Lil Wayne has announced that he will be dropping a prelude to his highly anticipated Tha Carter III album, rather than the actual LP, on December 18 as was previously planned.
Speaking to MTV News, Weezy explains that Tha Carter III: The Leak will contain a number of tracks that have hit the internet over the past few months—such as “Prostitute Flange” and “I Feel Like Dying”—but in slightly different forms. “I’m a perfectionist,” he told MTV. “I’mma change a couple verses, couple of lines. I ain’t gonna change nothing up where it fucks up the song, I’ll just make it more complete. There are songs out there that weren’t finished; I’ll add hooks, third verses. We’re working for the fans.”
The Leak will also include four brand new songs that Wayne has recorded especially for the release. The track “Gossip,” which Wayne performed live at the BET Hip-Hop Awards last week, will be the album’s first single. Although many have speculated that “Gossip” is a jab at 50 Cent, Weezy denies that allegation.
The actual Carter III album, which will contain all new material, is now slated for a February 12 release date.
Lil Wayne has announced that he will be dropping a prelude to his highly anticipated Tha Carter III album, rather than the actual LP, on December 18 as was previously planned.
Feel good about life
When you can change things for the better, do it. When you're unable to make any changes in the way things are, you still can change the way you feel.
And your feelings will end up changing your world. Because your feelings have an effect on what you do from moment to moment.
The person you feel like being is the person you will become. The life you most feel like living is the life you will find yourself experiencing.
Feel good about your life, and almost immediately your life will begin to align with that feeling. In each area, on every level, you'll start creating the results that validate and fulfill the feelings.
It may at first seem ridiculous or impossible to feel good when things are not going well. Actually, though, feeling good is really quite pleasant and something you can easily do whenever you choose.
So decide to feel good about life, right here, right now, and as often as possible. Put your feelings to positive use, and they'll help you build a more positive life.
-- Ralph Marston
Read more here
U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman said the rapper must remain under house arrest and will be monitored 24 hours a day by a private monitoring service that he is paying for.
Upon his release, the judge reportedly said, “You shouldn’t do anything that will undermine their ability to represent you.” If convicted, Tip could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.
(L note: If ya'll heard me on 103 jamz This morning , i said this was going to happen, but i had no idea his bail was going to be $3 million.)
Jay-Z, Lil Wayne Discuss American Gangster Collabo
By now you should know or at least have heard, but if not… Jay-Z and Lil Wayne collaborated for a track on Jay'z forthcoming album, American Gangster.
The track, "Hello Brooklyn," was actually a track meant for Weezy's long awaited album, The Carter 3. But when Jay heard the track, he asked to jump on it and the rest is history.
In an interview with MTV recently, Jay-Z explained how it went down.
"[Wayne's camp] sent the record and it was done," the Def Jam Pres said. "So it wasn't like a collaboration thing. It was done already. Gee [Roberson] and [Kyambo] 'Hip Hop' [Joshua], who came from Roc-A-Fella and went on to do great things — I'm very proud of them — manage Wayne. That whole thing came through them. It's more of a great record than a lyrical slugfest. It's more a creative, great record than two guys spitting. 'Success' [another American Gangster track] is more of what people wanna look at when you judge that type of [collaborative] stuff. It's me and Nas going at it."
Wayne confirms Jay-Z's comments, and even says that whatever Jay wants, he's got it because he's the king.
"It was produced by my homeboy Big D a long time ago," said Wayne. "Jay heard the song some type of way, and when he heard it, he said, 'Ask the homie if I can get this.' When I was asked the question, I told them it wasn't even a question -- he's got it. Everybody in the world knows how I feel about Jay. ... He's the king, utmost respect."
The track is one of the 14 tracks on American Gangster minus the into, which includes production by Diddy, The Neptunes, Just Blaze, DJ Toomp and Jermaine Dupri, among others.
In support of the new album, Jay will embark on a small, promo tour, but revealed to MTV, that he plans to hit the road next year sometime for a full tour with the entire roster of Roc-A-Fella.
"We're slowly getting our legs to make another run," he said. "First Kanye, then my record, then Free and Beans. [Memphis] Bleek's got a smoker out there. We're gearing up for Tru-Life at the beginning of the year, and [to] make that Dynasty 2 [album]."
American Gangster will hit stores November 6.
Universal Told To Change Name of Nas's New Album "N*gger" Or Risk Losing Investments
Universal Music Group has been told to change name of soon to be released Nas album "N*gger" or risk losing $84 million in state investments a Fort Greene assemblyman said this week.
“[They are] profiting from a racial slur that has been used to dehumanize people of color for centuries,” said Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D–Fort Greene).
“It is time for Nas and other hip-hop artists to clean up their act and stop flooding the airwaves with the N-word.”
According to The Brooklyn Paper, Jefferies had called on Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to withdraw the $84 million the state had invested in Universal and its parent company Vivendi.
“It’s a staggering amount of money, which at least justifies a review of the appropriateness of the content that is flooding the public,” said Jeffries.
Also joining Jeffries in his efforts to have the album title changed are Clinton Miller, of Brown Memorial Baptist Church, and Jill Merritt, a founder of the Abolish the N-Word Project.
Universal didn't return calls for comments from The Brooklyn Paper. A spokesman for DiNapoli said the comptroller "is concerned about this issue and is intending to contact the company and urge them not to release the album.”
In February of this year the council past legislation urging people not to use the "N" word. Jeffries says he is determined to stop the release of the album.
“The [Council made] an important symbolic step, but I’m more interested in the substantive approach of reviewing the multi-billion-dollar investment that the New York State pension fund makes in the entertainment industry.”
50 Cent Denies Fighting with Righteous Kill Co-Star, Speaks on Working With De Niro and Pacino
50 Cent has denied rumors that he got into a physical altercation with actor Frank John Hughes on the set of Righteous Kill, the film he’s currently working on with screen legends Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.
Earlier this month, a story circulated on the internet that claimed 50 punched Hughes in the face after the actor confronted him about not knowing his lines. When questioned about the alleged scuffle by MTV News, 50 scoffed at the notion, explaining that a confrontation such as that would only serve to hurt his bottom line. “You know how much that would cost?” he explained to MTV News.
“It was actually a fight scene in the film—so expand it, get a little bit of controversy going so people [will be] be interested.”
Curtis also opened up about working with two of the most respected actors in Hollywood, nothing that he feels he is holding his weight on set. “It was definitely cool just being around them, away from actually performing on camera,” he told MTV.
“De Niro, I’ve been to his house, met his wife. We’ve been to the firing range a couple times together.” In the film, 50 plays a nightclub owner who becomes embroiled in two detectives’ (De Niro and Pacino) hunt for a serial killer. “I feel good about my performance,” he said. “I want everybody to go see it and be excited.” Righteous Killis scheduled for release in 2008.
Promoter Slams Soulja Boy for Stampede, Schedule Change
A concert promoter in Springfield, Ohio has criticized Soulja Boy for encouraging concertgoers to rush the stage during an October 22 performance, calling the move, “unprofessional and amateur adolescent behavior.”
According to the State Journal-Register, promoter Terry Byrd of Off Da Chain Entertainment felt the rapper nearly incited a riot when he told the crowd to move up closer to the stage, causing a near stampede at the Prairie Capital Convention Center. By the promoter’s estimates, as many as 1500 fans rushed the stage when Soulja Boy’s manager cut the sound and the rapper yelled out for the crowd to move closer and “and kick it wit’ me to the front of the stage.”
Although nobody was seriously injured, at least one young girl was examined by the paramedics after being elbowed in the eye, and several other people were “bumped or scratched.” Byrd also said that Soulja Boy broke a verbal agreement to sign autographs with fans an hour before he was to take the stage, although he did meet with fans after his performance.
“I personally want to apologize to anyone who got hurt or feel that they were done wrong,” Byrd to the Journal-Register. Despite his complaints, Byrd commended Soulja Boy for putting on a “dynamite” show and said he feels the real blame lies with the rapper’s management.
The Clipse Sign With Columbia Records
According to a Billboard.com exclusive report, The Clipse have signed with Columbia Records.
Reports say the duo (Pusha T and Malice) have completely severed ties with JIVE and the Neptunes' Star Trak Entertainment.
The Clipse issues with their former label home JIVE Records have been well documented. Their last album, "Hell Hath No Fury", was released through JIVE and sold only 194,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The new deal with Columbia is reported to be a five-year, 50/50 profit-sharing arrangement for Clipse' label Re-Up Gang Records.
Under terms of the new deal, Clipse will own the masters for its Re-Up Gang artists, Ab Liva and Sandman. Additionally, a Re-Up Gang compilation album will be released in 2008 along with a new Clipse studio album. Producers expected to appear on the Clipse album include Timbaland, Danjahandz and Dame Grease.
"I can honestly say that we were all friends before the music and will be friends to the end," Malice says of his relationship with the Neptunes to Billboard.com. "Everything is business. If we had our way, we would always be on Star Trak. But it's what's working for you and what's not. We just want good energy, and Columbia has both the urgency and the muscle."
Beyonce Concert Nixed In Wake Of Tragedy
Beyonce Knowles' latest stop on her world tour was recently axed by organizers.
The Istanbul soccer club Fenerbahce had set up the concert to celebrate the club's centennial anniversary, but after 12 soldiers were killed in a Kurdish rebel attack, the group decided to cancel the show, according to eonline.
"We share our nation's grief," the club said in a statement on its website. "We are canceling our 100th anniversary concert."
The singer's next stop will be in Mumbai, India, tomorrow (October 27), with her world tour wrapping up on November 12 in Taiwan.
As previously reported, Beyonce recently cancelled another concert date in Malaysia, scheduled for November 1, after refusing to adhere to the Muslim country's strict dress code for performers.
For fans who have been unable catch the singer onstage, Beyoncé is preparing the release of her deluxe concert tour DVD The Beyoncé Experience LIVE! on November 20. The DVD captures B's September 2, SRO performance this year at the Los Angeles Staples Center and offers over 2 hours of music, with special guest performances from Jay-Z as well as Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland for the historic reunion of Destiny's Child.
The special episode of Storytellers airs November 8th at 9p.m ET/PT on VH1.
Make sure you peep it.
According to Cnn.com, A man accused of selling a pit bull to suspended NFL quarterback Michael Vick's dogfighting operation and sponsoring a pit bull in dogfights was due in federal court Wednesday to enter a plea.
Oscar Allen is charged with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce to aid in illegal gambling and to sponsor a dog in animal fighting -- the same charge to which Vick and his three co-defendants in the Bad Newz Kennels operation pleaded guilty. Vick is expected to be sentenced in December.
In documents filed at U.S. District Court, prosecutors allege that Allen sold a female pit bull named Jane in 2001 to Bad Newz Kennels, and traveled with Vick's dogfighting associates to Jane's Allen also is accused of advising Vick and his co-defendants on managing and caring for pit bulls used in the Surry County dogfighting operation, and helping Vick and his associates pit their dogs against each other to determine which ones were good fighters, according to the document, filed by the U.S. attorney's office.
Allen didn't help kill the six to eight dogs that failed to perform well, prosecutors said.
(Lnote: Remember part of Mike's plea agreement staets that he will turn "states witness" for the Feds, incases such as this one. Is Mike snitching??? What ya'll think)Read more here
So if you are in the 757 area of Va. tune in to the Budda Brothers Morning show From 9-10am. and if you are not in the area go to 103 jamz.com and Click Listen Live now.
Foxy’s Manager Says Solitary Confinement Due to a Misunderstanding
Chaz Williams, Foxy Brown’s manager, says that his client was placed into punitive segregation, or solitary confinement, due to a misunderstanding.
The incarcerated Brooklyn rapper has been in solitary since October 16 for three violations that Riker’s Island officials say she committed, including a scuffle with a fellow inmate and her refusal to submit to a drug test. But Chaz tells Billboard.com that the allegations are not entirely true.
According to Williams, the scuffle never happened. “There was an incident where a girl attempted to confront her and she stood her ground, but there wasn’t any contact. Words were exchanged and that was it,” he told Billboard.com. He also claims that the drug test incident was a result of Foxy’s hearing problems. “Really she didn’t hear the request,” he said. “She has a battery-operated device and sometimes it dies out.”
Williams went on to say that by the time Foxy realized what she was being asked to do, officials had already decided on disciplinary action. City council member Charles Barron reportedly visited Foxy on Riker’s on October 21 and subsequently asked the commissioner to remove her from solitary, citing the hearing impairment. The rapper has since been examined and an investigation is still under way.
Back in 2005, Foxy announced that she was suffering from severe hearing loss and was in danger of losing her hearing completely. After undergoing surgery, she has since recovered considerably.
Diddy Says Allegations are False
Diddy says that the recent allegations against him referring to a fight outside a New York City night club have been blown out of proportion. At a news conference introducing a new business venture with Diago PLC (the world’s largest alcoholic beverage group), Diddy stated, “It was something that was just totally overblown…I don’t fight over girls!”. He also added, “I am a human being and I will get into an argument at times.”
According to police sources, Diddy was under investigation in regards to the fight which was allegedly over a woman.
When asked if there was any further legal action being taken, he responded, “They looked into it. There are so many other things going on in the city.”
According to police, Steven Acevedo, 31, has accused Diddy, 37, of punching him twice in the face at the nightclub in SoHo. Diddy could be facing a misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault.
Freeway Delivers "Free At Last" November 20 On Roc-A-Fella Records
Freeway will release his new album, "Free At Last", November 20 on Roc-A-Fella Records.
"The past four years, a lot's been goin' on with me, personally," explains Free. "I'm a Muslim, and I had the opportunity to go to Mecca, and that really brightened my horizons; the break-up at the Roc, that had me stagnant for a while to be honest; meanwhile, the music is changing, that's how music is, constantly changing. As far as for me, I didn't change anything in terms of my style, I do what I do. I'm a reality rapper, always have been, so I got a lot to say about what's goin' on. I let it all out on record. That's why my fans love me."
Co-executive produced by Jay-Z and newfound ally 50 Cent - and featuring a virtual who's who of raps brightest stars including guest spots from Scarface, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, 2 Short, Paul Wall and production from JR Rotem, Cool & Dre, Don Cannon, Bink, Dame Grease & more, Free At Last is a tour-de force, deftly recapturing that signature Roc-A-Fella sound.
"The industry's goin' through changes, and it's about a lot of bullshit right now," says Freeway of the new project. "Since I first came out, I've been watching very closely. Radio, video don't support anymore. So I've been floodin' the internet with freestyles, hittin' the streets. The blogs and the networking sites are the new streets, obviously. That's where the fans are. They want to hear your music, and you gotta give it to them. They'll let you know real quick what they think!"
Styles P To Drop Album, LOX LP In The Works
Styles P of the LOX announced his third album, titled “Supa Gangsta, Extraordinary Gentleman,” will be released on Dec. 4th, adding that their long-awaited group LP is still in the works.
The Yonkers rapper described his album as “street-level hip-hop in its rawest form,” and he recently told Billboard magazine that it features cameos by Ghostface Killah, Akon, Max B (Diplomats), and Black Thought (The Roots).
Meanwhile Jadadkiss, Styles, and Sheek Louch are reportedly working on a collective LP, which would be their first since the 2000 LP “We Are The Streets.”
According to Styles, it’s expected to drop in the second or third quarter of 2008, right after Sheek releases his next solo project.
“We’ve got a good amount of songs,” Styles said. “It’s the same direction we always go in – 100 percent pure hip-hop electricity. You’ll hear a lot of songs on each one of our solo albums preparing you for the LOX album.”
Dallas Targets Sagging Pants Via Ad Billboards
Dallas, Texas has jumped in line in being the latest U.S. city to target sagging pant lines.
Following attempts by Atlanta and Baltimore, Dallas is being to run an ad campaign via billboard posted around the city with the words "Pullem' Up!" written in bold letters, accompanied a cartoon drawing of a kid sagging his pants so low that his boxer shorts hang out.
According to reports, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway has worked to push the issue to the forefront since he was elected in May, despite the City Council not taking action on the issue.
Attorneys believe that legal issues could come from fines given to individuals over what people wear.
The Hip Hop Government, who designed the billboard campaign, however don't seem to care. So far, there is a billboard at Dallas City Hall and along the Interstate with others expected to follow.
"We represent the citizens, and the citizens were having a problem looking at people with dirty underwear," Caraway said to Fox News. "Now we've found it doesn't take an ordinance nor does it take a resolution, because they're now seeing for themselves the need to respect themselves and a respect for society."
The Hip Hop Government is pushing to get Billboards into other areas surrounding Dallas, including Fort Worth.
Kanye West Clings To The Top 10, Angie Stone Follows Behind, Soulja Boy "Cranks" His Way Up
In this week's Hip-Hop and R&B charts, Angie Stone debuts at No. 11, Keyshia Cole, Jill Scott, Soulja Boy and J. Holiday all hover in the Top 20 and Kanye West remains the only artist in the Top 10.
In his sixth week on the Charts, Chi-Town rapper/producer Kanye West slips just three spots to No. 9, selling 53,600 copies of his third album Graduation according to Nielsen's SoundScan. The disc, which features guest spots from Lil' Wayne, T-Pain and Mos Def, has achieved total sales of 1,534,200.
Two spots down is R&B singer Angie Stone, who debuts at No. 11 with her fourth album, The Art of Love & War. The CD pushed 44, 600 copies in its first week.
One spot down at No. 12 is Keyshia Cole, whose sophomore album Just Like You moved 44,121 units this week for a four-week total of 472,500. Just Like You features guest appearances from Missy Elliott, Lil' Kim, Diddy, T.I. and Too $hort.
Two spots down at No. 14 is Soulja Boy, whose debut Souljaboytellem.com climbed one spot this week with 40,400 copies sold. The album's three-week total is 200,200.
Jill Scott moved up three spots to No. 15 this week with 38,300 copies of her third studio album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3. After four weeks on the chart, the Philly songstress has sold 281,669 copies.
One spot down at No. 16 is J. Holiday, whose debut album Back of My Lac' pushed 34,978 copies in its third week. The DC crooner's total stands at 177,200.
Five spots down at No. 21 is 50 Cent, who finally surpassed the platinum mark this week with 30,200 copies sold of his third album, Curtis. The G-Unit general's six-week total now stands at 1,025,500.
After 57 weeks on the Charts, Fergie moved up two spots to No. 26 this week with 26,200 copies sold of her album, The Dutchess. The former Black Eyed Peas singer gone solo continues her sales reign to the tune of 2,826,900 copies sold.
Superproducer Timbaland also moved up two spots this week, landing at No. 27 with 25,700 copies sold of his solo effort Shock Value. After 29 weeks, Timbo has scanned a total of 760,700 discs.
11 spots down, Jennifer Lopez plummeted to No. 38 after debuting at No. 12 with her fifth English album, Brave. The album sold 18,200 copies this week for a two-week total of 70,900 copies sold.
After 20 weeks on the chart, Rihanna hangs tough and climbs 13 spots to No. 40 with Good Girl Gone Bad. The Def Jam siren sold 17,800 copies this week for a total sales tally of 756,100.
Former *NSYNC frontman Justin Timberlake slips one spot to No. 42 with 17,700 sold of his sophomore smash FutureSex/LoveSounds. After 58 weeks on the Charts, JT has pushed 3,722,500 copies of his album, which features production from Timbaland and guest spots from T.I. and Three 6 Mafia.
Trey Songz fell 15 spots to No. 45 this week, scanning 17,100 copies of Trey Day, for a three-week total of 114,800. The disc features guest spots from B.G. and Jim Jones.
Clocking in at No. 49 is Jagged Edge, who climbed two spots this week with 15,500 copies sold of their sixth album, Baby Makin Project. The Atlanta foursome has amassed a four-week sales total of 146,600.
Next week look for Jermaine Dupri's Greatest Hits Album and cult favorite Little Brother, to make an appearance on the Hip-Hop and R&B Charts.
ok so i get "Tied up For a Day" and the Internets favorite rapper, jumpoff joey, gets into a beef with Ransom.
it started wit this.
Ransom - Kid Brother
Joey not one to be shoot and not shoot back responded with this.
Joe Budden - Heart of the City
and Being that Ransom dont wanna bow down to nobody he came back with this.
Ransom - Die Tonight
consider yourself caught up......
and always props to Jordan Read more here
Cam'ron's comeback officially has a release date. On Wednesday morning (October 24), he exclusively revealed to MTV News that his mixtape, Public Enemy #1, will be out November 7.
"Killa Season again, you little yentas," Cam said in an e-mail to MTV News, referencing his 2006 album. "November 7th. Cam'ron is anonymous. Dipset!"
Cam has also just launched Killa Cam Space on MySpace to promote the mixtape. On the site, you'll soon find exclusive music from Public Enemy #1, like the song "Glitter," which he previewed for MTV News. It's all about the flamboyant Harlemite flossin'.
(L note:i gotta admit Cam got me intrigued, but damn when we start shooting trailers for mixtapes???) Read more here
Find your own path
The obstacles you encounter are not preventing you from reaching your dreams. They're merely blocking one particular path that you mistakenly assume is the only way to reach those dreams.
If you focus on the obstacles, then you give them more power. Instead, focus on your purpose, on your most authentic and fundamental intentions.
The world can trick you into thinking that there's only one road to your destination. In truth, there are infinite ways to get where you wish to go.
There's nothing that says you have to succeed in the same way as someone else. In fact, there's nothing that says you must define success in the same way as someone else.
You are truly one of a kind, with your own unique passions and purposes. And you're fully capable of traveling your own route to the fulfillment of your dreams.
Don't be stopped just because the road that everyone else uses has been closed. Find your own path, and if that path is blocked find another, and you will surely reach whatever destination you choose.
-- Ralph Marston Read more here
(L note :Sorry for the lack of news yesterday folks.
I was a guest of the state for a few.
but now I'm back so lets get it in................. )
Tupac Amaru Shakur Center In Georgia Vandalized
The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation (TASF) located in Stone Mountain, Georgia was vandalized over the weekend in a series of attacks taking place on Saturday (October 20).
According to a rep for the center, the first incident took place during the early morning hours of Saturday when vandals defaced the building, as well as tied a noose around the neck of the bronze statue of Tupac Shakur located in the Center's Peace Garden.
The second incident occurred at early Monday morning (October 22) when vandals damaged the Tupac statue even further.
So far, one male has been arrested and is currently being held in custody. The attacks are being investigated as hate crimes by the De Kalb County Sheriff's Office.
"We thank everyone for their prayers and support," said Afeni Shakur, the mother of late rapper Tupac Shakur. "Although our hearts are temporarily in pain, our spirits have already forgiven the perpetrators."
The bronze Tupac statue was plastered with handbills of garbled rants that include references to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina as well as vague threats against various record companies and rappers.
The manner of the attack indicates it is the work of one or more individuals.
"Hate comes in all colors and genders, therefore we will use this act of hate and ignorance to bring our community together and to pray for the healing of those who harbor such feelings," said Afeni of the vandalism. "With God's guidance, the work of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts and Peace Garden will continue to positively impact and transform our community."
As a result of the incidents, the TASF is now in the process of raising money to construct a fence around the parameters of the Center to prevent these types of incidents from occurring again.
Donations can be sent to TASF, 5616 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain, GA 30083 or via their website at TASF.org.
In other news, TASF will kick off its 2nd Bi-Annual Film Screening with a re-dedication service of the Peace Garden on Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 1:00 p.m. Following the service will be a film screening and panels from film industry experts.
Both events are free to the public.
New Orleans Jeweler Sues Lil' Wayne
A New Orleans jeweler has sued Lil' Wayne claiming the rapper owes him $146K.
According to the Miami-Herald, jeweler Jack Sutton says Wayne purchased a $32,000 necklace and a $138,000 diamond ring from him on October 6, 2006 and to date Wayne has paid only $24,000.
Sutton said the deal was made over the phone and Wayne agreed to make monthly payments. Sutton reports receiving a check for $24,000 on October 12. He received another check for $24,000 on January 18, however when he tried to deposit it he says there was a stop payment on the check.
Sutton says he has been unable to contact anyone in Wayne's camp about the outstanding amount.
“'I've been doing business with him for at least 10 years. He's always been wonderful with paying me,” said Sutton. “He’s spent a lot of money with me. I thought we have a really good relationship. I don't know what happened, unless it's a misunderstanding.”
Sutton's lawyer confirms his client's statement.
“This is clearly a misunderstanding,” Sweeney said “If, in fact, the allegations are true, then it will be resolved. My client is very responsible.'”
Diddy Breaks Into the Vodka Market
Diddy announced Wednesday (October 24) during a press conference that he is diving into the vodka business.
The music mogul and business entrepreneur revealed that he has inked a multi-year deal to develop the Ciroc vodka brand in which he would share 50% of the profits.
Diddy says the deal is so important that it "will have my daily attention." He plans to open a marketing office at his midtown Manhattan headquarters, so that he can devote time to the brand.
The agreement will be worth more than $100 million for Diddy's Sean Combs Enterprises over the course of the deal, depending on how well the brand performs.
Diddy will oversee the marketing of the brand -- including where it will be available and will also get it into the hands of the "movers and shakers" to help its growth.
"They're looking for something that tastes like their lifestyle," Diddy said. "It's that trendsetter, that hipster, someone who's looking for luxury and looking for something better."
The ultra-premium vodka has grown from 1.6 million nine-liter cases sold to 4.8 million nine-liter cases in the past five years, according to Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
So, with those kinds of numbers, Diageo is ready to get its piece of the market share. The average retail price of a bottle of Ciroc is about $34 (€24).
The brand, according to the Associated Press, launched in 2003, and is already performing well. So far, in 2007, sales of their vodka rose 21 percent while volume, or the number of cases sold indirectly or directly to consumers, grew 17 percent.
Diddy first goal as marketing chief is to raise awareness for Ciroc, and eventually make it a household name.
He mentioned that he plans to make it "the official vodka of New Year's Eve," and will organize tastings around the country so that drinkers can sample it.
Arrest Warrant Issued For Beenie Man
An arrest warrant has been issued for Reggae artist Beenie Man after he missed court yesterday (Oct. 23) where he was to have faced charges of tax evasion.
Reuters reports that a judge has issued an arrest warrant. Beenie is accused of failing to pay taxes for more than 10 years.
"I am surprised that he has not appeared before me," Judge Owen Parkins said before issuing the warrant. "This case is well publicized and he should have been in court. No one is above the law."
Beenie Man showed up in court three weeks ago where he was fined $415,000 US by the Jamaican revenue department along with an additional $246,000 in penalties. Beenie claimed to have not known he owed money.
Keyshia Cole Proves She's "Just Like You"
Keyshia Cole makes her return to reality television next week, back for a second season of her BET hit show "Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is."
Following on the heels of the successful release of her second album Just Like You, Keyshia heads back on the small screen. In the new season "Keyshia Cole 2: The Way it Is" reunites audiences with Keyshia's poignant struggle to balance her family crises with her budding career as an R&B star.
This time around, cameras capture Cole as she works to complete and release her sophomore CD Just Like You while also sharing the wealth with her mother, recently released from prison, and her sister Neffie, whose battles with alcohol fueled much of the drama behind the show's first season.
The platinum success of Cole's debut album has provided a better life for her and her family, but after the singer invites her mother and sister to live in her Atlanta mansion the two find Keyshia's rules too hard to live by. With the rigors of her career pulling at her, Keyshia is faced with more difficult choices.
In related news, VH1 has their own plans for the Bay Area native. Keyshia Cole has been selected for "VH1 Unplugged," performing hits from her debut as well as new songs from Just Like You.
"Keyshia Cole 2: The Way It Is" premieres Tuesday, October 30 at 10:30 p.m. on BET.
Pharrell Preps New N.E.R.D. Album for Early 2008
Pharrell recently revealed to MTV News that a new N.E.R.D. LP is on schedule for a release in early 2008. N.E.R.D., which consists of Pharrell, longtime production partner Chad Hugo and Shay Haley, last dropped a group project in 2004 with Fly or Die.
According to Skateboard P, he feels that last project was too consistent and he is striving for a much more inconsistent feel on the new album, titled N*R*3*D. “I just was waiting for the right sounds,” he told MTV News. “Creating [music] at the keyboard is like going fishing. You fish for it every day. And you either get it or you don’t get it. It works several different ways: sometimes I sit down and just make something and it’s appropriate for it, sometimes I do that and it’s not appropriate. And sometimes I have to wait. What I usually do with the N.E.R.D. albums is we wait a lot.”
While the renowned beatsmith was reluctant to reveal many details about the N*R*3*Dproject, he did say that it is mostly finished.
Drag-On Signs With Swizz Beatz
Just months after Drag-On dropped his independent release, Hood Environment, Drag-On has officially signed with Swizz Beatz’ Full Surface family.
After years of being out of the spot light, Drag-On has been popping up with new freestyles as well as a recent guest appearance on Swizz Beatz’ latest album, One Man Band Man, for Bust Ya Gunz. A track they had previously performed together during their Ruff Ryder days. Along with numerous tracks recorded with [now] label-mate Cassidy.
Heading his own label, Hood Environment, the New York rapper has big plans for the future. “This will give me a chance to bring in new talent and give others a chance to shine as well. My label is gonna be 100% with hard music for the streets. This time I’m the CEO and I know what the people want. Hood Environment the CD in stores now! Swizz Beatz CD in stores now! Cassidy coming! Support real music we do this from the heart,” says Drag-On.
Hi-Tek and Dame Dash Prep Mr. Untouchable Mixtape
In anticipation of the theatrical release of his documentary Mr. Untouchable, about real life Harlem drug lord turned government informant Nicky Barnes, Dame Dash is releasing a special mixtape.
1. Dame Dash Intro: Curtis Mayfield - “Hard Times”/Bohanon “Save their souls”
2. James Brown - “The boss”/Nas “Get Down”
3. James Brown - “Down and Out in Newyork City”
4. James Brown - “Pay Back” (Dame/Hi-tek Mix)
5. George Mcrae - “Get Lifted”
6. James Brown - “Mind Power”
7. War - “War-killing the atomic bomb”
8. Curtis Mayfield - “Pusha Man”
9. CI & CO - “We got our own thang”
10. Willie Hutch - “Tell me why our love has turned so cold”
11. Willie Hutch - “Brother’s Gonna Work It Out”
12. 24 Carat Black - “Ghetto: Misfortunes Wealth”
13. Bootsy Collins - “Rather be with you”
14. Barry White - “Playing your game baby” (wit a twist)
15. The Miracles - “Up Again”
16. Norman Connors - “You are my Starship”
17. 24 Carat Black - “Mothers Day”
18. Isaac Hayes - “Do you thing”
19. Willie Hutch - “Love me back”
20. Dame Dash Outro: Earth Wind & Fire - “keep your head to the sky”/Bobbi Humphrey “My Little Girl”
"Blow Ya Mind" (Trailer)
Styles P Feat. Swizz Beatz
(L note: Maybe i missed the memo about cats doing trailers for video's cause it seems Everybodys doing it now) Read more here
(L note:I Think I'm going to start a post called talking reckless, Cause it seems so many people just specialize in it. and it always seems to involve Wayne somehow. )
Here is Khia Speaking on Wayne, Trina, Remy and everybody else. (NSFW)
From Str8 Krackk DVD Magazine
(L note: I see alot of DVD Magazines poppin up, might have to look into that....) Read more here
Tip also has some interesting things to say that you can’t help but apply to his current legal situation:
On Rap Now:
You’re the only rapper to drop platinum albums the last two years. How can you say you don’t fit in?
When I saw Tupac talking that “Thug Life” shit, getting locked up for shooting police, and getting shot and living, that’s when I was like, Damn, them niggas is really about that shit. Now you’re just let down. This ain’t this guy that he was on this record. And nobody seems to have a problem with it. It’s a lot of fake shit in it. I like to consider myself an intelligent person, and this shit is not something of intelligence anymore. It’s getting real young and stupid, and that ain’t me.
On The Real Frank Lucas:
Given the strong “stop snitching” credo within hip-hop, what did you think of his cooperating with authorities to shorten his 70-year prison term?
On how the streets have changed:
Is there a character in American Gangster you would parallel to your days in the trap?
CLICK HERE to read the full excerpts and see all the photos.
Foxy Brown Placed In Solitary Confinement On Rikers Island
According to the New York Post, Foxy Brown has been placed in solitary confinement on Rikers Island for various jailhouse violations.
Sources told the paper that Brown was placed in solitary confinement beginning Oct. 16 for 76 days following three violations at Rikers Island this month.
The first incident is said to have occurred Oct. 3 when Brown was on her way to the dining hall for a meal. She and another inmate began shoving each other prompting prison officials to intervene. Then the very next day reports say Brown was verbally abusive to prison officials and refused to take a random drug test.
The three cases were reviewed by the Department of Correction and Foxy was sentenced to 76 days in "punitive segregation". In her new holding area, Brown is expected to spend up to 23 hours a day alone by herself in a cell.
For one hour each day Brown is allowed to see visitors, meet with her attorney, go to the library and work out away from general population.
Foxy possibly faces more disciplinary charges when another case is examined in which she refused to board a Rikers Island bus at least twice to go to a scheduled Brooklyn court date on Oct. 12.
Foxy was sentenced on Sept. 8 to a year in jail for violating her probation after several arrests.
Attorney for JT Money Denies Rapper’s Involvement in Club Shooting
An attorney for Miami rapper JT Money has denied his client’s involvement in an October 11 shooting at Club Opera in midtown Atlanta.
The incident left one man wounded and sent hundreds of clubgoers fleeing for their lives. Soon after the shooting, JT Money was identified as a possible suspect. Police were said to be looking for three men who fled the scene in a black Hummer SUV.
According to Atlanta’s 11 Alive News, an unidentified attorney said to be representing the rapper has denied that his client was involved in anyway and claims that he was actually in Florida on the night of the shooting.
Atlanta police have not publicly named any suspects and have made no arrests. A police spokesperson informed 11 Alive News that officers still plan to interview several witnesses.
Lil Wayne Not A No-Show, Just Didn't Take The Stage
As reported earlier Monday (October 22), Lil Wayne was a no-show for a concert that was held in Hanover, North Carolina Sunday (October 21), but apparently it wasn't true. The rapper was there and just didn't get on stage.
According to a report from TMZ.com, the concert promoter said that due to poor attendance and ticket sales, Lil Wayne refused to go on stage.
Charles "Duke" Lineberry, Jr., the attorney for Mitchell Entertainment Group, the show's promoters, a crowd of 3,000 were expected, but when only 1,000 kids showed, Lil Wayne's cut wasn't going to be paid.
As a result, Weezy reportedly sat backstage waiting on the crowd to increase, when it didn't he left without performing.
TMZ reports that Mitchell Entertainment Group -- who fought to make the concert happen after the New Hanover County School Board tried to cancel it -- has to refund concertgoers' money.
New Hanover County School Board and to have Lil' Wayne appear -- now has to deal with refunding tens of thousands of dollars to irate concertgoers.
FIVE ARRESTED IN LUCKY DUBE KILLING
Police in Johannesburg have arrested five suspects in the killing of reggae star Lucky Dube, who was gunned down Thursday (Oct. 18) in the midst of an attempted carjacking.
According to the Associated Press, police spokesman Eugene Opperman said the men were arrested Sunday morning and will appear in court Tuesday. Police also recovered two stolen handguns and a car allegedly used during the crime.
Dube, who gained international attention in the 1980s with music criticizing apartheid, was killed after he dropped off two of his children at his brother's suburban Johannesburg house.
Dube's friends told South African Sunday newspapers they believed it was a targeted assassination. But Opperman said police still believed he was shot in a botched carjacking.
Meanwhile, sales of Dube's music have skyrocketed since his death. Ivor Haarburger, chief executive of Dube’s recording company, Gallo, and the singer's long-time friend, tells the Sunday Times: “We have received more than 3000 e-mails and 220 telephone calls a day with messages of condolence and orders for his products.
“His music has definitely been receiving more media coverage, but his popularity was not just in South Africa," Haarburger continues. “He had fans across Europe and Africa. I just got off the phone with an Australian radio station about him.”
Beanie Sigel To Release "The Solution" December 11
Beanie Sigel is set to make his much-anticipated return with The Solution (State Property/Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam). Hitting stores December 11, the “Broad Street Bully” unleashes his highly anticipated fourth album.
“I realize that the game has changed… Everything sounds the same…very repetitive,” says Beanie Sigel, who also adds “The Solution is the answer to all of that. For those that want to here a little rock, jazz or soul, I got all of that!”
The Solution is the follow up to Beanie’s 2005 critically acclaimed, certified gold release The B. Coming, which earned Sigel his highest chart debut to date. “The crucial street credibility that can make or break a hip-hop star didn’t stop curbside for Sigel,” commented USA Today. “His emcee skills and potent rhymes are undeniable.” Beans, who can also be heard on the track “Ignorant Shit,” on Jay-Z’s upcoming epic American Gangster, has brought his most diverse musical offering to the table yet. The Solution features R.Kelly, Scarface, Styles P, Raheem DeVaughn as well as production from The Runners, Eric Hudson (Trey Songz), newcomers Harry & Alex and Philly’s own Dre & Vidal (Usher, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown).
Very different from his previous projects, Sigel experiments on songs like “I’m In” which shows his smooth “Lady’s Man” persona with the sample of Luther Vandross’ “Make Me a Believer.” “Children” is a soulful Marvin Gaye rendition focusing on the problems in the community among children and their missing fathers while “The Day” produced by Dre & Vidal collaborated with Harry & Alex taps into Beanie’s rock side.
"I consider myself relevant in the rap game at all times," explains Sig. "After you party and do all that, now the real world kicks in. The pain, the stress, agony. The lessons you learn. Your come ups, your downfalls. The real world--which I deal with in my music--is always relevant. All the shit might go through in the course of a day is on my album. I'm talking about religion, spiritually, getting a piece of mind. All that counts and all that's in my music."
50 Cent Speaks On "Before I Self Destruct"
50 Cent recently spoke to MTV News about his up-coming album "Before I Self Destruct."
The album, which is slated to be released in Spring 2008, is 50's last album of original material under his current contract with Interscope Records.
"On my next album, you should expect to not see features [guest appearances] like you saw on Curtis," he smiled. "Before I Self Destruct, it's totally different. That record has a whole 'nother concept. I feel like this sets up the next batch of records. It's got what I really wanna do on it. Plus, it's my fourth album — it fulfills my record obligation to Interscope Records. I'll be a free agent."
In other 50 Cent news, G-Unit will release their second album December 18. According to 50, the album is nearing completion and they are only waiting on one last feature.
"We gotta work with Em, that's it," 50 told MTV News. "Then we can be done with it. Production-wise, I captured what I needed. But I didn't want to not have Em's stamp on it. We probably won't get his vocals until he's heard the full body of work and he's excited about it. Before my work [goes to the public], it has to pass the Eminem test, the Dr. Dre test — it's a few tests before we push them to the street. That's why they can expect a higher quality of 50 Cent music than the usual artist."
50 Cent also recently released his autobiography "50 x 50" and will be hitting New York City today (Oct. 23) to promote the book.
"50 x 50" is an illustrated autobiography detailing 50's rise from the streets to the top of the charts.
Dame Dash Opens Up About Jay-Z, Roc-A-Fella and Kanye
It seems as though Dame Dash is done with the biz as he stated, “I’m retired really from music,” in a recent interview. He continued, “I set up Dame Dash Music Group for all the artists I knew were going to get dropped when the sale happened.” A year later Dame dissolved the company. “To be honest, if I can’t make history again, I don’t want to do it.” And what a history Dash had. “People told me don’t mess with Jay-Z at all, then I did, and the same exact people told me ‘Nah Kanye’s not the one…including Jay-Z,” Dash explained. “Then when he came out, everybody’s up under him. It’s hard to keep arguing about things you know are right.”
Despite the fact that Kanye stayed with Jay-Z after the Roc-A-Fella fallout, Dash said he’s happy to see Ye win. “More power to him,” Dash said. “I think it’s a good thing that someone that was probably kicked around his whole life is now empowered; it’s just what he does with it. The only thing that’s bothersome about Kanye’s situation is that everyone’s still eating off it except me. I would have poly’d that deal a little different. Everyone that’s still eating off him is everyone that said he couldn’t make it, but other than that I’m happy to see what he does.”
When asked about his relationship with other Roc-A-Fella artists, he answered with his own list of questions. “Are there any other [artists],” Dash asked. “Does Roc-A-Fella still exist? I haven’t seen the chain around lately, so I don’t know. When I left it was different. And not to be arrogant or be happy but it’s the truth. What do you think about the other Roc-A Fella artists? Are they gonna come out? It’s been about 5 years.”
Dame’s dedication to the label has not completely dwindled. Just recently BlockSavvy.com, the social networking site established by Dame and his partner Kareem “Biggs” Burke, gave their listeners an opportunity to hear Beyond Reasonable Doubt, which is a tribute mixtape put together by Dash before his beef with Jay-Z.
The mixtape includes Kanye West, Beanie Siegel, Freeway and other Roc artists doing their own renditions of Jay-Z classics in honor of the 10th Anniversary of Reasonable Doubt. “You know we gotta get that traffic,” Dame said in reference to Block Savvy before adding, “Reasonable Doubt was really the only thing we 100% owned and it was very reflective of us, not Jay – me, Jay, Biggs and the movement. That’s why Reasonable Doubt was a classic. I listen to that shit and every single thing said…I remember to a tee what he was talking about, because a lot of that shit was us. I A&R’d that project, so I know what music I brought, when we did it, who produced it, how we paid them, the changes that we made and I always thought it should be celebrated on a lot of levels because it was reflective of us and we owned it. We can make money from it forever, so I wanted to do something that paid homage to it.”
T.I. Dropped from Forthcoming Release
Unfortunately, T.I.’s film career has felt the sting of his recent legal problems.
The email read, “TI is no longer attached to Once Was Lost and we have been talking to a couple of other actors..”
KRS-One Set to Appear on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club
According to XXL, legendary MC KRS-One will appear on the upcoming season of VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club.
The network’s reality series, which has already ran for five successful seasons, follows various overweight celebrities as they are split into teams to see who can lose the most weight.
KRS follows in the footsteps of rappers like Biz Markie, Bonecrusher, Bizarre, Young MC, Warren G and Da Brat, all of whom have appeared on the show. While the details of the new sixth season remain unclear, a VH1 rep confirmed that the Bronx-bred rapper will be a part of the new cast.
Terror Squad Signs With KOCH Records
Fat Joe's Terror Squad has signed a two-album deal with KOCH Records.
"We've had major success with Koch and the Terror Squad imprint in the past, especially with DJ Khaled's two albums," said Fat Joe. "We will continue this success with this new Terror Squad deal at Koch Records. It's a perfect place to unveil our new members."
Terror Squad had previously released their self titled debut in 1999 and 2004's "True Story" featuring the monster hit "Lean Back."
"I signed Fat Joe to his first record deal in 1992 when I was at Relativity. I am thrilled to be working with Joe again, and continuing our relationship with Terror Squad and DJ Khaled. We've had great success this year," added Alan Grunblatt, General Manager of Koch Records.
According to Terror Squad member DJ Khaled, the albums are going to be priority releases for KOCH.
"The Terror Squad albums at Koch are going to be huge," said Khaled. "Terror Squad/Koch is going to make history. Koch is a label that works their artists to victory. I'm happy to be a part of two big families."
"Run's House" Opens Its Doors For Another Season
After three successful seasons, hip-hop legend Joey "Run" Simmons is returning with his family for an all new season of their hit reality show "Run's House."
The new season, which is set to premiere this week, will once again follow the Simmons family and the activities in their day-to-day lives. As previously reported, last season captured a tragedy in the family, as Run's wife Justine delivered a baby girl who died a short time after her birth.
This season promises to present a new set of surprises as Rev Run's daughters, Vanessa and Angela attempt to move to Los Angeles, while Run and Justine prepare room for a possible new addition to the family. Son JoJo also graduates from high school this season and is on a quest for a record deal.
In addition to the family themselves, Run's brother Russell Simmons will return to the show, as well as an appearance from Ja Rule.
"Runs House" premieres on MTV on Thursday, October 25 at 10 p.m. EST.
Some Behind the scenes footage of 50 when he was on Rap City
Read more here
Jay-Z & Tapemasters Inc.
01. Jay-Z - American Gangster Intro
02. Jay-Z - Dead Presidents III
03. Jay-Z - Blue Magic Ft. Pharrell
04. Jay-Z - Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)
05. Jay-Z - Dig A Hole (Unreleased Version New Verse)
06. Jay-Z - I Get Money
07. Jay-Z - Flashing Lights (Green Lantern Remix)
08. Jay-Z - Following The Girl (Prod. By AC)
09. Jay-Z - 30 Something Ft. Andre 3000 & Ice Cube
10. Jay-Z & Angie Martinez - Freestyle
11. Denzel Washington & Pain In Da Azz - An American Gangster
12. Jay-Z - The Greatest To Ever Do It
13. Jay-Z - I Can't Stop
14. Jay-Z - Don't Hate Me Ft. Nas
15. Jay-Z - New York Ft. Raekwon
16. Jay-Z - December 4th - June 7th
17. Jay-Z - Makin Millions Ft. Young Jeezy
18. Jay-Z - Never Change Ft. Kanye West
19. Jay-Z - Hustla's Clarity Ft. Lil' Wayne
20. Jay-Z - Me & My Radio
21. Jay-Z - Pimpin Is Born Ft. T.I. & Bun B
22. Jay-Z - Lucifer (Remix)
23. Jay-Z - The Return
24. Jay-Z - Allure Ft. Nas
25. Jay-Z - Heart of The Black City Ft. Jill Scott & Don Byas
26. Jay-Z - Excuse Me Miss (Remix) Ft. Chester French
27. Jay-Z - Change Clothes (Remix)
28. Jay-Z - 99 Problems (Fall Out Boy Remix)
29. Jay-Z - Can I Get A Remix Ft. Ja Rule
30. Pain In Da Azz - Outro 00:28
major props to saluchi
Allow this moment
Relax and allow this moment to come. Savor the richness of it as it passes through your experience.
Then, just as peacefully as you let it in, let the moment go. And allow the next moment to flow freely into your life.
There is nothing to be gained by fighting against perceived difficulties, or by running away from them. There is nothing to be gained by worrying that the things you value will be taken from you.
Instead, enjoy, appreciate and make full use of your many treasures and blessings. By so doing, you'll make it impossible for them to ever be taken from you.
Welcome each new challenge as it appears. It is by moving through the challenges that you enrich yourself and the world around you.
Let each unique moment flow freely through you, with whatever it may bring, and experience it fully, with passion, purpose, and positive expectation. Then let it go, while holding on to the richness it has added to your life.
-- Ralph Marston
Read more here
1. Do You Feel Me - Anthony Hamilton
2. Why Don't We Do It In The Road? - Lowell Fulson
3. No Shoes - John Lee Hooker
4. Across 110th Street - Bobby Womack
5. Stone Cold - Anthony Hamilton
6. Hold On I'm Comin' - Sam & Dave
7. I'll Take You There - The Staple Singers
8. Can't Truss It - Public Enemy
9. Checkin' Up On My Baby - Hank Shocklee
10. Club Jam - Hank Shocklee
11. Railroad - Hank Shocklee
12. Nicky Barnes - Hank Shocklee
13. Hundred Percent Pure - Marc Streitenfeld
14. Frank Lucas - Marc Streitenfeld
By now you know the Drill, YN over at your favorite Bloggers ( Me ) Favorite Mag Did a hell of an interview. Now being that I'm not big on interviews (I'm still on my Young ghostface ish) i thought i'd bring this one to you. Enjoy
Just when you thought it was safe, just when you thought the world’s greatest MC had left the streets behind to put his feet up on a beach chair, just when you least expected it: Jay-Z’s back. Again. With a vengeance.
There’s a party going on at New York’s Roc the Mic studios. The music is deafening, the Patrón shots are flowing, Beyoncé is shaking her rump, and everyone has stopped watching Denzel Washington on the monitors above the booth. This is where Jay-Z has been for the last two weeks, creating an album in a whirlwind of inspiration after catching an early screening of the movie American Gangster.
In the flick, Denzel plays Frank Lucas, a superduper heroin kingpin who accumulated $250 million in the 1970s. The character’s calm, cool persona reminded Jay of himself and relit a spark inside him to record music about his own checkered past. Who’s to say he said it all in Reasonable Doubt? “I lived a rich life,” he says, fiddling with his black laptop to cue up the next song. “I knew there were stories there, I just didn’t think that I would be able to get there in an honest way and really relive those emotions.”
It seems like strange timing. An album of unapologetic criminology rap at a time when—in the wake of the Imus scandal—even folks like Russell Simmons are endorsing censorship. Then again, a year after Jay’s last album, Kingdom Come, was widely panned as “adult contemporary” hip-hop, his street credibility could sure use a boost. Former hustler buddies Calvin Klein and DeHaven have gone public with accusations that Jay is out of touch and dishonorable, while disgruntled Def Jam artists like LL Cool J complain about getting the back-burner treatment as their label’s president puts out his own music.
Speaking of the corporate side, Jay’s contract is up at the first of the year, and rumors have him bouncing to join his old Roc-A-Fella protégé Kyambo “Hip-Hop” Joshua and Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin in rebuilding the venerable Sony/Columbia (though the pair just signed one of Jay’s most vocal antagonists, Dipset’s Jim Jones). Looks like it’s gonna be a hot winter. But in the meantime, Jay-Z’s 10th album is on par with some of his finest work. And, for now, he’s lost in the music.
It’s not every day in hip-hop you hear a legendary rapper say he saw a movie that inspired him to create an album.
Yeah. When I saw the movie, the way Denzel portrayed the character, you know, we never seen a Black guy ascend this high in a movie before, to being over the mob. So immediately that struck with me. Like, the success of it all. Like, “Wow, go!” [Applauds] The reason we applaud Oprah—no matter what she says about us—it’s ’cause she’s gone so far. One of the most important scenes [in the movie] to me was when Denzel and the T.I. character sat down, and they had that talk. T.I. was a pitching prospect. Denzel’s character got him that tryout with the Yankees, and he blew it off, and Denzel was like, “Why did you blow it off?” And he’s like, “I want to be like you.” They didn’t show the scene after that. Denzel in the corner reflecting. Denzel in his bedroom crying. You know, like in The Godfather. The Godfather didn’t want Michael in the business, right? I’m sure Denzel felt the same way about his nephew. But he couldn’t say that. So what I did was take emotions from [scenes like] that. Like, I took that emotion and pulled it into my song [“Sweet”]. So it’s my own movie. I call it an indie film now—that’s my new shit. It’s the indie-film version of American Gangster.
It also gave you a chance to do an album with content more in the vein of Reasonable Doubt, right? More street content.
Exactly. I never thought I would make it back there. I never thought I would be in that place. Because I wasn’t going to do it for the sake of doing it. That’s corny, and that’s fake. If I don’t show the world growth, how are we going to grow? And I represent hip-hop as well, you know, with what I do. What I do is a reflection on hip-hop. And if I don’t show growth, then they going to be like: “This guy right here, he’s successful. Why is he shooting at people in his raps?”
It’s interesting that, in a year where we had the Imus scandal and all these attacks on hip-hop, you would make a record like this, at this level in your career. Do you worry about being misunderstood?
I don’t really care about that, ’cause it’s true emotions. You can’t just fix a curse and fix a neighborhood. If you told me tomorrow that if I stop saying “nigga,” that the neighborhood would be fixed, I’ll never say “nigga” again. I’ll never say shit again. I deal with that on this album, with the “Ignorant Shit.” Scarface the movie did more than Scarface the rapper, to me, but still that ain’t the blame for everything that has happened to me. If you’re going to attack a section of entertainment, you have to attack it all. You can’t just attack music. You have to attack films and video games—they killed more people in the opening of Grand Theft Auto than 50 Cent killed on any one of his albums. All his albums put together.
How did you feel when all that went down? Did you think it was just something that was going to blow over?
Yeah. I didn’t even think it was worth my attention. Because I was really upset that—like, how did we get there? We just took the argument and moved it. Imus is a racist. Hip-hop are entertainers. They’re entertainers. That’s two different issues. Imus is not a fan of hip-hop. He couldn’t name three songs off of any rapper’s album. He’s not a fan of hip-hop. He’s not listening to hip-hop. So he’s not influenced by hip-hop. That’s his choice and his feelings. Or even his playing and going way too far. Which is cool. If he stood behind that, like: “I’m just entertaining. I’m acting a fool.” That’s cool. That’s not what he said.
The hip-hop community was mad ’cause Russell said we should clean it up and—
I had a conversation with Russell, to be perfectly frank. I’m like: “Russell, man, you gotta be careful in how you go about doing that. You represent us. You can’t do that. At least have a conversation with everybody about it. You just can’t speak out like that.” And I don’t agree. You know, I ain’t agree with everybody going on Oprah. I thought it was really a bad move for us, because there’s no way to win. That show, it’s not edited by us. You can’t win. It’s not an equal forum. I don’t think that was the right forum for that type of conversation. If you have the conversation, really have the conversation. Have a conversation. Don’t talk at me.
This new music is coming after Kingdom Come, an album where you showed maturity and growth and laid off of the street content. Do you feel like the rap audience misunderstood where you were going with Kingdom Come?
Art is subjective. It’s subjective, right? So, you know, you gotta be careful with—you don’t have to be careful. You’re really supposed to do what you gotta do, and if people follow you… But the space I was in, it’s very difficult [for the audience] to relate to those emotions. Like, you can relate to the emotions on Blueprint. You know, that’s more—universal feeling. That’s the struggle. It’s hard to relate to the feeling on the other side. And I think it was too much of that, but it was an honest feeling at the time. Like I said, I love that because that’s what I’m supposed to be doing—whether it’s accepted by everybody or not. I’m supposed to be pushing the envelope and trying new things. And people are supposed to say, “Hov, you might have went too far.”
It’s the new generation of fans and rappers who are gonna judge you the harshest. Do you think it’s fair that you’re compared to every new sensation, like Lil Wayne?
I don’t think it’s fair to me, and I don’t think it’s fair to them, with the amount of work that I put in. But it’s human nature. So I gotta do what I’ve been doing. I gotta compete with my work. Not to take anything away from him. I think Lil Wayne is extremely talented. I think he’s one of the most talented ones out there. I mean, even more so how his delivery is than what he says. I don’t think some of the things he says sometimes are the greatest things, but the way he delivers it, that’s part of it. People got to look at that, too. That’s a big, important part of the puzzle. But do I think me and Lil Wayne should be in the same sentence? Me? No. I mean, hopefully one day. He has to accumulate work. Put some classics under his belt.
So you’re not ready to hand him or anyone else the torch yet. This isn’t gonna be your last album?
I want to never say that again. Just make the albums, man. And if one day people wake up and it’s four years later, and you haven’t made another, they go, “Wait a minute, you’re retired!” I think that’s best for me. I think I pulled the retirement ripcord too many times. People looking at me like, “Please shut up.” I was looking at Fade to Black the other day. I was embarrassed. I couldn’t watch. I’m not playing with you. I had to turn it off. I was cringing. Like, I’m about to put out another album, man. Another one. Not only was that not my last, I put out another one, and I’m about to put out another one. I wasted a great film! I’m about to make another film, though. Not on retirement, just another film. I want to make a movie with this album. Like a short film, a better Streets Is Watching. I want to get the Hughes brothers to direct it. I’ll be doing a disservice if I didn’t deliver it [American Gangster] in a proper way.
When you look at the last project, you had an incredible marketing promotion campaign behind it. I guess—
I love when people talk about the marketing campaign of the last album. They talk about it as if I spent the money. I’ve been watching this for a year, like, what’s wrong with you? No one’s figured this out? I didn’t pay Budweiser. They paid me. They shot my video and put it on TV and paid me. They paid me to do that. I don’t pay HP. They paid me. I didn’t pay AT&T to run them clips. They paid me. Yeah, so when people go and talk about the marketing of the last album, I find it very funny. You think I put all that on TV? I paid for that? I didn’t pay for none of that. Budweiser paid me. HP paid me. AT&T paid me. All the things that ran, they paid me. I received money. I didn’t spend it. Def Jam was happy as shit. And then I didn’t shoot no more videos. I shot two videos, and I shut it down. I was the president. I shut it down, big man.
Ha! Are you staying at Def Jam, big man? Are you staying or going? What’s up? Or is this album a convenient distraction for you not to make that decision yet?
I’m giving myself some time. It’ll be hot out there for a minute, so—I don’t know. I love what I’m doing. I love the artists that I’m developing. I love the whole thing about it. Once again, I have to really look at it for the next three years and say, “Am I doing it for the right reasons?” ’Cause all I want to do is make history at this point. They got to pay me for making history, of course. But that’s my goal. I want to sit there with people really into making history. I mean everybody. I don’t mean just artists. The interns—if everybody’s not committed to making history every time I go into that meeting, and if I can’t look in their eyes and I don’t see the fire, then I gotta move on. ’Cause, you know, I don’t have time. I don’t have the luxury of time to just blow off three years. I do, but I don’t. But I’m not looking to have a job. That’s not hot! If there was a place or a new situation where it was exciting and, you know, it was about making history and doing something so epic, then I’d do that. I’m not just gonna go to Columbia and just sit down and collect a check.
Speaking of big checks, word on the street is Jim Jones just inked himself a nice situation at Sony. Would that have any effect of deterring you from going over there?
First of all, I don’t look at none of that shit as real. If it’s a real thing, then it’s a real thing. Then it’s nothing to talk about in the magazine. There’s nothing to talk about on radio. Go get your crew, go sit on some mattresses, and we gotta finish this thing until it’s over. ’Cause I’m not walking around the street, chilling, and eating at Cipriani’s outside if we got a problem. I’m not doing that. That’s stupid. I’m just going to wait for you to catch me off balance? Like, they ain’t no problem to me. And as far as business, I never been like that. Juelz Santana is on Def Jam. I try to do anything to try to make the guy comfortable. My name is on every single paper in that building. That’s how we work… It’s all good with me. I don’t give a shit. What I care? I hope he gets a ton of money. Then the next lil’ guy is going to take shots at him. I love that. I hope he makes a ton of money.
Speaking of taking shots, there’s a certain veteran Def Jam artist who continues to blame you for his recent sales problems. Are you surprised at what LL’s been saying?
Yeah, I’m definitely surprised. ’Cause, you know, like, I got a lot respect for him. He’s a legend in the game, and you can’t market LL. You’re LL. That’s it. Nobody really wants to look at themselves. He’s had a long, long career. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t work. Sometimes the stars line up and magic is in the right place. Sometimes it ain’t. Who can I blame about my last album going two million? L.A., you piece of shit! [Laughs] That’s just how it goes. You can market to death. The people ultimately decide. And the people are not saying that was a great album they missed. Are the people saying that? Let’s be honest with each other. Are the people saying, “That’s a great album we missed”? No one is saying that.
How is your relationship with L.A.? People are fascinated about that, too. Like, when he hired Jermaine Dupri, did that mean he was trying to protect himself in case Jay leaves?
We absolutely tried to get Jermaine when I first got there. I was like: “Jermaine, we can do co-president—I don’t have no ego with that. Whatever you want to do.” I don’t know what led to his decision to go to Virgin, but me and L.A. absolutely sat in the office with Jermaine trying to convince him to come over from day one, when I first got there. I think the more talented people you have there, the better. And for protection, it’s a great thing. It’s a smart move as well. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
Some of your old hustler buddies have been poppin’ up lately, saying you did them wrong. Especially a guy named DeHaven. You address him on American Gangster, on the song “No Hook.”
Right, I pulled up some things.
Did you feel like you needed to address that, or was it naturally something that just came out of you?
Yeah, it’s just me. Like, when I’m recording, the things that come out, I don’t deny them. I just let it happen, and let the chips fall where they may. I don’t ever feel the need to do anything I don’t want to do for the sake of, Hov better say something or Hov better-—I’m not under that pressure, because I know who I am so much. That’s it. It was quick, too. End of the story. “I followed the code, I cracked the safe/Other niggas ain’t in the game, so they practice hate.” You ain’t in the game, so you practice hate.
Is that also directed toward Calvin Klein, who also spoke ill of you?
Nah. I know Calvin through a friend of a friend. Like, it wasn’t like we was—that was it. So we really have nothing to talk about. It was shocking, I guess, but that was about it.
You usually try to keep your personal life private. But you put a whole verse about Beyoncé on “Party Life.” Do you feel like that’s going to satisfy the gossip hounds?
I didn’t say that verse was about her. But it sounds hot. [Laughs] The only reason I don’t deal with that aspect of my life is because I think people are only interested in it three times: when you get together, when you break up, and when you have a baby. Other than that, people don’t give a shit. They don’t have good intentions. People just want to manipulate the situation to benefit them. I think relationships are broken up because of the media. That’s a difficult thing when you live it out through the media. They’ll take something—you know, like, you sign Rihanna—and then everybody is like, “’Cause she’s a girl artist, put them together. He slept with her! It’s a great story! Let’s run with it.” But you don’t realize there’s people involved there. Like, you know, how about if it ain’t true?! Right? So you got to be private with your shit. And you got to be strong in your relationship to know each other.
But it seems like you guys have overcome all that by now, right?
The scrutiny and being together and like—
Oh yeah, that’s ’cause we don’t deal with it. If we woulda dealt with it, like, on magazine covers together and shit like that…
[Laughs] I wouldn’t try to get that one.
[Laughs] I’m not saying you, man. But you may be the only one! But everybody else…
Unless B starts rapping, I can’t really justify—
She gotta put a 16 together.
[Laughs] That’s going too far, man! She got to do at least one verse! But the more you get into it, then the more it comes back on you.
Alright, we’ll switch gears. What’d you make of the whole Dipset drama this year between Jim and Cam?
I said it in one of those records on the R. Kelly album: “You know your friends when they don’t need you no more.” Y’all see if y’all really like each other. When people don’t need you, you never know. ’Cause if they need you, they’re going to be quiet about the situation. [Whispers] “I hate this nigga! This nigga wear pink one more time…” It’s like, okay, now let’s see if you can deal with success. That’s just how life is.
I think because you obviously repaired your relationship with Nas, people wonder if you’d do the same in this case.
The marketing plan they came up with was: This guy did this to Dame. They didn’t have no problem with me. I ain’t do nothing but great things for them. Everything that they do is based on us. Their work ethic is based on watching us being in there. Cam’s biggest album was based on us. We put those records on there. Those are Just Blaze records. I ain’t never do nothing to them. Nothing bad. Great things. Made them money. Everybody made money with me. That’s the thing. Look back at my history. Everybody made money with me. I’m Hyman Roth in The Godfather. “I made all my partners rich!” It’s true. Every single person.
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