As controversy continues to rage in Philadelphia over rapper Meek Mill’s probation case — the city mayor’s office has moved to boot the popular Made in America festival created by Meek’s Roc Nation label founder Jay Z.
A rep for Philly Mayor Jim Kenney dropped a bombshell Tuesday that “This is the last year [the fest] will be held on the [Ben Franklin] Parkway.” That was apparently news to Jay Z and Roc Nation — as well as the concert’s promoter, Live Nation.
Jay Z fired back on Wednesday, revealing in a statement that the mayor’s office also tried to cancel this year’s fest — which will feature Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj and Post Malone, Sept. 1 and 2.
“We are disappointed that the Mayor… would evict us from the heart of the city, through a media outlet, without a sit-down meeting, notice, dialogue or proper communication,” the hip hop mogul wrote. “It signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city.”
He added, “In fact, this administration immediately greeted us with a legal letter trying to stop the 2018 event.”
Roc Nation COO Desiree Perez exclusively told us that she’d previously tried to reach out to the mayor’s office and never heard back before the city publicly said the fest would move. “I’d love to have a conversation,” she said. “We’re shocked. We couldn’t believe it. We don’t have a clue about the hostility we’ve received.”
Jay Z said the minority-owned fest that’s included Rihanna, Kanye West and Pearl Jam, has brought $102.8 million to the city, paid $3.4 million in rent and employed thousands.
Reports said that Made in America’s five-year contract ended in 2017 and was renewed for one year.
A rep for the mayor told Philly.com: “When the festival first started, it was intended to provide a unique attraction to the city on the otherwise quiet Labor Day weekend… Over the years, tourism has grown… and the need for an event of this scale at this location may no longer be necessary.”
Jay Z asked in his statement, which he released as an op-ed to the website, “How does an administration merely discard an event that generates millions … and employs the city’s people as if we are disposable now that we have served our purpose?”
Some music fans speculated the city might be targeting a hip-hop-heavy lineup. “Roc Nation got a call that the administration wanted to see this year’s lineup,” which Roc Nation refused, a source said. “What does that have to do with the city?”
The Mayor called the issue a “misunderstanding” and said in a statement to Page Six: “The City of Philadelphia supports the Made in America festival and is greatly appreciative of all that it has done for Philadelphia. We are committed to its continued success and thank them for their partnership. We hope to be able to resolve what has been an unfortunate misunderstanding. We are working with Roc Nation and Live Nation to resolve this issue and we are committed to continuing our partnership with the Made in America festival.”
“I want a lit baby shower,” Cardi told the magazine. “My baby shower’s not starting at no 5:00. My s–t is going to start at 9 p.m. because that’s how I celebrate, that’s how Caribbean people celebrate.” “I don’t like baby showers that be at 5 p.m. in the backyard, eating, cooking hors d’oeuvres. Nah,” she said. “S–t, I might even drink some red wine. Red wine’s healthy, right?”
“Don’t let Mama see you drinking that red wine,” one of Offset’s family members told her, referring to his mother. “She’s going to have a fit.”
A new day, a new chapter in the everlasting drama between Tinashe, her ex-boyfriend Ben Simmons, and his new girlfriend Kendall Jenner (who he might have gotten together with while he was still with Tinashe). Kendall, for one, is apparently “annoyed” by the whole thing.
TMZ caught up with Tinashe outside a club in Los Angeles and asked her what she thinks of Ben’s plan to hire more security because he thinks she’s stalking him, and she reacted simply by laughing in the reporter’s face. Tinashe didn’t do much other than laugh during this interview with TMZ, which, to be fair, seems like a pretty chill response for someone accused of stalking. Tinashe has said previously that she is “done” dating basketball players after this whole mess with Ben, but if reports are true, she did appear to enjoy at least part of the drama surrounding his new relationship with Kendall. The three found themselves at the same club earlier this month, and TMZ caught TInashe just as she was leaving. The reporter asked how she felt seeing him, and she replied by saying he had been texting her the whole time he’d been in there with Kendall. That was big news for gossip lovers online for a few hours, but soon Ben’s camp denied the rumors, with TMZ reporting that Tinashe admitted she lied about the texts. It was this texting ordeal that triggered reports about Ben’s wish to beef up his own security.
Whatever happens next—and judging by the amount of news generated by these three so far, something will definitely happen—one thing is for sure: TMZ will be right there filming it.
Kendrick Lamar and SZA are calling BS on a copyright infringement lawsuit. Back in February, British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor sued the TDE artists over the official music video for “All the Stars.” The artist claimed the visual—directed by Dave Meyers and the Little Homies—featured elements of her gold-patterned work, and therefore infringed on her copyright.
“Why would they do this?” Viktor told the New York Times earlier this year. “It’s an ethical issue […] Cultural appropriation is something that continually happens to African-American artists, and I want to make a stand.”
Viktor is currently suing for damages as well as a cut of “All the Stars” profits; however, Kendrick and SZA’s legal team insist the artist’s lawsuit is “the epitome of litigation overreach.”
According to legal documents obtained by Pitchfork, the defendants argue that the music video did not use stolen elements from Viktor’s work; and even if it did, the art had no effect on the record’s massive success.
Their motion reads in part:
Common sense and logic dictate that the alleged 19-second use of the Artwork in the Video is far more speculative (and, in any event, no less speculative) a reason for people’s decisions to stream or buy the Single or Album […] Any attempt by Plaintiff to tie such decisions to the alleged use is especially suspect due to the added uncertainty as to whether people who play the Video actually watch it instead of just listening to the audio, and, if they do watch, whether they do so until the final minute when the alleged use occurs.
The document goes on to list Kendrick’s and SZA’s accolades, insisting their popularity and talent is what led “All the Stars” to become so profitable—not the alleged stolen art. They also argue that Viktor’s claim for reputation damages should be dismissed.
Viktor’s attorney responded to the motion with the following statement: “The defendants have filed a motion for partial summary judgment asking the Court to preclude indirect damages, i.e. damages for defendants’ profits from the sale of the single and the album attributable to the infringement in the music video. We have been expecting this motion and we are confident that the law on this issue is in our favor.”
Toronto-based R&B/Soul artist Melvin Elray drops a soulful offering called “Scars,” a joint from his latest album, 5th Lane.
As soon as the beat drops, you’ll get Prince and D’Angelo vibes as the groove saunters along and Melvin whips out his falsetto. And it’s understandable why: Elray is inspired by Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, and OutKast with an undying love of Hip-Hop and R&B. You can hear it all on his amazing album, 5th Lane, which you can stream here.
Following his woke-trap song/video “This Is America,” Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover) drops two chill, breezy tunes to christen the summer season: “Summertime Magic” and “Feels Like Summer.”
Both songs are co-written and co-produced by Gambino and Ludwig Goransson (the same folks behind “This Is America” and Gambino’s single “Redbone” from his 2016 album “Awaken, My Love”), and both summer anthems feel like a glass of lemonade and an ice cream cone on a sunny day, mixed with cool breeze and a hammock.