It's no secret that rapper A$AP Rocky loves to stand out from his peers by wearing eccentric and high fashion styles. Most recently, the hip hop star opened up to Interview magazine about how his love for mixing jeans with fashion-forward blazers and grills is directly linked to where he grew up.
The makeup of a man
Rocky told the news source he grew up in Harlem and from there started to explore SoHo and the lower East Side, which are known for being much more artsy and creative than the other boroughs of NYC. He believes going back and forth to these different locations allowed him to grow as both an artist and a person, making him more accepting of people's individuality and even their sexuality. Rocky admitted he doesn't understand why homophobia still exists - especially within the rap game.
"... One big issue in hip hop is the gay thing. It's 2013, and it's a shame that, to this day, that topic still gets people all excited. It's crazy," Rocky said in the recent interview. "We've got people like Jay-Z. We've got people like Kanye. We've got people like me. We're all prime examples of people who don't think like that. I treat everybody equal, and so I want to be sure that my listeners and my followers do the same if they're gonna represent me. And if I'm gonna represent them, then I also want to do it in a good way."
Spreading equality in hip hop matters
Rocky isn't the first rapper to announce his support for equal rights, as rapper Macklemore, who currently has the hit single "Thrift Shop," with Ryan Lewis, wrote another song in support of same-sex marriage. MTV News reports the video for his song "Same Love," features same-sex marriage couples. Many other big names within the music industry have also showed support for crooner Frank Ocean, who admitted he was gay in an open letter in early July 2012.
The support for equal rights in the music industry may be more important than ever - March 26 marks the day in which the Supreme Court will begin discussing whether or not California's current gay marriage ban is constitutional. MTV reports a recent nationwide poll has found support for same-sex marriage has increased to 53 percent, while support from people between the ages of 18 and 29 is even higher (74 to 81 percent).
Rapper-turned-judge Nicki Minaj is not afraid to march to the beat of her own drum - especially when it comes to her sometimes outrageous women's clothing. Despite her individuality, Minaj did recently discuss in Hello! magazine who she looks up to for style advice.
When it comes to high fashion looks, Minaj admitted she turns to models Naomi Campbell and Iman for inspiration. However, in terms of her own wacky, everyday style, 1980s pop star Cyndi Lauper is Minaj's go-to girl.
"... She [Lauper] is the first person who used color in a way that made me feel excited. She used it on her face and hair, her clothes, her accessories," Minaj told the news source regarding her fashion inspiration. "She would put different colored shapes and cut-outs in her hair, and that made me want to explore the world ..."
It seems as though Minaj's fashion sense isn't the only thing the rapper is confident about. MTV News reports while on a conference call with reporters this week, the outlandish performer declared she hasn't had a bad moment while judging on "American Idol," and that in fact, she's been "spectacular" on every show.
Do you like Minaj's style? How do you think her performance on "Idol" has been thus far?
Snoop Lion, formerly known as Snoop Dogg, has changed a lot over the past year. The once hardened hip-hop legend has strayed from his violence-inspired music in exchange for peaceful beats that are best enjoyed while relaxing at the beach.
Snoop is set to drop a new reggae album titled "Reincarnation," and a documentary of the same name in the coming months, that helps show off his transformation and offers fans a look into his new life. The rapper-turned-reggae star also announced in the pages of Complex magazine that he's releasing an app to let fans in on the making of his new album.
The "Snoop Lion's Reincarnated: Track Notes App," is a free download that showcases Snoop's clothing brand that includes slippers and T-shirts, and also gives fans a chance to listen to full audio tracks off Lion's new record.
"What you get isn't just the music - it's ABOUT the music," the apps description on the iTunes page reads. "Where it came from, How it was made, WHY it was made. It's liner notes for the 21st century. Multimedia, multi-sensory, made for the fans."
Are you excited about Snoop's new sound, or do you think the idea is too hyped up?
Most kids who grew up in the 1990s can sing the intro to the hit comedy series "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," and BET is looking to garner the same attention with the youth of today. BET's CEO and chairman Debra Lee recently announced the network will be airing episodes of the show as well as "Family Matters," "The Jamie Foxx Show," "Martin" and "The Wayans Brothers."
"We're thrilled to be bringing our audience more of the classic hits and award-winning stars they love," said Lee.
The shows set to re-air on BET did help make a name for many A-list celebrities today. Will Smith rose to fame for his role on the "Fresh Prince," while Jamie Foxx has gone on to make hit movies and win accolades within the entertainment industry after making it big on the show of his own name.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, BET seems to be following the example of the Teen Nick network. The sibling of the Nickelodeon channel started re-running '90s hits like "Doug" and "Clarissa Explains It All," two years ago and teens of today responded well.
No word has been announced on when the shows will start airing on BET.
Would you watch episodes of these '90s comedies again? Which show was your favorite growing up?
Queen Latifah is known for being fabulous, both with her lyrics and her acting chops. Now, it seems as if the diva is going back to her roots - she's set to return to the small screen with her upcoming talk show, "The Queen Latifah Show."
BET reports the talk show is set to debut Sept. 16 of this year, and though few details about the show have been divulged, it was recently announced that Jada Pinkett-Smith will be the executive producer of Latifah's latest endeavor.
Pinkett-Smith took to her Facebook page to announce the good news - she posted a photo of Latifah and herself with the caption, "Wearing my executive producer hat, standing beside the next daytime talk show superstar." Adding at the end of the post, "You will be able to kick it with Queen Latifah every day."
This will be Latifah's second attempt at having a talk show, as she tried her hand at hosting back in 1999 with a daytime show of the same name. The Giro reports the show lasted for just two seasons, but did have a slew of A-list guests including Denzel Washington, Destiny's Child and Brook Shields.
Are you going to watch Latifah's new show? What celebrities do you think will make appearances?
When it comes to being a Renaissance man, rapper, actor and host LL Cool J certainly seems to come to mind. However, his 13th studio album is more about embracing the hip hop culture and getting back to his roots than making money.
LL spoke with BET about his new album, appropriately titled "Authentic." This time around, he's got total creative freedom and is making songs he's proud to put his name behind.
"I'm doing this album for love. I'm not doing the album to make a living per se and I'm not doing the album to prove a point," LL told the publication. "It's in my blood, it's in my spirit, it's in my soul, you know. I'm just so humble for it, and I just love doing it so much."
MStars News reports fans might be surprised to learn some of the guest artists set to lend their voices on "Authentic." LL has enlisted the help of performers like Monica and Joe, as well as Travis Barker of Blink 182, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Eddie Van Halen. "Authentic" is set to drop in late April.
Would you be interested in listening to LL's new music? Do you like the idea of mixing rap with rock?
Players set to face off against each other in the 12th annual Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game in Brooklyn, N.Y., were recently announced, showcasing the best talent at the high school level. The company, a division of Nike, unveiled the names of the regional players in a press release.
Basketball stars on the home team include Kentan Facey, a Long Island, New York, native who will attend the University of Connecticut in the fall, Jaquan Lynch, a Brooklyn athlete who is set to attend Florida International University, and Jonathan Severe, who hails from Flushing and is currently undecided about college.
These and other home players will face off against the away team, which consists of players like DeAndre Bembry, a New Jersey native who will attend St. Joseph's University, and Tyler Roberson, another New Jersey son, who said yes to Syracuse University.
All games will be played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which is also the home of the Brooklyn Nets. The event is set to take place April 13, and will kick off with the International Game at 3:30 p.m., followed by the Regional Game at 5:30 p.m. and ending with the All-American Game at 8:00 p.m. - all games will air on ESPN 2.
Not only with the games be fun to watch, but it was recently announced rapper Drake will perform shortly after the Regional Game is played, Hip Hop Wired reports.
Will you be watching the games April 13? Are you rooting for the home or away team?
When it comes to the youth of today, what is old is new again - with a few updates. Hit songs like "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis express to kids how cool it is to dress in clothes that could have come straight out of Mr. Rogers' closet, while hipsters have also made it hip to use typewriters and take photos of their food.
Freshness magazine reports many fans will be thrilled to learn that Furni has recently come up with a new stereo system that is meant to look vintage. The Kendall Bluetooth Speaker resembles old-fashioned, portable, wooden stereos and is made out of a solid walnut case and an acrylic speaker grill. Despite its throw back style, the system allows fans to connect their iPhones, iPods or other Wi-Fi MP3 players to deliver the latest tunes in perfect clarity. In fact, Furni makes it even easier for users to connect - they can simply download the free app that turns the speaker into an alarm clock.
According to Ubergizmo, the speaker system, which is set to be released in April, will cost interested buyers a cool $188.
Would you be interested in a vintage-inspired speaker system with today's modern capabilities?
Rapper Raekwon is most well known for his harder lyrics in his Wu-Tang Clan raps. However, his most recent sound is more fashion-based, thanks to his love for footwear.
The self-proclaimed sneakerhead admitted to Women's Wear Daily that he owns more than 1,000 pairs of sneakers and that he loves his collection so much, he tends to rap about them in his songs. Raekwon also opened up about the brands he rocks most, giving credit to Adidas, Nike, Jordan, Timberland and Gucci among other sneaker and shoe companies.
Even though his love for kicks might have happened anyway, the rapper discussed falling in love with sneakers after seeing the members of Run-DMC decked out in their Adidas kicks and jumpsuits back in the 1980s. He's been addicted to looking fresh ever since - he has so many shoes he typically forgets what he has.
The rapper's latest album, "Fly International Luxurious Art," or "F.I.L.A." is set to drop in June. Raekwon let WWD in on the title's meaning, claiming the album, "is all about glamour. lifestyle and fashion." And that "all of those elements are going to be in the music."
It seems as if Raekwon is sticking to his guns - he dropped his most recent EP, "Lost Jewelry," Jan. 8, and the title alone hints at his love for fashion and bling.
Are you surprised by how many sneakers Raekwon has? Will you listen to his new music?
Nicki Minaj has become the Lady Gaga of hip hop, and despite her rise to fame for her eccentric and sometimes over-the-top antics, she does have some talent and a flair for fashion. The artist, who has transitioned from music to judging on the hit show "American Idol," recently let her true colors show in the April edition of Elle magazine.
The woman behind the costumes
Minaj is almost unrecognizable on the cover shot - she is wearing a tight half-zipped leather jacket and black jeans with minimal makeup and her "natural" blonde locks down. The rapper looks almost elegant and chic, rather than overdone and cartoon-like - a nice change indeed.
It's not just her look that is stripped down in the pages, Minaj also speaks candidly about her upbringing and how being bullied as a child has made her who she is today. The rapper discusses moving to America from Trinidad and how music became her outlet in school, since the other kids were so mean to her. From there, she made it a goal to get into the music industry to make her family proud.
"My goal in the beginning was to buy my mother a house. Now I realize, 'Okay, if I really focus and become a key player in business, then I can build an empire,'" Minaj told the publication. "I'm thinking of a legacy that I can be proud of and wealth that my grandchildren can use to go to college. So world domination - in terms of providing for my family - is absolutely my goal."
Even though Minaj's life has changed for the better, she did admit she felt a bit scared to pose for the recent shoot without her signature pink lipstick, wild hair styles and extreme women's clothing.
"... I felt naked. It was scary! So this photo shoot was a real accomplishment in my eyes," Minaj told Elle.
Despite her desire for "world domination," Minaj might not have what it takes to run an empire just yet. Fox News reports the rapper was more than 15 minutes late for the first live show of this year's "American Idol."
The rapper slinked into her seat after the show had already gone to air, blaming traffic on the mishap. According to the news source, fellow judges Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson were upset by her tardiness, though host Ryan Seacrest was the most visibly shaken.
Do you think Minaj has what it takes to create an empire like Beyonce? Do you like her more modest Elle cover better than her usual style?