VIBE Editor-In-Chief Corrects Fox News' Interpretation Of JAY-Z & Kendrick Lamar Lyrics

"You have to take in the whole project, not bits and pieces that work into your agenda," Thomas to Ingraham. 

The 2018 Grammy nominations have opened up the gates for debates. From snubs to surprise contenders, everything seems to be a talking point for music enthusiasts and its critics.

Despite the wins hip-hop has on the Grammy nominees list, preferably with the honest releases of JAY-Z's 4:44 and Kendrick Lamar's DAMN, conservatives have masked the gold with coal.

On Tuesday (Nov. 28) VIBE's editor-in-chief Datwon Thomas discussed with Fox News' The Ingraham Angle host Laura Ingraham the importance of the two rap titans and what they mean to the young listeners of today.

"They get a chance to speak to those who aren't heard," Thomas said. "These are the voices that are there for us. JAY-Z is one who's made it from the streets to the stock market to the boardrooms and presidents of labels. You also have Kendrick, an incredible lyricist who's on his well on his way to business. So these are actually really good icons to look up to."

Ingraham then looked to the lyrics of "The Story of O.J." and "Humble" to point out her view of rap's negative influence on the mainstream. “The Story of O.J.” OK, this is nominated," she said before reading the lyrics. “Light n-word”, I can’t say the word, I’m not saying the word. “Light n-word, dark n-word, faux n-word, real n-word, rich n-word, poor n-word, house n-word, field n-word.”

"It's unfortunate that you guys picked those particular lines and not the supportive lyrics that they also put out," Thomas replied. "The JAY-Z lines are what we're actually speaking to [the reality of] now. No matter how far JAY-Z goes, how far he achieves in the mainstream's eyes, he's always going to be looked at as what he was saying. This is a creative license and they're able to do that; from bar to bar from verse to verse."

He continued by pressing the importance of how the lyrics are more than just bullet points for the naysayers.

"You have to take in the whole project, not bits and pieces that work into your agenda," he said. "The Grammy board must think highly of these individuals because they're nominated in record numbers."

Hov scored the most nominations with eight, while Kendrick followed close with seven. Both artists are up for Record of the Year and Album of the Year.

Watch the full interview above.

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Ebro Calls Out Kodak Black For Sexual Assault During Interview

The Internet's latest victim of unwarranted hate is Ebro Darden, host of Hot 97's Ebro in the Morning. currently awaiting trialThe Internet is split on Darden's attempt to try to discuss Kodak Black's sexual assault allegations. He is for charges of criminal sexual conduct from a sexual assault indictment in 2017.

During the rapper's visit to the radio show on Wednesday (Dec. 12), everything seemed fine and dandy. However, around 15-minutes in, Ebro brought up the Floridian's current sexual assault case.

“Look man, at this point, it’s a pleasure to meet you man,” Ebro says near the 15-minute mark of the 17-minute interview. “You know, looking at all your cases and everything you’ve been through, and I know the recent one right now is very sensitive. Respect to everybody involved in that case, we can’t get into details today… We take sexual assault here serious. We can’t get into details, but we hope to have you back, so that we can have a deeper conversation about that. It’s a serious topic, we’re hearing these stories a lot."

Peter Rosenberg swiftly tries to deflect from the conversation by asking Kodak if the moon landing of 1969 was a conspiracy. However, Ebro brings up the musician's clear anxiety over the fact that he brought up the case.

"I feel like sometimes, when n***as like me are going through sh*t, y'all be entertained," says Kodak as he squirms in his chair. "Like, change the subject... talk about something else." Ebro then brings up that they tried to change the subject, and if there's nothing left to discuss, the interview could be over. At that point, Kodak gets up from the mic and walks away.

On Twitter after the interview began to gain virality, Ebro wrote that he did not discuss any specifics about the case, and that he was just trying to have a "balanced" conversation. While many members of the Twittersphere are praising Ebro for attempting to have a conversation about the elephant in the room, others are calling him out for "baiting" and bringing up something that "he shouldn't have brought up."

What are your thoughts?

I was tryna have a balanced convo with Kodak Black & not ignore the serious allegations against him but also not ask specifics to make his situation worse... and he wanna get an attitude with me?? Nah....

— El Viejo Ebro (@oldmanebro) December 12, 2018

He’s young black rich and ignorant. He was suppose to be uncomfortable about it.

— Nisha2much (@NautiNish) December 13, 2018

If you bring it up then say "we cant get into details tho" thats not a balanced convo thats baiting

— Scam SZN (@SumBlaqGuy) December 12, 2018

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Sir Elton John covered Khalid's 'American Teen' single for Spotify Singles.
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Sir Elton John Covers Khalid's "Young Dumb And Broke"

Khalid has had the opportunity to cover songs from some legendary musicians like Tracy Chapman. Now, the tables have turned. Sir Elton John recently covered the Texan’s 2017 hit “Young Dumb & Broke.”

The “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” musician reworked Khalid’s American Teen track for the Spotify Singles series. In a statement, he praised the young musician’s growth, and he called the song “one of [his] favorites.” Khalid can be heard at the end of the Elton version singing along.

“I discovered Khalid’s music a few years ago, and have been a fan ever since,” Sir Elton wrote. “We finally met when I played his home town of El Paso last year. It’s a thrill to be a small part of any new artist’s journey, and it’s been wonderful to see his star continue to rise and rise. ‘Young Dumb & Broke’ is a fabulous song, one of my favorites, and I’m really pleased that he liked my cover enough to contribute vocals.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Sir Elton has praised members of the newer generation of music. His song “Rocket Man” is sampled in Young Thug’s On The Rvn EP. In the past, he’s sung Thugger’s praises, namely in a 2015 interview with Noisey, where he noted he enjoyed how he pushed the boundaries of hip-hop.

Listen to Sir Elton John’s cover below.

this is so crazy Thank you so much @eltonofficial pic.twitter.com/QVkQjqCSuM

— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) December 12, 2018

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'Sesame Street' Praised For The Inclusion Of Homeless Character

Sesame Street continues its crusade to include statement-making characters on their block. This time around, families will be introduced to Lily, the show’s first homeless character.

According to USA Today, Lily- an adorable hot pink, red haired puppet- was first introduced to the show in 2011, but in new online clips, Lily opens up about being homeless and staying with friends.

"Now we don't have our own place to live, and sometimes I wonder if we'll ever have our own home," she says to Elmo in one clip. In her initial appearances on the show, Lily discusses her family’s food insecurities, meaning they didn’t have much to eat.

“We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma – the lack of affordable housing, poverty, domestic violence, or other trauma that caused them to lose their home, the trauma of actually losing their home, and the daily trauma of the uncertainty and insecurity of being homeless,” said Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop.

“We want to help disrupt that cycle by comforting children, empowering them, and giving them hope for the future," she continues. "We want them to know that they are not alone and home is more than a house or an apartment – home is wherever the love lives.”

In recent years, Sesame Street has introduced a slew of ground-breaking new characters, including Julia, a puppet with autism, and Alex, a character whose father is incarcerated.

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