Archive for the ‘News’ Category

LL Cool J: “I’m not on steroids!”

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno On Saturday, LL Cool J was at the Glendale-Queens, New York Borders signing copies of his new book LL Cool J’s Platinum Body: Sculpt Your Best Body Ever with Hollywood’s Fittest Star. There’s still speculation on how LL remained so diesel throughout the years so with this new book, he hopes to quell the rumors that he was on steroids or had any type of cosmetic surgery to his body. “I felt that I should reveal to people how I went about getting in shape with my trainer, Scooter, and just give them my whole philosophy on life, “ LL told the San Francisco Chronicle. “When I came back out in 2000 with my record, after about a year-and-a-half layoff, there were so many rumors and so much speculation. So many people were curious about how I did it. A lot of people were like: Is he on steroids? Did he have plastic surgery? Did he get liposuction? It took around five or six years of just thinking about the idea for the book to actually come into fruition.” In the book, which hit shelves last month, LL shares his workout regimen in a new program to help anyone build muscle and burn fat. The book offers four levels of fitness, from Bronze to Platinum, and includes meal plans and recipes. Check out LL’s body for yourself at these book signings: 01/09/2007 07:00 PM - BORDERS 1050 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90067 01/10/2007 07:30 PM - BARNES & NOBLE 189 Grove Drive, Los Angeles, California 90036 01/11/2007 07:00 PM - BARNES & NOBLE 98 Broadway, Oakland, California 94607 01/12/2007 07:00 PM - BORDERS 830 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611 01/13/2007 12:30 PM - WALMART 2500 West 95th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois 60805 01/13/2007 03:00 PM - DUSABLE MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY 740 East 56th Place, Chicago, Illinois 60637

Tyrese on the Run?

By: Rizoh Now that he’s at the center of a criminal investigation for punching his five-month pregnant girlfriend twice, singer Tyrese appears to be on the run. Or at least that’s what a relative of Ty’s pregnant girlfriend told Mediatakeout.com. "Let’s make things clear," said the relative. "Tyrese is on the run. Yes the LAPD is looking for that n***a and he is no where to be found." The email goes on to state that the altercation between Tyrese and his girlfriend stemmed from rumors that the singer was in a relationship with BET’s 106 & Park co-host Rocsi. The 28-year-old’s live-in girlfriend alerted law enforcement that the two got into an heated argument early Thursday morning at their Los Angeles home. Paramedics rushed to the couple’s Hancock Park home. Tyrese had already fled in his car. The R&B singer is now under investigation for the the domestic fight.

INDIE HIP-HOP MONTH FEATURED LABEL: ABB RECORDS

Label name: ABB Records, LLC. Founded (Date): 1997 Founder(s): Beni B, Defari Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?): Beni B: I was in grad school at Berkeley working towards a PhD. in Exercise Physiology and doing radio at KALX. My little brother Defari was in L.A. at the time working on music and I kept asking him when his record was coming out so I could play it on my radio show. Everyone was busy, so it finally got to the point where I told D about wanting to start a label, and drop “Bionic” as the first release which Evidence produced. So I dropped out of school, launched ABB and the rest is history. Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?): In terms of releases, Defari’s 1st release (and the first release on ABB), Dilated Peoples’ “Work the Angles” 12” and Little Brother’s The Listening LP in 2002. Watching Defari, Dilated and Little Brother all step up to the next level, and knowing that we played a role in that is one of the greatest achievements thus far. The proudest moment I’ve had by far though is being able to provide an opportunity for myself and my staff to work at doing something they truly love. I’ve never worked for anyone in my life except myself (and my artists), so its truly a blessing. Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?): Current: Defari – Street Music, Planet Asia – The Medicine, Hall Of Justus Music Group – Soldiers Of Fortune, Darien Brockington – Somebody To Love, Saafir – Good Game: The Transition, Surreal and The Sound Providers – True Indeed. 2007 marks ABB’s 10 year anniversary. 2007’s schedule includes: The solo debut LP from Evidence of Dilated Peoples, The Weatherman LP on 3.20.07, Little Brother’s Getback (ABB/Atlantic), Soul:ID’s Sex, Love and Philosophy (ABB Soul), Mykestro, Recordkingz The Heavyweight, plus a few other joints we’re working on at the moment. Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?): ABB stands for “Always Bigger and Better.” That’s the impact we’re trying to achieve and maintain through a good first impression and consistency from release to release. 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?): ABB is part of the same continuum and musical spectrum as Atlantic, Interscope, Aftermath, Stonesthrow, Def Jux etc. I am a DJ first and foremost, so that’s largely where ABB’s musical vision s derived from. ABB is constantly trying to raise the standard and push the envelope when it comes to artists, music, etc. We’re not afraid to work with new artists, new sounds and are always, always listening. We walk the walk. Click here to read Evidence’s Interview

Dipset’s 40 Cal Demands Jay-Z “Pay Homage”

K-Os lines up U.S. album release, tour dates

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Canadian rapper K-Os has already been getting love in Canada for his new album, Atlantis – Hymns for Disco, which dropped late last year. The album is set to arrive to U.S. shores on February 20 with a spring U.S. tour to support it. The album continues in K-Os’ soulful alternative hip-hop sound which features guest appearances from Sam Roberts, Kevin Drew (of Broken Social Scene), Buck 65 and Kamau. "When an artist expresses their truth honestly and with a pure heart, they can end up speaking for a myriad of people,” K-Os said about the theme of his album. “From a very specific experience can come a general understanding and healing." He’ll be heading on tour starting on February 17 in Boston to April 6, ending in New Orleans. K-Os will share the stage with Gym Class Heroes, RX Bandits and P.O.S. for most of the tour. Here is the itinerary: 2/17 – Boston, MA – Avalon Ballroom 2/18 – Troy, NY – Revolution Hall 2/20 – Indiana, PA – Ohio Room – IU 2/21 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club 2/22 – NYC – Webster HAll 2/23 – Rochester, NY – Douglas Hall – University of Rochester 2/24 – Pittsburgh, PA – Union Ballroom – Duquesne University 2/25 – Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero 2/26 – Norfolk, VA – Norva Theater 2/27 – Jacksonville, FL – Freebird Live 2/28 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room 3/1 – Orlando, FL – The Club at Firestone 3/2 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade 3/3 – Nashville, TN – Rocketown 3/4 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s 3/6 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues 3/7 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection 3/8 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall 3/13 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall 3/14 – Indianapolis, IN – The Irving Theater 3/15 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues 3/16 – Sauget, IL – Pop’s 3/17 – Lawrence, KS – Granada 3/18 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue 3/20 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theater 3/21 – Salt Lake City, UT – Avalon Theater 3/23 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon 3/24 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater 3/25 – Orangevale, CA – The Boardwalk 3/26 – West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues 3/27 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore 3/28 – San Diego, CA – Soma 3/29 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues 3/30 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre 3/31 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre 4/1 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater 4/3 – Dallas, TX – Gypsy Ballroom 4/4 – San Antonio, TX – White Rabbit 4/5 – Houston, TX – Meridian 4/6 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues

Benzino Changes His Ringtone to “Swagger Jack”

By: Rizoh Raymond "Benzino" Scott just can’t seem to get it right these days. Following his dramatic exit from The Source magazine, which Scott founded with college friend Dave Mays, the duo is now being charged with swaggerjacking. Complex magazine recently accused Hip-Hop Weekly, the post-Source rap tabloid by Scott and Mays, of biting their popular Lil’ Wayne interview without credit. Complex puts it this way: "In Issue 4 of their piss poor-cheapest paper to ever be printed on-rumor rag, they straight jacked a whole page of quotes and didn’t give any credit or ask for permission to reprint it. They lifted the now infamous Lil Wayne interview we did in our last issue for their ‘Word On the Street’ section (pg. 16). Word for word they reprinted quotes with no credits and definitely no green light from us." Worse still, Complex is not the only publication being robbed by Mays and Scott. They also lifted some quotes from MTV.com with no proper credit. Why are we not surprised at all?

Busta Rhymes Makes the Cover of “Arrested Weekly,” Maintains Innocence

By: Rizoh Busta Rhymes, who turned his former driver into a punching bag while the rest of us were busy unwrapping presents, has finally handed himself over to police. Consequently, Rhymes was cuffed and charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Neil Ross set bail at $3500, and asked Rhymes to return to court on February. 20. The judge also ordered the rapper to stay away from his accuser, Edward Hatchett. As expected, Busta placed bail on Thursday and adamantly denied the allegations. The offense could land him in jail for a year, if convicted. This is only one of several legal tangles currently rotating on Busta’s weekly schedule. Last year, the best-selling rapper appeared in court on an assault charge for allegedly attacking a teenager who spit on his car in August. He also was ticketed in November for talking on his cell phone while driving past a Manhattan police station. Let’s not forget that Busta has come under fire by the Police for not providing information on the shooting death of his bodyguard, Israel Ramirez, back in February. Is it just me or is Busta Rhymes exemplifying the hip-hop version of a midlife crisis?

James Brown’s Widow is Back and She is Proud

Fresh Out: Mysonne Speaks

Texas Producer The ARE Releases Free CD to the Web

By: Rizoh Houston-bred hip-hop producer the ARE has released his latest semi-instrumental set, Uphill Piece of Mind, on the web for at no cost. The ARE (real name Russel Gonzalez) has been crafting beats since the early 90′s and has worked with De La Soul, K-Otix, Zion-I, and Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest), among others. The 28-song beat tape features original production by the ARE as well as a remix to Nas’ "Hope" (from Hip-Hop Is Dead). A free download of Uphill Piece of Mind is available on RAPPERSIKNOW.

Beyonce Won’t “Listen” to the Oscars This Year

By: Rizoh Beyonce’s hopes of winning a songwriter’s award at this year’s Oscars have been deflated by a special rule in the music nomination department. Despite being listed as one of four songwriters responsible for "Dreamgirls" theme song, "Listen," Beyonce is ineligible for nomination because the motion picture academy only allows a maximum of three authors as credit. The rule, known as Rule Sixteen, stipulates that "only the principal composer(s) or songwriter(s) responsible for the conception and execution of the work asawhole shall be eligible for an award." The rule automatically eliminates partial contributors—writers not responsible for the overall design of the song—from the awards. Beyonce, who contributed a lower percentage to "Listen," was dropped from the list. The other three songwriters Henry Krieger, Anne Prevenand Scott Cutler nominated instead. Academy spokesman John Pavlik explained to the L.A. Times that the decision to exclude Beyonce came from various executive committees members. He added that "the decision always comes down to the same thing: who had the most to do with the achievement being considered. It was no different in this case." Beyonce’s PR rep Alan Nierob also confirmed that Beyonce is aware of the Academy rule that says only three songwriters can be nominated. "It’s all about percentages — how much each person contributed to the song," said Nierob. "Beyonce contributed greatly to ‘Listen,’ but her percentage is lower, so she didn’t expect to be eligible for nomination. She’s very happy that her co-writers may be recognized." As a consolation, Beyonce shares the credit with her three co-songwriters in the Golden Globe nomination for "Best Original Song." She’s also in the running for "Best Actress." The Golden Globe awards will be handed out on January 15th. The Oscars will follow in February.

Breaking News: Tyrese Allegedly Beats Pregnant Girlfriend

According to TMZ, police are conducting a criminal investigation into allegations that R & B singer Tyrese punched his pregnant girlfriend twice in the stomach early this morning. Apparently Tyrese’s live-in girlfriend claimed that the two got into a heated argument around 5:30 AM at their Los Angeles home. According to TMZ’s sources, paramedics responded after Tyrese allegedly struck the woman, who is five months pregnant, twice in the stomach and then drove away from the scene.

Clipse help Natasha with new single

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno Natasha made a little bit of noise with her single “Hey, Hey, Hey” last year, but she’s hoping to make a bigger splash with “So Sick” featuring The Clipse. Produced by Rodney Jerkins, he discovered Natasha while she was working in a New Jersey Subway. Apparently he was impressed with showmanship and star quality which she said that she only learned and practiced in front of a mirror at home. "I’ve never seen a new artist like Natasha," Jerkins said. "She’s already doing things that it took a decade for more established artists to learn." He signed her to his Darkchild Entertainment imprint through Jive Records and is currently recording her debut album looking to drop sometime in 2007. Check out her website at www.natashaishere.com to hear the new song with The Clipse.

Talib Kweli, Madlib offer free album

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno For those of you patiently waiting for Talib Kweli’s new album Ear Drum, the rapper has given you a New Year’s gift to hold you over until it drops later this year. In collaboration with Stones Throw Records and Talib’s Blacksmith Records, Madlib and Kweli connected to create Liberation, a 9-song album available for free through Stones Throw Records’ website www.stonesthrow.com/liberation. “This project was inspired by [Madlib’s] consistency, it was something I wanted to be a part of,” Talib said on his blog. “In this era of over produced and over marketed product, Madlib leads the pack of independent artists who could care less about all of that. I am a part of the music industry, and lord knows I’m needed, but for our own sanity we must step outside the system and create that which is not packaged for mass consumption. This is also a gift to the fans who stick by me whether some corporation is currently promoting me or not. Now, I love all music, and my albums so far, including Eardrum, reflect those influences. This album is a straight ahead, sample driven hip-hop record, from two of the best doing it. Some fans will say this is the sound they want to hear from me all the time. If so, congratulations, you got your wish. However, do not use this to speculate what eardrum will sound like. It is a different project with different influences. I will continue to push the envelope creatively in the spirit of my ancestors.” The album was entirely produced by Madlib and features appearances from Consequence, Strong Arm Steady and Candice Anderson. Here’s the tracklist from the album: 01 The Show 02 Funny Money 03 Time Is Right 04 Engine Runnin’ [ft. Consequence] 05 Over the Counter 06 The Function [ft. Strong Arm Steady] 07 Happy Home [ft. Candice Anderson] 08 Soul Music 09 What Can I Do

Stones Throw to drop rare J. Dilla album

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno It’s been almost a year since producer J. Dilla’s passing but his music continues to live on. Stones Throw Records has announced that it will release J Dilla’s Ruff Draft, a rare 2003 album that was previously a vinyl-only released distributed by German label, Groove Attack. The album is all J. Dilla rhyming and producing, which is some of his best work that few fans have. For musical reference, while creating this album, Dilla was also working on his collaborative project with Madlib, Champion Sound as Jaylib. The double album will hit stores on March 20 with disc one featuring the original 10 tracks and four previously unreleased tracks and disc two the instrumentals for the songs from the original master tapes. Here’s the track listing: Intro Let’s Take It Back Reckless Driving Nothing Like This The $ Interlude Make’em NV Interlude Crushin’ (Yeeeeaah!) Shouts Intro (Alt.)* Wild* Take Notice* Shouts (Alt.)* *previously unreleased

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