Today in 2005, the world got introduced to Rihanna. “Pon de Replay” sounded like about 5 other songs released in that period, but as luck would have it, the song went on to be a major hit, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” sat at No. 1 that entire summer).

Modeled after Beyoncé in the early days of her career, Rihanna has gone on to establish her own unique style and is now a legend in her own right. Watch the clip below.

PS: “Pon de Replay” and Will Smith’s “Switch” have the same damn beat and I’m surprised that there was never a law suit over this.

So…Kendrick Lamar headlined the Hangout Music Festival this past Sunday (May 20) in Gulf Shores, Alabama. During his performance, he invited a white girl onstage to rap along to “m.A.A.d City,” which is laden with the n-word (especially the chorus, where almost every line ends with the word).

The white girl rapped the n-word with her chest and in a way that suggested that she knew she was crossing a line — I mean, how couldn’t she? Kendrick stops her mid-chorus (to which she responds, “What? I’m not cool enough for you?” and “I’m used to singing it like you wrote it”) and asks her to censor herself. She plays dumb and acts like she didn’t know she had used that word (“Did I do it?”), and then apologizes (“I gotchu!”).

Oops! She REALLY had no idea, guys! Watch the clip below.

Full disclosure: I am not much of a Kendrick Lamar fan. I like some of his songs, but I think he is gravely overrated and a little bit insincere.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me just say that this entire exercise was kinda stupid. It appeared to be designed to make an example out of one white fan so others could learn, but all Kendrick did was create an opportunity for a white person to use the n-word onstage at his own concert while having just enough wiggle room to claim innocence.

Some white people love the fact that a song gives them an excuse to use the n-word. Asking them to censor themselves will only work while they’re in your presence (and some might even defy you in the name of “it’s just a song”). When there’s no black person in the room, or the next time they’re at a rap concert (where it has now become somewhat acceptable), they’ll be back to screaming that word.

In short, Kendrick Lamar wasted his time.

As far as awards shows go, the Billboard Music Awards is one of the best. Not because it’s ever that entertaining (this year’s show was generally a snoozefest) but because most of the awards are based on statistics. If you sold the most, had the highest streaming numbers, or achieved the highest radio impressions, you win. This eliminates the heartache that comes every year at the Grammys, where a small group of out-of-touch and possibly racist people (i.e. NARAS) hands out awards based on some stupid and narrow-minded prototypes about how good musicians and good music are supposed to look and sound.

The performance of the night — hands down — was the Salt n Pepa medley featuring En Vogue (and Kelly Clarkson, I guess).

Salt N Pepa medley

Janet Jackson’s performance and Icon Award acceptance speech

Khalid & Normani perform “Love Lies”

If you ever wondered who was next in line after Beyoncé, I’m here to let you know that it is Normani. Unless someone else appears out of nowhere, no one seems to be in her way.

No, we’re not done with the nostalgia. It turns out that yesterday (May 18) was also the 15-year anniversary of the release of “Crazy in Love,” the lead single from Beyoncé’s debut album, Dangerously in Love. Nothing has been the same ever since.

The song samples the Chi-Lites’ “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So),” but the sound of those horns now belong to Queen Bey. Peep the clip below.

They call her the Duchess of Sussex, but I call her the Duchess of Success — because Meghan Markle just made the come-up of the century. The former Suits star exchanged vows with Prince Harry earlier today with over 2 billion people watching worldwide. Oprah, Serena, Gina Torres (and other Suits cast members), Idris Elba, the Clooneys, the Beckhams, James Corden, and Elton John were among the celebrities in attendance.

It was a beautiful ceremony, but let’s talk about what really matters: Idris Elba’s fiancée’s Gucci Gang outfit.

Spent three racks on a new chain.

When Tory Lanez said he was Gucci’d down, this is what he meant. Shorty has on a Gucci dress, a Gucci cardigan coat (complete with the Gucci logo buttons), a pair of Gucci shoes, and a Gucci purse to boot. All with the signature Gucci ribbon just in case you had any doubt.

Lil Pump could never.

Racist man doing racist stuff with his racist friends

Meet Aaron Schlossberg. He’s a 42-year-old commercial lawyer in New York City. He is also a racist and a coward.

If you spend a considerable amount of time on the internet, you’re probably well aware of this man’s antics. Earlier this week, he was caught on camera harassing workers at a deli in Midtown Manhattan. He berated them for speaking Spanish and threatened to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on them.

In the days since the incident took place, his identity has been made public, which led to more revelations about his conduct. Footage of him screaming at people at mini Trump rallies have surfaced; people who went to school with him claim that this behavior is very on-brand; and a YouTuber who lives in New York recognized Schlossberg as the man he caught on camera yelling xenophobic things at him less than two years ago (in an unprovoked incident where Schlossberg bumped into him). Inside Edition has a solid summary of all of this in the video below.

First of all, the fact that someone with that face has the gall to call people ugly is beyond me, but what really gets me is that this man has gotten really shy now that he has been identified. He clearly has experience in front of the camera. What changed?

The day after the incident at the deli went viral, the paps in New York pressed him about his racist ways and he literally ran.

He was spotted again yesterday. More running.

Running ass boy

The failure to keep that same energy is an epidemic.

PS: According to his law firm’s website, Aaron Schlossberg offers services in multiple languages, INCLUDING SPANISH.

Let me start by saying that this isn’t a Janet Jackson fan page. It just so happens that her birthday is two days before the release of her fifth studio album, Janet, and this year marks a quarter-century since its release.

The album is early ’90s R&B/pop perfection. It sold over 14 million copies worldwide and registered six top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 (which is no easy feat). “You Want This” gets an honorable mention, but my favorite song from that album is “That’s the Way Love Goes.” Peep the clip below.

Janet Week isn’t quite over yet. She’ll be receiving the Icon Award this Sunday at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards (8pm ET on NBC).

In a desperate attempt to be close to whoever’s in the news (i.e. what the kids call “clout-chasing”), the White House invited Meek Mill to discuss prison reform. Like…when did Republicans start caring about that? Pressed.

According to TMZ, Meek Mill pulled out at the last minute due to the optics of a potential meeting with Donald Trump. Apparently, a number of famous black people had to step in — word is that Jay-Z was one of them, but Meek’s reps deny that they ever spoke about this particular matter.

I don’t know why this was ever something he considered, but all I know is that Meek Mill needs to hire a publicist or fire the one he currently has.

It might be hard to imagine now, but there was a time when Beyoncé didn’t rule the world. When “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” dropped, Bey was just getting started as a solo artist and it wasn’t clear if she’d be able to match the success she enjoyed as the frontwoman of Destiny’s Child. At the time, it also seemed like Kelly would be the breakout star of the group — her collabo with Nelly (“Dilemma”) was the biggest hit of the year, while Beyoncé’s first solo single, “Work It Out,” was a relative dud. We now know better. Peep the clip below.

When Spotify announced that it was removing R. Kelly from its playlists last week, my first reaction was that the music service was riding a wave and not really interested in doing the right thing. The announcement was the result of a new policy against “hate content and hateful conduct”, but if the people at Spotify were really committed to the cause, they would have removed at least a few dozen other artists from their playlists, including Eminem, who once made a racist ass song about black women and essentially made a career out of being a hateful pig.

Fortunately, I am not alone in feeling this way. Women’s rights group Ultraviolet has written an open letter to Spotify, asking the company to cancel a few other artists, including Eminem, Chris Brown and Steven Tyler. The group’s co-founder and executive director, Shaunna Thomas, explains why removing these accused abusers is necessary:

Every time a famous individual continues to be glorified despite allegations of abuse, we wrongly perpetuate silence by showing survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence that there will be no consequences for abuse. That has a cultural effect far beyond one individual

Spotify should have kept it simple and just said that it wanted to be part of the #MuteRKelly movement, but thankfully, the music service overplayed its hand and made broad a statement about hateful content and conduct. And now, we want them to keep that same energy with all of the artists on their playlists.