By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Natasha made a little bit of noise with her single “Hey, Hey, Hey” last year, but she’s hoping to make a bigger splash with “So Sick” featuring The Clipse. Produced by Rodney Jerkins, he discovered Natasha while she was working in a New Jersey Subway. Apparently he was impressed with showmanship and star quality which she said that she only learned and practiced in front of a mirror at home. "I’ve never seen a new artist like Natasha," Jerkins said. "She’s already doing things that it took a decade for more established artists to learn." He signed her to his Darkchild Entertainment imprint through Jive Records and is currently recording her debut album looking to drop sometime in 2007. Check out her website at www.natashaishere.com to hear the new song with The Clipse.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno For those of you patiently waiting for Talib Kweli’s new album Ear Drum, the rapper has given you a New Year’s gift to hold you over until it drops later this year. In collaboration with Stones Throw Records and Talib’s Blacksmith Records, Madlib and Kweli connected to create Liberation, a 9-song album available for free through Stones Throw Records’ website www.stonesthrow.com/liberation. “This project was inspired by [Madlib’s] consistency, it was something I wanted to be a part of,” Talib said on his blog. “In this era of over produced and over marketed product, Madlib leads the pack of independent artists who could care less about all of that. I am a part of the music industry, and lord knows I’m needed, but for our own sanity we must step outside the system and create that which is not packaged for mass consumption. This is also a gift to the fans who stick by me whether some corporation is currently promoting me or not. Now, I love all music, and my albums so far, including Eardrum, reflect those influences. This album is a straight ahead, sample driven hip-hop record, from two of the best doing it. Some fans will say this is the sound they want to hear from me all the time. If so, congratulations, you got your wish. However, do not use this to speculate what eardrum will sound like. It is a different project with different influences. I will continue to push the envelope creatively in the spirit of my ancestors.” The album was entirely produced by Madlib and features appearances from Consequence, Strong Arm Steady and Candice Anderson. Here’s the tracklist from the album: 01 The Show 02 Funny Money 03 Time Is Right 04 Engine Runnin’ [ft. Consequence] 05 Over the Counter 06 The Function [ft. Strong Arm Steady] 07 Happy Home [ft. Candice Anderson] 08 Soul Music 09 What Can I Do
By: Hot Gossip Gal This is what happens when you don’t pay your taxes and invest your money in the street pharmaceutical market as opposed to the stock market, you have to auction off all your clothes, even your knickers. I mean I am sure there is many a fan out there who is desperate to own a gown from the ‘time of greatness’ or a sequined bustier, but come on people, this woman sold how many million records worldwide and she has to resort to a yard sale to make some cash? I did have a little chuckle though when I read that also going on sale was numerous Bobby Brown related awards.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno It’s been almost a year since producer J. Dilla’s passing but his music continues to live on. Stones Throw Records has announced that it will release J Dilla’s Ruff Draft, a rare 2003 album that was previously a vinyl-only released distributed by German label, Groove Attack. The album is all J. Dilla rhyming and producing, which is some of his best work that few fans have. For musical reference, while creating this album, Dilla was also working on his collaborative project with Madlib, Champion Sound as Jaylib. The double album will hit stores on March 20 with disc one featuring the original 10 tracks and four previously unreleased tracks and disc two the instrumentals for the songs from the original master tapes. Here’s the track listing: Intro Let’s Take It Back Reckless Driving Nothing Like This The $ Interlude Make’em NV Interlude Crushin’ (Yeeeeaah!) Shouts Intro (Alt.)* Wild* Take Notice* Shouts (Alt.)* *previously unreleased
By: Hot Gossip Gal The most influential female lyricist of all time, Lauryn Hill is a hard woman to track down, having had numerous clashes with the media in the past. So when Joss Stone the English Rose of soul/blues wanted Ms. Hill to join her on a joint and wasn’t having no joy in reaching the Fuggees front lady, she took it a different route. Calling Lauryn’s Mother every day for approx. six weeks allowed the singer her wish, Lauryn eventually jumped on the track ‘Music’ which is Joss’s third album and who she co-produced with Raphael Saadiq. I guess even into our thirty something years, we still be doing as our Momma tells us.
By: Rizoh Talk show mogul Oprah Winfrey was joined by a celebrity lineup that included Tina Turner, Mary J Blige, Chris Tucker, Chris Rock, and Spike Lee at Tuesday’s opening her new leadership academy for disadvantaged South African girls. Winfrey said the 152 girls had a light so bright that it shone through their deprivation and helped bring their dreams to reality. The $40 million Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in the town of Henley-on-Klip, Johannesburg, fulfills a promise Winfrey made to Nelson Mandela six years ago. Mandela, South Africa‘s first democratically-elected President, was also in attendance. Oprah also had a word for critics who would rather see her build schools in the United States. "I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn’t there," said Winfrey. "If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don’t ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school." She added that she also planned to open a co-ed school in eastern KwaZulu-Natal province. The Emmy Award-winning talk host hopes that education can provide an answer to South Africa‘s increasing AIDS pandemic that has affected over 5 million people, among other societal ills. "Girls who are educated are less likely to get HIV/AIDS, and in this country, which has such a pandemic, we have to begin to change the pandemic," she said.
By: Hot Gossip Gal OK Jessica Simpson is probably smiling sweetly right about now as the MTV VJ who is involved with her ex Nick Lachey, Vanessa Minnillo has supposedly been fired from her job at MTV after her ‘performance’ at the NYE bash thrown here in Times Square. Dropping the ‘F’ word isn’t MTV friendly and she did that, nor is shaking your ass all over the stage in a stripper kinda way, and she did that too. This chick has been reported for being a little reckless in her role at MTV in the past before, so Sunday nights OTT behavior(well for MTV anyway) should come at no surprise. The champagne was flowing freely too from what I heard so what can you expect?
By: Rizoh The G-Unit chief has teamed up with MTV and Pocket Books to publish hip-hop novellas. 50 Cent, along with authors Nikki Turner and K Elliott will sign copies of "Death Before Dishonor," "Baby Brother," and "The Ski Mask Way" to celebrate the launch of G-Unit Books imprint. Beginning Thursday January 4 at 9:00 a.m., customers who bought copies of the G-Unit titles will receive wristbands on a first come, first serve basis. However, the wristbands will not guarantee customers a chance to meet with 50 Cent or the other authors. As a precautionary measure to ensure that as many customers as possible get their books autographed, no cameras are allowed. CDs, memorabilia or periodicals about/by 50 Cent are also barred from the venue. Only G-Unit Books releases will be signed by 50 Cent. The signing will take place on January 4 at 6:00 p.m. at Borders – Columbus Circle, Time Warner Building, 10 Columbus Circle (Celebrity Level), New York, NY 10019
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Carlos Mencia’s Comedy Central show, Mind of Mencia had a bit of a rough start in the shadow of Chappelle’s Show. But now he’s gearing up to tape his third season and is pulling no punches and will be going after Michael Richards’ racist tirade. “Turns out we get a copy of one of the lost episodes of ‘Seinfeld,’ in which a black family moves into their building," Mencia told the L.A. Daily News. "It’s all about Kramer’s reaction to the family when he has this dialogue with Jerry." And it doesn’t stop there. "We gotta tackle Mel Gibson, of course. And we also have to tackle the fact there are no Latin superheroes. We’ve had some black X-Men, but no Hispanic X-Men, and there’s going to be a change to that with something like ‘Beanerman.’ ‘He came from outer space in a giant bean, he’s the most amazing beaner you’ve ever seen. He’ll spot immigrants pickin’ lettuce, when we’re in trouble, he’ll never forget us’ … something like that." Mencia recently released season two of Mind of Mencia on DVD along with his comedy special, ‘No Strings Attached’.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Ok so we all are familiar with the bedroom antics of the Hollywood Blondes, Paris and Pam, but rumor has it, there is slowly coming to fruition a sex tape featuring none other than America’s Next Top Model Host, Tyra Banks. The video is allegedly shot without the ‘stars’ (that is if it is actually TB) consent which is probably why the tape hasn’t hit the net yet in the way that the other two did. No-one from Tyra’s camp has responded to the story yet, but supposedly the people who actually own the tape are going to be selling it online in the next month. Obviously nothing in entertainment is sacred anymore. The tape is said to show a woman who looks and sounds like Tyra cavorting with an Italian guy in a hotel room.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno It may look like another movie where the white chick comes to the hood and saves the poor, miserable, and violent Black and Latino kids, but the soundtrack for Freedom Writers is looking mighty fresh. Although it features classic joints from Montell Jordan (“This is How We Do”), Pharcyde (“Passing Me By”) and Gang Starr (“Code of the Streets”), new songs from Common, Talib Kweli and Will.I.Am (of Black Eyed Peas) are also included. The Soundtrack will hit stores on January 9, with the film arriving in theatres on January 12. The film follows the true story of teacher Erin Gruwells (played by Hillary Swank) as she comes to the hood to teach at a local high school. She realizes the pain and struggles of the everyday lives of the urban teenager and teaches them how to express themselves through writing. Here’s the track listing to the soundtrack: 1. Dream, A – Common – (featuring Will.i.am) 2. It’s R Time – Jeannie Ortega 3. When The Shit Goes Down – Cypress Hill 4. Listen – Talib Kweli 5. Passing Me By – The Pharcyde 6. Hip Hop Hooray – Naughty By Nature 7. Keep Ya Head Up – 2Pac 8. Code Of The Streets – Gang Starr 9. Rebirth Of Cool – Digable Planets 10. This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan 11. Officer – The Pharcyde 12. Change – Darrius Garrett 13. Colors – Will.i.am
By: Nova Slim Ron Artest dropped a rap album this year. That’s right. The same dude that brought it to the fans in the stands back in ’04 in the “Detroit Melee” has something to say. With My World, and his TruWarier imprint, Ron Artest has a big challenge on his hands. Not only does he now have to balance careers as a baller and a label boss, he has to emerge from the preconceived notions the general public has about athletes that rap. (Deion Sanders, anyone?) Did you purposely decide to drop the album just as the season was starting? ARTEST: No, as a matter of fact, dropping the album while the season was just startinghas beendifficult, because I have commitments to the Kings with games and practices and everything, and then I have to do everything I need to do to promote the album. So it’s definitely a challenge juggling everything right now. I’m grateful that I have the support of my coach and my team. There’s a stigma associated with athletes entering hip-hop. What separates your approach to music from people like Shaq, Kobe or A.I.? ARTEST: I’m not really worried about the stigma. People know me as a basketball player, not as a music artist, so I know I’m going to have to work hard and prove myself as any other up-and-coming artist has to. As for Shaq, his album went platinum so no one can hate on that. The music industry is pretty cut-throat right now and it’s hard for established stars to sell music these days. Did you have any fears going into this aside from the fact that you’re an athlete? ARTEST: Yeah, the music industry is very competitive, and being an artist is a lot harder than being a ball player. I have a lot of respect for all the artists out there who have made a name for themselves, as I’ve personally discovered just how hard the music business is. At the same time, I’ve always loved music. It’s always been a passion of mine. I’m thankful that I’m in a position where I can do both– play basketball AND do music. I put 110% into both of them. How did you approach the Detroit incident when using it as material for your album? ARTEST: I have a song on my album called "Haterz" where I discuss the Detroit incident. But other than that, I don’t talk about it on the album. There are so many other things going on in the world, so many more important things. It’s crazy how people still focus on that incident, when there are so many other larger issues people should be looking at. I have some serious songs on the album, some party songs, some songs for the ladies. So really, I address a lot of different things on the album. What else will we learn about you from this album? ARTEST: I hope that people will be able to understand me more a person. I am really just a regular dude at the end of the day, human just like everyone else. I hope people check out the album and enjoy the music. Did you reach out to any of the Queens-bred rappers for blessings or for guestspots? ARTEST: Ya know, I got so much support from artists from other areas of the country – Mike Jones, Fat Joe, Diddy, Juvenile, and so many offers for help from other artists, which I am really thankful for. But I didn’t get much supportfrom the rappers in my own hood -go figure. You opened for Young Jeezy and Fat Joe. How did the crowds receive you? ARTEST: It was amazing. Young Jeezy and Fat Joe are both professionals, so it was an honor to see how they do their thing and how they got the crowds motivated. During the Fat Joe tour, we opened for a crowd of 30,000 people at one show, the crowd was jumping. It was bananas. How do you plan to balance both careers this season? ARTEST: It’s been hard but I’ve been managing it. The most important thing is to get enough rest and not stretch myself too thin. I pace myself and when I’m getting tired I take the time to rest. Otherwise, I’m just on my grind, making sure I’m playing ball to the best of my abilities, and working on promoting the album as much as possible. What are you playing on your ipod? ARTEST: Jay Z’s [In My Lifetime] Volume 1, Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, 50 Cent’s first album, Slick Rick, Eminem’s first two albums, Nas’ Illmatic, Keisha Cole and Dido.
By: Hot Gossip Gal So as well know love flows freely around the Season of Goodwill and word on the streets is Nelly and Ashanti are officially engaged. Also TI and girlfriend Tiny of Xscape fame are allegedly tying the knot in May this year and I did hear that Tiny may be with child, the second for the couple. If it is a girl will she be called Queen? Hmmm now there’s thought.
By: Rizoh " Ghost-riding the whip," a relatively new fad in which a driver exits the car and dances around or on top of the moving vehicle, has claimed two lives and led to several injuries in others. Ghost-riding (also known as "ghosting") was ushered in with the west coast-bred hip-hop subgenre known as hyphy. Lastmonth, 18-year old Davender Gulley, died after his head slammed into a parked car while he was hanging out the window of an SUV in Stockton, according to police reports. In October, a 36-year-old man dancing on top of a moving vehicle fell, hit his head and died in what authorities noted as Canada’s first ghost riding fatality. E-40′s hyphy smash "Tell Me When to Go" is a highly favored ghost-riding soundtrack. The song offers a step-by-step on how to undertake the ghost-riding stunt, and includes the lyrics: "Ghostride the whip."
By: Hot Gossip Gal Ok y’all hope Santa was good to those of you who believe and those of that your resolutions keep them this year. We missed out on some gossip while away on our lil festive spree here at The Wire, so here is just a little re-cap. RIP The Godfather of Soul – James Brown, the man who has inspired manyand most, sadly passed on December 25th. His body did make a last trip to the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem on Thurs the 28th for apublic viewing. His lady friend/wife/whatever she really is Tomi Rae Hynie, however found herself locked out of her alleged home after the Godfather passed. The lock down was a move made by JB’s lawyer, Buddy Dallas who questions the couples marital arrangement. The Mighty Have Fallen – After seventeen years of marriage, the best that ever did it in basketball and his wife Juanita have called it quits. Obviously being back out on the road with his Charlotte Bobcats was just proving a little too difficult for the Mrs. She had filed for divorce previously from him as his wandering eye had caused her concern back when MJ was playing for the Chicago Bulls. Had she actually gone through with that the state laws of Illinois would have granted her up 90% of the couples assets. Wow. Dope Gets Caught with Coke – OK so last we talked on about Mike Tyson, he was supposed to be working it out as a male escort under the guidance of Ms. Heidi Fleiss. Now he is getting busted in the affluent area of Scottsdale in Phoenix, AZ for possession of coke and DUI. He actually ‘fessed up to the Deputy implying he had a problem with the white powder. The life of an ex champ is never easy is it?
iHipHop Blog Team