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Pop Smoke’s tragic murder as a rapper is remembered on his 22nd birthday

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Pop Smoke, whose real name was Bashar Barakah Jackson, would have celebrated his 22nd birthday today, but his life was cut tragically short when he was murdered in February 2020.

The authorities, who were called to the scene by a friend of someone in the house, were made aware of the rented address being shared online and said at the time it “was an angle” they were looking at when investigating the murder.

At the time of his passing, Pop Smoke was one of the most prominent US drill artists, a style of music popular in the UK and in Chicago which often responds to violence.

The rapper was becoming prominent shortly before his death. His second mixtape, Meet the Woo 2, was released on February 7 and debuted at number 7 in the Billboard 200.

Only two weeks later on February 19, the rapper passed away.

Following Pop Smoke’s death, hip-hop star Safaree Samuels spoke about how emerging rappers need to be careful with making lavish displays of wealth on social media.

“I know some ppl might not be used to having a lot of money but try your best and refrain from showing it on social media… Won’t front like I didn’t go thru that phase but I learned from it.”

Another rapper called Blueface, who grew up in the Mid-City neighborhood of Los Angeles, issued a similar warning about safety.

““People think Cali/LA is beautiful sunny palm trees,” he wrote.

The album was executive-produced by 50 Cent and remained on the chart for 28 weeks, and still sits in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 over half a year after the initial release.

Meanwhile, the drill legend’s family recently collaborated with the Brooklyn Borough President and the Entertainers For Education Alliance – I Will Graduate organization to present a public service announcement on gun violence.

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Kanye West reunites with Jay-Z on the new album, Donda

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The Gold Digger singer, 44, hosted a launch party for his new album, titled Donda after his late mother, at the sold-out Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Young Guru, a record producer and engineer who has worked with Jay-Z, revealed the verse was a last-minute addition, perhaps explaining why the launch party started almost two hours late.

He tweeted: “HOV did the verse today!!!! At 4 pm.”

But fans certainly think it’s been worth the wait and as well as Jay-Z, the album features contributions from hip hop stars including Pusha T, Lil Baby, and Travis Scott.

Kanye returned to the city he was born in and stunned the crowd as he wore a red puffer jacket, matching trousers, and orange shoes all of his own design. He also donned what appeared to be a brown rubber mask.

There was no formal introduction when he eventually took to the stage area as his album began playing.

And in a move that stunned everyone, Jay-Z made an appearance on the last song of the night as the pair appear to have buried the hatchet after years of tension.

Kanye first promised the release of Donda a year ago, but the project were hugely delayed.

The event, which was live-streamed, saw Kanye occasionally break out into a dance in the huge arena while he paced around to the music.

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Ndovu Kuu back on Youtube

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Singer Cristopher Thande, known as Krispah in the entertainment scene, has confirmed his hit track Ndovu Kuu is back on Youtube.

Bryanka had successfully managed to have the song temporarily deleted from the site after filing for a copyright complaint but it appears he has lost the battle.

The move to have the song temporarily removed elicited varied reactions, with another singer namely Khaligraph Jones, who features in it, attributing the decision to ‘jealousy’.

“It is unfortunate that we get to this level of jealousy from fellow artists. The copyright strikes are not legitimate; even Mejja was a victim of such circumstances, so it is something that is happening now in the industry,” Jones told Nairobi News in an earlier interview.

But Dexta has defended his actions stating that the song (Ndovu ni Kuu) was not only a copyright infringement to his music but also sheds a bad light on Kenyatta University’s brand due to its scathing lyrics. It is a shame that upcoming artists are now using copyright claims to get to the top rather than put in hard work,” papa Jones told Nairobi news.

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Kanye West returns to Instagram after over two years with a new album on the way

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The rapper, 44, shocked fans by returning to the social media platform to share his new music in an advert featuring Sha’Carri Richardson.

His return comes days before his 10th album, Donda, is released.

The star also shared snaps that included close-ups of gold chains hung around his neck which showed his kids’ names – North, 7, Saint, 5, Chicago, 3, and Psalm, 2.

Donda will have its global premiere on Thursday in a live-streamed album listening event.

The new album is the Gold Digger singer’s 10th solo album and follows his 2019 gospel-inspired Jesus Is King release.

Over the weekend, Internet star Justin Laboy claimed he was among the first to hear the new album alongside basketball star Kevin Durant in Las Vegas.

Laboy added: “The production is light years ahead of it’s time, and the bars sound like he’s broke & hungry trying to get signed again. Any artist who plan on dropping soon should just push it back.”

Kanye had originally planned to release his new album – which is named for his late mother – last summer, but there were several delays, including a failed bid for the US presidency.

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