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Meek Mill Defends James Harden for Wearing Pro-Police Mask

Meek Mill has come to the defense of James Harden after the Houston Rockets point guard recently received backlash for wearing a pro-police mask.

On Friday (July 17), the Philadelphia rapper offered his thoughts on the whole uproar, saying Harden was unaware of the mask’s meaning. “Y’all know damn well Jh don’t know what that mask meant because I don’t!” Meek posted. “He donate millions in real life to our people! End of story.”

That wasn’t enough for some people who offered retorts to Meek’s tweet.

“How does a grown man who has access to endless amounts of resources not know what that flag means smh,” one person posted. “Oh & everyday people donate money & time on a daily basis.”

“Money doesn’t solve everything Meek,” someone else added. “Perhaps he should have used some of that money to become a more informed consumer because it’s clear to me what the meaning of that mask is. I’m surprised that no one questioned it about it early on actually.”

Others were not as concerned. “Niggas really trying to find anything to bitch about,” another person added.

Harden became the topic of discussion on Thursday (July 16), after the Rockets’ Twitter account posted a photo of the NBA All-Star wearing a face covering that appears to resemble the “thin blue line” image, which reportedly supports police and at times has been used to counter the Black Lives Matter movement. The post was captioned, “Mask Up.”

Meek Mill isn’t the first rapper to come to Harden’s defense. Young Thug also spoke up for the NBA veteran.

“Just so u know James harden is my brada…btw he don’t have internet so he obviously don’t know what’s right or wrong if he posted something that’s against US…but I hate when rappers get in niggas biz like it’s can’t happen to em💥 buster let niggas clear they shit up activist,” Thug tweeted on Friday.

Harden has since addressed the backlash saying he was unaware of the meaning behind the face covering. “Honestly, I wasn’t trying to make a political statement,” he said, according to CNN. “I wore it because it covered my face, my beard.” Harden added, “I thought it looked cool, that was it.”

The incident occurred as tensions remain high and civil unrest continues over the high profile killing of George Floyd and many others who have lost their lives at the hands of police brutality.

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Police Believe Megan Thee Stallion Was Attacked

The investigation into the recent shooting involving Megan Thee Stallion following Tory Lanez‘s arrest for a gun charge has escalated.

According to a report from TMZ on Friday (July 17), the Los Angeles Police Department is looking closely into the incident as well as the allegation that Megan was shot multiple times. They are now said to be looking at Tory as the one responsible for shooting Meg.

A rep for the LAPD confirmed this afternoon that there has been an update in the case. “Due to the recent statement made by Megan Thee Stallion, Hollywood detectives will be conducting an assault with a deadly weapon investigation, in which she is listed a the victim,” the rep said. “No additional information including who they may consider suspects will be released at this time. Only if the detectives make an arrest will the suspect’s information be released.”

The spokesperson for the LAPD additionally said that the investigation has been launched based on Megan’s recent statement, in which she said that she was suffered gunshot wounds during the incident.

Tory has not been named as a suspect in the shooting, but reports say officials are looking at him and his involvement in the incident. As previously reported, the Canadian rapper was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle earlier this week after a shooting took place following an argument that transpired inside of the SUV. Tory, Megan and an unnamed woman, presumed to be her friend, Kelsey Nicole, were pulled over by police after a call was made reporting a disturbance outside of a home. Witnesses also claim that gunshots were fired into the air. Police found a gun in the car after searching the vehicle, resulting in Tory’s arrest.

When the incident was initially reported, it was said that the Houston artist sustained an injury on her foot from broken glass that was on the floor of the SUV. She later revealed that the information being offered was inaccurate. “I suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me,” she said in part. Megan added that police took her to the hospital. She also said she underwent surgery to have bullets removed.

TMZ suggests that upgrading the shooting investigation means additional charges can potentially emerge. Witnesses are also unwilling to cooperate with the LAPD at the moment, which could make it difficult to prosecute Tory, if he were to be hit with the elevated charge.

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Megan Thee Stallion Breaks Silence Since Revealing She Was Shot

Megan Thee Stallion is speaking out after revealing that she was shot multiple times following Tory Lanez’s recent arrest for a gun charge in Los Angeles.

On Friday afternoon (July 17), the Houston native shared a message via Twitter, addressing the lack of safety and protection for Black women.

“Black women are so unprotected & we hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others w/o considering our own,” she tweeted. “It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized.”

Megan’s message follows news surfacing that Tory allegedly shot her in the foot on Sunday (July 12) following an argument that took place in the chauffeur-driven SUV that they were riding in.

See Hip-Hop Album Titles You Always Wondered the Meanings of Defined

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Young Thug Defends James Harden for Wearing Pro-Police Mask

Young Thug is standing up for his NBA player friend, James Harden, who is under fire on social media for wearing a pro-police face covering amid the current fight for racial equality.

On Thursday evening (July 17), an image of Harden was uploaded to Twitter by the Houston Rockets, the team he plays point guard for. In the picture, he is wearing a face covering with a black, white and blue skull on it. The post was captioned, “Mask Up.” The NBA star was quickly criticized over the mask because it appears to resemble the “thin blue line” image, which supports police, is linked to White supremacy and goes against the Black Lives Matter movement.

Some people on social media thrashed Harden for wearing the mask. “Can someone please donate to Harden a ‘cool’ mask that doesn’t symbolize police terrorism,” one person tweeted. “Thanks.”

There were others, however, who defended the basketball star, claiming he was unaware of the symbolism behind the mask. One of those people was Young Thug.

“Just so u know James harden is my brada…btw he don’t have internet so he obviously don’t know what’s right or wrong if he posted something that’s against US…but I hate when rappers get in niggas biz like it’s can’t happen to em💥 buster let niggas clear they shit up activist,” he tweeted just after midnight today (July 17).

A third Twitter user echoed Thug’s message. “Anyone who thinks harden knew what that damn mask meant are idiots Face with tears of joy He clearly wore it to look sweet that’s it y’all think way to deep about everything,” they wrote.

James Harden later addressed the mask, admitting that he was unaware of the problematic ties linked to imagery on the face covering.

“Honestly, I wasn’t trying to make a political statement,” he said, according to CNN. “I wore it because it covered my face, my beard.” Harden added, “I thought it looked cool, that was it.”

Harden wearing the mask comes weeks after the country has been experiencing civil unrest and nationwide protests following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain and countless others who have lost their lives due to police brutality.

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Here's Why the People Need Lil Bibby's Free Crack 4 Right Now

When considering the talented crop of rap artists to come out of Chicago over the past decade and capture rap fans’ attention, Lil Bibby is the rapper that has always stood out as one of the more cerebral. In addition to the magnitude of his talent, which was first realized as a teenager through his solo work like “Dead or in Prison” and collaborative tracks “How We Move” with King Louie and “Know Somethin” featuring G Herbo, the 25-year-old artist’s maturation and acumen outside of the vocal booth and the camera’s view is a testament to his discipline and hunger.

These are traits that have helped Lil Bibby transition into his role as a music executive. While Bibby’s music initially put him on the map, it’s his work now as a cofounder of Grade A Productions, the label imprint behind late rap star Juice Wrld’s meteoric rise, that has elevated Bibby as a power player within the music industry.

Since 2013, he’s been building his buzz with the first three installments in the Free Crack series. “You Ain’t Gang,” a song featured on 2017’s FC3 the Epilogue EP, further proved Bibby had more bars and hit-worthy material in his arsenal. He acknowledged the existence of Free Crack 4 as early as 2016, and the fans have been waiting ever since without many concrete details surrounding the project.

Being that Bibby doesn’t record a lot of new music these days, there’s no telling when Free Crack 4 will be liberated, if ever. He’s no longer with RCA Records but does have paperwork with Dr. Luke, which has likely stopped him from dropping music. Even in light of Bibby’s own reluctance to give any official update on Free Crack 4, that hasn’t kept fans from clamoring for its release, voicing their anticipation and frustrations on the internet over the years. If there’s a social media post Bibby writes on Twitter or Instagram, chances are there’s more than one fan in the comments asking when #FC4 is dropping.

With nearly seven years having passed since FC dropped, and three years since unleashing the “Free Crack 4 Intro,” in 2017, XXL shares more than a few reasons why fans should get Free Crack 4 now. The people want what they want.

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Kanye West Posts Photo of Himself on Mount Rushmore

Kanye West isn’t taking his presidential aspirations lightly.

On Friday (July 17), Yeezy shared an image on his Twitter to let people know just how serious he is about running for President of the United States. “2020,” he captioned an image of Mount Rushmore, which contains carved granite figures of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. However, Kanye’s upload features a fifth person: himself. In the photoshopped picture, ’Ye’s head is among the aforementioned presidents and is placed beside Lincoln.

Speaking of Kanye running for president, the G.O.O.D. Music founder is making headway towards his goal. Yesterday (July 16) Mr. West was officially placed on the ballot in Oklahoma for the upcoming election in November. The Oklahoma State Election Board shared the news via Twitter. “Independent presidential candidate Kanye West has qualified for the General Election ballot in Oklahoma,” the OSEB wrote. “(Today is Oklahoma’s deadline for Independent & Unrecognized Party presidential candidates to file statements of candidacy with their petitions or filing fee.).”

A rep for the Chicago-bred rapper told People magazine that he has filed paperwork allowing him to be a candidate for the 2020 election. Additionally, ’Ye has reportedly paid the $35,000 filing fee and submitted Form 2, the Statement of Candidacy. He has filed the prerequisite form, Form 1, as well. Form 1, the Statement of Organization, indicates that Kanye’s campaign staff will act as the “Principal Campaign Committee,” with him named as the candidate.

Although Kanye will be found on the ballot in Oklahoma in four months, he has missed the deadline for the ballots in New Mexico and Texas. Kanye said during an interview with Forbes that he plans to use the coronavirus pandemic as a reason to get put on the aforementioned ballots.

If Kanye West, who is also running under the Birthday Party, makes it to Election Day on November 3, he will be competing against Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, who served as Vice President under Barack Obama. He’ll also be going up against President Donald Trump, who interestingly has shown support for Kanye’s presidential run.

 

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The 13 Best New Songs This Week

Week in and week out, there are plenty of brand new rap songs, no matter the time of year. It can be really difficult to stay aware of what’s out and also what’s hot, so XXL decided to make things much easier for you. Instead of sorting out nearly everything that released this week, we’ve narrowed it down to strictly the best of the week, saving you plenty of time.

Expect to see selections from the established stars, the next wave of new talent, the up-and-comers and everyone else in between. If your song is fire enough to beat the competition, it’ll take one of the weekly spots. You can trust us on this one; follow our lead and you’ll never get laughed off of the aux cord again. Your friends will finally trust you with playlists; it’ll be wonderful. In addition to that, you can check back every week for the latest and greatest tracks. You’ll always have somewhere to turn to each week, being sure to find some songs you’ll dig.

Enjoy this week’s list, featuring new songs from DJ Khaled (“Popstar” featuring Drake),YoungBoy Never Broke Again (“Sticks With Me”), Joey Bada$$ (“No Explanation” featuring Pusha T) and more. See you next week!

  • “Popstar”

    DJ Khaled featuring Drake

  • “Sticks With Me”

    YoungBoy Never Broke Again

  • “No Explanation”

    Joey Bada$$ featuring Pusha T

  • “Clueless”

    Calboy

  • “Painless”

    J.I. featuring Lil Durk

  • “Different Breed”

    Q Da Fool

  • “Stuntin’ On You”

    Tyla Yaweh featuring DaBaby

  • “Bands in Da Basement”

    03 Greedo featuring Chief Keef

  • “Tell Me Why”

    The Kid LAROI

  • “Picasso”

    Sheff G featuring King Von, Jay Critch and Eli Fross,

  • “Overtime”

    NoCap

  • “Viola”

    StaySolidRocky

  • “Mr. Man and K.i.D”

    Kyle

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Megan Thee Stallion’s Bodyguard Breaks Silence After Shooting

The shooting incident involving Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez has begun to take several turns. Most recently, a member of her security has spoken out.

Following reports on Thursday evening (July 16) that Tory allegedly shot Megan in the foot as she tried to get out of the vehicle they were in, her bodyguard has broken his silence.

“If you know me and you know her well enough, not only do you know I wasn’t physically present during Sunday mornings events, but you know why,” the bodyguard, whose Instagram account is “hotguardjustwin,” wrote in a now-deleted IG Story post, which began circulating online today (July 17). “If you don’t know me or her well enough, she good, I’m here now, and she’ll never step foot outside without me plus some niggas who don’t aim at feet present.”

Yesterday (July 16), the New York Post‘s Page Six reported that Tory allegedly shot Megan following a dispute that took place while they were in an SUV. A source told the outlet, “Tory fired the shots from within the vehicle while Megan was outside trying to leave. There is video and the police are investigating. This is a case of a man physically harming and abusing a woman.”

Prior to this news surfacing online, Megan released a statement via Instagram, denouncing reports that the injury she sustained during the incident was a cut on her foot from glass that was on the floor of the SUV.

“The narrative that is being reported about Sunday’s morning events are inaccurate and I’d like to set the record straight,” Meg wrote on Wednesday (July 15). “On Sunday Morning, I suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me. I was never arrested, the police officers drove me to the hospital where I underwent surgery to remove the bullets. I’m incredibly grateful to be alive and that I’m expected to make a full recovery, but it was important for me to clarify the details about this traumatic night. I’m currently focused on my recovery, so I can return back to my life and back to making music as soon as possible.”

LilJuMadeDaBeat, the producer for her Suga album, also spoke on the incident. He said via Twitter, “I hope y’all don’t believe he was defending her! This a bullshit story,” after telling Tory to “count his fucking days.”

Tory Lanez was arrested on Sunday (July 12) after a call was made to police of a disturbance outside of a home in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles. Witnesses said an argument took place in an SUV and gunshots were fired into the air. The LAPD later located the vehicle and found Tory, Megan and an unnamed woman, which appears to be Megan’s best friend, Kelsey Nicole, inside. After searching the SUV, a gun was recovered. The Canadian rapper was arrested and booked at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle. He was released after satisfying a $35,000 bond.

Video footage from the incident has surfaced the internet as well.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

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People Think Drake Sounds Like The Weeknd on DJ Khaled's "Greece"

Two new Drake records dropped last night and the streets are talking, but not in the way most would think. The good folks on Twitter are accusing him of borrowing his flow from another artist.

DJ Khaled delivered two new tracks today (July 17), “Greece” and “Popstar,” that will appear on his upcoming album, God Is the Greatest, and both songs feature Drake. However, shortly after “Greece” hit streaming platforms, social media users immediately began criticizing Drizzy, accusing him of sounding like The Weeknd on the record.

“Come with me, leave all of your things, yeah/We can stop at Gucci, stop at Louis V, yeah
Come with me, fly you out to Greece/Full speed, survoler Paris/Come with me, leave all of your things, yeah/We can stop at Gucci, stop at Louis V, yeah/Come with me, fly you out to Greece/Full speed, je suis ton génie,” Drizzy croons on the track’s second hook.

Unlike his other tracks, the 6 God’s cadence likens Abel’s and Twitter isn’t keeping their thoughts on it to themselves.

One person tweeted, “The Weeknd watching Drake steal his entire flow on Greece.”

Another said, “Drake stealing The Weeknd’s flow on Greece. Shi is a bop tho.”

Other people had opinions about Drizzy’s flow on “Popstar,” claiming that he sounds like Chicago rapper Valee. The MC’s “Womp Womp” record featuring Jeremih is what folks are referring to. Valee’s manager, Andrew Barber, tweeted shortly after the song dropped, “‘Popstar’ is dope. Valee Womp Womp flow still getting love in 2020. Give Valee his flowers 2021.”

“Popstar,” which has an entirely different feel than the melodic “Greece,” features Drake spitting bars comparing his lavish rapper lifestyle to that of a pop star. He even name-drops Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun.

“Bitches callin’ my phone like I’m locked up, nonstop/From the plane to the fuckin’ helicopter, yeah/Cops pullin’ up like I’m givin’ drugs out, nah, nah/I’m a popstar, not a doctor/Bitches callin’ my phone like I’m locked up, nonstop/From the plane to the fuckin’ helicopter, yeah/Cops pullin’ up like I’m givin’ drugs out, nah, nah/I’m a popstar, not a doctor,” Drizzy spits on the chorus of the OZ and David & Eli-produced record.

While Drake hasn’t addressed the comparisons and criticisms he’s received for both records, Twitter is certainly having a field day pointing it all out.

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Kyle, Blu & Exile, J.I. and More: New Projects This Week

The summer is halfway through, but rapper’s aren’t aren’t letting up releasing new music. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the country, members of the hip-hop community are making this experience a little easier with these latest mixtapes, albums and EPs that have arrived this week.

California’s Kyle has dropped off his new album, See You When I am Famous!!!!!!!!!!. The “Money Now”-led release is the follow-up to his 2018 effort, Light of Mine, which had a deluxe offering the following year. He announced the release of his album last month and is eager for fans to hear what he’s been cooking up. “My album dropping tonight and I can’t even explain to y’all how i’m feeling…,” he tweeted on Thursday (July 16). “This is the best thing i’ve ever created… to this point I didn’t think I’d make it.. but thank my fans and God yall the greatest… See You When I’m Famous!!!!!!!!!!.” The album features appearances from Tyga, Trippie Redd, Bryson Tilller and more.

Blu & Exile have delivered, Miles, their first full-length album in eight years. The duo are offering fans twice the music this time around. The 20-track release features appearances from Fashawn, Aloe Blacc, Miguel and more. Miles comes after their 2019 EP, True & Livin’. Before that, Blu & Exile released the compilation In the Beginning: Before the Heavens in 2018. The Dirty Science Records artists prepped fans for Miles by dropping the single “Miles Davis” back in May. The official visual came out late last month.

Newcomer, J.I. the Prince of N.Y. is dropping off his new EP, Welcome to G Starr Vol. 1. The melodic Brooklyn-bred artist is following up his Hood Life Krisis Vol. 1, which features hits like “Needed Me” and “Blame on Me.” The new release, which contains six tracks, has a guest appearance from Lil Durk and Myke Towers.  J.I. has delivered two new tracks this year, “Proud of Me” and the Lil Tjay-assisted “Hood Scars 2.” He has also amassed major success, receiving over 60 million streams on Spotify.

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