Kendrick Lamar
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Kendrick Lamar Signs With BMI Publishing On A "Long Term Deal"

This makes Kendrick the latest TDE artist to sign with BMI. 

Kendrick Lamar has joined the ranks of other Top Dawg Entertainment talent and has signed to a "long term deal" with performing rights organization, Broadcast Music, Inc. BMI is already home to TDE CEO Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith and Kendrick's labelmates and frequent collaborators Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q, and SZA. K.Dot's music was previously represented by Warner/Chappell Music, but now BMI will assume that role for all of his discography from good kid, m. A. A. d city to his most recent project, DAMN.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Kendrick to the BMI family and expand our great working relationship with Top Dawg Entertainment and its incredibly talented roster,” Mike Steinberg, EVP Creative & Licensing, BMI said in a statement on Monday. “Kendrick’s gift for writing and performing such stunningly impactful music has solidified his stature among the world’s greatest artists and, without a doubt, as a major force in our industry for many years to come. We’re honored that he has chosen BMI to represent his creative works.”

Although Kendrick hasn't teased any new music, this move with BMI could mean that the 31-year-old has heat on the way for fans. On an Instagram post published by BMI celebrating Kendrick's new relationship with the organization, fans were already in the comments calling for a new album and congratulating the rapper as well.

"New Album Gonna Be Crazy," one fan said, with another admirer following the comment up with, "new album gunna [sic] be crazy.. its kendrick at the end of the day."

 

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We are thrilled to welcome @kendricklamar to our #BMIFamily! A global sensation, #KendrickLamar made his major-label debut in 2012 with good kid, m.A.A.d city and quickly rose to fame with 1.72 million in album sales. His 2015 follow-up, To Pimp a Butterfly, and his critically-acclaimed 2017 album, DAMN., also reached platinum status. DAMN. debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2017, and in 2018, Lamar made history when it earned him a groundbreaking Pulitzer Prize, making him the first non-jazz or classical artist to receive the coveted honor. Throughout his career, Lamar has also received 13 GRAMMY Awards and 37 nominations (including a GRAMMY win at this year’s ceremony in the Best Rap Performance category for “King’s Dead”), as well as six Billboard Music Awards, and many other honors.

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Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.
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Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.

 

Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/LxZfxcqRgF

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/BHlANZjCGZ

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/vLqLTVxqO9

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/ALDcT0ZQxR

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/zwk0AWMCoE

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/mM2GWEg1pe

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!pic.twitter.com/GfxBeJxUY1

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...

#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/iXNwssD3sY

— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/cGl269tuTr

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

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Dimitrios Kambouris

Kodak Black Sentenced To 12 Months In Jail For Gun Charges

Rapper Kodak Black pleaded guilty to a weapon charge after he was stopped at the Canadian border crossing near Niagara Falls last April.

According to Local10 news, the "ZeZe" rapper was arrested after he drove a Cadillac Escalade across the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge into the United States with three other men. Police say the men had marijuana and a loaded pistol without a permit when they were detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

The 22-year-old rapper pleaded guilty second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in Niagara County Court. On Monday (March 30), Kodak received 12 months, which will run concurrent with his 46 month federal prison sentence.

In November, Kodak Black was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for illegally buying a gun in his home state of Florida. The New York sentence will be served concurrently with the federal one, according to State Supreme Court Justice Richard Kloch.

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Prince’s Siblings Reportedly File Petition To Get Money From His Estate

The heirs to Prince’s fortune want his estate to pay up. According to The Blast, the music legend’s siblings, Norine, Sharon and John, filed legal documents in hopes of green lighting “payment for service and efforts provided to the Estate.”

The trio claims that while “others” have been compensated, they have yet to be paid after putting time and energy into “business matters” related to the estate, which is being run by Comerica Bank.

“As this Court is aware, the Estate has now been on-going for over three years,” the documents reportedly state. “In this time, millions have been paid to the Personal Representatives, their accountants, attorneys, and legal advisors.”

The heirs accused Comerica of making money decisions without notifying them, which the bank has denied. Last year, a Minnesota judge denied the siblings’ request to limit the bank’s power over the estate.

Prince’s brothers and sisters want a judge to force Comerica to compensate them so that they can get out of financial ruin, including paying legal bills.

The Purple One’s estate is worth an estimated $200 million (down from $300 million) since his death in 2016. Prince died without a will but a judge ruled that his estate would be split between his six half-siblings. His brother, Alfred Jackson, who was 1/6 of the estate heirs died in 2019. Last December, Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, sold off a chunk of her percentage of the estate to cover legal bills.

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