2017 Australian Open - Day 13
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Serena Williams Talks Family And Motherhood With 'Vogue'

The tennis star gets intimate about recent revelations, discussing the many facets of motherhood and the complications encountered during childbirth.

Serena Williams will have been a mother for four months in a few days and she’s head over heels for little Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. The world has been watching her family's journey on her social platforms but she’s finally giving the inside scoop. For Vogue’s February issue, Williams graces the cover with her daughter. She dons a red Versace dress, baby in hand, photographed by Mario Testino.

The tennis star gets intimate about recent revelations, discussing the many facets of motherhood, the complications encountered during childbirth, and the goals she’s set for her return to the court.

Williams’ pregnancy was fairly easy. She carried her daughter to term with no complications but when it came time for birthing, there was some adversity. The 36-year-old and her husband, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, reflect together in her informal Vogue interview.

Olympia was born via emergency C-section after her heart rate plummeted. “The surgery went off without a hitch; Alexis cut the cord, and the wailing newborn fell silent the moment she was laid on her mother’s chest,” Vogue reports. The surgery was hardly the problem. Williams’ complications came a day later. “That was an amazing feeling, and then everything went bad,” she tells Vogue.

Having struggled with blood clots in the past, Williams recognized a discomfort in her chest. Doctors learned shortly after that she had several small clots in her lungs but she healed like a champ. Williams made a red-carpet appearance only 10 weeks after the fact. While she healed, Alexis took on every task that she’d been anxiously awaiting.

“I was happy to change diapers,” Alexis said, “but on top of everything she was going through, the feeling of not being able to help made it even harder. Consider for a moment that your body is one of the greatest things on this planet, and you’re trapped in it.” But Williams couldn’t be kept down for long.

In the extensive cover, Williams also talks about the ambivalence that comes in a package deal with motherhood. She does battle with some issues of self-efficacy regarding the matter. But it’s not unnatural for her.

“It’s that same negative attitude I have on the court sometimes. I guess that’s just who I am. No one talks about the low moments—the pressure you feel, the incredible letdown every time you hear the baby cry," she said. "I’ve broken down I don’t know how many times. Or I’ll get angry about the crying, then sad about being angry, and then guilty, like, Why do I feel so sad when I have a beautiful baby? The emotions are insane."

But that’s not to be confused with the idea that Serena is worried about reclaiming her spot as number one when she returns. “I’m well aware of the record books, unfortunately. It’s not a secret that I have my sights on 25,” she said. Williams has 23 Grand Slam tournament wins for women’s singles and to beat the record of Margaret Court’s 24 wins, she’ll need two more. Williams has told the world repeatedly that she plays to win and it shows. "I don’t play to be the second best or the third best. If there’s no clear number one, it’s like, yeah, I can get my spot back," she asserts.

“I think sometimes women limit themselves,” she said. I’m not sure why we think that way, but I know that we’re sometimes taught to not dream as big as men, not to believe we can be a president or a CEO, when in the same household, a male child is told he can be anything he wants. I’m so glad I had a daughter. I want to teach her that there are no limits.”

Williams, as usual, was convincing. When she returns, she will go harder than ever. She closed with a promise. “I’ve been playing tennis since before my memories started. I see the finish line. And when you see the finish line, you don’t slow down. You speed up.”

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Ashanti Joins Omarion's Millennium Tour

Our prayers for a female presence on Omarion's Millenium Tour have been answered with one of the most talented singers in R&B.

On Thursday (Dec. 5), Omarion announced singer-songwriter Ashanti as a special guest for the upcoming tour. "So excited to announce that Ashanti will be joining The Millennium Tour lineup!" he said in an Instagram post. The singer announced the follow-up show last week to what was perceived as a B2K reunion tour featuring Mario, Lloyd, Pretty Ricky, Chingy, Bobby Valentino and the Ying Yang Twins earlier this year.

Hailed as The "Millenium Tour 2020," the new bill features Soulja Boy and Sammie, with the Ying Yang Twins, Pretty Ricky and Lloyd returning to the mix. The tour will also include Bow Wow, who has several jams (and an album) with Omarion like "Let Me Hold You" and "Girlfriend."

Before joining the tour, Ashanti was a special guest during Lloyd's performances of their 2004 hit, "Southside." With such a large and memorable discography, fans will be thrilled to hear some of the Grammy-winner's biggest hits like "Foolish," "Only U," and recent releases like "Say Less" featuring Ty Dolla $ign and "Pretty Little Thing" featuring Afro B.

This will more than likely be a another big financial boost to the tour. The inaugural Millennium Tour grossed $6.7 million from its first eight reports, according to Billboard and set a career-high for B2K. They also went on to earn $5 million from three additional dates at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. (April 13-14), State Farm Arena in Atlanta (April 4-5), and Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. (April 12).

 

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Fabolous Clarifies Comments About Shiggy And Paid Promotional Posts

Fabolous is all about his friends–including Shiggy–making their bread. The rapper cleared up an assumed incident between himself and the comedian during an interview with Ebro in The Morning after he was criticized for slamming Shiggy for demanding a check for promoted social posts.

Earlier this week, an exchange between Fab, Casanova and Shiggy about the matter was seen on Instagram Live after Shiggy explained why he doesn't create "challenge" dances for free. In light of his new single "Choosy," he asked his pal for a #ChoosyChallenge dance post to support it. Shiggy said he would be down to do it–but had to receive a check first.

Shiggy's profile has skyrocketed since he created the #InMyFeelings challenge in 2018. The challenge helped boost Drake's single and led to the comedian going on tour with him. He's also found himself in some awkward situations with rappers nearly bullying him into providing his influence for their music. During Shiggy's exchange with Casanova and Fab, it seemed that Shiggy's request was frowned upon.

Speaking to Ebro, Laura Stylez and Peter Rosenberg, Fab says his criticism of Shiggy was a joke and he's well aware that the comedian should receive a check for his services.

"It was all a play to play with Shiggy," he said. "Shiggy is a joking person, so you joke back with him. So my joke to him was, this first time I'm seeing him, he was at my show, and just like, 'Wow, look at Shiggy.' So I hit Shiggy just because we was starting the challenge of it and just because I know him personally. We have a cool relationship.  So I was just like, 'Yo man, it'd be cool if you do something for the new joint, for 'Choosy.'' And he's like, 'Yeah, yeah, see if you get me a check or something.' And even when he said it, I didn't take no offense to it, because I even see now, social media and the social media influencers, record labels do that. But me personally, I don't personally pay people, you know what I'm saying? I even told him like, 'I'mma see if Def Jam can get you a check. Let me figure it out.'"

Shiggy hasn't responded to the drama but he did say in his Instagram stories, "I didn't change, I just learned my lesson."

Check out the rest of Fab's interview below.

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Miniseries Based On Uptown Records Heads To BET

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Founded in the late 80s by longstanding music industry executive Andre Harrell, the label helped shape and promote the careers of Mary J. Blige, Al B. Sure, Heavy D & the Boyz, Jodeci, The Notorious B.I.G., and served as a springboard for Diddy to launch his own imprint, Bad Boy Records. The program will be executive produced by Jesse Collins who worked behind-the-scenes on the network's hit biopics The New Edition Story, and The Bobby Brown Story.

"I am thrilled to partner with BET Networks and Jesse Collins Entertainment to share my story, the rise of Uptown Records and successful black entrepreneurship, and the management and cultivation of some of the most iconic artists to come out of the late '80s and '90s hip-hop, R&B and soul music era," Harrell said in a statement.

In a 2012 interview with Mega Diversities, Harrell shared what encouraged him to embark on a journey in the music business.

In 1985, I was the road manager for LL Cool J.  We did a show in New Jersey.  At the time, his first album Radio was released and had critical acclaim with its hip-hop ballads and hybrid sounds.  It appealed to a younger music audience who were instrumental in the LP’s success.  I thought it was interesting that he became one of the first rappers to crossover.  The album went platinum. The record helped establish both with Def Jam as a label (with a distribution deal with Columbia Records the following year) and LL Cool J as a rapper.  Seeing the commercial success of the LP made me realize the benefits of being in the business side of the industry.  In addition, Radio contributed to the displacement of the old school hip-hop by the new school genre (where artists tended to compose shorter with a self-assertive style). This pivotal moment in the history and the culture of rap made me see that it was time to go behind the camera and find a new style for my future artists.

Uptown will premiere in 2020.

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