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Frank Ocean Talks Def Jam Split, Shares Advice For New Artists

The Grammy winner spoke about music and more with ‘Gayletter’ magazine.

Frank Ocean opened up about his split with Def Jam and shared some sound advice for new artists, in the cover story for Gayletter magazine.

It's no secret that Ocean's relationship with the label fell apart before his contract ended. In 2016, the Grammy winner likened being freed from Def Jam to “a seven-year chess game.” When asked about his, Blonde album, and the decision to release the project independently after fulfilling his obligations to the label, Ocean told Gayletter that he's “at peace” with how things turned out, and “proud” of what he was able to get done.

“I feel like the best outcome for myself was that outcome, and I feel proud of what I was able to get done with it. I love the music and the art that came out of that period, as well as the visual work. It’s definitely a period I look back on fondly.”

He went on to give advice to newcomers navigating the music industry. “Well, f**king with major music companies, you’re going to be…deflowered,” he explained. “Anytime you get into the business side of the arts, there has to be some degree of objectification or commodification that you’re comfortable with, of yourself and of your work.”

The 31-year-old singer noted that artists have to be clear about what they want out of their careers and how they quantify success. “A lot of people I talk to about careers in the music industry, their ideas of success have to do with nostalgia. They have to do with tropes of success, things they’ve been shown over the years that represent what a successful career is. I think that helps you become prey, because somebody can manipulate you with those things,” he said.

“Then you may get to a point in your experience where you become disillusioned with those things. So anybody having a clear idea — even if it’s as crass as ‘how much money do I want to make, specifically?’— I think that’s much clearer than some of these other things that represent success, whether that’s X amount of spins or streams or plaques. Even sold-out venues. If those things don’t help you reach your defined priorities, then what are those things there for?”

“That’s how I try to make decisions in my life and career, and, if asked, I share that philosophy with anybody who asks,” Ocean continued. “For me, it’s about Why am I doing this? What exactly do I want from this? And how do I get those specific things I want out of this? And what does success look like on those terms? And what does failure look like on those terms? That’s how I think about it now.”

On a more personal note, Ocean revealed that he has been in a relationship for three years. He also spoke about following his intuition, his interest in queer art and history, and wanting to go to college. “I’d still love to go to school. I’m sure there’s something about adults romanticizing college again, but yeah. Right now I’m just taking French, and you know, honestly, that’s about as much extracurricular as I can deal with.”

Read the full interview here.

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Congrats: Ciara To Study At Harvard Business School

Props are in order for Ciara. The singer will reportedly be attending an Ivy League school– Harvard University to be exact– to continue to level up.

According to People, a representative for CiCi confirmed that the superstar will be taking classes at the prestigious Boston college's business school in the Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports program. The school's website notes that "admission to Ciara’s specific program is a 'selective process based on … professional achievement and organizational responsibilities.'"

As we know, attending college is no easy feat, and the "Thinkin' Bout You" singer will reportedly learn to "develop and execute more effective business strategies" as well as “debate and analyze the business and technology trends that are redefining the industry."

Ciara's latest album, Beauty Marks, dropped earlier this month, and she also recently became a full-blown business woman when she announced her plans to start her own label and company, Beauty Marks Entertainment. BME will reportedly live at the crossroads of entertainment, "where music intersects with Film, Fashion, Technology & Philanthropy."

 

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✌🏽Out Met Gala. It was too much fun! Until the next time. #This AfroWillBeMyPillowForTheRestOfThisWeek

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Stephen Sisler

Cop Fired For Hiring Hitman To Kill Her Husband And Boyfriend's Kid

A New York police officer has been suspended without pay and charged with use of interstate commerce for murder for hire.

The cop in question, Valerie Cincinelli, reportedly asked her boyfriend to hire a hitman to kill her estranged husband and his own daughter. Instead, the boyfriend told the FBI about her plans.

The New York Times reports, Cincinelli was a cop for 12 years and worked in the domestic violence unit of the 106th precinct. She and her soon-to-be ex, Isaiah Carvalho Jr., were married for four years. However, in January, Carvalho filed for divorce which led to a custody battle, that seemingly came to halt months prior to their case going to court.

What 32-year-old Carvalho didn't know was by February, his estranged wife had been plotting to kill him and her boyfriend's school-age daughter.

The botched murder-for-hire plot was supposed to look like Carvalho's death was caused by a robbery gone awry, and the girl's death look like an accident after suggesting the killer run over her with a car near her school.

On Feb, 18, Cincinelli withdrew $7,000. That same day, her boyfriend withdrew $6,935 in gold coins. The two discussed the plot extensively and according to reports Cincinelli used social media to track the child. On May 13, Cincinelli met with her boyfriend to discuss the two potential murders unaware that he was wearing a wire.

“It’s your worst nightmare scenario,” said Matthew Weiss, Mr. Carvalho’s lawyer.

Local cops reportedly went to great lengths to convince Cincinelli the murders took place and appeared at her home to inform her they were investing it. Immediately afterward, she texted her boyfriend to ensure their alibis were aligned and instructed him to delete the thread.

Later that day she was taken into police custody and charged.

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Gang Member May Testify Against Defendants In 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz' Murder Trial

A member of the Trinitarios gang who witnessed the fatal stabbing of Bronx teenager Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz may take the stand against five defendants this week.

The first of two murder trials for the killing of Junior Guzman-Feliz began earlier this month, NBC4 New York reports. Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago (24), Jonaiki Martinez Estrella (24), Jose Muniz (21) and Manuel Rivera (18) and Elvin Garcia (23) were given second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, gang assault and criminal possession of weapon charges for the June 2018 stabbing of the 15-year-old.

It was previously reported that the leader of the Trinitarios gang assisted the police with information about the defendant but it isn't known if he is the same witness who will testify this week.

A total of eleven women and one man make up the jury. During the first few days of the trial, the courtroom watched three clips from the harrowing incident that showed Guzman-Feliz before and after the attack. The teen was reportedly stabbed by the defendants in a case of mistaken identity.

One of the clips was never seen by the public and showed the attackers dragging Junior out of the grocery story with the teen fighting back as the gang yielded machete and knives. Later in the trial, jurors were shown 13 different angles and the six locations of the group looking for the teen.

As family members sobbed in the court, prosecutors claimed that Junior's murder was premeditated given the weapons used. But defense attorneys deemed most of Junior's wounds as "superficial" and noted how the cut to his throat was the cause of his death. They also claimed four of the defendants did not intend to kill Junior. The defense rilled up the court, including Junior's family.

"Why would they need those weapons if they're not trying to kill someone?" sister-in-law Ione Guierrez told ABC7. "I need somebody to explain that to me." Junior's father was later escorted out of the courtroom for using profanity as the defendants reportedly laughed during the trial. "These guys are sitting there, just looking at us, just literally laughing," supporter Ilene Mariez told reporters. "The family got really really upset, and the father, towards the end, he was so upset he was using profanity," Mariez added. "So they pulled him from the courtroom."

Defense attorneys cross-examined witnesses like a woman who saw what happened from her apartment window. The witness said Junior motioned for her to call the police. After heading outside to help the teen, she said in disturbing detail his last word was "water."

A total of 14 people are facing jail time for Junior's death. The other nine suspects who are accused of taking part in other aspects of the assault will have a pretrial hearing dated for June 17.

Junior's passing sent waves around the country as clips were seen on social media. A number of celebrities took part in the #JusticeforJunior movement like Carmelo Anthony, Cardi B, Lala Anthony, Rihanna and Wesley Snipes. The street where Junior died was changed from Bathgate Avenue to Lesandro Junior Guzman Way. He was also honored by the NYPD with a scholarship created in his name. The teen was a member of the NYPD's Explores Program and had an interest in becoming a police officer.

"He was one of the good kids in the Bronx," his mother said at the time of his death. "He has never been in any fight, never, in 15 years. He was innocent. He never grew up on the streets. He was with me all the time."

If found guilty, the five defendants will face life in prison.

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