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J. Cole Responds To Backlash Over Support For XXXTentacion, Kodak Black, And 6ix9ine

"I get it, there’s some people out there that do things that a person can’t fathom loving anybody that can do that. But nobody becomes that way overnight."

In the past, J. Cole has been heavily criticized for his support of XXXTentacion, Kodak Black and other artists accused of abuse. While Cole has never condoned their specific actions, his outward support on social media has rubbed many fans the wrong way. But according to Cole, everyone, even those accused of the most awful offenses, deserves some sort of healing.

The "Middle Child" artist addressed the backlash concerning his previous co-signs of Kodak, XXX, and Tekashi 6ix9ine in the Apr. 2019 cover story for XXL. Cole sparked outrage after he made a series of statements praising their music skills or encouraging others to pray for them during tough times. "I get it, there’s some people out there that do things that a person can’t fathom loving anybody that can do that," he admitted. "But nobody becomes that way overnight. Nobody is born that way. That sh*t is a product of unfortunate circumstances and mishaps in the person’s life, too many to count. Sh*t that they may not even remember that, in my opinion, causes someone to be as sick as they would be to be a fucking murderer, to be dumb enough to just take a life."

He continued: "N***a, I know many murderers. I still speak to them. These dudes have committed the ultimate crime in God’s eyes, or whatever, where they’ve taken a life. These people I still speak to, love and have compassion for. I see how in their life that happened, how you became a murderer. Maybe some of them don’t even know, don’t even have a chance to process why they become the monsters that they are."

Cole also explained how he would've confronted XXXTentacion about those abuse allegations. Prior to X's death in June 2018, the rapper was accused of beating and sexually assaulting his then-pregnant girlfriend. Cole previously tweeted about how "talented" he thought X was.

While he wasn't aware of the allegations at the time, he said if the late rapper was here today, he wouldn't turn his back on him. "Even if I [initially] knew what [XXXTentacion] did, I wouldn’t have cut him off, like, 'Hey, man, why are you putting your hands on women or why the fuck did you do these sick things to this girl?'" He explained. "I would’ve asked a series of questions that hopefully would’ve sparked something in his mind. It would’ve been towards the direction of healing. It wouldn’t have been in the direction of punishment, judgment, cancellation. Because he deserves healing. Especially the girl that he did all that shit to—she absolutely needs healing. It’s like, I’m just going to discard you and throw you in the trash and forget about you? That’s what they doing in the prison system. That’s what we’re actually fighting to stop. We’re trying to fight the fact that prisons offer no rehabilitation and that people come out even worse off than they went in."

Read J. Cole's full cover story here.

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Listen To Brandy's Highly Anticipated ‘B7’ Album

Brandy’s new album, B7, arrived on Friday (July 31). Led by the single “Baby Mama,” the 15-track album about love, heartbreak and growth, includes appearances from  Chance the Rapper, Daniel Caeser, and Brandy's teenage daughter, Sy'rai Smith, who joins her mother on the track “High Heels.”

Along with the new album -- her first since 2012 -- Brandy debuted the music video for her latest single, “Borderline.”

“I spilled so much of my heart on this album,” she proudly told fans during a listening party on YouTube on Thursday (July 30).

In a more sobering moment from the virtual party, Brandy opened up about the death of her friend and producer, Lashawn Daniels. “It feels very strange although I’m excited and grateful to have the music out, it’s just hard not having him here to hear the complete project,” she said.

“But I take him with me wherever I go. I know everything he ever said to me, ever taught me, and what he told me, I can hold onto that. If I ever feel down about my gift there’s a few things that he told me to remind me that I have no reason to feel down at all.”

Speaking with Billboard, the Grammy winner discussed the importance of Black female R&B artists sharing content, especially during these turbulent times.

“I believe that music heals. Music is the language that we all speak. It is what we all need, and I feel like we need it more now than we ever have,” she explained. “This is the year where we all need to feel like we have something to get us through. ... I was a little hesitant with putting out music in this time because, of course, you want to speak to the times. And I'm thinking, ‘My music is not about exactly what's going on right now.’ But then I thought, ‘But this is the time where people need to feel like they have something to just escape and just help them heal.’ ...that's what made me feel better about releasing [the album].

“And I think that we don’t want to feel alone,” added Brandy. “We need to feel community, we need to feel togetherness, we need to feel love right now. And I think music is the best way to feel that. It’s the shortcut to feeling that right away.”

Stream B7 below.

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T.I. And Jeezy Discuss Potentially Squashing Beef With Gucci Mane

T.I. and Jeezy are thinking about reconnecting with the “third member of the Mt. Rushmore of Trap Music.” During an episode of the Expeditiously Tip podcast, the Atlanta rappers pondered the idea of squashing the beef with Gucci Mane.

“Now what do you think is necessary to bring that sh*t together if anything,” the Grand Hustle leader asked Jeezy. “And I understand we dealing with somebody who’s temperamental themselves..our sh*t that we got with us versus their sh*t that they got with them makes it extremely problematic.”

Tip added that linking with Guwop could be a big move for trap music.

“I just feel like we got to have one of those mafia, back room conversations,” said Jeezy. “What I’ve learned over the years is like this sh*t [is] big business. People that went to Yale still do business with people that went to Harvard. So it’s just one of those convos [that needs to happen]. It’s been decades.”

Tip and Jeezy also discussed the breakdown of their relationship with Gucci, and setting their differences aside. Though Gucci and Jeezy have been beefing for over 10 years, it seems that Tip  fell into the drama by siding with the Snowman.

Watch a clip of their discussion below.

T.I. and Jeezy want to have a conversation with Gucci Mane to squash their beef pic.twitter.com/QNJAHdaqoS

— Complex Ambition (@ComplexAmbition) July 28, 2020

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Jhene Aiko Taps Kehlani, Wiz Khalifa, Mila J For Deluxe Edition Of ‘Chilombo’

Jhene Aiko expanded the guest list for the deluxe edition of her Chilombo album released on Friday (July 17). The updated album is packed with 29 tracks, featuring guest appearances from Kehlani, Snoop Dogg, Mila J, and Chris Brown.

Kehlani joins Aiko and H.E.R. on the remix to “B.S,” while Snoop and Chris Brown hop on “Tryna Smoke,” and Wiz Khalifa drops a guest verse on “Down Again.”

Aiko connects with her older sister, Mila J, for “OTW,” and  it looks like the musical collaboration has been a long time coming. “Finally got a song with my big sister,” Aiko happily tweeted on Friday (July 17).

finally a song with my big sister @MilaJ 💙 scorpio & pisces 💦💦💦

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) July 17, 2020

The Grammy winner announced the deluxe album earlier in the week, along with debuting the track list and gothic cover art.

7/17 #CHILOMBO (deluxe) 🌋 pic.twitter.com/4ZupGndOKL

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) July 15, 2020

The original installment of Chilombo was released in March and shot to No. 2 on the Billboard album chart. In addition to the new tracks, Aiko released the music video for her latest song, “Summer.”

Stream the deluxe edition of Chilombo below.

 

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