By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      Ice-T and his wife Nicole “Coco” Austin have only been married for a year but apparently they know how to sustain a relationship. The couple is writing a book in which they share their “secrets” to success in their marriage.

      "Me and Ice are currently writing a book about creating and maintaining a successful relationship," Coco told Page Six. "We have had great success in balancing our careers and private lives, and we would like to share some of that knowledge with others who are in need of guidance and/or inspiration.”

       Ice-T was married to his first wife, Darlene Ortiz, for over 15 years, had a child, and split up in 2002. Ice met Coco two months after he split with Ortiz. Coco was married in 1999 but divorced in 2003. There’s no word on who’s publishing the book or when the book will come out.

By: Rizoh

      Your guesses were right. Bow Wow himself has revealed that his new single, “Outta My System,” is about ex-girlfriend Ciara Harris. In “Outta My System,” Bow Wow rhymes, "I still got a lot of pain/ I ain’t dealt with it all/ I been running round with other chicks/ I’m single and they loving it/ I’m liking it, but I just want the one I was in love with."

      The teen rapper told MTV that the song is truly about his old flame. "It deals with a situation I was in, for sure," said Bow Wow. "It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to listen to that song and know what I’m talking about or who I’m talking to. That’s why I did it. That once again deals with the price of fame."

      Bow Wow added that he has maintained a cordial relationship with Ciara since their split. "I’m sure she has my album just like I got hers," he told MTV. "She told me congrats on everything. … We had small talk and kept it moving."

       You would recall that Bow Wow and Ciara ended their one year relationship in April 2006. We still wonder what happened to that diamond ring Ciara was spotting on her left ring finger before the split.

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      Even though Jay-Z is deflecting questions about a bank that got rich off of slaves’ labor investing in the new arena for his Brooklyn Nets, he’s happy to launch a new sister line to his Roc-A-Wear clothing company. Jigga recently announced the launch of Bella Roc, a line of clothes for women that will range from $125 to $4,000.

      The clothing line will be a limited edition line that will target women in the 25 to 45 year old range and feature crystals and metallic gold stitching on jeans and other garments. There are also plans to launch a women’s sportswear and outerwear line. A launch date for Bella Roc has yet to be announced.

By: Rizoh

      It’s a familiar tune. Rapping and singing are not the only lucrative careers in the music industry, or so says Def Jam recording artist Ludacris. While speaking to 300 Atlanta high school students, Luda urged the youngsters to redirect their focus to career other choices.

      The discussion was held at the Clark Atlanta University‘s Park Street Music & Art Complex as a warm up event leading up to the Grammy Awards.

      “Self education is the most important thing to have,” Ludacris said. “I know you can have street smarts. But if you combine that with book smarts, you’ll be unstoppable.”

      He also had a piece of advice for aspiring musicians. “Watch out for people who you hang around with. Being surrounded by negative people will just bring you down. However, if there are positive folks around, then positive things will happen.”

      R&B singer Lyfe Jennings cosigned Luda’s sentiment with an “Amen.”

      ‘It’s a tough world out there, and I just kept messing up,’ said Jennings, who rose to popularity through his 2004 album Lyfe 268-192, a direct referrence to his former prison number. “Hopefully, students can reflect from our faults and apply how overcame them to their lives.”

      Ludacris is up for three Grammys this year, including “Best Rap Song” and “Best Rap Album.”

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      On February 6, Jamaica will be celebrating Bob Marley’s 62nd birthday like it does every year for Bob Marley, but this time they will have a show to go to. On February 10, Marley’s sons Damian, Julian, Ky-Mani and Stephen Marley will throw a concert in his birthplace of Nine Miles in St. Ann Parish called “Smile Jamaica.” The show is to promote peace and commemorate the 62nd anniversary of Marley’s birth.

      The name missing among the brothers is Ziggy Marley, the most well-known Marley offspring. Apparently Ziggy is unable to attend the concert and doesn’t even really visit Jamaica anymore, even though he was born in the same place as his father.

      Ziggy’s mom and Bob’s widow, Rita Marley, will be in attendance, however, and may even perform. She’s a member of the I Threes, formerly Bob Marley’s backup singers.

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      Marco Polo is an established producer who has been working his way up the underground hip-hop ranks for the past several years. Now Polo has signed a deal with Rawkus Records and gearing up to drop his debut album, Port Authority, on May 7.

      “This album represents the last three years of my life; my big move to NY from Toronto four years ago and the musical growth I’ve gone through while finishing it,” Polo said. “It represents a part of hip-hop that is slowly and undeniably withering away. This album also represents my efforts to unite dope artists and make music that has lasting power.  My project is not a compilation, it’s my ‘Soul Survivor’ (Pete Rock) and Port Authority will attest to that!  People that loved Rawkus back in the day, this album will remind you why as it takes things back to the classic era of Rawkus Records.”

      The album features a bevy of guests including Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, Wordsworth, Buckshot, Large Professor, Sadat X, O.C., AG, Ju Ju (Beatnuts) Ed O.G., Kardinal Offishall among others. Here’s the tracklisting for the album:

 

1.) “Port Authority Intro” f/O.C.
2.) “Get Busy” f/ Copywrite
3.) “Marquee” f/ O.C.
4.) “War” f/Kardinal Offishall
5.) “Nostalgia” f/ Masta Ace
6.) “The Wrong One” f/ Wordsworth
7.) “Low Budget All Stars” f/ Kev Brown, Kenn Starr, Oddisee, Cy Young & Kaimbr
8.) “Speak Softly” f/ Jo Jo Pellegrino
9.) “Time And Place” f/ Ed O.G.
10.) “The Radar” f/ Large Professor
11.) “All My Love” f/ Jaysaun
12.) “Lay It Down” f/ Roc Marciano of The U.N.
13.) “Go Around” f/ Buckshot
14.) “Hood Tales” f/ Kool G. Rap & DV Alias Khryst
15.) “Heat” f/ Supastition
16.) “Rollin” f/ Sadat X, AG & Ju Ju of The Beatnuts
17.) “For The Future” f/ Critically Acclaimed
18.) “Relax” f/ J. Davey "Relax" (Bonus Track)

 

 

By: Rizoh

      Following the success of their comeback album, Cali Iz Active, Tha Dogg Pound will return with Dogg Chit on March 27th, 2007. Kurupt & Daz Dillinger will release their new album via Koch Records.

      The album’s lead single, "Vibe with a Pimp," features Snoop Dogg. Other guests on the album include The Game, Too $hort, RBX, Jayo Felony, Bad Azz, Brother Lynch Hung, and others.

      "This is the first Dogg Pound album entirely produced by us since Dogg Food" said Daz Dillinger of the project. "We doin’ it again, we ready."

 

Here’s a tentative track list for Dog Chit:

1. Get Out My Way

2. I’ll Bury Ya

3. EveryBody

4. Anybody Killa Featuring The Game

5. Mo’ Murder

6. Vibe With A Pimp Featuring Snoop Dogg

7. Can’t Get Enuff Featuring Too $hort

8. Dat Ain’t My Baby

9. Thiz Gangsta Chit Iz Our’z

10. 1 N 1 Out

11. Where U From Featuring Bad Azz

12. Throw Ya Hood Up

13. It’s A Good Azz Day

14. Pull Ya Drawz Down Featuring Snoop Dogg

15. Blast On’ Em Featuring Brotha Lynch Hung

16. Bucc’m Featuring Snoop Dogg & RBX

17. Blaze It Up Featuring G.Malone, Jayo Felony, B.G Knoccout, Dresta

 

      Label name:

 

      Babygrande Records, Inc.

 

      Founded (Date): October 2002

 

      Founder:

 

     Chuck Wilson

 

      Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?):

 

Babygrande was launched out of frustration with major labels and their out dated way of approaching the industry. The goal was to create a small label with high standards. I think we are doing quite well so far.

 

      Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?):

 

To have the opportunity to work with so many talented artists.

 

      Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?):

 

 Right now we are focused on The Snowgoons and Bronze Nazareth’s group The Wisemen. We have a lot of great material coming out this year.

 

      Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?):

 

 We want to make great records that don’t feel corporatized in any way.

 

      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?):

 

 We feel we are the most forward thinking indie label in the business. We constantly strive to be innovative with everything we do.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SNOWGOONS INTERVIEW

By: Rizoh

      Three weeks after reports of Tyrese Gibson’s nasty altercation with his pregnant girlfriend set the internet ablaze, the singer has finally spoken out on the issue. Predictably, Black Ty denies allegations that she punched his girlfriend.

      “I am a very private person but as untrue information is still circulating, I feel I owe it to my fans and supporters to finally address the rumors and put them to rest once and for all,” said Tyrese. “Please be assured that accusations of an alleged physical altercation between my girlfriend and me are absolutely false. No charges were filed. I am grateful for the prayers and support I have received over the last several weeks from my fans and supporters and I want to thank them. God Bless.”

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      Chamillionaire had a hugely successful 2006 and he’s hoping the same happens in 2007. The Houston emcee announced that his new single will be “Not a Criminal” featuring Kelis from his upcoming album, Ultimate Victory. Produced by Styalz Fuego, Cham says the song was inspired by the recent success he’s been experiencing and the spotlight it puts on you for your lyrics.

      “People treat you like you committed a crime when you speak the truth about what’s really on your mind,” Cham said. “People act like its wrong to have an opinion about things especially when your views are different than theirs. I feel like setting the goal to be a successful entrepreneur should be looked at as a good thing and should not come with all the unnecessary hate and resistance. The business world can be a cruel place and even though I work hard at being successful and staying on top of my business, some people will look at me like I’m a criminal because of it, when I’m actually  just working hard so my company can  grow and I can remain successful. Even though one may have money through hard work, you still get judged and have to deal with prejudices and problems. I plan on doing what I feel is right for me and not worrying about anyone that feels otherwise.”

      The new album, set to drop this Spring will feature appearances from Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne, Pimp C, Slick Rick, Devin the Dude, with production from Three Six Mafia, JR Rotem, Rick Rock and others. Cham hopes that people will heed his lyrics more than what he’s wearing this time out.

      “I need people to pay attention to what I have to say, instead of just staring at my mouth,” he said. “I speak with a purpose and definitely want people to know that I’m not just some rapper with diamonds in his mouth. As soon as they get past the materialistic stuff and listen to the message on my album then I will feel like I have won.

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      The Clipse recently announced their participation on the Seagram’s Live 2007 tour launching in April, but first they’re going to hit up some cities on their own. The Hell Hath No Fury Tour launches on February 25 in Baltimore at Club Sonar and will run until March 29 where they will also end in Baltimore.

      Pusha T and Malice will get a small break before they head out on the Seagram’s Live Tour starting on April 7 in Memphis and running until April 29 ending in Miami. The proceeds from this tour will go towards the rebuilding of New Orleans from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

 

 

2/25    BALTIMORE, DC @ SONAR

2/26    NEW YORK, NY @ BB KINGS

2/27    CAMBRIDGE, MA @ MIDDLE EAST

2/28    PHILADELPHIA, PA @ TROCADERO

3/1       OHIO (TBA)

3/2       CHICAGO, IL @ PARK WEST

3/3       MINNEAPOLIS, MN @ MYTH

3/5       BOLDER, CO @ GOTHIC

3/6       COLORADO SPRINGS, CO @ FOX

3/7       JACKSON HOLE @ MANGY MOOSE

3/8       SALT LAKE CITY, UT @ SUDES

3/10    TACOMA, WA @ TACOMA CENTER

3/11    VANCOUVER, BC @ NIGHTLIGHT LOUNGE

3/12    PORTLAND, OR @ BERBAITIS PAN

3/14    SAN JOSE, CA @ VINGOS

3/15    SAN FRANSCISCO, CA @ MEZZANIE

3/16    LOS ANEGLES, CA @ KEY CLUB

3/17    SAN DIEGO @ BELLY UP

3/18    PHOENIX, AZ @ CLUB HOUSE

3/19    ALBERQUERQUE, NM @ SUNSHINE THEATER

3/21    AUSTIN, TX @ EMO

3/23    MIAMI, FL @ I/0

3/24    ORLANDO, FL @ SOCIAL

3/25    ATLANTA, GA @ THE LOFT

3/26    ASHVILLE, NC @ ORANGE PEEL

3/27    CARBORO, NC @ CATS CRADLE

3/28    RICHMOND, VA (TBA)

3/29    BALTIMORE, MD (TBA)

 

SEAGRAM’S LIVE 2007 TOUR SCHEDULE
(Dates and Venues Subject to Change)

4/7 Memphis (Plush)
4/8  New Orleans (House of Blues)
4/12    Atlanta (Earthlink Live)
4/13 Birmingham (Platinum Nightclub)
4/14 Jackson )Free Lons Groove)     
4/20 Detroit (Club Visions)
4/21 Washington D.C. (930 Club)
4/26 NYC (BB King’s)
4/27 Fort (Bragg Sports USA)
4/28 Tampa (Club Skye)
4/29 Miami  (TBD) 

 

 

By: Rizoh

      The Game a.k.a. the West Coast King of Controversy recounted a sexual encounter with video vixen Vida Guerra recently. While speaking to Funkmaster Flex on New York radio Hot 97, Game was asked about his decision to lash out at video models on his new single “Wouldn’t Get Far.” He explained that the negative influence models have on his 16-year old sister inspired him to write the song.

       He later disclosed that he met Vida Guerra, one of the subjects of “Wouldn’t Get Far,” at a Jamie Foxx house party. “I go over there and she’s sitting down on a couch. I sit down next to her,” Game recalls. The rest, as they say, is history.

       Click here to listen to the audio to find out more about Game’s finger-poppin’ encounter with Vida.

By: Rizoh

      Brandy, who was involved in a fatal car crash last December, may face charges for vehicular manslaughter. The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail in addition to a $1,000 fine.

"The office is currently reviewing the case and determining whether the evidence warrants the filing of a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter," said California Highway Patrol spokesperson Nick Velasquez. He added that prosecutors couldn’t put a date on when they would make a definitive decision on the case.

      As we reported earlier, Brandy was driving her 2007 Land Rover when she accidentally struck a 2005 Honda in front of her, which in turn crashed into a 1989 Toyota. The 2005 Honda, driven by 38-year old Awatef Aboudihaj, then spun sideways and struck the center divider. As Aboudihaj’s Honda came to a halt, it was pummeled by an oncoming 1988 Acura.  Aboudihaj was taken to a hospital, where she died of injuries.

      Brandy has publicly expressed condolences to the victim’s family. Her publicist said Brandy wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the crash occurred.

      On a related note, the singer’s fans recently filed an online petition demanding that she be prosecuted for “taking an innocent life.” The petitioners go on to say that Brandy should Brandy should not be treated fairly on the strength of her celebrity status.” She should serve time for it or at least pay a fine. It’s wrong on so many levels and something should be done about it.”

Label name:

 

Duck Down Records

 

Founded (Date):

 

1995

 

Founders:

 

Dru Ha & Buckshot

 

Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?):

 

Founded by Buckshot and DruHa, Duck Down Records was conceptualized as an outlet for how they envisioned music to be created, managed and distributed.

At the time, it was founded to give us an outlet for our music, without having to seek out deals or be salesmen for projects that we wanted to introduce, It was also the beginning of an era, where producers and hot artists were getting label deals that allowed them total control over their products and visions. Buckshot and Dru Ha formed Duck Down for that very reason. To date, Duck Down Records is the home to: Buckshot, Smif N Wessun, Sean Price, Black Moon, Heltah Skeltah, O.G.C., Ruste Juxx and BOOT CAMP CLIK.

 

Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?):

 

 Duck Down’s proudest moment has to be the fact that we’ve been able to maintain our label now for over 10 years in a very tough market. We’ve seen extreme highs and also the lows, but through it all our artists have remained true to the Duck Down formula. Of course some of the other things we’re proud of is the over 4 million records sold in our 12-year history; the opportunity to work with hip hop heavyweights such as: Tupac (who we recorded an album with, entitled One Nation before his untimely death); Talib Kweli, Aaliyah, Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep, KRS One, M.O.P., Q-Tip, Raekwon and our current collaborations with the Justus League. Duck Down’s most notable releases are: Black Moon’s, “Enta Da Stage,” Smif N Wessun’s “ Da Shinin,” O.G.C.’s, “Da Storm,” Heltah Skeltah’s. “Nocturnal,” 9th Wonder and Buckshot’s, “Chemistry,” Sean Price’s, “Monkey Barz,” and Boot Camp Clik’s, “The Last Stand,” albums.

 

One other amazing feat was just over a year ago in 2005, when we released Duck Down Record’s Triple Threat Summer. It Has 3 releases, Sean Price, “Monkey Barz” (May, 2005), 9th Wonder and Buckshot, “Chemistry” (July, 2005) and then Smif N Wessun, “Reloaded” (September, 2005). For an INDIE label or any label for that matter having 3 Full Length albums out in such a short period of time is a tough task, but it ended up being very successful for us and we earned the title of Top 5 Comebacks of the Year from HipHopSite.com. 

 

Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?):

 

 Duck Down Record’s most current release is from our signature group, Boot Camp Clik (Great 8) which consists of Buckshot, Smif N Wessun, Sean Price, O.G.C. and Heltah Skeltah. The new album, LAST STAND, was released this past summer (July 18th, 2006). The album features production from Pete Rock, Large Professor, Da Beatminerz, 9th Wonder, G-Unit’s, Ill Mind, Coptic and more.

Our main priority, aside from continuing to promote BCC’s newest release, is Sean Price’s second solo effort, JESUS PRICE SUPASTAR, slated for a January 30th, 2007 release. Sean P!’s second album was produced mainly by 9th Wonder, and Khrysis, but also has production from MoSS, G-Unit’s Ill Mind, PF Cuttin and more. The album features Buckshot, of Black Moon, Rock, of Heltah Skeltah, Sadat X, Ruste Juxx, Steele (Of Smif N Wessun), Loud Mouf Choir, Skyzoo, and Phonte (Of Little Brother). There is a good amount of anticipation surrounding Sean Price’s second release, especially following his MONKEY BARZ LP, where Sean garnered Indie Artist of the Year honors from SOURCE Magazine and ALLHIPHOP.COM. The Savior Will Be Recognized January 30th.

 

Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?):

 

 For Duck Down it’s about continuing to make good music and music that we believe in. In terms of an impact for us, it’s always trying to stay true to our core group of fans, and hopefully make enough noise to make some new ones along the way. In 2007 we’re looking to release at least 3 to 4 albums, which should keep Duck Down’s name in the mix. (Sean Price, “Jesus Price Supastar,” Heltah Skeltah, “D.I.R.T.,” Ruste Juxx, “Indestructable,” 9th Wonder and Buckshot, “The Formula.”) We are also looking to sign some new talent, and have had some discussions with members of the Justus League, and even KRS One.

 

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?):

 

Well for starters, I guess we get classified as being an INDIE Label, meaning we don’t have the same MACHINE that a Def Jam, or J-Records may have. The good thing about being an independent record label is that we don’t have to rely on an individual or company to create, approve, or execute a plan. We have always taken pride in our ability to come up with creative and original marketing tactics, something that we are proud of and that we feel has always created a separation from our competition. At times we have had to cut corners in order to fund plans properly. However, continuing with grassroots tactics and a heavy presence, to this day we remain proud of how we run our Label.

 

Our Personality in this game is like that smaller dog that actually thinks he’s the size of a rottweiler. We’re not going to be afraid of any challenge/obstacle or fear a major release that may coincide with one of our Indie releases. We have to just find ways to break through the clutter and make ourselves noticeable. So that means taking over the Web, hitting the streets with posterboard and finding new ways to publicize our artists and advertise their respective albums.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW SEAN PRICES’ INTERVIEW

CLICK HERE TO VIEW BUCKSHOTS’ INTERVIEW

 

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      Since dropping his critically acclaimed debut album, Dead Ringer, in 2002 producer RJD2 went on to drop a couple of more albums and produce joints for Aceyalone, Soul Position and score a variety of video games and movies.

      Now he’s preparing to drop his new album, The Third Hand, on March 6. In an effort to curtail any bootlegging of the album, RJD2 said he will offer a bonus digital only EP for the fans who buy songs from independent records stores and iTunes.

      “All of these are going to be high quality mp3′s, as will be the
iTunes album version of course,” RJD2 posted on his blog. “So why listen to an 8-bit low-res garbage-sounding ripped copy off some kid’s blog? In 2007, exclusive bonus cuts+good sound quality=the way to live. I truly think its worth your hard earned 10-15 bucks at the end of the day. sheeeeit, 9.99 for an album on itunes? You know you cant beat that!”

      Shortly after the album drops, RJD2 will head out on tour with a live band and DJ to give you a live version of his production. Here’s the current tour itinerary:

 

3.9.07    Wexner CenterColumbus OH

3.10.07  The Dame – Lexington KY

3.11.07  Exit In – Nashville TN

3.12.07  Revolution Music Room – Little Rock AR

3.13.07  Bricktown Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK

3.14.07  Haileys – Denton TX

3.16.07  Emo’s – Austin, TX

3.17.07  Warehouse Live – Houston TX

3.19.07  House of Blues – New Orleans LA

3.20.07  Variety Playhouse – Atlanta GA

3.21.07  Cats Cradle – Carrboro NC

3.22.07  Satellite Ballroom – Charlottesville VA

3.23.07  9:30 Club – Washington DC

3.24.07  Sonar – Baltimore MD

4.11.07  Starlight Ballroom – Philadelphia PA

4.12.07  The Crazy Donkey – Farmingdale NY

4.13.07  Webster Hall – New York NY

4.14.07  Middle East Downstairs – Cambridge MA

4.15.07  Pearl Street Nightclub – Northampton MA

4.16.07  La TuLipe – Montreal QC

4.17.07  Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto ON

4.18.07  Magic Stick – Detroit MI

4.19.07  Grog Shop – Cleveland Heights OH

4.20.07  Metro – Chicago IL

4.21.07  First AvenueMinneapolis MN

4.22.07  The Picador (formerly Gabes Oasis) – Iowa City IA

4.23.07   Birdys – Indianapolis IN

5.10.07   Bluebird Theatre – Denver, CO

5.11.07   Abbey Theatre, Durango, CO

5.12.07   The Clubhouse – Tempe, AZ

5.13.07   Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA

5.14.07   Henry Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA

5.15.07   Mezannine – San Francisco, CA

5.17.07   Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR

5.18.07   Neumos – Seattle, WA

5.19.07   The Nightlight Lounge – Bellingham, WA

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