With our neighbors to the south, Mexico, recovering after getting hit with a series of earthquakes, and Puerto Rico still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Maria, Donald Trump spoke to the crowd at a campaign rally for “Big” Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday about offering a helping hand to those in need.
Man, who are we kidding? Instead, Trump attacked the NFL players who protest racism and police violence by not standing during the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flags to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now! Out,” he said. “He’s fired! He’s fired!'”
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Trump responded to the outrage on Saturday afternoon with tweets clarifying his original position: that employees of a private company should be fired for their political beliefs.
If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect….
Simultaneously, another championship team declined an invitation to the White House. A team spokesman confirmed that the UNC Tar Heels national championship men's basketball team will not visit, despite having been invited.
Steve Kirschner said, “We couldn't find a date that worked for both parties. We tried about eight or nine dates and between they couldn't work out that date, we couldn't work out that date, so—we would have liked to have gone, but not going.”
The worlds of style and basketball have always been intertwined. While some players like Russell Westbrook have become known for their outrageous pregame outfits, others have gone as far as to create their own brands. One of the players who has done this is Golden State Warriors guard Nick Young. This past weekend, he hosted a pop-up shop for his brand Most Hated at American Rag in L.A., and Complex News was in attendance to chop it up with him.
What started with Young making a few shirts with the phrase “Most Hated” written on them last year has turned itself into full fledged brand for the young NBA player that now includes a line hoodies, hats, track pants. It has since gotten co-signed by everyone from fellow players like LeBron James to one of the league's “most hated” players Kevin Durant, and players have even asked him to send them some gear in the middle of games. He also mentioned how he would love to see Most Hated makes its way onto some style icons like Kanye West and Rihanna. “I'd hand deliver it to [Rihanna] personally,” says Young.
Aside from his brand, Swaggy P touched on how he was recruited to the reigning NBA Champions, as well as the personal style of some of his new teammates like Draymond Green and Steph Curry. Check out the full interview in the video above, and shop the Most Hated collection via the brand's online store here.
Mere hours after Steph Curry trolled LeBron James's workout video in front of Kyrie Irving at Harrison Barnes's wedding, the Warriors star point guard crashed the house party of some likely ecstatic dudes, where he pounded some beers and posed for pictures. In one such shot it appeared that Steph had trouble putting said beer in his mouth from point blank range, which seems kind of odd for a guy who makes sinking NBA three-pointers look so easy:
And it doesn’t appear as though KD is going to let up anytime soon, either. On Monday night, he took to Twitter to respond to a few of the people who crowd into his mentions on a daily basis. And while the majority of his responses were G-rated and focused mostly on his basketball opinions, KD just couldn’t resist the urge to clap back at one troll who made a dumb joke about him leaving Oklahoma City.
In his tweet, the fan claimed he named his dog after KD and the dog left him:
Hey @KDTrey5 I named my dog after you and he left me. What's up with that
Over the last three Summer League games, Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball has worn everything but his Big Baller Brand ZO2 shoes. Last Wednesday, Ball was spotted rocking the Nike Kobe AD.
Lonzo's ever-changing footwear of choice doesn't appear to be bothering his father LaVar one bit. “That boy can play barefoot and do the same thing. He’s just letting them know he can play in any shoe he feels like,” LaVar toldESPN. “That’s how that Big Baller Brand roll. We’ve got that independence. We don’t have to be strapped down. You know how many players want to do that?”
Prior to Sunday's Lakers game against the Dallas Mavericks, ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth pointed out his latest footwear of choice tonight and wondered if there was an ulterior motive in the works. “You're wearing the Jordan 31s tonight … are you trying to start a bidding war here?,” Hubbarth asked. “Something like that,” Ball replied.
ASAP Rocky has convinced the world that New York artists could sound like they’re from Houston, shown that rappers could dress like they stepped off a Paris runway, designed sneakers with Adidas and Jeremy Scott, and modeled for Dior. But now he's signed himself up for one of the biggest tasks of his career: making Under Armour relevant in the world that he's dominated for much of this decade.
By most mainstream measures, Under Armour already is “cool.” They've snatched up big names in sports like Steph Curry, Tom Brady, Jordan Spieth, Cam Newton, and Aaron Judge, and the brand’s on-field success has been nothing short of impeccable. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been quite enough to give the brand cultural impact that transcends beyond professional sports.
The brand is clearly hoping to change that. It was reported on July 8 that Rocky had signed a multi-year deal with the Maryland sportswear company to work on lifestyle product for its UAS range, which is directed by fashion designer Tim Coppens and focuses apparel and sneakers that don’t feature the Under Armour logo — something that's driven style-oriented people away from the brand in the past.
It’s been the butt of many Internet jokes in recent times, most notably its all-white Steph Curry sneakers, and its move to bring Rocky onboard is a clear sign that it’s trying to chase a different consumer; one that’s eschewed its shoes for Nike and Adidas. It’s already worn by suburban dads and young teens who actually play basketball, but convincing everyone else to buy into the sneakers is a different story.
It was once controversial to claim that artists and musicians are the new athletes in the footwear industry, but Kanye West and Adidas (followed by a whole host of other entertainers and companies) have proved that notion wrong. Yeezys are flying off shelves at a breakneck pace while LeBrons are collecting dust and going on sale. And Under Armour’s move of signing Rocky proves that even the most sports-focused company realizes that it needs to get younger and hipper to grab its stake in the shoe game. The company has already signed The Rock to a big deal, but it didn’t make an impact with the cool-guy demographic, an audience that it so desperately wants to resonate with. It won’t, however, be as seamless as attaching one of the biggest names in hip-hop to a sneaker brand and watching the money roll in. Rocky is going to have to work his ass off to make this partnership truly work.
If anyone thinks Rocky’s contribution, in terms of influence, is insignificant, consider this for a second: With 6.3 million instagram followers, he has nearly twice as many as Under Armour’s main account.
Let’s think of the possibilities for a second. If Rocky is able to create product that truly inspires his fan base, there’s no way that it’s not going to sell out, and it will only create a snowball effect for Under Armour. Don’t believe me? You’d be hard-pressed to find a high percentage of the Yeezy/Boost fanboys who owned a pair of sneakers with Three Stripes on them prior to Kanye and Adidas working together in 2015, but now the brand has, literally, boosted its sales and has overtaken Nike and Jordan Brand in terms of resonance with the millennial audience.
It’s not going to be easy, though. This isn’t Under Armour’s first foray into lifestyle product. It’s made luxury, off-court sneakers for Steph Curry and even launched them at leading boutique Concepts. The brand made a huge push behind its Tim Coppens line, too, and it’s just fallen flat. It even has Migos promoting the label, but they haven’t consistently worn the product in the public eye and it’s failed to make a huge impact. Rocky could change all of that. His connection as a designer/signature artist is much greater than paying him to simply wear Under Armour. People have spouted on social media that they’re already going to buy their first pair of Under Armours, but all of that will be proven when his shoes finally are available at retail.
What makes Rocky’s partnership with the brand intriguing is that he’s notorious for being someone who won’t wear or co-sign anything that he’s not truly into. It’s likely that he sees this opportunity as a chance to boost his profile as someone who’s taken seriously as a designer in the style world, and who doesn’t want their name attached to a commercially successful sneaker? Imagine if Under Armour lets him design a sneaker for Steph Curry to wear during the All-Star Game? That’s visibility that even his music, likely, won’t achieve. But these are all what-ifs. It all starts with making a good pair of shoes, and the rest will follow.
Once the clock struck 12:01 AM ET on July 1, and the NBA free agency period was underway, the Golden State Warriors didn't waste any time getting Steph Curry to come to terms on a five-year, $201 million “supermax” deal, the richest contract in league history. The “supermax,” or the designated-player exception, is a recently added provision to the NBA collective bargaining agreement. It awards a select few players even higher paying contracts as long as they can check off a number of boxes, including being named to one of the three all-NBA teams in two of the previous three seasons.
This moment is a long time coming for Curry, who has been playing for the Warriors on a discount.
$44M: What the Warriors paid Steph Curry for the last four seasons.
$40.2M: What Curry will AVERAGE in EACH of the next five seasons.
A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Jun 30, 2017 at 9:32am PDT
Kodak Black is back on his colorism bullshit. This time, ChaneyTV caught the rapper at Master P's charity basketball game and asked him once again about his controversial comments about women. The Florida rapper said nothing we hadn’t heard already—he said prefers lighter skinned women—but he definitely added more unnecessary fuel to the already raging fire this time around.
Referencing a hypothetical other man, Kodak Black said that “if he prefers skinny women more than a chubbier or heavyset woman, if he can say that and nobody can get mad him, I just said I don’t like women with my complexion.”
He continued: “I love African American women, but I just don’t like my skin complexion. We too gutter, light-skinned women more sensitive.”
This whole mess is starting to sound like a larger psychological problem that Kodak Black has with himself and his skin color that simply won’t get solved by tweeting at him or angrily commenting on social media feeds. That said, it also doesn’t seem like the Florida rapper is at all willing to educate himself on the implications of what he’s saying over and over again.
This latest ChaneyTV interview is unfortunately only the latest failed attempt by the Florida rapper to explain the kind of women he prefers. In an Instagram Live video last week, Kodak Black answered questions from fans about which famous women he’d like to have sex with, and he eventually admitted that “I don’t really like black girls like that.”
Predictably, that revelation infuriated fans and non-fans alike, and Kodak Black took to Instagram again the next day to defend himself, stating that “I love black African American women. It's just not my forte to deal with a 'darkskin' woman.” The backlash to his defense was so strong that he eventually deleted his entire Instagram. He's since restored his account, but the post in question is gone.
Although it seems Kodak Black is only attempting to explain his (rather misguided) views, it’s not likely people will let him off easy.
Well, this one was. It's partly my own fault; I've had the album on repeat since it dropped, and being armed with knowledge of Jay's history, from actual stabbings to legendary friendships, there are some moments on 4:44 that might be getting overlooked. Or, at the very least, haven't been highlighted by many as of yet. In an effort to make those who might not have ran this one back a number of times, here's a look at some things you might have missed on your first listen through Jay Z's 4:44.
Jay recalling the stabbing of Lance “Un” Rivera
On the opening track, “Kill Jay Z,” Jay touched on his issues with Kanye West and also brought up the time he stabbed Lance “Un” Rivera at the Kit Kat Klub in New York City in December of 1999 over allegations that Rivera had been bootlegging Vol. 3.
You got a knot in your chest, imagine how a knife hurts
You stabbed Un over some records
Your excuse was “He was talkin' too reckless!”
Jay ultimately plead guilty to the assault charges he was facing, and received three years probation, but to hear Cam'ron tell it, the incident wasn't over bootlegging music: it was over Undeas Entertainment's Charlie Baltimore, to whom Jay is said to have had a thing for.
Revealing that his mother is a lesbian
For what appears to be the first time in history, Jay Z rapped about his mother's sexuality on “Smile,” which also features a spoken word outro from his mother, Gloria Carter.
Mama had four kids, but she's a lesbian
Had to pretend so long that she's a thespian
Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate
Society shame and the pain was too much to take
Cried tears of joy when you fell in love
Don't matter to me if it's a him or her
I just wanna see you smile through all the hate
This isn't the first time Jay has supported the LGBTQ community; he applauded his friend President Obama's stance on same-sex marriage back in 2012.
Subtly referencing his past issues with Funkmaster Flex
Also on “Smile” was the following line that could be looked at as a reference to Hot 97's own Funkmaster Flex: “This is Hov, no flex zone, nigga, who lied to you?” While many of us will remember how hard Flex has ridden for Hov over the years, back in 2015 their relationship hit a speed bump when Flex started calling Jay's Life+Times blog “trash.” This was due to Flex's feelings about the Life+Times app, which he says was essentially taken from information he gave to them about the Flex app that apparently ended up in their app.
The radio rant sparked the now-infamous and alleged “This is HOV” text to Flex, which Flex then posted on Instagram.
A post shared by FunkFlex (@funkflex) on Jan 16, 2015 at 7:17pm PST
A month later, Flex said if Jay was past the beef, he would be past the beef, but this is also Jay's first album since Flex went on that rant. Maybe he was just saving up one line until he was good and ready to address it.
Sending shots at Al Sharpton's gym selfies
Most Jay Z theorists assume that he'd been working on what became 4:44 since late 2016, but judging by this pair of lines on “Family Feud,” he must have been working on it down to the wire, as he found a way to include Al Sharpton's viral gym selfies that hit a little over a week ago (week ago).
Al Sharpton in the mirror takin' selfies
How is him or Pill Cosby s'posed to help me?
You read that right; Hov also found a way to throw some shade at Bill Cosby by calling him “Pill,” which is a reference to the sexual assault allegations Cosby's been dealing with.
Sticking up for his friend Prince
On the Frank Ocean-assisted “Caught Their Eyes,” Jay took most of the second verse to speak out against Londell McMillain, the lawyer who was formerly handling Prince's estate.
I sat down with Prince, eye to eye
He told me his wishes before he died
Now, Londell McMillan, he must be color blind
They only see green from them purple eyes
These bars were more than likely a result of the lawsuit that Prince's estate filed against Tidal in November of 2016 over the streaming rights to Prince's music. Jay wasn't done there, though.
This guy had 'Slave' on his face
You think he wanted the masters with his masters?
You greedy bastards sold tickets to walk through his house
I'm surprised you ain't auction off the casket
Hov was not only referring to Prince's historic battle for his masters from Warner Bros. (who released a deluxe edition of Purple Rain with the blessing of Prince's estate just last week) and the actual tours people can buy tickets for through Prince's private estate, Paisley Park.
Oh Marcy, Marcy me
Just the way I am always gonna be
I ain't gonna change, no
Marcy, Marcy me, just the way I am
Possibly hinting at the future addition of 4:44 to Apple Music
One of 4:44's standouts is “The Story of O.J.,” which finds Hov questioning the value of a dollar, especially to artists, people of color, and anyone growing up in the hood. Essentially, Hov ties up his role in the music business right now: “I'm tryin' to give you a million dollars worth of game for $9.99.” Now, sure, a Tidal subscription goes for a cool $9.99, but so does one of Tidal's competitors, Apple Music. Was this Hov slyly informing the world that 4:44would be hitting non-Tidal services in the future?
Jay Z's new album 4:44 is now available on all streaming services. Just kidding. The long-awaited Magna Carta Holy Grail follow-up is the first in a series of music-related exclusives from Tidal and Sprint, meaning Tidal is the only place to legally and in good conscience stream the 10-track event.
But according to a report from Variety, so-called Jay Z fans who are absolutely hell-bent on denying themselves a Tidal subscription may not have to wait very long to be rewarded for their stubbornness. A “source” said Thursday night that 4:44 will hit Apple Music after a week of exclusivity on Tidal. A separate source went a step further, claiming that the album would hit “all major services” in a week.
Depending on your views of time and existence and whatnot, a week is either a really long—or hilariously short—amount of time. Compared with the exclusivity window of other Tidal releases, however, a week is a breeze.
Beyoncé's Lemonade, released last April, is still not available for streaming anywhere else but Tidal. As Billboardnoted, Lemonade performed on par with other massive albums (Drake's Views, for example) when looking at sales and downloads. When digging into the streaming data, however, the Tidal exclusivity starts to be noticeable. Views pulled more than 2 million in streaming equivalent album units that year, while Lemonade topped out at 214,000.
Kanye West's The Life of Pablo, which recently became the first streaming-only album to achieve platinum status, was also initially released as a Tidal exclusive. In fact, West once vowed that it would permanently remain an exclusive, before making it widely available on streaming services months after its release.
Jay Z has not officially announced any plans to bring 4:44 to other streaming services.