Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Rob Swift’s dishes on the X-Ecutioners breakup

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno DJ Rob Swift left turntablist crew the X-Ecutioners shortly after the release of their 2004 album, Revolutions. The crew, who had already lost Mista Sinista a couple of years before, dwindle down to two and a couple of replacements but hardly heard from. Swift went onto release more solo projects, including War Games and several mixtapes. Now he’s releasing a DVD titled, As the Tables Turn, that not only documents he start as a DJ and his rise within the industry, but also the real story of what happened within the X-Ecutioners. “The complete story of the X-ecutioners is addressed in ‘As the Tables Turn,’” Swift told HipHopCrack.com. “There are exclusive interviews with Roc Raida and Mista Sinista candidly speaking about all of the events that affected the group. Will there be a reunion? Watch the movie and find out…” The DVD is set to hit stores on February 27 and also features performances and interviews from DJ Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike, Shortkut, The Large Professor & Neek the Exotic, and Bob James. Swift said that most DJ documentaries only focus on the technical side of DJing and hardly the career-side so he felt that this was a great angle to dive into. "As the Tables Turn’ revolves around all of the pivotal moments in my career,” Swift said. “From winning my first battle to hitting the mainstream with the X-ecutioners to ultimately leaving the group and pursuing my solo career. It’s an in depth look into the events (good and bad) that brought me to this point in my career.” Check out the trailer here:

Toni Braxton Dumps Blackground, Sues Manager for $10 Million

By:Rizoh Times are hard for R&B siren Toni Braxton. Braxton has severed ties with Blackground/Universal, after releasing two discs–2005′s Libra and Un-Break My Heart: The Remix Collection–on the label. The 38-year old singer is also taking her former personal manager Barry Hankerson to court, claiming he owes her at least $10 million for deceptively convincing her to leave Arista and join Blackground, according to reports. The suit states: "Hankerson actively sought to destroy Braxton’s relationship with Arista through underhanded ‘double-talk,’ telling Braxton that Arista was not interested in working with her anymore, while telling Arista that Braxton no longer wanted to record for Arista." When her new label proved unproductive, Braxton claims she attempted to fire Hankerson but that he turned against her. Braxton released a good portion of her catalog on LaFace between 1993 and 2004. LaFace was later acquired by Arista via a merger in 1999.

Three 6 Mafia are heading to ‘Hollyhood’ with MTV

By: Quibian Salazar-Moreno Ever since Three 6 Mafia won the Oscar for their song, “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” from the movie, Hustle and Flow, everybody has been wanting to get a piece of the Memphis crew, even though they’ve been doing the same thing for over a decade. It seems like MTV is the first ones to get a piece as they announced “Adventures in Hollyhood”, a reality show starring Three 6 Mafia. The show is set to premiere on March 14 and will follow Juicy J, DJ Paul and their crew as they leave Memphis and try to make their mark in Hollywood. There’s no word on what they’re actually trying to do in Cali, since the group are multi-platinum artists and have a deep southern following; and they have already experienced success. Fans will be able to follow their adventures on HOLLYWOODMTV

Jennifer Hudson Steals Beyonce’s Light At The Golden Globes

By: Rizoh Beyonce’s Oscar dream suffered another blow, as the singer was snubbed at last night’s Golden Globe Awards. "Dreamgirls" snatched up three prestigious awards for Best Musical or Comedy, Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Hudson), and Best Supporting Actor (Eddie Murphy). "I had always dreamed, but I never ever dreamed this big," Hudson said as she accepted her trophy. "This goes far beyond anything I could have ever imagined." "Wow," said Eddie Murphy during his own acceptance speech, "I’ll be damned." Based on a Broadway play, "Dreamgirls" chronicles the rise of a fictional trio of female singers resembling The Supremes during the early 1960s. Beyonce, who was also snubbed at this year’s Critics Choice Awards, will have to wait till January 23, when the Oscar nominations are unveiled, to find out if she’s among the event’s big nominees. The Oscar ceremony takes place on February 25. Here’s a complete list of winners: MOTION PICTURES -Picture, Drama: "Babel" -Actress, Drama: Helen Mirren, "The Queen" -Actor, Drama: Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland" -Picture, Musical or Comedy: "Dreamgirls" -Actress, Musical or Comedy: Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada" -Actor, Musical or Comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" -Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls" -Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls" -Director: Martin Scorsese, "The Departed" -Movie Screenplay: Peter Morgan, "The Queen" -Foreign Language: "Letters From Iwo Jima," USA/Japan -Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, "The Painted Veil" -Original Song: "The Song of the Heart" from "Happy Feet" -Animated Film: "Cars" TELEVISION -Series, Drama: "Grey’s Anatomy," ABC -Actress, Drama: Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer" -Actor, Drama: Hugh Laurie, "House" -Series, Musical or Comedy: "Ugly Betty," ABC -Actress, Musical or Comedy: America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty" -Actor, Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock" -Miniseries or movie: "Elizabeth I," HBO -Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Helen Mirren, "Elizabeth I" -Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Bill Nighy, "Gideon’s Daughter" -Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Emily Blunt, "Gideon’s Daughter" -Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie: Jeremy Irons, "Elizabeth I" -Cecil B. DeMille Award: Warren Beatty

INDIE HIP-HOP MONTH FEATURED LABEL: NATURE SOUNDS MUSIC

Independent Label Profile Label name: Nature Sounds Founded (Date): 2003 Founders: Devin Horwitz Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?): The label started almost by accident as the label founder (aka Dev 1) released a couple 12” and a compilation with tracks he produced with various underground artists. Many established artists quickly came to the label in search of a new artist friendly home. Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?): Releasing Masta Killa’s debut solo album (after 10 years of anticipation) & signing Havoc of Mobb Deep. Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?): Currently pushing Beat Kings DVD, Hell Razah “Renaissance Child”…coming up debut from Strong Arm Steady, new album from Pete Rock called “NY’s Finest”, debut album from Havoc of Mobb Deep, GhostDOOM collaboration album. Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?): Prove that the indie model can be successful and just to continue to put out great music with the integrity hip-hop had in its golden era. 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 are a healthy balance between the streets & the underground, between mainstream and independent. We work with artists who make competitive songs but don’t have to follow anyone’s formula to do it. CLICK HERE TO READ HELL RAZAH INTERVIEW CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO HELL RAZAH

Kay Slay & Cam’ron Threaten Koch Records for Non Payment (((Audio Added)))

By: Ari Goldstein On air during his Shade 45 Sirius Streetsweeper Radio Show, DJ Kay Slay expressed extreme anger at Koch Records for not paying him his monies due under contract. The infamous Street Sweeper stated, "I’m about to roll a steamroller over their fucking heads…they’re trying to pull fucking scams when it comes to paying…back end money. Alan Grunblatt [Koch Records GM] is playing dirty pool. I’m going to make their life miserable. I’m gonna use every fucking outlet I’ve got to bury your fucking ass." Kay Slay then called Dipset’s Cam’ron who made the anti-Koch campaign formal stating, "We’re about to make a real public statement against Koch." Cam’ron said. "At the end of the day they gotta really give up what they owe to people." LISTEN HERE

Paul Wall, Raekwon explore blood diamonds

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Over the summer VH1 took rappers Paul Wall, Raekwon and Tego Calderon to Sierra Leone, West Africa to explore the effects of the blood diamond trade for the documentary, “Bling’d: Blood, Diamonds and Hip Hop”. Blood diamonds, sometimes called conflict diamonds, were mined and sold by African militia rebels and revolutionary military groups to support their cause and bring terror to different communities throughout Africa. They sold the diamonds in exchange for weapons, food and drugs. Civilians were forced by these rebel groups to mine for the diamonds or risk losing their life or losing a limb if they didn’t meet a quota or worked too slow. Even though hip-hop’s interest in blood diamonds are about 10 years too late (there are hardly any blood diamonds on market nowadays), the documentary captures the hip-hop nation’s glorification of diamonds and jewelry and how it could have contributed to the civil wars of the 90’s. The documentary also features interviews with Kanye West, Big Daddy Kane, Jadakiss, Juelz Santana, Chris Aire and Mr. T. Look for the documentary to air on February 22 on VH1.

It’s On! The Game Disses Dr. Dre on New Track

By: Rizoh The Game, who recently released an entire album dedicated to Dr. Dre, has unleashed a new track supposedly dissing his former mentor. On the new track titled "Breathe Eazy," the erstwhile Aftermath signee raps, "Ask Dre who the next ni**a/ If he don’t say the west coast Don/ I’ma have to DMX ni**as/ Bark on him, let the .38 spark on him/ Let him take his last breath, then put the chalk on him." Sounds like a cry for attention from a man whose Doctor’s Advocate LP is permeated with a gazillion Dr. Dre shoutouts? You be the judge: CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Jim Jones doing more than just ‘ballin’”

By: Quibian Salazar-Moreno No matter what you may think about Dipset’s Jim Jones, you can’t hate the dude for doing his part in encouraging kids to stay in school. In a partnership with the Entertainers 4 Education Alliance, Jones will be judging and participating at the “Achieve Your Dreams” Poetry Contest Grand Finale on Wednesday, January 24 at the Magic Johnson Theatre in Harlem. For the contest, students were asked to write a poem about how they will achieve their dreams they way Jones is now achieving his. “I am very excited about this event; we received hundreds of poem submissions from students from around the city and narrowed it down to the finalist,” Jones said. “I just want students to know that they can be anything they want to be if they believe they can. I am happy that I can make a difference.” The grand prize winner of the contest will be awarded a book stipend to pay for all books for the first year of college and summer internship working directly with Jim Jones and Diplomat Records. Five runner-ups will meet and greet Jim Jones at the event and receive a personal autographed poster.

INDIE HIP-HOP MONTH FEATURED LABEL: SHAMAN WORK RECORDINGS

Shaman Work Recordings Label name: Shaman Work Recordings, Inc. Founded (Date): August 2003 Founders: Chris Craft and Lamar Gilliam Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?): Shaman Work Recordings started as the brainchild of Divine Mind’s Chris “Rictor” Craft in the fall of 1999 while working towards a general science degree at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Shaman Work is one of several companies under the Crafted, LLC. umbrella, the direct result of a determined and restless entrepreneur attempting to make his mark in the music industry. The company began as one of several record labels under the Divine Mind network, a group that Craft founded with like-minded people he met during his studies at Morehouse College, including Lamar Gilliam who would later become co-owner of Crafted, LLC. Since then, the Divine Mind idea has expanded to incorporate different aspects of the music industry. Crafted, LLC. sub-companies include Shaman Work Recordings, I.M.A.D.U. Music – a music production company, and Alpha-n-Omega Magazine – an on-line magazine geared towards music production. Shaman Work Recordings resurfaced with the release of AlphaBeats.com’s ‘The Alpha Project Vol. 1’ in the spring of 2002. This compilation featured such rising artists as B.I. and the Divine Mind crew. It was an important step in the process that shaped Shaman Work’s identity. Through word of mouth and internet buzz, the ‘Vol. 1’ compilation gained enough underground recognition and energy which resulted in the making of ‘The Alpha Projects Vol. 2,’ released in the spring of 2003. This album not only included Shaman Work artists as the previously mentioned B.I. and Divine Mind, but also featured the Neptunes, Clipse, and underground heroes Little Brother and Science Fiction aka Wale Oyejide. The conclusion was simple and audible; the artists of Shaman Work were able to hold their own against music’s finest. There was no turning back. That spring, Craft and his partner Gilliam decided to rebuild and strengthen their Shaman Work roster, adding musicians and artists with not only hip-hop aspirations, but other musical interests as well. They made it a point to add individuals with visions and aspirations to not only make good music, but also to innovate and elevate their musicality to higher levels. Likewise, the results can be seen in the variety of musical genres the label represents, including hip-hop, soul, jazz, and dance. Shaman Work’s diverse roster includes such artists as C.L. Smooth, Sol Uprising, Wale Oyejide aka Science Fiction, Emanon, Metal Fingers aka MF DOOM, Scienz of Life, Lacks aka Ta’Raach, Finale, Divine Mind, B.I., Bandwidth and Misters. The artists of Shaman Work Recordings are not afraid to push the boundaries of creativity and music. Their goal is to not only fill a void in hip-hop, but also a music world lacking in originality. Through future recordings, they will innovate and break down the existing barriers that suffocate other musicians. Company execs Chris Craft and Lamar Gilliam have put together a team that will lay the foundation for Shaman Work to become a mainstay in the entertainment industry. Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?): *Making hip-hop history by releasing CL Smooth’s solo album ‘American Me’ after his 10 year hiatus from hip-hop. *Putting instrumental music in the forefront of the independent industry with releases like MF DOOM ‘Special Herbs’ and our famous ‘Beatology’ series. *Putting out the promotional release “Shaman Work Tribute: A Brief Education on the Musical Genius of Jay Dee” in order to help raise awareness of this great hip hop pioneer and to raise money for the jdilla.org foundation. Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?): Currently pushing: CL Smooth ‘American Me’, John Robinson’s ‘The Leak Edition Vol. 2’, Wale Oyejide’s “Africahot!” & Scienz of Life’s “The Blaxploitation Sessions” Planned for 2007 (to name a few): *E.A. Floe – ‘The Streetwise’ LP *’Beatology Vol. 3 & 4’ LP *Wise Intelligent – Untitled LP *Trump – Untitled LP *Scienz of Life – Untitled LP *Tiffany Paige – Untitled LP Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?): Our main goal and purpose is to truly let our ideas manifest and keep originality in the forefront of our mission. The success of Shaman Work does not revolve around any one artist or company exec. Saying that, another important goal of our collective is to show the industry and the world that promoting family and synergy is the key to true success as a collective. 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 have created our own world. Our fans get their passports stamped when they come to our realm. Our goal is to be truly independent and not have our music and business operations be effected by any trends that come and go in the industry. CLICK HERE TO READEDGAR ALLEN FLOEINTERVIEW CLICK HERE TO READ JOHN ROBISON INTERVIEW CLICK HERE TO READ SCIENZOF LIFE INTERVIEW CLICK HERE TO READWALE OYEJIDEINTERVIEW

Ying Yang are ‘imbalanced’ and on the road

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Even though the Ying Yang Twins aren’t getting as big of a response from their news album, Chemically Imbalanced and their new single “Dangerous” that their last album, USA: United States of Atlanta and single “Wait (The Whisper Song)” got in 2005, they’ll still be touring in support of it. They’ll be heading out his week along with Da Musicianz. “We have been in the business for almost a decade and we really wanted to go to where our fans are,” D-Roc said. “This tour allows us to do just that and added the bonus is I get to bring along my little brothers [Da Muzicianz] so they can grow their fanbase too.” Check out the Twins at these following dates: January 11th Atlanta, Ga Fever January 12th Miami, Fl Manison January 13th Tampa, Fl Empire January 18th Tallahasse, Fl Moon January 21th Mobile, Al Soul Kitchen January 24th Shreveport, La Club Ice January 25th N. Iberia, La Longhorn January 26th Austin, Tx Paradox January 28th Dallas, Tx Blue February 1st Oklahoma City, Ok Déjà Vu February 2nd Lawrence, Ks Grenada Theater February 4th Hastings, Ne Osborne Family Complex February 5th Iowa City, Ia Univ. Of Iowa February 8th Jackson, Mi Rocket February 9th Mokena, Il Pearl Room February 10th Detroit, Mi State Theatre February 11th Traverse City,Mi Streeter’S February 12th Toledo, Oh Tba February 15th Columbus, Oh Co Co’S February 16th Louisville, Ky Headliners Music Hall February 17th Huntington, Wv Monkey Bar February 19th Norfolk, Va The Norva February 20th Winston-Salem, Nc Ziggy’S February 21st Sayreville, Nj Colosseum February 24th Washington, D.C. Tba

Snoop fans can win doggie toys

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Snoop Dogg recently announced his partnership with Limbo 41414 and Media Cartel, a mobile entertainment company, to hold daily and weekly auctions to give away signed CDs, Snoop’s line of dog gear and toys, and a chance to kick it with him at his Snooper Bowl event in Miami. All fans have to do is to bid daily and weekly on the prizes within a “Limbo Auction”. It’s a cell phone-driven text messaging game that integrates the components of both a sweepstakes and an auction. A Limbo Auction is distinct from other sweepstakes in that it’s truly an interactive game where the winner makes the lowest bid that no other player makes, not the highest bid. It encourages players to develop and employ bidding strategies and to stay highly engaged during each round as they receive comments and tips regarding their bids ( e.g., "you’re the lowest unique bid," "your bid is unique but not the lowest," etc.). For more information, check outLIMBO41414 By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

50 Cent Wants Men to Wear His Condoms

By: Rizoh Fresh off the launch of his G-Unit books novella, 50 Cent, is coming right back with a line of…wait for it…condoms!! Fiddy is set to release his own new line in condoms and sex toys, and even plans to create vibrators that looks just like him. As part of his safe sex campaign, 50 will donate a part of the proceeds from the condom sales to HIV awareness. You may recall that the G-Unit rapper first made his intentions known in an earlier GQ interview where he disclosed, "I need to make a motorized version of me. A motorized version of me will definitely have to be waterproof, so you could utilize it in the tub. A lot of them (vibrators) aren’t waterproof." In related news, a screenplay has been written for the G-Unit book "Ski Mask Way," and plans are in place to shoot the movie next summer.

Kanye Signs up for Reality Show with “BORAT” Producer

By: Rizoh Grammy-winning rapper/producer Kanye West is ready to take on the big screen. West will star in a HBO reality series currently being fleshed out with Larry Charles, the director behind the successful HBO show "Entourage" as well the controversial mockumentary "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." No title has been picked for Kanye’s series yet, but it’s expected to zoom in on the day-to-day activities of the Windy City rap star. He is also slated to appear in a feature film inspired by his music. The project, backed by New Line Cinema, will paint a portrait of the United States as seen through the eyes of Kanye West and several other filmmakers. Kanye, a self-proclaimed "Louis Vuitton Don," has released two critically acclaimed rap albums, The College Dropout and Late Registration. One can only hope that Ye’s reputation for generous self-appraisal does little to impede the success of the so-called reality show.

INDIE HIP-HOP MONTH FEATURED LABEL: THRESHOLD RECORDINGS

Label name: Threshold Recordings, LLC Founded (Date): 1998 Founders: Kurt Matlin aka KutMasta Kurt Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?): Kurt was working with Kool Keith for a few years developing the Funky Ass Records imprint. In that time he learned a lot about the indie music biz and decided it would make sense to start his own label. Most of legendaey Funky Ass catalog is now pressed & distributed by Threshold. Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?): The catalog it’s self. it includes some really cool and critically acclaimed releases by the likes of kool keith, motion man and kutmasta kurt. it also has released singles with such artists as planet asia, psycho les form the beatnuts, mf doom, smooth the hustler and trigga the gambler, and many more. Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?): current projects: 1. motion man-pablito’s way feat too short, gift of gab, dj qbert, kool keith mistah fab, dizzy dustin of ugly duckling + 2. sex style limited edition re-issue 3. tomc3 and kool keith’s-project polaroid feat motion man, prince po (organized konfusion) + 4. substance abuse-overproof feat mf doom, kool keith, motion man, saafir + future projects for 07: 1. KutMasta Kurt presents Sex Style the un-exposed sessions 1994-97 2. Tomc3 and Prince Po (title tba) 3. Dr Dooom pt 2 Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?): to give the hip-hop market quality and substance (in the music) first and foremost. listening to threshold music is like enjoying a high quality meal and a nice restaurant. it looks good, smells good, tastes amazing, leaves you feeling satisfied and digests well with it’s listeners. if you consume too much fast, cheap and over marketed food (music), you may not be able to appreciate the finer dinning experience threshold provides it’s clientele. as you know the founder is a well respected and highly lauded dj/producer, so the goal of threshold is to be a platform for for kutmasta kurt to release the kind of music he likes and believes in. 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?): threshold fits in with contemporary’s like stones throw, quannum, battle axe, def jux, abb, etc. the labels’ personality is unique but somehow finds a way to release music that appeals to a broad cross section from hip-hop purists to the new generation of kids who are just learning about hip-hop music. check out www.threshrecs.com for videos and more info etc. CLICK HERE TO READ MOTION MAN INTERVIEW

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