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December 20, 2018

JULEZ SANTANA SENTENCED

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Rapper Juelz Santana has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for trying to get a loaded gun onto a plane at a New York-area airport.

Santana, whose real name is LaRon James, was sentenced yesterday in Newark, New Jersey, to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a weapon on an aircraft.

He was arrested in March after security at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport found a loaded .38-caliber handgun and nonprescription oxycodone pills in his carry-on.

Santana left the area and the bags behind, but he turned himself in three days later.

The 36-year-old rap star will not immediately go to prison after having reached an agreement to perform on Long Island.

PUSHA T: WINNING ALL YEAR

NEW YORK (AP) — Pusha T has been on a winning streak.

In a year where rap easily dominated as music’s top genre, Pusha T’s 21-minute, seven-track “Daytona” album became one of the most successful hip-hop projects of the year. He also prevailed in his rap beef with Drake — and he earned a Grammy nomination for best rap album.

As the rap star reflects on the year, he says: “I really can look back at 2018 and really look at it as a total win.”

“I didn’t start ‘Daytona’ to let anybody down and I feel like we definitely accomplished the mission,” he added. ”‘Daytona’ is rap album of the year. No one rapped better than me in 2018.’”

Pusha T, 41, has been making bold statements like those since he emerged on the music scene as one-half of the duo Clipse two decades ago, earning praise for his raw lyrical content and delivery.

He reached new heights this year when he exposed Drake on “The Story of Adidon.” The Kanye West-produced album “Daytona” soon followed, debuting at No. 3 on the pop charts and landing on several critics’ year-end lists.

ART NEVILLE RETIRES

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans keyboardist and vocalist Art Neville, a founding member of the Meters and the Neville Brothers, has officially retired from music.

The 81-year-old musician announced his retirement in a press release yesterday in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Advocate reports Neville has battled a number of health issues recently that have severely limited his mobility, including complications from back surgery. He has not performed publicly in more than a year.

In July, the Recording Academy gave a Lifetime Achievement Award to the Meters. Neville did not attend the ceremony in Los Angeles.

He was barely 17 when, in 1954, he sang lead on the Hawketts’ remake of a country song called “Mardi Gras Mambo.” More than 60 years later, the song is still a staple of the Carnival season.

JOHNNY CLEGG DISCUSSES MORTALITY

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African musician Johnny Clegg says he is an “outlier” who has survived pancreatic cancer for the last few years, but he is preparing for hard times ahead.

Clegg, whose multi-racial bands during white minority rule in South Africa attracted an international following, spoke about mortality in an interview with a South African news channel on Tuesday. The 65-year-old musician says he now enjoys things such as growing flowers and feeding birds in his garden.

Clegg’s illness didn’t force him off the stage, though. Last year, with the cancer in remission, he launched a final tour and performed both in South Africa and at international venues.

Clegg crafted hits inspired by Zulu and South African township rhythms and harmonies, as well as folk and other musical influences. His music defied the racial barriers imposed by South Africa’s apartheid system decades ago.

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