Drake Challenges Himself to a 500-Week Billboard Hot 100 Streak

Drake's eight-year hangout session on the Billboard Hot 100 came to an end this week, but Drake is already looking ahead to the next chart challenge.

The OVO Sound co-founder was missing from the Hot 100 this week for the first time since “Best I Ever Had” hit the charts back in 2009. All told, Drake spent a whopping 431 consecutive weeks on the Hot 100. TMZ bothered Drake outside the Tao restaurant in Los Angeles Wednesday night, ultimately eliciting a three-word response to the news.

“I need 500,” Drake said, narrowly making it inside his vehicle before he had to suffer through the paparazzo's dripping-with-cringe follow-up question of “So what's next, Dancing With the Stars?”

Drake, by a substantial margin, currently boasts the most consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 since the chart's debut in 1958. The rest of the top ten includes Lil Wayne (326 weeks), Rihanna (216), Nicki Minaj (207), Jay Z (159), Katy Perry (139), and more.

This latest feat is far from the first time a Billboard record has been smashed by Drake. With the release of Views in 2016, he claimed 20 spots on the Hot 100. That record held until the release of this year's More Life, at which point Drake bested himself with 24 simultaneous chart appearances.

Drake's most recent solo single was “Signs,” which premiered back in June during Louis Vuitton's Paris Fashion Week show as part of an OVO Sound-curated playlist created for the line's Spring/Summer 2018 menswear reveal.

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Kevin Durant on NBA Players’ Criticism of Donald Trump: ‘We Don’t F**k With Him’

On Thursday, while he was being accosted by a TMZ cameraman at his own Kevin Durant Day parade in Seat Pleasant, Maryland, Kevin Durant did not mince words when it came to the man currently occupying the White House Monday through Friday

If you're wondering what the context was for his remarks, the reigning Finals MVP was asked about how vocal several NBA players have been recently about Donald Trump. “Hell yeah, hell yeah. We're supposed to be,” KD responded. “We don't fuck with him.”

Then, asked if he saw himself getting involved with public criticism at some point, he didn't directly respond while he was signing a shoe. However, it seems that was just a delay, as he basically answered later in the day during an interview with ESPN.

What Durant told the Worldwide Leader is that he wouldn't be visiting the White House if the champs were to be invited, which actually has yet to happen. “Nah, I won't do that,” he said. “I don't respect who's in office right now.”

Durant says that wasn't necessarily a team decision, but rather a personal one. “I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” he said. “That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me.”

Considering the Warriors will probably win the championship every season for the foreseeable future, we'll see if this is a permanent decision on KD's part, or more of a one time thing.

He also spoke about what happened at Charlottesville this past weekend. “I just wanted to sit back and analyze everything and gather my thoughts,” he said. “I wanted to say something immediately, but I definitely want to be the voice of where I come from and people who have come from my neighborhood and deal with oppression.

“I'm representing a lot of people. As far as what's going on in our country, for one, as an athlete, you have to commend Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, CP3 [Chris Paul] [and] Dwyane Wade for starting that conversation last year. Russell Westbrook also said something in his speech. A lot [of] guys with platforms have drove the conversation in a good direction. And what's going on in Charlottesville, that was unfathomable.”

You can read Durant's full comments over at ESPN.

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Floyd Mayweather Says He Won’t Have Sex Before Conor McGregor Fight

Boxers tend to be a superstitious bunch, and though he'd probably be one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters regardless, Floyd Mayweather is no exception. I guess if you start your professional career with a 49-0 record, you don't switch up the formula for fight No. 50. 

Apparently, Mayweather believes in the old-school boxing concept of avoiding intercourse in the lead-up to a fight. Approached by TMZ with a number of questions about the fight, Mayweather only gave a strong answer to one question.

“Floyd, are you going to abstain from sex before the fight?” asked TMZ's correspondent. His response was unequivocal: “Absolutely!”

This unofficial vow marks a pretty stark contrast between Mayweather and his upcoming opponent, Conor McGregor. Pressed on the same subject by late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien, McGregor said in 2015 that he doesn't buy into that no-sex nonsense. “That is most certainly a superstition that I do not abide by,” said McGregor. “I definitely have as much sex as possible.”

As if we needed another point of division to talk about with this fight, the sex habits of both men are now clearly on display. Forget the difference in their sparring habits and their various, problematic actions outside the ring: this will surely be the thing that decides who will walk away from the ring victorious.

In more pressing news, Mayweather is doing his best to make sure fans stay interested in his upcoming bout with McGregor, as the odds continue to favor the 49-0 boxer heavily over the converted MMA fighter. Known mostly for his defensive prowess, Mayweather promised on a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live that he was going to go after McGregor early and often.

“He's going to land shots, because with this fight, I'm going straight ahead,” Mayweather said. “Normally, it's more taking my time, being very cautious. But this time, I'm going straight ahead. The fans deserve it.”

I've seen too many Mayweather matches to be convinced by a little pre-fight talk, but if he's truly prepared to go on the offensive against McGregor, fight fans should be excited. We might actually see a knockout instead of a 12-round decision!

You can watch the video of Mayweather affirming his abstinence up top, and watch a video of him telling Kimmel he dislikes McGregor below.

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DMX Placed on House Arrest After Failing Four Drug Tests

The latest development in DMX's tax evasion case finds the rapper finally catching a break. After pleading not guilty back in July, X was let out on bond but faced strict conditions, including travel restrictions. However, he violated that last part with a trip to St. Louis—a trip that might have landed him in jail.

However, on Friday morning the judge took it easy on DMX, keeping him out of jail despite his travel violation—and despite the fact that the Ruff Ryders icon failed four separate drug tests for marijuana and cocaine, according to TMZ.

Instead, X was placed on house arrest and ordered to wear an ankle bracelet. TMZ reports that the conditions are so strict that he can't even go outside to mow the lawn.

DMX is accused of hiding millions of bucks in income from the government in order to avoid taxes. In all, the U.S. attorney's office says the alleged “multi-year scheme” had X skipping out on a $1.7 million tax bill.

“For years, Earl Simmons, the recording artist and performer known as DMX, made millions from his chart-topping songs, concert performances and television shows. But while raking in millions from his songs, including his 2003 hit 'X Gon' Give it to Ya,' DMX didn’t give any of it to the IRS,” wrote Joon Kim, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who was probably working on that joke for weeks. “Far from it, DMX allegedly went out of his way to evade taxes, including by avoiding personal bank accounts, setting up accounts in other’s names and paying personal expenses largely in cash.”

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Judge Throws Out Former DJ’s $3 Million Lawsuit Saying Taylor Swift Cost Him His Job

Former radio host David Mueller's lawsuit against Taylor Swift has been thrown out by a Denver judge. Mueller insisted that Swift's allegations that he had groped her cost him his job and ruined his career. He was seeking $3 million in damages. U.S. District Judge William Martinez handed down the dismissal on Friday. 

Swift's civil suit against Mueller over the groping, which has been ongoing for four years, stems from an incident that took place in 2013 during a meet-and-greet following a concert in Denver. Swift testified that Mueller “grabbed my ass underneath my skirt. It was underneath my skirt.” Swift also remarked, “He did not touch my hand. He grabbed my bare ass. He stayed latched on to my bare ass…as I moved away from him visibly uncomfortable.” Mueller denies he assaulted the massively popular singer. 

A photo from the event seems to support Swift's allegations.

Taylor symbolically counter-sued the former DJ for $1. Swift's attorney J. Douglas Baldridge remarked, “She’s just trying to tell people out there that you can say no when someone puts their hand on you. Grabbing a woman’s rear end is an assault, and it’s always wrong. Any woman—rich, poor, famous, or not—is entitled to have that not happen.” Swift testified that a “light switched off in my personality” after the assault. 

The groping case against Mueller is ongoing. 

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Taylor Swift Testifies in Sexual Assault Trial: ‘He Latched on to My Bare Ass’

Taylor Swift testified Thursday in the trial for her civil suit against David Mueller, a DJ from Denver who Swift says groped her under her skirt during a meet-and-greet in 2013. This is the first time Swift has taken the stand in the case, despite the fact that it's been ongoing for more than four years. 

Swift was clear and concise in her testimony. “He did not touch my rib,” Swift said in court, according to TMZ. “He did not touch my hand. He grabbed my bare ass. He stayed latched on to my bare ass… as I moved away from him visibly uncomfortable.”

“It was a very shocking thing that I have never dealt with before,” the pop star added. “He grabbed my ass underneath my skirt. It was underneath my skirt.” 

Mueller denies that he inappropriately touched Swift. However, he appears to have forgotten that meet-and-greet events are, by definition, an opportunity to get a photo with the artist—and there’s pretty damning photographic evidence. TMZ unearthed the photo in question, and while it might not prove anything definitively, the photo does show Mueller’s arm in a pretty awkward angle.

The defense claimed Swift’s accusations are false because she continued the meet-and-greet after the alleged assault took place. Mueller’s lawyer claimed she could have taken a break from taking photos with fans, as if that somehow would have changed the situation or made it go away. 

For her part, Swift said she continued the meet-and-greet because she did not want to disappoint her fans. To the claim that she should have “taken a break,” Swift fired back, “And your client could have taken a normal photo with me.” 

The whole case began after Swift accused Mueller of groping her back in 2013. As a result, Mueller lost his job. In 2015, he filed a lawsuit against Swift, seeking to regain his lost wages, which amounted to $150,000 a year; he claimed her statement was the reason he lost his job. In a symbolic act, Swift counter-sued for only $1, hoping the mere act of taking a stand would be “an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts,” as reported in Spin.

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R. Kelly Denies That Any of His Tour Dates Have Been Canceled

R. Kelly is crying “fake news.”

While on his way to perform in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, the 50-year-old singer recorded a message for his fans, claiming none of his shows have been canceled.

“I want everybody around the world to know, ain’t no tours canceled, man,” he said. “All right, despite what you hear, don't believe the hype. I haven’t canceled not one show. All right, I’m ready to get it in tonight.”

Last week, it was reported that Kelly’s team had canceled four dates on his After the Party Tour—one in Los Angeles, one in Dallas, and two in Louisiana. Sources close to the artist claimed the LA stop was canceled due to a scheduling conflict, but they refused to comment about the other three shows. Other sources told TMZ the cancelations were due to poor ticket sales, likely caused by Kelly’s recent “sex cult” scandal.

The controversy began last month, when Buzzfeed published a report that accused the singer of kidnapping and sexually abusing a group of young women. Kelly and one of his alleged victims Jocelyn Savage have publicly denied these claims. Savage’s parents, however, said they're convinced their daughter has been brainwashed and held against her will.

“He doesn’t let them get away,” Joycelyn’s mother, Jonjelyn Savage, said during an interview on Atlanta-based radio station V-103. “He basically isolates them from the world.”

There were rumors Kelly would pull the plug on his tour in light of the allegations; however, he later called the sex abuse claims “a bunch of crap” and told fans he had every intention of continuing the tour. He's scheduled to perform Saturday in Detroit. According to the Detroit Free Press, tonight's show has sold out.

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LaVar Ball Insists He Could Beat Michael Jordan ‘With Some Flips Flops on in the Rain’

LaVar Ball is feeling fired the fuck up. Someone from TMZ found Ball at an airport and asked him about several shots that have recently been fired at his family. Ball knew exactly where to direct his words to cause maximum damage: he went after Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and LeBron James.

First, Ball called out MJ—again. A few months ago, Ball claimed he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one, taking aim at the universal G.O.A.T. On Monday, Michael Jordan roasted Ball by claiming Ball couldn’t beat him one-on-one even if Jordan was “one-legged.” Not one to be outdone, Ball fired back Friday, telling TMZ, “I could beat him with one hand tied behind my back with some glasses on with one eye lens out with some flips flops on in the rain.” If this ever actually happened, it would probably rival Mayweather versus McGregor levels of hype. 

After getting properly warmed up, Ball started talking business. Shaq released a diss track last week aimed squarely at Ball and his famous mouth, with lines such as, “Sit down man, you be doin' the most/You know your ass is barbeque chicken in the post/First you can beat Mike, then you can beat me/Wake that ass up, you havin' a dream.” But Ball isn’t exactly shaking in his boots. “I’ve told him, if he wanna join Big Baller Records, and he audition, that’s fine, but we’re looking for younger acts at this time,” Ball said. “Who gonna pay attention to a 90-year-old rapper? He too old to be doing a diss track at me.” 

But Ball wasn’t done yet! He also responded to Charles Barkley’s recent comments, which implied the Lakers aren’t a playoff team, not even with Ball's much-hyped son Lonzo. “Barkley doesn’t know what he’s talking about!” Ball said. “Lakers are guaranteed to make the playoffs. Guaranteed to make the mothereffin’ playoffs.” 

To finish up, Ball also had some choice words for LeBron James: “If you wanna win some championships, come over to the Lakers with my boy,” Ball said, suggesting his son could do what LeBron couldn’t. 

Damn, LaVar. Tell us how you really feel.

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Prodigy’s Official Cause of Death Revealed

Prodigy, the legendary hip-hop figure and one half of Mobb Deep, passed away at the age of 42 on June 20. At the time, it was reported that he had died from complications related to his lifelong battle with sickle-cell anemia.

Now we have an official cause of death: accidental choking. Prodigy was indeed hospitalized to receive treatment for sickle-cell anemia, and he died while in the Las Vegas hospital by choking on an egg, as first reported by TMZ.

The Clark County Medical Examiner announced its determination after completing an investigation. The Clark County Coroner’s office confirmed to Complex that “cause of death was choking and the manner was accident.”

Prodigy's sickle-cell had flared up after a performance in the severe West Coast heat of Las Vegas. Prodigy was performing on the Art of Rap Tour with Havoc, Ghostface Killah, KRS-One, Onyx, and Ice-T.

Prodigy and Havoc met in high school in Manhattan and originally chose the name “Poetical Prophets” before shifting to Mobb Deep. Their second album, The Infamous, which dropped in 1995, was their breakthrough.

They released eight studio albums together and are one of the most critically acclaimed groups in hip-hop history.

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Suge Knight Indicted for Allegedly Texting Death Threats to ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Director

Suge Knight's legal troubles continue.

Knight has been indicted on felony charges of making criminal threats by a grand jury in Los Angeles County. He was reportedly unhappy with his portrayal in the 2015 film Straight Outta Compton, TMZ reports. So the record producer, music executive, and founder of the iconic Death Row Records allegedly sent death threats to F. Gary Gray, the director of the movie, through text messages. Court records obtained by Variety show that the crime was allegedly committed on August 8, 2014. Suge will be arraigned on Thursday.

It's just the latest legal incident involving Knight. Back in January 2015, he was arrested on murder charges, which were also tied to the production of Straight Outta Compton. Knight allegedly ran over a man named Terry Carter with his vehicle on the set of the film. He is currently behind bars awaiting trial on those charges.

Prior to that incident, Knight and comedian Katt Williams were arrested in 2014 for their alleged connection to an armed robbery. The pair pleaded not guilty. Suge was also shot multiple times at a pre-MTV VMAs party hosted by Chris Brown the same year. 

Straight Outta Compton, which was released in theaters in August 2015, grossed more than $200 million at the box office. The biographical film received a generally positive reception from critics and maintains a solid 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

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