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Jay-Z Disses Billboard, Not Kanye West, And Proves His Point With Ease

Pay attention. 

Friendships have wonderful highs and belligerent lows. When it comes to potentially lifelong ones like Jay-Z and Kanye West's, those are deeper than rap.

Meek Mill's highly anticipated album Championships didn't reach day-old status before outlets (including us) quickly picked up "What's Free," an elite collaboration with Meek, Jay-Z, and Rick Ross, yanking Jay's lyrics from the track and dissecting them to fit the "Jay vs. Kanye" news vertical. All of the men speak truths about criminal justice systems and levels of black plight felt from black kids at the bodegas to black men in the boardroom. With all three facing oppression on the side of success, Jay took time to bring this to light, by not dissing West.

Let's read the lyrics again, courtesy of Genius:

No red hat, don't Michael and Prince me and Ye
They separate you when you got Michael and Prince's DNA, uh
I ain't one of these house n***as you bought
My house like a resort, my house bigger than yours
My spou- (C'mon, man)

He even dug deep for his Twitter password to clarify the bars.

Sure, Jay isn't with the politics of President Donald Trump nor Ye's attraction to it. He's made that clear in the past, along with the 52.6 percent of Americans who also disapprove the disgruntled cheeto. His Michael Jackson and Prince line is what best describes his friendship with his former protégé, which isn't a diss at all.

While Prince and MJ had two completely different styles of R&B, funk and pop allure, the two kept up one hell of a competitive rivalry. From the infamous James Brown "duel" to Prince's refusal to take part in "Bad" or "We Are The World," their back and forth was something people recognized but didn't intensify. With Jay and Kanye in aerial positions, the digital peanut gallery foams at the mouth at the mere sign of a name drop or reference. It also doesn't help that Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Kim Kardashian-West, two women who are influential in their own right, are often brought into the conversation for the sake of clicks and platinum SEO practices. Jay's message with those lines is that despite their differences, he won't allow them to positioned as rivals.

What should be taken from this verse is Jay's undeniable influence over the culture. His dig at our cousin platform Billboard and philosophy around what should truly matter in music sales will permeate the minds of his peers and aspiring musicians in no time.

Now, read those lyrics again.

I ain't got a billion streams, got a billion dollars
Inflating numbers like we 'posed to be happy about this
We was praised in Billboard, but we were young
Now I look at Billboard like, "Is you dumb?"

Jay's Magna Carter Holy Grail may sit low on the ranking of his best albums, but it changed how the RIAA determined the eligibility of platinum and gold plaques. "Going forward, sales of albums in digital format will become eligible on the release date, while sales of albums in physical format will still become eligible for certification 30 days after the release date," revealed Liz Kennedy, the director of the RIAA's Gold & Platinum Program in 2013 after the album went platinum immediately thanks to his partnership with Samsung for the MCHG's release.

But Billboard didn't count the sales, which more than likely could've given Jay another No. 1 album. Years later, Jay's experimental promotion is typical with Travis Scott's scoring the largest selling album of 2018 with Astroworld thanks to his merch-album bundle. While Nicki Minaj did a similar tactic with Queen and bowed at No. 2 on the charts, there's no denying that Jay (along with Prince and Madonna who toyed with this formula in 2004 and 2012 respectively) opened doors for the music industry to change its rules at the expense of his art.

With Jay dropping bars aimed at dismantling systems, we're sure to see some more changes in streaming culture soon. This year, he took aim at the Grammys on Everything Is Love cut "Apesh*t." He also revealed how he turned down a halftime show gig for the Super Bowl, forcing us all to deal with Maroon 5 on the stage.

Jay's words not only bump hard, but they also cut with visceral lethal precision.

After all, when is the last time you've had Cristal?

Listen to "What's Free" below.

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Beyonce And Travis Scott Are Reportedly Working On Music Together

Who would have imagined Beyonce and Travis Scott would be embarking on new music together? According to Tone Stith, talks of a collaboration between the two artists were buzzing for L.A. songwriters.

Speaking to VIBE for our Views From The Studio series, the 20-year-old shared how his single "Good Company" with Swae Lee and Quavo was created with Beyonce and Travis Scott in mind.

"I made the track originally for Travis Scott and Beyonce because somebody told me they were looking for a song but he [Swae] heard the track and was like, "Let me do something with this."

"Good Company" was also conceived by way of a pick-up basketball game. "They just came over to the house one day. Swae Lee came over first and we were playing basketball," the singer continued. "I don't know if everybody loves basketball, it was a good ice breaker."

Nobody was aware that the "Sicko Mode" rapper was in talks of collaborating with Queen Yonce herself, but we are obviously all here for it. The Houston natives are fans of each other as Bey attended Scott's Astroworld tour last year with Jay Z.

Stream Tone Stith's "Good Company" single below.

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Beyonce Applauds Meghan Markle For Including Black Traditions At Wedding

This Black History Month, Beyonce has been honoring a number of public figures who have contributed to their communities. On Wednesday (Feb. 20), Bey penned a heartfelt tribute to Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle for her philanthropic work and for her culturally-inclusive royal wedding.

In the post, which is published on her official website, Beyonce commended Markle on her "charitable work in communities of color." "Meghan’s background as a film and tv actress has allowed her to use her platform for good," the singer wrote. "As a global ambassador for World Vision, she traveled to Rwanda to see how access to clean, safe water impacts children, an issue that is near and dear to our hearts. She also visited and supported the Myna Mahila Foundation in Mumbai, an organization that helps solve the menstruation challenges many women and girls in the community face."

The Lemonade artist also praised the Duchess for incorporating traditions from her own culture in her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018. "[She] brought many Black traditions to her Royal Wedding including a Chicago-based Black pastor, an amazing gospel choir, and a young Black cellist" she continued. "At the wedding her culture was front and center, and she and Prince Harry have continued to push the race relations dialogue forward both near and far."

She concluded her note, by congratulating Markle on her pregnancy. "In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas,” Bey added. "Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy."

The tribute comes shortly after honored Markle on Instagram after winning Best International Group at the 2019 Brit Awards with husband, Jay-Z. The video showed the power couple standing in front of a reimagined image of Markle as the Mona Lisa as their single "Apesh*t" played in the background. "We wish you so much joy," Beyonce wrote in the caption of her Instapost.

Read Beyonce's full tribute here.


View this post on Instagram


Thank you to the Brits for the award for Best International Group. I won this award back in 2002 with my besties, Kelly and Michelle. How lucky am I to have been in a group with my other best friend, the GOAT Hova. 🙌🏾 In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy.

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Feb 20, 2019 at 2:48pm PST

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Chicago PD Blasts Jussie Smollett For Faking Hate Crime To Promote Career

Update: 9:00 am ET (Feb. 21, 2019) -  The Chicago Police Department held a press conference  on Feb. 21, at 9:oo am CT after Jussie Smollett was arrested for filing a false police report. Additionally, police claimed the actor sent fake hate mail to himself in an attempt to "promote his career."

"Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said. "Why would anyone especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? ... How can an individual who’s been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the city in the face with these false claims?"

Johnson added: "I just wish that the families of gun violence got this much attention because that's really who deserves the kind of attention that we're giving this particular incident."

Original story below...

Jussie Smollett has reportedly been arrested and is in the Chicago Police Department's custody on Thursday (Feb. 21) Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi confirms. He has reportedly been charged with one count of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

"Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives,"  Guglielmi announced on Twitter. "At 9am at #ChicagoPolice Headquarters, Supt Eddie Johnson, Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the investigation prior to the defendants appearance in court."

Smollett has been charged three weeks after he told law enforcement that he was the victim of an alleged hate crime. He claimed that two Trump supporters brutally attacked him in the early hours of the morning in Chicago. The assailants allegedly doused him with a liquid substance and hung a noose around his neck before yelling racial and homophobic slurs.

Following his initial statement, police noticed several holes in his statement. After several interrogations, officials interviewed two brothers believed to be involved with the attack. Footage last night proved that the two had purchased several supplies that may have been used at the time of the incident. The newly-surfaced video, along with other evidence obtained by the police, prompted the charges brought against Smollett.

Smollett's attorneys,Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, issued a statement to USA Today, maintaining Smollett's innocence. "Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

If Smollett is convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

Press Briefing: Jussie Smollet is under arrest and in custody of detectives. At 9am at #ChicagoPolice Headquarters, Supt Eddie Johnson, Commander of Area Central Detectives Edward Wodnicki will brief reporters on the investigation prior to the defendants appearance in court. pic.twitter.com/9PSv8Ojec2

— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) February 21, 2019

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