Something new I thought I would start this week. If you are a longtime reader of IHH (1st the newsletter, now the website) you know 1 thing I always say is you cant listen to hip hop ALL the time. With that in mind I bring you "Soulfull Saturdays". Each week I will bring you a song and or video that I consider "Soulful". Big Shouts to Cocoa Lounge for the idea. Its a nice Blog. Ya'll should check it out.
Now for this weeks "SoulFull Saturdays" entry, I bring you Corinne Bailey Rae. I have to admit to being a little ignorant to her, but a female friend recently put me on to her, and I liked what I heard. If I could describe this song in 1 word. It would be "SoulFull". Enjoy
"Like A Star"
Corinne Bailey Rae
Read more here
Something new I thought I would start this week. If you are a longtime reader of IHH (1st the newsletter, now the website) you know 1 thing I always say is you cant listen to hip hop ALL the time. With that in mind I bring you "Soulfull Saturdays". Each week I will bring you a song and or video that I consider "Soulful". Big Shouts to Cocoa Lounge for the idea. Its a nice Blog. Ya'll should check it out.
Foxy Brown Doesn't Talk, Assault Suspect Walks
The woman charged with attacking Foxy Brown outside a Brooklyn housing project this past weekend has been released from Rikers Island after the Brooklyn bred rapper refused to testify to a grand jury about the incident.
As previously reported, Roshawn Anthony, 23, was charged with assault and robbery charges in connection with the attack on Foxy Brown outside the Louis H. Pink Houses on Saturday night (June 23).
Anthony was allegedly one of three women who were summoned by Brown's boyfriend to attack the rapper after she reportedly dumped him for being a pimp. The women stole Brown's $500 handbag, necklaces and her hearing aid.
According to New York's Daily News, the district attorney's office had until 5 p.m. yesterday (June 28) to indict Anthony but she was let go after Brown refused to testify.
Anthony, who has denied the charges, had been held since Monday (June 25) on $50,000 bail but state law prohibits jailing suspects for more than 120 hours unless an indictment is filed.
Brown's ex-boyfriend has been identified by authorities as Timothy Collier, 33, a small-time pimp. Neighbors said they had seen Brown and Collier together over the past few weeks but had not seen Collier since Monday.
Brown, who initially cooperated with police, stopped talking to the authorities and denied the assault when reporters approached her the day after news of her attack surfaced.
On Tuesday (June 26), Chaz Williams, CEO of Foxy's management team Black Hand Entertainment, claims the rapper wasn't cooperating because she got the bag back with all of her stuff. .
Prosecutors still have six months to persuade Brown to testify so they can file an indictment. Anthony has to return to court on August 9.
Eve Pleads No Contest To DUI Charge; Ordered To Wear Alcohol-Monitoring Device
Eve was ordered to wear an alcohol-detecting ankle bracelet for 45 days after pleading no contest on Thursday (June 28) to driving under the influence, stemming from an arrest in April.
According to the Associated Press, the rapper/actress (real name: Eve Jeffers) was not present in court when the plea was entered, but under the plea agreement, a second count of driving under the influence was dropped.
28-year-old Eve was arrested on April 26 after she hit a center median in her gold Maserati on Hollywood Boulevard.
She was taken in, booked on misdemeanor drunken driving and posted $30,000 bail shortly thereafter.
Even was facing a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, but after her plea, she was sentenced to 36 months of probation and a $390 fine.
With fees and restitution for repairs to the median, her bill could top $1,400, reports the AP.
In addition to wearing the monitoring device, she is required to attend 10 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and a three-month alcohol education program for first-time offenders.
This will not be the last time Eve will have to be in court. She is scheduled back in court on July 20 to show proof that she has enrolled in her alcohol program and has the monitoring device in place.
If she fails the 45-day monitoring period, she will have to start over and if she fails twice, she will be sentenced to 10 days in jail.
TMZ.com Under Fire For Calling Beyonce "Robo-ho"
Gossip site TMZ.com has come under fire by columnist Jasmyne A. Cannick for calling Beyonce "robo-ho" in reference to her performance at Tuesday's BET Awards. The reference refers to Beyonce beginning her performance of "Get Me Bodied" by entering dressed in robotic like clothing.
The following is Cannick's unedited column:
We just can’t seem to escape the word ho. It’s everywhere we go. It’s blaring from the speakers in the cars that pass us by on the street. It’s coming out of the mouths of the kids that walk past our homes and offices. Occasionally some white shock jock uses it to refer to a group of women basketball players and then there’s the Internet and infotainment media.
In its recap of the BET Music Awards held on Tuesday in Los Angeles, popular Internet site TMZ.com described recording artist Beyonce’s choice of outfit as “roboho,” and this was among other things.
The website posted the following comment in regards to Beyonce:
…From Beyonce's roboho performance getup to Eve's streetwalker chic, check out why it's time these artists hired new stylists and put the hip back into hip-hop!...
And while I tried to shake it and chalk it up to TMZ.com just being TMZ.com, I can’t.
Not too long ago Black America raised its voices over the Don Imus “nappy headed hos” slip of the tongue which resulted in him ultimately being fired from CBS. Some would argue it had more to do with that fact the women he referred too didn’t deserve to be called that and that they weren’t public figures worthy of such a demeaning name. Others, like myself, believe that there’s no justification for calling someone a ho, directly or indirectly, in the media, and that includes the online media.
So with that said, back to Beyonce and her being described by TMZ.com as having on “roboho performance getup.” For real now. Is that what it’s come down too? There are many colorful adjectives that one could use to describe Beyonce’s outfit. So why then did ho have to come into the equation? And the last time I checked, Beyonce was an African-American woman which to me makes the description worse because it seems that these days it’s us Black women who are always being called hos. If the Don Imus’ and TMZ.com’s of the world aren’t calling us hos, then its our brotha Snoop Dogg who believes that he’s justified in doing so because he’s “talking about ho's that's in the 'hood that ain't doing sh--, that's trying to get a n---a for his money.”
But back to TMZ.com, obviously Beyonce doesn’t need anyone to defend her and that’s really not what I am doing. I am more interested in defending the way that Black women and in fact all women are depicted by the media when it’s negative. Like I said earlier, there are a many colorful adjectives that TMZ.com could have used and I am curious to know why they went with ho. Was it subconscious? Was it on purpose? Do they not care how that word, thanks in part to websites like TMZ.com and rappers, is becoming more and more synonymous with Black women?
And before you race off to your inbox to send me an email defending TMZ.com’s use of the word, note this: I get what TMZ.com is all about. I understand fully why they are as popular as they are. My point is that Black America has already made it clear that “ho” is not going to be tolerated in conjunction with describing Black women. Not from Black rappers, white shock jocks, and yes not even the writers at TMZ.com. Today is a new day, and just like when ******, negro, and colored were acceptable descriptions of Blacks, we have now replaced those words with African-American, Black American, and my favorite, just Black.
I think at the very least TMZ.com owes Beyonce and America an apology for using such a derogatory slur in their description of her outfit. I don’t care that they didn’t like it but I do care when they use their platform that’s read by millions to describe her as a “roboho.” That’s just wrong and inexcusable after the Imus controversy and sends a clear message of how Black women are viewed by the TMZ.com writers.
This is one Black woman who isn’t down with the word ho.
Based in Los Angeles, Jasmyne Cannick is a nationally syndicated race, culture, and social issues journalist and critic. She can be reached at www.jasmynecannick.com or www.myspace.com/jasmynecannick
Controversy Surrounding New Prince Album In The UK
Sony BMG U.K. will not handle Prince's upcoming album release after a national British newspaper struck a deal to give the CD away.
Columbia in the United States recently struck a worldwide deal, understood to cover just the one Prince album release, "Planet Earth." The major's U.K. company had sought, and has now achieved, an exemption from the terms of that deal, a spokesman for Sony BMG tells Billboard.biz.
"The Prince album will not be released in the U.K.," a Sony BMG spokesperson says. "It's a one-off situation."
The unusual development is a direct response to a deal the Mail on Sunday is understood to have struck with Prince's representatives, which will see the 10-track CD distributed as a "covermount" with an unspecified edition of the newspaper.
As previously reported, the album is slated for an international release July 16, and July 24 in the U.S. Columbia had previously released Prince's 2004 disc, "Musicology."
Furthermore, the album will be distributed free to thousands of gig-goers. Prior to confirmation of the Columbia deal, Prince last month announced plans to give-away copies of the album with tickets to his 21-date "The Earth Tour" residency at London's new O2 Arena, formerly known as the Millennium Dome, beginning Aug. 1.
The Mail on Sunday was at the center of a heated "covermounts" row within the U.K. music industry when it pressed-up 3 million copies of Mike Oldfield's complete 1973 album "Tubular Bells," to distribute as a freebie with its April 22 edition.
"We're not in a fight with anybody," the publication's managing director Stephen Miron told Billboard.biz. "We're just trying to produce the best possible content we can do, and give it to an audience who clearly have an appetite for it. And what we are also able to demonstrate is we can stimulate that appetite, and people then go on to fulfil their appetite with extra product, be it album sales, DVD sales, concert tickets or whatever."
When asked if the newspaper would continue to covermount core catalog releases in future, Miron said, "Yes. I think we've been able to demonstrate that we've got a commitment to music and a passion for music."
The Prince release, however, is threatening to blow-up into another industry dispute.
Paul Quirk, co-chairman of the U.K.'s Entertainment Retailers Association, used his keynote speech yesterday at the London Calling conference to condemn the latest "covermount." Having said the news "beggars belief," he added, "If it turns out to be the case, The Artist formerly known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores."
So So Def Producer Nitti Wins ASCAP Award For "Pop Song Of The Year"
Southern hit making producer Nitti received the ASCAP award for “Pop Song of The Year” in Los Angeles on Monday June 25th, adding onto an impressive year with a new label deal under his belt.
Warner Bros. Records recognized the genius of this Atlanta based producer and recently signed a deal to create Nitti’s own label Playmaker Music. Nitti now officially an artist as well as a producer, floods the airwaves with Young Capone’s first single off his album to be released on So So Def/ Island Records “Acting Bad” featuring Nitti on production and on the lyrics joined by his mentor Jermaine Dupri.
Nitti's first album “Ghettoville USA”, which has attracted an all-star roster of artists such as Young Jeezy, David Banner, E-40, and Young Dro to name a few is set to debut in the first quarter of 2008. Constantly keeping his sound on the airwaves, Nitti is presently producing upcoming projects for southern hip-hop leaders T.I, Rick Ross, Bow Wow, and David Banner.
Nitti is not fixed on producing for one genre, rather he is already in discussion to include Grammy award winner John Mayer to the “Ghettoville USA” debut album. Perfecting the “Nitti Beat” sound of hi-tempo drum and bass beats, Nitti separates his music from other producers, Nitti explains, “I don’t like to use samples; I create 95% of all my tracks with instruments that I play myself. My music is very upbeat and energetic; I think it reflects a southern sound that mainstream airwaves have not heard yet”.
OPRAH TO OPEN STORE NEXT TO HARPO
Oprah Winfrey is about to open a 4,500 square foot store kitty-corner to her Harpo Studios in Chicago that will offer a smorgasbord of her signature products, according to reports.
A rep for Harpo Productions Inc. announced Wednesday that work has already begun on the one-story building.
No details other than the construction site and building size were given at the time, but Chicago’s CBS affiliate learned independently that the store will serve as a bricks and mortar location for items currently available only at Oprah.com, including a beach tote with "O" logo trim for $26, a $10 coffee mug with "The Oprah Winfrey Show" written on the side and a $24 basket made in South Africa.
The news station also got some top-secret information from Jim Giudice, a carpenter who's working on the construction. According to E! Online, he slipped up and said the site will also feature “a little café.”
Lil Mama Ready To Get It Poppin
Lil Mama isn't sitting pretty on the success of "Lip Gloss" alone. After working on several remixes and guest spots with big names, she's ready to unveil her next LP. According to her, she is ready for the spotlight.
Her versatility allows her to sing and rap on her debut. Producers Cool and Dre have worked with her and they are praising her talent.
Her album Voice of Young People will be released in September. Swizz Beats, Scott Storch and others are slated to produce on the album.
Production Duo Behind Original Music On "The Wire" Secure Deal With MTV/Viacom
Darkroom Productions, the production duo behind the original music on HBO's "The Wire", have secured a production deal with media giant MTV/Viacom. The new MTV/Viacom deal has the duo producing original music and songs for all of the reality shows on MTV, including music for Viacom networks VH1, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and Spike TV.
Their innovative production also can be heard on Chamillionaire's highly anticipated sophomore album "Ultimate Victory", Maino's new hit video & single "Til I Die", Sqad Up's new single featuring 3-6 Mafia "Getting Drunk & High" and more soon to be released classics.
Darkroom has already been featured in Rolling Stone magazine, The New York Times, FADER magazine, XLR8R magazine, Music Monthly, and countless other newspapers, magazines, and internet outlets. They were even nominated for a Justo Mixtape Award for their groundbreaking release "Hamsterdam".
USHER’S MAMA ‘HAPPY FOR HER SON’
New York Daily News columnists Rush & Malloy add fuel to the fire surrounding rumored animosity between Usher’s mother, Jonetta Patton, and fiancée, Tameka Foster.
With Wednesday’s announcement that Foster is with child, the column wanted to know if a baby would warm the rumored iciness between the two women, which was allegedly sparked when Foster dissed Patton during a radio interview.
"Not a chance," one source told the column. Added another: "Jonetta is not thrilled, but what can she do?"
Usher’s spokesman, however, denies any drama between the mama and the soon-to-be wife, stating: "She's extremely happy for her son."
Usher’s rep is also denying reports that he’s on the outs with fans of his co-owned Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as the organization itself.
Word has it that folks are mad because he was caught up in the pre-Tony Awards hype in New York when his team was struggling in the NBA playoffs. There were also rumors that he was beefing with star forward LeBron James.
In response, the team stopped playing Usher’s music for a period. According to Rush & Malloy, “Tempers cooled recently when Usher accepted one of the team's repeated invitations to perform the National Anthem.”
A source said: "That was the first step to mending ties."
Usher’s rep is calling the whole Usher vs. Cavaliers report “ridiculous.”
“Usher made it clear how pained he was to miss the playoffs because of the Tonys,” said the publicist. “No one is more proud of the Cavaliers than Usher."
I was looking around and I noticed No one else posted this mixtape, so I thought I would
"Live Free Die Hard"
1. Live free die hard (the opener) (ft.jae ellis)
2. Big spender (ft. jay-z)
3. Freezer so cold
4. Money in the bank
5. Smoken that
6. Code of the streets
7. You dont know (ft. mad skillz)
8. Make it better
9. Bucktown (home of philly)
10. Animal instinc
11. Wipe me down remix (ft. ugk foxx)
12. You already know
13. Track star
14. Philly to where ever
15. Suck me off
16. We want freeway
17. Think it over
18. Yhall still hate me now (ft. small world sun ny)
19. Hit the club up (ft. jak frost)
20. Rocafella family
22. Life of a philly gangsta
23. True honey uns
24. Polictics 2007
Read more here
Once again today's Throwbacks are sponsored By the letter "L"
(you know I love that)
This used to be my ish
and something new I'm starting this week, and R&B Throwback
If you have any old videos you wanna see, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you put throwback in the subject. The best ones I'll post. Read more here
Even the most pleasurable experience can become dull and unpleasant if it continues on and on with no end. Even the most magnificent surroundings can feel like a prison if you're unable to take a break from them.
Life thrives on variety and change. When you keep yourself stuck in a rut, no matter how satisfying that rut may be, it gets old and can be very draining.
When you're constantly fighting against change, even if you succeed in keeping things the same you render yourself unable to enjoy them. Because you're always worried that they will not last.
When, on the other hand, you accept that change is part of life, you will enable yourself to enjoy and to fully live every moment you're in. You'll also be able to look more confidently and enthusiastically toward the future instead of dreading it.
Yes, with change there is risk, yet there is also enormous opportunity. Change gives life richness and meaning, and makes possible all sorts of achievements that no one has yet even considered.
Embrace and celebrate the dynamic, changing nature of life. And you'll find each day to be a unique and joyful blessing.
-- Ralph Marston Read more here
The show will follow Buttahman on the streets of New York as he picks random contestants to question their knowledge of hip-hop and R&B. Contestants who are able to answer the trivia questions will win an array of prizes.
During the airing of the show, viewers can text FAB to 22422 with their mobile phone or at hoodfab.mtv.com and answer five new trivia questions. Each correct answer counts as an individual entry into the prize pool.
A winner is picked randomly before the premiere of the next episode and sent a duplicate of the prize won by the weekly on air contestant.
"hoodFab," which airs on Monday (July 2), will feature guest spots from Snoop Dogg, Common and Eve.
Lil Wayne To Star In Online Reality Show
Lil Wayne seems to be at an all-time high with his buzz from his countless guest appearances and mixtape tracks, and now, he looks like he will help out new talent in a new online reality series, called "Making the Next Hit! With Lil Wayne."
Billboard reports that the online show, starring Lil Wayne, will tour 27 cities, searching for new producers, models, singers, comedians and rappers.
"We've created a TV and radio online program," radio host and spokesperson for TheNext.tv, David Swagga, told Billboard.com. "We'll air 27 hour-long episodes because we'll be taping the talent searches in 27 cities."
"Making the Next Hit!" will air on web channel theNext.TV beginning in January, and will be hosted by veteran MC Busy Bee and Pit, producer of the Shop Boyz' "Party Like a Rockstar."
Auditions are being in Philadelphia on August 12, which will be followed by events in Atlanta, New Jersey and New York. When a winner is chosen on the show, Cash Money Records will have first crack at signing the act.
In other Wayne news, the rapper recently revealed that he will release the recently leaked track from his upcoming album, Tha Carter 3, as a mixtape, but will record new tracks for Tha Carter 3, which will drop in 2008.
He also said that the highly-anticipated collabo album with himself and Juelz Santana, I Can't Feel My Face, is being held up, due to paperwork, but told Billboard, he'd release a single this month.
Other projects on the horizon include a group album from Wayne's Young Money Entertainment label, but will first release a mixtape called Rap, Rock and R&B "to introduce what we're doing," he said.
Ice-T, Coco Talk New Reality Series, Book
Ice-T is planning a new reality show and book with his wife and model Coco, titled Beauty in The Beast.
According to Coco, the pair will shoot a pilot for the reality series next month.
"Guess who's the beauty and who's the beast?" Ice-T jokingly said to AHH.com. Beauty in The Beast will focus on the duo's relationship, while offering the couple's unique take on what it takes to maintain a relationship.
"Some women just have a knack for wanting the most rowdiest men," Ice-T told AHH.com. "There's a way to get us. If you got a pitbull, as long as you feed it and take care of it, that pitbull is gonna lick your hand. So when someone says 'yo coco, Ice sis a pitbull, she can say, 'yeah, but he's my pitbull.'"
"Being with Ice-T is a 24-hour job," Coco said. "From when you wake up until you go to bed, you're dealing with 'Ice-T."
Ice-T admitted that being the wife of a critically acclaimed, world renowned gangster rapping actor was no easy feat.
"People asked Coco, 'well damn, why did you step to this kind of character like that, but I was impressed she had the balls to come at a cat like me."
Coco, born Nicole Austin, said the Beauty in The Beast concept developed out of her quest to find a perfect match.
"I needed that challenge. I just wanted a real guy, not one of those nerdy, dorky men," Coco told AHH.com. "I just wanted a real guy with some swagger. It's been seven years now."
While fans wait for Ice-T's reality show debut, they can catch the gangsta rap pioneer as Odafin "Fin" Tutuola on NBC's long-running hit series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
According to Ice-T, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is a stepping to stone to another chapter in his 23-plus career in television and film, which began with a cameo appearance in the 1984 film, Breakin'.
"Nine years on Law and Order, who would have thought? I went on I [originally] went on the show to do four episodes," Ice-T revealed. "I just thank god, because I am on NBC. And for a brother to be on NBC, that's not no bullshit acting right there. I am dealing with academy award winners. Hopefully when this comes to an end, I'll be able to direct. i will have been school enough that I can take it to that next level to direct, produce and maybe write. Expand. right now I feel like I am in college. I'm on one of the best TV shows ever."
And while Ice-T is hoping for success with his latest TV venture, he does not intend to veer away from his day job as a regular on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
"Everybody in the business tells me 'nigga do not get off that show. You better stay on there.' It's a good job and they let me be me."
Andre 3000 To Release New Solo Album July 3
Andre 3000 of Outkast will release a new solo album July 3 based on his Cartoon Network animated series "Class of 3000". Class of 3000: Music Volume One features the voices of the children and characters fro m the show, including Benjamin's character, Sunny Bridges, is the music teacher on the show. Andre "3000" Benjamin wrote and produced the songs exclusively for the series.
01 Class of 3000 Theme
02 Life Without Music
04 Oh Peanut
05 We Want Your Soul
06 Banana Zoo
07 A Richer Shade of Blue
08 Fight the Blob
09 UFO Ninja
10 Kim Kam Jam
11 Luna Love
12 The Crayon Song
13 My Mentor
14 Cool Kitty
Class of 3000 airs Thursdays at 7:00 pm EST. and recently debuted its second season.
DJ Drama Preps Major Label Debut
With his arrest six months behind him, self-proclaimed iPod King DJ Drama is preparing to unleash his Grand Hustle/Atlantic debut album and introduce the first artist off his Aphilliates Music Group Willie Da Kid.
The Philly-born DJ, whose real name is Tyree Simmons, made headlines across the country when he and fellow Aphilliates member DJ Cannon were arrested in raid of their Atlanta offices by Georgia state police and the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) on charges of making and selling illegal CDs.
Drama and Cannon face the possibility of five years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines if convicted; but Drama says that while his legal troubles are not over, for now he isn't stressing the situation.
"It's not stress for me," Drama told reporters. "Since my arrest I've been to two continents, 36 states and a couple magazine covers. It's more thumbs up than thumbs down. It's still pending right now, I haven't been indicted, I haven't been to court, thank God I'm not in jail -- so you know I'm good."
For now Drama is staying focused on work, in addition to serving as T.I.'s official D.J., Drama revealed that fans can look forward to hearing his Gangsta Grillz album soon.
"I'm about to drop it after working on it for a good year-and-a-half. The album is crazy, it's like a Gangsta Grillz mixtape on steroids... I wanted to take the formula I had for the mixtapes and take it to the masses.
In addition to Willie Da Kid, the first Aphilliates Music Group artist signed through their partnership with Asylum records, Gangsta Grillz will feature new music from OutKast, Young Jeezy, T.I., Rick Ross, Pharrell Williams and the Clipse, among others.
Drama also said he's looking forward to the release of his artist Willie Da Kid's project, which will follow the release of Gangsta Grillz.
"He's basically somebody I felt could move the movement forward," Drama explained. "We stay ahead of the curve -- trendsetter music. We gonna just bring hip-hop to the table, quality music how we always represent it."
A release date for the Gangsta Grillz album has not yet been determined.
Lupe Fiasco Talks Pharrell-Kanye Supergroup, "We Working On Some Surprises"
While in Los Angeles for the 2007 BET awards, Lupe Fiasco opened up about his upcoming album, as well as a possible collaborative album in the works with Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.
Lupe revealed that he is hard at work on his second album, which will follow his Grammy nominated debut Food & Liquor, and that he's looking forward to touring in support of the project.
"Right now I'm working on my next album, called The Cool. It comes out [on] Halloween," Lupe said. "I'm excited to get back on the road. We had a real good road experience the past year and a half. I can't wait to get back out there."
In addition to his own album, Lupe also confirmed that fans of "Us Placers," a recent track included on Kanye West's Can't Tell Me Nothing mixtape, which features West and Pharrell Williams, may have more music from the trio to look forward to.
"It's a little project that me, Kanye, and Skateboard P sat down and was like, 'Yo let's do a group.' 'Us Placers,' was the first record we came out with. Now we sitting down deciding if we really going to go hard or not, but we working on some surprises."
Whether or not the trio, who have been referred to in media reports as CRS Child Rebel Soldier or Chicago Runs Sh*t(as previously reported here,) will record a full album is still up in the air.
"It depends what it sounds like," Lupe said. "We gotta make some more records. Everybody is mad busy, Kanye is doing his record, Pharrell's in the studio, I'm working on my record, so we gonna wait til everything settles down some."
"Madden '08" Soundtrack Announced; Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, Justin Timberlake To Appear
EA Sports has released details on the soundtrack for its "Madden '08" console game. This summer's "Madden NFL 08" will include a 29-song soundtrack, including previously unreleased songs from Atreyu, Murs, the Hives and Yellowcard. The mix, as it's been for years, is a little bit hip-hop, a little bit rock.
"The annual goal of the 'Madden NFL' soundtrack is to give unprecedented exposure to new artists, bring established stars to a whole new level, and single-handedly define the sound of the coming year via the biggest sports franchise in video game history," said EA executive Steve Schnur.
This year's edition of the game will ship on all major gaming platforms on August 14.
»Airbourne — Runnin' Wild"
»Atreyu — "Becoming the Bull"
»The Bravery — "Believe"
»Brother Ali — "Whatcha Got"
»Daddy Yankee — "Impacto"
»Datarock — "The New Song"
»Earl Greyhound — "S.O.S."
»Enter Shikari — "OK, Time for Plan B"
»From Autumn to Ashes — "Daylight Slaving"
»Hellyeah — "You Wouldn't Know"
»The Hives — "Tick Tick Boom"
»Jupiter One — "Countdown"
»MIMS — "Cop It"
»Murs — "Dreadlocks"
»O-Solo — "Monsta"
»Operator — "Soulcrusher"
»Ozzy Osbourne — "I Don't Wanna Stop"
»Pharoahe Monch (featuring Showtyme) — "Desire"
»Pitbull (featuring Don Omar) — "Fuego" (remix)
»Queens Of The Stone Age — "3's & 7's"
»Red1 (featuring Afu-Ra) — "Dem No Worry We"
»Shadows Fall — "Redemption"
»Swizz Beatz — "It's Me Snitches"
»Sum 41 — "Underclass Hero"
»Team Shadetek (featuring 77Klash & Jahdan) — "Brooklyn Anthem"
»The Used — "The Ripper"
»Timbaland (featuring Justin Timberlake) — "Release"
»Yellowcard — "Fighting"
»Zion I & the Grouch — "Hit 'Em"
Usher Confesses, Him & Tameka Foster Expecting
R&B sensation Usher made his biggest confession recently, proclaiming that he is set to become a father.
According to the Associated Press, the Atlanta-based crooner announced yesterday (June 27) that he and Tameka Foster are now expecting their first child as a couple. The baby will be the first child for the singer/actor, and the fourth for the recently divorced Foster.
According to a representative for the singer, the baby is due this coming fall.
"We are extremely excited at this point in our lives planning our wedding and the joy that comes with expecting our first child together," the couple said via a statement. "We hope people will be happy for us and respect our privacy during this happy period in our lives."
In related news, Usher is rumored to be working on a follow up to 2005's break through release Confessions and is also currently enjoying the success of his duet with the self-proclaimed "king of R&B" R. Kelly entitled "Same Girl." The video, which was directed by Little X, recently premiered on BET and has been in heavy rotation ever since.
New Chingy & Ludacris Albums On The Way
Chingy has rejoined Luda's DTP family. The reunion comes after a somewhat bitter break up, where rumors flew and negative comments flooded interviews. Now, Chingy has rejoined the camp and seem pleased with the comeback.
"Back with DTP like I ain't never went nowhere. It's all good," he told MTV. The rapper is currently working on a compilation record for the entire DTP label titled Strength in Numbers.
While he is working with the crew, he is also working on a solo album. His new LP, Hate It or Love It, is said to be awaiting a November or December release, according to Chingy. That album may include production from big named producers.
"I just worked with Cool and Dre, Scott Storch, [I'll] probably go in with Timbaland, Kanye West. A couple of people, a lot of people."
On Saturday night, when Luda and Chingy finally hit the stage together at Los Angeles' Powerhouse event, Cris spoke on his own new album.
"The next one is Theater of the Mind. Understand, when you listen to music, sometimes you have to envision what's being said. That's what it's all about."
He also added that more singles from his latest LP, Release Therapy, are on the way.
Check out the first single off the upcoming Disturbing the Peace compilation Strength In Numbers, entitled Celebrity Chick and features Chingy, Steph Jones and Small World.
G. Malone Inks Deal With Mack 10's Hoo-Bangin'/Cash Money Records
After being released from his deal with Sony Urban, Watts rapper G. Malone has found a new home with Mack 10's Hoo-Bangin' Records, in conjunction with Cash Money Records.
Although Malone signed a reported $1.7 million deal with Sony for his own imprint, Blu Division, the rapper decided to leave after Sony Music Entertainment merged with BMG, resulting in the dismantle of the Sony Urban Music label.
With the new deal in place, Malone says he sees success in his near future. "Money plus look equals success. Stevie Wonder could see why I did this deal," the rapper told reporters, while laughing. "It feels better than the first time a girl played my flute, feel me?"
Malone is already hard at work on his Hoo-Bangin'/Cash Money debut, Beach Cruiser, which he calls a "complete LP" and "must hear movie of '07."
Until then, he is pushing his latest two singles, "Malone" and "Certified" featuring Akon, both of which have received airplay on Los Angeles radio. Malone is also planning to give the fans some snacks in the form of an EP titled The Sermon, expected in August.
A collabo album with Bay Area rapper Mistah Fab is also in the works called Sideshow. That is due in the first quarter of 2008.
The Watts native was in the middle of a label bidding war after creating an enormous street buzz with his 2005 debut mixtape, White Lighting (Sticks), which went on to sell an impressive 30,000 copies without any marketing or promotion.
Labels such as Interscope Records, Def Jam and The Game's Black Wall Street label came a knocking, but after much thought, Malone opted to go with Sony Urban as his own boss.
Amy Winehouse Keeps Ticking, Fabolous & T-Pain Round Off The Top 10
In this week's Hip-Hop and R&B charts, Amy Winehouse grabs the lead, Fabolous trips and T-Pain loses ground.
With momentum in her favor Amy Winehouse blacks out at No. 7, this week. The British crooner continues to be a force to reckon with as Back To Black scans 62,400 discs in its thirteenth week. To date, the album has sold 696,300 copies.
Fabolous, who debuted at No. 2 last week, descends to No, 9. According to Nielsen's SoundScan, From Nothin' to Somethin' pushes 58,800 units in its second week. The album's tally stands at 217,800.
T-Pain slides five spots to No. 10. Teddy P's Epiphany lights up 56,200 folks this week, pushing the album's total sales to 309,700.
Debuting at No. 11 is the Shop Boyz. The buzz of their single, "Party Like A Rockstar," helps the group shift 52,300 discs of their debut Rock Star Mentality.
Slipping five spots to No. 12 is Rihanna. 51,300 copies of the singer's third effort, Good Girl Gone Bad, were purchased this week. So far, the album has sold 295,400 discs.
Still ringing 'em out at No. 13 is R. Kelly. Double Up bags up 50,600 units this week, bringing the album's total sales to 629,100.
A rise in sales helps Fergie move eight spots up to No. 15. Dutchess rounds up its seven day cycle with 42,600 discs sold. Her debut album has sold 2,081,400 copies,
DJ Khaled loses focus in his second week and meanders fifteen spots to No. 23. The star studded album racks up 30,300 in sales in its second go-round, pushing the album's tally to 109,400.
Ne-Yo climbs three steps to No. 25. Because of You cashes out 28,900 discs this week. Thus far, the album has sold 574,900 copies.
Entering the charts at No. 26 is Huey with his debut album Notebook Paper. The rapper's first effort nets 28,800 copies in its opening week. The album feature appearances from T-Pain, Bow Wow and Lloyd.
Def Jam crooner Chrisette Michele, well known for her collabos with Jay-Z and Nas, debuts at No. 29 with I Am. The set, which boasts production from John Legend, Babyface and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas shells out 26,500 discs in its first spin.
Occupying the No. 38 slot is Senegalese born singer Akon. Konvicted reins in 19,600 units this week. After 32 weeks, the album has sold 2,468,700 copies.
Right behind him is Justin Timberlake at No. 39, FutureSex/Love Sounds continues its dominance selling 19,399 copies in its 41st week on the charts. The album's tally stands at 3,356,000.
Robin Thicke tumbles eight spots to No. 42. The Evolution Of Robin Thicke garners 18,700 in sales this week. To date, the album has sold 1,240,500 copies.
Posted at No. 45 is Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Strength & Loyalty cashes out 17,200 discs in its 17th week, pushing the album's total sales to 300,100.
Timbaland takes ten steps up the ladder to No. 50. Shock Value, which has sold 396,200 copies thus far, rakes in 14,000 copies this week.
DMX plummets twenty-five spots to No. 52. Pick Of The Litter, which features the Dark Man's biggest hits, notches 13,700 units in its second week. The album's tally stands at 48,800.
Skidding twenty-two spots to No. 52 is Tank. Sex, Love & Pain moves 13,600 copies this week. So far, the album has sold 226,400 copies.
Young Jeezy and the U.S.D.A. sink eleven spots to No. 53. 13,300 fiends picked up Cold Summer this week, rounding the album's tally to 204,100.
One step behind is Corrine Bailey Rae. Her self titled album scrapes in 13,000 discs this week. The album's total sales read off at 1,581,400.
Eddie & Gerald Levert slips thirty-eight spots to No. 57. Something to Talk About snatches up 12,300 copies this week. After two weeks, the album has sold 54,900 copies.
Bubblin' at No. 64 is Beyonce. B' Day lugs in 10,700 copies this week, bringing the album's total sales to 2,755,900. Lloyd propels thirteen spots up to No. 66. Street Love hustles 10,300 units this week. To date, the album has sold 442,200 copies. At No. 67 is DTP's Bobby Valentino. Special Occasion shifts 10,200 copies this week, bringing the albums total sales to 200,900. Musiq Soulchild refuses to budge from his No.68 spot. Luvandmusiq ropes in 10,000 scans. So far, the album has sold 438,700 copies. Trailing the Top 100 is Carl Thomas, who sinks from No. 65 to No. 103. So Much Better only moves 7,200 copies this week, bringing the albums total sales to 47,800.
Next week look for Pharoahe Monch to make a noteworthy appearance on the Hip-Hop and R&B charts. Read more here
Free from the grip of ego
There is much more to life than merely serving your ego. Those things that seem like failures to the ego, are pure opportunities for raising your awareness to higher, more fulfilling levels.
Experiences your ego would never allow will connect you to what you sincerely desire. Feelings, thoughts and actions that go beyond yourself show you who you truly are.
Anxiety, fear, worry and doubt are all devices that your ego uses to hold you back. Stop being a slave to ego, and you are free to live without limits.
By appealing to your ego and cooperating with it, others are able to control your life. Yet when you let go of your ego's concerns, you can freely live to fulfill your own true purposes.
Why would you wish to be a slave when you can choose to be the master of your destiny? Why would you let ego hold you back when there are so many great things you can accomplish?
The best thing you can do for yourself is to live your life beyond yourself. Let go of your ego's incessant pleading, and discover a whole new wonderful world.
-- Ralph Marston Read more here
Foxy Brown Skips Probation, Manager Chaz Williams Denies Robbery
After receiving a favorable probation report less than two weeks ago, Foxy Brown has apparently missed a meeting with her probation officer and received a warning.
According to the New York Daily News, a note was left at Foxy’s Brooklyn brownstone advising her to show up at her probation appointment today, and warned that “Failure to do so may seriously affect your probation status.”
The troubled rapper was scheduled to meet with her probation officer on Friday (June 22), one day before police say she was robbed near a Brooklyn housing project, but skipped out on the appointment. On June 14, Fox Boogie was praised by Judge Melissa Jackson and had the probationary restrictions imposed on her by the court eased.
Meanwhile, Foxy’s new manager, Chaz Williams of Black Hand Entertainment, denied yesterday that Foxy was beaten and robbed of her handbag at the Louis H. Pink housing project in East New York section Brooklyn early Saturday morning.
According to police, the rapper was attacked and robbed by a group of prostitutes after she broke up with an unidentified ex-boyfriend upon learning that he was a pimp. On Sunday (June 24), she denied the incident to the New York Post, and chalked the report up to a case of mistaken identity.
In a report published on Monday (June 25) MTV News confirmed that Foxy, whose real name is Inga Marchand, had in fact filed a police report in Brooklyn on the day in question. Yesterday, Chaz and representatives for Foxy showed reporters a Louis Vuitton bag, an American Express Black Card and a diamond ring as proof that she was still in possession of the items that were reportedly stolen from her.
“We know nothing about any pimps, prostitutes, or boyfriends,” Williams said of the incident.
T.I. Takes Home BET Award, Apologizes for Scuffle
T.I. brought home the award for Best Hip-Hop Artist at last night’s BET Awards, and took the opportunity to apologize for his scuffle with Disturbing Tha Peace exec Chaka Zulu earlier this week. While accepting his award, the self proclaimed King of the South expressed regret over the situation. “They say it’s a fine line between brilliance and insanity,” he said, in an apparent reference to his troublesome alter ego, T.I.P. During the broadcast, cameras showed his onetime rival Ludacris smiling in the audience.
Luda himself won in the Best Collaboration category for his song “Runaway Love” with R&B queen Mary J. Blige. Gnarls Barkley, the duo helmed by former Goodie Mob member Cee-Lo, took home a statue for Best Group. Baby and Lil Wayne were rewarded by faithful fans, who selected them as the winner’s of the Viewer’s Choice Award for the single “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy,” off their joint LP, Like Father Like Son.
Click here for my breakdown of Last nights bet awards
Alicia Keys To Release New Album "As I Am" Oct. 23
Alicia Keys will release her third album, "As I Am", October 23rd. Keys last album, "The Diary of Alicia Keys", was released in 2003.
"As I Am" will feature appearances by John Mayer, Timbaland, Floetry, Linda Perry and more.
“Lesson Learned” (feat. John Mayer)
“Heavy Times” (feat. John Mayer)
“Like You’ll Never See Me Again”
Alicia recently spoke to MTV about As I Am and said, “It’s coming together incredibly. I am in love with this album. It’s very fresh and new”.
Vanessa Carlton Announces Oct. 9 As Release Date For New Album With The Inc.
Vanessa Carlton has announced Oct. 9 as the release date for her new album "Heroes & Thieves", her first with Irv Gotti's The Inc. label.
"I think Irv is a fantastic A&R man, and he really can't contain his excitement," Carlton says. "He has like, no filter, when it comes to expressing himself, and I thought that unbounded energy was so appealing. He's a fantastic music executive. They're hard to find. So, I took the step."
The Inc. is the former Hip-Hop powerhouse label Murder Inc. which released platinum albums from Ja Rule and Ashanti.
It's an important step for Carlton, whose 2002 platinum debut "Be Not Nobody" was followed by the critically acclaimed but commercially disappointing 2004 A&M effort "Harmonium." The 26-year-old artist says "Heroes & Thieves," which was completely written before she joined the Inc., was produced by Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins and includes a few songs she co-wrote with Linda Perry. The first single, "Nolita Fairytale," goes to radio in early July.
"It's a pretty uplifting album with a lot of layers going on in," Carlton says. "[There are] very complex arrangements but everything just makes me feel good and not in a simplistic way. It's the most honest album I ever made, and it's the only record I've made that I really look at as a body of work as opposed to a bunch of songs put together. I think that shows. It really does feel like a real album."
N.O.R.E. Returns To His Roots With Release Of New Album
After broadening his music range with the 2004's reggaeton project, Y La Familia Ya Tu Sabe, N.O.R.E. (a.k.a. Noreaga) is returning to his roots with a new album, titled Noreality.
Although his last album scanned 400,000 copies to date, the rapper takes it back to hip-hop, partnering with indie label Babygrande Records to release the new album through his own Thugged Out Militainment label.
"Noreaga is a legend and a pioneer. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with him and even more thrilled that N.O.R.E. is back on that street sh-- we all love," added Chuck Wilson, Babygrande's CEO.
Noreality will be a CD/DVD combo, featuring a long list of huge artists such as Jadakiss, Three Six Mafia, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Prodigy, Bun B and Kurupt, among others, while Swizz Beatz contributes on the production end, as well as others.
Although N.O.R.E. has gone independent for this forthcoming release, he wants to make it clear, that the album is not a mixtape, but was an album he created while shooting his DVD reality show and that's what it inspired it -- his everyday life. "I just want to give the fans that something extra this time," N.O.R.E. said.
N.O.R.E.'s resume reads like a veritable who's who of hip-hop's elite, having both appeared and collaborated with the likes of Jay-Z, the iconic Big Pun, R. Kelly, Swizz Beats, Pharrell, Cam'ron, DJ Clue and the list goes on. His viability has consistently withstood both fluctuating creative and commercial climates, resulting in millions of records sold through his 10+ year career.
The album is slated to drop in September.
The CD/DVD version will be in limited quantity, and will feature Norega's reality show about his everyday life.
Interscope Partners With Drinks Americas
Interscope/Geffen/A&M has partnered with Drinks Americas to market artist branded alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Common, Keyshia Cole and Daddy Yankee are some of the artists who may be used to market beverages with Drinks Americas.
"Our partnership provides us with a marketing platform to drive awareness of our premium icon brands through evens such as music videos, concert tours, album kick-off parties and other countless ways that cut across all media forums," said J. Patrick Kenny, Drinks Americas CEO. "With our growing success, it is a natural fit to partner with the world's largest music company."
Interscope/Geffen/A&M will also assist in the marketing and promotion of existing Drinks Americas brands including Donald Trump's Trump Super Premium Vodka and Willie Nelson's Old Whiskey River Bourbon.
MARION JONES FALLS ON HARD TIMES
Marion Jones, the world class Olympic sprinter who made millions through races and endorsement deals, is now flat broke with just $2,000 to her name, according to court records revealed by the Los Angeles Times.
The athlete, according to the newspaper, is said to be drowning in debt and fighting off court judgments. Last year a bank foreclosed on her $2.5-million mansion in an area of Chapel Hill, N.C. where Michael Jordan was among her neighbors. She was also forced to sell two other properties, including her mother's house, to generate some cash.
Jones' financial situation was revealed in a 168-page deposition from a breach-of-contract suit she filed in Dallas against veteran track coach Dan Pfaff. Pfaff countersued and won a judgment against Jones for about $240,000 in unpaid training fees and legal expenses.
Legal bills have plagued Jones since 2003, when suspicions of drug use emerged and she was linked to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) after a federal raid.
Jones retained attorneys for her BALCO grand jury testimony, for negotiations with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in her fight to avoid being banned from competition, for a defamation lawsuit she filed against BALCO founder Victor Conte, who accused her of taking performance-enhancing drugs, and for taking on Pfaff in her breach-of-contract suit.
Last year, one of Jones’ urine samples tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. She was eventually cleared when a backup sample tested negative, but she missed at least five major international meets, forfeiting an estimated $300,000 in appearance and performance fees.
In her prime, Jones was one of track's first female millionaires, typically earning between $70,000 and $80,000 a race, plus at least another $1 million from race bonuses and endorsement deals. Read more here
Beyonce and her "Dreamgirls" co-star Jennifer Hudson were the big winners on Tuesday (June 26) at the 2007 BET Awards -- each of them taking home two trophies a piece.
During the event, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and broadcast live on BET, Beyonce took home awards in the Best Female R&B artist category and won for Video of the Year for her hit single "Irreplaceable." While Hudson won Best New Artist and Best Female Actress.
This year's awards were hosted by actress/comedian Mo'Nique, which was her third year as host.
Other winners of the night included Ne-Yo taking home Best Male R&B Artist, Gnarls Barkley with Best Group, T.I. for Best Hip-Hop Artist and Ludacris and Mary J. Blige, who won Best Song Collaboration for "Runaway Love."
The "BET J Cool Like That" award went to R&B singer recently deceased singer Gerald Levert, while the Lifetime Achievement Award went to the legendary Diana Ross.
The night was filled with several performances -- including T.I., 50 Cent, Ciara, Diddy, Keyshia Cole, Robin Thicke, Eve, Kelly Rowland and Ne-Yo -- but the one performance that stood out the most was a tribute performance for the late James Brown by Public Enemy who did a rendition of Brown's 1968 hit, "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud." In addition to Public Enemy, Bootsy Collins, Gladys Knight and Yolanda Adams also came on stage for the tribute.
A full list of winners in each category is as follows:
Birdman & Lil Wayne, "Stuntin' Like My Daddy"
Ludacris featuring Mary J.Blige -- "Runaway Love"
Best Female Athlete
Best Male Athlete
For more pics from the show Click here
What you know must come
Go ahead and be the person you are here now to be. Go ahead and experience the richness of all that is in this moment.
Your most authentic intentions have brought you to this point. Just as reliably, those intentions are moving you forward even now.
Whatever you are certain that you will create, is already taking shape. Whatever you know to be possible, has already begun to happen.
There is no need for striving to make things happen. Those things for which you must strive won't bring real value anyway.
Instead, focus on the real and valuable and meaningful things you can lovingly and gratefully allow to be. With your thoughts, your actions and your energy, bring to life what you already know to be good and worthwhile and true.
The very life that you most earnestly desire is ready for you to let it become real. What you know must come, is already on the way.
-- Ralph Marston Read more here
Chaka Zulu Issues Statement On Altercation With T.I.
Chaka Zulu has issued a statement on his altercation with T.I. Sunday (June 24) at a charity luncheon hosted by Kevin Liles.
“It’s a shame that things like this continue to happen especially with the backdrop of an event that was about benevolence and charitable works. I’m thankful that all issues have been resolved" said Zulu.
Reports say that T.I. and Chaka Zulu were involved in a verbal disagreement which quickly escalated into T.I. throwing a punch at Zulu. Read more on the altercation here
Chaka's publicist says that the attack was "unprovoked" and that he had no choice but to defend himself.
FOXY BROWN’S ALLEGED ATTACKER HAS A STORY
Roshawn Anthony, the 23-year-old woman charged with Saturday morning’s Foxy Brown beatdown, is a Belize-born prostitute who has a history of raising hell wherever she goes, her mother tells the New York Daily News.
Anthony was one of four women who police say assaulted the Ill Na Na and took off with her Louis Vuitton purse, credit cards, $500 in cash, hearing aid and chunks of her weave.
As of press time, Anthony was still locked up in Rikers Island in lieu of $50,000 bail. She is described by her mother, Laverne Reyes, as a hooker who nearly died this year after a boyfriend beat her with a pipe.
"He forced her to do things and beat her up if she didn't," Reyes, 48, told the Daily News. "[She was] selling herself, her body."
Foxy, whose real name is Inga Marchand, is still claiming that she was never attacked, even though police tell the Daily News that she came in shortly after the alleged incident and pointed out Anthony as her attacker.
Anthony has denied the charges against her and is “getting squeezed by the police," her Legal Aid lawyer, Clinton Hughes, told the newspaper. He added: "[Brown] is a colorful character. She's bringing out a colorful story. But something much more realistic will come out at the grand jury."
The alleged assault took place about 5:30 a.m. Saturday outside the Louis H. Pink Houses in the East New York section of Brooklyn, authorities say. The women are said to be “friends” of Brown’s ex-boyfriend, who orchestrated the attack after he was dumped by the rapper moments earlier. Foxy tried to break things off after finding out that he was a pimp with a criminal record, police noted.
Anthony, who stands 5-feet-2 and weighs 125 pounds, “was a little on the wild side" and began skipping class at Brooklyn's Tilden High School at age 14, her mother tells the Daily News. Reyes says her daughter promised she would leave her abusive boyfriend when she was hospitalized this year after being beaten with a metal pole.
Michael Jackson, R. Kelly and Others Launch Lawsuit Against Jay-Z's 40/40 Club
Michael Jackson, R. Kelly and more than a dozen music publishers have banded together against Jay-Z's 40/40 Club - rapping the Chelsea hotspot with a federal lawsuit for allegedly skimping on royalties.
The popular 40/40 Club, co-owned by Jay-Z and two business partners, has danced around licensing rules to entertain clubgoers with "unauthorized public performance of musical compositions," according to a lawsuit filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court.
Broadcast Music Inc. led the charge on behalf of Jackson and more than a dozen artists and music publishing companies, seeking unspecified damages for copyright infringement from the club and co-owners Desiree Gonzalez - who has the primary responsibility for operations and management - and Juan Perez.
Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, is not named.
Jacko's "Billie Jean" and "Don't Stop," "Thoia Thoing" by R. Kelly and "Gold Digger" by Kanye West, Ray Charles and Renald Richard, were among seven unlicensed songs played at the club during a random visit by a BMI researcher on two nights in March 2006.
Even singer Pharrell Williams, who has frequently collaborated with Jay-Z in the past, was not immune - his song "Touch" was also played without license.
BMI spokesman Jerry Bailey said the company holds the licensing rights to 6.5 million songs - roughly half those played in the United States - and has tried unsuccessfully to license the 40/40 Club since it opened in 2003. The lavish sports bar and lounge on West 25th Street boasts a $4 million multi-level space with dozens of televisions to view sporting events, and several private VIP rooms.
Michael Shen, a lawyer for the club, said he had not yet seen the lawsuit and declined further comment.
The legal action comes one month after the nightspot was hit with a class action lawsuit for allegedly keeping a cut of workers' tips in violation of minimum wage laws.
Celeste Williams, a former waitress at 40/40, accused the club of "willfully failing and refusing to pay [its workers] at the legally required minimum wage" since the nightspot opened in 2003.
Her lawyer claimed 100 staffers have been ripped off - although club management said Williams worked at 40/40 for only four days in December 2005 - in the suit seeking unspecified damages.
Mary J. Blige Receives Top Honors At ASCAP Awards
Mary J. Blige, Jermaine Dupri and Johnta Austin shared songwriter of the year honors at the 20th anniversary celebration of ASCAP's Rhythm & Soul Music Awards.
This year's salute, held last night (June 25) at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, marked Dupri's third consecutive and sixth time being named songwriter of the year.
Among the trio's ASCAP award-winning songs for 2006 was Blige's "Be Without You," which netted co-writers Blige and Austin this year's top R&B/hip-hop song award. Nelly's "Grillz," co-written by Dupri, claimed the top ringtone of the year award.
Among other top winners: EMI Music Publishing for publisher of the year (marking the company's 13th consecutive win in that category), Beyoncé's "Check on It" for top soundtrack song of the year, Sean Paul for reggae artist of the year (his fourth consecutive win), Yung Joc's "It's Goin' Down" for top rap song and Kirk Franklin's "Looking for You" for top gospel song.
Highlighting the evening was the presentation of the Voice of Music Award to Blige. Following a video tribute recapping her 15-year career, Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine, Geffen Records chairman Ron Fair and ASCAP president/chairman Marilyn Bergman presented the award to Blige. Other special guest presenters included Akon, singer/songwriter Keri Hilson, MC Lyte and the Underdogs.
Blige Labelmate Keyshia Cole and gospel singer Karen Clark Sheard were among the singers who performed key Blige songs. Blige joins such other Voice of Music recipients as Garth Brooks, Diane Warren and Jimmy Webb.
Fat Joe Earns Platinum Ringtone Plaque
Terror Squad founder, Fat Joe, has a new plaque he can hang on his wall. No, it’s not for last year’s album — Me, Myself and I — but rather his hit single with Lil Wayne, “Make It Rain,” which has officially sold over 1 million ringtones, according to the RIAA’s Platinum Ringtone program.
The song, which reached as high as No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, was one of the biggest hits of Joe’s career.
“Fat Joe and Terror Squad Entertainment have been great to work with and are a prime example of what we can bring to a project,” said Neil Levine, Imperial Records Senior VP/GM. “We bring the same pioneering spirit and dedication to quality music at the original Imperial, but with expertise and resources right for independent urban artists today.”
KEYSHIA COLE, FABOLOUS IN NEW ‘HOOD’ FILM
Blackfilm.com is reporting that Keyshia Cole and Fabolous will star in a new feature film to be executive produced by Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic fashion designer best known for his dark shades and constant toting of an Oriental fan.
Titled “Only the Hood Dies Young,” the story follows a young brother, Jeffrey Green (Fabolous), who gets caught up in the drug game. His love interest will be portrayed by Cole.
"It's a cautionary tale and depicts a generation that's lost,” director Robert Yasim Wright tells Blackfilm.com. “We'll start shooting in the middle of October in South Jamaica, Queens.”
“He loved the story. He said the drug problem is global, and that it's not limited,” says Wright. “In writing the story, I created a situation that explains the behavior as opposed to just the behavior itself. I wanted to explain the behavior of disadvantaged youth.”
Ludacris To Appear In New Guy Ritchie Movie
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ludacris has secured a roll in a new Guy Ritchie movie entitled "RocknRolla".
Ludacris will appear alongside Gerard Butler ("300"), Thandie Newton and Tom Wilkinson.
The film takes place in London, where a Russian Mobster organizes a crooked land deal that puts millions of dollars into play, sending a slew of the city’s criminals into a frenzy to get their hands on the cash.
Ludacris is set to play an American musician trying to break into the UK music industry. Filming began last week in London.
Pharrell Williams Makes Some Unusual Choices As Artist In Residence At L.A. Film Festival
The 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival asked superproducer Pharrell Williams to be this year's artist in residence, where he was to program a sidebar of films that have inspired his work in the music industry, but the organization didn't expect the choices he made.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the producer picked films outside the usual filmography you'd expect to find on the festival circuit -- including "National Lampoon's Vacation" and Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
"I don't know that there'll be critical dialogue about them," Williams told the paper about his choices. "Hopefully, there will be people who feel about them the way I feel."
When asked to participate, Williams didn't act as if he knew what he was doing, but instead took the opportunity as a learning experience, being that he himself is interesting in producing for movies.
"It's a learning experience for me," Williams explained. "Knowing what the festival is about, what the artist-in-residency thing entails -- I'm not going in as a professional, as somebody who has been waiting for this their entire life. It popped up, I find it intriguing and I am a student."
"My favorite film of all time is 'National Lampoon's Vacation,' " he said. "You can't say one line without me telling you what happened next. And 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'? That's my life."
Williams follows in the footsteps of past artists in residence for the festival. Past artists involved include the RZA, Neil Young and Gnarls Barkley producer Danger Mouse.
In addition to his involvement in the film festival, Pharrell revealed that he is working on several too-early-to-discuss projects, including several television pilots and a "serious documentary," as well as the co-producing effort with Mark Gordon ("The Day After Tomorrow," "Saving Private Ryan") that he announced two years ago, in an adaptation of the classic cartoon "Voltron."
EVE Speaks On New Album; Says She Is Cool With Dr. Dre
Eve giggles when she talks about her single "Tambourine." And no, she told us emphatically, you do not have to have an instrument to dance to the track in the club.
"It's a summer song, and I didn't want to do anything that sounded like anything on [the] radio," she said recently. "The sample, 'Shake your tambourine, go get yourself a whistle' — people are going to be like, 'Where am I going to get a tambourine?' So we had to make it a metaphor for shaking your ass."
Eve might shake her tambourine, but don't expect the former Ruff Ryder to do anything nearly as elaborate as Beyoncé's moves in the "Get Me Bodied" video. "It has to be comfortable. I get stressed out about it. Dancing is so different," she said about doing too much choreography.
Last week in Brooklyn, she shot a new video for the song "Give It to You" with Sean Paul. No crazy dance steps, but a little grinding on the reggae superstar. "That's my favorite song on the album," she said. "It's definitely upbeat like 'Tambourine.' It's reggae, the beat is Spanish, it's a nice collaboration of sound. Another summer joint. It's a club song. Working with Sean, I've known him for years, but for some reason we never got to do a song together. It looked like we weren't going to get to do this song either 'cause he's so busy, but we talk on the phone and e-mail."
Eve's Here I Am LP comes out August 7 and T.I. and Robin Thicke pop up for guest spots.
"The Robin song is called 'Fantasy,' " she said. "My lyrics are basically talking about ladies — how when guys see you in a club but [aren't] ready to talk to you. Like a guy who sees you in a club and he wants to do all these things to you. ... You're his fantasy. It's real. A guy might be looking out from across the club like, 'Oh my God, I love her,' but you might not even know he's looking at you."
Despite considerably less-than-planned involvement from Dr. Dre on the album, Eve says she's still on his Aftermath label. And Swizz Beatz was able to fill in quite nicely in Dre's absence. "The decision was to have Dre start off the album, but Dre is kinda busy," Eve said. "Swizz is my brother. He knows how to work with me. What was supposed to happen, [Swizz] was just going to do a couple [of tracks], but once we get together, we can't stop working. He knows me really well. We decided he might as well be one of the executive producers."
Eve says she and the Doc are still all good. He did one song for the album called "Fire," and there's a possibility for more before the deadline.
"Dre likes when projects are done when you come to him. He'd rather it that way, so it's cool," she said.
Xzibit Boycotts Australian TV Show Rove Live
Xzibit has walked out on a scheduled appearance on Rove Live after what he claims were racist comments from production staff.
After an apparent misunderstanding, Xzibit posted an entry on his blog titled “Rove the Racist”, saying the “sh*t was wack” when an argument started over a plan to have him sing with Michael Buble.
A production crew member told Xzibit that the show’s audience wouldn’t stand for a full minute of rapping and that the segment could only last 42 seconds, though the production company denies this happened.
According to the artist, the crew member then told him: “you know we came a long way just having you on the program”.
Xzibit took this to be a racist remark and immediately “went out the front door hopped in my sh*t and rolled out”, which presumably means he got into his car and left.
A spokesman for Roving Enterprises the production company behind television program Rove, said it may have been a simple misunderstanding on Xzibit’s behalf.
“In terms of (that being) a racist comment, it wouldn’t have been the case,” the spokeswoman said.
“I think she would have been referring to the fact that he wouldn’t be a standalone guest.”
She said the problems began when Xzibit refused to perform a segment with Buble that had previously been agreed to.
“(Xzibit) decided he didn’t want to be on the show.”
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