Rapper Pop Smoke Murdered in Home Invasion ... By 4 Masked Gunmen

1:20 PM PT -- The friend who was hanging with Pop Smoke and photographed with him hours before he was killed, Mike Dee, has spoken out about the tragedy ... saying nothing can express the pain he's feeling, and addressing unfounded speculation about what happened.

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Mike says ... "I just lost my f***ing brother, my heart my dawgz. You guys have no type of sense or sympathy! Yall don't kno whats going on yall come on here playing investigator and bashing me on the internet, I would never in my life set my brother up."

He concludes with a message for Pop, saying ... "Just kno I got you forever brother the truth will come to light until then sleep in peace."

9:41 AM PT -- Sources familiar with the surveillance video tell TMZ ... the video shows at least 4 masked men with hoodies making their way into the house just 10 minutes after people inside the house deadbolted the front doors shut. We're told they did not turn the house alarm on, which made it easier for the home invaders to get inside.

And, there's this ... Pop Smoke posted the address of the home earlier in the day. He was showing off gift bags he had received and one had the home's address. As for why he was getting gift bags ... his mix tape hit #7 on the Billboard 200 chart Tuesday.

8:03 AM PT -- Just hours before he was gunned down, Pop Smoke mugged with a pal in a car -- the friend holding a fortune in bills -- in the driveway of the home where he was shot.

7:32 AM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell us there was a party or gathering at the house prior to the shooting.  It's unclear what motive the shooters had in showing up at the house.

7:08 AM PT -- Nicki Minaj just posted a message about his death ... "The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest in Peace, Pop."

6:56 AM PT -- The home is owned by 'RHOBH' star Teddi Mellencamp and her husband, Edwin Arroyave, who owns several homes in Los Angeles. It's possible Pop Smoke was renting the property.

Pop Smoke, an up-and-coming rapper, was shot and killed Wednesday morning in what appears to be a home invasion robbery ... TMZ has learned.

The rapper was at a home in the Hollywood Hills at around 4:30 AM when 2 men wearing hoodies and masks broke into a house ... this according to law enforcement sources. We're told the 2 men fired multiple shots, striking and critically wounding Pop Smoke. The men were seen fleeing on foot.

ATTEMPTING CPR
RMG News

Pop Smoke was rushed by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood where he was pronounced dead.

The suspects have not been caught and as far as we know they have not been identified.  It's unclear if Pop Smoke knew the shooters. One man was placed in handcuffs but cops determined he was not involved and was released.

Pop Smoke released an album back in July and one of the songs, "Welcome to the Party," blew up ... it was considered by many the song of the summer. Nicki Minaj did a remix of the song a few months later. He also did a song, "Gatti," with Travis Scott.

7/23/19
LAST TIME WE SAW HIM ...
TMZ.com

We got Pop Smoke out at LAX back in July, and he told us about a hoop dream that came true.

Pop Smoke was 20.

RIP

Originally Published -- 6:25 AM PT

Kylie Jenner & Hailey Bieber Mean Business on Valentine's Day ... By Flexing Legal Muscles

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It was apparently "Trademark Day" on Valentine's Day for 2 big stars in Hollywood ... 'cause Kylie Jenner and Hailey Bieber put love aside and got down to business.

According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Kylie filed to trademark "Kylie Body" and "Kylie Body by Kylie Jenner" and the hope's to slap those names on tons of products including hair and beauty products, creams and perfumes.

This, of course, is nothing new with Kylie. She's filed docs to register trademarks for just about everything under the sun ... including her famous wake-up call "Rise and Shine." Her expanding empire also includes "Kylie Baby" and "Kylie Hair."

As for Hailey ... docs show she's looking to register the trademark "HB Beauty by Hailey Bieber." Seems she's ripping a page out of Kylie's playbook cause she wants to slap those names on beauty and wellness products.

She's no stranger to the trademark game. She filed docs back in October 2018 to lock down her own name, Hailey Bieber, which she wants to use on a possible clothing project.

Proving yet again, the heart wants what the heart wants ... money.

Rapper Obie Trice No Charge for Shooting GF's Son ... Gun Possession in Play

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TMZ.com

Rapper Obie Trice is going 1 for 2 in his Michigan gun case -- avoiding a more serious charge for shooting a guy, but the D.A.'s Office isn't letting him off the hook completely.

The former Shady Records MC will NOT be charged with felony aggravated assault after a gun went off and struck his girlfriend's 18-year-old son during a brouhaha they all got into back in December.

Oakland County Chief Assistant D.A. Paul T. Walton tells TMZ there wasn't enough evidence to bring that specific charge against Obie -- who insists the gun went off by accident, and he only had it out while acting in self-defense.

He is, however, going to be charged with misdemeanor possession of an unregistered firearm -- which could land him in jail for 90 days, if convicted.

TMZ broke the story ... Obie -- forever remembered for his opening line to Eminem's "Without Me" -- was arrested after getting into a physical altercation with his girlfriend, which allegedly turned into a tussle with her son.

At some point, cops say Obie went to his car to retrieve a pistol, and while the kid tried to get it away from him -- a bullet was fired and went through the kid's groin. Sounds like he's gonna be okay ... he drove himself to the hospital that night.

Obie is set to be arraigned later this week on the gun possession charge.

J Lo & A-Rod Sexy Sells ... When We Mean Business!!!

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Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez will NOT be denied -- not when they're looking like this on their way into a schmancy Bev Hills boardroom.

The power couple dressed to the nines Tuesday, reportedly for a business meeting. Go ahead ... tell us who's gonna reject whatever they're pitching? We'll wait.

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J Lo's never one for modesty -- we all still remember the Super Bowl halftime show, right? She showed off those famous dancer's legs in a mini-skirt and knee-high boots ... while stepping out of their drop-top Bentley.

If this is the new business casual ... go get that MBA, kids!

A-Rod's no slouch ... in his blue blazer, red tie and brown dress shoes, but even he knows his place when it comes to the couple's fashion hierarchy. Bonus points though, Alex, for the stylish bag ... bigger than J Lo's!!!

Okay, so ... who was saying no to them, again? Still waiting.

Ja'Net DuBois 'Good Times' Star Dead at 74

Ja'Net DuBois -- one of the main characters on "Good Times" -- died Monday ... TMZ has learned.

Ja'Net played the Evans family's sassy neighbor Willona Woods on the classic '70s TV series. Her family tells us ... Ja'Net died unexpectedly in her sleep overnight at her home in Glendale, CA.

We're told Ja'Net hadn't complained of any specific ailments recently, and appeared to be in good health to those around her. She even attended a fan event in Hollywood a couple weeks ago.

Ja'Net might be most famous for "Good Times," but she also composed and sang the theme song, "Movin' On Up," for "The Jeffersons" -- so, she should also be remembered for her voice.

She appeared in tons of movies over the years, including "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka", "Tropic Thunder" and "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle."

Ja'Net's acting career began on Broadway, where she was cast in a number of plays including "Golden Boy" with Sammy Davis Jr. and Louis Gossett Jr. -- plus "A Raisin In The Sun."

She also won two Emmy awards for her voice-over work on "The PJs."

Ja'Net is survived by her 3 children.

She was 74. RIP

Royce da 5'9" Therapy is More Than a Luxury ... It's a Necessity in Black, Hip-Hop Communities

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THERAPY FOR ALL
TMZ.com

Royce da 5'9" is opening up about how therapy sessions are helping him grow ... and he's trying to spread the word to improve other people's lives, as well.

The Detroit rapper has a new album out, and he gets pretty personal on it. One track, "Hero," is a lyrical shout-out to his father and their relationship ... something therapy's helped him better appreciate.

Royce acknowledges most people -- especially in the black community -- have preconceived notions about sitting down and opening up to a therapist. He wants to remove that stigma, because he believes a lot of people have the wrong idea.

His new album, "The Allegory," comes out Friday, and he's already talking about the lead single, "Overcomer" -- "I want to spread the message for people to know it's ok to be themselves. I especially want this new generation of artists to understand it always works out best when they are true to themselves."

Royce told us therapy should be mandatory in the music biz -- 'cause artists need help navigating sudden fame. As for non-celebrities? He thinks counseling is seen as an "amenity" ... a luxury for which they either can't or don't want to pay.

The rapper says he's going to use his platform to change that, because we all need to start taking care of each other.

Church.

Justin & Hailey Bieber Looking to Buy, Complete 1st Home ... Could Spend $20 Million

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X17

Justin and Hailey Bieber's potential starter home is one that's still under construction -- but we're hearing they're eyeing it pretty hard, and could spend a fortune to get it.

Sources tell TMZ ... Mr. and Mrs. Bieber have been looking at this monster of a home in Brentwood, which is currently owned by the CEO of Playboy Enterprises. The guy bought the place when it was a vacant lot in 2014, spending around $9 million just for the land.

Now, he's got a nearly completed property sitting atop all that dirt. It's a 7,500-square-foot modern Mediterranean mansion -- and as you can see, it's fit for a king and queen.

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Enter the Biebers, whom we're told are seriously considering buying it and completing the work being done right now -- which, for now, is still being funded by the Playboy peeps. Our sources say Justin and Hailey might wanna pick up the baton and make it their own.

As for how much they could possibly spend ... we're told the pad could end up having a final price tag in the range of $18 to $20 million. Not to mention what it would cost finishing all the building that needs to be done.

In any case, it looks like it'd be a great first house they'd own together as a married couple. We know they've been looking around L.A. for the past couple years, but haven't pulled the trigger on anything quite yet. To this date, it appears they've mostly been renting.

Welcome home?

MLS Coach Resigns For Using N-Word Claims He Was Singing w/ Locker-Room Music

Breaking News
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An MLS soccer coach is learning the hard way ... DON'T SING ALONG WITH SONGS THAT FEATURE THE N-WORD!!

FC Cincinnati head coach Ron Jans just resigned after a player complained he used the n-word out loud in the team's locker-room.

The player filed the complaint with the Major League Soccer Players Association -- which notified FC Cincinnati team officials ... and an investigation was conducted.

Jans has admitted he used the n-word in the locker-room but insists he wasn't trying to attack anyone ... he was simply singing along with a song that was playing.

And no, we don't know which song he was singing along with (we're curious too).

Jans spoke with the Cincinnati Enquirer about the incident and when asked if he has any regrets about the way things went down, he gave this response ...

"I wouldn’t have sung the word, that’s for sure. I learned that lesson. But I am who I am and if it doesn’t fit in this locker room, I think for a lot of players it was a good match and sometimes an excellent match but not with all of them."

There are also allegations Jans made insensitive comments about slavery during a team trip to Washington D.C.

Jans was initially suspended pending the results of the investigation, but club president Jeff Berding announced Tuesday the coach has officially resigned.

“As Major League Soccer’s investigation unfolded and some themes emerged, Ron offered his resignation and we agreed that it was the best course of action for everyone involved with FC Cincinnati,” Berding said.

“We place the utmost importance on a strong culture within our club, beginning in our locker room, and that every person connected with FC Cincinnati feels valued, respected and trusted."

The statement continued ... "Racial and cultural diversity is a major part of what makes the game of soccer so special, and we place the highest priority on respecting every person involved in our game."

"This includes absolutely everyone associated with our club, from our locker room and front office, all the way through to our fans."

The team announced Yoann Damet will act as interim head coach while conducting an international search for Jams' replacement.

Chris Stapleton Belts Out 'Tennessee Whiskey' On Tyler Perry's Madea Tour

JOININ' IN ON THE FUN

Tyler Perry's most famous character, Madea, is going out with a bang -- and in the Volunteer State, the one and only Chris Stapleton helped him send her off with a tune of his own.

TP's on a stage play farewell tour for his notorious alter ego -- the last time Madea will make an appearance on the road or onscreen, or so it seems -- and during his Nashville, TN stop last week, the famous country singer surfaced as one of the guests in the crowd.

Looks like someone pointed him out and put him on the spot to sing a little bit ... and Chris didn't shy away from the moment. He took the mic and sang "Tennessee Whiskey."

Tyler certainly appreciated the impromptu performance, writing on Instagram ... "Madea could not come to the end of the farewell tour and have @chrisstapleton in the audience in Nashville, Tennessee and not have him sing a verse of Tennessee Whiskey! And he KILLED IT!! Thank you Chris, blessings to you, your wife, and them babies!!"

That's one helluva way to go out.

Desiigner Falls Off Stage Into James Harden ... That's a Technical Foul!!!

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WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
TMZ.com

James Harden had a front-row seat for a Desiigner performance in Vegas, but he got more than he bargained for ... 'cause the rapper fell off stage right into the NBA superstar!!!

Desiigner was in the middle of his hit song "Panda" Tuesday around 1:30 AM at JEWEL Nightclub when he misstepped. Seriously, he just missed a step and toppled off stage onto Harden's back. Chill, Houston ... you don't have a problem. The Beard and its owner were not injured.

Our sources say James was trying to keep it low-key inside the club -- he had his hoodie on when he arrived. That went out the window when Desiigner found out he was there and blew up Harden's spot.

The brush with Desiigner didn't ruin Harden's night or his All-Star break -- the Rockets are off until Thursday night. We gotta give JH props here ... for NOT flopping!!!

Kanye West Stands by North's Side As She Performs Her Own Song!!!

FOLLOWING IN DAD'S FOOTSTEPS
TikTok

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's oldest daughter is following in her parents' footsteps to become a showwoman herself -- which she put on display in front of all her classmates.

North West did a little show and tell last week at what appears to be a school-sponsored get-together out near Calabasas, where a bunch of her 1st grade colleagues were in attendance with their parents. Kanye was no different -- he showed up to support his kid.

Now, check out the video ... 'cause it's pretty cute and kinda eye-opening. It's NW lip-syncing to her own song, which she raps on with hard-hitting lyrics like ... "And I'm friends with Jojo (Siwa) // And I'm friends with Bowbow // And I'm friends with MoMo // Not on YouTube!"

Roll call, y'all!!!

Anyway, North ate up the spotlight, dancing in front of the crowd and getting a little help from her dad who whispered lyrics in her ear.

DANCIN' WITH DAD

We've known for a little while that North has the performance gene. She did a little song and dance -- mostly dance -- during one of Kanye's Sunday Services last year.

Hey, if she wants it, a well-paved road to music stardom's right there in front of her.

Rapper Gorilla Zoe Busted for Packing Heat at TSA

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You'd think NOT carrying a loaded gun at an airport checkpoint would be a no-brainer ... but it's a lesson rapper Gorilla Zoe has learned the hard way, at least according to cops.

A spokesperson for Miami-Dade Police tells TMZ ... cops responded to a checkpoint at Miami International Airport around 11 PM Monday night where a TSA supervisor told them the rapper tried entering a checkpoint with a loaded .380 caliber pistol in his carry-on.

We're told it didn't take long for cops to secure the firearm and arrest Zoe for carrying a concealed weapon. Now, he does have a concealed carry permit, but cops say it's suspended.

He was booked at Miami-Dade jail, and released around 5 AM after posting $500 bond.

On the plus side -- Zoe did not play the "don't you know who I am?" card ... like cops say he did during a domestic violence arrest in Florida last November. Those charges were ultimately dropped after his GF wouldn't cooperate with prosecutors.

Afroman Falls Off Stage!!! Hard Out Here for a Pimp Cup!!!

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BOUNCE BACK
@ogafroman

Afroman took a giant misstep while performing one of his hit tracks, and even though he went down hard ... he found a way to save his beloved pimp cup!!!

The rapper was in the middle of his famous song "Crazy Rap" -- AKA "Colt 45 and 2 Zig Zags" -- Saturday night at Montbleu Resort in Lake Tahoe when he took the spill off the stage. He popped right back up with a little assistance though ... and kept the flow going.

As you can see, he was holding the mic in his left hand and his pimp cup in his right before he fell ... and he says he saved the cup from any harm.

Afroman's producer, Ditch, tells TMZ ... the rapper's glass is no cheap knockoff -- it comes from Debbie the Glass Lady, creator of the Crunk Cup, and goes for about $3,000.

Ditch also says Afroman was not injured in the incident, but we pretty much already knew that ... because he was dancing it up with a mystery girl after his show, pimp cup still in hand.

Baby, that's all he needs.

The Beatles LOVE Rope Stunt Goes Terribly Wrong ... Show Ends Early

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A super scary moment went down during a Sunday night showing of The Beatles LOVE in Las Vegas ... when one of the stunt performers took a nasty fall.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... a member of the Cirque du Soleil team was injured during the show at The Mirage and transported to a hospital. Fortunately, we're told the performer suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Could have been much worse, according to witnesses, who say a male LOVE performer was doing a rope stunt at a very great height when he lost control and fell. Those in the crowd described the incident as "shocking," "just awful" and "traumatizing."

Immediately after the fall, the show was stopped due to the medical situation and the audience was asked to leave. We're told the fall happened near the end of the show.

We don't know which song they were performing at the time, but the show is packed with incredible acrobatics set to Beatles hits. It's been one of the most popular shows on the strip since opening in 2006.

A rep for the show tells us the show stopped "as a precautionary measure and in accordance with our emergency response protocols."

They continue, "As always in the case of an accident, the artist will continue to be monitored by the show's medical and coaching teams to determine when he can return to his activities."

Originally Published -- 7:20 AM PT

Kim and Kanye Courtside for Kobe Tribute ... at NBA All-Star Game

The Kobe Bryant tributes were AMAZING at the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night ... and some of the biggest stars in the world were front and center for all of the emotional moments.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West sat courtside at the United Center in Chicago -- surrounded by stars like Cardi B, Chris Tucker, Ludacris, Offset, Chance The Rapper, Chadwick Boseman and more!

There's more ... a LOT more -- Fat Joe, Bad Bunny, Ninja, Spike Lee, Jeff Ross, Common, Tiffany Haddish and Jon Stewart were all on hand to watch Team LeBron take on Team Giannis.

But, the show started BEFORE tip-off when Chicago-native Jennifer Hudson performed an incredible tribute to Kobe ... with a beautiful video montage in the background.

One of the cooler tributes at the game was a Kobe tribute video with music by Dr. Dre. The video was created by 23-year-old director Gibson Hazard and Jackson Bannon ... and honestly, it's pretty amazing stuff.

MAMBA FOREVER
NBA

As we previously reported, the NBA renamed the All-Star Game MVP award after Kobe ... and Kawhi Leonard became the first person to take home the Mamba-inspired honor.

After the game, Leonard told the crowd, "This one's for him."

Kobe and his daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, Jan. 26 -- along with 7 other people.

A public memorial is scheduled to take place at Staples Center in L.A. on Feb. 24.

Justin Bieber Finally-Time-to-Shave-February Bye Bye, Selleck Stache!!!

I WILL REMEMBER YOU

Justin Bieber is going through changes -- and one of them just happened on his face.

The singer posted video Sunday showing himself taking an electric razor to his mustache, which he's been rocking proudly for a minute now. Unclear why he decided to get rid of the epic stache, but his follicle fans shouldn't panic. JB says it'll be back in due time.

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In the videos, Justin shows off a cool feature on Instagram Stories -- being able to embed snippets of songs and having the lyrics superimpose over your uploaded clip. For the stache shaving, the Biebs went with a few solid "goodbye"-themed tunes. Quite fitting.

He chose the Rolling Stones' "Miss You," Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone," 'NSYNC's "Gone," and of course ... Ray Charles' "Hit the Road Jack." Good taste in music.

He also showed off his freshly shaven mug, calling himself "Baby face Bieb." Yeah, he does look younger -- facial hair has that kinda magic. BTW, his wife, Hailey, seems to dig it. She responded to his post with a 😍  emoji, so the missus is happy. Good move.

Until we meet again, young Selleck 👋🏽