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

 


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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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

 


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

 

By: Rizoh

     Talk show mogul Oprah Winfrey was joined by a celebrity lineup that included Tina Turner, Mary J Blige, Chris Tucker, Chris Rock, and Spike Lee at Tuesday’s opening her new leadership academy for disadvantaged South African girls. Winfrey said the 152 girls had a light so bright that it shone through their deprivation and helped bring their dreams to reality.

      The $40 million Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in the town of Henley-on-Klip, Johannesburg, fulfills a promise Winfrey made to Nelson Mandela six years ago. Mandela, South Africa‘s first democratically-elected President, was also in attendance.

      Oprah also had a word for critics who would rather see her build schools in the United States. "I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn’t there," said Winfrey. "If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don’t ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school." She added that she also planned to open a co-ed school in eastern KwaZulu-Natal province.

      The Emmy Award-winning talk host hopes that education can provide an answer to South Africa‘s increasing AIDS pandemic that has affected over 5 million people, among other societal ills. "Girls who are educated are less likely to get HIV/AIDS, and in this country, which has such a pandemic, we have to begin to change the pandemic," she said.

By: Rizoh
      The G-Unit chief has teamed up with MTV and Pocket Books to publish hip-hop novellas. 50 Cent, along with authors Nikki Turner and K Elliott will sign copies of "Death Before Dishonor," "Baby Brother," and "The Ski Mask Way" to celebrate the launch of G-Unit Books imprint.
      Beginning Thursday January 4 at 9:00 a.m., customers who bought copies of the G-Unit titles will receive wristbands on a first come, first serve basis. However, the wristbands will not guarantee customers a chance to meet with 50 Cent or the other authors.
       As a precautionary measure to ensure that as many customers as possible get their books autographed, no cameras are allowed. CDs, memorabilia or periodicals about/by 50 Cent are also barred from the venue. Only G-Unit Books releases will be signed by 50 Cent.
      The signing will take place on January 4 at 6:00 p.m. at Borders – Columbus Circle, Time Warner Building, 10 Columbus Circle (Celebrity Level), New York, NY 10019

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      Carlos Mencia’s Comedy Central show, Mind of Mencia had a bit of a rough start in the shadow of Chappelle’s Show. But now he’s gearing up to tape his third season and is pulling no punches and will be going after Michael Richards’ racist tirade.

      “Turns out we get a copy of one of the lost episodes of ‘Seinfeld,’ in which a black family moves into their building," Mencia told the L.A. Daily News. "It’s all about Kramer’s reaction to the family when he has this dialogue with Jerry."

      And it doesn’t stop there.

      "We gotta tackle Mel Gibson, of course. And we also have to tackle the fact there are no Latin superheroes. We’ve had some black X-Men, but no Hispanic X-Men, and there’s going to be a change to that with something like ‘Beanerman.’ ‘He came from outer space in a giant bean, he’s the most amazing beaner you’ve ever seen. He’ll spot immigrants pickin’ lettuce, when we’re in trouble, he’ll never forget us’ … something like that."

      Mencia recently released season two of Mind of Mencia on DVD along with his comedy special, ‘No Strings Attached’.

By Quibian Salazar-Moreno

      It may look like another movie where the white chick comes to the hood and saves the poor, miserable, and violent Black and Latino kids, but the soundtrack for Freedom Writers is looking mighty fresh. Although it features classic joints from Montell Jordan (“This is How We Do”), Pharcyde (“Passing Me By”) and Gang Starr (“Code of the Streets”), new songs from Common, Talib Kweli and Will.I.Am (of Black Eyed Peas) are also included. The Soundtrack will hit stores on January 9, with the film arriving in theatres on January 12.

      The film follows the true story of teacher Erin Gruwells (played by Hillary Swank) as she comes to the hood to teach at a local high school. She realizes the pain and struggles of the everyday lives of the urban teenager and teaches them how to express themselves through writing.

  

Here’s the track listing to the soundtrack:

 

1. Dream, A – Common – (featuring Will.i.am)

2. It’s R Time – Jeannie Ortega

3. When The Shit Goes Down – Cypress Hill

4. Listen – Talib Kweli

5. Passing Me By – The Pharcyde

6. Hip Hop Hooray – Naughty By Nature

7. Keep Ya Head Up – 2Pac

8. Code Of The Streets – Gang Starr

9. Rebirth Of Cool – Digable Planets

10. This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan

11. Officer – The Pharcyde

12. Change – Darrius Garrett

13. Colors – Will.i.am

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