Wild Card Round - Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts
Bob Levey

Travis Scott Agrees To Super Bowl Halftime Performance On One Condition

"I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in."

Travis Scott sparked a big controversy after he announced that he'll be performing alongside Maroon 5 at the Super Bowl halftime show in Feb. 2019. Fans argued that the rapper was blatantly going against Colin Kaepernick, who has sued the NFL for collusion after his inability to land on a team after jumpstarting a movement to bring awareness to social injustices in the United States. Despite the public outrage, however, Scott has released a statement on Jan. 13, explaining why he chose to go ahead with the performance.

According to the "Sicko Mode" artist, he agreed to the show on one condition. "I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in. I know being an artist that it's in my power to inspire," he said, most likely referencing Kaepernick's silent protest during the national anthem. "So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation."

Scott negotiated a donation to Dream Corps, Van Jones' organization. Dream Corps was founded in 2014 and holds a mission "to inspire action, serve justice and improve people's lives."

"I am proud to support Dream Corps. and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change," La Flame added.

Jones applauded Scott on Twitter following the announcement, writing, "this is great news! Welcome, @trvsXX. Glad to have you with us, brother!"

While Scott's donation is a noble act, it might not be met with the same approval as other artists who were previously in his shoes. His statement comes briefly after Rihanna, Cardi B, P!nk, and even Amy Schumer announced that they would not be taking part in the Super Bowl festivities due to their support of Colin Kaepernick and the right to protest. Artists like Meek Mill and Jay-Z also expressed frustrations with Trav for not backing out of the gig.

However, there's arguably precedent to Scott's move. In 2013, Jay-Z launched a collection with the upscale retail store Barneys, with the store donating 25 percent of the proceeds to Jay's scholarship foundation to help underserved youth go to college. But that April, 19-year-old Trayon Christian alleged racial profiling against the retailer: after purchasing an expensive Ferragamo belt, he was stopped by detectives, handcuffed, and detained at a police station. While many called for Jay-Z to terminate the partnership, he instead leveraged renegotiated to make Barneys increase its donation to 100 percent of the proceeds. Many critics still felt that Jay-Z made the wrong choice. Only time will tell if this proves to be a smart move by Travis Scott.

Super Bowl LIII is set to air on Sunday, Feb. 3.

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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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Rich Polk/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Stevie Wonder Leaves Motown Records, Drops 2 New Songs

2020 has been a year of change for a lot of people, including Stevie Wonder. The music legend announced that his time with Motown Records has come to an end after spending his entire career on the record label.

Wonder, 70, held a virtual press conference on Tuesday (Oct. 13) where he revealed that he left the label and is releasing music under his own imprint, What the Fuss Records, named after his 2005 single, “So What the Fuss.” Wonder’s record label inked a distribution deal with Republic Records, meaning he will stay in the Universal Music Group family, per The Hollywood Reporter.

In addition to the label reveal, Wonder debuted two new songs: “Can’t Put it in the Hands of Fate,” featuring Rapsody, Cordae, Chika and Busta Rhymes, and the Gary Clark Jr.-assisted track, “Where Is Our Love Song.” Proceeds from the latter song will go to the non-profit Feeding America.

“Can't Put It In The Hands of Fate” – Out Now.https://t.co/TSbAuGiXc9 pic.twitter.com/hDlnfh7aS7

— Stevie Wonder (@StevieWonder) October 13, 2020

“Where Is Our Love Song” – Out Now.https://t.co/6rO9gVRhJq pic.twitter.com/0BTkFVIojr

— Stevie Wonder (@StevieWonder) October 13, 2020

Wonder was just 11 years old when music veteran, Berry Gordy, signed him to Motown in 1961. Over the last 60 years, Wonder has released more than 40 albums, which includes his 23 solo studio albums, several live albums, collaborative projects, and soundtrack albums. The Michigan native and 25-time Grammy winner has sold over 100 million records (making him one of the best-selling recording artists in history).

Last year, Wonder stepped back from the stage to undergo kidney transplant surgery. “I was blessed with a new kidney and that happened on Dec. 6, 2019,” he said during the press conference. “Since I have been released from the hospital, I've had nurses that have made sure I have my medicine on time and I'm going to take it for as long as I have to — even if it's for the rest of my life.”

“I feel great. My voice feels great,”continued Wonder. “I told my daughter, Aisha, I'm going to be like five years younger than you now.' I said, 'I'm gonna go from being 70 to like 40.’ I feel like I'm about 40 right now and I just thank everyone for their prayers and love. I'm feeling great.”

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Billboard Music Awards 2020: Watch Performances From Brandy, Ty Dolla $ign, Doja Cat And More

The 2020 Billboard Music Awards went off without a hitch. Hosted by Kelly Clarkson, Wednesday's (Oct. 14) show opened with the multi-platinum selling singer performing “Higher Love” alongside Sheila E. on the drums.

The big night included performances from Brandy and Ty Dolla $ign, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Doja Cat, Sia, En Vogue, Demi Lovato, Bad Bunny, and more. Khaled, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Billy Eilish, Post Malone ( who took home nine awards), and BTS were among the night’s big winners, along with Killer Mike, who received the first ever Billboard Change Maker Award.

Lizzo gave a powerful speech after accepting her award for Top Song Sales Artist. “I just want to say I’ve been thinking a lot about suppression and the voices that refuse to be suppressed and I wonder would I be standing here right now if it weren’t for the big Black women who refused to have their voice suppressed,” she said.

“If you’re at home right now and you’re thinking about changing yourself, this is your sign to remain who you are. When people try to suppress something, it’s because they’re afraid of your power. So whether it’s through music, protests, or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice and refuse to be suppressed.”

The socially-distanced award show, which was broadcast from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, featured a virtual audience.

Watch some of the performances below.

Brandy and Ty Dolla $ign Perform a Medley Including "Borderline" Doja Cat Performs "Juicy," "Say So" and "Like That" Alicia Keys Performs "Love Looks Better" John Legend Performs "Never Break"  EnVogue Performs "Free Your Mind"

 

 

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