By Quibian Salazar-Moreno John Legend’s last album “Once Again,” was a laidback, adult-oriented album, but it looks like he’s heading back to the hip-hop sound of his first album. In an interview with Billboard, Legend said that he plans on working with Kanye West again, plus Pharrell Williams and has already done a few tracks with will.i.am. "We’re really just starting," Legend told Billboard. "I’m usually pretty prolific and pretty quick with my output, so I’m guessing I’ll be done with it by the end of the spring and put it out either late summer or early fall. That’s what I’m headed towards." Legend is also working on promoting and pushing his new label, Homeschool Records and his first artist on the label Estelle, whose album is due out in February. "I was very involved with the whole thing,” Legend said. “I wrote with her on just about every track and … made a lot of key decisions when it came to track selection, producers, getting the right people involved. I treated it almost like it was my own." Legend also signed his little brother, Anthony Vaughn, who is also a singer, and up and coming rapper, Diggy.
By: Hot GossipGal Last week R Kelly’s long time publicist stepped down from her role. Turns out the reason for both her and her husband disassociating them from the singer is supposed to be that he asked them to lie on the stand in his impending trial…now I heard from someone pretty close to the Daniels family that they had just had enough of Kelly’s total disregard for morals and ethics when doing business. Ms. Daniels has been watching over him for 14 years..that’s a lot of years…wonder how many run ins she has avoided with the press, irate parents during that time.
By: Rizoh Michael Vick is hoping to cut his prison sentence short, even though his sentencing isn’t until December 10. Vick surrendered to U.S. Marshals three weeks early, according to reports from ESPN. He’s facing charges for illegal dogfighting charges. Said Vick’s attorney, Billy Martin, in a statement: “From the beginning, Mr. Vick has accepted responsibility for his actions, and his self-surrender further demonstrates that acceptance. Michael wants to again apologize to everyone who has been hurt in this matter, and he thanks all of the people who have offered him and his family prayers and support during this time.” Vick pled guilty to a federal dogfighting charge in August, after his co-defendants agreed to cooperate with law enforcement. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback may face anywhere from 2 years to 5 years for the felony charges. He’s being held at Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw until his sentencing.
By: Rizoh In a dramatic MySpace post titled “I Quit,” Saigon announced that he’s officially done with rap music. Sai railed against the music industry and the media for being fake and exploitative. “This sh*t is too fake for me,” he griped in the blog post. “I found myself getting caught up in the bullshit but now Ill gladly walk away.” He continued: “F**k this bum a** rap game anyway, its full of fake a** n****s who pump poison to the kids, make a few dollars and act like they’re larger then life when they know their music is detrimental to their fucking communities, If it ain’t about sex, its about drugs or violence, where are the songs about getting an education, or being responsible parents and sh*t, or stopping the gang violence.” Some may say that Saigon left the game prematurely. In case anyone has questions about his musical achievements, he contends that he left plenty of good music that attest to his lyrical prowess. “I left enough great music behind for people to understand I was good at rapping, that’s all I ever wanted out of it.” Saigon’s Atlantic debut, The Greatest Story Never Told, has been postponed several times. Last we checked, it was scheduled for release in 2008. There’s no word on whether that album will still see the light of day.
by Hot Gossip Gal Unbelievable Jayonce was pulled down off billboards out in Las Vegas as people complained that the singer in a bikini was just too much of a distraction. Well they obviously avert their eyes to the rest of the wrong doings in the City of Sin…wonder what Matty has to say on this one. Turns out the hip gyrating sensation Shakira will not be stripping down to show all in her movie acting debut. The Colombian singer was supposed to star in some love story bs but when she found out she had to drop her drawers,,,ole shaker wasn’t feeling it. So instead she did the soundtrack instead..I am sure some of y’all out there are highly disappointed about that.
by Quibian Salazar-Moreno Lil Romeo, or now known as just Romeo, is accomplishing what his father has probably dreamed of. Not only is Romeo an accomplished recording artist and actor, he’s now making his way towards a star athlete. Romeo has announced that he will be attending the University of Southern California next fall on a basketball scholarship. At 6’0” and 170 pounds, Romeo is ranked as one of the top 15 high school point guards in the nation. His team mate, 6’7” 205-pound shooting guard, Demar DeRozan will also head to USC next fall. Both athletes will announce their intent to attend USC today at the Four Seasons of Beverly Hills.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Say want you want about American Idol runner-up Blake Lewis, but he got hip-hop and Doug E. Fresh represented on national prime time television. He even secured an appearance from Lupe Fiasco for his upcoming album, “Audio Day Dream,” hitting stores on December 4. "This album is exactly how I wanted it to come out. It’s like an ’80s mix tape, with some hip-hop and electronic influences,” Lewis said. “I wanted to make a record where every song sounds like it could be on the radio, but my radio. 2000-’80s Blake radio is what I call it." Lewis became known for his hip-hop influenced performances on American Idol, which included beat-boxing during his verses. The album features production by Ryan “Alias” Tedder, JR Rotem, and Sam Watters. Here’s the tracklisting for the album: 1. Silence Is Golden… (Intro) 2. Break Anotha 3. Gots To Get Her (Inspired by "Puttin’ On The Ritz") 4. Know My Name (featuring Lupe Fiasco) 5. How Many Words 6. Surrender 7. Hate 2 Love Her 8. Without You 9. Here’s My Hello 10. What’cha Got 2 Lose? 11. She’s Makin’ Me Lose It 12. Bshorty Grabs Mic! 13. End Of The World 14. 1000 Miles 15. I Got U 16. …I Choose Noise (Outro)
By: Hot Gossip Gal Turns out label mates Trick Daddy and Plies got into it this weekend in MIA. Now I heard Tricks entourage was ready to show Plies entourage some moves..but surprise surprise, they got their ass whooped again…haven’t we been here before? Trick Trick?? I wanna know why they are beefing anyway. Comment your suggestions please.
By: Rizoh Compton rapper, Lil Eazy-E, recently called out Birdman and Lil’ Wayne for being hip-hop phonies. “All this extra fake gangbanging going on is really getting out of hand, Lil Eazy told dubcnn.com. “I’m seeing this n*gga Baby on three songs blooding and Lil Wayne ‘soowooping’ at the awards. Enough is enough. This don’t have nothing to do with them blooding; if they was cripping, I would have the same reaction.” Lil Eazy, son of the late Eazy-E, condemned the New Orleans rappers for mocking a lifestyle which they have no history in. He went as far as calling on the real gangbangers to stand up and speak out against fake gangsters, as if the lifestyle is something to take pride in. “Those of us that are true to this need to stand up and say enough is enough,” lamented Lil Eazy. “I got homies who are in jail fighting for there lives and homies who are RIP behind this thang. And for these fools who are clowning and making a mockery of us, I’m telling you no more.” He also blamed the phonies for the west coast’s lack of success in recent times, saying, “This is part of the problem as to why the West is not winning right now. These n*ggas have taking our style and way of life and destroying it. Well I have had enough. For every action there is a reaction.” Sounds like a cry for attention?
By: Rizoh Fresh off his performance in Smokin’ Aces and American Gangster, Common may be warming up for yet another movie role. Unconfirmed reports from multiple sources indicate that the Chi-Town MC has been tapped to play The Green Lantern in an upcoming Justice League film. One thing is certain for now: Common has partnered with Lincoln to sell the 2008 Lincoln Navigator. The promotion is part of the company’s new marketing effort, which will feature Common in next year’s ad campaign. The first of the ads, dubbed “Common,” will make its national debut on November 25 during NFL Sunday Night Football on NBC.
Apparently Def Jam has insisted Nas stay in the US to promote his new album entitled "Nigger" New Tour Dates: Friday April 25 – Brisbane Tuesday April 29 – Adelaide Wednesday April 30 – Sydney Thursday May 1 – Melbourne Friday May 2 – Wellington Saturday May 3 – Auckland
By: Hot Gossip Gal KeyshiaToo Big for Her Dressing Room Now I have never been a fan to be honest..but I am hearing that Keyshia is really becoming lazy when performing, even die hard fans are saying that she was a mess on stage in Atlanta last night when she hit the stage for the R Kelly show…maybe being on Jeezy’s home turf had something to do with that. All this after she had refused to hit the stage the previous night ..something to do with thinking she was a bigger star than Ne yo who was the act after her and before R Kelly. It was also whispered that she wasn’t feeling the size of the dressing room she was allocated either…oh PLEASE.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno It was several years ago when producer 9th Wonder stepped onto the scene as the man behind the sound of Little Brother. They released the critically-acclaimed album “The Listening”, with a co-sign from Roots drummer ?uestlove. Because of the praise the album consistently received, 9th was recruited by a bevy of artists to make beats ranging from Masta Ace and Boot Camp Clik to Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige. After Little Brother’s 2005 album, “The Minstrel Show”, dropped 9th Wonder and Little Brother parted ways. The producer went on to produce entire albums with MURS and Buckshot and various joints with his Justus League collective. Although 9th is no longer fielding questions about the breakup with Little Brother, he’s cultivating a solo career that’s bound to be just as successful, and maybe even more so, than his time with the group. His new album, “Dream Merchant, Vol. 2”, is set to drop this fall and is entirely produced by 9th with guest appearances from Mos Def, Boot Camp Clik, Jean Grae, Memphis Bleek, Royce the 5’9”, Camp Lo and a host of others. We caught up with 9th to talk about the new album, the state of hip-hop and if he will ever remix another entire album. What does the album name, Dream Merchant, mean to you? Well, my career has been a big dream, so far. The albums I’ve been on the friends I’ve made. It’s all been a fairytale. I just talked to MC Lyte the other day. You know, I’m a big fan, but we were talking about possibly working on some music, which is crazy! So a Dream Merchant is just having dreams, ya know? How long did it take to put this album together? About two years. How did you find Camp Lo? They frequent this area a lot. I live in the Raleigh-Durham area and they come through a lot. We had a mutual friend named Ski, who produced a lot of classic Camp Lo, is from Greensboro, North Carolina. He produced almost all of Uptown Saturday Night. But it’s crazy that I hooked up with them, it’s nuts! So are you still using Fruity Loops? Yup. It’s been working great for me. It might not work great for anybody else. That Mary J Blige joint I did on that Grammy Award-winning album was a Fruity Loops beat. I’m scoring The Boondocks Season 2 and those are Fruity Loops beats. I don’t know what else I got to do. You know, you’re inspiring a lot of people by making fresh hip-hop with the Fruity Loops system. That’s kind of crazy. The biggest thing about Fruity Loops man is that I can make a kid that’s 14 or 15 years old sit in his room and do something creative. That’s the biggest thing for me. And if I can make a kid do that, I’m all for it man. I rather take a program, and influence a kid than do anything else. Have you ever tried any other software like Reason, Cubase, Cakewalk or anything like that? Nah. I’ve heard of it all. There’s so many but to me it’s all about the end result. That’s all I care about. As of late, hip-hop lyrics have been taking a pounding in the media, what’s your take on violence/misogyny in hip-hop? For me, it’s all in moderation. I don’t care what era of music you’re talking about, especially music from the 70’s. I got a lot of Mille Jackson records and a lot of records from the 70’s talk about the same things hip-hop is talking about now. Superfly, although it was a soulful record was an album about a pimp. That’s probably the best soundtrack ever made, but it was an album about a pimp. And cocaine. And women. And drugs. I think the media, a lot of times just don’t understand the rebellious nature of music. You always sound like the old geezer dude that’s mad at the younger generation. I don’t care how you dress it up, you sound like your time is gone, and you’re mad that your time is gone and you want to harp on the next generation about whatever. Not to say that I don’t harp on the next generation, but it’s not their fault, they’re babies. I harp on the media and these media outlets who don’t turn the next generation on to something else. They just give them the same stuff, over and over and over. My problem is the balance, my problem is not the fact that the kids want to do the snap dance. That’s not my problem. I mean, when Luke was on the scene, I’d dance to Luke Skyywalker records for hours! So I can’t get mad at kid who wants to do the snap dance. I did the Humpty Dance, the Roger Rabbit, the Cabbage Patch, the Smurf, the Running Man, the Typewriter, any dance that looks like a buffoon dance to an adult back in the early 90’s, that’s the same way we feel about kids. Some of us are like, ‘that Snap dance is stupid,’ and Humpty Dance wasn’t? I’m not so mad at the kids, and it’s up to us as adults to preserve the hip-hop we grew up on and make that important to us. And if we make it important to us, it will become important to our children, we’ll be able to pass the torch. But it just doesn’t help when you have a 34-year old man in the club snap dancing. I mean, the whole profanity in music, that ain’t going away man. It’s always been a part of free expression. We set up the rules way back when we made the constitution. We set up that rule, now everyone wants a waiver for that rule with what you can’t say and can say. But again, it’s all the media’s fault, it’s not the artists’ fault. The media wants to play it, they’ll say “Aww, you’re killin’ our kids,’ but they signed the artists that talk like that. I don’t want to talk too much, you’ll get me starting to talk about illuminati and all that! Okay, as a producer who produces for a variety of artists is there a line emcees can’t cross when they’re spitting over one of your beats? I don’t want anybody talking about killing children. No kids. Yeah, no kids or killin’ your momma, can’t talk about that. You can talk about sex, but you can’t be too sexually explicit. You got the braggadocio rappers that wanna be super sexually, but that’s the reason why I have two albums. I have the Dream Merchant, Vol. 2, there’s a lot of cursing on there and it’s really not a record you can listen to as a hip-hop parent. This is the first time in our musical history that we have hip-hop parents. I’m 32 years old and I’m a first generation hip-hop hopper. I was fortunate enough to witness the glory and golden years of hip-hop music. But now I have kids and I have to specifically choose the records that I listen to now because I got my kids in the backseat. With that being the case, Dream Merchant is record that you need to listen to when you’re alone. The album I have coming out on Asylum, which is titled The Wonder Years, is more of an R&Bish hip-hop type record, is a record you can listen to with your kids. There’s a difference, it’s not a “Kidz Bop” CD, but it’s just a record you can listen to with your children in the back seat. Another record you can listen to with your children in the backseat is the new Common album. We’re just entering the age where we need to start separating Adult Contemporary Hip-Hop. There’s adult hip-hop and there’s kids hip-hop, where adult hip-hop isn’t music for children. That’s what it is, I make music for adults. If a kid wants to listen to it fine. I don’t think when Cameo, Gap Band and the Commodores and those musicians from the late 70’s and early 80’s, I don’t think they were making music for 7-year olds. My 5-year old loves Cameo though. Mine does too! But at the time they were making it, they weren’t making it for kids. My 7-year old knows Cameo songs because I play them. I’m talking about in 1983, their fan base was their peers and cats a little bit younger than them. I don’t think their fan base was 5-year old children. Some of these rappers coming out, their fan base is 5-year old kids, which disturbs me. They’re like 29 and “I got to do something 6-year olds will like!” And I’m like, “You do!? Really!?” I don’t get that. When LL Cool J did “Around the Way Girl”, he was talking about folks 16 and up. He wasn’t talking about no 5-year old kids. And that’s where we’re getting it confused. We have to start separating it as adult hip-hop past and present. Kweli’s “Eardrum” is an adult hip-hop record. Kids can pick it up, they may appreciate it and maybe learn something from it, but Kweli is talking to us. The subject matter is pointed to us and what we need to do as adults. Then you have MIMS, “This is Why I’m Hot.” It’s a hot record, but it’s hot for my nephew. Or “My Lip Gloss is poppin’, my lip gloss is cool.” Man, that’s bangin’ at the elementary schools and that’s where it needs to bang! I don’t want to hear that when I’m out with the boys! A bunch of late 20’s and 30 year old dudes with nice shirts on walking around, “My lip gloss is poppin’”? That’s not cool, man! That’s like watching 30 year olds doing the snap dance, or doing the Superman Soulja Boy dance. Now when my nephews do it, I get a kick out of it. I’m like, “Do the dance for me man, just do the dance.” And they do it. They turn it on, they do the dance and I get my laugh on and I love it! But I don’t want to see one of my closest friends do it! They need to stop that, or get clowned on. So have you retired from the doing the remix album stuff like “God’s Stepson”? I would say….. yeah. When I did God’s Stepson, I never thought that it was going to make the noise that it made. It made unbelievable noise. I went to Japan man and kids over there had it. That’s when I knew and understood the power of the internet. I don’t think people understand the power of the internet, when you used to have to drive over people’s house to hear a song. “Hey man, I got the ‘Brooklyn Zoo (Lord Digga remix)’, I’m the only that got it in a 30-mile radius.’ So you and your boys jump in your car and drive all this way to hear the Lord Digga remix of “Brooklyn Zoo”, when it’s a dub he got off of WBLS in New York. And he’s the only that got it! And you would listen to it over and over and over again. You were, I was, there was always a neighborhood kid that had music no one had. When I was in college, there was a kid who had the “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” remix. He was like the kid in elementary school that came to school with Prince Adam, like “Where did you find that?” I got He-Man, I don’t have Prince Adam! Where’d you get that? But now, everybody, children and the internet and IPODs, there is no turn-on factor. There is no, “I’m going my man’s house to get the new…” or “My man’s dorm room to get the new…” or “I got to stop and get some Fuji tapes because I’m going to my boy’s crib because he has ‘The Main Ingredient’ by Pete Rock and CL Smooth and I need to get a dub of it.” You would stay over there for hours and everybody would get a dub. That’s what has been taken away from hip-hop, the turn-on factor. So when I did God’s Stepson, I saw the power of the internet and it went across the world in a mater of 5 minutes. It’s crazy how I can do a song right now and send to some kid in Japan right now, and he’d have it in a matter of seconds. That’s kind of crazy to believe that can happen. That happened with God’s Stepson and I never thought that me doing that would start this craze remix phenomena of remixing full albums. A lot of people thought I did that just to get out there, but the truth is I was tired of Nas spitting over the beats he was spitting over. With the exception of “2nd Childhood,” “”Nas is Like,” actually all his Primo records and the Large Pro records like “You’re Da Man”, “Made U Look” and a couple of Alchemist records, I think we can all attest to that not since “I Am”, we haven’t been happy. Nas thinks that everybody wants him to go back to “Illmatic”, but we don’t want him to go back to the subject matter, it’s the beats bro! Can we get those back? So no remix albums from you? I think because of “God’s Stepson” and the remix craze, they’re not going to put out anymore acapella records. They’re not going to do it. Because I’ve been waiting for an acapella record of “Hip-Hop Is Dead.” I have been waiting for one. Because they know as soon as I get one, I’d have that thing remixed in three days. And I think they know it! What other upcoming projects? Like another Buckshot album, or MURS album? I’m still going to do records as far as, when it comes to whole albums like that. I’m still going do that. I did another Buckshot record called “The Formula” and I did another MURS album called “Sweet Lord” both are done. I did a joint for Erykah Badu on her new album called “Small World.” And I have artists myself that’ll be showcased on Dream Merchant and The Wonder Years, one of them is an R&B artist by Tyler Woods and that’s an artist I want everybody to look for. It’s R&B with bottom. I’m used to the Jodeci R&B… Wow… you aren’t the only one. You know what man, I am so tired of not being able to listen to R&B artists in my car and feel comfortable. Like I pull up beside some people man and I just can’t bump Chris Brown and feel comfortable. There was R&B that used to make you feel like a man. The last R&B album that made me feel like a man was the first Carl Thomas record. And there really hasn’t been anything since. Not to say that people don’t make good R&B. But I just can’t wait for everybody to hear Tyler Woods. I think everyone is going to say thank you! How does it feel to be a solo artist now? I’m cool. It’s kind of like starting over again. In the last year or so I understand what it takes to make your music acceptable to the people you want to make it acceptable to. Being the fact that I’m a hip-hop parent, I have to now examine how hip-hop parents buy music. Where we go to get music, how we receive music, who turn us on to the music? And one thing we don’t do, the majority of females our age don’t read XXL, they don’t read The Source, they don’t read Scratch, they don’t read Spin, they don’t read URB, they don’t read these magazines. It’s not a diss to those magazines, it’s the flatout truth. When you’re a mommy in your 30’s or late 20’s, you’re a mommy and a wife and you have a job; you just don’t have the time to indulge yourself in that hip-hop arena. All you read is Essence or O Magazine. On a general basis, I’ve seen more women reading “O” than anything, the problem is Oprah is not going to have a rapper in her magazine. You got to find the good place, with me being a 32 year old man doing the type of hip-hop that I do, I kind of got to find a good place and medium to put my music. It may take some process of elimination but I think I got it down. I think with the Common album, whoever was marketing that Common album said “Let’s put the album in Starbucks,” man, that’s the best thing they ever could do. Not to say he’s a coffee shop artist, that means that’s where his demographic goes, they go to Starbucks first. When they did that I was like finally somebody gets it. I want to do the same thing. All the parties that I do, I do them for 25 years old and up, I don’t play any music past 1997, I don’t play anything earlier than 1980. I try to stay within my age bracket. I do that on purpose trying to create a following for myself. Anyone under 27 that doesn’t know who I am, I really don’t care. At this point, I don’t care, ya know?
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Dopetracks.com, a website that encourages up and coming emcees and producers, has announced its mixtape contest is under-way. Dopetracks.com is looking for the 10 best emcees to connect with the 10 best producers to fly to Los Angeles to make the website’s first mixtape. XM Radio’s Spitkicker Radio has joined in the contest as a partner, and the judging on the best producers and emcees will be handled by MC Lyte, Chali 2na, Wordsworth, and Mistah Fab. The winner of the contest will also get to work in the studio with the rappers when they make their trip to Los Angeles. "We always loved the idea of a mixtape, but we wanted to do something a little different from the traditional format because our site is really focused on collaborations," said Kevin Cohen, Dopetracks’ President. "Instead of compiling completed songs from individuals, we will bring together the top producers and emcees to create original songs for a mixtape. It’s great that some known hip-hop artists and media outlets have recognized what we’re trying to do and are willing to lend us some of their expertise". You have until November 21 to submit your work, with winners being announced on December 3. For more info, CLICK HERE
iHipHop Blog Team