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Former Recording Academy Boss Says The Grammy Awards Are Rigged

Deborah Dugan filed a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against the Recording Academy. 

Former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan is accusing the Recording Academy of gender discrimination and sexual harassment, days before the 62nd annual Grammy Awards.

The 46-page complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Tuesday (Jan. 21), claims that the Recording Academy abides by a “boy’s club mentality”  and manipulates the Grammys voting process, among other allegations.

In the documents, Dugan accuses the Recording Academy of attempting to smear her reputation for speaking out against the alleged harassment, gender discrimination, unequal pay, and unlawful retaliation, that she claims to have endured. Dugan, who was recently ousted from her position, also accuses music lawyer Joel Katz of sexual harassment.

Katz “categorically” denied Dugan’s allegations in a statement through his attorney.

Dugan, the Recording Academy’s first female CEO, says she took over after former CEO Neil Portnow resigned “in disgrace after being caught making misogynistic remarks about women recording artists.” Dungan claims that her salary was significantly lower than her two male predecessors, and that she was later told to hire Portnow as a consultant for a $750,000 fee. The documents goes on to claim  Portnow's consultant contract was severed because he was accused of raping a female recording artist.

Portnow denied the rape claim which he called, “ludicrous and untrue.”

Dugan filed a HR complaint in December of 2019. She was put on administrative leave three weeks later. However, the Recording Academy claims Dugan was placed on leave over a bullying complaint from Portnow’s executive assistant. Dugan alleges that the Recording Academy attempted to work out a settlement with her before backing out at the last minute and giving her one hour to agree to a new deal. She later informed the company of her intent to sue.

Dugan's complaint outlines how women and minority groups have been “historically underrepresented” at the Grammys and within the Academy. For example, the docs note that only 10 black artists have won the coveted Album of the Year honor and that R&B artist are typically excluded from top awards in favor of country, rock and pop music. The docs point out some of the criticisms the the Grammys has received, including failing to honor black artists and a lack of diversity among winners. Eminem for instances, won Best Rap Album seven times despite the category being dominated by black artists. Also mentioned in the documents are Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who beat out Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Kanye West for Best Rap Album in 2014. Dugan used Drake and pop star Dua Lipa to support her claim that the show cuts acceptance speeches short if the artist criticizes the Academy.

Further in the docs, Dugan exposes the Grammys nominations process as allegedly being “ripe with corruption.” Submissions are voted on by 12,000 Recording Academy members all around the country. The selections are narrowed down to the Top 20 entries, which are then reviewed by “secret committees.” Dugan asserts that board members on the committees have relationships with recording artists, thus furthering an artist's chance of getting nominated.

“The Board also manipulates the nominations process to ensure that certain songs or albums are nominated when the producer of the Grammys (Ken Ehrlich) wants a particular song performed during the show,” the documents claim.

Click here to read Dungan's full complaint.

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Bryson Tiller Announces Deluxe Edition Of ‘Trapsoul’ Debut

Ahead of the release of his highly anticipated new album, Bryson Tiller is giving fans another chance to fall deeper in love with Trapsoul. The Grammy-nominated singer announced that he will be releasing a deluxe version of his debut album to streaming service this Friday (Sept. 25).

The deluxe edition will feature fan favorites “Just Another Interlude” and “Self Righteous,” Tiller tweeted on Tuesday (Sept. 22). “Before we get into my new album, I wanna celebrate with this special edition of my debut album, 'Trapsoul.' Featuring a few songs that didn’t quite make the cut.”

before we get into my new album, I wanna celebrate with this special edition of my debut album, Trapsoul. Featuring a few songs that didn’t quite make the cut. Y’all asked for these on All Platforms and they’ll finally be yours this Friday. thank you! pic.twitter.com/8MJ5rC5jYB

— tiller (@brysontiller) September 23, 2020

Released in 2015, Tiller’s debut album put him on the map, and earned a Billboard Music Awards nomination for Top R&B Album. The triple platinum release, lead single “Don’t” cracked the Top 20 on the Billboard singles charts becoming his highest charting solo effort to date.

Earlier in the month, Tiller released the music video for his song “Inhale” which samples Mary J. Blige’s “Not Gon' Cry.” The end of the video reveals that Tiller’s new album will drop sometime this fall.

Watch “Inhale” below.

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Judge Sides With Nicki Minaj In Tracy Chapman Court Battle

A judge has sided with Nicki Minaj in her legal dispute with Tracy Chapman. U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled that Minaj’s song “Sorry” falls under the “fair use” and not copyright infringement as Chapman claimed, Variety reports.

Minaj was reportedly unaware that her song, “Sorry,” featured lyrics and a bit of the melody from Chapman’s 1988 track, “Baby Can I Hold You” when it was recorded. She  reached out to Chapman to get permission to use the song but was ultimately turned down. Since she couldn't get legal clearance, the track never made it to the Queen album, but Chapman’s attorneys accused Minaj of leaking the track to Funkmaster Flex. Although Minaj confirmed sending Flex an Instagram message about the song, she denies actually sending it. “I had a change of heart,” she later testified. “I never sent the recording.”

Flex said that he obtained the recording from a “blogger,” not Minaj.

In her decision, Judge Phillips reportedly noted that artists tend to “experiment” with music before they attempt to get proper licensing.

“Artists usually experiment with works before seeking licenses from rights holders and rights holders typically ask to see a proposed work before approving a license,” the judge wrote. “A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry.”

Despite the ruling, the question remains over whether or not Minaj should be held liable for the song being leaked. Last month, Minaj’s attorneys filed court papers requesting that Chapman’s motion for a summary judgment be denied in full.

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Big Sean Debuts ‘Deep Reverence’ Feat. Nipsey Hussle

Big Sean delivered his collaboration with Nipsey Hustle “Deep Reverence” on Monday (Aug. 24). The 32-year-old rapper decided to drop the song after  finishing up his highly anticipated Detroit 2 album due out next week.

“My heart and my gut was saying not only do people deserve that song right now,”  Sean tweeted on Tuesday (Aug. 25). “I felt like hearing nips [sic] voice, his presence and the energy of the song itself was needed and deserved it’s own moment!”

A snippet of the song debuted during Hit-Boy and Boi1da's Verzuz battle in April. Sean said that he has wanted to release the song ever since then.

“My label (a few people there, not the whole label) thought it wasn’t smart to put this song out ahead of my album, they told my team I should hold on to it...they still supported my decision in the end tho [sic],” he explained in another tweet.

The record opens with a clever and poignant verse from Nipsey. “F*ck rap I’m a street legend, block love me with a deep reverence,” he raps. “I was birthed in a C-section/Hella cops and police presence, we got opps so we keep weapons. We on y’all block while y’all eat breakfast. A lot of shots, we broke street records. Watch how you talk, I got reflexes.”

 

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Rest In Power bro! The World miss you n need to hear your voice! DEEP REVERENCE OUT NOW 🏁💙🙏🏾 Prod by. @hitboy & @g.ryomo

A post shared by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on Aug 24, 2020 at 9:07pm PDT

On Sean’s verse, he reveals that he reached out to Kendrick Lamar after Nipsey was killed and addresses the alleged beef between him and the Compton MC. Fans also believe that he hinted at  Jhené Aiko suffering a miscarriage. “Should be a billionaire based on the time off I’m not takin,’” raps Sean. “Probably why the sh*t with me got crazy and we lost a baby.”

Detroit 2 is executive produced by Hit-Boy, Sean and Kanye West. The album drops on Sept. 4.

Listen to “Deep Reverence” below.

 

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My fifth album #Detroit2 September 4th 🌎✊🏾🌹🖤 🌟 🙏🏾

A post shared by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on Aug 24, 2020 at 11:15am PDT

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