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Gerald Asamoah and the Black Eagles, others win 2022 Laureus World Sports Awards



The Winners of the 2022 Laureus World Sports Awards have been unveiled at a digital ceremony hosted from Seville. Leading an illustrious group of sports stars honoured by the Laureus World Sports Academy are Formula One world champion Max Verstappen and Jamaican Olympic sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah, who have been named Laureus World Sportsman and Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.

The Awards recognise the greatest sporting achievements of 2021, one of the highlights of which was the European Championship victory by the Italian Men’s Football Team who win their second Laureus Team of the Year Award as a result, while global tennis sensation Emma Raducanu receives the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award following her US Open victory at the age of 18.

The Laureus World Sports Academy also made special presentations to three giants of sport: Tom Brady, seven-time winner of the Super Bowl, is honoured with the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award; Robert Lewandowski receives the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award for achievements including breaking Gerd Muller’s long-standing goalscoring record in the Bundesliga; and hugely popular motor cycle racer Valentino Rossi is presented with the Laureus Sporting Icon Award, after retiring in November at the end of a 25-year career.

Max Verstappen, who secured his first World Championship at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December, said: “I was very happy, of course, but it was a lot of hard work and years of preparation. I’m incredibly proud. Since I was a little kid I dreamt of being on the top step and winning the championship. I said to my dad [Former Formula One driver Jos Verstappen] ‘We did it, this is what we worked for all these years and now we are here, the two of us, all the memories, all the years of travelling all over Europe, going for that one goal and we achieved it’.

“I’m the first Dutch driver to win the World Championship, so the reaction back in Holland was amazing from all the newspapers and fans, it’s something we’ll never forget. It means a lot to be recognised for this Award, one of the highest ones in the world, so I’m incredibly happy.”

Elaine Thompson-Herah, who defended her 100 and 200 metres Olympic titles in Tokyo, and also won a third gold in the 4 x 100m relay, has been described as the female Usain Bolt. She said: “I know Usain has won Laureus Awards before, so to bring this trophy back home to the Caribbean, also in Jamaica, is very special.

“I have watched that [100 metres] race about a thousand times now. I would say I am very, very proud, but I cannot dwell on the past. Even though it’s very special, it’s memories. I cannot just sit and say ‘OK, I’m a double Olympic champion, I’m a five-time Olympic gold medallist. I have to continue working because my motivation is to be even better. I told myself that I want to be the greatest female sprinter, so I am just going to focus on what the future holds for me.”

Emma Raducanu is a popular winner of the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Awardafter becoming the first qualifier in tennis history to win a Grand Slam. She came through three rounds of qualifying and seven main draw matches at the US Open without dropping a set. It was only her second Grand Slam event.

After being presented with the Laureus Statuette, Emma received a message by video link from tennis star and Laureus Academy Member Li Na, who is one of her role models. She said: “Thank you so much Li Na. You have been a great inspiration to me all my career. It’s been a great year for me. Thank you to all the Laureus Academy Members for voting for me. I really want to congratulate all the other Nominees too.”

Laureus World Comeback of the Year Winner is skateboard star Sky Brown, who suffered a skull fracture when she landed headfirst from a half-pipe in training in June 2020. She was unresponsive when she arrived at hospital, but recovered fully and was able to compete in the Olympics. Aged 13 years and 28 days, she finished third in the park final to win a bronze medal, making her Britain’s youngest ever Olympic medallist.

Swiss wheelchair racer Marcel Hug is named Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability for the second time after winning four gold medals in the Tokyo Paralympic Games in the 800, 1,500 and 5,000 metres and marathon; he also set a world record in the 1,500m and a Paralympic record in the 5,000m. In a stunning 2021, Marcel also won the Berlin, New York and Boston marathons.

Britain’s Bethany Shriever is the Laureus Action Sportsperson of the Year after winning both Olympic and World Championship BMX gold medals in the same year. In Tokyo, she had to hold off two-time Olympic champion Mariana Pajon to win the gold medal. The 22-year-old teaching assistant had to raise £50,000 in crowd-funding ahead of Tokyo to finance her own qualification campaign after UK Sport cut its support.

Widely considered to be the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady has been honoured with the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his amazing career. In 2021 he won a record seventh Super Bowl playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his tenth appearance. His first six wins were with New England Patriots.

Brady’s brilliant career has been a superb example of remarkable longevity in a very tough sport. He is the only quarterback to win a Super Bowl in three different decades. At 43 years 188 days, he became the oldest to win the Super Bowl as starting quarterback and the oldest to be named Super Bowl MVP.

He said: “I’ve played the sport of American Football for 31 years. I was very fortunate to fall in love with the game that’s brought so many memorable moments in my life. This Award was founded in the year 2000 when Nelson Mandela said ‘Sport has the power to change the world’ and I totally agree with that. Sport transcends borders, races, religions and ethnicities. It brings so many people together in a positive way. In my view it brings the best out in individuals.

“Pelé was voted for this Award in 2000. Billie Jean King was voted last year. People I really looked up to. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. It is an incredible honour to achieve this tonight.”

One of football’s greatest strikers, Robert Lewandowski scored his 41st goal in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich in the last minute of the last day of the 2020/21 season to surpass Gerd Muller’s record of 40 goals in a season, which dated back to 1971/72. To honour this achievement and celebrate Lewandowski’s social conscience, he has been presented with the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award, an honour only previously given five times.

Poland captain Lewandowski, who played a pivotal role in Bayern’s ninth successive Bundesliga success and won the European Golden Shoe, has now scored more than 500 senior career goals for club and country. He said: “I would like to thank the Laureus Academy for the Award. It really means a lot to be recognised and appreciated by such wonderful people, athletes, legends from all over the world of sport. It has a very special meaning to me as an athlete and a man.

“Professional sport is a great passion and joy, but not only fun. Responsibility comes with success. Nelson Mandela said: ‘Sport has the power to change the world’. Let’s remember and repeat this message loudly, especially these days, when innocent people in Ukraine are dying. There is no sport without peace.”

Italian motor cycle legend Valentino Rossi retired at the end of the 2021 World MotoGP season. His record on the track and his personal magnetism will be hard to match. He won nine World Championships and recorded 115 wins and 235 podiums. He is the only rider to win world titles in the 125cc, 250cc, 500cc and MotoGP categories. This is his third Laureus Statuette. He won the Laureus Spirit of Sport Award in 2006 and the Laureus Comeback of the Year Award in 2011.

Rossi said: “The fact that this Award is given by sporting legends makes it more special. I was in Barcelona in 2006 [Laureus Awards Ceremony] and I met a lot of my idols, so it was great. I have already received two prizes from the Laureus Academy, so I have to thank everybody for this. This is great. I was lucky because I had a lot of great achievements in my career. The victories for sure are important, but I think the most important thing is that a lot of people know MotoGP and started to follow motor cycling because of me. This is the sport that I love and I’m very proud of this.”

In line with the focus of Laureus on Sport for Good, the 2022 Awards also told the inspirational stories of people and organisations who work tirelessly to use the power of sport to improve people’s lives and highlighted the advocacy of sportsmen and sportswomen who have used their positions of influence to make a powerful impact on issues and conflicts which go beyond sport.

Established in 1997, the Real Madrid Foundation has used sport to improve the lives of one-and-a-half million people, mainly children, in more than 100 countries, through education, integration and mutual co-operation. It has trained numerous football and basketball coaches since its creation to promote the development of young people through sport and is honoured with the Laureus Sport for Good Society Award.

The Laureus Sport for Good Award goes to Chicago youth baseball programme Lost Boyz Inc. which is now redefining some of the city’s most dangerous neighbourhoods. The goal is to decrease violence, improve social and emotional conditions, and provide financial and academic opportunities among the youth in the South Shore community through baseball training and competition.

The Laureus Athlete Advocate of the Year Award goes to Gerald Asamoah and the Black Eagles. Schalke footballer Asamoah, who is a leading campaigner in the fight against racism, was among several German footballers who appeared in the 2021 documentary ‘Schwarze Adler’ [Black Eagles] which features the experiences of black players in German football.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier honours event on the international sporting calendar. The Winners are selected in a secret ballot by the ultimate sports jury – the 71 Members of the Laureus World Sports Academy: the living legends of sport honouring the greatest athletes of today. The names of the Winners were revealed in Seville in a digital Awards Show, hosted by Laureus Academy Member Lindsey Vonn, the great women’s skier.

Sean Fitzpatrick, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: “I’m delighted that we are again able to celebrate the best of sport through so many amazing sportsmen and sportswomen in the Laureus World Sports Awards. The Winners are a very special group of people, and I congratulate them all. It shows the depth of quality this year that in so many of the categories the Nominees were also exceptional. That is one of the joys of an Olympic and Paralympic year. Deciding who to vote for was not easy for me, and I am sure for all my fellow Academy Members. Despite 2021 being another challenging year for non-sporting reasons, I am delighted that we have such a classic roster of Winners.”

The Laureus Awards showcases the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which uses the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, proving that sport can change the world. Today Laureus supports more than 250 programmes in around 40 countries. Since its inception in 2000, Laureus has helped to improve the lives of more than six million young people.

The full list of Winners is:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award: Max Verstappen

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award: Elaine Thompson-Herah

Laureus World Team of the Year Award: Italy Men’s Football Team

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award: Emma Raducanu

Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award: Sky Brown

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award: Marcel Hug

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award: Bethany Shriever

Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award: Tom Brady

Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award: Robert Lewandowski

Laureus Sporting Icon Award: Valentino Rossi

Laureus Sport for Good Award: Lost Boyz Inc.

Laureus Sport for Good Society Award: Real Madrid Foundation

Laureus Athlete Advocate of the Year Award: Gerald Asamoah and the Black Eagles

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World News

Viola Davis receives Women In Motion Award at Cannes Film Festival



Viola Davis receives Women In Motion Award at Cannes Film Festival

In her honor, Kering and the Cannes Film Festival were pleased to welcome Isabelle Huppert, Vincent Lindon, Valeria Golino, Paolo Sorrentino, Audrey Diwan, Lola Quivoron and Raymond Depardon on the occasion of the official dinner of the 8th edition of Women In Motion.

The official dinner of Women In Motion, Kering’s program to highlight the invaluable contribution of women to the 7th art, took place Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Place de la Castre in the heights of Cannes, around a menu conceived by the starred chef of the Gucci Osteria, Karime Lopez.

On this occasion, François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Festival de Cannes, presented the eighth Women In Motion Award to American actress and producer Viola Davis, who delivered a powerful speech, in the presence of the members of the Festival Jury. The Young Talent Award was given to Swedish director Ninja Thyberg.

Among the guests were actresses and actors Isabelle Huppert, Vincent Lindon, Rebecca Hall, Letitia Wright, Julie Gayet, Edgar Ramirez, Noomi Rapace, Alba Rohrwacher, Paul Mescal, Benoît Magimel, Rossy de Palma, Clotilde Courau, Elodie Bouchez, Déborah François, Riz Ahmed, Romain Brau, Anthony Sonigo, Pierre Deladonchamps as well as comedian Stéphane de Groodt. The cast of Novembre by Cédric Jimenez, including Sandrine Kiberlain, Jean Dujardin, Anaïs Demoustier, Lyna Khoudri et Sami Outalbali were also present.

Kering and the Festival de Cannes were also pleased to welcome directors Audrey Diwan, Paolo Sorrentino, Mélanie Laurent, Joachim Trier, Valeria Golino, Asghar Farhadi, Maïwenn, Debra Granik, Lola Quivoron, Chie Hayakawa, Monia Chokri, Aïssa Maïga, Costa Gavras, Claudine Nougaret, Jeff Nichols, Audrey Dana and the winner of the 2021 Young Talent Award, Shannon Murphy. Film industry professionals Julius Tennon, Melita Toscan Du Plantier, Jeremy Thomas, Rosalie Varda, Ronald Chammah were also present.

The great French photographer and documentary filmmaker Raymond Depardon, musicians Carla Bruni, Clara Luciani and Benjamin Biolay, models Adriana Lima, Anja Rubik, Eva Herzigova, as well as and influencers Aha & Lolo and Nour Arida also attended this exceptional moment.

Download the visuals of the dinner: HERE

About Women In Motion

Kering’s commitment to women is at the heart of the Group’s priorities and extends, through Women In Motion, to the field of arts and culture, where gender inequalities are still glaring, even though creation is one of the most powerful vectors for change.

In 2015, Kering launched Women In Motion at the Festival de Cannes with the ambition of highlighting women in cinema, both in front of and behind the camera. The program has since expanded in a major way to photography, but also to art, design, choreography and music. Through its Awards, the program recognizes inspirational figures and young female talent, while its Talks provide an opportunity for leading personalities to share their views on the representation of women in their profession.

For the past eight years, Women In Motion has been a platform of choice that contributes to changing mind sets and thinking on the place of women – and the recognition they receive – in the arts and culture.

About Kering

A global Luxury group, Kering manages the development of a series of renowned Houses in Fashion, Leather Goods, Jewelry: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, as well as Kering Eyewear. By placing creativity at the heart of its strategy, Kering enables its Houses to set new limits in terms of their creative expression while crafting tomorrow’s Luxury in a sustainable and responsible way. We capture these beliefs in our signature: “Empowering Imagination”.

Photos: Vittorio Zunino Celotto, Daniele Venturelli and Boby

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Photos: Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker marry in lavish Italian ceremony



Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker have got married – again. (more…)

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World News

South African Film, ‘Two Hues’ selected for Cannes NEXT



South African filmmaker and actor, Weaam Williams will pitch her up-coming feature film, Two Hues at NEXT, Marche du Film, Festival De Cannes.


The screenplay is funded by the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, and has been selected to participate at Marche du Film with the Swiss tech company,


Two Hues is a high concept, fiction feature film about a woman who suffers from bi-polar disorder and is a silent victim of sexual assault. The title refers to her two opposite moods portrayed via colour, red and blue.


The proof of concept short film, garnered several awards on the 2021 festival circuit, including Best Women Empowerment Film at Berlin Short Film Festival and Best Lead Actress at West Europe International Film Festival.


Williams will pitch the project, as a part of the largo NEXT selection, to an audience of financiers, studio representatives and distributors on the 20th May 2022 at The Main Stage, Riviera – Festival De Canes.


“I feel that the return of film festivals will encourage a return to the cinema, and this is a very exciting prospect after the hard lock-down. I am very happy to participate at Marche du Film this year, and will promote Two Hues and the rest of the Tribal Alchemy catalogue, as well as meet with co-producers interested in working in South Africa,” expresses Williams.


South African producer, Kethiwe Ngcobo, from Fuzebox Entertainment, is a co-producer on this project. She has many years of experience as the Head of Drama at the South African national broadcaster, as well as three feature films under her belt.



“I am privileged to be working with Weaam, her creativity extends to writing, acting and directing. I am very happy to be a part of the project as Weaam is such a committed filmmaker,” says co-producer Kethiwe Ngcobo.


Two Hues feature film script is complete and has generated impressive box office statistics, in proportion to its budget, country of origin and cast. Weaam is set to continue to play the lead for the feature film, however, the director for the project is to be confirmed.

Investment company “i-cubed capital” is the first company to support the production of what is forecasted to be a box-office success. 

“We are pleased and honoured to participate as investors in Two Hues. Our investment in Two Hues highlights our support for local film production, gender equality, anti-racism and anti-violence. I-cubed Consulting believes that the film once completed and screened will have a positive social impact on society,” says Ismail Kajee, Founding Partner at i-Cubed Capital. 


Two Hues is currently in development, and Tribal Alchemy Productions will continue fund-raising for the next 12 months.


The indie short was produced with a shoe-string budget and managed to receive a few accolades and good audience interaction across the world.


“The feature is more ambitious and I am optimistic about the impact it will have on the South African film landscape and tech space, as well as its universal message against gender based violence and exclusion of cultural minorities,” says Williams.


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Grammy-Winning Artist Leon Thomas Reveals New Single & Music Video “X-Rated”



Leon Thomas

Entering what promises to be a massive era, GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Leon Thomas unveils a new single and music video entitled “X-Rated” [feat. Benny The Butcher] today. Listen to it HERE, and watch the music video HERE.


The single marks Leon’s debut music under multiplatinum artist, singer, songwriter, producer Ty Dolla $ign’s newly inked EZMNY Records, a joint label venture with Motown Records. Ty shares his excitement, stating, “Leon’s talent was just a higher level from every other singer or producer that I was hearing, and the fact that he was doing everything himself from playing bass to working Logic and Pro Tools. From the first song I heard, I knew he was one of them ones.”


On Leon’s “X-Rated” track, a glitchy beat holds down the groove beneath warbling loops, building a layered soundscape evocative of nineties hip-hop. His vocals glide over this backdrop as he celebrates female sexual freedom in the verses before a chantable chorus, “X-Rated girl, if these walls could talk.” Meanwhile, Griselda spitter Benny The Butcher pulls up with a fiery feature. The strikingly cinematic visual, which Thomas directed, captures these vibes on-screen and includes a cameo appearance from Ty Dolla $ign.


Speaking on the inspiration behind the song, Leon shares, “X-Rated is an ode to my love of “Boom Bap” and early 90’s instrumentals. Benny The Butcher brought authentic bars and helped further the theme of this record.”


A prolific songwriter and producer, Leon’s unique sound and writing wizardry can be found up and down the Billboard charts. He’s contributed to anthems for everyone from Toni Braxton and Babyface –winning a Grammy for his writing credits on the duo’s 2014 joint album Love, Marriage & Divorce—to Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Chris Brown, Kehlani, J. Cole, Rick Ross, Ella Mai, and more. As a co-writer and co-producer, he recently powered “Pipe Down,” “Love All” [feat. JAY-Z], and “In the Bible” [feat. Lil Durk & Giveon] from Drake’s global chart-topping Certified Lover Boy album.


Also, a true vocalist and artist in his own right, Leon unveiled his debut EP Genesis in 2018, which garnered tens of millions of streams and earned him critical acclaim. He continues to be a musical force of nature with the release of “X-Rated” and a highly anticipated project due out soon. Be on the lookout for more from Leon!

From writing and producing on #1 albums with chart-breaking artists to starring on hit television series, GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Leon Thomas has become one of the most watched multi-hyphenate talents in the entertainment industry today. He has written and produced with the likes of Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Kehlani, J. Cole, Rick Ross, and more, and won a Grammy for writing credits on Babyface and Toni Braxton’s 2014 joint album Love, Marriage & Divorce. In 2021, Leon found himself contributing his writing and production skills to Drake’s global chart-topping album Certified Lover Boy on “Pipe Down,” “Love All” feat. JAY-Z, and “In the Bible” feat. Lil Durk and Giveon. Born in Brooklyn and raised by his vocalist mother, opera-singing grandfather, and stepfather who played guitar for B.B. King, Thomas’ musical career began early. He appeared as Young Simba on Broadway’s The Lion King at 10 years old and began working with Nickelodeon at 13, voicing The Backyardigans character Tyrone and starring in Victorious for the show’s entire run. In 2018, Leon released his debut EP Genesis to critical acclaim. He continues to expand his artistry and venture into a new era of music under Ty Dolla $ign’s EZMNY Records and Motown Records, with the release of “X-Rated” feat. Benny The Butcher and a full project due out soon.

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Quavo x Takeoff Present New Single & Music Video “Hotel Lobby”




Over the years, Quavo and Takeoff have gone wild once or twice. However, they go wilder than ever on their new single and music video “Hotel Lobby”—available today via Quality Control Music Group/Motown Records.  Quavo and Takeoff reveal a woozy and wobbly banger on a whole different level..


Listen to “Hotel Lobby” HERE and watch the music video for “Hotel Lobby” HERE.


The airy cinematic production and ominous beat set the tone as Quavo and Takeoff trade one intoxicating bar after another. Co-directed by Keemotion and Quavo, the music video serves as an insane homage to the cult classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas directed by Terry Gilliam and co-starring Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro. In the clip, Quavo and Takeoff assume the roles of Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo cruising through the desert with a “mobile pharmacy” before pulling up to a Las Vegas hotel and barely passing the doors to check in. All kinds of psychedelic, tripped-out trap madness follows as they deliver the South’s first proper hip-hop homage to the late Hunter S. Thompson. It’s unlike anything either of these two multiplatinum GRAMMY® Award-nominated superstars have done either solo or as part of Migos!


It also paves the way for more music to come.


Takeoff recently dropped off “Crypto” with Rich The Kid. It has already amassed over 6.5 million Spotify streams and 4.7 million YouTube views on the music video. Receiving critical acclaim, HYPEBEAST proclaimed, “the new single sees the Migos rapper embrace his love for cryptocurrency and the fortune that it has brought him.”


Meanwhile, Quavo served up the intense “Shooters Inside My Crib.” It posted up 6 million Spotify streams and 6.6 million YouTube views on the music video. Touted among the “Soundsystem 50,” High Snobiety observed, “Quavo skates over the Ayo-B-produced beat effortlessly teasing us about an upcoming project.” REVOLT added, “‘Shooters Inside My Crib’ sees the North Atlanta star harmonizing about past struggles and current successes.” Sports Illustrated summed it up best as “an absolute banger.” Not to mention, he joined NBA2K22 as a playable character and will star in a new action thriller Takeover.

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Stunna 4 Vegas Drops New Album “Rae Rae’s Son”



After releasing a barrage of fiery singles, burgeoning star Stunna 4 Vegas’ (Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment / Interscope Records) unveils his blistering new album Rae Rae’s Son. The 12-track effort is a slam-dunk for Stunna enthusiasts who crave his high-octane energy and robust swagger. Fans who reveled at Stunna’s previous records “BMF,” Ice Wear Vezzo, and “Pay Me To Speak” will love the album’s latest record, “Sad Song,” featuring Spinnabenz. Listen HERE.
To celebrate the release of his new album, Stunna will perform three concerts including performances in Charlotte (May 21), Dallas (May 29) and Billings (June 9). YRB Teez and SSG Splurge will accompany the Billion Dollar Baby star on his trek. Fans can purchase tickets HERE.
Since he joined Billion Dollar Baby and Interscope in 2019, Stunna 4 Vegas has emerged into one of the roster’s most promising talents, with over 816 million streams in the U.S. alone. His frenetic energy and ear for top-tier street anthems launched the run of success that began with his Big 4X mixtape release that cracked the top 50 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Results only improved with the January 2020 release of his debut album, Rich Youngin, which shot into the top 30 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and the top 20 of the Rap Albums list on the heels of hits such as “DO DAT,” featuring DaBaby and Lil Baby and “Up the Smoke” with Offset. His credentials only grew with a heavy touring lineup in 2021, including featured performer slots at Rolling Loud, Made in America, and OVO Fest and headlining his national tour.
Rae Rae’s Son Track List
  1. Rae Rae’s Intro
  2. The One
  3. Pay Me To Speak
  4. BMF ft. Ice Wear Vezzo
  5. Going For Nun
  6. Suspect
  7. Activated
  8. Sticks
  9. Fye ft. YRB Tezz
  10. Skurrt
  11. Sad Song ft. Spinnabenz
Stunna 4 Vegas Rae Rae’s Son eAlbum
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