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Tupac Shakur’s Sister Sues Executor of Rapper’s Estate for Embezzlement

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Tupac Shakur’s sister has sued the longtime executor of the late rapper’s estate, accusing him of embezzling millions of dollars.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in a Los Angeles superior court (via Billboard), Sekyiwa Shakur — Tupac’s sister and the daughter of Shakur’s mother Afeni — and the Tupac Shakur Foundation accused Tom Whalley, who has been the executor of Tupac’s estate since Afeni’s death in 2016, of taking $5.5 million over the past five years from Amaru Entertainment, a record label founded by Afeni and now managed by Whalley that is charged with Tupac’s classic LPs and posthumous albums.

“Whalley has already received more than $5.5 million that he has paid himself in the last five years through Amaru,” the lawsuit states. “He has effectively embezzled millions of dollars for his own benefit well in excess of what would be reasonably necessary to retain a properly qualified third-party to perform such services. As a result, Whalley has unreasonably enriched himself at the expense of the beneficiaries and in bad faith by taking excessive compensation in a position from which he should properly be barred based on the inherent conflict of interest.”

Tupac left his estate to Afeni as the sole beneficiary upon his shooting death in 1996. When Afeni died in 2016, all of her “tangible personal property” was left to Sekyiwa, who argued in the new lawsuit should include the items that Afeni inherited from Tupac. However, according to Sekyiwa, the Whalley-run estate is withholding those items from her for “investment purposes.”

“Among those items are: Tupac’s cars; a multitude of plaques and awards (including but not limited to so-called Golden Records; Tupac’s pinballs and games; Tupac’s renowned jewelry; Tupac’s artwork and sculptures; items of Tupac’s clothing, shoes and accessories; and furniture taken from his homes upon his demise,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also cites numerous instances of alleged “malfeasance,” including allowing the sale of an estate-owned houseboat to benefit one of its trustees instead of the trust itself.

Sekyiwa’s lawyers Donald David and Joshua Mandel also accuse the Tupac estate of not sharing financial information with the non-profit Tupac Shakur Foundation, of which Sekyiwa is the president; the estate has argued that the Foundation is not entitled to that information. David and Mandel did not respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment at press time.

The lawsuit adds, “Because [Sekyiwa and the Tupac Shakur Foundation] have yet to receive an accounting compliant with the terms of the Trust and the governing law, they do not know the full scope of Whalley’s malfeasance and misfeasance, but it is clear that he has used and abused his powers as Executor and Special Trustee of the Estate and the Trust to convert the personal property belonging to Sekyiwa as a piggy bank from which he has drawn substantial funds for his own benefit.”

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Whalley’s lawyer Howard King denied the allegations against the Tupac estate executor, noting that Afeni herself had worked with Whalley since the mid-Nineties.

“Tom Whalley was a friend and confidant of Tupac and his mother, Afeni Shakur, since signing Tupac to his first major recording deal in the Nineties and helping to arrange the funds to bail Tupac out of jail,” King said. “After Tupac passed away, Afeni requested Tom’s help with the job of managing the Tupac assets Afeni had inherited, a task he performed, without charge, for many years. In 2015, at Afeni’s request, Tom became the manager of Amaru, the company Afeni had established to protect and exploit all Tupac assets, on normal and typical terms. Under Tom’s management, enhanced by various personal loans Tom has made to the company, Amaru has gone from virtually insolvent to a solid financial footing. Afeni’s faith in Tom was further evidenced by her appointment of Tom as successor trustee of her trust. Tom became the current trustee after Afeni passed away, but has never taken any trustee’s fees even though his workload has increased well beyond what his management of Amaru required.”

King continued, “These legal claims are disappointing and detrimental to all beneficiaries of the trust. We are confident the Court will promptly conclude that Tom has always acted in the best interests of Amaru, the trust, and all beneficiaries.”

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Happy 52nd Birthday DJ Quik!

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David Marvin Blake a.k.a. DJ Quik was born in Pomona, California and shortly after relocated to Compton, California. His love for music began at a very young age, and by age 12 he could already play a number of instruments. Quik jumpstarted his path to fame by selling mixtapes he made with the turntable he received while still in school. Through self-promotion, his fame began to rise and he started to DJ and host events in Southern California.

Whether due to knowledge of his coming success or lack of interest, Quik dropped out of high school in the 11th grade. Shortly after, he suffered homelessness when his family home was taken away in foreclosure. There’s little information about what happened over that period of DJ Quik’s life but in 1990, everything changed.

DJ Quik had created so much of a buzz on the streets selling tapes and making appearances at parties and events he gained the attention of local record labels Ruthless Records and Profile Records. Despite a one million dollar offer from Eazy E, Quik went ahead and signed with Profile.

On February 12, 1991, DJ Quik released his debut album, Quik Is the Name, which debuted at #29 on the Billboard 200 chart, where it would peak, and sold 50,000 copies in its first week. After about four years, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA and has to date sold 1,068,203 copies. The album hosted hit singles, “Born and Raised in Compton” and “Tonite.” After his debut success, Quik went on to produce eight more solo studio albums and a collaborative album with rapper Kurupt called Blaqkout in 2009.

Outside of music, DJ Quik has made appearances as an actor on popular TV shows: Method and Red, Entourage, and Everybody Hates Chris. His career is one of the more influential ones on the West Coast. Quik was an instrumental part of the G-Funk sound and helped it to gain popularity early in the rap world. Countless rappers, producers, and DJs alike have noted their influence by DJ Quik and if you ride around SoCal today, there’s no doubt you can hear one of his hits playing on someone’s stereo. If you don’t already listen on the daily, take some time today to appreciated the career of one of the West Coast’s OGs.

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2000s Emo and Pop-Punk Blowout When We Were Young: 5 Questions We Have

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On Tuesday afternoon, an emo festival designed to bait millennials around the world materialized of thin air. Headlined by My Chemical Romance and Paramore, When We Were Young is set to take place in Las Vegas on Oct. 22. The poster is full of band names you either haven’t thought about in years or have thought about every single day since you hit puberty: AFI, the Used, 3OH!3, Hawthorne Heights, the Ready Set, Anberlin. Alongside the emo and pop-punk heavyweights like Bring Me the Horizon, Bright Eyes, and Avril Lavigne are some newer names, like viral punks the Linda Lindas and TikTok stars Jxdn and Lil Huddy.

The festival almost feels like a desert mirage: Is this too good to be true? Are we in for the emo revival’s own Fyre Festival? Here are five questions we have about the year’s hottest 2000s-nostalgia ticket.

Where the hell did this festival come from?

Believe it or not, this is actually the second When We Were Young festival. The first one took place in Santa Ana, California, in 2017, a week before Coachella. Across two days, a similar but less flashy set of punk, emo, and indie-rock nostalgia acts shared a bill, with Morrissey, AFI, Descendents, Cage the Elephant, and Taking Back Sunday among them.

Is this seriously all happening on only one day?

The poster for the fest is wildly crowded, and it’s quite ridiculous to expect that this many bands can appear in just 12 hours, unless all their sets are whittled down to 20 minutes of pure hits. According to ticketing information, there will be three stages across the festival grounds, which means a ton of horrible choices about which bands to prioritize throughout day-long fest, which is due to begin at 11 a.m. and end at 11 p.m. Which brings us to one big question about the co-headliners …

Will we have to choose between My Chemical Romance and Paramore?

We feel for any emo kid who has to make this heartbreaker of a call. Both bands are listed at the top of the bill, right next to each other. Both also remain wildly popular. Paramore have returned from a hiatus to record a new album while My Chemical Romance reunited in 2019, only for their tour to be pushed back twice now due to Covid. Given the single day of performances spread across three stages, it seems likely (though not confirmed) that the two headliners could be performing at the same time. So many great things come with difficult choices.

Were Fall Out Boy unavailable?

Excited tweets about the festival have opened the floodgates for questions about who was left out. The lineup is, in many ways, a snapshot of a time and place in early-2000s alternative-rock music. Of course, it is simply one day in Vegas and many bands have their own tours and schedules to adhere to. But the absence of Fall Out Boy (playing only their first three albums, for the sake of the vibe) is a personal vendetta I will carry against this lineup.

Are the folks behind Warped Tour fuming?

Credit where credit is due: Warped Tour was a major launchpad for the majority of artists on this bill. It ended officially in 2019 with a mini 25th-anniversary tour, but the true final trek was back in 2018. The Warped Tour sound is having a huge revival right now, not just for the kids who grew up on it but also for Gen Z artists, many of whom have landed on the WWWY lineup.

Warped founder Kevin Lyman teased that a Warped-adjacent festival would arrive under a different name in 2021, though that didn’t happen. Meanwhile, Attila’s Chris Fronzak has been looking into buying the rights to Warped, though he legally couldn’t put on the festival until 2023. If When We Were Young goes off without a hitch, we could very well see even more fest lineups scratching that Hot Topic nostalgia itch.

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Dan Crenshaw Withers Under Questioning From Young Woman, Gets Booed at Conservative Event

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Dan Crenshaw, the acerbic congressman from Texas desperately trying to brand himself as an unnatural chimera of Donald Trump and John McCain, is in hot water today for a video recorded at a Montgomery County Tea Party fundraiser in which he snaps at a young woman for asking him a pointed question about Jesus.

The entire setting and context for the exchange is like a Mad Libs of terms to bubble out of the right-wing fever swamp. Crenshaw was confronted at a Tea Party fundraiser by a young woman questioner, who challenged him to defend statements that he made likening Jesus to a fictional superhero while on former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink’s podcast. The video of the confrontation was shared by Scott T. Parkinson, the VP of Government Affairs for Club4Growth, a conservative PAC that recently endorsed Illinois Rep. Mary Miller, who achieved brief online prominence after she said “Hitler was right about one thing” during a speech the day before the Jan. 6 insurrection. Parkinson’s reasoning for committing GOP-on-GOP violence on Crenshaw probably stems from the Texas lawmaker’s recent online flame-war with Marjorie Taylor Greene, though it’s tough to say why any of these people do what they do. 

Anyway, the woman asked Crenshaw to defend a quote he gave to The Jocko podcast: “The important thing is that we have societal hero archetypes that we look up to,” Crenshaw said. “Jesus is a hero archetype. Superman is a hero archetype. Real characters too, you know, I could name a thousand,” which the questioner (again, a young woman) interpreted as Crenshaw saying Jesus was not a “real character” (The Week points out that this argument appears to be drawn from right-wing pop psychologist Jordan Peterson’s work, adding to the game of Mad Libs). 

The first part of the question is inaudible, but Newsweek reports that Parkinson’s video picks up right after the woman claims Crenshaw “lied about being Christian.”

“I can’t wrap my head around this,” the woman says after reading Crenshaw’s quote about Jesus and hero archetypes back to him.

“I’ll help you,” Crenshaw snaps. “Put a period after ‘Jesus,’ and don’t question my faith.”

The crowd then erupts in a chorus of “wows” and boos. “Don’t question my faith, don’t question my faith,” Crenshaw says again, to more boos, and, at the end, a confusing chant of “Let’s Go Brandon,” just to round out the fever swamp bingo card. 

I don’t think Dan Crenshaw is gonna raise a lot of money off *this* video. pic.twitter.com/YJyLdUhTke

— Scott T. Parkinson (@ScottTParkinson) January 18, 2022

The identity of the young woman is unclear, but Jameson Ellis, a Republican attempting to primary Crenshaw, tweeted that she is 18 years old.

Regardless, we have a young woman asking a gotcha question based on a dumb podcast quote, a member of Congress angrily defending himself instead of patiently and easily explaining the context of his words, the member of Congress getting booed by an audience of Tea Party Republicans, and a hard-right conservative PAC operative sharing a video of the encounter in order to shame Crenshaw for not being sufficiently right wing. 

Taken together, the episode is a perfect look at how the far right eats its own, chewing up candidates for perceived slights and spitting them out further right — which will surely happen with Crenshaw — or out of the party’s graces altogether, like it did with Liz Cheney. If the modern GOP is a place too hostile even for the daughter of Dick Cheney, it’s pretty clear it’s going to hammer any dreams of John McCain-centrist-maverick behavior out of Crenshaw as soon as possible. It’s a pity that won’t make him any less annoying.

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