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Talib Kweli Call Out CNN & All Media for Ferguson Coverage

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Rapper takes issue with reporting around Michael Brown’s fatal shooting at the hands of a Missouri police officer.

Talib Kweli‘s CNN interview started off on a nice enough note, with host Don Lemon lauding the rapper for his activism and referring to him as a “passionate voice on issues of racial equality.”

But when Kweli proceeded to call out the media’s “horrible” coverage of Michael Brown’s fatal shooting and the aftermath in Ferguson, Mo., Lemon went on the defensive, saying the community has been commending CNN for its coverage.

Kweli came prepared, though, citing a specific CNN.com article he took issue with.

Check out the interview-turned-argument-turned-”are we cool?” moment below:

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Play Cloths Just Released Its Own Line of Luxury Sneakers

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Play Cloths is now pushing that high-end heat.

The streetwear label has expanded to offer its own collection of footwear by releasing two inline sneakers. The ’77 Mid and Goldie Loafer are handcrafted creations made in Portugal that represent the brand’s foray into the luxury market.

The mid-profile sneaker comes in white and black and is Play Cloths’ version of a high-end sneaker with basketball vibes. The ’77 Mid is constructed of full-grain Italian leather and features hand-lasered star detailing on the medial and lateral sides. The sneaker is finished off with a deep leather quilting on the back panel.

The hard-bottomed Goldie Loafer comes in an all-black color scheme and shares the same design properties as its mid-top counterpart. There’s hand-lasered star detailing throughout the upper and leather quilting on the back heel and ankle.

All three sneakers are now available on PlayCloths.com for $265 each.

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Dishonored Is Free This Weekend On Steam

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Whether your quest for revenge takes you on a path of “high chaos” or you quietly execute your marks and escape, Dishonored is worth playing. If you don’t yet own it, you can see for yourself this weekend on Steam without paying a dime.[Exerpt]

Arkane Studios’ Dishonored gives players a sharp knife, supernatural powers, and the freedom to choose how to approach missions. You can read more in our review of the title and take advantage of the free weekend here. The offer expires at 1 p.m. Pacific / 4 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, August 24.

If you decide to purchase, the regular edition is currently 75 percent off at $4.99, with the Game of the Year 66 percent off at $10.19. While you’re at it, you can see if you can match this player’s stealthy, bloody prowess.

the author Mike Futter

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Madden NFL 15 Becomes First Xbox One Digital Pre-Order Title

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At Gamescom last week, Microsoft announced that pre-ordering and pre-loading of digital titles would begin soon. It seems that things are getting underway a bit faster than expected.

Forza Horizon 2 and FIFA 15 were announced as part of the new program. A different EA title is actually the first to be offered through it, though.

Madden NFL 15, which will be released on August 26, is now available for pre-purchase and pre-loading. If you’re not sure if you want to buy it, the EA Access trial will be going live today.

If you’re a member of the Xbox One exclusive program, you get six hours of game time before the game’s release. For more information, check out our review of Madden NFL 15, which went live this morning.

Thanks to reader R.B. for the tip.

Our Take
Madden is the test-run on a number of fronts. It’s the first EA Access trial, and now it’s a proving ground for a major new feature. I’ll be interested to see how Microsoft and Xbox Live weather this test.

the author Mike Futter

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Floyd Mayweather Is Not Going to Be Happy About “The Breakfast Club” Airing This Clip of Him Struggling to Read

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When 50 Cent took to Instagram yesterday and challenged Floyd Mayweather to a special version of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge—one that would involve Mayweather reading one page of a Harry Potter book in exchange for a $750,000 donation to charity—we will admit that we laughed. A lot. The idea of 50 going to such great lengths to troll Mayweather was hilarious. But Charlamagne Tha God and Power 105′s “The Breakfast Club” may have just taken the joke a bit too far.

This morning, Charlamagne, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee were discussing the latest round of 50/Mayweather beef when Charlamagne revealed that he had proof that Mayweather struggles to read. He then pulled out a recent clip of Mayweather reading a “drop” for Power 105—or at least, trying to read the drop. He eventually worked his way through it. But as you can hear in the clip above, Mayweather struggled to string his words together and took quite a bit of time to read a few sentences for the drop.

Envy and Yee seemed really uncomfortable airing the clip, and we’re not going to lie: As listeners, it made us uncomfortable, too. It’s one thing for 50 to joke about Mayweather’s inability to read a page from a Harry Potter book. But it’s another for Charlamagne to essentially put Mayweather on blast like he did here.

As you would probably expect, Twitter didn’t feel uncomfortable about listening to Mayweather trying to read and is showing no mercy to him right now. But damn. This really isn’t all that funny anymore. It’s actually pretty sad.

[via Real Talk NY]

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Stephen Jackson’s Music Video for “America Da Beautiful” Features Scarface and Is Really Worth Watching

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There’s a reason why most people don’t enjoy hearing NBA players rap. That reason? NBA players don’t really have a whole lot to say. They’re multimillionaires who spend their days working out in the gym and crisscrossing the country on their quests to try and win championships. So when they hit the studio and try to rap, they don’t have much substance in their music. It’s why we’re hesitant to give them a chance, even when they promise to take rapping seriously.

With that in mind, we didn’t expect a whole lot from Stephen Jackson when he re-released his song, “America Da Beautiful,” today with a guest verse from Scarface and an accompanying music video. The first version of “America Da Beautiful” was fairly solid and featured Jackson taking a series of shots at then-Clippers owner Donald Sterling. But even with a contribution from Scarface on the updated version, our hopes weren’t all that high for the song.

That being said, Jackson—or Stak5 as he refers to himself—surprised us. From the social commentary that the song provides (it’s not just one long middle finger to Sterling anymore) to the images that Jackson chose to include in the video to the Scarface verse and video appearance, there’s some substance here that you don’t often see in rap videos today, let alone rap videos created by NBA players.

Is the video perfect? No. Could Jackson have tweaked it, made the video a little bit shorter, and improved his overall message? Yes. But we appreciate what Jackson did here and like that he came with something that we weren’t necessarily expecting from him. And it’s why we won’t be so hesitant the next time he puts out a rap project.

[via YouTube]

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Tank Is ‘Stronger’ Than Ever at No. 1

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Tank Takes No. 1: R&B singer Tank caps the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart as Stronger enters at No. 1 with just under 17,000 copies sold in the week ending Aug. 17, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The chart-topping arrival marks his fourth No. 1 debut and follows his 2012 set This Is How I Feel, which entered with 33,000 copies. The new album’s single “You’re My Star” spends a 13th consecutive week in the top 10 on Adult R&B, continuing at No. 8 (a 4 percent dip to 1,070 spins, according to Nielsen BDS). The track concurrently debuts on Hot R&B Songs at No. 24.

Tank tells Billboard that that album is “geared toward old-school R&B but with a current feel. There’s Michael Jackson ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ [aka 'This Place Hotel'] moment. There are Rick James and Earth, Wind & Fire moments. People need to be reminded where this music came from, the foundation.”

Drake Drives to Top 10: Drake lands his 32nd top 10 on Rap Airplay as “0 to 100/The Catch Up” hops 13-10, breaking the rapper out of a tie with Jay Z for the second-most top 10s on the list as he becomes the sole titleholder. The track takes Greatest Gainer honors, rising to 16.7 million audience impressions in the week ending Aug. 17 (a 21 percent hike), according to Nielsen BDS. On the hybrid Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, the track remains at No. 16, its current peak, moving 41,000 digital downloads (a 2 percent increase). Spotify plays account for 61 percent of its overall streams, registering 1.1 million domestic clicks during the tracking week.

Music Video Sparks ‘New Flame’ Climb: On Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Chris Brown soars 21-9 with “New Flame” featuring Usher and Rick Ross, marking the singer’s 30th top 10 on the list. The jump is due, in part, by its music video premiere on Aug. 14. Overall streams for the song climbed 153 percent (to 3.5 million), with 2.9 million clicks (81 percent) stemming from YouTube and Vevo on YouTube.

Watsky Revisits Album Chart: Watsky nabs the second highest debut on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, as his set All You Can Do comes in at No. 6 (10,000 units). (It also debuts at No. 4 on Top Rap Albums.) The rapper and poet nearly matches his previous chart entrance when Cardboard Castles entered at No. 6 (11,000 copies) in March, 2013. The 27-year old from San Francisco is set to embark on an international tour beginning on Sept. 17 in Copenhagen, followed by several European, North American and Australian dates.

Twista’s Dark Horse Debuts:  Rounding out the top three debuts of the week on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums is Twista, arriving at No. 8 with Dark Horse shifting 7,000 copies. (On Rap Albums, it lands at No. 5.) The 40-year old rapper lands his seventh top 10 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and first since The Perfect Storm entered at No. 7 in 2010 with 14,000 units. Twista first appeared on the album charts 17 years ago with Adrenaline Rush, which peaked at No. 13 and has sold 1.1 million albums to date, his second biggest selling set (following 2004′s Kamikaze, 1.9 million).

Legend Lands New Top 10:  John Legend climbs 12-10 on Adult R&B with “You & I (Nobody in the World),” grasping his sixth top 10.  A 7 percent rise in airplay bumped the track up the list (to 850 spins), with WYLD, New Orleans topping weekly plays (46), according to Niesen BDS.  The song debuts at No. 39 on the Rhythmic chart, recording a 25 percent increase in plays (to 378).

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-additional reporting by Gail Mitchell, Los Angeles

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Sir Mix-A-Lot Has One Word for Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ Video

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And that word is: ‘DAMNNNNN!!!!!!’

Nicki Minaj is spreading the good word of Sir Mix-A-Lot‘s size-matters 1992 megahit “Baby Got Back” with her latest single “Anaconda,” and her just-released video for the track takes things to a whole new level.

Ok after watching @NICKIMINAJ Anaconda 37times I only have one word to sum up my feelings. DAMNNNNN!!!!!!

No one knows this better than Mix-A-Lot himself, who took to Twitter on Wednesday (Aug. 20) to praise Minaj on a job well done – and let her know just how many times he’s had the video on repeat.

When “Anaconda” — which samples the classic track and borrows some of the rapper’s vocals — was first released in early August, Mix told MTV News that Minaj should make a 2014 version of the once-controversial “Baby Got Back” video. “She can direct it, be in it, tell me who else to put in it. Whatever she wants,” he said at the time. “That girl is incredible.”

Well, it’s not quite a remake, but it seems like Mix-A-Lot’s OK with that.

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Remy Ma’s Interview With “The Breakfast Club”

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Remy Ma continued her post-prison press tour this morning at the Power 105 studios for an interview with “The Breakfast Club.” During the hour-long conversation, Remy chopped it up with Charlamagne Tha God and the crew about a number of topics, including her mindset and focus in life remaining the same though she was incarcerated, and working out while in prison. She also talked about making music with DJ Khaled, who she linked with right when she was released, and the two quickly put out her “They Don’t Love You No More” remix.

by Gee-Gee, the Pen