By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Even though Jennifer Hudson has been getting most of the “Dreamgirls” attention, Beyonce is holding her own on the music side and just scored the cover of Sports Illustrated 2007 Swimsuit Issue. Beyonce is the first non-athlete or non-model to be featured on the cover of the magazine’s swimsuit issue. Beyonce is sporting a yellow and pink bikini designed by her and her mother for there House Dereon clothing line. For the spread, Beyonce modeled on a Florida beach. In addition to Beyonce, the issue also features a Tyra Banks spread, which will probably be her last, sporting the same bikini she wore ten years ago when she graced the cover of the swimsuit issue. She was the first Black woman to appear on the cover of SI’s swimsuit issue. "I was about 140 pounds on that cover … and I’m 161 now," the 5-foot-10 TV host told The Associated Press.. "I’d say I looked like a stripper when I put it on." To take a look at pictures, including Beyonce’s 37-photo spread, visit SPORTSILLUSTRATED.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Well when a movie budget doesn’t allow a star or should I say Diva like Ms. Carey to travel first class while shooting her new movie, Tennessee, what does the gal go and do? She buys out the whole coach section of the plane just to ensure privacy. Personally I don’t see the logic in that as she could have probably rented a private plane cheaper or even just bought herself a ticket in first class. But hey nothing should surprise us when it comes to MiMi
By: Rizoh She’s known for singing sad songs, but Toni Braxton is chanting a happy tune right now. The Grammy-winning songstress has finally excruciated herself from the tentacles of Blackground Records and her former manager, Barry Hankerson. According to a statement released yesterday, Braxton is no longer obligated to Hankerson or to Blackground. She’s now a free agent. Her trial lawyer, Peter L. Haviland said that the settlement allows Ms. Braxton immediately to start new projects of her choice. "She wanted to end her relationship with Blackground and Barry Hankerson, and she has. Money has never been what motivates her. Integrity — artistic and personal – does," said Haviland. "My freedom from Barry Hankerson is priceless, and means everything to me," Toni added. As previously reported on ihiphop.com, Braxton filed a lawsuit against Hankerson claiming that he actively sought to destroy her relationship with Arista through underhanded ‘double-talk.’ According to the lawsuit filed in January, Hankerson was telling Braxton that Arista was not interested in working with her anymore, while telling Arista that Braxton no longer wanted to record for Arista. After leaving Arista Records in 2003, Toni Braxton went on to sign a multi-record deal with Blackground Records, where she recorded only one album. Mr. Hankerson attempted to lure her back to Blackground by sending her an advance in December of 2006 to record a second Blackground album. Braxton turned down the offer, and chose to return the advance rather than stay with Blackground. Her new settlement agreement terminates any remaining contractual obligations to Mr. Hankerson or to Blackground.
By: Rizoh If you’ve never been interested in the Russel Simmons-championed "Get Your Money Right" financial empowerment tour, maybe this will get your attention. Free, the bootyful VJ that once hosted BET’s 106 & Park will be joining the “Get Your Money Right” tour of 2007 as a moderator. Free will help with panel discussion at each Hip-Hop Summit Action tour this year. "I am extremely excited and honored to be a part of this year’s HSAN movement," said Free."I applaud Russell Simmons, Dr. Benjamin Chavis and HSAN for historically and consistently focusing their energies on the pulse of our social issues. I know what some of you are thinking…’ What exactly is financial literacy? How and where do you get it?’ More important, ‘How do you keep it?’ Well, in our communities across the nation, the misunderstanding of what exactly Financial Empowerment can and should mean, continues. We shall set out to inform our audiences (YOU) at these Summits about becoming ‘financially literate’ and remaining ‘financially sound’. P.S. Real Talk y’all…I’m coming to learn, too, so let’s get empowered TOGETHER!See you there!" Mark your calendars. The 2007 tour will make seven stops including Houston, Texas, March 3; Detroit, Mich., April 14; Toronto, Ontario, August; Greensboro, N.C., September 8; Washington, D.C., September 29; Miami, Fla., October 20 and Atlanta, Ga., November 3. It looks like someone’s trying to stage a big comeback. Hey, we’re not complaining.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Are these two getting divorced or what? I know I talked about Kimora with her tongue down some other chicks throat last week, but her and Russell still look like they belong together. Although I suppose if they faked it for as long as people assume they really did, smiling in front of the camera and looking the perfect couple might just be a ‘hard habit to break.’
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno BET and VH1 announced that they will join forces to produce a one-hour pilot for a drama called “Wifey”, written by Michael Elliott. The pilot will be directed by BET President of Entertainment, Reginald Hudlin (“House Party”). The show will be centered on a newly widowed wife of a hip-hop mogul who must put her life back together and try to run her late husband’s record label, similar to real life widowed wife, Tomica Wright, who ran Ruthless Records after her husband, Eazy E died of AIDS in 1995. After the “wifey” starts getting in the mix of the business, she realizes that the family’s fortunes were made from lies and crimes that threaten to destroy their music empire. So she and a couple of friends get together to try and make splash in today’s male-centric hip-hop world. Queen Latifah is on board as executive producer along with Shakim Compere and Dedra Tate for Flavor Unit, Michael Hirschorn and Maggie Malina for VH1, and Hudlin and Byron Phillips for BET. “I’ve always wanted to do a series like this. My first business was the music business, so doing this show with the networks VH1 and BET about the music industry is exciting for me and my partner Shakim,” Latifah said. “It’s going to be a fun show.” BET also announced that it has partnered with Verizon Wireless and its V Cast technology to provide content for mobile phones. BET’s V Cast channel, which is now available, will include interviews from 106 & Park, clips from American Gangster, College Hill, Comic View and other content from BET’s music specials and news programs. "Mobile video distribution is an integral part of our overall digital media strategy as our research clearly indicates that African Americans are both leading consumers of, and have the most enthusiasm for, mobile media," said Debra Lee, chairman and chief executive officer of BET Networks. "I’m very excited about our relationship with Verizon Wireless, as I believe our audience’s unique demand for mobile content, and our network’s content in particular will allow BET to have an outsized impact on mobile media consumption."
By: Rizoh Mark your calendar. From Nothin’ to Somethin’, the latest album from Fabolous is now set for release on March 27. The first single is "Diamonds" which features Young Jeezy has been making rounds on radio stations across the nation. Other guest artists on the album include: Timbaland, Ne-Yo, and Jazze Pha . From Nothin’ to Somethin’ is Fabolous’ first album since 2004’s Real Talk. Before being scooped up by Def Jam, Fab was previously signed to Elektra and Atlantic.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Ok I have mad love for one of the most highly respected females in the game, Queen Latifah and I am giving her even more props now that she said she wants to adopt 18 kids, but rather than going to foreign lands to find children up for adoption, she would rather help those here in the US that have no-one to take care of them. Hail the Queen.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Vanilla Ice has teamed up with Turbo Tax for a Tax Rap contest where a “rapper” with the best rap about taxes can walk away with $25,000. Vanilla Ice will choose the winners, including first place, who will get $5,000 and 3rd place who will get $1,000. The top five viewer choice rappers will get a cubic zirconium piece of jewelry and all entrants will get free TurboTax software. They’re looking for video raps of two minutes or less with entries received by March 30. You can’t rhyme over someone else’s beat and it has to be completely original music or acapella. No curses, no thug stories, violence or nudity is allowed. Starting on March 31, visitors to the site will vote for their favorite rap videos and on April 8, the top 13 vote getters will be finalists. Vanilla Ice will judge the top 13 based on relevance to tax theme, creativity and entertainment value and select a grand prize winner. To submit your video, visitTAXRAP.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Pharoahe Monch has been ripping mics for over 15 years, first as part of lauded hip-hop crew, Organized Konfusion, and then as a franchise solo artist on Rawkus Records. He released his debut album, Internal Affairs, in 1999 and followed that with a national and world tour in 2000 and 2001 as part of the Spitckickers. But then Monch disappeared. His label, Rawkus Records merged with MCA Records which subsequently folded, having most of its artists end up on Geffen Records. The label politics stalled any follow-up albums that Monch was planning. Although he was hard to find, Monch appeared in spurts by doing songs with Mos Def and Nate Dogg (“Oh No”), Styles P (“Life”), and recording his own singles (“Agent Orange”). He even managed to stay in the news with rumors of him signing with Shady/Aftermath Records. Last year Monch finally secured a deal with SRC/Universal Records and plans on dropping his long-awaited sophomore album, Desire, in March. HiphopCrack.com caught up with Monch to get the official word on his hiatus, the new album, and his controversial video for “Guns Draw.” What should people expect from the new album, Desire? Production-wise, we got Mr. Porter, Denuan Porter, The Alchemist, Lee Stone, Black Milk and I produced three cuts myself. And I just think, to describe it it’s real soulfully based, funk, political record. Are you singing on it at all? Definitely. Some of the music, which I think people will get when they listen to it in terms of why vocals are placed where and how it moved me. When did the singing start to play a part in your creative process? I did some for Internal Affairs and when I did, I pulled it off the record because it didn’t fit. It’s something that was always there. When you listen to the “My Life” record with Styles P or the history of the Organized Konfusion stuff, like “Black Sunday”, a lot of the stuff on the Equinox album, even on the “Oh No” record with Nate Dogg and Mos Def, I incorporated a lot of vocals like that. The video for “Gun Draws” isn’t censored for television and instead you released over the internet. Why did you decide to go that route instead of shooting for MTV or BET? I really can’t answer that question in terms of why it would have made the video better. I think things of that nature is why artists like myself who haven’t even gone Gold before, and keeps a certain edge or a certain integrity is why I have a valid place in the market place. But the response has been just incredible, I don’t know how much these stations would have played it and I don’t know if would be getting to people in Sweden and the U.K., if that makes any sense. The violence is actually needed as a ‘going in the complete opposite direction’. People have been desensitized to it and I needed to shock them to get my overall message across. I needed to do it how I wanted to do it, such a would be script writer, that I wanted to do it in that style anyway. The song itself is reminiscent of “Stray Bullet” off of the Organized Konfusion album, Stress: The Extinction Agenda that you dropped in 1994. Why did you decide to broach the topic again? Yeah, I was calling it a Part 2, but it’s more like a spinoff. But because I know it would be a challenge to do that, and people don’t usually do that in hip-hop. I want to stay out of the box and stay doing what people don’t expect you to do. And it was a big challenge for me because “Stray Bullet” was really respected. So what have you been up to since Internal Affairs dropped in 1999 until now? Why so long for a new album? The main thing, the hiatus was because of label politics and working on getting off of the label, the Geffen situation. That was the biggest reason for the hiatus. But mostly I went on tour, got a publishing deal, write records, produced records. I wrote two songs on the Diddy album and tried to stay busy here and there. But most of it really, was just enjoying my time off and not being involved in the hypocrisy and the BS, to be quite honest with you. It felt good, but its back to work now. There were rumors you were signing to Aftermath/Shady Records, was that deal close to being done? Definitely. The contracts were in the bag, but due to a lot of label overrides and what have you, it didn’t go over well in terms of the transfer of me going over from Geffen to Shady. Did you get to record at all with the Shady Records crew? Yeah, all of the Mr. Porter stuff on my album was going to be a part of that project, definitely. Are you still down with the Spitkicker crew and planning on any tours? Yeah, definitely. Funny you should ask, I just met with Kweli’s manager last night. And we were going over some tour dates for this Spring. Of course, everytime there is an interview with you; everybody wants to know if there will ever be an Organized Konfusion reunion. Will there be? And the answer to the questions is……. Who knows what the future holds! Do you still talk to Prince Po, O.C. and them cats? Yeah. And I just spoke to O.C. a week ago. The hot topic for this season right now is the statement, “Hip-Hop is dead”. What’s your take on the whole situation? It’s obviously not dead, and I don’t think it was meant to be literal. There are definitely aspects that hold true in terms of culturally and the different things that were implemented and aspects of hip-hop that are missing. But for the most part, what does Nas call the brand of music that he’s putting out? And what do I call the brand of music that I’m putting out? You know what I mean? So by virtue of that, I understand the statement but I don’t take it literally. Who do you think is upholding the standards of hip-hop right now? The one album that I’m blown away by now, is the Georgia Anne Muldrow album. She’s a jazz balladeer singing over Jay Dee, Sa-Ra and her own production. Do you have a mixtape or anything coming to holds people over until the album drops? The mixtape is out now, called the Awakening and you can get it from Clinton Sparks.com. What’s the next single and video? “Desire”, the title cut produced by The Alchemist. But the next video I;m going to do is going to similar to Gun Draws, kind of that feel. I also did a remake of Public Enemy’s “Welcome to the Terrordome” so I might do a clip for that. Why did you name the album Desire? Because that’s what I had to have to get through the industry BS. It was just the desire to continue through all the politics in the industry and the waiting and everything that goes on as well as a lot of everyday life stuff, that’s why I chose that title. Did you ever feel like throwing the towel in on this rap stuff? Never that. I think it’s apparent for the most part, and I think it will be apparent by virtue of why I waited so long to uphold integrity and just be patient shows that it’s not about… I could have put things out here and there but I didn’t. It’s not about king of New York or the commercialization, it’s something that I really love to do. If I didn’t love it so much, then I wouldn’t have a waited so long. I would have put my own records out. So what do you hope people get from this album? It’s really layered man, it’s like one of them records that implements itself and something you can buy into. I think you’re going to want to get the t-shirt and involve yourself in the whole vibe. I think it’s just not a good album that you listen to and you’re like “Yeah, that album is good, I like number 14, 8 and number 7” I think people will learn the titles, and I think when you go on a road trip, you’re definitely going to be like “Don’t let me forget my Pharoahe CD…” That’s about it. Anything else you wanted to mention? Just thanks to the fans for being patient. I know I’ve been stalling and pushing the dates back, but it’s for a good reason. I think they’re going to appreciate the record.
By: Rizoh Busta Rhymes has added fuel to the fire that engulfed the one year death anniversary of his bodyguard, Israel Ramirez. Last week, we told you about Ramirez’s outcry on Busta’s failure to cooperate with iinvestigators on the murder mystery. Well, Rhymes now says he feels no guilt over the shooting of his bodyguard. "It doesn’t hurt me (what the family say) because I don’t live with guilt,” Busta told MTV News recently. I didn’t do nothing. I didn’t contribute to that negative (in any) shape or form.” He added, "What I did, I offered my man an opportunity to make money to provide food on the table for his family. We were in a work environment which was supposed to be a controlled environment, a place where we were supposed to be productive. We had children on the set. The environment was a completely positive environment." "As far as certain family members feeling a certain way about me, I can never hold that against them because everybody gotta deal with tragedy in their own way. Especially when it’s direct personal tragedy. All I can do is try to be the greatest support system I could be despite how they want to use me as a punching bag. I’m cool with that." In February 2006, Ramirez was gunned down on the set of Busta’s “Touch It” music video.
By:Hot Gossip Gal It was like a scene from a western movie I heard at the Universal Music Party in LA over the Grammy weekend. 50 and head honcho of the Inc (formerly Murder Inc for all y’all who have forgotten about the label..it has been a while since they were right on time with anything), Irv Gotti. The two went stare for stare at the party but from what my boy in L.A told me, Gotti fluttered his lashes first and hastily left the event. Now we all know there is no love lost between the two factions..but a classic staring down is a little different to what Fif is going through with Cam.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation is looking for young film makers to submit their films as part of the 1st Semi-Annual Tupac Amaru Shakur Film Screening on March 10. The foundation is asking for film students to submit films 90 minutes or less with a PG-13 or lower rating for the “Selective Choice” film section of the event. The winner of the contest will have their film screened for an audience and have an opportunity to speak about their film after the showing. In addition, the event will also host a screening of “The Hip-Hop Project”, a documentary produced by Bruce Willis and Queen Latifah. The film follows Kazi, a former homeless teenager, who inspires a group of New York teenagers to use hip-hop to tell their life stories. The film was well-received last year at the Tribeca Film Festival. Other films, released and unreleased will also be shown as the screening event. For more information, check out TASF.
By: Hot Gossip Gal OK here is the inside scoop on what really went down at the Grammy’s. New porn star Kim Kardashian hosted the Complex party where word on the street is, her ex leading man, Ray J was thrown out of the event. Hmmmm wonder what that was? She is now saying that she will fight the sex tapes featuring her that Ray J released. However former lover Nick Cannon was allowed to stay as he was working the turntables at the jamboree. The event was s stop for the Hilton sisters, John Legend and Ashlee Simpson. Bobby and Whitney were seen dining together before the event without any frequent trips to the bathroom or the parking lot. Pleased to see they can be friends for the sake of their daughter Bobbi, although Whitney has asked for the couples divorce to be speeded up. The parties were certainly popping in Tinsel Town. Jada and Will hosted a party for Mary J Blige, of course the Clive Davis party just gets better every year, although I still think the one where Jamie Foxx joined Alicia Keys and Angie Stone on stage was the best ever. XM had a party, People had a party and for any party hopper who knows. Grammy night is the best night to be out and about. Beyonce was a lil hoity toity on the red carpet this year as she declined to give autographs..maybe she hadn’t had time to let her nails dry who knows, but one fan who had been waiting to catch a glimpse of their fave Dream Girl and nab an autograph expressed their disgust at B. Shouting at the Child of Destiny about how she had waited for hours to get her to sign an autograph, B succumbed and signed her name away for the avid fan.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno In the spirit of Talib Kweli and Madlib giving away their project, Liberation, for free, Little Brother and Mick Boogie are giving away their project, And Justus For All. The album (or mixtape), feature mostly original content from producers Khrysis, Focus, the Kickdrums, Nottz, Oddisee, Babu and RJD2 as well as guest appearances from Talib Kweli, Ray Cash, Kardinal Offishall, Rhymefest, Skillz and Bishop Lamont. But why for free? “It’s Christmas in February, Lol…” Boogie told HipHopCrack. “It’s about the music…not about the money.Just wanted to give back to the fans who have supported myself and Little brother over the years.” Fans can download the album for free atHALL OF JUSTUSor SENDSPACE. Here’s the tracklisting of the project: 1) Big Pooh: Intro (Poobie’s Song) 2) Little Brother and Chaundon: Can’t Stop Us (Produced by Young Cee) 3) Little Brother and Oddisee: Delusional (Produced by Oddisee) 4) Interlude: The Purpose Of Mixtapes 5) Little Brother and Skillz: Life of the Party Remix (Produced by Nottz) 6) Little Brother f/ Legacy: Best Kept Secret (Produced by RJD2) 7) Interlude: Wack Freestyles Little Brother f/ Rhymefest and Supastition: Do It To Death (Produced by Focus) 9) Phonte and Von Pea: A Word From Our Sponsors (Produced by Khrysis) 10) Interlude: The Justus League Crew 11) Phonte: Last Day 12) Little Brother: Never Leave (Produced by The Kickdrums) 13) Interlude: Mick Boogie, The A&R 14) Big Pooh f/ Ray Cash: Bring It On 15) Big Pooh, Bishop Lamont and Jozeemo: Without You 16) Interlude: Myspace Etiquette Part 1 17) Little Brother: The Pressure (Produced by Khrysis) 18) Little Brother and Joe Scudda: Fan Mail (Produced by Babu) 19) Interlude: Favorite Duos 20) Little Brother, Mos Def and Talib Kweli: Let It Go (Blackstar Version) (Produced by 9th Wonder) 21) Big Pooh and O-Dash: One Eleven 22) Interlude: Myspace Etiquette Part 2 23) Little Brother f/ Kardinal Offishall: Cross That Line Remix (Produced by 9th Wonder) 24) Little Brother f/ Cormega: Back At It (Khrysis Remix) 25) Little Brother f/ AZ: Rise And Fall (Produced by J. Cardim and Phonte) 26) Little Brother f/ Talib Kweli: Grown Man (Produced by Midi Mafia) 27) Little Brother: Outrolude
iHipHop Blog Team