NBA All-Star Madness With Jimmy Butler, Nate Robinson & Kenny Smith | Out of Bounds

 The buzzer has sounded on NBA All-Star Weekend 2018. There were highs, there were lows, there were parties, and Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds team have thoughts on all of it. The reaction starts at the Celebrity Game, where Migos member Quavo took the MVP trophy — and impressed Gil with a non-basketball move. Next, the gang gets into the Slam Dunk Contest, which Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell won, and the All-Star Game, which Team LeBron won 148-145. Have the dunks become too gimmicky and unoriginal? Did the refs try to steal the show at the ASG? Did the format changes, with captains drafting — and a surprising amount of defense and effort — save the showcase game? Or does the NBA need to shake things up further? Depends whom you ask. Following the debate, OOB shares friend of the show Nate Robinson’s star-studded video diary of the festivities, featuring Kevin Hart, Nick Cannon, DJ Khaled, and more. Of course, it wouldn’t be All-Star Weekend without tons of big parties, and Kenny “The Jet” Smith tells Adam about the evolution and dangers of ASW turn-ups, before Gil chimes in with the BTS story of his own $2 million birthday bash. Finally, Jimmy Butler sits down with Adam to discuss why he says whatever he feels, how he chooses his court kicks, and what happens when he plays country music in the Timberwolves locker room. 

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Michael Rapaport Trashed Lonzo Ball’s Debut Album

 When Lonzo Ball shared his debut rap album Born 2 Ball, it was only a matter of time before Michael Rapaport chimed in with his verdict. He said, “This ain’t trap music, it’s trash music.”

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Trippie Redd Speaks About Not Being Included on “God’s Plan” and Hints at Future Drake Collabs

Drake's new single “God's Plan” is the No. 1 song on Billboard's Hot 100 chart for the third week in a row. Producer Boi-1da says he “instantly” knew it was going to be a smash, and Drake is now calling the accompanying music video “the most important thing I have ever done in my career.”

Basically, less than a month after its release, the song is already a massive hit and a huge success to everyone involved. It would feel horrible to miss out on an opportunity like that, right? Ask Trippie Redd. Before the song's release, most fans assumed the buzzing Ohio rapper would be on “God's Plan” when snippets of an early version played by Trippie's DJ leaked online after it was played at a New Year's party.

No one knows for sure why Trippie didn't end up on the final version of the song, but his DJ said, “Snippet was out for too long. Since last year. New Year's gained it too much traction. Trippie only finished half his verse so I'm guessing Drake wanted to capitalize off the buzz. Him and Trip got plenty shit together they good.”

On Thursday, a fan commented on Drake's Instagram post and tagged Trippie, writing, “You missed a MASSIVE opportunity.”

Seemingly unconcerned, Trippie replied, “You right I'm not gone be salty about it tho I got plenty of time to have the opportunity again.” Then, he alluded at future collaborations with Drake by adding: “1400/OVO”

Since the release of “God's Plan,” more footage of Trippie Redd in the studio with Drake and 40 has surfaced. Trippie also told Big Boy he has more songs with Drake: “They're in the works, they still need to be mixed and mastered.”

So, while it must have been a disappointment to miss out on his first No. 1 hit, it sounds like Trippie will have more opportunities for an OVO collaboration in the future—building on a wild 2017 that saw collabs with DRAM, Travis Scott, Swae Lee, and more. He also teased a song with Lil Wayne recently, which you can hear below.

 

Trippie Redd previews new song featuring Lil Wayne. How does it sound to you?

A post shared by Pigeons & Planes (@pigsandplans) on Jan 18, 2018 at 7:35am PST

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Recording Academy Has Higher Female Representation Than Industry Averages, Admits That’s ‘Not Enough’

For all that the 2018 Grammys did well, the show had one major flaw: the treatment of women. Only one woman won an award in any of the major categories (Alessia Cara for Best New Artist); no women were nominated for Record of the Year; Lorde was only woman nominated for Album of the Year, and she didn’t even get a chance to perform by herself (every other Album of the Year nominee was offered the chance to perform). Soon after the show was over, things got markedly worse.

Recording Academy boss Neil Portnow told Variety that the lack of representation was because women “who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level” need “to step up.” His remarks were wildly offensive and many called for him to step down, so the Recording Academy responded by creating a task force to “tackle gender bias.” Now, the Recording Academy has a new strategy to address its obvious gender issue: a letter to its members.

The letter uses statistics from a USC Annenberg study on the music industry to make the case that even though in many areas the Academy’s female representation is actually above the industry averages, they admit it’s not enough. “We must be leaders in moving our industry toward greater inclusion and representation,” the letter reads. “Women are 50 percent of our world. We need their voice and presence at every level.”

The letter also mentions the task force for “female advancement” and promises further action, but not not specify what exactly will happen or when.

Excerpts of the letter, which was addressed to Academy members, were obtained by Variety. In it, the Academy acknowledges that “a poor choice of words” was partly to blame for the “national conversation about gender bias at the Recording Academy,” likely referring to Portnow's remarks. The letter goes on to state that “the Recording Academy Board takes gender parity and inclusion very seriously” and that their task force will “review every aspect of what we do to ensure that our commitment to diversity is reflected in our organization and community.” They also promise to share more information about the task force in coming weeks.

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“When we read the headlines, ‘only 9 percent of Grammy nominees are women,’ we were troubled,” the letter read. “Could we really be that far behind the rest of the industry?”

The letter then details some of the statistics found in the USC report. The study looks at five out of the Grammys' 84 categories: Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. The results are as follows: 22 percent of the performers are women; 12 percent of songwriters are women; and 2 percent of producers are women; women comprise 12 percent of the total music creator population.

In addition, the letter points to the following figures, also from the USC study:

  • Across all 84 categories, 17% of Grammy nominees are female (compared to 12% industry index).
  • 36% of Best New Artist nominees are women (compared to 22% industry index).
  • 21% of Song Of The Year nominees are women (compared to 12% industry index).
  • 0% of Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical nominees are women (compared to 2% industry index).
  • 8% of Record Of The Year and 6% of Album Of The Year nominees are women.

When it comes to the Academy’s membership, 21 percent of their estimated voting membership are women (compared to a 12 percent industry index) and 11 percent of their Producers & Engineers Wing members are women (compared to 2 percent industry index).

“Part of music’s power is its ability to raise awareness around important cultural issues and effect change,” the Academy’s letter reads. “It is in this spirit that we move forward.”

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Frank Ocean Drops a Fire New Cover

Frank Ocean released a cover of a classic 1960s song last night and it got the internet talking about what this could mean. Is it a one off track or is the elusive artist planning on gifting us with more new music?

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Kanye Subbing Jay? Nicki Minaj Feeling Pressure? Eminem Ruining His Legacy? | Everyday Struggle

On today’s #EverydayStruggle, music industry veteran Wayno joined DJ Akademiks, Star, and Nadeska to run through the day of rap news, including thoughts on Kanye and Jay Z’s relationship, Nicki Minaj leaving social media, Eminem’s legacy, and much more. 

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Cam’ron, Rick Ross, Young M.A, and KYLE Discuss Rap’s Generation Gap | ComplexCon(versations)

The generation gap in hip-hop and the culture's ever-changing mores and rules are constant topics of conversation. So naturally, they became subjects of a Complex Con(versation) at ComplexCon 2017. The panel was hosted by Everyday Struggle co-host DJ Akademiks, and featured new and veteran artists as well as journalists talking about how and why hip-hop has changed. Panelists Rick Ross, Cam'ron, Young M.A, KYLE, and Complex's own Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins discussed the new norms in fashion, MCing, beef, and more.

When it comes to style, Ross noted that hip-hop's staggering growth means that you can no longer tell where someone is from just by how they dress. “The culture became so big, we past that,” he said of regional styles.

Talking about rap, Young M.A lamented the state of the game. “It's not just about the music now. It's about going viral,” she said. She also coined the term “tweef” when talking about the propensity of rappers to beef on Twitter instead of on wax. 

KYLE, for his part, stressed originality. In fact, he said he basically has no choice but to do his own thing.  

“I don't feel pressure to act like other people or rap like other people, because I just can't,” he explained. “I'm not ever going to ever going to be able to put on chains and become the Migos.”  

Watch the full conversation above, and keep it locked to Complex as we'll be sharing more ComplexCon(versations) panels featuring the likes of André 3000, Lena Waithe, Ryan Coogler, Virgil Abloh, and more.

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Watch ‘Horse Power,’ Our New Documentary That Highlights Hip-Hop’s Impact on Polo Ralph Lauren

Founded in 1967 by Bronx-born Ralph Lifshitz, Polo Ralph Lauren has dressed everyone from presidents to Olympians to your favorite rappers. Except, said rappers weren’t getting seeded or personally styled by the company up until more recently.

Hip-hop has served as a pro bono marketing agency for the billion-dollar fashion house for nearly three decades, but not anymore. Finally, Polo is recognizing the influence rap music has done for the brand with the 25th anniversary re-release of both its Stadium and Snowboarding collections, and placing rappers Thirstin Howl the 3rd and Meyhem Lauren in ads.

It took hip-hop a long time to get here, though. What started out in the streets of New York by the Lo-Lifes—a Brooklyn street crew whose preferred uniform was Polo—eventually seeped into the region’s hip-hop scene, turning a thing like Raekwon wearing a Snow Beach pullover jacket in the “Can It Be All So Simple” video into an unforgettable moment. Rap took something that was made for upper class preppy white kids and made it their own. “Our culture is based on taking things that aren’t meant for us or weren’t intended for us and making it ours,” as Just Blaze puts it.

With music provided by Thelonious Martin and featuring Raekwon, Just Blaze, Big Boi, 2 Chainz, ASAP Ferg, 88-Keys, Young Dro, Daymond John, Dapper Dan, Fonzworth Bentley, Thirstin Howl the 3rd, and other original Lo-Life members, this documentary explores that juxtaposition. Watch Horse Power above to learn about hip-hop’s love affair with Polo Ralph Lauren.

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Horse Power

Polo Ralph Lauren wasn’t originally meant for the hip-hop community until the Lo-Lifes, a crew of Brooklyn teenagers, adopted the label and made it their own in the late ‘80s. It exploded in the streets and by the ‘90s, Polo was an inescapable part of hip-hop culture, from music videos to magazine covers.