Spice Says Jamaica Is Always Home For Her Despite Team Spice Atlanta Expansion

Spice insists that Jamaica is always her home and assured her local fans that she isn’t going anywhere as she expands Team Spice in Atlanta.

Dancehall artiste Spice has certainly been expanding her craft globally, so much so that the “Needle Eye” singer made the decision to expand her team to the North American market. In March, she announced she would be filling positions on her team for Atlanta. As a result of this move, she hosted a massive job fair that saw quite a large turnout. While she will always call Jamaica home, the deejay says based on her needs in the US market, it became imperative to have a team there also.

She told The Gleaner, “Since I started spending more time in Atlanta, I had to always wait until I go back home to Jamaica to shoot a music video because that is where my team is. But when I am in Atlanta, I don’t want the work to stop for me.”

She went on to explain, “That is the real reason why I am expanding Team Spice in Atlanta and the whole reason I am doing the job fair.” Spice also noted that while she has work to do in the US, Jamaica will always be home as that’s “where my heart is.” She hosted the job fair to find video directors, dancers, make-up artists, and content creators to make up her team in Atlanta.

From the looks of things, the audition was a huge success, so much so that she revealed she did not even get to meet with all who turned up. She also admitted that the persons she did get a chance to see were quite impressive.

Spice is expected to drop another single from her soon-to-be-released album “Ten” on April 30, 2021. She will also use that opportunity to reveal who made the cut for Team Spice in Atlanta.

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YG Uploaded Censored Version Of “Meet The Flockers” After YouTube Yanked It

YG released censored version of “Meet The Flockers” after YouTube yanked the original.

As the disturbing and ugly trend of hurting Asian people continues in the US, some social media companies have been trying to be proactive in removing any anti-Asian hate speech from their platforms. YouTube was one of the first to announce stricter measures aimed at weeding out any vitriol that appeared on its platform that might be perceived as hatred towards Asian people.

They stayed true to their word and have already begun to remove a lot of videos. The first sign that some rappers will be affected by their decisions is the removal of YG‘s song “Meet The Flockers,” which has been removed from the platform. The song tells a story of committing a robbery in an Asian neighborhood.

At first, YouTube didn’t look like they would be targeting music videos, but it seems after several calls from critics and mounting pressure, they decided to take the song off the site. Both the track and the video have vanished. What’s interesting is that if you search for YG’s “Meet The Flockers” on YouTube, you’ll be directed to a video that has news coverage about a robbery that was allegedly inspired by the song.

Some fans have tried to re-upload the song, which resulted in a number of low-quality audio that youTube will more than likely delete soon. Some live performances of the song remain for viewing.

Over the last two weeks, there has been a significant upsurge in violence towards Asian people, with the trend gaining momentum. In one of the latest attacks, which seems to mostly target elderly Asians, a woman was sadly stabbed to death in California while walking her dogs. Authorities believe that the attacks are motivated by the perception that all Asians somehow caused the Coronavirus pandemic. So far, authorities have labeled most of these acts as hate crimes.

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Wu-Tang Clan Imposter Sentenced To 7 Years For $300K Hotel Scam

One of two Wu-Tang Clan imposters was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

A Florida man, who pleaded guilty last year of committing wire fraud while pretending to be a member of the Wu-Tang Clan and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company, has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison. Twenty-nine-year-old Aaron Barnes-Burpo of Crestview, Florida, received the sentence last Monday, March 15, according to David Estes, the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. He will also have to pay nearly US$300,000 to 19 businesses he defrauded

His co-conspirator, 52-year-old Walker Washington, is still awaiting sentencing in the matter. Barnes-Burpo was caught after staff at a Fairfield Inn and Suites in Augusta, Georgia, picked up on some discrepancies and notified the authorities. He claimed to be a representative of Roc Nation and tried to book 10 rooms. He also tried to have US$2,500 credit applied to a king suite supposedly for an artist and his entourage.

He also requested that the hotel staff not charge the credit card he gave as he wanted to pay using a certified cheque. He used an email address resembling Roc Nation to try and make his claim seem more legit. However, the hotel director of sales noticed that someone using the same address tried to book rooms weeks before. Following a call to a legal representative at Roc Nation, it was confirmed that it was a scam. A representative at Roc Nation also confirmed that at least four hotels had called with similar queries.

He was eventually caught red-handed by special agents at the same hotel. After a search of Barnes-Burpo’s vehicle, they found keys from hotels from across the country and a paper with credit card numbers written on it. According to Acting U.S. Attorney Estes: “For several weeks, these men defrauded multiple businesses by posing as famous musical artists and their retinue.”

Other reports indicate that the men walked out on two tabs worth $45,000 and $39,000 at Georgian Terrace Hotel and Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. Barnes-Burpo will also have to serve three years of supervised release after finishing his prison term.

Dancehall Artist Khago Awarded $763K In Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor Lawsuit

Khago has won a major lawsuit against his former producer as the artiste has been awarded U$800,000 in damages against Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor.

The damages claimed were part of a countersuit against McGregor, who is the principal of Streaminn Hub Inc, in a South Florida court presided by district judge Jose E Martinez last month.

The wife and manager of the artiste, Francine Gayle, has confirmed Khago’s win and says they are happy and relieved that the case is now over. “Khago is very happy for the fact that out of all that has happened; we have gotten the final judgment. It’s been a long time’ we have waited for how long it took. Finally, the victory is here. To God be the glory, great things he hath done,” she said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor and his lawyer failed to attend the final hearing, but the judgment was handed down in spite of their absence. The judgment also included an order by the court that McGregor was to cease marketing of Khago’s music, and using his likeness, images on any platform in addition to the damages.

The breakdown of the damages includes U$300,000 in statutory damages for copyright infringement, US$99,568.59 for compensatory damages for tortious interference with business relationships, and US$ 65,352.00 in reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees, which all rounded off to US$763,626.36.

The lawsuit stemmed from a dispute between Khago and McGregor, whose business was hired to recoup royalties for Khago in the United States. McGregor eventually took Khago to court for fraud, breach of contract, defamation of character, and copyright infringement in 2018. The two fell out over Khago’s albums “Spirit, Walk a Mile and Dancehall Soca.”

McGregor’s claim was thrown out in 2020, and Khago then filed a countersuit. Gayle said that the lawsuit brings to the fore the need for artists to know the business of music not only from their performance side but earning passive income from their talent.

“Apart from enjoying the benefits of an artiste, know the business or find a reputable person or entity that can advise you. Music in Jamaica is not done in a professional way. People jus’ guh inna a studio and guh drop a track. They don’t know about their splits; about registering for royalties or copyright; about publishing. Basically, you just voice and walk away. Yet, your music is selling on all the platforms and you don’t even know how you’re going to get your money — How much per cent belongs to you and how much per cent supposed to go to the producer. You have to know the business and you have to know this. This is something he [Khago] learned, this is not a hobby. It’s a career.”

Meanwhile, the artist is set to open a studio in Manchester, Jamaica, in late March. He shot to fame after joining the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s independence contest, where he placed third for his song “If You Know.”

His hits include “Nah Sell Out,” which led to him snatching various local and overseas awards.

Jordyn Woods Ask Fans For Prayers For Karl-Anthony Towns Battling COVID-19

Karl-Anthony Towns has coronavirus, and his girlfriend, Jordyn Woods, is asking for prayers.

The Minnesota Timberwolves player is the latest celeb to test positive for the virus, which has already seen more than 24.1 million cases in the US over the last year. “Prior to tonight’s game, I received yet another awful call that I tested positive for COVID. I will immediately isolate and follow every protocol,” he wrote in a tweet. “I pray every day that this nightmare of a virus will subside and I beg everyone to continue to take it seriously by taking all of the necessary precautions. We cannot stop the spread of this virus alone, it must be a group effort by all of us.”

The news is particularly heartbreaking as Towns’ mother, Jacqueline, passed away in April, a week after contracting COVID.

As the 25-year-old battles, the illness which has already claimed so many lives, the woman in his life is echoing his prayers and asking for a few more to help him get through this tough time. “Praying for you babe. I know you’re going to pull through. God’s got you and so does your most powerful guardian Angel up there. You’re one of the strongest people I know,” wrote Jordyn Woods in response to his tweet.

Thank you for all of the support and prayers, my family and I have all been tested and the results came back negative. ???? Let’s continue to pray for a speedy recovery for @KarlTowns

— Jordyn Woods (@jordynwoods) January 16, 2021

The model, who has been in a relationship with Towns since July, asked her fans to send prayers the NBA star’s way while confirming that she and her family tested negative for the disease.

Here’s hoping that Towns feels better soon.

Praying for you babe. I know you’re going to pull through. God’s got you and so does your most powerful guardian Angel up there. ???? you’re one of the strongest people I know. Please send some prayers up. https://t.co/wtDjYynQ2x

— Jordyn Woods (@jordynwoods) January 16, 2021

HDQ Carlene Demands Credit For Dancehall’s Influencing Hip Hop Amid Saweetie’s Backlash

Dancehall Queen Carlene is demanding more credit from other genres using dancehall culture.

Many dancehall fans expressed their anger recently on social media after US rapper Saweetie posted photos of an outfit that she wore, which many believed looked a lot like one of the designs worn by legendary 90s Dancehall Queen Carlene. The point of displeasure came because many felt that DHQ Carlene was not given her credit for the inspiration behind Saweetie’s outfit.

Many of those irate fans took to Twitter to express their annoyance with the way the outfit was used. Some even posted photos of Saweetie’s outfit alongside a few, which were worn by DHQ Carlene. Many felt that it was another form of cultural appropriation, which they said is not uncommon coming from US performers.

The STAR spoke with DHQ Carlene about her feelings on the matter, who said that while she agreed that artistes in the US borrow many styles, she thinks that Jamaican people are also to blame for not honoring their own culture and those who influence its direction.

“I have never heard a Jamaican artiste big me up for what I have done. They all come with the sex symbol kinda thing, but that wasn’t dancehall before me. You look back and see! And none of them have ever said, ‘I am doing this because of what Carlene did or what any of the original dancehall trendsetters did’,” she said.

It’s because of this that she thinks the critics should not get so worked up. “Is it because we are Jamaicans and we are entitled to it?” she added.

She further explained that she did not believe that Americans should take from the culture without giving the proper credit but that “if we want that respect, it starts right here at home.” She added that she has never been given her full credit from home or abroad for the way she helped to mold the dancehall culture back in the 90s

“Go back and look what music fashion was, especially in hip hop before the 90s. It was big clothes, heavy clothes. We changed that. I changed that,” she said while adding that instead of acknowledgment, all she received was people who heavily criticized her and tried to pull her down. She also said that she believed that if Americans knew who to credit they would. She used Lil Kim as an example.

“Way back when, Lil Kim said in one of her interviews that her look (with the blue wig) was inspired by dancehall, and so if they know who to credit, they will,” she said. When asked specifically how she felt about Saweetie’s outfits, she said while it was clear that it was borrowed from dancehall, she doesn’t think that the rapper knows who to credit.

“That’s dancehall all the way. But I can’t bash her for not crediting dancehall because she may not even know who to credit. I have to big up (Culture) Minister Babsy Grange because she is the only person outside of the industry players themselves who make sure that people know who to give credit to for certain things,” she continued.

Dr. Dre’s Relatives Think He Might’ve Been Poisoned As He Remains Hospitalized

Dr. Dre remains hospitalized as some wild rumors started circulating.

As Dr. Dre remains in the Intensive Care Unit, reportedly resting comfortably at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, some troubling accusations have surfaced. At least one relative believes that the 55-year-old music mogul may have been allegedly poisoned, despite his medical condition ruled a brain aneurysm. The relative, who questioned how Dre could have fallen ill so suddenly, said that they are taking into consideration how healthy and active he was. They added that they believed he may have been exposed to an anticoagulant, like rat poison.

“[Dre] is very healthy, he works out multiple times a week, goes to the doctor and stays on top of everything. Something is definitely off about this,” the relative told MTO News Site. Another female relative added that she believed a lot of people are jealous of Dre’s success to date and has requested that an investigation be launched into the matter.

Truly Young/Instagram

According to several scientific studies, if someone ingests rat poison, it could lead to suffering symptoms similar to an aneurysm or a stroke. The person added that “someone needs to look into” the effects of rat poison on humans with regards to Dr. Dre’s sudden aneurysm. Doctors have admitted that they don’t know what caused his aneurysm as yet.

Until they can determine the cause of the condition, his doctors continue to conduct several tests trying to figure out exactly what happened. As a precaution, he’s been reportedly left in intensive care in case he suffers another aneurysm. Another source close to the matter spoke with The Sun and disclosed that “doctors are running tests to try and find out what caused the brain aneurysm, but there haven’t been any more updates yet.”

That source added, “Thankfully, he is doing much better, and it’s made everyone around him realise how short life is.” His medical struggles come as he continues divorce proceedings with his wife, Nicole Young. He’s already agreed to pay her US $2.6 million in living expenses, and the case is expected to resume on April 14.

US to seek review of non-immigrant visas like H-1B

While, the executive order, at present, temporarily bans some immigration – notably, those who were waiting for a green card outside the US, with some exceptions carved out – a review of the non-immigrant visa programmes within 30 days of the proclamation is going to put H-1B and L visas (used for intra-company transfers) under another round of stress test.

Cheaper oil, foreign flows a tailwind for rupee

India’s rupee, among Asia’s worst-performing currencies this year, could be the fastest in the region to rally as the world restarts economic activities after the coronavirus pandemic, oil prices weaken and the US dollar eases broadly, analysts said. The partially convertible Indian rupee has lost nearly 7% so far this year, despite dollar supplying intervention.

US weekly jobless claims highlight eco carnage

A record 22 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits over the past month, with millions more filing claims last week, underscoring the deepening economic slump caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak. Thursday’s weekly jobless claims report from the labor department followed dismal data on Wednesday showing a record drop in retail sales in March and the biggest decline in factory output since 1946.

Rupee settles at all-time low of 76.87 vs dollar

The Indian rupee tanked 43 paise to settle at an all-time low of 76.87 (provisional) against the US dollar on Thursday, amid rising concerns over coronavirus-led economic slowdown. At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened weak at 76.75, and during the day lost further ground to settle at 76.87, registering a fall of 43 paise over its previous close.

Relief for Indians as US allows H-1B extension

In a big relief for thousands of stranded Indian professionals in America due to the coronavirus pandemic, the US government has decided to allow applications by H-1B visa holders for an extended stay. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

US consumer prices post largest drop in five years

The US labor department said on Friday its consumer price index dropped 0.4% last month amid a tumble in the cost of gasoline, and record decreases in hotel accommodation, apparel and airline ticket prices. That was the biggest drop since Jan 2015 and followed a 0.1% gain in Feb. In 12 months through March, the CPI increased 1.5%, the smallest advance since Feb 2019.

US economy purged 17 million jobs amid pandemic

US unemployment is rising at a jarring rate, with data on Thursday showing 17 million have lost their jobs since mid-March, as officials scramble to apply a tourniquet to stem the damage from the coronavirus pandemic. The Federal Reserve launched a series of new lending programs to pump $2.3 trillion into the damaged US economy, reassuring people of a revival.

Indian American co donates 3.4m HCQ tablets

An Indian American-owned pharma firm has pledged to donate 3.4 million Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablets to some of the key COVID-19 battleground states, including New York and Louisiana, joining the war against the dreaded coronavirus which by Tuesday had taken lives of more than 12,800 people in the US alone.

Aurobindo calls off $900 million Sandoz buy in US

Nearly a year and a half year after Hyderabad-based pharma major Aurobindo Pharma announced its big ticket, $900 million deal to acquire Sandoz Inc’s US generic oral solids and dermatology businesses, the company on Thursday informed the bourses that the deal has been mutually called off due to delays in getting approvals from the US Federal Trade Commission (USFTC).

Trump urged to pause H-1B visa scheme

A US body representing American technology workers has urged President Donald Trump to suspend for this year the H-1B visa programme, the most sought-after among the Indian IT professionals, to protect their interests amidst the massive layoffs due to Covid-19 pandemic. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers.