Her Myspace page Click here
Its so soulful, dont you agree?
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."
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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 www.mocadetroit.org 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 smithsonian.org 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 HHNLive.com 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 Pilotonline.com, 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 Eurweb.com. 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.