Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo in legal dispute over “Neptunes” name rights

Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo in legal dispute over “Neptunes” name rights

Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo in legal dispute over “Neptunes” name rights
Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo are currently in a legal dispute over The Neptunes name.

According to a filing obtained by Billboard, Hugo is accusing Williams of trying to obtain sole rights to the legendary songwriting and production duo’s name.

“Throughout their over thirty year history, [Hugo] and Williams agreed to, and in fact, have divided all assets,” Hugo’s attorney, Kenneth D. Freundlich alleged in documents submitted to a federal tribunal.

Freundlich said that Williams’ holdings company, PW IP Holdings, submitted three separate applications to trademark “The Neptunes” name in 2022. Williams is accused of having “knowingly and intentionally” applied without Hugo’s input, despite not having “unilateral authority to register the trademarks.”

“By ignoring and excluding [Hugo] from any and all applications filed by applicant for the mark ‘The Neptunes,’” the filing said Williams “has committed fraud in securing the trademarks and acted in bad faith.”

Hugo’s lawyer also said that Williams and his team had been contacted “repeatedly” about the issue, during which they “admitted that [Hugo] is equal co-owner of the trademarks.” However, Hugo claimed that Williams did not fulfill his promise of splitting the trademark due to unspecified business terms, which would cut Hugo out of equal control and compensation.

During the aughts, Williams and Hugo solidified themselves as one of the music industry’s most sought-after producers, producing hit singles like Snoop Dogg‘s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and Gwen Stefani‘s “Hollaback Girl.”

The FADER has yet to hear back from Freundlich’s office on behalf of Hugo. Meanwhile, representatives for Williams said that he was “surprised” by the filing.

“We have reached out on multiple occasions to share in the ownership and administration of the trademark and will continue to make that offer,” they continued. “The goal here was to make sure a third party doesn’t get a hold of the trademark and to guarantee Chad and Pharrell share in ownership and administration.”

Read Billboard‘s entire report on The Neptunes dispute here.

R. Kelly Questions Sex Trafficking Allegations Against Diddy

R. Kelly Questions Sex Trafficking Allegations Against Diddy

R. Kelly Questions Sex Trafficking Allegations Against Diddy

R. Kelly would probably be the last person most would expect to have an opinion on the legal issues Diddy is currently enduring, but the imprisoned singer has chimed in. During a recent Clubhouse chat, R. Kelly questioned the sex trafficking allegations Diddy is facing.

As seen on All Hip Hop, R. Kelly, 57, joined Wack 100 on Clubhouse and shared his views on the legal issues that the mogul, real name Sean Combs, is facing. In essence, Kelly stated bluntly that what’s happening to the Bad Boy Records honcho is nothing but falsehoods.

“The sh*t is crazy. Muthaf*ckas out there laughing and making comedian jokes and doing all the other sH*t on the radio and everything else, but they ass could be next,” Kelly is heard saying. “That’s what’s so f*cked up about it. They so stupid they don’t even realize the moves that’s going on.”

He added, “That’s why I don’t believe none of this sh*t. You could tell me about Puffy, you could about anybody in there. You could tell me on the news, the weather, the sky is blue, I’m not gonna believe the sh*t. ‘Cause I’m in it now, and I know what they did.”

It appears that Kelly is insinuating that the charges he’s currently serving time for and what Diddy is being accused of are part of some larger conspiracy to ruin the legacies and careers of the men.

The conversation with Wack 100 and R. Kelly can be heard in the clip below.


Bun B’s Trill Burgers Named in New Lawsuit From Ex-Business Partners

Bun B’s Trill Burgers Named in New Lawsuit From Ex-Business Partners

Bun B’s Trill Burgers Named in New Lawsuit From Ex-Business Partners

Trill Burgers

Bun B has the hottest thing coming out of Houston since “Still Tippin’” in his wildly popular Trill Burgers. But now, it seems like Bun B’s baby is at the center of a court case with several allegations being thrown around.

According to Chron, Bun B and his ex-associates and co-founders of Trill Burgers, Patsy, and Benson Vivares, are duking it out in a court of law as both sides are accusing each other of theft.

In 2023 Bun B, Andy Nguyen, and Nick Scurfield filed a lawsuit against the Vivares brothers alleging that the two had stolen $45,000 from the company’s coffers. Turning the tables on Bun B and company, Patsy, and Benson filed a counter lawsuit in which they claim that Bun B, Nguyen, and Scurfield not only stole their smash burger idea but also the original recipe, which led to Trill Burgers being crowned the best burger in America.

Represented by Saad Aziz and Walter “Web” Beard of Aziz and Beard Trial Law, the Vivareses are claiming that they linked up with Andy Nguyen in 2021 when they were looking for a new menu item to add to their Sticky’s Chicken restaurant menu.

Chron reports:

“[The Vivareses] spent a lot of time and energy developing the recipe,” Aziz said. “They are the ones who kind of came up with the specifics of the smashburger … now called the OG Trill Burger.”

According to the counterclaims made by the Vivareses, the siblings and Nguyen in July 2021 connected and partnered with Bun B, who had known Nguyen since 2010 and was said to be a fan of Sticky’s Chicken. At the time, Bun B was approached by the Vivareses through a meeting facilitated by Nguyen and Nick Scurfield, founder of the public relations firm Scurfield Group who at the time listed Sticky’s Chicken as a client. According to court documents, the initial meeting was set up to test the rapper’s interest in “being involved with the promotion” of the burger.  

A partnership over the smashburger concept was confirmed on July 22, with each partner assuming a percentage of ownership, according to court documents. An email sent to each partner outlined the partnership, indicating that the Vivareses and Nguyen together would retain a 50 percent share, Bun B would have 40 percent, and Scurfield would retain the remaining 10 percent. It is unclear how ownership was split between Nguyen and the Vivareses, though court documents claim that the Vivareses are entitled to 33.4 percent. By Jan. 4 , 2022, a limited liability company was established for Trill Burgers.

Damn! We thought this was Bun B’s secret recipe, but the Vivares are claiming that it’s theirs. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in court and who came up with the recipe that put Trill Burgers on the map.

Still, the Trill Burger made its debut in February of 2022 at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and was a massive hit. The Vivares brothers ran the pop-up themselves and cooked thousands of burgers that day bringing in quite the haul.

As for the $45,000 that Bun B’s team claimed was stolen by the Vivareses, the brothers admitted in texts to “misappropriating” the money but said that all the partners were aware that they would use the profits from the pop-up to pay off Sticky’s mounting debts.

The Vivareses are seeking $1 million from Bun B, Scurfield, Nguyen, and Trill Burgers, LLC, saying they not only stole their recipe for Trill Burgers but also poached their chef, Mike Pham, in the process.

What do y’all think of the drama surrounding Trill Burgers? Let us know in the comments section below.

Shoutout To My DEIs: Black Twitter Redefines The Term ‘DEI’ After White Conservatives Try To Make It Racist Slur

Shoutout To My DEIs: Black Twitter Redefines The Term ‘DEI’ After White Conservatives Try To Make It Racist Slur

Shoutout To My DEIs: Black Twitter Redefines The Term ‘DEI’ After White Conservatives Try To Make It Racist Slur

The term DEI, which refers to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, was recently trending on X (formerly known as Twitter) but not for typical reasons. Since its inception in the 1960s, DEI has been intended to describe initiatives and programs promoting diversity, equity and inclusivity — usually in employment and organizations. During the Black Lives Matter movement, companies pledged to amplify Black employees and create positions focused on inclusive culture.

Now, as there’s an increase to erase remnants of Black history from books, curriculums and monuments, many trolls are attempting to do the same with acronyms. “DEI” was recently trending on X after it was twisted to mean “Didn’t Earn It” — alluding to the thought that minority people who may have benefited from DEI programs and initiatives “didn’t earn it.”

Naturally, Black folks called out their disrespect and decided to find the humor in it all. Black Twitter began using “DEI’s” as a tongue-in-cheek way to turn the term back into a pro-Black statement.

One user called out the shady use of the acronym after it was used to describe Baltimore’s Mayor Brandon Scott.

This X-user said the term was off-limits since they wanted to make it about race.

Another said let’s put a little rhythm behind it.

And this one loved that Black people once again overshadowed hate by taking over the trending spot.

Mayor Scott would later appear on MSNBC to address the negative use of “DEI.” He spoke with host Joy Reid and expressed how young Black men are often demonized in today’s society.

“Black men and young Black men, in particular, have been the boogie man for those who are racist and think that only straight, wealthy white men should have a say in anything,” he said.

He went on to once again reclaim the meaning of “DEI” but noted the intent behind its malicious use.

“What they mean by DEI, in my opinion, is duly elected incumbent. We know what they wanna say, but they don’t have the courage to say the N-word,” he said.

Stephen A. Smith Defends Trump’s ‘Bloodbath’ Speech That Democrats Say Was Inciting ‘Political Violence’

Stephen A. Smith Defends Trump’s ‘Bloodbath’ Speech That Democrats Say Was Inciting ‘Political Violence’

Stephen A. Smith Defends Trump’s ‘Bloodbath’ Speech That Democrats Say Was Inciting ‘Political Violence’

Stephen A. Smith at SXSW Sports Track, Presented by Sportico held at the The Four Seasons on March 10, 2024, in Austin, Texas. | Source: Sportico / Getty

Donald Trump has an unlikely defender amid controversy stemming from a speech the former president gave over the weekend in Ohio ahead of the state’s primary election.

Sports pundit Stephen A. Smith spoke out on social media and waded into the alleged war of words that Democrats claim was waged by Trump when he warned of a “bloodbath” if he loses the presidential election in November.

What did Trump say?

While talking about the auto industry, Trump threatened Chinese President Xi Jinping — and seemingly vis a vis American voters — with ramifications over a car plant owned by China in Mexico.

“If you’re listening, President Xi — and you and I are friends — but he understands the way I deal. Those big monster car manufacturing plants that you’re building in Mexico right now … you’re going to not hire Americans and you’re going to sell the cars to us, no,” Trump said. “We’re going to put a 100% tariff on every single car that comes across the line, and you’re not going to be able to sell those cars if I get elected.”

Trump continued: “Now if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole — that’s gonna be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country. That will be the least of it. But they’re not going to sell those cars. They’re building massive factories.”

Trump also said later: “If this election isn’t won, I’m not sure that you’ll ever have another election in this country.”

NBC News reported that a spokesperson for Trump later tried to clarify that the former president’s words meant to warn that President Joe “Biden’s policies will create an economic bloodbath for the auto industry and autoworkers.”

What are Democrats saying?

A rep for Biden suggested this was just the latest instance of Trump telling his supporters to resort to “violence” if he loses the election.

“This is who Donald Trump is: a loser who gets beat by over 7 million votes and then instead of appealing to a wider mainstream audience doubles down on his threats of political violence,” James Singer said in a statement. “He wants another January 6, but the American people are going to give him another electoral defeat this November because they continue to reject his extremism, his affection for violence, and his thirst for revenge.”

Trump, of course, is currently under indictment for allegations of election interference with the peaceful transfer of power by urging his supporters to riot at the U.S. Capitol to prevent the certification of Biden’s legitimate presidency.

What did Stephen A. Smith say?

While Trump’s comments created yet another political firestorm that were the topic of discussion on all the Sunday morning news shows, Stephen A. Smith, the sports pundit, decided he had some words to share on the issue, as well.

As Republicans blamed mainstream media for taking Trump’s words out of context and claiming the former president was seeking political violence, Elon Musk quote-tweeted a post on X, formerly Twitter, from right-wing journalist Ian Miles Cheong that said, “Legacy media lies.”

Cheong’s post featured the video of Trump saying the above words during the speech juxtaposed next to a snapshot of headlines quoting the “bloodbath” line.

Smith, a career journalist at mainstream media outlets, seemingly agreed with Musk’s conclusion.

“Based purely on this video, if it is accurate, then that would be true,” Smith posted on X on Sunday evening. “It seems @realDonaldTrump words were taken out of context…..reading the headlines I’ve read. Fair is Fair!”

This isn’t the first time Smith has lent sympathetic words to Trump.

Nearly a year ago, Smith insisted that Trump isn’t racist or “against Black people” despite an abundance of evidence to the contrary.

During a sit down at a Semafor Media Summit last April, Smith said he used to enjoy talking to Trump about sports before he ran for president, but that he doesn’t mess with Trump anymore and he certainly wouldn’t vote for him.

“I think he’s changed, but I will tell you this: I think when people call him racist and stuff like that, I’ve never thought of Trump that way,” Smith said at the time. “He’s not against Black people, he’s against all things not named Trump.”

Ohio’s presidential primary is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

The post Stephen A. Smith Defends Trump’s ‘Bloodbath’ Speech That Democrats Say Was Inciting ‘Political Violence’ appeared first on NewsOne.

Banning TikTok: Here’s Everything We Know About The Bill To Kill Social Media Giant In The U.S.

Banning TikTok: Here’s Everything We Know About The Bill To Kill Social Media Giant In The U.S.

Banning TikTok: Here’s Everything We Know About The Bill To Kill Social Media Giant In The U.S.

Source: NurPhoto / Getty

TikTokers should beware of a new bill that advanced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week and could result in the social media platform being banned in the nation.

U.S. lawmakers are cracking down on one of the most beloved social media apps and one of the nation’s leading search engines, TikTok. Lawmakers began cracking down after national security concerns became apparent thanks to TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance.

The proposed bill would prohibit TikTok from US app stores unless the social media platform disassociates from ByteDance.

The bill, known as the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” advanced on Wednesday out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week. On Wednesday, it was passed in the House with 352 affirmative votes and just 65 representatives dissenting.

Over 170 million Americans use TikTok and have quickly shared their concerns regarding the ban online. They share that It’s where they go to find connection, entertainment, information and for many, earn a living. Several users documented their phone calls to their local representatives, urging them to vote “no” on the bill.

No need for TikTok fanatics to panic just yet. The popular social media app won’t be removed from Americans’ phones anytime soon. The bill has to overcome a few obstacles before its signed into law.

Some things to note about the ban:

Will the bill really become law?

Since the bill has passed the House, it will move to the Senate where the outcome is unclear.

Its biggest obstacle is that the bill will affect TikTok users, who make up the demographic of young voters these American politicians need in the 2024 U.S. election. Many TikTok users called their reps threatening to vote for other candidates if they voted to pass the bill.

If it does get passed, how would the ban work?

The bill would give TikTok roughly five months to separate from ByteDance, or else app stores in the United States would be prohibited from hosting the app on their platforms.

App stores that violate the legislation could be fined based on the number of users of a banned app. The bill establishes fines of $5,000 per user of a banned app. So, in the case of TikTok, Apple and Google could potentially be on the hook for up to $850 billion in fines each.

Are there other apps that could replace TikTok for American social media users?

There are alternative social media platforms where users can go (and likely already are) to create and consume short-form videos. Between Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube, TikToker users have several options. However, they realize that these options are not favorable for their content to be seen by a huge audience across the world. The algorithm is set up differently than that of competing social media platforms.

Don’t be so quick to post your farewell videos on TikTok, but still prepare for the worst possible outcome.  Many users are following their favorite creators on other platforms, “just in case.”

We will keep our readers updated on the ban as the bill makes its way to the U.S. Senate.

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