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  1. K. Michelle and Keyshia Cole are putting the beef behind them. The R&B singers haven’t always seen eye to eye, exchanging the occasional subliminal on social media and in interviews, but it’s all over, according to K. Michelle. On Friday, she announced that the two had put their differences aside and were on good terms following a Clubhouse chat where they made up and even sang together. “So last night on clubhouse was a great moment for the culture. Me and @KeyshiaCole squashed any little misunderstandings we had like adults and sang songs together all night,” she tweeted. The Memphis songstress also announced that the two may record a joint project. “Y’all might even see a joint EP,” she teased. So last night on clubhouse was a great moment for the culture. Me and @KeyshiaCole squashed any little misunderstandings we had like adults and sang songs together all night. Y’all might even see a joint EP🤭🙄👍❤️ — K. Michelle (@kmichelle) February 26, 2021 I’m just all about positivity and making great music with some great people❤️ — K. Michelle (@kmichelle) February 26, 2021 K. Michelle is turning over a new leaf and doesn’t want any more drama in her life. “I’m just all about positivity and making great music with some great people,” she added. Their beef dates back eight years ago when K. Michelle was being compared to Keyshia early on in her career. In a 2013 interview with Majic 102.1, K. Michelle addressed the feud. “There’s absolutely nothing going on with Keyshia Cole; I don’t know what her problem is with me, but I have no problem with her,” she said. “I want to see her succeed. I love her new record, but the blows being thrown on Twitter have got to stop; we’re two grown women, two Black women, and we need to come together.” Meanwhile, both women are working on new solo projects. K. Michelle has been in Nashville recording a country album, while Keyshia recently dropped her new single “I Don’t Wanna Be in Love.”
  2. 6ix9ine is being sued by a stripper who says she was on the receiving end of a flying champagne bottle. Alexis Salaberrios sued the “ZAZA” rapper on Friday (Feb. 26), claiming she was left bloody after being hit with the bottle while working at Miami strip club Gold Rush Cabaret on Feb. 20. In the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, she alleges Tekashi threw a “deadly object with intent to commit serious bodily injury.” Her attorney, David M. Tarlow, claims that 6ix9ine threw the bottle because someone in the club called him a rat. But instead of hitting his intended target, the bottle missed and struck Salaberrios in the head. The alleged injury landed her in the ER, where she received several staples to close a head wound. She also accuses the club of not having enough security around Tekashi, who she says has a “propensity for violence.” After the injury, she alleges that the club’s employees escorted 6ix9ine out of the building and pressured her not to call police, but she ignored them and reported the incident to cops. She is suing Gold Rush Cabaret for gross negligence, and Tekashi for aggravated battery. 6ix9ine has denied his involvement in the bloody incident. The rapper’s lawyer Lance Lazzaro tells TMZ that it’s just a ploy for money. “There are video cameras in the establishment. It’s an attempt to shake him down. If he is served properly, we will immediately move to have it dismissed,” said Lazzaro. Meanwhile, 6ix9ine is facing more potential legal action. Meek Mill’s lawyers recently sent him a cease and desist letter, demanding that he remove the video for “ZAZA” which features footage from his confrontation with the Philly rapper.
  3. Big Sean is making big gains. The Detroit rapper has been hitting the gym hard over the past year. A shirtless Sean took to Instagram to show off the fruits of his labor, flexing his toned arms and six-pack abs. He achieved his ripped body with the help of his trainer, Jerry Ford. The 32-year-old also shared a picture of himself circa 2013 when he was much skinnier, a reminder to keep going. “Had to start catching up to my potential…Last pic a reminder to myself to keep this shit up,” he captioned the slideshow. In March of 2020, he opened up to Men’s Health about his exercise regimen, which included four weekly workouts consisting of boxing, weight training, and chains. “You have to make it a priority,” said Sean. “This is time to myself. That’s one thing I’ve realized I wasn’t getting enough of.” For New Year’s 2019, he made a resolution to change his lifestyle and committed to it. “I wanted to boss up my life,” said Sean, who was once 125 pounds on the verge of depression. “I said, ‘I’m changing my life and making it a habit.’ ” He traded late-night junk food for protein-rich meals and hired Ford to make sure he stayed accountable. In addition to his chiseled abs and ripped arms, he’s gained what he calls “confidence stamina” onstage. Plus, the interval cardio has even helped with his raps. “I find myself not running out of breath,” revealed Sean. “I get to deliver words closer to how they sound, as opposed to spitting them out.”
  4. The stars are aligning for Bryson Tiller’s next album. Fresh off the release of the deluxe edition of Anniversary, the R&B singer is readying his next project–When Stars Align. The collaborative effort will find Tiller working with some of his favorite artists. While he won’t reveal the guest list just yet, he’s excited to share it with fans. “I’ve already started it, got the tracklist, I’m working on it. Got a lot of people I’ve been working with, just trying to see who I align with,” he told Page Six. “I’m really excited about that project because I love to collaborate and have wanted to do it more.” Anniversary (Deluxe), a follow-up to his October album, features a collaboration with Big Sean (“Still Yours”), along with the previously-released “Outta Time” with Drake, a longtime Tiller supporter. “He sent me the song a minute ago—maybe a year ago,” revealed Bryson. “I liked it a lot. When I was getting towards the end of making Anniversary,’ I was like, ‘I got to get Drake on here, he’s a part of the story.” In addition to When Stars Align, Tiller is working on his oft-delayed album Serenity, which will be divided into three parts—rap, R&B, and pop. “Over the years, I realized how much fu**in’ music I had for Serenity, all this different shit, so Serenity is not one album, it’s three albums,” he previously told fans. “It’s three volumes of the albums–one is a rap album, one is an R&B album, and then one is a pop album.”
  5. Free Friday. Ice Cube took to Twitter on Friday, claiming that the powers that be at Warner Bros. have “hi-jacked” the Friday franchise and refuse to make more sequels. He also tried to drum up support for his movement, using the hashtag #FreeFriday. “#freefriday from the jaws of Warner Bros. who refuses to make more sequels,” he tweeted. “They have hi-jacked the happiness of the culture.” #freefriday from the jaws of Warner Bros. who refuses to make more sequels. They have hi-jacked the happiness of the culture. pic.twitter.com/eryjR7zKs1 — Ice Cube (@icecube) February 26, 2021 Fans had a mixed response to his announcement. While many wanted to see another installment in the Friday series, others felt that Cube should leave the beloved franchise alone. “God, do we really need more of those movies though?? They’re classics,” tweeted one fan. God, do we really need more of those movies though?? They’re classics.. Why not just leave ’em and work on something else? — regs (@regularregs) February 26, 2021 We need last Friday at least — The Maestro (@Dirklerxstprat) February 26, 2021 The first Friday was released on April 26, 1995, grossing $27 million worldwide. It was followed by a pair of sequels, 2000’s Next Friday and 2002’s Friday After Next. The movie also inspired an animated series, which aired on MTV2 in 2007 and lasted 8 episodes. Earlier this month, the N.W.A. rapper dropped his new song “Trying to Maintain,” his first solo music since 2018’s Everythang’s Corrupt. He has also joined forces with Snoop Dogg, Too $hort, and E-40 to create a group called Mt. Westmore, with an album expected this year.
  6. Travis Scott is giving back to his hometown following the devastating winter storm. The Houston native and his Cactus Jack Foundation have teamed up with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to provide meals to 50,000 residents who have suffered from the freezing conditions. The hot meals were distributed as part of an emergency food program on Friday (Feb. 26). According to TMZ, the Cactus Jack Foundation has been working with local agencies and restaurant owners to get the meals to those still recovering from the storm, which left millions without water or power. Deliveries of food and bottled water are being made across the city all day. Travis is known for his goodwill. Just before Christmas, the charitable rapper hosted a holiday toy drive in Houston, where he gave away 2,000 toys to elementary school students. His foundation also recently launched a scholarship program to help teens further their education. In the wake of the winter storm, other Houston natives including Beyoncé, Solange, and Trae tha Truth have stepped up to help their fellow Texans. Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD Foundation, along with Adidas, provided $1,000 relief payments to those impacted by the storm.
  7. Kanye West’s failed presidential campaign cost him millions. PEOPLE magazine reports that the billionaire rapper-designer spent $13.2 million on his 2020 bid for the White House, which breaks down to approximately $200 for every vote. Of that amount, West put in $12.5 million of his own money while collecting more than $2 million in outside contributions, according to his final Federal Election Commission report. He raised a total of $14.5 million to fund the campaign, which he announced just 122 days before Election Day. In the end, he only got his name on 12 state ballots and earned about 66,000 votes nationally. “He isn’t versed enough politically,” said a former West campaign operative. “He figured that by doing it on his own, he could control his own media. But he has so much other stuff going on in his life that has nothing to do with politics that the distractions are there.” West launched his campaign on July 4, 2020 under the “Birthday Party.” More than $7.5 million was spent on “ballot access,” including $1.28 million in payments to Atlas Strategy Group, owned by Republican strategist Gregg Keller. The money also went toward legal fees, online video production to promote his campaign, and “Kanye 2020” merchandise. Additionally, public records show he spent $210,544 on a two-page ad in The New York Times, which ran one week ahead of the election, and $918,130 on campaign apparel on Election Day. He ultimately conceded on Nov. 3 with about $1.3 million in the bank, but his presidential aspirations may not be over. Along with his concession, Ye announced a potential run in four years, tweeting, “KANYE 2024.” KANYE 2024 pic.twitter.com/Zm2pKcn12t — ye (@kanyewest) November 4, 2020
  8. Justin Bieber is out for Justice. The singer has announced his sixth studio album, available March 19. He revealed the cover art while explaining the inspiration behind his latest body of work. “In a time when there’s so much wrong with this broken planet, we all crave healing—and justice—for humanity,” said Bieber. “In creating this album, my goal is to make music that will provide comfort; to make songs that people can relate to, and connect to, so they feel less alone. Suffering, injustice and pain can leave people feeling helpless.” #JUSTICE the album March 19th. Pre-order now: https://t.co/VSc6FCWSVs pic.twitter.com/MpYt7jKeYd — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 26, 2021 Suffering, injustice and pain can leave people feeling helpless. Music is a great way of reminding each other that we aren’t alone. Music can be a way to relate to one another and connect with one another — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 26, 2021 This is me doing a small part. My part. I want to continue the conversation of what justice looks like so we can continue to heal — Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 26, 2021 He hopes to bring healing through his music. “Music is a great way of reminding each other that we aren’t alone. Music can be a way to relate to one another and connect with one another,” he added. “I know that I cannot simply solve injustice by making music, but I do know that if we all do our part by using our gifts to serve this planet, and each other, that we are that much closer to being united. This is me doing a small part. My part. I want to continue the conversation of what justice looks like so we can continue to heal.” Justice, which follows 2020’s Changes, has already spawned a trio of singles including “Holy” with Chance the Rapper, “Lonely” featuring Benny Blanco, and “Anyone,” which all currently reside in the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. Ahead of the album’s release, Bieber will take the stage at Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards, airing live on March 13.
  9. Jhené Aiko lends her voice to the soundtrack to Raya and the Last Dragon. “Lead the Way” was written by Jhené and Oscar-nominated composer James Newton-Howard, and appears in the end credits to Disney’s upcoming animated film. With its uplifting message, Jhené delivers a magical theme song to accompany the epic adventure. Jhené, who considers herself a “Disney kid,” jumped at the opportunity. “The number one thing was I heard dragon, and I love dragons. I have a big dragon tattoo on my back. I was born in ’88, which is the year of the dragon. And I just think it’s a beautiful, mystical creature that is just so many things, symbolizes so many things for me, personally,” she told Apple Music. “I’ve always had this little fantasy of being a Disney princess, voicing one, or like being the character. And so this was the closest that I’ve gotten, so I was pretty excited.” She was given creative freedom to make a song that embodies the film. “I wanted to make Disney proud, because I grew up on Disney,” she added. “And yeah, it’s special. Where I live right now, they’re just put up a big billboard for the movie. So I was just like, ‘Look at that. Look at life.’ Just happy.” The music video, directed by Raya and the Last Dragon director Carlos López Estrada, will be released next month. Meanwhile, Jhené is nominated for three Grammys including Album of the Year and Best Progressive R&B Album for Chilombo at the Grammys, which will air on March 14. Raya and the Last Dragon will be available on Disney+ and in theaters on March 5.
  10. The celebration continues. Five months after releasing his Anniversary album, Bryson Tiller re-ups with the deluxe edition. In addition to the original 10 songs, the deluxe features five bonus tracks including the Big Sean-assisted “Still Yours,” “Losing Focus,” “7:00,” and “Like Clockwork,” for which he also released a video. According to the Louisville singer, the songs did not make the original album due to time constraints. “We just was running out of time so it was just like, ‘All right. Let me just put this to 10 songs, I mean for now.’ I just felt like that was just the way it should’ve been,” he told Apple Music. “I’m really excited about it. It’s fun, because there’s a lot of more upbeat vibes on there.” The original Anniversary was released on the fifth anniversary of his debut album Trapsoul in October, and spawned singles including “Inhale” and “Always Forever,” plus the Drake collaboration “Outta Time.” Next up, Tiller plans to release his three-part Serenity album. “I recorded so much music for it that it ended up having to be a three-part album,” he said. “That’s going to be something different that I’ve never done before. I plan on making an R&B album, a hip-hop album, and a pop album.” On March 18, Pen Griffey will perform music from Trapsoul and Anniversary during an immersive concert in his hometown of Louisville, which will stream via Moment House. Listen to Anniversary (Deluxe) below.
  11. Long live the Woo. One year after his death, Pop Smoke’s music continues to make waves. The late Brooklyn rapper’s unreleased track “AP” appears on the soundtrack to the upcoming movie Boogie, in which he also stars. The drill song originated as a collaboration with Rich the Kid, who previewed the song back in April 2020 when it was called “Nikes.” Pop Smoke makes his posthumous acting debut in the coming-of-age film Boogie, directed by Eddie Huang. Pop plays Boogie’s basketball rival Monk. Both the soundtrack and film arrive March 5. Meanwhile, Pop’s posthumous debut Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon remains in the top 5 on the Billboard 200 seven months after its release. Fresh from his release, Bobby Shmurda also told GQ he “has something cooking” with Pop.
  12. “Go Big” or go home. YG and Big Sean come together on a new collaboration off the soundtrack to the highly-anticipated sequel to Coming to America. The triumphant anthem finds the “Big Bank” collaborators back in their bag, exchanging motivational bars over blaring horns. The Compton rapper shows out on his verse, while Sean Don counts his blessings. “I got the girl that you smash in your head / ‘Xcept she givin’ me head and she naked too,” he raps. “She know the name, she know all the rumors, she want to see if it’s all fake or true.” The soundtrack to Coming 2 America arrives March 5, the same day the film hits Amazon Prime Video. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reunite in the long-awaited follow-up to the 1988 comedy classic, which also stars Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Wesley Snipes, James Earl Jones, and Teyana Taylor. Additionally, Big Sean can also be heard on “Still Yours” off Bryson Tiller’s Anniversary (Deluxe) edition.
  13. Guess who’s back again? After an extended hiatus, Bruno Mars is joining forces with Anderson .Paak to form new duo called Silk Sonic. Taking to Twitter on Thursday night, Bruno announced that the first song from their upcoming joint album will arrive March 5. The project will also feature “special guest host Bootsy Collins.” “We locked in and made an album. The band’s called Silk Sonic. First song drops next Friday 3/5,” Bruno tweeted, while Anderson added, “WE MADE AN ALBUM!! YALL GET THE FIRST SONG NEXT FRIDAY 3/5!! ROCKET EMOJIS AND ALL THAT!!!” It’s been over four years since Bruno released his last album, 2016’s 24K Magic, while Anderson dropped Ventura in 2019. In 2017, Anderson opened for Bruno on the European leg of his “24K Magic World Tour.” See their big announcement below. ✨We locked in and made an album. The band’s called Silk Sonic. First song drops next Friday 3/5.✨ pic.twitter.com/kzCQ3f7NRa — Bruno Mars (@BrunoMars) February 26, 2021
  14. Bobby Shmurda is happy to be home. The Brooklyn rapper was released from New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility on Tuesday (Feb. 23) following his 2014 arrest on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, reckless endangerment, and gun and drug possession. He celebrated his first day out with family and friends including Quavo, who flew him home on a private jet. GQ met up with Bobby for his first post-prison interview at a two-story penthouse in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood. Shmurda, who will remain on parole until 2026, was in good spirits as he reflected on the past six years. “My spirit’s always gon’ be up,” he said. “I used to sleep next to people who had 40 to life. People who’ve been in there for 30 years and haven’t laughed–I’d have them crying all day. When you got good energy, no matter where you at, you can bring a smile to someone’s face.” The once-limber rapper is also looking swole these days, thanks to his daily lifting routine. His right hand remains in a brace, a reminder of prison life. “You know what happened,” he responds when asked about the injury. “Jail is jail.” While incarcerated, he received tons of letters from fans include one that hit home. “It was 2016, I was in the box. A six-year-old girl wrote to me; she said I was her favorite rapper… That just let me know the kids are watching me, and I have to be a role model,” he said. That’s when he knew he had to take his music career seriously. “I didn’t really care too much for it until I went to jail and I seen how the fans were loyal,” added Bobby. “I can’t name a week that I didn’t see at least 10 [pieces] of fan mail, throughout the whole bid.” At one point during the interview, he received a FaceTime call from Meek Mill and the two commiserated over their shared experiences. “I’m done with that [jail] shit,” he told Meek, adding, “I’ll be light-skinned in Jamaica before I go back.” Quavo, who has remained one of his most loyal friends, started planning for Bobby’s first day out six months to a year ago after one of their phone calls. “He had this dream: a jet, flooded out with his gang, his family, a couple vibes [read: women] for him,” said the Migos rapper. “It’s like his birthday today. Whatever he wants to do, we’re doing it.” While in prison, Bobby started reading books about real estate, which has become his new obsession. “I only want to talk about real estate now. Ask anybody. [This morning] I said, ‘Quavo–real estate!’ and he’s like, ‘Chill, you just got out.’ They made me a monster now,” said Bobby. “You’re like an animal in a fu**ing cage. And you’re mentally a monster. Physically a monster. Spiritually a monster. They aren’t going to know what to do with you.” Bobby also reflected on the last conversation he had with Nipsey Hussle, which took place just one month before the Crenshaw rapper’s death. “I only had four or five conversations with cousin,” he said. “His mind was different. He was saying all the things we were going to do when I got out.” Now that he’s out, he has no plans on going back. “I know what y’all like. I know what y’all don’t like. Y’all don’t like to see young, Black rich ni**as. So I’m going to get real rich on y’all. I’m going to make it legit, though. They want to see you ni**as back selling crack. You know what I mean? Going to jail and shit. And I’m going to make it legit now.” New music is also on the way. While he wouldn’t confirm an album, he told GQ that “projects” are in the works. Plus, he hinted at a potential collaboration with the late Pop Smoke, saying he “has something cooking.” And don’t be surprised to hear a Shmurda feature on Migos’ forthcoming album Culture III.
  15. Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West collide on a futuristic new project. DJ Toasty Digital, a 26-year-old internet DJ and Yeezy superfan, has released his Good Kid Twisted Fantasy mixtape featuring a mashup of two of hip-hop’s most beloved albums, Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.A.d city and Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The 11 tracks consist of songs and samples from the acclaimed projects, starting with “GET MUCH HIGHER,” which uses the opening lyrics to “Backseat Freestyle” over the choir from “Dark Fantasy.” Other highlights include “MAAD WORLD,” fusing Kendrick’s “m.A.A.d city” rap over the “Blame Game” instrumental. “They’re two of my favorite albums ever,” Toasty told Input. “Both came out at a time when I was getting really into making my own music, so they definitely influenced how I thought an album should be put together.” The project even comes with its own backstory set in the year 2050 when the world is ending, and Kanye has been missing for 30 years. Kendrick travels into space with the mixtape serving as the soundtrack to his cryogenic sleep. Stream Good Kid Twisted Fantasy below.
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