Monday, November 30, 2009

Diddy, R. Kelly Each Pay A Visit To Miami

via the Miami Herald

This holiday weekend, two of R&B and hip-hop's biggest names chose Miami as their party destination.

Part-time Star Island resident Diddy, known for throwing famous white parties, hosted a black party on Friday at Mansion in honor of the biggest holiday shopping day of the year.

Hmm, we wonder what the hip-hop star wants for Christmas?

Perhaps love is on his wish list.

The handsome actor/singer generously posed for pics with several eager ladies before heading out around 3 a.m. But his weekend didn't stop there.

The party boy attended R. Kelly's concert Saturday night at the James L. Knight Center. The concert was part of Kelly's Ladies Make Some Noise tour.

At the show, the sexy crooner gave fans a sneak peek of songs from his new album, Untitled (in stores Tuesday). But most ladies seemed more into his older hits, including I'm a Flirt and Bump N Grind.

Diddy tweeted about his friend's performance, ``At rkelly concert in miami! He's rippin this s--- down!!!!''

Kelly later hosted an album release party at Karu & Y where ladies tried to sneak into the VIP section to get up close to the Chicago native. However, the Down Low singer kept to himself, shying away from reporters and cameramen on the red carpet.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs party photos:
Rex Features 1
Rex Features 2
Star Traks Photo 1
Star Traks Photo 2

R.Kelly Miami concert photos:
WENN Photo

News You Should Know About 11/30

Links provided for quick slices of news bits and stories found on the net from the past week.

Amazon - Cyber Monday At Amazon: 500 MP3 Albums for $5

Billboard - Michael Jackson Doc DVD Due In January

ABC News - Dr. Dre's Beats: Hot Performance, High Fashion

Hip Hop DX - Sugarhill Gang Celebrate 30th Anniversary Of “Rapper’s Delight”

L.A. Times - Review: DJ Hero is a standout in overcrowded field of music video games

Guardian UK - Beyonce Artist of the Decade Beyonce Q & A Interview

Bloomberg - Warner Music Falls on Quarterly Loss, Stock Downgrade (Update1)

In The Mix - Technics is dead (Technics will stop production on Technics 1200s and Technics 1210s turntables in 2010)

Rolling Stone - Can Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine Rescue Sound? How Interscope Is Rethinking the Record Business

Los Angeles Times - Spotify plans to rock the U.S. digital music landscape early next year

CNN - The battle over controversial Lil' Wayne film

Reuters - The Air Force Reserve to Bring Kid Rock & Friends Overseas for the Holidays

Billboard - Sade Returning In 2010 With 'Soldier Of Love'

All Hip Hop - Hip-Hop Hall of Fame Secures $10 Mil In Funding

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rihanna Storms Off At Cash Money Party In London

Rihanna seen here earlier supporting Cash Money recording artist Jay Sean at the Cash Money Party held at the Royal Exchange Building In London, UK on Friday November 27.

via the London Mirror


Cash Money records broke the bank to secure Rihanna as guest of honour at their lavish UK launch party - so it's a pity someone forgot to tell the dozy DJ.

Rihanna, who was in London ahead of her incredible performance on last night's X Factor, had barely sat down when the DJ played a track by her violent ex, Chris Brown.

So she gathered her posse and stormed off.

It left party organisers fuming. Well, they had splashed out on £100,000 worth of Cristal champagne to impress their VIP guest at the Friday night bash, thrown to celebrate the launch of Jay Sean's album, All Or Nothing.

And they had worried that Rihanna, whose latest album is Rated R, might not show up.

Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams - founders of US hip-hop label Cash Money - had been anxiously checking their bling-encrusted watches from the moment they stepped out of their Rolls-Royces and into the Bank venue.

As the clock struck 1am, Rihanna finally strutted in, past fellow celebrity guests Ice-T, Alexandra Burke, Jamelia, Alesha Dixon and JLS, and took her VIP table in the corner.

Rihanna, who was wearing a slinky, cleavage-enhancing trouser-suit, hugged pal Jay and apologised for being late before reaching for a glass of champers. Minutes later she was grooving to his performance of Down and then the dunderhead on the decks suddenly spoiled her good mood.

Hearing her ex being played, Rihanna, 21, stopped dancing, returned to her table, told her entourage the party was over and left.

Our spy tell us: "It was a massive night for Jay.

The Cash Money boys had wanted to give him a homecoming celebration to remember and they wanted everyone talking about the label's launch party in the UK for a long time.

"Getting Rihanna there was the icing on the cake. Who knows what possessed the DJ to start playing Chris? It was such a dumb thing to do. Rihanna had looked ready to party as she chatted with Ice-T. But as soon as that song came on, she sat down and raised her eyebrows.

"She couldn't believe how insensitive the DJ was. She thought he probably played it to get a reaction. She wanted to leave there and then."

At least the smile was back on Rihanna's face on Saturday when her brolly blew inside out on the way to Bungalow 8. You'd think that by now she'd have learned to control her Umbrella... ella... ella!

Photos from the party:
Rex Features
WENN Photo
DJ Semtex
Derrick G

50 Cent Live In Paris

Photos from the after party at the VIP Room in Paris:
Eat Sleep Celebrity -When Found In 'Da Club' 50 Cent Seems Bored

(video courtesy of mastertricou & breezyslilwoman)

Lauryn Hill Schedules Rare Show At 2010 Raggamuffin Festival In New Zealand

via the press release

The Raggamuffin Music Festival is pleased to announce LAURYN HILL will join the 2010 bill.

Lauryn Hill, an American recording artist, musician, producer and actress established her reputation in the hip-hop world as the lone female member of the Fugees. She sang at Harlem's Apollo Theater at age thirteen and soon after met Prakazrel 'Pras' Michel and his cousin, Wyclef Jean and the three formed the Fugees.

In 1996 the group released their second album which Ms Hill co-wrote and co-produced. The Score sold over 18 million copies, making the Fugees the biggest-selling rap group of all time and winning them two Grammy Awards (Best Rap Album and Best R&B Performance by a duo or group).

A few years later after meeting her long-term partner, Rohan Marley son of Bob Marley, Ms Hill launched her solo career and released the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The recording earned her five Grammy Awards and praise from industry heavyweights such as Public Enemy's Chuck D who admiringly described her as "sunlight" and a "Bob Marley (of the) 21st Century".

Ms Hill will perform at Raggamuffin with SLY & ROBBIE.

Also performing is another member of the Fugees WYCLEF JEAN(?!), plus son of Bob Marley JULIAN MARLEY, SHAGGY, SEAN KINGSTON reggae legends STEEL PULSE and NZ's own KATCHAFIRE, SOLA ROSA & IVA LAMKUM, PACIFIC HERBS and SWEET & IRIE. Over ten hours of funk, dub, hip-hop, soul and of course reggae from four kiwi bands and seven Internationals, resulting in one hot show! (source)

For more information click here:
Raggamuffin 2010 New Zealand

For tickets:
click here

Lady Gaga 'Monster Ball Tour' Steamrolls Through Canada Show Recaps

Opening night of the tour Friday, November 27 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada

As reported by T'Cha Dunlevy at the Gazette /

Things got off to a slow start; the fashion icon was fashionably late. Cheers erupted when the lights finally dropped just before 10 p.m.

She wasn’t ready to come out just yet. A giant screen lit up with a futuristic, glowing green grid. Gaga finally appeared, striking an awkward pose, blond locks cascading over her shoulders, a shimmering mask around her eyes.

She opened with a new song, Dance In the Dark, off her new album The Fame Monster, before following with a string of hits off last year’s The Fame.

Lo and behold, Kid Cudi finally appeared, dropping an engaging freestyle. A vibe was taking hold. She dedicated the heartfelt ballad Speechless to her dad, who was in the audience.

Lady Gaga Montreal show photos:
WENN Photo

Saturday, November 28 2nd night of the tour at Air Canada Centre in Toronto

As reported by Jane Stevenson at Sun Media / Canoe

Yes, Lady Gaga is a sexually-charged performer with a major nod to Madonna, to whom she is most often compared, and physically resembles in a live setting.

As she got out of her ecto-skeleton outfit, she grabbed her breasts and stripped down to a silver bodysuit for another Fame Monster song, Alejandro, which saw her being carried by her crotch by one of her male dancers and lowered onto another male dancer.

Later in the show, she declared: "Everytime you scream my name, I get a teeny, tiny, mini-orgasm."

And she made a point of spreading her legs while stradling a white dentist chair during Paper Gangsta.

Toronto Lady Gaga Set list:
"Dance In The Dark"
"Just Dance"
"Love Game"
"So Happy I Could Die"
"Poker Face" (on piano)
"The Fame"
"Money Honey"
"Beautiful Dirty Rich"
"Boys Boys Boys"
"Paper Gangsta"
"Poker Face" (with band)
"Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)"
"Bad Romance"

Sunday, November 29 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Canada

As reported by Aedan Helmer at the Ottawa Sun

Lady Gaga oozed sexuality, channelling her obvious hero Madonna as dancers grooved and groped alongside the bleached blonde diva.

“I’m about to be very wicked,” she promised.

Then, lying prone at centre stage, her legs splayed in the air, she cooed, “I’m kinda like Tinkerbell.

“When Tinkerbell died, the only way to bring her back to life was if you come for her,” she said, feigning orgasm. “Scream for me Ottawa!”

The tender ballad Speechless gave way to a teasing, barely recognizable solo piano rendering of her name-making hit Poker Face, featuring an appearance from opening act Kid Cudi, who spliced his own Make Her Say in the mix as Gaga crooned.

Read each shows' full review here:
Gazette - Talented Lady Gaga needs time to grow (Montreal)
Canoe - Lady Gaga puts on a Monster show (Toronto)
Ottawa Sun - Review: Lady Gaga rules (Ottawa)

Montreal video courtesy of kasiekahne & kylemtl
Toronto video courtesy of Cybershotzz & cdngirl09
Ottawa video courtesy of AstroStarzz

Hip Hop And R & B New Releases 12/1

The following physical and digital new releases are available from Amazon, iTunes and your local retailer.

December 1, 2009

R.Kelly - Untitled

Priscilla ReneaJukebox

Souls Of Mischief - Montezuma's Revenge
(Clear Label Records)

Juvenile - Cocky & Confident

Also available:
K-os - Tha Trill: A Journey So Far (Import)
(Virgin Canada)

Two Turntables and a Microphone - Various (Jam Master Jay)-DVD (Image Entertainment)

LMNO & Yann KeszDevilish Dandruff With Holy Shampoo
(Up Above Records)

The full list of new releases here:
Hooked On That - Urban New Release Schedule
updated 11/15

DJ Premier And DJ Revolution Live In Zurich, Switzerland

spotted at Crate Kings

Blackroc #1 Hip Hop Album #10 Overall At iTunes

Blakroc Supports Indie Retailers

Having problems finding the new (physical CD) Blakroc record that streeted Friday November 27?

Big box retailers like Target, Wal-mart aren't carring, FYE, forget it and online resources such as Amazon and not there either.

In America, if you want the physical CD of Blakroc, go to your nearest CIMS participating retailer.

To find a CIMS retailer near you click here:

To get the music, the other 2 methods are:
Blakroc website

A.V. Club Picks Best Comedy Albums Of The Decade Chris Rock, Katt Williams Appear

Chris Rock - Never Scared (2005)
As a product of the hip-hop generation, Chris Rock has internalized the staccato, aggressive rhythms of rap. There’s a foul-mouthed musicality to his delivery, a pugilistic poetry in the way he circles around punchlines, then swoops in for the kill. On Never Scared, the hilarious CD companion piece to his 2004 stand-up special, Rock discourses darkly on Michael Jackson and the difficulties of being a hip-hop apologist in the age of Lil Jon, but he saves his darkest, most penetrating insights for the special hell of marriage, from having well-meaning wives arrange “play dates” for their emasculated husbands to the agony of married-people dinner parties featuring “six neutered adults.” Rock’s hip-hop sensibility extends to littering the disc with skits that wear out their welcome the first time around, but the odd skippable track is a small price to pay for such trenchant wit.

Katt Williams - It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’ (2009)
Chris Rock is brilliant and often daring, but even he wouldn’t be willing to describe Michelle Obama as a “real nigga” who “smells like Motions hair conditioner and cocoa butter.” On 2009’s It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’, Katt Williams goes there, while also defending Michael Vick, Britney Spears, and the tiger that mauled a kid who wandered into its cage. The 73-minute CD slips a bit at the end, but Williams’ riffs offer a perspective people may not hear unless they see him at one of the 6,000-seat venues he routinely sells out—“urban” theaters also frequented by gospel shows and the plays of Tyler Perry. Like a trip to a Harlem barbershop, Williams’ best routines make people laugh, think, feel a little uncomfortable, and reach for Google to look up some of the references.

Read the full list here:
A.V. Club - The best comedy albums of the decade

Jay-Z: More Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN Video Footage Posted Online

Jay-Z: Vanderbilt University Concert In Nashville, TN Show Recap

Times London Pick Their Top 100 Albums Of The Decade, Jay-Z, Mos Def Make The Cut

2. Back to Black - Amy Winehouse (Island, 2006)
“I told you I was trouble” — and so it proved — but Winehouse’s second album is as close to an instant classic as any this decade. The true magic of this record is in the rich melodies, and lyrics full of busted love and dark humour.

4. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - Outkast (Arista, 2003)
The coolest hip-hop album of the decade. A sprawling, madcap collection of jazz, funk, rock, rap, dance and Southern soul music performed with impeccable wit by the polar opposites Andre 3000 and Big Boi. Hey Ya! indeed.

13. The College Dropout - Kanye West (Mercury, 2004)
Before his ego consumed him, Kanye West’s debut was a musical masterpiece. Already a sought-after producer, his aspirations to become a hip-hop star in his own right are stunningly realised on this innovative collection of old-school jams shot through with thought-provoking lyricism.

18. Kala - M.I.A. (XL, 2007)
The second album from Maya Arulpragasam, the British-based daughter of Sri Lankan refugees, redefined the meaning of world music. The jumble of Bollywood melodies, 8-bit dancehall beats and collaborations with authentic street singers was unpredictable and mind-bendingly good.

27. Maths + English - Dizzee Rascal (XL, 2007)
While Dizzee’s latest album may have spawned three No 1 singles, his third opus, Maths + English, hinted at the burgeoning pop credentials of the former UK grime heavyweight. Ignore the big-name guest turns and instead marvel at his knack for a massive hook and thrilling vocal dexterity.

30. The Ecstatic - Mos Def (Downtown, 2009)
Having spent as much of the Noughties starring in movies as he did making music, the charismatic New Yorker finished the decade with a kaleidoscopic bang, a record whose combination of doom-laden fractionalism, rosy nostalgia and prismatic optimism perfectly crystalises its times.

40. Run Come Save Me - Roots Manuva (Big Dada, 2001)
The South Londoner’s twisted, mordantly humorous take on hip-hop came of age with a longplayer that contains at least two stone-cold classics in the cavernous, synth-heavy anthem Witness and the woozy hymn to narcotic romance Dreamy Days.

44. The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem (Polydor, 2000)
Sealing his graduation from ear-catching rookie to mould-breaking superstar, Eminem’s sophomore album makes a grisly subject of fame itself, from his savage atomisation of the pop song in The Real Slim Shady to the epic stalker anthem Stan.

58. Miss E ... So Addictive - Missy Elliott (Elektra, 2001)
The US rap queen’s third album perfectly captures the moment that Ecstasy culture collided with the US hip-hop scene, as Timbaland muted his experimental inclinations in favour of hedonistic club bangers, almost delivering the scene its very own summer of love

61. Who is Jill Scott? - Jill Scott (Epic, 2000)
The star of The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency authors the soul album of the decade, in which her Rolls-Royce purr is married with bullsh**-free lyrics, sung and spoken, and grooves that are by turns sweet, melancholy and utterly formidable.

67. The Blueprint - Jay-Z (Roc-A-Fella, 2001)
The album that confirmed Jay-Z as the undisputed top dog of hip-hop has the slickest beats, the smartest rhymes and a palpable sense of destiny about it. “I’m the Sinatra of my day/Compadre,” he brags. There was no one left to argue.

76. Speech Therapy - Speech Debelle (Big Dada, 2009)
The hug-me hurt that radiates at the centre of Debelle’s South London memoirs of hard times found a disarmingly empathetic setting in Wayne Lotek’s autumnal, predominantly acoustic arrangements.

Read the full list from the Times London Top 100 Albums of the Decade:
Times London - The 100 best pop albums of the Noughties

Mayer Hawthorne: London's Independent Newspaper Highlights Stones Throw Artist

If you haven't yet heard of (Mayer) Hawthorne, chances are you'll be instantly hooked. He's a dreamily original artist, who draws on the noblest traditions of Motown and soul, with an alluring modern quirkiness – a trick last pulled by Amy Winehouse.

Hawthorne's unique "sound" and manner combines the timeless elegance of Barry White or Marvin Gaye with the raised eyebrow of, say, the Divine Comedy. You don't have to take my word for it, either. Ask, oh, Ashton Kutcher and Perez Hilton, or Mark Ronson and Snoop Dogg. They have all recently pegged A Strange Arrangement among the best new records of 2009.

"Soul music isn't the only place my sound comes from," he says. "When I mix drums, for example, I'm not trying to mix them like Smokey Robinson. I want them to sound more modern. I also listen to heavy metal, like Tool and Helmet and Iron Maiden. And some of that comes out in the album, too. You've also got a wailing guitar solo on a track called "Green Eyed Love" that you'd never hear on, say, a Motown record."

He recorded the first Mayer Hawthorne track in his bedroom, playing all the instrumental parts, singing all the vocals, and mixing them on basic equipment ("Mayer" is Cohen's middle name, "Hawthorne" is the street he grew up on). A handful of two-track demo CDs were made, passed to friends "for a sort of joke," and forgotten about. In 2006, Cohen moved to Los Angeles in an effort to make a living out of hip-hop, with a group called Now On. One night last year, he was introduced to music mogul Chris Manak (aka "Peanut Butter Wolf") who owns the influential LA label Stone's Throw Records. Mayer Hawthorne came up in conversation.

"My friend, who introduced us, mentioned it," recalls Cohen. "I was a bit pissed-off, because I was trying to pump my hip-hop career, but I sent the songs to Peanut Butter Wolf anyway. About a month later, he emailed saying, 'I just listened to the tracks. This is awesome... who wrote them?' He couldn't believe they were my tracks. He thought they were old songs I'd got the rights to." Soon afterwards, Hawthorne was signed-up by Stones Throw.

Read the full article here:
London's Independent - Mayer Hawthorne - Haircut's worked it all out

Crooked I Interview With BallerStatus When I first heard the title of your EP, Mr. Pigface Weapon Waist, I automatically thought of the law boys.

Crooked I: (laughs) I'm thinking, "Okay, what's this about?" How did you decided on that title for your EP?

Crooked I: When we do Slaughterhouse shows, I used to come on stage with a pig mask. So, a lot of the fans started calling me "Pig Face" ... Then the "Weapon Waist" came from a song that I did ... "The Warriors". That's on Royce Da 5'9's Street Hop. They call me "Weapon Waist." Everybody in Slaughterhouse, they say, when I'm drunk, they say I become Weapon Waist. My temper is this short. Now, what kind of material is going to be on it?

Crooked I: When I first made the EP, it was for the summer. I made that EP a long time ago. I wanted to make some summertime music for Cali. When you're in Cali and it's summer, people like to drop their tops and people like to ride around. That's what I did it for. What ended up happening was one of the songs had a sample on it ... the particular group, which I don't wish to name right now, because I have more samples from this group. They didn't want to clear that particular sample. So, it took a long time, like back and forth back and forth. Pretty soon, the summer was over by that time.

Now, the concepts on there were very rebellious, because, like I said, when I get too many drinks in me, that's Weapon Waist, right there. He got a short temper, so the concept was like very rebellious. Like Jay-Z did "Death of Autotune" -- It's like they want to see the death of West coast sh**. I could feel it, you know what I mean? I can feel it. I've been all around the world. I've been in this industry for a long time. A lot of people want to see the death of West Coast sh**. So, the whole thing was, we're not buying it. This is what we're doing, so accept it! That's where it came from. I don't know. (laughs)

Read the full Crooked I interview here:
BallerStatus - Crooked I Keeps It 100 — Talks Industry Politics, the New West, Ghosting Writing & More

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Drake: Interview With Nashville's Vanderbilt University Newspaper

via Inside Vandy (Versus Magazine section)

Versus Magazine: This is not your first trip to Nashville, correct?

Drake: No, it’s not. Nashville is a great city and my father lives in Memphis, so I used to drive down here all the time in this Mercury Cougar [laughs]… and that’s where I got a lot of music knowledge, actually. My dad used to give me 30 minutes to play hip hop on the 24 or 25 hour drive — he’d let me put on rap tapes and then he’d make me listen to Marvin Gaye, The Spinners … that really penetrated my mind as a young kid. So, yeah, the whole state of Tennessee is very valuable to me.

VM: There were a couple interviews where you said the money wasn’t the most important thing. And obviously you’re very in control of your career, and it just strikes me that you’re very smart in that a lot of people in the position that you’re in will just sign away everything just to have that shot.

Drake: I always saw the value of what we can build on our own. We did “So Far Gone” by ourselves, really. My managers hadn’t even heard of it until it was out two days later. It was important to me to keep that grassroots feel. All I really wanted was creative freedom, and a lot of people could not offer me that, so I took the situation and considered that. There is nobody that can come to me and say, “We need this album on this day,” there’s nobody that can come to me and say, “The cover has to look like this,” “You have to dress like this,” there’s nobody that can tell me what to rap about or what shows to go to, there’s nobody that can tell me anything. If you have an opinion, of course I will listen to it, but there’s no one that controls my position in this game. And that way, if I make a mistake, I get to look at myself in the mirror and go, “You gotta pull it together.” Because I don’t like being able to say, “It was that guy’s fault.” I want to learn from my mistakes.

Read the full Drake interview here:
Inside Vandy - Q&A with Drake: "'Are we crazy?' And it took a while…it takes a while."

Drake - 'Thank Me Later' on Young Money/Cash Money/Universal is slated for February 16, 2010.

Wyclef Jean Goes Back To School At Berklee Collage Of Music

via the Boston Herald

Attending Berklee has been a goal of the 37-year-old, Haitian-born Wyclef’s since high school. Raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and then New Jersey, he dropped out of Five Towns College of Long Island to devote himself to the Fugees full time. Now he’s fulfilling his dream of finishing college at Berklee.

“Berklee’s the best,” he said. “It’s like you’ve got the Honda and you’ve got the Ferrari. I don’t take the Honda no more. I moved up from the Honda. I’m like, give me the Ferrari. Give me the 360 Modena that’s fully equipped with the best. And that’s Berklee. From the studio programs to the theory programs to the ensembles, there’s nothing like it. Because I’m telling you, I live in the studio. I could have just been here recording an album right now. This is the truth.”

Though Wyclef has family in Boston and visits regularly, he hasn’t spent much time on the Berklee campus studying this semester or checking out Boston. He does most of his schoolwork via online courses; his few trips to campus have been for one-on-one classes with professors.

“I was incognito a few times,” he said. “I did come in for some classes, but it’s like I come in and I just jump in the car with my driver and then I’m out. I mostly do the online class. But next semester I’m telling my record company and my manager that I want to be here more. Because what I’ve learned already is that when I’m one-on-one with a teacher or physically in a class, I’m gonna get more out of it.”

Read the full article here:
Boston Herald - The education of Wyclef Jean

Learn more about the Berklee Collage of Music here:
Berklee website

Lupe Fiasco Performs 'Superstar' With Chris Brown In Chicago

Chris Brown at the House of Blues in Chicago, IL on Thursday November 26 performing with Lupe Fiasco 'Superstar.'

Chris Brown Fan Appreciation Tour Dates:
11/29 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Revolution
12/01 - Atlanta, GA - Center Stage
12/04 - Washington, D.C. - Warner Theater
12/05 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s
12/06 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
12/09 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland
12/11 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar
12/12 - Wallingford, CON - Chevrolet Theater
12/13 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
12/15 - New York, NY - Nokia Theater

(video courtesy of PrincessLisaFasho)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Jay-Z: Guardian UK Puts 'The Black Album' In Their Top 10 Albums Of The Decade

Jay-Z - 'The Black Album' on Roc-A-Fella originally released Friday November 14, 2003.

It was billed at the time as his swansong. During a playback at his Baseline Studios in New York, shortly before its release in 2003, Jay-Z was adamant that after this, his eighth album in eight years, he was ready to pass the mic for good. But no one really believed him.

Hova's ambitious plans for The Black Album involved a dozen producers serving up a dozen different tracks. Ultimately this proved a little too ambitious even for him, but the finished product did feature all the producers du jour – Timbaland, Just Blaze, Kanye West, the Neptunes, Eminem and even Rick Rubin. Many consider The Blueprint to be his greatest album – after which even Jay-Z admits he "dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars" – but with an unrivalled list of heavyweights behind him, The Black Album was the more rounded, polished beast.

Read the full article here:
Guardian UK - Albums of the decade No 8: Jay-Z - The Black Album

Ice Cube: 'Straight Outta L.A.' Raider Documentary L.A. Times Article

(photo courtesy of Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The title of (Ice) Cube's project, "Straight Outta L.A." is a play on the title of the landmark album he and gangsta rap group N.W.A. recorded just over 20 years ago, "Straight Outta Compton."

"Straight Outta L.A.," which does not yet have an air date, chronicles how the Raiders between 1982 and the team's announced departure in 1995 were embraced by gangsta rappers as hip-hop exploded on the music scene. In one of the first instances of merchandising synergy between sports teams and cultural cliques, rappers started wearing Raiders gear -- black and silver jackets, hats and hoodies emblazoned with the team's logo of an eye-patch-wearing pirate. They showed up at games, and their rowdy behavior was an integral element of the ambience that intimidated calmer fans.

Said Cube, "I thought I had died and gone to heaven when they moved here." He and others responded to the team's outsider persona. "It was like the way it was with rap. We got tired of trying to play the mainstream game. So we decided we would just do records for the 'hood."

With the success of the group and his own solo work, Cube was able to buy Raiders season tickets. He pointed to a far-off section of the Coliseum: "There they are, around the 20-yard line, about 13 rows up. We'd come with the family, and with all the homies in their gear. The crowd was everything, from rowdy to tame. If you had the courage to be here, you belonged in Raider Nation."

Read the full article here:
Los Angeles Times - Ice Cube documents Raider love in 'Straight Outta L.A.'

In addition, Ice Cube vs Rod Woodson on ESPN in a quiz about the L.A. Raiders - Silver and Black Showdown.

Inertia: Putting Texas Rap Back On The Map (Interview)

(photo courtesy of Ozone Magazine)

via Quick Dallas Fort Worth

Quick Dallas Fort Worth: How did you connect with Play-N-Skillz and their G4 Muzik record label?

Inertia: Most people think it was a lucky overnight hookup or favoritism, but I spent a lot of years grinding on the streets. I do everything I can to build up my name by performing and networking at all of the conferences, showcases and hot spots. I always try to keep my name relevant, and I guess that helped me eventually connect with [Play-N-Skillz]. There are always out-of-towners that can see you perform and be impressed, but once they leave the city they forget about you, so I am blessed to be able to connect with real people from D-FW who made it.

Quick Dallas Fort Worth: How would you describe your rap style for those people who haven't heard you yet?

Inertia: I would say my style is a mixture of the animated energy of Ludacris with the twisting ability of Twista. I try to apply my own flow to songs whether it's straight-up rap, pop or even a funny track. Sometimes I make records for the streets, but I also work on making different songs for all fans.

Read the full interview here:
Quick Dallas Fort Worth - Rapper Inertia sees his efforts pay off

Mos Def And Talib Kweli Perform On Jimmy Fallon TV Show

Game Video Interview With DubCNN

DubCNN caption:
When it comes to mainstream West Coast hip-hop in the last 5 or so years, Game is the number one representative for the West Coast. As part of Dubcnn I was privileged to sit in on a studio session with Game and Pharrell as they worked on Game's "RED Album", scheduled to drop in February of 2010. Game also talked to us about his changed outlook, The Black Wall Street and label boss Jimmy Iovine.

Game - 'The Red Album' on Interscope/Geffen/Black Wall Street in stores February 16, 2010.

Mary J. Blige 'Stronger With Each Tear' Tracklist Posted Online

01 I Am (produced by Stargate, written by Johnta Austin & Ester Dean)
02 The One ft. Drake (produced by Rodney Jerkins)
03 Good Love ft. T.I. (produced by The Stereotypes)
04 I Love U
05 In The Morning
06 Kitchen
07 Hood Love ft. Trey Songz
(produced by Bryan-Michael Cox, written by Johnta Austin)
08 Said And Done (produced by Ryan Leslie)
09 Feel Good
10 Tonight
11 Each Tear (produced By Stargate)
12 I Can See In Color (featured in the movie 'Precious')

Mary J. Blige - 'Stronger With Each Tear' on Matriarch/Geffen/Interscope in-stores December 21.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Erykah Badu 'New Amerykah Part 2: Return of Ankh' Set For Feb. 23, 2010

Erykah Badu - 'New Amerykah Part 2: Return of the Ankh' on Motown/Universal is tentatively set for a February 23, 2010 release date.

Potential tracks on the album include:

Love Me
Don't Be Long
Hot Slow Jam
Jump Up in the Air And Stay There
Loretta Brown
Dirty Dirty

Wiz Khalifa Hometown Newspaper Feature

via Pittsburgh Post Gazette

After an amicable split (with Warner Bros.) allowed Wiz to keep music created under the label, he kicked off a whirlwind of activity including online videos, national appearances and the release of three mixtapes that included "at least 50 songs."

"I really figured out that these days, with how fast the game is moving and how fast the fans are able to access music, I gotta be able to make a lot of music and really just flood the streets and the Internet the right way," said Wiz.

"We did a little mini-tour this summer, which really helped kick things off for when school came back around. And with the buzz building up with everybody getting on to my music on a wider scale and a wider range, everything just picked up and fell into line."

But anything that fell in line for Wiz over the past year came as a direct result of his push, particularly online. Since last year, he has posted regular blogs and videos on a YouTube channel, written hooks and recorded songs during live webcasts on the site Ustream and drawn more than 41,000 followers to his Twitter account.

Read the full article here:
Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Rapper Wiz Khalifa drops 'Deal or No Deal' after frustrating time with Warner Bros.

Who, What, Where Weekly Photo Links 11/25

All the photo links from this week past for your consumption.

Tuesday, November 24

Rihanna 'Rated R' record release party with Red Cafe, Rick Ross and others in NYC:
Getty Images
Rex Features
Film Magic
WENN Photo

Rihanna in Manhattan NYC:
Rex Features 1
Rex Features 2

Rihanna outside of David Letterman studios in NYC:
Getty Images

Akon, Ludacris and Big Boi distribute turkeys near Atlanta, GA:
Wire Image
Getty Images

Boyz II Men ring the NYSE Closing Bell on Wall Street, NYC:
Getty Images
Film Magic

Alicia Keys on NBC's "Today" in Rockefeller Center in NYC:
Wire Image
Getty Images
PR Photos
Corbis Images
Rex Features
Film Magic
WENN Photo

Alicia Keys opens The Barber's Daughters "Jewelry Experience" in NYC:
Getty Images
Globe Photos
Star Traks Photo
Rex Features
Film Magic

Rihanna on ABC's "Good Morning America" in NYC:
Wire Image
Getty Images 1
Getty Images 2
Corbis Images
Rex Features
Film Magic
WENN Photo

Keke Palmer around Manhattan NYC:
Getty Images
Rex Features

Queen Latifah fragrance launch at Macy's Herald Square NYC:
Getty Images
Star Traks Photo
Film Magic
WENN Photo

Thanksgiving Carnival at the Greenbriar Mall with Polow Da Don, Fonsworth Bentley Richboy, Waka Flocka and others in Atlanta, GA:
Getty Images

Shaun Boothe and DJ Cipha Sounds at the Shaun Boothe video release party in NYC:
Film Magic

Monday, November 23

MySpace 50th Concert with 50 Cent at Highline Balroom in NYC:
Wire Image
Film Magic

Jay-Z, ?uestlove and others at the Fela! Broadway Opening Night in NYC:
Wire Image
Getty Images
Patrick McMullan
WENN Photo

Rihanna at Best Buy in-store event Union Square NYC:
See coverage here

Rihanna on FUSE TV in NYC:
Rex Features
Star Traks Photo

Rihanna arrives at JFK Airport in NYC:
WENN Photo

Club Beats Best Buy in-store event with Lady Gaga, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine in LA, CA:
Wire Image 1
Wire Image 2
Rex Features
Getty Images 1
Getty Images 2
PR Photos
Star Traks Photo
Daily Celeb
Film Magic
WENN Photo

Fabolous celebrates his 32nd Birthday at the Jet Nightclub in Las Vegas, NV:
WENN Photo

Bobby Brown shops at Zara in Hollywood, CA:
WENN Photo

Corinne Bailey Rae Performs At The Tabernacle In London, UK:
Getty Images

V.V. Brown in Concert at the ULU, London, UK:
Rex Features

Music Producer Dallas Austin's Birthday Party in NYC:
Wire Image
Getty Images

The 5ive's Alesha Renee's Birthday Party with Sean Garrett, DJ Clue and others in NYC:
Wire Image

Stop The Violence: A Tribute To Mike Beck with Maino, DJ Kay Slay, Papose and others in NYC:
Wire Image

Sunday, November 22

Jay-Z, Jimmy Iovine, Fergie, Polow Da Don, B-Real of Cypress Hill and others at the Laker game LA, CA:
Getty Images
Rex Features

Beyonce performance in Dublin, Ireland:
WENN Photo

Janet Jackson AMAs After Party at the W Hotel in Westwood, CA:
Wire Image

Rihanna leaves the AMA show at the Nokia in LA, CA:
WENN Photo

2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, CA:
See coverage here

Saturday, November 21

Motown 50 Golden Gala with Berry Gordy, Stevie Wonder, Kid Rock and others in Detroit, MI:
Wire Image

CNN Heroes Awards with Maxwell, Leona Lewis and others at The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA:
Wire Image - Red Carpet
Wire Image - Reception
Wire Image - Show
Wire Image - Backstage 1
Wire Image - Backstage 2
Wire Image - After Party
Getty Images - Red Carpet
Corbis Images - Red Carpet
Film Magic - Red Carpet

Robin Thicke appearance at The Bank nightclub in Las Vegas, NV:
Wire Image
Rex Features
Getty Images
PR Photos
Film Magic

Common, Serena Williams & La La Vasquez at the Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls in Denver, CO:
Getty Images

Friday, November 20

50 Cent Best Buy in-store in New York City and New Jersey:
Rex Features - New Jersey
Getty Images - New Jersey
Getty Images - New York City

Rihanna arrives at LAX airport LA, CA:
WENN Photo

Day26 at Millions of Milkshakes in LA, CA:
WENN Photo

Rakim performs For ITunes Live From Soho NYC:
Getty Images

Rapheal Saadiq performs at the Wiltern Theatre in LA, CA:
WENN Photo

Thursday, November 19

Sean 'Diddy' Combs 40th Birthday party in NYC:
See coverage here

Jay-Z & Dr. Dre at Victoria Secret Fashion Show in NYC:
See coverage here

Club Beats Best Buy in-store event with Dr. Dre, and others in NYC:
See coverage here

Rakim concert at B.B. Kings in NYC:
See coverage here

Twilight New Moon movie party with and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas in NYC:
Getty Images
Patrick McMullan

Mariah Carey Album Launch Party Co-Hosted By Angel Champagne London, UK:
Getty Images

50 Cent on BET's 106 & Park in NYC:
Getty Images
Corbis Images

Rakim on FUSE TV Hip Hop Shop Fuse TV studios in NYC:
Getty Images

Mariah Carey lights up Christmas lights At Westfield Shopping Centre in London, UK:
Getty Images
Star Traks Photo

ABC television tapping of Jennifer Hudson: I'll Be Home for Christmas in Chicago, IL:
Getty Images

Cypress Hill's Sen Dog at Chi Cheng from Deftones benefit concert in LA, CA:
Getty Images

Wednesday, November 18

GQ Men of the year with Drake, Wale and others at the Chateau Marmont LA, CA:
Wire Image - Inside
Getty Images - Red Carpet 1
Getty Images - Red Carpet 2
Getty Images - Inside
PR Photos - Red Carpet
Patrick McMullan - Red Carpet
Corbis Images - Red Carpet

Chris Brown in concert LA, CA:
See the full coverage here

MTVu Woodie Awards with the Clipse, Janelle Monae, Asher Roth, Cam'ron and others in NYC:
Getty Images - Red Carpet
Getty Images - Backstage
Getty Image - Show

New Boyz make a viral music video For "Cricketz" with Young Money/Decadance artist Tyga in LA, CA:
Getty Images

US Weekly Hot Hollywood Party with Leona Lewis, L.L. Cool J and others in Hollywood, CA:
Getty Images
Globe Photos
Corbis Images

RFK Center Ripple Of Hope Awards Dinner with Wyclef, Bono and others in NYC:
Getty Images - Red Carpet
Getty Images - Show
PR Photos - Red Carpet
Globe Photos - Red Carpet
Patrick McMullan

Grammy Nashville Chapter Conversation with Drake:
Wire Image

'Taurus Top Performer: A Night With the 2010 Ford Taurus' with Farnsworth Bentley, Beanie Sigel and others in Philadelphia, PA:
Getty Images

Fabolous' Birthday Party with Rick Ross, Amber Rose and others in NYC:
Getty Images

V.V. Brown Performs In Brighton, UK:
Getty Images

Last Week's
Hooked On that - Who, What, Where Weekly Photo Links 11/18