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Kevin Mazur

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

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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Jamie Squire

Prince's Half-Sister Fears Estate Will Go Bankrupt Over Mishandling Of Finances

Prince's half-sister, Sharon Nelson, has accused Comerica Bank & Trust, the administration that is handling Prince's estate, of mishandling the late artist's finances, Billboard reports. Her family's fight against Comerica has now resulted in thousands of court filings and millions of dollars in legal fees. She predicts that if the company is not stopped, Prince's estate will soon go bankrupt.

"Prince’s estate will be bankrupt by the end of the year," Nelson predicted. "Prince is not resting in peace while this is going on. He's very upset what these people have done to his estate. It's really sad."

After Prince's death in 2016, Nelson and her siblings – the singer's full sister Tyka Nelson, his half brothers Omarr Baker, Alfred Jackson, John R. Nelson and his half-sisters Sharon and Norrine Nelson – became sole heirs of the estate that is said to be valued between $100 million and $300 million. The family was forced to hire their own attorneys to defend their interests after 45 people claimed to be heirs of the "Purple Rain" singer's estate.

Due to nearly $3 million in legal fees, Nelson said her siblings are not able to afford a new attorney. Although she is able to get by because she is a "senior citizen and I have worked all my life," she said her other family members are barely scraping by.

The family was each awarded $100,000 following Prince's 2016 tribute concert, but Nelson said they have not received any more money from Comerica although the bank continued to receive $125,000 a month for administering the estate.

Additionally, Nelson told Billboard that Comerica continued to make poor financial moves such as paying $90,000 a month to store Prince's unreleased music in a vault in Los Angeles.

There are reportedly more than 2,700 court filings regarding this matter. The court documents include motion, affidavits, memos, and depositions that support Nelson and her family's complaint about Comerica's representation.

In Oct. 2017, Nelson and two of the others heirs filed to permanently remove Comerica from the estate after an allegedly heated meeting. They accused the bank of being verbally abusive and threatening Nelson.  In Dec. 2017, a judge denied their petition to remove Comerica, ruling that it would not be in the best interest of the estate.

Comerica has denied the allegations against them. Bank officials explained in the court filings that the heirs could not receive a dime until a tax bill from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was settled. Nelson said she found that reasoning odd since Prince died with $97 million in cash and $30 million to $40 million in real estate holdings.

Comerica released a statement to Billboard regarding Nelson's claims. "The estate of Prince Rogers Nelson is a court-supervised estate, which places strict reporting and judicial oversight requirements on Comerica as the Personal Representative," the statement read. "Comerica has complied with all legal and ethical requirements during its administration of the estate. Comerica’s fees and those of the estate’s attorneys are filed with and approved by the Court every four months with complete transparency to the heirs. The attorneys’ fees paid by the estate have been court-approved as reasonable and necessary for the benefit of the estate."

Prince's siblings are currently asking a judge to permanently limit the Comerica's powers as the estate’s personal representative. A hearing is scheduled for May 20.

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DJ Paul Sues Travis Scott For Copyright Infringement

DJ Paul has filed a multi-million dollar copyright infringement lawsuit against Travis Scott for allegedly stealing his music.

According to TMZ, the Three 6 Mafia member accuses Scott of snatching a portion of the hook from his 1997 track “Tear Da Club Up,” for “No Bystanders” off the 27-year-old rapper’s Astroworld album.

Paul claims that the hooks to both songs are “virtually identical and strikingly similar,” reports The Blast. The lawsuit also notes that the songs sound so much alike that Scott changed his lyrics from to “f**k da club up,” “tear the club up” during his Grammys performance in February, without Paul's permission.

The Memphis native is asking for at least $20 million in damages. However, TMZ reported that Scott reached out to Paul sometime Tuesday (April 23) to potentially work out the legal matter.

The “Sicko Mode” rapper has faced multiple lawsuits over the last two years, including being sued for canceling a music festival performance. Last week, Scott lost a nearly $400,000 lawsuit after being sued for pulling out of a party during Super Bowl weekend. In 2017, La Flame was hit with a lawsuit brought on by a fan who was paralyzed after sustaining injuries during one of his concerts.

 

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ANGELA WEISS

Kim Kardashian Working On Getting Max B Out Of Prison Early

Kim Kardashian is making huge strides in the criminal justice department. Now that Kim is studying to become a lawyer, the reality star has her sights set on getting a number of prisoners out of prison. According to French Montana, Kim is looking into Max B's case now.

French stopped by Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio on April 16, where he revealed Kim's plans. After telling her about Max's situation, she apparently showed interest in trying to get him out early. "Me and Kim was talking about getting Max B home from jail," he explained. "Cause she's doing the whole thing with...So, like for her to even reach out and do that I felt like that was powerful."

Max B has been behind bars since June 2009 after being sentenced to 75 years in prison on conspiracy charges pertaining to armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and felony murder. In Sept. 2016, he reportedly accepted a plea deal for aggravated manslaughter and is set to be released on November 9, 2025.

Kardashian is currently taking a four-year apprenticeship with a San Francisco law firm with the goal of taking the bar in 2022. She previously helped Alice Marie Johnson – a nonviolent offender sentenced to life in prison – commute her sentence. It is unclear how she intends to help Max B at this time.

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