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Cardi B and Her Journey to Becoming a Record-Breaking Superstar

Cardi B has smashed record after record since the launch of her debut album “Invasion of Privacy,” and her success shows no signs of slowing.

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Cardi B

By any standard, 2018 was an incredible year for the 26-year-old rapper Cardi B. She put out her debut album, became a mother and broke records in the process.

It’s inarguable that she’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes music of any kind, but she has become one of the undisputed heavyweights in music’s most popular genre right now.

The stripper-turned-reality-TV-star-turned-rap-star’s meteoric rise to the top started in 2017 with the release of her smash hit single “Bodak Yellow,” a song that would go platinum seven times and held the crown as the most streamed song in the country for a while. Cardi also became only the fifth female rapper to ever top the Billboard Hot 100, a major accomplishment.

Starting with the release of a collab with Bruno Mars, “Finesse,” Cardi’s career flourished in 2018. When the song was released early that year, it jumped onto the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Top 10, joining “No Limit” by G-Easy, “Motorsports” from Migos and Cardi’s own “Bartier Cardi” and “Bodak Yellow” to give her five of the top ten singles on the list.

That makes Cardi B the first woman to ever do so, beating out Beyoncé and her four top singles.

I mean, you know you’re having a hell of a year when you’re out here breaking records from Queen Bey, right?

Cardi dropped her debut album Invasion of Privacy to rave reviews. Featuring bangers like “Money Bag,” “Bickenhead” and “I Like It,” the album shot to number 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 list, with 12 of the 13 tracks on the album breaking into the Hot 100.

According to a tweet from @chartdata, every single song on the 13-track album has been certified Gold or higher. The album itself has gone double-platinum and has officially been certified in its entirety, earning it the accolade of the first record made by a woman to have every individual song certified by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Invasion of Privacy was as incredible of a debut as a performer could possibly imagine.

The very next day after the release, Cardi took the stage as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live and announced she was pregnant, later giving birth to her daughter Kulture in July.

In the meantime, she announced her marriage to and split from Offset, one-third of superstar rap collective Migos, launched her own lipstick line with Tom Ford, collaborated with Fashion Nova and scored her own Netflix show.

 

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Thank you so much @tomford and @tomfordbeauty!!! So excited for this and what’s to come!!

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To cap off her incredible year, she found out she was nominated for five Grammy awards including an Album of the Year and Best Rap Album of the Year nod for her debut album, record of the year in “I Like It,” rap performance for “Be Careful” and “Bodak Yellow,” rap song for “Bodak Yellow.”

On her way out of a New York City courthouse, Cardi found out she was nominated from a reporter responding, “I am? How many nominations?” Talk about staying humble.

Cardi performed on the 2019 Grammys last weekend and picked up her first Grammy award, becoming the first solo female artist to ever take home the award in the Best Rap Album category and making history once again.

After an incredible first year in the game, estimates put Cardi’s net worth at an impressive $8 million.

Her success shows no signs of slowing down going into 2019, recently dropping”Please Me” with Bruno Mars and announcing her plans a new album for 2019, possibly as soon as Spring, during an interview on Instagram Live.

“Of course it’s gonna be an album in 2019,” she said. “Hopefully, I could get my album done around the same time that ‘Invasion of Privacy’ came out, but I don’t know how possible that’s gonna be because I feel like I’m going to be extremely, extremely busy.”

For all we know, Cardi B could have an even better record-breaking year ahead of her in 2019.

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Music

Sharon Stone Sues Chanel West Coast Over “Sharon Stoned”

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Sharon Stoned

From shout-outs to disses, namedrops are nothing new in rap. But when does a shout-out become something more? That’s a question Sharon Stone is asking Chanel West Coast — through her lawyers.

The iconic actress is suing the rapper for using her name “for commercial purposes” in the track “Sharon Stoned” without Stone’s consent.

The suit notes that the 2018 track turns Stone’s name into a hook, with the music video that followed in April of this year recreating scenes from Stone’s movies, including the interrogation scene from Basic Instinct.

It alleges that Chanel West Coast, whose real name is Chelsea Chanel Dudley, is “an aspiring rap artist who has desperately sought to garner credibility and stature in the hip-hop community,” by “attempting to capitalize on the former’s “extraordinary level of popularity and fame,” and it was the rapper’s intention to “trade on the fame and publicity rights of Sharon Stone for commercial gain.”

The suit contains a detailed breakdown of Stone’s career, from her roles and philanthropic endeavors, which is why she “maintains strict control over the manner in which her name, likeness, image, identity and persona are used,” and claims that Dudley infringed upon Stone’s identity and used Stone’s name “as a celebrity endorser” by using Stone’s name with “mantra-like repetition” in the lyrics, as “Defendant Dudley gratuitously repeats the name ‘Sharon Stone’ thirty-three times and the name ‘Sharon’ ninety-nine times.”

Stone also has an issue with the accompanying music video that uses her likeness as “celebrity endorser to promote the sale of cannabis paraphernalia without her permission or consent,” due to the product placement for Shine Papers.

The suit claims that the song and video show a “disregard of Sharon Stone’s right of privacy and publicity, and of her exclusive right to control the use and exploitation of her name, likeness, image, identity and persona,” and seeks punitive damages and any profits Dudley may have made from the song and video.

The suit contains quotes from Dudley in which she discusses wanting to “redo some classic, iconic Sharon Stone movie scenes” in the music video.

Dudley said in a statement that she was “surprised and disappointed” and claimed Stone was fully aware of the song, being set to appear in the music video, but “[Sharon] pulled out of participating in the music video the day of the shoot after months of conversations, in-person meetings with myself and the director, two dance rehearsals and even had her own ideas that she shared with myself and my team for the collaborative on the video.”

“To be frank, the entire production team and myself were surprised when she walked off,” said Dudley.

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A$AP Rocky Officially Charged With Assault in Sweden

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A$AP Rocky Officially Charged

When rapper A$AP Rocky went to Europe to start his Injured Generation tour, few expected it would end with him being accused of assault in Sweden and detained, facing up to two years of jail time if found guilty.

After an altercation between Rocky — real name is Rakim Mayers — his bodyguard, two performers from his show and two men surfaced on TMZ in late June. News quickly spread that “the rapper voluntarily went to the police” for questioning and was immediately taken into custody on July 3 — where he has been since.

Despite the Grammy-nominated rapper claiming they acted in self-defense, even posting video taken of the altercation, the Swedish High Court rejected an appeal arguing he was a flight risk.

Swedish prosecutors have now said in the Stockholm District Court documents that Rocky pushed the man, identified as Mustafa Jafari, to the ground.

Sources say that the rapper is being held in solitary confinement and that conditions in the jail were called “inhumane,” saying that “walking into that place was like walking into a toilet.” Those same sources claimed he was being held in a cell next to a mentally ill inmate known for throwing feces and sleeping on a yoga mat instead of an actual bed.

Swedish law enforcement even raided the hotel room of long-time manager John Ehmann, allegedly confiscating his cell phone and demanding the password to go through the contents. This is an incredibly odd and aggressive move considering Ehmann has nothing to do with the alleged assault.

“[Ehmann] was completely taken aback,” a source said. “[He] had no idea what this was about […] He never saw it coming.”

Hip hop artists and high-profile celebrities alike have expressed their support for A$AP Rocky ever way they could.

Fellow A$AP Mob label mate A$AP Ferg took to Instagram to express support, Tyler the Creator, ScHoolboy Q and Tyga have all either canceled planned shows or sworn to never play a venue in Sweden and stars like Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Justin Beiber, Diddy, T.I., 2 Chainz, Lil Yatchy, G-Eazy, Juicy J, Kid Cudi, Tory Lanez, Machine Gun Kelly and Miguel have all gotten behind the #JusticeForRocky hashtag.

Joining in the #JusticeForRocky hashtag were big names like Shawn Mendes, Kris Jenner, actress Cara Delevingne, former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Naomi Campbell.

Now, even U.S. politicians have gotten involved. President Donald Trump has tweeted on behalf of the jailed rapper, calling on the Swedish prime minister to “treat Americans fairly.”

The State Department raised concerns about the arrest and detention, urging the Swedish government to treat him fairly via a statement.

“There are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns,” the State Department spokesperson said. “We expect all governments, including Sweden, to treat American citizens fairly and with respect. … We hope to see ASAP Rocky and his colleagues back on tour and reunited with friends and family soon.”

Even New York Democrat Representative Adriano Espaillat has responded to the Change.org petition, telling the Associated Press via a statement that he would push to get the rapper home.

“I will continue fighting until A$AP Rocky is released from Swedish prison and brought back,” Rep. Espaillat said.

The man who attacked A$AP Rocky’s crew will NOT be prosecuted for any crime, despite the fact that he incited the violence and persisted in harassing the rapper before he finally snapped.

As of the writing of this article, the Change.org petition had just over 600,000 signatures and counting with a goal of 1 million.

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Music

Music, Cannabis and the Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Walk of Fame

First conceived in 1953 and completed in 1961 on both Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, Hollywood’s Walk of Fame is one of the world’s most recognizable and visited tourist attractions.

Initially only awarded to stars of the silver screen, in recent years the Walk of Fame has opened up to other entertainment industry caveats, including musicians.

Cypress Hill and the Walk of Fame

In April this year, legendary rap group Cypress Hill received their star, making history yet again as the first Latino-American hip-hip group to be given a star. The multi-platinum selling group is the 2,660th star on the Walk of Fame.

The Southern-California band — B-Real, Sen Dog, DJ Muggs and Eric Bobo — have been at it for more than 30 years now and are still going strong with the release of their ninth studio album “Elephants on Acid” in September 2018.

“We are proud to honor the first Latino American hip-hop recording group,” Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, told ABC7.com. “They have been successful as a group for three decades and we know they will continue their success for many years to come.”

The group has long been linked with cannabis and have talked openly about their use and affinity towards it. The three-time Grammy-winning group with smoking anthems like “Hits From the Bong,” “I Want to Get High,” and “Dr. Greenthumb” go as far as to thank cannabis for their success.

“We love the star. It could have been a gold leaf, though, a gold weed leaf. That would have been good too,” said frontman B-Real. “This is going to be an altar for all stoners, for all cannabis culture right here. Come light your candles, dump your blunts, dump your joints, dump your bongs right here, pray for a great harvest. Thank you very fucking very much.”

He told Variety cannabis use plays a big role in their longevity and health over the years.

“We’re medicating,” explained B-Real. “We’re eating clean. We stay in the gym. We never did party too excessively. We party, but it’s not every night and we’re not drunk and sloppy. Weed was the answer for us.”

“Being away from friends and family and the comforts of home is tough. Sure, we’ve had our disagreements like brothers do. Every band goes through it,” said B-Real continued. “Clearly, cannabis has been a big factor in keeping us together.”

Cypress Hill’s cannabis advocacy isn’t just for relaxing after a show. They’ve translated that support for cannabis into the incredibly successful LA-based Dr. Greenthumb dispensary where the group sells their own brand of specially designed Cypress Hill Bhang (CHB) line of cannabis products.

Celebrities like Xzibit and George Lopez both turned out to the reveal of the star on April 18 and got on stage to congratulate the rap collective on their accomplishment.

“Their accomplishments and accolades reach deep in the roots and history books of hip-hop, and today is another chapter in that saga,” Xzibit said. “Yo, B-Real, Sen Dog, Muggs, Bobo: You are our Rolling Stones, Ungrateful Dead, you are the West Coast Public Enemy.”

“There’s a lot of actors, there’s a lot of comedians, there’s a lot of entertainers who are on [the Walk of Fame]. But there’s only one Cypress Hill, the first Latino hip-hop group. But to everyone who lives the American dream, not the last Latino hip-hop group to ever be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.” Lopez added.

Cannabis-Loving Musicians Who Have Received Stars

Cypress Hill is the latest cannabis-loving singers to earn a star of their own. Huge names in the game like Snoop Dogg and Melissa Etheridge all have their own stars on the Walk of Fame.

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg Receives Hollywood Star

PHOTO | alliance/abaca

Of course, Snoop has made a career around his cannabis use, writing hit songs about it, investing in the cannabis industry and even getting his own line of cannabis products.

Melissa Etheridge

PHOTO | PRPhotos

Melissa Etheridge is a cannabis advocate who might fly under the radar for many. In fact, many were shocked when she was arrested for possession on the U.S./Canada border.

For Etheridge, her start with cannabis came after she was diagnosed with breast cancer more than a decade ago. Ever since she’s been a strong supporter of medical cannabis.

Now in her 40s, Etheridge has advocated politically and invested in the cannabis industry, using her voice to fight for patient access to medical cannabis.

Willie Nelson

You know what’s weird? Willie Nelson doesn’t have a Walk of Fame star.

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