Culture news

Life Is Good: Drake Shows Off Muscles While Recovering From Knee Surgery 

42nd Toronto International Film Festival - ‘The Carter Effect’ - Premiere

Source: Jaime Espinoza/WENN.com / WENN

It’s been a long road to recovery since Drake’s surgery in October after sustaining a serious knee injury sometime last year. However, recent updates from his social media show the Toronto rapper putting in hard work in the gym as he prepares for his sixth studio album release.

According to PageSix, Drizzy blessed fans with a video of him tackling a couple of reps on a lower-body weightlifting exercise on his Instagram Story.   “10 weeks post-op I’m grinding for recovery EVERYDAY,” he captioned on the video.

The 34-year-old also posted a photo showing off his smile and super-toned abs while wearing a formfitting black workout shirt.  His jogging pants left an optical illusion–  not quite the shape of an eggplant– which has yet to be determined if it was an intentional reveal for interested fans.   Hard work pays off.

Just three months ago, Drake posted photos on Instagram of his very-swollen knee elevated in a bed, signaling a recovery from shocking knee surgery.  Nevertheless, the “God’s Plan” rapper was in high spirits about his health and the scheduled release of his sixth studio album, Certified Loverboy.

If things in the OVO camp are running on schedule, we are merely weeks away from the album’s rollout, which is expectedly hitting DSPs on an undisclosed date this month.

Sheek Louch ft. Lil Fame “ONYX,” Heem ft. Benny The Butcher & Rick Hyde “It Could Happen” & More | Daily Visuals 1.14.21 

Dave East Pop Up

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

For whatever reason the latest trend in Hip-Hop is to name records after other rappers without actually featuring them or sometimes even talking about them.

The latest such cut comes courtesy of The Lox’s Sheek Louch who links up with M.O.P.’s Lil Fame for the visuals to “ONYX” where the two hold court at a Laundromat where money is both dropped off and washed.

Benny The Butcher meanwhile continues to drop hot verses all over the place and blesses Heem with a guest appearance in the black-and-white clip to “It Could Happen” where they kick it humbly while asking “what if?”

Check out the rest of today’s drops including work from Peso Peso, Sia featuring Burna Boy, and more.

SHEEK LOUCH FT. LIL FAME – “ONYX”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdVDeOxCTZA

HEEM FT. BENNY THE BUTCHER & RICK HYDE – “IT COULD HAPPEN”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpsYLpFtS1A

PESO PESO – “MY LIFE”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qmOdJRZxLw

COURT NEY FT. VADO, OUN P, CORY GUNZ, VOTB REEZ & ENESS – “I’M BACK REMIX”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcRxGuDz_ic

SIA FT. BURNA BOY – “HEY BOY”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO0KjMapUqY&feature=youtu.be

D-AYE – “BULLETS FLYING”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOgM-VxgEIc

THAI VG & PLAINVIEW KIET – “OBSESSION”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpvG2aTlY8g

PEEWEE LONGWAY & CASSIUS JAY – “PINK SALMON”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoUEiY9533c

Azealia Banks Denies Cooking Her Dead Cat In Typical Azealia Banks Fashion 

Azealia Banks Performs At The Electric Brixton London

Source: Burak Cingi / Getty

Azealia Banks is back to doing way too much. The struggle rapper is saying she did not cook her dead cat for brunch.

As spotted on Hot New Hip Hop the Harlem native is now backtracking from a video she shared last week. In the cringe worthy clip she is seen digging up her dead cat. She is then seen starting a boil and all signs pointed to her former pussy being on the menu. Naturally the visual went viral quickly and accusations of being a cannibal came soon after. But to hear Slay-Z tell it she is prepping her former pet for a proper send off.

On an Instagram story she rebuked everyone who thought she had fried feline on the mind. “Why do you think i would eat a dead cat, when I can barely eat a dead cow. It’s called taxidermy…. Plenty of hunters with preserved deer heads hanging off their wall. Darlings….. You guys are being racist and this is very un-black lives matter of you all. The cat’s head is soaking in peroxide to fully clean him, then I’m taking him to a jewelry shop to have it gilded” she said.

Banks went on to detail that other cultures and religions do even worse. “Catholics ritualistically consume the body and blood of Christ at mass,” and that “Rabbi’s suck the blood off of a newborns circumcised penis. I really don’t want to hear sh*t about preserving a cat skull.” You can see some of her responses below; if you care.

Photo: Burak Cingi

Samsung Unveils Its New Flagship Galaxy Phone Lineup The S21, S21+ and S20 Ultra 

Galaxy Buds Pro

Source: Samsung / Samsung Mobile

Samsung is back, and to kick off the new year announced its newest additions to its Galaxy smartphone lineup and more.

On the final day of CES, Samsung held its first virtual unpacked event of the new year, but unlike previous years, the South Korean tech giant decided to hold the event a month earlier. Today (Jan.14), the company unveiled its cheaper Galaxy S21, S21+, and fully loaded S21 Ultra they hope will lure more buyers to its smartphones.

The Galaxy S21 & S21+

Galaxy S21 and S21+

Source: Samsung / Galaxy S21 and S21+

Kicking things off, Samsung announced the new Galaxy S21 ($799) and Galaxy S21+ ($1,000). Samsung faithful will be happy to see the company shaved $200 off the device, a huge plus in the world still in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic. How did they accomplish that? Well, thanks to the fact that Samsung has a high volume of components like 5G processors, displays, and camera modules in its devices, they now cost less. Samsung has also lowered the RAM amount in the S21 and S21+ to 8GB from 12GB.

Galaxy S21 and S21+

Source: Samsung / Galaxy S21 and S21+

Like last year’s models, both phones retain the display sizes, 6.2-inch (S21) and 6.7-inch (S21 Plus), BUT have ditched the curved design for a more flat panel look. There is also a noticeable step-down in resolution dropping from 3200 x 1440 panels on last year’s models to 2400 x 1080 resolution, another factor that helped Samsung lower the price. Even with the resolution drop, Samsung was still able to offer 120Hz refresh rates in both phones.

Another trade-off that contributed to the price cut is the S21 having a back panel that is made of polycarbonate plastic, not glass, and a lack of an ultra-wideband radio a feature the S21+ and Ultra that allows both devices to integrate with Samsung’s new Galaxy SmartTag and SmartTag Ultra devices that help you locate your lost devices or even your dog.

Underneath the hood, there are no downgrades to worry about. Both phones use Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 chipset that Samsung boasts will boost overall performance and deliver significant improvements to the user experience. Both phones are 5G ready and support mmWave and sub-6GHz networks. The fingerprint sensor gets an upgrade with Qualcomm’s new 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2, which Samsung promises will be faster and easier to use. Both phones offer BIG batteries, with the S21 sporting a 4,000mAh battery and the S21+ having a slightly larger 4,800mAh one.

Galaxy S21 and S21+

Source: Samsung / Galaxy S21 and S21+

 

The most important part of every smartphone is the camera. On the S21 and S21+, Samsung is embracing the “bump” but making it more attractive. Instead of sticking out like an eyesore, both phones’ triple-camera system is housed inside a new eye-catching design ditching the glass encasing. The camera bump now seamlessly fits with the phone design instead of sticking out. That is all made possible because Samsung opted to forego squeezing in bigger sensors to provide better lenses. So basically, it’s a more stylish look with a tough, more durable design.

With the S21 and S21+’s camera system, the updates are largely cosmetic as nothing has really changed from the previous model. Both phones have a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens, along with a 10-megapixel selfie camera—basically the same offering from the S20 lineup of Galaxy smartphones. The software gets a minor improvement with the additions of a 30x “Space Zoom” mode, a new “Director’s View” mode that allows users to switch between lenses while filming. Samsung’s brilliant “Single Take” mode is also returning. Both phones both record 8K video.

Both phones come in a new line-up of colors Phantom Gray, Phantom Pink, and Phantom White, including a new signature color called Phantom Violet with a haze finish that reduces fingerprints.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Source: Samsung / Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Of course, Samsung had to up the ante and offer an “Ultra” experience. For those who want to get more bang for their buck without any of the comprises of the S21 and S21+ when it comes to their smartphones, the new Galaxy S20 Ultra is the phone for you. BUT it’s going to cost you.

For the hefty price of $1,199, the follow-up to last year’s S20 Ultra comes with a 6.8-inch 3200 x 1440 OLED display, with refresh rates up to 120Hz. Under the hood, there 12GB of RAM, a massive  5,000mAh battery, Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 processor.

But that’s not all.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Source: Samsung / Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The S21 Ultra is also the first Galaxy phone that has support Samsung’s S Pen stylus. Unfortunately, the S Pen is not included, and for that price, it should be. But you can buy one for an additional $40 (Standard S-Pen) or $70( S-Pen Pro) in a bundle that comes with a case to house both the phone and stylus, but it is bulky.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Source: Samsung / Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

With the S21 Ultra, Samsung promises to deliver a much better Pro-Grade camera system than the S20 Ultra’s technology that was groundbreaking thanks to features like 100x zoom mode and a 108-megapixel sensor but was plagued by numerous issues. The S21 Ultra now has a new focal length that delivers slightly wider shots, plus a new laser autofocus system that will address the focusing issues of last year’s model. It will also provide support for 12-bit color depth and an improved demosaicing process.

You will also have more control over photo enhancements that were AI-controlled. Now you can either adjust or turn off the smoothing effect many Samsung Galaxy users complained about. The S21 Ultra now features an additional three rear cameras. There is a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, of course, plus two separate 10-megapixel telephoto cameras. One sports a 3X zoom and one with a 10X zoom. The downside to a more powerful camera system is it takes away from the device’s elegance.

The S21 arrives in Phantom Silver color, and a new bold Phantom Black finish.

Galax Buds Pro

Galaxy Buds Pro

Source: Samsung / Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung also used its first unpack event of the year to announce its answer to Apple AirPods Pro, the Galaxy Buds Pro. For $199, Samsung took the best of both the Galaxy Buds+ and Galaxy Buds Live and combined them into what is probably one of the best wearable devices out right now.

The Galaxy Buds Pro features a new in-ear design that “reduces the contact area between your ear and the bud, improving comfort and minimizing any clogged-up feeling,” Samsung boasts. According to Samsung, the Galaxy Buds Pro’s 11mm woofer and 6.5mm tweeter will allow the Galaxy Buds Pro to deliver the “best audio experience yet.” Thanks to the earbud’s ability to now create a full seal while wearing them, the active noise-cancellation has been improved greatly, Samsung says.

Another cool feature is the Galaxy Buds Pro’s ability to instantly recognize your voice and switch into the ambient sound mode and lower music volume allowing you to engage in a conversation without you having to take out the buds. We are currently testing them out right now. Our full review of Samsung’s newest wearable device will be coming soon.

The Galaxy Buds Pro comes in three colors Phantom Black and Phantom Silver, and Phantom Violet.

Pre-orders for the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra began today at 11 a.m. ET. Each phone will be widely available through carriers and unlocked through Samsung on January 29. There are also pre-order deals on Samsung.com that will allow you to save up to $700, and you can get a free Galaxy Smart Tag. The Galaxy Buds Pro is available now.

Photo: Samsung/ Samsung Mobile

Erica Banks Sounds Off Over Renewed Interest In “Buss It” Single #BussItChallenge 

Erica Banks assets

Source: 1501 Entertainment / 1501 Entertainment

By now, the viral #BussItChallenge has made it across most timelines, and that most certainly has given rapper Erica Banks the proper praise she deserves. With her song “Buss It” used as the backing track for the latest social media craze, the Texas rapper is sounding off over the new love the track has received over the past week.

During an Instagram Story post, Banks, who hails from the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, wrote, “It’s funny to see some of y’all who was talkin sh*t months ago, droppin that #BussItChallenge. y’all had a change of heart huh,” which was supplemented with laughing emojis and ended up a clown emoji.

By now it should be well known what the challenge is all about it, but essentially, the song samples the “I think my butt gettin’ big” line from Nelly’s 2002 hit “Hot In Herre,” with a humbly dressed person suddenly dropping low and pulling a 180 on their look and outfit.

Banks’ words via Instagram are seemingly aimed at those who slept on the song when it first dropped, and also at critics who may have had some harsh critique of the rapper for signing with Megan Thee Stallion’s former label, 1501 Certified Entertainment.

It should also be noted that Banks properly gave credit to the creator of the #BussItChallenge, Erika Davila, who actually left instructions on how she would envision the challenge to unfold although she didn’t fully participate.

Adding to this, Banks, who already did a #BussItChallenge video, redid the challenge after some had a bit of critique, and her second attempt definitely hits the ball out the park.

Photo: 1501 Certified Entertainment

Nike & Converse Slap Over 500 Websites & 600 Social Media Pages With Lawsuits For Bootleggin’ Their Sh*t 

Fake Nike Sneakers at the Border

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol / CBP

Bootleggers beware, Nike and Converse are finally getting off the couch and taking legal action to ensure thou shall not bubble booties.

Footwear News is reporting that Nike Inc. and Converse Inc. have filed a sweeping lawsuit against a whopping 589 websites and 676 social media accounts who they feel are selling counterfeit kicks and passing them off as official Nike and Converse merchandise.

About. Damn. Time.

The sneaker brands filed their lawsuit on Tuesday (January 12) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in which they claimed that the defendants were infringing on their brands and trying to bank off counterfeit products bearing their well-known names and logos.

“Each of defendants’ 589 infringing websites … is currently, or was within the past twelve months, advertising, offering to sell, and/or selling counterfeit Nike or Converse products to United States consumers,” the complaint reads, adding that the defendants are operating “a counterfeit scheme” via 42 separate networks based in China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain as well as other foreign jurisdictions.

“To ensure that consumers make the association between defendants’ counterfeit products and the genuine Nike Products from which they were copied, defendants not only copy the designs, patterns and color schemes associated with [Nike and Converse] products, but also expressly identify the counterfeit products as ‘Nike’ or ‘Converse’ products,” the lawsuit states. “Further, defendants make unauthorized use of plaintiffs’ marks, including the trademark-protected ‘Nike’ and ‘Converse’ names, throughout the infringing websites and infringing social media on which these goods are advertised or offered for sale to consumers in the United States and this District.”

Though Nike has taken legal action in prior years to protect their brand from bootleggers, recently they’ve taken it up a notch and have even come for customizers such as Warren Lotas for infringing on their classic silhouettes.

Still we’re not mad at this as many a sneakerhead have found themselves accidentally copping a pair of bootlegs due to the ever-improving production of non-authorized Nikes and Jordans. That being said if you copped bootleg Converse than that’s on you cause we’ve never heard anyone complain about that.

Just sayin.’

‘Lo Down: Ralph Lauren Will Outfit Joe Biden For Inauguration Day, Reportedly 

Iowa State Fair

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

Our country is hopefully headed to new beginnings and President-elect Joe Biden will be leading the charge. On his first day, it has been reported that Mr. Biden will be wearing one of the culture’s most cherished brands.

Esquire is reporting that the politician is being styled by none other than Ralph Lauren for the upcoming inauguration ceremony. According to Women’s Wear Daily, the Bronx native will be curating Joe’s outfit for the swearing-in ceremony. If the report rings true, the presidential outfit choice is being viewed as a prudent choice as the fashion house has become symbolic with American style.

Additionally, the move marks a return to a more subtle fashion sense for the American presidency. Typically the chief executive and his first lady will rely on economically priced American apparel brands for their day to day outfits. Donald Trump, on the other hand, threw that tradition to the wind with his glaring fondness for pricey Brioni suits. His wife Melania Trump too had lavish tastes with favoritism for European luxury brands.

While the general consensus is that we will not see Joe sporting a southwestern inspired ranch jacket and matching cowboy boots, the safe bet is a well-tailored suit with Ralph’s attention to preppy detail.

The presidential inauguration is scheduled for January 20.

Photo: WENN

Rep. Cori Bush Called Out White Supremacy On House Floor, Was Unjustly Booed 

CORI BUSH

Source: Caroline Brehman / Getty

During the hours-long debate in the U.S. House of Representatives regarding a successful second impeachment of President Donald Trump, both sides of the aisle made their stated points. However, freshman Congresswoman Cori Bush received boos after she called signaled Trump as a white supremacist and called out white supremacy overall.

In a debate that was at times tense and most certainly filled with partisan talking points on either side of the aisle, Bush, who represents the 1st District in Missouri, used her time at the podium to call out the so-called insurrectionists and placed the blame at their de facto leader in Trump.

“If we fail to remove a white supremacist president who incited a white supremacist insurrection, it’s communities like Missouri’s 1st District that suffer the most. The 117th Congress must understand that we have a mandate to legislate in defense of black lives,” Bush said before yielding her time.

As she moved away from the podium, a smattering of timid boos rang down in the chamber but grew louder before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for some order after the brutish display.

This past Tuesday (Jan. 12), Bush called out her Republican colleagues who refused the honor the rules of a metal detector that was placed at entrances to the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the so-called insurrection.

Bush, who became inspired to join the political world after working as a nurse and organizer during the Ferguson protests, was sworn into office this month after defeating 10-term incumbent Lacy Clay. Bush lost the 2018 primary race against Clay and previously launched a bid to become a U.S. senator in 2016.

Photo: Getty

Tommy “Debo” Lister Legally Changed His Name To His ‘Friday’ Character 

World premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Straight Outta Compton'

Source: La Niece/WENN.com / WENN

Though Tommy “Tiny” Lister hopped on the scene as Hulk Hogan’s archnemesis, Zeus, in the wrestling film bomb known as No Holds Barred back in the 80’s, the bodybuilding actor won the affection of fans as the neighborhood bully Deebo in Ice Cube’s cult classic comedy Friday in the 90’s.

Unfortunately, Lister was one of the many beloved celebs we lost in 2020 but before he passed away TMZ is reporting that the big man with a bigger heart had actually legally changed his name to that of the fan favorite Friday character, Deebo. Having obtained a copy of his death certificate, TMZ still weren’t able to get any information about Lister’s cause of death (many suspect it was COVID-related because 2020), but did come across an interesting tidbit that many of us were unaware of.

D’Angelo & Other Artists To Premiere New Podcasts On Sonos Radio HD 

D’Angelo, FKA twigs Coming to Sonos Radio HD

Source: Sonos / Sonos

Even before the pandemic hit, artists and entertainers had begun delving into the podcast game here and there to reach their fans and give them a little insight into who they were and how they went about their business.

Lately though more and more of your favorite celebs have been taking to the airwaves with their own webcast shows and now a few more will be making their online debut courtesy of Sonos Radio. Artists like D’Angelo, Björk, and FKA Twigs will be getting their own podcasts on the internet radio service in which they’ll be playing music off of handpicked playlists to let listeners get an idea of what these artists are currently vibing to and are being inspired by.

In a press release for the new Sonos Radio shows, D’Angelo revealed the name of his upcoming radio show and what it will be consisting of. “This is a curation of sorts – a collection of musical expressions that I call ‘Feverish Fantazmagoria’. It includes some crate digging; a lot of psych rock and funk rock in there, even some gospel and soul. Just a lot of incredible music that’s fun and inspires me.” 

Wouldn’t be surprised if some of his fans play his “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” video to while listening to his podcast just because. Just sayin.’

But that’s not all.

Blacksmith Radio: a dedicated hip-hop and R&B station hosted by industry veteran and artist manager Corey Smyth will premiere in February. Smyth, known for managing renowned talent such as De La Soul, Vince Staples, Mos Def and Dave Chappelle, will bring listeners inside the life of a manager with exclusive interviews and favorite tracks from his extensive network. 

Should be interesting.

D’Angelo’s Feverish Fantazmagoria is set to premier on January 13 so be on the lookout for that.

Will you be tuning into Feverish Fantazmagoria? Let us know in the comments section.

D’Angelo, FKA twigs Coming to Sonos Radio HD

Source: Sonos / Sonos