Jermaine Dupri Prof. Lupe Fiasco Makes Perfect Sense ... Kids Actually Listen to Rappers!!!

NEW GENERATION OF TEACHERS
TMZ.com

Lupe Fiasco will be dishing out higher learning as part of MIT's MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars Program, and Jermaine Dupri hopes it's the start of a new hip hop/schooling trend.

TMZ Hip Hop ran into the So So Def Records founder Tuesday at LAX, where he told us not only will Lupe make a good teacher ... but lots of other rappers could too!

It's hard to argue with JD's reasoning here, which is that students are so plugged into hip hop and every artist's lyrics that they're more likely to pay close attention to a rapper's lesson plan.

For his part, Lupe will be teaching what he knows -- rap music! He'll be joined by theater professor Eunice Ferreira and filmmaker Louis Massiah when the rap course begins in September.

Lupe's dropping a new album, “Drill Music In Zion,” next month, so any future students might wanna start streaming this summer, and brush up for the fall semester.

Now, Jermaine isn't suggesting ALL rappers switch professions ... he clarifies that only those who can teach, should teach. And, speaking of higher ed, JD is set to receive an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from The Art Institute of Atlanta when he delivers this year's commencement speech.

Jermaine and his "Welcome to Atlanta" collaborator Ludacris can compare degrees next time they hook up -- Luda recently got one from Georgia State University.

No cap! Just cap-and-gown for ATL rap royalty, apparently.

Kanye West 2020 CAMPAIGN CLAIMS THOUSANDS STOLEN Funds Used For Credit Bill

Kanye West's failed presidential bid just took another hit ... his campaign committee claims they fell victim to a fraud scheme where thousands went to pay off someone's credit card.

Kanye 2020 told the Federal Election Commission someone unaffiliated with the campaign accessed the committee's bank account, swiping $3,999 to pay off their own credit card bills.

In a letter fired off Tuesday to the FEC, and obtained by TMZ, Kanye 2020 says an investigation determined someone accessed the account three times between December and February, and the campaign was unable to get the money back from the First Bank of Wyoming.

The FEC previously flagged the transactions and Kanye's campaign took a look and is now claiming they were the victim here. There doesn't appear to have been an arrest made yet, and it appears the FEC is working to gather more info.

10/12/20
HITTIN' THE AIRWAVES

Remember ... Kanye launched his presidential campaign late in the game and managed to get on the ballot in a handful of states, but he ended up with only 66,636 votes.

Drake Goes Off In Pickup Basketball Game ... Fadeaways & 3s!!!

DOIN' WORK
Instagram / @therealsmilez

If you're invited to hoop at Drake's mansion, now you better come prepared ... 'cause the rap star's basketball game has seriously improved!!!

The Certified Lover Boy's friend, Smilez, posted video of the 35-year-old in a pickup game this week ... showing the dude going off.

Clips show the rapper hit plenty of 3s and turnaround jumpers with ease ... taking full advantage of the Kobe Bryant-themed court inside of his palace in Toronto.

"Sit tight 'cause there's a lot of buckets following," Smilez said of the footage.

Drake even got in some trick shots in between getting buckets on the floor -- tossin' an alley-oop off the upper deck of the court to former Clemson Tigers athlete and dunk star Anthony Hamilton Jr.

Of course, Drake hasn't always had this kinda game -- you'll recall, he's been filmed airballing shots on multiple occasions, even as recently as 2021.

BALLIN' LIKE 'BRON

Seems he's been putting in the work to get better, though ... and perhaps taking some tips from his son, Adonis?!

Scott Disick Hits NYC Strip Club While Kourtney Says 'I Do'

HITTIN' THE CLUB
TMZ.com

Scott Disick sure knows how to distract himself ... while his ex, Kourtney Kardashian, and Travis Barker were celebrating their marriage in Italy, Scott was hitting a packed NYC strip club.

Sources inside Sapphire New York tell us Disick rolled in with a group around 2:30 AM Monday, and headed straight to the VIP section. We're told he was low-key, only chatting with his immediate crew ... he didn't even interact with any dancers.

Our sources say Scott's group included an almost equal split of men and women, but there was one woman who he spoke with most of the night.

In all, we're told Disick was only at the club for about an hour before taking off.

PUSHA IN THE CLUB
TMZ.com

Scott wasn't the only celeb at Sapphire Sunday into Monday -- Pusha T performed to promote his latest album, but our sources don't believe Lord Disick caught that show, as it ended shortly before Scott arrived.

SWEET SERENADE
Instagram / @kimkardashian

As we reported, things across the Atlantic at Kourtney's wedding were over the top. She and Travis exchanged vows at the Dolce and Gabbana Estate in Portofino before heading to Castello Brown for the reception, which featured an Andrea Bocelli performance.

Hey, Kourt and Travis enjoyed their form of art, world-class singing ... and we're sure Scott enjoyed his too!

Disick wasn't invited to the Italian celebration, so he probably welcomed the night out to draw his attention elsewhere.

Travis Scott New Nike Drop Proceeds to Project Heal

Travis Scott just surprised fans with his second Nike drop in two weeks ... but this time, we're told proceeds from the collection will help community initiatives important to the rapper.

TS took to his IG page Monday without warning to announce the release of a new TS Air Max 1 Wheat as well as a summer collection of shorts, shirts, a bikini, belt, socks and a bag.

Naturally, the shoe raffle filled up, with what our Travis sources say was more than a million entries in the first 30 minutes -- and plenty of Travis fans grabbed the other merch as well, though it's not yet totally sold out.

Sources close to Travis tell us he wanted to do the drop through his own website so that he could ensure the proceeds go to Project Heal. Project Heal is an initiative Travis launched back in March as a multi-tier effort to fund initiatives Travis finds important and worthy of assistance.

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While the numbers continue to roll in, our Travis sources believe the latest launch has the ability to reach millions of dollars in proceeds, which would obviously be a big help to PH.

TMZ broke the story, Travis recently handed out $1M in scholarships -- $10,000 to 100 students -- to help alleviate college costs. Project Heal is also working to provide free mental health programs for vulnerable kids and establish a creative program as well.

Fat Joe Call's Tekashi 'P****' ... Tekashi Fires Back

UPDATE

5:14 PM PT -- Tekashi is firing back at Fat Joe, telling TMZ ... "Fat Joe is jealous of 69. 69 has done more in his young career than Fat Joe has ever done in his long career."

UPDATE

6ix9ine adds ... "Fat Joe said I was miserable and want to die? Fat Joe is miserable and wants to die because Fat Joe doesn't have half of what 69 has in money and cars."

UPDATE

Tekashi concludes ... "Fat Joe said I'm not a gangster, it was all for promotion? That's fake news. What's his proof that I ever said that? There is no proof. He's lying."

Fat Joe can't hold his tongue when the topic of Tekashi 6ix9ine and snitching comes up -- and now he's tearing the rainbow-haired rapper a new soul.

Joey Crack was the latest guest of Math Hoffa's barbershop-style podcast "Expert Opinion," and he had some choice words ... describing Tekashi as "a pussy, a sucka, a bitch!"

If you recall, 6ix9ine infamously ratted on his Treyway Bloods Gang and justified the deed by saying they turned on him, but Joe couldn't give, pardon the phrase, a rat's ass!

As he started going in on Tekashi, Joe pointed out he was sober and not drunkenly spewing opinions. They both hail from NYC -- completely different eras -- and Joe hints at feeling betrayed when he saw firsthand Tekashi admitting he's just trolling and pretending to be a gangsta.

DON'T START IF YOU CAN'T FINISH
TMZ.com

For his part, Tekashi recently claimed on "TMZ Live" he doesn't start all the beefs he has with various rappers, he just fillets them when they come his way.

He can add one more to that list, and while Fat Joe says he doesn't wish any harm on 6ix9ine ... he also believes the guy's got a death wish.

Originally Published -- 4:30 PM PT

Fivio Foreign & Dave East J. Cole's a Born Hooper ... Salute His New Pro Venture

COLE ON A ROLL
TMZ.com

J. Cole is still keeping his professional basketball dreams alive, and a pair of his rapper/hooper pals are singing his praises.

We got Fivio Foreign and Dave East out in NYC, where they both gave Cole major props for making what they call a dope move ... opting to join the Canadian Elite Basketball League, which tips off this week.

Cole will play guard for the Scarborough Shooting Stars, a club actually co-owned by Nicholas "OVO Niko" Corino, one of Drake's day one business partners ... and he’s already got Drizzy's sports enthusiasm pumping.

The "TMZ Hip Hop" crew, however, wasn't so easily impressed. Not unanimously, at least.

HIP HOP BREAKDOWN

Fivio, who's currently on tour with DreamDoll, noted the Dreamville rapper’s dedication, seeing he played a few games in the Basketball Africa League last year. Cole averaged 1.7 points and rebounds in his 3 games with Patriots BBC — a stat line that made league star Terrell Stoglin call Cole's inclusion in the league “disrespectful.”

Dave actually played ball in college and doesn’t think Cole got special celebrity treatment to make the Canadian squad, nor is he taking anyone's spot. We might find out if that's accurate on Wednesday when Cole makes his CEBL debut!

Yolanda Adams Kanye Makes Great Gospel ... He's Steering the Youth Right!!!

ROCKIN' WITH YE
TMZ.com

Gospel music royalty Yolanda Adams has nothing but love for Kanye West after he recently cleaned up at the 2022 Billboard Awards with 6 Gospel trophies.

We linked up with Yolanda outside SiriusXM Monday in NYC, and picked her brain about Ye taking home the artist, album and song trophies in both the Top Christian and Top Gospel categories

Despite not having a parental advisory sticker, ‘Donda’ was received as more of a hip hop album, but Yolanda (Billboard's Top Gospel Artist of the Decade in '09) says she loves Ye’s music, even if it doesn't cater to traditional church.

Given his age and longevity, Yolanda feels Ye's pulling in a new generation of young listeners who might not know about his past Gospel synergy -- like his 2004 hit "Jesus Walks," which he and Yolanda performed together that year at the BET Awards.

Yolanda's also putting a spotlight on the church with her role in the new BET+ series "Kingdom Business" -- a scripted drama that goes behind the scenes of the gospel music industry.

We smell potential for a Ye cameo!

Travis Scott Sued You Caused Stampede at Rolling Loud ... Cops Spoke to Him Backstage

TALKING TO TRAVIS
UPDATE

3:57 PM PT -- A spokesperson for Travis Scott tells TMZ .... "This is another blatant, cynical attempt to attack Travis, in this instance for a 3-year-old incident that is deliberately misrepresented. As even the complaint makes clear, this incident was related to a false report of a shooting mid-show, completely unrelated to Travis’s performance. The video shows police were informing Travis that the show was stopped for that reason - because of the false report - and he fully cooperated."

UPDATE

They continue, "This cheap opportunism is based on a blatant lie that’s easy to detect. And it is particularly telling that this plaintiff’s lawyer didn’t even assert a claim against Travis when he originally filed the complaint on behalf of his client more than two years ago or in four prior VERSIONS of that complaint."

Travis Scott is being sued over another incident at a concert ... he's being blamed for inciting a stampede during one of his performances at Rolling Loud.

According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, police told Travis to stop his 2019 gig at Rolling Loud in Miami because the crowd was getting out of control, but Travis ignored cops and instead riled up his fans even more.

A woman who says she was injured at the concert, Marchelle Love, is suing Travis and others ... claiming multiple stampedes broke out during Travis' set, resulting in folks in the crowd suffocating, losing consciousness, fighting, and being trampled.

CHAOS IN THE CROWD

Love claims Travis was aware and could even see people were being hurt in the stampede and did nothing to stop it. She says he ignored multiple warnings from security and police about toning down his performance, leading to a stampede where her leg was shattered in the scrum.

In the docs, she says Travis should have known better ... not only because there were other stampedes at Rolling Loud the night before, but also because his shows had a history of getting out of hand.

As you know ... Travis is also facing a ton of lawsuits for the deadly Astroworld festival, where 10 people died.

We reached out to Travis' camp ... so far no word back.

Originally Published -- 1:38 PM PT

Kanye West I'm Back, Instagram McDonalds Collab Coming

Kanye West is breaking his social media silence to let folks know what he's been cooking up ... a new design for McDonald's packaging.

That's right. Kanye posted about his new business venture, Monday, on Instagram ... after being ghosted from the platform for the last few months.

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He posted a photo of the potentially new design and wrote, "Ye teams up with legendary Muji industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa to reimagine McDonald’s packaging" ... just after posting an IG story that said, "Next week it's the fries".

BTW, the fries line is an ode to Ye's verse in his song "Gold Digger" where he raps, "He got that ambition, baby, look at his eyes. This week he moppin' floors, next week it's the fries."

As we've reported, Ye was spotted out in Tokyo with his girlfriend Chaney Jones earlier this month ... so this might explain the reason for the visit.

TMZ broke the story, Kanye was suspended from Instagram back in March after his attacks on Pete Davidson, Kim Kardashian and a racist post aimed at Trevor Noah.

The design sorta falls in line with the minimalistic design Ye uses for his clothing and shoe brand, Yeezy.

Freddie Gibbs Drama Serves Me Well ... But I Have Love for Everyone in Rap!!!

GOTTA BE THAT WAY

Freddie Gibbs knows he's swimming in dangerous waters sometimes -- when it comes to stirring up feuds in hip hop -- but he's openly choosing to go that route ... a statement that turned out to be pretty prophetic.

Gangsta Gibbs is set to be the first guest on the Paramount+ series “ Yo! MTV Raps” which premieres on Tuesday, May 24, via the streaming service.

When asked by hosts Conceited and DJ Diamond Kuts about the nature of his constant Internet beefs -- which most recently include DJ Akademiks and Gunna -- Freddie admitted he loves hip hop pundits, and the hijinks of trash-talking … claiming no one was going to get hurt or get punched.

Mind you, this interview was shot a couple weeks ago ... before Freddie got into that real-life Royal Rumble in Buffalo!!! Soooo, his prediction of no one getting hurt was a bit off the mark.

MASSIVE BRAWL
TMZ.com

TMZ broke the story … Freddie was eating at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Benny The Butcher’s hood when all-out chaos ensued and what seems like 20 or so people joined the melee.

Freddie got lumped up pretty good, but still managed to perform that evening to keep his Space Rabbit Tour going strong.

"Yo! MTV Raps" also has interviews set with Latto, Tee Grizzley, JID and more for the upcoming season -- but it's gonna be tough to top Freddie's Nostradamus impression.

Fetty Wap My Powerless Plane Landed Safely ... Weirdos Wished Me Dead!!!

Fetty Wap is counting his lucky stars this morning ... after a mid-air power failure turned his flight into a nightmare.

The "Trap Queen" rapper hinted on his Instagram stories he was coming off a successful show in Charleston, SC when he shared a pretty scary video as the aircraft he was riding outta town was left in virtual darkness.

After surviving the blackout -- he says they got on a different flight -- Fetty made a Tesla joke to lighten the mood, referring to airline staff saying they needed to "plug-in" the plane to make repairs.

POWER OUTAGE

Following a successful landing, Fetty went out of his way to thank his well-wishers and shame a troll who predicted he'd die in the plane crash.

Fetty’s latest travel woes come after he and his legal team fought in court for him to even be allowed to tour following his arrest on federal drug charges.

If convicted, he faces life in prison but for now, the show's going on ... albeit with some scary travel hiccups!

Gunna Denied Bond ... Hearing Set for 2023!!!

Gunna could be looking at a long time behind bars before his trial, a judge just denied the rapper bond and set his trial date for January 2023.

Gunna was in Fulton County Court in Georgia Monday where a judge ruled he be held without bond ... meaning it's possible he could sit in a cell for the next 6 months.

Prosecutors argued Gunna is one of the shot callers for the "YSL Gang" — the 28-member group that stands accused of being responsible for "50 murders" — and can command the troops to commit violence on demand.

According to Billboard reporter Jewel Wicker, Gunna's trial won't happen until January 2023. It's possible his legal team can try again for bond, but things are looking tough. He plead not guilty to all alleged involvement in the RICO charges.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Young Thug was supposed to see the judge Monday as well, but that was postponed.

Flavor Flav I'm Stepping Up and Paying Child Support ... But Still Owes Tens of Thousands

Flavor Flav is making monthly child support payments for his 3-year-old son, but he's still got a pretty big balance owed to his baby mama.

According to legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Flav found out in 2019, shortly after little Jordan was born, that he was the dad, with the help of a DNA test.

Fast forward to 2021 ... Flav and the baby's mother, Kate Gammell -- his former manager -- were hashing out a child support agreement and agreed he would pay $3,000 a month going forward. No problem here .... Flav's been making the monthly payments.

Thing is ... by the time he started paying, Jordan was already 2 years old, and Kate had incurred various expenses, including medical, that she wanted Flav to pay. As part of the child support agreement, Flav said he would pay the baby's expenses for the first 2 years, totaling $78,704.

He was supposed to make his first payment of the $78k last month, but according to Kate's family, the deadline came and went and she didn't get the loot.

Flav tells TMZ ... he fully intends to pay the $78k, and is working with an accountant to straighten out his finances. Flav makes it clear ... he's making the $3,000 monthly child support payments. He's also paying down her $100,000 in attorney's fees -- he's paid $40k already.

FF adds ... he's doing his very best to provide for and be there for the son he loves.

We're told Flav has been with the boy at least 6 times and plans to continue to have a relationship with Jordan.

Travis Scott Nike Drop Gets Over 1M Entries in 30 Mins for Shoes ... First Since Astroworld

Travis Scott still has the golden touch, or at least a VERY loyal group of fans, because his first merchandise drop since Astroworld just went crazy online.

Travis released a new collab Friday with pants, jackets, shirts and vests -- but it's the two pairs of Travis Scott Air Trainer 1's that really had fans in a frenzy, trying to score some of their own.

In fact, the hype was so wild for the shoe, Travis and his team needed to create a raffle to make everything fair.

A source close to Trav tells us more than a million people signed up for the raffle for the shoes in just 30 mins ... proving he's obviously still got it when it comes to hawking merch.

Security and the ability to prevent bots from scoring a pair was also a must for TS and team -- we're told they worked with web developers to set up anti-bot protection -- as his drops are some of the most heavily poached online.

This isn't it for Travis and Nike ... we've also heard there's rumblings of additional Nike releases next week, including an Airmax next Friday.

Of course, Travis has also had insanely successful releases with McDonald's, Fortnite and his Cacti hard seltzer flew off the shelves when it was released.

RETURNING TO THE STAGE
NBC

The Nike launch is Travis' first since Astroworld, and while litigation and the investigation continue into what happened, Travis has slowly started to creep back into mainstream entertainment ... including his performance at The Billboard Awards last week.

Akademiks Calls Cap On Migos Breakup ... I Just Spoke to Offset!!!

JUST DO YOU
TMZ Hip Hop

When DJ Akademiks talks, hip hop pays attention -- which is why he joined us on today's episode of "TMZ Hip Hop" to drop jewels and share his intel on some big stories.

Top order of business was the Migos breakup rumors, which got gassed up like a Chevron when Quavo got real quiet at LAX as he was peppered with questions about feuding with Offset.

UP IN THE AIR
BACKGRID

Big Ak tells TMZHH he actually spoke to Offset just the other day, and while there might be some tense feelings ... he doesn't think any "beef" will escalate to a full scale split. His best guess is Quavo and Takeoff are stirring up buzz to promote their new song "Hotel Lobby."

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As one of the most trusted voices in hip hop media, Akademiks has nearly 5 million followers, just on Instagram, plus his Spotify-backed podcast "Off The Record."

That being said, ... he doesn't consider himself an actual journalist -- and he explained the real reason he caught so much flak for a recent story about the Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez case.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Of course, we couldn't let Ak go without getting him to weigh in on who's the best artist, so far, of 2022 ... and we're not mad at his pick.

Tune into the rest of the Akademiks interview above and hit your local affiliate to get the show in your area in addition to these hot spots below!

New York: 11 PM MY9 (WWOR)
Los Angeles: 2:30 PM FOX11 (KTTV)
Chicago: 12 AM FOX32 (WFLD)
Philly: 12 AM FOX29 (WTXF)
Dallas: 12:30 PM FOX4 (KDFW)
Houston: 12:30 PM FOX26 (KRIV), 10 PM MY20 (KTXH)
Washington, DC: 12 AM FOX5 (WTTG), 6:30 PM FOX5 PLUS (WDCA)
Seattle: 11:30 PM FOX13 (KCPQ)
Phoenix: 11:30 PM FOX10 (KSAZ)
Minneapolis: 11:30 PM FOX9 (KMSP)

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