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ASAP Rocky attends the Dior Homme Menswear Spring/Summer 2019 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 23, 2018 in Paris, France.
Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images for Dior

A$AP Rocky Takes Stand In Assault Case, Says He Begged Alleged Victims To Leave Crew Alone

A$AP Rocky took the stand today in his highly publicized assault case in Sweden and stressed how he and his crew wanted no problems with the alleged victims.

As proceedings continued Thursday (Aug 1) Rocky, born Rakim Mayers stated how he feared for his life after Mustafa Jafari, 19, and another man followed his crew. Despite multiple attempts to ease the situation, Rocky testified how the men continued to follow him, prompting him to act in self- defense.

"After a while, my security guard started pushing him (victim) away, begging him to leave, go from there," Rocky said per The New York Daily News. "Me and my crew told them that, listen, don't go where we are going, go the other way, we don't want any trouble."

Rocky was arrested July 3 and charged with assault for the incident that took place in late June. Two other men in Rocky's crew were also arrested but his bodyguard was released. Because Sweden doesn't have a bail system, Rocky has remained in jail for his trial. If found guilty, he faces up to two years in jail.

During the cross-examination, Jafari claimed he approached Rocky and his entourage after his headphones broke an alleged earlier altercation he had with Rocky's security guard.

But Mayers' lawyer Slobodan Jovicic called the plaintiff and his friend's actions "a threatening, aggressive and deeply provoking behavior." Footage shared by Rocky and TMZ online shows the rapper throwing the plaintiff on the ground, which claims is self-defense.

Rocky’s mother, Renee Black, also attended the proceedings. “This is a nightmare,” Black was quoted by Swedish media, stating she's sure that her son is innocent, the Associated Press reports. 

It was reported earlier this week that Robert C. O'Brien, US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, was sent to attend the trial. While Rocky is not a hostage, many of claimed the presence of O'Brien can show America's lack of respect for Sweden's due process system.

President Donald Trump advocated for Rocky’s release in a tweet last month telling Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that he would “personally vouch” for the rapper’s bail (Again, Sweden doesn't have a bail system). Löfven reportedly told Trump that officials cannot interfere with the legal system.

“Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven have explained and emphasized to the White House and President Trump respectively, the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts,” Mikael Lindström, the country’s acting press secretary, said in a statement to Twitter.

“Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act,” he tweeted. “Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!”

The trial is scheduled to conclude on Friday with witness testimonies also happening today. Mayers will remain in custody as he was considered a "flight risk."

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Travis Scott Announces Netflix Documentary 'Look Mom I Can Fly'

Travis Scott has had a summer filled with releases from his Jordan 1 Retro Lows to his Cactus Jack pop up shop overseas, teaming up with Reese's Puffs cereal, and being featured on musical projects with Ed Sheeran and Young Thug.

The Houston-native is not stopping just yet. He took to his Instagram on Thursday (Aug. 22) to announce a nostalgic release of his upcoming Netflix documentary Look Mom I Can Fly.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

GOT SOMETHING U MIGHT WANNA SEE IT. . !!!MEET ME HERE NETFLIX AND NO. CHILL 11200 Northwest Freeway, Suite 300 Houston, TX 77092

A post shared by flame (@travisscott) on Aug 22, 2019 at 3:35pm PDT

The rapper popped up at a used video store in Houston's Central Northwest neighborhood with radio station KBXX 97.9 The Box to autograph his version of the throwback VHS tapes.

THE LEGEND. @trvisXX 🚀🚀 #LookMomICanFly pic.twitter.com/m94OKk8yzx

— KBXX 97.9 The Box (@979TheBox) August 23, 2019

Back cover of @trvisXX’s Netflix documentary. Looks like we’re getting tour footage, founding of the label and some FATHERHOOD footage as well! #LookMomICanFly #LMICF pic.twitter.com/GCMIN9hmY6

— KBXX 97.9 The Box (@979TheBox) August 22, 2019

With no official details of the doc's release, fans will be able to "join Travis Scott and the ragers on a rollercoaster ride to Astroworld."

Never before seen footage, his early moments as a father, and his entrepreneurial journey with his Catcus Jack label will be highlighted in the film.

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A Musical Inspired By 'Soul Train' Could Be Headed To Broadway

A musical inspired by the 1970s classic black television program, Soul Train, is on the radar for a Broadway debut. Host and creator, Don Cornelius, debuted the highlights of black music and culture.  The syndicated program ran from 1971- 2006, featuring guests like Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and more.

The New York Times reports that a creative team of three of the most influential black women in the modern-day theater world will be the core of production. Kamilah Forbes, executive producer for the Apollo Theater, will sit as director, Camille A. Brown (Choir Boy) will choreograph, and Dominique Morisseau (Ain't Too Proud) sits as the writer for the script.

Questlove posted on his Twitter with the news.

Soul Train’s A Comin.... https://t.co/TMiYoxib0A

— A New Love: Questlove (@questlove) August 19, 2019

He will sit alongside Tony Cornelius, Don Cornelius' son, as executive producer.

Known for it's famous "Soul Train" line, the musical will center the in-studio performers. "I thought it would be so interesting to tell the story of the dancers and Don, in connection and in contrast and in contradiction and in conflict with each other," Morisseau said.

The playwright also will infuse the different "origins of dance culture and the black experience."

Don Cornelius stepped down as the host in 1993. He later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2012 in his Los Angeles home. He was 75.

The musical is aiming for a 2021 premiere.

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SZA Reveals Sophomore Album Is On the Way

2017 was a monumental year for R&B artist SZA. The sultry and soulful singer dropped her album Ctrl, garnering the most Grammy Award nominations for a female artist in 2018.

In an interview on Kerwin Frost Talks, "The Weekend" songstress alluded that her next studio album is coming "soon as f**k." "Everybody I f**k with and respect never had an issue on sophomore albums. People who make real music, no bullsh*t, have never struggled with a sophomore album," she said. "It is a little bit to dance in your brain like 'What do people want from me?' And then you just gotta make sh*t that feels good."

Following an MTV Video Music Award, a BET Award for Best New Artist, a Billboard Music Award for Top R&B Female Artist, two Soul Train Music Awards, and three NAACP Image Awards, her highly-anticipated project is coming from a place that she compares to cognitive dissonance. The New Jersey native is inspired by the sounds of Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Björk, and Wu-Tang Clan.

With no official release date announced, fans can only wonder if they will have all of the feels that her debut album successfully achieved.

Watch the full interview below.

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