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Rapper Nipsey Hussle Gunned Down in South L.A.

Rapper Nipsey Hustle was shot and killed outside his Marathon Clothing shop in South Los Angeles on Sunday. Two other men were shot during the incident and the suspect remains at large. Fans and friends have been mourning the loss of the star both in the community and online. What Happened? Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hustle […]

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  • Rapper Nipsey Hustle was shot and killed outside his Marathon Clothing shop in South Los Angeles on Sunday.
  • Two other men were shot during the incident and the suspect remains at large.
  • Fans and friends have been mourning the loss of the star both in the community and online.

What Happened?

Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hustle was killed in a shooting outside of his clothing store in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s critical response team confirmed the news Sunday evening saying, “Today we lost a great musician, Nipsey Hussle.”

The rapper, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was shot multiple times in the parking lot at his Marathon Clothing shop in South Los Angeles at around 3:20 p.m. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly after.

Two other men were also shot during the incident and police are still searching for the suspect. One of the men injured was also taken to a hospital while the third man declined treatment, according to police Lt. Chris Ramirez.

Police are still piecing together what happened and said they do not have a motive for the shooting, which they are investigating as a homicide. According to the Los Angeles Times, a law enforcement source said Hussle was shot by a young man who opened fire at a close range and then ran to a waiting getaway car.

However, Lt. Ramirez only described the suspect as a black male and said that detectives were still interviewing witnesses and trying to recover security video that might exist.

“At this point, we’re not even sure as to whether he walked up, rode a bicycle or drove up in a car,” Ramirez said.

Shortly before he was killed, the rapper tweeted, “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”

Fans Mourn

Hussle grew up in South L.A. in the 1990s and has since gone on to reach widespread acclaim for his music. Hussle’s debut studio album, “Victory Lap,” was nominated for Best Rap Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.

He has also collaborated with dozens of artists including Snoop Dogg, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, YG, Ty Dolla Sign, Meek Mill, and Young Thug.

A crowd of fans and friends gathered outside Marathon Clothing on Sunday night to mourn the loss of the musician. Many of them carried candles and handmade signs while singing along to his music.

Hussle’s Community Work

Hussle has long been open about upbringing and his association with the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips, one of Los Angeles’ largest street gangs. He publicly acknowledged his involvement with the gang in a 2010 interview with Complex magazine.

In an interview last year with Forbes, Hussle talked more about his youth saying, “ignorance and self-destructiveness in the narrative that was pushed on us through music in our generation.”

In more recent years, he has shown interest in technology and community development. He was part of a team of artists and entrepreneurs who created Destination Crenshaw, an open-air museum dedicated to honoring African-American artistic achievement.

L.A. City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson called him “the inspiration” behind its naming.

Hussle was also an investor in a co-working space in South Central Los Angeles called Vector 90. At Vector 90, young people can take classes in science, technology, and mathematics. The project was designed to help address the lack of diversity in STEM fields by providing youth with resources, mentorship, and support.

“In our culture, there’s a narrative that says, ‘Follow the athletes, follow the entertainers,’”Hussle told The LA Times in 2018.

“And that’s cool, but there should be something that says, ‘Follow Elon Musk, follow [Mark] Zuckerberg,’” He continued.

“I think that with me being influential as an artist and young and coming from the inner city, it makes sense for me to be one of the people that’s waving that flag.”

Hussle and two co-owners opened Marathon Clothing in June 2017 as a “smart-store,” complete with a smartphone app which fans could use to buy exclusive content and products.

The rapper was also described as a pillar in the community who often put much of the money he made back into the neighborhood.

L.A. locals said he owned several businesses on the block where he was killed, including a burger restaurant, a barbershop, and a fish market. He was also known to give jobs to residents who were struggling to make ends meet, including some who were homeless.

Hussle even once gave a pair of shoes to every student at 59th Street Elementary School and donated money to renovate the school’s playground and basketball courts. Others said that when a local family lost a loved one to gun violence, he would sometimes help pay for funeral costs.

The rappers commitment to address gang violence in his community was also well known. In fact, he had plans to sit down with the president of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners and the city’s chief of police they day after he was killed to tackle the issue.

According to Steve Soboroff, president of the city’s police commission, Hussle had wanted “to talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids.”

His death highlights a surge of violence hitting South Los Angeles, which Police Chief Michael Moore has promised to address.

Celebrities React

Along with fans and friends, Hussle’s death impacted the lives of athletes, actors, and fellow musicians who took to social media to express their condolences.

Hussle is survived by his two children, a son with his girlfriend, Lauren London, and a daughter from a prior relationship.

See what others are saying (NBC News) (The Los Angeles Times) (The Washington Post)

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“Don’t Worry Darling” Tops the Box Office Amid Bad Press

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Audiences are already giving the film higher praise than critics did.


Young Women Flock to “Don’t Worry Darling” 

Weeks of controversies and rumors did not prevent “Don’t Worry Darling” from finding victory at the box office, with the Olivia Wilde-directed thriller debuting at number one over the weekend and raking in $19.2 million. 

Wilde also acted in the mid-century mystery, which starrs Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, and Gemma Chan.

Women led ticket sales for the picture, comprising 66% of the audience, according to several reports. At least partially due to the appeal of Styles, crowds also skewed young, with over half under the age of 25.

Overseas, the film made over $10 million, bringing its total for the weekend to $30 million. That number is especially impressive since the R-rated drama had a budget of $35 million.

“Don’t Worry Darling” had been plagued with weeks of rumors about behind-the-scenes drama leading up to its release. Among other bouts of gossip, many online speculated that Pugh and Wilde had riffs on set, leading to Pugh’s refusal to promote the project. One report alleged the two got into a screaming match, but sources on set denied it. 

Wilde and Shia LeBeouf, who was originally cast in the picture, also got into a public he-said-she-said about whether he quit the film or was fired. 

The drama hit a boiling point during its premiere at the Venice Film Festival when Twitter users circulated a video they claimed showed Styles spiting on Pine, though both parties have denied that allegation. 

A Film Riddled With Rumors 

Furthering the bad press were the bad reviews. Critics largely panned the film, sticking it with a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. After this first weekend, moviegoers seem to have a more favorable outlook, as it has a 79% audience score as of Monday. 

Jeff Goldstein, the distribution chief for Warner Bros., told the Associated Press that “the background noise” caused by these controversies “had a neutral impact” on its box office haul. The studio released a statement saying it was pleased with the movie’s earnings. 

Some analysts believe that, if anything, the online gossip and fodder may have aided the film’s box office performance.

In a tweet recapping the weekend’s box office, Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, said the “drama sparked a huge wave of interest.”

See what others are saying: (Associated Press) (Box Office Mojo) (New York Times)

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Senators Introduce Legislation Requiring Radios to Pay Royalties to Artists

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Sen. Padilla argued the bill is necessary to give artists the “dignity and respect they deserve.”


The American Music Fairness Act

Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the American Music Fairness Act to the Senate on Thursday, a bill that would require radio stations to pay royalties to performers and rights holders. 

The bill was previously introduced to the House last year. According to a release, the United States is the only democratic country where artists are not compensated for their music’s use on AM or FM radio. While songwriters and publishers receive payment, these stations have never been required to give a slice of the pie to performers and copyright holders. 

On streaming and satellite radio, however, both groups receive royalty payments. 

In a statement, Padilla said it is time the country starts treating “our musical artists with the dignity and respect they deserve for the music they produce and we enjoy every day.”

“California’s artists have played a pivotal role in enriching and diversifying our country’s music scene,” he added. “That is why passing the American Music Fairness Act is so important.”

“From Beale Street to Music Row to the hills of East Tennessee, the Volunteer State’s songwriters have undeniably made their mark,” Blackburn echoed. “Tennessee’s creators deserve to be compensated for their work. This legislation will ensure that they receive fair payment and can keep the great hits coming.”

The American Music Fairness Act would require terrestrial radio broadcasters to pay royalties to music creators when their songs are played. It would also protect smaller stations that either make less than $1.5 million in annual revenue or who have a parent company that makes less than $10 million in annual revenue by letting them play unlimited music for under $500 a year. 

The bill would also require other countries to pay American artists for the use of their work.

Support From Major Music Groups

The legislation is endorsed by a number of groups, including the Recording Academy, SAG-AFTRA, and the American Federation of Musicians. 

If passed, the bill could move a lot of money into the pockets of performers. According to the Recording Academy, when American music gets international airplay, other countries collect royalties for American artists, amounting to around $200 million every year. However, they “never pay those royalties because the U.S. does not reciprocate with our own performance right.”

Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA, argues that the money belongs to the artists. 

“Broadcast companies profit from advertising sales because of the creative content musicians and singers record. It stands to reason that the performers who create the content deserve to be compensated just as songwriters are now,” Drescher said in a statement. “The reason it’s called the American Music Fairness Act is because the current situation is wholly unfair and it’s up to Congress to make it fair NOW!”

Last year, Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) introduced the Local Radio Freedom Act, a bill with essentially the opposite agenda. It aims to reserve radio’s royalty-free status. The American Music Fairness Act is being viewed as a counter-response to this bill.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (Billboard)

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Kanye West Says Catalog Is Potentially Being Sold Without His Permission: “Just Like Taylor Swift”

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After Swift lost the rights to her life’s work, she took on the endeavor of re-recording her first six albums. 


Kanye’s Catalog Potentially Up For Grabs

Following reports that Kanye West was considering selling his catalog, the artist took to Instagram on Tuesday to claim his work is potentially being sold without his approval.

On Monday, Billboard reported that West had been “quietly and intermittently shopping his publishing catalog.”

While the outlet’s sources did not reveal what price West was aiming for, Billboard estimated that West might be looking at a $175 million valuation for his discography. Some of Billboard’s sources seemingly suggested that West and his team were specifically behind the effort to sell his work, but others claimed the “catalog was never actively shopped” and instead, West had been receiving offers from potential buyers. 

Not long after, several news outlets picked the story up and reported that West was gearing up to sell his catalog. West responded by writing on his Instagram story that this was not the case. 

“Not For Sale”

“Just like Taylor Swift,” he said, referencing music mogul Scooter Braun purchasing Swift’s masters with Big Machine Records without her approval. “My publishing is being put up for my sale without my knowledge. Not for sale.”

Swift referred to the sale of her masters to Braun as her “worst case scenario.” In order to regain ownership of her work, she is in the process of re-recording her first six albums, all of which she originally made under Big Machine. Two have already been released and proved to be wildly commercially successful. 

According to Forbes, it is unclear which of his albums West owns the masters to, if he owns any at all. Because of this, it is unknown what kind of position he would be put in if his catalog, which is currently managed by Sony, was sold.

The status of any potential for his work to be sold became foggier later on Tuesday when West shared screenshots of a text exchange he had. He asked an unidentified person what was happening with the catalog sale, and that person responded by calling it “fake news.”

“Of course every publisher wants to pitch [their] hardest buy, smh,” the text continued. 

West did not further indicate if those texts were meant to clarify that his catalog was, in fact, not up for sale, or just further distance himself from any potential acquisition.

See what others are saying: (Billboard) (Forbes) (Complex)

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