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Prosecutors Rest Their Case Against R. Kelly After Weeks Of Testimony

#GetSOM via @djgojabean

(Photo Cred: AP News)

Federal prosecutors have rested their case against R. KELLY following 19 days of allegations of sexual abuse and testimony from more than 40 witnesses about how the singer allegedly controlled the minute details of his accusers’ everyday lives. According to YAHOO! NEWS, since opening statements on AUGUST 18th, prosecutors have presented accusers, former employees and other witnesses who testified in BROOKLYN’s federal courthouse about how KELLY controlled the lives of his young “girlfriends,” who often lived with him.

The accusers, whose experiences with KELLY spanned the course of about 25 years until his JULY 2019 arrest, described how the singer pressured them into sex. One woman said KELLY sexually assaulted her just moments after meeting her backstage after a concert. Others described being “trained” in sex and living with the singer over the course of several years. KELLY also gave several of them herpes, they testified, without disclosing that he had the incurable disease.

R. Kelly (Photo Cred: NY Times)

KELLY has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. His defense attorneys are expected to begin presenting their own witnesses for about two days, before each team of lawyers presents their closing arguments. 

As the trial heads toward its conclusion, the singer faces legal risk elsewhere. Federal and state-level prosecutors in CHICAGO each have pending cases against KELLY involving similar allegations, as does a district attorney’s office in MINNESOTA.

To read the full story from INSIDER, click here.

@StraightOfficialMag #LaBodgea #RKelly

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‘Friday’ Star And Comedian AJ Johnson Dies at 55

#GetSOM via @TenthLetterMedia

AJ Johnson (Photo Cred: Memesrandom.com)

Confirming multiple news reports, comedian Anthony “AJ” JOHNSON has passed away. He was 55 years old.

AJ Johnson in his role of Blue in “I Got the Hook Up” (Photo Cred: Yahoo.com)

Johnson, who was widely renowned for his memorable role as Eazel in the cult classic Friday, had 50 film and television show credits under his belt. The actor and comedian found success in the 1990’s doing stand up and was featured in the 90’s Hip-Hop classic film House Party.

Johnson playing Eazel in the movie ‘Friday’ (Photo Cred: Florida News Times)

TMZ reports that they were told by one of Johnson’s relatives that Johnson was found lifeless in a store and was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles, where he was pronounced dead. No cause of death has been announced.

Anthony “AJ” Johnson (Photo Cred: Lipstick Alley)

We here at Straight Official Magazine are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of such a great talent and we offer our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

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Donda is Smashing Streams!

#GetSOM via @insiderproductionz

Kanye West’s epic tribute album to his mother, Donda was released Sunday, August 29. On September 5th it was confirmed by Def Jam that the album received over 520,000 equivalent units globally within a 7 days, having accumulated over 775 million global streams in that period. The album generated over 442m streams on the Spotify platform and on the Apple Music platform the album generated 242m streams.

Way to go, Kanye!!

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Rick Ross Claims Next Project To Be “His Best Yet” | @RICKROSS

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – AUGUST 26: Rapper Rick Ross attends the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards red carpet at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)

#GetSOM via @TenthLetterMedia

RICK ROSS is back in the news as the Miami rapper is feeling confident that his new album Richer Than I’ve Ever Been will be his magnum opus. Even without an official release date or track listing, Rozay feels as if this will be the one that will get the fans back excited.

Rick Ross (Photo Cred: Rap-Up.com)

Richer Than I’ve Ever Been was slated to be released earlier this year however, Ross took his time and delayed the project to take more time in perfecting it. Ross was on The Bakari Sellers Podcast not too long ago and he spoke highly on the album and what fans should expect.

(Photo Cred: HipHopDX)

“Really I feel this is the best album. I make progress every day. The words I use, the positions I’m in. The things I’m able to say. Some of the stuff I’m saying on the album gon’ separate this album from others. A lot of people are going to say Rozay shouldn’t have did thaaaat. I think I should. Why not? That’s what the game needs. I’m only going to bring what the game needs.”

Rick Ross-The Bakari Sellers Podcast

Ross is also making news as he is in pursuit of his driver’s license. With so many luxurious cars at his disposal, the Maybach Music general has taken to social media to air out his grievances with the DMV. The pursuit has been trivial and comical, as you can see in the video below.

Rick Ross explains his issues in trying to acquire his driver’s license (Photo Cred: SOHH Twitter Page)

It’s good to know Rozay has a huge heart. Let’s just hope the DMV has the same sized one!

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JA RULE & FAT JOE ARE NEXT UP FOR A VERZUZ BATTLE | @jarule @fatjoe

#GetSOM via @TenthLetterMedia

Fat Joe & Ja Rule (Photo Cred: Complex.com)

The next round of Verzuz has officially been set! In two weeks, two of New York’s most renowned MC’s will go head-to-head for the culture. Ja Rule and Fat Joe will be LIVE from New York on Tuesday, September 14th. We have been treated to some memorable Verzuz so far, including the unforgettable Lox vs. Dipset battle that left Madison Square Garden looking more like a crime scene when it was all said and done.

(Photo Cred: Twitter.com)

AllHipHop.com reports that after the announcement was made that the Terror Squad and Murder Inc. vets initially expressed interest in doing a Verzuz, but not against each other! Ironically, both MC’s wanted 50 Cent as their competition as Fat Joe expressed on The Morning Hustle last year. “I think the guys in the trap, I think the girls, I think everybody [would] be like, ‘Oh wow, we got a Verzuz 50 Cent [with] Fat Joe? Oh, I’m tuning into that joint.’… That’ll be the ideal one.” Ja also voiced his reasons for wanting to participate in a Verzuz to HipHopDX stating that while “it would make the most sense” to battle 50 Cent that it would be highly unlikely. “Listen, man. Everybody don’t want the smoke. Everybody don’t want this smoke. I got heat. Let me tell you something, when I do my shows, I can rock. I’m telling you, it’s like an hour of straight hit records. No filler. All crab meat, n***a. … All meat in that m############ crab cake, n***a.” 

Fat Joe (Photo Cred: Complex.com)

“Ja Rule is sayin’ he loves Hip Hop first and foremost and he wants to do this for the culture. C’mon, you guys want the smoke for real.” 

Fat Joe on The Fat Joe Show
Ja Rule (Photo Cred: Fox News)

But if I did one, if I did do a Verzuz, I would want my Verzuz to be fun. That’s what Verzuz is supposed to be about—the celebration of music and the art, and the artistry.”

Ja Rule on his take on doing a Verzuz

Tickets for the event will go on sale on September 7th. The live stream of the event will take place on the Verzuz Instagram Page as well on Triller and Fite TV apps. The event will be sponsored by Ciroc and it will be sure to be an event you WON’T want to miss!!!

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YOUTUBE REACHES 50 MILLION PREMIUM & MUSIC SUBSCRIBERS

(Photo Cred: TheVerge.com)

#GetSOM via @TenthLetterMedia

You see them every time you try to view that cool video you saw on YouTube. The consistent ads that keep us from what we came to see right away. Tempting us with a one month free trial, that will keep those ads from showing up ever again. While you think that the majority of us would just click on skip, according to Google there are 50 million people who think otherwise. Google is reporting that their YouTube Premium and YouTube Music services have, or at the least extent, have been given a try by 50 million subscribers. The Verge reports that while Google doesn’t break down what that 50 million means, people are growing legs on a continued trend in their YouTube experience.

THE JUMP FROM FREE TO FEE

With the emergence of so many available streaming services, Google is staking claim in the music subscription service industry. YouTube is touting they are the fastest rising streaming service of its kind via a global newsletter from Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube. While only reporting back in December of 2020 that they were around the 30 million mark, Google is still accountable for breaking down the significant surge in overall memberships and trial ships during that time period.

Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music, YouTube (Photo Cred: Wikipedia.com)

The unique offerings of YouTube Music and Premium are resonating in established and emerging music markets alike. We’re seeing impressive growth in countries like Korea, India, Japan, Russia & Brazil where music is a top passion.”

Lyor Cohen

For $9.99 a month, YouTube Music subscribers are able to enjoy ad-free music downloads of all their favorite music. The YouTube Premium subscription, billed at $11.99 gives its users the keys to all the doors of YouTube! This includes unique features that range from being able to play music videos and songs while your device is locked or while you’re busy with another app. This type of flexibility perhaps wasn’t available with Google’s previous attempt at entering the music streaming landscape (Google Play Music) which could be an initial argument as to why Google has seen such a turnaround in subscriptions since 2019.

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KANYE WEST TAKES BEEF WITH DRAKE TO NEW HEIGHTS @kaynewest @champagnepapi

#GetSOM via @TenthLetterMedia

Drake & Kayne West (Photo Cred: GC Images)

The ongoing beef between Kayne West & Drake has been elevated to new heights. Amidst the verbal shots fired by both artists, West has pushed the envelope and has taken advertising for his new Donda release to a level that will hit Drake close to home. As the two artists vie for Billboard spots with West’s Donda release on Sunday and Drake’s Certified Lover Boy release slated for September 3rd, Kayne went so far as to place DONDA billboards throughout downtown Toronto (Drake’s hometown).

Kayne West places DONDA billboards throughout downtown Toronto and above Drake’s Certified Lover Boy advertisements (Photo Cred: DJ Akademiks Twitter Page)

HipHopDX reports that the two artists jumped their rivalry off after Drake took a jab at Kanye on Trippie Redd’s “Betrayal,” to which Ye responded by channeling his inner Joker and exposing Drake’s home address on social media — a move that got a Joker-esque chuckle out of the OVO rapper. This calculated move by Ye shows that the beef is in fact ongoing and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

(Photo Cred: Complex.com)

Both Donda & CLB boasts several big name features, with Drake going so far as listing some of his guests on the billboards including JAY-Z, Future, Lil Baby, 21 Savage, Young Thug, Lil Durk, Ty Dolla $ign, Giveon, Project Pat and Yebba. On Ye’s end, the ongoing story is how verses from both Chris Brown and Soulja Boy were removed from the album and the backlash from both artists towards the Chicago MC. As fans of the culture, it should be a sight to see how this long-lasting feud will pan out over time.

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WE’RE BACK!!!

#GetSOM via @TenthLetterMedia

hack /hak/ v.

2..use a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system.
“they hacked into the bank’s computer”

So What Happened??

You think that it can never happen to you, right? We’re all cautious to a fault when it comes to our online security. You take all necessary precautions to protect what matters most from changing passwords to cache cleaning. But then one day you wake up and grab your phone or head to your laptop. You notice that things aren’t as they were the last time you were logged in. Passwords aren’t working and it’s causing you to really think to yourself…

“Have I been hacked?”

This trend took a major turn last week as the country of Afghanistan was overtaken by the Taliban. The country’s media organizations as well as their entire government was taken down by a group of hackers known as the Yemen Cyber Army. The world has been watching as the regime has had the people of Afghanistan in the grip of fear over the past 48 hours.

What our readers saw when trying to access Straight Official Magazine amidst the fall of Afghanistan on Monday evening (Photo Cred: TenthLetterMedia)

No one is exempt to these types of attacks and we here at Straight Official Magazine were reminded of this on Monday night. Upon trying to access our site, we were met with a dark screen with the headline “HaCKED By Yemen YE ALI” that has us down for a few hours initially. I remember being in a line at a local gas station earlier in the day and reading a headline on a newspaper that said AFGHANISTAN FALLS and in a subheading it read “Yemen Cyber Army Takes Down Government.”

Afghan citizens pack inside a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III as they are transported from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021 (Photo Cred: CNN.com)

I figured at the time, “that’s way over there and I don’t see how that can affect us.” Hours after seeing the black screen and having the site restored, we found ourselves officially wiped out as our coding team caught wind to what they were doing and were on course to rectify. All of our hard work just gone in less than 24 hours. To say that we were both frustrated and devastated is underselling it. Were we targeted? Why us??

So What’s Next??

Luckily for us, we have one of the best coding teams in the business and this slight hiccup only sets us back in terms of content. Before this went down, we were in the stages of revamping Straight Official as this year marks the ten-year anniversary of the publication. Serving as the FLEET DJs home publication, our staff consists of the coalitions’ best and brightest writers, DJ’s, radio personalities and models who have spent the course of a decade making names for themselves through these digital pages.

Normally not in the business of giving out spoilers, we intend to get the eyes of the world on Fleet by getting to know them better. With over 500+ members and growing, there will be endless stories to tell on how this organization is changing lives. Along with capturing the lifestyle and culture of Hip-Hop, we will also celebrate all facets of our changing society and culture. We will have our fingers on the pulse of a number of topics including trending news, health and wellness, sports, technology, politics, religion and much more. We also will feature as well as launching several new podcasts, including the new Straight Fire Podcast which will premiere this month via Twitch.

Straight Fire Podcast Host List (Photo Cred: Da Artist Workshop)

We’re Looking For YOU!!!

In the pursuit of our vision, we have found the best success when we have the manpower to do so. We are building both brands and a publication that will represent the views and beliefs of the people. What better way to do that then to include the people that we cater to! The possibilities are endless with a network that promotes both unity and growth. You don’t necessarily have to be a DJ to join Fleet as they are in pursuit of the best in a variety of fields related to the music & entertainment industry.

Simply log on to www.fleetdjs.com or at www.straightofficial.com and apply to become a member of one of the hottest online publications in the industry! We are looking for bloggers, vloggers, writers, photographers, videographers, models, interns and much more. We intend to keep grinding for another ten years and we’d love to have you along for the ride!

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