Companyname: Akomplice Founded (Date): 4-1-2004 Founders: Mike McCarney/ Patrick McCarney Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the company? How was it launched? Why was it launched?): It was launched to help create a change in the clothing industry. We were tired of seeing the same corporate logos across everyones chest, we decided to make real clothing, clothing with not only fresh style, but also clothing with substance, an example, our tee with the statue of liberty holding a gun, first off, this tees just fresh, but with it you’re wearing something you believe, and want others to take notice of. Greatest Achievements (What are your proudest moments?): Every season we create is our proudest moment, on top of that we like to see people who feel what we’re about, like when Game rocked our stuff in the Dec. issue of SPIN, or Luda’s DJ Jay Cee rocked our jacket on TV. Most of all we just are proud to continue to step our game up, which in turn makes others step there game up. Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?): Current projects, we’re expanding our line, we plan to release Denim Jeans, Throwback caps, and some more of those crazy all over embroidered jackets. We also plan to release an Akomplice mixtape with some of our sponsored artists, before I started with clothing I was a going fulltime as a beatmaker, aiming for the stars. Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the companyl?): We just want to keep life with meaning, DON’T FUCKING SHEEP AROUND (sleep around is okay). Be who you want, don’t just follow MTV, don’t decorate your house like Jessica Simpson, stand and speak out, this world will continue to disinigrate until we make moves, nobody likes the idea of our environment dying, we’ll die, so lets do something. Within the Game (How does the label fit within the current climate of hip-hop? Or does it even fit in at all? What’s the company’s personality in relation to the rest of hip-hop?): Hip-Hop has been a major impact on our lives since years before Akomplice was started .My brother Patrick and I put out a cd, and I was was constantly trying to step my game up with beats. Many of our designs feature hip-hop, aspects of hip-hop we feel to be important. Also our style is like hip-hop, sample based with filters. Aight. Peace.
By Will “Deshair” Foskey On January 22nd, popular sitcom, Everybody Hates Chris returns to the CW with new episodes and a special guest appearance from none other than Todd Bridges of Diff’rent Strokes fame. On the new episode, Todd guests stars as Doc’s Nephew, Monk – a character that Chris (Tyler James Williams) finds himself seeking advice from. “What I did with the Monk character was build him around one of my uncles that used to be a war veteran,” says Todd as he smiles about how he triggered into Monk’s persona. “He was a crazy, yet wonderful guy. At any time, he would just flip out on you. But he would give you the best advice in the world after you sift through all of the craziness.” Everybody Hates Chris is nominated for 8 NAACP Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series. With the universal success that the show has received since its series debut on October 1, 2005, Todd didn’t feel too confident about his chances of getting the role. “I was thinking to myself about how my career has been up and down, so I didn’t think that I would get the part,” says the 80’s heartthrob. “The shows producer, Ali (LeRoi), handed me a bunch of re-writes and that scared the mess out of me, man. But I got it done, did a good job and they called me back.” In 2007, Mr. Bridges has a few ventures in place that he hopes will lead him to one of his goals. “I believe that now, I’m not perceived in a negative way,” when speaking of where he stands as a professional. “People know that I’m for real and that I’m not playing around anymore. I get the job done now, I’m very dependable. The bottom line is that I’ve been around so long, I just love the work. In 2007, I’m looking to have my own show. That is one of my biggest goals. And I feel that I’m heading in that direction right now.” Everybody Hates Chris – Mondays (8:00-8:30 p.m. ET/PT) on The CW
By: Hot Gossip Gal Forbes issued its Top 20 Wealthiest Women in Entertainment List yesterday. Topping it of course, The Mighty O, but other significant names on there were, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, J-Lo, Christina Aguillera and Judge Judy….yeah Judge Judy is getting paid. A life of presiding over bs cases on TV obviously pays. Can’t hate on that.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Waxploitation Records, home to such artists as Gnarls Barkley, Tha Alkaholiks and Dangerdoom, announced their 3rd Annual Darfur Charity Auction featuring signed items from Talib Kweli, Common, Kanye West, Cam’Ron, Tupac Shakur and others. The charity auction benefits the Save Darfur Coalition, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam, all organizations helping to raise public awareness and assist the two million people suffering from the civil unrest in Darfur. "Even though Darfur has become a prominent issue, it’s important we don’t forget that it’s a dire crisis there that is getting worse,” said Waxploitation founder Jeff Antebi. “We can’t assume the attention Darfur is getting is the same thing as assistance. Real help is as crucial now as it ever was." The auction started this week and will run until January 26. Check out the EBAY bid site before it’s too late!
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno For the past year, Ghostface Killah has been the only Wu-Tang member to really uphold the clan’s standards. But now, Wu-Tang producer Mathematics is hoping to lend a helping hand in keeping Wu’s standards at a high level. The producer announced that he’ll be releasing Mathematics Presents… Wu-Tang and Friends Unreleased, a collection of previously unreleased music produced and compiled by Mathematics featuring members of the Wu-Tang Family. The album features rare recordings, remixes, unreleased tracks and outtakes that never made the final versions of various Wu-Tang albums. Appearances from Ghostface, Raekwon, GZA, Method Man, RZA, Masta Killa, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Killah Priest, Hell Raza, Shyhiem and others. The album will hit stores on February 6 on Nature Sounds Records. Here’s the track list: 1 – Intro ft. Buddah Bless 2 – Maxine (rmx) ft. Ghostface Killah & Raekwon 3 – King Toast Queen ft. U-God, Buddah Bless, Masta Killa & Solomon Childs 4 – Where’s Brooklyn @? ft. Bad Luck, All Day & Allah Real 5 – Treez ft. Raekwon 6 – Eggs, Hash & Grits ft. M-Speed, Streetlife & Drama 7 – Pop Shit (skit) 8 – Queens Day ’88 (rmx) ft. Eyes Low 9 – U Don’t Care ft. Killah Priest, Hot Flames & Buddah Bless 10 – Masked Avengers ft. Shyhiem, Superb & Hell Razah 11 – Luv (skit) 12 – Wanna Believe ft. Allah Real & Bad Luck 13 – Wu Banga 101 (rmx) ft. GZA, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Cappadonna & Masta Killa 14 – Da "W" (rmx) ft. GZA, Method Man, U-God, Raekwon & RZA 15 – Violent (skit) 16 – Street Chronicles ft. M-Speed 17 – Non-Equivalent ft. Shyhiem 18 – Outro 19 – Wise (rmx) ft. Ghostface Killah 20 – Rap Burglars ft. Raekwon & Insepctah Deck
By: Hot Gossip Gal Usher got 20 hours community service for driving at a relatively slow 103 mph on the I-75. Foxy got sent back to school for her assault on a Manhattan manicurist, Anger Management Classes will be her major this time around and just what was she thinking wearing her hair like that?
By: Rizoh After an embarrassing outing with their first G-Unit album, it appears that Mobb Deep will not be witnessing any generous budget plans from Curtis "Billion Dollar" Jackson (as Prodigy calls him). Prodigy, one half of the New York duo Mobb Deep, is now set to drop two albums this year, none of them on G-Unit Records. The first, Return of the Mac, finds P teaming up with The Alchemist throughout the LP. It’s slated for release on March 27th. "Alchemist and I put this CD together to get people ready for my new solo album ‘H.N.I.C.2.," Prodigy said in a statement. " I’m ’bout to turn it up hot with ‘H.N.I.C.2.’ I decided to ride with Koch Records cause I got a lot of sh*t to do and say, and I know Koch won’t hold me back or censor my sh*t plus the entire company will push the CDs to the maximum because they truly love and respect my music. We’re all very excited about the whole thing." Here’s the tentative tracklist for Return of the Mac 1. Intro 8. Intermission 2. Return of the Mac 9. 7th Heaven 3. Mac 10 Handles 10. Bang On Em 4. Raining Guns and Shanks 11. Nickel and a Nail 5. The Rotten Apple 12. Legends 6. Words From Majesty 13. Stop Fronting 7. Take It From The Top 14. Stuck On You
By: Rizoh 50 Cent expressed his opinion on various rappers—including Nas, Jay-Z, Diddy, Lil’ Wayne, The Game, and Lil Kim—while speaking to Funk Master Flex on Hot 97 last night. When asked why he’s still feuding with Nas, 50 stated that Nas exhumes an inconsistent persona which makes him a perfect match with The Game. He tossed additional shots at his fellow Queens native, saying that his latest album has failed to move units. "N***as say ‘You’re hip-hop, Nas, because you’re lyrical’. Where are those lyrics now, ’cause he’s not selling records," said 50. "Nas should have kept those lyrics…in his head." He also added that he doesn’t understand how "Nas and Jay-Z could be cool." 50 also described some of Jay-Z lyrics supposedly aimed at him on "30 Something" ("Y’all respect the one who got shot, I respect the shooter") as a punk move. 50 Cent’s third album, Before I Self Destruct, is scheduled for release this summer.
By: Hot Gossip Gal I am so tired reading about one of the most talented young females out there, where people are speculating that she is playing for the other team even though she has a seriously handsome man whom she is so in love with. Leave Alicia alone please. Here she is showing off just how a chick should rock the red carpet at the premier of her recent project Smokin Aces, in which she stars with Chi-Town B Boy Common.
Label name: TVT Records Founded (Date):1985 Founders: Steve Gottlieb Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?): TVT began when President and founder Steve Gottlieb, launched the label out of his New York City apartment in 1985 with the release of Television’s Greatest Hits. This eight volume series chronicling the history of the TV theme song sold millions of copies worldwide, and from this TVT Records grew into a powerhouse label with a reputation for discovering, nurturing and breaking all types of music. With its own distribution system, a staff of seasoned professionals including an all-format promotion staff and experts in grass roots marketing and generating trends, TVT’s history of quality and distinction is second to none. The label’s eclectic roster runs the gamut of today’s popular music — from Platinum crunk masters Lil Jon and Grammy-nominated Ying Yang Twins, indie rock royalty Ambulance LTD, Latin hip-hop star Pitbull, hard rockers Default and R&B songstress Teedra Moses. New artists making noise include rock bands The Cinematics, The Holloways, controversial UK punks Towers of London, and rappers O-Solo and Twisted Black. TVT is also the home of TVT Soundtrax, a leading label for motion picture and television soundtrack albums. Recent releases are the soundtracks to the #1 box office hits Starsky & Hutch and Transporter 2. Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?): Ending 2006 TVT Records is recognized for a remarkable fifth year straight as the nation’s #1 independent label by industry authorities Billboard Magazine and SoundScan. And entering 2007 the label is on the eve of another massive release with Crunk Rock from Lil Jon. His preceding 2005 album Crunk Juice was the #1 independent album of that year, which made history upon its release when it had the biggest first week sales ever for an independent album. “That an album so massive was financed, produced, marketed and distributed 100% independently makes a point bigger than the sales mark it set,” said Steve Gottlieb. “It shows the sea change in the music industry which has given a level of power to independent labels never before seen.” Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?): TVT looks forward to releasing ‘Crunk Rock’ from Lil Jon, as well as the follow-up to Pibull’s ‘El Mariel,’ released in 2006. Additionally, albums from The A’z, Keke Wyatt, Lumidee, Twisted Black, O-Solo, Teedra Moses, New Years Day, Ambulance, The Cinematics, The Holloways and more. Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?): TVT’s goals are to continue to provide the credibility and focus of an indie label, and the marketing and distribution power of a major label. Priding itself on grass roots artist development and innovative promotion and marketing techniques, the label’s breakthough rate is astounding. Handling its own international affairs with offices in Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, TVT is the only independent that commits to its artists through worldwide releases. TVT Records also looks forward to strengthening its role as a pioneer in digital music distribution, as TVT was the first label to make its entire catalog available for download when it launched its digital store in November 1999 from TVTrecords.com. The company was also the first to make its entire repertoire of music videos available for streaming. The label has been at the forefront of the evolving music market online through strategic partnerships with Microsoft, Yahoo!, Real Networks, Napster and others. Recent digital licensing deals include partnerships with Qtrax, MusicMatch, PressPlay and Zingy. And in the massive Ringtones market, TVT often tops the charts. Two of last year’s top 10 Mastertones were TVT recordings, and the current smash from Lil Jon, “Snap Yo Fingers” is a Platinum-certified Ringtone. TVT Music Publishing, the label’s publishing division retains some of the most prolific and successful songwriters of the day including Grammy winner Scott Storch. Storch, one of the top pop and urban songwriters of the last decade has penned hits for Dr. Dre, Christina Aquilera, Busta Rhymes, Beyoncé, The Game, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake and Lil’ Kim. TVT Music Publishing holds copyrights for some of the biggest singles in recent memory, including smashes from Usher, Ciara and Mario. In each quarter of 2006, TVT Music Publishing has been in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Publisher Airplay Chart. It is not a surprise that TVT Records has taken a leading role in the newly formed American Association of Independent Music (A2IM.org), a coalition formed to represent the interests of independent labels. This crucial organization will act as a counter-balance to preferential treatment toward major labels in the areas of digital music distribution, copyright law, radio regulation, piracy, CD manufacturing and even health insurance. Within the Game (How does the label fit within the current climate of hip-hop? Or does it even fit in at all? What’s the label’s personality in relation to the rest of hip-hop?): TVT fits into the current climate of hip-hop by seeking out and supporting distinct hip-hop artists. As the world of hip-hop expands and evolves, TVT looks to sign artists representative of this progression. As an independent label, TVT understands the value of perseverance, which is in the spirit of great hip-hop and great hip-hop artists. CLICK HERE FOR THE A’z INTERVIEW
Artist/Group Name: Artist: A.E.,Speedy, & Ice Group name: THE A’z Reppin’ (What city you reppin’?) Oakland/Richmond,Ca Affiliation (What crew or artists you roll with?): Ice:We are affiliated through family… WingTeam Gang… Speedy:That’s worldwide by the way. A.E.:that’s us…A’z..if u rep WingTeam u down with THE A’z…and if your down with us…we’re down with you…straight up! Influences (Who inspires you? Not limited to just hip-hop): A.E.:My self as my worst critic inspires me…but I’d have to say my mom motivates me…so all the aunties,uncles,friends,and co workers that thought she was crazy for letting me conquer this dream,can tell her…shit girl,u knew it. as far as Hip-Hop…I look at THE A’z as a new breed…we want to let all the past achievements in Hip Hop be the past and build a future.also the desire to be the greatest fuels me.us.THE A’z…We bleed each other. Ice: My mom, she rides for me like no other. My Grandfather, who inspires me to be great in life. Musically, The A’z inspire me…if I a crazy verse from A.E. or Speedy it pushes more out of me creatively.we are eachothers favorite rappers. Speedy:My Mom and Dad as well…our parents really held us down when nobody believed in us…we are forever appreciative.as far as artists everybody contributes…THE A’z just got that shit. Backstory (How’d you get in the game? How did the group form? What work did you put in before getting signed to a label?) Ice:We been bestfirends since 6-7 years old A.E.:foreal,same elementary,highschool,and we dropped out together. fucked bitches together.and when I said dropped out I meant in the 10th grade…we were gone..hustlin! Ice: That was to pursue this dream full time and those closest to us were fully supportive. Speedy:A.E. was like we can do this shit. I agreed,Ice agreed,we here now! A.E.:before we got signed I’d say we were the biggest underground hype in the bay area and beyond. Due to performances,shows,website hits up to 1.5 million hits a month…A gang of muthafuckas are waiting for us…shit,we are too. Current project (What are you pushing right now? What can people expect from it? Feel free to just hype your album here…why did you name the album that name? Was there a theme? Any funny stories during its creation?) Speedy:Right now,its all A’z…the album “City Of Gods:They Dreamed Of Being Legends” We put 100,000% of us into this album A.E.:yea that means every word,every addlib,shit…we put our own money into this album…its all about Faith…and we got nothing but Faith. Ice: Great!everybody in the world should own “City Of Gods:They Dreamed Of Being Legends” Its musically in genre of its own and lyrically in a league of its own. Its motivational,its moving,its triumphant,its real,its love,its money… I mean damn…its genious! “City Of Gods:They Dreamed Of Being Legends” TVT Records 2007. A.E.: We named the album “City Of Gods:They Dreamed Of Being Legends”…because we feel we live in a world of worship…and we choose to worship our dream and live for it…and we dream to be legends…that’s the key to immortality…to live for ever is to create history for the present time…its been the dream since day 1! Speedy:We knew it was a classic while we were recording it and if this muthafucka don’t hurry up and drop I might go crazy…the world needs this. Purpose (What kind of impact do you hope to have on the game? Do you just want to go platinum or is there something more?) A.E.: We are going to inspire a generation to be them selves and find complete happieness and confidence in who they are and what makes them who they are…but on the surface its goin be Beatle-mania all over again x’s 10… Ice: like selling out record stores,concerts…even when we fly into cities,they’ll be waiting for us to step off the plane!its WingTeam…and its worldwide Speedy:We are bringing back that rockstar shit…real rock star shit… A.E:and we’re talking dark shades and sagging name brand jeans,and tattoos every where…proving dreams come true. Ice:platinum?…nah…hip hop needs a diamond plaque. Speedy: We’re talking diamond plus worldwide,cuz they get down outside of what we see A.E.:they are just as loyal to this shit across seas,as we are here. Ice:We going to see Michael Jackson numbers. A.E.:yea…his 1980’s numbers. Is hip-hop really dead? (Wax philosophical here, break down what you think of hip-hop today or compare it to when you were coming up. Good? Bad? Break it down!) Ice:Fuck no,-“but if it ever was in danger/make sure u thanks us”-“Dope” (track from the album City Of Gods:They Dreamed of Being Legends) A lot of other older rappers might be a little jaded and unexciting.but we are attracted to older women. A.E.:Lets pretend hip hop is a woman…and few girls have got lucky with her, but a lot of niggas have had their way with her…of course they’ll find it boring, or in a depressed state of mind,dead.but our goal is to let mother hip hop chill and raise her son to be the greatest…that’s that A’z shit.thats us. Speedy:cuz today niggas like doin whut other niggas make hot… A.E.:as if now a nigga got confidence cuz that nigga showed u it was cool. Speedy:so its stale…nothing sounds fresh…though,few are expempt…but in general niggas got to do them…and not look at doin them as taking risks,but more of showing the world themselves…and that’s what we want…the world to know THE A’z. Ice:hip hop is fine…we like it…ya’ll like it,don’t front…but u don’t love it…not like you used to…but guess what…THE A’z got you. Three wishes (If you had three wishes to change anything within hip-hop, what would they be? Bring someone back to life? Get a Kanye West beat? Make snap music disappear?): A.E.:I would defintely want 2Pac and Biggie to see me do my thang…to see what me and my brothers (THE A’z) brought out of something they helped evolve in such a fatherly role…ya know what im sayin? I would definitely make all the beautiful women on the celebrity A-List love my shit,and love me..fuck it,that’s gonna happen anyway…we’ll chalk that one up to “self fulfilling prophecy”… And snap music can go… Ice:I agree wit the Pac and Biggie,cuz id love to see what they think about THE A’z…even though it don’t matter..they rock wit our shit… Kill all the shit that’s polluting Hip Hop…there should be like a clearance…like would snap music pass?its coo when females be on that shit. That’s it. THE A’z would be all there is. Speedy: Yea all that shit. A.E.:did u ask us if there were any last things we wanted to tell the readers ICE:cuz we’d like to say THE A’z are the Greatest Speedy:Period
By: Hot Gossip Gal The English temper tantrum, cell phone slinging super model pleaded guilty to throwing a blackberry at her hired help over a pair of missing jeans. Rumor has it that he counsel requested that the community service she is expected to serve as punishment should be done behind closed doors. Yeah right…you are a big girl Nay-Nay…deal with it.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno If you’ve been wondering why Master P’s son, Romeo (formerly Lil Romeo) hasn’t been actively promoting his upcoming album, God’s Gift, chilled on the movie roles, and is possibly ending his Nickelodeon show “Romeo!”, it’s because he is setting his sights on basketball. The 17 year-old rapper/actor recently joined the Beverly Hills High School varsity team and is ballin’ out of control averaging 17 points and 5 assists a game. "I’ve been playing basketball since the age of 2," Romeo told the L.A. Times. "I’m real committed to it. It’s a serious game for me. I put everything on hold. I’ve got people mad at me. I’ve put the whole Hollywood thing behind me right now. This only comes once in a lifetime.” Romeo’s pops Master P parlayed himself onto a couple of NBA teams for pre-season and summer league game but never made the cut, but he’s pretty much behind his son and his NBA dreams. "Whatever he wanted to do, I’d support him as a parent," P told the L.A. Times. “I think it’s a great thing. It’s hard work." If you want to check out Romeo’s skills, you can check out the Varsity Boys game schedule at BEVERLYHILLSK12. The regular season ends in February.
By: Rizoh Chicago’s favorite R&B son R.Kelly has dropped his feud against Olympia Fields after claiming that the suburban community improperly denied him the right to build a guardhouse outside his mansion. Kelly also agreed to pay the village residents more than $20,000 to cover attorney fees and code-violation fines. His attorney John Touhy chalks it up to R.Kelly’s graciousness "Robert Kelly wants to be a good neighbor," Touhy told reporters. The community of 4,700 residents, 20 miles south of Chicago, doesn’t allow guard shacks at houses and sued Kelly after the building was constructed without approval. Kells counter-filed, arguing that he should be granted an exception to village code because of his status as "a nationally known, Grammy Award-winning recording artist." R.Kelly is currently awaiting trial on 14 counts of child pornography stemming from a tape that allegedly shows him having sex with an underage girl. He was arrested in June 2002 after police received the tape anonymously.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Hmmmm well we hope not for the leading lady of Hip-Hop/Soul but there are serious rumors that the Blige/Issacs household isn’t as happy as it once was. The couple have been married for four years and Mary’s career never seems to slow down, which may put strain on the relationship. When I last caught up with Soul’s MVP she said she had never been happier since marrying Kendu as she promoted The BreakThrough. Lets hope they beat the statistics that is all I have to say on that one. But for real, relationships in this game aren’t easy.
iHipHop Blog Team