Friday, March 16, 2018

In 'Atlanta Robbin Season,' Success Just Makes Everyone More Miserable

All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again.

It’s hard to gauge the shape and ultimate narrative of Atlanta's second season based off of just the three episodes made available to critics before the season began—beyond the implication behind its subtitle, Robbin' Season. There's an ominosity that hangs in the air of these new episodes that didn’t exist in season one. The threat of extreme violence at worst, and at best, a polite, apologetic stick-up, looms even in scenes and episodes that ultimately reveal themselves as having nothing of the sort in mind.

But if there’s one theme that seems to be taking effect, it’s how little change changes.

There’s a stigma that plot is like, fifth, among Atlanta and the Glover Brothers' concerns, even moreso that the idea of Earn trying to be E to Paper Boi’s Vince but for rap was just a Trojan horse to lure dubious viewers and basic executives into a show with grander representation goals at hand. And it was—but as we’ve seen across three episodes of Robbin' Season now, the plot actually has advanced. We began the season with Earn and Al still feeling the after-effects of the shooting incident that bookends the pilot. Paper Boi’s career is actually advancing, scoring the gang prime meetings at streaming companies and studio face time with mainstream, pop-leaning rappers. Last week, the dividends from season one’s “The Streisand Effect” finally paid off, landing the typically teetering-on-broke Earn with several stacks in his pocket. And now in “Money Bag Shawty,” he’s, uh, earned even more.

Earn having racks to comfortably take Van on a date that doesn’t involve him doing menu math and contemplating leaving their car with a DIY parking attendant is a huge deal. On a different show, we might be forced to analyze if it’s too radical a change, and too fast. But here, it ultimately doesn’t matter because fundamentally, Earn is in the same place he was in season one episode three: Vying for respect, at the mercy of people who don’t care to give him theirs, and struggling to woo Van without worry because of it.

Watching Earn endure a series of humiliations alongside Van while trying to stunt with the Joneses, it struck me that “Money Bag Shawty” is essentially a sequel to “Go For Broke.” The mirror image extends beyond Earn and Van to the other half of the cast as well. Alfred may prefer trappin' to streaming service office visits and corporate commercials, but quite similar to episode three of season one, “Go For Broke,” he and Darius once again find themselves opposite a rap peer that shows them what menace truly is. Last time it was Quavo sharpshooting snitches in the woods. Now it’s Clark County, whose overalls and white manager mask a sociopathic intensity and goons ready to do his dirty (or wet? RIP, engineer) work at a moments’ notice.

What does all of this actually mean about the season and the show in general? I have no clue. It’s just interesting to note the ways in which Donald, Stephen and co. are approaching narrative and combating expectations. As audiences had a year plus to digest episodes like “B.A.N.” and every feature on the show highlights its surrealism and digressions, (while they themselves have said this season would function more as a series of interconnected short stories) it’s fun and intriguing to see that they’re peppering Robbin' Season with callbacks both plot-centric and thematic. When we met Earn, he lamented that money and opportunity were holding him back. But now instead of bouncing back from last year’s Ls, that momentum just has him careening into new ones. Time will tell if he can break the cycle.

Awful Rihanna Ad Prompts Snapchat to Bring in a Domestic Violence Expert

Following the massive backlash to Snapchat’s offensive “Would You Rather?” ad that asked users to choose between slapping Rihanna or punching Chris Brown, Snapchat has reached out to the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and invited a member to join the app’s board. TMZ reports that a NNEDV representative confirmed the app contacted the network on Thursday.

Is it just me, or is this ad that popped up on my Snapchat extremely tone deaf? Like what were they thinking with this?

— Royce Mann (@TheRoyceMann) March 12, 2018
The NNEDV rep said the role will be to educate Snapchat staff on domestic abuse and what is and isn’t appropriate to post regarding the issue.

Ads on Snapchat must be approved by the app, so the outrage is justified, since it likely passed through multiple people before being published on the app. “The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines," Snapchat said in a statement about the incident. "We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware."

The ad, which was part of an interactive game, was immediately called out by users as insensitive and tone-deaf, made only worse by the former couple’s troubling history of domestic violence. The real condemnation came when Rihanna herself took to her Instagram story to comment on the ad, writing:

“Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my favorite app out there! But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain't that dumb! You spent money to animate something that would bring intentionally shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!! This isn't about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them...but all the women, children and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out let us down! Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away."

When Rihanna speaks, the people listen, and just minutes after she condemned the app for their misguided ad, fans started deleting Snapchat from their phones in solidarity with RiRi. It’s yet another blow to the app that was already struggling after Instagram stole their business model (and arguably improved on it). The app’s stock value declined last month when one of its most loyal users, Kylie Jenner, tweeted that she didn’t even use it anymore—so you can imagine what the reaction will be now that people actually have a reason to avoid the app.

Drake’s Record-Breaking 'Fortnite' Sesh Could Birth an In-Game “Hotline Bling” Celebration

After Drizzy spent the wee hours of Thursday morning playing Fortnite: Battle Royale with Twitch streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins—breaking the record for most concurrent viewers of a solo stream—the game’s developers seem eager to add a “Hotline Bling” emote feature to the game in the Canadian rapper’s honor.

According to Dexerto, there were over 600,000 viewers tuned in at one point, watching Drake and Ninja duke it out, with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, infamous entrepreneur Kim DotCom, and rapper Travis Scott eventually joining in on the fun. It only makes sense, for the developers to realize the opportunities here—and to pounce on the idea of adding more Drake into the equation in the wake of this record.

Now, in case you’ve forgotten what exactly a “Hotline Bling” emote might look like (but honestly, how could you, with the 6 God’s dance turning into a worldwide meme), check out this fan-made Fortnite-infused Drake video.

At the crack of dawn on Thursday, Reddit user Dylan_0202 shared his concept art for what an in-game Drake emote might look like. The exciting part of all this is that Epic Games’ community coordinator Christ Attalus responded to the redditor’s concept art, with a promising “Feedback noted,” shortly afterwards.

If you’re not an active Fortnite player, think of the emotes as the dance moves in Madden when a player accomplishes a play. They’re essentially there to taunt your opponents in the wake of their defeat—and what better subject for a braggy emote than a rapper? Braggadocio, swagger, and one-upmanship are essentially three of the main ingredients an emcee needs to stand tall.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Is Lonzo Ball trash at basketball ?

Brick by brick, Lonzo Ball is tearing down the sky-high expectations set by his father and tearing apart Laker Nation. Through the first month and a half of the NBA season, Ball has looked more Le’Bryan Nash than Steve Nash, shooting an abysmal 31.5% from the field and 25.7% from beyond the arc. If it holds, that 31.5% number would be the lowest field goal percentage for any player taking more than 10 shots a game since Woody Sauldsberry in 1961. Ball’s 3-point percentage would be the lowest ever for a player attempting at least the 4.9 triples he takes per game.

It’s all a bit perplexing. Many expected the rookie point guard to struggle with the speed and physicality of the NBA game, but making shots was something Ball never had difficulty doing until now. In his lone season at UCLA, he shot 55.1% from the floor and 41.2% from 3-point range, often pulling up off the dribble from well beyond NBA distance. The chest-release form on his jump shot was a very real concern coming into the league, but that worry had more to do with his ability to create his own looks than his ability to hit shots. Of the 103 threes he’s taken this year, only nine have come with a defender within four feet of him; he’s made three of those shots. And on the remaining 94 open threes he’s attempted he’s converted at an even worse clip, 25.5%.

His raw stats have been solid—9.0 points, 7.2 assists, and 7.0 rebounds with only 2.6 turnovers a night. And in a handful of games he’s shown glimpses of the Lonzo Ball we all loved watching with the Bruins last season, including two triple-double performances. While his historic inefficiency as a scorer has negated a lot of the benefits he’s brought the Lakers in other aspects of the game, his ability as a playmaker and floor general makes him a slight net positive for the Lakers in terms of win shares (+0.2) and value over replacement player (+0.2). A more bullish take on Ball can be found in a statistic called expected wins created by analytics guru and current editor in chief of Ben Falk. His formula indicates that Ball makes the Lakers play at the level of a 37-win team when he’s on the floor versus a projected win total of 35 when he’s on the bench.

So if Ball, despite all his struggles so far this year, is still contributing useful minutes to the Lakers, what does that say about his future in the NBA?
The reality of the situation is that Lonzo Ball’s shooting woes are bound to improve, even if he never becomes the shot creator and finisher some hoped he could be. Even if he simply raised his shooting percentage on open threes from 25.5% up to the league average of 37.1%, that alone would increase his scoring average from 9.0 to 10.5 points per game and improve his shooting splits to 39.7% from the floor and 36.9% from beyond the arc. And the expectation based on his college production is that Ball will eventually be an above-average three-point shooter when left unguarded.

To respond to the question posed in the headline of this article, the answer is yes and no. As controversial as Ball is as a public figure, his game is even more polarizing. As a scorer, he’s so far been one of the worst to ever don an NBA uniform. But as a playmaker, he’s posted assist and turnover numbers similar to those of Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, and Tim Hardaway as rookies. Projecting ahead, Lakers fans should be much more confident in Ball remembering how to shoot again than they should be worried that the obvious strengths in his game will atrophy.

Monday, November 27, 2017

SOOOO Cardi B Just Flashing Her Titties Now (NSFW)

Cardi B is running hip hop right now. The female rapper is without a doubt the biggest thing in the industry. Celebrating the success of her smash hit single “Bodak Yellow” going 3x’s platinum. Cardi was spotted out at a strip club and in the club she pulled her shirt up and showed the fans her Titties nipple and all.

A lot of fans love Cardi most for her realness and unfiltered ratchet ways. Check the video below and tell us what you think

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

XXXTentacion says he was assaulted by Migos outside of his hotel in Los Angeles.

XXXTentacion says he was assaulted by Migos outside of his hotel in Los Angeles.

The Florida rapper made the claims Monday night on Instagram, stating the trio had jumped him and pulled out a gun. XXX claims he was with his girlfriend and a friend during the incident.

“They jumped me […] Nobody gave the respect of a one-on-one,” he says in the video. “[…] I’m just letting y’all know for now that I’m a man before anything, and I’m gonna take my fucking ass-beating like a man, nigga, and I’m gonna carry myself like a man. This shit don’t affect me, and you niggas gonna lose money [for] fucking with me.”

You can see in the video that XXX sustained several injuries to his face; however, the Florida rapper says he was surprised Migos didn't do more damage considering all the shit-talking he did.

“After all the shit I’ve been talking, how the fuck you ain’t shoot me?” he says. “[…] He was scared to fight me one-on-one. These niggas were scared to fight me! Y’all niggas like 35! I ain’t mad because I got 35-year-olds afraid to fight me […] Migos just gave me free clout.”

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Report: LiAngelo Ball Among UCLA Players Arrested for Shoplifting in China

Three members of the UCLA Bruins basketball team were arrested in China for allegedly shoplifting,'s Jeff Goodman reported Tuesday.

LiAngelo Ball, brother of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, is reportedly among the UCLA players facing legal trouble. According to Goodman, Chinese authorities also arrested freshman forward Cody Riley and freshman forward Jalen Hill. 

The arrests come a little over three days before the Bruins open their season against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday in Shanghai, China.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Ken Sugiura reported Chinese police also questioned three players from the Yellow Jackets before releasing them. Authorities also searched the UCLA team bus and ordered the Bruins players to return to the hotel.

"We are aware of the matter involving UCLA student-athletes and we are gathering more information," UCLA spokesman Alex Timiraos said in a statement provided to Sugiura.

Ball played 16 minutes and scored 11 points in UCLA's exhibition victory over Cal State Los Angeles on Nov. 1. Riley also played 18 minutes in the 111-80 win, coming off the bench to finish with eight points, five rebounds and three assists.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Lonzo Ball Is Selling Shirts With His Face On Nas’ ‘It Was Written’ Cover

The basketball rookie debuted the t-shirt as part of his new ZO2 apparel collection.

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball isn’t changing his opinion about Nas any time soon. After stating that no one listens to the legendary rapper on the season premiere of his family’s Facebook reality show in August, the basketball rookie later doubled down on the comment by claiming that Future and Migos are what’s “real hip-hop” right now. This weekend at ComplexCon, Ball took his opinion a step further by officially debuting a t-shirt with his face superimposed on Nas' It Was Written cover as part of his new ZO2 apparel collection.

The t-shirt first made an appearance on Ball’s Instagram account last month, where it was worn by his manager, Darren Moore.

The It Was Written cover is an updated version of the highly influential artwork for Nas' debut album, Illmatic. As pointed out by Art Genius, Illmatic featured a photo of him as a kid, taken by his father Olu Dara when he returned from an overseas tour, superimposed over a backdrop of a New York city block. The It Was Written cover had a similar concept but featured Nas as an adult.

According to Nas' manager, the Queensbridge rapper was unbothered by Ball’s initial comments. Perhaps the t-shirt will change his mind.

The next step in their rivalry would be for Ball to take it to the recording booth, but even the fledgeling athlete/rapper is probably aware of Nas' infamous diss track, “Ether.”

PRAY For MEEK MILL Because 'He's Going To Jail Now" 2-4 Years

Rapper Meek Mill has been sentenced to prison for a minimum of two years for violating probation.

The ex-boyfriend of Nicki Minaj was spotted arriving at a Philadelphia court on Monday before a judge ruled that he violated multiple provisions of his probation, according to

A rep for Mill, 30, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

His sentence comes after Mill — born Robert Rihmeek William — was arrested twice this year.
Explaining why she was imposing a jail term that could be up to four years, Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley, recounted the numerous chances she had given Mill.

“[You are] just thumbing your nose at me,” the judge said, according to

The judge continued, saying that once Mill was in prison, “I’ll be done with you.”

The musician was then immediately handcuffed and taken from the court, reports.

PEOPLE confirmed in August that was charged with reckless endangerment in New York City. He later plead guilty to reckless driving.

Months earlier, in March, he was charged with misdemeanor assault after an altercation with employees at St. Louis International Airport. The charges were dropped after he agreed to perform community service.

Despite the charges being dropped the judge – who has been dealing with Mill for years – ruled it still counted as as violating his parole.

The star was previously in jail for eight months and on probation due to a 2008 conviction for gun and drug charges. Then eight years later, in 2016, Mill was placed under 90 days of house arrest for violating probation due to unapproved travel.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Show TuFli Pays Homage To Harlem Rap On New EP, R.A.W.

“This project is a culmination of correcting not only myself, but hopefully putting N.Y. music on the right path.”

Harlem rapper Show TuFli wants to put New York rap back on the map by nodding to its heritage. On his new 10-track project, R.A.W (Right All Wrongs), TuFli pays homage to the influence of Harlem rap — Cam'ron and The Diplomats, Vado, and Dave East — with flashy lyrics and murky storytelling over slow-tempo, soul sampled production. The up-and-coming rapper tells stories of his early brushes with success and fame, while also acknowledging the hardships of coming up in Harlem.

"The past year I've had the opportunity to go through a lot — both right and wrong," he told The FADER over email. "I've seen right and wrongs in my city, and seen some right and wrongs in myself. This project is a culmination of correcting not only myself, but hopefully putting N.Y. music on the right path." Listen in full below.