By: Rizoh Kelley’s Tell-All Book Targets Oprah Winfrey Kitty Kelley, whose best sellers include biographies of Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan and the Bush family, has selected Oprah Winfrey as her next target. Kelley plans to speak with hundreds of sources for the book. While the author has spoken disparagingly of the Bushes, comparing them to the Corleones, she appears to have a positive opinion of Winfrey in the book. "Oprah Winfrey has fascinated me for many years — as a woman, she has wielded an unprecedented amount of influence over the American culture and psyche," Kelley said via a statement issued Wednesday by the Crown Publishing Group, an imprint of Random House, Inc. A publication date for the book is yet to be revealed.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Turns out the owner of the GGW Empire was fined 1.6 million and sentenced to community service for having underage girls appear in one of his many DVDs. One of the underage exhibitionists reasoning for suing Joe Francis, ‘it put a strain on relationships with her family.’ But its still full steam ahead for the company that has spent years studying and comparing nipples on college gals throughout the nation, as the suit won’t cause the company to be closed down.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Ozone magazine, the South’s answer to the Source and XXL all rolled into one has put out their Sex Edition. Topics covered in this months mag are going to cause some controversy, but Julia Beverly, the mags owner has never been a chick to sit back and stick to the norm anyway. But seriously this lil selection of features even me going ‘Yuk.’ Is anyone really interested in the ‘objects of B.Gs masturbation, or the nastiest text message Lil Wayne received or even where Lil Boosie finds his favorite prostitutes? Not me however but I would be curious to know if Wayne’s message was from his Daddy…SIKE.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Snoop recently announced that he’ll join Ice Cube on tour in January, now the Doggfather will also join Diddy for his European Tour. The tour will go through 18 cities across nine countries beginning on March 12 in Oslo, Norway and end on April 2 in Nottingham Arena in the United Kingdom. Both Diddy and Snoop will be promoting their latest projects, Diddy’s Press Play and Snoop’s Tha Blue Carpet Treatment. Here’s the current tour itinerary: MARCH 12 Oslo, Norway Spektrum 13 Copenhagen, Denmark The Forum 14 Berlin, Germany Max Schmelling Halle 15 Stuttgart, Germany Schleyerhalle 16 Hamburg, Germany Sporthalle 17 Frankfurt, Germany Festhalle 18 Munich, Germany Olympiahalle 19 Zurich, Switzerland Hallenstadion 21 Paris, France Bercy 22 Paris, France Bercy 23 Dusseldorf, Germany Philipshalle 24 Brussels, Belgium Forest National 25 Amsterdam, Holland Heineken Music Hall 27 London, UK Wembley Arena 28 Cardiff, UK Cardiff International Arena 29 Manchester, UK MEN Arena 30 Glasgow, UK SECC (Hall 4) 31 Dublin, Ireland The Point APRIL 1 Dublin, Ireland The Point 2 Nottingham, UK Nottingham Arena
By: Quibian Salazar-Moreno This entire week Usher has been preparing for the opening of his first franchise, The Grape, a wine bar targeted towards young adults. Usher hosted a meet-n-greet and private party last night and the bar will open to the public today. Usher also plans to open a Grape in New York (to coincide with his 2007 album), Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. They’re also looking at Chicago and possibly overseas at places like South America, Shanghai and Tokyo. Usher’s partner in the venture is Jack Mazur, who launched The Grape franchise in 2000 in Atlanta. The Franchise is known for its copyrighted list of 10 numbered styles, which allows new drinkers to describe their preference.
By: Hot Gossip Gal It has been a week for top supermodel Naomi Campbell to spend some time thinking about what sins she has committed this year. Beating up her best friend, obnoxious behaviour, you know the usual behavior we see from models with substance abuse issues. With comments like this it is apparent that the six foot Goddess may be really taking the time to contemplate her temper and what ignites it."I have to be very careful who I’m around, what I say, who’s around me. I cannot be with someone on my own anymore because I don’t know the agendas that people have." BUT then we spot her wearing T-shirts like this and three letters come to mind WTF?
By: Rizoh Mother of three and sister to Cashmoney Records’ co-founder Bryan "Baby" Williams died when her vehicle was struck by a motorist driving in the wrong direction down Causeway Boulevard early Monday morning. Tamara Williams, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene on the Causeway overpass at Interstate 10 in irie, said Col. John Fortunato, spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The accident occurred just after midnight as Tamara Williams was driving north on Causeway Boulevard in her 2006 Toyota Camry, Fortunato said. She was in the far left lane on the up-slope of the northbound overpass when Jason Williams rounded the top of the hill in his 2001 Chevrolet Silverado and hit her head-on. Tamara was the youngest of six siblings.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Foxy Brown obviously thinks she doesn’t have to deal with waiting on line like the rest of us, even if it is for drug testing to keep her ass out of court. Inga wasn’t feeling the wait of three hours last week and said this as to why she didn’t hang around and do as she was told just for once, "it is not that I have anything against my people, but my safety was in jeopardy." This coming from a chick who is in the system for attacking manicurists. And wasn’t she the one to say this "Supreme bitch, y’all broads is ancient/I’ll bank your whole shit, top draft pick like/I’m the Prince Nasheem of this shit/Come test me; and leave with your vest swiss cheese like." But as we all know in Hip-Hop people tuff talk does not equate to tuff person.
By: Rizoh Fresh off their "Idlewild" movie success, Outkast star Andre 3000 (Andre Benjamin) is set to appear in a 1970s basketball comedy due out in 2008. Andre, who recently launched his own animated series "Class of 3000" on Cartoon Network, will play a hotshot star alongside Woody Harrelson. "Semi-Pro" will pit the acting talents of the rapper alongside Will Ferrell, who stars as a basketball team coach for the minor league team the Tropics. Benjamin plays a self-styled ladies’ man who is the best player on the team.
By: Hot Gossip Gal What happened to him? Where is Dame Dash now? It’s like he was nothing but a figment of my imagination right now. But i did hear that he owes a couple of hundred thousand to the estate of ODB, money that he never paid on Dirt McGurts final album which was actually supposed to drop before the year closed. Are things that bad for the ‘Ultimate Hustler’ now?
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno As of late, BET has been bringing some pretty good programming to the airwaves. With the success of shows like “American Gangster” and “Beef: The Series”, the network has decided to make the shows available for download on iTunes. “We are delighted that BET programming is now available on iTunes as an important element in BET’s global digital strategy," said BET Networks Chairman and CEO Debra Lee. "As the world’s most popular digital download store, iTunes is a key platform for serving our existing audience of African- American media super-consumers, and for introducing our breakthrough programming franchises to other audiences." iTunes will also carry the full seasons of “Lil Kim: Countdown to Lockdown”, “Best of BET Comic View”, “DMX: Soul of a Man” and “The Christies: Committed.” Each show will be $1.99 per episode with more BET programming on the way.
By: Kevin Clark With the fifth pick during the 1999 NBA Draft, theToronto Raptors selected Jonathan Rene Bender. Bender, a 7-foot-tall prospect from Picayune Memorial High School, was a college prospect to play at Mississippi State. He was then traded to the Indiana Pacers for Antonio Davis. Bender’s size, athleticism, and skill complimented the Pacers style of play. This never progressed to stats, as Bender proved disappointing. At the end of his career, Bender totaled out at 1,335 points and 530 rebounds (combined offensive and defensive). Having never averaged double digits in scoring and plagued with injuries, Bender sat out most of the 2004-2005 season after playing only seven games. At the end of his playing career, Bender was waved by his team and retired on February of this year. Never one to be counted out, the 25-year-old Mississippian is building himself into a powerful brand. He sits down with HipHopCrack as he talks about his retirement, his upcoming projects, and why people nowadays don’t really respect a daily grind. HHC: You were drafted straight out of High School, although, you had a verbal commitment to Mississipi State. Why did you think that it was more beneficial for you to go to the League, instead of going to college? JB: Actually, I did the verbal commitment when I got out of High School to get the press off of my back. You have to look at things like you’re playing chess. Especially, when you’re indecisive about going to college, the press will try and pinpoint it. Then after that, they’ll make it a focus and I really didn’t want that type of attention. So, it was all a strategy that I had planned. HHC: Do you think that Mississippi is underrated as a basketball state? JB: Yes, I really think that it is. In Mississippi, there are a lot of athletic guys down there that have skills. They just don’t have anything down there that’ll put that spotlight on them. They really struggle down there because they can’t get the right showcase. Right now, I’m in the works, trying to put together a foundation so that attention can be focused on the guys down there back home who have that potential. HHC: Scouts felt that you were the perfect fit with the Raptors and the Pacers for your size, athleticism and just plain skills. Although, your career was plagued with injuries, your high school accomplishments were lauded. Do you think the transition from high school directly into the League left you somewhat unprepared? JB: I was prepared it was just that training and practicing that I was doing in High School had a long term affect on my body. I am glad that I got out of the league before anything serious could happen. The type of training that we were doing wasn’t beneficial good for me during my growth spurt. We were doing a lot of jumping drills and running on the hardwood. That meant a lot of pounding on the knees. Even outside of basketball, when we would get finished with practice, we would continue to ball on the street. So, you’ve went from an inside court to running up and down on concrete. That wears after awhile. Plus, growing up… and even still, you don’t have anyone in your early stages that is there to help you train efficiently. HHC: In the final days of your NBA career, you were waived by the Pacers in 2006 after previously being limited to seven games during the 2004-05 season. Do you think that you were “forced” into retirement by your former team? JB: Nah, I wasn’t forced at all. The team was behind me 120%. After that first year when I came back, I decided to keep my sanity and I had got myself back together. But I had the same pains. Then, I took a couple of MRIs and it showed that my knees weren’t getting any better. The doctor kept asking me what I wanted to do. At the time, I told him that I wanted to keep going. So, we kept trying but it became progressively worse. HHC: But you have yet to file retirement papers. Why? Are you still collecting checks from the team? JB: No, I didn’t sign the papers because you never know. I’m really just taking a year or two off to really try and heal up. If you sign those papers, you’re not allowed to come back. I would make a return if I’m mentally and physically prepared for it. If I can maintain on the court then I’ll continue to try. HHC: Having moved on from professional basketball, you’ve dabbled into real estate and entertainment. What should we expect from you with “Retired at 25”…? JB: The show is basically just about me; it is about me and my life. I was always into music before I played ball. I have a label called Akright Records. A lot of athletes get stereotyped because they have some sort of boutique label. They try to say that they don’t know what they’re doing. But “Retired at 25” is just to show that I have a deep passion for all of the things that I do. I work really hard, despite what others may think of athletes. My daily grind is serious – from boxing to the real estate company to my recording label, I oversee everything that goes on. HHC: You also have a Hip-Hop cooking show? Obviously, Hip-Hop is the selling point, but what else should viewers be looking forward to with this show? JB: The cooking show is more original and looser. The chefs dance and really have a great charisma on screen. Personally, it’s on some New Orleans type stuff. We have a lot of Deep South recipes. On the show, we try to switch it up as much as possible. For instance, we’d fry some oyster and mix it in with greens and pepper it with some spices. These guys have a lot of imagination and they use it to the benefit of the show. We’re finishing up the pilot and we’re getting ready to shop it around to networks. HHC: It seems that Hip-Hop and the NBA have a love-hate thing going on, yet, the players seem to all cool within the culture. You, yourself, have a recording label called Akright Records. Do you see this as a successful venture even after failed attempts by Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant as rappers and even Shaquille O’Neal as a label head? JB: Nah, I don’t like people who just take it as a hobby. I work hard everyday with everything that I do. My daily schedule starts off by me going to the gym. Then from there to the studio; I have credibility with all that I do. It is hard to pick out the real from the fake because there are people out there who have a like for what they do and then there are those who have the love. I’m not one of those lackluster homeboys. I’m into this for the gusto. I have the love for this. I get up at around 7 or 8 in the morning, eat breakfast, I stop to talk with my boxers – we’re putting an album together, so we’re getting the credit sheet together. I stay in the office to work on getting sample clearances with the lawyers. After that, I go to work out. I go to [producer] KLC’s studio in Baton Rouge. At the end of the day, I come home. Even there, I still check on the real estate. I figure out what states I have to be in to shoot for the shows and try to finish up with the pilot for the shows. HHC: For you record label, you’ve concentrated your attention on your hometown and Louisiana, why? What is it about these rappers that you feel they have what it takes to be put out in the national spotlight? JB: I focused on home because that’s where I’m from. Plus, I believe that there is untapped talent that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. I think that all of the artists signed to Akright bring their own flavor. They’re all going to appeal to the ladies. But I think that Young A, Shawt, and Nosa have a strong future ahead of them. All we have to do is grind hard for us to have something to shock the world with. HHC: For such a young guy – even though you’re older than me [laughs] – you’ve been able to dabble into a lot of things including real estate. What is it about that next level of professionalism that opens up so many opportunities? JB: It just shows that you’ve laid a foundation. That you’ve worked hard for something. Being a professional is like having a stamp, a mark of approval from your peers. It means that you have credentials. It really takes time to achieve that. Once you get that stamp, people respect you because they see you doing your thing. When people are following you they understand that you have a movement behind you. HHC: Why don’t more Black athletes school the youth to the alternatives instead of seemingly encouraging kids to pick up a ball? JB: Because a lot of people like fast money and don’t respect a daily grind. It’s instant money if you have skills. We have a lot of athletic brothers who can make that jump into football and basketball, but not a lot of consciously forward thinking people. There are some people who decide to go into real estate. Other wait until their career is over to try and branch out to create another business. So, a lot of people have the ingenuity, but a lot of others haven’t. Those who haven’t really have the entourages and are really materialistic. They just aren’t taking hold of the opportunities. It’s sad.
By: Rizoh The music industry gears up for bad news as Atlanic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun has been reported critically ill, following his fall at a Rolling Stones concert in October. Doctors say the 83-year old’s chances of "meaningful recovery" are very slim. The accident responsible for Ertegun’s current state occured at a Rolling Stones concert on Broadway in New York City; Ertegun slipped while coming out of a rest room, and fell down a flight of stairs. He has been in an intensive care unit ever since. "His situation is very critical….His recovery, speaking medically, does not look possible. He may be able to live for a while on support units. But his will does clarify that he does not want to live this way. The final decision, however, will have to be made by his wife Mica." Mice Ertegun, meanwhile, has said that when her husband dies, she wants to bury him in Istanbul‘s Uskudar neighborhood, where his family already has a large plot in a cemetary there. Ertegun, the son of a Turkish diplomat, has worked with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Herbie Mann, the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, Eric Clapton, Bette Midler, John Coltrane, Led Zeppelin, Tori Amos, and many others. Atlantic is home to rappers T.I. and Lupe Fiasco.
iHipHop Blog Team