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After serving 6 years, Bobby Shmurda is finally out. The rapper, born Ackquille Pollard, was granted a conditional release from the New York state prison, Clinton Correctional Facility, on Tuesday morning (Feb. 23) and will serve the remainder of his 7-year sentence on parole. According to reports, Shmurda “will be under community supervision in Kings County until he completes his sentence on February 23, 2026.”
In true celebrity fashion, Shmurda was brought home in a private jet this morning. Earlier this week, Migos' Quavo told Billboard that he would do the honor of picking him up upon Bobby's release. "I'm going to get my guy. I'm personally gonna go pick up Bobby Shmurda. I'm bout to go get him. I'm gonna let him show you how I'm gonna pick him up, yessir. It's gonna be big."
And that he did.
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In December 2014, Shmurda was arrested at New York City's Quad Studios and was charged with conspiracy to murder, criminal possession of a weapon, criminally using drug paraphernalia, and reckless endangerment follow a two-year probe by the New York Police Department. In 2016, the former Epic Records signee and his childhood friend Rowdy Rebel accepted a plea deal and were sentenced to 7 years in prison.
“They kind of did it dirty at the end of the day,” Bobby explained in a phone interview with VIBE back in 2016. “They had offered me five (years) but then they said if I take the seven, then I’ll be taking it so that they could give Rowdy seven because they were going to offer him 12. I didn’t want my bro to do 12 years because at the end of the day, we didn’t really do nothing, but they playing dirty. So I’m going to take one for the bro.”
Now that Bobby is out, he'll be spending time with family and friends and getting his head back into creating new music. Watch his FaceTime call with his mother, Leslie, down below.
Welcome back, Bobby.
Bobby Shmurda on facetime with his mom after being released from prison pic.twitter.com/YvdaBzo1Y4
— Bobby Shmurda Updates (@bodboybobby) February 23, 2021
Jay-Z's Armand de Brignac aka Ace of Spaces has sold 50% of its stake in an acquisition by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). On Monday morning (Feb. 22), The two leading luxury spirits brands announced their new alliance which includes a global distribution agreement.
“I’m proud to welcome the Arnault family into ours through this partnership that began with Alexandre Arnault and continued with his father Bernard Arnault and Philippe Schaus, at my home in Los Angeles," said Carter in a press release. "It is a partnership that has felt familiar the entire time. We are confident that the sheer power of the Moët Hennessy global distribution framework, its unparalleled portfolio strength and its long-established track record of excellence in developing luxury brands will give Armand de Brignac the commercial power it needs to grow and flourish even further.”
Moët Hennessy's president and CEO, Philippe Schaus shared how his company has been a long-admirer of Armand de Brignac's success in the champagne and wine categories.
“Often referred to as 'Ace of Spades,' Armand de Brignac breaks barriers and reflects contemporary luxury, while preserving the traditions of the Champagne terroirs. Today, we are incredibly proud to be partnering with them and believe that the combination of our Champagne experience and international network coupled with Shawn 'JAY-Z' Carter’s vision, the strength of the Armand de Brignac brand and quality of its range of prestige cuvées will allow us to take the business to new heights across the world.”
Watch Jay-Z's sitdown interview with CNBC's Squawk Box (which aired shortly after the published announcement) where he talks about how the deal came to fruition and his growth since entering the wine and spirits space after boycotting the champagne line, Cristal back in 2006.
2021 continues to tear our heartstrings apart. Reports are circulating that Mark Anthony Morales, bka Prince Markie Dee, of legendary '80s rap group The Fat Boys has passed away at the age of 52. Word on the cause of death has not been confirmed.
Being an early superstar on the hip-hop scene, Morales was typically viewed as the leader of the group known to rap with vigor about being obese but also dope on the mic. The trio of Morales as Prince Markie Dee, Darren "Buff Love (The Human Beat Box)" Robinson, and Damon Wimbley aka Kool Rock-Ski were originally named "The Disco 3," but later changed to "The Fat Boys" which stuck with them for the remainder of their career. Starting out in 1983, Morales and the crew won a talent show that put them in the bright lights of New York's Radio City Music Hall.
After the success of breaking through and meeting music executives, the placement on the mega-popular Fresh Fest Tour with Run-DMC catapulted the group to stardom and even appearing in early hip-hop film classics like Krush Groove and later their own movie, Disorderlies. Having a happy-go-lucky appearance and a hard rap style with strong flows and funny punchlines, kept Morales and crew from being laughing stocks and more respected MCs than one would think. Their albums and singles charted on Billboard with their biggest hit being "Wipeout" landing at #12 on the Hot 100.
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Morales stayed more involved with the music industry as the Fat Boys went their separate ways by the late 80s into the 90s, by becoming a music executive as well as a songwriter and producer for Mary J. Blige, J. Lo, and many others. He also took his talents to Miami, Florida, and became a radio jock for stations in the area. Most recently, Morales took over the midday slot that his friend and ailing buddy Biz Markie vacated on LL Cool J's Rock The Bells Radio on Sirius/XM. You would hear Morales with his booming voice, smiling tone, and wild stories entertaining his listeners.
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Please take some time to listen to the Fat Boys albums and watch a natural star in Prince Markie Dee as he commands every scene he was featured on in videos and film. Love to his family, friends, and fans.