Category Archives: music news

Rapper Craig Mack Has Died at 46

Craig Mack, known for his stint with Bad Boy records in the early 1990s has passed away. It has been confirmed that the “Flava in Ya Ear” rapper died of heart failure on Monday in Walterboro, South Carolina. Mack is survived by his wife and two adult children. He was 46.


Juelz Santana Arrested After Bringing Loaded Gun to Airport

Juelz Santana was arrested on drug and weapon charges Monday, two days after the rapper fled a Newark airport after TSA discovered a loaded gun in his carry-on bag.

Santana surrendered to police following the incident. The Dipset rapper faces unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a controlled dangerous substance as well as an unspecified federal warrant, TMZ reports. added that Santana was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a weapon on an aircraft, even though the rapper didn’t pass the security checkpoint.

The rapper was scheduled to board a flight from Newark to San Francisco Friday night when, after leaving two bags and identification at a security checkpoint, he “paced the area nervously and requested that several individuals screen his bag expeditiously because he was going to miss his flight,” the criminal complaint said.

Juelz Santana was arrested on drug and weapon charges Monday, two days after the rapper fled a Newark airport after TSA discovered a loaded gun in his carry-on bag.


Upon checking the bags, TSA found a loaded Derringer 38-caliber handgun as well as the still-unspecified controlled substance. Santana then fled the airport, hailed a cab and remained on the lam until Port Authority Police arrested him early Monday morning.

As a convicted felon – in 2011, a raid on the rapper’s New Jersey studio yielded two loaded handguns and 17 bags of marijuana – the “possession of a firearm by a convicted felon” charge alone carries a possible 10-year sentence.

Toni Braxton Confirms Engagement to Birdman

Birdman and Toni Braxton made their first public appearance as a couple at the 2016 BET Awards. The pair have been very quiet about their relationship outside of close members of the Braxton family sharing their favorable opinions of the Cash Money CEO.

There has been speculation that Toni and Birdman have gotten married, but sources close to them denied that that ever happened. However, Tamar Braxton, the younger sister to the R&B star, told Wendy Williams in an interview that she believed the two had eloped. While the rumor mill has been keeping up, Toni has been spotted wearing a ring on her wedding finger in her recent photos and videos, with no confirmation of the big news until now.

The 50-year-old singer and the 49-year-old mogul are engaged. Toni confirmed the news in a trailer for the upcoming season of her family’s WeTV show, Braxton Family Values.

“I have an announcement to make,” she said to her family before exclaiming, “I’m engaged!” Her massive engagement ring was then shown up close.

This will be Toni’s second marriage and Birdman’s first. She was married to her former husband Keri Lewis for twelve years before their 2013 divorce.


Bruno Mars Sweeps Major Categories At 2018 Grammy Awards Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email

In a year when the nominees were more eclectic and adventurous, the safe bets prevailed at the 60th Grammy Awards.

All of the night’s most coveted awards went to Bruno Mars, for his funk-infused 24K Magic, which won Album of the Year, and the songs “24K Magic” and “That’s What I Like,” which won Record and Song of the year, respectively. Mars cleaned up in four other categories as well: Best R&B Performance, Best R&B Album, Best R&B Song and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, making him the year’s most decorated artist.

The night started out looking like it could go in a different direction. After new nomination review committees were implemented in June 2017 for the fields of rap, contemporary instrumental and new age to diversify the nominee pool, hip-hop vet Jay Z walked into the Garden with the most nominations of any artist. Although he was awarded the Industry Icon Award before the televised awards, he lost all eight Grammys for which he was nominated. In the hip-hop categories, all four of those losses came at the benefit of Kendrick Lamar, who started the evening as the second-most nominated artist. His poetic yet pop-appeasing fourth studio album, DAMN. (which was named NPR Music’s best album of 2017), won five awards but lost two of the night’s three biggest prizes to Mars.

“You guys are the reason I’m in the studio pulling my hair out,” Mars said to his competitors in the audience when accepting the award for Album of the Year. That speech capped a night when Mars managed a rare sweep of the major awards, a feat also accomplished last year, when Adele beat Beyoncé — Jay Z’s wife — in each of the major categories.

There were numerous nods to the East Coast location of New York City at this year’s ceremony. The 2018 awards marked the first time in 15 years that the Grammys have been held in New York, and there was plenty of star power packed into Madison Square Garden. But while the location may have been touted as historic, there were plenty of missed opportunities to make actual Grammy history.

If Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s smash hit “Despacito” had won Song or Record of the year, it would have marked the first time a Spanish-language track won in either category. It lost in every category in which it was nominated.

R&B sensation SZA was the most nominated woman of the night but lost all five awards for which she was nominated, including Best New Artist, which was won by Alessia Cara.

While the unspoken theme at last year’s Grammys was timidly political, the elephant in the room this year dissolved early in the night into the form of dainty white roses, as many on the Grammys red carpet — Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Lana Del Rey and more — wore flowers with their Grammy ensembles to show solidarity and compassion for victims of sexual harassment and the #TimesUp movement.

Though the nod to the movement organized by record executives Meg Harkins and Karen Rait was visible during the pre-show, it barely got any acknowledgement during the first half of the telecast. Lady Gaga was the only performer of the night to work the words “Time’s up” into her set. But past the midway point, before announcing a performance by Kesha, Janelle Monae took the moment to wave the flag of sisterhood.

“We come in peace, but we means business,” Monae said defiantly. “And to those who would dare try to silence us, we say, ‘Time’s up.’ … Just as we have the power to shape culture we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us.”

Then, for her emotional rendition of “Praying,” Kesha was joined on stage by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Julia Michels, Andra Day and the Resistance Revival Chorus. The moment was genuine, angelic and exultant, blowing away virtually every other performance of the night.

But when it came time to actually award Kesha’s efforts, the Grammys did not give her a prize in either Best Pop Solo Performance or Best Pop Vocal Album, the two categories in which she was nominated. In the former category, included on the telecast, her fellow nominees included Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga and Pink — all women who have sung about sexual assault or worked with Dr. Luke, the songwriter and producer accused by Kesha of abuse — as well as Ed Sheeran. The award was won by Sheeran, for his hit “Shape of You.”

Alas, dangling the carrot of more courageous Grammy winners above the nose of music fans proved to be yet another party trick.


Jay-Z Leads 2018 Grammy Nominations

The music industry is gearing up for the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in 2018, and Jay-Z is leading the latest wave of artists nominated for the award with eight nominations. Along with that, Kendrick Lamar was hit with seven nominations, while Bruno Mars was hit with six nominations.

Cards B’s “Bodak Yellow” received two nominations, with one in the Best Rap Song category, while the other is in the Best Rap Performance category.

Take a look at a portion of the nominee list below:

Album of the Year

“Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino
“4:44” — Jay-Z
“Damn.” — Kendrick Lamar
“Melodrama” — Lorde
“24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Record of the Year

“Redbone” — Childish Gambino
“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber
“The Story of O.J.” — Jay-Z
“Humble.” — Kendrick Lamar
”24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Song of the Year

“Despacito” — Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber)
“4:44” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)
“Issues” — Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (Julia Michaels)
“1-800-273-8255” — Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury & Khalid Robinson, songwriters (Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid)
“That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

Best New Artist

Alessia Cara
Lil Uzi Vert
Julia Michaels

Rap Performance

“Bounce Back” — Big Sean
“Bodak Yellow” — Cardi B
“4:44” — Jay-Z
“Humble.” — Kendrick Lamar
“Bad and Boujee” — Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert

Rap Song

“Bodak Yellow” — Dieuson Octave, Klenord Raphael, Shaftizm, Jordan Thorpe, Washpoppin & J White, songwriters (Cardi B)
“Chase Me” — Judah Bauer, Brian Burton, Hector Delgado, Jaime Meline, Antwan Patton, Michael Render, Russell Simins & Jon Spencer, songwriters (Danger Mouse featuring Run the Jewels & Big Boi)
“Humble.” — K. Duckworth, Asheton Hogan & M. Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
“Sassy” — E. Gabouer & M. Evans, songwriters (Rapsody)
“The Story of O.J.” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)

Rap Album

“4:44” — Jay-Z
“Damn.” — Kendrick Lamar
“Culture” — Migos
“Laila’s Wisdom” — Rapsody
“Flower Boy” — Tyler, the Creator

Watch for Vain to appear live tonight, January 14th between 8-10PM…

Watch for Vain to appear live tonight, January 14th between 8-10PM on Da Russ and Stew Show airing out of NYC’s Damatrix Studios in the BX.

Vain will be interviewed and showcase his latest video releases “Hello,” and “Breakup 2 Makeup,” which features Lil Mo of Love and Hip Hop NY.

VAIN has become a Freestyle Legend with his Freestyle releases such as 7th Chamber Freestyle, It’s Vain on that Beat, You Talk Too Much and most notably his Monster Bars series 3rd Edition which featured Tony Yayo . VAIN will Freestyle Live tonight on the Russ and Stew Show!

Previously Vain has freestyled on Dj Self’s Radio Show on Power 105NY as well as Funkmaster Flex’s Franchise TV. His music is being played by Dj’s and Radio Stations across the nation! @Itsvain Watch him!!

You can access Da Russ and Stew Show on Facebook Live tonight January 14, between 8PM -10PM Eastern time by logging into or go to Ustream and put in damatrixstudio.

The show will also be aired on Detroit Radio WHPR 88.1 and Detroit TV 33. It broadcasts in the Virgin Islands on Radio We Can and Radio Station 107.3FM. It is also being broadcast on College Underground Radio.

Kevin Gates Released From Prison

According to the news outlet, the rapper became a free man again when he walked out from behind bars on Wednesday (Jan. 10) morning. “Gates served 9 months of a 30-month sentence, and was released from an Illinois state prison on parole. As we first reported, he’ll be on mandatory supervision and can’t possess any firearms,” TMZ reads.

If you can recall, Gates was also released from custody back in Florida in 2017 after kicking a woman in the chest, during one of his shows. However, the former XXL Freshman was re-arrested for a warrant that was outstanding because of a previous weapon charge.

Welcome back to civilization, Gates.