NYC & Universal Hip Hop Museum Announce Free Concerts With Raekwon, Remy Ma & More

New York is putting on a series of free hip hop concerts across four of the boroughs in the month of August, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Universal Hip Hop Museum Executive Director and President Rocky Bucano announced this week. Among the headliners are Raekwon, Big Daddy Kane and more.

The only requirement for the “It’s Time for Hip Hop in NYC” free concerts are that fans have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

“You don’t want to miss the local, legendary talent performing throughout NYC Homecoming Week,” de Blasio said in a statement. “As we celebrate this Summer of New York City, we’re proud to partner with Rocky Bucano and the Universal Hip Hop Museum to bring these momentous concerts to our boroughs, free of charge. And if you get a ticket, you can go as long you have proof of your first dose of an approved COVID vaccine.”

NYC, Concerts, Hip Hop Museum
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The shows will also feature sets from Ghostface Killah, Big Daddy Kane, Desiigner, Mobb Deep, KRS One, Slick Rick, and many more.

Fans will be able to stream the concerts exclusively on Twitch on the channel, Behind The Rhyme.

Check out the dates and performers below.


Machine Gun Kelly Surprises Fans With Last Minute Lollapalooza Set

Machine Gun Kelly performed a surprise set at Lollapalooza on Saturday, which was announced just one hour before he took the stage. Billboard reports that the Cleveland rapper performed on the Bud Light Seltzer Sessions stage to a crowd 20 times what the space permitted.

Kelly kicked off the set with his Tickets To My Downfall hit “Kiss Kiss.” He also performed a cover of Paramore’s iconic “Misery Business.” From there he moved through his tracks, “My Ex’s Best Friend,” “Bloody Valentine,” and “Drunk Face.”

Machine Gun Kelly
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In videos from backstage, Kelly was seen with his daughter as well as his partner, Megan Fox. Over the last several months, Fox and Kelly have been inseparable.

Fox recently fired back at fans who criticize her and Kelly’s relationship for their age gap.

“You want to talk about patriarchy? The fact that he’s four years younger than me, and people want to act like I’m dating a younger man. He’s 31, and I’m 35,” Fox explained. “Granted, he’s lived like he’s 19 his whole life, but he isn’t 19. No one would blink twice if George Clooney was dating someone four years younger. Four years? Go f*ck yourself. We would have been in high school together. That’s so ridiculous that women are treated that way.”

Check out clips from Kelly’s Lollapalooza performance below.


Lakers Are “Very Interested” In Signing Carmelo Anthony: Report

After rounding out their big three with the acquisition of Russell Westbrook, the Lakers are reportedly considering adding Carmelo Anthony to continue to fill out their roster. ESPN’s Jordan Schultz now reports that a source says the team is “very interested” in signing the NBA veteran.

“Lakers are ‘very interested’ in the prospect of signing Carmelo Anthony, per a league source,” Schultz tweeted, Saturday night. “Melo has been linked to the Lakers as a possibility, given his friendship w/LeBron dating back to high school. Anthony drilled a career-best 40.9 percent from 3 last season w/Portland.”

Carmelo Anthony, Lakers
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Adding Anthony is an obvious move for the Lakers, as the former Knick has been a personal friend of LeBron James dating back to high school. While being past his prime, Anthony still averaged 13.4 points a game last season for the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Lakers have also been linked to veterans Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan. The team would be required to use their mid-level exception to pick up DeRozan.

In exchange for trading for Westbrook, the Lakers had to give up Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope leaving numerous holes in their roster. James was quick to celebrate the trade on Instagram, Friday.


Soulja Boy Launches Cannabis Brand “Soulja Exotics”

Soulja Boy is venturing into the cannabis industry after announcing a new line of marijuana, Soulja Exotics, in collaboration with Grizzly Peak. The brand will be launching with a limited quantity of 3.5 gram Grizzly Peak™ Soulja Exotics™ to be sold at legal California dispensaries. 

“For years, I’ve been looking for a premium cannabis company to bring my product to market,” Soulja said in a statement. “Grizzly Peak grows their medicinal quality cannabis indoors in coco fiber giving it a smooth inhale and exhale. I have so much going on in my head, I use weed to help me relax and function better so I can focus on my music, videos and other entertainment businesses.”

Soulja Boy, Cannabis
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He continued, “After trying many of their products, I was convinced that these guys are top growers who can consistently deliver the type of high I have been looking for. It was easy for me to decide to launch my exclusive, limited quantities of my weed products in collab with Grizzly Peak.”

Soulja isn’t the first rapper to get involved in the cannabis business. Earlier this month, Travis Scott revealed that he’d be partnering with Connected Cannabis to launch a strain of marijuana. 


Florida Breaks Single-Day COVID-19 Case Record As Delta Variant Surges

Flordia passed their most single-day COVID-19 infections record, Friday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were more than 21,000 new infections. The previous high for the pandemic was 19,334 confirmed cases on Jan. 7, 2021.

The new numbers come in as the highly contagious Delta variant is causing another spike in cases across America.

Despite the rising case numbers, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order to stop schools from implementing mask mandates for the upcoming fall season.

COVID-19, Florida
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“The federal government has no right to tell parents that in order for their kids to attend school in person, they must be forced to wear a mask all day, every day,” the Republican governor said in a press release. “Many Florida schoolchildren have suffered under forced masking policies, and it is prudent to protect the ability of parents to make decisions regarding the wearing of masks by their children.”

In addition to the new cases, the state also reported 409 deaths this week, bringing the total to over 39,000 for the pandemic.

In total, there were 101,171 new COVID-19 cases reported to the CDC in the United States on Friday, July 30, the highest recorded single-day number since Feb. 6.


LeBron James Shoves Fan During Usher Concert: Twitter Reacts

LeBron James was spotted shoving a fan away who was attempting to get a picture with the Lakers star during an Usher concert, recently, sparking a massive debate on NBA Twitter regarding who was in the right.

“Lebron spotted being a normal human being and stiff arming a person running at him… just cuz he’s a celebrity doesn’t mean you can run up on him,” one fan wrote, defending the four-time NBA Champion. “Check his demographics before you do that.”

LeBron James, Usher
Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Another fan described the shove as being “literally assault.”

In response to a user who claimed the fan was “Invading his space,” a fan wrote, “What the hell are you talking about? I’ve been to a million live events and there is no such thing. I’m a Sixers season ticket holder and there is no space for me and my family when we’re walking around.”

LeBron is no stranger to controversy. Earlier in the day, James reflected on being boo’d by Warriors fans at Oracle Arena during his rookie year.

“Been getting boo’d for quite awhile now. I love this game!” he wrote in response to a clip of the fans’ boos.

Check out Twitter’s response to James’ shove below.


Derrick Rose & Bulls Mutually Interested In A Reunion: Report

Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls are reportedly both interested in a reunion this offseason, according to a new report from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Fischer says sources indicate that the Bulls could also pursue Lonzo Ball or Dennis Schroder if a deal with Rose falls through.

“There are strong indications from league sources that mutual interest exists between Derrick Rose and his storied hometown franchise, where he claimed league MVP honors in 2010-11,” Fischer says. “It’s unclear how Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau can stand in the way of the Bulls’ potential advances, and Chicago will need to shed contracts to bring on two ball-handlers at such expected salaries.”

Derrick Rose, Bulls
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Rose was drafted with the number one overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and was named the youngest MVP in league history in 2010-11 at just 22 years old. After suffering numerous injuries, Rose left Chicago in 2016 after being traded to the Knicks. He then played for the Cavs, Timberwolves, and Pistons before returning to New York in 2021.

While he didn’t play at a career-best level last season, he held his own with the Knicks, averaging 14.9 points, 4.2 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game.

In other NBA offseason news, the Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster trade, earlier this week.


Street Sign Named After MF DOOM Unveiled In Long Beach, New York

The street sign for “KMD – MF DOOM Way” was unveiled in Long Beach, New York, Saturday, after The City Council of Long Beach approved a project to rename a street in honor of the late rapper, MF DOOM.

The movement took off after Dr. Patrick Graham, who attended high school with DOOM, launched a petition that called for a street in New York to be renamed in DOOM’s memory.

“His hip-hop lyricism represents some of the culture’s best linguistic metaphors, garnering intergenerational and interracial admiration,” Graham said in a statement. “His life and art symbolize the resilience we need in our present context.”

MF DOOM, Street Sign
Peter Kramer / Getty Images

Long Beach City Manager Donna Gayden added that “MF DOOM left an indelible mark on the music industry and on the lives of people across the globe. Long Beach is proud to bestow this honor in his memory and proud that he [once] called our City home.”

Despite being born in London, DOOM was raised in Long Beach and has said he has no memory of his London childhood. His mother gave birth while visiting family overseas.

DOOM passed away on October 31, 2020, his family revealed several months later. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest rappers of all time.


A Street In MF Doom’s Hometown Of Long Beach, New York Has Been Renamed For The Legendary Rapper

After MF Doom’s family revealed the sad news that the legendary rapper had died in 2020 at the untimely age of 49, an outpouring of grief at the loss and appreciation for his artistry erupted. Now, the community where he grew up has decided to commemorate the rapper’s legacy even further, renaming the street he grew up on in Long Beach, New York in honor of him. KMD – MF DOOM Way is named for the rapper and a group he and his younger brother Subroc created early in his career.

As Stereogum points out, Dr. Patrick Graham, a former schoolmate of MF Doom, spearheaded a petition to make the dedication. With close to 10,000 signatures at the time of publishing, the City Council of Long Beach approved the petition. For those familiar with the city, KMD — MF Doom Way is on East Houston Street, covering the block between Riverside Boulevard and Long Beach Road. The ceremony for renaming the road was Saturday.

Born Daniel Dumile, Graham said that Doom represents the best of the resilience that’s needed to carry into the future. “His hip-hop lyricism represents some of the culture’s best linguistic metaphors, garnering intergenerational and interracial admiration,” he said. “His life and art symbolize the resilience we need in our present context.”

The ceremony for renaming the road was today, check out some posts from the event below.

Denzel Washington Still Supports The Wiley College Debate Team With $1 Million Pledge

In 2007, Denzel Washington starred in the film The Great Debaters as he portrayed Melvin B. Tolson, the renowned debate team coach of Wiley College. The biographical film depicted the 10-year streak that Wiley College earned under Tolson’s direction as well as his strides in integrating previously-segregated collegiate debates.

Along with the release of the film, Washington made a donation to the institution through his Denzel Washington Family Fund with an initial $1 million, paying out $100,000 every year in order to help relaunch and revitalize the debate team that was dismantled after Tolson left in 1947. In 2018, they renewed that same commitment.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Early in July, the Texas-based HBCU announced that the Washington family donated its fourth installment of $100,000 for this round of donations to “cover signing up debate team representatives who want to embrace the challenge of membership. Additionally, money is used to fund their scholarships.”

“We are grateful for the Washington family’s generosity for 15 years and counting to Wiley College’s phenomenal debate team, which, because of this support, can live out our motto to ‘Go forth Inspired,’” added Dr. Herman J. Felton, President of Wiley College. “Being a dominant force as home of The Great Debaters makes us a very attractive option for those skilled in debate, and this financial support further amplifies the benefits of becoming a Wiley debate scholar.”