By: Rizoh Word on the street is that Redman is on the verge of extricating himself from Def Jam’s shackles. According to some unconfirmed reports, Red is unhappy with the way Def Jam has handled the promotion behind his new album, Red Gone Wild. On a related note, Red is hard at work on Muddy Waters 2 , which he says would be strictly for his core fans and only hoped to produce 50,000 units of the album domestically. Other upcoming Redman projects include: How High 2 (the movie), Blackout 2 (with Method Man), a new Def Squad album, and a Gillahouse compilation. Red Gone Wild: Thee Album is due out on March 27, 2007.
By: Rizoh Snoop Dogg and Sean ‘Diddy‘ Combs, who’re currently on tour together, have labeled themselves “the best heroes for kids” despite having had several run-ins with the law. The two maintain that youngsters can learn from their collective life experiences, both good and bad, according to teenhollywood.com. “I think we are the best heroes for kids,” Snoop said recently. “We’ve been through everything in music and in life. We give kids the best example to deal with everything.” Diddy chips in, “A lot of role models have not been through trials and tribulations. You got to judge a champion by how he get up when he been knocked down.”
By: Hot Gossip Gal Yeah Dallas Austin should apologize for running his mouth the way he did. As somewhat of a professional in the game he should know better than mouthing off like that. Read his apology in the news section right now.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Earlier this week a video of Dallas Austin was leaked onto the internet where the Atlanta producer was calling out Christina Aguilera and Joss Stone for allegedly sleeping with producers to get their beats for their albums. Austin worked on Aguilera’s last album and on Joss Stone’s debut album. After all the fanfare and outrage of Austin’s comments, he released a statement apologizing to the singers for his words: “Every action generates an equal and opposite reaction. My statement about Christina Aguilera and Joss Stone was a reaction to an incident I care not to discuss in any forum, and while I may have felt justified, I do owe an apology to Christina, Joss and their families. “The comments I made about Christina Aguilera and Joss Stone were purely an act of retaliation not of malice or cruel intent. As we all have our boiling points, I sincerely apologize as this is not my character nor should I have let anyone’s actions push me to this limit. I have let my family, friends, employees and business associates down with my actions. “All content and any malicious statements that were in my control have been removed from outlets that may have posted this. “Please accept this as my formal statement and apology to all parties involved.”
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno After 30 years of going from city-to-city making people laugh with his down home jokes, Bernie Mac announced that he’s retiring from doing stand-up comedy. The comedian went on the David Letterman show this week and announced his decision. "I’m going to still do my producing, my films, but I want to enjoy my life a little bit," Mac told Letterman. "I missed a lot of things, you know. I was a street performer for two years. I went into clubs in 1977." Mac plans on doing one more stand-up comedy film, “The Whole Truth, Nothing but the Truth, So Help Me Mac,” that will hit theatres sometime this fall, and that will be it. “You miss out on so much, you know, and you live in all these hotels — I was on the road 47 weeks out of the year," Mac said. “Comedy has been so good to me. And that’s all I ever wanted, watching you guys. I had great mentors — Jackie Gleason, Flip (Wilson), Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Buddy Hackett. I had so many people to watch, that today you don’t have that anymore."
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Toronto’s K-os is one of the few true hip-hop heads who still incorporates the four elements into his music. He’s one of the few emcees who continuously showcases a plethora of graffiti art and b-boys dancing in his videos as well as actually using a DJ to cut and scratch throughout his music – something rarely seen nowadays. At the same time, his music pushes the boundary of just rapping over a beat type of hip-hop, but essentially creating soulful and meaningful songs from a hip-hop perspective – it’s not just a bunch of rap songs. That’s where K-os excels. His new album, Atlantis: Hymns for the Disco, ranges from straight up b-boy jams to down home blues to reggae to even some acoustic rock. But all of it is done with the soul of a b-boy who grew up living, breathing, eating and sleeping hip-hop with side dishes of Bob Marley, Led Zepplin and Bob Dylan. We caught up with K-os while in Fort Lauderdale on his way to visit his parents in between shows and found out the science behind his new album, his thoughts on what critics think and what he thinks of being called a ‘male Lauryn Hill.’ What does the album title, Atlantis: Hymns for the Disco, mean? I don’t know what it means. I know the Hymns for the Disco part was because I was partying and a lot of these songs I wrote on Saturday mornings and Sunday mornings after I went out. And I tried to calm myself down a bit. There’s a lot of energy when you’re going out, hanging out drinking, meeting girls, but it was really unfulfilling. So I was trying to find a way, because I come from a very spiritual, religious upbringing, and I was just trying to find a place to ground myself. The Hymns for Disco comes from the hymns for the disco, it’s not like they’re songs for dancing, it’s more like they’re songs to play after you come from the disco, that’s where that part comes from. The Atlantis part was for, so many things man, I can’t even tell you, from Katrina to the water situation on the planet to me listening to Muddy Waters and Bob Dylan and the blues to the fact that I’m a Pisces and Aquarius. There’s just too many factors to explain the Atlantis part but the Hymns for the Disco was definitely me saying, ‘You know what, here are some songs you can definitely play on a Sunday morning or Saturday morning, after you’ve gone to the club.’ You can still feel hype and happy and even dance but it’s different that your regular kind of club music, ya, know? The album is real personal because listeners learn quite a bit about you when they play it. Was that the intention or did it just come out? I remember when Lauryn Hill was being interviewed for the Miseducation album and they asked her if it was a concept album. She said it was the concept found me. That always stuck out to me, that it was a concept that found me. In other words these things just happen to me, these ideas, these realizations, these epiphanies just happen to me and I made music from it. It wasn’t that I just sat down and said, ‘I’m going to make a personal album.’ I think it was just time and that I felt strong enough to say things about myself and no matter how they were judged to at least know regardless of how they were judged that they were personal confessions and that’s a beautiful thing. You’ve been pretty vocal about not lending your music out for use in commercials, but your song “Sunday Morning” was used in an NFL promo on CBS. Did you know about that? Yeah, that was some thing that happened after the fact. I didn’t solicit my music for that. I think there’s a certain, I don’t know how it rolls when they do TV shows or whatever, but your music is out there and they can choose to use it. But I didn’t have a problem with that. My brother was a football player and I played sports in high school. I think the thing with corporations is sometimes selling a product is hard for me, depending on what that product is. If I really relate to that product or even use it… I mean, I use condoms but I would never do a condom commercial. That’s as easy as I can put it. It has to make sense to me and it has to not compromise the song. It’s funny because everyone after that song played on the NFL was like, ‘Did you write that song for football players?’ It’s kind of cool because it shows how strong the artistic expression can be. That was a song I wrote for me but it ended up relating to that so amazingly, so that’s cool. I was cool with it, I thought it was fun. On the album you mention your mother taking you to church and your dad being a preacher, what kind of spiritual upbringing did you have? My parents are Jehovah Witnesses. We went to a lot of Jehovah Witness churches in Trinidad, in Toronto, in the suburb I grew up in. It’s a sect of Christianity that my dad got involved with in their late 20’s. Are you still involved? My parents are, for sure. I think that’s how they even got together. I think my dad even told my mom, “You know, I want to get married to you but you got to deal with this religion first.” It’s a basis for them for sure. Are you aware you have pretty big Christian fan-base? Well, yeah. I’m not that aware, I don’t really investigate it. But I would assume that. I think that there are a lot of people that would understand the life I’m living because maybe they’re living the same life, ya know? Then again, someone said that they heard my music played in a strip bar and I was surprised. But all kinds of people relate to it, ya know? You’re huge in Canada but in the U.S., you’re pretty much underground. How do you feel about how your music is received here? Well, Canada is pretty much the size of California right? So America is huge. So what I’m doing in Canada with the music I’m doing is way easy to penetrate. There’s not a lot of Black music out there and when they get something they enjoy, it sticks out. I’m thankful for my success in Canada, in fact, it kept me sane. As far as America, like I said, I’m on a tour bus right now going to play Jacksonville, Virginia, Rochester, you know, places I’ve never been. It’s just America is so huge. There’s a big difference in population. And I think with this record, with songs like “The Rain” and “Sunday Morning”, I think people here in the U.S., might get it more because there’s a lot of soul references, more so than my other two records. But I just think it has to do with the bigger population. It’s funny because my brother lives in Atlanta married to a girl from California, my parents live in Fort Lauderdale and I’m about to see them today. My other brother lives in Africa so I’m the last in my family living in Canada. But I really don’t come to the states that much, I love Canada, my boys live there. I visit my parents once a year, and my brother I just went to his house for the first time this year. In reviews of your music, you’re often called a “male Lauryn Hill”, what do you think about that comparison? That’s an honor, yo. She’s a queen. Lauryn Hill is the queen of this ish. To tell you the truth, if groups like The Fugees and The Roots didn’t exist, I would have lost my way, ya know? I said that on my record in the liner notes that if it wasn’t for The Roots, Eric B & Rakim, Mos Def and Outkast, these bands as a Canadian kid coming up, I would have lost my way. So any comparison to that woman, to me, is an honor. At least I’m a ‘male Lauryn Hill’ and not a ‘female’ one. I’m glad they choose to say I’m a ‘male’, as opposed to what, a ‘female Lauryn Hill?’ So, originally, Exit was supposed to be your only album, but now we have three. How are you feeling now? You still want to do music? Oh yeah. I was listening to a piece from KRS-One and Mecca from Digable Planets and the Dead Prez cats, they were doing a panel. And one of the guys, I think it was Grandmaster Caz and he said hip-hop is like a fountain of youth. Then I just kept thinking like, you know right now I want the dirtiest, nastiest DJ Premier sampled, full of record static, low budget recording hip-hop record ever. That’s what I feel like I want to do right now. So I’m hype right now because I feel like I’m ready to move on to the next thing and just have a DJ, two dancers and just me on stage and just wreck it like that. Yeah, I’m ready to go. Yo, don’t even put that in the interview because someone will try to do it before me! We got to keep that on the low! Reading what critics have written about you, a lot of them don’t get you. They don’t get your music, they don’t get what you’re talking about, does that frustrate you at all? Nah. They didn’t get Miles Davis when he started flippin’ his ish. You know how many bands end up being so popular after they’re gone or after they finish their thing? You know, when people don’t get me, it makes me feel good. I never considered myself to be down the middle ya know? I’m on tour with the Gym Class Heroes right now and these 15 year old girls are seeming to get it, and that’s fun. They seem to understand the music. I’m making leaps and bounds in different directions so certain people get it because I think the music has a message and it needs to reach kids. Whether the critics get it… what do critics get? Critics get the most obscure thing. They hate the bands their girlfriends like and they like the bands their best friends like. I really don’t care anymore, ya know, I’m sorry your girlfriend likes my music. I’m sorry about that. So what’s your stance on the ‘hip-hop is dead’ conversation? Death is a part of life right? So it’s only right that things die and they breathe again. You live in a forest, how many trees die but how many trees are born again? All you see is the forest. For Nas, again one of my top 3 emcees, he has the right to say that. It might be dying but it’s going to be reborn again in a different form and it’s exciting to see how it’s going to be reborn. I’m excited about hip-hop moving on. I don’t think that cats who listened to Whodini or the early hip-hop, I don’t think when hip-hop changed, they might have not liked Das Efx. But it was banging and the kids liked it and you could play it in a club. It’s only right in universal laws that the younger kids are going to like a form of hip-hop that might be out of touch to me. I have to find what I like about it, whether it’s 808 drums or whether it’s the sound of Kanye West putting on Twista and people vibing off that. I hear the things that I like, and I take from that and I enjoy what I can. But I don’t expect a 15-year old kid and me to vibe on hip-hop, especially when I was a kid at a Leaders of the New School concert with my chest against the barricade. I’m true to this, I’m true school. So I just got to find what I like about the new stuff and use that in my music to reach people. SO that’s okay, the generation gap is cool, I like space between me and them younger kids. One of your hottest tracks from your last album was “Emcee Murdah” and people are still rocking out to it. You even mention it on the new album. Are you still getting responses from that? I think for a lot of hip-hop heads, that was their favorite track on the album. I think if you’re a true hip-hop head that moved you the most. People might have expected me to do another one of those but you can’t do another one of those man. That’s years of frustration in three and a half minutes, yo. So I love that I track, I still perform it today in my live show, and I’ll probably perform forever, it’s my funnest track to perform too. [At the end of “Black Ice”] I just wanted to let cats know cats don’t worry, I see you, and that I was an angry emcee. I might seem a bit more happy now or more rock n’ roll but that doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge the points of that song. It was a rites of passage, yo. So the first single, “Elektrik Heat: The Seekwill”, is that actually a sequel to “B-Boy Stance” then? Yeah, for sure. It was “Superstarr Part Zero”, “B-Boy Stance”, “The Seekwill”, they’re like triplets and they all serve a purpose. They take you back to the breakbeat. It was about the rapper not worrying about how much money he was going to make on the publishing and just rapping over a breakbeat. I discuss that with my management today, “You’ve spent so much money on that sample”, but I just believe we have to dedicate music now to the lost art of hip-hop, rocking over a breakbeat, ya know? There are just certain sounds that are hip-hop. Like in reggae music, it’s the same thing. So “Superstarr” is what it was, “B-Boy Stance” is definitely for the b-boys and “The Seekwill” is like making sure that even though there’s no other songs on the record like that, I can still show cats, you know what, I can still do that, I can do a whole record of that if I wanted to. But I would get bored with it quickly, I’m a musical schizophrenic. A real personal song on the album is “The Rain”, what’s the story behind that? When I was making my first album, Exit, there was an Ethiopian girl I was dating who I thought I was going to marry. About two weeks after that album came out she broke up with me. She couldn’t handle the whole touring and my life started to change a little bit in Canada. So I was carrying that emotion around for awhile but I was finally able to be honest about it. I think that any anger I had, like “Emcee Murdah” and stuff, yeah it was about hip-hop or was it really about a woman who represented hip-hop that I used to go to hip-hop jams with and loved hip-hop, and then broke up with me? I started to get angry and as a man I expressed that anger through bravado. But I think “The Rain” is me being pretty vulnerable about it, ya know. Are there any last words? I would just say that I go by the words of KRS-One, that hip-hop is something you live, rap is something you do. For the people who follow my music, this might not be a rap record, but it’s definitely a hip-hop record. It’s coming from a hip-hop way of doing things and I just hope more people can understand and expand upon hip-hop and make it more about hip-hop and not just rap. I think rap is amazing but we need to focus on b-boying, we need to focus on graffiti, we need to focus on turntablism, all of those things that are part of the four elements of hip-hop. We also need to focus on experimentation I think hip-hop artists need to experiment. Hip-Hoppers experimenting is such a fun thing to watch. We see it with Andre 3000 and Gnarls Barkley and Lauryn Hill and Mos Def and The Roots. I’m just trying to carry the same torch they’re carrying and have fun at the same time.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Not what Jay is used to being called. Whatever is going down at Def jam is not making its roster smiley happy people, well maybe we should exclude Rihanna. Omillio Sparks mad at Jay for pushing back his album…AGAIN had this to say "Jay has left me no choice but to tell the truth about what\’s going on. I hear him boast about going to Africa and helping people out in crisis over there, and he has no idea w hat he\’s doing to artists\’ careers and their livelihoods here in fu@kin America, he\’s deliberately doing things that make the streets question his credibility and his worthiness. I hate to say it but the boi has become the king of false hope. He has niggas on his label now, running around being soldiers for him. Look at that nigga Tru Life, he\’s making diss records and defending Hov\’s honor as a true friend would do, Hov won\’t do the same for that man though…he\’ll see."
By: Hot Gossip Gal Well Mama Usher is probably turning grey as the day looms for her son and his lady friend Tameka Foster to tie the knot, if they really are going to do it… the stylist is now officially divorced from her husband Ryan Glover. Mama Usher just isn’t feeling this chick though..and the fact that she has three kids may not sit well with the woman who devoted her life for her sons.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Billboard is reporting that Talib Kweli will be headlining the Virgin College Mega Tour that launches on April 7. Kweli will be joined by alternative bands Sugarcult and William Tell. In addition to the concert, the Mega Tour also offers a “Daytime Village” on college campuses that will consist of videogame competitions, a "new artists stage" sponsored by CMJ, artist meet-and-greets, batting cages, dodgeball tournaments and contest giveaways. The villages will be free to students and open between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Concert doors will open between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets will cost up to $20 in some markets and will be given away for free in others, according to Billboard. (check for the latest VIRGIN updates) Here are the current dates with more to be announced: San Diego‘s 4th & B theater (April 8), Los Angeles‘ House of Blues (April 9), University of Arizona (April 10), Utah Valley State College (April 12), University of Maryland (April 19), Massachusetts‘ Stone Hill College (April 20), New York‘s Mount Saint Vincent University (April 25), University of West Virginia (April 27), New York‘s University of Rochester (May 4)
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Last year Energizer teamed up with Slim Thug for the "Energizer(R) e2(R) Titanium Technology(R) Freestylin’ Music Contest" and this time they’re staying in Houston and hooking up with Chamillionaire and producers Mysto and Pizzi. Cham and Energizer are looking for emcees to spit their hottest two-minute freestyle over Mysto or Pizzi’s beats and the winners will get a chance to perform on stage with Cham in Atlanta. "Speaking the truth is what I do through my music," Chamillionaire said. "Energizer provides a stage for underground talent to do the same. Let’s see who has what it takes to make it happen and get the chance to join me at the DUB Auto Show & Concert in Atlanta." Energizer is now accepting entries until April 21. Five finalists will be selected on April 29 where fans will be available to vote for their favorite freestyles. Chamillionaire will select the winner between the top two vote-getters. For more information check out the press release here: SYS-CON.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Well it turns out that even an engagement ring and another baby can’t keep The King of the South and his teeny Tiny together. It is over for the couple who went through a similar public split last year and the year before if my memory serves me correctly. I wouldn’t shut this relationship down just yet. Yet keeping love alive in the A is Jermaine Dupri who told Obama Barrack that he hopes to wed Janet and have teeny tiny babies with the songstress. Funny what you tell a future President right?
By: Rizoh Rap activist and The Coup frontman Boots Riley has called on the hip-hop community to step up and contribute to the ever increasing anti-war sentiments. Boots is encouraging hip-hoppers everywhere to download a Pick A Bigger Weapon track titled “Captain Sterlings Little Problem,” which features Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, for free and send it to everyone they know in the military. By doing so, Riley believes the G.I. dissent could prompt Congress to act more decisively. “I have this suggestion: the soldiers should demand to be returned home, using any means necessary to make this happen,” Boots writes.“This would lead to a swift end to this war, saving countless lives, both U.S. and Iraqi… Congress hasn’t done more than give lip service to wanting the war to end. The people that are directly affected by this war are going to have to act.” Boots reports that “at one point a Pentagon report deemed half of the soldiers in Vietnam were ‘mutinous and not to be trusted’,” adding that “the largely unreported G.I. rebellions played a very important role in stopping the Vietnam war.” Captain Sterling’s Little Problem” was originally recorded as the theme for “Sir! No Sir!,” David Zieger’s recent documentary of the Vietnam War. “Captain Sterling’s Little Problem” and three other tracks from Pick a Bigger Weapon are available for download onCOUP MUSIC
By: Rizoh Jay-Z has a new feud on his hands, this time from ex-Roc-A-Fella artist Omillio Sparks. Sparks (born Kenneth Johnson) alleges that Jay has blocked his album, Payback, from hitting shelves. The album features appearances by close friends and Def Jam artists Peedi Peedi and Freeway. The Philadelphia hip hop artists are featured on two songs on the, in which one of the songs reflects on the good ol’ days at the original Roc-A-Fella records. “Jay has left me no choice but to tell the truth about what’s going on,” says Omillio Sparks. “I hear him boast about going to Africa and helping people out in crisis over there, and he has no idea w hat he’s doing to artists’ careers and their livelihoods here in f**kin America, he’s deliberately doing things that make the streets question his credibility and his worthiness. I hate to say it but the boy has become the king of false hope. He has n***as on his label now running around being soldiers for him. Look at that n***a Tru Life, he’s making diss records and defending Hov’s honor as a true friend would do, Hov won’t do the same for that man though…he’ll see.” Since leaving Roc-a-Fella Records, O. Sparks has formed his own Colossal Entertainment with Manny Rothwell.
By: Hot Gossip Girl Looks like while the cats away the Def Jam Princess and Jay may just have to play. Jay was present at the Nets game last night with home boy or life Ty Ty and the Bajan Beyonce Rihanna. And just as we thought all was calm and serene in the romance where Hip-Hop and R&B collide. No I am sure they are just hanging out like friends do.
iHipHop Blog Team