Paras Griffin/Getty ImagesK. Michelle is often compared to Mary J. Blige, but the Memphis singer does not want to be in the same lane as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul.
“For me, everybody wants the next Mary J. Blige,” Michelle tells Rolling Stone. “As much as I love Mary J. Blige, and she is a phenomenal woman and someone that I look up to greatly, that's not who I am. At this point in my career, I'm somewhat tired of it. I'm tired of people telling me who I am.”
Michelle loves a variety of musical styles, and she's trying to break out of being classified only an “urban” artist. She says her country/pop song "If It Ain't Love" on her latest album, More Issues than Vogue, would be a hit if she was a different color.
“We did sit at the table, look at this record, and say, ‘This is a great record. If you were white, it would be right. It would be a smash.’ If this was Taylor Swift, it would be a smash. And it's crazy that it goes like that. So we toyed with the idea: Should we ship out a great record without a name or a face?”
Michelle says her next project will be a country and blues album. She’s also opening a restaurant and hookah lounge in Atlanta in the summer called Puff.
"I’m going to have the most amazing food in this restaurant. Also, we'll have over 50 different drinks, girlie drinks that won't give you headaches, like Captain Crunch martinis, and all this kind of stuff,” she says. ”It's a very unique restaurant.”
Thomas Lohnes/RedfernsThe mother of Chris Brown’s child denies she’s attempting to keep him away from their daughter.
“I just think a lot of people think I’m just trying to take a child away from her father,” Nina Guzman tells Latina magazine in her first interview about her relationship with Brown. “That’s never been the case,” she says. “All I wanted was a set nanny in place, that’s all I was wanting. I never wanted to limit his time or take any of his time from him. I totally want him to be hands on with her, and be a father, and try and get it more focused.”
Their daughter, Royalty, is now two years old. She remained a secret for the first year, and Guzman says that was because of Brown’s volatile personality.
“I know that he’s young, he’s wild, and he has the bad boy persona, and I just knew that it just wasn’t going to be the best situation,” she comments. “And if I could have still kept it quiet until now, I would have.”
Brown recently ripped Guzman for allowing Royalty to wear a ballet tutu. The mother says she does not deserve the criticism.
“I personally saw nothing wrong with it. She always dresses like that to dance class….I don’t sexualize a toddler, or think of my children in any way like that. So for the backlash of that… I didn’t understand it."
In assessing her co-parenting arrangement with Brown, Guzman says, “I can’t say anything positive about it… at all. Nothing positive."
Mike Pont/Getty ImagesChance the Rapper has “No Problem” with Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, and several more stars joining him in his new video.
The clip from his Coloring Book mixtape, also includes cameos by DJ Khaled, Young Thug, Boosie Badazz and King Louie. The video, directed by Chance and Austin Vesely, features the rapper showing off his dance moves, and Wayne displaying his skills on a skate board.
Chance also announced he is about to go on tour, tweeting, “Coloring Book tour tix soon!!”
ABC/Randy HolmesFetty Wap lives out a marijuana-inspired fantasy in his “Wake Up” video which premiered Friday.
The rapper returned to his East Side High School in Paterson, New Jersey for the comical clip featuring strippers in the cafeteria, students rolling dice in the hallway and teachers smoking pot in the classroom.
The video opens with a young Fetty sleeping in bed as his mother attempts to wake him up. It concludes with mom finding his marijuana stash, and lighting up a joint.
Fetty adds a brief message in a slide, “Celebrate everyday, roll up something, and define your own path.”
Prince Williams/FilmMagicOnly one day after being released from prison, Gucci Mane already has dropped new music.
The Atlanta rapper shared his new song, “First Day Out tha Feds” on SoundCloud, and posted his handwritten lyrics on Twitter. He recorded the song with Mike WiLL Made It who co-produced Beyoncé’s “Formation.”
Mane was released Thursday from an Indiana prison after serving two years for gun possession. He released numerous mixtapes while he was incarcerated.
Robin HarperBeyonce may be a private person, but when it comes to showing off her family, the "Formation" singer is all about sharing the love.
Bey went on Instragram last night night to share intimate photos of her family. The singer re-posted a recent video from her mother, Tina Knowles, that shows her parents and sister dancing, adding the caption, "My beautiful Father, Sis, and Mother. I love you guys so deep."
The Grammy-Award winning singer later added a photo of her and her father, Mathew posing backstage at her concert, in addition to him playing with his granddaughter, Blue Ivy.
Interestingly, Beyonce's husband, Jay Z, was missing from the family photos.
Prince Williams/WireImageK. Michelle may be exiting reality TV as the singer revealed on social media that she's done with VH1's Love & Hip Hop.
The singer recently posted a photo on Instagram of herself with legendary singer Patti LaBelle which led to fans telling the singer that she needed to leave the reality show that they claim she's outgrown.
One fan told the More Issues than Vogue singer that she should leave Love & Hip Hop Atlanta because it wasn't a good look for her. K responded writing, “Never going back again. No amount of money in the world!”
So far, neither K. Michelle nor VH1 have officially released statements confirming the singer's departure from the show.
Aaron Davidson/Getty ImagesFat Joe has fulfilled a dream with Jay Z jumping on his “All the Way Up” remix featuring Remy Ma.
“It was always on my bucket list to work with him,” Joe tells All Hip-Hop. "I’ve always been a big fan of Jay Z and an admirer of his music and what he’s done as a businessman… So when I was thinking about what would be the illest remix for New York City and for hip-hop, of course his name was on the top of the list.”
The Bronx, New York rapper says he contacted Jay Z through N.O.R.E. and Memphis Bleek. Once the Roc Nation CEO heard the request, his response was, “Let’s do it. I can’t wait.”
At the end of his verse, Jay Z raps, "Prince left his masters where they safe and sound/ We never gonna let the elevator take him down.” Fat Joe says he was in awe of the lyrics.
“Honestly, when I heard it I was like, ‘Oh my God. That verse is incredible.’”
After more than 20 years in the game, Joe, born Joseph Antonio Cartagena, says seeing "All the Way Up" reach the top ten is an incredible blessing.
“I’m not just happy, I’m ecstatic,” he comments. “It feels like I’m smoking crack or something. I don’t know how to act."
Joe also says in the wake of Wednesday night's fatal shooting at a T.I. concert in New York City, the message of unity in “All the Way Up” is more important than ever.
“We’re trying to show people you can have your differences but it can actually end peacefully,” he says. “It doesn’t have to end with death and destruction.”
John Lamparski/Getty ImagesChrisette Michele is gearing up for the release of her fifth studio album, Milestone, which the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter says will be an emotional testament to her journey as an independent artist.
Michele tells ABC Radio what the album's title signifies. "Ten years in the industry, ten years of so many ups and downs, but my first year of being my own record label owner," she says. "Just taking the bull by the horns and saying, 'You know what, I want to do this, but I want to do it my way. I don't want to try and prove anything, I just want to tell my truth.' And for me that's a milestone."
Milestone is executive produced by her fiance Doug “Biggs” Ellison and will include features from Mali Music, Rick Ross and Meet Sims. According to the singer, the album is both personal and emotional as she says she was surprised with how open she got on the song, "To the Moon".
"I'm even surprised to hear me sing ballads about love," Michele tells ABC Radio. "It's literally just as emotional, which means I'm just a drama queen. Whatever you want to do with that, just go for it. There's this song called 'To the Moon,' and it's like I'm singing from the moon with all of this emotion and I don't even know if a love song could sound this way."
In addition to the June 10 release of her album, Chrisette will be kicking off the the Milestone Tour on June 3, making 33 stops across the U.S. For more information go to TheMilestoneTour.com.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagicQueen of Hip-Hop Soul Mary J. Blige has a new acting gig.
According to Deadline, the 10-time Grammy Award winning singer has joined the cast of Mudbound, which is set to start shooting in New Orleans.
Bessie director Dee Rees will helm the project, which follows two men returning home from WWII to do farm work in rural Mississippi, according to the website.
Jason Mitchell, Jason Clarke, Garrett Hedlund and Carey Mulligan reportedly also are on board for the film.
Criminal Minds scribe Virgil Williams wrote the screenplay, an adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel of the same name.
Over the past decade, Blige has been beefing up her Hollywood portfolio via a string of films, including Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, alongside Taraji P. Henson, the Tom Cruise-fronted 1980s musical spectacle Rock of Ages and the Lifetime movie Betty and Coretta, in whcih she portrayed Malcolm X's widow Dr. Betty Shabazz.
In 2015, a documentary based on her recording session in London premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. She also appeared on Fox’s hit drama Empire and starred as Evillene in Kenny Leon’s television adaptation of The Wiz Live in December.
Prince Williams/FilmMagicGucci Mane was released from an Indiana prison Thursday after two years behind bars.
The rapper’s lawyer, Drew Findling, told TMZ that the rapper is out and now on house arrest. Gucci, born Radric Davis, was released four months early. He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in May 2014.
Davis' girlfriend, Keyshia Ka'oir, posted an Instagram video of his tattoo-covered chest with the comment, "Babe showing off his abs."
Mane released more than a dozen mixtapes while he was incarcerated, including C-Note vs. Gucci 2, which he dropped in February of this year.
Getty Images via ABCRihanna's new version of her Creepers instantly sold out today and crashed the Puma website.
Ri-Ri’s third version of the sneakers went on sale at 10 a.m. ET and were out of stock in 45 minutes, Footwear News reports. However, the shoes will soon be available on Nordstrom.com. The company tweeted, “There's been an update with the Creepers. Expect them to release on our website on 5/31.”
The $140 kicks are offered in green-bordeaux, black satin and basket creeper glo for both men and women. Resellers immediately took advantage of the heavy demand, pricing the sneakers on eBay for $200-$350.
The new Creepers are Rihanna's latest Puma collection after their debut in fall 2015, followed by her trainer, and fur slides this year.
Johnny Nunez/Getty ImagesTroy Ave has been charged with attempted murder, reckless endangerment and weapons possession in connection with the shooting at the T.I. concert in New York Wednesday night that left one dead and at least three others shot.
Ave, whose birth name is Roland Collins, reportedly was wounded in the incident. He is believed to be the only suspect, but police are not ruling out other possibilities.
Police have released footage of the shooting. The footage appears to show the shooter come out of a VIP room at Irving Plaza, a concert hall near Union Square, and fire a shot.
The suspect, who police say is Ave, appears to pause and look around the crowd before firing the shot and exiting.
On Thursday, T.I. released the following statement on social media: "My heart is heavy today. Our music is intended to save lives, like it has mine and many others. My heartfelt condolences to the family that suffered the loss & my prayers are with all those injured. Respectfully, Tip."
Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagicSolange was a proud mother on Tuesday, having recently celebrated the fifth-grade graduation of her son Juelz with her parents in New Orleans.
The soul singer posted a video of her son speaking French at his graduation, with the caption, "My bebe graduated 5th grade today and I think he's pretty rad."
In anothervideo, which Solange captions with a graduation cap emoji, Julez is seen walking down the aisle smiling at his mom as he passes.
The singer's parents were also in New Orleans to support their grandson, with Tina Knowles posting a video highlighting Juelz singing in French, Later, she shared a video of her daughter and ex-husband, Mathew, having fun at home.
Erika Goldring/WireImageOutKast fans are asking the the NFL to consider the rap group to perform at Super Bowl 53, which could be held in the rappers' hometown of Atlanta.
The NFL recently announced the finalists for the 2019 and 2020 Super Bowls and Atlanta natives are already expressing their interest in seeing Big Boi and Andre 3000 come back together for the halftime show in 2019.
One Twitter user demanded that the Atlanta group be confirmed at the halftime performers, tweeting, "Atlanta's getting the 2019#SuperBowl, which means we're going to need an#OutKasthalftime show. This ain't negotiable."
Another fan went as far as to create a petition on Change.org hoping to get others involved and to persuade the NFL to make it happen. The petition page’s description reads, “No one represents Atlanta like OutKast. Plus they are the greatest group of all time, no explanation needed.” As of last check, the petition had fewer than 100 signatures.
Last year, Big Boi revealed OutKast was asked to be the talent during halftime for Super Bowl 2004. However, the Grammy-winning duo declined because Andre 3000 was unwilling to shorten the group’s songs.
Johnny Nunez/Getty ImagesTroy Ave was one of the four people shot during a T.I. headlining concert last night. The New York rapper's management tells XXL that Ave was hit in the leg and transported to a local hospital where he is currently recovering.
ABC News has reached out to Ave's management to confirm the report.
The shooting took place in a third-floor green room at New York City’s Irving Plaza around 10:00 p.m. One victim was pronounced dead at New York City's Beth-Israel Hospital.
New York rappers Maino and Uncle Murda were said to be performing when the gunfire started, according to AllHipHop. At last word, T.I., Maino, and Uncle Murda are not reported to be injured or involved in the shooting.
Late last night, video of the scene at the venue at the time of the shooting surfaced on YouTube.
George Pimentel/WireImageAcclaimed rapper and songwriter Belly cancelled his appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, scheduled for Wednesday night, because Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was set to appear on the episode. The appearance was to have been Belly’s network television debut.
The Palestinian-born Canadian rapper recently had a #1 song, "Might Not," on the Billboard Rhythmic Charts with fellow Canadian rapper The Weeknd, who was also set to appear on Kimmel and cancelled.
"Belly, a man of the world who grew up as a minority immigrant in Canada, has a strong conviction against Donald Trump’s radical beliefs," said a statement from Belly's publicist, in part. "A strong believer in equal right for all, Belly is taking a stand against a man who has made many negative and detrimental remarks about minorities, women, various religious groups and more."
Trump has been criticized for his comments about women, refugees, immigrants and Muslims. He once called Mexican immigrants in the U.S. illegally "rapists," and called for a ban on Muslim immigration into the United States early in his campaign.
Belly’s new mixtape, "Another Day In Paradise," will be released Friday, May 27.
Prince Williams/WireImageNew episodes of TV One’s five-time NAACP Image Award-winning series Unsung will return to the network next month – just in time to celebrate Black Music Month.
Upcoming icons set to be featured include talented singer/songwriter Kelly Price, platinum-selling R&B trio Next, the polka dot-wearing rapper/producer Kwamè and Bay Area rap pioneer E-40.
The series celebrates the lives and careers of artists or groups who, despite exceptional talent, have never had the fullness of their stories -- many tragic -- told.
Previous subjects have included Melba Moore, The Clark Sisters, Phyllis Hyman, Debarge, Sylvester, Big Daddy Kane, Isaac Hayes, The Emotions, Teddy Pendergrass, Teena Marie, Florence Ballard, YoYo, The Geto Boys, Alexander O’Neal and Miki Howard.
Narrated by actor Gary Anthony Williams the show is executive produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions.