By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Mary J. Blige, the undisputed queen of hip-hop soul, has been putting it down for almost 15 years now so it’s fitting that a collection of her greatest songs is set to be released. The album, Reflections: A Retrospective will feature songs from all her album starting with 1992’s What’s the 411 plus four new songs including the new single “We Ride (I See the Future)”. “Mary J. Blige has reached the defining moment of her life – as a vocalist, as a songwriter, and as a human being,” said Ron Fair, Chairman of Geffen Records. “Her new album Reflections- A Retrospective is an essential collection of songs that solidifies Mary as one of the greatest recording artists of all time. Anyone who has ever suffered loss, experienced pain, been in trouble, gave love or been loved,can find themselves in the music of Mary J. Blige." The album is scheduled to drop on December 12.
By: Hot Gossip Gal In a in depth interview with Elle Magazine, Beyonce clears up a couple of thoughts that have been on the minds of many as we have watched her act a little different in her videos and listened to her ‘to the left’ songs from her second solo album, Birthday. Miss Knowles explains in the interview that she is not angry and nor was her track Ring the Alarm in any way connected to the rumors that boyfriend of four years Jay Z was actually dipping out on our favorite independent woman for the sultry Caribbean Def Jamette Rhianna. Beyonce however did mention that she didn’t want to do ‘another album full of love songs’ which was what her first album consisted of as ‘it is boring.’ And what better way to increase sales than to start people talking about tracks like Ring the Alarm and the current track in heavy rotation, To the Left. As previously reported on crackSpace.com Beyonce made sure she joined her man Jay Z on his world tour where he shared the stage with other Def Jam artists such as Ne-Yo and ahem… Rhianna. Beyonce has made comments in previous interviews that the reason her relationship with Jay Z has weathered the test of time is down to the duo’s ability to keep tight lipped about their private life.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno H3Enterprises announced that Diplomats emcee Juelz Santana will help introduce H3TV, a new LCD flat screen television made specifically for competitive video gaming. Juelz will participate at a live demo taking place this week at Warren Sapp’s Hip-Hop Soda Shop in St. Petersburg, Florida. "H3TV is by far the hottest LCD flat screen on the market," said H3′s Chief Communications Officer, Adrian "Hollywood" Walton. "And for hardcore gamers like me, H3TV is a gift from heaven. On Wednesday when I stop talking, you all are going to witness the future of HiDefTV and trust me; you will be amazed by what you see." According to Walton, H3TV offers simultaneous gaming competitions on the same screen, fully integrated gaming consoles compatible with both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and a multitude of split screen options available with just the touch of a button on the most user friendly remote on the market. HTRE is planning a second public presentation of H3TV in Harlem next week in conjunction with the Dipset crew.
By: Hot Gossip Gal Only two months after the birth of her second child with possibly the most talked about wanna be husband turned rapper, Britney Spears and husband Kevin Federline are calling it a day. Papers were filed by the Louisiana pop sensation at Los Angeles County Superior Court yesterday, the reason for the divorce being cited as irreconcilable differences. Brit Brit is looking for sole custody of her two children with K-Fed and as an air-tight pre-nup was signed before the two embarked on their two year overly exposed attempt at marital bliss, money definitely isn’t going to be a major issue in this divorce. Having stopped by the David Letterman Show earlier in the week to show off her new physique, it is doubtful that Brittany will be single for long and K-Fed should have plenty of lyrical content for his sophomore album now after his first attempt Playing with Fire literally crashed and burned.
By: Rizoh Comedian and host of this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards Katt Williams was arrested on Monday (November 6th) at the Los Angeles International Airport after officials found a weapon concealed in his carry-on luggage. Williams, 31, was cuffed at 3p.m. in Terminal 5 after security officers discovered what law enforcement source described as a "cheap, Saturday night special," according to TMZ.com Katt Williams was booked on felony charges of carrying a concealed weapon along with other unnamed offenses. Authorities also claim that the weapon had been reported stolen. Three additional weapons were packed in the baggage that Williams had previously checked in. The comedian, who recently appeared in his own HBO comedy special and signed a recording contract with Diplomats Records, is expected to host the first annual BET Hip-Hop Awards this week. The show will be taped in Atlanta on Sunday, November 12. A telecast is slated for Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
By: Hot Gossip Gal We are all more than aware that Def Jam’s El Presidente is making a come back on the 21st of this month with his Kingdom Come project. With a couple of tracks leaked to the internet that are flooding the airwaves right now, Jay has got everybody, lovers and haters patiently waiting. Yesterday it came to light just who production checks will be made out too for his tenth studio album. Names like Dr. Dre, Kanye West and Just Blaze were present. But what got the internet message boards jumping was the fact that Timbalands name didn’t make the list; which is actually kinda shocking when Tim has been the musical brain behind joints such as Dirt off your Shoulder and Big Pimpin’ on previous Jay Z albums. But obviously not so alarming when there are rumors circulating that Jay Z is so impressed with the quality of beats Virginia’s top boy is putting out right now, that there are talks of an album starring Brooklyn’s finest produced entirely by Mr. Mosley. It’s not like Tim really needed a check off Kingdom Come anyway when his work with Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado this year has earned metal discs all round.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno We first heard about “Carmen” during the 2001 battle between Jay-Z and Nas. The mother of Nas daughter, Carmen Bryan was thrust into the middle of the war of words between the rappers after Jay-Z admitted to hooking up with her while she was still with Nas. Of course this had the industry going nuts, but Bryan always refused to talk to the media about the battle and her relationship with the two rappers – until now. She was saving it all for her book, It’s No Secret. The book will reveal the stuff that went down behind the scenes plus her time working at Def Jam and Capitol Records and her experiences with different celebrities on a day-to-day basis. In the book, Bryan name checks everyone from Diddy and Allen Iverson to Beyonce and Kelis along with Nas and Jay-Z. The book will hit stores on November 28 through Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Blackalicious is one of the longest running indie hip-hop groups in the industry putting it down for more than a decade. In their new DVD, Blackalicious: 4/20 Live in Seattle, they not only performed some of their best known music, they share their beginnings, growth, and continuous development of new sound in in-depth interviews between songs. The live concert was taped on April, 20, 2006 in Seattle, Washington at the Showbox Theatre. More than 1200 fans came out to the show to see Gift of Gab and DJ Excel perform one of their more charismatic sets along with Lateef, Pigeon John, Lifesavas and Fat Lip (formerly of Pharcyde). Look for the DVD to hit stores on November 21. Here’s the tracklist: Alphabet Aerobics Excellent/Pen & Pad Paragraph President Blazing Arrow Rhythm Sticks Rock the Spot Deception Lady Don’t Tekno First in Flight Green Light Halfway Home Chemical Calestenics Side to Side Quannum World
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno It’s been about three years since we first and last heard from Lumidee, the voice behind that 2003 hit “Never Leave You (Uh Oh).” Now she’s gearing up to make a return, this time with TVT Records, home of Lil Jon, Pitbull and Ying Yang Twins. “TVT Records is the perfect way for me to come back and again I¹m coming out of left field, just like with ‘Never Leave You (Uh Oh),’ Lumidee said. “Nobody ever thought of me coming back on a street credible label like TVT, alongside acts like Pitbull, Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twins. Actually nobody ever thought of me really even coming back, period. It’s better then being on a major – been there, done that. TVT is a strong indie and I was able to actually see the boss as he signed me! It’s exciting for me to be repping a new side of TVT, being from Spanish Harlem.” Lumidee is currently at work on her new album, Unexpected, due out in March 2007. Her first single, “She’s like the Wind” features Tony Sunshine, is already generating a buzz.
By: Rizoh With only one week left before Game’s sophomore album, the Doctor’s Advocate, hits shelves the Compton rapper has found yet another way to keep his name in headlines. A star-studded remix of Game’s street single "It’s Okay (One Blood)" recently found its way to the internet. The guest list for "It’s Okay (One Blood) Remix" reads like a hit-making factory: Snoop Dogg, Nas, T.I., Jim Jones, Fat Joe, Lil Wayne, Noreaga, Fabolous, Twista, Jadakiss & Styles P, Tha Dogg Pound, W.C., E-40, Clipse, Bun B, Slim Thug, Chamillionare, Juelz Santana, Young Dro, and Ja Rule. Featuring 20+ emcees and clocking in at 11 minutes and 47 seconds, the song has the most guest spots and the longest runtime for a rap remix. "What other rap artist could bring this type of lineup together for one song? It’s the biggest rap remix ever—No Question! And every emcee spits fire. Just listening to the track after we put the final touches on, I almost didn’t believe it myself. I’m very proud to be able to put this out for fans of hip-hop everywhere," said The Game. "It’s Okay (One Blood)" featuring Junior Reid, was released as a street single from the Doctor’s Advocate in July 2006. Following incessant airplay on radio stations across the nation, the song quickly exploded onto Billboard charts. The Doctor’s Advocate is expected in stores November 14th, 2006. Listen Here
By William E. Ketchum III A classic quote from American author, advertising executive, and politician Bruce Barton, reads, “When you are through changing, you are through.” So why has rap hated on Black Sheep? A part of hip-hop’s storied Native Tongue collective, the duo’s 1991 debut album, A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing, garnered both critical acclaim and legend in rap circles with its playful wit and satire serving as a lighter, equally effective alternative to the angry political rap of its time. With their disc going gold (when gold really meant something in rap) and the Native Tongues going strong, Dres and Mr. Lawnge had quite the future ahead of them. But then, the NY-born, North Carolina migrant MCs changed. Their sophomore album, Non-Fiction, turned off fans with a tone that was notably more serious and less whimsical than their debut from three years earlier, and their Mercury recording home folded, and Lawnge left the group to pursue a solo career. Dres has kept busy with a solo project and cameos elsewhere, but the new 8VM/Novakane shows Dres coming back like Jordan wearing the 4-5, reigniting the amusing, soulful Black Sheep fire while maintaining the meditative ripeness of their second effort. In an interview with HipHopCrack, Dres reflects on where he’s been and focuses on where he’s going. HipHopCrack: So what have you been up to between then and the time the last Sheep album had came out? Dres: Various things, to be honest.I had bought a crib down in Carolina for a few years, I was down in Charlotte, and it gave me opportunity to be closer to my family and just some other things. I stayed kind of busy in the music, I did a solo project that I sold myself online, five or six years ago. I did some stuff with other cats Handsome boy modeling school, some acting in a movie called “Once In The Life” with Laurence Fishburn.I mean just little things, nothing where I was in the public eye. But at the end of the day, I kept busy and just tried to be happy. It’s kind of like if people don’t see you, they feel like you’re not doing nothing. But it’s just life; everybody lives once, and I’m enjoying mine. HipHopCrack: There’s a bit of confusion on my part—I thought you and Mr. Lawnge had broken up as a group, but he’s still on the album… Dres: He actually makes an appearance on a couple of hooks but he decided to pursuit a solo career, so Lawnge is pursuing his own thing. I wish him the best, and at the end of the day that’s what it is, dude decided he wanted to pursuit a solo career toward the end of this project, and he went for it. You’ll hear him on a couple of hooks on the album, though. But a pro to it is that I get a chance to bring Sammy B, the DJ of the Jungle Brothers, I bring him on the road with me now. But at the end of the day, Lawnge just had ambitions to do his own thing, so I wish him the best with it. HipHopCrack: So what is like with touring with Sammy B now as oppose to Lawnge? Dres: I think its kind of cool, me and Sammy B are cut from the same cloth. We both have grown man perspectives on a lot of things, and we get along really well. It’s cool. There are certain situations that he was privy too and I wasn’t and vice versa, so we kind get to see things from each other’s perspective. HipHopCrack: You are from New York but you actually grew up in North Carolina. How do each of those locations affect your music? Dres: I think more than geographical would probably be our parents. Like you kind of grow up listening to your parents’ music. So at the end of the day I mean, I think just me having lived in New York and Carolina it kind of open me up to the diversity of music. When I was in Carolina, I would probably been more serious about hip hop than if I was in New York. I felt like in New York, you kind of take it for granted because you grow up around it, and you see that cats that do it, if you don’t do it yourself. In North Carolina you study a record. You knew where LL took his breaths; you studied a record, because that was basically all you had. So it kind of made us more deft at the art hip hop in my opinion, because that’s what we were in to. And us being from New York, we were very much into the purest form of what we knew hip hop could be—and that was straight coming from the hood. It was just a New York thing, totally. I come from a place and I have friends, and all of us could DJ. All of us could rhyme. We were all into hip hop and I remember tagging up a board, a wall in North Carolina. It was probably a horrible tag [laughs], but it was just where I was from. I was just like, “Damn, it is just so clean out here. A kid would just love to be able to tag some stuff down here.” And I wrote my name real big with about eight different spray cans, and it was because that’s who I was a hip hop enthusiast. That wasn’t even necessarily who I was, I wasn’t running around tagging shit. That was probably the only time I tagged something in my life. HipHopCrack: As a side note, what you think of Little Brother? There from North Carolina, too. Dres: I got so much love for Little Brother, that’s my word. I think they are dope. I feel like they are younger cousins or siblings of ours, I feel like they were the young kids at the cookout my people was throwing who was studying what was going on. We kind of share some of the same terrain. And at the end of the day, I’m proud of who they are, I see how dope they are. I see them to be artists; alot of cats I don’t see to be artists. Regardless of what their records sold, regardless of who’s playing their video, regardless of anything, as a person, I see who they are and I dig them. I like 9th wonder a lot, (I like) his energy and I think he’s a dope producer, and I think them kids got something to say. Granted, when I say kids, we all evolve—fifteen years ago, I was a kid too. I like where they are, and I hope to do some stuff with them in the future. HipHopCrack: It’s been a decade since the previous Black Sheep albums, and it’s been a minute since your solo album, too. What are some things you do now or some topics that you looked at on the new album that you can remember thinking about completely differently during the time span of your previous albums? Dres: That’s a good question. I’ll say maybe something like a “Be Careful,” where I just hadn’t had those experiences yet, to be able to know…I think we’re all cautious as people of who we are around, but it’s only after you know certain shit in life that you know why you trying to be careful. Then a record like “Novakane,”where I’m talking about we’ve got to start choosing better options for what we do. Everybody likes nice shit, but at the end of the day. I’ve grown to a person who rather spends $50,000 on a day care center than $50,000 on a bracelet. To me, it just means more. And that’s how you shine, by taking care of yourself and by taking care of people around you, and helping each other. If you’re the catalyst of a cat being able to take his daughter to day care and go to work, or the woman being able to take her son to day care to go to work and provide for this child, you’re embracing a way that a bracelet would never to begin to have you endeared. That’s where I’m headed. Not saying I’m going to do that, I feel like it’s important to put that kind of energy in the air. It’s important for cats to know that those are options. I ain’t saying you got to do it, but I am saying you should know that a situation like that exists when you walk into a store to do some of shit that you walk into the store to do. Like, “Damn, what really make sense?” I’ve bought elaborate shit that I’ve lost; you can’t lose a day care, you cant lose a laundromat. It’s certain little shit we can start doing as a community to shine as oppose to shining for self. And at the end of the day, I like nice shit still. You’re going to see me and I look nice, and if you choose to price what I’m wearing, that’s on you. I’m not really the cat that’sgone make a record about it. I don’t really make a record about my attire and or my car. That’s shit that people who have nothing to talk about do, in my opinion. Whenever I’m in a conversation when someone is constantly talking about what they own or what they aspire to own, they’re not really saying shit. Those are people who don’t have nothing to say. HipHopCrack: Why do you think your second album wasn’t received as well as your first? Dres: For various reasons. I think the most important one was that the label we were on wound up folding. From us, to Vanessa Williams, to Tony Tone Toni, everybody wound up not having a label. If a label is about to fold, it means there is a going down process. It never really got the opportunity I felt like the first got. For the first album we shot four videos, there was so much more done to create (a buzz). At a certain level cats kind of expected A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing Part 2, and that’s really what that record is. I think it’s a dope record in my personal opinion, but I think every artist thinks their shit is dope, so I’m not going to get caught up in that. But I’ve been approached by people that feel the same way, and then I’ve been approached by people who feel the opposite. So at the end of the day, I’m good with it. I feel like I achieve what I was trying to do; rather or not it does it for you, it’s your prerogative. But it was just who we were at that point; it was real, and it came from a real place. So I have no problem with what happened. I mean, yeah you wish your label had been a little bit stronger or whatever, but at the end of the day, that might’ve have been a blessing. I’ve been to a show where the bill was us, Biggie and Pac, so I really understand that I don’t have to be here. Even taking a step back from the industry, it gave me a perspective I honestly don’t think I would have had otherwise. I think I was just as caught up in a lot of shit as a lot of people, and it was only when I removed myself from it that I kind of found myself a little bit. And I’m good with it. I don’t live for other peoples’ expectations of me. I’m real good with my life, and I enjoy it. I have aspirations. I wake up to try to do what I’m doing right now, and I feel good about what I’m trying to do. HipHopCrack: I was asking that because it seems like this new project is really a happy medium between the both of those albums. Dres: That’s true. I don’t think it’s something I consciously try to do, but I agree with you. That’s very true. HipHopCrack: What was your main objective with the new album? Dres: Honestly I wanted to make an album that each song could stand on the merit of itself. I wanted to make an album where the song that came on didn’t sound like the song that preceded it or the song that would come after. I wanted to make a record where it was just soulful, and a easy listen. Like I didn’t want to do something other than make some hot shit. Real simple—regardless of who produced it or what was going on, I wanted to do something soulful and reflective of who I was as a MC or what I was trying to convey. HipHopCrack: Who do you look at as your audience these days? Your initial audience or some new listeners? Dres: I think this is definitely something for cats that know of us and like us as a group. I think they will be very happy with the album, and I also feel like it’s a great introduction for cats that might be too young or not know who we are, or might not have even been into hip-hop at that point. I come from a place when I feel like we were one of the groups that introduced hip-hop to the masses. In the hood it was always there, but as far as suburban wise, I feel like were one of the groups that introduced. There was lot of more introduction after we left, so there might be people who are really kind of new to hip-hop, and I feel like this is a great album for them to really get a gist of what hip hop isEverybody is quick to say what is not hip hop or what we hearing now is not hip hop. Well if you look for some hip hop, I think I’ve got a dose of it for you, so that you can understand what cats talk about when they say why (current rap) is not hip hop. I feel like this album is for anybody with a sense of self, and that kind of goes against age. Sometimes you can be a young cat and have a good sense of who you are as a person. And everybody with a good sense of self its kind going to listen to this record. I don’t feel like it is for everyone. At the end of the day, ignorance is bliss, and there’s a lot of bliss in the world. Not to say that those cats can’t get something from it, because I hope that they do, but its not really my job to make sure that they do. I’m really looking for the cat who knows who they are, and wants to carry a torch that lights the way to somewhere. HipHopCrack: Something that stood out with your music, especially your first album, is that your music really made it sound like you were having the time of your life while you were recording. Was this new album just as fun? Dres: Yeah, I’ll say so. This is me as a grown man. That’s a big difference. That’s not going to be as whimsical, don’t get it twisted. Certain aspects of who we were are always who we’re going to be, so I think that comes across as well. But there’s a lot of growth that people will see between the two albums, as far as delivery, enunciation and everything. It’s like a basketball player; he could be really dope in his rookie year, but he’s not really quite the player he’s going to be as a seasoned veteran. Even if his physical prowess isn’t the same, he’s just that much more learned, and has that much more of an understanding of the concept of the game. BlackSheep
By: Rizoh While speaking to teenmusic recently, Akon disclosed that rap megastar Eminem (born Marshall Mathers) has a new album in the bakery. Akon, who met Eminem through Obie Trice, also claims to have inspired Eminem’s recent move. "Eminem told me he was getting bored with everything, which is why he took a break. But he’s back working on an album and I’ve got some records ready for him to use on it. "I know him through (rapper) Obie Trice and we’ve talked about doing something together for so long, but our schedules made it impossible. It was our chemistry that got him out of retirement." As reported previously, Akon’s "Smack That" single (which features Eminem) recently skyrocketed from No. 95 to No.7, thus setting a new Billboard record. The song is featured on Akon’s upcoming sophomore album Konvicted, due out November 21. Eminem, on the other hand, is currently adding finishing touches to his forthcoming Shady compilation Eminem Presents: The Re-Up, slated for December5.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno BET announced that performers for the 1st annual BET Hip-Hop Awards will include Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, The Game, T.I., Young Dro, Lil Wayne, Baby and Young Jeezy. Other participants include nominees Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross, Remy Ma, Jim Jones, Rhymefest, Sway, Papoose, DJ Scratch, DJ Drama, Saigon, and Styles P. The will be hosted by Katt Williams (Money Mike in Friday after Next) and air on November 15. To get hip-hop fans hyped for the show, BET aired “Tailgatin’: The Hip-Hop Awards Nomination Special” last week and on Sunday, November 12, BET will air a clip show featuring rapper cameos from Busta Rhymes, Lil Kim, Missy Elliot, Redman, Method Man, Murphy Lee and a host of others. Preceding the November 15 broadcast, will be the BET Hip-Hop Awards Black Carpet pre-show that will capture artist interviews as they arrive at the show. After the show, there will also be a post-show wrap-up. BET is now asking viewers to cast their votes now at BET for their favorite video to win the Alltel Wireless People’s Champ Award (Viewers’ Choice).
By: Rizoh If you thought Flavor Flav had stopped looking for love after picking Deelishis as the winner of Flavor of Love II, then think again. The Vh1 reality star and former Public Enemy hypeman says he is looking for love, specifically for the "good-girl type." Flavor Flav, 47, who searched for love on the VH-1 series "Flavor of Love," told the New York Post what he desires in women. "Honestly, I look for the good-girl type," said Flav, born William Jonathan Drayton Jr. "The faithful type, you know what I’m sayin’? A woman that is a very strong on holding down the home front. A woman who is going to stand up for hers. What about Deelishis? Flava says that his first post-Flavor of Love date with Deelishis (real name London Charles) will be a memorable one. "I haven’t premeditated the date yet but she’s going to get a hell of date when she does get it," said Flav.
By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Comedian Mo’Nique apparently didn’t like what she saw when watching both Flavor of Love season one and two. Thirteen of the Flavor of Love girls will participate in Mo’Nique’s new VH1 series “Charm School Queen”, a new show that will train the ladies in proper etiquette and put their social skills to the test. "These girls are outspoken and outrageous, but they need some focus and direction,” Mo’Nique. “I’m just the woman to give it to them. You will see a metamorphosis in these girls, I promise!" Each one of Flav’s ex’s will compete in challenges testing poise and grace and will be judged on their ability to handle pressure in difficult situations. They will be given the opportunity to transform from a flavor of the month to the ultimate standard in class and sophistication. Although the amount hasn’t been announced, the prize will be cash. Look for series to hit screens in 2007.
iHipHop Blog Team