Entertainment

B.B. King’s Estate Responds to Drake and Lil Wayne’s ‘B.B. King Freestyle’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Over the weekend, Drake and Lil Wayne broke the internet with their first collaboration since 2017, “B.B. King Freestyle.” The song is off Wayne’s new “No Ceilings 3” mixtape, which is hosted by DJ Khaled, and has already garnered over 1.5 million views on YouTube.

Vassal Benford — the chairman of B.B. King’s estate, who is executive-producing King’s official biopic with the bluesman’s family — gives “a big thumbs up,” and wants to invite Drake, Wayne and Khaled to work with the estate on a hip-hop album to be released by Universal Music Group alongside the biopic.

“When I heard ‘B.B. King Freestyle,’ I was shocked, as this is exactly what we wanted,” Benford says. “We are in talks to do a new hip-hop album with our team and Universal Music Group, to usher in the new millennium with B.B. King and top A-list hip-hop artists.”

Vassal Benford, chairman of the B.B. King Estate
Courtesy of Vassal Benford

Benford says that the hip-hop album will sample King’s music as well as include original music from artists paying tribute to King. As for who will executive-produce the album, Benford has his eye on Khaled.

“Mr. King is a musical icon and legend, and the blues is relatable all over the world,” Benford says. “For DJ Khaled, Lil Wayne and Drake to show love makes a big statement on behalf of the music world regarding B.B. King and the significance of the blues. We would like to thank them on behalf of the family members and the B.B. King Estate, and welcome all three artists to the project in whatever capacity.”

Not only will there be a King tribute hip-hop album released with the biopic, Benford also has plans for records in the country, EDM and traditional blues genres. He has hopes for the traditional album to feature a star-studded lineup of King’s collaborators and friends, including Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Taj Mahal, Bono, Richie Sambora, Slash and Keith Richards.

“Music is love, and Mr. King was all about love with his music and bringing people together,” Benford says. “In essence, we are going to bring B.B. King’s music full circle around the globe as part of the B.B. King legacy initiative.”

Titled “B.B.: The King of the Blues,” the official biopic is set to go into pre-production in 2021. Benford recently executive-produced the films “After” and “After We Collided.” As a producer, Benford has worked with the likes of Toni Braxton, Justin Bieber, Diplo, Skrillex, Major Lazer and Marshmello.




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