Tuesday night was historic because The Diplomats reunited again at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York for Spotify’s RapCaviar Live showcase. The Dips weren’t alone as they shared the stage with ASAP Mob and Highbridge the Label, featuring artists A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Don Q. Building off the momentum of their Heatmakerz-produced track “Once Upon a Time” that dropped earlier this month, it seems like a Dipset takeover is back in full effect.
Backstage at the show, Juelz Santana revealed some news about a major collaboration. Captured by hip-hop personality ItsBizkit, Santana is on FaceTime with Drake talking about a future song with Lil Wayne. The conversation turns into talking possible joints from Drake for the guys to hop on. The Dips and Drizzy? Needless to say, this should sound pretty dope.
While out at ComplexCon, Rick Ross sat down with Complex News' Speedy Morman to talk about one of the most important verses in his catalog: his song-closing bars on Kanye West's “Devil in a New Dress.”
“When I recorded that verse for the first time, he came in, heard it,” Ross recounted, “he told me he thought I could do better. And he walked out.” The MMG boss didn't let that moment deter him from delivering something special. “And then I wrote another one, and the second verse I wrote is the one you hear on the album.”
Check out the full interview above, where Ross also talks about standing up for Lil Wayne in the Birdman financial feud.
On today's Everyday Struggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska give a full breakdown of Eminem's BET Hip Hop Awards cypher verse where the Detroit legend took full aim at President Donald Trump. The crew also discuss the other cyphers from the BET Awards, including Fat Joe and 6lack. Additionally, Budden and Akademiks dive into the video of Birdman going off about the Lil Wayne situation.
On today's Everyday Struggle, Irv Gotti joins DJ Akademiks and Nadeska to talk about the new season of his show Tales, as well as everything going on in the music industry, including his ongoing beef with 50 Cent, Birdman vs. Lil Wayne, and much more.
Los Angeles Lakers' Lonzo Ball is set to drop new music soon. Ball, who's made headlines recently with his 21 Savage and Jay Z comparisons, opened up about his musical ambitions in a new interview with XXL. Ball discussed his early musical influences, the importance of Lil Wayne, and his future plans.
As a kid, Ball revealed, he listened to “a lot” of 50 Cent and DMX. “Those were probably the two main rappers I was listening to when I was young, but my favorite rapper has always been Lil Wayne,” Ball said. As for why Weezy stands tallest among his influences, Ball said he feels the Young Money boss has remained consistent with his output. “Lyrically, he's definitely one of my favorites to do it,” he said. “I need him to be free so he could put that other album out for me, but he's already put a lot towards the game.” Ball credits his father, a devoted 2Pac fan, for introducing him to music.
As for his plans to follow his debut single “Melo Ball 1,” Ball revealed he's currently working on new music. In fact, the next Lonzo Ball release will be backed by the family-owned Big Baller Music Group. “I won't be able to to do so since I'm focused on the NBA season ahead, but definitely one of my dad's close people that he works with will handle the record label,” Ball said. So far, Ball hasn't enlisted any guests for the mystery project.
Ball also noted what he's been listening to the most recently, including 21 Savage's Issa Album and Lil Uzi Vert's Luv Is Rage 2. Check out the full interview here.
Ball turned a few purists' heads earlier this month with his Nas comments. Nas, however, apparently has no idea who Lonzo Ball even is.
Earlier this week, Hollywood Unlocked published the first part of a lengthy video/radio interview they did with Floyd Mayweather, and it featured him touching on a bunch of different topics. From talking about his recent fight with Conor McGregor to speaking on the investments he has made that will prevent him from ever going broke, Mayweather kept it light, for the most part.
But Hollywood Unlockedpublished the second part of their interview with the 50-0 boxer late Wednesday, and the topics that are discussed during it are much heavier than the ones that were in the first part. Over the course of the interview, Mayweather talked about a handful of the beefs he’s had over the years, including those with 50 Cent and T.I. He also touched on Lil Wayne’s recent health scare. But the most noteworthy portion of the interview came when Mayweather was asked about Donald Trump.
If you haven’t kept up with Mayweather’s relationship with Trump in recent months, Mayweather was spotted visiting with Trump a short time after he was elected president last November. Donald Trump Jr. posted a photo of him standing with his father and Mayweather on Twitter.
In January, Mayweather spoke at length with TMZ Sports about why he was planning on attending Trump’s inauguration. At the time, Mayweather said that he was “appreciative” of Trump attending his 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao, and was simply repaying the favor by showing up for his big day. “We judge people that we really don’t know,” Mayweather said when asked about Trump. “So I’m not here to say nothing negative about nobody.”
And it sounds like Mayweather has kept his connection with Trump going, in spite of the many controversies Trump has caused since taking office. While speaking with Hollywood Unlocked, Mayweather spent more than six minutes talking about Trump and said a number of things that are definitely going to raise some eyebrows. From his opinion of people calling Trump racist to his thoughts on Trump's infamous pussy-grabbing remarks, Mayweather tackled it all—even though he probably would have been better off moving to a different topic.
You can watch Mayweather speak about Trump in the clip at the top, beginning at the 3:45 mark. We have also transcribed a handful of the things Mayweather had to say about Trump, and included time stamps for each of them below.
On why he’s friends with Trump (begins at the 3:45 mark):
“You say 'friends.' You mean, 'communicated with Donald Trump and talked with him on a couple occasions.' A lot of times, just because, if something is going on in this world, in our country, and everybody be like, 'Oh, fuck that, I don’t care about that. I’m not going there.' Somebody has to go there to find out what’s going on so they can come back and relay the message to everybody else. 'This is what’s going on.'”
“I just wanted to say I did it one time in my life. It didn’t matter who the president was. I just wanted to go to be a part of it, to see how it is.”
On staying in touch with Trump (begins at the 4:50 mark):
“I can call him directly on his phone.”
On people who believe Trump is racist (begins at the 5:05 mark):
“I’m not here to tell nobody who they can and they can’t be friends with. I think, within this world, racism still exists. You never heard anything about Donald Trump being racist until he ran for president and won. Before that, he was on WWE, he was on different shows, and everybody liked Donald Trump. But as soon as he ran for president…”
On Trump’s infamous pussy-grabbing comments (begins at the 5:35 mark):
“People don’t like the truth… He speak like a real man spoke. Real men speak like, 'Man, she had a fat ass. You see her ass? I had to squeeze her ass. I had to grab that fat ass.' Right? So he talking locker room talk. Locker room talk. 'I’m the man, you know what I’m saying? You know who I am. Yeah, I grabbed her by the pussy. And?'”
On whether or not Trump should have been held to a higher standard during his presidential run (begins at the 6:15 mark):
“I feel people shy away from realness. This man didn’t do nothing. Listen, if y’all didn’t want the man in the White House, y’all should have voted the other way. It ain’t like he went and robbed—he done his homework. He did what he had to do and he got there.”
On why people should stop complaining about Trump being in office (begins at the 6:40 mark):
“My thing is this: it don’t matter who’s in there. If Trump is in there, Clinton, Barack Obama, it doesn’t matter. That’s not going to stop my drive. The thing is this: too many people are worried about what Trump is doing and what other presidents are doing, instead of worrying about what you’re trying to do and what level you’re trying to get to. See, my thing is I don’t give a fuck about what nobody else doing. I got to worry about what I’m trying to do and where I’m trying to get to. A lot of times, it’s, 'Aw, man, it’s going to affect us.' My man, if you ain’t making 400, 500, $600 million, it’s not going to affect you no fucking way. It’s only going to affect somebody like me. I’m the motherfucker that should be tripping—paying $34 million, $25 million, $26 million [in taxes]. I should be tripping! But guess what I’m saying? 'It’s alright. It is what it is.' One thing we all know that we got to do, one thing we know that’s going to happen for sure, we gonna pay taxes and we gonna die. But while we here, live life to the fullest. Stop worrying about what everybody else doing. How I became successful and how I got to where I got to, I don’t worry about what nobody else say.”
“At the end of the day, I don’t know why everybody keep bitching and keep picketing and holding [signs]. They walking and walking, protesting, 'We don’t want this to happen.' My man, all that time you spending protesting, you could be at home writing down ideas coming up with a business.”
“A lot of times you meet people, people from other countries. You meet people from other countries that be like, 'Oh, I love my country. I love this. I love that.' I say, 'If you love your country so much, why you here? You taking up space for other people. We got some other Americans that would love your job.' But remember, this country will give somebody else from a whole other country that they don’t know shit about a loan before they even give the American citizens a loan. So I don’t know how many illegal people that we have in this country. My thing is this: I’m not saying I’m with [Trump’s decision to end DACA], I’m not saying I’m against it. I love everybody. I love people from all around the world. My thing is this: Floyd Mayweather is not worried about nobody else’s business. I don’t worry about nobody else’s business. A lot of times, we spend too much time talking about and worrying about other people’s business instead of worrying about our own. I got to where I got to—it’s easy, I make millions and millions of dollars on a daily basis—because I focus on Floyd.”
It’s probably safe to say that many of these things will not go over well with Mayweather supporters or, frankly, with anyone at all.
Like many fans, I had already heard pieces of the story behind 18-year-old artist 6 Dogs' upbringing before we met—he was homeschooled and raised in a religious household in Georgia, and his mom grounded him when she discovered his music. He persisted, and his unique blend of minimal hip-hop elements, hypnotic deliveries, and dream-like melodies earned him a dedicated and enormous following. Many of his songs have millions of plays, and “Faygo Dreams” has over six million on SoundCloud alone. But throughout his rise over the last year, he's remained an enigma, maintaining distance from the spotlight and holding onto his private lifestyle.
In late July, 6 Dogs came to New York City for the “Faygo Dreams” video shoot, and we planned to link up in Washington Square Park. Going into our meeting during a sunny day in New York City, I knew I wasn't hanging out with the average teenager. I expected someone shocked and possibly overwhelmed by the chaos of New York City, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
If I were to take a guess, I would say 6 Dogs was unimpressed by NYC. After speaking with him, I would even go so far as to say 6 Dogs is pretty unimpressed with the entire world that he was somewhat sheltered from his entire life.
There couldn't be a crazier time for 6 Dogs to experience the world, but he's taking full advantage of the outsider perspective he has on life, and he's wrapping his head around a plan. Check out the video for “Faygo Dreams” above and keep scrolling for our full conversation with 6 Dogs.
How did “Faygo Dreams” come together?
When I was making the song I just had the hook and my friend had this amazing beat. We made it in the library during lunch. We went in the library for a week, just tweaking and stuff. I was writing some stuff down and it all was corny. I decided to scrap the entire song and rewrite it about five minutes before I left to record it. Then I thought, “What’s something really cool? Faygo.” Then I thought, “What’s something else really cool? Dreams.” Then I put it together.
What about the video?
The video was a dream that I had. It was one of the craziest dreams I’ve had in my life, and I’m very into my dreams and trying to decipher them. You ever have dreams where you just know things without them being explained, even if it doesn’t match up in real life?
Yeah, like the dreams are an alternate reality.
So basically, I was in this arcade but it was purgatory. It wasn’t scary or anything, it wasn’t hellish. It was just a regular arcade, you could get food at the concession stand, you can play games. I was in this corner of the arcade playing one of the games and I ended up beating the game.
After I beat the game, it brought up three prizes that I could choose from. The first prize was that I could bring this kid I grew up with back to life—he killed himself last year. The second one was that I could bring Michael Jackson back to life, and the third prize was a bouncy ball and some quarters.
I was going through my options. I was looking at the kid I could bring back to life and decided, “I don’t need to bring him back. He’s at peace, he’s in a better place.” So then I got to Michael Jackson and I was like, “He doesn’t need to come back.” I just got an extremely negative vibe looking at the screen. So I ended up taking the bouncy ball and some quarters. It wasn’t like I wanted it, but it was the only option.
Did you ever figure out or look deeper into this dream that led to the video?
The thing with the video is, there’s a lot going on. You know there’s something there, and it’s something profound and incredibly deep, but you don’t know exactly what it is. By the end of the video you’re probably going to have more questions than answers.
For me as an artist, it’s not really my job to give you everything in a nice box with a bow on it. I’m not just going to give it to you, I kind of want to just give you this big mess and let you take a whack at it. That’s what this video is going to feel like.
The thing is, this dream could mean very much more but I haven’t explored that. With some things, you just don’t know and that’s kind of where I’m at with life. I have a few things that are solid in my life and aren’t moving, but there are other things where I have more questions than answers.
It’s interesting to think about. I have so many questions. The other day I was walking around I was like, “Yo, this is crazy. We’re on this ball that is just floating in space and we call it Earth. That is insane.” Things like that just make me wonder what is actually going on—this all is so weird. I’m enjoying it and I love it, I just don’t understand it.
That’s just kind of the thing with a lot of my stuff, some things contradict each other, some things don’t make sense, it’s really up to the listener.
Talking down about other people and talking yourself up and disrespecting women is crazy. It’s sickening how bad it is. The fact that people are putting that on a pedestal and applauding it is crazy.
I think in life you get put in situations like in that dream where you have the option to change certain things, but after thinking it through you just don’t do anything. That’s what the quarters and the bouncy ball reminded me of—sometimes things are fine the way they are.
Exactly, I didn’t even make that connection but me choosing the quarters and the ball is where I am in life. I don’t really know what’s going on but I’m cool with it. It’s nice, existing is a really nice thing. I don’t take it for granted or anything.
Where did the curiosity come from?
I’ve always been like that since I was a kid. Take Legos, for example. I would never use the instructions with the Legos, and I would never build what was on the front of the box. I would always build something random. I’ve always questioned everything because everything is so weird. Why would you not question everything?
I question everything, but at the same time I’m not freaking out. I’m just like, “Yo, that’s crazy, that makes no sense.” It’s in the back of my mind, but I’m always chilling. It’s a weird combination. I have friends who are deep and philosophical and I’m kind of like that too but I just have accepted that there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just not gonna know, I’m gonna keep trying and sometimes it’ll work, sometimes it won’t. At the end of the day I’m just chilling and creating.
Do you think that your music will inspire the deeper thinkers and help them find some of the answers they’re looking for?
Yeah for sure, I feel like I’m helping them understand themselves. It sounds corny, but everyone doesn’t have to be like me. Everyone doesn’t have to think about the deepest thing ever with a blank look on their face. If I inspire them to understand themselves, that’s cool, because for me, I’ve just been talking about how I feel. With the whole flexing, talking about myself, money, and talking about girls stuff, I’m not really with that. That’s another thing that makes absolutely no sense to me, and that is what rap is currently. I don’t understand it at all. It blows my mind on a regular basis.
Rap as a genre?
Not as a genre, just the content. I love the sound, but the content feels like someone sitting in the booth with headphones on, rapping into the mic while they’re looking in a mirror saying, “Dang, I look good” and then talking about themselves. I just don’t understand it, if someone was just bragging in person in front of me, I’d be like, “Yo, get out of my face, you’re weird.” Then there's the stuff that’s said about women, if you said any of that stuff in a public area you’d get jumped. The stuff they’re saying is wrong.
Isn’t that trippy how in rap, that kind of talk is normal and it’s the kids that don’t talk about those things that are labeled weird?
Talking down about other people and talking yourself up and disrespecting women is crazy. It’s sickening how bad it is. The fact that people are putting that on a pedestal and applauding it is crazy. That’s one thing about humans that makes me think like, “Yo, you guys are weird.”
So then who or what inspired you to become 6 Dogs and make your music?
I grew up homeschooled in Georgia, kind of in the mountains. My mom’s Christian so I was completely removed from music as a whole. All we really listened to was Christian music. I think that plays to my advantage, because I have an outside perspective and I’m not influenced by certain things that most people would be influenced by. That really attributes to why I’m so different.
The first rap that I ever really listened to was MC Hammer, and then when I started actually getting into the genre it was Lil Wayne, some Drake, Kanye’s hits. “All Of The Lights,” “Power,” stuff like that. Then I started progressively getting more into it, but a few months ago I just stopped listening to rap completely.
I have friends that’ll play stuff and be like, “You know that Pharrell song?” and I’ll be like, “No, I don’t know that Pharrell song.” They’ll show it to me and I’ll take a little inspiration. That’s why I think being so removed is an advantage, because whenever I do hear stuff, it’s later than everyone else and I’m hearing it for the first time.
What made you decide to do music? It seems like you put a lot of thought into it.
I was a lifeguard and I would work six hours a day just thinking about it. I’m not a normal person, I don’t want to be another sheep. Making music is one of the biggest stages in the world, and music is the universal language. I’m good at coming up with ideas, eventually I want to get into movies. I want to make an anime show one day. It’s not just music, it’s creating. I want to create every day.
Also I was going through stuff when I started and needed an outlet, so music helped me a lot. That was the catalyst—me feeling bad and wanting to do something about it.
Are you in a better headspace now?
Totally. I’m just existing. I’m chilling and enjoying what comes my way.
I was just trying to be trendy. I’ll be real with myself. But the stuff that I have been starting to make doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve made. It sounds really good though
Did you already know what to do as 6 Dogs, and what would and wouldn’t work for your music?
Nah, I was just trying to be trendy. I’ll be real with myself. But the stuff that I have been starting to make doesn’t sound like anything else I’ve made. It sounds really good though, and I'm talking about stuff that I find important. That’s it. I’m not trying to do what everybody else is doing. Let’s be honest, it’s about time. I feel like everybody knew that the idea of what everyone considers to be a rapper was going to collapse eventually, because it doesn’t make sense.
How do you think you’re going to adjust to the music industry?
A ton of labels have already hit me up. I have a manager now, I’m getting a lawyer. I know how it works, I know that there are mistakes and you have to watch your back at all times. It’s fine, it’s nothing I can’t handle. I already get the gist and I have my foot in the door.
It’s about to get crazy, I know a bunch of people are going to hit me up. It’s going to be challenging but I have my friends, I have a girl, she’s sitting right across from me. I have everything I need already and I don’t really need anything else.
The only thing that’s going to change is how much money is in my bank account. I’m not clout chasing or anything, that’s so dead. I’m just making solid music. People get too caught up in all this stuff and make it all complicated. There’s a formula, but a lot of people get tripped up and hang out with people that only say yes.
Where do you see 6 Dogs in a few years?
I’m going to be doing the same stuff with the same people. Again, the only thing that’s going to be different is the money in my bank account. I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I’ll be a household name. Sooner than four or five years, probably a year, maybe two. The stuff that I’ve been working on… I think I’m starting to find my groove and starting to get into a rhythm. I see things going really well.
Do you have a name for your project or a timetable for your plan to release?
I don’t have a name, and I don’t want to set a date because I don’t want time to be a factor in the project. I want the project to be perfect. I’m not saying it’s going to take a year, but I don’t want to say two months and then be pressured to make that time. I want to take my time and make every song really good.