Feb 23, 2008
Feb 22, 2008
Ne-Yo Arrested For Reckless Driving In Georgia
Ne-Yo was arrested on Tuesday (February 19) for reckless driving while cruising through Cobb County, Georgia, reports TMZ.
According to the mainstream gossip site, the singer (real name: Shaffer Smith) was pulled over after police spotted his 2006 Range Rover doing "well over 100 mph."
When they finally caught up with him, he was arrested for reckless driving and for not having a valid license.
The arrest took place at 3:40 a.m., according to the booking report.
He was booked at the Cobb Sheriff's office and released nearly an hour later on $1,300 bond.
Ne-Yo is due back in court on March 25.
Snoop Dogg Cited For Weed Possession
Snoop Dogg's lawyer, Donald Etra, recently revealed that the Los Angeles based rapper was ticketed for marijuana possession outside a Manhattan club on Wednesday (February 20).
According to Etra, Snoop was not arrested but was handed a desk appearance ticket which they plan to contest.
“We are contesting the ticket,” Etra told The New York Post.
Etra declined to identify the club and police did not reveal information about the incident.
Snoop is currently prepping for the release of his ninth solo album, Ego Trippin' , which hits stores on March 11. The set will feature production from Pharrell Williams and legendary R&B beat maker Teddy Riley.
Appeals Court Says That Former Hot Boy Turk Can Withdraw Guilty Plea
A Tennessee appeals court ruled today (February 21) that former Cash Money artist and Hot Boys member Turk should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea in the 2004 shooting of a sheriff's deputy.
In 2005, Turk entered an Alford plea, also known as a best-interest plea, in which a defendant may dispute some of the allegations but accepts an agreed-upon sentence, to avoid a longer sentence if convicted at trial. The plea has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.
Turk plead to attempted second-degree murder and was handed a 12-year sentence. He faced up to 25 years if convicted as charged with attempted first-degree murder.
The charges stemmed from the 2004 incident where the New Orleans-based rapper allegedly shot at a Shelby County SWAT member Chris Harris four times. According to Shelby County detectives, Turk shot at Harris as he opened a closet door where the rapper was hiding during a drug raid at a Hickory Hill apartment on Jan. 26, 2004. Turk has repeatedly denied shooting Harris.
At the time Turk entered his plea, his lawyer revealed that he would want his client serving his sentence in federal prison and did not meet any opposition from the state prosecutor or the judge.
Turk would apply to the Federal Bureau of Prison to be housed in a federal prison but his application would be denied. The rapper would then petition to have his guilty plea withdrawn but it was denied without explanation.
The appeals court strongly contended Thursday that Turk's petition should have been granted.
Rihanna Appointed Ambassador Of Barbados
Fresh off her Grammy win last week, R&B/pop star Rihanna has been named an Ambassador for Culture and Youth in her home country of Barbados.
According to The Barbados Advocate, the Def Jam songstress was given the title by Prime Minister David Thompson at a tribute concert held in her honor last night (Thursday, Jan. 21).
Thompson said that in light of all of Rihanna's recent achievements, including her Grammy award for the smash hit "Umbrella," the singer should be formally recognized as a positive role model and source of inspiration for the country.
"I really don't know what to say," Rihanna said upon hearing the news. "I am so grateful and I have never been more proud to be Bajan."
The 20-year-old star, whose full name is Robin Rihanna Fenty, also got a Land Rover and a diamond bracelet from some of the event's sponsors, along with a birthday cake to celebrate her birthday this past Wednesday (Feb. 20).
She was accompanied at the tribute concert by rumored romantic interest, R&B star Chris Brown.
Will Smith Wins Suit over Adolf Hitler Remarks
A judge in London has awarded Will Smith an unspecified amount of damages in a lawsuit brought by the actor and rapper against entertainment news agency World Entertainment News Network (WENN).
According to Reuters, Judge David Eady agreed that WENN had “wholly misrepresented” Smith’s statements and caused him “acute embarrassment.” The suit stems from a story printed by the agency in which it was claimed that Smith had praised German dictator Adolf Hitler as a “good person.”
Smith’s actual comments read as follows: “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good.’”
Although WENN later printed a retraction, Smith’s attorney Rachel Atkins contended that it went largely ignored by most media outlets.
John Melville Smith, the attorney representing WENN, offered apologies on behalf of the agency and accepted that the story was misleading and erroneous. Atkins stated that the monetary compensation awarded by the court will be donated to charity and cover the legal costs of the lawsuit.
The Clipse & Joss Stone Link Up For Upcoming Projects
Virginia rap duo The Clipse and British crooner Joss Stone will be appearing on each others upcoming projects.
According To Entertainment Weekly, Stone has already recorded a track which will appear on The Re-Up Gang album while The Clipse will appear on Stone's upcoming solo project.
As reported earlier, The Clipse severed ties with Jive Records last year and signed with Columbia Records.
The Re-Up Gang project is slated for a June release and will be followed by The Clipse’s third album later in the year.
Lil Wayne Collabs With Jay-Z On Tha Carter III, Rapper Plans To Drop Album In April
Lil Wayne recently revealed that his upcoming album The Carter III will feature an appearance from Jay-Z.
The two first collaborated on Jay-Z's latest album, American Gangster, on the track “Hello Brooklyn”.
The Carter III, which was originally slated for release last year, was set to hit shelves this month but Wayne tells MTV News that the album will be in stores in April.
The New Orleans rapper claims that his constant creation of songs is the major reason for the album’s delay.
“I make it worse for Universal [Records],” Wayne explained. “I keep doing new songs every other day. I don't stop working, so I don't know when they gonna get that. Everything I do be better than the last, like, 'Oh, this gotta make the album!”
Wayne revealed that The Carter III will also feature collaborations with Hurricane Chris, Juelz Santana, Corey Gunz, Fabolous, Lil Mama, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Baby, Brisco and Dre from Cool & Dre.
Production on the set is supplied by Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Alchemist and Cool & Dre, among others.
Wayne p lans to release two singles from the project, “"Lollipop”, which targets the ladies and “A Millie”, which has a gritty feel to it.
Feb 21, 2008
Former R. Kelly Publicist's Daughter Comes Forward
The battle between R. Kelly and George and Regina Daniels intensified this week, as the couple's daughter—whom the singer is accused of having "crossed the line with"—came forward to share her side of the story.
Maxine Daniels, 21, gave a statement to the Chicago Sun Times after Kelly's camp released a press release of their version of the events in question. They accuse Regina Daniels of approving the relationship between Kelly and Maxine, stating that Regina provided Maxine with Kelly's private number, saying "don't tell your father."
In the Sun Times interview, Maxine refutes the idea that her parents condoned her relationship with Kelly.
"I take full responsibility for my actions," the younger Daniels said. "My stepmother and father didn't know about my relationship with the singer because I knew and he knew that they wouldn't approve ... so I tried to keep it a secret, but when my stepmother found out about our relationship, she resigned because she felt that Rob had 'crossed the line' by dating a girl that he has known since she was seven years old."
Maxine also says that the recent press release put out by Kelly's camp is an attempt to defame her parents. She also responded to allegations that her stepmother—who was The Pied Piper's publicist for more than a decade—was fired because of incompetence.
"My stepmom was not fired for incompetence. She was Rob's publicist for 14 years and always considered Rob not just a client ... but family. And Rob thought of my dad like a father."
She went on to add that she ended the relationship with Kelly after her parents began to hear rumors that the two were together. In addition, she refutes the claim that Regina Daniels gave her Kelly's personal number, saying "Rob personally slipped me his number."
There was also a Sun Times report that George Daniels—who has been seen in a number of R. Kelly videos—was seeking a six figure settlement to go away. Daniels denies that any monetary sum was ever asked for.
News of the questionable relationship began to hit the Internet after Regina was fired. A short time later, George released a statement saying Kelly "crossed the line" with his daughter and also lied when confronted with the allegations.
In a radio interview with KJLH in Los Angeles, Daniels says that his daughter's relationship with Kelly didn't get to "that extreme," referring to the singer's pending trial that resulted from the discovery of sex tapes with alleged minors.
"Or else I wouldn't be here, if you know what I'm talking about," he added.
Sean Bell's Widow Featured In Rocawear Ad
"This was a planned publicity stunt timed to influence the jury," Detectives Endowment President Michael Palladino tells the New York Post. Lawyers for the defendants, detectives Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper, have also been lobbying unsuccessfully to get a change of venue, fearing that the high-profile nature of the case would make it impossible to find an impartial jury. Since Bell's death on Nov. 25, 2006, many community leaders, including Rev. Al Sharpton, have aligned themselves with the case.
The current "I Will Not Lose" campaign includes Ciara, Tristan Wilds of The Wire, and the 2007 Miss USA winner, Rachel Smith. Rocawear's chief marketing officer, Jameel Spencer maintains Paultre-Bell was included because she is representative of the campaign slogan.
"We're trying to highlight different stories," says Spencer tells The Post. "She's someone who's suffered a great loss. When that happens, you want to curl up in a ball and die. That's a tough thing. The day you're supposed to get married and something horrible happens."
The ad is currently featured in both Vibe and Essence, and the widowed Paultre-Bell, says she was initially reluctant to join the campaign. This marks the second time in recent months that Rocawear's advertising methods have come under scrutiny. Many media pundits criticized both Rocawear and XXL, when Editor-In-Chief Elliott Wilson was featured on the back cover of the magazine's August issue as part of the "I Will Not Lose" campaign.
Violence Erupts At Akon Concert
A free concert by R&B crooner Akon held at a Danish Mall yesterday (February 20) ended in violence after fans who were evacuated from the venue by police in response to a fire alarm turned on the authorities.
According to Reuters, around 2,000-3,000 people showed up at the Fields Shopping Mall in Copenhagen Wednesday to see the singer but only 1,000 people were let in. People who were turned away could only watch from afar.
During the third song into Akon's set, a fire alarm would sound and police began evacuating fans who responded by protesting. After the evacuation, the protest would turn physical as fans hurled rocks and bottles at the police.
Several people suffered injuries which were not serious and police arrested eight people.
The alarm would later turn out to be false.
“It was a free concert and we knew that many people would come, but there were a lot of people there, more than we had expected,” Jens Geppel, the Fields Mall director said.
Geppel said that the mall is currently investigating into what went wrong.
Eminem's Rep Says Publishers "Jumped The Gun" On Shady's Book
The news of Eminem's autobiography being released in October was a bit premature, as Em's rep says the book is still under construction.
As Previously reported, a UK based media outlet revealed Eminem's plans to publish his autobiography entitled Eminem: The Way I Am via Orion Books this October. According to Em's publicist, this release was a bit premature.
"The news about the project came from the UK publisher, who is not involved in the day-to-day editing or creation of the book," Eminem's publicist Dennis Dennehy said via statement.
"It's unfortunate that someone who does not have intimate knowledge of the book felt compelled to jump the gun on announcing it by delivering partial and inaccurate information."
According to Dennehy, the rapper does have a book in the works in which he "details certain aspects of his personal and professional life," but the book is still in the process of being edited and does not yet have a firm release date.
Jadakiss Talks Roc-A-Fella Debut, Blames ''Ringtone, Tight Pants Wearing'' Rappers For Ruining The Game
Jadakiss recently revealed his feelings on Jay-Z's departure from Def Jam, his disenchantment with the state of the hip-hop industry and details about his upcoming Roc-A-Fella debut.
Jada said he inked with the Roc to switch it up a bit.
"A change of pace," he said in an interview with The Come Up DVD. "The people like change. The fans like change. Not too dramatic but y'know, they like to see new sh*t and hear new sh*t and see new sh*t. It aint no different though. Different machine maybe but we've yet to see."
The Yonkers emcee said he has about 7 or 8 songs in the can, but the album's not yet finished. He's holding out for some major production collabos.
"I still gotta holla at Kanye, Just Blaze, maybe Pharell, hopefully Dr. Dre, Toomp ... whoever got the f*cking heat man, Timbaland, Storch," he said. "I don't discriminate. If it's hot, let's have it."
Kiss is still toying with titles for the new disc, but said he's seriously considering Kiss My Ass.
"Nas is dropping N*gger, why I can't drop Kiss My Ass," he asked? "I think I might keep my sh*t. Kiss My Ass coming soon."
This will be the first solo album the rapper has released since 2004's Kiss of Death. When asked how the game has changed in those 4 years Jada held no punches.
"N*gga's is garbage," he said. "The game is f*cked up ... a bunch of ring tone, tight-pants-wearing motherf*ckrs. I'm just doin' me. The music is f*cking garbage, man. Kanye came out with hot music. He sold records. T.I., same thing. Alicia Keys, same sh*t. If your sh*t was hot and you had a machine, you sold records."
And for those whose number were lacking ...
"Don't blame nobody, just make better music, *ssholes," Jada said. "It's a business at the end of the day, so you can be mad at who ever but you gotta be mad at yourself. Either the music wasn't right or you didn't handle your business. It's as simple as that."
One hip-hop artist who did handle his business, according to Jada is Jay-Z. And Kiss is not mad about the mogul's departure from Def Jam.
"He tried his hand for a few years, he raped the budget, he got however much they was paying him and he stepped down," Jada said. "He got his masters, he doin' his thing. 40/40's in Vegas and all that, hotels, he good."
Jada said he's trying to release his new disc in May around Memorial Day, which happens to be the rapper's birthday
Lil Wayne Connects With Art Students At His Former High School
Lil Wayne paid a visit to his former New Orleans High School yesterday (February 19) to thank its art students for designing a logo for his charity foundation.
According to The Times Picayune, Wayne thanked forty art students from Eleanor McMain Magnet Secondary School for creating a logo for his One Family Foundation and also answered questions fielded by the students.
Wayne, who is currently based in Miami after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, returned to his hometown to take part in various events for the NBA All-star Weekend.
One of those events was a scheduled reunion concert with his former group The Hot Boys on Sunday night (February 17), but it was cancelled before it even took place because three shootings occurred outside the venue where they were slated to perform.
BET To Bring Channel To The UK
BET, announced Thursday (February 21) that they will bring the channel to the British audience with the BET UK.
The channel will bring the overseas market top-rated BET shows such as "106 & Park," "American Gangster," and "College Hill," among other shows.
The UK service will be offered via digital satellite next Thursday (February 28), expanding their national brand internationally.
"We're thrilled to be able to bring high quality, black cultural content to communities around the world and deliver on our commitment to expand the BET brand internationally," Debra L. Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks, said in a statement. "For more than 27 years, BET Networks has been the leader in providing premium entertainment to African American audiences, and we're so excited to establish BET as the premier destination for UK audiences to enjoy content that reflects the many viewpoints of the Black experience."
"BET has been building a presence among our core target audience in the United Kingdom for more than two years," added Michael D. Armstrong, Senior Vice President and General Manager, BET International.
While BET UK's initial programming will include shows already airing in the U.S., they plan to include more regional content as they grow.
"For the UK version of BET, we will be giving BET's U.S. content a regionalized look and feel that reflects the UK marketplace, and as we grow and develop the channel, we look forward to partnering with the UK creative industry to give BET an even stronger British accent," explained Armstrong.
The network will unveil the official media presentation in London during the channel's launch on Thursday.
Dog The Bounty Hunter Returns After Racial Remarks
Duane "Dog" Chapman will be returning to cable channel A&E after his reality TV show was pulled from the air three months ago in a controversy over his use of a racial epithet.
Chapman's popular show, Dog the Bounty Hunter was taken off the air last November after a private phone with his son Tucker call leaked to the public. In the conversation Chapman [an ex-con] repeatedly used the word "nigger" to describe Tucker's black girlfriend.
Tucker, apparently upset with the ignorance of his father, sold the tape of the conversation to The National Enquirer, for a reported $15,000.
After the conversation was made public, Chapman apologized repeatedly to the African American community and promised to change his way of thought.
An A&E spokesman said earlier this week "Over the last few months, Duane "Dog" Chapman has taken and continues to take the appropriate steps in reaching out to several African American organizations in an effort to make amends for his private comments to his son which were released publicly...Since the premise of Dog The Bounty Hunter is about second chances - we have decided to give him one."
No airdate has been scheduled yet.
Kelis Preps Greatest Hits CD
After nearly 10 years and four albums, Kelis is gearing up to drop a greatest hits disc.
Kelis-The Hits, will be released on March 11 and will be a 14-song compilation comprised of material from the singer's entire discography dating back to her 1999 debut, Kaleidoscope.
The disc will also include several of Kelis' most notable collaborations including her tracks with Ol' Dirty Bastard, Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo Green, André 3000 of OutKast, N.E.R.D., Too $hort, Richard X and husband Nas.
"Only a true artist has the ability to innovate an entire genre," writes former XXL music editor Leah Rose in the album's liner notes. "Ever since debuting with her album Kaleidoscope nearly ten years ago, Kelis has remained on the cutting edge of both fashion and music. As one of the first major pop stars to collaborate with the Grammy award-winning production duo The Neptunes, Kelis set trends for an entire generation of hip-hop and R&B artists."
The record will be highlighted by Kelis' most popular songs including "Bossy" and her breakout single "Milkshake" from her 2004 gold-selling release, Tasty.
Kelis-The Hits is slated to hit stores on March 11th on Star Trak/Jive/Legacy.
Here is a complete track listing for the album:
1. Caught Out There
3. Got Your Money (w/Ol' Dirty Bastard)
4. Trick Me
5. Lil' Star (with Cee-Lo)
6. Get Along With You
7. Young, Fresh N' New Dance
8. Truth Or Dare (w/N.E.R.D)
9. Bossy (with Too $hort)
10. In Public (with Nas)
11. Millionaire (w/André 3000)
12. Finest Dreams (w/Richard X)
14. Good Stuff
Court Orders Scott Storch To Pay Up To Settle Loan
The United States California Central District Court has reportedly ordered producer Scott Storch and his production company Tuff Jew Productions to pay $509,717.50 to David Menefield , former manager of rapper Knocturnal and owner of LA Confidential.
According to Rap Industry, Menefield loaned Storch $100,000 in 2003 to prevent the foreclosure of the producer’s home and in return, Storch was to pay back the loan and also issue five tracks to Menefield.
Menefield would sue Storch earlier this year claiming that the beat maker only gave him one track and failed to pay the $100,000 loan.
The court’s judgment, which was made last week, ordered Storch and Tuff Jew Productions to ‘jointly and severally pay Menefield the sum of $509,717.50 and valued Scott Storch’s production services at $100,000 per track’.
Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Re-Release Left Off Charts, Experts Explain Why
Michael Jackson's Thriller album is technically number two on this week's Billboard charts but it won't be credited as such due to a technicality.
According to New York's Daily News, even though Jackson's 25th anniversary album sold 166,000 copies this week, according to Nielsen's SoundScan, Billboard categorized the album as a catalogue- or oldies album, making it uneligible for inclusion in the Billboard 200.
Jackson's label, Sony, argues that this should not be the case because in addition to classic hits like "Billie Jean" and "Beat It," the album also contains six new songs.
One label source explains, "Michael went into the studio and recorded with Kanye West, Fergie, Akon, Will.i.Am - and there's a brand-new song from Michael, and videos. It beat Grammy winners Amy Winehouse and Herbie Hancock, with 167,000 crossing the counter. Yet for reasons unfathomable to folks in the music industry, Billboard has decided to relegate it to the catalogue chart. Catalogue makes it look like the same ol' same ol', but with a "new cover."
According to Billboard chart expert, Geoff Mayfield, "We were approached by Sony and Sony BMG to consider 'Thriller 25' as a current album. But we had to be consistent with hundreds, if not thousands, of reissues that have come to the market. There have actually been new issues of classic albums that include even more new material. We didn't just make the decision on our own. We contacted major retailers [like Wal-Mart and Best Buy], and that was the consensus."
Still Mayfield adds that Jackson should find comfort in knowing, "It's the largest sum for an album on the catalogue chart to be sold in 10 years."
Amy Winehouse One Ups Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson Misses The Cut On A Technicality
In this week's Hip-Hop and R&B charts, Alicia Keys goes triple platinum but gives way to a surging Amy Winehouse, Mary J. Blige hangs on to her Top 10 spot and Michael Jackson's Thriller 25 fails to crack the Top 200.
British soul export Amy Winehouse managed to do what virtually no else in R&B and hip-hop has for the past 13 weeks - outsell Alicia Keys. Following her Grammy performance and five wins, Winehouse blasted up 22 spots and scanned 115,300 copies of Back to Black, taking the No. 2 spot this week. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Winehouse has sold 1,649,200 copies of her debut disc after 49 weeks.
Alicia Keys may have been edged out by Winehouse, but she maintains her No. 3 spot this week, moving 108,800 units of her third album, As I Am. Keys has also gone triple platinum in just 14 weeks, selling 3,096,500 thus far.
Mary J. Blige remains in the Top 10 but drops two spots to No. 9 this week after pushing 48,600 copies of her eighth album, Growing Pains. After nine weeks, the Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul has sold 1,225,600 albums.
John Legend rockets up 50 spots to No. 12 this week with his live album, Live From Philadelphia, following his performance on the Grammys as Fergie's piano man. Legend sold 40,400 copies this week for a five-week total of 123,700.
Chris Brown drops one more spot to No. 13 this week with his sophomore album Exclusive, which sold 39,700 copies in the last go-round. After 15 weeks, Brown has moved 1,287,900 units.
Keyshia Cole falls seven spots to No. 18 this week, pushing 37,700 copies of her second album, Just Like You. Twenty-one weeks in, Cole has amassed a total of 1,168,900 albums sold.
Next up is Fergie, who continues to outsell the competition more than a year after the release of her debut solo album. The Black Eyed Pea singer and solo artist scanned 29,300 copies of The Dutchess this week for a 74-week total of 3,449,900 albums sold.
Fresh off her performance on the Grammys, Rihanna climbs 11 spots this week to land at No. 35, selling 26,900 copies of her third album, Good Girl Gone Bad. After 37 weeks, Rihanna's totals stand at 1,060,300.
The Grammys were also good to Kanye West, whose poignant performance and multiple wins helped him climb 24 spots to No. 40 and move 22,600 units this week. After 23 weeks, the Louis Vuitton Don has gone double platinum with totals of 2,005,800.
Lupe Fiasco's The Cool also surges this week, climbing 12 spots to No. 42 and selling 22,600 discs. After nine weeks, the Chi-town rapper has sold 339,400 copies.
Def Jam hitmaker The-Dream falls 11 spots to No. 46 with his debut album Love/Hate, which sold 21,000 copies in the last cycle. The-Dream now has a 10-week total of 226,100 albums sold.
Rounding out the Top 50 is R&B crooner Jaheim, who slides 11 spots to No. 48 this week with his latest disc, The Makings of A Man. After nine weeks, Jaheim's sales totals stand at 369,100.
Unfortunately, Michael Jackson's Thriller 25 wasn't invited to the party. The anniversary release sold 166,000 copies in its first week out and was technically this week's second-biggest seller, but was not eligible for inclusion among new releases, because Billboard considers it a catalog release (this despite the 2008 remixes and newly included DVD).
2.Six 12's (Feat. Mouse)
3.Independent (Feat. Lil Boosie & Lil Phat)
4.I Know (Feat. Young Dro)
5.Just Like Me
6.Thuggin' (Feat. Lil Phat & Shell of 3 Deep & Lil Boosie)
8.You a Trip (Feat. Big Head)
9.Just Like This (Feat. Big Head)
10.A Miracle (Feat. Birdman & Rick Ross)
12.I Miss You (Feat. LeToya)
13.Doe Doe (Feat. Bun B & Lil Phat of 3 Deep)
14.Fly As An Eagle (Feat. Foxx & Pimp C)
15.Y'All Ain't Makin' No Money
16.First Night (Feat. Mouse)
Feb 20, 2008
50 Cent Settles Beat Down Lawsuit
50 Cent has reached a settlement with a photographer who was assaulted by the rapper’s security outside a New York jewelry store in 2003.
Jim Alcorn, a photographer for The New York Post, filed a $21 million lawsuit against 50 in 2003 claiming that when he attempted to take a picture of the G-Unit honcho, the rapper’s bodyguards knocked him down.
The assault would leave Alcorn with injuries to the neck and jaw.
According to The New York Post, the settlement was reached after judge ruled this week that 50 had to pay Alcorn. The amount of the settlement reached was not disclosed.
“A settlement was reached and all parties are satisfied,” Sanford Rubenstein, Alcorn's lawyer told The Post.
TVT Records Keeps Artists' Projects Going
TVT Records has no intention to stop promoting its artists - regardless of the fact that the label just recently filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
According to Published reports, not only will the label continue to promote its current releases, but it will continue to prepare and schedule forthcoming releases, including the much-awaited Crunk Rock, which would be Lil John's fourth album for TVT. Also slated for release is the Ying Yang Twins' as-of-yet untitled 2008 release.
"I believe that we will emerge from this reorganization a stronger entity," said TVT founder and President Steve Gottlieb. "Our history of innovative marketing, creative branding and artist discovery are as much in demand today as ever before. The downturn in the music business has affected all of us, independents and majors alike. We all seek to adapt to a new business model."
The "reorganization" Gottlieb spoke of was not only filing for Chapter 11, but also laying off a significant portion of its staff, and shutting down international offices. TVT also plans to sell its distribution platform, and possibly enter into a partnership with several digital companies.
TVT, at 23 years old, was named the top US independent record label by Billboard Magazine from 2001 to 2006.
Common To Release New Album In November
Common will release his new album entitled "The Believer" this November.
According to MTV, the rapper/actor is currently recording the new LP.
"I'm looking around November," he told MTV News of the release date of his follow-up to last year's Finding Forever. "I'm working on a new album called The Believer. I'm just getting in the mode. I been touring a lot and been working on verses here and there. Now, I'm starting to get focused on the album, letting it take its shape. And at the same time [I'll] be working on films, God willing."
Along with his new album, Common has been in planning mode with Q-Tip for their collaborative project.
"Q-Tip and I been planning the Standard album," he said, referring to the duo the pair have formed. "We been conceptualizing, but we just gotta continue to work on it. We will. I look at it like two jazz musicians getting together, the way Charlie Parker and cats would get together and do work. I feel a lot more free with my music now that I'm doing films and stuff, because I don't put as much pressure on the music. It ain't my only source of income and way to make a living."
Common can be seen in the up-coming film "Street Kings" with Keanu Reeves and The Game along with "Wanted" starring Angelina Jolie which hits theatres June 27.
The Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am Joins 'Wolverine' Cast
According to a report on Justjared.com, Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am has signed on to play the role of Kestrel in the new "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" movie.
The character Kestrel AKA John Wraith is part of Weapon X along with Wolverine, Sabretooth, Maverick, Mastodon, and Silver Fox. Kestrel is said to trust no one and is a powerful teleporter capable of getting his team out of sticky situations.
"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is set seventeen years before the original "X-Men" film and focuses on Wolverine's violent past.
The film is expected to be released May 1, 2009.
Mario Set To Dance With The Stars
Showing that he's more than just a voice, R&B star Mario is set to show off his footwork on the ABC hit reality series "Dancing With The Stars."
According to the Baltimore Sun, the 21 year-old will be a part of this season's new cast, which will see Mario and 11 other celebrities working on their dancing skills. The show, which will debut on March 17, is in it's sixth season and was the second highest rated show of 2007, behind "American Idol."
In addition to the young crooner, the show will also welcome famed Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, tennis star Monica Seles and actor Steve Guttenberg, among others.
This will be Mario's second go-round in the reality TV realm, having already done a documentary entitled " I Won't Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom," which followed the singer as he attempted to get his mother help for her drug addiction. The documentary aired last year on MTV.
The singer is currently enjoying the success of his current single, "Cryin' Out For Me," which has been receiving an increasing amount of both video and radio airplay as of late. The single is from his third solo album, Go, which paired Mario with a slew of big name producers and songwriters including The Neptunes, Jermaine Dupri, Scott Storch, Alicia Keys and Akon, among others.
Company Uses 50 Cent And Soulja Boy To Call Listeners
Fans of No Limit Records releases from the late '90s might remember Master P's numerous 1-900 numbers to get information on Snoop Dogg, Fiend and the rest of the gang. Now, you no longer have to pay toll charges, because from 50 Cent to Soulja Boy to Yung Joc, your favorite rappers are calling you.
Say Now, started by CEO Nikyl Singhal and VP Brian Mandler, is a service that has the Hip Hop industry, among other genres, buzzing with its marketability and interactive approach to staying up on your favorite artists.
"What we found, when we started the company, was with digital services, whether Myspace pages, email lists or text messaging groups, that fans are looking for a closer, more personal way of connecting with their favorite artists," Singal said. "Artists are also looking for a closer way to engage the fans and connect with them, personally. Our service is a phone number that we give to [artists] that they can present to their audience to build a phone-based communication. Voice is the core piece of our product."
Hip Hop artists currently using the service include Guru (917.338.4081), Styles P (914.202.4738), Plies (813.964.3813) and 50 Cent (646.233.3789).
"Every artist is different," said Mandler, a former Capitol Records executive. "For one artist, an ideal usage of our service may not work with another." Say Now uses strategies such as contests, giveaways, and interaction with the artists to drive user interest. Yung Joc, for instance, recently asked his fans to call and leave a message answering the question, "Why are you a G?" Mandler sums up that, "In the world of Hip Hop right now, it's about trying to get back to the base. Say Now is providing a unique tool to do so."
Statistics prove positive. Soulja Boy's messages have been played 8.3 million times, according to Singhal. The Interscope star received over 700,000 messages from fans. Within that, 100,000 of those messages were left for other fans, creating a social network that may be viewed as a telephone equivalent to Myspace.
To see a full list of artists as well as consider the services for you, visit Say Now [click here].
Violator & DJ Classicz Team Up With Paramount For 'Shady Talez'
Violator Management, which represents 50 Cent, Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes, has reportedly teamed up with Paramount Pictures and indie film company DJ Classicz to develop an urban themed horror flick titled Shady Talez.
According to Daily Variety, the flick will revolve around three stories that 'pay hip-hop homage to classic horror films'.
John Davis and Dallas Jackson will produce Shady Talez while Violator bosses Chris Lighty and Mona Scott will executive produce.
“We intend to marry each of the stories with a hot director from the music video and/or film world along with Violator's hip-hop talent roster,” Dallas Jackson said.
Violator's roster also includes Tony Yayo , LL Cool J, Saigon , Kia Shine , Uncle Murda and Papoose, among others.
Production details for Shady Talez were not released.
Nelly Re-Launching Popular 80's Fashion Line
Multi-platinum rapper Nelly has announced plans to expand his fashion portfolio by re-launching Troop Clothing.
The late 80's fashion line popularized by such rap veterans as, LL Cool J, will be introduced to a new generation, Nelly told Dr.Jays.com.
Comprised of both apparel and footwear, Troop Clothing was created in 1986 in the Bronx, New York. Troop is credited as being one of hip-hop's first clothing brands.
Nelly first re-introduced Troop Clothing to fans during a performance at last year's BET Hip-Hop Awards.
This will mark the second brand for Nelly, following his already successful ladies clothing line, Apple Bottoms.
"I am Legend"
1. I am legend (intro)
2. House on me (prod. by serious)
3. Who am i (prod. by raz)
4. On a pill (prod. by lil c)
5. 4head (prod. by k-mack)
6. Trunk rattle (prod. by raz)
7. Tropical (prod. by gm tracks)
8. I am legend (interlude)
9. Fly as i can be (prod. by raz)
10. These aint out yet (prod. by lil c)
11. Breathe (freestyle)
12. Cash money shit (prod. by doe)
13. Hell yeah (feat. yung l.a.) (prod. by raz)
14. 5000 ones (feat. t.i. and big kuntry) (prod. by jazze pha)
15. I am legend (interlude)
16. How i ride (prod. by raz)
17. You know about me (the runners)
18. Drugs (prod. by cavie)
19. Mac and dro (feat. macboney) (prod. by sanchez)
20. Ladies interlude
21. Makin all that money (prod. by nard and b)
22. Yung l.a.-what else (feat. young dro) (prod. by kids with machine gunz)
23. I am legend (outro)
24. I know how to (prod. by lil c)
25. Loud (feat. macboney) (prod. by lil c)
Feb 19, 2008
The Way I Am: Eminem Reveals All In New Book
Eminem and The Orion Publishing Group have teamed up to release a memoir from the Detroit rapper titled The Way I Am.
According to Bookseller.com, the book will include never seen before pictures of Eminem along with his journal notes, hand-drawn art and lyric sketches. The book will also have a narrative and introduction written by the rapper.
“Everyone has their own take on Eminem,” said Ian Preece, Orion's Commissioning Editor. “Because of where he is from, people think they know where he is at, what kind of person he really is. This book cuts through all that and gets to the source”
The Way I Am will hit shelves on October 16th.
Tank Arrested In New Orleans, Claims Police Brutality
R&B singer Tank was tased and arrested outside the House of Blues in New Orleans early Monday morning (February 18) on several charges including disorderly conduct.
However, Tank claims he was a victim of police brutality.
The singer and Ira Dewitt, the CEO of Notifi Music Group, were headed for an afterparty for NBA All-Star Weekend at the House of Blues. When they began to walk into the direction of the club, they were blocked from doing so by police men, due to a shooting in the area.
According to an eyewitness account by Ira, the police were rude, harassing both Tank and herself, before telling them they could not enter the area.
In response, Tank told the policemen "Why are you gonna be like that?" Then, immediately began to walk way. That's when three police alleged attacked Tank and began using their tasers on him.
"We started walking away," Ira told reporters, "but they grabbed Tank and threw him against the wall. [The cops] bent one of his arms up and the other arm back and asked him to do something. Tank told them that he couldn't and before you knew it, there were three cops all over him... and they tased him."
Tank was arrested and booked, and was reportedly released on bail Monday.
One source told reporters that several police officers were actually overheard making sexual comments about the woman after Tank was in custody. However, Julia Beverly, founder of Ozone magazine, added that "overall the police in New Orleans this weekend (in my experience) did a good job of keeping things safe without being overbearing."
The singer was coming off his first two Grammy nominations -- for Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B album for Sex, Love & Pain. While he did not win, he was excited about the nominations
TVT Records Fires Staff, Expected To File Bankruptcy
New York based indie label, TVT Records, has terminated several of their employees on Monday (February 18) and is expected to file for bankruptcy later this week.
According to a published report, the label -- which has been home to the likes of Lil Jon, Pitbull, and the Ying Yang Twins, among others -- has laid off almost all their staff and will file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Over the past years, the music industry has suffered due to declining album sales, and even though ringtone and digital sales are up, it can't make up for the loss. It looks like TVT couldn't withstand the hit.
In the past, Lil Jon expressed his displeasure with the label. For a brief moment in 2005, he vowed to never record for the label again, but reniged on his word in February 2006 when he said "TVT cut the check."
Most recently, Pitbull spoke out about how he felt about TVT and again, it wasn't good. The Miami rapper went on a Los Angeles radio station and asked his fans not to purchase his album, saying he's had it with his long time label. He blamed poor sales on the label's inability and/or refusal to promote his project.
"They didn't promote Lil Jon. They didn't promote Ying Yang," said Pitbull, further explaining that he's gone "go out of pocket" for his own promotion. He said that he will not release his next album through TVT.
"I'm out here working like a slave, doing things that other artists don't even know how to do," the rapper continued. "A label's there to further and promote your career, but it feels like they just keep holding me back."
TVT Records was founded by its current President, Steve Gottlieb, from his New York City apartment in 1985, and has been functioning for over 23 years.
At press time, it wasn't immediately clear what would happen to the label's forthcoming releases, including Lil Jon's long awaited Crunk Rock album.
The status of the company's other businesses, including TVT Music Publishing, is not known at this time.
'Flashing Lights' Video Actress Defends Kanye's Latest Work
The controversial new video from Kanye West, 'Flashing Lights', has been under fire recently due to the graphic images it contains.
Rita G, a Playboy Playmate from Houston, Texas, stars in the video for West's new single and is seen beating the rapper while he is tied up in the trunk of a car.
She defends Kanye by saying that this was an expertly planned scene that West had made, to ensure it was thought provoking.
"It's so funny. This video will go over a lot of people's heads - and it's supposed to. I think it's great that it does. Because Kanye is just on another level; he's ahead of his time, in a sense." She tells MTV.
"So all the third-graders who come home from school and want to watch videos and snap their fingers and all that, they're probably gonna think, 'That video is wack, but that chick got a fat ass.'
"And that's fine. But people in higher positions, they're gonna see something different. They're gonna get it, people who are thinkers."
Dr. Dre & Timbaland Help Busta Rhymes Get Back On His Bulls@%t
Busta Rhymes recently revealed details about his upcoming projects including his eighth album titled Back On My Bullshit.
According to Busta, Back On My Bullshit will feature production from Dr. Dre, Green Lantern, Cool & Dre, Danjahandz, Nottz and Timbaland, among others.
“I'm calling it Back On My Bullshit for two reasons,” Busta told MTV News. “I said it on [a new song,] and it stuck in Pharrell's head. And because this album, in particular, feels like vintage Busta Rhymes, in a 2008 way. It was original and appropriately the right thing to call the project. No deep brain-science ... nothing like that.”
Aside from releasing the aforementioned album this year, Busta will also be releasing various mixtapes including King of the Remixes with DJ White Owl, 48 Laws of Power with Mark Exclusive, I've Already Outshined Your Favorite Rapper with DJ Superstar Jay and Dillagence 2 with Mick Boogie.
Datwon Thomas Named New Editor-in-Chief of XXL
Rides Magazine Editor-in-Chief Datwon Thomas has been appointed the new Editor-in-Chief of XXL Magazine.
Thomas, who is also the editorial director of King Magazine (King, Rides and XXL are all Harris Publications), takes over the XXL post vacated by Elliott "YN" Wilson.
XXL staffer Vanessa Satten had assumed the EIC position on an interim basis following the abrupt firing of Wilson back in January.
It is not currently known how Thomas's new position will affect his posts at other Harris Publications.
Andre 3000 Preps Clothing Line And Solo Album
Fans of Outkast may see more of Andre "3000" Benjamin if he follows through with his plans to release a solo album and new fashion line this fall. While doing promotional work for Semi-Pro, a sports-themed comedy that finds Andre teaming up with funnyman Will Ferrell, the rapper/actor discussed his Benjamin Bixby line and his as-yet untitled solo album with New York Magazine.
"[Benjamin Bixby] is a character who's kind of like your uncle, or your granddad," says Andre. "And he has a closet full of experiences and clothes, and he's been around the world." Unlike Outkast Clothing, the Benjamin Bixby line is expected to be carried in upscale retailers, such as Barney's. Andre also says he's been visiting Italian factories and Parisian textile fairs, while taking style advice from Vogue editor and noted fashionista Anna Wintour.
Although he's been keeping busy with fashion and acting, Andre 3000 also expressed hopes of releasing an album this fall in a recent interview with Vibe.
"[Production will be handled by] Organized Noize, myself, and whoever got some heat. You know, I've been producing since ATLiens," adds Andre. "Even with music, I never say, 'Well, we [Outkast] got to put out a record every year.' I just want to express any way I can, whether it's film, music, or fashion."
Devin The Dude To Release New Album April 1
Devin the Dude is set to release his newest project, Smoke Sessions vol. 1, through BCD Music Group Inc. The mixtape will be the first installment of a series of Smoke Sessions volumes to be released this year by Devin and his longtime collaborators Coughee Brothaz and is scheduled to hit stores on April 1st.
Smoke Sessions vol. 1 is Devin’s first release since leaving Rap-A-Lot Records, his label of 14 years, earlier this month and also comes on the heels of his fourth solo album, Waiting to Inhale, released in March of 2007 to critical acclaim. His appearance on Dr. Dre’s “Fuck You” pushed him further into the mainstream and led to more collaborations with the likes of De La Soul, UGK, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Nas, Lil Jon, The Roots, and more.
Smoke Sessions vol. 1 finds Devin teaming up with his Odd Squad crew and guest artists for 16 new tracks.
1. Official Smoke Session Intro
2. If I Did a Mixtape
3. Getting High (Odd Squad feat. Devin the Dude, Jugg Mug, and Rob)
5. She Want Me to Get Closer feat. Drissola (Coughee Brothaz North)
6. Mixtape II
7. Take Me Home feat. Baby Girl (Shaun)
8. Makin’ It Hard feat. Monique & T.J.
10. Todd’s Crazy Ass (Todd Fisher)
11. Da Real Thang (Odd Squad feat. Devin the Dude, Jugg Mugg, and Rob)
12. Not Them, Those (14K – Wood and Quad)
13. Coughee Brothaz Freestyle (Devin the Dude, SK, Dudi Mac, Daraja, 1-3, Preach, Rob Quest, and Jugg Mugg)
15. Ain’t Nothin’ Like Old School Bitch feat. Jugg Mugg, K.B., & Warren Lee
16. Bitch Gotta Go! (Tony Mac)
J. Holiday and Trey Songz Announce Spring Tour
J. Holiday and Trey Songz have announced a co-headlining Spring tour.
J. Holiday and Trey Songz currently share chart positions in the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Top 5, with Holiday’s second single “Suffocate” maintaining a bulleted No. 4, and Trey Songz’ “Can’t Help But Wait” at No. 5. Both songs reached No. 2 on the chart previously. “Suffocate” has also reached the Top 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 national chart.
Sustained strong airplay and re-release of Holiday’s first Music Line/Capitol album BACK OF MY LAC’ on February 5, in a deluxe edition with new songs and videos added, triggered a sales spike this week of over 40% and a chart rebound on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart in its 18th charting week. BACK OF MY LAC’ debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and is certified gold by the RIAA for sales of more than 500,000 copies. Holiday’s first charted single, “Bed,” was a four-week No. 1 R&B/Hip-Hop single, and was described by The New York Times as “arguably 2007’s signature slow jam.”
Trey Songz’ single “Can’t Help But Wait” featuring Plies, is included on the original motion picture soundtrack of Touchstone Pictures’ STEP UP 2 THE STREETS in a brand-new remix. A new video, directed by Syndrome, accompanies the remix.
Feb.25th Chicago, IL House of Blues
Feb.26th St. Louis, MO Pagent
Feb.28th Philadelphia, PA TLA
Feb.29th (2 shows) Baltimore, MD Rams Head
Washington, DC H20
March 2nd New York, NY Nokia Theatre
March 4th Philadelphia, PA TLA
March 6th Richmond, VA The National
March 7th Hampton, VA Hampton Coliseum
March 8th Miami, FL Bank United Center
March 9th Orlando, FL House of Blues
March 12th Myrtle Beach, NC House of Blues
March 13th Atlanta, GA Dreamz
March 14th New Orleans, LA House of Blues
March 15th Memphis, TN Cannon Center
March 17th Dallas, TX House of Blues
March 19th Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
March 21st Los Angeles, CA House Of Blues
March 20th Anaheim, CA House of Blues
March 22nd San Diego, CA Viejas Casino
March 23rd San Francisco, CA Mezzaine