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Travis Scott Dominates Nicki Minaj Queen Debut But Nicki is Calling Foul

Why having multiple streams of income is vital to wealth building

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Photo: Leon Bennett/Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Travis Scott pulled off the unexpected, as his Astroworld album has held off the first-week push of Nicki Minaj‘s Queen LP to retain its No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200.

For the second week in a row, La Flame did big numbers. According to Nielsen Music, Astroworld‘s numbers were down 62 percent for the week ending in Aug. 16. But that was still enough for the Texas rapper to move 205,000 equivalent album units. He was able to move 78,000 in traditional album sales, down 71 percent.

Nicki put up a valiant effort in the first week of the release of her Queen LP, enough to nab the No. 2 spot. She raked in 185,000 equivalent album units, with 78,000 of the sum being traditional album sales. This marks back to back No. 2 debuts for Nicki whose The Pinkprint also debuted in the same slot in Jan. 2015, after her first two albums reached the peak in the first week. Queen‘s tally is the second biggest debut week from a female rapper in 2018, following Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy album (255,000 units).

Drake’s Scorpion album is still holding strong, having been pushed to the No. 3 spot, after spending five weeks on the mountaintop before being dethroned by Travis.

La Flame is currently prepping his Astroworld: Wish You Were Here Tour and will be hitting up cities like Miami, Atlanta, New York, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and more.

At any given moment in time, Nicki Minaj is feuding with at least one other celebrity, whether that be over perceived disses or awards-show nominations or simple misunderstandings. And while no drama from this week can eclipse whatever’s going on with Azealia Banks, Grimes, and Elon Musk, the ongoing feud between Minaj and Travis Scott has been steadily growing as everyone from Kylie Jenner to Ariana Grande has gotten involved. Below, a guide to this week’s second-best celebrity drama.

So how did this all start?

The public feud started on Sunday, August 19, when Scott’s Astroworld took the No. 1 spot ahead of Minaj’s new album, Queen, which prompted an aggrieved tweetstorm that took Scott and Jenner as its victims. Apparently, Minaj was upset with Jenner for promoting her fiancé’s Astroworld tour packages — which include tickets, T-shirts, the album — to her 113 million fans on Instagram. Because of this, Minaj argued that Scott’s sales via Jenner shouldn’t count toward his Billboard ranking because Jenner suggested that Astroworld concertgoers may be able to see baby Stormi from afar.

“I put my blood sweat & tears in writing a dope album only for Travis Scott to have Kylie Jenner post a tour pass telling ppl to come see her & Stormi,” Minaj tweeted. “lol. I’m actually laughing.”

And then things got weird at the MTV Video Music Awards.

What happened at the VMAs?

So Jenner and Scott were supposed to sit almost directly behind Minaj at the VMAs, which took place the day after Minaj’s tweetstorm; before the awards show, though, the couples’ seats were mysteriously moved. (TMZ reports that Scott requested this.) While Jenner and Scott were clearly trying to avoid a run-in with Minaj, Jenner found herself in dangerous proximity to the female rapper on the red carpet, prompting her to do an incredibly obvious U-turn away. And then after Scott’s performance that night, he bragged, “Astroworld, No. 1 right now!” which was almost certainly a jab at Minaj.

The following day, Minaj joked on her Beats 1 show, “Queen Radio,” that the real beef was between her and Jenner’s 6-month-old daughter. She probably wasn’t teasing when she later declared that “Travis Scott gets Hoe N*gga of the Week by a landslide,” though. Eek.

So Minaj and Jenner are feuding?

Actually … no. On Thursday, Minaj told her fans, “For the record, I fucking love Kylie, and that’s not gonna change,” on “Queen Radio.” “She has been put in an awkward situation.”

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Hip-Hop Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is also a speaker, and bestselling author of six books. Ash has established himself as a thought leader and trusted voice with Corporate America, Colleges, Churches, and Community based organizations. Ash is best known for helping people maximize their full potentials by giving them the inspiration, tools, and resources needed to live their best lives. For more info on Ash please visit www.IamAshCash.com

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Personal Finances

Amazon Aims to Help People Build Credit + Credit Knowledge to Keep You on the Right Track

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Amazon is opening up its rewards credit cards to people with no or bad credit. The tech giant and Synchrony Financial are launching “Amazon Credit Builder” for people who don’t qualify for the company’s other reward cards. The cards will offer Prime customers 5% cash back on Amazon purchases, with the person’s credit limit equal to the size of the deposit they make before receiving their card. Since 11% of the U.S. population have credit scores below 550, the move could increase Amazon’s customer base, says CNBC.

This seems like a good move for those who are unbanked or underbanked but without being of how to manage or maintain good credit this effort might exacerbate the problem. Many people are aware of the important role the credit rating plays in their lives. However, understanding what goes into a credit score (the credit score breakdown) might present some difficulty. There are several different methods of scoring, but most lenders and banks rely on the FICO method that has been in existence since the 1980’s when it was developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation. The three prominent credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) all worked with Fair Isaac in order to come up with the FICO algorithm.

Your credit score may be any number from 300 to 850. The average American falls at about 690 which is deemed relatively good credit. However, while this score should secure you a loan, it will not get you the very best interest rates on a loan. In fact, 300-640 = Bad Credit, 641-680 = Fair Credit, 681-720 = Good Credit, and 721-850 = Excellent Credit. Excellent credit should be the aim.

Following is the credit score breakdown:

Payment History

The biggest chunk of your score (35%) is derived from your payment history. This score is influenced by how well (or not) you pay your bills on time, how many have been sent to collection agencies, bankruptcies, tax liens, etc. Keep in mind that missing a payment is worse than making a late payment and that being late or especially missing a mortgage payment is a bigger blow to your credit score than missing a credit card or utility payment.

Usage Ratio

The amount of debt you have (compared to the amount of credit you have not used) accounts for 30 percent of your score. Try not to max your credit cards out. In fact, it is recommended that you only use 25 to 50 of the credit that is available to you. A way to balance this out is to obtain more lines of credit and not use them. However, you do not want to apply for a bunch of credit cards all at once as this is marked against you. If your credit is in good standing, apply for a reputable card every six months or so and save it for a rainy day.

Length of Credit History

Fifteen percent of your credit score is based on how long you’ve established credit. This is common sense. The longer your credit history, the better your overall score will be. More data about your past leads to a more accurate prediction of your future credit worthiness.

Credit Mix

Having several types of credit will actually boost your score if they are managed well. This counts for 10 percent of the overall rating.

New Credit

As mentioned earlier, opening new credit accounts all at once will negatively affect your score in the short term. It’s also important that you are aware that your score can be lowered for too many “hard inquiries” about your status. A “hard inquiry” is one that you have authorized a lender to perform. If you are inquiring about your own score, this will not count against you.

Understanding what goes into the credit score breakdown is the first step in improving your score and what will allow you to design your score and begin you on the journey to financial freedom.

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Personal Finances

How to Raise Your Credit Scores Instantly, for Free – Experian Is Changing the Credit Game for Millions

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I’ve been a financial educator for over a decade and while many people inquire about better ways to save and budget, understanding credit is still the number one topic I teach. Credit can be a gift or a curse depending on how you use it. It can help you on your journey to financial freedom or it can keep you in a cycle of debt repayment. Understanding how your credit works is the first piece of the puzzle, but what happens when you know and understand the credit game but still can’t seem to get ahead?

Some believe credit is not necessary but the truth is that credit can sometimes be the deciding factor to your quality of life. Those who have high credit scores usually get the best rates on loans and/or have to put the least money down on high ticket purchases. On the flip side those who have a low credit score can find themselves paying higher interest rates, or worse be disqualified for basic life necessities like a job or shelter.

This is why I got excited when I heard about the Experian Boost program, that is helping millions of people across the country get the assistance they may need to take their life to the next level by getting better access to credit.

Check out the video below where I discuss the program in great detail and give you tips on how to properly manage your credit.  Simply put Experian Boost works by giving consumers credit for the utility and telecom bills they are already paying. This means your water, gas, electric, cable, and cell phone bills can all count to give you an instant boost on your credit scores.

This is an absolute game changer because for years many community based organizations have fought for better access to credit and  they asked for this exact feature for those who have opted to not use credit cards hence having a thin credit file. This not only works for those who have little credit activity but for everyone who would like an extra jump to their credit file.

The great news is that only positive payments will be factored into your credit file so boosting your score can only help you. In the rare instances were someone’s credit score goes down after boosting it, they can simply disconnect it from the Boost program and their score will go right back to where it was.

If you’re interested in seeing how Boost can help your credit score visit www.experian.com/ashcash

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Personal Finances

Serena Williams Umpire Controversy: Why Knowing (and Using the Rules) Against Financial Institutions is Important in Personal Finances

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Photo: GettyImages

Passion, as it pertains to sports, is what makes the game exciting, and when an athlete expresses that raw emotion, it makes for a more entertaining experience for the fans in the stand and viewers at home.

Unless you’re Serena Williams, then expressing emotion can cause you to lose the U.S. Open. Saturday, (Sept. 8) Naomi Osaka took the title defeating Williams, however, it was the 23 time Grand Slam Champion winner’s confrontation with umpire Carlos Ramos that made headlines.

During the final woman’s match, Ramos issued a warning to Williams over “coaching” because he thought her coach was giving her cues on the court. Williams disputed the matter stating “I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose.”

Ramos later gave her point penalty after she smashed her racket. She confronted him again to complain and called him a thief, to which he gave her “verbal abuse” penalty which cost her the game.

Backstage at a press conference, Williams said she hopes her expressing her emotions on the tennis court will one day be accepted among female athletes the way they are so liberally by male athletes.

“I just feel like the fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions and that want to express themselves, and they want to be a strong woman, and they’re going to be able to do that because of today. Maybe it didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person.”

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