Culture Feature

Dennis Rodman's 10 Craziest Looks

From a wedding dress to a silk nightgown, Dennis Rodman had a lot of wild outfits.

The Netflix documentary series The Last Dance has made Dennis Rodman one of the most talked about people in the world, once again.

The docuseries follows the story of the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls. While the first two episodes dealt primarily with Scottie Pippin and Michael Jordan, the third episode delves into the strange trajectory of Dennis Rodman's career. The best rebounder to ever play the game, Rodman was undeniably talented but often unpredictable both on and off the court. He was known for his bizarre fashion choices, his dramatic dating life (he can count both Carmen Electra and Madonna among his exes), and habitual partying. Fans got even more of Rodman's eccentricities in the series' final two episodes, which outline the infamous incident in which Rodman blew off practice in the midst of the Bull's final championship run in order to attend a WCW taping. After a Game 3 blowout of the Utah Jazz, he flew to Detroit from Chicago to wrestle Diamond Dallas Page alongside Hulk Hogan.

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New Releases

Kaskade Releases “Love Like That" feat. Dani Poppitt

An unforgettable night dancing with beautiful strangers.

Kaskade

Mark Owens

EDM megastar Kaskade recently released "Love Like That," the lead track from his forthcoming Redux 004 EP, featuring the seductive tones of Dani Poppitt.

Kaskade says, "When I was producing 'Love Like That' I knew it needed to be more than just another love or love-lost song. It has this piano hook that is meant to work its way into your psyche, and hopefully, people will just be humming it without even knowing what they're referencing. Lyrically, the song has this ability to be an in or out of love gymnast. It is one of those pieces where you can't decide if you want to break up with this song or get married to it." Poppitt's sultry voice enhances the track's dance-y rhythm. Altogether, "Love Like That" soundtracks an unforgettable night dancing with beautiful strangers.

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MUSIC

RIP Biggie: The Best Songs by Notorious B.I.G.

While the late Brooklynite was only able to put out two albums before his untimely death, both works are regarded as some of hip-hop's greatest contributions.

One of Hip-Hop's most prominent icons The Notorious B.I.G. was senselessly gunned down at a red light in Los Angeles on this day in 1997.

He was heading home from a Vibe Magazine party when a gunman rolled down his window and opened fire. The death has remained unsolved and has unearthed a vast number of conspiracy theories in its 23-year wake. Highlights include theories that P. Diddy was responsible for the murder and that the late rapper isn't dead at all, and rather he was recently spotted alive on an island in Greece.

While the late Brooklynite was only able to put out two albums before his untimely death, both works are regarded as some of hip-hop's greatest contributions. To rank any of his songs is impossible; there are simply too many great entries to count. Still, there were a few lyrical gems that monumentally redefined East Coast rap and proved Biggie to be one of the greatest storytellers of all time.

Here are a few of his crowning musical achievements to honor the immense talent of The Notorious B.I.G.:

Gimme the Loot

Biggie's mastery of the pen is undisputed, but on "Gimme the Loot," off 1994's Ready To Die, all his strengths seem to click right into place. His flow is so tight that fans thought for years that the track's quippy call-and-response was done by Biggie and another uncredited rapper. His stream of consciousness lyricism makes listeners feel that they're hitting a lick right alongside him, and his tales of late night violence are haunting and captivating.

"Man, I throw him in the fiend you grab the f*cking cream
And if he start to scream, bom bom, have a nice dream
Hold up, he got a f*cking b*tch in the car
Fur coats and diamonds, she think she a superstar. Ooh Biggie let me jack her, I'll kick her in the back
Hit her with the gat. Yo chill shorty, let me do that
Just get the f*cking car keys and cruise up the block

The b*tch act shocked getting shot on the spot. Oh sh*t the cops!"

Everyday Struggle

"Everyday Struggle" isn't as play-by-play as "Gimme The Loot," but it once again demonstrates the raw poetry of Biggie's rhymes. He is undoubtedly a victim of his circumstances and is drawn to street life not by his own doing but by circumstances completely out of his control – he even calls out Mayor Giuliani by name. Suicide often lingers in the back of his mind, but he unfortunately knows that the only way out is through. "That's just how the shit go in the struggle motherf*cker," he says with a shrug.

"But they don't know about the stress-filled day
Baby on the way mad bills to pay
That's why you drink Tanqueray
So you can reminisce and wish
You wasn't living so devilish, sh*t."

Ni**as Bleed

An eerie slow-burning tale of an impending drug deal, Biggie's haunting thoughts and anxieties are put on full display all the way up through the track's explosive conclusion. Biggie's eye for unsettling detail is uncanny, and the story is soaked in unrelenting tension that doesn't let up. It builds in an almost theatrical way, before exploding in the final verse with the ferocity of a Quinten Tarantino film. Through it all, Biggie remains unmoved by such grotesque violence, instead, he finds a dark humor in knowing that his enemies car just got towed for double parking. His emotional distance from violence is the track's most haunting quality.

"That's when Ron vanished, came back speaking Spanish

Lavish habits, two rings, twenty carats
Here's a criminal, n*gga made America's Most
Killed his baby mother brother, slit his throat
The n*gga got bagged with the toast
Weeded, took it to trial, beat it
Now, he feel he undefeated, he mean it
"Nothing to lose" tattooed around his gun wounds
"Everything to gain" embedded in his brain
And me? I feel the same..."

10 Crack Commandments

"10 Crack Commandments" is undeniably witty and offers the catchiest how-to guide for novice crack dealers. It has been cited as one of Biggie's greatest hits, solely because of its unique balance of cold authenticity and dark humor.

"Number 3, never trust no-bo-dy
Your moms'll set that ass up, properly gassed up
Hoodied and masked up, shit, for that fast buck
She be laying in the bushes to light that ass up"

You're Nobody 'Till Somebody Kills You

The final song off of Biggie's final album is one of the rapper's most haunting tracks, to say the least. Released after his death, the song is drenched in fear, self-doubt, and betrayal, with the seemingly unshakable B.I.G. mumbling in defeat, pleading, "I don't wanna die, God tell me why." It was as if he knew that people were coming for him, the song his attempt at salvation and coming to terms with what he thought was imminent. It all makes his death even more devastating.

"As I leave my competition, respirator style
Climb the ladder to success escalator style
Hold y'all breath, I told y'all, death
Controls y'all, Big don't fold y'all, uhh
I spit phrases that'll thrill you
You're nobody til somebody kills you"

MUSIC

Lady Gaga Leads the “Kindness Punks” in a Fight for Peace in “Stupid Love” Video

"Stupid Love" is a return to the Lady Gaga we fell in love with a decade ago.

In a world that valorizes independence, it can be difficult to admit that all you want is to be loved.

But that's exactly what Lady Gaga does in her latest single, "Stupid Love." Clad in pink lingerie and wearing futuristic headgear, she proclaims over and over that all she truly wants is affection.

The song itself isn't exquisite, but it serves its purpose well. The drop is electrifying, ideal for cathartic club nights and drunk Lyft singalongs. The track and video both feel like they could be straight out of 2011, perhaps a B-side on Born This Way.

Will songs like "Stupid Love" hold up in 2020, though? The jaded experimentalism of Billie Eilish and the multi-genre stylings of Lil Nas X seem to be taking precedence over traditional pop. In a world where all art is political, immediately susceptible to rigorous Twitter analysis and the whims of TikTok algorithms, Gaga's old bag tricks may not serve her as well as they once did. Plus, the wild costumes and antics she became known for are now staples in the music industry.

Fortunately, Gaga—always an intoxicating showwoman—is adept at crafting magnetic visuals, and the "Stupid Love" video certainly takes advantage of her ever-futuristic artistic sensibilities.

In the video, Gaga plays the leader of a group called the "Kindness Punks," a militant dance team fighting for peace in a violent world. "The world rots in conflict," an opening statement reads in the video's first frame. "Many tribes fight for dominance. While the Spiritual ones pray and sleep for peace, the Kindness punks fight for Chromatica." From there, Gaga and her futuristic hippie punks dance their way across a desert, twirling past luminescent crystal rock formations until they come into contact with two conflicting troupes. Gaga manages to levitate some of the brawlers, and peace is achieved.

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Chromatica is most likely the name of Gaga's forthcoming album, which is slated to drop in the next few weeks. Judging by this single, it'll be a return to her dance-bangers of old, and—after the folky turn of Joanne and A Star Is Born—it feels like coming home. "I put all my heart, all my pain, all my messages from the other realm [into this album]," said Gaga to Zane Lowe in a recent Apple Music interview. "I want people to dance and feel happy."

Gaga accompanied the video release with a tweet that read "Earth is cancelled," but maybe she's just in time. In a world run by Trumps and Putins pushed to paranoia by coronavirus and apocalyptic climate change headlines, of course love is probably the only thing that can save us. Gaga's just one of the few pop stars not afraid to shout it from the rooftops.

Futuristic Polar Bears

Press Photo

British duo Futuristic Polar Bears introduces a melodic house treasure, "Better Than This," featuring vocals from Franky.

Following their prior releases "I Can't Do It" and "You & Me," Rhys and Fran create a swanky house vibe with a thumping bassline. Franky's glossy tones inject the track with the carefree energy that earned Futuristic Polar Bears performances at the world's hottest clubs: Octagon in Seoul, Zouk Singapore, and Ibiza's UshuaÏa, along with Ministry of Sound, Amnesia, Marquee, Myst, among other top venues.


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CULTURE

Technicalities in Kevin Hart’s $60 Million Sex Tape Lawsuit Conceal Larger Questions

Whether the judge dismisses in this case or not, the larger issues remain in doubt

Amy Sussman/Getty Images and Backgrid

On Friday it was reported that comedian and movie star Kevin Hart was asking the judge to dismiss the $60 million lawsuit that was brought against him by plaintiff Montia Sabbag over a 2017 sex tape.

The suit, which Hart has described as "baseless," was previously dismissed due to errors in filing—before being corrected and filed again—and it's now being challenged on the grounds that Hart was never formally served the court documents. Rather than delivering the documents directly to Hart or an officially sanctioned representative, new court documents allege that a process server working for Sabbag simply "drove by Hart's home and threw a summons and complaint out of a car window."

Kevin Hart Sex Tape A still from the footage leaked to TMZ

A security guard who was stationed outside of Hart's home at the time was the only person connected to Hart who was on hand at the time and was not authorized to accept the documents on Hart's behalf—even if they had been handed over, rather than being strewn on the ground "several yards away from him."

These kinds of legal formalities are often enough to get a case dismissed, and they can lead to mounting legal fees that motivate a plaintiff to drop their suit or settle out of court. If that happens in this case, then the court will never address the big question in this case: Did Hart, as Sabbag claims, conspire to secretly film their sexual encounter in order to gain publicity for a planned comedy tour?

The incident in question took place in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2017, and both parties engaged with each other consensually, though Sabbag asserts that she never agreed to be filmed. At the time, Hart had been married to his wife, Eniko Parrish, for less than a year, and she was eight-months pregnant with their son Kenzo. Hart has publicly apologized for cheating on his wife and expressed remorse for the pain he caused her, saying, "With Eniko, when I got to see the effect my reckless behavior had, that was crushing. That tore me up." Taken in tandem with the fact that Hart's former friend J.T. Jackson allegedly attempted to extort Hart for $5 million in exchange for not releasing the tape, it seems strange that Hart would have planned any publicity surrounding the tape. Sabbag's claim that he was involved in filming her without her consent is harder to counter.

Kevin Hart with Pregnant Eniko Parrish WireImage

Sabbag, who hired attorney Lisa Bloom to represent her in the case (before Bloom's reputation was damaged by revelations of the work she did protecting Harvey Weinstein), also claims that Hart's behavior led her to believe that he wasn't married. She described her impression of him when they met on a private plane from Los Angeles to Las Vegas as "a gentleman, a nice guy," but that opinion evidently changed after footage of the two of them together was leaked to the Internet. Sabbag, who has variously described herself as a recording artist, a makeup artist, and an actress, has denied any involvement in the extortion plot and resisted attempts to label her a "stripper" based on an adult entertainment license in Nevada and an old video of her pole-dancing.

While many plaintiffs in Sabbag's position would likely be dissuaded from going after a famous and wealthy client when faced with continued legal roadblocks, Lisa Bloom—much like her mother, Gloria Allred—often represents women on a pro bono basis in high profile cases like this. Couple that with the notoriety that the aspiring performer has leveraged into photoshoots and interviews, and it seems unlikely that these tactics will deter her.

It remains to be seen if the court will find her case convincing.