Rihanna Inks Publishing Deal With Sony/ATV

Rihanna continues to make our jaws drop and we just can't get enough. After two successful New York Fashion Week events with her Savage X Fenty lingerie line and her fifth annual Diamond Ball event, the world's richest female musician has signed a global deal with Sony/ATV Music publishing.

Billboard reports the announcement was made on Monday (Sept. 16), stating that the deal will cover the artist's full songwriting catalog and future projects.

Rih also made history as the first entertainer to follow Jon Platt, chairman, and CEO of Sony/ATV, after he stepped into the executive seat in April 2019. Their partnership first began in 2015 at Warner/Chappell before Platt moved to Sony/ATV, according to Variety.

"I'm proud to have known Rihanna since the beginning of her career," he said. "Music, fashion, philanthropy and a heart of gold have solidified Rihanna's position as one of the biggest icons in the world."

The Bajan-beauty has numerous musical achievements including 14 Billboard Hot 100 No.1s, nine Grammy Awards, and seven RIAA-certified multi-platinum albums. Her elite status doesn't stop there since she snagged 13 American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Awards, seven MTV Video Music Awards, and the 2017 Songwriter of the Year at the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards.

Her last seven albums have reached platinum status 22 times in the United States.

"It's an honor to be reunited with her at Sony/ATV," Platt said.

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Stance Socks Celebrates 'Ready To Die' Anniversary With Sweet Chick Collaboration

Friday (Sept. 13) marks the 25th anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.'s masterpiece debut Ready To Die, and Stance sock company teamed up with hip-hop elite and friends of Biggie to celebrate the occasion.

On Thursday (Sept. 12) evening, Stance hosted a party at Nas' chicken and waffles restaurant Sweet Chick in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Guests were served cocktails and food themed after Biggie's lyrics (i.e. "escargot, my car go" and "a t-bone steak, cheese eggs"), while enjoying music spun by Statik Selektah, who unveiled a Jadakiss verse over Biggie's "Mo Money Mo Problems" that he says was from the song's original sessions. Attendees of the party included DJ Clark Kent, CJ Fly and Termanology, along with performances by Junior M.A.F.I.A. member Lil Cease and Tek of Smif-N-Wessun.

The evening also revealed a Stance and Sweet Chick "Sweet Chick Down To My Socks" collaborative sock, with a design similar to Biggie's beloved Coogi sweaters. The sock will be sold exclusively at Sweet Chick locations and online for $16.

Sept. 13 also marks a reissue of Ready To Die, with limited edition packaging, liner notes by journalist and author Kathy Iandoli, never-before-seen photos, and stories by producers Easy Mo Bee and Chucky Thompson.

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