BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Nova wins ‘The Rap Game’

With an impressive combination of swag, skills and savvy, Nova has been crowned the season three winner of Lifetime’s hit series “The Rap Game.” The 16 year old battled five talented young rappers to earn a recording contract with Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def Recordings.

“It was probably the hardest secret I had to have on my shoulders,” said Nova of the honor placing him with previous winners Miss Mulatto and Mani. “[In the meantime] I’ve really just been in the studio, but JD knows I’m ready to work. I feel like due to me winning he already expects me to do what I did on the show.”

The Reading, Pennsylvania native was first inspired at the age of 7 by his uncle/manager Ekko, who he noticed posting videos of himself rapping on YouTube.

“It basically just influenced me to spit,” he said. “I couldn’t spell that well at the time but I still used to rap his lyrics.”

His mom turned him on to the show during its first season.

“At first, I was like what is this?” Nova admitted. “Then a couple of months later I saw what a big thing it was.”

He reached out for season two, then three.

“Casting noticed me and set up Skype interviews and still couldn’t tell me if I was on,” Nova said. “I started posting Instagram videos of me rapping like every day. My activity boosted like crazy. That’s when they called and said I was headed to Atlanta.”

Though versed in the legends like Jay Z, Big Pun, Biggie, Nova was first star struck by Jadakiss.

“The whole Lox were there,” he said name-dropping Lil Kim and Remy Ma. “I did meet Jada on the show and everything, but off the show was a different experience. Performing at the same place he was at was great.”

A favorite with the ladies, Nova revealed that he has a very close friend but not a ride or die at this point in his career.

“I’m all about the music right now,” he said before seemingly laughing that the cliché came out of his mouth.

As he continues recording and prepping for a tour this summer with fellow winners and cast mates from the series, he mentioned the irony of a tweet he posted in February 2016.

“I said if I get on ‘The Rap Game,’ I think I could win,” Nova said in reflection. “It was a video of me rapping. That was a year back and I persevered and did it.”

TASTY QUIP: “When black people talk about ‘the talk,’ it means two things: your parents saying you have to be twice as good to get half as much, or here’s what you do if the cops pull you over.” – KERRY WASHINGTON to THR

CLIPPETTES: Zoe Saldana (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” “Avatar”) had her wax double unveiled at Madame Tussauds Hollywood. It was neither green nor blue, but dressed in the light pink Versace dress she donated after wearing it to the 2015 Academy Awards

Kendrick Lamar’s much-anticipated new album “Damn.” has been released with guest turns from Rihanna and U2 …

Shane White’s biography, “Prince Of Darkness: The Untold Story Of Jeremiah G. Hamilton, Wall Street’s First Black Millionaire” is being adapted for the big screen with Don Cheadle in the mix, according to Variety

Guitarist Norman Brown‘s first solo album in five years, “Let It Go,” marks his Shanachie label debut with contributions from his BWB bandmates Rick Braun and Kirk Whalum, Chanté Moore, Sounds of Blackness, Marion Meadows and others

Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust” has gotten a 2K restoration in its new Blu-Ray release

While the search is on for an actress to portray revolutionary activist/professor Angela Davis, we are shocked that Merle Dandridge (“Greenleaf”) never gets mentioned. She’s almost a dead ringer

Jordan Peele’s hit film “Get Out” is headed to digital and DVD platforms with an alternative darker ending this May.

TASTY QUIP: “I certainly don’t buy into the cultural appropriation B.S. because that’s saying that only Asians are allowed to do martial arts. Then that means only black people can play basketball and rap? That means Jeremy Lin shouldn’t be playing basketball? And Eminem shouldn’t be rapping? That’s B.S., you know.” – DANIEL WU, Star of AMC’s “Into The Badlands” on the white-washing controversies attached to “Ghost in the Shell” and “Marvel’s Iron Fist” to Screen Anarchy

TC ON TV: April 14 – “Sandy Wexler” (Netflix): Adam Sandler stars as a 90s L.A. talent manager infatuated with his newest client played by Jennifer Hudson. Terry Crews, Arsenio Hall, Carl Weathers, Chris Rock, Darius Rucker and others have cameos.

April 15 – “Iyanla: Fix My Life” (OWN): On the sixth season opener, Neffeteria “Neffe” Pugh (Keyshia Cole’s sister) gets called “a nasty vile guttersnipe right up out the hood.” What is this? Tough Love? “Doctor Who” (BBCA): Introducing Pearl Mackie as the new companion. “Being” (Centric): India.Arie “Book of John Gray” (OWN): The former Kirk Franklin background singer turned associate pastor at Joel Osteen‘s Lakewood Church gets a show. “J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only” (HBO): This hour film provides more context to the music of the platinum album by capturing the frustrations of lower-income residents in Baton Rouge, Atlanta, Ferguson, Missouri; Jonesboro, Akansas; and Cole’s hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

April 16 – “The Lost Souls Café” (TV1): Loretta Devine, Christian Keyes and Ernest L. Thomas lead this filmed adaptation of Donald B. Welch‘s inspirational stage play. “Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of The Bee Gees” (CBS): Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Ed Sheeran, Jason Derulo with Taveras, Barry Gibb and John Travolta are celebrants. “Mavis Staples: I’ll Take You There – Celebrating 75 Years” (AXS): Aaron Neville, Bonnie Raitt, Otis Clay, Taj Mahal, Michael McDonald and Keb’ Mo’ pay tribute in this concert. “Real Housewives of Atlanta” (Bravo): “The Reunion, Part 1” finds Kandi Burress and Porsha Williams at odds. “Prince: When Doves Cry” (Reelz): A new doc on the icon premieres. “Guerrilla” (Showtime): John Ridley (“12 Years A Slave”), who wrote and directed most of this six-part limited series starring Frieda Pinto and Idris Elba, is under fire for essentially erasing black women from this drama set during a 1970s U.K. civil uprising. Essence reports he defended his decision at a press conference by citing that part of the reason was his being in a mixed-race relationship.

April 17 – “The Talk” (CBS): Oprah Winfrey visits the ladies for the first time and will sit the entire show!

April 18 – “L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later” (A&E): John Singleton produced this two-hour look back.

April 19 – “Ellen” (Syn): Magic Johnson, Nicole Richie, Travis Scott

April 20 – “Soundtracks: Songs That Made History” (CNN): Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is executive producer of this eight-part series that will explore the music tied to iconic moments in history. The premiere episode focuses on “The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.”

TASTY QUIP: “I don’t think we all have to take the same coordinates to reach the same destination. I believe in embracing what makes you unique even if it makes others uncomfortable. I have learned there is power in saying no. I have agency. I get to decide.” – JANELLE MONAE on Instagram

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to or via Twitter @tastyclips.

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