Dreams and doubts
What is possible to imagine, is possible. The distance between imagination and reality is not very far.
Your imagination has great power to direct and influence those things you create in your life. So why is it that many of the good and desirable things you imagine do not ever happen?
Because along with the positive things you imagine, you may also be imagining fear and doubt in nearly equal proportion. Although your imagination is indeed powerful, it may be using up much of that power to fight against itself.
Your dreams, minus your doubts, equal your reality. To make real progress in your life, you can either make your doubts smaller or make your dreams bigger.
As you move through life, your imagination leads the way. Is it pushing you back with doubt and fear as much as, or even more than it is pulling you forward?
Choose to imagine the good and valuable things with such great passion and purpose that they far outweigh any doubts or fears you may have. And you'll soon find yourself living the reality of your most treasured dreams.
-- Ralph Marston Read more here
According to an early projection from Hitsdailydouble.com, Tips New Album Ti vs Tip is set to crack the 500K mark when Soundscans come in next week. That would mark the best opening week in hip-hop since Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come dropped in last year.
HitsdailyDouble has been known to be off with their estimates in the past, reporting very balloned numbers for some artist( they intialy reported Kingdom come sold 800,000 in its 1st week), and under reporting others (it was them who reported Ron Artest sold 3 units his 1st week). so it’s entirely possible that he could still come in somewhere in the high 300’s.
Well just have to wait until the official numbers come out next week.
Irv Gotti Headed To Reality TV
Murder Inc. founder, Irv Gotti, is the latest of several celebs who are trying their luck at reality TV.
According to a press release, the label head has teamed up with the producers behind Flavor Flav's "Flavor of Love" series for his own VH1 show, but it will do more than entertain, according to Gotti.
Gotti, who was found not guilty of racketeering in 2005 after being indicted by the FBI, says his reality series will serve to help estranged families learn how to cope.
"I think women are going to identify with me and (estranged wife) Deb's relationship. I'm going to love her until I'm dead and gone," said Gotti of his new show. "She's legally still my wife, but we've been separated for like six, seven years."
Instead of making people laugh like Flav's show or "Run's House," Gotti says his is a bit like drama.
"After a few episodes, [the producers] said 'Run's House' is like a hip-hop Cosby Show, and I love 'Run's House,' but they said my sh-- is more like 'The Sopranos.'"
At press time, there was no word on the show's title, but it is expect in October, according to a spokesperson for the label head.
Sticky Fingaz Brother, Rapper X1, Found Dead In Los AngelesRapper X1, brother of Onyx member Sticky Fingaz, was found dead in Los Angeles this morning. Reports are sketchy at this time however sources say that he committed suicide.
X1 was originally part of the group Gangreen and was considered an extended member of the Onyx family.
X1 hailed from Southside Jamaica, Queens and recorded with Onyx consistently and has been featured on each Onyx album since the group's 1998 release Shut 'Em Down. He was also signed to boxer Mike Tyson's now defunct record label Tyson Records in 2000 and was presently under contract with Las Vegas based Ball 'R Records. He released a solo album entitled "Young, Rich & Gangsta" in 2006.
Jay-Z and Nas have contributed to a new book by outspoken black culture critic Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, who was hired this summer as a professor at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
Dyson’s book, titled “Know What I Mean? Reflections On Hip Hop,” examines the use of politics and gender in rap. Rapper-turned-label exec Jay-Z writes the introduction, while Nas handles the afterward.
“He has shown those doubters and critics that hip hop is a vital arts movement created by young working-class men and women of color,” wrote Jigga in the introduction. “Yes, our rhymes can contain violence and hatred. Yes, our songs can detail the drug business and our choruses can bounce with lustful intent. However, those things did not spring from inferior imaginations or deficient morals; these things came from our lives. They came from America."
Before joining Georgetown this summer, Dyson taught at the University of Pennsylvania and has previously held teaching positions at the University of North Carolina, Brown and Columbia.
At Georgetown, he’ll be a "university professor," reports the Washington Post, which gives him freedom to traverse across academic departments. He expects to work in English, theology, sociology, philosophy and African American studies.
Nelly Furtado Engaged To Sound Engineer
Grammy winner Nelly Furtado is engaged to sound engineer Demacio "Demo" Castellon, who worked on her hit 2006 album Loose, PEOPLE confirms.
Their close friend, music producer Timbaland, gave a one-word reply when asked if the engagement was true: "Yes."
The British Columbia-born Furtado, 28, told Blender in July 2006 she had a "secret boyfriend" of eight months, adding: "I just don't really talk about it. It's nobody famous or anything."
Furtado has a daughter, Nevis, 3, with DJ and producer Jasper "Lil' Jaz" Gahunia. She and Gahunia split in 2005 after four years together, but Furtado told Blender: "We're fully active co-parents and really close friends."
Furtado, who speaks Spanish and Portuguese and is currently recording her first Latin album, pulled off a clean sweep of Canada's Juno music awards in April. Nominated in five categories, she won every one – including album of the year.
50 Cent Cuts Off His G-Unit Crew Financially?
The rumors of inner turmoil at the G-Unit have swirled for quite some time, and now 50 Cent is letting everything be known. His most recent revelation came when he said he's cutting off his crew.
"I told them I wouldn't be assisting them financially anymore," the rapper is quotes as saying in a recent interview with XXL.
According to the hip-hop mogul, his G-Unit Records roster -- which includes Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, Mobb Deep and M.O.P. -- have become spoiled and lazy because of his generosity. So to fix the problem, everyone is being cut off.
"Whether I got to give them $500,000 or $300,000 ... Just 'cause they want $300,000 more to make what they [are] doing at the time comfortable. Like, 'yo, I want to get this new place over here,' " 50 explained.
The magazine reports that 50 spent $8.5 million of his own money to take a lot of the rappers on his most recent tour, so that they could bring their entourages -- and so that everyone could travel, as he says, "comfortably."
That's all changing now, he says, and he actually had a meeting to bring his crew up to speed. Those in the meeting included Mobb Deep, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, Olivia, and Sha Money XL, while Laze was there for M.O.P. and Spider Loc was on the phone.
"I broke it down," he recalls. "I told them I wouldn't be assisting them financially anymore. Pretty much I was telling them I wouldn't be there. [In the past] they'd make a lot of money and spend a lot of money and have me there to fix it.
"I looked around the room, and I was the only person with G-Unit sneakers on. But they were being paid," he added. "It had become the norm for the check to come, but they were no longer wearing the clothes."
Although 50 continues to rake in the dough -- with several roles in upcoming films, clothing and sneaker lines and an estimated $100 million from his stake in the recently sold Glaceau, who owns Vitamin Water -- its clear now that his team will have to make moves on their own without the financial assistance that had in the past.
Where this leaves the G-Unit family? Time will tell.
Bobby V Speaks Out About Playing Second Fiddle At Def Jam
R&B crooner Bobby Valentino recently shared his feelings with SOHH about his label's Ne-Yo-first philosophy, his next big hit, and why he's still the same ol' G.
With his latest album, Special Occasion, topping out at a little over 200,000 sold, Bobby V is apparently disappointed with his perceived second-fiddle status at his label, Def Jam.
"I think Ne-Yo's the face of the label and, of course, by him being the face of the label, he gets a little bit more," Valentino said. "I see he gets a lot of extra support, a lot of bells and whistles. Sometimes, people need those things to put them over the top.
"My album, you know what it is," he continued. "When you see me at the shows, you know what it's about. There's nothing sugar-coated about me. Not saying that there's something sugar-coated about Ne-Yo, but, it's all good." [See video, here]
The singer has been enjoying the radio success of his lead single "Anonymous" but he says it's his upcoming single, "Rearview," featuring Ludacris, that will put his album "over the top." With that single, he added, he'll continue to focus on his music to generate sales, rather than outside controversies.
"I'm really about the music. If people read into it and get into my life then that's what they wanna do," he said. "But I'm not gonna try to make up some kind of stuff to cause excitement for my album. In today's industry and today's entertainment, that's what it's all about. It's about what else you got going on. What kind of sex scandal you got going on, or if you're gay, or you're on drugs or you're an alcoholic, that's what it's about. But I'm not none of that stuff so it's not really too much stuff you can talk about."
The DTP affiliate also pointed out that he's always been the same 'ole G since day one.
"I've always been a cool cat, I ain't never been no lame," he said. "You can ask about me in high school, middle school, elementary school, I've always been the man. Check the facts, check the yearbooks. It's never no dirt on me versus other cats...it's nothing you really got on me other than I'm short. What else can you say ?"
Amy Winehouse Still In Black, T-Pain And Fergie Outside Top Ten Club
Still going strong and in the black for the second week in a row is Amy Winehouse at No. 6. According to Nielsen's SoundScan, Back To Black scanned 62,700 copies this week. The album's tally stands at 759,000.
Despite falling out of the Top 10 to number 11, T-Pain continues to rake in the profits. Epiphany pushed 47,800 CDs this week, bringing the album's total sales numbers to 357,500.
Floating three spots to No, 12 is Fergie. Dutchess cashes out 45,100 units this week. Thus far, the album has sold 2,126,400 copies.
Rihanna holds tight, though falling back two spots to No. 14. Good Girl Gone Bad pushes 44,500 discs in its fourth week on the charts. The album's tally stands at 339,900.
At No. 15 The Beastie Boys sneak on to the charts with their instrumental album titled The Mix Up. The set moves 43,800 copies in its opening week. Right behind them is R. Kelly at No. 16. Double Up shelves off 39,300 discs this week, bringing the album's total sales to 668,400.
Fabolous dips eight spots to No. 11. From Nothing To Something bags up 38,400 units in its third week. The album has sold 256,200 copies so far.
Ne-Yo rises four slots to No. 21. The momentum of his latest single, "Do You," helps Because Of You ring out 30,600 copies this week. The album's total sales stands at 605,100.
The Shop Boyz slump twelve spots to No. 23. Rock Star Mentality cashes out 28,900 CD in its second week, pushing the album's total sales to 81,100.
Akon takes ten steps up the ladder to No. 29. Konvicted continues to keep cash registers ringing as it scans 21,700 discs this week. After 33 weeks, the album has sold 2,489,900 copies.
Not far behind at No. 33 is Robin Thicke. The tally for Evolution Of Robin Thicke stands at 1,260,400. The album scans over 20,000 discs this week.
Two slots below is Justin Timberlake at No. 37. Future Sex/Love Sounds shells out 19,100 discs this week. So far, the album has sold 3,375,000.
DJ Khaled's struggles continue as he slithers fourteen spots to No. 39. We The Best shifts 18,700 CDs in its third week, pushing the album's total sales to 127,900.
A rise in sales helps Timbaland move nine spots up to No. 41. Shock Value rounds up its seven day cycle with 17,000 discs sold. To date, the album has sold 413,100 copies.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony slide two spots to No. 49. Strength & Loyalty sells 14,800 copies this week. The album has brought in a total of 314,900 after eight weeks on the charts.
Def Jam crooner Chrisette Michele plummets nineteen spots to No. 53. I Am, which boasts production from John Legend, Babyface and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, reels in 13,600 copies in its second week. The album's tally stands at 40,200.
Posted at No. 40 is Corrine Bailey Rae. Her self-titled album continues to be a steady seller as it nets 13,000 discs this week. To date, the album has sold a total of 1,594,200 copies.
Debuting at No. 58 is Pharoahe Monch with his sophomore album Desire. The set, which features guest appearances from Erykah Badu, Dwele and Mr. Porter, squeaks out 12,200 discs in its first week.
Occupying spot 59 is Beyonce. 12,100 copies of the singer's sophomore set, B'Day, were purchased this week. After 43 weeks, the album has sold 2,768,000 copies.
Young Jeezy and his U.S.D.A. crew slip three slots to No. 61. Cold Summer reins in 11,910 copies this week, pushing the album's total sales to 215,800.
Huey, who debuted at No. 26 last week, tumbles thirty six slots to No. 62. NoteBook Paper only moves 11,900 units this week. After 2 weeks the album has sold a total of 40,700 copies.
Three steps behind is Tank at No. 65. Sex , Love and Pain scores 14,800 copies this week. The album's total sales stands at 237,600.
Holding on tight at No. 69 is Joss Stone. Introducing Joss Stone has sold 438,300 copies thus far, with 10,900 representing the week-in total.
DMX trips twenty spots to No. 79. The Definition Of X: Pick Of The Litter rings out 9,500 discs this week, pushing the album's total sales to 58,300.
Several notable R&B crooners duke it out on the deep end of the charts. Musiq Soulchild slips fourteen slots to No. 82. Luvandmusiq shifts 9,100 units this week, bringing his album's total to 447,900. At No. 83 is Lloyd. Street Love shells out 9,000 copies this week, pushing the album's total to 450,900. Bobby Valentino's downward spiral continues as he plunges twenty two spots to No. 89. Special Occasion seized 8,100 copies this week. So far, the album has sold 208,700 copies. Wrapping up the Top 100 is Eddie Levert of The O'Jays and his son, the late Gerald Levert, at No. 90. Something To Talk About lugs in 8,100 discs this week, rounding the album's total sales to 63,100.
Next week look for T.I. , Kelly Rowland and Pastor Troy to shake things up on the Hip-Hop and R&B charts.
This joint was hard
and for the R&B Throwback of the week
If you have any old videos you wanna see, shoot me an email at email@example.com. Make sure you put throwback in the subject. The best ones I'll post. Read more here
If, at some point, your day gets pushed in a negative direction, it doesn't have to stay that way. You can quickly and completely recover.
The distractions and disruptions will surely come along. Yet you do not have to let any of them ruin your whole day.
There's never any need to wait until tomorrow to make a fresh start. Instead, you can choose to immediately let go of whatever has thrown you off course.
You can decide to begin moving forward again right away. Keep in mind that the number of times you fall is not nearly as important as how quickly you get back up.
Don't allow an isolated frustration, disappointment or change in plans to turn into a whole day's worth of negative momentum. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you can be moving forward.
Recover quickly, get back up and get going again with renewed determination. Nothing will be able to hold you back for long.
-- Ralph Marston Read more here
T.I. Talks Retirement
T.I. has declared that he has no plans of retiring until he personally finds a predecessor he feels would exceed his own talent.
"I don't feel comfortable backing up the game until I introduce something to the game that exceeds my success," T.I. explained. "We got Young Dro working on his second album, Young & Restless. We got B.G. coming with his first Grand Hustle release, Too Hood For Hollywood. We got DJ Drama, the official Gangsta Grillz album. We got Big Kuntry's debut album. And now we got Alpha Mega as well as Mac Boney. We got a lot of talent here. Until I introduce something to the game that makes you forget about T.I., then I'm not comfortable leaving."
T.I.'s fifth album, T.I. vs. T.I.P, hit shelves earlier this week (July 3). The album features appearances from Jay-Z, Eminem, Wyclef Jean and Busta Rhymes.
MIJAC WAS SUPPOSED TO PRESENT DIANA WITH BET AWARD
Fox411 columnist Roger Friedman is reporting that BET had tapped Michael Jackson to present his mentor, Diana Ross, with her Lifetime Achievement honor at the BET Awards last month, but producers were told by his people that he was "too incapacitated to appear."
"Jackson's people will go crazy when they read this today, but it's 100 percent true," wrote Friedman in his column Tuesday, adding that BET producer Ron Weisner had also planned to include a "25th anniversary of 'Thriller'" segment on the show featuring Jackson.
"It's the best-selling album of all time and should have been acknowledged," Friedman quotes a source as saying. "But there was too much drama. Michael could not make it. He's isolated and he's failing."
Friedman is also reporting that the singer has decided to relocate to Virginia following his time in Las Vegas. As previously reported, the singer moved out of his $1 million rental in Sin City last week after his lease expired.
"Some have speculated that Virginia Beach has been the locale of many recording studios, including those of Teddy Riley and Timbaland," wrote Friedman. "Still, the betting money is on [Jackson's publicist Raymone] Bain, who works in Washington, D.C., keeping a closer eye on her main client and goose that used to lay the golden egg."
MiJac housing update ...
Now, Raymone Bain is confirming that Michael Jackson is indeed looking at properties further north along the East Coast, but not just in Virginia as Roger Friedman reported.
In Wednesday's Washington Post Bain said that Jackson has been looking for real estate on Maryland's Eastern Shore as he searches for a vacation home.
Jackson visited the rural peninsula last week "for about 24 hours," but has not made a purchase, Bain told the Post.
Jackson, 48, is not limiting his search to the Chesapeake region. He has since "gone up the coast" to look elsewhere for a vacation place, Bain said.
"He's always admired the properties on the East Coast because they have a lot of land," Bain said in the story published Wednesday. "Neverland has 3,000 acres - he likes privacy. You can't find as many properties like that on the West Coast."
Jackson came east with his children about 10 days ago for meetings because "the majority of his advisers and attorneys are on the East Coast," Bain said.
She would not elaborate on the purpose of the meetings, but said that Jackson was dealing with "a laundry list" of issues. "He's head of a vast corporation," says Bain.
Last Original Member Of Legendary Group The Drifters Passes Away
Bill Pinkney, the last survivor of the original members of the musical group The Drifters, died Wednesday. He was 81.
Pinkney was found dead at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, Daytona Beach Police spokesman Jimmie Flynt said. The death was not considered suspicious, he said.
Pinkney was scheduled to perform for Fourth of July festivities there.
The Drifters, whose hits include "Under the Boardwalk," "Up on the Roof," and "Save the Last Dance For Me," still performed Wednesday night. An announcement about Pinkney's death was made after the show, said the group's publicist, Donnie Lowery.
Pinkney, born in Dalzell, South Carolina, wasn't with The Drifters when they recorded their biggest hits. He left in the band in 1958 because of an argument over cash. His distinctive bass voice can be heard on the group's version of the holiday classic "White Christmas."
Even though he left the group, Pinkney didn't let go of The Drifters' name. He fought for laws allowing performers or bands to claim an affiliation with a classic group like The Drifters or The Coasters only if at least one member recorded with the original group.
The Drifters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Pinkney was a World War II veteran and pitched for the New York Blue Sox of the Negro Baseball League in the late 1940s and early '50s.
Director Of New B.I.G. Doc Shines Light On The Rapper's Fallen Crew
With this year marking the tenth anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.'s passing, director April Maiya has decided to document the aftermath and impact of his death on his Junior M.A.F.I.A. crew. SOHH recently caught up with Maiya to talk about the film, the void that B.I.G. left behind, and the demise of Brooklyn's "First Family."
The documentary entitled, Life After Death: The Movie hopes to shed light on the infamous shooting outside of New York's Hot 97 studios that lead to both Lil Kim and Damion "D-Roc" Butler serving prison sentences.
"Basically, it's a poorly kept secret that D-Roc always kept a video camera with him when he was with Big. It was kinda his own personal diary. I don't think he ever meant to release the tapes," said Maiya. "He contacted me and wanted to straighten out the story [concerning the shooting] because it was making Kim look dumb, like she lied for no reason and was making Gutter and D-Roc just look like criminals. To this day, nobody knows why [Lil'] Cease took the stand against them. He was telling press that he didn't tell the police anything they didn't already know but D-Roc and Gutter are in jail for a shooting that there was no weapon for."
Having to sift through over 100 hours of never before seen footage that she received from D-Roc into a 90 minute film was no easy task. Along with footage of Biggie and the crew, the movie also features footage of others close to the slain rapper including Diddy, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot and Mary J. Blige.
"People have been basically recycling the same images and footage of Big for the last ten years and that's no accident. That's because D-Roc and Ms. Wallace never released anything else. They always felt that people exploited Big."
"I tried to show them as a crew, how they lived together, laughed together, made money together and the second half is the reality of what happened," she explained. "A lot of people saw them as like the first family of Brooklyn. I found that the way that the story ended in the movie, everybody's character came out in the footage through expressions, side comments, not really like here are your villains and here are your heroes. The story is a very tragic story but the footage is not. People ask, 'Is this something from Biggie?' But it's literally supposed to be the life after his death and what the people left behind did over the years. It's really unique, the footage can't lie."
Fans of the late great Frank White can also expect another film, The Notorious B.I.G.: The Lost Tapes. Directed by Maiya and executive produced by Voletta Wallace, it's also on deck to be released in late 2008. That film, Maiya says, will be a celebration of the rapper's life and a candid, behind-the-scenes look at the person that not many got a chance to see.
"We've all heard enough about his death, same as with Tupac, now it's time to celebrate his life. I think it will remind people in New York about what made hip-hop great in New York at that time."
Life After Death: The Movie hit shelves July 3rd.
Interscope Shut Down 50's YouTube Hustle?
With a new album on the way, and plenty of Vitamin Water money still coming in, only one thing can stop 50 Cent's momentum--"Big Brother."
After being introduced by Timbaland earlier this year, 50 and Justin Timberlake collaborated on a track, which was tentatively titled "Ayo Pornography." The title has since been changed to "Ayo Technology," at the request of Interscope Records. When major media outlets posted links to a YouTube video of the song, it was quickly removed by Interscope's parent company, Universal Music Group. With a chorus that says, "I'm tired of using technology/Why don't you sit down on top of me," few people expected the video to be clean enough to run on any major music channel, but in a recent interview the G-Unit capo said he had plans of releasing more of the videos for Curtis directly to the public, much like the viral video campaign he launched against Cam'Ron with "Funeral Music."
"I have a deal with YouTube and they're doing a viral campaign for my album," 50 told Vibe. "I had already been in communication with YouTube before I released the first video." Fans will apparently have to wait, as all links to the clip have been replaced message stating that Universal has removed the video. Universal's representatives were not available to comment on why the clip was removed.
Diddy And Kim Porter, Reportedly On Road To Splitsville
Kim Porter has reportedly packed up and left the digs she's been sharing with longtime boyfriend Sean "Diddy" Combs.
According to New York Post Page Six reports, Porter is finally fed up with Combs' antics and has plans to make a fresh start on the west coast. She has reportedly purchased a new home in Beverly Hills for herself and four children, of which the three youngest were fathered by Diddy.
"Kim is in Louisiana filming a movie right now, and when it's done she's moving to L.A.," a source told the Post. "She is focusing on her career as a model and actress and raising her children," the source said. "They are the best of friends, but they just can't be together right now."
A spokesperson for Diddy has denied rumors of a split, saying, "There is no truth to this."
Porter gave birth to twins D'Lila and Jessie last December, and not long after, controversy was sparked when Diddy was photographed repeatedly in the company of British actress Sienna Miller. Combs was even once caught on tape accompanying Miller to her hotel during the early hours of the morning.
One English newspaper, the Daily Mirror reported that Combs spent some time with Miller again as recently as last weekend, while he was in London to perform at the Princess Diana Memorial Concert at Wembley Arena. According to the Daily Mirror Sienna joined Diddy at an after-party held at Paper
The rapper was denied entry into the country due to his criminal record - particularly recent offenses. Snoop has teamed up with MTV to run a series of shorts in Australia, which features footage of the rapper's last visit to the country in February.
FLAVA FLAV IS COMEDY CENTRAL'S NEWEST VICTIM
The clock is tickin’ on Rapper, lova and newest Roastee Flavor Flav! COMEDY CENTRAL is taking a page out of Public Enemy’s song book and Flav best be ready because “You’re Gonna Get Yours!” Comedian Katt Williams has been tapped as the evening’s Roast Master. The show is being taped at The Warner Brother Studio Lot on Sunday, July 22 in Los Angeles. “The COMEDY CENTRAL Roast of Flavor Flav" will air on Sunday, August 12 at 10:00 p.m.
This year’s Roasters include Carrot Top, Greg Giraldo, Ice-T, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Lampanelli, Bridgett Neilsen, Patton Oswalt, Snoop Dogg, Sommore, among others. Throughout the evening, DJ Spinderella will be spinning the tunes.
While things are heating up on stage, COMEDY CENTRAL will do its part to cool things off. This year’s Roast will be the network's first-ever carbon neutral production. COMEDY CENTRAL will offset its carbon emissions with the help of partner, NativeEnergy, a national marketer of carbon offsets and renewable energy credits (RECs), offering individuals and organizations a means to compensate for their global warming pollution.
Flavor Flav, born William J. Drayton, is credited as rap music’s original “Hype Man." Flav is celebrating his 20th year in the rap business and currently on tour with Public Enemy front man and partner Chuck D. Flav has starred in VH1’s "Surreal Life," "Strange Love" and the record setting, "Flavor of Love" series.
"The COMEDY CENTRAL Roast Of Flavor Flav" will be executive produced by Joel Gallen from Tenth Planet Productions, who also executive produced and directed “COMEDY CENTRAL’s Roast Of William Shatner" and "COMEDY CENTRAL's Roast Of Pamela Anderson." Elizabeth Porter serves as the executive in charge for the network.
"The COMEDY CENTRAL Roast Of Flavor Flav" is sponsored by Anheuser Busch, Amp'd and Taco Bell.
"Journey with me as I become a citizen of the land Down Under," said Snoop in a press release. The ads will begin to air Thursday, July 5.
The 11-minute short, which will be broken into 19 spots, will feature Snoop on beaches, purchasing a home, and letting everyone know to "get the girls ready ... and put on the barbecue."
The spots are also accessable through MTV's mobile and Internet subscribers. Fans can log onto http://www.mtv.com.au/snoop/ to vote for and support Snoop's battle to gain citizenship.
AZ Returns With The Memphis Sessions
Fresh off his critically-acclaimed album "The Format", AZ returns once again to bless his fans with a unique offering entitled "The Memphis Sessions", a two disc set where each disc stands on its own.
Disc One combines AZ's effortless flow with some of the most funky and soulful tracks you'll come across. The second disc is comprised of all new, never released AZ cuts that sound as good on the streets as they do in the club.
The result is pure start to finish listening pleasure for the audience as AZ's most popular acapellas are blended with beats reminiscent of 1970's Memphis.
The success of Guru's "Jazzmatazz" albums proves that combining Hip Hop with other genres of music is a cutting-edge theme that's bound to be more common in the future.
Hype Williams Reveals There's More To Kanye's ''Stronger'' Video Than What You See
Director Hype Williams recently revealed what went into creating Kanye West's latest video, and what Kanye fans can look forward to in the near future.
After collaborating on award-winning videos, Kanye West and Hype Williams have reunited to create the video for "Stronger," the first single off Kanye's forthcoming Graduation.
Since working together previously on videos for "Gold Digger," "Number 1," "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" and "Drive Slow," Williams said the decision for Kanye to call on him for "Stronger," was simple.
"Kanye and I remained pretty good friends for the last couple years, so it was more like a natural decision to work together again," Williams said. "This particular project came about because of the sound of the record. When I heard the record I thought it was something I could kind of dive in with him on it. I felt like my whole world made sense to do it. He has a lot of relationships with a lot of filmmakers but I think this particular song spoke to me."
Shot in Tokyo and Los Angeles over a twelve-day period in April, "Stronger" draws heavily from both Hype and Kanye's interest in animation and anime.
"The original idea was always Kanye's," Hype explains. "He was inspired by some Japanimation that he liked. My whole world is animation, Japanimation and science fiction, so it was something that I had a lot of experience in."
The video includes cameos from R&B singer Cassie, as well as French house act Daft Punk, whose song "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" provides the sample Kanye uses on "Stronger." Anime fans may also recognize allusions to the 1988 film Akira, which Hype acknowledged was influential in the making of "Stronger."
"He was always inspired by Akira," Hype said of 'Ye. "There was a point where we really dove in and wound up filming parts of that movie for the video, but we decided to back off of it and do something a little more abstract for the final version. So originally it went from inspired by -- to us really diving into that world and giving him a piece of the story and that kind of transmutated into the video that's out now."
While West presented Hype with the Video Vanguard Award at last year's MTV Awards, Williams said he foresees a bright career in filmmaking ahead for the multi-talented rapper/producer.
"This is really Kanye's vision," Williams said. "He's a strong filmmaker in his own right, a very well-respected and strong filmmaker in my book. He really did a great job executing his vision. I was kinda his co-partner on this one."
Williams also revealed that Kanye recorded an extended version of "Stronger," and that fans can look forward to seeing an extended video as well.
"We're gonna probably put in a lot of stuff that we shot in Tokyo, a lot of stuff that we shot in LA, that's all more Akira based," Williams said. "There is tons of stuff from the video that no one has seen before. We're going to probably include on an extended, probably limited-edition, for an internet type of release."
Bay Area Rapper Kafani To Release Debut Album
KOCH Records is set to release Money’s My Motivation, the debut album from Oakland rapper Kafani on August 28th, 2007. The first single titled “Fast (Like a Nascar)” features Keak Da Sneak, and is already up to 450 spins and a club hit in the Bay area. The video for the single has already been added to MTVJams.
Kafani is one half of the Oakland-based rap group Babyface Assassins, and has planted himself in California’s rap scene on his own, starting from the ground up. Growing up in East Oakland, Kafani and his partner Kashmere built a thirteen-year long friendship that eventually developed into the business relationship they have now. This duo has collaborated with some of California’s foremost musical including Too $hort, Yukmouth, Choppa, Freeway, and Keak Da Sneak. Kafani stats, “Everyday is a struggle, but we strive to grow. Each day we get more fans because we work hard, we keep on grindin’.” With a recent radio campaign in the southwest United States, Kafani is developing a large and faithful fan base.
Kafani and Kashmere have gained major popularity with their song featuring Keak Da Sneak titled “Everybody Know My Name.” This collaborative track has been played on mix shows and in clubs across California, generating a buzz in the hip hop communities that hasn’t been seen for quite a long time.
Raekwon Drops "House Of Wax: The Vatican Mixtape Volume III"
The material on "House Of Wax" is older (that vintage Wu/RZA sound), and has been previously never heard or released.
Rae hand picked these joints, 31 tracks strong and purposely left untitled... featuring RZA production and guest shots from Wu Tang brethren, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Old Dirty Bastard, Masta Killa as well as Hip Hop royalty Havoc (Mobb Deep), Fat Joe & Smif N' Wessun.
As long as Rae sustains such momentum and relies on the RZA for the majority of "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II", he could have another classic album in the books.
Until then, "House Of Wax" is a nice appetizer until The Chef cooks up his main course.
Death Row Set To Release Another Compilation
Death Row Records are not quite done yet with their compilation album releases, as another one is set to hit store shelves by the end of this month (July 2007).
This time around, the theme is all about remixes and b-sides, convenietly titled "15 Years On Death Row Vol. II: B Sides"
1.187um - Dr Dre/Snoop Doggy Dogg (Deep Cover remix)
2.Dre Day - Dr Dre/Snoop Doggy Dogg (Extended Club remix)
3.Dre Day - Dr Dre (Jewell's Version)
4.Puffin' On Blunts & Drankin' Tanqueray - Dr Dre (Extended mix, featuring The Lady Of Rage/Dogg Po...
5.Let Me Ride - Dr Dre (Extended Club remix, featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg/Daz/George Clinton)
6.Lil' Ghetto Boy - Dr Dre/Snoop Doggy Dogg (remix)
7.Nuthin' But A G Thang - Snoop Doggy Dogg (Freestyle remix)
8.Nuthin' But A G Thang - Snoop Doggy Dogg (Red Eye mix)
9.Nuthin' But A G Thang - Snoop Doggy Dogg (Club mix)
10.Gin & Juice - Snoop Doggy Dogg (remix)
1.What's My Name - Snoop Doggy Dogg (Explicit Club mix)
2.Ain't No Fun - Snoop Doggy Dogg (Extended Edit)
3.Afro Puffs - The Lady Of Rage/Snoop Doggy Dogg (Extended remix)
4.Afro Puffs - The Lady Of Rage (G Funk remix)
5.Pain - 2Pac (B Side)
6.Loyal To The Game - 2Pac (B Side, featuring Treach/Riddler)
7.My Moni Rite - Lord G (B Side)
8.Let's Play House - Dogg Pound (G Dub remix, featuring Michel'le/Nate Dogg)
9.Hit Em Up - 2Pac (B Side)
10.I Ain't Mad At Cha - 2Pac (Single Version)
Read more here
Live the richness
What's so great about today?
That's for you to decide, determine and fulfill.
Is there any reason for today to be a memorable one? There is when you create a good reason.
This day does not have to be bland and indistinguishable from all the others. Because you are here to make it special.
There is something exciting and compelling that you've been meaning to do. Today is when you can put your plans into action.
Today is the moment to give life to your dreams. Today is your opportunity to offer your dreams to life.
Take a deep, slow breath, and focus on all the positive possibilities that are here on this day. Then get up, go out and live the richness.
-- Ralph Marston Read more here
Beef In St. Louis: Rising Rapper Huey Takes On Nelly
The latest rap battle isn't coming out of the East, West or South. No, it's coming from the Midwest now -- between rising St. Louis star Huey and the dude to put the Lou on the map, Nelly.
As previously reported, Huey -- who is enjoying success with his single Pop, Lock And Drop It" -- recently released a track aimed at Nelly called "Down, Down, Baby" and he confirms the target.
(Listen to Huey's "Down, Down Baby" here.)
According to the rapper, he targeted Nelly after the platinum-plus rapper refused to work with him on his debut release, Notebook Paper.
"I'm only cool with Chingy and Jibbs, everybody else can kiss my ass," Huey said. "Nelly is disrespectful and arrogant. His head is as big as this f--ing table I'm sitting at. He's on some arrogant, unsupportive bullsh--."
The rapper explained that Jive Records suggested that he collaborate with Nelly, but when he approached him in a St. Louis club to try to get the rapper in the studio, he was disrespectful.
"'Look here dirty, it's not gonna happen. Especially with this being your first album, it's not gonna happen,'" Nelly told Huey during their conversation.
After that, Huey fired at Nelly with the diss track. Since then, Nelly has responded back with a single he release called "Cut It Out," feature Pimp C and Sean P. During Nelly verse, he says,
(Listen to Nelly's response, "Cut It Out" here.)
According to Huey, Nelly is a hater and can't stand his success.
"When he found out I got my deal, he didn't congratulate or anything," said the rapper. "It's crazy because I can go out of town and get love, but when I go home I can't get the same respect? But he's small talk."
Huey's debut, Notebook Paper, is in stores now.
50 Kicks Hot Rod, G-Unit Album on the way
The biggest question on the minds of G-Unit fans is: “What’s going on with the album?” While 50 Cent has gone back into the studio to finish up his third album “Curtis”, and recording three new tracks, the groundwork on a G Unit album is already being laid out. Sources say to “look for a G Unit album in late November, early December.”
It is speculated to feature G-Unit artists Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, Mazaradi Fox, Spider Loc, Mobb Deep and Young Hot Rod.
Also look for special guest appearances from Mary J Blidge, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, 3-6 Mafia, Maino, Trick Trick, & heavy production from The Alchemist and Havoc. Tracks from Sha Money XL, Eminem, Juicy J, Needlez and Hi-Tek are expected as well.
50 is also touring and doing a lot of shows overseas as of late, and like most rappers, he requires a hypeman. According to many reports Tony Yayo was denied access into London because of existing charges, so new G-Unit artist Hot Rod took his place. Details are sketchy but Hot Rod was alongside 50 for about 15 minutes, before sitting down in front of Whoo Kid and not doing anything onstage.
He got up about 10 minutes later to join in the next set, when 50 snatched his mic , pushed him away and said “I ain’t paying you to do nothing.” “You don’t even know the words to the song!”
Timbaland Throws In The Towel
Many emcees and producers speak of retiring from the game to ride off into the sunset after cementing their musical legacy.
So far, none have been able to stay away from the booth.
This week, Timbaland says he’s ready to walk away from music, but not before passing the torch to an up and coming producer.
Timbo, who's crafted beats for everyone from Jay Z, Missy Elliott and Nelly Furtado is ready to “throw in the towel.” He cites boredom with the state of music as the cause for retirement.
"Music is boring right now. I'm too innovative for the world," he said during an interview with Gigwise.
This isn’t the first time Timbaland has expressed his dissatisfaction with the state of music. In a previous interview, he said he was bored with Hip Hop and looked to produce other types of records.
After that statement, Tim backed up his words, going on to produce Justin Timberlake’s critically acclaimed Future Sex/Love Sounds album.
Timbaland plans to leave his mark on the industry by appointing one of his understudy’s to pick up the void left after his departure.
However, he’s also quick to remind us that there will never be another Timbaland.
"I've been doing it so long, I'm about to throw in the towel. I'm about to de-crown myself and pass it over to one of the up-and-coming producers under me. They won't be able to be me--there's only one Timbaland--but there's a certain sound that I try to teach."
T.I. Still "Cool" With Lil' Wayne & Baby, Despite Signing B.G.
T.I. recently revealed that the signing of former Cash Money member B.G. to his Grand Hustle imprint hasn't strained his relationship with Lil' Wayne or Cash Money Records founder, Bryan 'Baby' Williams.
Since his departure from Cash Money in 2001, B.G. has repeatedly accused Baby of cheating him out of royalties and has also traded barbs with Lil' Wayne.
"I've spoken to Wayne and asked him how he feels about it and Wayne told me, the issue was with [B.G.] and Baby. And if [B.G.] and Baby are cool, I'm cool too," T.I. explained. "I'm cool with all of them. I just seen Wayne and Baby last night. I've done worked with Wayne so many times. We've toured together, kicked it together, hung out, made it rain together in clubs together... and the same with B.G. and the same with Baby."
"B.G. wouldn't tell me it ain't a problem, if it was a problem...neither would Wayne or Baby," he added.
T.I.'s fifth album, T.I. vs. T.I.P, hit shelves yesterday (July 3). The album features appearances from Jay-Z, Eminem, Wyclef Jean and Busta Rhymes.
Freedom is beautiful. It provides a space within which the most magnificent dreams can be fulfilled. Freedom is also demanding. Because true freedom cannot exist without vigilant responsibility.
Freedom does not release you from being accountable to life. Freedom enables you to give your own special value to the world in which you live.
Living free means accepting and embracing full responsibility for your own life, and for the things that touch your life. It is responsibility that gives freedom its value and keeps freedom alive.
The sweetest fruits of freedom are tasted by those who consistently act with responsibility and integrity. Successfully living free means living with positive purpose, with love, compassion and respect.
Freedom greatly expands life's possibilities and opportunities. It is well worth all the effort and commitment required.
-- Ralph Marston Read more here
My Future Mistress graces the cover of King's August issue. Read more here
LL Cool J Clears Up Rumors On Jay-Z Feud
Based on his lyrics from a leaked song entitled "Queenz," the 20-year marriage between LL Cool J and Def Jam Records will end with an ugly divorce. While Uncle L professes his love for the original Def Jam founders, he also voices his displeasure with the current power structure.
"I Wish Rick and Russell was back I miss the old Def Jam/cause them new monkeys act like they don't know who I am," are among the barbs found on the first track from LL's upcoming album Exit 13.
While some feel the verse added fuel to the rumors that he is feuding with his label mate and Def Jam President Jay-Z, the self-proclaimed "Greatest of All Time" stated otherwise.
"I was never angry at Jay-Z," LL told the New York Daily News. "My issues were with the company, the way they pushed younger artists to the wayside. They deserve to be heard. As a New Yorker, I would love to hear more local artists. This is America. Artists should have a platform."
Exit 13 is scheduled to be released during the fourth quarter of 2008, with 50 Cent rumored to be handling executive production duties.
Usher Tries To Shut Down Fansite For Dissing His Fiance?
It seems that Usher does not like what people are saying about his finance Tameka Foster online. He is so unhappy with it, he's taking legal action to take down one of his biggest fansites -- UsherForever.com.
The fansite's owner revealed to MediaTakeOut.com that they have been threatened with legal action in an attempt to shut them down, despite having a friendly relationship with the site and its owner in the past.
According to the gossip site, the relationship turned ugly when fans on the site began to publicly show their displeasure with Usher's current relationship -- particularly on the site's message board.
A source says that the multi-platinum singer is specifically upset by fans using the name "MAN-eka" -- a term first used on MediaTakeOut.com -- to refer to his fiance, Tameka Foster.
Although it is unclear, MediaTakeout says there is speculation that Tameka is behind the forceful push for legal action. A source from the site said that problems began right around the same time that a new member began posting on the site's message board.
"A new 'girl' has appeared on our official messageboard who shows all the characteristics of being everyone's favorite adultering ho, 'MAN-eka,' or as we affectionately call her, The Sasquach," the source told MediaTakeOut. "She goes around cursing out everyone who says even the smallest negative thing about [Usher] ... and whomever this girl is, she has an IP address from Alpharetta GA."
Another possible reason the site administer hinted at was that Usher is trying to shut down his top rated fan site because he has an "official" fan site that he charges users $30 a year to view. And that site, which as of recent viewing, has not been updated in nearly six months.
With the fansite out of the way, Usher would likely benefit from it, according to the source.
Lauryn Hill "Takes A Dive" At Oakland Performance, Fans Leave Mid-Set
As Sony executives confirm a forthcoming release from Lauryn Hill, reports of poor vocal performances and fan discontent at her live shows continue to follow the reclusive singer.
According to the San Jose Mercury, Hill made a rare appearance last week (June 27) at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California that fans have since labeled a fiasco. In fact after reportedly singing only four songs, up to 100 concert goers left the show "grumbling loudly and demanding refunds" of their $90 tickets.
"But it wasn't just her voice that was shaky. Hill stumbled about the stage and, at one point, actually fell flat on her back - which brought into question exactly what the singer had been doing backstage during the long delay," wrote Jim Harrington.
Although Hill hasn't released a studio album since 1998's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, she recently contributed an original song titiled "Lose Myself" on the Surf's Up soundtrack, an animated feature for Columbia Pictures.
No release date has been confirmed for Hill's sophomore studio set, however her representatives attest that her new project will consist of recently conceived material and will not be compositions from the scores of vaulted recordings she has amassed over the last decade.
Q-Tip Preps New Album, Releases Single
Q-Tip (of A Tribe Called Quest) has been out of the solo game for a while. His last album was 2002's unreleased Kamaal the Abstract. Things are about to change, however, as Q-Tip readies his next album, The Renaissance.
The album's first single, WorkItOut, will be availalbe to download and stream for free beginning Wednesday July 4th at www.myspace.com/qtipmusic.
"WorkItOut is a feel-good song. It is indicative of The Renaissance; thought-provoking, dance-friendly, fun and last but not least Hip-Hop," said Q-Tip in a statement.
Although Q-Tip has been largely absent as of late, he has worked recently with Busta Rhymes, RZA, Rhymefest and Mariah Carey, among others.
The Renaissance is due in stores this October.
John Legend Writes Songs For Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston
John Legend has revealed that he's written songs for Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson's comeback albums, which he has sent to them for approval.
The soulful singer says that only time will tell if the stars can reclaim the success they once enjoyed.
"I have written songs for both of their albums, but that doesn't mean it will be on their albums," he explains.
"They can choose whether or not they want to use it. They haven't recorded yet so we'll see."
John is sceptical about the fallen stars' future, saying: "Only time will tell. It's possible for either of them to come back but it really depends on the records they come out with. The public is very forgiving when somebody has a hit.
"The people will be waiting. If they make music that people are excited about, then I think they can come back easily. But there's more to it than just making music. Once you get out of the groove, I think it's probably hard to put everything back in motion in the way it used to be."
He adds: "It's not just about the record. You have to be willing to do all the things it takes to market it such as touring. But if they're up for it, then I think they're in a position where people want to see what they can do. They can do it."
T.I. Helps Wyclef Jean Catch "Second Wind"
T.I. recently revealed that he will be executive producing Wyclef Jean's forthcoming album titled The Second Wind.
"It was definitely an honor. I'm pleased to be involved," T.I. said. "The album is outrageous. It's out of here. It's better than the last one. I think it's more of an infusion of one side of the urban market and the worldly market."
"Wyclef has shown time and time again that he can do any kind of music with any kind of artist and he can deliver whatever's necessary to get this project or whatever project from point A to point B, from ground level to superstar status," he added. "He's always kept it real and he's been the same person, so I'm honored to be able to work with him."
Wyclef is featured on T.I.'s fifth album, T.I. vs. T.I.P., which hits shelves today (July 3). The album also features appearances from Jay-Z, Eminem and Busta Rhymes.
50 Cent Accused Of Beat Stealing Again For New Single "I Get Money"
50 Cent has once again been accused of beat stealing again for his new single "I Get Money". The song's beat was originally used by a Massachusetts artist by the name of Jimmie Hoffa.
You can listen to Jimmie's version of "I Get Money" here
Vists Jimmie's Myspace page here
Listen to 50 Cent's "I Get Money" here
50 Cent was previously accused of stealing the beat for the song "Amusement Park" from Jim Jones.
50 Cent's new album "Curtis" is due in stores September 4th.
Kanye West Takes Over Complex Mag, Guest Edits Fall Issue
Complex magazine has enlisted Kanye West to serve as guest editor for its upcoming Fall Fashion issue, which will feature R&B newbie Cassie on the cover.
The August/September issue will see the Louis Vuitton Don in a reverse role. The emcee/producer, who's had his fair share of problems from journalists in the past, will now be in control of conducting the interviews.
In addition to contributing Q & A's, West will also share his commentary in a special section devoted to highlighting his favorites in a wide array of subjects ranging from fashion designers, brands, architects and artists.
Further flexing his editorial muscle, West has also chosen R&B siren Cassie, who's featured in his new video for "Stronger," to grace the issue's cover.
In related news, Ye is gearing up for the release of Graduation in late August, his highly anticipated follow up to Late Registration. The record will include the aforementioned single "Stronger," as well as feature guest appearances from Coldplay's Chris Martin, DJ Toomp, past collaborator Jon Brion, among others.
The August/September issue of Complex magazine will hit newsstands on August 14.
Master P and Romeo Sign Online Distribution Deal with AmieStreet.com
No Limit Records founder, Master P, and his son, Romeo, have signed an online distribution deal with GoDigital Music Group and AmieStreet.com.
Twista Responds to Anti-Rap Billboards
Chicago native Twista has responded to a series of billboards that have been erected around the city that classify a number of rap artists and their music as “trash.”
IPhone Mania Ensues, Apple Sells Over 700,000 Units Over The Weekend
Sales of Apple Inc.'s iPhones have reportedly surpassed analysts' projections.
According to the New York Post, consumers took home over 700,000 iPhones over the weekend. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst David Bailey has estimated the phone would sell 350,000 units while Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster predicted 200,000.
More than a third of Apple's 164 stores were out of stock by last night, according to the company's Web site, leaving buyers in states such as Hawaii, Nevada and Utah to try AT&T Inc. stores.
AT&T, the exclusive provider of wireless service for the iPhone, said most of its 1,800 stores sold out within 24 hours. The iPhone broke AT&T's opening-weekend records, selling more in three days than phones such as Motorola Inc.'s Razr did in their first month.
Karrine "Superhead" Steffans is preparing to release her second book entitled "The Vixen Diaries". The new installment is the follow-up to her succesful "Confessions of a Video Vixen" which put many of Hip-Hop's biggest names on blast including Dr. Dre, Ja Rule and Diddy.
According to Steffans website, the new book gives a picture of her life from when her first book was released all the way to last month. The book is set to be released September 25.
Although Steffans has not named exactly who she puts on blast in the book, in the upcoming issue of King magazine — which hits stands July 17 — she claims to have had a couple of new affairs with some high-powered performers and isn't shy about disclosing some intimate details.
First, she talks about sexual encounters with Lil Wayne and even says Weezy told her about his relationship with Trina in the wake of their breakup and recent onstage appearances together in Miami. "He said he's not back with her," Steffans told King. "Wayne don't claim nothing. The thing is this, what I know about Wayne is, he told me he loved her and that he was good to her."
Her remembrances of Ne-Yo are a little more salacious. Reports about the two of them came out a few weeks ago on blogs such as MissInfo.tv, and Steffans basically confirms the rumors. She claims to have been given Ne-Yo's e-mail address by L.A. radio personality Big Boy with hopes of being in one of the singer's videos. Steffans said they met for the first time recently on the set of Fabolous' "Make Me Better" video and hooked up that night.
"We're driving down the street, a car pulls up to my car," Steffans told the men-friendly mag. "My boy Chris is like, 'What's up?' They rolled down the back window and it's Ne-Yo, and he was like, 'Is Karrine in there?' Chris was like, 'Yeah, yeah, she's here.' He got out the car and he came by and was like, 'I'm heading back to my room, meet me at the hotel.' We all went to the hotel after that. We hung out all night with Ras Kass and some other girls in the room. The whole time he was just rubbing my feet. Just biting on my feet, rubbing on them. But we were comfortable ever since. Then we spent the next couple of days together. Ne-Yo looked at me right in my face and said, 'I don't care what happened before, but your life didn't start until the day you met me, and no matter what happens if we just stay friends, we end up together it doesn't matter.' I just felt like I'd known him all my life. When that got out, I actually panicked. I was nervous. Because I didn't want him to think that I did that. That's not my style."
In King, Steffans said "The Vixen Diaries" is even more personal than the first book, if that's possible. She talked explicitly about sex, spousal abuse and drug overdoses her first time out.
"The last book was a recollection of years past; this one is a diary written as I was in those moments," she told King. "So the emotions are fresh and the information is in real time. I didn't finish the book until the beginning of June, so it's more up-to-date. Mostly, this book is different 'cause I'm different. I'm more introspective, more confident and a whole lot more unapologetic. I know who I am right now, and for the first time, I like what I see. This book, by the end, reflects that."
King Editor in Chief Jermaine Hall said that men continue to be allured by her because of the legend of her reputation but become hooked because of her personality.
"I'm sure they're all intrigued about her skills in the bed ... but she's like a unicorn, people think it's bigger than what is," Hall said. "She even says she really is no different from most people sexually. I think what attracts them is she's such a dude in every way. It's like hanging out with your homeboy, a friend with benefits. You can talk about the latest game, the hot music that's out. She's an Alpha male in a beautiful female's body. ... She's real smart and worldly too. She can talk to you about a Young Buck record or Beethoven." Read more here
Destined to achieve
Make the choice to succeed. And then act as if you have no other choice.
Challenge yourself with an ambitious goal. And then find a way to rise to that challenge.
Your life will move forward when you choose to make it happen. The way to find fulfillment is to be an active and persistent participant in it.
Achievement does not come to those who sit and wait for a sure thing. Achievement is attained by taking a dream and then making it into a sure thing.
When you're on the line, and everything is riding on it, you have no choice but to perform. Find creative, meaningful ways to put yourself on the line.
You are destined to achieve great things. Choose to fully live that destiny.
-- Ralph Marston Read more here
Can't Leave Em Alone
Ciara ft. 50 Cent
(props to RTNY) Read more here
After crowning himself King with his last offering, fans agreed with him, pushing the album to platinum plus status. On the even of T.I. vs. T.I.P. hitting store shelves, T.I. (or is it T.I.P.?) is crowning this one a certified classic.
In a recent interview with MTV, the self proclaimed King of the South says this is his best album to date and the best album in Hip Hop today.
"The absolute best hip-hop has to offer right now," he says of the album."This is my best body of work, hands-down, and not only my best album, but it's the best [hip-hop] album to be dropped in a number of years.”
Tip takes it one step further by comparing the album to several certified Hip Hop classics.
“You have to go back to Aquemini, All Eyez on Me, Reasonable Doubt, Ready to Die. You have to go back to all those classics to compare this album to."
With nearly every rapper touting their new releases as classics, only time will tell if T.I. vs. T.I.P. measures up to Hip Hop’s other classic albums.
Hi-Five Member Died From "Huffing" Freon, Says Autopsy Report
Roughly three weeks after his demise, a medical examiner has ruled that former lead singer of the R&B group Hi-Five, Tony Thompson, died accidentally while "huffing" Freon.
Thompson, 31, was found dead near an air-conditioning unit outside an East Waco apartment complex on June 1.
According to The Waco Tribune, Dr. Reade A. Quinton, a medical examiner at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, determined that Thompson died from "toxic effects of chlorodifluoromethane," or inhaling a toxic amount of Freon.
Thompson's autopsy report showed that he had a history of "Freon huffing." No alcohol or illegal drugs were found in his system. However, the autopsy showed Thompson's blood stream had a small amount of methadone, a synthetic narcotic used to treat drug addiction.
Thompson and Hi-Five enjoyed national success in the 90's with hits like "She's Playing Hard To Get" and "I Like The Way." After the group disbanded Thompson pursued a solo career and released an album in1994. He would restart Hi-Five with new singers in 2005 and had reportedly been working on another solo project.
Foxy Brown's Ex Wanted For Parole Violations
New York authorities have revealed that the man who allegedly summoned three women to attack Foxy Brown outside a Brooklyn housing project last weekend is also wanted for parole violations.
According to New York's Daily News, Timothy Collier, 33, was on parole after serving three years on a drug charge. State records show that he broke curfew once and skipped two meetings with his parole officer in May. A warrant for his arrest was issued on June 6.
Brown (born Inga Marchand) reportedly dumped Collier outside the Louis H. Pink Houses on Saturday (June 23) after she found out he was a pimp. Allegedly this led Collier to call on four women to assault Brown and steal her handbag, necklaces and hearing aid.
One suspect, Roshawn Anthony, was arrested shortly after the incident. Anthony was scheduled to be indicted yesterday (June 29) but she was released after Brown refused to testify to a grand jury about the incident.
Collier was last seen outside the Louis H. Pink Houses on Monday (June 25).
Cassidy Embraces The Lord On New Album
Philly rapper Cassidy is more spiritual these days. With a new album on deck, he credits the good Lord as the man who helped him through his time in jail, and a recent car accident that left him seriously injured.
On the new album, titled The Barry Adrien Reese Story (B.A.R.S.), Cassidy speaks on his new found respect for God and why at his neediest hour, he was the only one there.
"When I was going through problems, from going to jail to the accident, even though I had money, I had power, respect and friends, no one showed up and the only thing that helped me was my faith," Cassidy told Billboard.com in a recent interview. "I was so worried about what lawyer I was going to hire and what judge will handle my case, but when I read the scripture, which says it's better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man, I knew I was going to win and get through it with the Lord on my side."
In April 2006, Cassidy was involved in a serious car accident in New Jersey, which resulted in the rapper being hospitalized with a fractured skull. He has since recovered.
Despite displaying his spiritual side on his new music, the rapper clearly says that fans should not classify it as gospel music because it's far from that.
"It's not church music -- it's just street songs," he insists. One track, the Angie Stone-laced "Leaning On the Lord's Side," was a song Cassidy used to sing during church services in prison, according to Billboard. The song had "a chorus that said 'leaning on the Lord's side,' and so when I got out, I asked Angie if she could help me bring the song to life," he explains.
In addition to Angie Stone, B.A.R.S. will feature guest appearances from John Legend, Beanie Sigel, Fabolous, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Eve and singer Rell, while production credits include Swizz Beatz, Scott Storch, Timbaland and Cool & Dre.
The album's first single is set to be the Swizz Beatz-produced "It's On (I Got My Drink and My Two Step)." A video is scheduled to be filmed in July.
B.A.R.S. is slated for release September 18 on Full Surface/J Records. He will also release a mixtape hosted by DJ Green Lantern on July 7, which will feature seven tracks off the new album.
T.I. Promises 'American Gangster' Will Be The "Hottest Gangsta Pic Since 'Boyz N The Hood'"
In the same fashion that he took over '06 with his Grammy nominated album King and his big screen debut ATL, T.I. plans to dominate 2007 with his forthcoming album, T.I. vs. T.I.P and the crime drama American Gangster.
American Gangster is based on the true story of 1970's drug kingpin Frank Lucas (played by Denzel Washington) who brought heroin into Harlem by sneaking it into the coffins of American soldiers coming home from Vietnam. T.I. plays Washington's nephew.
The movie also stars Russell Crowe, Common, RZA, Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Cuba Gooding Jr, and opens in theatres on November 2.
"The hottest gangsta picture for black folks since Boyz n the Hood hands down. It's definitely gon' be the first Oscar nominated, if not Academy Award-winning, gangsta picture," T.I. said "It's gon' be the Departed of this year. I'm comfortable saying that. I'm confident in saying that. I think big DW [Denzel Washington] concurs with me."
T.I. vs. T.I.P. hits shelves tomorrow (July 3). The album features appearances from Jay-Z, Wyclef Jean, Eminem and Busta Rhymes, among others.
Kanye West's "Graduation" Album To Feature Young Jeezy As Lone Guest Rapper
Young Jeezy will be the only guest rapper on Kanye West's new album "Graduation" when it hits stores this August.
"I don't have any rappers on my album," West told MTV News. "Not just because I'm trying to make a statement of being an MC — I want people to get into my album and zone out. You never asked Marvin Gaye, 'You have such and such doing a background track?' I do have an ad-lib from [Young] Jeezy. That's because he has that line, 'Hey Snowman, can I get an ad-lib?' So I asked for an ad-lib. Where the rappers do appear is on the remixes."
West went on to say that Young Jeezy will deliver a verse on the official remix of "Can't Tell Me Nothing" and he will add a new verse as well.
Kanye's DJ, A-Trak, is currently working on a remix of Ye's new single "Stronger". Look for "Graduation" to hit stores August 28th.
CIARA, 50 CENT clear up burning questions regarding their BET Award performances.
Yes, there are rampant rumors that 50 Cent and Ciara are a couple, based on their steamy performance in her new video for their single, “Can’t Leave ‘Em Alone.” But the two have come forward separately to address other issues left hanging following their performances last Tuesday at the BET Awards.
Folks were questioning the meaning behind the “25?” emblazoned on the back of a robe thrown around Ciara at the end of her performance. Some have suggested it was a reference to her rumored new boyfriend 50 Cent, with “25” meant to indicate her half of their relationship.
Others have said the “25” was a nod to the jersey number of her other rumored flame, New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush.
Backstage at the awards show, Ciara explained that “25?” was a tongue-in-cheek response to her last place slot on “BET’s Top 25 Dancers of All Time” special, where she was beaten by the likes of Diddy (24), Big Daddy Kane (23) and even Missy Elliott (20).
"I don't know if you've seen the Top 25 Dancers countdown on BET; I acknowledged that," she told reporters backstage.
Meanwhile, viewers of 50 Cent’s performance were left puzzled after he kept silent during the first verse of “Amusement Park” and instead chose to curse and walk through crowd giving pounds to various artists.
The black blogosphere erupted with theories about what went wrong – from 50 forgetting his words, to a teleprompter breakdown, to an Ashlee Simpson-like lip synching malfunction. But 50 set the record straight during an appearance days later on BET’s “106 & Park.”
What had happened was – 50 was nearly knocked off of his descending platform at the start of his performance by either a trapeze, or one of the dancers hanging from a nearby trapeze. The near fall off the perch got him rattled and threw off his concentration, he told “106 & Park’s” Rocsi and Terrence.
"When I prepared the performance, we went through the run-through and it just went totally different from what I actually got the chance to do," he said. "It's a disappointment, but I'll get a chance to do it again, so I'll feel good about it.” (He later performed the song on the “106 & Park” stage.)
A clip of 50’s rehearsal was shown on “106 & Park” as he explained: “You see me come out from under there with no problem, without actually being hit by the aerialist. I'm like 25 feet in the air at that point. And later on when you see the actual show, it wasn't planned for me to take my hat off or take my jacket off.”
"Everything doesn't quite happen the way you practice it," he continued. "You see, I was hit by the aerialist and I was wibbly-wobbling coming down. Twenty five feet in the air, man, you fall — can't nobody help me with that, you know what I mean? Then by the time you get down, you try and regroup to fight, you got the pyro going off, the music starts, we four bars into the song, you know — I just wasn't concentrating."
The rapper said his entrance into the crowd was an instinctive move to save the performance.
Snoop Dogg To Apply For Australian Citizenship After Being Denied Entry Into Country
After being denied entry into Australia in April, MTV announced it plans to make a second attempt at bringin Snoop Dogg to the country next week.
The music channel revealed no further details for their "special project," but it will feature the rapper on July 4, according to the Melbourne Herald Sun.
They also have Australia's immigration officials intrigued, after calling on MTV viewers to support an appeal to get citizenship for Snoop, who is the convicted felon (the reason he was denied in the first place).
In a press release, Snoop said that fans should "journey with me as I become a citizen of the land Down Under."
In April, the rapper was scheduled in Australia to attend the MTV Australian Video Music Awards, which he was scheduled to co-host, but Minister Kevin Andrews would not grant Snoop (real name: Calvin Broadus) a visa to enter the country, after recent drug and gun offenses the rapper faced in the U.S. and abroad.
"The reality is in relation to this man, that he was given a warning the last time," Mr. Andrews told Australian radio in April. "He has been denied entry into the United Kingdom because he was caught with others causing affray at Heathrow Airport. He doesn't seem the sort of bloke we want in this country." Read more here
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