Young Thug Goes Country in New Snippet From ‘E.B.B.T.G’

Young Thug is channeling an unexpected genre for his upcoming Easy Breezy Beautiful Thugger Girls project.

E.B.B.T.G

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On Monday night, the Atlanta rapper hit up Instagram with a preview of one of the album’s tracks. The video shows Thug sitting inside a car, jamming out to the song, which features acoustic guitars and a country-tinged flow. Social media wasn’t mad about it. In fact, many fans applauded the sound.

There aren’t many details about E.B.B.T.G., but what we do is pretty interesting. Thug announced it would be a singing album executive produced by Drake. Engineer Alex Tumay later confirmed the project was dedicated to Thug’s fiancée, Jerrika Karlae, and reassured fans it was not a joke. Tumay also said he and Thug have recorded and scrapped about a dozen songs, one of which features the rapper delivering a 24-bar verse that “sounded like Kendrick [Lamar].”

We just have one question now: When will E.B.B.T.G. finally drop?

Thugger promised fans the album would roll out weeks ago; however, we’re still waiting on an official release date. While you wait for more details to trickle in, you can check out the latest preview above.

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Watch Atlanta Rapper Joye Marelyn’s Twisted Video For “Never Tomorrow”

Atlanta rapper Joye Marelyn brings Eminem levels of intensity on “Never Tomorrow,” and the song's dark energy comes to life in the new music video directed by Joye and Brandon Huntley. “I just wanna show the world that Atlanta has more than the trap rappers,” Joye explains. In the video, he takes us into his candlelit house of dolls, where he wrote and recorded “Never Tomorrow.” Watch above.

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Kodak Black Sentenced 1 Year for Violating House Arrest

Kodak Black was sentenced 364 days in county jail Thursday for violating the terms of his house arrest, according to on-the-scene journalist Brett Clarkson. If Kodak completes a required life skills course, however, he could be out of jail within 30 days:

Prior to the sentencing, it was reported by Todd Tongen that Kodak had fired two of his attorneys:

New attorney Brad Cohen, ahead of the sentencing, told the court that allegations in police documents against his client were “one-sided” and that he was not a “danger to the community.” According to Clarkson, Cohen added that Kodak was a “good kid” who “treats everyone well.”

Kodak also read a statement to the court: 

The court also heard from additional witnesses, including Kodak's godmother and Michael Kushner from Atlantic Records, the label behind this year's Painting Pictures album. Kushner said Atlantic will hire a full-time “handler” for Kodak.

The Broward County state attorney's office had previously expressed their desire that Kodak, whose real name is Dieuson Octave, serve eight years for the violation. The Sun-Sentinel reported that prosecutor Meredith Hough said last month that the Painting Pictures artist had “essentially squandered” his chances. His Florida Department of Corrections probation officer, however, had instead recommended a 30-day sentence and an additional year of house arrest. In a separate case in South Carolina, Kodak is accused of “sexually attacking” a woman at a Florence hotel in 2016.

Last month, Kodak Black was replaced with ASAP Ferg on Future's Nobody Safe Tour.

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Ex-NBA Star Brandon Roy Reportedly Shot While Shielding Kids From Gunfire Outside Grandmother’s Home

Former Trail Blazers star Brandon Roy was reportedly shot in the leg outside of his grandmother’s house near Los Angeles over the weekend, King 5 TV in Seattle reported early Wednesday morning. According to sources who spoke with King 5, Roy was a bystander during what may have been a gang-related shooting. He reportedly received treatment in California before returning to his home in Washington state where he is expected to make a full recovery.

A source who spoke with USA Today Sports revealed additional details about the shooting, which reportedly took place after someone randomly opened fire. According to that source, Roy was shot while shielding several kids from gunfire.

And TMZ Sports discovered that Roy was not the only person shot during the shooting. According to a TMZ Sports report, two other men were also shot, though neither sustained life-threatening injuries. Police are reportedly still looking for the shooter.

Roy himself is yet to confirm the shooting or speak publicly about it.

Shortly after news about the shooting broke, the Trail Blazers released a statement about the alleged incident and sent thoughts and prayers to Roy and his family:

Roy spent six seasons in the NBA, playing for the Blazers and Timberwolves, before his career was ultimately derailed by a series of knee injuries. He spoke about those injuries during an interview on J.J. Redick's podcast in April 2016.

Roy was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2007 and made three NBA All-Star teams. He currently serves as the head coach at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Washington and led the team to an undefeated season in 2017.

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What We Know About the Police Killing of 15-Year-Old Jordan Edwards

The police killing of an unarmed black teenager in a Dallas, Texas suburb this weekend has activists and family members calling for the immediate firing and arrest of the involved officer. Mesquite High School freshman Jordan Edwards, according to family attorney Lee Merritt, was attempting to leave a house party Saturday with four other teenagers when multiple shots were fired into the vehicle. The local medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide, with the Dallas Morning News reporting that he had been killed with a rifle shot to the head.

As new developments in the death of Jordan Edwards, including contradictory police accounts, arrive daily, let's take a look at what we know so far.

Jordan Edwards, 15, was reportedly doing what any teen would be doing on a Saturday night: hanging out with friends.

According to Merritt, Edwards and four other teenagers “heard gunshots” and decided to get in the vehicle and leave the premises. Edwards was not operating the vehicle. The teenagers then heard “someone cursing,” followed by three shots being fired into the vehicle. In a statement, the teen's family said his own siblings had to watch him die. “Not only have Jordan's brothers lost their best friend; they witnessed firsthand his violent, senseless, murder,” the statement said. “Their young lives will forever be altered.” In their initial statement, the Balch Springs Police Department said they had been called to the residence after receiving a “911 call reporting several underage kids drunk [and] walking around.” The teens in the vehicle, Merritt told the Morning News, had not been drinking and were not the teens referenced in the police call. Lisa Roberson, the mother of the teen who threw the house party “without her approval,” said there had also been no drinking at the residence.

Police initially accused those in the vehicle with Edwards of driving toward cops “in an aggressive manner,” then completely changed their story.

On Monday, the Balch Springs Police Department shared an updated statement with media outlets. The new statement contradicted the statement the department had released just one day earlier, in which the vehicle was alleged to have been driven toward the officers “in an aggressive manner.” Monday's release said the vehicle was actually “driving away from the officer” when the officer's weapon was fired. After reviewing body-cam footage of the shooting, police chief Jonathan Haber told reporters the shooting did not meet the department's “core values.” Merritt, speaking to the New York Times Monday, said this development was “a big deal” for the investigation moving forward. “The lone motive they had for the murder was that the vehicle was being used as a weapon, and now that is no longer there,” Merritt said.

The officer has not been identified.

The officer who shot and killed Edwards has not been identified. As of Monday, the officer was on administrative leave pending an investigation conducted by the Dallas County District Attorney's Office and the Dallas County Sheriff's Department. As noted by the New York Daily News, the fatal shooting does not follow the Balch Springs Police Department's policy on use of force. “We are declaring war on bad policing,” Merritt told reporters Monday. Though Haber cited body-cam footage in Monday's press conference, the footage is not expected to be released until the investigation has concluded.

It was announced on Tuesday afternoon that the police officer involved in the killing of Jordan Edwards has been terminated, and that a criminal investigation is ongoing.

The Balch Springs Police Department did not immediately respond to Complex's request for comment.

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Kodak Black Found Guilty of Violating His House Arrest

The verdict of an alleged February incident that featured frequently in trouble rapper Kodak Black has been reached. On Wednesday, a Florida judge reportedly found him guilty of five counts of violating his house arrest; however, the Sun Sentinel reporter Brett Clarkson tweeted it still unknown if the ruling will extend Kodak's jail time. He will return to court on May 4.

The 19-year-old rapper was accused of punching and kicking a 34-year-old woman at a Miami-Dade strip club called “Club Climaxx.” The Florida Department of Corrections then added that incident to their list of claims that Kodak had violated his parole.

The assault is said to have occurred around 3 a.m. on Feb. 2, while the victim was at her shift as a club bartender. She told police that he “approached her and started acting belligerent.” After she pushed him away he “began to punch her numerous times all over her body and then kicked her, stopping shortly after.”

She reported the altercation to the cops during her shift on Feb. 3, where it was listed as misdemeanor battery.

Kodak is already in jail without bail for violating his house arrest, and is also facing allegations that he sexually assaulted a female fan in South Carolina. In addition to those legal problems, earlier this week it was also reported that Kodak grabbed the wrist of his anger management counselor after she threatened to call 911 due to his refusal to leave her class.

A Miami-Dade police detective said the investigation is still open because the accuser never showed up to the police station to finish her report:

 

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Frank Ocean Isn’t a Recluse Anymore, and the World Is Better for It

The most surprising thing about Frank Ocean’s return is that it hasn’t ended.

Mercurial and independent, Ocean is the sort of artist that doesn’t seem to need an audience—he could be just as happy singing to himself as a crowd. And so, after releasing Endless and Blonde last year, another hiatus, like the four years post-Channel Orange, wouldn’t have come as a shock.

Instead, he stuck around to work with Calvin Harris on a Picasso-referencing contender for song of the summer, and launch a radio show with Beats 1 in which he patters in his New Orleans accent about this and that, interviews Jay Z, and drops loosies that are better than other folks’ album singles. Five episodes of Blonded Radio, which seems to follow no set schedule, have aired since it premiered in February, and the three new songs he’s debuted—“Chanel”, “Biking,” and “Lens”—are discretely excellent.

“Chanel” has a more refined version of the free-association songwriting heard on “Futura Free”; it’s boastful and candid and has one of the best opening lines of the year: “My guy pretty like a girl.”

“Biking” is a wistful summer song, a style Ocean excels at. Built upon acoustic guitar and scalloped drums, it's more accessible than any single from Blonde. The meditative thinking unlocked by repetitive motion, by the hard-working peaks and coasting valleys of a bike ride, occasions wonder about marriage, children, and the limits of self-reliance. “When’s the last time I asked for some help that I couldn’t get from nobody else?”

Money isn’t far from Ocean's mind on both “Chanel” and “Biking,” and on the latter he barks and raves about the cash and what it’s affording him. The new money must feel incredible, but I wonder about the effect it’s having on Frank's conception of responsibility—for himself and the people he loves. I wonder if he doesn’t feel heavier in some way. Burdened by possible futures. Less able to depart.

“Lens” is the lightest of the trio, more empty space than song. (The beat builds so slowly, I spent my first listen waiting for something that never arrived.) Its lyrics resolve the spare tension by ending on the feeling of being seen. His grandfather Lionel, aunt Janet, and friend Matt have a lens on him. They see him, and surely they see him differently than we can.

Ocean's visibility creates a strange and diffuse sort of anticipation, altogether different from that pre-Endless and Blonde excitement. It used to be that he was the adored uncle who disappeared for long stretches of time—maybe a year or more—only to show up unexpectedly outside the house, engine of a beautiful new car you’d never glimpsed before ticking and cooling, a package tucked under his arm for you to unwrap. Now he’s become something like a cousin who lives nearby but is prone to wandering. He shows up more often than that uncle, always with a story, but you won’t quite let yourself count on his presence in your life. You’d know it would burn if you let yourself become too accustomed, because, after all, he could be gone tomorrow, no forwarding address and an unpaid phone bill that left his mobile dead.

On his Blonded Radio mixes, Ocean plays music from tragic downtown original Arthur Russell, UK Bandcamp act Bare Pale, French decadent Sébastian Tellier. His ear is impeccable and his taste wide-ranging. Hearing him transition from Guided By Voices to Grandaddy to Russell gives me the same thrill I felt upon discovering that he’d read Christopher Isherwood’s Mr. Norris Changes Trains.

That ability to remain private even in the open is a rare one, and though he’s sharing more of his work, there’s no knowing Ocean completely. There’s no anticipating the next move, no telling whether these new songs will accrete into something larger, or if these broadcasts will culminate in a new full-length. We’re watching him now, more closely than we could before, and still we see precious little. It’s enough.

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Teen Accidentally Kills Himself as Friends Watch on Instagram Live

Technology can bring us all together, but that's not always necessarily a good thing. A teenager filming himself on Instagram Live recently became the center of a tragedy, when a gun he was holding went off and killed him as friends watched his feed.

Malachi Hemphill, a 13-year-old from Georgia, was showing off a handgun to his followers on Instagram just moments after his mother says he had taken out the trash. With his friends monitoring the feed and his mother unaware of what was going on in his room, a loud bang was heard. His loved ones sprang into action immediately.

“We kicked in the door,” said his mother, Shaniqua Stephens. “We found him just laying there in a pool of blood. My daughter screamed and said, 'Mom, turn his phone off!' As I proceeded to look at his phone he was on Instagram Live.”

Stephens claims many of the children watching the stream flooded the area outside their house after they saw or became aware of what happened, estimating 40 or 50 children in the street following the incident. One of the people watching Hemphill stream his death reportedly told him to put a clip in the gun just moments before it went off and took his life. Local detectives are investigating what happened to Hemphill, and Stephens has reportedly been told he acquired the gun from a friend who had it passed on by another acquaintance. 

Parents raising children in the digital age face a variety of difficulties, but even the most vigilant parents will find it hard to suppress a child's urge to show off for their peers. Stephens' hope in the wake of her son's death at such a young age is that parents will use it as an opportunity to keep a closer eye on what their children are doing on social media.  

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Listen to Chicago Rapper Meech’s Catchy and Relatable “HBH”

Chicago rapper/producer grew up with a mother who was into Chicago's house music scene, a bass-playing father who loved funk, and a grandmother well-versed in blues. For Meech, though, it was Kanye West's Late Registration and Graduation that inspired him to pursue music. He was 15 when he started rapping, and now he's 23 and making good music is his one goal.

His new track “HBH” is a fun, charming song that is as relatable as it is catchy. Meech jumps comfortably between melodies and rapping, delivering a down-to-earth charisma that seems to come naturally for him. “I just want people to relate, not just to me, but to each other, and I think this song does just that,” Meech explains. “We all go through it, you get a little shine and people suddenly love you. Now you got a song you can dance to when you send that 'hell naw' reply text.”

Listen above, and check out more P&P premieres here.

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Meet Tash Sultana, Loop Pedal Virtuoso With Extraordinary Guitar Skills

Tash Sultana was exhausted.

8,000 miles from home, the Australian native pulled up to a studio in Portland at the tail end of her first U.S. headlining tour.

“Wait, is this going to be filmed?” a groggy Sultana asked from the back seat of her tour van, pulling a tangle of hair out from under her beanie. 

Loading two giant boards of carefully placed effects pedals into the studio on a dark rainy day, it would have been excusable for Sultana to phone in a sleepy performance in front of our cameras.

Fortunately, any worries of a lackluster showing were dashed as soon as the opening riff of her bright, jangly single “Jungle” (video above) rang out over the speakers—energizing a now-smiling Sultana as her bare feet bounced up and down on the bohemian tapestry she takes everywhere she goes.

Adversity is nothing new for Sultana. She's proven herself capable of overcoming much more than a grueling tour schedule in her 21 years. Before a bedroom recording of “Jungle” went viral (leading to a record deal with Mom + Pop Music) she fought through drug-induced psychosis that came at the end of a series of admittedly “stupid decisions” while growing up in Melbourne.

“I was experimenting heaps,” she says of her teenage years. “And it wasn't peer pressure or anything. I was a curious little critter, so I just went at it.” She adds, “I've done every single drug apart from heroin. Which is just ridiculous actually. That's so dumb.”

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“It's kind of like having schizophrenia, where you have distorted reality,” Sultana says of her drug-induced psychosis (which she’s now recovered from). “Once, I was in bed and I got up and screamed. My mom and my sister came into my room and I said, 'There's someone in the house.' But there was no one in the house. I just heard it in my head.”

I reckon I'd be probably like in the gutter somewhere if I didn't have music. Or actually, I would be dead.

Sultana turned to music, her “only therapy,” to help pull her out of the mess.

“I reckon I'd be probably like in the gutter somewhere if I didn't have music,” she says. “Or actually, I would be dead. I would actually be dead.”

With a dream of touring the world since she was a child, music has always been at the center of Sultana's life. As a 13-year-old, she got a fake ID to sneak in and play at 21-and-over clubs. Then, when she wasn't play shows, she took to the streets and made extra money busking.

Tash Sultana P&P Sessions

“I chose busking because I didn't want to be working for someone else,” Sultana says. “I wanted to work as I am. I feel like you ultimately do have a choice if you have your vision. So, I had a vision forever that I was going to play music. And there was no stopping that. So I thought, you could take it to the street and just jam every day. I'm doing it in my bedroom, so, I used to like hook a PA system up to a car battery and just shred. I'd get heaps of like, fines for breaching the noise limit,” she laughs. “And I'm not paying them. I'm not paying.”

I'm not that cool or anything. I'm actually kind of a dickhead. But I can play a song, so that's enough for me.

After an eventful 2016, she's traded in fines for sold-out shows across the world.

Capturing the attention of millions with a series of bedroom recording videos that show off her unique looping style and wild guitar solos, Sultana released her debut EP Notion, and sold out so many shows along her first U.S. headlining tour this winter that she's already booked a return trip at larger venues.

So far, she's handling the success with the same calm, self-effacing ease she that applies to everything in life.

Music draws me in,” she says. “As soon as I hear it, I'm there. I'm stuck in it. So I just wanted to be like that. I'm not that cool or anything. I'm actually kind of a dickhead. But I can play a song, so that's enough for me.”

Watch Sultana perform “Jungle” and “Notion” above and see dates for her next U.S. tour here.

Photos by Alexis Kaplan.

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