During a court hearing earlier today in #LosAngeles, Tory Lanez and his veneers were placed in cuffs for violating the protective order between him and Megan Thee Stallion. Judge David Herriford found that the singer (born Daystar Peterson) violated pre-trial protective orders by contacting Meg and sharing discovery related to the case. His subtweets directed at Megan were found to constitute contact — the judge is said to have pinpointed the ones where he referred to her as “U.” And remember that messy, erroneous tweet from DJ Akademiks about the case? Well, it turns out that it constituted sharing discovery — the prosecution believes Tory’s team was passing info to Akademiks.
The singer, who has been charged with felony assault for shooting Megan, was given a bail of $350,000 — according to Rolling Stone, he had a bondsman with him and is expected to be walking free soon. TMZ reports that prosecutors requested that the court either holds him without bail or raises it to $5 million.
When you do CLOWNERY, the clown comes back to bite.
As a new condition to his release, the judge asked Tory to not “mention the complaining witness in this case in any social media.” True next trial date is set for September 14.
In March of ’92, Mariah Carey was just under two years into her career, but she had already released two albums and logged five No. 1 hits. Her entry into the game remains unmatched, and while fans were raving, there were bitter music critics suggesting that she wasn’t capable of replicating her recorded vocals in a live performance, despite ample evidence to the contrary.
To answer the nut-ass critics, her record label devised a plan for her to perform on MTV Unplugged. Her sophomore set, Emotions, was released six months prior, so this was also seen as a promotional tool for that album. The performance, recorded on March 16, 1992, initially only included two songs from her self-titled debut and four from her sophomore LP, but at the last minute, MC was told that it was customary for artists to do a cover in the Unplugged set. And just like that, we got an iconic cover of the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.”
For the cover, Mariah sang Michael Jackson’s parts while her backup singer, Trey Lorenz, sang Jermaine Jackson’s parts. The original version, released 22 years earlier, is amazing in its own right, but MC and Trey took that song to new heights.
When it finally premiered in April 1992, Mariah’s MTV Unplugged performance was so popular that the network aired it three times more frequently than they normally would for other episodes. Columbia Records capitalized on this popularity by releasing the performance as a live album — it would go on to sell over seven million copies. Also, “I’ll Be There” ended up being released as a single, and much like the original, it topped the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Mariah’s sixth No. 1.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock all week, you’re probably very aware that Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Academy Awards this past Sunday for telling a relatively tame joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, where he suggested that she’d be staring in a sequel to G.I. Jane. Since then, we have been inundated with think pieces and commentary that run the gamut from insightful to downright raggedy. Everyone from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Jim Carrey to friggin’ O.J. Simpson has something to say.
In the days since the slap, Will Smith has issued an apology to Chris Rock and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Chris briefly commented on the incident at his first post-slap show, but explained that he is “still processing” the incident and will address it more extensively in the future. Ticket tales for his Ego Death World Tour skyrocketed after the unfortunate incident.
On the night of the Oscars, we learned that Chris declined to press charges against Will, and earlier today, we learned more details about his interaction with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), thanks to an ABC interview with Will Packer, who produced the award show this year.
We have also received conflicting reports about how the Academy chose to handle Will Smith’s behavior. Initial reports suggested that they thought of asking him to leave but couldn’t make a decision soon enough — he won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role about 30 minutes after the slap. Later, there were reports that Will was asked to leave but refused; and now, there are new reports that that never happened. What is the truth?
Will Smith is said to have met with leadership at the Academy in a 30-minute Zoom call, where he reportedly apologized and was told that there will be consequences. The day after the incident, the Academy announced that it had launched a formal review into the slapping incident, and then on Wednesday, announced plans to take disciplinary action, which may result in suspension or expulsion.
The story is still developing, so watch this space.
This week’s TBT selection is for all the dreamers out there.
In the early ’90s, a woman named Louise Gabrielle Bobb was a struggling singer who performed regularly at a London nightclub. One night, after performing Luther Vandross covers, one of the club’s patrons said, “This is as good as it’s going to get for you.” Devastated but still full of hope, she opened her diary and wrote the first lines of what would end up becoming her debut single, “Dreams.”
After meeting producer Tim Laws during a recording session, he was so impressed with Ms. Bobb’s voice that he invited her back to record. She would go on to record the lyrics of “Dreams” over his a track he produced — he would end up being credited as a co-songwriter. If the song reminds you of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” that’s no coincidence. The original version of the song actually samples the folk classic, but it was never cleared because Ms. Tracy don’t play dat.]
That original version, which had a decidedly thumpier beat, was so popular at the clubs that it landed Ms. Bobb — now known as just Gabrielle — a record deal. With the help of producer Richie Fermie, a new version of the song — sans Chapman sample — was made. When “Dreams” got its official release, it was an instant hit, debuting at No. 2 on the UK charts, which was a record for a debut single at the time. It would later rise to No. 1, staying there for three weeks.
Gabrielle’s dream was finally fulfilled, and while she was at it, she gave every dreamer a poignant yet upbeat reminder that we aren’t dreaming in vain. If you ever doubted that profound lyrics can be embedded in a catchy production, here is yet another example to the contrary.
Jussie Smollett has been released from jail after an appellate court judge granted a stay on his jail sentence while his legal team appeals his conviction. The actor was made to pay a $150,000 recognizance bond, which will be forfeited if he misses any hearings.
According to reports, Kanye West can’t post, comment or message on Instagram for 24 hours due to a suspension. The Trevor Noah post, where he appears to use a racial slur, is said to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
A rep from Meta (Instagram’s parent company) confirmed the suspension to TMZ, adding that the rapper’s recent posts violate the platform’s policies on hate speech, bullying and harassment.
When Doja Cat & SZA dropped “Kiss Me More,” they inadvertently created a subcategory in the ongoing disco revival — a rap/disco blend that is always about sex and always performed by a pair of female artists. First, we had “Closer,” now we have “Sweetest Pie.”
The song doesn’t jump at you right away like its predecessors, but Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa made a solid effort, and the department stores are definitely going to play the shit out of this song. Whatever the song lacks is made up for with its sexy (and action-packed) video. Click play.
He’s the man that they call Timbaland, and he turns 50 years old today.
Born Timothy Mosley, the Virginia native is one of the most prolific and successful producers in the history of popular music. His career began in the early ’90s, where he produced songs for local acts while recording music of his own. In those early days, his collaborators included fellow future legends Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams, who is actually related to him. His big break will come in 1993, when he landed a production credit on Jodeci’s Diary of a Mad Band.
As the ’90s progress, Timbaland’s profile continued to rise. He would become an “it” producer after working on Aaliyah’s sophomore set, One in a Million, where he is credited as a songwriter and producer on eight songs, including the title track and “If Your Girl Only Knew.” Over the next two decades, he will go on to produce hits for everyone from Ginuwine to Jay-Z to Justin Timberlake.
In the midst of all of that success as a producer, Timbaland has released a few songs of his. His very first single as a lead artist was “Here We Come” (featuring Missy Elliott & Magoo), released in November of ’98. Based on the Spider-Man theme song, the track is a criminally underrated jam and a fine example of Timbaland’s ingenuity. The song would only manage to reach No. 92 on the Billboard Hot 100, but as we’ve established numerous times before, good songs fall through the cracks every now and then — especially in the ’90s.
If you’re hearing this song for the first time, thank me later.
DEI professional Thevey Felix returns to talk about Sherri Shepherd replacing Wendy Williams, the latest in the Tory Lanez shooting case, and so much more.
(Note: This episode was record on February 26, 2022.)