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William Shatner Goes To Outer Space

Hollywood’s Captain Kirk, 90-year-old WILLIAM SHATNER, blasted into space Wednesday in a convergence of science fiction and science reality, reaching the final frontier aboard a ship built by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company.

The Star Trek actor and three fellow passengers hurtled to an altitude of 66.5 miles (107 kilometers) over the West Texas desert in the fully automated capsule then safely parachuted back to Earth. The flight lasted just over 10 minutes.

“What you have given me is the most profound experience,” an exhilarated Shatner told Bezos after climbing out the hatch. The words spilling from him in a soliloquy almost as long as the flight. “I hope I never recover from this, I hope that I can maintain what I feel now, I don’t want to lose it.”

William Shatner (Photo Cred: The New York Times)

What you have given me is the most profound experience. I hope I never recover from this.

Shatner on his experience going into space.

He said that going from the blue sky to the utter blackness of space was moving. “In an instant you go, ‘Whoa, that’s death.’ That’s what I saw.”

Shatner became the oldest person in space. He eclipsed the previous record set by a passenger on a similar jaunt on a Bezos spaceship by eight years. The flight included about three minutes of weightlessness and a view of the curvature of the Earth.

#GetSOM via @djgojabean @StraightOfficialMag

#WilliamShatner #CaptainKirk #NewShepard #JeffBezoz #MissionNS18 #SpaceTravel

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Rory & Mal’ Joins Stitcher’s More Sauce Network

STITCHER has inked the “NEW RORY & MAL” podcast hosted by former Joe Budden Podcast co-hosts RORY FARRELL and JAMIL “MAL” CLAY, formerly independent, to a deal that brings the show to STITCHER’s MORE SAUCE network with new episodes posting on Tuesdays and Fridays starting November 2nd. Farrell and Clay left Budden’s show in an acrimonious split this summer over financial concerns and started their own show in July.

“The love we’ve received with the NEW RORY & MAL podcast has been incredible,” said MAL. “We look forward to changing the optics of ‘media culture’ and having fun with the content we create with SirusXM and STITCHER. Just know that we’re here and that my karma is still beautiful.”

“I’ve listened to some of my favorite people on SirusXM for years,” said FARRELL. “We’re honored to join the STITCHER family and are excited to have their support in creating the content we’ve wanted to create in a much cooler way. They’ve been instrumental in pushing the podcast genre further, and we look forward to growing with them.”

“RORY and MAL embody what MORE SAUCE is all about,” said MORE SAUCE Exe. Producer JAZMINE HENLEY-BROWN. “They come with hilarious takes, deep industry connections and stories; but most of all, they seem like the friends you’d love to have at your dinner party or kickback.”

CELEBRATING HIP-HOP, LIFESTYLE AND CULTURE THIS IS STRAIGHT OFFICIAL MAGAZINE!

#GetSOM via @djgojabean @StraightOfficialMag #GojasBodega #RoryAndMal #Podcast #Stitcher #Independent

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Big Daddy Kane & KRS-One Are Next Up For a Verzuz

#GetSOM via @TenthLetterMedia

Big Daddy Kane & KRS-One Verzuz Flyer (Photo Cred: Okayplayer.com)

THE NEXT VERZUZ IS OFFICIAL!!

Hip-Hop pioneers BIG DADDY KANE & KRS-ONE have been announced as the next two artists to face off in the next Verzuz! Pitchfork reports that the battle will go down Sunday, October 17th at 9pm EST from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

These unique battles have helped to engage fans of Hip-Hop and R&B alike. They’ve provided memorable entertainment amidst the ongoing pandemic. Spawned by legendary producers Swizz Beats and Timbaland, these impromptu battles of artist catalogs have reinvigorated our love for the culture and music as a whole.

Big Daddy Kane & KRS-One (Photo Cred: Getty Images)

LET’S PLAY A GAME

Revolt reports the two producers wanted the fans to guess on who the next two combatants would be. The prize for a correct guess would be a pair of tickets to the event! The initial post on Instagram received over 15,000 guesses! The fans would only have silhouettes to use as a hint, with most of us being able to guess right away!

(Photo Cred: Verzuz IG Page)

This battle is sure to be as legendary as the artists who are performing! You can purchase tickets NOW through triller.fightclub.com and you can watch exclusively through both Triller & FITE TV. Billed as “TrillerVerz III Weekend”, the festivities will kick off on October 16th. Fans will be treated with a performance from Jamaican DJ Super Cat at 8pm EST. The official battle between BDK and KRS will take place the next day.

Be sure to get your tickets NOW and tune in on Sunday, October 16th to catch all the festivities! Who do you think will win this Verzuz battle? Who would you like to see in the next Verzuz? Let us know down in the comments below! As always, we thank you for rocking with TenthLetterMedia & Straight Official Magazine as we celebrate Hip-Hop, lifestyle and culture!

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YouTube Removes Misinforming Vaccine Videos

WHAT IS YOUTUBE DOING?

YouTube has announced that they will begin to remove any misinforming videos surrounding any approved medical vaccinations from their site. Bloomberg reports that the site is forgoing their usual hands-off approach to this topic. The video platform will extend their policies against any form of misinformation conveyed on their site.

A division of Google announced that the ban will include any media claiming that vaccines are dangerous or lead to chronic health outcomes. Over 130,000 videos broke the new rule and were removed from the site. These numbers will rise as the pandemic goes on.

One year ago, YouTube began banning videos that were critical of Covid-19 vaccines. Seeing early on the policy had limitations, YouTube enforced policies after creators found ways around it. Making claims about the vaccines without mentioning Covid-19 directly was one way creators went about it.

Matt Halprin, VP of YouTube of Trust and Safety (Photo Cred: Wikipedia Commons)

We can imagine viewers potentially extrapolating Covid-19. We wanted to make sure that we’re covering the whole gamut.

Mark Halprin on YouTube’s New Policy

DEALING WITH BACKLASH

YouTube faces some of the same political pressures as Facebook and Twitter. The streaming site is being accused of censoring speech. The platform faces scrutiny for what some believe is labeling and inadequately policing vaccine skepticism and falsehoods.

Halprin said, “The company will allow ‘scientific discussion’. Videos about vaccine trials, results and failures.” YouTube will continue to permit personal testimonies. Parents can talk about their child’s experiences receiving the vaccine.

“If videos aggregate these testimonials or make broader claims questioning vaccine efficacy, they will be removed” Halprin said.

(Photo Cred: The Guardian Nigeria)

IS YOUTUBE RESTRICTING SEARCHES?

Within the conditions of YouTube’s new policy, the platform categorized certain health videos and in some cases, reduced their ability to show up in searches. Reports state that the company will treat certain health videos as “borderline.” This would decrease the appearance in search results.

“It’s only when somebody then generalizes, Halprin continued. ‘It’s not just about my child’. There’s obviously a line there.”

What do you think about YouTube’s new course of action? Let us know in the comments down below!

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[BREAKING NEWS] R. Kelly Found Guilty!!

R. Kelly (Photo Cred: ABC News)

#GetSOM via @TenthLetterMedia

Confirming multiple news sources, R&B singer R. KELLY was found guilty by a federal jury on Monday afternoon on racketeering charges stemming from his publicized sex trafficking trial. Prosecutors had accused R. Kelly of using his celebrity to bait women and underaged girls for sex throughout the course of the R&B singers’ thirty-year career.

Straight Official reported on R. Kelly just last month. The singer’s trial had appeared to had hit a brick wall. The prosecution rested their case against the crooner after hearing weeks of testimonies from accusers and survivors of Kelly. It’s funny what a few weeks can change.

Reuters reports that R. Kelly pled not guilty to a racketeering charge and eight counts of violating federal law. This involves making it illegal to transport people across state lines for prostitution. While the prosecution is making R. Kelly as a predator who used his fame and charisma to lure victims into his sphere, the defense team for R. Kelly portrays him as a generous person and that his accusers are looking for a payday through failed book deals and hoped-for music careers that never took flight.

Prosecutors push a cart with documents related to R. Kelly’s trial as they arrive to Brooklyn federal court in New York, U.S., August 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

We will continue to follow this story as news develops. What are your thoughts on this case? Let us know down below!

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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 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 he 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. 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 again. The Miami rapper is confident 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)

RTIEB was set to be released earlier this year. 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

Finally, Ross is also attempting to get his driver’s license. With 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

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

JA RULE & FAT JOE ARE NEXT UP FOR VERZUZ

The next round of Verzuz has 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’ve been treated to some memorable battles so far. Like 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)

TALE OF THE TAPE

AllHipHop.com reports that after the announcement the Terror Squad and Murder Inc. vets expressed interest in doing a Verzuz. Just 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. It will be an event you WON’T want to miss!!!

#GetSOM via @TenthLetterMedia & check out more Hip-Hop news right here.

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