DJ Carnage is a name equally respected in dance and hip-hop circles. He's an established name on the live festival circuit, even starting his own, RARE, in Orlando. That's where he met Young Thug, and the two linked up for an EP that's coming soon. Carnage's other upcoming collaborations are no less impressive—Lil Yachty, Migos, and Meek Mill are among those who have recently blessed a Carnage beat, and the results are massive.
Those tracks are on the way, but when DJ Carnage stopped by the offices, we wanted to talk about the here and now. For the latest episode of Trending Topics, we asked the artist about that Thug EP, the many talents of Donald Glover, and what it takes to enjoy a festival the right way. Watch Carnage's Trending Topics above, and check out last week's cut with Ryan Hemsworth below.
What in the world happened to James Harden during the Rockets’ elimination playoff game against the Spurs on Thursday night? That’s the question that many NBA fans both inside and outside of Houston were asking after San Antonio destroyed the Rockets 114-75 to advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they will face off against the Warriors.
The Spurs played Game 6 of their series against the Rockets without the services of their superstar Kawhi Leonard, who suffered an ankle injury in Game 5, but Harden played so poorly against the Spurs that it didn’t even matter. He scored just 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting and committed six turnovers during the game. And worse, he looked disinterested in playing for most of the night, which caused more than a few fans to question what he was doing:
“Everything falls on my shoulders,” he said. “I take responsibility for it, both ends of the floor. You know, it’s tough, especially the way we lost at home for Game 6. But it happened. Now we move forward.”
Harden, who didn’t score his first points of the game against the Spurs until almost the six-minute mark in the second quarter, also said that the Rockets simply struggled to get into any sort of rhythm at the start of the game.
“I feel like I was making some passes, and we just didn’t knock down shots or whatever the case may be,” said Harden, who averaged 28.5 points and 8.5 assists during the Rockets’ playoff run. “As a team, as a unit, we didn’t have a rhythm, and they capitalized on that.”
And while there might be some truth to that, Harden himself was so bad that some people accused him of fixing the game, as if that was the only explanation for his putrid performance:
I can't believe how harden really threw that game away like that…#fixed
Rockets fans begged Lil B not to put his infamous Based God Curse on Harden, but it was to no avail. Harden continued to use the cooking dance, and eventually, Lil B cursed him. And it looked like there was something to that curse after Harden put up a terrible 14-point, 12-turnover performance against the Warriors during an elimination game in the 2015 NBA Playoffs. He also shot just 2-of-11 from the field in that game.
But is the curse really the reason Harden played as poorly as he did against the Spurs on Thursday night? We can’t believe we’re actually saying this, but it’s as good an explanation as some of the others we’ve seen. There are literally people who think Harden threw the game to benefit the mafia, so who are we to say that the Based God Curse didn’t play a role in Harden’s struggles?
Whatever the case may be, Lil B is now offering to lift the curse from Harden—if he’s willing to put his ego to the side and talk to Lil B this offseason. Shortly after the Rockets got bounced from the playoffs, Lil B sent out this tweet:
I apologize to James harden I'm ready to talk and end the curse… it's time to talk and be the leader everyone believes you are – Lil B
Whether you buy into this Based God Curse business or not, it’s clear that something wasn’t right with Harden on Thursday night. So it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to take whatever steps he feels are necessary—including possibly calling Lil B—to correct the problems he had before next season rolls around. Otherwise, this curse might continue to haunt him.
But that was only the latest of Bow Wow's losses. Below, a curated list of some of the biggest ones. We couldn't include them all, because who's got that kind of time?
July 2009: Whose Hands Are Those?
In an attempt to prove… something (that he has a girlfriend? that he's sexy? that he wears Polo drawers?), Bow Wow posted a photo to Twitter of someone (possibly model Rosa Acosta, who he was dating at the time) sticking their hand down his pants.
Early in 2010, Bow Wow's mom joined Twitter. She then proceeded to do what moms have done throughout time—say stuff that embarrasses their kids.
Bow Wow said he was going to make his mom delete her account. And then it all went wrong. Fans were clearly on her side, rather than his. Finally, desperate, he said he would delete his own account unless his mom got rid of hers. And she responded in a thread-killing, quietly vicious, perfectly mom-like way.
June 2013: The Vine
Bow Wow published a quick Vine of him walking in front of a bunch of children. “They don't know it's me. Oh shit,” he exclaimed. He then laughed as if he was getting away with something. A bemused internet quickly responded, saying that the kids don't know who he is because, well, they don't know who he is.
January 2014: Rent-A-Stunter
In early 2014, Bow Wow was in Los Angeles for Grammy weekend. He drove around in a Ferrari, and made sure to post plenty of pictures to social media of himself in the driver's seat. The captions implied that the car was his.
Well, the rental car company didn't exactly appreciate that. They decided to claim some credit, and give Bow Wow another round of bad press in the process.
December 2015: The (Mistaken) Origins of the Dab
By late 2015, Bow Wow had just about enough of dabbing. Everyone—football players, teenagers, politicians—were doing it, and they didn't know where it came from.
As it turned out, neither did Bow Wow. He recorded a long, confusing message attempting to tie dabbing to smoking weed.
And he was immediately and roundly mocked, including by the dance's true originators.
Bow wow must of got a little too high this morning. 😂😂
Live television can be dangerous for even the most experienced performers. And Bow Wow met his match during the 2016 Grammys, when he messed up the end of the pre-show not once, but twice.
April 2016: Fake Money
Bow Wow posted a shot on Instagram of a bunch of money. Typical rapper stuff, right? Well, not when the photo was actually taken by a stock trader named Timothy Sykes. Sykes called out Bow Wow on IG, and the two had a not-particularly-memorable back-and-forth involving fake watches. But the damage was already done to what was left of Bow Wow's reputation.
Tinashe can sing, act, and dance, and she's had a Billboard Hot 100 in “2 On,” made an appearance on Empire, and recently debuted her new single, “Flame.” The 24-year-old also took time out of her busy schedule to go Sneaker Shopping with Complex's Joe La Puma at the new Flight Club in Los Angeles, and she spoke her mind on everything about footwear.
In the episode, Tinashe explains why she thinks Michael Jordan's signature shoes have become so iconic over the years. She goes on to talk about Rihanna's huge success with Puma, and thinks it's important for more female artists and entertainers to getting their own sneaker collaborations. She even hinted that she should get her own sneaker next. In addition to her thoughts on MJ and Rihanna, she gives her take on dudes wearing dirty sneakers and discusses her infamous Travis Scott photo that hit the 'net a few weeks ago. In the end, Tinashe ends up spending over $1,800 on new Yeezys and Jordans.
A few weeks ago, French Montana and Swae Lee headed to Kampala, Uganda to film their “Unforgettable” video. In the footage, you can see the locals bust out their best moves for the cameras:
But it doesn't end there.
Everything began back in Februrary when French went on YouTube and saw videos of children dancing—the same ones you now see in the “Unforgettable” video. He was moved by the joy the children found in dance, despite their circumstances, so he decided to go to Uganda to find them and include them in the clip.
While he was in Uganda for the shoot, French met a local advocate and (as a result) he pledged to build a maternity center in the East African nation. Furthermore, he has put together a global initiative to help raise funds for future maternity centers across the country. You can see a short video that recaps the whole story below:
So far, he has donated $100,000 to Mama Hope to build an expansion for the Suubi “Hope” Health Center in the rural village of Budando. He's also encouraging both his peers, friends, and fans to do the same.
His partnership with Mama Hope has also led to him continuing his #UnforgettableDanceChallenge in an effort to get money for ambulances, premature incubators, cribs, and a blood bank (in addition to the aforementioned construction of the Suubi “Hope” Health Center expansion). Other stars, including Drake, DJ Khaled, and Diddy, have already taken their shot at it. The tally of participants is currently at over 50,000 #UnforgettableDanceChallenges around the world and counting.
This week, a new interview in Billboardhas Rap Twitter calling bullshit on Miley Cyrus, and for good reason. In the feature, she took some time out to throw shade on hip-hop, saying that while she loves Kendrick Lamar's “Humble” because he's bigging up natural women, she was also glad that “it's not 'Come sit on my dick, suck on my cock.' I can't listen to that anymore.”
Which, understandable. Being an old ass man, I'm here for getting misogyny the fuck out of the rap game, and just an overall more conscious balance to what's being promoted on the mainstream side. But Miley, come the fuck on. Just because you're engaged to Thor's brother and are working on some more “rootsy,” “political” material for your next project, that doesn't mean you get to act like your most previous incarnation didn't happen. Bangerz wasn't that long ago, and your appropriating of hip-hop culture when it suited your rebellious, outspoken nature is easily Google'd.
Don't believe me? Let's take a look.
Mar. 21, 2013 – Miley posts a video of her twerking in a unicorn onesie
This ridiculous video of Miley Cyrus twerking to “WOP” while rocking a unicorn onesie helped usher in the “new” phenomenon of twerking to white America. Don't believe me? Who else was talking about twerking to fucking Ryan Seacrest on the radio? She was actually adamant about not having this particularly booty-filled dance taken away from her. “Alright, I can’t sing, I can’t act, I’m dumb, I’m a hilbilly, but I can twerk so whatever.”
You have to love that when asked to describe what twerking was, she actually told people to go to her Facebook and click it for a “pretty good definition” of what twerking is. Spoiler alert: that isn't a good definition of twerking at all.
June 19, 2013 – Miley rocks gold teeth in “We Can't Stop” video
This video was the culmination of Miley's new image, which she'd been crafting in the build-up of her fourth studio album, Bangerz. The clip has lived in infamy for Miley grabbing a hold to the crunk-y/”ratchet” side of hip-hop to turn heads. Dodai Stewartlikened the treatment of the black women who Miley twerked with in the video to “props,” which doesn't feel far from the truth.
That's not to say that Miley wasn't influenced by hip-hop at any point in her life; I have no idea what's been on her Spotify playlist. But Rock City, who wrote the song for Miley, went on record saying Miley “was like, 'I want urban, I just want something that just feels Black.'” And what we ended up getting in the “We Can't Stop” video looked and felt exploitative.
In her Billboard piece, Miley did speak out on the controversy surrounding her “having black dancers” becoming “a thing.” As she put it, “People said I was taking advantage of black culture, and with Mike [Will Made-It] — what the fuck? That wasn’t true. Those were the dancers I liked!” Liking the dancers is fine, but it would appear that most people are pissed at the intent behind having said dancers and producers so prominent in your new image at the time.
Mike WiLL Made-It ended up producing seven of Bangerz's 13 tracks, which is a crazy stat to hear in 2017 when Miley's literally quoted as disdaining the “'Come sit on my dick, suck on my cock'” side of rap. During the same year, Mike Will was behind a number of songs in that vein, including Future's “Sh!t” (which features the lines “Pimps up, pimps up, hoes down, hoes down/A pool full of money and I'm 'bout to drown”). Her entire image in 2013 was based on the style of rap that she's specifically hating on in 2017.
Aug. 25, 2013 – Miley twerks on Robin Thicke during the 2013 MTV Music Awards
Just in case you thought Miley wasn't about that twerk life, she showed the world she was by being a part of Robin Thicke's performance. During his “Blurred Lines” bit, she stripped down to a weird looking latex two-piece, touched his crotch with a foam finger, then twerked on him. It was called “raunchy” by some, as well as being deemed a “trainwreck” and “reminiscent of a bad acid trip,” but truth be told, it was just a hot mess.
Aug. 26, 2013 – Miley raps about being “high on purp” on Mike Will Made-It's “23”
While we can't tell if Miley (who is apparently “in the club high on purp with some shades on”) was actually smoking that gas or just getting gassed up by Juicy J and Mike Will, she tried her hand at rapping on Mike Will's “23.” Here's a sample of Miley's verse:
I back it up, cause I don't give a fuck
If you're a lame, that's a shame you can't hang with us
I'm MC Hammer fly, you can't touch
J's so fly I should work at Flight Club
Not sure if this was Miley's life pre-chilling with Mike Will, but whatever works for those clicks.
Aug. 30, 2015 – Miley wears dreadlocks to the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards
That night, Nicki Minaj hit Miley Cyrus with the amazing “Miley, What's good?” while accepting her Best Hip-Hop Video VMA; this was a clap at Miley, who threw a shot at Nicki's disgust over “Anaconda” being snubbed for Video of the Year by saying “If you want to make it about race, there's a way you could do that. But don't make it just about yourself.” In October of 2015, Nicki dropped a megaton truth bomb on how Miley has used hip-hop culture (especially the more ratchet side) to her advantage:
‘The fact that you feel upset about me speaking on something that affects black women makes me feel like you have some big balls. You’re in videos with black men, and you’re bringing out black women on your stages, but you don’t want to know how black women feel about something that’s so important? Come on, you can’t want the good without the bad. If you want to enjoy our culture and our lifestyle, bond with us, dance with us, have fun with us, twerk with us, rap with us, then you should also want to know what affects us, what is bothering us, what we feel is unfair to us. You shouldn’t not want to know that.
Growing up is hard, and maybe in the time that Miley's spent out of the spotlight, she's switched her style up, and is looking to take it back to her roots. That's great for her, trust. But to rip on something that she utilized to help her break out of her shell? That was unnecessary, especially given how easy it is to pull up her appropriation receipts.
Over the weekend, Katy Perry caught all kinds of heat for her tone deaf “joke” comparing her hair not being black anymore to Barack Obama no longer being in office. Shouts to the internet for going in on her, but it looks like that bullshit was the tip of the iceberg.
Chicago's Mano, who you may remember as being one of the producers on the Weeknd's “The Hills” and being Kanye West's former DJ, has been expounding on a story he started telling about Katy Perry back in 2013, where she called him and his squad “nigga”… while they were up in the club in Paris.
I wish y'all coulda been there when @katyPerry referred 2 me as a “nigga”ironically in Paris. y'all know she says it regularly right -__-
Mano then took the time out to provide some more details on the situation, saying he was in the spot with the squad (which appears to have included Plain Pat and Virgil Abloh) and Katy Perry, who was dancing on his friend HXLT at a club “the day 4 ye fashion show.”
y'all really are fuckin delusional. i was in paris in a club with hxlt, ibn, plan pat and virgil was dj'n. katey was dance'n on my cuz hxlt
Being a black man living in America who has been called a nigger by some shitty people, as well as having the word “nigga” thrown around like it wasn't anything by white people, I get where Mano's coming from. That shit can be tough to deal with, especially if he felt that, because of the position he was in at the time, he couldn't check a superstar like Katy Perry.
James Harden put together a solid performance in the Houston Rockets' 118-87 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday, scoring 37 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and recording nine assists. The Rockets are now three wins away from advancing to the next round, and taking one huge step towards possibly hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy in the Finals. It would be unfortunate if Houston threw away their chance at a third NBA title because Harden repeatedly fails to obey The Based God.
Following last night's game, Lil B issued a warning to Harden, telling him to “calm down” with the cooking dance…or else.
James harden please calm down with the lil b cooking dance sports celebration congrats for the okc win but watch the curse – Lil B
This isn't the first time Harden has been warned about his blatant use of the cooking dance without The Based God's approval. Last year, The Beard was slapped with the curse, and it showed in his play. After Harden set a new NBA record for turnovers in a season, Lil B reminded the Rockets star guard that the curse is very real.
The power of ” The BasedGods” curse made James harden get record most turnovers this year and the Warriors Nba most wins record – Lil B