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Childish Gambino Calls Out Drake (Again), Performs ‘Sober’ for First Time

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‘Right now, I definitely think I’m better than him,’ he says of fellow actor-turned-rapper.

Childish Gambino has a Hot 100 hit in “3005,” is hard at work on album number three and has amassed a very loyal and growing fanbase, but there was a time when he worried there wouldn’t be enough room in the music industry for him and a certain other actor-turned-rapper.

Childish (you might also know him as Community‘s Donald Glover) sat down with Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg on Monday night at the Grammy Museum’s Clive Davis Theater in downtown L.A. to talk about his burgeoning music career and to perform a short set for the intimate crowd, including his just-released song “Sober.” But no rap conversation would be complete without bringing up beefs, and during an audience Q&A, a fan checked in to see where Childish stands with Drake.

“I don’t want people to think that I hate Drake,” he insisted, though he has had some choice words for him in the past. “I don’t hate Drake at all. I really like Drake, if not for no other reason than he makes me better. He really does, for real. I had to fight that. I knew when I was doing Childish Gambino from the beginning, like, ‘They’re not gonna let me do this because they already have an actor/singer/rapper guy who’s black.’ If he was white, it would be different, because they’d be like, ‘They’re not the same.’ It’s very specific.

“But I don’t dislike Drake,” he continued, setting up a one-two punch of a compliment followed by a dash of shade. “I think he’s a really good writer and rapper. Right now, I definitely think I’m better than him, but only because I’m working harder than him right now. If he came in right now like, ‘Let’s rap,’ I’d be like, ‘Oh, I’mma kill you.’ But like right now. Maybe he’s got something up his sleeve.”

But enough about other rappers: On Sunday, Childish released “Sober” from his upcoming STN MTN / KAUAI mixtape, and his smooth vocals on the track are already getting comparisons to the King of Pop — a comparison he tentatively agrees with.

“It’s Michael Jackson-esque,” he admitted, sitting cross-legged on his chair wearing a beige cardigan and patterned beach shorts. “It’s weird, because I never said that. I mean, we would hear it, but I was like, ‘I can’t say that.’ Like, ‘I did it just like the best performer ever.’ I just wanted to have that feeling. I just don’t think there’s that feeling anymore. … Michael Jackson is just short-term for something that lasts a long time and you care about.”

The rapper is inspired by MJ in many ways, but mostly he wants his music to feel as important as the late icon’s did. “I want everything I do to be an event,” he said. “I dropped ‘Sober’ — we drop our things on Sunday so people will think about them. You know when you put them out on, like, Tuesday, people will be like, ‘Oh, Donald’s got a new song! And so does Rick Rozay!’ No one’s gonna think about it. On Sunday, everybody’s chillin’, the Internet’s quiet, and then they have all Sunday to think about it, like, ‘OK, what is this song about? Do I like this song? Or does the dude who tweeted it hate it so I have to say I hate it too because I’m not uncool?’ I want people to like it… and maybe they hate it, but [at least] they think about it.”

In addition to performing “Sober” for the first time, Childish played four other songs and even debuted a yet-unheard verse a cappella from his upcoming mixtape.

Full set list from the Grammy Spotlight event:
“3005”
“Shadows”
“Telegraph Ave.”
“Sweatpants”
“Sober”
Verse from his upcoming mixtape

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Exclusive: Snoop Dogg, Common, DJ Mustard, YG Among Performers Set For BET Hip Hop Awards

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Doug E. Fresh named 2014 I Am Hip Hop Icon Award honoree

With his return engagement as host of BET Hip Hop Awards 2014 announced earlier, Snoop Dogg is now also set to perform. He will be joined by a high-wattage confirmed performer lineup that includes Common, Birdman, DJ Premier, DJ Mustard, Rich Homie Quan, Bobby Shmurda, Young Thug, Vince Staples, Jay Electronica, Migos, YG and Rae Sremmurd.

The ninth annual ceremony will tape Sept. 20 at Atlanta’s Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center and premiere Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET.

Confirmed as presenters thus far are BET “Real Husbands of Hollywood” co-star/rapper Nelly and G.O.O.D. Music singer/songwriter Teyana Taylor.

Pioneering rapper, beat boxer and producer Doug E. Fresh will be this year’s recipient of the I Am Hip Hop Icon Award. Dubbed the Human Beat Box, Fresh scored his first top 5 rap single with “The Show” in 1985 and notched other classics with “La Di Da Di” and “Keep Risin’ to the Top.” He will join such previous I Am Hip Hop Icon Award honorees as MC Lyte, LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, Russell Simmons and Grandmaster Flash.

Drake leads the 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards nominee parade with eight nominations, including album of the year, lyricist of the year, MVP of the year and people’s champ award. Jay Z, Future and Pharrell Williams each received six nods. Tied with five nominations apiece are Nicki Minaj, Rich Homie Quan and YG.

The awards show is also set to premiere on Oct. 17 on BET’s international network in the U.K. and Africa.

By

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Bill Cosby and His Wife Are Lending Their 300-Piece Art Collection to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art

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For a special exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art titled “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue,” legendary comedian (and television’s greatest dad) Bill Cosby and his wife of 50 years, Camille, will donate over 300 works of art from their private collection. The Cosbys have spent the last four decades collecting works by African American artists, including Faith Ringgold, Elizabeth Catlett, Gerard Sekoto, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Beauford Delaney, Loïs Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Keith Morrison, Augusta Savage, and Alma Thomas, and now their collection will be shown alongside important works from the museum’s own collection in an exhibition curated by David C. Driskell, Adrienne L. Child, Christine Mullen Kreamer, and Bryna Freyer.

Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1859–1937, United States. The Thankful Poor, 1894 Oil on canvas 90.3 x 112.5 cm (35 1/2 x 44 1/4 in.) The Collection of Camille O. and William H. Cosby Jr. Photograph by Frank Stewart

In a statement, Bill Cosby said, “It’s so important to show art by African American artists in this exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. To me, it’s a way for people to see what exists and to give voice to many of these artists who were silenced for so long, some of whom will speak no more.”

The exhibition is scheduled to open on Nov. 9 and will show through early 2016 as a part of the museum’s 50th anniversary programming. Check out the video below of Bill and Camille Cosby talking about their collection and head to the National Museum of African Art website for more information.

[via Artnet]

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Adrian Peterson Removed From Madden Giferator

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Adrian Peterson may be playing this Sunday, but he’s out of Madden’s GIFerator.

EA Sports put up a GIF creation site a couple weeks ago to support its Madden NFL 15 launch. Vikings runningback Adrian Peterson was originally included as one of five GIFable players from the team (seen above). He has been silently removed from the site in what can only be due to his recent child abuse scandal. The Vikings page now displays Matt Cassel, Chad Greenway, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Brian Robison.

The following terms are blocked from use, though it’s unclear if they were ever allowed: switch, child, women, woman, abuse, violence, whoop.

As of press time, the following terms are usable: domestic, whoopin, beatin, and kiddie.

Our Take:
This is the right call on EA’s part. Leaving Peterson on the site would only generate inappropriate content that the company wouldn’t want associated with its brand.

 the author Bryan Vore

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Update: Free Launch-Day DLC Cars In Forza Horizon 2

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Update: Microsoft has just confirmed the Launch Bonus Car Pack DLC, as well as the game’s Car Pass and VIP programs.

The VIP program ($19.99 regular or $9.99 for Forza 5 VIP members) gets you exclusive cars, a 2x in-game reward accelerator, in-game gifts, invites to exclusive game events, recognition in the game, and a discount on any other offers that include VIP membership.

The Car Pass ($24.99) gets you six monthly DLC packs of five DLC cars starting in October. You’ll also get the 2010 Noble M600.

Original Story: Cars are like currency in Forza Horizon 2, and Microsoft looks to start you out with a little something in your pocket. The Launch Bonus Car Pack is free DLC featuring eight cars to get you started.

CVG found the DLC in the Xbox One store, and as of the time of this writing it’s still there (and downloadable at 10.85 MB) even though the game doesn’t come out until September 30.

The Launch Bonus Car Pack includes:

  • 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 1968 Abarth 595 esseesse
  • 1956 Ford F-100
  • 2003 Ford Focus RS
  • 1997 Land Rover Defender 90
  • 1987 Buick Regal GNX
  • 1993 Renault Clio Williams
  • 2015 Ford Mustang GT

These cars are different ones than recently announced for the game’s Forza Rewards program.

We’ve contacted Microsoft for more details on the DLC, and will update this story if we hear anything relevant.

[Source: CVG]

Our Take:
This looks like a fun assortment of entry-level cars; including the useful offroad Land Rover. You won’t be able to resell them for much in the game, but it’s something.

the author Matthew Kato

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Beyonce Toasts With Champagne, Laughs At Everyone Who Believed Pregnancy Rumors

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Oh, look. The photo above is Beyoncé and Jay Z toasting to the end of their “On The Run” tour in Paris this weekend with a hefty dose of champagne—most likely Ace of Spades.

But wait, isn’t Beyoncé supposedly pregnant with their second child?! Ready for a fun breakdown?

On Saturday morning, rumors swirled around the Internet that Jay Z changed the lyrics to his Magna Carta… Holy Grail song “Beach Is Better” and changed the line “When it’s gone I’m like fuck it, I replace it with another one” to “Cause she’s pregnant with another one.”

For those who have seen clips from that night in Paris, know that Jay Z goes from “Beach Is Better” to “Partition” and only raps: “Hit ya ass on the celly, cause I ain’t got time/To be arguing with your ass, if you ain’t really ready/Girl why you never ready for as long as you took/You better look like Halle Berry…or Beyoncé…” then “Partition” strikes.

For those who have followed Jay and Bey’s careers, and who watched Beyoncé’s HBO documentary, they suffered a miscarriage before conceiving their daughter, Blue Ivy. A lot of thought and preparation and stress went into announcing her pregnancy at the 2011 MTV VMAs. Therefore, announcing their pregnancy two weeks after Bey was partying at Made In America seemed…well, just straight up unlikely:

So, no. The chances are very slim that Beyonce would be drinking on August 31 and then have Jay announce their pregnancy on September 12. But, don’t worry, Bey just proved all of those rumors to be false by toasting with champagne to the end of the “On The Run” tour… that is unless it’s sparkling grape juice and the entire HBO special will revolve around them announcing this in the program. But chances are, Bey’s not gonna let Jay change up some random bar from an Interlude on his last album to announce her pregnancy simply because girls run the world and boys drool.

[Images via Life & Times]

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Kendrick Lamar’s New Single Reportedly Releasing Next Week

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As the year begins to wind down, there has been a sudden amount of buzz about the release of Kendrick Lamars sophomore album. Kendrick, who we interviewed a few months ago, has mostly been silent about the album but some information has leaked out in the pat few days. The Twitter account for video production company “Watch Loud” released a tweet last week revealing the rumored title of song, “I Love Myself”:

The news allegedly came from a private dinner that IGA and Clear Channel hosted for radio personalities. Today, another Twitter user came forward with an exact date for Kendrick along with other Interscope artists Gwen Stefani and Fergie. He claims that the dates were leaked from the promo site and quickly removed:

Sources at HHNM have since confirmed the name of the song to be “I.” The two Twitter accounts are also seemingly circling around the same release date of next week, which means that we may finally get a chance to hear what Kendrick has been cooking up. Hopefully there’s an announcement soon.

[via HHNM]

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Big K.R.I.T. “See Me On Top Vol. 4″ Mixtape

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In anticipation of his upcoming album Cadillactica, Big K.R.I.T. drops his new mixtape See Me On Top Vol. 4. This follows his release of “Drinkers Club” and “What’s Next,” two tracks that are both included on his latest project. Features on See Me On Top Vol. 4 include Juicy J, A$AP Ferg, Rick Ross, Yo Gotti, and many more. Dedicated fans of K.R.I.T. should be satisfied with the fourth installment of his noted mixtape series that dates back to 2005, as it features the Southern swag and sound we have come to appreciate from the Mississippi representative.

Big K.R.I.T. will embark on his “Pay Attention” tour next month, with his sophomore set to come later. For now, stream and download See Me On Top Vol. 4

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WWE 2K15 On Xbox One, PS4 Delayed To Join The Royal Rumble On November 18

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Just yesterday, we wrote about how crowded November 18 is getting for new releases. Today, Take-Two is doubling down on Grand Theft Auto V’s new-gen release date by adding a stable of WWE superstars and divas.

WWE 2K15 will not make its October 28 planned release. Instead, 2K Sports is moving the game almost a month later to November 18 for new-gen consoles.

Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are still slated to arrive on the original release date. For our most recent preview of WWE’s inaugural new-gen appearance, check out our coverage from Gamescom.

Our Take
The wait is going to be hard for wrestling fans, as the new-gen version of WWE 2K15 is looking pretty great. Pushing the game into November puts it up against some heavy hitters, including Grand Theft Auto V. This is a curious decision, but WWE fans are going to be there no matter when this game releases.

the author Mike Futter

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Destiny

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Great expectations have followed Destiny since its announcement. As the latest brainchild from the Halo creators at Bungie, the game has garnered a level of anticipation only exceeded by the massive hype machine that declares its not-to-be-missed potential. Bungie’s new game is not as gigantic or revolutionary as that hype may have led some to believe. In fact, it has several features that feel like missteps or problems. But that doesn’t change the fact that the more I play it, the more I love it.

A benevolent alien intelligence arrives on Earth to gift humanity with its wisdom, and leads us into an unprecedented period of expansion and advancement. When our benefactor’s ancient enemy arrives, humanity is beaten back to near extinction. Hundreds of years later, you stand as a guardian of humanity, finally ready to push back against the tide of darkness. Destiny has the seeds of a thoughtfully imagined universe, characterized by a humanistic and idealized vision of mankind’s heroism and potential. The universe is supported by gorgeous art and one of the best soundtracks in years. Unfortunately, the story set within that backdrop is anemic. With little to no character development, a disconnected plot thread about alien attackers, and uneven narrative pacing, it seems that many of the fundamental staples of storytelling have been abandoned in the name of continuous action and discrete, standalone missions. Encyclopedic grimoire entries unlock with a modicum of additional story explanation, but the odd decision to include those only on the game’s website means few will ever see these tidbits.

Thankfully, the story-sparse missions are a blast, offering a mix of activities for solo, cooperative, and competitive play. Destiny excels at providing activities for different moods and moments, from short planetary patrols to lengthy three-person instanced dungeons. These tasks often take you to interesting corners of the game world, but it’s too bad that so many missions start in the same places, leading to a needless sense of repetition. That sense of repetition extends to mission objectives, which too often fall back on the same setup of your AI companion needing time to hack something while you fight off attackers; thankfully, the stage layouts and enemies help the battles feel distinct.

Destiny’s design is particularly well suited to team play. Solo play is an ideal choice for players looking for a challenge, but any given mode is more fun (and easier) with a friend or two at your side. The potential for seamless flow between missions is halted by the regular need to return home to a central social hub to receive mission awards and gear up. That wouldn’t be so bad, except that Destiny suffers from lengthy load times that stunt the momentum of a session. Bungie also needs to find more solutions to let players of differing levels play together; as it is, a mismatched team-up is doomed to either be too easy for one or too hard for another.

Intense, high-octane battles are Bungie’s forte, and Destiny maintains the reputation. Each of several gun types feels balanced and rewarding, and the special powers, grenades, and melee attacks that are unique to each class are exciting to acquire and a joy to perfect. Enemy combatants often rely on numbers and damage potential over complex A.I. routines; it’s fun to mow through dozens of foes, but enemies rarely provide a strategically engaging matching of wits. Characters are highly mobile thanks to the inclusion of class-specific movement modes, and the importance of understanding the aerial game is key to mastering the harder fights. In between battles, Bungie’s solution to the MMO “mount” is a floating speeder bike that’s more fun than it has any right to be, even if it is a blatant copy (sound effects and all) of the classic Star Wars vehicle.

The competitive offering includes fewer customization options than some contemporary shooters, but the fierce PvP battles that unfold in the few available modes are uniformly excellent. Double jumps and similar movement modes provide a verticality to the maps that adds tension and tactical depth. Weapon skill and sharp reflexes undoubtedly win the day, but the inclusion of supers assures that even beginning players get brief moments of victory on the battlefield. None of the initial batch of maps stand out, but all include opportunities for compelling exchanges, from interesting sniping spots to hidden alcoves from which to ambush unsuspecting foes. Matchmaking is slow, but my matches have offered mostly well-balanced teams even in the early days after launch. Unlike in the cooperative game, characters of different levels are able to play well together, but guardians who have not yet unlocked at least their core powers are at a notable disadvantage.

Character progression is shared across competitive and solo/cooperative play, lending a genuine sense of ownership over your guardian. The sense of investment is increased through the opportunity to level multiple subclasses and improve weapons with their use. Loot isn’t plentiful, but it’s often meaningful, so you’re making interesting choices about which gun to equip rather than constantly clearing out dozens of useless objects. The three classes are more similar than they are different, but each has a few exciting ways to stand out, from the hunter’s unbearably cool bladedancer attacks to the warlock’s devastating nova bomb. Your guardian’s options only become more flexible as levels rise, leading to ample opportunities to tweak a build to your specifications.

The philosophy of depth over time extends to the rest of the game; Destiny reveals its complexity only after many hours. Unlike in many games, hitting level cap and completing the story is more of a mid-game marker. Farming reputation, using gear to level beyond the cap, and completing progression for each of your subclasses can be a lot of fun, but it won’t appeal to gamers who hate grinding. For those that enjoy the process, it’s exciting to uncover higher level versions of old missions and track down little boosts and tricks, such as the ability to repower teammates’ super abilities through careful timing of your deployments.

Like the MMOs from which Destiny draws inspiration, it’s challenging to draw a line in the sand about what the game is or will be. Already, Bungie has plans in the works to expand the game with additional story content, raids, and regular new variations on competitive play. However, a game can’t be judged for what it might be in the future. Even with its stumbles, the initial release of Destiny is a colossal achievement in interactive design, integrating a number of differing genre elements into a smart and unified whole. Bungie’s latest futuristic opus is one of the first true event games of this new generation, and while it still has room to grow, it’s worth your attention right out of the gate.

 the author Matt Miller