2018 Essence Festival Presented By Coca-Cola - Louisiana Superdome - Day 2
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Missy Elliott Officially Inducted Into Songwriters Hall Of Fame

A historic achievement for an iconic artist.

Missy Elliott is starting off the year with a historic bang. The highly-decorated artist was officially inducted into the 2019 Songwriters Hall of Fame on Saturday (Jan. 12), becoming the third hip-hop artist (alongside JAY-Z and Jermaine Dupri) and first woman rapper to receive the distinction.

“I AM SO HUMBLY GRATEFUL & crying tears of Joy to bow be inducted also thank you God and I love all of you so much!” Elliott wrote on Instagram. “I will forever be HUMBLED & GRATEFUL.” One is eligible for nomination consideration "20 years after the first commercial release of a song."

Elliott’s pen has helped to shape the rising and already established careers and sounds of artists within R&B and beyond. Aaliyah, Ciara, Jazmine Sullivan, Beyonce, Fantasia, Keyshia Cole, 702, Monica and many more have experienced hits written by the Supa Dupa Fly innovator.

While Elliott is being herald for her writing prowess, fans are also looking to celebrate her new release of music. In 2018, she teased videos and snapshots of herself in the studio, one recently with longtime collaborator Timbaland.

“For so long I was hesitant to put out music in fear no one would get it because people said music has changed & my sound been so different,” Elliott previously wrote, “but NOW IM LIKE hey bump it make music that feels good to me let me get y’all a**es dancing again.”

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Jeezy Seemingly Challenges T.I. To A Verzuz Battle

An ATLien edition of Verzuz could be on the way. Jeezy appeared to challenge T.I. to a friendly battle after the Grand Hustle frontman “respectfully” shot down an offer from Busta Rhymes.

Without directly naming Tip, Jeezy posted a cryptic video message on Instagram on Wednesday (Oct. 21) subtly calling out his potential rival. “I don’t know what you’re avoiding me for. I’ll tell you what though, since it means that much to you put a date on it,” said Jeezy.

Tip jokingly replied in the comments, “Could this long time constituent of mine be referring to me???”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

PUT A DATE ON IT ☃️ @therealswizzz @timbaland @verzuztv

A post shared by @ jeezy on Oct 21, 2020 at 3:58pm PDT

The Verzuz battle isn’t confirmed just yet but fans are already excited at the thought of two of ATL’s finest going toe-to-toe. In the meantime, Swizzy and Timbaland are still prepping the lineup for Verzuz season two, and revealed that Busta threw his hat in the ring. “He’s ready for any type of Verzuz action coming his way,” Swizzy told Jimmy Fallon.

Busta also confirmed to Fat Joe that’s he's down to go up against T.I.

KING T.I. aka KING OF THE SOUTH aka @Tip aka MR. EXPEDITIOUSLY aka YOU SAID YOU WANTED THAT N.Y. ENERGY/SLASH NEW YORK SMOKE 💨? I’M HERE FOR YOU WITH OPEN ARMS... DON’T GET SHOOK NOW SHAWTY!!RESPECTFULLY (IN MY @RealSway voice) HARLEM!! @fatjoe #ITSTHESILENCEFORME @verzuzonline pic.twitter.com/O1fFmJYsYe

— Busta Rhymes (@BustaRhymes) October 21, 2020

But it doesn't look like the Verzuz showdown will be happening as Tip responded back citing a “generational gap” between him and Busta.

“I didn’t know we were reaching back through generations. That’s a huge generational gap there isnt it? I have a huge amount of respect for you,” noted Tip. “An exponential amount of respect.”

Watch his full response to Busta below.

TI declines Busta Rhymes’ #Verzuz Battle challenge due to generational gap 👀🤔👀 via: @hiphopdx pic.twitter.com/n9nLyNBF5c

— 935 KDAY (@935KDAY) October 22, 2020

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Beyonce Shows Solidarity With Nigeria Amid Protests Over Police Brutality

Beyonce is showing solidarity with Nigeria following Tuesday’s (Oct. 20) brutal massacre in the country’s capital city of Lagos. The Bey Good Foundation has been partnering with local youth organizations supporting the protests, and working with coalitions to provide food, shelter and healthcare to those in need, Beyonce revealed in a statement.

“I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria,” she said. “There has to be an end to SARS (Special Anti-Robber Squad). We have been working in partnerships with youth organizations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food and shelter.”

Bey added in closing, “To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand with you.”

A message from Beyoncé. pic.twitter.com/5Ng7JF2stf

— BeyGOOD (@BeyGood) October 21, 2020

The statement directs viewers to her website where they will find links to donate or get involved in the movement to end SARS. Graphic videos and images of the brutality in the Lekki region of Lagos, have been circulating the web, but despite overwhelming evidence of corrupt and violent government forces, kidnapping, murders, non-fatal shootings, and other violent attacks on peaceful protestors,  the Nigerian government continues to downplay the issue. Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu claimed only one fatality in the massacre, and roughly 25 people wounded.

The #EndSARS movement has been amplified across social media, and prompted numerous protests around the globe Wednesday (Oct. 21). Also on Wednesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the violence and expressed condolences to the families of the bereaved. Guterres encouraged Nigerian authorities to investigate instances of police brutality and “hold the perpetrators accountable.” Guterres went on to urge security forces to “act with maximum restraint,” and encouraged protestors to remain peaceful.

“While the number of casualties of yesterday’s shooting at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos is still not clear, there is little doubt that this was a case of excessive use of force, resulting in unlawful killings with live ammunition, by Nigerian armed forces,” said UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet. “Reports that CCTV cameras and lighting were deliberately disabled prior to the shooting are even more disturbing as, if confirmed, they suggest this deplorable attack on peaceful protestors was premeditated, planned and coordinated.”

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Watch Viola Davis And Chadwick Boseman In Trailer For ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The two-minute clip released on Monday (Oct. 19), gives viewers a sneak peek at Chadwick Boseman’s final film role. The 43-year-old actor portrays the ambitious and outspoken trumpet player, Levee.

Viola Davis transforms into Ma Rainey in the Denzel Washington-produced film, centered around a 1927 Chicago recording sessions of “Mother of the Blues.”

Speaking during Monday’s press preview, Davis praised Boseman’s passion and commitment to his art. “Not to compete with Chadwick’s mother, but he was my baby. Chadwick was an artist. That is just what he was… he loved it, he demanded it in every single way. For someone so young it was incredible to watch,” said Davis.

“We are in the business, that a lot of times people have business conversations that masquerade themselves as artistic conversations. They don’t understand the difference between getting on set and demanding their vegan food being brought to them or their vegetarian dishes, or the dietary concerns, having that car ready,” she added. “ They don’t know the difference between that and making choices as an actor and getting down and dirty and doing the work and leaving your ego and your vanity at the door. He [Boseman] loved it. He demanded it. He demanded it in every single way.”

The film, Davis said, gives a window into “what Black life was like” in the '20s and ”how it was informing our relationships.”

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom debuts on Netflix on Dec. 18.Check above for the trailer.

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