The 19th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet
Sam Wasson

Ozuna Denies Involvement In Death Of Latin Trap Artist Accused Of Extortion

"One thing is blackmail and another is murder..."

Reggaeton artist Ozuna made headlines last week after he confirmed that he was the victim of extortion connected to a video that was filmed of him engaging in sexual acts when he was a minor. Shortly after the video surfaced, rumors began swirling that he played a role in the death of Latin artist Kevin Fret – the man accused of extorting him – who was shot and killed while riding his motorcycle in San Juan on Jan. 10. Despite the media frenzy, Ozuna and his legal team say he was in no way involved with the murder.

"One thing is blackmail and another is murder," Antonio Sagardia, told WAPA.tv in a video reposted by Rapetón. "Ozuna had nothing to do with this death. The police should clarify the case that they’re investigating so that people don’t speculate."

Rumors began swirling about Ozuna's alleged involvement after Univision alleged that the Puerto Rican trap star paid Fret $50,000 in an extortion deal to keep the sex-tape a secret. The tape was believed to show scenes between an underage Ozuna and another man. Reports of Fret – an openly gay artist – had been murdered followed shortly after.

"This video was edited with the objective of causing even more harm,” Ozuna’s label management office, Dimelo VI, stated. "The necessary legal measures are already being taken since sending and publishing videos of minors is a state and federal offense.... His greatest interest has always been to protect and ensure the welfare of his family and avoid exposing them to difficult situations. We hope that this will serve as an example and a message to all teenagers and adults, that they guard their privacy and avoid these things so as not to have to go through such regrettable situations."

Ozuna previously released a statement to his fans, apologizing for the recent news. "What happened was a mistake of the past. Like many young people, I made a mistake, fueled by ignorance,” he said in the statement. "Today, I’m not only sorry for what happened, but I condemn it. That’s why I looked for help and I am certain everything will be cleared. Likewise, I’m following the process and am always willing to collaborate with authorities to prevent the evil that resulted from this big mistake. More importantly, I ask my family for forgiveness. They are my life’s priority and I will continue to fight for them always."

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Kareem "Biggs" Burke Launches New Music Company, Signs First Artist

After nearly a 15-year hiatus from the music industry, Kareem "Biggs" Burke is back with a new music company called Circle of Success. To kick the newly-launched business off right, Burke has already announced his first signee, Brooklyn-based artist, SAINt JHN.

Circle of Success is a management company that oversees musicians. In an interview with Billboard on Feb. 19, Biggs discussed his new venture and artist.  "The night [Roc Nation co-founder Tyran Smith], played a preview of SAINt JHN's new album, I drove home listening to Collection One and had an immediate sonic connection to his music," Burke said.

The Roc-A-Fella cofounder also addressed his new company on Instagram, noting that it was his first time backing an artist since Kanye West nearly 20 years ago. "The last 2 projects I’ve done was College Dropout and Late Registration," he wrote. "After such a long time away I’ve decided to jump back in with someone who I believe will be equally as impactful and change the game and be a HUGE brand with the music being the core of the business. @saintjhn made the decision easy for me because it’s very rare you come across talent like his. I’m BACK!!!!"

SAINt JHN is a singer-songwriter and rapper. He has previously written songs for Usher, Jidenna, and others. He also released his first album under his current moniker in Mar. 2018, entitled Collection One.

Be on the look out for what's to come from Biggs' Circle of Success company and SAINt JHN.

 

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The last 2 projects I’ve done was College Dropout and Late registration. After such a long time away I’ve decided to jump back in with someone who I believe will be equally as impactful and change the game and be a HUGE brand with the music being the core of the business. @saintjhn made the decision easy for me because it’s very rare you come across talent like his. I’m BACK!!!! #circleofsuccess #management Full story in my bio...

A post shared by Biggs (@biggsburke) on Feb 19, 2019 at 10:10am PST

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Daniel Kaluuya And Lakeith Stanfield To Star In Fred Hampton Movie

Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield are reportedly being considered for roles in the upcoming film, Jesus Was My Homeboy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie, which will be produced by Ryan Coogler and distributed by Warner Bros., will depict the assassination of Black Panther activist Fred Hampton.

If the ink dries on the deal, Kaluuya will play Hampton. Stanfield will play William O’Neal, the FBI informant who went undercover and infiltrated the Black Panthers in order to obtain information that assisted in Hampton's assassination. Jesus Was My Homeboy will look at the rise and death of Hampton through the perspective of FBI informant O'Neal.

As previously noted, Fred Hampton was an activist and organizer of the Black Panther Party who quickly climbed the ranks to become its chairman of the Illinois chapter and deputy chairman. He was murdered in 1969 at the age of 21, by a tactical unit with orders from the FBI and Chicago Police Department.

Shaka King will reportedly direct the film and and produce from a script he wrote with Will Berson. Jesus Was My Homeboy does not have a release date at this time.

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HBO Releases 'Leaving Neverland' Trailer And March Premiere Date

Since the reveal of a contentious documentary on Michael Jackson was announced, the conversation surrounding HBO's upcoming project has continued to increase. Now, the powerhouse cable network unveiled the Leaving Neverland trailer which depicts the recollections of two men who were reportedly sexually abused when they were boys by Jackson.

Within the trailer, James Safechuck and Wade Robson discuss certain moments that they held as secrets for decades. "He told me if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives," Wade says in the visual. The Dan Reed-directed film also features interviews with the two men's families and significant others.

In response to the doc's Sundance premiere, Jackson's family issued a statement calling out the reel's developers. "The creators of this film were not interested in the truth," the family's statement reads. "They never interviewed a single solitary soul who knew Michael except the two perjurers and their families. That is not journalism, and it's not fair, yet the media are perpetuating these stories."

Watch the trailer below ahead of its two-night premiere on March 3-4.

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