Documentary Claims Diddy Was Behind Tupac’s Murder

A former LAPD investigator alleges that Suge Knight then retaliated by having Biggie Smalls killed.
Todd Van Luling Senior Staff Writer, The Huffington Post

Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images
This is not the first time the finger has been pointed at Sean “Diddy” Combs.

The Los Angeles Police Department has …

Editorial #1

We are going to start writing weekly editorials about different subject matters that affect us. (Politics, Music Biz, Sports and more). Our focus isn’t shifting on being a brand marketing agency instead we are expanding our scope. As a result, we welcome any all of your comments and opinions. We …

Documentary Claims Diddy Was Behind Tupac’s Murder

A former LAPD investigator alleges that Suge Knight then retaliated by having Biggie Smalls killed.
Todd Van Luling Senior Staff Writer, The Huffington Post

Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images
This is not the first time the finger has been pointed at Sean “Diddy” Combs.

The Los Angeles Police Department has …

Documentary Claims Diddy Was Behind Tupac’s Murder

A former LAPD investigator alleges that Suge Knight then retaliated by having Biggie Smalls killed.
Todd Van Luling Senior Staff Writer, The Huffington Post

Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images
This is not the first time the finger has been pointed at Sean “Diddy” Combs.

The Los Angeles Police Department has …

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Documentary Claims Diddy Was Behind Tupac’s Murder

February 4, 2016 FEATURED No Comments

Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News Archive via Getty Images
This is not the first time the finger has been pointed at Sean “Diddy” Combs.

The Los Angeles Police Department has solved the murders of rappers Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace and Tupac Shakur, according to a documentary featuring retired LAPD detective Greg Kading, who once led a special task force that investigated those two-decade-old shootings.

Based on his three years working the cases, Kading claims that Sean “Diddy” Combs hired Crips gang member Duane Keith “Keffe D” Davis to kill Shakur and his manager, Marion Hugh “Suge” Knight, for $1 million. He alleges that on the night of Sept. 7, 1996, Keffe D’s nephew, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson, pulled the trigger. Only Shakur was killed.

Kading alleges that in retaliation, Knight hired Bloods gang member Wardell “Poochie” Fouse to kill Biggie Smalls for $13,000. Biggie Smalls was shot to death on March 9, 1997, just six months after Shakur died.

Over the course of investigating, Kading says that he essentially trapped Keffe D into a situation where he had to give a verifiable confession about the events that led to Shakur’s murder or else face severe charges for another crime.

“If his intention was to just get away with it, so to speak,” Kading told HuffPost, “it would have been very easy for him to not include all the details that he did.”

These extra details, according to the documentary, include the allegation that Combs hired Keffe D for the crime.

The documentary, titled “Murder Rap,” originally premiered in 2015. Based on Kading’s 2011 book of the same name, it’s available on iTunes now and will debut on Netflix in the spring.

The LAPD assigned Kading to reinvestigate the rappers’ murders in 2006, soon after Biggie Smalls’ mother, Voletta Wallace, sued the department in federal court. Wallace’s wrongful death lawsuit centered on a popular conspiracy theory that the police covered up an officer’s involvement in her son’s murder. The civil suit estimated losses at $500 million based on Biggie Smalls’ earning potential. It was Kading’s task to disprove the theory posited in the suit, along with many others swirling around.

Kading claims that once his team found enough evidence to exonerate the LAPD, the re-investigation of the murders was essentially dropped. In 2009, the department took Kading off the task force due to an internal affairs investigation on a separate matter. Though he was eventually cleared in the internal matter, the image of a “rogue cop” stuck.

In truth, over the course of his 25-year law enforcement career, Kading received the LAPD’s Medal of Valor and its Police Star for heroic action. He also achieved the highest ranking for an investigator that the LAPD gives. In 2010, he retired from the department. The next year he published his book about the rappers’ case.

Kading now alleges that the LAPD chose not to pursue formal charges in the case because of Combs’ celebrity and because the evidence pointed to two killers who were already deceased. Anderson and Fouse have both died of apparently unrelated causes.

The LAPD offered no comment about Kading’s claims or the documentary when contacted by HuffPost. HuffPost could not reach Combs for this story, but left multiple messages for his manager and publicist, which were not returned.

Knight’s lawyer likewise did not immediately respond to messages from HuffPost. And HuffPost could not find contact information for Keffe D.

In 2010, before Kading’s book came out, radio show host DJ Jojo surprised Combs with questions about Biggie Smalls’ murder. Combs answered as if he seemingly had some knowledge of what had happened, declaring, “Those are street issues.”

The following year, Combs told LA Weekly that Kading’s claims were “pure fiction and completely ridiculous.”

Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Diddy (center) and Biggie Smalls attend the Source Awards at the Palladium in New York on Aug. 13, 1995.

Kading, of course, disagrees. “You want to believe you are a good enough investigator to rise to the occasion,” he told HuffPost.

He said he had been chosen for the task force due to his experience in gang-related and narcotics crimes, along with cold-case homicides. But the effort ended before any suspects were brought to court.

Since then, the case has grown even colder. Additional people who might have known something about the rappers’ murders have died. Kading’s claims appear unlikely to ever go to court.

That is, unless he’s sued by one of the accused, such as Combs or Knight. “I don’t think any rational person looks forward to getting sued,” Kading said, laughing. “But if I did, I would not shy away from it. I am very, very confident in the case. I’m confident in the evidence.”

In the meantime, he’s making his arguments directly to the people. Kading’s book ends with these words, “Maybe this story would never hold up in court. But maybe it will hold up in the court of public opinion. You decide.”

Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Rappers Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur and Redman (left to right) pose backstage at the Palladium on July 23, 1993.

Despite — or perhaps because of — the high-profile nature of the accused, the documentary has had a difficult time getting distribution and press, according to filmmaker Mike Dorsey.

“I think it’s one of the 10 biggest stories in hip-hop of the entire year, and it’s almost complete silence in the hip-hop media world,” said Dorsey.

Kading had similar frustrations with his 2011 book. It was originally written for a major New York book publisher, but that publisher eventually terminated the $250,000 contract (which HuffPost was shown under condition that we not name the publisher). The publishing house told HuffPost the contract “was cancelled for legal concerns.” Kading ended up self-publishing the book.

It could have been a blockbuster: A lead LAPD investigator into the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls fingers two of the most recognizable moguls in hip-hop for the crimes. This investigator claims he has enough evidence not only to refute previously popular theories about the crimes, but also to prove his own. Yet the story has gone nowhere.

Dorsey and Kading hope their documentary will change that.

“It’s been the worst-kept secret in Compton,” Dorsey said of Kading’s allegations. Now that the documentary is getting wider distribution, they suggest that maybe someone else who was involved with the case might come forward with the more evidence to corroborate Kading’s assertions.

“There’s still some loose ends that should have been addressed by law enforcement,” said the former detective. “But I don’t see that happening. I don’t see them proactively investigating these cases ever again.”

As for himself, he said, “I have absolute closure in the case already. There is no doubt in my mind that we’ve discovered the truth and we’re presenting the truth. So as far as the murders go, they’re solved.”

“Now it’s just a matter of educating the public as to that information,” said Kading.

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Meet Lil Yachty, The Atlanta Rap-Singer You’ll Either Love Or Hate

January 28, 2016 FEATURED No Comments

But do yourself a favor and listen, at least once.

Lil Yachty is a new rapper from Atlanta with bright red hair and a very sleepy voice. He half-sings a lot—not quite with Makonnen’s knack for a pop melody, but with a similar boldness. He has a verifiable fan favorite in “1Night”—3.5 million plays and counting—and some truly loopy followups. Feels like just the beginning for him though. Below, a brief history of his gifts so far.

Lil Yachty, “1Night”

This is far and away his biggest song, his meanest and his funniest. Tribute videos are popping up everywhere—dance videos, dramatic interpretations, recreations in Grand Theft Auto.

Lil Yachty, “Minnesota”

This song will either make or break your Yachty love. His is the first falsetto I’ve heard that sounds lumpy.

Swaghollywood and Lil Yachty, “Hollywood”

EVK95 of 808Mafia, who produced this gem, brings out Yachty’s Auto-Tune best on this chorus. Such fun melodies they’re both twisting.

Lil Yachty & K$upreme, “Die By Myself Freestyle”

Here’s one on the other side of the emotional spectrum. Very dire. Recorded with a laptop mic?

Lil Yachty, “Water on My Face”

This hook could be from a pop-punk song.

Lil Yachty, “I Don’t Fuck With Niggas”

Another one to give due props to the producer: BrentRambo’s drops are unreal. Yachty is fitting himself into a pocket that basically doesn’t exist with this beat. This might be the weirdest one.

Wintertime Zi & Yachty, “Courtside Choppas”

This one’s really soothing, though there’s not much to it. Ride out by pairing with “Wintertime on a Boat.”

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Breaking down ‘branding’ and the business of capital for startups

January 26, 2016 FEATURED No Comments

Marketing & Branding


Munson Steed and Ludacris

Steed Media Group/rolling out publisher and CEO, Munson Steed, with rapper/actor and founder of Disturbing Tha Peace, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. Bridges is the epitome of the brand and during his career he’s exemplified every concept outlined in the “BRAND” acronym. (Photo Credit: Steed Media Service)

It’s more than a notion to convey how imperative branding is to many organizations.

Branding is the promotion of a product or service that extends beyond the lifetime of the inventor. The product or service can sell for millions. The company can go public for thousands, for millions, across securities exchanges around the world. But what exactly does branding mean? The acronym below sums it up.

B stands for the brain behind the brand, the intellectual property that is both tangible and intangible, relative to the brand. It must be ever-evolving, much like how the Ford brand evolves. The brain must understand that its development consists of thought processes that it ought to protect and it must be produced to last a lifetime. The architecture of the brand must include distinctive logos, fonts and colors that cause us to imagine a visual map that becomes familiar and that we embrace.

R stands for resource. When one considers establishing a brand, capital is key. Sources of finance can range from bank loans, raising funds from angel investors and hedge funds, and a more innovative way is through crowdsourcing like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, etc. Entrepreneurs, brand managers, creators and producers consider all these financing options. Another brand resource is its management team which is the brain trust, the mastermind group, who share their expertise. Each of these resources work interdependently and must be engaged, renewed and continue to grow. Interns are a resource. These individuals volunteer their time in exchange for intellectual capital and guidance. They can become consumers and ambassadors for the brand, an authentic voice. They grow to become vested stakeholders. It’s the key for energy, a natural resource.

A is for assets. There are several ways to look at assets. Many would classify them as resources. Upon closer inspection, they are your human capital. They are consumers advocates. They are important because they can be stakeholders as well. On the other hand, the brains of the brand develop the assets, the artwork and intellectual property that will forge the identity of the brand. It’s the figure eight shape of the bottle. Its the swoosh of the logo. It is words that become a part of your vernacular: you “Google” to find a company.

Assets are tangible: fixed and current. There are intangible assets such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, goodwill and brand recognition – all the intellectual properties associated with a corporation that gives it life and identity. These assets are important. They raise the value of the brand in the mind of the public, stakeholders and stockholders – those who are going to purchase invest or protect the assets of the brand.

N is for negotiation. In branding, there is a constant negotiation. Communicating your brand to others in the marketplace is full-fledged negotiation, period. You must protect your brand. You must be prepared to legally protect your brand so others won’t steal your assets, your resources, or your visual map. You must also understand there are those who work to cannibalize your brand.

Negotiation must be seen as part of what moves the brand forward. There may be an activation, as it relates to a strategy, that takes place between you and the marketplace, between you and the public forum, between you and the very association of others inside the same industry. Yes, the negotiation is something that will have value and affects the life of the brand, the corporation. Corporations close. Some are revived because negotiation in the marketplace has occurred or there’s increased spending or raised awareness.

D stands for disruption. There is a constant disruption occurring with brands, which means essentially taking a brand-new approach by updating the business model and products. Technology will eliminate some brands, due simply to the ability to deliver at an accelerated pace. It makes sense that many retailers would be going out of brick-and-mortar businesses and be replaced by technology – trading in taxi garages for an über app; reservationists and front desks at hotels for Airbnb; long lines at car rental counters and long contracts to read and sign for Zipcar. This technology has disrupted the marketplace. Legacy brands are taking notice.

Think about how you must approach reality and pushing yourself further than ever before. It is here that we see the regulations of what once was brand status quo as rolled out the door for the marketplace will be disrupted time and time again. The very value of technology that allows drones and other innovations; the very sequences of the DNA will allow us to approach healthcare; the very notion of how fast computer science moves, how nanotechnology redefines global marketplaces, redefines our approach to food, medicine and more.

Technology is exchanged in a more rapid rate than ever before in the history of mankind – in leaps and bounds. As a brand creator, you must understand that you must comprehend the disruptive philosophy for your brand’s survival.

The very value of social media delivery services and the “likes” will make it impossible for brands to survive without disrupting their own consideration of whether they are inside the marketplace.

Branding is key to the established understanding of the brand’s means of the approach, to at least facilitate a meaningful brand discussion. It means that all the above concepts will be applied to the very essence of how you will create, inking yourself in the position that your brand lives with and without your presence because with all things considered, it’s a value-based approach that creates a phenomenal brand identity.

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Rapper B.o.B thinks the Earth is flat, has photographs to prove it

January 26, 2016 FEATURED No Comments

(CNN)Rapper Bobby Ray Simmons (more widely known as B.o.B) has taken to Twitter, insisting the world is flat.

The man behind chart-topping hits such as “Nothin’ on You” and “Airplanes” has posted a flurry of tweets and pictures telling his 2.3 million followers: “I didn’t wanna believe it either.”

B.o.B laid out his case that if the world were in fact round, it would be obvious when looking at the horizon. He says cities in the distance would not be visible as they would be obscured by the Earth’s curvature.

He also tweeted numerous photographs taken at high altitude, which he said further supports his point that “no matter how high in elevation you are… the horizon is always eye level.”

Retweets were rewarded for the few who agreed with the musician. However, anyone responding negatively to the singer was simply shut down.

B.o.B also posted a photo insinuating that disbelievers are sheep and blamed a lack of understanding on mass media. He tweeted: “I’m going up against the greatest liars in history … you’ve been tremendously deceived”

Instead, he recommended people “research what I say” and make up their own minds.

Prominent American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson even joined the conversation, pointing out where B.o.B was mistaken and explained some of the science behind the photographs.

However, none of this swayed the rapper, who instead seems to have challenged the cosmologist to a rap battle (warning: the newly-release Soundcloud track has explicit language, discretion is advised).

B.o.B has been on somewhat of a conspiracy roll on Twitter of late, taking on the moon landing and human cloning in recent days as well.

Meanwhile he had a few choice words for his detractors posting: “if my tweets are rattling the tiny little cages of your reality … the unfollow button is right there”

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The Ratings Are In! Toni Braxton Biopic Watched By Over 3.5 Million

January 26, 2016 FEATURED No Comments

Lifetime Movie A Winner With Viewers & Critics

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Rap Release Dates: Kevin Gates, Beneficence, David Banner, Copywrite

January 26, 2016 FEATURED No Comments

 by Paul Meara on January 26th 2016 

Rap Release Dates: Kevin Gates, Beneficence, David Banner, Copywrite

Kevin Gates and Beneficence are slated to drop albums this week, David Banner announces a new LP and its release date.

Only a few new announcements were made regarding albums for 2016. See what’s new below.

Kevin Gates is slated to drop his next album this week. Islah eyes a Friday (January 29) release. Also slated for January 29 is Beneficence’s next project, Basement Chemistry.

David Banner is slated to release his next album, The God Box on May 13.

Copywrite recently announced his next album title and release date. Blood, Bath & Beyond eyes a May 6 drop, according to the Columbus, Ohio rapper.

January 29

Beneficence – Basement Chemistry
Kevin Gates – Islah

February 11

Kanye West – SWISH

February 12

Statik Selelktah & KXNG CROOKED – Statik KXNG

February 26

Macklemore & Ryan Lews – This Unruly Mess I’ve Made
Thi’sl – Against All Odds

March 11

Flatbush Zombies – 3001: A Laced Odyssey

April 29

De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody

May 6

Copywrite – Blood, Bath & Beyond

May 13

David Banner – The God Box


2 Chainz – A.C. (After The Dope Game)
2 Chainz – B.C. (Before Chainz)
50 Cent – Beautiful Nightmare
Ab-Soul – TBA
Action Bronson – The Human Highlight Reel
A La $ole & J57 – TBA
Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge – TBA
A$AP Ferg – Always Strive And Prosper
A$AP Rocky – Beauty & The Beast: Slowed Down Sessions, Chapter 1
A$AP Yams – TBA
AZ – Doe Or Die II
Azealia Banks – Business & Pleasure
Bad Lucc & Problem – TBA
Birdman – Bigga Than Life
Black Hippy – TBA
Brick Squad – Big Money Talk
Cam’ron – Purple Haze 2
Charles Hamilton – The Black Box
Clipse – As God Is My Witness
Craig G & Da Beatminerz – TBA
Curren$y & Alchemist – The Carrollton Heist
Curren$y & Sledgren – Revolver
Curtiss King – Raging Waters
Cypress Hill & DJ Muggs – TBA
De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody
Dirty Science – TBA
DJ Scream – Long Live The Hustle
DJ Premier – Last Session @320
Drake – Views from the 6
Dream Junkies – Good Religion
Frank Ocean – Boys Don’t Cry
Game – 1992
Game & Jim Jones – Certified Gangsters
Ghostface Killah & MF DOOM – DOOMStarks
Ginuwine – Same Ol G
Glasses Malone & Stan Sheppard – Inner City Dreams
Gucci Mane – The Machine
Hot Boys – TBA
Hustle Gang – G.D.O.D. II
Iggy Azalea – Digital Distortion
Immortal Technique – The Martyr 2
Isaiah Rashad – TBA
J. Cole – Truly Yours 4
Ja Rule – Genius Loves Company
Jay Electronica – Act II: Patents of Nobility (The Turn)
Jeezy & T.I. – Dope Boy Academy
Jon Connor – TBA
Juicy J – The Hustle Continues
Kanye West- SWISH
Keyshia Cole – Point Of No Return
Kid Capri – Top Tier
Killer Mike and El-P – Run The Jewels 3
Krondon & Chase N Cashe – Green & Gold
Lil Wayne – Tha Carter V
Lupe Fiasco – Drogas
Lupe Fiasco – Skulls
Lupe Fiasco – Roy
Lupe Fiasco – Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool 2
Lupe Fiasco & S1 – Black Vietnam
Malik B & Mr. Green – Unpredictable
Ma$e – Now We Even
Maurice Brown – Maurice vs. Mobetta
MC Lyte – Legend
Method Man & Redman – Blackout 3
Missy Elliott – TBA
Nas – TBA
N.B.S. – Trapped In America
N.E.R.D. – TBA
OutKast – TBA
Pete Rock – Soul Survivor 3
Plies – Purple Heart
Post Malone – TBA
Pusha T – King Push
Rae Sremmurd – TBA
Raven Sorvino – Pretty Pink
Rebel Armz – TBA
Redman – How High 2
Redman – Muddy Waters 2
RiFF RAFF – Peach Panther
RiFF RAFF & Action Bronson – Galaxy Gladiators
Roc Marciano & Alchemist – TBA
Royce Da 5’9 & DJ Premier – PRhyme 2
RZA & Paul Banks – TBA
ScHoolboy Q – TBA
Showbiz & A.G. – TBA
Spice 1 – Hater’s Nightmare
Swizz Beatz – Haute Living
Timbaland – Textbook Timbo
Tink – #ThinkTINK
The Cool Kids – Shark Week
The Grouch & Eligh – TBA
The Throne – Watch The Throne 2
T.I. – Traps Open
TiRon & Ayomari – The Great New Wonderful
Wale – Shine
Wiz Khalifa – Rolling Papers 2
Yellawolf – Trial By Fire
YG – Still Krazy
XV – The Kid with the Green Backpack

Visit DX’s Release Dates page for more details.

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The 10 Sneakers You Must Have in Your Collection

January 25, 2016 FEATURED No Comments

You should own a pair of every single one of these iconic sneakers.

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Cam Newton Is the Breath of Fresh Air the Super Bowl and the NFL Need

January 25, 2016 FEATURED No Comments
Cam Newton Is the Breath of Fresh Air the Super Bowl and the NFL Need

Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Cam Newton always makes us wait for postgame press conferences.

It’s an aggravating habit for a young superstar who, let’s be frank, has a knack for aggravating some folks. The game ends, head coach Ron Rivera speaks, the locker room opens, the Panthers’ veterans offer their thoughts in various states of undress, the press pool returns to the conference room, and then there’s a prolonged, muttering silence, the kind you hear while waiting for an airplane to finally taxi to a gate.

Newton is not on deadline, after all. He speaks when he’s relaxed, groomed in his inimitable way and ready to speak.

When Newton finally spoke Sunday night in Charlotte, over an hour after beating the Cardinals, 49-15, to advance to the Super Bowl, he made it worth the wait. He reflected on his five years in Carolina:

Mike McCarn/Associated Press

“Like I said, it wasn’t going to be instant grits, quick grits,” he said. “It was going to be a process like long-cooked collard greens.”

“I think those collard greens are brewing right now,” Newton said. “You can smell them from a mile away.”

Cam Newton is worth listening to. Not just because he is the odds-on MVP favorite and has established himself as an NFL superstar.

Newton is worth listening to when he speaks because he actually says things. Sometimes they are funny things. Sometimes they are insightful things. Sometimes they are honest, sometimes ridiculous, sometimes a little baffling, like old Yogi Berra quotes.

But what he says is never predictable, never like the Peyton Manning/Tom Brady remarks that have sounded for years like they were vetted by a focus group of grumpy old coaches and cliche aficionados.

When a reporter reminded Newton of the day he was drafted, he responded with a snarky “Duh,” like a teenager tired of being nagged by his parents. It wasn’t rude. It was just real, the kind of moment that most star quarterbacks long ago censored from their speech, along with the country-cooking sayings and anything else that resembled actual human communication, lest they say something that winds up on an opponent’s message board or attached to an Internet meme.

As reigning NFC champion, Newton was obligated to say a few words to Fox TV before he left the field. When asked what he said to his teammates at halftime to encourage them to keep applying pressure on the Cardinals, he initially said, “It’s confidential” with his signature wide grin, before adding cryptically, “What’s already understood shouldn’t have to be said.”

Newton then revealed he did not know who the Panthers were playing in the Super Bowl, even though the Broncos beat the Patriots hours earlier.

AJ Mast/Associated Press

“Oh wow, playing the Sheriff,” Newton said when told of his opponent.

Not many NFL quarterbacks with five years of experience and an NFC title under their belts would respond with a “wow” to much of anything.

Newton also heaped credit on the organization and his teammates—who did their part with, among other things, a whopping seven takeaways. He explained plays, admitted mistakes and dropped the usual “We’re not done yet” wisdom.

Newton isn’t always unconventional, and he’s rarely the self-promoter his critics paint him to be. Just as he has developed from a scrambling youngster into a complete quarterback who often runs, Newton has grown from a guy who calls Ndamukong Suh “Donkey Kong Suh” into someone who can joke at length about wanting to play on the onside kick hands team because he has “organic hands” (as he did last week) while still coloring within the lines of answering sometimes-obvious questions with semi-informative responses.

Newton will be a welcome sight and sound on and off the field at Super Bowl 50.

On the field, Newton’s option-flavored game won’t be all that novel. The NFC for four years now will have been represented by mobile young quarterbacks who mix designed runs with pocket passes.

But off the field, Newton is something new. Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson were gritty, grunting chips off the old-school football block. They delivered predictable platitudes whenever they opened their mouths.

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Wilson can bore an audience to sleep in a press conference as effectively as he can elude a defense to throw a miracle touchdown. But Newton is different: a millennial Joe Namath, a dapper Dan who dares to talk and act as if football is a fun sport meant to entertain an audience, not bitter warfare.

That sense of fun is what the Cam bashers loathe, of course: the dabbing, the jumping jacks, the goofy grin. Self-styled football purists hate that stuff.

But the Super Bowl and the two weeks of hype that lead up to it are not for football purists. The Super Bowl is for casual fans, young fans, new fans and pop-culture observers who wander in to see the spectacle.

Newton’s fashion sense, gift for unusual gab and actual willingness to express joy are going to be catnip to the entertainment press and world media that descend on the NFL in the next two weeks. Those qualities will also open some windows and let in a little light for those of us who eat and breathe the NFL and have grown weary of the predictable, approved non-personality quarterback personality.

Newton’s act would be tiresome if he hadn’t proven so emphatically that he has earned this spotlight. Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more against the Cardinals on Sunday. He threw just one interception against a turnover-happy defense. In the playoffs, he has completed 70 percent of his passes, thrown for 496 yards and rushed for 50 more against a pair of opponents that were darling Super Bowl choices, largely because a big segment of the football-watching public kept waiting—and sometimes wishing—for Newton to screw up.

Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Newton never played down to those critics, nor did he cave in and become another grizzled general off the assembly line. Newton was as calm and composed against the Cardinals as he was against the Seahawks and the Panthers’ regular-season opponents. At the end of the championship game Sunday, Newton was just slightly more jubilant than he typically is, all jumping jacks and gestures and poses for team photographs.

Newton is not immature or silly. He’s differently tough. He leads a team whose personality matches his: The Panthers reached the Super Bowl by balancing the need to take football seriously with the need to enjoy the game.

Newton will have a lot to say over the next two weeks. Unless you are a Cam basher who has closed his or her mind forever, I invite you to listen. This is the way football should sound. There should be laughs, personality, individuality, a little genuine chest-thumping mixed with respect and sportsmanship. Newton has shown that you can reach the Super Bowl with a smile.

No, you won’t like everything you hear or how it’s said. Peyton Manning is also on hand if you prefer hearing the soothing sounds of a quarterbot providing automatic, prefabricated answers.

Love him or hate him, Newton is unpredictable, largely unfiltered and capable of the unexpected. He’s the quarterback this Super Bowl deserves.

And while he’s sometimes a little late when scheduled to speak, his performance on the field always speaks volumes.

Mike Tanier covers the NFL for Bleacher Report.

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Akomplice Clothing Features Wale in New Visual Lookbook

January 25, 2016 FEATURED No Comments

By Allison Hazel


Wale is the face of Akomplice Clothing’s latest collaborative creation.

Just in time for winter, the collection features a ski suit (a combination of blue, black, and silver overalls with tribal print straps) and mask (matching tribal fabric)—therefore buyers can pair the two winter essentials.

The collaboration debuted late last year and was recently promoted with a three-minute visual lookbook. Filmed at Wale’s Hollywood home, the lookbook captures Wale alongside Akomplice co-owners, Mike and Patrick Liberty.

Wale expressed his enthusiasm about putting his creative touch on the fashion line. “These guys have been more than a pleasure to work with as far as work ethic and getting things done on time.”

The ski suit retails for $600 and the ski mask retails for $25. Both items are available at

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Carolina Panthers Crush The Arizona Cardinals En Route To Super Bowl 50

January 25, 2016 FEATURED No Comments

By Rocko Rathon


On NFL Championship weekend, the league normally places the “game of the day” second in the schedule. Ironically enough, the earlier matchup between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos was far more competitive than what everyone had assumed. The Arizona Cardinals were in for more than they bargained for as Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers demolished them 49-15 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

From the inception, it was clear that the Cardinals were out of sync, blowing scoring opportunities and being dominated on both sides of the ball. Cardinals QB Carson Palmer was abysmal, throwing four interceptions, one of which was returned to the house by Luke Kuechly. On offense, Cam Newton showed the world why he is the 2015 NFL MVP throwing two touchdowns and running in another two. At the start of the 4th quarter, it was clear who the better team was as Panthers players celebrated and the Cardinals sulked on the other sideline.

Cam is headed to his first Super Bowl, while it is the second appearance for the franchise, as they lost to the Patriots at the big game back in 2003. Facing off against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, Super Bowl 50 is sure to be one for the books.

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