In a move that comes at least 22 years late, Tina Turner is being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. Her first solo album was released in 1974, which means she was eligible in 1999 at the latest — if we consider one-off solo recordings from the ‘60s, she was eligible much earlier. As a member of Ike & Tina Turner, she was inducted in 1991 (i.e., five years late).

Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, The Go-Go’s, Carole King, Todd Rundgren, Clarence Avant, LL Cool J, Billy Preston, Randy Rhoads, Kraftwerk, Gil Scott-Heron and Charley Patton will also be inducted this year. This year is Hov and the Foo Fighters’ first year of eligibility.

Nominees who didn’t make the cut include Dionne
Warwick, Chaka Khan, Mary J. Blige and #FelaKuti.

Let the records show the Usher and Mariah Carey have been eligible since 2018 and 2015, respectively, and are yet to even be nominated.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame takes place on October 30 and will air on HBO.

An ex-girlfriend is suing Soulja Boy for assault, sexual battery and gender violence, among other infractions, claiming he brutalize her in 2015 while she was pregnant with his child, causing her to lose the pregnancy. According to the court documents, Soulja flew into a rage randomly and started punching her in the face and chest, after which she fell on the floor. While curled on the floor, she claims he kicked her repeatedly, particularly in the stomach.

The ex-girlfriend also cites other incidents of domestic violence, including a 2017 incident when he thought she was leaving him and a 2018 that was caught on camera — WeTV cameras to be exact. She also claims that he would physically assault her when refused to engage in certain sexual acts.

While the plaintiff is on record as “Jane Doe,” there is enough evidence to conclude that Soulja Boy is being sued by Teddy Riley’s daughter, Nia Riley, who he had been with on-and-off for years. Back in March, she revealed in an interview with Tasha K. that she lost a pregnancy after being physically abused by Soulja Boy, and in early 2019, she appeared on WeTV’s Marriage Boot Camp with the rapper, where he was seen being violent with her on a night-vision camera.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) — the organization that selects nominees and winners at the Golden Globe Awards — has been under fire since this year’s award show, where they were called out for not having a single Black voting member by a number of presenters.

The HFPA has also been under scrutiny for alleged corruption, including receiving bribes from movie studios, TV networks and actors.

As of today, NBC (where the award show has aired for decades) has announced that it won’t air the next ceremony. In a statement, a spokesperson for the network said:
“We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform. However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right.”

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Tom Cruise has just reportedly mailed all three of his Golden Globes to the HFPA headquarters in protest the organization’s lack of diversity.

According to multiple sources, J.Cole will join the Basketball Africa League (BAL) to play three-to-six games with Rwanda’s Patriots BBC.

The signing is expected to be made official on Thursday. The 36-year-old rapper, who was once a walk-on recruit on St. John’s University’s basketball team, reportedly arrived in Rwanda two days ago to quarantine ahead of his first game, which will be this Sunday against Nigeria River Hoopers.

The truth is so much stranger than fiction.

One of the four people in custody for killing Pop Smoke — a 15-year-old — admitted to his cellmate (who happened to be an informant with a wire) that he was the one who shot Brooklyn rapper (real name Bashar Barakah Jackson).

According to reports, the 15-year-old (one of two minors arrested) says that Pop Smoke was in the shower naked when they stormed the rental property. The rapper reportedly fought back, which is when he was shot in the chest three times.

All four of the suspects in custody have been charged with murder. The two adults in custody — 20-year-old Corey Walker and 19-year-old Keandre Rodgers — are facing a possible death sentence because the murder was committed during a robbery.

The suspects tried to steal the rapper’s Rolex and Cuban link change, but were only able to make it out with the watch, which was later resold for $2,000.

Le freak, c’est chic.

It was September 1978 and disco was at the height of its popularity. Nile Rodgers & Chic — then known simply as Chic — had released two albums in the past 10 months. Their sophomore set, C’est Chic, had been released a month prior without any lead singles. The first single from that album would be a song called “Le Freak,” and just like that, Chic wrote itself into the history books.

Written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, “Le Freak” is one of the songs that come to mind when you think of the disco sound. From the instrumentation to the chanted hook, everything about it makes you want to throw on a pair of bell bottoms.

Even the inspiration behind the song’s lyrics is peak disco.

According to Rodgers, he and Edwards went to the the infamous Studio 54 on New Year’s Eve in 1977 to link up with Grace Jones, who had invited them there. Miss Jones apparently forgot to tell the folks at the club that she was expecting people, so the two weren’t let in — and the bouncer apparently told them to “fuck off” as he slammed the door in their faces. And in that moment, a song was born.

After getting denied entry, they went back to Rodgers’ apartment and got to writing. Before the refrain was “freak out,” it was “fuck off,” and included the phrase “fuck Studio 54” in the space where “le freak, c’est chic” would eventually be. Wisely, Rodgers and Edwards realized that a song that explicit could never make it onto the radio, so the refrain was changed to “freak off.” Luckily, the music gods intervened and made them change it to “freak out.”

At the time, there was a dance move called the freak, so that’s what the lyrics are about, but the gag is that neither of them knew how to do the freak. Watch the video below for a hilarious explanation of how the song went from diss track to dance anthem.

For Niles Rodgers, “Le Freak” has come to represent a door-opener — literally and figuratively. Following the song’s success, Chic became major stars in their own right, and could now get into Studio 54 without having to name-drop. It would become Chic’s first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, ruling for six weeks in three separate visits to the throne — a record that stood till Drake made four visits to the summit with “Nice for What” in 2018. It would also go on to sell over seven million copies, making it the top-selling single in the history of Atlantic Records.

Click play and find your spot out on the floor!

Today marks five years since Drake dropped his fourth studio album, Views. At this point in his career, Drake had more than proven himself as a star with staying power, but with this album, he made it clear that we were witnessing a legend in the making.

With Views, Drake demonstrated mass appeal in ways he hadn’t before. The album’s two lead singles — “Hotline Bling” and “One Dance” (featuring Kyla & WizKid) — would become his biggest hits yet, with the latter becoming his first No. 1 hit as a lead artist. Views opened with over a million album-equivalent units moved in its first week, with over 850,000 units in pure sales. And as impressive as those numbers were, what’s most notable about that debut is that it dethroned Lemonade and was selling at a much quicker pace.

As with every Drake album, we get a whole lot of soap opera rap (e.g., “U With Me?”) juxtaposed with bravado (e.g., “Pop Style”), but unlike the rest, Views was particularly ready for consumption. So many of the album’s tracks slap on the first listen and maintain appeal even after fiftyleven hundred replays. I speak from experience.

As a vocalist (if we’re being generous), Drake shows even more improvement on Views. On tracks like “Feel No Ways” and “Too Good” (featuring Rihanna), he sounds like an actual singer as opposed to a rapper fucking around in the studio.

Another characteristic that is unique to Views is Drake’s dabbling — for lack of a better term — in West Indian and West African sounds, most notably on singles “One Dance,” “Controlla” and the aforementioned “Too Good.” Said dabbling has earned the rapper/singer accusations of cultural appropriation, especially in light of his part-time West Indian accent, which has even been the topic of thinkpieces.

In many ways, Views marked Drake’s graduation from superstar to icon. The scale of everything he has done post-Views has been much larger, and he has gone on to break countless records in the years since. The critics weren’t so keen on the album, but I’d have you know that Michael Jackson’s Thriller also got mixed reviews. The fact of the matter is that Drake understood the assignment when he made Views, and five years later, the album is holding up like the classic it is.

Favorite track: “Too Good” (featuring Rihanna)

Today is Tammi Terrell’s birthday, so we must honor her with this week’s TBT selection.

“You’re All I Need to Get By” was released as the second single from You’re All I Need, Tammi’s second collaborative album with Marvin Gaye. Written and produced by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson — “Ashford &a Simpson” to the streetz — “You’re All I Need to Get By” is the epitome of soul and one of the most romantic songs ever written. From the haunting, gospel-like reprise to the groovy chorus, the song is a classic among classics.

“You’re All I Need to Get By” became Tammi Terrell’s fourth and final top 10 hit — all of which were duets with Marvin — on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 7. It would go on to become one of her signature hits and one of the most beloved duets of all time, evidenced by countless covers and samples, including Method Man’s “You’re All I Need” (featuring Mary J. Blige).

Tammi Terrell’s life was tragically cut short by a brain tumor a month shy of her 25th birthday.  Her achievements and contributions to popular music would be substantial even for a 50-year career, but they are that much more impressive because of the short amount of time she was with us.

Join me in celebrating the life and legacy of Tammi Terrell.

April 23, 2021, marked the fifth anniversary of Beyoncé’s sixth studio album, Lemonade. After the juggernaut that was her self-titled fifth album, it was hard to imagine that Bey could top that effort. With this album, she did just that.

Much like Beyonce, Lemonade is a visual album, but for the sake of this retrospective, we will only be focusing on the music.

Lemonade is a part-breakup, part-makeup album with a dash of pro-blackness to boot. The album’s lead single, “Formation,” is basically Beyoncé’s version of “I’m Black, Y’all,” and led some to believe that this may be a political album. However, other than “Formation” and “Freedom” (featuring Kendrick Lamar), the album is largely apolitical.

The centerpiece of Lemonade is a troubled marriage — namely, Beyoncé’s marriage to Jay-Z. To understand why this notoriously private woman would make her marriage the subject of an album, I’d like to take you back to May 5, 2014, when Beyoncé’s sister, Solange, stole on Jay-Z in an elevator as all three left the Met Gala. Till today, no one knows why that happened, but most of the rumors suggest that it had to do with Jay-Z’s involvement with another woman. There had been rumors about his infidelity for years, and with this incident, many felt like they finally had confirmation. The picture perfect Knowles-Carter image finally had an indelible blemish.

Almost seven years later, Beyoncé is yet to address that incident explicitly, but with Lemonade, we get a bit of a window into her marriage and perhaps some clues as to why her sister went upside her husband’s head. On the opening track, “Pray You Catch Me,” a suspicious Bey sings about her man’s dishonesty. And on the following track, “Hold Up,” she lets him know that no one loves him like she does.

On the first two tracks, we already get a sense of the sonic range of Lemonade. “Pray You Catch Me” is a piano-driven ballad while “Hold Up” offers a reggae-ish tune that samples Andy Williams and interpolates a Soulja Boy hook.

If there was any doubt that Beyoncé was a woman scorned, she clears that up on tracks 3 and 4.

“Don’t Hurt Yourself” (featuring Jack White) — a whole rock song with a Led Zeppelin sample — is opened with Bey asking who the fuck he thinks she is, and closes with her saying that he gets one last time to fuck up. The track is the furthest Bey has ever strayed from her artistic turf, and would go on to earn her a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance.

On “Sorry,” Bey instructs people dealing with unfaithful men to throw middle fingers up and tell ’em “boy, bye!” The track is a return to territory, but still feels fresh and unlike anything we’ve ever heard from Bey. The song is one of the album’s best, and somehow, there is an even better version of it on the digital version of Lemonade. Labeled as the original demo, this version is slower and is centered around the lyrics that make up the outro of the finished version.

The album takes an intermission from the breakup theme with the Weeknd-assisted “6 Inch” and her ode to Mathew Knowles, “Daddy Lessons,” which finds Bey going full country. Even though the latter is primarily about her dad, Bey makes reference to her troubled marriage when Bey sings that her father said “he’s playing you.”

On “Love Drought” — another one of the album’s best — and “Sandcastles — one of the album’s worst — Bey is back to singing about her unfaithful husband. This time, however, she’s a lot less aggressive and seems to be opening the door for a possible reconciliation. On the 79-second-long “Forward” (featuring James Blake), the album takes a clear turn towards making up, which is actualized on “All Night” — arguably the album’s best song.

Sonically speaking, Lemonade runs the full gamut of popular music without feeling too forced or unfocused. The album would go on to become one of 2016’s best sellers and was widely regarded as an instant classic. As we await its follow-up — because The Gift wasn’t really a Beyoncé album — Lemonade serves as a reminder that it is never impossible for the Queen to outdo herself.

Favorite track: “All Night”