New Video

Kendrick Lamar - King Kunta

New Video

Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth - See you again

New Video

DeJ Loaf - Me U and Hennessy

New Video

Ludacris - The Breakfast Club Interview

Feb 9, 2008

Soulful Saturdays 2*9*08


Her Myspace page Click here

Its so soulful, dont you agree?

Feb 8, 2008

ImHipHop News Blitz 2*8*08

Jay-Z Heads New Advertising Company W/ Steve Stoute

According to the New York Times, the ex-president of Def Jam, owner of the 40/40 sports bar franchise and soon-to-be hotel investor will join forces with fellow entrepreneur Steve Stoute to open Translation Advertising in New York, which will help marketers connect with multicultural consumers.

Jay-Z said the venture is "part of the natural growth" of his music career.

"As an artist, you make music," he said. "And if you see people who don't know how to market your music, you get involved in it."

The ad agency's parent company, Translation Consultation and Brand Imaging, has already worked for high-profile advertisers including General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, McDonald's and Reebok. Stoute sold Translation Consultation last fall for an estimated $10 million to $15 million.

"You know his story," said Stoute of his new business partner. "He came from nothing and turned it into something before our eyes."

And as Stoute said: "He left his day job at Def Jam; he has to do something."

Kanye West To Perform Tribute To Mom At Grammy's is reporting that Kanye West will perform a tribute to his mother, the late Dr. Donda West, at this Sunday's Grammy Awards.

An insider tells that although Kanye has not been officially announced as a performer on Sunday's telecast, he was spotted during a rehearsal Thursday (Feb. 7) afternoon as he ran through a medley of his songs including "Stronger" and "Hey Mama."

The insider describes the performance as "an emotional tribute."

Dr. Donda West passed away Nov. 10 as a result of heart disease amidst other factors.

Big Pun's Fam Snubbed By Fat Joe

In a recent interview, Liza Rios, widow of Big Pun, sits down and vents on how her family's financial situation has diminished since the legend's passing. It's been 8 years since the death of Big Pun.

Liza Rios wants the world to know that his family is not living as well as everyone may think.

"People really think that I have a couple of millions and a couple of furs and cars [but] that's not the truth. The truth is that after Pun hit platinum he started asking where his royalties were. He asked [Fat Joe] in my living room several times, "Where are my royalties?" He already went two times platinum and [was] working on Yeeeah Baby and asking about his checks. The answer was always that it was recouped. Pun let it slide by and just trusted that things would be good. I know he always trusted the fact that if he passed away, his family was going to be good. We even argued about that. He swore, "You're TS, I'm TS!" He punched his chest and said "I'm TS." And I was upset because I didn't trust that-meaning trusting another man to make sure that I'm good."

So how did all this happen? She goes on to explain that Fat Joe was made to be administrative of Pun's estate. Doing so meant that all the money coming in would go to Joe first and then he would break off a piece for Pun.

"Now that Pun's not here, he's supposed to be breaking me off, but he's not. He'll say it hasn't been recouped but if you figure over two million [records sold], c'mon, he's been recouped. I asked to transfer Capital Punishment's and Yeeeah Baby's rights to Pun's estate. The response I got [from the lawyers] was that only Joe could do that. So who's getting the checks then? And even still I've tried to reach Joe, but it never works out. I don't get an answer or anything. I don't hate him. With the times we shared I know we were genuine whether Joe was or not. And I know if it was Joe who passed, best believe that his two kids would've been in my house. I would've taken care of his kids, Pun would've looked after the family, his mom, all of that. Even if Joe doesn't like me, it's about Pun's kids more than anything else."

No word yet on any comment/feedback from Fat Joe

G-Unit Clothing Officially Folds

After ongoing speculation, it has been confirmed- 50 Cent's G-Unit clothing brand is no longer in business.

According to Complex magazine, owned by Marc Ecko, the partnership between Ecko Unlimited and G-Unit clothing has come to an end.

As previously reported, when rumors of the failed partnership first broke on Wednesday (Feb. 6) both parties denied it. Now, just two days later, Ecko is saying that the G-Unit line employees have been given notice and the office is closing shop.

Fortunately for 50, sources say the rap mogul will walk away with full ownership of the line and will re-launch it on his own.

Timbaland Recording First “Mobile Album” for Verizon Wireless

Timbaland has entered into an agreement with mobile carrier Verizon Wireless to create the first ever “mobile album” which will only be available through the company’s V Cast content service.

According to, Timbo will record a new song each month while traveling the country on the Verizon Mobile Recording Studio Bus. The super-producer will work with a different artist on each track and footage will be recorded and made available on V Cast’s Timbaland channel. Upon completion of the tracks, they will be made available for download as full tracks, ringtones and ringbacks. A compilation album including all of the resulting tracks is expected to be released at the end of the year.

Known for his diverse musical tastes, Tim tells Billboard that he won’t be concentrating on any particular genre. “I’m just going to have fun with it,” he says. “I’ll just do what comes in mind.”

The first track, featuring Tim’s artist Keri Hilson, has already been completed and will be introduced at a Verizon and People magazine Grammy party tonight (February 8).

Member Of Jena 6 Arrested

One member of the Jena 6 found himself on the other side of the law Wednesday after an incident with a student at a Texas high school.

Bryant Purvis, 19,(seen here in black) was charged with one count of assault causing bodily injury after choking a student who allegedly vandalized his car the day before. Purvis was booked and released from the Denton County Jail in Dallas early Thursday morning after posting $1,000 bail.

The altercation was not connected to the incident in Jena, Lousiana, nor was it part of any on going tension between Purvis and the other student.

"This is simply an altercation that occurred between two students," said Carrollton police Sgt. John Singleton.

Unlike the case that put Purvis in the national spotlight, there is unlikely to be a massive Internet protest or rally in Dallas. In a written statement to police, Purvis admitted to the accusations.

“I walked over to him and grabbed him by his neck,” Purvis wrote in the affidavit, “then told him not to mess with my car anymore, then I left.”

According to Sgt. Singleton, the alleged vandalism of Purvis’ vehicle was not previously reported.

"That was info that came to light after the assault had occurred," he told The Dallas Morning News. "Once we became aware of it, we contacted Mr. Purvis and took a report on that offense. The case is still under investigation."

Purvis’ mother, Tina Jones, is “very upset” about the situation and released a short statement after the news of her son’s arrest hit the press.

"We are really, really going through a lot already with the Jena Six. I wish this had never happened. But it is what it is, and now we have to deal with it."

Purvis and five other teens made national headlines after the beating of a white high school student in Jena, Louisiana landed them attempted murder charges. The first student to go to trial in the case, Mychal Bell, cut a deal with the prosecutors. Purvis and the other teens are awaiting trial.

At last year’s BET Awards, Purvis and another member of the Jena 6, Carwin Jones, presented an award at the show and gave shout outs to all of the people who supported the group. The incident drew mixed reactions from media critics.

11th Annual Mixtape Awards Nominations Announced

The nominations are in for the 11th Annual Mixtape Awards and no matter what region you hail from, chances are some of your favorite DJs and artists are up for awards. Originally founded by Justo Faison, who died in a May 2005 car accident, the awards seek to honor the often forgotten but essential contributions of the mixtape DJ to the world of hip-hop. Categories include Best Dirty South Mixtape DJ, Best East Coast Mixtape DJ and Best Hip-Hop Mixtape.

The 2008 ceremony will be significant because it will be the first year that the awards will be streamed live online, allowing fans around the world to take part in the festivities. The show will be available on both and In an effort to put on the best show possible, the event’s organizers have made ambitious plans this year, and as a result, has learned that the show is being rescheduled from its planned February 21 date in order to move to a new venue. As is customary, the venue will remain undisclosed for security reasons.

The following is the full list of nominees.

1. Best Blends Mixtape DJ:
This “Justo” goes to the DJ who mixes the best combination of music


2. Best Canadian Mixtape DJ:
This “Justo” goes to the best Mixtape DJ in Canada.


3. Best Club Mixtape Dj:
In Honor of MR CEE this “Justo” goes to the DJ that is a constant on
the club scene in any area.


4. Best Dirty South Mixtape Artist:
This “Justo” goes to the hottest Artist on a Dirty South Mixtape


5. Best Dirty South Mixtape DJ :
This “Justo” goes to the best Mixtape DJ in the south


6. Best DVD Magazine:
This “Justo” goes to the hottest DVD magazine


7. Best DVD Mixtape Video:
This Justo goes to the DJ/DVD that has the hottest blends of videos


8. Best East Coast Mixtape Dj
This “Justo” goes to the best Mixtape DJ on the East Coast


9. Best East Coast Mixtape Artist
This Justo goes an East Coast Artist dominating the Mixtape scene. (Regional)


10. Best Female Mixtape:
(DJ Jazzy Joyce & Lazy K Award)
In Honor of Jazzy Joyce & Lazy K this Justo goes to the best Female Mixtape DJ


11. Best Graphics on a Mixtape

This Justo goes to the Design company that designs the best Mixtape Covers.


12. Best Hip Hop Mixtape:
This “Justo” goes to the hottest Hip Hop Mixtape.


13. Best Label Representive
This Justo goes to the Label Exec that symbolizes everything a true
Label Exec should be while representing the label and artists associated with the label.


14. Best Mash Up
This Justo goes to the best mix of two different genres of music (Hip Hop & Classical)


15. Best Midwest Mixtape Dj:
This Justo goes to the most popular Mixtape DJ in the Midwest

16. Best Mixtape Duo
This Justo goes to two DJs that come together to put out one or multiple hot Mixtapes.


17. Best Mixtape Internet Radio Show
This Justo goes to the best Mixtape Show via Internet Radio


18. Best Personality on a Mixtape:
This Justo goes to the DJ that brings his own persona to the Mixtape, most charismatic DJ


19. Best Mixtape Producer:
In Honor of Green Lantern this Justo goes to the top Mixtape DJ that doubles as a producer


20. Best Mixtape Team:
This Justo goes to the DJ team with the hottest Mixtape DJs


21. Best New Mixtape Dj:
This Justo goes to the DJ who has been around but recently gained fame.


22. Best International Mixtape Dj:
This Justo goes to the best overseas DJ


23. Best R&B Mixtape Dj:
(The Dj Famous Award)

In Honor of DJ Famous this Justo goes to the hottest R&B Mixtape DJ


24. Best Radio Mixtape:
This Justo goes to the best Radio Mixtape DJ


25. Best Reggae Mixtape Dj:
This Justo goes to the hottest Reggae Mixtape DJ


26. Best Reggaeton Mixtape Dj:
This Justo goes to the hottest Reggaeton Mixtape DJ


27. Underground Artist on a Mixtape:
This Justo goes to the underground artist who is dominating the Mixtape scene


28. Underground Mixape Dj:
(The J-love Award)
In Honor of J-Love this Justo goes to the DJ who focuses on the underground scene.


29. Westcoast Mixtape Artist:
This Justo goes to the best Mixtape artist on the West Coast


30. Best West Coast Mixtape DJ:
(In honor of DJ Warriorr)
The Justo goes to the best Mixtape DJ on the West coast


31. Rookie of the Year:
This Justo goes to the hottest up and coming Mixtape DJ


32. The Dj Screw Award:
(In honor of DJ Screw)
This Justo goes to the best DJ on a Chopped and Screwed Mixtape


33. Best Mixtape DJ:
(In honor of DJ Kay Slay
This TOP Justo goes to the Mixtape DJ who DOMINATED the year


34. Best Promotional Mixtape
This Justo goes to the best promotional mixtape released by a DJ, Artist or Company.


35. Best Mixtape of the Year
This Justo goes to the hottest Mixtape released that DOMINATED the entire year.


Click here to cast your votes!

IHH TV: Young Joc ft Dro, and Bun B

"Ima G"
Young joc Feat. Young Dro & Bun B

Feb 7, 2008

IHH TV: 50 Responds To Bill O'Rilley

(L note: I agree with 50, America aint ready)

ImHipHop News Blitz 2*7*08

Reports Of Jay-Z Launching His Own Record Label Surface Again
Barely a month after reports surfaced that Jay-Z would be starting his own record label with computer giant Apple, word is swirling around again that the former Def Jam President is still adamant about owning a label and has been in talks with Warner Music Group honcho Lyor Cohen.

Jay-Z stepped down from his President/CEO position at Def Jam Records in December 2007 after a four year run. He is still tied to Def Jam as an artist and owes the label one more album which will cut his contractual obligation with the hip hop powerhouse.

The New York Daily News reports that an industry insider revealed to them that the label Jay-Z wants to launch with is called the Carter Music Group but Cohen, who signed Jay to Def Jam during his tenure as a CEO at the label, says he has not talked to the rapper about launching a label but would jump at the opportunity.

“I would be honored and privileged to work with him again,” Cohen said. “Bringing Jay-Z to the Warner Music Group would be a privilege and a coup. I'd do it in a heartbeat.”

50 Cent On Young Buck: "It's Not What People Think It Is"

After numerous rumors and reports regarding G-Unit rapper Young Buck's whithering away from the camp, 50 Cent has attempted to set the record straight claiming "it's not what people think."
In a recent interview with Phoenix's Power 98.3, the "Ten-A-Key" rapper said his discrepancies were due to a lack of communication between himself and the rest of the group.

"It's hard to be down with somebody when we're not communicating." Said Buck.

"You make me feel like whats going on? You see a video, everybody's there but there's no Buck. Or you see your mans moving overseas on tour with G-Unit--no buck. Or You go to and all the G-Unit pictures there--with no buck." He continued.

Though Fif may agree that there is a lack of communication, in a recent interview with Dj Kay Slay, Fif said the situation isn't exactly what many are making it out to be.

"It looks crazy because he just ain't there, but it's not what people think it is." 50 tells Slay.

"During the actual International Tour, Buck was scheduled to go on the Young Rich tour--that was the tour Sha Money was putting together for him and Rich Boy."

"I didn't know [that tour]didn't actually materialize while I was overseas--that's why they didn't see Buck overseas with us." He explained.

As far as Buck's absent on the latest G-Unit offering, "Return of the Body Snatchers Vol 1." Fif said they just simply weren't in the same place at the time.

"He was in Nashville while we was in New York the weekend we decided to put the tape together."

Cuban Link Explains Beef With Rick Ross, Khaled

Last month, former Terror Squad member Cuban Link took aim at long time adversary Fat Joe and to the surprise of many, Rick Ross and Dj Khaled.

In the diss track, "You're Not Hood," Cuban reignited the long time feud with Fat Joe as well as started two new ones with Miami's Rick Ross and Dj Khaled.

In a recent interview with Si Entertainment, Cuban says he was simply retaliating.

"I ain't dissin' on Rick Ross just because he's rolling with Fat Joe." Said Cuban.

"Rick Ross got on a track like a year ago and said something' about me! DJ Khaled and me used to be cool, but when Fat Joe and I started beefing he went on Fat Joe's side. But I'm not hating I just want to expose him for who he really is, ‘cause he ain't "so hood." He's rolling with Terror Squad and he thinks he's gangsta, but he's not. " He continued.

As far as Fat Joe goes, Cuban claims the Bronx rapper hasn't written his own rhymes in the last 10 years.

"He ain't wrote a rhyme in the past 10 years, he's got nothing but ghostwriters. To me it's about being humble in the game and Fat Joe ain't humble. "

You can check out the entire feature here.

Reps Deny G-Unit Clothing Rumors

After recent rumors sprung up about the G-Unit clothing line shutting down, representatives shut down the notion quickly.

"They aren’t shutting down," said a source Wednesday. "They may be leaving their partner, but the G-Unit brand is a base business of $75 million dollars annually."
The representatives did not, however, deny the reports that a round of layoffs could occur in the company as early as next week.

G-Unit Clothing was established in 2003, when 50 Cent teamed up with Marc Ecko to create the line of clothing and accessories. Ecko's company, Marc Ecko Enterprises, owns 50% of the brand.

According to The Wall Street Journal, G-Unit clothes make up 15% of Marc Ecko Enterprises' revenue; in addition, the clothing line enjoyed growth of nearly 30% last year.

Jay-Z & Mary J. Blige Embark On Co-Headlining Tour

Two of the biggest names in Hip-Hop and R&B will be sharing a bill this year. Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige will take off on a 25-date North American co-headlining tour together beginning next month in Miami.

The "Mary J. Blige & Jay-Z: Heart of the City" tour will kick off at Miami's American Airlines Arena and go on to cover the East coast while also stopping off in New Orleans, Houston, Las Vegas and Oakland, according to a press release. The tour will also hit L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl on April 16th.

The first time the two headliners worked together was back in 1996 on the classic "Can't Knock the Hustle" off Jay's first album, Reasonable Doubt, and since then their separate careers have each taken off.

Mary has eight platinum and multi-platinum albums under her belt with six Grammys on her shelf while Jay has also earned multiple Grammys, American Music Awards and VMA wins. Together, the two headliners have sold 70 million albums world wide and boast 12 Grammy wins.

The "Mary J. Blige & Jay-Z:Heart of the City" tour will feature music from Jay's 2006 Kingdom Come album and his heavily praised 2007 concept album American Gangster.

Mary will also perform songs from her current album, Growing Pains. The Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul's eighth release went platinum in three weeks and is still holding steady in the top 10 on Billboard in its seven weeks on the charts.

Check to cop tickets. Seats are going for $76 to $347.

Dates and venues below, more to be announced soon.


March 22 Miami, FL American Airlines Arena

March 26 Baltimore, MD 1st Mariner Arena

March 27 Uniondale, NY Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

March 28 East Rutherford, NJ IzodCenter

March 30 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center

April 2 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre

April 3 Boston, MA TD BanknorthGarden

April 5 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum

April 6 Washington, DC VerizonCenter

April 16 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl

Rick Ross Delves Into The Drug Business With 'M.I.Yayo’

Rick Ross will be releasing his documentary tiled M.I.Yayo on DVD in March via Traffic Entertainment.

The documentary, which is executive produced by Ross, chronicles the lives of Miami's most notorious drug king-pins and takes at a look at the lingering effect the drug trade of the early 80's and 90's has had on Miami’s inner cities.

“When I was touring in Europe with Port of Miami, the media question of the day was, "What is the 'other side of the bridge?'" People all over the world want to know about this side of Miami, I give it to them in M.I.Yayo,” Ross said in a statement.“It is incredibly shocking, and many think Miami is South Beach, that's it. The world wants to know the real deal and this is it with M.I.Yayo.”

Before M.I.Yayo’s release, Ross will drop his sophomore album titled Trilla. The album features appearances from appearances from R. Kelly, Lil Wayne, T-Pain Trick Daddy, Jay-Z, Akon and Marsha Ambrosius.

Trilla hits shelves on March 11th while M.I.Yayo will be available on March 25th.

DMX Stars In New DVD W/Michael Madsen & David Carradine

DMX is set to star in the straight-to-DVD Action Thriller Last Hour, scheduled for release on April 15.

The movie follows five characters who are lured to an abandoned house in China, then learn they're in company with a psychotic killer and only have an hour to live. [Watch trailer below]

The film also stars Michael Madsen and David Carradine, who co-starred in the Quentin Tarantino crime drama Kill Bill.

This latest effort is hardly the Darkman's first venture into film. X has previously starred in several major releases, including Belly, Romeo Must Die, Cradle 2 the Grave and Exit Wounds with Steven Seagal.

Along with his movie roles, X is still making moves on the music front. As SOHH previously reported, DMX recently signed to Bodog Music, also home to Warren G and Wu-Tang Clan, and plans to reunite with longtime collaborator Swizz Beatz for the forthcoming album Walk With Me Now and You'll Fly With Me Later.

M.O.P. Strikes Out, Prepare To Leave G-Unit

Brooklyn duo M.O.P. has struck out yet again. After being signed to G-Unit for almost three years, the Mash Out Possie has decided it's time to move on.

According to M.O.P.'s long time manager, Laze Elliot, Lil Fame & Billy Danze will be off G-Unit once their new deal goes through.

"As soon as I lock down the new situation, it will be official," Laze says.

The duo, who signed to G-Unit after a fruitless stint with Roc-A-Fella records, were due to release an album under G-Unit in October of last year ('07) however, the plan never materialized due to creative differences.

"I think [if we] would have got our record out earlier, that would have set a clear quality precedent," said Laze.

" All the aesthetic issues would have been solved and we'd be on the second album by now. I knew we were going to have problems though, because 50 needed the group to be in a certain space in order for him to co-sign it."

"He didn't feel Fame was in that space physically or mentally," Laze continued.

“He shouldn't have to [understand Fame], but there are many talented artists in history that you don't know where their talent comes from."

M.O.P.'s last effort, M.O.P. Salutes the St. Marxmen, hit shelfs in 2005 and consisted of several tracks recorded while the group was signed to Roc-A-Fella.

Flo-Rida Makes Top 40 Chart History
Flo-Rida's "Low" has hit #1 on this week’s CHR/Top 40 national airplay chart making it the first-ever debut single by a rap artist to reach the top spot in chart history, as well as only the fourth rap title to ascend to #1 since 2005.
Along with its CHR/Top 40 triumph, “Low” continues to light it up at Rhythmic outlets nationwide, maintaining the #1 airplay ranking for 8 uninterrupted weeks and counting. The track’s success marks the longest-reigning debut track from a male artist since Nelly’s “(Hot S**t) Country Grammar” held the top spot for 10 weeks in 2000.

The Carol City, FL native will appear on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, scheduled for tonight, February 6th (check local listings). In addition, Flo Rida will appear on MTV’s TRL on Wednesday, February 13th. Both appearances come in tandem with the single’s inclusion on this week’s Atlantic Records release, “STEP UP 2 THE STREETS – ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK,” the musical companion to the upcoming Touchstone Pictures dance film which debuts in theaters nationwide on February 14th.

Flo Rida is currently MySpace’s #2-ranked Top Indie Artist, logging 8.5 million total streams thus far at his page. At YouTube, the video for “Low” has received more than 6 million views via Flo’s official channel,

Flo-Rida's debut album, "Mail On Sunday", hits stores March 18th.

Jamie Foxx Immortalized In Wax For Black History Month

Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, the famous London celebrity wax museum in Las Vegas, announced Wednesday (February 6) that they will officially open Black History Month with the unveiling of a life-like wax figure of entertainer Jamie Foxx.

The Foxx unveiling kicks off the "Madame Tussauds Black History" month-long celebration, with the Foxx wax figure joining famous notable African-American figures already on display as part of the exhibit -- including are Muhammad Ali, Louis Armstrong, James Brown, Whoopi Goldberg, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jordan, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Oprah Winfrey.

Each figure on display will be accompanied with a biography that acknowledges the significant contributions that each individual has made to shape American history.

"Jamie Foxx was a natural choice for us," said Adrian Jones, General Manager of Madame Tussauds Las Vegas. "He not only embodies the upper echelon of celebrity that we look to celebrate, but what he represents to the Black community, and Americans as a whole, is the ability to take born-talent, drive and commitment and transform them into something magical. He has rated high with our customers for some time, and we are happy to deliver what our customers have asked for."

The actor-singer sat with Tussauds Studio artists from London in a 2-hour private sitting to take precise measurements, match eye/skin/hair coloring and experienced his personality, which are paramount in the making of his $300,000 wax likeness.

According to sculptor, David Sharpe, "Mr. Foxx was extremely gracious with his time and actually entertained us with his upbeat, positive and charming personality."

Foxx is the second male, and the first African American, in history to receive two Oscar nominations in the same year for two different movies, "Collateral" and "Ray."

He was born in Dallas, Texas on December 13, 1967 as Eric Marlon Bishop. He changed his name while doing stand-up comedy upon discovering that female comedians were often called first to perform on stage. He felt "Jamie" was an ambiguous enough name to disallow any biases. His last name was chosen as a tribute to Redd Foxx.

Madame Tussauds Las Vegas is located in The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino on Las Vegas Strip. It is open seven days a week.

Alicia Keys Reclaims No. 1, Mary J. Blige Stays While Chris Brown Bounces From The Top 10

In this week's Hip-Hop and R&B charts, Alicia Keys climbs back up to No. 1, Mary J. Blige and Keyshia Cole hold onto their spots in the Top 10, while Chris Brown leaves the party.

Alicia Keys continues to dominate the charts with her third album, As I Am, regaining her No. 1 spot after scanning 61,300 discs this week. The formidable Ms. Keys has amassed a 12-week sales total of 2,907,500.

Fellow female star Mary J. Blige drops two spots to No. 6 this week, moving 47,200 units of her eighth album, Growing Pains. After seven weeks, the Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul is pressing on steadily with 1,132,500 copies sold.

Keyshia Cole maintains her No. 8 spot this week, pushing 36,400 copies of her Grammy-nominated sophomore album, Just Like You. It's been 19 weeks for the Cole, who is on her third single and has sold a total of 1,095,700 albums.

Teen phenom Chris Brown slides out of the Top 10 this week, falling four spots to No. 11 with Exclusive. The sophomore album sold 33,300 copies with help from the latest single, "With You," for a 13-week total of 1,215,900.

Next up is Fergie, who falls eight spots to No. 25 with her solo debut album, The Dutchess. After 72 weeks on the charts, the Black Eyed Pea singer gone solo is still enjoying a hit single in "Clumsy" along with impressive sales of 21,500 in the past week, for a total of 3,397,000 records sold.

John Legend climbs four spots to No. 27 with his latest effort, Live From Philadelphia. After selling 20,100 copies in the last seven days, the live album has amassed a three-week sales total of 70,200.

Teen rapper Soulja Boy cranks up seven spots to No. 31 this week, selling 18,900 copies of his debut disc After 18 weeks, the online marketing guru/dance instructor has moved 746,000 units.

R&B Crooner Jaheim falls four spots to No. 32 this week, selling 18,700 copies of his latest effort, The Makings of A Man. After seven weeks on the charts, the Teddy Pendergrass soundalike has sold 330,700 copies.

R&B sensation J. Holiday rises eight spots to No. 34 this week, scanning 17,800 copies of his debut disc, Back of My 'Lac. After 18 weeks, sales totals stand at 485,500 for the talented newcomer.

Right behind J. Holiday is The-Dream, who penned Holiday's hit "Bed" and climbs eight spots to land at No. 35 this week. The Def Jam hitmaker sold 17,700 copies in the last go-round for an eight-week total of 186,500.

Lupe Fiasco plummets 15 spots to No. 44 this week with his sophomore effort, Lupe Fiasco's The Cool, which sold 15,800 copies. After seven weeks, the Chi-town rapper, who will reportedly be hitting the road with Kanye West for the Bonnaroo music festival as well as a "Glow in the Dark" tour, has a seven-week sales total of 302,100.

Next week look for Jill Scott's Live In Paris and the re-release of J. Holiday's Back Of My Lac to make an appearance on the Hip-Hop and R&B Charts.

Feb 6, 2008

Trina On The Cover Of Smooth Magazine

(L note: and yet another reason, I dont like weezy. lol, I keed,I keed)

ImHipHop News Blitz 2*6*08

The Game To Cop A Plea, Takes 4 Month Bid

After pleading not guilty to three felony charges stemming from an altercation during a pick up game of basketball in Los Angeles last year, it looks like West Coast rapper The Game has decided to cop a plea instead.

In the premier issue of Dave May's & Benzino's Monsta magazine, Game, who stands accused of making criminal threats, possessing a firearm in a school zone, and exhibiting a firearm in the presence of an officer, says that instead of fighting the case--he'll be taking a plea deal.

"The crazy part about this is that I've had guns before in my life," he explained.

"But this time I didn't have a gun. And because one person said I had a gun and coaxed his homies into saying that I had a gun, I'm in a predicament where I'm asking, Do I want to spend another million dollars to fight this trial so who knows what jury's gonna come in and say I'm guilty?

Or do I want to save my money, go sit down for four months and accept this felony they're trying to give me for no reason?" He continued.

The Game's 3rd, and rumored final album, "LAX," will be hitting stores around June and is rumored to feature production from Dr. Dre.

Top Earning African American Stars of 07

Forbes published their list of the top earning African American Stars of last year. This is what these individuals earned from June 1st 06 to June 1st 07.

Oprah topped the list at over a quarter billion for the year. Jay-Z comes in a surprising number 3 on the list. Rapper 50 cent also makes the list at over thirty million for that time period and this was before Vitamin water was purchased by Coke and he made 100 mill.

Heres the top 10:

1. Oprah Winfrey $260 million
2. Tiger Woods $100 million
3. Jay-Z $83 million
4. 50 Cent $33 million
5. Kobe Bryant $33 million
6. Shaquille O’Neal $32 million
7. Michael Jordan $31 million
8. Will Smith $31 million
9. Beyonce $27 million
10. LeBron James $27 million

Jay-Z's 40/40 Club's Got 99 Problems

After experiencing a wide array of mishaps at his New York locale, Jay-Z's newly opened Las Vegas 40/40 Club has seen several setbacks and massive lay-offs, and the former employees are speaking out.

According to Las Vegas Weekly, since its December 30th opening in 2007, an estimated 100 or more staff members of the club have been reportedly escorted off of the property or have voluntarily resigned from their posts.

Many former employees have gone public with their their complaints. Using MySpace and TMZ ex-employees have claimed that the club's policies include: on-the-spot, mid-shift terminations without investigations, threats, degrading treatment, use of the n-word by management, and a complete lack of preparedness.

Operating partner of the 40/40 club Desiree Perez (aka Desiree Gonzalez) - wife of co-owner Juan Perez - is rumored to be responsible for the firings, but declined to comment on the matter. However, club manager Ramon Mata did weigh in on the controversy surrounding the newly opened night spot.

"As with all new businesses, you find out in your first few days of operations what staffing levels are needed," he said. "We adjusted accordingly and followed all rules and regulations in terms of employees that were let go."

The firings allegedly started before the club even opened its doors, with a manager being dismissed because of questionable operating procedures. Of the original 10 managers hired at the club, only two are still employed.

Staff members complained that the first time they had a chance to work with the cash-register system at the club was only an hour before the doors opened. Bartenders, cocktail servers and managers also complained of a "no comp" policy that required them to pay for spills and breakage.

In addition, 55 of 90 security personnel were let go at closing on December 31. Other stories include bartenders being over staffed and fired without investigation for instances that were not properly investigated.

These are just the latest issues for the 40/40 franchise.

As previously reported, the club's new year's eve celebration was in jeopardy due to a failed inspection, but the venue was able to obtain the proper permits and licenses to ensure that the club opened on time as planned.

The New York club has also been mired in controversy since its opening. A former waitress filed a lawsuit against the club for allegedly failing to pay her wages, an off-duty cadet was stabbed, and a New Jersey man was charged with raping a 21 year-old woman at the club only a short time after it opened for business.

Kanye West To Perform At 2008 Bonnaroo Festival

Kanye West, M.I.A., Jack Johnson and many more will play at this year's Bonnaroo Festival June 12-15 in Manchester, Tennessee.

The 4-day festival will feature more than 80 acts including Pearl Jam, Metallica, Lupe Fiasco and many more.

Previous year's line-ups have focused heavily on Rock/Jam Band acts although the 2008 version will have a more prominent Hip-Hop presence.

Rumors had circulated that legendary Rock act Led Zeppelin would be headlining the festival but those rumors were put to rest with the official line-up announcement yesterday (Feb. 5).

Tickets will go on sale exclusively through on February 16 at noon ET.

Swizz Beatz Goes 'Green' For Gap

Swizz Beatz is among various artists who were picked up by clothing giant GAP for its new viral “Sound of Color” ad campaign which asked musicians to write a song inspired by a specific hue.

According to Billboard, the songs will be turned into music videos by rising commercial and music video directors and made available for streaming and downloading at beginning February 15th.

The artists, which also include The Raveonettes, Dntel, The Blakes and Marié Digby, will retain the rights to their songs for their own use on future albums after 30 days.

Swizz revealed that he chose to right a song about the color “Green” which he says will also be getting attention after its commercial run.

“I didn't want to do a song I wasn't comfortable giving to the DJs,” Swizz said “I took the approach of, 'How would I use green in a painting without making green the main ingredient, and use it in the slickest way?”

As reported earlier, Swizz is working on various projects including DMX's upcoming double album and the fifth installment from the Ruff Ryder compilation series. He will also be featured on upcoming albums from Lil Wayne (The Carter III), 50 Cent (Before I Self Destruct), G-Unit (Lock And Load) , Fat Joe (The Elephant In The Room), N.E.R.D (N.3.R.D) and Macy Gray.

Usher Readies New Album

As of now, R&B sensation, Usher, hasn’t officially announced an album title or release date for his follow-up to his 2004 mega-smash hit, Confessions, but the word is that the wait won’t be too much longer.

“I was speaking to him the other day, asking him when he was gonna start putting singles out,” Jermaine Dupri tells MTV News late last week. “He said, ‘Soon.’ So, it’s coming.”

Dupri, a longtime friend and collaborator of Usher’s, is slated to contribute to the singer’s next offering. It looks as if Dupri’s words are a prophecy fulfilled because since last speaking with MTV News, two new Usher records have surfaced.

“In The Club,” produced by Polow Da Don is getting play, currently, on Atlanta radio stations. Young Jeezy is featured on the bass heavy, mid-tempo club ready banger. “I wanna make love in this club,” Usher sings on the chorus.

The second record, which is already floating around on the Internet, is called “Moving Mountains” and is said to be produced by Timbaland. As for the rest of the album, Philadelphia producers, Dre & Vidal have contributed several songs, while Lil Jon is waiting for the right record to add to Usher’s musical concoction.

The King of Crunk, having already given three smashes to Usher with “Yeah!,” “Red Light” and “Lovers and Friends,” isn’t trying to force anything.

“I’m trying to find a new sound. I don’t wanna come and have the same old, same old. I’m trying to give Usher that stadium record again. I don’t wanna give him no bullshit. I wanna give him another ‘Yeah!,’ another record that sets the tone for his entire album," said Jon.

There is no word as to whether “In The Club” or “Moving Mountains” are official singles or if they will even make the album.

Flavor Flav Scores Sitcom Show

Public Enemy's Flavor Flav will be starring in a MyNetworkTVsitcom this spring called Under One Roof.

According to Black Voices, Flav plays an ex-convict named 'Calvester Hill' who moves in with wealthy conservative brother and causes havoc by “parading his old prison cronies through the house; teaching his nephew to be a gangsta rapper; and butting heads with his brother’s snooty wife.”

“I am real excited,” Flavor Flav said about the show. “I want to thank MyNetworkTV for believing in your boy because we are about to blow this out of the water. I am about to take MyNetworkTV and make it MY network”

MyNetworkTV has ordered 13 epsoiodes of the show which is currently in production in Toronto.

As reported earlier, the final season of Flavor Flav's VH1 reality show, Flavor Of Love, will begin on Monday (February 11) at 9:00 PM.

Fans of the show can view the cast of women who will appear in the upcoming season and also catch a sneak peek of this season’s first episode at

Shawty Lo Releases Statement on Album Leak

The debut solo project from D4L member Shawty Lo has apparently made its way onto the internet and into the hands of bootlegers ahead of its impending release date.

But the Atlanta MC wants his fans to know that if they purchase or download the leaked version, they won’t be getting the real product.

In a statement released today (February 6) Shawty states that the copies of Units in The City that are currently making the rounds are missing several songs including “Dey Know,” his smash debut single.

“Some of my new material was taken from my studio and bootlegged but what people don’t know is that they don’t have the real deal,” Shawty explained. “They don’t have all the songs that’s going on the album. They’re cheating themselves.”

Units In The City is due in stores on February 26.

IHH TV: Ghostface Killah- We Celebrate

"We Celebrate"
Ghostface Killah

IHH TV: Chingy Feat. Ludacris & Bobby Valentino

"Gimme Dat"
Chingy Feat. Ludacris & Bobby Valentino

Feb 5, 2008

ImHipHop News Blitz 2*5*08

Warner Music Group Makes $25 Million Bid for Death Row Catalog

Warner Music Group has made a $25 million bid for the music catalog of former industry powerhouse Death Row Records.

According to the New York Post, a February 1 filing in US Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California reveals that Warner is the leading bidder out of a group of 18 interested parties that includes Koch Records and Evergreen Copyrights.

While the catalog has been on the market since former Death Row head Suge Knight filed for bankruptcy in 2006, a sale has been delayed because of outstanding claims by both Dr. Dre and Afeni Shakur. Dre is still in the process of collecting royalty payments owed to him for his 1992 album The Chronic, while Afeni—mother of slain rapper Tupac Shakur—wants to determine who owns the rights to unreleased material recorded by her son.

This uncertainty over what assets Death Row still controls has turned off prospective buyers. Warner will only go through with the purchase if these assets are included in the catalog. A non-bidding agreement between Warner and Death Row, that would pay the major $500,000 if the deal falls through, is still subject to court approval.

The company’s Warner Chappell publishing arm currently manages a number of Death Row’s songs, making the purchase even more attractive. Opposing bidders have until April to top Warner’s offer, at which time the assets will be sold through a court auction.

Timbaland Regrets Ever Dissing Scott Storch

After taking verbal jabs at each other on numerous tracks, super producers Timbaland and Scott Storch have finally put an end to their feud.

According to published reports, Timbaland was the one who initiated the beef when he threw a subliminal comment aimed at Storch in the first single "Give It To Me" off of his last album, "Shock Value". In the track Timbaland bragged, "Im a real producer and you just a piano man". Storch soon responded with his personal track titled "Built Like That" in which he accuses Timbaland of jacking beats and taking credit for work done by other producers.

But during a recent interview on the Atlanta radio show, "The Morning Mess”, Timbaland explained that he had put the beef in the past, and that he met up with Storch "in light of all the rumors surrounding Storch’s financial problems" with the intention of offering help, saying "Cause all this stuff I been hearing in the press about him, I just called him and said look man we been friends for so long and I'm here for you. All that stuff that I've done I'm sorry, I just know that you need a friend. And I just wanna be there for you cause I know people turn their backs on you."

He then went on to say, "I reached out to him and went over to his house and he was almost in tears cause he thought I would be the last person that would call him when he went against me. He said that that shut a lot of doors for him."

Timbaland cited the birth of his daughter as motivation to become a more positive person.

"I had a daughter this year, so it's just like my whole life has changed. I want to help people. I don't have no animosity. I never was against Scott. That was my friend. It was more of a competitive thing that I was going against Scott. It was nothing personal."

"I just try to be there for Scott, cause you know all this negative press I hear about him and everyone like 'I see your man going broke, he doing this', I'm like I don't wanna hear that. I don't wanna hear nothing negative. That's my friend."

Timbaland was so finished with the beef, that he admitted he regretted ever making a diss towards Storch in the first place.

"I definitely regret saying that, because it was always on my conscious because I was so blessed in everything that I was doing and I didn't want God to do something towards me for taking my high power and the position I am in the world and turn it against me. Like 'don't get above yourself' and I feel like I was really getting above myself."

50 Cent Talks Rumors

New York rapper 50 Cent seems to find himself amidst industry rumors on a weekly basis. From personal life to business, the rap superstar tends to keep a cool head about things as he says he is undaunted by any hearsay.

In a recent interview with MTV, Fif cleared the air on some of the recent rumors as well as the Paris Hilton debacle.

"I'm in Croatia sniffing cocaine, did you hear?" 50 jokingly told MTV.

"I deal with this so often it doesn't make sense in me responding. Just like they go, 'Hip-Hop Scandals: Steroids.' The shit lasts for two days. Why? They put 50 Cent, who's the hottest in rap. They picked Mary J. Blige, who's the hottest in R&B. Tyler Perry, who's hot as hell in Hollywood right now.

Timbaland, one of the hottest producers, and Wyclef, who's international, worldwide. Everybody they picked is somebody who has an international draw.

You've seen all kinds of negative press on me that wasn't effective, that came and went because people know 'that ain't him.' "

As far as him kicking Paris Hilton off the stage during her birthday party, Fif and Whookid say it never happened.

"It's no way we would kick Paris Hilton off the stage on her birthday," Whoo Kid said. "We ain't that heartless. I know 50 hates Ja Rule and Fat Joe, but he ain't that heartless to throw Paris Hilton."

"We kicked a security nigga off [during Sundance]. That's some security guy that kept jumping on the stage," Whookid said of the leaked footage many claimed to be the Paris Hilton incident.

He kept jumping on the stage, picking shit up off the stage, pushing people back while we're performing. 50 got so pissed off, he said, 'Get the fuck off my stage.' Then I played 'Wanksta.'

Man Arrested for Singing Lil Boosie Song

A 19-year-old man was arrested in Brookville, Florida on Sunday (February 3) for singing a Lil Boosie song with explicit lyrics in the presence of children.

According to Tampa Bay’s News 10, Amy Churchill, the children’s mother, called the police to report that Christopher Holder was yelling out profanities a he walked with two younger kids on Brookville’s Gordon Loop.

An offense report notes that Churchill explained that she did not think her children should have to hear that sort of language. When deputies arrived, Holder explained that he was just singing a song by Baton Rouge artist Lil Boosie.

The report revealed that Holder himself told the deputies that he didn’t believe that children should have to hear profanity either. Nonetheless, he was taken to the Hernando County jail and charged with disorderly conduct.

It is unclear which Boosie track Holder was singing.

Devin the Dude Leaves Rap-A-Lot Records

After a more than 15 year partnership with the label, Houston MC Devin The Dude announced on Monday (February 4) that he will not be renewing his contract with Rap-A-Lot Records. In a statement announcing the decision, Devin insists that the split is not the result of any rift between him and the storied record label.

“Rap-A-Lot has been my family for a long time and there’s no bad blood at all,” he explained. “But change is a part of life and I feel like this is the time to make a change and focus more on the business side of my career, I’ve had a nice run so I’d like to develop artists and give some of these other cats out here a platform to shine.”

Devin signed with Rap-A-Lot in 1992 as a member of the group Odd Squad and has remained there throughout his entire professional career. He went on to release four acclaimed solo albums, The Dude, Just Tryin’ Ta Live, To Tha Xtreme and 2007’s Waitin’ To Inhale.

Devin also appeared on The Other Side of the Law, the only project released by Scarface’s Face Mob collective. He is said to be considering offers from several different labels.

Kanye West Dives Into The Search Engine Biz

Kanye West has teamed up with search engine company Prodege to launch his own fan oriented search engine called, which launched yesterday (February 4), rewards users with dollars called Swag Bucks which can be redeemed for Kanye prizes including autographed CDs, MP3 downloads, clothing, exclusive Kanye West merchandise and electronics.

Every search on gives us a user a chance to win more top prizes and users can increase their chances by also downloading the Kanye West toolbar offered by the site.

“Being one of the top music artists of his generation, Kanye has a large and dedicated fan base”, said Ron Leshem, Prodege VP of Marketing, via a statement. “This is the perfect way for fans to support Kanye, while also earning a chance to win some amazing prizes for themselves.”

Missy Asks Fans to Help Her Name New Album

Missy Elliott is asking her fans to help her come up with a name for her new album, which is due out this Spring.

Contestants can enter the contest by going to and submitting a title before February 20.

On March 2, a name will be selected and the winner will receive a credit on the album cover as well as a $500 adidas “Respect Me” git card.

In related news, Missy debuted the 3-D video for her new tracks “Ching-A-Ling” and “Shake Your Pom Pom” yesterday (February 4) on MTV’s TRL and BET’s 106th & Park. Directed by Dave Meyers, the clip features special 3-D effects viewable only with special glasses available at FYE music stores and adidas retail locations.

Both songs will appear on Missy’s new album, as well as the soundtrack to the upcoming film Step Up 2 The Streets, which hits stores today.

Lyfe Jennings To Release New Album April 29

Lyfe Jennings will release his new album "Lyfe Change" April 29 on Columbia Records.

The album's first single is entitled "Never Never Land."

“The album is called Lyfe Change because I’m changing it up a bit,” explains Lyfe. “In the past I didn’t work with different producers, I produced and wrote most of my albums by myself. But on this project I actually worked with different producers and a few writers.”

The 11-track album features Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Wyclef Jean (who wrote “Wild, Wild, Wild”), and two of Lyfe’s protégés, rapper Doc Black and singer Gritz. Producers include The Underdogs, Rich “Killa” Keller and Jean.

“Everybody has their own genre of music and their own audience,” he expresses. “By working with different people, naturally I am able to tap into those different genres and audiences.”

9th Wonder & Buckshot Regroup For Second Collabo CD

Brooklyn MC Buckshot and North Carolina producer 9th Wonder are set to release their second collaborative album entitled, The Formula, this April via Buckshot's Duck Down Records

Boot Camp Clik member Buckshot and former Little Brother beatmaker 9th first found chemistry in the studio back in 2005. At the time 9th was doing production for Duck Down acts Sean Price and Smif-N-Wessun.

"I felt like 9th Wonder was the savior of their production," Buckshot previously told SOHH. "It just was so real that I was blessed to get a track too. Then the next day, we just did another joint and the next day we did another joint and our chemistry was so good together that it just became Chemistry."

The duo's first collaborative LP, which was appropriately titled Chemisty featured guest appearances by Sean Price, Big Pooh, and Phonte of Little Brother, Joe Scudda and L.E.G.A.C.Y.

Since the release of Chemistry, 9th has been busy prepping his solo album and producing for other acts like Erykah Badu while Buckshot has been creating original music for ESPN's 2008 Men's College Basketball Programming.

Despite their busy schedules the duo found time to unite for new project, The Formula.

"Every song is dealing with a topic," Buckshot said. "Each track specifically has a formula, hence where the title of the album came from. I am The Formula and I found The Formula with 9th Wonder. I've always had a certain sound within Hip-Hop and 9th Wonder helps bring out my unique style. We share a comfort level that allows me to be at ease when it comes to recording and that natural sound translates into great music."

Buckshot and 9th Wonder have already shot three videos in anticipation of the April 15th release.

ImHipHop Super Tuesday

Being that its Super Tuesday i thought it only right to have sometype of political message today. Instead of telling you who I support, or who I'm voting for. I think I will give ya'll something to think about as you head out to the polls today.

IHH Radio: Rich Boy feat. John Legend, Lil Wayne & Nas - Ghetto Rich (Remix)

(L note: I think they may have saved Weezy's Career by letting him spit BEFORE Esco.)

Feb 4, 2008

50 & Robert De Niro On The Cover of Vibe

Alternate cover

Pimp C Died from Overdose, Sleep Condition

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office announced today (February 4) that Pimp C’s death was caused by an overdose of prescription cough medicine and a preexisting sleep condition.

According to the Houston Chronicle, assistant chief coroner Ed Winter noted that the cough medicine was not of the over the counter variety as previously believed, but was the more potent Promethazine and Codeine based product. Pimp also suffered from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes blockage of a person’s airways during sleep.

“Sleep apnea, you stop breathing,” Winter explained. “Coupled with a medication that suppresses your respiratory abilities, you end up with an accidental death.” Pimp, one half of acclaimed Port Arthur, RX based duo UGK with his partner Bun B, died on December 4. His body was discovered in his hotel room at the Mondrian Hotel in Hollywood. He was 33. Initial reports suggested that the MC’s death may have been due to natural causes.

Prescription cough syrup abuse has been suspected to have been a factor in the premature death’s of two other Texas veteran’s, the legendary DJ Screw and rapper Big Moe, both of whom suffered from heart attacks at relatively young ages

ImHipHop News Blitz 2*4*08

50 Cent & Kanye West Get Framed In New Exhibit

The fine arts world is embracing hip-hop with two upcoming exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and at The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

Alex Melamid is well known in the art world for founding the Soviet Realist Pop Art movement. The subject matter of his latest exhibit was a bit of a departure for the artist, who says his video director son inspired his latest choice.

Holy Hip-Hop! features life-size portraits Melamid painted of twelve iconic figures from hip-hop, including Snoop Dogg [View Pic Here], 50 Cent [View Pic Here], Kanye West [View Pic Here] , Common and Russell Simmons.

"I followed the advice of my son," Melamid said. "He knows more about hip-hop than me, much more. I wanted to be closer to my son, have him share his world with me. Older people are losing track of what's going on and our children help us understand what's going on in the world."

At the introduction of his son, Melamid spent from 2003-2005 meeting his subjects and getting to know them before photographing and drawing them as the basis for his paintings.

When asked his thoughts on depicting controversial figures like Snoop and Don "Magic" Juan, Melamid said he avoided being opinionated.

"I just depict what I see, I don't make any judgment," Melamid said. I'm not saying if the people are good or bad, that's not my problem. I try to be objective. I had a good chance to be objective because I don't have any stake in this world. I just see and I paint."

Despite his objectivity, Melamid did say one subject in particular left a good impression, "Some people were very nice to me, like Common, he was the sweetest guy of them all, I like him a lot."

Next March, Lil Jon, Marc Ecko and the other figures from Melamid's Holy Hip-Hop! series will be in good company when they are shown in London alongside Melamid's new subjects, 12 Roman Catholic priests.

"After I finished my twelve paintings of the rappers, I lived in Rome for a year and I painted the Catholic priests there," Melamid revealed. "Next year they will be shown with the other paintings in London --12 priests and 12 rappers."

Holy Hip-Hop! New Paintings by Alex Melamid will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) from February 8 through April 20, 2008. Visit for more information.

RECOGNIZE! Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture opens at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery February 8 and continues through October 26, 2008. Visit for more information.

Hip-Hop Comedian Aries Spears Arrested

Aries Spears, known for his impressions of Hip-Hop artists, was arrested Saturday (Feb. 2) at a Manhattan comedy club for allegedly groping a woman.

According to the New York Daily News, Spears was arrested at 1 a.m. Saturday following his set at the Comix Comedy Club.

Spears was charged with forcible touching. He was arraigned and releases on his own recognizance. He performed two shows Friday night (leading into Saturday morning) and was scheduled to return Saturday night as well but those performances were cancelled.

"He won't be performing tonight (Feb.2). We want to give him time to deal with his personal matters," the spokeswoman said.

A person who attended the performance tells that Aries Spears didn't "grope" the woman in question but rather used her as part of his act:

"Just so no one gets the wrong story: I was there. As part of his act, he was making light of the people closest to the stage. A rather large girl happened to be one of them. He did his thing, and then "high-fived" her chest - literally. He did not honk, he did not squeeze, he did not go pedophile or rapist. It may have been dumb and it damn sure was illegal, but just know that he did not "grope"..."

Spears is known for his impressions of artists such as Jay-Z, DMX and Snoop Dogg. He also appears on MAD TV.

Teddy Riley Selling Studio; Owes $1 Million

Lawyers have agreed to seek a buyer for Teddy Riley's Future Records Recording Studios as the former hit-making producer attempts to pay back some $1 million owed to creditors.

According to, on Friday (Feb. 1) lawyers representing creditors agreed to seek a buyer for Riley's studio in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Countless recording artists have recorded at the studio including Michael & Janet Jackson, Heavy D and BLACKstreet among others. When it opened in 1991, it was a state-of-the-art studio that cost upwards of $3 million. However, its equipment and facilities are now outdated given current industry standards.

"I'm trying to save this iconic studio for the cultural heritage it represents," said lawyer Richard J. Conrod Sr. "It would be a shame for it to be mowed down or become anything but a recording studio."

Conrod said the studio is worth more as a going business than as real estate. If the studio is sold, Conrod said Riley told him last year that he "will use his influence to bring artists to Virginia Beach."

In 2002, Riley filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This didn't stop his money troubles as he continued to encounter issues with the IRS and creditors.

Benzino Extends Olive Branch To Eminem, 50 Cent & Elliott Wilson

With the popularity of Hip Hop Weekly, and the launch of a new magazine on the horizon, former Source owner Raymond "Benzino" Scott is plottng a comeback. In this exclusive, he talks about his past beefs with Eminem, 50 Cent, and former XXL EIC Elliott Wilson. He also reveals his plans for his new rap magazine, Monsta.

After losing a multi-million dollar lawsuit and being ousted from The Source - a magazine he says he helped to start - many counted Benzino out. But with the release of his brand new mag Monsta right around the corner, Benzino says it's only a matter of time before the imprint is on top of the publishing game.

"We're coming right after The Source, XXL, Vibe and Complex," Benzino said. "I don't even know if [Complex] is selling that many magazines, but them too."

"We have a new format as far as the art direction," he continued. "The magazine is as big as you can get. It's the same size as ESPN and Rolling Stone."

Well aware of how the magazine industry has changed since his days at The Source, 'Zino thinks Monsta has what it takes to succeed in '08.

"It was a different generation when I did The Source and it came out," he said. "Right now with the internet, you gotta put your thumb on what's going to appease the young and the old, if you want to succeed. We have a lot of struggles in hip-hop culture. People want something they can read that has real issues in there that affect them, and that's us."

Benzino is building off of the momentum of his mag, Hip Hop Weekly, which he says has already turned a profit in its first year, a tough task in today's print publishing. He says that he believes that the addition of his new book into the marketplace will fill void in hip-hop left by other mags.

"XXL could never really get too much credit for anything but copying," Zino explained. "They never had their own identity. They only talked about who was a hot artist and it never held too much weight, in my opinion. Give us one year and believe me we'll be knocking The Source, XXL, Vibe and all of the other mags out the box."

Once known for his bitter public rivalries with Eminem and 50 Cent, a more diplomatic Benzino says that he'd now be willing to work with them for Monsta.

"Eminem and 50[Cent] have been in Hip Hop Weekly," he said. "I've learned to separate my personal issues to an extent. I understand who I am and what I say. I'm never gonna be PC, I'm always gonna speak my mind. They're still monsters in the game. I'm sure you'll see them getting coverage in there. Hopefully we can get 50 on the cover and get a good feature with him."

He also had some words of advice for longtime rival, Em, whose has been rumored to be depressed and overweight as of late.

"Being famous takes on a great deal of pressure and people deal with things differently," he emphasized. "If I had to give him some advice, I'd say that being by himself isn't the answer. If music's what he loves, keep doing that and don't worry about the bullsh*t."

Zino also said that he'd be willing to employ rival and former XXL editor-in-chief Elliott Wilson.

"The old 'Zino would have said hell naw, but I would probably listen to him," he said. "We'd have to straighten out our differences but I'd listen because he has a lot of experience. Everybody deserves another chance. If he ever wanted to be involved with Monsta, I'd give him a listen and put the bullsh*t to the side."

Jadakiss Assists in "Mayweather Experience"

Jadakiss, Styles P., Swizz Beatz and Souljah Boy are just a few of the artists set to be a part of boxer Floyd Mayweather's "Mayweather Experience" charity event.

The three-day event, which takes place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will benefit the Floyd Mayweather Foundation and the American Cancer Society, according to It will take place from Feb. 8-10 at various locations in downtown Grand Rapids.

The weekend will start on Feb. 8 with "The King of the Ring Freestyle Battle" at the DeltaPlex Arena. Jadakiss, Kid Capri, Styles P., Swizz Beatz and Shauna will be serving as judges. The winner will receive $10,000 and possibly a recording deal.

On Feb. 9 at 4 p.m., Mayweather will host the "Money Mayweather Celebrity Basketball Game" at the Van Andel Arena. Bow Wow, Lloyd, Jadakiss, Souljah Boy, Christina Milian, Keyshia Cole, B2K and Chili of TLC are expected to participate in the event.

Finally, on Feb. 10, the Cedric "The Entertainer" Comedy Show will take place at Van Andel Arena.

Akon & Mary J. Blige Celebrates Black History Month W/ VH1

VH1 will celebrate black history month with a string of new programs and has linked up with some big names in hip-hop and R&B to do so, including Akon, Mary J. Blige, and Erykah Badu.

Starting tonight (Feb. 4), Akon and Nick Cannon will recall how they achieved the American dream on the VH1 series, "Rags To Riches," airing 10 and 10:30 p.m. EST respectively.

On February 25th at 8 p.m. EST, VH1 will premiere its "Storytellers" program with Mary J. Blige. In the hour long show, which was recently taped in NYC's Hammerstein Ballroom, Blige will perform some of her biggest career hits and explain the inspiration behind her tracks.

The following day on VH1 Soul, Erykah Badu will also perform and share the backstories to some of her chart topping hits on "SoulStage" at 9 p.m.

For those who missed it the first time, on Monday, February 11th at 8 p.m. EST, VH1's High Definition channel MHD will re-run "Storytellers: Jay-Z: Life of an American Gangster." The hour-long program will have Jay performing and reflecting on the music from his latest album, American Gangster.

In partnership with Ebony and Jet Magazines, VH1 Soul will also begin on the "Soul Influencers" campaign, exploring the connections between contemporary legends and today's up and coming icons. Among the featured legends are Stevie Wonder, George Clinton and Tina Turner, who all offer candid advice and anecdotes in promos set to air throughout the month.

For a complete schedule of the network's upcoming Black History month programs, check your local listings.

Just Blaze & Chuck D Contribute to NBA Ballers: Chosen One Video Game

Video game manufacturer Midway has enlisted the help of legendary MC Chuck D and producer Just Blaze for their newest basketball game, NBA Ballers: Chosen One. The Public Enemy frontman will lend his voice to the game as the announcer and studio host, providing play-by-play commentary throughout.

Just Blaze—a well known video game enthusiast—is handling the game’s score, which will interact with game play much like the soundtrack to a film does.

“The talents of Chuck D and Just Blaze will greatly enhance the NBA Ballers: Chosen One experience, as players live the fantasy lifestyle of an NBA superstar,” explained George Gomez, Midway’s executive producer. “Chuck D is one of the most recognizable voices in music history, while Just Blaze has produced multiple chart-topping hits. Together they’ll ensure that NBA Ballers: Chosen One will feature a sound to match the game’s amazing graphics and gameplay.”

NBA Ballers is scheduled to ship for the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3 game consoles this spring.

Pitbull Tells Fans To Not Buy His Album

This morning, Pitbull spoke with Big Boy's Neighborhood, a Los Angeles based morning radio show on KPWR 105.9. The rapper spoke on a variety of topics including his latest album, tour and the Superbowl. But, he also spent some time venting about his label issue.

During the broadcast, Pitbull told fans not to buy his album anymore. "Download it. Burn it," he told the Neighborhood. This statement came due to label drama that he spoke about. In a small tirade, he bashed TVT Records for lack of promotion.

"They didn't promote Lil Jon. They didn't promote Ying Yang," he added, noting that he's had to "go out of pocket" for his own promotion. With a hint of optimism, he claimed this was a learning experience that he appreciated for making him "bullet proof."

"It's like Music Industry 101."

Pit also spoke on how he's ready to move away from TVT with the next album and gave advice to other emcees.

"We don't need rappers to go at each other. We got to go at these companies. That's what I'm doing."

Later, he added that he's on his way to Atlanta, Georgia to film the finale of a video for "The Anthem" which has already been filmed in pieces throughout Miami and other parts of the world. He's on tour with Baby Bash and he's already thinking about his next LP.