By Quibian Salazar-Moreno It’s been five years since we last heard from Kelly Rowland as a solo artist. Her debut album, Simply Deep, only went Gold, which isn’t too good compared to Beyonce’s 4x platinum debut album, Dangerously in Love. This time Kelly is probably hoping to at least match what Beyonce is doing by dropping her new album, Ms. Kelly, on June 26. "I have put my heart and soul into this record," she said. "I am excited that everyone will hear it. I am completely exposed. It’s the real me." The first single, “Like This”, featuring Eve will hit radio and video at the end of the month followed by the second single, “Ghetto” featuring Snoop Dogg, hitting around the time the album drops.
By: Rainier Garcia AKA R Tha BlockStaR HHC: How’s it feel, to finally be up on MTV, BET and all that? Big Rich: It feels good man, the hard work is paying off and it feels accomplished. But there’s still a lot more work to do, a lot more work to do. HHC: How Do you feel about the Bay Area Hip Hop Scene Right Now? Big Rich: I think its definitely long overdue, there’s more work to do though, I came out, 40 (E-40) dropped, Mistah Fab, Keak Da Sneak, and them to drop. We need the support, we need the unity, not no problems and shit, going on, that’s not gonna help this movement. I think I’m bringing something new to the movement, especially with my style not necessarily be Hyphy, which is showing the country that “well, there’s more out there than Hyphy” that’s a good look, more work to do, but I’m 100% down with the movement, I’m on of the front runners, I’m definitely wit it, cuz its’ bringing the spotlight to this area, but we gotta keep pushing. HHC: What do you say to all the critics saying that Hyphy is a knock off of Crunk, and that we have no talent, people passing prejudgments on everyone coming out of the Bay etc.? Big Rich: You’re gonna get those stereotypes, but I feel like at the same time, if they talkin’ about you, then you must be doing something right, if its good or bad, I feel I’m definitely bringing that alternative to the “hyphyness” to show the world that there’s more than that, if that’s a problem. Even if it ain’t, music is music, man. Hyphy is more than just music, it’s a culture, it’s a movement. There’s all kinds of different shit that goes on with the Hyphy movement, and I’m just playin’ my part. So I let the critics talk because that’s there job, I think The Bay should continue what they’re doing, and don’t worry about what they say, cuz it ain’t gonna stop us, only if they let it. You know what I’m saying? HHC: What about all these swagger jackers, you know, out here in The Bay, we got our own style, swagger, slang, you know E-40 is the godfather of a lot of this “slanguage” in the rap game these days, what do you feel about all these rappers, not necessarily from the East Coast, or Down South, but just all around in general, who come up with stuff like “poppin’ my collar” and “ya dig?” and all that type of stuff, what do you feel about that? Big Rich: I feel like it went on for long enough. At one point its slathering that mothafuckas is stealin’ your style, but when they continue to steal your style, that becomes an issue, because we was already in a drought, gettin’ no exposure, then you see people takin’ it and you see people buildin’ off what we started, but we’re here to take it back, so its like now, we’re gettin’ the spotlight now, so there’s no reason to let these dudes steal from us anymore, we just gotta keep pushin’. I feel like we can’t complain about nothin’ anymore, we just got more things to do. My record “That’s The Business” wasn’t getting no radio play, when we released it to the radio stations in April. So I hit the streets, and the streets got behind me, and we shot a video, with our own money, and that video made it to 106 and Park, and it made it to Direct Effect on MTV, it made it to MTV Jam of the Week, so instead of complaining, I just worked harder, and I think a lot of other people need to do the same. If we’re behind, we just need to keep pushing. HHC: What made you decide to go with Koch?? Big Rich: I get this question a lot, because Koch is a situation where artists go when they are towards the end of their careers. We got the independent game out here in the bay area, and we know how to do it, so I’d rather get this deal with Koch and my pockets be safe, and when its time to go negotiate with the Warner Bros. and the Atlantic’s, and the Def Jam’s, which is already all calling us right now, our money is set, so we ain’t in no rush for no deal, like I don’t want to sit there and take whatever they throw us cuz we’re desperate, we go in there with our own money, so we got more power, a lot more leverage, and with a name, because when I came out, we beat out Chris Brown, Letoya Luckett, we beat out about five major artists for MTV’s “Jam of the week” so its like if we can do that on Koch, then what we gonna do once we get on a major deal? So it was kind of a way to make the money bigger, once we go and sign with a major. Warner Bros. is looking like a good move right now, but we’re not signing anything until we’re done here over at Koch. HHC: How’d you hook up with J-Hood& Sheek Louch? Big Rich: That was definitely the Koch hook up, going out there to New York back and forth a lot, you know, I got to meet those dudes, and we said we was gonna get down a hook up, but the last time we went out to New York, we were getting ready to wrap the album up, and they showed me love. It was all good. HHC: How was New York’s acceptance to Bay Area artists? Big Rich: They definitely got their perceptions, I mean they definitely don’t take a lot of us seriously, in rap, so I tried to be a proper representation of us and they love it. I’ve been doing interviews with a lot of New York magazines and they were giving me a lot of respect for it. I’m holding down my “Bayness” properly. So we’re gonna keep jamming them in their face. I respect Keak Da Sneak for what he does, I respect Mista Fab for what he does, they definitely represent our culture to the tenth power. Bang them into their head until they feel it. Speaking of that, you’re from the Fillmore District in San Francisco, which was a huge landmark for musicians from back in the day with likes of Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, etc. Fillmore has a lot of artists that are veterans in the game and many young all stars, such as; JT Tha Bigga Figga, Bailey The Champ, Messy Marv, San Quinn, Sky Balla, Ya Boy, yourself of course also, what is it there that breeds so many artists, and so many respected artists? Is it something in the water? Big Rich: Hahaha, it’s the swag, it’s the City. You know Oakland, the culture is totally different and its just fifteen minutes away, right over that bridge, you’re in a whole different area. I think Oakland is more like Down South, country, and we are kind of like East Coast. Like our swagger is just a little bit different, how we walk, talk, and dress. We’re slick talkers, na’mean? So our music comes out that way, and it’s a little bit more lyrical, and we’re just a product of our environment and we hold it down, we’ve been in a drought. This Hyphy movement is definitely an East Bay movement, it originated from the East Bay, so we were just waiting for our time, and my album definitely sets it off for the City to let people know it’s our turn too. HHC: What’s with the Done Deal Family? What’s next for them? Big Rich: They’re definitely doing their thing. I think San Quinn is doing his album, Ya Boy I believe is still affiliated. I’m really not sure what’s coming up next for them, they got a whole new roster out there. We’re still family though, I still talk to them all the time, but right now, we’re kind of on separate pages now. HHC: So you got any promotional tours coming up? Big Rich: We’re hitting up everywhere, we got about 35 shows booked from here to Atlanta, Miami, Midwest, Denver, St. Louis, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, North and South Carolina, everywhere, we gotta sell this cd. HHC: So right now, on MTV Jams all I seem to see pretty much, is Bay Area control. The Frontline had jam of the week, Champ Bailey, has lots of spins, Messy Marv & Guce, Keak Da Sneak, Turf Talk, is MTV Jams put together by certain regions, or is this nationwide? Is this what everyone is seeing by watching MTV Jams? Big Rich: It’s 100% nationwide. We went out there to service the video, and the guys who run it are straight out of New York, MTV offices, it’s definitely nationwide and everywhere, the guys over there are just feeling the movement. They believe in it, and when it pops off the way we want it to, they will definitely be one of the forces that gets us there, because they gave everyone a visual. MTV is the biggest music channel in the world, so they’re helping us you know. HHC: So why’d you hook up with E-40 on this album, since you’ve always been affiliated with San Quinn and the Done Deal Family? Big Rich: When the whole split happened, E-40 took a lot of interest into the album, and he’s real close friends with Charles, the former CEO of Done Deal, and the current CEO of our label, Street Cred. He was really close with him, and he came in as on some A&R shit for us, he was helping me getting this and that, getting’ the music, and as he saw how good my album was sounding so he put his stamp and his name on it and it was really a blessing, he didn’t have to do it, he just felt so good about the project, so he did it. HHC: So in you’re video for “That’s the business” you have E-40 and Mista Fab in it and they come from infamous “rival” record labels Sick Wit It, and Thizz. Streets are talkin’ about some recent beef? How were they both in the same video? Big Rich: Well, them two dudes. It’s some personal shit with the whole Thizz, Sick Wit It issue it’s a real personal family issue. So as far as Fab and E-40, they didn’t cross into that, that’s some internal beef going on with them, like Lil’ Bruce, and Fab stayed out of it. And the whole video in general, all them dudes in front of that green gate, all them niggas was trying to kill each other the day before, literally. We were looking at niggas that was bustin’ guns at each other days before, so that whole video was just unity, it was showing that we can get together and do something positive. They came out and supported and its been peaceful in the hood ever since. HHC: So what’s it going to take for the Bay Area to be in the forefront of hip hop, like the hotness, Houston had it, Atlanta had it, The Bay Area seems like they’re picking it up, and we need to hold on to it. What do we need to do to put our stamp and get the respect from the critics, the fans, and other regions? Big Rich: Consistency, bra. We gotta stay banging them in their heads with this shit. We gotta stay together, I think the music and the talent is going to speak for itself but we gotta maintain momentum. If we fall off and start beefing with each other, it’s not gonna work. What I noticed about Bay Area rappers, there’s a lot of insecure people with their talent, and that’s the number one reason they’re scared to see the next man shine, cuz they feel like its’ less of a chance for them to shine, and that’s crazy, because the more people that come out of the Bay Area and blow up, the better chance all of us got. You want to be the one to bring The Bay back, for what? You ain’t gonna win no awards for that. Be happy for every person, and be confident in yourself that you got what it takes to make it. I’m confident in myself, I knew I couldn’t be overlooked for so long. I just waited my turn, and now I’m getting what’s owed to me. HHC: So to wrap this up, where can they pick up “Block Tested, Hood Approved” album? Big Rich: Well, it’s been selling out everywhere, Koch I believe didn’t expect the buzz and I don’t think Koch really anticipated what would happen, it’s everywhere, local mom and pops, Target, Wal-Mart. I don’t think my product was put in the right area at the right time, but they made all of this happen. Go cop it!
The Trap: Straight From The Streets Every Friday This week features G-Unit’s own Young Buck and Hot Rod Click Here to view
By: Hot Gossip Gal N.O rapper Juvenile is being sued by a bus company in Tennessee for causing nearly $3,000 worth of damage. That must have been some after party on that bus as the company are saying that the bus was totally trashed, unidentified liquid staining the curtains and burn holes in all the upholstery. Don’t these companies get what goes down on tour man? One word….insurance. Ten Years On Lighters up for the most Notorious One today man. RIP Biggie Smalls…gone but never forgotten.
By: Hot Gossip Gal After earning 16.1 million last year Beyonce explained recently that she is embarrassed by her wealth and really doesn’t like flaunting it. You gotta love these humble gals man. And talking of Beyonce, her little sister Solange is getting in on the spotlight in more ways than one. Her new album is set to come out this year and Momma and Poppa Knowles were on hand when she gave fans a taster of what to expect earlier this week in her hometown of Houston at a showcase. Her husband and father of her child, Daniel Smith was no where to be seen as rumor has it, the two are heading for splitsville anyway.
By: Rizoh From Mick Boogie, the brain behind Little Brother’s And Justus for All mix tape and Nas & AZ’s Executive Decision, comes Unbelievable: A Tribute to Biggie. The mix tape, available for download on the web, is hosted by Sean “Diddy” Combs and co-produced with newcomer Terry Urban. Aproject that many criticsare calling "the best Biggie mixtape ever," Unbelievable features original beats and plenty of remixes and blends. Guest features include: The Clipse, Ray Cash, Ness, Prodigy, The Game, and many others. Unbelievable is available for download on mickboogie.
By: Rizoh Suge Knight is at it again. The Death Row chief, who has been battling bankruptcy for awhile, is now considering pulling the plug on his label to seek a new direction with God. According to the New York Post, Suge visited the City of Refuge church in LA, where he heard a message by T.D. Jakes and Noel Jones that inspired his new decision. “They talked about the same thing, and it felt like they were talking straight to me,” Suge told the Post of the sermon he received in L.A. “I don’t want to be tied up with this for years. I want to move on with “We shouldn’t be constantly feeding negative energy to these kids,” he said. “You can get rich with the devil’s money, but you can only be happy with God’s money.” I guess, now that he’s run out of 2Pac CDs to sell, Suge figures it’s time for a change.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Well apparently Marion ‘Suge’ Knight, the same man who has terrified many an industry exec throughout his tenure with his label Death Row Records is giving up the gangsta lifestyle after being influenced by preacher T.D Jakes at the City of refuge in Knights native Compton. "We shouldn’t be constantly feeding negative energy to these kids," Suge said. "You can get rich with the devil’s money, but you can only be happy with God’s money." Ain’t that the truth?
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Joss Stone is already widely known as a singing prodigy within the industry but mainstream success still eludes her. With her new album, Introducing Joss Stone, she hooked up with Raphael Saadiq who produced most of the album. Although the project is short of guests, all she needs is Lauryn Hill and Common to contribute a verse or two. The album was co-written by Stone and will hit stores on March 20 with the first single, “Tell Me Bout It”, already making rotations. "It’s the first album that is truly me," Stone said. "These are my words, and this is who I am as an artist." She’ll be touring in support of the album beginning on April 27 in Mashantucket, Connecticut and will until June 13, ending in Vienna, Virginia. Here’s the current itinerary: 04/27 – Mashantucket, CT – Fosxwoods Resort & Casino 04/30 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory 05/06 – New Orleans, LA – Jazz & Heritage Festival 05/09 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues 05/12 – Alpine, CA – Viejas Concerts in the Park 05/15 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre 05/18 – Portland, OR – McMenamins Crystal Ballroom 05/21 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom 05/24 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre 05/27 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium 05/30 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues 06/02 – Toronto, ON – Kool Haus 06/05 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis 06/08 – New York, NY – Central Park Summerstage 06/11 – Boston, MA – Avalon Ballroom 06/13 – Vienna, VA – The Filene Center
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno You always hear about the horror stories of artists getting screwed over by record labels. Most of the time it’s due to the artists not really paying attention to the contracts that they signed or not having a lawyer go over it thoroughly. But when a record label totally ignores the contract, that’s just straight disrespect! Apparently that’s what indie label Avatar Records did to hip-hop group, Deux Process, but group members Vise Versa and Chief Nek are not having. In a letter that is making it around the internet, Vise Versa gives Avatar Records CEO, Larry Robinson a verbal smackdown. The letter breaks down how advanced money was never received, how producers on the album were never paid, how the artist themselves paid for their own marketing and touring in support of their debut album, In Deux Time, and how distribution of the album only lasted seven months because the label’s distributor dropped them because of bad business practices. Here’s a piece of the letter: “…upon signing with your independent label, Avatar Records, I did not "expect" to become a star overnight, I did not "expect" to receive a massive promotions budget, I did not "expect" to receive radio or video spins, nor did I "expect" to have the clout of a major label machine behind us….I did however "expect" to have the written contract between us honored to the letter, and upon signing and executing it we lived up to every commitment required and "expected" of us. Unfortunately, you, Larry Robinson, and your label, Avatar Records did not live up to ANY of the written obligations "expected" of your company in a contract YOU WROTE, and that was, unfortunately, very "unexpected."” Deux Process says they are owed $15,000 from the label and are asking for the rights of their debut album back. To view the letter in its entirety and to see how Deux Process said they were screwed over, check out COLORADO HIPHOP.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Ok so congats to La La and Carmelo Anthony who had a baby boy yesterday in Colorado. The baby weighed in at 5 pounds nine ounces. Both Momma and child are doing well. Will this mean that the couple who have been together for close to four years now will set the date and make it official? We all know La La is dying to play dress up in a Vera Wang.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Not quite sure what to think about this. I heard, well we all heard and read that 50 Cent reached out to Gillie while he spent more than a week behind bars on drug related offenses last month. But I am hearing that this may just be a PR campaign to try and get some further attention for the rapper who told the world he wrote for Lil Wayne him last year. There have been rumors about 50 signing Gillie for ages now and nothing has come if it and the way things are at G-Unit, I think Curtis is taking his time to work on the artists he has on his roster already than signing more. So i think ‘G Unit Gillie’ may be a little bit premature, regardless of what you may be reading or hearing on the streets.
By: Rizoh An Irish court has summoned Eminem to testify in a court dispute brought about by the cancellation of his 2005 Slane Castle show. Officials at the High Court have issued a request for the rapper to give evidence as part of a legal battle among promoter MCD and its insurance companies. The Michigan emcee cancelled the Sept. 17, 2005, concert as part of the Anger Management tour, citing exhaustion. The 80,000 tickets for the open-air gig had sold out within an hour. Concert promoters MCD are now seeking $2 million compensation from three London-based insurance companies after they refused to pay up after the cancellation of the gig. After this, Em might want to think twice before pulling out of a major show on grounds of exhaustion. Maybe next time he’s burned out, he’ll guzzle a couple of Red Bulls and keep moving.
By: Rizoh In case you’re still sleeping on Nas’ Hip-Hop Is Dead LP, the Queens vet has a wake-up call in the bags for you. Nas teamed up with MTV for a music showcase, “MTV Live” series, slated for broadcast on March 15th. The concert series is being optimized to run across MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Tr3s, MTV.com, as well as on MTV Mobile via Verizon’s Wireless V-CAST. MTV joined forces with Verizon for the new event series which will feature live artist performances each month, recorded in front of a live audience at the Hard Rock Cafe NY in Times Square. You will then be required to pay an arm and a leg in order to watch on your 2-inch cell phone screen. Tracks to be performed by Nas on the series include: “Hip Hop Is Dead,” “Let There Be Light” (with Trey Williams), “Can’t Forget About You” (with Chrisette Michele), “New York State of Mind,” and “Hustlers.”
By: Hot Gossip Gal Well it looks like we may have another lyrical fight escalating between …in the West corner…the ultimate P.I.M.P Snoop Dogg and in the Southern corner, the rapper who may hope to pimp like his Daddy but will never pimp better than his new enemy. Snoop calls out Weezy on his new mixtape Evil Empire. This beef is supposed to have been started when Weezy ran his mouth about Snoops Neptune’s produced joint Drop it Like its Hot. Someone got beef with Snoop..I think Lil Wayne may have bitten off more than he can chew here.
iHipHop Blog Team