Archive: March, 2018

A Mother Of Two Was Just Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Voting Illegally

A woman was sentenced Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas, to five years in prison for voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election while she was on supervised release from a fraud conviction..... Crystal Mason, 43, a mother of two, was released from prison after serving almost three years for a tax fraud conviction in 2011, the Star-Telegram reported. She waived her right to a jury trial and had her sentence assessed instead, which state District Judge Ruben Gonzalez decided. In court, Mason said she voted at the urging of her mother, who insisted, and had never been told she was not allowed to vote. When she went to vote, her name was not on the voter roll, but an election worker walked her through how to vote provisionally after signing an affidavit, she said. Gonzalez asked during testimony why Mason didn't read the affidavit, which has a list of requirements to vote, including that the voter is not a felon or has served their full sentence, the Dallas News reported. Mason said she did not read it closely because an official was helping her. Mason told the judge about getting to watch her daughter graduate when she was released from prison and that she now wants to see her son graduate, adding that she would never have voted if she knew it would jeopardize that. The mother of two also said she had served her time for tax fraud and "would never do that again." Mason was sentenced in 2011 after pleading guilty to fraud that stemmed from a tax-preparation business she had with her now ex-husband. The couple submitted inflated tax refunds to the Internal Revenue Service, and she was ordered to pay $4.2 million in restitution as part of her plea agreement, the Star-Telegram reported. The judge had the option to sentence Mason to between two and 20 years in prison or probation for illegally voting. J. Warren St. John, Mason's defense attorney, said he had filed an appeal following the sentencing. BuzzFeed News has reached out to the defense attorney and prosecutor's office for more information. "She was never told that she couldn't vote, and she voted in good faith," St. John told the Star-Telegram after sentencing. "Why would she risk going back to prison for something that is not going to change her life?" Please guys drop your comments about how you feel about this.......

Read More

Sa-Roc - Forever (Official Video)

On her latest release, “Forever”, the arresting visuals of the music video capture the song’s empowering message.... Over an ominous bass line, the hip-hop heroine goes from spitting bars amongst the breathtaking surroundings of Georgia’s Providence Canyon, to overtaking an ornate throne as she drops lines like, “No, I’m not flawless. I’m scarred up, and I’m fine with it.” She goes on to recount how mama taught her “stay woke,” admit her own body image struggles, and name-check Do The Right Thing. It feels like it could be rap’s own answer to the “No-Makeup Movement.” However, her message is just starting to resound on a grand scale… A voice Okayplayer.com proclaimed “one of the most formidable microphone mavens in the game,” Sa-Roc is in the midst of finishing up her Rhymesayers Entertainment full-length debut—due out later in 2018.

Read More

Rapper DMX counting on rap to beat the rap at his sentencing....

DMX is counting on a little rap to help him beat the rap at his tax evasion sentencing...... Attorney Murray Richman said in a court document made public on Monday that he wants to play a few DMX compositions at Thursday's sentencing in Manhattan for the rapper also known as Earl Simmons. The lawyer said the music will help U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff "understand him genuinely in his voice" since DMX may be too emotional to speak. DMX, 47, has been incarcerated since his bail was revoked in January by Rakoff, who scolded him for failing to obey bail conditions. DMX, whose hits include "X Gon' Give it to Ya," has appreciated his time at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and is "sober now and invigorated," Richman wrote. "It was a salvation of sort to shut out the noise," Richman said. The lawyer sent the judge lyrics to "Slippin'" and "The Convo," among other compositions. "It is raw Earl," the lawyer said. "We are not here or desirous of molding him into what some may want to see; Earl is uniquely him and that is both his beauty of mind and his genius." Richman suggested "a unique resolution," including an up to 60-day study of his client by qualified consultants rather than prison, might help Simmons be deemed rehabilitated and enable him to return to the stage, where he can earn money to pay back $1.7 million in taxes and support his 15 children. DMX had a busy concert schedule booked through July when his bail was revoked. He pleaded guilty to a tax evasion charge in November, the culmination of a federal investigation that determined he had failed to pay taxes on millions of dollars in income amassed from 2002 through 2005 as his hip-hop records sold millions. In papers filed last week, prosecutors called DMX's crime brazen and sought a five-year prison sentence. They urged Rakoff to use the sentencing "to send the message to this defendant and others that star power does not entitle someone to a free pass." The government said DMX was trying to shift blame for his tax payment failure to managers and attorneys. It said he earned more than $2.3 million from 2010 through 2015 but paid nothing toward tax liabilities. Prosecutors said he arranged for hundreds of thousands of dollars of music royalties to be deposited into the bank accounts of managers and then portions disbursed to him in cash or used to pay his expenses. They said he also demanded that his $125,000 payment in 2011 and 2012 for participating in "Couples Therapy," a reality TV show, be reissued without withholding taxes.

Read More

Is The Weeknd Possibly Dropping a New Album on Friday?

The Weeknd is up to something. It's been two years since he dropped his last studio album Starboy.... in 2016, but the Toronto singer has been sharing cryptic Instagram messages that hint at a new album coming soon. Tuesday afternoon, he shared a screenshot of a text conversation with La Mar Taylor—his high school friend turned creative director—highlighting the message: "Should we drop Friday? I'm indifferent to be honest." A post shared by The Weeknd (@theweeknd) on Mar 27, 2018 at 4:21pm PDT Of course, a text conversation with a creative director leaves things pretty open-ended. Abel could be talking about a new album. Or he could be discussing merchandise, tour promotions, album artwork, a music video, a new song or a number of other possibilities. There is reason to believe he's referring to a new album, though. Abel has been sharing updates from the studio for months, and just last week, he uploaded a series of short video clips that announced the project was in its mastering phase. He was also recently spotted showing off his hoverboard skills in Los Angeles on the set of what appeared to be a new music video. Whatever he's cooking up, he has people excited—especially Travis Scott. In early March, Scott apparently got an early listen to the project and told fans, "It’s like when I first heard him for the first time." Looks like we might finally get a taste of our own on Friday.

Read More

Jussie Smollett Drops Debut Album With a Song Dedicated to 'Someone Special'

Jussie Smollett's first album is finally here.... The Empire star couldn't be prouder of Sum of My Music, which he debuted for friends, family and a few famous faces at the Sayer's Club in Los Angeles on Thursday night. Only ET was inside the exclusive listening party, where Smollett told us all about the inspiration behind the record and a song he dedicated to "someone special." "Sum of My Music really represents love and reflection and freedom," Smollett told ET's Courtney Tezeno, adding that all the songs on the album are inspired by his "real life." "'HaHa (I Love You)' is about someone special to me."

Read More

MAJOR KANYE/DRAKE HIP HOP COLLABORATION OPERATION GOING DOWN IN WYOMING

 cloistering themselves in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a collaboration is one thing.... but now, according to TMZ reports, things are shaping up to be a whole lot more. And, reportedly, there is more, like a bunch of audio and recording gear that could be used to setup a recording studio in Kanye's living quarters, which are separate from the main hotel. TMZ is also reporting that chef Paul Zlatos, who has worked for Oprah, is keeping the hip hop party well fed and full of creative energy. This scene is looking more and more like Drake is doing more than just an appearance on Kanye's new album…and so many others bringing the flavor like Travis Scott, The Dream, NAS, Kid Cudi -- this is shaping up to be something truly historic when finished.    

Read More

Snapchat’s Offensive Rihanna Ad Cost the App $800 Million

Here’s a revolutionary idea: Don’t mess with Rihanna, ever.... After Snapchat posted a tone-deaf ad referencing Chris Brown’s conviction for assaulting Rihanna, the singer and beauty queen slammed the app. As a result of its egregious blunder, Snap’s market value has dropped a tad bit — by $800 million, to be exact. While Snapchat said the ad was never meant to be published, many users saw it before it was taken down last Monday. Meant to advertise a game called, “Would You Rather?”, the ad asked users, “Would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown?”

Read More

Black Panther Is Officially a $1 Billion Hit

“Black Panther” can’t stop, won’t stop making money at the box office.... Ryan Coogler’s take on the beloved Marvel character grossed nearly $1.08 billion at the global box office in just four weeks, according to estimates published Sunday by Box Office Mojo. It is Disney’s 16th movie to make $1 billion or more, Deadline reported. Four other Marvel Cinematic Universe releases have hit that mark: “The Avengers,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Iron Man 3″ and “Captain America: Civil War.” But no other Marvel movie has sat atop the box office for four weeks in a row since premiering, according to Box Office Mojo. Domestically, “Black Panther” has grossed $562 million, making it the No. 7 movie of all time in North America when not adjusted for inflation and surpassing “The Dark Knight” to become the second-highest-grossing superhero movie in the United States. While the Wakandan warrior king dominated in the United States, many were eager to see how the movie would fare in some of the biggest global markets. Well, “Black Panther” sat atop of the box office in China and grossed an estimated $22.7 million during its Friday premiere. By Sunday, it had grossed an estimated $66.5 million. And in the process, “Black Panther” bucked any old industry notion that films starring black people are inherent commercial risks in the Asian nation. He added: “It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film.” Here are some other feats accomplished by “Black Panther”: The biggest February release to date, even after adjusting for inflation. The second-highest-grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe movie at the domestic box office. (“Marvel’s The Avengers” occupies the top spot, with $623 million). Tied with “Jurassic World” as the second-fastest movie to reach $400 million at the domestic box office. Both movies hit that mark in 10 days. Only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” did that faster (in eight days). Made nearly $112 million during its second weekend at the domestic box office, placing it just behind the 2015 Star Wars installment as having the best sophomore weekend ever. The highest-grossing movie with a black director, according to Fandango, even after adjusting for inflation. Has a 97 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, the highest of any comic-book superhero movie. According to Fandango, joins “The Avengers” as the only comic-book superhero movie with a perfect rating on CinemaScore, which polls moviegoers on opening night.

Read More

Wow Rapper Nas Reportedly Makes $40M After Amazon Acquires'Ring' for $1.2 Billion. .

Everyone knows that Nas is one of the most legendary rappers in the game.... His debut album, Illmatic, is considered one of the best rap albums of all time. Nas' rap career spans over twenty years, but the Queens rapper has been more focused on his business ventures in the last few years. Nas' business firm, Queensbridge Venture Partners, has invested in several companies over the past few years such as Lyft, Dropbox, Rap Genius, and SeatGeek. Ring, a company that specializes in video-door bell services, security cameras, and home security systems, was one of QueensBridge Venture's earliest investments, and now the company has been scooped up by Amazon. Amazon has been focusing on the "smart home" industry heavily recently, pushing items like their AI speakers and in-home delivery service to consumers worldwide. According to Axios, Amazon likely paid more than $1.2 billion for Ring. After the deal, Ring released a statement regarding the billion dollar transition. “Ring is committed to our mission to reduce crime in neighborhoods by providing effective yet affordable home security tools to our Neighbors that make a positive impact on our homes, our communities, and the world. We’ll be able to achieve even more by partnering with an inventive, customer-centric company like Amazon. We look forward to being a part of the Amazon team as we work toward our vision for safer neighborhoods.”

Read More

Lisa Bonet Says Bill Cosby Always Had “Sinister, Shadow Energy”.....

Lisa Bonet says Bill Cosby always had a "sinister, shadow energy" around him... In a new feature story for Net-a-Porter, the former Cosby Show star opened up about her feelings toward her TV dad, who was accused of sexual abuse, harassment, and misconduct by over 50 women in 2015. She stated that, though she wasn't aware of the accusations during their time on the show, the actor always had a dark presence around him. “There was no knowledge on my part about his specific actions, but… There was just energy. And that type of sinister, shadow energy cannot be concealed.” She also specified that, if she had known about the abuse then, she would have spoken out about it. “If I had anything more to reveal then it would have happened a long time ago," she added. "That’s my nature. The truth will set you free.” It's not the first time Bonet's feelings about Cosby have been revealed. In 2015, her daughter, Zoë Kravitz, told The Guardian that Bonet was just as "disgusted and concerned" about the allegations that, at the time, were "news to her." When asked about her thoughts about Cosby's current situation, Bonet concluded: “I don’t need to say ‘I told you so’. I just leave all that to karma and justice and what will be.”

Read More