Following Daniel Cormier's TKO loss to Stipe Miocic last night, Jon Jones began throwing shade at his oldest adversary. IN lieu of taking the fight right to Cormier's doorstep, Jones went about "slighting" his two-time opponent, by stating that Stipe Mioici, and not Cormier, ranks as the greatest heavyweight of all time. A circular argument, maybe, but one that doesn't affect Jon Jones, whose body of work was cemented in the lower regions of the Light Heavyweight division.
Yet, if Jon Jones were ever to do battle, it would have to be Heavyweight, because Cormier isn't exactly reeling back the years, or in Light Heavyweight shape anymore. But that doesn't seem to be the end-game here, as Jones seems more focused on updating the P4P (pound for pound) index than proposing a 2nd rematch with Cormier. Peep the Tweet and the credentials.
As a consequence of Jon Jones spiteful Twitter activity, MMA fans have spent much of the afternoon tabling their P4P rankings, with names like Tony Ferguson, Stipe Miocic, Khabib Nurmagomedov forming a popular trident. Miocic for his part will be grinning, from ear to ear, regardless where he places on the pound-for-pound rankings, as Heavyweight Gold is once again his to behold.
Aretha Franklin’s Estate Launches Fund For Pancreatic Cancer Research
This past Friday marked one year since the unfortunate passing of Aretha Franklin. And in honor of the late singing sensation, her estate has decided to launch a fund which would support continued research into the very same cancer that robbed us of Franklin. According to the news outlet Spin, the Aretha Franklin Fund for Neuroendocrine Cancer Research will be dedicated to continuing investigating the underlying causes of pancreatic cancers including the rare kind that took Aretha’s life. The cancer from which the singer suffers only happens in 7% of the cases and it also was responsible for the passing of Apple CEO Steve Jobs back in 2011. The new fund consists of a partnership with a Detroit-based company entitled the Women’s Informal Network as well as Boston’s Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF).
“A lot of the work we fund is basic science in the laboratory, learning why these tumors grow and spread. We don’t know all the answers about that. Researchers are trying to understand these tumors at a cellular level and—with some of the treatments available—why some patients respond and others do not,” were the words shared by NETRF’s head Elyse Gellerman. Accordingly, both cancers and other rare life-threatening diseases will be investigated and looked into research supported by the fund.
RIP Aretha Franklin.
Dwyane Wade Pens PSA To His Fans Who Constantly Tag Him On Twitter
Wade is thankful for all of the people defending him.
Dwyane Wade retired this past season and as you can expect, fans are pretty disappointed about his departure. Wade was a legend in his own right and will forever be remembered by Miami Heat fans for bringing the city three titles. Interestingly enough, now that Wade has called it quits, people on Twitter have been slandering his basketball career and claiming that he isn't as good as one may think. Heat fans can't stand this type of slander and according to Wade, they have been lighting up his Twitter mentions with some admirable defenses.
Wade took to Twitter today to talk to his fans for a moment and tell them that they don't always need to be so defensive, even though he clearly appreciates it.
"GDM Quick note: I’m thankful for my followers & the love thats shown but please stop @ me about people showing disrespect to my basketball career," Wade wrote. "I don’t care enough about what people who didn’t play against me think. Let’s talk about things that really matter."
It's not surprising that Wade would feel this way as at the end of the day, he's the one who made the NBA and the people who are talking, most definitely did not. While Wade might not want the defense, it is good to know that after all these years, Wade still has a slew of supporters who will go to bat for him at all times.
It’s Rihanna’s Time To Become A Mogul
Rihanna needs to build that empire.
There are select musicians in 2019 who are creating, or have created, a significant cultural legacy on multiple fronts: music, fashion, business, societal activism and film. Rihanna sits high among those few. After immigrating to the country in 2005, the Baijan singer took the music industry by storm– becoming the international boundary-breaking pop star whose catalogue we all know and love. However, as of recently, the public has been able to witness her lay the foundation and groundwork of becoming one of the music industry’s largest business tycoons. In fact, just recently, it was reported that Rihanna was officially named the world’s wealthiest female musician– coming in at a staggering $600 million and surpassing a long list of male counterparts, from Drake to Justin Bieber. With a large amount of her wealth occurring from her ventures outside of music, Rihanna has significantly helped in shaping representation and opening up worlds of opportunity for black women in business across the globe. Outside of representation, she has shown that sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and hone in on your craft in order to elevate to the next level.
While fans have been (not so patiently) waiting for the release of new music from Bad Girl RiRi, she has been busy carving out her legacy and entrepreneurial footprint, with the establishment of three major brands and fashion houses under her name. Despite her recent historic accomplishments, she has received a significant amount of prodding on social media for her to hurry up and release music. However, Rihanna’s decision to temporarily step away from music is one that should be met with the same applause as her male counterparts who’ve also taken time away from the music industry to flesh out their business developments. If we look at the history of rappers and musicians-turned-mogul– a common denominator seems to be time-away from music to focus on development. Diddy, for example, has a history of relegating music to his side-piece as he works on business– from the development of Ciroc in 2007 to the digital cable television network, Revolt TV, in 2013. Likewise, in the mid 2000’s, while Jay-Z was establishing himself as a business goliath, investing in his Rocawear clothing company, 40/40 Club, and more, his press and media appearances were heavily centered around establishing himself as a mogul and promoting his business ventures as concern for music dwindled in his later years. It takes time to build the portfolio of a mogul (let alone become one), and it’s almost a natural progression for an artist of Rihanna’s stature to steer towards moguldom. Just as her male counterparts matured artistically and tapped into outlier sources of business, so too, is Rihanna.
Rihanna at the FENTY x Webster Pop-up Cocktail in New York City, June 2019 – Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
It is far too common for black women to be tied solely to their respective fields. We’ve seen it happen periodically– from Serena Williams, to Beyonce and Nicki Minaj— black women are often told to pick a lane and stick to it, whether that be acting, music, writing or sports. When women venture out of this constructed lane, they are often labeled as “doing too much.” Some of today’s biggest stars have felt the tinge of “doing too much.” Beyonce’s hit country song “Daddy Lessons” was rejected by the Grammys country category, and received intense backlash from country music fans who believed that she didn’t deserve to perform at the CMAS. This cultural phenomenon, as Moses Sumeny best puts it, causes creative stifling: “When we put black artists in these boxes, we strip their ability to morph—which is something white artists don’t have to deal with.”
However, Rihanna’s recent business efforts, have slowly helped at unraveling this effect. Her latest “Fenty” launch is historically the first major fashion brand that LVMH has founded from scratch as well as the first LVMH brand to be headed up by a woman of color. Prior to this, her release and development of Fenty Beauty broke down boundaries as the first makeup line to offer the most diverse range of products for people of all skin tones, while her Savage X Fenty brand became the first lingerie line to feature models from all walks of life. Rihanna being able to accomplish this feat has aided in giving other young black girls, like myself, hope that they too can conquer more than one avenue of business and establish ownership in multiple lanes.
In a time when there are so few black luxury designers, and many luxury brands and fashion houses, such as Gucci and Moncler, profiting off of racist designs and the appropriation of black culture, a move like Rihanna’s emphasizes the power of ownership and reclamation. Though Black America makes up a small portion of the US population, the power of the black dollar is approximately $1 trillion with estimates placing it close to $2 trillion by 2020. Black America is perhaps one of the largest economies in the world however we often have little money going back into our own communities. Even fewer, are the black designers and entrepreneurs who are able to get the right networking opportunities that in turn, enable them, or at least, give them a chance, to have their brands surpass those profiteering off the culture. Having a black woman as the head of her own luxury fashion house sends a strong message to the world, that our culture is still very much in our own hands, and not a tool for big business to monetize from underneath us.
Rihanna at the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Anniversary Event in Sydney, Australia, October 2018 – Caroline McCredie/Getty Images
Outside of her strides in fashion, her overall success represents something much more significant on a larger scale. Given her background as a first generation immigrant who came to the United States by herself, Rihanna’s success embodies the American dream. It shows you that possibilities can be limitless. In an age where Trump’s immigration reform has oppressed and targeted so many men, women, and children, the world can seem like it is becoming increasingly xenophobia and hate filled. However, seeing a woman who came to the United States with very little in her pocket, create a dynasty and legacy on her own while speaking up and fighting for the rights of immigrants, reminds us that there is still hope and good in the world for those who come from similar backgrounds.
Although much of the Navy sees Rihanna’s time off as a hindrance to her long awaited R9 project, her time away from music has actually been a much-needed step toward shaping herself as a business mogul and putting her among the ranks of greats such as Jay-Z and Diddy. Although most of her ventures are fairly recent and still developing, one thing is for certain, Rihanna’s reign will remain undefeated.
G Herbo Talks "PTSD Awareness" In Tribute To Fredo Santana
G Herbo paid tribute to Fredo Santana on July 4th, with a didactic post commemorating his life.
G Herbo isn't one to dwell on insignificant details, but when it comes to matters of the heart, he's among the most earnest the hip-hop community has to offer. To mark the anniversary of Fredo Santana's passing (July 4th), G Herbo posted a portrait, along with a message containing the late rapper's very own words, albeit with a few alterations.
Back in 2017, when Fredo Santana didn't have the words to describe his worsening condition, he issued the above Tweet. G Herbo's alteration doesn't, in any way, alter Fredo's intentions (reaching out for help), but provide the context he was duly missing.
Whether a byproduct of gun violence or something within the institution of family, G Herbo has added his name the ongoing mission of educating people on PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; the condition prompting Fredo to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms, an epileptic condition, as well as a myriad of complications leading up to his death (ruled a kidney failure by the coroner's office).
Fredo Santana is a beloved character, and person, within the hip-hop community. It's nice to see his former comrades make a constructive example out of his death, for the sake of bettering their communities. As Herbo so aptly demonstrated, you can make a person's death a teachable moment without chastising them in the process. Rest in Power Fredo Santana (July 4, 1990 – January 19, 2018).
Jon Jones Outlines His Terms For A Daniel Cormier Trilogy Fight
Jon Jones bypasses his UFC 239 opponent Thiago Santos to answer questions pertaining to Daniel Cormier.
Leading up to UFC 239, Jon Jones has made no attempt at complimenting his upcoming opponent, Brazilian jiu-jitsu/capoeira specialist Thiago Santos. In fact, during the weigh-ins, and the subsequent press conference, Jones was all-too-willing to look ahead and answer questions regarding a possible trilogy fight with his greatest rival, current Heavyweight titlist Daniel Cormier.
After Jones’ defeat of Alex Gustafsson in December 2018, the Light Heavyweight called out Cormier in challenging him to drop down in weight to reclaim what was formerly his. All posturing aside, everybody knows that Cormier’s days as a Light Heavy challenger are well behind him – his walk-around weight somewhere in the upper 200’s (in pounds). So, if Jones is going to clash with DC one last time, it’ll have to be within the weight delimitations of a Heavyweight bout.
With that said, Jon Jones told the press amassed before him this afternoon, that any trilogy fight with Daniel Cornier would be on his terms, given his spotless record. “I am interested in fighting Daniel Cormier,” Jones addressed the media. “I just want to do it under the right terms. One thing about the UFC is we always give the fans what they want to see, and if they want to see it bad enough, Hunter, and Ari, and Dana, they’ll hear about it enough.”
And yet, the sticking points don’t appear to be centered around creating even if not fair conditions for the fight. In reality, Jones, given his record and reputation feels he’s due the richer of the two contracts if ever the split purse goes to bidding. The new “reverent” Jon Jones did offer his longtime rival a modicum of respect for signing off for the day. Then again, he punctuated each sentence by clamoring about what the “presumptive” would do for legacy. The press conference must have been quite enthralling for his competitor Santos. UFC 239 goes live this Saturday, the main card beginning at 10 pm ET.
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images
Janet Jackson Breaks Silence On "Leaving Neverland" & Michael Jackson’s Legacy
Janet doesn’t think anyone can tarnish Michael’s legacy.
Janet Jackson has been silent ever since Leaving Neverland aired and brought another wave of controversy regarding sexual allegations upon her deceased brother. Now, she has broken her silence. Ms. Jackson spoke with The Sunday Times and revealed that she believes her brother’s legacy is not in danger. “It will continue,” says Jackson of Michael’s legacy. “I love it when I see kids emulating him, when adults still listen to his music,” she continued. “It just lets you know the impact that my family has had on the world.” She added, “I hope I’m not sounding arrogant in any way — I’m just stating what it is. It’s really all God’s doing, and I’m just thankful for that.”
Janet did not speak on Wade Robson and James Safechuck’s allegations directly, but her support for her brother makes her stance obvious. She has also been playing Michael’s music at her concerts despite the controversy that came from Leaving Neverland. The Jackson Estate is taking HBO to court for the docuseries, but the chances of them winning are slim. The strength of the #MeToo movement over the last two years has given power to the victims, and has also opened a floodgate of investigative docuseries that allow media companies to make money off the suffering of others. While the dissemination of information that can help expose predators and teach the population are always welcome, at what point does the entire endeavor turn into a cash grab?
Mac Miller’s Producer SAP Says The Rapper Put Out A Full Career Worth Of Music
SAP speaks on the late rapper’s legacy.
There really aren’t that many artists who’ve died as a young age but still managed to put out a high volume out music within a short period. In 2010, Mac introduced himself with the project, K.I.D.S before following it up with his first charting project, Best Day Ever which included his first Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Donald Trump.” SAP, the man who produced the beat, continued to work with Mac Miller over the years.
In a recent interview with DJ Booth, SAP spoke on the legacy of Mac Miller and the rapper’s musical output. The producer explained that he felt Mac Miller’s fans weren’t left with a scarce amount of music to remember him by.
“It’s so many records that I have, I don’t even know the projects they’re from,” he said. “I feel like he was somebody that put out everything that needed to be out, you know? I feel like he gave the fans the right music. I’m sure a lot of fans want more Mac music, especially if he’s your favorite artist. I think he gave the fans a good amount of work,” he continued. “The stuff he put out, that’s a full career for somebody else.”
SAP also reflected on the impact Mac had on him personally. “Donald Trump” was a track they made on the first day they met. As they continued to work together over the years, SAP credits Mac for believing in him and helping him tap into his potential.
“I would say that: maximizing my potential. He was somebody that just always made you excited about things. He had crazy ideas and he always tried to bring every idea to life,” he said. “If you hear his projects, he went for a different thing each project. He was so good at reinventing himself with each project he dropped.”
R.I.P John Singleton: The Importance Of "Boyz N The Hood"
John Singleton told stories of Black America to a Hollywood audience that weren’t nearly prepared for realities of the inner-city.
A Los Angeles native with a penchant for telling the honest truth, John Singleton made his debut in 1991 with Boyz N The Hood. A film that, nearly 30-years later, still holds a deep cultural relevance. Singleton was a trailblazer in his directorial style, making sure the vision of the story maintained its authenticity. The film arrived a few months after Rodney King was brutally beaten by LAPD and a year short of the Los Angeles riots following the verdict of the King case. “I wasn’t going to have somebody from Idaho or Encino [Los Angeles] direct this movie,” Singleton told The Guardianin 2016. Boyz N The Hood dove into the complexities of the Black experience from family life and relationships to gang life, gentrification, and more while effortlessly tying in the cause and effect of issues affecting the Black community.
Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
Authentic stories wouldn’t be able to be properly conveyed without the input of those from the community who have lived through them. Singleton’s ability to pick out emerging acts helped launch the film careers of Ice Cube (Singleton said the role of Doughboy was specifically tailored for Cube), Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Nia Long. Backed by some powerhouse performances across the board, Boyz N The Hood showcases the harsh realities of the Black experience in America at a time social media didn’t echo the need for representation in Hollywood. His breed of “hood film” helped open up doors for other African-American directors to tell their own story. Though only his first movie, it immediately impacted mainstream America, garnering widespread praise by critics which led Singleton to his first Oscar nods. He became the youngest person ever to be nominated for Best Director, and also, the first Black director to get a chance at the honor.
Nearly 28-years since its debut in Los Angeles, Boyz N The Hood has withstood the test of time, earning its position as a classic American film. In 2002, the Library Of Congress announced that the film was considered "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and was chosen to be preserved in the National Film Registry. Singleton gave the world a glimpse into Black America in a way that combatted the media’s existing representation of African-American communities. After Singleton’s passing, Ice Cube summed up the director’s work perfectly in a heartfelt tribute: “I was discovered by a master filmmaker by the name of John Singleton. He not only made me a movie star but made me a filmmaker. There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor. He loved [to] bring the black experience to the world.”
Like his subsequent efforts like Baby Boy, Higher Learning, and Rosewood, Singleton fought to explore Black lives in film - and not always in a way that white Hollywood execs would consider palatable. He explored stories that not only resonated with the film industry but would also grow to influence the direction of hip-hop and entertainment as a whole. If The Chronic is the quintessential gangsta rap album, Boyz N The Hood is its visual companion.
Rest In Power, John Singleton.
Magic Johnson Is Still Working "Internally" With The Lakers, Despite Stepping Down
Magic Johnson says he remains committed to the Lakers, LeBron James, and the city of Los Angeles.
On April 9, Magic Johnson abruptly stepped down as the team's President of Basketball Operations, proving at his monolithic stature as an NBA player didn't go over quite as well at the management level. Mind you, Magic has found success as a "shadow investor" outside of basketball. So, it's not all bad after all. And by the looks of it, he seems to agree with that assessment.
TMZ Sports caught up with Magic Johnson this afternoon in the midst of a Sunday stroll with his sweetheart. Before coming to grips, the field reporter wisely a good number of sycophantic compliments. The ploy worked and Magic let his guard down long enough and slackened his pace.
The reporter's first question to Magic was to gauge if the former Lakers' Prezzy had any regrets over his tenure, especially the past 10 or so months. To his surprise, Magic was quite nonchalant in his overall assessment of the situation. He said, "No, the same [feelings as always]... everybody knows I love the Lakers, so I'ma always going to help them - like right now!"
The reporter obliged his rambling a while longer before the conversation reached a crucial point where Magic alluded to ongoing "daily" conversation with the Laker's. He then unabashedly revealed that he and the Lakers' are still very much "engaged" in this longtime love affair, dating back to the year 1979.
It sounds to me like Magic Johnson would like to occupy a consultant role within the organization, but with greater responsibility than someone like Kobe Bryant whose ties to the Lakers' were left undefined by choice. So, as it stands, Magic's is more hands-on than Kobe's but nothing like the position he just vacated. In short, the Lakers don't want him to depart, and neither does he, how sweet!