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TMZ's Van Lathan Talks Losing 'All Respect' For Kanye West Before Viral Confrontation

“The first thing I’m gonna get into is, you know, why this is such a big deal to me.”

Kanye West enraged a lot of fans when he stated that slavery was "a choice," during his interview with TMZ Live. Despite Kanye's controversial comments, media personality Van Lathan stole the show when he checked the Chicago rapper on the live stream. In a recent episode of Lathan's podcast, The Red Pill Podcast, (published on May 1, before the live interview) he elaborated on his issues with the new Kanye.

According to Lathan, his deep connection and emotionally-driven reaction to Kanye's recent stunts on social media stems from being a true fan of the rapper's craft. He first became a fan of Ye when he dropped his debut album The College Dropout because of the record's underlying message.

"When I was coming out of college, it was like 2003, 2004, I felt like I didn't know what was up with the world," he stated. "I felt like I was going to different places and seeing people who I had graduated with, and they were selling cars. They were working at restaurants. They were doing a lot of jobs that were dope, but a lot of the promise and a lot of things that we had talked about in school, they weren't able to get into them."

Lathan suggested Kanye's album offered some direction in an otherwise chaotic world. "When I had first heard The College Dropout, I heard someone who was lamenting people that seemed to be okay with people taking the road most travelled," he added. "The whole point of The College Dropout was a dude who was bravely challenging himself to embrace his destiny and to got out and do what everyone thought he couldn't do...This is a mantra. This is a rallying cry... That's what hip-hop does."

Like many, what enrages Lathan about Kanye's newfound "free thought," is not necessarily that he is ranting or speaking up, but that he is blindly endorsing someone who's entire campaign and presidency has been driven by racism and bigotry. "He's endorsing the process, but not the product. To me, there's a better way to do that," Lathan said in reference to Kanye's support of Trump.

"You can endorse somebody that goes against the grain, but what they're saying matters. What they're putting out into the world matters. And for us to pretend like it doesn't matter what someone is saying, as long as their brave enough to say it, is f**king [ridiculous]. I've never heard something that stupid before."

While it may have looked like Lathan had gotten through to Kanye during the TMZ Live debacle, the rapper later took to Twitter, where he griped about the media and fans' harsh criticism.

Hear Lathan's thoughts on his "Wake Up Mr. West"/"Kanye West Emergency Episode," featuring Charlamagne Tha God below.

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Scott Legato

Meek Mill Evaluates Real-Life Struggle In Amazon Documentary 'Free Meek'

Meek Mill is the subject of an upcoming documentary for Amazon. The documentary, entitled Free Meek, takes a hard look at the Philly rapper's rise to fame and his ongoing struggle within the criminal just system.

Meek shared the trailer for the Amazon Original film on Sunday (Mar. 17). He said the documentary "explores my life and the flaws in the criminal justice system that have haunted me and others like me." In addition to showing clips of the rapper performing onstage, it revisits his 2007 case, which led to his lengthy probation sentence.

"I never really looked at it like a nightmare," Meek says in the trailer. "I looked at it as real life for a black kid in America. It's just real life."

As you may know, Meek was sentenced to two to four years in state prison for violating the terms of his probation. He spent nearly five months in prison before he was released in Apr. 2018, pending the outcome of an appeal to the Pennsylvania supreme court.

Free Meek is slated to premiere on Amazon this summer 2019. Watch the trailer below.

 

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#FreeMeek explores my life and the flaws in the criminal justice system that have haunted me and others like me. Coming this Summer on @amazonprimevideo 📽🏆

A post shared by Meek Mill (@meekmill) on Mar 17, 2019 at 6:01am PDT

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Desislava Panteva

Louisiana Accidentally Paid It's Residents Double This Tax Season, To The Tune Of $26 Million

It's tax season and for most Americans the best time of the year to get a few extra coins put back into their pocket. If you're a Louisiana resident, however, you received double that in an unintended flub by the state.

According to reports, 66,000 taxpayers received double their state tax refund, totaling $26 million in overpayment. The state is now reportedly trying to get that money back.

The Division of Administration spokesman Jacques Berry blamed the blunder on a computer system malfunction, which is why so many residents had a healthier state refund.

Nola taxpayers shouldn't get excited just yet. Berry said in most cases the payments were made through the bank accounts direct deposit and can quickly be reversed. If the money isn't there, the bank will reportedly contact the individual about payment.

Berry released a statement admitting to the oversight.

“As the State of Louisiana continues to recoup more than $26 million to duplicate individual income tax refunds that were erroneously issued as the result of a computer error, taxpayers are being urged not to take any action. The vast majority of the duplicated funds are expected to be recovered electronically,” – Jacques Berry, Director of Policy and Communication

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Milwaukee Police Department via AP

Remains Of 2-Year-Old Noelani Robinson Found In Minnesota Ditch

A nationwide Amber Alert came to a tragic end Friday (March 15) when the body of 2-year-old Noelani Robinson was found wrapped inside of a blanket and placed in a Minnesota ditch. The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office deduced little Noelani had been there for some time and died of blunt force trauma.

Authorities aren't sure how the child got into the ditch and if she was killed elsewhere, however, they suspect her father, 34-year-old Dariaz Higgins, who killed her mother, 24-year-old Sierra Robinson on Monday may have placed her there.

According to reports, Robinson became pregnant with Noelani while Higgins was her pimp. The couple stayed together after the child's birth but Robinson later decided to end the relationship and moved to Las Vegas last month leaving Noelani with Higgins

After getting settled, Robinson began trying to see Noelani. On March 9, she reportedly flew back to Milwaukee and stayed with a friend identified as LP. Two days later, Higgins agreed to let Robinson see the child. Higgins picked up Robinson and LP and they reportedly drove around  "talked about old times" and smoked marijuana.

Higgins then drove them to a nearby hotel where he shot Robinson in the chest and LP several times. Robinson died, but LP survived and gave authorities a statement. Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales called Higgins " a stone-cold killer,” with ties "all the way down to Miami, Florida, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Kansas City. He’s been all over the place.”

Higgins confessed to killing Robinson. He's charged with first-degree murder but they're hoping in a forthcoming interview he'll offer details in his daughter's killing.

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