Twenty years ago today, Jay-Z released his third studio album and most commercially successful album to date, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life. In my opinion, this isn’t one of his best albums, but it’s the one that made him a superstar. People couldn’t get enough of “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).”

The album was the first of his 14 No. 1s on the Billboard 200 — the highest among rappers and only second to the Beatles — and went on to sell over 5 million copies in the US alone. And with a Best Rap Album win, it earned Hov the first of his 21 Grammys. Join me in celebrating this iconic album.

About 12 hours ago in Paris, Lindsay Lohan — someone I used to describe as a “problematic fave” — livestreamed herself on Instagram as she approached a homeless family she described as “Syrian refugees” to offer help. “I want you to tell America what you need, and I will get it for you,” she says as she points her camera at them. Lindsay tells the family — a man, a woman, and two young boys — that she wants to get them a hotel room for the night because she feels terrible seeing the children on the street. First, she offers to hotel room for just the kids, and when that was rejected,  she offers the hotel room to the woman — their mother, I presume — and the two kids. They decline again.  The man was never included in the deal.

The whole time, Lindsay goes back-and-forth between speaking Arabic and speaking English in an Arabic accent. I was impressed with the former until I read on Twitter that a lot of what she was saying was, according to Arabic speakers, gibberish. But wait, there’s more.

Visibly uncomfortable because this random woman is bothering them, the family begins to walk away with their few belongings — Lindsay Lohan, who is all by herself, follows them. The stream appears to skip a few minutes; Lindsay Lohan is now accusing the man and the woman of being child traffickers. “Give me your hand,” she says to one of the children. The camera isn’t facing anyone, so we don’t get to see exactly what happens, but right after saying that, we hear the mother yell and we see the camera’s view drop to ground level. Lindsay has been shoved, it seems. She lets out that unmistakable cry that white women do when they are struck in a confrontation that they initiated. Click here for a perfect example of this.

This entire interaction was absurd. First of all, why are you recording these people who were simply minding their business? If this was a genuine act of charity, why did the world need to see it? Why can’t you grasp the idea of your charity being rejected? And how dare you try to take someone’s child against their will? This is some Madonna shit.

Also, for someone who is supposed to be feigning compassion, she says a lot of ridiculously insensitive things. At one point in the video, she says to the mother: “You should be a hardworking woman, and you should be doing what you do for you children to have a better life.” Like…what in the actual fuck? How do you know she isn’t hardworking? And if she is a refugee like you say she is, wouldn’t that kind of explain her circumstances? Besides, there are tons of hardworking people living in abject poverty. Lindsay is nuts.

Now, let’s go back to the fake Arabic she spoke and the English in an Arabic accent. The Arabic gibberish is inexcusable and just plain weird, but I might’ve excused the accented English if she spent long enough in an Arab country — she didn’t. Lindsay spent a few winters in Dubai and now she don’t know how to act. And she actually thinks she’s some kind of custodian of the culture, telling the family that they’re “ruining Arabic culture.” Pure insanity.

Watch the mess of a video below. Skip to 9:20 for the attempted kidnap.

DJ Snake recruited Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B for “Taki Taki,” which is — in his words — a “reggaeton club” song. I am not a fan of reggaeton, so I’m reluctant to offer any opinion on this track, but I will say that I did not hate it and I can definitely see it being a big hit (if only as a result of the artists involved). Selena’s verse was my favorite. Listen to the song below.

UPDATE: In a comment on the blog’s Instagram page, Jody Watley has debunked this theory. Normalcy has been restored.

————————————————————————————————

Ladies and gentlemen, I am unwell.

Usually, when a musician’s birthday lands on a Thursday, it’s a no-brainer: The Throwback Thursday post will be one from the artist’s catalog. However, today is a little different. Today is different because I just found out that a song I have loved for so long might not be about what I thought it meant.

Shalamar’s “A Night to Remember” is one of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics, the beat and the melody are simply perfect, and there few songs as good. Though it was a top 5 hit in the UK, the song only peaked at No. 44 on the Billboard Hot 100. That being said, anyone with a true appreciation for R&B — and, quite frankly, music in general — understands that it is a classic. Also, it was during a live performance of this song that Jeffrey Daniel debuted the moonwalk, which he later taught Michael Jackson how to do.

As far as lyrics go, “A Night to Remember” is fairly simple. “Gonna make this a night to remember,” the group sings. Sure, they’re insinuating sex, but no freaky shit, nahmean? One man and one woman, both in love, sharing an intimate night.

Imagine my shock when Twitter user @BarkyBoogz mentioned that the song is about a threesome. “It couldn’t be!” I said, and then I watched the video.


I cannot breathe. I CANNOT BREATHE.

It’s totally possible that the song was written as a regular degular love story between two people, but this video? THIS VIDEO? Issa threesome. Watch below.

A whole three months after the audio release, we now have a video — or, shall I say, short film — for GoldLink’s “Got Friends,” which features da god Miguel. The five-minute clip follows a group of young women (including Bria Myles) who come to a diner to get some food before hitting the town — Miguel is also at said diner. Before leaving, the girls find out that some nigga at the diner has paid for their food, so they happily head out for what is supposed to be a good time. Soon after, strange things start happening.

It’s all a little bit half-baked, but I am very impressed with the amount of effort, especially considering that “Got Friends” isn’t a major hit. Watch the the video below.

Lil Wayne turns 36 today, which also happens to be the release date for the much anticipated Tha Carter V. With a career that spans two decades, Weezy’s impact goes beyond his commercial success and critical acclaim. His signing of Drake and Nicki Minaj officially made him a kingmaker, and besides Diddy and maybe Jay-Z, there aren’t many rappers who can lay claim to putting on people who went on to achieve major success.

As iconic as his career has been, it has been impeded by legal battles and run-ins with the law, but he is still here and, by my estimation, he’s still got juice. I cannot wait to hear what he has in store for us, but in the meantime, walk with me down memory lane for a second.

“Let the Beat Build” is by far my favorite Lil Wayne jam, and if he can give us more music of this quality, everything is gonna be alright. Happy birthday, Lil Wayne!

Rapper, actor and bona fide legend Will Smith turns 50 today. When it comes to range and staying power, there is no better example: Uncle Will has gone from goofball rapper to sitcom star to action hero, and he has excelled at all of it. In the words of his son, Jaden, he is truly an icon living. Join me in celebrating one of the greatest entertainers of all time.

“Just Cruisin'”

“Will 2k” (featuring K-Ci)

“Miami”

“Men in Black”

“Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”

Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” (featuring Cardi B) has brought Drake’s Billboard Hot 100 reign to an end; “In My Feelings,” which spent 10 weeks at No. 1, has fallen to the No. 2 spot. “Girls Like You” is the band’s fourth No. 1 and Bardi’s third, which extends her lead as the female rapper with the most No. 1s in the history of the chart — every other female rapper with a No. 1 hit has accomplished that feat just once. Nicki Minaj has zero No. 1s. Lemme stop.

“Girls Like You” also brings an end to a 34-week stretch of hip-hop songs leading the chart — Drake, of course, accounts for 29 of those weeks. That being said, hip-hop is clearly present in “Girls Like You” as it was on the last No. 1 before the streak began, which was Camila Cabello’s “Havana” (featuring Young Thug). Basically, 2018 belongs hip-hop.

One of Cardi B’s rumored ghostwriters, Pardison Fontaine, just dropped a new track featuring the trap Selena herself and it kinda goes hard. “Backin’ It Up” is all about being able to talk yo shit and back it up, and given Bardi’s ability to keep that same energy at all times, I don’t doubt her one bit. The video has her paying homage to Lil’ Kim’s “Crush on You” looks, which seems to be really popular these days. Watch the video below.