Who Is kiLL edward, the Mysterious Name ‘Featured’ on J. Cole’s New Album?

Did J. Cole abandon his featureless approach?

On Wednesday, the 33-year-old rapper lifted the curtain on the KOD tracklist, which included 12 songs along with two feature credits belonging to a mysterious artist called kiLL edward. This detail immediately raised eyebrows for a couple of reasons:

1. Cole’s last two albums—2014 Forest Hills Drive and 4 Your Eyez Only—were 100 percent solo efforts, and
2. Those who attended the KOD listening party claimed the project did not include any guest appearances.

So, who the hell is kiLL edward, then?

Fans have spent Wednesday afternoon searching through the internet in attempt to identify the unknown act. And it seems the general consensus is that kiLL edward is actually J. Cole’s alter ego.

The theory makes sense, too. On Wednesday, fans noticed a verified SoundCloud account belonging to kiLL edward. The page listed one song called “tidal wave (Just a little reference),” which his since been released on Apple Music and Spotify.

It’s a singing track that sounds a lot like Cole with a lower pitch. Several fans have uploaded faster versions of the song, which basically confirm kiLL edward is Cole's alter ego. Take a listen below.

Though this is an interesting method, it isn't necessarily new in hip-hop. Pharrell did this under his Skateboard P alias, and Nas did this with his female rapper alter ego “Scarlett.” 

It's also important to note that Cole's previous album, 4 Your Eyez Only, was partly told from a perspective that wasn't Cole's. Producer Elite revealed this to Complex back in 2016:

There is another perspective that he is speaking from on this album, and that’s what he wanted to make clear. There are moments where it parallels him and he speaks from his own perspective. “Neighbors” is a step outside for a second, but it’s still a commentary on the overall theme. But the album is largely from a perspective that is not J. Cole.

Perhaps this will be an ongoing theme in Cole's future albums—using alter egos to tell a story that goes beyond his own perspective.

KOD is set to drop this Friday. 

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The FBI Reportedly Has Audio of Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels’ Lawyers Meetings

The FBI may have the ultimate receipts on the scandal between Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels.

During the FBI's raid of Trump's lawyer's office, CNN reports they seized audio recordings between Stormy Daniels' laywer at the time, Keith Davidson, and Trump's current lawyer, Michael Cohen. Davidson also represented Playboy model Karen McDougal, who, like Daniels, is rumored to have had an affair with Trump.

A CNN source gave some details on the audio recordings, but no smoking gun. “Cohen was being unusually simplistic, like he had bullet points that he was reading from to try and make himself look good. He was trying to clarify the timeline of the agreements made with Davidson in his [Cohen's] favor,” said the source.

However, even if there's no wrongdoing found in the recordings, it could lead to other legal issues for Cohen. As CNN notes, recording phone conversations without two consenting parties is illegal in certain states, like California where Davidson's office is based. And Davidson has no issue in suing Cohen if that's the case.

Attorney Davidson never consented to any recordings of his conversations with Mr. Cohen. If they in fact do exist, Attorney Davidson will pursue all his legal rights under the law,” said a spokesman for Davidson, Dave Wedge.

But that may be the least of Cohen's troubles as the Department of Justice says Cohen is “under criminal investigation” not only for his possible dealings with Daniels, but bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance issues as well. Cohen's court hearing is scheduled for Monday—and Daniels' current lawyer, Michael Avenatti told The Associated Press that it’s “very possible” the porn star will make an appearance. The tea is hot and it's brewing.

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Suspected Austin Bomber Dead After Confrontation With Police in Texas

The suspected serial bomber responsible for terrorizing Austin, Texas over the course of the last few weeks with a wave of bombings is reportedly dead after a confrontation with police in Round Rock, Texas. He reportedly detonated a bomb inside of his vehicle and killed himself as police closed in on him early Wednesday morning. He is being identified as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt.

According to authorities, Austin police and the FBI received a tip on the serial bomber on Tuesday and were able to track him down to a hotel in Round Rock. They located him sitting in his vehicle in the hotel’s parking lot and were in the process of waiting for tactical units to arrive on the scene when the bomber attempted to drive away.

The suspect stopped driving a short time later, at which time Austin SWAT officers attempted to engage him. But he detonated a bomb inside his vehicle, injuring an officer who was approaching the vehicle in the process. Another SWAT officer responded to the blast by opening fire on the suspect, who was later pronounced dead.

While the bomber is now dead, Austin police believe he may have left a series of additional bombs behind. They are warning those in and around Austin to be cautious about opening packages in the coming days and potentially even weeks. TMZ obtained surveillance shots of the bomber dropping two packages off at an Austin FedEx store on Sunday, though both of those packages have been accounted for.

Austin police and the FBI have been trying to track the serial bomber down since March 2 when his first bomb detonated. They believe he is responsible for five bombs that have detonated in the area, killing two people and injuring five others. They have now set their sights on trying to figure out if he may have had any accomplices in the bombings.

Austin police have not figured out the motive behind the bombings yet. Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley spoke Wednesday and said the motive is still under investigation.

“That’s the one thing we don’t have right now, is a motive behind this,” Manley said. “We do not understand what motivated him to do what he did, and that will also be part of the continuing investigation as we try to learn more about him.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Fox News that Conditt appeared to be unemployed and lived with two roommates in Pflugerville, a town 20 miles north of Austin. “Those two roommates have been talking to law enforcements,” Abbott said. “I would venture to say those two roommates are not at this time suspects.”

President Trump, who has faced criticism for not speaking up about the Austin bombings in recent weeks, sent out a tweet about the bomber’s death early Wednesday morning.

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LeBron Says Refs Biased; Ol’ Dirty Zaza; NCAA the Worst? | Out of Bounds

The number one question is, “Can the Feds get us?” If you’re Jay Z, nah, but it appears government agents could take some big college hoops programs down. Following the revelation that an FBI investigation found potential violations in a number of high-profile schools, Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds crew wade into NCAA hypocrisy and Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy’s assertion that the NCAA is the worst organization in sports. Plus, Gil shares the advice he’d give his son about playing college ball. Next, in “Fair or Foul?”, the OOB team decides if LeBron was wrong for accusing NBA refs of being biased. Since officials call the game differently for Bron because of his exceptional size and strength, it’s not an easy answer. The King James talk continues as Gil and the guys reflect on Spurs coach Gregg Popovich comparing him to Black Panther as a role model for kids, and wonder if all Pop’s praise for LeBron amounts to tampering. Finally, in the wake of Russell Westbrook saying Zaza Pachulia is dirty and intentionally landed on his leg on Saturday night, Gil defines “dirty” versus “physical,” re-enacts what Zaza did, talks payback, and tells a story about the dirtiest player he went up against. 

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Trump Campaign Aide Rick Gates Pleads Guilty in Russian Interference Probe

Friday, Donald Trump’s former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, pleaded guilty to financial fraud and lying to investors, in a deal that called for Gates to assist authorities with their ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election. That election saw Trump lose the popular vote and ultimately win the Electoral College vote to become the 45th President of the United States. Last week, Trump blamed the inquiry, and the FBI’s focus on his alleged collusion with Russia, for the agency's inability to prevent a mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.

Gates was initially indicted in October 2017 and pleaded not guilty. However, Friday found Gates changing course and presumably offering to cooperate with authorities in exchange for a lighter sentence. Gates is currently facing up to six years in prison. As it relates to Trump, Mark Mazzetti and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times outlined how Gates’ decision may be a move to indict one of his superiors, and ultimately the big orange nucleus himself.

“The plea agreement is further evidence that the Trump campaign attracted a cast of advisors who overstepped legal and ethical boundaries,” Haberman and Mazzetti wrote. “Mr. Gates was present for the most significant periods of the campaign, as Mr. Trump began forging policy positions and his digital cooperation engaged with millions of voters on social media platforms such as Facebook.”

Gates admitted to previously lying to prosecutors while under oath, about a 2013 meeting Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had with a person described as a “pro-Russian member of Congress.” The 37-page court filing made public when Gates and Manafort were both indicted in October, accused Gates of pocketing tens of millions of dollars as a result of lobbying efforts in the Ukraine. The documents also accuse Gates and Manafort of laundering some $30 million in money stashed in offshore accounts.

None of this directly answers the central question of if Trump coordinated with the Russian government to disrupt the 2016 Presidential Election, but it connects several dots. Gates is now the fifth person to plead guilty as a part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Manafort maintains his innocence, but many political commentators expect Gates to spill some proverbial tea on his former boss, and possibly implicate Trump.

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Mavs Sex & Tanking Scandals; Louisville Punished; Bradley Beal on His Evolution | Out of Bounds

Is Black Panther available to save sports from its shadiest characters? We need the King of Wakanda now, because there is much f*ckery in the news today. To start, Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds crew look at the NCAA’s forced vacation of Louisville’s 2013 national championship, stemming from a prostitution scandal. You know, the one where a Cardinals staffer arranged sex for players and recruits — the scandal BEFORE the FBI named the school in a “pay for play” basketball corruption case. In addition to Gil sharing his own recruitment story, he has an…interesting analogy for vacating wins, and the guys debate if Rick Pitino is the slimiest coach in college hoops. The shadiness doesn’t stop there, because the Dallas Mavericks are making headlines for all the wrong reasons. In “Fair or Foul,” OOB passes judgment on owner Mark Cuban, who publicly admitted that his team has been tanking for a year and a half. If only that were the worst of it. Next, Gil and the gang wade into a damning exposé on sexual misconduct within the Mavs organization. Will all these scandals — and the end of the Dirk Nowitzki era — bring down Cuban and a franchise once thought to be the model for the NBA? Transitioning to happier, on-court NBA action, OOB previews Saturday’s primetime matchup between the Thunder and Warriors for “In Play.” Beyond picks, Gil has a unique take on the KD-Russ “beef” and what he expects the Brodie will give the Dubs this weekend. Finally, Wizards guard Bradley Beal joins the show to talk about how he’s improved as a player, his working relationship with John Wall, and his fondest memory of Washington legend Gilbert Arenas.

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Elon Musk is Selling $500 Flamethrowers Now

Over the course of his career, Elon Musk has helped revolutionize online currency with Paypal, freaked out half the greater Los Angeles area with ongoing plans to colonize Mars, and casually added a flamethrower to the list of items his companies sell. Saturday, Musk posted a series of images and videos on his Instagram feed featuring the new product.

 

Say hello to my little friend …

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Jan 27, 2018 at 4:42pm PST

 

 

Pre-orders for the flamethrower are being taken via boringcompany.com, which bills the product as the “world’s safest flamethrower” and claims it is “guaranteed to liven up any party.”

It’s unclear how a $500 flamethrower fits alongside a Boring Company product line that also includes dad hats and proposed tunnels. And that may at least partially explain why Musk started tweeting jokes about the usefulness of his new product in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

According to a 2015 CNN report on consumer-level flamethrowers, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms doesn’t regulate the devices because they aren’t technically considered guns. The prospect of not needing an FBI background check to own a flamethrower might not be good news for a country where millions of people voted for a reality show personality to be the President and mass shootings regularly make headlines. That didn’t stop Musk from trying to get at least one joke in.

You can view all of the details on The Boring Company’s $500 flamethrower via their website.

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FBI Investigating Claims That Russia Fed the NRA Money to Help Trump Campaign

The seemingly endless investigation into Trump's campaign and Russia's potential involvement has taken another not so surprising turn. Now the FBI is investigating a claim that Russia was illegally giving money to Trump's campaign through the National Rifle Association, according to McClatchy.

The NRA's support of Trump's campaign during the 2016 election was no secret. The organization spent $30 million to support the vile candidate. The new report cites two sources close to the situation who claim the deputy governor of Russia's central bank and lifetime NRA member Alexander Torshin was illegally funneling money throughout the campaign. According to the sources, Torshin is known to have close relationships with NRA, as well as Russian president Vladimir Putin. Of the $30 million spent backing Trump, most of it was spent by an arm of the NRA that is not required to reveal its donors. Another red flag. 

Both sources cited by McClatchy also claim that despite the reports of $30 million being spent, it was more like $70 million spent. The difference in reports is due to the fact that not all funds, such as online ads, by the non-profit have to be reported due to certain loopholes in the system. 

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This is not the first accusation that has been made against Torshin by a foreign government. In 2016, Spanish officials accused the then–Russian senator of helping mobsters run a money laundering effort through Spanish banks and properties. Reports involving this accusation claim Torshin was considered a “godfather in a major Russian criminal organization called Taganskaya.”

Torshin's troubles could only just be beginning. Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the House, and the Senate Intelligence Committee have all inquired about his various activities in the United States. Sen. Diane Feinstein has also sent letters to two of Trump's top campaign aides asking about Torshin. 

While these sources did provide info about the investigation, there is no word of how long the relationship between Torshin and the NRA has been scrutinized. The new claim just adds another wrinkle to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Trump's ties with Russia. On Wednesday, Trump's lawyer Ty Cobb simply told CBS News he is “very eager” to speak with Mueller to “put the matter to rest.”

I'm sure he is. As the investigation continuously heightens, it seems like it's only a matter of time before even more severe allegations from this connection make their way to the headlines.

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