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Hip Hop News
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Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415/FilmMagicKanye West is apparently standing by Bill Cosby amid numerous sexual assault allegations against the comedian.

West voiced his support for Cosby in a tweet on Tuesday that simply read, "BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!!"

The rapper hasn't offered any further explanations for the post.

It's the first time West has weighed in on the Cosby scandal, although in his song "Facts" -- released at the end of December -- he raps, "Do anybody feel bad for Bill Cosby? Did he forget the names just like Steve Harvey?"

Cosby has been charged with aggravated indecent assault in a sexual assault case in Pennsylvania.  Dozens of other women have accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them, though the comedian hasn't been criminally charged in any other case.

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It's been nearly 20 years since singer Kelly Rowland arrived on the scene as a member of one of music's prominent girl groups: Destiny's Child.

Like many young stars growing up in the spotlight, it’s been a challenge for the singer to reinvent herself to remain successful.

However, Rowland has worked hard to do just that. “I think that you evolve,” she told ABC News. “You are really pushed to evolve.”

Today, Rowland is focusing on her solo career and has released several albums including her latest, Talk a Good Game. She’s also looking to release new music soon and told ABC News she’s “narrowing all that down right now.”

Her personal life is changing, too. The singer, who married her manager Tim Witherspoon in 2014, gave birth to their son Titan that same year. One woman Rowland looks to for parenting advice, she said, is Tina Knowles Lawson, fashion designer and mother of Beyoncé. Rowland said that Knowles Lawson taught her about beauty, skin, and styling -- but most importantly, helped her to gain confidence in who she is as a woman.

“She’s just exquisite,” gushed Rowland. “I love her so much.”

Rowland is also expanding her brand and has capitalized on her love of entertaining. The singer recently teamed up with Seagram’s Escapes to create two new flavors, Orange Sassy Swirl and Pink Pineapple Passion. "It’s really cool,” she said of the experience. “They allowed me to be creative!”

Rowland recently surprised fans with a guest role in season two of the Fox hit, Empire. “I would love to do it again we’ll see what happens,” Rowland said.

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After two decades in the business, Jermaine Dupri continues to juggle several music projects at once. While promoting his new reality show, The Rap Game, the hit producer spilled to ABC Radio that he's submitted songs to Usher's upcoming, eighth album, although he's unsure if his songs will make the cut.

"As a producer, I don't know. I've done records for him, [but] that's a project I don't have my total hands on control of, and as a producer you never do, so you never know," Dupri explains. "Like when 'We Belong Together' came out as Mariah [Carey]'s single after 'It's Like Dat,' I was riding in the car and I heard it one the radio and I was like, 'Wow, I wonder why they playing this song on the radio.'" Then he realized it was indeed a single. He says, "You never know as a producer unless you're like right next to that person as it's happening and I haven't been that person with Usher on this project."

Dupri adds that he's still hoping to work with Chris Brown. "I usually don't want to work with artists that's established, but I feel like Chris Brown, he's in between what I have a very good time working with -- a young artists as well as a superstar," Dupri says.  "And he has both and he likes to dance and likes to sing and he likes to rap. So he's in between everything that I like, that's what attracts me to say that I would love to work with him and get in the studio and really, really work on music."

The hitmaker says he thinks CB is still holding back from certain subjects in his songs. "Not to take anything away from the music that he already has, I just believe people feel that they haven't heard something from him," JD says about the notoriously troubled singer.  "He probably doesn't even want to go back and deal with it because he had so much going on," but the producer says it would be good to hear a song from Brown that "touched it a little bit, in a way that made people understand that he felt whatever he felt about it."

The producer thinks Breezy still needs his defining album to solidify his stardom. "I feel like he's yet to make his Control album or his My Way album. Like, these are records that define each superstar like that, like I said Janet [Jackson], Usher, like Snoop Dogg's first album I think was his defining moment," JD says before explaining how tricky it is to record a timeless project.  "I mean some artists are lucky to have it in their first album, like Snoop, but then like Usher, it was his second album. So I mean, Chris Brown is not in a space where it's too late, but he has to do it. He has to make an album that people talk about him and that album together." 

In the meantime, you can catch JD on The Rap Game airing on Lifetime Fridays at 10 p.m.

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Beyonce is seemingly synonymous with awesome, so it should come as no big surprise that her stylist Ty Hunter says she's cooking up something amazing for her fans.

During an appearance on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, Hunter gave a quick review of the singer's highly anticipated project. “I’ve heard the new album. It’s beyond awesome, it’s great,” he told host Andy Cohen.

He also approved of Bey’s halftime show, which was styled by Marni Senofonte. “Everything was awesome to me,” said Hunter.

Beyonce's upcoming set will serve as the follow-up to 2013’s self-titled LP, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

 

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Ciara has filed a $15 million lawsuit against her ex-fiance Future, in an effort to prevent him from publicly disrespecting her.

The singer filed a defamation lawsuit in Atlanta against the father of her child, following comments he made in recent interviews and on social media.

Ci Ci's suit accuses Future of slander and libel for claims in interviews, in which Future claimed Ciara uses their son for “publicity stunts” with her new boyfriend, Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson. In addition, the suite cites a since-deleted tweet in which Future called her a “b****” with “control problems.”

The singer is seeking that all negative tweets be removed and that Future be banned from airing out their private matters online.

While the rapper tweeted that he has “go through lawyers” to see their son, Future Zahir Wilburn, Ciara claims the rapper has seen their son at least 19 times, sometimes for several days, since December 2014.

The former couple have continued to battle over custody of their only child since calling off their engagement in 2014.

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Fetty Wap is among the rap newcomers who appear on Forbes' Hip-Hop Cash Princes Class of 2016 list.

The publication selected ten of the most promising acts under the age of 30, especially the ones most likely to eventually to appear on Forbes' Hip-Hop Cash Kings list in the future.

Fetty was recognized thanks to his two Grammy nominations and multi-platinum hit “Trap Queen,” which he says is his favorite record of all time. “It’s the album that changed my life,” he told Forbes.

Elsewhere, there were a few female rappers that made the cut, like Dej Loaf, who gained attention with her banger “Try Me,”as well as London rapper Little Simz, who Kendrick Lamar recently co-signed as “illest doing it right now.”

Other rappers include Logic, G-Eazy, Joey Bada$$, Lil Dicky and Young Dolph, as well as producers Boi-1da and Metro Boomin.

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Shortly after Kanye West challenged everyone to guess what the acronym for his upcoming album, T.L.O.P, stands for, Twitter users have flooded Ye's comment section with various ideas.  

There were serious guesses, ranging from "The Love of Power" to "the Lord of Pop," and some even speculated that it was a hint the album is Kanye's last. "I have a feeling it's The Last Original Project or The Last Official Project," one fan guessed.

Of course, others offered up a slew of funny ideas, including "Trump Lost Our Puppy," "Tyga, Leave Our Planet," "The Life Obama Promised" and "Tupac Lives Outside Portland."

One commenter hoped the title was "The Laptop of Prominence -- an album against Kanye's cousin," referring to the rapper's family remember who stole his computer and demanded $250,000 in return.

Another doubted that Kanye himself even knows what it means: "I won't be surprised if the letters have zero meaning at all."

As previously reported, Kanye is offering free Yeezy sneakers and tickets to his Yeezy Season 3 event at New York City's Madison Square Garden to the person who guesses the meaning behind the initials.

T.L.O.P will be released Thursday.

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Beyonce has the Midas touch. After giving a shout out to Red Lobster on her surprise single "Formation," the seafood restaurant chain enjoyed a 33 percent boost in sales.

Spokesperson Erica Ettori tells ABC Radio that the weekend sales reflect a “Beyonce Bounce” from her song, in which she explicitly sings: "When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, cause I slay."

The song caused the franchise to be mentioned 42,000 times on Twitter and resulted in the chain becoming a trending topic for the first time in history. Additionally, the restaurant's entrepreneurial teams have been "having fun with the moment by offering drinks like the 'Bey Breeze' which has been getting a big laugh from our guests."

"We are absolutely delighted with what we saw over the weekend, particularly the consumer sentiment that we saw expressed," said Kim Lopdrup, CEO of Red Lobster.  "It's clear that Beyonce has helped create some Red Lobster fans, and we are very grateful to her for that."

Red Lobster initially caught some flack for their delayed response to Beyonce's record, but later tweeted: "You try to bake Cheddar Bay Biscuits and tweet at the same time! #harderthanitlooks #Formation." The company added: "You definitely slay, @Beyonce. Thanks for one heck of a weekend."

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Drake’s “Summer Sixteen” debuts just outside the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week.

According to the publication, the rapper's new offering opens at #6, with 215,000 downloads sold, marking his 16th top-10 track on the chart and his best sales week as a lead artist.

The song also lands at #2 on the Digital Sales chart, right above his Rihanna collaboration “Work,” which sold 156,000 downloads to arrive at #3 on the Digital Sales chart.

“Summer Sixteen,” produced by Noah “40” Shebib, Boi-1da and CuBeatz, will appear on Drake’s upcoming album Views from the 6, arriving in April.

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Beyonce enjoyed luxurious accommodations while in the Bay Area for Sunday's Super Bowl performance.  The singer is said to have rented a multi-million dollar home for $10K a night, according to TMZ.

Queen Bey reportedly booked the place through property-sharing website Airbnb, which advertises the home as a "contemporary masterpiece" featuring five bedroom suites and seven-and-a-half bathrooms.

Following her halftime performance, Beyonce posted a photo on Facebook with a caption that reads: "It was a Super weekend Airbnb."

She later shared a couple of shots of the home via Instagram. In the first, she's covered up in a white blanket while sitting outside at night next to an illuminated swimming pool. Two empty plates and a champagne glass are seen on the low wall behind her as she's photographed playfully covering her eyes with her hands.

In another, a casual Beyonce is seen lying on her stomach resting on the outdoor sofa next to the vanishing edge pool.

The 12-acre estate is located in the Los Altos Hills, about a half hour's drive from Levi Stadium, boasting sweeping views over the San Francisco Bay Area. It also features a spa, outdoor fire pit, fitness center, a game room with a full bar and pool table, rooftop vegetable garden and an orchard.

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Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/Getty ImagesDMX endured a health scare that left him hospitalized on Monday.

The rapper was found unconscious and not breathing outside a Yonkers, New York, Ramada Inn and needed to be resuscitated by first responders, according to The Journal News. The rapper's attorney, Murray Richman, says that the rapper's condition was “merely an asthmatic attack” and that the he was rushed him to a local hospital. 

Fortunately, he has since been released from the hospital. Richman said he was informed by DMX’s wife Tuesday morning that the rapper is home and feeling better.

DMX's rep says, referring to the rapper's birth name, "Earl is doing great and in great spirits, this was not a drug overdose as being reported, DMX has serious asthma issues and it was simply a result of not having his inhaler along with being sick the past few days. "

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Kanye West wasn't kidding about having a surprise album title. The rapper announced via Twitter that he's renamed his project -- for the fourth time -- to T.L.O.P, which is an acronym whose meaning he has yet to disclose.

"That's the new album anybody who can figure out the title gets tickets to Season 3 and free Yeezys," 'Ye tweeted of his seventh studio album, which was previously named Swish, Waves and, originally So Help Me God. West also added that he's working on the "final verses" for the newly titled album.

Although hundreds of fans have responded to the tweet, West hasn't declared any winners yet.

T.L.O.P. is due out Thursday, February 11. Kanye's 10-song album will include four songs we've already heard, including “No More Parties in LA,” featuring Kendrick Lamar, and “Real Friends”  with Ty Dolla $ign.  There's also “Fade,” featuring Ty$ and Post Malone, and “Wolves” with Sia and Vic Mensa.

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Ciara has inked a new deal.

Following her campaign with Roberto Cavalli, the singer has partnered with Keds Collective for its spring 2016 shoe campaign, according to Women's Wear Daily.

Ci Ci is scheduled to perform at the "100 Years of Keds" event in New York City on February 10 alongside pop singer Tori Kelly. She will also create customized Keds for the brand’s collaboration with Topshop, the same company for which CiCi serves as a brand ambassador.

The new shoe line is due in stores late March.

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Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesSunday, pioneering hip-hop act Salt -N- Pepa saw their 1993 hit "Whatta Man" featured in a Super Bowl commercial starring Ryan Reynolds. On Monday, they were in New York City with Reynolds, at a fan event for his new movie, Deadpool. The ladies' hit "Shoop" is featured in the movie, which Cheryl "Salt" James calls "a blessing."

At the event, where Salt -N- Pepa appeared in front of dozens of crazed fans, all dressed in Deadpool costumes, they drew a massive cheer.  After rapping a bit of their hit "Push It," they walked the red carpet, where Cheryl told ABC Radio that the Marvel superhero flick had finally made her cool in the eyes of her kid.

"You know, the greatest part for me is that my son is a Marvel Comics fan and he never hangs out with me and he's here with me tonight," she laughed. "So this is a blessing for me."

Meanwhile, Sandy "Pepa" Denton said they're glad their music continues to be popular with many generations.

"We were so happy we, we were able to make timeless music," she told ABC Radio. "I mean, we're doing 'Shoop,' the crowd's singing, 'Push it.' So, to have all these different hits -- 'Whatta Man,' with...Ryan Reynolds in the Super Bowl -- we are just, like, happy about all of that!" 

Deadpool, an R-rated movie about an unstable, uncensored costumed mercenary, opens this Friday.  Marvel is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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Rihanna is offering fans a behind-the-scenes look into her latest single, "Work" featuring Drake.

In the 90-second clip, Rihanna hangs in the studio while unveiling her creative process for the tune. The singer dons her Puma sneakers and a cozy grey sweatsuit while her assistant Jenn Rosales attempts to sing along to the track. At one point, Rih goes inside the recording booth and gives the middle finger to the cameraman.

"Work" currently sits at #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs while her latest album, ANTI, occupies the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart.

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Image Coutresy Scream NationSilento and iLOVEMemphis have given fans more chances to see them on the road together.

Scream Nation has announced the “Let’s Dance” The Tour 2016 has been expanded to 15 major cities, including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The upcoming trek kicks off March 4 in Miami and wraps up May 1 in Philadelphia. Silento will bring the "Nae-Nae" and iLOVEMemphis will bring the "Quan" alongside other popular hip-hop choreographed dance music artists like DLOW, We Are Toonz and 99 Percent.

"I'm so excited about Let's Dance The Tour," Silento recently said in a statement. "It's my first major concert tour and I'm looking forward to performing from city to city. All the artists on this tour is killing the game right now and we're definitely gonna turn up and make the entire audience dance. Watch me!"

Tickets are available now at LiveNation.com.  Here are the newly added dates:

4/8 -- Las Vegas, NV, The Pearl Theater
4/9 -- Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood Palladium
4/10 -- San Francisco, CA, The Masonic
4/29 -- Washington, D.C., DAR Constitution Hall
4/30 -- New York, NY, Kings Theatre
5/1 -- Philadelphia, PA, The Fillmore Philadelphia

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John Legend can't stop gushing about his baby on the way with his model wife, Chrissy Teigen. The singer reveals he couldn’t be more excited for about becoming a first-time dad.

“I’m so excited to be a father,” Legend told People alongside Teigen, who's pregnant with a girl. “I love my wife so much and I love the idea that we created something that is a reflection of both of us and love.”

Legend adds  the couple is “excited for this to happen,” but remained mum on the due date for their bundle of joy.

The pair announced back in October that they were expecting.

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Rihanna has teased her upcoming music video for "Work," the Drake-featuring first single from ANTI.

In the clips from her Snapchat, which were reposted by Empire Rihanna Navy's Twitter page, Rihanna dances in a dark nightclub amid a large group of people. The visual was filmed at The Real Jerk restaurant in Toronto, which you may recall is where Drizzy was spotted leaving with Rihanna in the same car.

The "Work" video was directed by Director X, who helmed Drake's "Hotline Bling" last year and Rihanna's first-ever song, 2005's "Pon de Replay."

It's likely the video will arrive before Rihanna performs on the Grammy Awards February 15.

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Drake won't take stage for Music's Biggest Night after all.  Following a Grammy commercial during the Super Bowl that mentioned Drizzy, the rapper  confirms that he's not performing at this year’s Grammys.

“I am not performing at the Grammy Awards...but hey it's the thought that counts,” tweeted the rapper, who many assumed would appear alongside Rihanna for their duet "Work."

The ad also mentions other artists who have not been announced as performers including Ice CubeNicki MinajLionel Richie, Ariana Grande and more. However, all of the aforementioned acts are said to be making make appearances, just not necessarily give performances.

Meanwhile, Adele, Kendrick LamarThe Weeknd, Robin Thicke, Andra Day, Gary Clark Jr., Pitbull, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, are confirmed to perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 15.

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Everyone is still talking about Beyonce's Super Bowl 50 halftime performance on Sunday, alongside Coldplay and Bruno Mars. Shortly after delivering the show, Queen Bey told Entertainment Tonight how proud she feels about her anthem, “Formation,” which she performed live for the first time at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

“It makes me proud. It’s what I wanted. I wanted people to feel proud, have love for themselves,” Bey says the Mike WiLL Made-It production.

An excited Beyonce also revealed how she felt about the performance. “It felt great,” she said backstage, adding, “The best part was seeing Coldplay, for me ’cause I was able to watch from the back and really enjoy it.”

Meanwhile, her stylist, Marni Senofonte, spilled that the singer's wardrobe was and an homage to Michael Jackson. and her dancers' wardrobe a the nod to black history, specifically the women of the Black Panther Party.

"When Michael Jackson performed at Super Bowl on January 31, 1993, he wore a jacket and harness. Beyoncé wanted to pay homage to Michael. She has always said he is her biggest music influence and Michael’s halftime performance marked a change in global interest for the halftime show." she said in an interview with Essence, adding that Beyonce also wanted to "honor the beauty of strong black women and celebrate the unity that fuels their power," with her dancers' look.

In related news, Queen Bey will continue her bring “Formation” to a stadium near you on her upcoming world tour, which kicks off April 27 in Miami.

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