One would think that a company struggling and bleeding customers like Sprint would have executives bleeding themselves.
Even after their obvious hardship to stay competitive, the fines and fees they’ve paid out for various reasons, like settling on litigation against ETFs, Sprint/Nextel executives are tops when it comes to compensation. It’s not a surprise that corporate bigwigs are still getting paid despite poor performance, but it does irk a few consumers.
According to Standard & Poor’s index of large companies, Sprint had the worst pay-for-performance in 2007 — imagine that. Sprint spokesperson James Fisher said “It’s very important to consider that 2007 was a highly unusual year because of compensation that was paid to an exiting CEO, as well as sign-on compensation paid to a new CEO,” and continued their defense, “We had significant other severance charges for executive changes during the year.”
Of course, there is a new CEO in Dan Hesse, a man who prides Sprint in the fact that consumers can e-mail him “directly” with questions and concerns. Hesse replaced Gary Forsee who received $22.4 million in total compensation last year, Another $74 million went to the rest of the top management team.
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Lil Wayne, The Game, T-Pain and Young Jeezy will be among various artists taking the stage at the third annual BET Hip Hop Awards next week.
Comedian Katt Williams will be hosting the event and other artists expected to take the stage include Ludacris, Common, T-Pain, N.E.R.D and Lady Of Rage.
The third annual BET Hip Hop Awards will be taped at Atlanta’s' Civic Center on October 18th and will air on BET on October 23 at 8:00 p.m.
Lil Wayne leads the list of nominees with 12 nods which include ‘Lyricist of the Year' and 'MVP of the Year'.
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"Ain't I Remix"
Yung LA Feat. T.I. & Young Dro
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Debuting at No. 1 on Billboard's 'Top Rap Albums Chart' this week is T.I. with his sixth solo album titled Paper Trail.
Paper Trail earns a gold plaque in its opening week by scanning 569,300 discs. The album features appearances from Jay-Z, Lil Wayne & Ludacris.
Sliding to No. 2 is Young Jeezy. The Recession bags up 38,700 units in its sixth week on the chart. So far, the album has sold 489,600 copies.
Posted at No. 3 is Lil Wayne. Tha Carter III shelled out 34,500 discs this week. After 18 weeks, the album has sold a total of 2,523,200 copies.
The Game slips a spot to No. 4. LAX reels in 28,100 copies this week, pushing the album's total to 476,000.
Right behind the Compton rapper at No. 5 is Nelly. 17,400 folks picked up Brass Knuckles this week, bringing the album's total sales to 127,000.
Debuting at No. 6 is Murs with his latest album titled Murs For President. The set shifts 12,500 units in its first week out.
Holding fort at No. 7 is DJ Khaled. We Global moved 11,80 0 discs this week. So far, the album has sold a total of 79,400 copies.
Christian rapper Lecrae debuts on the charts at No. 8. His third album, Rebel, shelved off 9,800 discs in its opening week.
Seated at No. 9 is M.I.A. Kala shifted 9,400 units this week. To date, the album has sold 344,700 copies.
Wrapping up the Top 10 is LL Cool J. Exit 13 cashed out 6,900 copies this week, bringing the album's total sales to 73,100.
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Lil Kim has been slapped with a $2.5 million lawsuit by a New York based record label for breach of contract.
According to The Associated Press, Brookland Media claims that Lil Kim refused to continue recording an album for the label after her requests to change the terms of her contract were declined.
Brookland Media claims that since the beginning of their agreement with Lil Kim, they have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on recording, equipment and advance payments.
The label wants the court to declare their contract valid and ban Lil Kim from recording with another label.
Londell McMillan, Lil Kim's lawyer, responded to the lawsuit claiming that Brookland was using the lawsuit “to leverage their own position” in the contract dispute.
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Universal Republic Records announced that they have signed Lil Jon to a multi-faceted deal.
According to the label, Lil Jon's deal includes a label imprint, a recording agreement, a production arm and a digital presence.
The deal will also give the Atlanta bred rapper an A&R consultant role at Universal Republic.
“I'm excited to find a new home in Universal Republic, they've got a great team over there,” Lil Jon said via a statement. “A lot of big things comin' from me get ready! I been workin' hard on my new material and it's time everybody hears it!”
Lil Jon is slated to release his upcoming album via Universal Republic in 2009.
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"The World Go Round"
Nas Feat. The Game & Chris Brown
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Jay-Z and Beyonce are married. That has been something "private" to Jay and B but it's never really been too much of a secret. Still, Beyonce has decided to remain quiet about their marriage for some time. Nevertheless, she recently spoke out about why she's been tight lipped about it and more.
"I feel that, especially now, with the Internet and paparazzi and camera phones, it's so difficult to maintain mystery," she told Essence. "And that's so important. Even in a relationship, I feel like not being that accessible is really important. If you think about Prince or Michael Jackson, or any superstars, you couldn't see them when they got off their planes or when they got out of the pool and didn't comb their hair. It's great that people see we're not perfect. But it's almost impossible to have superstars now, because people will never get enough. And it's not even about my music. It's about all the things that people imagine about me in their minds. But I can't satisfy everyone. I know that Jay and I probably do inspire people. And I appreciate people feeling proud. But this is the only way I've been able to stay sane, so why would I start talking now?"
"[Not speaking] controls your brand. It controls what you want to put out there and kind of forces people to talk about what you want them to talk about."
Still, B actually gave a little insight on their relationship.
"We decide everything," she noted. "My word is my word. What Jay and I have is real. It's not about interviews or getting the right photo op. It's real."
She later went on to add more details. She noted that there was no big day because she said she didn't need any. "It's been my day so many days already," she said. Later, she added that there was no need for a wedding ring because she thought it was something "people put too much emphasis on that. It's just material, and it's just silly to me."
Instead of rings, they got matching tattoos of the Roman numeral four on their ring fingers. Why four? The number is close to the couple because both of their birthdays fall on the fourth of their birthday months and their anniversary also falls on the 4th of April.
She also added that she wants to have children, adding that it may happen soon.
her new album, I Am... is coming out November 18. It features guest spots from Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.
Off Of "The Bay Area Bully" Mixtape Out Now. Read more here
Vibe.com has released the outcome of their fan-driven poll of The Best Rapper Alive, and after nearly a million votes the fans have spoken -- Eminem reigns supreme.
While many may have thought Lil Wayne would have topped the list, he didn't make it to the top two. It was Eminem who was crowned the globe's top MC in a tournament-style contest.
Rappers like Kanye West, Rick Ross, Nas and T.I. were given brackets, similar to the NCAA basketball teams during March Madness. Beginning in July, fans began voting on head-to-head matchups, with MCs being eliminated gradually until Jay-Z and Eminem were the only ones left.
Slim Shady won with 69 percent of the votes in the finals. Vibe said that more than 920,000 votes were cast since July.
"It's obviously an honor to have won the fans' support by being voted the Best Rapper Alive," Eminem said in response to his victory. "I don't think that there is any one rapper that is simply the best though. Everyone who was in consideration and many others are the best at certain things, and at what they do. But since Vibe's offering the distinction, hell yeah I'll accept!"
Some of the surprising upsets in the tourney were when Andre was defeated by no. 3 seed The Game, and Lil Wayne lost to Ludacris.
"Vibe is thrilled we could put the debate about the Best Rapper Alive in the hands of the fans," Vibe music editor, Sean Fennessey, said. "Eminem isn't just one of the most successful MCs of all time, he's also one of the most beloved. The proof is in the voting."
The win will be revealed in the mag's upcoming November issue, where Barack Obama will grace the cover.
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After the success of Frank Lucas' story evolving to American Gangster, another urban drug saga may be coming to screens in upcoming years. The Black Mafia Family, a nationwide ring of high-volume cocaine distributors, better known as BMF, has been sold to DuBose Entertainment.
Announced today, the terms of the sale were not made public. However, a statement from the company declared that a TV series, similar to The Wire, was being scripted. The statement also alluded to a film script in development as well.
Per DuBose' report, "Brothers Demetrious 'Big Meech' Flenory (seen above) and Terry Flenory were sentenced to 30 years in prison for operating a multi-state criminal enterprise involving cocaine distribution. 'Big Meech,' the leader of the notorious BMF, lived a lavish lifestyle that he generously shared with his members garnering him a level of notoriety and celebrity status usually reserved for hip hop royalty. Authorities estimate the operation began in Detroit during the 1990s and eventually expanded to Missouri, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, California and Texas."
Meech had been widely known in Hip Hop for his close association with Young Jeezy as well as BMF Entertainment's own artist Bleu DaVinci.
"This is a complex crime story that weaves elements of humanity, a strong family bond, street-level survival and opulence with real consequences," says James DuBose. "The acquisition of the Black Mafia Family story reflects my mission to pursue contemporary and authentic stories."
DuBose also recently announced a partnership with Disturbing Tha Peace's Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon on their own venture Ebony Son Entertainment.
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Nas is reportedly putting together a documentary based on the legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest with actor Michael Rappaport.
According to SOHH, Rappaport revealed that he will be directing the documentary and Nas will be serving as a producer.
The documentary will chronicle the group’s career.
“I’ve just been a fan of theirs for a long time,” Rappaport said. “They’re my favorite group and they’re worthy of it in my opinion. They’re like the Rolling Stones of hip-hop.”
The documentary is expected to hit the big screen. It’s title and projected release date was not given.
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Playaz Circle are currently working on their sophomore album titled Flight 360.
Tity Boi, one-half of the Atlanta bred duo, recently revealed to MTV that Lil Wayne, Ludacris and Jagged Edge will be appearing on the album .
Prior to releasing the album, the duo will release a mixtape titled The Campaign which is inspired the ongoing presidential race.
"We chose that title to keep it conceptual with the election year," Tity Boi told MTV. "We felt like we were campaigning for the streets. This is just the first of many. It's going down major. We brought DJ Scream on the Southside. We decided to twurk with shawty because he's one of the hottest DJs in the street. I said, 'Let me and Dolla do our footwork. Wrap it up. It's about to be a Saran [wrap]."
A release date for Flight 360 was not revealed.
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Lil Scrappy & G'$ Up are currently gearing up to release their group debut album titled Silence and Secrecy (Black Rag Gang).
G'$ Up is comprised of Memphis bred duo SMG (Mac Chris and Mac Steve) who both rap and produce.
“SMG have their own sound. Memphis has it's own sound, Atlanta has it's own sound, when you put them together, that shit is bomb, it's gonna explode,” said Lil Scrappy via a statement.
Silence and Secrecy features appearances from former Crime Mob member Diamond and Jo Dolla. The album will be hitting shelves on January 27th via Good Hands Records/G$ Up Records.
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Jadakiss recently revealed to MTV that he will be appearing on Jay-Z's upcoming album titled Blueprint 3.
As reported earlier, Blueprint 3 will be hitting shelves in December and production will be handled mostly by Kanye West.
Jadakiss also revealed the collaborators on his upcoming album titled Kiss My Ass.
According to Jadakiss, Lil Wayne and his LOX brethren are among the rappers featured on the project which hits shelves later this year.
"I got Ghost and Rae on there," Kiss divulged. "I'm trying to get some of that Purple Tape element on there. I'm just doing joints, baby. The first single off the album is "By My Side" ft Ne-Yo
T.I.’s Paper Trail is currently set to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 charts this week with over 357,000 albums already sold from last Tuesday till last Friday (October 3).
According to Billboard, the Bankhead, Georgia rapper is expected to easily land atop the charts as rough sums of Tip’s sixth solo project led all other releases yesterday including discs by Robin Thicke and Jennifer Hudson.
Using statistics from major retailers reporting to Nielsen SoundScan consisting of Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Circuit City, iTunes, Starbucks, Borders, Target, Anderson Merchandisers and Handleman Company, the numbers make up for roughly 80 percent of all album sales.
Paper Trail debuting at No. 1 would serve as Tip’s third straight top chart opener as 2006’s King sold 522,000 and 2007’s T.I. vs. T.I.P. panned out at 468,000 in its first week.
50 Cent has reportedly landed a role in an upcoming gangster flick titled Dead Man Walking.
According to BBC, the flick is based on a man who owes money to a gangster and is given one day to live if he doesn’t pay up.
The cast for the flick includes Danny Dyers and Tamer Hassan. The film’s release date was not revealed.
In related news, 50 will be releasing his fourth solo album titled Before I Self Destruct on December 9th. On the same day of the album’s release, 50 will be releasing a movie of the same name which is inspired by the album.
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Kanye West recently revealed the official release date of his upcoming album 808s & Heartbreak.
The album was initially set for release in December but West announced last month that it would hit shelves in November.He never divulged an official release date.
According to Billboard, West revealed at a concert on Friday (October 6) that 808s & Heartbreak will be hitting shelves on November 25th.
He will be releasing the song "Heartless" as the second single off the project. Read more here
A Wu-Tang Clan documentary titled Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan will be airing on BET next month.
According to Billboard, the documentary chronicles the rise of the legendary Staten Island group and also features rare footage.
The documentary will premiere on November 13th and will be aired several times between November 13th and November 16th. It will also air In December.
The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan DVD will hit shelves on November 18th and will be accompanied with a CD featuring hits from the group and its various members.
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Self-proclaimed "boss", Miami rapper Rick Ross has admitted he once held down a gig as a correctional officer. After being questioned numerous times, and adamantly denying it, many were still convinced otherwise. Well it turns out that those who DID think it was true...were right.
Ross sat down with a magazine recently and explained himself. He was shown a picture of the CO photo and was asked, point blank, if that was him or not.
"Yes. It's me." He also added, "I never tried to hide my past. I put my name inside my cds. My company has my SS#. I could've put a company name... I done been up and I done been down and that's what makes me what I am. I never ratted on a nigga. I never prosecuted a nigga. I never locked up a nigga, that's first and foremost. I always felt that me being the nigga that I am, I never owed a nigga an explanation... When I'm making my music and I'm talking about blow, it's because I did it. When I say that I'm rich off cocaine, it's because i did it. Those are the street principals that apply."
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Kanye West's long awaited HBO show won't be seeing daylight anytime soon as a producer of the show recently revealed that the network is not supporting the project.
Last year, Kanye announced that he had joined forces with Curb Your Enthusiasm producer Larry Charles to develop a series revolving around his life and it would feature elements from Curb Your Enthusiasm.
However, according to Larry Charles who recently spoke to ComingSoon.net, HBO is currently not backing the show.
"It was really good, but ... I think it was too hard-core for HBO. Also, HBO's management shifted. HBO doesn't have a good track record when it comes to black shows, and I felt like that may have had something to do with it also," explained Larry Charles. "I don't see a lot of shows about that experience at all. This was very entertaining and we showed it to a lot of people. People gave it a very good response, and it seems to be on the shelf right now. The management has shifted at HBO so we're waiting to see."
An HBO representative confirmed to MTV that the show has been in development but nothing has materialized. A rep for Kanye had no comment.
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Jay-Z and Rocawear are trying to give Diddy and Sean John a run for their money in the mens cologne race. While Diddy has been busy promoting his upcoming Sean John fragrance “I Am King,” Jay-Z and Rocawear are gearing up for the launch of their first fragance called 9IX.
According to the press release 9IX Rocawear is a fresh woody aromatic scent, with a sexy modern sensuality.
Established in 1999, the name of the fragrance is significant, as Rocawear approaches its 10th anniversary and celebrates an evolution of the brand. The fragrance is now for sale at the Rocawear site starting at $50.
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"Universal Mind Control"
Common Feat. Pharrell Williams
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T.I. recently revealed that he is planning to release a line of non-fiction books.
T.I. divulged to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that one of the many books that he plans to release will be an autobiography which he will later turn into a film.
"We'’re working on it now," T.I. told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We're [also] working on a few different types of books. All nonfiction."
T.I. released his sixth solo album titled Paper Trail this week (September 30). The album, which features appearances from Ludacris and John Legend, is expected to sell close to 500,000 copies by next week.
T.I. is also currently filming a crime caper titled Bone Deep. The cast for the flick incudes R&B superstar Chris Brown and Idris Elba.
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Rumors surfaced on several website this week claiming that an altercation took place between New York rapper Maino and Yung Berg at a nightclub in New York, which ended with Berg getting slapped.
While it was just hearsay, Maino has spoken out about the situation (via a recent interview with radio host Jenny Boom Boom on 93.7 in Connecticut), confirming the rumors. However, he clarified that the incident actually took place in Atlanta, not New York.
"The answer is yes and no," Maino responded when asked directly if he smacked Yung Berg. "I did smack him, but it was in a club in Atlanta. I'm in Atlanta."
According to Maino, Berg confronted him about rumors that he was talking about him behind his back. When he heard the question, the rapper said was immediately surprised because the pair had been touring together for weeks throughout the summer.
Instead of causing a brawl, Maino says he's just checked him to put him in his place.
"Yea, he was a little disrespectful, so I just tried to clean him up a little bit, and just give him a little togetherness. That's all," said Maino.
"[Yung Berg] approached me and said to me 'Yo, I heard you were talking reckless about me.' I said 'What?' He said 'Yea, I heard you was talking reckless about me.' So, his body language and his mannerisms led me to believe he was being disrespectful to me, so I slapped him. That's all I did to him," he continued.
Maino emphasized that the single blow was all that happened, though, further explaining that he was just surprised that Berg approached him in that fashion.
"Talking reckless about you? What you talking about? I shouldn't be questioned by nobody," the rapper explained. "Like, if you got a question for me, ask me in a way where we can talk about it. Don't fan out on me and approach me like it's a problem. I did God's work, I just disciplined him a little."
Maino recently said, during an interview, that he planned to turn over a new leaf, and leave the beef and controversy alone to focus strictly on music. While the incident seems to contradict his previous comments, he says he really had no other option but to react the way he did.
"I'm not here for all the little controversy to be wrestling with R&B/rap singers. I'm a man before anything, so if somebody in a club and somebody approach me in a disrespectful manner, what are you supposed to do? I don't know how to handle it no other kind of way," he says.
Still, despite the smack, he says that still has love for Yung Berg, and even revealed that Berg's camp has since called to apologize.
"He kept his jewelry, everything is cool. Things could have been worse for him," Maino explained. "... I still like this kid. I think he a good kid. I just think he has the wrong direction, the wrong people around him. You don't walk up to a man like that unless you already have intentions of it going somewhere.
"Shout out to his people for apologizing. Apology accepted. You should not address people in that kind of manner. That's all."
Jim Jones has confirmed rumors that he is recording his own version of “Swagger Like Us” titled “Jacking Swagger From Us” which features Lil Wayne and Juelz Santana.
Jones confirmed the rumor to Complex Magazine Friday (October 3) saying that he didn't appreciate “Swagger Like Us” because he feels he has had a bigger impact in rap fashion over the past years compared to T.I., Kanye West and Jay-Z.
Jones would also accuse Jay-Z and other rappers for stealing his look.
“Look at the Vibe cover. Tell me who Jay-Z looks like in there? Did you see the picture of him? With the Louis Vuitton scarf and all that. Who did that resemble? You can say it,” said Jones. “But he did it wrong; he had a Gucci belt with a Louis Vuitton scarf. Who does that? You smell me? That’s like wearing one Nike and one Puma; how you going to get away with that? But I didn’t take the song as a shot, because I don’t feel like none [besides Weezy] of them possess any swag.”
“It's fabricated. They’re watching other people, and then they try and do it,” Jones continued. “You know people that dress like T.I.? You know people that go out and say let me get a T.I. outfit or do you know people who say “yo, you’re looking like Jim Jones?” Which one? Lemme hear it!”
“When the bitches want to fuck you and the niggas want be like you, who got the swag? Niggas with money and fame always going to look like they doing something ’cause they got the camera in front of them. But the cool dudes always stick out no matter where they at,” Jones stressed.
“People know who set the precedent as far as fashion in this industry and people know who damn near changed the world as far as fashion,” Jones added. “You look at people; they went from the urban world of clothing, back when Rocawear and Sean John was cool. And then in the past 5 years I stepped in and gave them a taste of what rock and roll looks like from my side. I guess people would say from an urban side, and it seemed to catch on like wildfire, to the point that people was going to stores and asking for that Jim Jones look.”
Jones revealed that “Jackin’ Swagger From Us” will feature a new beat supplied by Chink Santana but will feature the same hook used in “Swagger Like Us”.
“Me and Juelz had Chink do our own beat, I have Weezy’s verse in my inbox right now and we kept the hook of that song because it was a sample.” Jones explained. “So we’re going to put that as a bonus track on the album, and put it to the streets. “No one on the corner got swag like you we don’t Rocawear that’s for fags like you. [Laughs]”
Los Angeles based producer Johnny J, well known for crafting various hits on albums by late rapper Tupac Shakur, reportedly killed himself in a Los Angeles County jail on Friday (October 3).
According to TMZ, Johnny J (born Johnny Jackson) took his life by jumping off a tier in the jail. Johnny was in custody after being arrested for driving under the influence.
Johnny J produced an array of hits for Tupac including “All About U”, “How Do U Want It” and “Life Goes On”.
Johnny, 38, is survived by a wife and 2 children.
After shocking some with his 2006 collaboration of putting Coldplay's Chris Martin on "Beach Chair", Jay-Z is reportedly returning the favor.
According to Coldplay's website, Jay-Z will be appearing as a guest to the superstar Rock group's remix to present Viva La Vida album cut "Lost!"
"In the spirit of trying to do things a bit differently and keep everything fresh, we are going to do a few musical moves that we have not previously attempted. Firstly, in a few weeks we are going to release a version of 'Lost!' which has a guest appearance on it in the form of Jay-Z," reads the website.
Martin and wife Gwyneth Paltrow were also vocal supporters of defending Jay-Z's Glastonbury appearance this past summer
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