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Usher Responds to The Weeknd’s ‘Climax’ Controversy

The Weeknd and Usher’s feud has reached the “Climax.”
The R&B crooners are clashing over Usher’s 2012 hit following The Weeknd’s controversial comments. Speaking with Variety, the After Hours singer said Usher’s Grammy-winning song reminded him of his early sound.
“House of Balloons literally changed the sound of pop music before my eyes. I heard ‘Climax,’ that [2012] Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f–, that’s a Weeknd song,'” said The Weeknd. “It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry. But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing.”
Usher responded by posting a series of videos of himself listening to vocal attempts at the “Climax” falsetto before delivering a flawless rendition that sounds like the original. At the end of one video, he seemingly takes a shot at The Weeknd with some revised lyrics.
“Can’t take it back, ni**a, we reached the climax,” he sings.

Usher takes to his Instagram stories to sing his hit song “Climax” after The Weeknd claimed he copied his style in the song. pic.twitter.com/NWVVEuLPo0
— Pop Crave (@PopCraveMusic) April 9, 2020

He captioned it with the hashtag #ClimaxChallenge, inviting fans to share their own videos of themselves attempting to recreate his falsetto.
After the social media debate, Diplo and Elijah Blake, who produced and wrote “Climax,” addressed claims that Usher copied The Weeknd. “The production on Climax lends itself to House of Balloons era @theweeknd,” said Diplo. “When I heard those early records they blew my mind – soulful in their silences, and a spacey iconic voice that felt uniquely internet. the idea of R&B having dark edges was what I wanted to bring to @usher.”

the production on Climax lends itself to House of Balloons era @theweeknd. when I heard those early records they blew my mind – soulful in their silences, and a spacey iconic voice that felt uniquely internet. the idea of R&B having dark edges was what I wanted to bring to @usher
— Thomas Wesley (@diplo) April 9, 2020

It was a song that always had a crescendo but never felt like it reached the peak. kind of like some relationships never make it to where you want them but for a moment it could feel like ecstasy.
— Thomas Wesley (@diplo) April 9, 2020

To ppl talkin bout climax came out in 2012 thinking it validates these false claims. Y’all are actually showing how little u know about the music biz. A song must be written,produced, recorded, mixed, mastered, registered, then sent to radio. Meaning we did that song long b4hand
— Elijah Blake (@SirElijahBlake) April 9, 2020

The controversy couldn’t come at a better time. Usher is set to drop his new single “Sex Beat” tonight. The Jermaine Dupri-produced track finds him reuniting with his “Yeah!” collaborators Ludacris and Lil Jon.
UPDATE: The Weeknd has downplayed his original comments, while giving props to Usher. “Of course media blows things out of proportion and takes things out of context,” he tweeted. “Usher is a King and always an inspiration so it was flattering to hear what him and Diplo did on climax.”

Of course media blows things out of proportion and takes things out of context. Usher is a King and always an inspiration so it was flattering to hear what him and Diplo did on climax. XO https://t.co/GdLX4xD58a
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) April 9, 2020

Tory Lanez Reveals ‘The New Toronto 3’ Tracklist

2 hours ago News Tracklistings

It’s the end of an era for Tory Lanez.
On Friday, the prolific rapper-singer is set to release The New Toronto 3, his final album for Interscope Records. Just hours before it drops, he has revealed the tracklist.
The 16 tracks include the singles “Do the Most” and “Who Needs Love,” along with appearances from Lil Tjay (“Accidents Happen”) and Mansa (“10 Fucks”).Other tracks include “Pricey & Spicy,” “Dope Boy’s Diary,” and “Letter to the City 2,” a sequel to his 2015 track.
“It’s crazy to think that . I drop my LAST mixtape / project with INTERSCOPE on FRIDAY,” tweeted Tory. “AND IM OFF THE LABEL … LITERALLY A FREE MAN !!!! FREE TO DO AND DROP THE MUSIC THAT I WANT.”

It’s crazy to think that . I drop my LAST mixtape / project with INTERSCOPE on FRIDAY … AND IM OFF THE LABEL … LITERALLY A FREE MAN !!!! FREE TO DO AND DROP THE MUSIC THAT I WANT .. . 😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈😈 #TheNewToronto3 will be the first taste of what’s to come
— Tory Lanez (@torylanez) April 8, 2020

The New Toronto 3 arrives just four months after his last album, Chixtape 5, and is the third installment in Tory’s New Toronto mixtape series, which started in 2015.
Tory, whose Quarantine Radio has been temporarily blocked from going live on Instagram, also plans to make another major announcement once it drops. “I HAVE A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT tomorrow,” he told his followers.
See The New Toronto 3 tracklist below.

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Tory Lanez Apologizes For G.O.A.T. Comments, Remy Ma Wants Respect On Her Name, Fetty Wap Might Have Legal Drama

The rap news cycle never ends. Today, online personality Jonny Fastlane focuses on three juicy topics including Tory Lanez‘s publicized apology and Remy Ma wanting some respect placed on her name.
Big Facts
First, Jonny centered his focus on Lanez apologizing to the world for going on a G.O.A.T. spree. Then, he talked about Remy Ma admitting she put a lot of female rappers into the spotlight. Finally, Fastlane discusses some legal trouble Fetty Wap might have on his neck.

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High-Key Details
This week, Lanez reflected on getting ready to drop his last official Interscope Records release. The rap heavyweight will be contractually free after Friday’s The New Toronto 3 rollout.
“This has been a huge journey for me and my fans and I apologize that mid way thru this , I had to dumb down my creativity , and not give y’all the 100% of quality in my music that y’all deserved to hear for so long …. The Chixtape 5 was the closest thing I’ve been able to give u that had somewhat of the quality of music that’s in store for y’all , at least up until now #NEWTORONTO3 …is a small taste of what’s to come … I DIDNT PUT ANY PROMO IN TO IT … BUT F*CK IT 🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️ just want y’all to have good music during quarantine 🔥🔥😈🔥😈🔥😈🔥😈 .. I been passing out mixtapes and making projects since 2009 … I’ve been here for 10 years plus . And y’all still here supporting me .. I couldn’t ask for anything more !!!! LOVE YOU ALL 😪🔥👏🤷🏽‍♂️ we did it !!!!! FOLLOW @thenewtoronto3 FOR A SPECIAL POST” -Tory Lanez’s Instagram
Wait, There’s More
Last month, Tory went online to deliver huge news. Barring any setbacks, Lanez revealed his studio effort would arrive on April 10.
#NEWTORONTO3 APRIL 10 DO THE MOST VIDEO PREMIERE – TODAY AT 5 PM 🎥🥵🤯🤬🔥🔥🔥 **********What a Monday ! ******** QUARANTINE QUARANTINE QUARANTINE! * Drops mic * 📸: @midjordan“

View this post on Instagram #NEWTORONTO3 APRIL 10 DO THE MOST VIDEO PREMIERE – TODAY AT 5 PM 🎥🥵🤯🤬🔥🔥🔥 **********What a Monday ! ******** QUARANTINE QUARANTINE QUARANTINE! * Drops mic * 📸: @midjordan A post shared by torylanez (@torylanez) on Mar 30, 2020 at 11:19am PDTBefore You Go
The Toronto native didn’t stop there. Lanez took things up a few notches by dropping his new “Do The Most” music video to the masses.
““DO THE MOST” VIDEO OUT NOW !!!! 🎥😈🍾🤯🔥🥂🔥 … LINK IN MY BIO ! WATXH NOW ……. u ain’t got sh*t else to do 😂🤣🍾😈”

View this post on Instagram “DO THE MOST” VIDEO OUT NOW !!!! 🎥😈🍾🤯🔥🥂🔥 … LINK IN MY BIO ! WATXH NOW ……. u ain’t got shit else to do 😂🤣🍾😈 A post shared by torylanez (@torylanez) on Mar 30, 2020 at 5:58pm PDT
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Megan Thee Stallion Names 10 Things She Can’t Live Without From Kettle Chips To Animé + Headphones

Texas hip-hop artist Megan Thee Stallion has some pretty serious needs. The Southern rap star has dished on a few key things she needs in her life.
Big Facts
This week, Megan kept things 100 on her Top 10 travel essentials. In addition to needing Kettle chips on a regular basis, she also gushed over her love for Beats headphones.
“My phone is definitely an item I can’t live without. How am I gonna talk to y’all if I don’t have my phone? I need to be calling y’all. Y’all need to be calling me – these are Jalapeño Kettle Chips and these are not just regular Jalapeño Kettle Chips, these are Kettle brand. These are the best-tasting chips I’ve ever had in my life. … I definitely cannot live without my Beats.” (GQ)

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High-Key Details
Thee Stallion went to Instagram Monday and made sure to hold down all of her Hot Girls. Meg delivered a must-see Savage challenge clip draped in lingerie.
“Savage challenge in my @savagexfenty 😛 #savagextheestallion #savagechallenge” -Megan Thee Stallion’s Instagram

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View this post on Instagram Savage challenge in my @savagexfenty 😛 #savagextheestallion #savagechallenge A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on Apr 6, 2020 at 12:16pm PDTWait, There’s More
On Sunday, Thee Stallion lit up her Instagram page with a must-see clip. Meg released a highlight clip featuring Hollywood star Jennifer “J. Lo” Lopez‘s new Savage challenge.
“Omg yesss 😍 @jlo#savagechallenge” -Megan Thee Stallion’s Instagram

View this post on Instagram Omg yesss 😍 @jlo #savagechallenge A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on Apr 5, 2020 at 1:48pm PDTJ. Lo’s Savage challenge is here and Megan Thee Stallion loves it
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Before You Go
Heading into last weekend, Hollywood veteran Jessica Alba pulled through with a must-see Savage challenge video. The clip features Jessica getting extra lit with major dance moves to Meg’s super popular record.
“#friyay #happyathome 😜#megantheestallion #savagechallenge-and learned this one in 12 min while @cash_warren was silently judging me” -Jessica Alba’s Instagram

View this post on Instagram #friyay #happyathome 😜#megantheestallion #savagechallenge -and learned this one in 12 min while @cash_warren was silently judging me A post shared by Jessica Alba (@jessicaalba) on Apr 3, 2020 at 9:18pm PDT“Hot girl Jessica checking in 🔥🔥🔥 #savagechallenge” -Megan Thee Stallion’s Instagram

View this post on Instagram Hot girl Jessica checking in 🔥🔥🔥 #savagechallenge A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on Apr 3, 2020 at 3:37pm PDT

Rihanna Receives PETA’s Compassion In Fashion Award For FENTY Clothing Line

Grammy-winning singer Rihanna has another award to add to her trophy case. The popular crooner has received a Compassion in Fashion Award from PETA.
Big Facts
On Thursday, PETA broke the news to the world. The non-profit organization credited RiRi’s FENTY line for going with faux-leather items including skirts and shirts as a big contributing factor to the award.
“Rihanna should take a bow for this stunning cruelty-free collection,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “With her new vegan collection, Rihanna shows how easy it is to create a killer look that no animal had to die for. “PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. Rihanna joins a long of list of stars who’ve used vegan materials in their fashion collections, including Serena Williams, Rooney Mara, RZA, and Jessica Simpson.

View this post on Instagram Congrats @badgalriri 🎉 a Compassion in Fashion Award is on its way from PETA to Rihanna, whose fashion line, FENTY, just debuted a capsule collection of high-quality faux-leather items, including a corset dress and skirt, button-down shirts, and more . . [Peep #SOHH.com hourly for the latest news!] #SOHHNews #HipHop #RapNews #MustRead #MusicNews #50Cent #Drake #LilWayne #KodakBlack #CashMoney #Future #YoungThug #NickiMinaj #CardiB #Migos #Offset #GucciMane #KendrickLamar #TDE #NBAYoungBoy #OVO #Quavo #NipseyHussle #JAYZ #LilUziVert #PETA #Rihanna A post shared by SOHH (@sohhdotcom) on Apr 9, 2020 at 9:32am PDT
High-Key Details
In February 2020, Rihanna did it big for her 32nd birthday. The popular crooner shared sneak peek footage from her turn up party with family and friends.

View this post on Instagram Rihanna celebrates her 32nd birthday 🎉 . . [Peep #SOHH.com hourly for the latest news!] #SOHHNews #HipHop #RapNews #MustRead #MusicNews #50Cent #Drake #LilWayne #KodakBlack #CashMoney #Future #YoungThug #NickiMinaj #CardiB #Migos #Offset #GucciMane #KendrickLamar #TDE #NBAYoungBoy #OVO #Quavo #NipseyHussle #JAYZ #LilUziVert #Rihanna A post shared by SOHH (@sohhdotcom) on Feb 21, 2020 at 8:29am PSTWait, There’s More
Right before Valentine’s Day, RiRi shared an insane shot of herself draped in signature Savage x Fenty lingerie.

View this post on Instagram Rihanna looking BAD for #ValentinesDay 🔥 . . [Peep #SOHH.com hourly for the latest news!] #SOHHNews #HipHop #RapNews #MustRead #MusicNews #50Cent #Drake #LilWayne #KodakBlack #CashMoney #Future #YoungThug #NickiMinaj #CardiB #Migos #Offset #GucciMane #KendrickLamar #TDE #NBAYoungBoy #OVO #Quavo #NipseyHussle #JAYZ #LilUziVert #Rihanna A post shared by SOHH (@sohhdotcom) on Feb 13, 2020 at 7:37am PSTBefore You Go
Recently, Rihanna gifted rapper/gushing fan Lil Uzi Vert an autographed copy of her fashion book. The hip-hop superstar went to his social media pages to share a look at the epic signature.

View this post on Instagram Lil Uzi Vert got a gift from big crush Rihanna 🥺 a signed copy of her book . . [Peep #SOHH.com hourly for the latest news!] #SOHHNews #HipHop #RapNews #MustRead #MusicNews #50Cent #Drake #LilWayne #KodakBlack #CashMoney #Future #YoungThug #NickiMinaj #CardiB #Migos #Offset #GucciMane #KendrickLamar #TDE #NBAYoungBoy #OVO #Quavo #NipseyHussle #JAYZ #LilUziVert #Rihanna A post shared by SOHH (@sohhdotcom) on Feb 4, 2020 at 10:28am PST

6ix9ine Asks Why Everyone Is Calling Him a Snitch

6ix9ine is back to trolling…himself.
A week after being released from prison, the rapper is slowly making his return to social media. After popping up in an Instagram comment last week, Tekashi has addressed his snitch status by changing his Instagram profile picture to an animated version of himself in an orange prison jumpsuit, reclining on a rat trap while eating a piece of cheese.
He also changed his IG bio to make light of his snitching. “Why everybody callin me a snitch? I’m missin something…?” he asked his nearly 15 million followers.

He previously joked about snitching on a post by The Shade Room, commenting on a story about Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti offering rewards for those who snitch on businesses that violate the city’s stay-at-home order.
“Coming to the rescue,” joked Tekashi, who snitched on members of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods in return for a reduced sentence.

Tekashi was released from a Queens Detention Facility to home confinement on April 2 to serve the remaining four months of his 24-month sentence due to the risk of coronavirus. While he’s able to use social media without restrictions, he has vowed to avoid beefing with or trolling other artists because the feds are watching.
He will be on supervised probation for the next five years and his probation officer will be monitoring what he posts online. His lawyers told TMZ that his posts won’t be inflammatory and that he will use discretion when he uses social media.
However, his snitch comments might not sit well with his former fellow gang members, who are serving time because he ratted them out.

Lil Wayne Shows Off His Sensitive Side W/ New Love Mansuy COUNT ON YOU Remix

Grammy-winning rapper Lil Wayne stays in steady work mode. The hip-hop superstar has come through this week with his and fellow musician Love Mansuy‘s “Count On You” remix.
Big Facts
The unexpected record premiered online Thursday exclusively through Amazon Music. The record features Weezy F. Baby sharing mic time alongside the Montreal-born, New Jersey-raised artist.
Originally drawn from Love’s 2019 EP, Of Age, “Count On You” is an examination of Mansuy’s relationships with his family as he contemplates whether he can count on his family to support him as he pursues his dreams, and the remix finds Wayne adding a new verse that builds on Mansuy’s smooth R&B number. Fans can currently hear Mansuy and Wayne’s track on the R&B Rotation Playlist, Amazon Music’s home for R&B in heavy rotation.
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High-Key Details
Mansuy has already dished on how much it means to have a living legend on his record. Love compared Wayne to late NBA icon Kobe Bryant.
“Being a student of music and the game, Wayne is hip-hop’s Kobe Bryant to me. I was just a kid when I started observing Wayne. His dedication to his craft, his individuality and pure genuineness as a person has always appealed to me. Not only did he revolutionize music with his mixtapes and albums but he cultivated his own sound that in turn cultivated a generation. So for a legend like him to recognize my work and respect it enough to jump on my single, a song in which I contemplate the difficulties of choosing to pursue music, while raising a son with my partner, is something you can only dream of. Being an artist is not easy but Lil Wayne has taught me with hard work and dedication you can do anything and his blessing means the world to me.”

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Wait, There’s More
In early April 2020, Weezy F. Baby shared a couple shots of himself in a pair of UGG boots. Wayne also promised he had a big announcement coming soon.
“Got somethin special komin real soon! Yall stay safe and healthy out there !! – Socially distant Tune 🤙🏾” -Lil Wayne’s Instagram

View this post on Instagram Got somethin special komin real soon! Yall stay safe and healthy out there !! – Socially distant Tune 🤙🏾 A post shared by Lil Wayne (@liltunechi) on Apr 3, 2020 at 1:43pm PDTBefore You Go
Recently, a mixtape titled ‘Tha Carter Chronicles’ emerged on streaming platform DatPiff. Packed with nearly 20 songs, the leaked Lil Wayne records quickly disappeared hours later.

Eighteen new Lil Wayne songs surface on mixtape called ‘Tha Carter Chronicles’ 🔥👀 pic.twitter.com/CvNMxvzu7f— SOHH (@sohh) March 2, 2020

Black Thought Delivers A Stay-At-Home Concert From His Crib W/ New Streams Of Thought Series Episode

The Roots’ Black Thought is helping keep people at home. The hip-hop veteran has blessed fans with his new Streams Of Thought video series.
Big Facts
Black’s latest episode features his NPR Tiny Desk at-home performance. The series recently kicked off with a conversation with deejay D Nice and is part of new custom content landing on The Roots’ YouTube channel.
The Roots have decided to build out and produce a suite of dynamic content on a weekly basis and offer it to fans as a form of entertainment while we are all sheltered in place. All of the content is created by The Roots and produced by their production company, Two One Five Entertainment, in partnership with Live Nation Urban. Each day, the lineup will be anchored by Questlove’s impactful live DJ sets which have put a new spin on DJing during this time and have a charitable component where donations are being made to The Food Hub NYC.

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High-Key Details
In addition to creating content from home, the Roots have bigger plans on deck. The crew are expected to start sharing content from creative people outside of their team.
Initially, they will be developing content around The Roots members and it will vary from short form storytelling to live conversations, as well as performances and podcasts. This will be followed in the coming weeks by content featuring other influential artists, authors and creatives.
Wait, There’s More
This week, rap star Swae Lee went online to show off his new face mask. The rap star jumped on Instagram with a slideshow of must-see pics.
“Protecting you from the truth ⛓😷” -Swae Lee’s Instagram

View this post on Instagram Protecting you from the truth ⛓😷 A post shared by Swae Lee, Lee Swae? (@swaelee) on Apr 8, 2020 at 3:11pm PDTBefore You Go
Maybach Music Group’s Meek Mill also wants to help end the coronavirus spread. The hip-hop star has let fans know he’s playing it safe and wearing his own face mask.
“I used to rock the same “Dickie” now I don’t rock the same “richie”” -Meek Mill’s Instagram

View this post on Instagram I used to rock the same “Dickie” now I don’t rock the same “richie” @pumasportstyle A post shared by Meek Mill (@meekmill) on Apr 8, 2020 at 11:47pm PDT

Usher Calls Drake A Legend, Salutes Frank Ocean’s Greatness + More In Apple Music Zane Lowe At Home Q&A

R&B superstar Usher has plenty to talk about these days. This week, the Grammy-winning entertainer joins radio personality Zane Lowe via FaceTime on Apple Music for a must-see interview.
Ahead of the full conversation streaming today on Apple Music at 12 PM ET, check out some of the biggest quotes from the epic chat.
Usher Tells Apple Music About Using Time Spent in Isolation To Better Ourselves and Reconnect With Something Greater…
We just listen to the music and we feel it. But yeah, man, it is having the space to just read a few books and just remind yourself of certain things maybe you forgot. My journey is a little bit different because I have kids and it’s not just about music. But maybe this is, I don’t know, helpful for some person in their life that doesn’t have children but understands: Wait a minute. I could reconnect to something greater in this moment. So I really am advising each and every person who’s in quarantine to take the time to build yourself in this moment because we’re going to come out of it at some point. And when we do, who will you be? What will you have learned? What will you know about yourself? And did the music inspire you to get there? I don’t know. Did the space inspire you to get there? I don’t know. But are you trying to be better? Can you be better? Hell yeah, we all can. Let’s work on ourselves, man. I think there’s a silver lining in this for everyone. If there is pressures or issues that you have within your family, with your loved ones, you can work through that (beep). If you don’t understand the manner of appreciating the hard work that you put in and slowing down and stopping, there’s a silver lining there because you get to just relax. If you’re ultimately just tired, and to be perfectly honest, man, I was just exhausted; just from the process of trying to find balance where there is none. And that comes from being a parent, being a great partner, being a great friend to all of my people. We run ourselves ragged.
Usher Tells Apple Music He Thinks The Current Moment Will Result In “Some of the Greatest Music Ever” and “A a lot of Babies”…
Right now, more than anything, I have this concentrated time to reflect and just think, which can be a curse, right? But, when you’re able to not just move on to the next thing, right? It actually makes it a little bit easier to go through whatever that process was going to be that ultimately probably would have been influenced by where you were or who you played the record for or what you thought or what you experienced or what you read or what you saw on television, right? You have this concentrated ability to go through the process of your writing, lyrically, musically going back over and obsessing and then creating it and then saying, “All right, I’m done. Move on to the next one.” So I feel within this time, some of the greatest music ever is going to be created along with a lot of babies. A lot of babies. Something so amazing happens when we create and curate our own experiences at home. If you look at what’s happening right now in terms of live DJ, it’s right here at home. We had this ability before, but now we value it. We see how we can tie to the rest of the world, and have that connection to old school experience. School experience, if that’s what you want to call it, new school, whatever.
Usher Tells Apple Music “Climax’ Was The Song He Was Most Scared To Release…
I think Climax was one of those ones because I felt like it was so advanced in the nature of what it was. Me and Diplo, we were trying to do something that would raise the bar for R&B. Yeah, I made R&B hit records before and, yeah, Diplo, he could do many things. But I said, “Is there any way to tie these two worlds together?” This world that was happening as an emotion for EDM, but do it in a way through using R&B. And he’s like, “Yo, I think that this…” And it took me forever to be okay with letting it go, to just like, okay, offer it to the world and care not what people think, just put it out knowing that… In it, by the way, was an under story. I was literally in a relationship with a person who I wouldn’t commit to and would not get to the place of like, all right, let me commit to you and make this more than just something that’s frivolous and something that is a physical thing. And it just so happened that the climax was there too. But the reality is, the conversation in it, I was like, man, I just feel like this might be too much for people. I don’t know if they’re going to think I’m overthinking it.I just said, “I just feel like I should be classic R&B. I want to sing in a way that no one else does in this time over a track that I know doesn’t fit there. It’s going to freak people in R&B I and is going to freak people out who are more alternative. I think that it’s going to…” Because people don’t sing in falsetto when you get to that level. They just don’t. They don’t go in that area. So, yeah, but that was one.
Usher Tells Apple Music Why Drake is a Young Legend…
Drake is a student, and I appreciate him, greatly. He has the ability to speak to… There’s one thing that I think was mandatory for me to understand about being a legacy artist. He’s a young legend. I’ll give him that. Time only tells who will be the legend and who will stay around. You have to be a student in order for that to be ordained upon you.He has everybody’s ears, from the kids. And him paying attention to the culture of what works on his behalf is why he continues to keep thriving and sustain. So I think everybody’s doing the Toosie, you know what I’m saying?
Usher Tells Apple Music What He Admires About Frank Ocean…
He’s like a library. You know what I’m saying? When you think about his musical influence and how far he can go. As I said, there’s only a handful of artists who I think have the ability to come and go when they please. He’s like a very unique specimen, right? I feel like Andre 3000 is one of those types of guys, right? He comes in when he wants. I feel like no matter where he is, he’s always keeping up and you know that. So when you get a treat of a new record or a new album from Frank Ocean, you know he’s been paying attention and you know he’s been finding the through line or either he has something very specific that he wants to offer. You might not necessarily get it, it might not necessarily come across for everyone, but he’s like one of the, I call them references. You got to have artists who are great reference people. You look at any idea of what you’re creating, you create a mood board and you have all of these references, these things that inspire you. He’s always on the board. He’s always on that board for people who are trying to reach further. So, I respect him and I really, I love the record too.
Usher Tells Apple Music About Bill Withers’ Songwriting…
And here’s the other thing, specifically about his songwriting. It didn’t have to be complicated. The messaging was so specific and direct. Even the record that we’re getting ready to play. The song is so direct and has so much nuance, as a result of being very specific and direct. Like yo, everybody goes through some sh*t. Everybody goes through these types of traumatic things in their relationships, but can you address it and how do you? It’s like, who is he and what is he to you? It’s simple! It’s like, yo, you looked at the ground. Like, what are you…? 
Usher Tells Apple Music About the Late Pop Smoke and His Popularity in New York…
There is no justifiable logic behind a life being taken. But we know one thing. We are living until we are no longer, and what we leave is an inspiration. If anything, you look at the positives of his life and the fact that he was blazing a trail of his own, and also too was musically blazing a trail of his own. He has a unique style of his own and New York is always looking for that rebound. New York is always looking for that opportunity. There’s two artists that I think do that. I think Fat Joe does that. No matter where he is in life, he’s another artist who just comes and just hit you real quick. And I think that Pop Smoke has … He was creating his own movement.
Usher Tells Apple Music About Anticipating The Jay Electronica Album…
By the way, if you are new to Jay Electronica, you only get the pleasure of what we all have been anticipating – For ever. But here’s a testament of the power of J, right? Because Jay and Jay Electronica came together in a very short amount of time, like I spoke to Jay the day that they had finished it and he was like, “You’ll never believe what I did. What we were able to do in a very short amount of time.” Jay-Z right and he was like, “Yo man, I just want Jay to just trust it. Jay Electronica to just trust that people will get it.” And it’s precious to some New York artists, man they’re like, “Nah. I’m not really for, the woo woo woo of what this is. I really do want people to understand my culture and yeah, for like it’s an expression of who he is as an African in America. I’m just happy that they finally put together the album. I was hoping and wishing that I will be able to see them perform it live because there was the conversation and thought of them doing something before this whole pandemic. But since the music has been released, I’m going to just be a supporter as I’ve been from the beginning.
Usher Tells Apple Music About Jack Boys and the Beauty of Cliques Working Together… 
It’s beautiful to see how cliques are still working within this time. We are looking at the story that is being told every time one person comes in. Okay. They actually create the temple and now there’s an opportunity to give you all of the nuance of what it is. Look at Dre with Snoop and Nate Dogg, and then it goes over to Warren G. And then you get the story of what they are, and then they go off into their own spaces. So I’m hopeful that the story that’s being continually told by Travis continues to lead to all of the other artists that are in his stable. But yeah, I definitely wanted to not only show support because I love the record, but also too, just the idea of keeping legacy alive.
Usher Tells Apple Music The Value of R&B…
But I actually think that that value is in R&B music, in a way. It’s like, no matter how big they were, whether you were the Rolling Stones or whether you were the Beatles, they wanted to be what? R&B artists. That’s what they wanted to be.R&B does something that no other genre of music does in terms of connecting the music, the culture, as well as the conversation.

Philadelphia Rapper Chynna Dead at 25

Philadelphia rapper Chynna has died at the age of 25.
Chynna, whose full name was Chynna Rogers, died at her home in Philadelphia on Wednesday, her manager John Miller told PEOPLE. The cause of death is currently unknown.
“Chynna was deeply loved and will be sorely missed,” her family said in a statement.
Chynna began her career as a model, signing with Ford Models when she was 14. The A$AP Mob affiliate was mentored by A$AP Yams as a teenager and gained online success with singles like 2013’s “Selfie” and 2014’s “Glen Coco.” She released a series of EPs, including 2015’s I’m Not Here, This Isn’t Happening and 2016’s Music 2 Die 2. Her final project, in case i die first, arrived in December.

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During a 2018 interview with Pitchfork, Chynna said that her music provided her with an escape while offering salvation for fans. “[It’s] for angry people with too much pride to show how angry they are,” said Chynna. “I was able to just focus on getting my feelings out and treat music more like a journal.”
Rogers was open about her opiate addiction, which she addressed on her 2016 mixtape Ninety. “It got to the point where I had to do something just to be able to get onstage and do my job. I didn’t like that,” she said.
Fans and friends took to social media to mourn her death including A$AP Rocky and Kehlani. “chynna you were fuckin hilarious bro… today was our last exchange of jokes & those i will miss the most. i can’t believe it idk how to i love you. so very much. my heart is officially iced,” tweeted the “Toxic” singer.
Vince Staples also paid tribute to Chynna with a heartfelt message: “I don’t like doing this when my people go but I think everybody needs to know that you were special. Too special for words. Stay outta trouble lil cuh.”

chynna you were fuckin hilarious bro… today was our last exchange of jokes & those i will miss the most. i can’t believe it idk how to
i love you. so very much.
my heart is officially iced.
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) April 9, 2020

Chynna deserved way more love. We need to make sure to give folks their flowers while they are here to see them. This hurts so bad cause I know she was fuckin next man. Her music and vision was raw as fuck.
— dom from hartford (@DomMcLennon) April 9, 2020