If you’ve been on the internet in the last 48 hours or so, you’ve come across this horrific story.

This past Thursday, 16-year-old Black boy named Ralph Yarl went to pick up his younger brother’s from a family friend me house. He accidentally went to the wrong house and rang the doorbell. The owner of that house, 84-year-old Andrew Lester, shot him through the glass door. The teenager was struck in the forehead and right arm. Luckily, he was able to get up and run — he went to three houses before he was able to get help.

Lester was taken into custody and released less than two hours later. Yarl was taken to the hospital, and remarkably, he has recovered well enough to return home.

After days of protest and calls for justice, Lester has been arrested and charged with assault in the first degree and armed criminal action on Monday.

A GoFundMe page started by Yarl’s aunt, Faith Spoonmore, has raised over $2.6 million in under 48 hours.

After more than a week of conjecture about the murder of Bob Lee (as it relates to the in safety of San Francisco), it has been revealed that his alleged killer was someone he knew.

Nima Momeni, a 38-year-old tech consultant, not only knew the Cash App founder but allegedly also drove him to a secluded part of town before stabbing him to death. The two had reportedly spoken on the phone prior to that about Lee’s relationship with Nima’s sister, Khazar Momeni, who is married to someone else. Nima is said to have grilled him about whether he was doing anything inappropriate with his sister.

Three search warrants — including two for both Nima and Khazar’s homes — have since been executed as part of the murder investigation.

Nima was arrested yesterday for the murder and made his first court appearance earlier today. His arraignment is scheduled for April 25.

Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj joined forces for a remix of “Princess Diana,” a track from the 23-year-old’s debut EP, Like..?. A collaboration like this — between a rising star and a legend — is exciting just because, but this one comes with a bit of spice (no pun intended) because Nicki has spent the last year recruiting younger female rappers in her ongoing war with Cardi B.

It’s unclear if Ice Spice is Nicki’s new foot soldier, but whatever the case, there is undeniable musical chemistry between the two. Watch the video below.

It was all a dream about Tennessee.

The nation’s 16th state has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons, but the racist antics of its state legislators has led to a renewed push for civil rights and introduced two young, new voices to the national stage.

As the events of the last week unfolded, I’ve had Arrested Development’s debut single, “Tennessee,” stuck in my head. Even if the song was named “Vermont” or some other state, its lyrics would still feel appropriate in this moment, but it being named after the state on everyone’s mind makes it the perfect choice for this week’s TBT.

While “Tennessee” is partially a general commentary on the struggles of being Black in America, it is above all a personal song about a man in a state of grief. The group’s lead vocalist, Speech, had visited Tennessee with his brother for their grandmother’s funeral, and just days later, his brother died. “Tennessee” was born out of those losses. In a 2008 interview, Speech said, “That song was probably the first step of me recovering from the loss of two people that are just extremely close and dear to me.”

“Tennessee,” which includes lead vocals from a then-unknown Dionne Farris, is based on a sample of Prince’s “Alphabet Street,” an uncleared sample of “Alphabet Street.” Luckily, Prince chose to be nice and only asked for a one-time payment of $100,000 after the song became a major hit.

“Tennessee” would go on to peak at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earn Arrested Development a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. The group would also win the Grammy for Best New Artist, making it the first hip-hop act to win in that category. Depending on who you ask, it is their signature hit — “People Everyday” said hi — and while that could be debated, what is without dispute is that it is a classic that introduced the world to a dynamic group with an incredibly original sound.


Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced that it will not be filing charges in the death of Shanquella Robinson, citing insufficient evidence. An official statement said, “Based on the results of the autopsy and after a careful deliberation and review of the investigative materials by both U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, federal prosecutors informed Ms. Robinson’s family today that the available evidence does not support a federal prosecution.”

An autopsy conducted by Mexican authorities concluded that the 25-year-old died of a broken neck and spine. However, the autopsy conducted in the US found that her spine was intact and there was “no evidence of injury to the upper airway section and no hemorrhage in the surrounding neck muscle.”

Shanquella died during a Mexico trip with so-called friends, who told her family she had suffered alcohol poison. Days later, it was revealed that those so-called friends beat her up while there and recorded. Mexican authorities have since issued an arrest warrant for one of the “friends,” who has yet to be named publicly.

An interesting fact about popular music in the Western world — particularly, in the United States — is that what we describe as “pop” is often times watered-down R&B — or, in some cases, straight-up R&B performed by a white person.

Britney Spears is by no means a soul singer, but so many of her early hits are basically stepped-down versions of the contemporary R&B songs of the time. One example that comes to mind is “Born to Make You Happy,” the fourth single from her debut album, …Baby One More Time. This might be a stretch to some, but if you just sit with the chord progression of the verses for a bit and imagine an R&B singer laying those vocals, you might hear what I’m hearing.

R&B-ness aside, “Born to Make You Happy” is one of the unsung heroes of Britney’s catalog. Co-written by Kristian Lundin and Andreas Carlsson, the song was initially more sexual in nature, but was re-written after the singer objected. It was released as a single everywhere but the US, becoming a major hit for the singer and even debuting at No. 1 in the UK.

Britney’s life has taken so many twists and turns in the 23 years since this single was released, but never forget that this lady gave us some good-ass pop music.

Earlier today, the Los Angeles Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed that Coolio died of an accidental fentanyl overdose. The coroner’s report also lists cardiomyopathy, asthma and recent phencyclidine use as contributing factors to his death.

The hip-hop legend (born Artis Ivey Jr.) passed away in September 2022. He was 59 years old.

Irvin Cartagena (a.k.a. Green Eyes), the man who sold a fatal dose of fentanyl-laced heroin to Michael K. Williams, has pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analogue.

The 39-year-old took a plea deal that allowed him to plead guilty to just one charge and avoid a possible life sentence. He is now facing up to 40 years in prison (and a minimum of five). His sentencing is scheduled for August.

For the last 25 years or so, MC Hammer has been an easy target for cheap punchlines, but make no mistake, he has had a far more impactful career than most of your favorite rappers.

Hammer (born Stanley Burrell) turns 61 years old today, so it’s only right that we revisit one of his many classics. In August of 1990, he released “Pray” as the third single from his blockbuster album, Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, which remains one of the best-selling rap albums of all time.

Based on a sample of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” and an interpolation of Faith No More’s “We Care a Lot,” the song is one of the earliest instances of gospel rap in popular music. While “Can’t Touch This” is undoubtedly MC Hammer’s signature hit, “Pray” holds the title as his highest-peaking single, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Join me in celebrating this Aries king and one of the important figures in the history of hip-hop.