R. Kelly "The Buffet" Tour - Chicago, Illinois
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Attorney For One Of R. Kelly's Reported Abuse Victims Says Singer Allegedly "Intimidated" Client

"We are here today to let Mr. Kelly know in no uncertain terms that he cannot and will not intimidate his alleged victims into keeping silent about their allegations."

On Monday (Jan. 14), attorney Gloria Allred steered a press conference concerning R. Kelly's alleged intimidation tactics against one of her clients, Faith Rodgers, who was featured in Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly docu-series. Rodgers, who met Kelly at 19, stated that the latter has "threatened with retaliation" since the program's airing, The Hollywood Reporter states.

Previously, Rodgers filed a lawsuit against Kelly after she reportedly contracted an STD from him that he allegedly had knowledge of. Rodgers also states she endured bouts of "mentally, sexually and verbally" abusive nature at the hands of the R&B singer.

"We are here today to let Mr. Kelly know in no uncertain terms that he cannot and will not intimidate his alleged victims into keeping silent about their allegations," Allred said. "We have evidence that Mr. Kelly has engaged in efforts to intimidate and retaliate against Faith Rodgers." The attorney, who represented a number of women in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial, believes the lawsuit against Kelly will make him hold himself accountable.

In an interview with Broadly, attorney Adam Sheppard, who was part of Kelly's defense team during his child pornography trial, said it'll be a long-fought period for prosecutors to finally find Kelly guilty of his reported crimes.

"The prosecution will have their hands full because there is a lack of a prompt outcry. There may be a lack of corroboration. Corroboration includes everything from witnesses who may have seen the incident to physical evidence such as DNA," Sheppard said. "Those are common facts in a sexual assault prosecution that prosecutors rely on [such as DNA] and apparently, given the age of the alleged offense, that won't be available to prosecutors in this case."

A criminal investigation in Georgia against Kelly is currently underway, a gesture that has now affected his label, RCA Records' promotion of his new music.

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Tyler the Creator attends the 62nd annual GRAMMY Awards on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

11 Takeaways From The 2020 Grammys

There are many factors that go into winning a Grammy, the most coveted music prize of the industry. It’s more than “is the song good?” Sometimes it’s based on campaigning, other times it’s based on what voters feel should be the industry standard. However, the fun doesn’t come until after the ceremony, where all the winners have been revealed and it’s time to process what it all means for the larger picture and the future of recording.

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards was met with controversy this year thanks to a lawsuit against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences from ousted CEO, Deborah Dugan. Through her explosive claims and allegations, the voting process has gotten even less transparent— and we’re left with more questions and mysteries than answers. Still, artists and media moved forward, and the focus has temporarily shifted back to the music and the awards.

Here are 11 takeaways from VIBE that capture the essence of key wins (and snubs) at the Grammy Awards.

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LA Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant poses for a shoot held in 1999 at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Tighe/Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

Sound Check: Bobbito Plays The Tracks, Kobe Bryant States The Facts

"Hey, Jon B's in the house!" says Kobe Bryant, laughing, when I step into New York's Hit Factory.

"Money, you trying to snap?" I ask. "That's why you're wearing bell-bottoms." It's no surprise Kobe and I get along. We share passions—for hip-hop and basketball—and the same high school alma mater, Lower Merion, in Ardmore, Pa. Although I graduated twelve years before he did, I felt much pride when he made our school a household name in 1996, the year he jumped from his senior year in high school to the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers.

In '98, Kobe represented again as the youngest player in history to play in an NBA All-Star game. And while the current league lockout threatens to shut down the Lakers' dreams of a 1999 championship, Kobe's not sweating it. The six-foot-seven-inch guard's making moves as CEO and president of the one-year-old Kobe Family Entertainment. He's also picking up the mike as part of rap group signed to Trackmasters/Columbia. After our interview, he played me some milky-thick instrumentals, then later he rocked complex rhymes during his interview on New York's Hot 97 FM (WQHT). This cat Kobe is smart. And cool—mad cool.

Public Enemy—"Brothers Gonna Work It Out" (Def Jam, 1990)

B: Do you know this song?

K.B.: It's Public Enemy. Everybody knows them. Back in the day, me and my cousin used to do the Flavor Flav dance! My grandma would be like, "Kobe, what are you doing? You got an itch down there?" I'd be like, Grandma, it's the new dance.

B: I used to work at Def Jam—from '89 to '93—and Flav would come into the office and literally take it over. Nothing could be done, workwise, while he was there. One time, he got on top of my desk and was doing his dance. He was like that all the time. It wasn't an act for the stage or videos. That's just Flav.

De La Soul Featuring Pete Rock and InI––"Stay Away" (unreleased bootleg, 1998)

B: This record is beautiful. Do you like it?

K.B.: Hell yeah. It makes you want to listen and do nothing else. Not like some other songs—you hear them and want to punch the table. Even the lyrics have a melody. De La always bring it lyrically. You can always expect that they'll rhyme honestly about what they see.

B: I can listen to their first album, which is ten years old, and still not know what the fuck they're talking about. Regardless, their voices, delivery, flow, and intelligence make them one of my favorites of all time.

K.B.: When one of their songs comes on, you have to listen. But today, a lot of people don't have the patience for that.

B: Do you have a different name for yourself as an MC?

K.B.: Kobe, plain and simple.

B: What's the name of your group?

K.B..: Cheizaw. It stands for Canon Homo sapiens Eclectic Iconic Zaibatsu Abstract Words. Canon is the ruler of the spiritual body. Homo sapien is the [scientific] term for human beings. Eclectic means choosing the best of very diverse styles. Icon is a symbol.  Zaibatsu is a Japanese word for powerful family. Abstract makes concentration very difficult. Words, meaning lyrics. That's Cheizaw—that's how we're putting it down. Six members, all from Philly...Illadelph!

4 Hero—"Loveless" featuring Ursula Rucker (Talkin Loud/Mercury, 1998)

K.B.: I feel that joint to the most. I love the most. Who is that?

B: It's a drum n' bass group called 4 Hero, out of London. The poet, Ursula, is from Philly. She's on the Roots' first two albums, Do You Want More?!!!??! (DGC, 1995) and Illadelph Halflife (Geffen, 1996), and I hear she does a poem on their upcoming release too. She's ill—on some emotional poetry shit.

K.B.: Yeah, man. I love poetry. Don't you have a famous [poetry] spot out here [in New York]?

B: The Nuyorican Poets' Cafe. My man Ricky and I do shows there twice a month. Common, Wyclef, Saul Williams from the movie Slam, and Roy Hargrove have all come down and jammed.

K.B.: I've never been to a spot like that before, but I love poetry. I love writing it.

B: Have you ever checked out Gil-Scott Heron? I highly recommend him.

Nancy Wilson—"Call Me" (Pickwick/Capitol, 1966)

K.B.: Sounds like the melody from that TV show, from back in the day. The one with two girls in it...two roommates...

B: Three's Company?

K.B.: Nah, I think it was Laverne & Shirley...I don't know this record at all. I don't know what you want me to say.

B: Well, does it make you happy or sad? Does it make you want to take a sh*t?

K.B.: It makes me...[snaps his fingers and shimmies with his shoulders]. You know what I mean? Ha, ha!

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H.E.R. performs onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

H.E.R. Expertly Executes "Sometimes" Performance At 2020 Grammy Awards

Showcasing her musicality, H.E.R. began her soothing performance of "Sometimes" on the piano for the Grammy Awards Sunday evening (Jan. 26). After performing her lyrical exercise, the California native took her talents to the electric guitar which garnered a wave of applause from the audience for her command of the instrument.

In 2019, the “Slide” singer was nominated for five Grammy Awards. She won two: Best R&B Performance (“Best Part” with Daniel Caesar) and Best R&B Album for H.E.R.

This year, H.E.R. is nominated for Song of the Year for “Hard Place,” Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song for “Could’ve Been,” and Album of the Year (I Used To Know Her).

View her performance below.

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