BET Presents: 2017 Soul Train Awards - Show BET Presents: 2017 Soul Train Awards - Show
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Ro James Returns With The Ever So Smooth 'Smoke' EP

The singer satifies the palates of fans before the release of his upcoming sophmore project. 

After Ro James commemorated the anniversary of Biggie Smalls' death with the single “Lost My Mind," excitement began to swirl around the release of his next project - hype that the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter lived up to with the release of his Smoke EP on Friday (Mar. 23).

According to James, Smoke will be followed by another EP titled Mirrors. This marks the first installment to a tandem of tapes meant to cleanse his fans’ palates before he drops his upcoming sophomore album.

Smoke is just the intro into the fire. Mirrors is about reflection and self,” James explained via a press release. “I’ve been away for a bit recalibrating, growing and learning. I’m ready to share again. Decided to drop an EP and warm it up a little while I finish off the album.”

From the start of this four-track project, it's clear that James’ absence did not affect his artistry. He sticks to his signature sultry style with the seductive track “Outside the Box (How Bout That),” setting the tone for the EP. Apart from his celestial collaboration with the Notorious B.I.G., James solely graces the tape, giving fans the feeling that he is confident in the direction of his music.

With Smoke, Ro James continues to project a classic R&B sound which has seemingly become lost as the genre’s boundaries are blurred. Because of his nostalgic but refreshing sound, if Mirrors stays in congruence with its predecessor, there will be little doubt that with the drop of his official album it will revitalize the resurgence of R&B.

Stream the Smoke EP below.

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Nicki Minaj Reportedly Splits With Longtime Managers Cortez Bryant, Gee Roberson

Nicki Minaj is reportedly moving on from her longtime managers, Cortez Bryant and Gee Roberson, subsequently severing her relationship with Blueprint/Maverick Management. According to Billboard, the business decision was “mutual” and “amicable” but Minaj doesn’t have a new team yet, sources told the outlet.

Minaj parted ways with the team prior to her surprise appearance on Ariana Grande’s headlining Coachella set last Sunday (April 14), Variety reports. No other details were reported about the reason for the apparent split with Roberson and Bryant who head the Blueprint Group, an Atlanta-based company that formed a conglomerate with Maverick.

The “Barbie Dreams” rapper has been managed by Blueprint for the most of her career and remains on the company’s website under their list of clients which includes Lil Wayne, The Roots, Rich the Kid, CyHi the Prynce, and Jill Scott.

In other Minaj news, the 36-year-old recording artist wrapped up the European leg of her Queen world tour late last month. Minaj has yet to announce the dates for her U.S. installment of the tour.

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Dave East Thinks “Old Town Road” Is “Super Wack”

Don’t expect to see Dave East sporting a cowboy hat and listening to Lil Nas X’s hit, “Old Town Road.” The New Yorker didn’t hold back while offering up his honest opinion of the song.

“This f**king 'Old Town Road' s**t is f**kin’ wack,” the rapper said in a video posted on his Instagram story that began circulating the 'net Wednesday (April 18). “I don’t know what the f**k is going on with hip-hop, with rap. I ain’t no hater man but that s**t is wack with a cape on it. It’s super wack.”

Dave East says “Old Town Road” is “wack”...do y’all agree? 👇🎶🤔 @DaveEast pic.twitter.com/npW1gKmnfe

— WORLDSTARHIPHOP (@WORLDSTAR) April 18, 2019

Despite being removed from Billboard's country charts for not embracing enough country music elements, the Billy Ray Cyrus-assisted remix to “Old Town Road,” pushed its way to No. 1 on the Billboard singles charts. The song also scored 143 million streams in a week, breaking a previous record held by Drake.

As his popularity continues to grow, Lil Nas X wants to move past the country music drama. "I didn't want it to get to that point where it was more popular because of controversy than the song itself," he recently told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

In response to East’s comments, the music newcomer reportedly tweeted that he’s “not mad” at the rapper. “Just [an] oh well moment,” he supposedly wrote in a post that was later deleted.

Fans of the song were fare less diplomatic in reacting to the critique, while others defended East for simply sharing his opinion.

Peep some of the reactions below.

Nah Dave East really got on here with ZERO HIT RECORDS OF HIS OWN and tried to hate on a nigga who might fuck around and go diamond on his first swing. Literally some hater shit if I ever saw it. The worst shit about it is that the song not even rap it’s country (on purpose) LOL https://t.co/5jaGpcsiHD

— Little Bro (@DjChubbESwagg) April 18, 2019

We do not listen to dave east in the car. We do not listen to dave east at the bar. We do not listen to him here or there. We do not listen to him anywhere. https://t.co/Ft6T5ko3sB

— Popcorn Playa🦊 (@AuntieMemm) April 18, 2019

Dave East throws a vigil for Nip it’s “awww man Dave East a real one” Dave East says Old Town Road is trash it’s “I can’t even name 5 Dave East songs”...the innanets a weird place

— The Marathon Continues 🏁 (@RT_DeezNutzzz) April 18, 2019

Sooo Dave East a Bad human Being for having an honest opinion?

— Count Rackula aka 2Cup Shakur aka Durt Cobain aka. (@MeechIsDEAD) April 18, 2019

Dave East music fire, but he sounds like a hater rn...

How do you have static with a person for going viral with a country song lmao

— Dontai (@ImDontai) April 18, 2019

Dave East is supposed to dislike “Old Town Road” ..... because HipHop needs him to!! 💪🏾💪🏽

— El Viejo Ebro (@oldmanebro) April 19, 2019

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Dee Barnes Talks Dr. Dre. Attack, Goes Silent When Asked If He Sexually Assaulted Her

It’s no secret that pioneering hip-hop journalist Denise “Dee” Barnes was viciously beaten by Dr. Dre in 1991, but there are still details of the harrowing incident that remain a mystery. Barnes, who received an outpouring of support since revealing that she’s homeless, appeared on The Wendy Williams Show Wednesday (April 18) to discuss her living predicament and the night that she was assaulted by Dre, but when asked if the music mogul sexually assaulted her, Barnes went silent.

As Barnes recalled during the interview, Dre attacked her at a Def Jam party in Los Angeles in retaliation for her interview with Ice Cube after he split with N.W.A. According to Barnes, she was standing near a stairway talking to someone when Dre grabbed her by the hair and rammed her head into a brick wall. “Dre approached me out of nowhere [and] grabs me by my hair. He picked me up, lifted me up off the ground [by my hair and] slammed me up against a brick wall several times.

“I didn’t see but he had a bodyguard with him and he kept the crowd from helping [me] by threatening the crowd with a gun,” continued the former Pump It Up host. “The person that was talking to me, was the only person who tried to intervene, he got pistol whipped [and ] lost two teeth.”

Barnes remembers being disoriented as she lay on the ground, unable to walk down the stairs. “I grab the rail, I pull myself back up and run into the women’s restroom. He follows me into the women’s restroom,” she said before taking a pause. “He continued to assault me in the women’s restroom.”

“Were you sexually assaulted?” Williams prodded.

“I’m not comfortable talking about everything right now,” Barnes replied.

“Your silence is speaking volumes,” added Williams.

In a 1991 interview with Rolling Stone, Dre brushed off the incident casaully stating that he threw Barnes “through a door.” The assault came back to light in 2015 after it was noticeably absent from Straight Outta Compton, along with Dre’s abuse of his ex-girlfriend, Michel'le with whom he has a child. Dre later released a public apology, although he didn’t mention Barnes or Michel'le directly. “I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives,” he said in a statement. He also addressed the beating in HBO's The Defiant Ones series in 2017. “I was out of my f**king mind at the time. I f**ked up. I paid for it. I’m sorry for it. And I apologized for it.I have this dark cloud that follows me, and it’s going to be attached to me forever. It’s a major blemish on who I am as a man, and every time it comes up, it just makes me feel f**ked up.”

Dre, whose birth name is Andre Young, pleaded no contest to assaulting Barnes. He was sentenced to probation and community service and went to become a multi-millionaire entrepreneur, Grammy-winning solo artist, and sought after producer. Meanwhile, Barnes was blacklisted from the music industry after she was attacked.

During a much happier moment in her Wendy Williams Show interview, Williams presented Barnes with a $15,000 check to help her get back on her feet, and offered her a book deal.

Watch the full interview below.

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