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Kanye West's MAGA Pic No Alt-Right Gesture ... That's a Company Sign!!!

4/25/2018 4:49 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

Everyone who thinks Kanye West's red MAGA hat photo also features a man flashing an alt-right symbol needs to chill, because it's not true.

The man giving the OK sign -- which many believe is a gesture used by the alt-right or white supremacists -- is YouTube's Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen ... but it's not even an OK sign to him.

A rep for YouTube tells us ... Cohen's gesture is meant to represent the company he founded -- 300 Entertainment -- and nothing more. He's also done it several times before.

As we reported ... Kanye's been on the Trump Train Wednesday, sending out several tweets about his love for the Prez, including the provocative selfie with Cohen and Lucian Grainge, CEO of Universal Music.

But now we know, even though Ye's embracing Trump ... he's not hanging with people who embrace the alt-right.

'American Idol' Check the Record, Minorities Have It Harder ... Says Booted Contestant

4/25/2018 3:31 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"American Idol" voters don't like voting for minorities, and the show's most recent elimination round proves it, according to Marcio Donaldson, one of the guys who got booted. 

Marcio wasn't voted into the Top 10 Tuesday night, and believes minorities have it harder on the show ... because America tends to vote white. Sounds harsh, but he says the show's record stands for itself when it comes to minorities winning 'Idol.'

On the reboot, judges Katy PerryLuke Bryan and Lionel Richie picked 4 of the top 10 finalists from a pool of 8 who didn't make the cut with viewers. Almost everyone in the bottom eight was a minority.  

Even one of this season's fan favorites, latina drag queen Ada Vox, had to be saved by the judges. Marcio thinks that proves his point -- as do the show's 16 seasons with just four minority champs ... Fantasia BarrinoJordin SparksCandice Glover and Ruben Studdard.

Charlamagne Tha God Kanye Doesn't Get My Vote for Prez

4/25/2018 1:57 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Charlamagne Tha God's officially NOT on board with Kanye West making a run for the White House, because he says the last thing America needs is another Celebrity-in-Chief.

We got "The Breakfast Club" co-host leaving Barnes & Noble in NYC Wednesday, and asked him about Kanye crowning Charlamagne "The New Oprah." The compliment comes on the heels of Charlamagne sitting down with Ye last week ... but CTG told us why he's rejecting that comparison. 

He's also got a strong message for everyone calling him after Kanye said someone's offering $10 mil for his interview with Charlamagne.

As for Yeezy publicly embracing Trump and talking about his own run for Prez ... Charlamagne had a lot of praise for Kanye the rapper ... but definitely NOT for Kanye the politician.

By the way -- we got CTG on the way out of a book signing for his "Black Privilege" -- he might not want to be Oprah, but he's already a NYT Best Seller.

Meek Mill Grubs on 1st Meal Post-Prison ... Guess What it Was?!

4/25/2018 12:05 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Meek Mill enjoyed his first post-prison meal after the Philadelphia 76ers' big Game 5 win over the Miami Heat this week -- and it was a full VIP experience.

Sources tell TMZ that Meek celebrated with a group of 76ers -- including co-owner Michael Rubin and star player Joel Embiid -- and chowed down at Philly's high-end restaurant, Buddakan, where we're told Meek ordered the fish.

Interesting choice ... especially since sources present tell us there were lots of options -- from aged beef to peking duck and, of course, lo mein. Sounds like Meek just wanted some tuna, cod or bass ... we're not sure which dish he got ... but the fishy entrees all run from $29 to $37. 

As we've reported ... Meek probably hasn't eaten this well since at least November, when his institution served him and the other inmates a proper Thanksgiving meal, including turkey, mashed potatoes and the like. 

Either way, it's gotta feel good to have some real food back in his belly. Bring Meek the fish! 

Russell Simmons Sexual Assault Lawsuit Dismissed

4/25/2018 10:26 AM PDT
Breaking News

Russell Simmons and one of the women who accused him of sexual assault are no longer headed to court ... the lawsuit's been dismissed.

Jennifer Jarosik sued Simmons for millions of dollars, claiming he'd sexually assaulted her after she denied his advances. According to docs, the suit was dismissed Wednesday morning. It was dismissed with prejudice ... meaning she can't refile.

Typically, that's a sign there's been a settlement. Reps for Simmons had no comment.

The dismissal comes a couple weeks after Simmons filed a pretty strong response to the lawsuit, claiming Jennifer had sent him text messages and nude photos after the alleged assault.

In the docs, he said Jennifer was just out for a cash grab.

Kanye West I Love Trump!!! He's 'My Brother'

4/25/2018 10:03 AM PDT
Breaking News

Kanye West doesn't care what 'mob' mentality says, he loves President Trump ... even though he doesn't agree with all of his politics.

Kanye declared his allegiance to Trump's "dragon energy" ... in response to DJ Ebro saying Ye had confessed to loving Trump. 

As you know, Kanye's not one to run from a controversy, and instead he fully leaned into POTUS, saying ... "You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does."

Kanye added, he's got love for Hillary Clinton, too. 

Remember, he publicly embraced Trump right after his election ... and even went to visit him at Trump Tower.

It's pretty clear Kanye's gonna like whoever Kanye wants to like. It's just what Kanye does.

Kanye West YEEZUS Trademark Filing Frenzy Campaign Buttons, Kitchen Appliances and More!!

4/25/2018 9:07 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

Kanye West and his legal team are working to deliver on Ye's promise to take over the consumer world, by slapping YEEZUS trademark protection on everything from audio recordings to kitchen appliances.

West fired out several tweets Wednesday that mentioned his growing of the Yeezy brand, saying he had 160 positions to fill. If his trademark filings are any indication of Ye's plans, the rapper might soon need more than 160 employees to help build his brand.

According to legal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- Kanye's refiled to protect just about YEEZUS everything ... athletics, cosmetics, a kitchen line, bedding, games, paper goods, press campaign buttons, clothing and so much more.

Kanye's also filed docs for a new California company called Yezzy Offshore Inc. at the beginning of the month.

Ye first filed the trademark docs in 2014, but later abandoned those in 2017 ... so it appears he wants to swoop everything back up again -- whether it's YEEZY or YEEZUS.

Something tells us Kanye's new lawyers are gonna be real busy over the next few months.

Meek Mill Judge Brinkley's 'A Little Delusional'

4/25/2018 6:59 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Judge Genece Brinkley is "a little sad and a little delusional" for not removing herself from Meek Mill's case ... so says Meek's lawyer.

Joe Tacopina is incredulous at statements made by Brinkley's lawyer that her honor will not recuse herself from Meek's case. Tacopina tells TMZ, Judge Brinkley needs to reread the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision springing Meek from prison, noting the court said, "[Brinkley] may opt to remove herself from presiding over this matter," then citing Pennsylvania law that says it should be done "in the interest of justice."

Tacopina thinks Brinkley can't take a hint ... he says the Supreme Court is clearly giving her a wink and a nod that she should get out of the case.

And Tacopina scoffs at Brinkley's lawyer's comment that the guns and drugs conviction might not be overturned if there are cops, other than the dirty one, who might still remain credible. Tacopina says the dirty cop is the one and only one responsible for the conviction. 

Chuck D Meek Should Make 'Message' Music ... His Fans Will Follow

4/25/2018 8:34 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chuck D says Meek Mill is not the same man -- or artist -- he was when he first went into prison 5 months ago ... and, as such, his music should reflect it going forward.

We got the Public Enemy MC Tuesday at LAX on the heels of the news Meek was being released from prison, and Chuck thinks the Philly rapper is a changed person for the better now that he is back on the outside. 

Our photog asks if this will inspire Meek to start putting out tracks that will carry a message. Based on his answer (and also his own personal history) ... we're assuming Chuck wouldn't be mad if he started speaking for the people. 

Prince Ex-Wife Slams Sinead's Claims ... He's Not a Woman Beater!!!

4/25/2018 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Prince's ex-wife doesn't buy Sinead O'Connor's claims he was violent toward women and abused hard drugs ... because she never saw a shred of evidence to support that.

Mayte Garcia -- who was married to Prince from 1996 to 2000 -- tells TMZ he was never violent with her and she never witnessed him being violent with anyone ... man or woman. She also says he didn't do hard drugs while they were together, and she only saw him drunk once.

Garcia's very skeptical of Sinead's self-proclaimed close relationship with Prince ... telling us she seriously doubts she could have known more than she did.

Mayte has a problem with the timing of Sinead's allegations, too ... because Prince wasn't alive to defend himself.

Garcia admits she found the reports of Prince's deadly pill stash shocking and heartbreaking, because she knew him for years and didn't see anything like that.

But as for O'Connor's most outrageous claim -- that Prince was into devil worship -- Garcia simply calls BS. She says he was spiritual and religious, but any claims of him doing something sinister are "ridiculously wrong" ... adding, "I strongly deny that in his honor."

Meek Mill Judge Will Not Remove Herself from the Case

4/25/2018 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Meek Mill's judge will NOT remove herself from his drug and weapons case ... despite the Pennsylvania Supreme Court inviting her to do so ... TMZ has learned.

Judge Genece Brinkley maintains she has been giving and will continue to give Meek a fair shake, this according to her lawyer, A. Charles Peruto, Jr.

Peruto tells TMZ the judge does not feel the Supreme Court in any way repudiated her rulings when it ordered that Meek go free without bail, pending the next hearing in June.

The hearing will determine if the drug and weapons case should be thrown out because of the testimony of a crooked cop, and Peruto suggested Judge Brinkley will not necessarily side with the prosecutor and Meek's lawyer, both of whom are asking the judge to toss the conviction.

Peruto says there were other cops who testified in the case, and if their credibility is intact the judge might not overturn the conviction.  

Judge Brinkley's lawyer says the judge bears no grudge against Meek and insists she's been fair from the start.

So, if the PA Supreme Court was trying to gently suggest that Brinkley remove herself from the case, the message was not received.

Meek Mill Chilled with Villanova Squad ... Before 76ers Game

4/25/2018 6:06 AM PDT
Breaking News

Did you know ... the Villanova basketball team was SUPPOSED to ring the bell at the 76ers game Tuesday night until they got bumped for Meek Mill?

It's true ... but they seemed VERY cool with the change of plans and kicked it with the freed rapper in the moments before tip off. 

The Nova players -- who won the NCAA National Championship this year -- were stoked to see Meek ... and huddled together for a photo right before Meek went out and rang the bell

Everything worked out for everyone ... the 76ers won the game -- so we're guessing Villanova will be rescheduled. 

Meek Mill Gets Insane Ovation at 76ers Game ... Rings the Bell!

4/24/2018 5:15 PM PDT
Breaking News

Meek Mill just walked on the court at the Wells Fargo Center -- wearing a Joel Embiid jersey -- and the crowd lost their minds!!!

Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin personally escorted the rapper from prison to the arena to be the guest of honor for Game 5 against the Miami Heat ... and he even got to ring the bell before tip-off.

As we expected ... Sixers fans -- including Kevin Hart by his side -- erupted in cheers for several moments for their hometown guy, who many felt was wrongly locked up for the past 5 months.

Before the game, the players took the floor to Meek's "Ima Boss" as he glad-handed fans and supporters courtside. He also got in a post-prison shower in the team locker room.

As we reported ... Meek's trip to the arena was epic -- hopping in a chopper straight out of prison to beat traffic to the game.

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