Usher celebrated 15 years of his “Usher’s New Look” foundation with a luncheon and some of his celeb friends came out to support. Plus, Lil Wayne is talking about the authenticity of Hip Hop and his upcoming album in the newest issue of XXL. Pics and deets inside…
Today, Usher celebrated 15 years of his “Usher’s New Look” foundation with his buddy Ludacris at the President’s Circle Awards Luncheon in Atlanta. The “Good Kisser” singer’s foundation aims to help disadvantaged youth develop leadership skilss and help them discover careers that match their passions.
Retired professional boxer turned motivational speaker Sugar Ray Leonard came out to support.
Taking a break from the studio with Jagged Edge, Usher’s friend Jermaine Dupri hit the luncheon and snapped a pic with the legendary boxer.
Broadway director Kenny Leon hit the carpet.
Grammy award winning songwriter/producer Bryan-Michael Cox and Jermaine Dupri’s dad Michael Mauldin was also in the mix.
Usher’s mom Jonetta Patton looked nice. Twins.
Ludacris chopped it up with Suagr Ray Leonard during the luncheon.
Sugar Ray got on stage to say a few words.
And Luda hit the stage to support his good friend.
Usher also posed it up with Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed and Malia Murray.
And on a magazine cover….
As he gears up his long awaited release of his 12th studio album Tha Carter V, Lil Wayne nabs the cover of the August/September 2014 issue of XXL.
Doesn’t look like Wayne will have any trouble with sales of his new album because his lead single “Believe Me,” featuring Drake is currently at the No.1 spot on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. Along with topping the charts, Weezy has also garnered some extra attention after he and Christina Milian are seemingly getting closer. Rumors have been circulating that the two are dating but according to Christina, they’re just making music. Mmmhmm…
In the XXL cover story, Weezy sounded off on the authenticity in the Hip Hop game, his highly-anticipated upcoming album, on how he decided to sign Drake & Nicki Minaj to YMCMB and more.
Below are the highlights:
ON THA CARTER V:
“I was feeling the success of Tha Carter I. I felt like people wanted to hear me. I was amped to do that, but then Tha Carter III? I don’t know what happened. It was amazing. And then Tha Carter IV was just unexplainable, and now this one here, there’s no words. I just hope everyone likes it.”
“I’m always feeling like I ain’t done shit. I’m still nervous about Tha Carter V… I’m confident about what I do, but I’m still nervous about what people think.
ON AUTHENTCITY IN HIP-HOP:
“I know I’m authentic because I’m 35 million years in the game. I don’t know where the authenticity is in the game anymore. Today everyone sounds alike, they looking alike, they acting alike, they dressing alike. I came out when everybody was super different. You had an ODB. You had a Busta Rhymes and then you had a 2Pac. You had a Biggie. And everybody was different. Biggie was talking about Mob and Mafia shit. 2Pac was wylin’, talking about West Coast this and that. You had niggas like Meth and Red talking about how high they got and making people laugh. And then now, you got them, them. You got the categories and then everyone falls under it.”
ON PRINCE BEING HIS MAJOR MUSICAL INFLUENCE:
“It was the way he pronounced words and the way he used his voice. It was like if he was playing with a baby. You know if he was playing with a kid. [Imitates a baby cooing] It was the way that he was exploring it. He wasn’t doing it because it was funny. He was doing it because he could make it sound good and exceptional. I realized that I could do that too. He wasn’t afraid of how he sounded because he knew what he was saying and how he was saying it would always sound good.”
ON SIGNING DRAKE AND NICKI MINAJ:
“Call me old-fashioned and country, but with Drake, that was the first time I’d seen someone that knew how to sing and rap. That’s all it was. I didn’t know nobody who knew how to do that. You had those old school singing niggas, where people would do a little eight-bar verse on their songs. But [Drake] was spitting and singing and killing that too. It took a while though. It wasn’t until I heard him spitting on one of my beats when I was like, ‘This fool’s retarded.’ When I hear something that I know I can’t do better? That’s when I’m like, ‘They need to be on the team.’”
“I wanted a female. Every team needs a female to rep your gang. She was annihilating niggas. I mean males. I was like, ‘I have to beef my shit up on that muthafucka.’ She just knocked it out the park from day one. She’s just Nicki. I don’t know whose idea it was, but it was a good idea.”
Wayne’s issue hits newsstands August 12th.
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Photos: Getty/ Atiba Jefferson /XXL