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Joey Bada$$ Opens Up About Departure from Power Spinoff, Power Book III: Raising Kanan

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Joey Bada$$ recently shared insights into his departure from the hit show Power Book III: Raising Kanan, where he portrayed the character Unique. Despite enjoying strong support from fans for his role, the rapper-turned-actor revealed that the decision to leave was influenced by the challenges of balancing his dual careers.

TMZ caught up with Joey and his girlfriend Serayah in New York City, questioning him about his reaction upon learning about his character’s exit from the popular Power spinoff. Expressing initial frustration, the Pro Era MC explained, “I was very mad. I was upset. Unfortunately, I do have two careers that I’m balancing. So I had to go on tour, and we just kinda couldn’t make it work. So they had to take out Unique. Who knows, though. Maybe we can start a petition or somethin and tell 50 Cent to bring me back.”

While not delving into specifics about the tour, Joey did provide an update on his music career, stating, “New music is coming, definitely soon. This month, actually. This is my birthday month, so I’m definitely gon’ put something out in a couple of weeks,” as he approaches his 29th birthday on January 20.

Fans might have already caught a glimpse of his upcoming single, as Joey Bada$$ shared a video last month performing a song, seemingly dedicated to his girlfriend, in a desert setting. The lyrics hinted at a strong bond and dispelled recent rumors of a breakup.

Responding to a fan’s inquiry about the teased snippet, Joey confirmed on X (formerly Twitter), “If you talking bout the one in the sand I got you!!”

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On December 31, Joey bid farewell to his role as Kadeem “Unique” Mathis with a video montage spanning the first three seasons of Raising Kanan. In an Instagram post, he captioned it with, “Unique Forever,” expressing gratitude to his Raising Kanan family: “Much love to my @raisingkananstarz family. It was an honor and pleasure.”

Reflecting on his three-season run, Joey Bada$$ shared in a recent PEOPLE interview, “This type of role was something that I held back on playing for a long time because I just didn’t want to get pigeonholed into being a drug dealer-type of actor because I was a rapper. I felt like that was so close to home. I wanted to show people — with things like [the short film] Two Distant Strangers and Mr. Robot — that I had range, but I felt like this role came at the right time, and it was perfect.”

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Joe Budden Shares Theory on Why “Def Jam Vendetta” Reboot Hasn’t Happened

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During a recent appearance on Carmelo Anthony and The Kid Mero’s 7PM in Brooklyn podcast, Joe Budden shared his thoughts on why the beloved video game “Def Jam Vendetta” has yet to receive a reboot.

Budden, who was featured in the original game alongside other rappers, speculated that financial issues might be hindering any plans for a revival.

He remarked, “I’m not involved in those talks but I imagine that would be the hold up. Gaming is big. If the business is right, we should definitely do that. Music should have more of a presence in the video game world outside of n-ggas just going round your house for a 2K party or whatever.”

Expressing his willingness to participate in a reboot under the right circumstances, Budden added, “It seems like they’re trying to redline this shit and keep it to themselves. If they gonna do that, then fuck ’em, I’m not with it. But if they’re down to come talk [business]… They gotta get it right.”

Ice-T, who also featured in the original game and its sequel “Def Jam: Fight For NY,” recently echoed similar sentiments about financial hurdles potentially impeding a reboot.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Ice-T speculated, “So many people ask me why this game hasn’t been brought back for the newer consoles. Maybe because they’d have to pay for voice and music rights again. Maybe?”

Responding to fan inquiries about a possible remake, Ice-T disclosed, “Here’s the BIG problem.. I don’t think they paid ANY of us ANYTHING to be in that original game… I know I didn’t get any type of substantial money. It was a situation where you didn’t want to be left OUT of the game. Well….. Yesterday’s price is not Today’s price..!”

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Ice-T also noted that while he received compensation for his work in other video games like “GTA” and “Gears of War,” the compensation for “Def Jam Vendetta” was lacking.

The “Def Jam” series, which featured prominent rappers such as DMX, Method Man, Ludacris, and The Game, garnered popularity with five releases between 2003 and 2010. Despite teasers from the label about a potential return in 2020, no official announcement regarding a reboot has materialized.

Numerous other Hip Hop-related video games have been developed over the years, including “50 Cent: Bulletproof,” “Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style,” and “DJ Hero.”

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Drake’s “One Dance” Surpasses Three Billion Spotify Streams, Making History

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Drake continues to make history in the music industry as his hit song “One Dance” surpasses the milestone of three billion streams on Spotify.

The Canadian rapper took to his Instagram Stories on Tuesday (February 20) to share the exciting news, posting a screenshot of a text message from OVO Sound president Mr. Morgan congratulating him on the achievement.

In the message, Morgan revealed that “One Dance” has become Drake’s first track to reach three billion streams on Spotify, making it the seventh song ever to achieve this feat on the platform.

Morgan also shared an anecdote about the song’s creation, recalling that it was originally titled “High Powered” and was earmarked as the lead single from Drake’s Views album.

Alongside the screenshot, Drake tagged the song’s guest vocalist, WizKid, as well as producers Noah “40” Shebib and Nineteen85.

This milestone also marks a significant achievement for WizKid, who becomes the first African artist to have a song with over three billion Spotify streams.

Drake’s “One Dance,” released in 2016 as part of his Views album, quickly climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, marking the Toronto native’s first-ever No. 1 single as a lead artist on the chart.

Reflecting on the success of “One Dance” and his collaboration with WizKid, Drake discussed the importance of honoring the cultural influences behind his music during an interview with Rap Radar in 2019.

“I gotta at least honor the person that handed me off the football before I ran for the touchdown,” Drake said. “I had blessings from the real dons in that space. I know those guys, I link with those guys, I go to their shows, they come to my shows, they touch my stage.”

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“One Dance” previously made history in December 2016 as the first song to reach one billion streams on Spotify.

With over 94 billion streams globally, Drake remains the highest-streamed artist on the platform, solidifying his status as one of the most influential figures in contemporary music

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Snoop Dogg Allegedly Incites Donald Trump’s Wrath in Final Days as President

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Recent reports suggest that Snoop Dogg found himself at the center of Donald Trump’s ire during the former president’s final days in office, allegedly due to Snoop’s past criticism of him.

According to a Rolling Stone report, Trump was infuriated by Snoop’s previous vocal disapproval of his presidency. Despite working with Trump to advocate for clemency for Death Row Records co-founder Michael “Harry-O” Harris, who was serving time for cocaine trafficking and attempted murder charges, Snoop’s criticism reportedly soured their relationship.

Trump’s aides purportedly compiled a dossier detailing Snoop’s critiques of the president, leading Trump to reportedly exclaim, “Well, fuck him.” Consequently, Harry-O was removed from the clemency list.

However, after Snoop’s team and other aides presented Trump with footage of the rapper praising him, there was a sudden change of heart. Harry-O was eventually granted clemency on Trump’s final day in office.

Throughout Trump’s presidency, Snoop Dogg was an outspoken critic, publicly denouncing him as “racist” and condemning his treatment of marginalized communities. In a 2020 YouTube video, Snoop voiced his discontent, stating that Trump disrespected various groups, including women, minorities, and veterans.

In the music video for his song “Lavender” released in 2017, Snoop sparked controversy by depicting himself aiming a fake gun at a Trump lookalike and pulling the trigger.

Trump himself responded to the video, suggesting that Snoop would face consequences if the same were done to former President Obama.

Despite his previous animosity towards Trump, Snoop’s stance has softened in recent years. In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, he expressed gratitude towards Trump for pardoning Harry-O, stating that he harbors no ill will towards the former president.

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Snoop also commended Trump’s administration for their actions, acknowledging the positive impact of Harry-O’s release from prison: “That’s great work for the president and his team on the way out.”

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Jack Harlow Denies Beyoncé and Kanye West No. 1 Debut on Billboard Hot 100

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Jack Harlow has maintained his stronghold on the Billboard Hot 100, denying both Beyoncé and Kanye West a coveted No. 1 debut with his hit single “Lovin on Me,” which has now spent six consecutive weeks atop the chart since its release in November.

The Kentucky rapper narrowly edged out Beyoncé’s surprise country single “Texas Hold ‘Em,” while Kanye and Ty Dolla $ign’s collaborative track “Carnival” made its debut at No. 3 on the chart.

Although Beyoncé fell short of claiming the top spot on the Hot 100, she achieved a historic milestone by soaring to the summit of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, making her the first-ever Black artist to accomplish this feat.

However, Beyoncé’s success was not without controversy, as some country stations initially hesitated to play “Texas Hold ‘Em.” A radio station in Oklahoma faced criticism after initially refusing to play the song when requested by listeners, but later reversed its decision following online backlash.

Meanwhile, despite missing out on the No. 1 spot, Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign made a significant impact on the Billboard Hot 100, with all 16 songs from their collaborative album “Vultures 1” landing on the chart. Several tracks, including “Fuk Sumn,” “Back to Me,” “Talking,” “Burn,” “Vultures,” and “Stars,” cracked the top 50, showcasing the duo’s enduring popularity.

Despite facing challenges such as a brief removal from streaming services and sample disputes, “Vultures 1” debuted impressively at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The collaborative project accumulated 148,000 album-equivalent units in its first week, with streaming accounting for a significant portion of its success.

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With “Vultures 1,” Kanye West now boasts a total of 11 No. 1 albums, solidifying his status as one of the most successful artists in Billboard history. He joins an elite group of musicians including The Beatles, JAY-Z, Taylor Swift, and Drake, who have achieved similar chart-topping feats.

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