By: The Hip Hop Journalist As the R&B component of Ludacris’s Disturbing tha Peace family, Bobby Valentino is readying up for his sophomore album release. The album titled Special Occasion has had the internet literally going nuts, as what many thought was a leaked version of the album was readily downloaded, reviewed and appreciated. Turns out that was just a little teaser to ensure his fans both in his native USA and in the UK remembered the London loving artist and kept all eyes on him So what do you love about London then Mr. Valentino? Well I love the way you talk, I love the way you walk. You sound like you are ready to burst into song any minute [laughing.] Do you get a lot of love in London when you perform here? A lot of love in London; honestly London may be my favorite place to ever go because overseas, y’all really love music. You don’t care about any of that other stuff at the end of the day, you just love music and I appreciate that. At my concerts in London, they know all my songs, not just the songs that they play on the radio. Sometimes I do shows and they only know the songs that are played on the radio, but in London they know everything and I love you all for that. I LOVE LONDON!!! Has the album been leaked? I mean there have been numerous versions of your album on the internet and I have even reviewed one and I am wondering if it was the wrong album. It probably was, I mean I have been at the gas station where someone has run up to me and asked if I wanted the new Bobby Valentino CD and I would look at it and it is all the wrong songs. I have been working on this album for the last year in between touring as I have been touring a lot so I have recorded maybe 50 or 60 songs. So what happened is some songs you don’t use they may just end up on the internet. I have fourteen songs on this album and there are four interludes and the only songs that you have probably heard are Anonymous and Turn the Page. You may have heard snippets. The records you hear on the internet are to build my buzz to show that I am still here and I am still working and don’t go buy the bootleg, go buy the real album. Do you feel that you stepped your game up on this album? Definitely I challenged myself to grow as an artist and that is my whole thing; I could have easily done another Slow Down or another Tell Me but I wanted to grow, I wanted to step out of the box a little bit and do something different. So I think I grew vocally and as an artist holistically. Do you think this is going to shock the fans, the growth you show on this album or do you have more surprises in store for them? I think they are really going, my first album was mainly produced by Tim and Bob, and they did 90% of my album as I only had two producers on my last album. This album I worked with a lot of the big time producers like Bryan Michael-Cox, Timbaland, and Rodney Jerkins so I have different feels on this album and that is what I think is going to make this album hot. I have something that can relate to all different situations. That was why I called it Special Occasion as I got to work with all my favorite producers on the album and it has something for every occasion on there. Whether it is your birthday, your anniversary or whatever, I have a song for that. We have seen some major artists suffer in sales when it comes to leaks on the internet; do you think that even though your album hasn’t been officially leaked per say the teasers that have been put out may effect your sales? Well I see what I think is going to happen, the people who got the leak are going to be ‘well I already got the album,’ but then the people who go out and support it and buy the album, they will have a totally different album, but all it will do is force the people that are on the internet all day to go and buy the [official] album. But I want to let the people know that what was on the internet I did as a buzz. I did that to ‘bridge the gap,’ as it has been over a year since I put out my last and I had to get something out there for my fans for them to listen to just in the meantime. Nowadays there isn’t the building the buzz factor when it comes to releasing a new album. Would you agree with that? Yeah you have to build a buzz because now out of sight out of mind. If they don’t see you or they don’t hear from you they are going to forget about you and move on to the next person. There are a lot of artists out there and it has got real competitive. So by me just leaking songs, it is not a bad thing, as it keeps people talking about me and from this I got a real good internet buzz and that keeps me out there. What was the best recording experience you had on this album? I would say I have two of them, working with Timbaland and then working with Tim and Bob as they are like my brothers. When I am working with them, it is like a vibe and a feeling that nobody else can give me. It is like I am on a musical high when I am working with them. Working with Timbaland, he is one of my favorite producers, ever in life. I am a fan of his when he is in the studio and just watching him make the beat and just me and him vibing is overwhelming as I was blessed there. Are there a lot of features on the album? No I didn’t put out too many features. I have a joint with Fabolous on there and I have Timbaland on there, but I didn’t want to overshadow myself by putting a whole load of features on there. I don’t have anyone from the DTP click on there but I do feature on a lot of there albums, I am on Shareefah’s album, Field Mobb, Ludacris’s albums. So you feel strong enough to stand alone when it comes to your craft? Oh yeah most definitely. Is there pressure on you due to the success of the first album? Oh yeah there is pressure but I am not scared, because I feel like I have good following and dedicated fans who are really into me and I hope and pray that come April 3rd, the 800,000 people who bought my first album they will come out and buy the new album and maybe get 800,000 more. Why has the album been pushed back? Well I wanted to build up the buzz and I was looking at the fourth quarter and there was a lot of stuff coming out in that quarter. You had Jay Z coming out, Beyonce, Nas, so I didn’t want to get caught up with a lot of the artists that are household names. Do you travel a lot; I mean I know you were in Africa with Luda? Yeah I actually just got back from France last week. I have a song with this girl called Leslie who is really big over there. I have a duet with her and we just shot the video in France, it is on youtube.com and you can see the video there. Did you enjoy France? Yeah but I love London better. But let me put this out there, the only thing with London and France is the food. Y’all need to get some condiments over there, some Lawrys salt and some bbq sauce as the food tastes a little bland. In the South there is real cooking going on down here, collard greens and macaroni and cheese and stuff like that. You did a lot of writing on this new album, is this something you hope to maintain throughout your career? Definitely because it is cool when someone else writes you a song they can write you a hit song, but it is nothing like when you write a song as then it is your soul and your feelings in the song. It is like you writing a speech as opposed to someone else writing you a speech it is always better if you write it; it is your words, your feelings, your emotions. Can we expect to see you working more with European artists? Yeah I would love to, I love it overseas and it is real cool, so if there are artists out there that would like to work with me, then I would love to do it. How important was Ludacris winning a Grammy to the DTP family? Well that is the greatest accomplishment in music to win a Grammy and then I am on his album so I can then say I was on a Grammy winning album. But I hope to get my chance to win a Grammy soon. Talking about DTP though, was it important for you to be part of a collective of artists as opposed to just being on your own? I think so because when you win awards there is a lot more respect from your peers and fans and I don’t think I got the respect I thought I deserved on my first album so I am looking for that with this album too. It was your birthday recently, how did you celebrate? Oh I went to the strip club, Fabolous was there, Rick Ross was there and Chaka Zulu was there and they all partied with me and I am having another party tonight and then one on Friday, then I am going to LA to shoot my new video. Do you get really involved in the concepts of your videos? Yeah always like to get involved in that. You know I am always on the conference calls when they come up with the concepts for my videos.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Turns out Lloyd Banks is being allowed to leave G Unit after literally begging Fifty to let him leave. Thing is..someone has to buy him out of his contract with G Unit…word on the street is, that someone is Universal. Talk about keeping it in the family. Diddy attacks with Chair Wow well there is just no telling what is going to happen next in Reality TV. Turns out Diddy went to attack his top dancing girl Laurie Ann Gibson with a chair after the two got into a heated argument over the state of the dancing on the next series of MTV’s Making the Band. Laurie can handle herself but when Diddy goes at her with a chair…goddamn no wonder home girl filed a report with NYPD. He needs to sit his ass down in a chair rather than throwing them. Fif laughs at Cam Well thats not a surprise is it really after the lil show Cam put on the other day. This is exactly what Curtis had to say about Cam’s recent outburst: "My whirlpool is bigger than Cam’s swimming pool. And he shouldn’t be in front of no camera with daisy dukes on." Nothing like a bit of humor to start the day off.
By: Rizoh Kanye West has been tapped to host this year’s Thirst Studio Global Sessions in Las Vegas. The competition which aims to showcase new talent from around the world is schedules for May 25-27. Fairly established acts like Gym Class Heroes and Eric Morillo will also play at the event. Thirst Studio traveled the globe in 2006 in search of new musical talent for the Las Vegas final. The winners from each country will battle it out for the grand prize. The overall winner get to record a track in Palm Studios with Gabriel and Dresden. Visit THIRST STUDIO for contest details. Rolling Stones Guitarist Hates Hip-Hop Add Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards to the list of rockers who won’t be considering a hip-hop collaboration anytime soon. The 64-year old musician declared that he cannot name a single rap artist who he enjoys because hip-hop leaves him “cold.” In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Richards, who once admitted to snorting his late father’s ashes, explained that he dislikes hip-hop’s vocal delivery and computer-aided beats. “Hip-hop leaves me cold. But there are some people out there who think it’s the meaning of life,” he told Rolling Stone magazine. “I don’t wanna be yelled at, I wanna be sung to.” “I never really understood why someone would want to have some gangster from L.A. poking his fingers in your face,” he added. “As I say, it don’t grab me. I mean the rhythms are boring – they’re all done on computers.” Either Keith Richards is too close-minded to understand that hip-hop is not always about “some gangster from LA” or he’s just too grumpy to think outside the box.
By: Rizoh Bad news for crack-rap fans everywhere. The Clipse—Pusha T and Malice—have severed ties with Jive Records and the Zomba Label Group, according to Malice (born Gene Thornton). “Right now Clipse are free agents. There are a few labels that are interested,” said Malice in an interview with Canadian publication Eye Weekly. Considering the label drama that eclipsed Clipse’s last album, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The Thornton brothers watched their sophomore album, Hell Hath No Fury, sit on the backburner while attempting to sort out legal differences with the label. Malice also told Eye Weekly that several labels are currently vying for the duo’s signature. On a related note, the Clipse are billed to play Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago‘s Union Park on July 14. Andre 3000 Talks New OutKast Album With Andre 3000 popping up on collaborations here and there, OutKast fans are beginning to wonder when one of hip-hop’s most consistent duos will drop another full-length. Andre disclosed to MTV News that he and partner-in-rhyme Big Boi are discussing what direction to take for the next Outkast album, which may be another dual-solo release, a la Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below. For Dre, it’s not so much about when to retire his cameo hat and clock in full time as it is about what to say when crunch time arrives. Confused? Yeah…me, too. Isn’t Ice Cold supposed to be one of the illest in the game? Apparently, even the best emcees need some time to refill their creative juices. “Really, I gotta find out what I’m tryin’ to say,” Dre told MTV News. “It’s almost like a picnic — you call your auntie and say, ‘You bringin’ some greens? Yeah? OK, I’m not gonna bring any greens.’ I gotta find out what I gotta cook up. But to quote James Brown, ‘Whatever it is, it’s got to be funky.’” For now, you can catch OutKast in UGK’s new music video for “Int’l Players Anthem.”
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno This Don Imus-situation really has some legs. Protesters in Atlanta are planning to come together at a club to protest an event advertised as a “Pimps and Hoes” party. The ads for the party, which is being held at The Fever in Atlanta tonight, sparked the formation of a new organization called Advocates Against the Exploitation of Young Women. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution protest organizer, Erik Voss said that the party is being hosted by the company that produces the Girls Gone Wild DVDs. "They have been known to exploit young women," Voss told AJC. "We’re going to create awareness about the problem of the pimping of young women and the derogatory term that they use — which is ‘hos’ — for the young women that they exploit." They expect 20-25 protestors including Stephanie Davis, advisor to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno It’s obvious that some rappers do things just for the shock value and in the case of Pastor Troy’s new album title it’s evident. The rapper was scheduled to drop his new album, ‘Saddam Hussein,’ this summer but hit a snag with retailers – they refused to carry the album because of the name. "The ‘Saddam’ title was just a metaphor for how I was comin’ back for my s**t, hostile takeover-style," Troy said. "I’m gonna bring genocide to the rap game. It wasn’t political or anything like that. I’ve got love for the troops, they’ve always supported me and I support them. So now I’m just gonna give’em Tool Muziq ’cause that’s what this album is — hardcore gangsta s**t.” Troy renamed the album album ‘Tool Musiq,’ and announced that it will have contributions from Shawty Red, Drumma Boy, DJ Squeeky and Zaytoven with appearances from Gangsta Boo, Fabo of D4L and The Hitman Sammy Sam.
By: Rizoh When 50 Cent was grilled about his role in the perpetuation of violent rap lyrics at a BET Awards Nomination conference, he resorted to the classic copout—music is a reflection of society. “It’s the harsh realities that end up in the music. If I ask you to paint a picture of the American flag and not use the color red, you’re gonna have a difficult time. To capture what we try to capture in the art form, I’m sure some conservative Americans can’t ID [identify] with it because of their lifestyle and the way they’ve actually been brought up, and they haven’t been exposed to those realities.” When asked about Master P’s new decision to use positive lyrics in his music, 50 cent quipped, “Well Master P doesn’t sell CDs anymore. You can tell him I said it. Cameras is rollin’ right?” It’ll be interesting to see what Master P has to say to 50.
By: Rizoh Jay-Z has tapped pop singer Ciara to be the new face of Rocawear’s line for women. The 21-year old Crunk & B princess will appear in an empowering fashion-ad campaign, dubbed “I Will Not Lose,” which debuts this fall. To be included in the campaign are video testimonials of people who have overcome difficulties to reach their goals. One of the participants is Amy Steele, editor of the Virginia Tech’s college newspaper. Ciara told US magazine that she loves Rocawear. “The clothes are so cute. The stuff is great. I am so happy to be able to do the campaign.”
By: Hot Gossip Gal Not quite sure if this is true, but word is the DipSet capo got caught in some crossfire in Harlem yesterday…hopefullyJimJonesdidnt and he is making his way to the Hot 97 studio to tell Felx just what REALLY is going on with Dipset. Fifty Disses Master P He just cant stop can he…turns out Curtis is now laughing at the fact that Master P is now refraining from using profanity in his lyrics as Hip-Hop turns on itself. This is what he said yesterday at the BET nominations presentation yesterday: "Are you familiar with politics? Are you familiar with the President’s No. 2 man? You’re familiar with him resigning based on him using, maybe what we’d call a dating service? Maybe he’s hanging out with hoes that we mention in the music. If that doesn’t make you aware of a situation that exists…."Music is a mirror, and hip hop is a reflection of the environment that we grew up in. It’s the harsh realities that end up in the music. If I ask you to paint a picture of the American flag and not use the color red, you’re gonna have a difficult time. To capture what we try to capture in the art form, I’m sure some conservative Americans can’t [identify] with it because of their lifestyle and the way they’ve actually been brought up, and they haven’t been exposed to those realities." "Well Master P doesn’t sell CDs anymore," 50 said calmly, which caused the room full of reporters to burst out laughing. "You can tell him I said it. Cameras is rollin’ right? …’Curtis,’ June 26."
By: Rizoh In a strange turn of events, Ike Turner, the ex-husband of Tina Turner, was falsely arrested Tuesday in Los Angeles on a narcotics warrant that was recalled in 1989. A computer glitch caused officers to cuff the 75-year-old music icon after he was pulled over for speeding on a freeway. Last night, Ike was still in custody at a Pasadena, California, courthouse while the paperwork for his release was being prepared. Turner, who told TMZ that he spent the night freezing with nothing to eat but a banana and a cookie, has now been released from jail. Asked whether he was irked by the false arrest, he said “They could’ve been right…we all make mistakes.”
By: Rizoh Amazon.com, one of the largest digital retailers in the world, has announced its plan to launch a music store. Amazon’s goal is to sell music that listeners can play on a variety of devices, be it Apple Inc.’s iPod or Microsoft’s Zune. Amazon understands that the most convenient way to sell music is by offering such flexibility to consumers. The company plans to deliver music in a format, such as MP3, that doesn’t include copy-protection software, known as digital rights management, or DRM for short. Music sold through Apple’s iTunes digital store typically has the despicable DRM, meaning you can only play it on an iPod. Problem is, music sold via other services is incompatible with the iPod. That’s where Amazon steps in. Are we seeing a digital revolution of some sort here? Amazon’s vice-president of digital media, Bill Carr, says that consumers find that arrangement "confusing and off-putting," and Amazon’s store will only sell DRM-free music, meaning that users can play their music on whatever device they prefer. Amazon says it expects to launch with content from 12,000 record labels, including EMI.
By: Quibian Salazar-Moreno Every time Beyonce drops an album, you already know that she’s going own all the categories at music award shows, so it was no surprise that B walked away with six BET Award nominations yesterday. The nominations were announced yesterday at Hollywood’s Renaissance Hotel by 50 Cent, T.I., Robin Thicke and actress Tichina Arnold. The show is set to go down on June 26 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles hosted by Mo’Nique. Both 50 and T.I. will perform on the show, with fans being able to vote on what song 50 should through BET.com. Other multiple nominees include Gnarls Barkley, Jennifer Hudson, Akon, Ciara, Ludacris, Mary J. Blige and others. Here’s the full list of nominees: Male Hip Hop: Diddy, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, T.I. Best Collaboration: Akon featuring Snoop Dogg, "I Wanna Love You"; Beyonce featuring Jay-Z, "Deja Vu"; Beyonce featuring Jay-Z, "Upgrade U"; Diddy featuring Keyshia Cole, "Last Night"; Ludacris featuring Mary J. Blige, "Runaway Love." Best Female R&B: Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Ciara, Jennifer Hudson, Corinne Bailey Rae. Best Male R&B: Akon, John Legend, Gerald Levert, Ne-Yo, Robin Thicke. Best Group: Gnarls Barkley, Mary Mary, Outkast, Pretty Ricky, Three Six Mafia. New Artist: Lupe Fiasco, Gnarls Barkley, Jennifer Hudson, MIMS, Corinne Bailey Rae. Best Gospel Artist: Shirley Caesar, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Dave Hollister, Mary Mary. Video of the Year: Akon featuring Snoop Dogg, "I Wanna Love You"; Beyonce, "Irreplaceable"; Beyonce & Shakira, "Beautiful Liar"; Ciara, "Like a Boy"; Gnarls Barkley, "Crazy." Best Actress: Tichina Arnold, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Kerry Washington, Chandra Wilson. Best Actor: Idris Elba, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Will Smith, Forest Whitaker. Best Female Athlete: Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Gail Devers, Lisa Leslie, Serena Williams. Best Male Athlete: Reggie Bush, LeBron James, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Dwyane Wade, Tiger Woods. BET J Cool Like That award: Gerald Levert, Brian McKnight, Eric Roberson, Musiq Soulchild, Elisabeth Withers. BET Choice award: Beyonce, "Irreplaceable"; Birdman & Lil Wayne, "Stuntin’ Like My Daddy"; Bow Wow featuring Chris Brown, "Shortie Like Mine"; Ciara, "Because of You"; Robin Thicke, "Lost Without You"; UNK "Walk It Out."
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno We’ve enjoyed her in such flicks as ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Love & Basketball’ and ‘The Best Man’, now the rest of world is enjoying Sanaa Lathan too. The actress was named Miss Soft & Beautiful 2007 over Beyonce, Tyra Banks and Queen Latifah in recent poll held by Sister 2 Sister Magazine. "I’m so honored to be named Miss Soft and Beautiful 2007," Lathan said. "It is such a delight to be recognized by the women in my community. A huge part of my life intention is to uplift women. This means so much. Thank you." With this recognition, ‘Soft & Beautiful’ will donate its products, along with a cash donation to The HerShe Group, a charity chosen by Lathan. The HerShe Group is a non-profit organization that empowers girls emancipating from foster care to successfully transition into adulthood.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Yeah last month it was religion, this month it is acting. Death Row boss man Suge KNight is working on a reality show (who isn’t working on a reality show) about Compton..and has his mind set on making it big in the acting world. Now this should be something else. Nine or Three Times I missed this e mail last week…my bad but documents have surfaced claiming that the rapper with nine lives…AKA 50 Cent was actually only shot three times. A little bit of attention just before an album is dropping is never a bad thing is it?
iHipHop Blog Team