Funk Flex Questions Dame Dash's 'Culture Vulture' Philosophy

The infamous DJ also questioned Dash's beliefs towards industry figures like Lyor Cohen. 

There are some serious layers to hip-hop's rich history. There's the moments documented for the world to see and some vantage points that often go overlooked. The latter was done by Funkmaster Flex this week when he came to the defense of Lyor Cohen while questioning Dame Dash's "culture vulture" philosophy.

Flex took his thoughts to the Hot 97 studio Tuesday (Dec. 18) after he caught a bit of heat for posting a photo of legendary DJ Red Alert with Cohen at YouTube's holiday party. After many people slammed him with the "culture vulture" label, he shared his disdain over Dash's terminology and how Cohen helped Dash as well as Jay-Z and Kareem 'Biggs' Burk during the prime years of Roc-a-Fella Records.

"If Roc-a-Fella didn't sign with Def Jam, Jay-Z would've been Mic Geronimo," he said of their deal. "He would've been a respected lyricist that slipped to the bottom of the toilet because he had a bad label deal. Those guys who use the term 'culture vulture,' they cut that sleeping bag priority deal. They're lucky Def Jam got them out the toilet."

Roc-a-Fella's deal with Def Jam came to be in 1997 when the trio sold half of their indie label for a reported $1.5 million. At the time, Lyor Cohen assisted Simmons in running Def Jam and working with a number of future industry legends like the late Chris Lighty and Kevin Liles.

In the early aughts, Def Jam bought the rest of the label for $10 million and in 2005, Jay became the CEO of Def Jam. In between, his career, as well as many under the Roc-a-Fella/State Property umbrella, soared like Memphis Bleek, Kanye West and Beanie Sigel. Jay also took back his masters for Reasonable Doubt and ran Roc-a-Fella during his tenure as CEO.

Flex shared his timeline of events with the Roc and Def Jam and explained how the label prospered during their business dealings with Cohen.

"It's easy to come after the Jewish guy, the guy who is still rocking in 2018," he said referring to Cohen's current position the Global Head of Music at YouTube.

"It's easy to point at that guy and take him to bat. I don't know Lyor New York. You know what I know? I was on the streets and on the radio when they were trying to get their game going, so I can speak from that point. I'm not calling names. I'm going on the movement. You guys were the swag guys. The silent guys, moving, big dogs. After time you got forgotten, now you want to speak and be heard. You want credit. Lay in the same bed you laid in '96, lay in the same bed in 2018," he added.

He also mentioned the infographic shared by Forbes in their October interview with Burke, showing just how much influence Dash, Burke and Jay have today with their platforms like Roc Nation, Tidal and many more. "When you make your family tree of all the people you've helped, why don't you make a tree of all the people that helped y'all?" Flex proposed.

READ MORE: Dame Dash Is The Industry Uncle We Should Be Listening To

Flex went on to denounce the term "culture vulture" which honestly isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

"That 'culture vulture' word, I'm not letting that fly with me anymore," he said. "Don't apply pressure to me on the 'gram for a friend that I post. I'm going to tell you about Lyor Cohen. He road managed for Run DMC. It's over, no one is touching that. They cut you millions bro. They gave you a million-dollar budget for all the marketing. Def Jam Records made you bro. They changed your life. We're gonna stop this 'culture vulture' talk. That's the word you talk about for your own failures. Dame Dash, I respect you for the utmost way. He helped me get out of a dark place. But bro, you are a liar. You lie because Jay-Z and Lyor aren't on the gram to call you out on it.

Meanwhile, Dash extended a branch to Flex to publically speak on the matter.

"Holla at me when you get a chance. I prefer in person so we can speak like men but I doubt you’ll do that. Publicly live would be nice," he said on Instagram. "Don’t make any excuses for not talking to me either be a man #chattypattyand turn your comments back on #doitfortheculture." 

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Former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama arrives on stage at an event at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School on December 03, 2018 in London, England. The former First Lady's memoir titled 'Becoming' has become the best selling book in the US of 2018 according to figures released by her publisher Penguin Random House.
Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Michelle Obama To Release Guided Journal To Accompany Best-Selling Memoir 'Becoming'

After captivating the world with her best selling memoir Becoming, Former First Lady Michelle Obama has announced a guided journal for readers to pair with their personal journeys.

Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice, will serve as a self-help coach of sorts with over 150 inspiring questions and quotes that connect to key themes in her memoir. The journal will also help bring readers to terms with the importance of family and personal reflections as well as the goals they'd like to make a reality.

With the journal, Obama hopes readers will be encouraged to find value in their own personal journeys of becoming.

“I hope you’ll use this journal to write down your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, in all their imperfections, and without judgment…. We don’t have to remember everything," the intro reads. "But everything we remember has value.”

Released last year, Becoming was an instant hit with Obama's admires, reaching The New York Times Best Sellers List with over 11.5 million units sold worldwide. The release was also paired with a perfect world tour with Obama holding conversations around the memoir's elements with famous friends like Sarah Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey.

We also received the gift that is Obama stunting in golden Balenciaga boots.

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In an interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, Obama shared how personal Becoming was by comparing it to the conversations she would share with close friends.

"I'm talking about me, all of me, in a way that I do with my friends, my girlfriends," said. "Now I'm talking about it with the world. It's not that I'm nervous about my story but I hope that it inspires people and it encourages people and it starts a conversation."

Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice will be published Nov. 19 for U.S. and Canada residents.

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Jason Weaver attends the premiere Of Warner Bros. "Lottery Ticket" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on August 12, 2010 in Hollywood, California
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Jason Weaver Turned Down $2M In Exchange For Royalties For 'Lion King' Role

Jason Weaver knows the phrase "chess not checkers" very well. When the singer took part in Disney's The Lion King as a child, his mother made sure her child was set for life.

In an interview with VladTV, the actor/singer looked back on the role that taught him the importance of business in the entertainment industry. Weaver was Young Simba's singing voice, providing us with classics like "I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and “Hakuna Matata” from the 1994 film. During negotiations, Weaver says his mother refused a $2 million check and opted for a chance to get royalties instead.

"Disney had a reputation for re-releasing stuff. I think at that time they had put out Sleeping Beauty and some of their old catalog from when [Walt] Disney was alive," he said. "They were releasing that stuff when they were releasing the new Disney stuff, so she was able to see the playing field and go, ‘Wait a minute, this is going to make a lot of money over time, so what happens when my son turns 40? Is he going to be able to get a check for this when they eventually re-release this?’"

The $2 million offer was enticing, Weaver recalled. His mother could see the vision Disney had with The Lion King and wanted to be apart of it. "It was so we can play the long game. In her opinion, because that residual income that I generate is so helpful. I make sure I give my mother her just due to props because if she hadn't done that it would have been the biggest mistake off my business career."

Weaver noted how he's made well over $1.9 million since the release of the original film. In total, the film has grossed over $1 billion (including the 2002 IMAX re-release and the 2011 3D experience). The original songs were also re-recorded for the live-action version released this year. Weaver's recordings of the song were apart of the film's soundtrack which currently lives on streaming platforms.

Many have wondered why Weaver only provided the singing voice to Young Simba, but the actor explained to Shadow and Act this year how he had an opportunity to do the speaking voice.

"They actually did offer me the role and the director even called business affairs at Disney and was like 'Yo, did we close out our contract with Jonathan Taylor Thomas? Because I think we want to make the offer to Jason Weaver for the speaking roles,'" Weaver recalled. "And business affairs got back to him and was like 'Nah, we literally just closed the deal.'" At the time, Thomas starred in the comedy Home Improvement and was literally on the covers of every teen magazine out (RIP Tiger Beat.)

Weaver's film choices have landed him with the elite. Other roles include a young Michael Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream miniseries, Smart Guy, Lottery Ticket, ATL, Love For Sale, Drumline and Dysfunctional Friends. 


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We know that #JasonWeaver was the young singing voice for Simba in the original #TheLionKing, but why didn’t Disney give him the speaking role as well? @itsjasonweaver explained what happened to #ShadowAndAct. 👀 #jasonweaver #lionking #childactor #cast #animation #speakingrole

A post shared by Shadow And Act (@shadow_act) on Aug 9, 2019 at 1:08pm PDT

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Jussie Smollett's Alleged Fake Hate Crime Inspires New Episode Of 'Law & Order SVU'

No one is safe from dramatization on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Their recent season has pulled a bit of inspiration from today's very wild world of news–specifically Jussie Smollett's alleged hate crime that took place earlier this year.

In a clip from this week's new episode, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the squad look into a case where mega pop star by the name of Mathis is assaulted in New York. But things don't add up leading to a bigger mystery for the team to solve.

As noted in the series, their plots are often "ripped from the headlines" with this being no exception. One can only think Jussie Smollett's alleged assault was brought up in the writer's room. Earlier this year, the former Empire actor claimed he was assaulted by two men in MAGA hats in Chicago. After an intense investigation by the Chicago police, it was revealed two associates of the actor's reportedly planned the attack with him. Smollet was charged with disorderly conduct but was later dropped in exchange for community service and a fine.

In the past, the series has borrowed other big moments from the headlines like Chris Brown's assault against Rihanna ("Funny Valentine," Season 14), the very insane case of Gypsy Rose Blanchard ("Pathological," Season 19), the trial of Casey Anthony ("Selfish," Season 10), the Brock Turner rape case ("Rape Interrupted," Season 18) and the mysterious murder of Jon Benet Ramsey ("Appearances," Season 4).

Watch the teaser below.

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