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Sean Price's 'Imperius Rex' Album Is A Living Testament Of His Lyrical Greatness

Bernadette Price is doing all she can to keep his legacy alive.

August 8, 2015 was a sad day for the global hip-hop community. On this day, one of our underground giants passed away peacefully in his sleep. Sean Price’s name may not immediately ring bells with the masses, but for hardcore rap connoisseurs, he is known as one of the best to ever do it. I was honored to see Price one last time on the day of Duck Down Music's 2015 BBQ, held at Betsey Head Park in Brownsville, Brooklyn, which was Price's hometown. After I got off the 3 train at Sutter Avenue, the first person I bumped into happened to be Sean Price. No words were exchanged. I just looked at him in shock, and he looked back. We gave each other a dap and that was it. I didn't have to say a word. I will never forget that humble moment.

LINK: Stream Sean Price’s Posthumous ‘Imperius Rex’ Album

His wife, Bernadette Price, and daughter, Shaun Price, serve as living proof that positive energy never dies, it only transfers. On August 1, I was granted access to a private listening session in Manhattan to hear Sean Price’s posthumous album, Imperious Rex. The room was filled with Duck Down Music artists and extended family such as Statik Selektah, who sports a large “P!” tattoo on his calf muscle in honor of his deceased friend. The album played as images of the late rapper appeared on a projector screen. Sound waves filled with hard-hitting beats laced with rugged rhymes filled the room. No gimmicks, no wack features, no 808s combined with Auto-Tune—just the purest rap music in all the land.

LINK: Ryan Phillippe Pays Tribute To Sean Price With An Awesome New Tattoo

Every feature on the album fits flawlessly, including a crazy verse from Duck Down’s very own BuckShot, who was super close to P. Buck doesn't release music often these days, but his verse on "Apartheid" shows he’s not rusty at all when it comes to his craft. Track 9, “The 3 Lyrical Ps,” might be the standout track on the album because it features two of the rawest MCs: Styles P and Prodigy (RIP).

READ: Sean Price Lives On With Planet Asia & DJ Concept’s New Single, “The Festival”

Aside from hard bars and beats, the album wouldn't be complete without some of Sean’s humor. The “Not 97” skit features Mr. Price doing a FunkMaster Flex parody where he reenacts a 2015 Flex rant aimed at JAY-Z, but he is actually playfully dissing his own label and CEO Druha Friedman. It's a minute and a half of pure comedy. However, my favorite moment on the album is the very last song, “Price Family.” Sean and his beloved wife, Bernadette, go bar for bar on the track. It's magical how Bernadette is able to mirror Sean’s intricate rap flow. She really is a true reflection of her deceased king.

At the end of the night, upon my exit, I approached Bernadette and gave her a huge hug and kiss on the cheek. I had to tell her I admired her so much for her strength and for making all of this happen. We all owe Bernadette Price a major thank-you for helping make sure this album was finished and released— along with Dru, Buckshot and the entire Duck Down family. Although Sean left us in the physical, his legacy will live on, and Bernadette is making sure it happens. You know what they say: "Brownsville never ran, never will.”

VIBE: How long did the album take to complete, and what would you say was the hardest part about this whole process?
Bernadette Price: It took about a year and eight months to finish putting it together. The hardest part was working through all of the emotions of him not being here.

When did Prodigy record his verse?
I'm not sure when, but I know Prodigy and Sean were both still here when he did his verse, which was actually done for Harry Fraud, who then gave me the song for this album. Losing Prodigy hurt really bad because I immediately thought of his family, who had to deal with the pain that I still feel from losing my husband.

What would you say was the best moment for you in working on this project?
The best moment was being able to please his fans again, and finishing what he started.

Were you surprised when JAY-Z made a hefty donation to the funeral?
I was surprised and grateful, but they were cool with each other... Thank you, JAY-Z!

Ruck Down was the label Sean was working on before his passing...
Yes, Ruck Down is something he started, inshallah (God willing), and I plan to continue it as if he was here... I would have been running it anyway (lol).

What do you guys have planned next for the fans?
We have more music from Sean to release, so the plan is to finish what he started.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”

 

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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

A post shared by the Jasmine BRAND (@thejasminebrand_) on Mar 22, 2019 at 5:32pm PDT

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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