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AUGUST ALSINA TOPS THE BILLBOARD CHARTS.
With first week sales of 67,000 copies, young New Orleans singer August Alsina enters at #1 on the Soundscan R&B chart and #2 on the overall chart with Testimony, his debut album on NNTME/Def Jam Recordings (released April 15th), an inspirational tale of survival in one of America's most treacherous cities. The release of Testimony came just three weeks after August wrapped up the successful 21-city 2 Good 2 Be T.R.U. U.S. tour starring 2 Chainz and Pusha T.

Testimony, which immediately hit #1 on the iTunes Top Albums chart upon its release last week, takes off on the strength of a quartet of advance hit tracks that were featured on August's debut EP, Downtown: Life Under The Gun: "Ghetto" featuring Rich Homie Quan (over 8 million YouTube views to date); "Downtown" featuring Kidd Kidd; "I Luv This Sh*t" featuring Trinidad James; and "Let Me Hit That" featuring fellow NOLA native son Curren$y. The brand new single from Testimony is "Make It Home" featuring fellow Def Jam artist Jeezy.

The release date of Testimony carries major personal significance for August; April 15th was the birthday of his older brother, Melvin LaBranch III, who inspired August to pursue music. Tragically, Melvin was gunned down on the New Orleans streets in 2010, just days before August's 18th birthday. The murder remains unsolved.

Testimony's motivational undercurrent deals graphically with August's past hardships – serious family issues including death, homelessness and addiction. "As an artist," August reflects, "I struggle with how much of myself to give to the people. How much I want my personal business to be judged. I think the EP struck a good balance of who I am and what I've been through, but that was just the beginning. Nothing is held back on Testimony. When people hear my story, and see that I came from nothing, they'll see that it's possible for them too."

EMINEM, OUTKAST & MORE TO HEADLINE ACL MUSIC FEST.
The lineup for the 13th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, TX has been unveiled, with Eminem, Pearl Jam and Outkast heading the event. The festival runs October 3-5 and October 10-12 in Austin's Zilker Park, spanning three stages. Also on board for the festival are Beck, Lorde, Skrillex, Calvin Harris, Lana Del Rey, Foster The People and The Replacements.

The two-weekend event will feature sets from St. Vincent, Spoon, The Avett Brothers, Belle & Sebastian, Interpol, Broken Bells, CHVRCHES, Childish Gambino, Jenny Lewis, Phantogram, Lake Street Dive and many others.

ACL has partnered with Clear Channel's iHeartRadio for ACL Festival Radio, the official station of the music fest.

OUTKAST TO HEADLINE 2ND BET ANNUAL BET EXPERIENCE@ LA. LIVE.
BET Networks and AEG today announce OUTKAST as this year’s headlining act for the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE, taking place in Los Angeles, CA, June 27 – 29, 2014. Celebrating their 20-year anniversary, and coming off of their long-awaited reunion at Coachella, OUTKAST are ready to create history as they take the STAPLES Center stage by storm on Saturday, June 28, 2014 alongside Rick Ross, A$AP Rocky, K. Michelle, Ty Dolla $ign, August Alsina and hosted by DJ Khaled.

The Coca-Cola® Company will return to the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE as the festival’s presenting sponsor. Associated with the “BET AWARDS” since 2009, this collaboration is another example of Coca-Cola’s® commitment to bringing people together to enjoy culturally meaningful celebrations. As part of the partnership, Sprite®, one of The Coca-Cola® Company’s most popular brands, will once again sponsor the Sprite® Court – home of the celebrity basketball game and slam dunk competition. Coca-Cola® and Sprite® will bring a number of original and interactive activities that will offer fans a weekend filled with creative and delightful moments. Additionally, Coca-Cola® will host a Latin showcase on Thursday, June 26 and sponsor the wildly-popular “106 & Park” stage on Saturday, June 28 with special performances and appearances from some of your favorite celebrities.

“This is an exciting time for The Coca-Cola® Company as we return as the presenting sponsor of the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE,” said Lauventria Robinson, Vice President, Multicultural Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “Coca-Cola® and Sprite® fans can look forward to many surprises and staying refreshed with delicious ice-cold Coca-Cola® products throughout the entertaining festival.”

“The BET Experience at L.A. LIVE is a truly unique experience where innovative brands come to play and engage directly with our trendsetting consumers in an interactive setting they can’t find anywhere else,” said Louis Carr, President of Broadcast Media and Advertising Sales, BET Networks.

PRINCE REACHES AGREEMENT WITH WARNER BROS.
Prince now owns the rights to the music he recorded on Warner Bros. Records after years of disputes and battles with the record label.

Warner Bros. announced Friday it had reached an agreement with the pop icon, who was signed to the label from 1978 to the mid-1990s, during which time he released key projects like "Purple Rain," ''1999," ''Diamonds and Pearls" and "Around the World in a Day."

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Prince's new partnership will include the release of "previously unheard material" from his nearly two-decade tenure on the label. A 30th-anniversary edition of "Purple Rain" will be released this summer.

Prince, 55, said in a statement that he's "pleased with the results of the negotiations" and looks "forward to a fruitful working relationship."

The agreement comes years after Prince's relationship with Warner Bros. soured as he failed to gain possession of the music he recorded for the label. He changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol and wrote the word "slave" on his cheek. He also vowed to rerecord the 17 albums he released on the label and sell them on his own.

After Warner, Prince began releasing music in 1996 over the Internet, but didn't match his previous successes. He struck deals with Arista Records and Columbia Records, where he saw a comeback with the Grammy-winning "Musicology" in 2004.

The singer has also released many albums through his own label, NPG Records, following his split with Warner.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer also said he's working on new music apart from Warner Bros. Prince has recently been performing with the all-female trio 3RDEYEGIRL.

DIDDY TOPS FORBES' ANNUAL HIP HOP'S RICHEST LIST.
Forbes has released its eighth annual list of hip-hop's wealthiest artists, and for the second year in a row, Sean "Diddy" Combs tops the list. Since the list was launched in 2007, he has consistently vied with 50 Cent, Jay Z (that year, the three made the most of their high-earning statuses with the song "I Get Money: Forbes 1, 2, 3 Remix") and Dr. Dre for top five dominance, with guest appearances from Kanye West, Akon, and Lil Wayne.

Diddy leads the pack with an estimated fortune of $700 million, an increase of $120 million over his net worth last year. The change comes largely from the addition of Revolt TV—the new, music-focused, multi-platform channel of which he’s the majority owner—to his already-hefty portfolio.

“Right now my focus is Revolt and making it the number one, most-trusted, most credible worldwide brand for music,” he told FORBES in a recent interview. “And to get Revolt to be the quintessential definition of real time. I think that’s the future.”

Dr. Dre, who ranks second with $550 million, and Jay Z, in third place with an estimated $520 million. The former leapfrogged the latter on this year’s Forbes Five thanks to a large stake in Beats By Dr. Dre, which he cofounded with Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine in 2008.

The company controls an astounding two-thirds of the premium headphone market, with annual sales reportedly in excess of $1 billion and growing. Private equity firm Carlyle invested $500 million for a minority stake last year, pushing Beats’ value past $1 billion and likely closer to $2 billion. Source: Forbes

The top five earners this year are:

1. Sean "Diddy" Combs ($700 million)
2. Andre "Dr. Dre" Young ($550 million)
3. Shawn "Jay Z" Carter ($520 million)
4. Bryan "Birdman" Williams ($160 million)
5. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson ($140 million)

EMINEM'S SONG VOTED ULTIMATE WORKOUT JOINT.
Gold's Gym, the world's leading authority in health and fitness, with Men's Health and Women's Health, the world's best-selling fitness and lifestyle magazines, announced today that "Till I Collapse" by Eminem featuring Nate Dogg has taken the title of Ultimate Workout Song in this year's "March Music Madness" tournament.

March Music Madness is an annual bracket-based competition to find out what gym-goers are listening to while breaking a sweat. Celebrities (including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Ferrell, Trey Songz, Mickey Rourke and Brooke Shields), Gold's Gym members, fans and personal trainers all nominated their favorite workout songs.

The top 64 songs were seeded in a tournament-style bracket on MarchMusicMadness.com, created by digital music advertising firm F#. The 2014 competition featured a "Battle of the Sexes" theme, with half the songs nominated by girls and half nominated by guys. Thousands of consumers voted in six rounds to advance the top workout songs and reveal once and for all, whose playlist is hotter – Team Guys or Team Girls?

The result? A snapshot of not only what music is helping Americans rock their reps, but also the differences (and similarities) in each gender's taste in workout music. Once the top songs from Team Guys and Team Girls were voted to the Championship round from the Final Four, the two songs went head to head. "Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha represented Team Girls, but was ultimately defeated by Team Guys' Eminem track.

One trend that emerged among male voters and nominating celebrities was the undeniable popularity of rock music. The three runner-up songs on the male side of the bracket – "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses and "Shoot to Thrill" by AC/DC - were all rooted in classic rock, while the rap-rock beat of winning song "Till I Collapse" features a nod to Queen's "We Will Rock You."

Conversely, Team Girls continued to advance hip-hop tracks. "Timber," which was Women's Health Fitness Director Jen Ator's top pick, beat out similar upbeat tracks for the No. 1 spot on Team Girls, including: "SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake featuring Timbaland, "Wake Me Up" by Avicii and "Talk Dirty to Me" by Jason DeRulo featuring 2 Chainz.

As a continued tradition of the March Music Madness competition, and as a reward for nominating the winning song, Gold's Gym will donate $5,000 to the nominator's charity of choice. Gold's Gym member Jamieson Patrick nominated "Till I Collapse" and selected the Special Olympics to receive this donation.

"We love March Music Madness because it brings to life how important music is to the workout experience," said Dave Reiseman, Vice President of Communications for Gold's Gym. "It also allows our members, trainers and celebrity friends to come together for a good cause. And, we hope it helps our members find some new tunes to add to their fitness playlists that power their workouts."
"No matter what the workout, music and exercise go hand-in-hand," says Women's Health Fitness Director Jen Ator. "Research shows that listening to any music will keep you working out longer, harder and even put you in a better mood. The March Music Madness competition was a great way to find new songs to get your sweat on and give back at the same time."

DIDDY TO SPEAK @ HOWARD U. COMMENCEMENT.
Sean Combs will deliver Howard University's commencement speech this year in Washington.

The school announced Tuesday that Combs will be among five people who will receive honorary degrees as trailblazers in their fields.

Combs was a Howard student in the late 1980s. He will receive an honorary doctorate in the humanities. He went on to create his Puff Daddy persona and built his own business and brand. Last year he launched an all-music TV channel, Revolt, aiming to create the ESPN of music. It airs in about 20 million U.S. homes.

University President Wayne Frederick says Combs' entrepreneurial spirit was sparked at Howard.

The university also will honor CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, transplant surgeon Clive Callender, jazz legend Benny Golson and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.

A$AP ROCKY TO HEADLINE CAPITOL HILL BLOCK PARTY.
Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP) today announced the main acts for the 2014 music festival happening July 25-27. Headliners include acclaimed New York rapper A$AP Rocky, Canadian electro-funk producers Chromeo, party-starting duo Matt and Kim, and Indie rock veterans Spoon. Along with these artists, fans will be able to enjoy a plethora of musical talent across three days and five stages.

"The Block Party is a boisterous and spirited event that takes place right in the heart of Seattle's artistic community," said Jason Lajeunesse, the festival's owner and producer. "This year's headliners like Chromeo and Matt and Kim will transform the intersection of Pike and Broadway into a giant dance floor. I can't wait."

With just 101 days until the gates open, a limited number of discounted three-day passes will go on sale today at 9 a.m. for $99. For the first time ever, CHBP will offer a very limited number of VIP tickets for $250. VIP Packages will include express entry, limited edition apparel, complimentary beverages, a CHBP poster, and gifts from our sponsors. The full musical lineup will be announced in early May. Details regarding the visual arts program, creative installations, digital activities and more will be announced at a later date.

2014 HEADLINERS
A$AP Rocky * Spoon * Chromeo * Matt and Kim * The War on Drugs * Odesza * Sol * A$AP Ferg * Beat Connection * Star Slinger * Budos Band * Tanlines * XXYYXX * Angel Olsen * Poolside * Cymbals * Shy Girls

FLAVOR FLAV TAKES PLEA DEAL.
Flavor Flav pleaded guilty Monday to reduced charges and was sentenced to probation and more counseling in a Las Vegas domestic violence case involving the teenage son of his longtime girlfriend.

The 55-year-old rapper and reality TV personality, whose legal name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr., acknowledged in court that he wielded a kitchen knife during an Oct. 17, 2012, argument at home in Las Vegas.

The teen testified during a preliminary hearing a year ago that Drayton threatened to kill him, chased him to a bedroom and stabbed the knife through the door during the argument.

The family has since reconciled and has been undergoing counseling, defense attorney Kristina Wildeveld told Senior Clark County District Court Judge Kathy Hardcastle on Monday.

In court, Drayton called the victim his stepson. "I love my son and my son loves me, too," he told the judge.

The teen, now 18, and his mother were not in court when Drayton entered his plea to misdemeanor charges of attempted battery that could have caused substantial injury and battery constituting domestic violence.

Drayton had been facing felony assault and child endangerment with a weapon charges that could have gotten him up to 12 years in prison.

Outside court, the entertainer pulled his trademark clock neckwear from beneath a red T-shirt, as he and his defense attorneys said they don't expect the Las Vegas conviction to affect a pending felony speeding and driving without a license case in Mineola, N.Y.

"I'm standing here in front of the camera," Drayton said, "not behind bars."

The New York charges stem from Drayton's Jan. 9 arrest while driving to his mother's funeral on Long Island.

Wildeveld said Drayton was paying fines to resolve that case. If Drayton violates terms of the agreement in the domestic violence case, he could face up to a year in county jail, the judge said.

Flavor Flav has been performing on tour since his induction last year with the rap group Public Enemy into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Hardcastle set an Aug. 18 court appearance to close the case if Drayton completes counseling.

LIL BIBBY TOURS WITH TRAE THE TRUTH
Breakout Chicago Hip-Hop phenom LIL BIBBY is set to embark on his first tour, joining Houston mainstay Trae The Truth on the "I Am King" Tour starting April 18. The tour kicks off in Austin, TX and will bring Bibby to audiences across Texas and Louisiana before wrapping in Houston on April 26.

LIL BIBBY was thrust into the limelight in 2013, after multi-platinum recording artist Drake proclaimed himself a fan and shared one of Bibby's very first recordings, "Kill S**t," with millions of rap fans via Instagram.

Lil Bibby is currently working on a new EP, THE BOOK, which promises to be filled with the same brutal honesty fans have already come to expect. "That's the only way I know how to make music," he admits. "I can't just talk about money, drugs or killing. I like to talk about what's really going on, or what I'm going through that day. I want to paint the real picture of Chicago," he adds. "A lot of people go off what they see on TV or hear in rap, and I don't think some rappers really tell that story fluently. I want to be the one to tell it like it is."

I AM KING TOUR DATES
Friday, April 18 - Austin, TX - Empire Control Room
Saturday, April 19 - San Antonio, TX - The White Rabbit
Thursday, April 24 - Baton Rouge, LA - Varsity Theater
Friday, April 25 - Dallas, TX - The Loft
Saturday, April 26 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live

SKEE LIVE RENEWS FOR SECOND SEASON ON MARK CUBAN'S NETWORK.
The series SKEE LIVE—hosted by music newsmaker DJ Skee—returns for a second season on AXS TV, premiering Friday, May 9. Debuting in an all-new Friday night primetime slot, the unique music-centric program will continue to highlight the biggest names and news in music and entertainment.

Season one highlights featured such memorable moments as Kendrick Lamar's powerful performance of "M.A.A.D. City;" Grammy nominee Wiz Khalifa talking about his experience working with Adele; Chris Brown's thoughtful insight on handling his public image; Ice Cube confirming "Friday 4;" and Paris Hilton's playful banter with hip-hop artists Nipsey Hussle and Dom Kennedy.

"SKEE LIVE enables us to introduce the audience to the latest pop culture trends," said DJ Skee. "This season we're bringing the streets to the mainstream, unleashing all-new episodes loaded with marquee performances, insightful interviews and backstage exclusives that viewers have come to expect from SKEE LIVE."

"SKEE LIVE's unique blend of high-energy music performances brings an entirely new viewing experience to our network," said Michele M. Dix, AXS TV Senior Vice President of Programming and Development. "We are looking forward to building out our Friday night line-up with the addition of this series."

The new season of SKEE LIVE will air weekly on Friday nights, joining AXS TV's popular mixed martial arts programming block. Long-time AXS TV sports news show INSIDE MMA will follow at 9pE/6pP, with AXS TV FIGHTS' MMA and Muay Thai events airing at 10pE/7pP.

DRAKE TO HOST ESPYS.
Drake is carving out a new niche as a television host and will helm the 2014 ESPYs, the sports award show of ESPN.

The Toronto-based rapper, singer and actor and the sports entertainment network announced the gig Wednesday. The annual light-hearted awards show will be held July 16 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live.

Drake's used to the live TV thing. He turned in a strong performance as host and musical guest on "Saturday Night Live" in January. And he hosted the 2011 Juno Awards in Canada.

The 27-year-old also has ties to the sports world. He's affiliated with the NBA's Toronto Raptors and memorably played a teen basketball player on "Degrassi: The Next Generation" before picking up the mic.

BIG SEAN ENDS ENGAGEMENT WITH NAYA RIVERA.
Rapper Big Sean and actress Naya Rivera are no longer engaged. A spokeswoman for the rapper announced Wednesday that he has canceled plans to marry the "Glee" star. Publicist Tracy Nguyen said Sean hopes the two can continue to work through their issues privately.

Twenty-seven-year-old Rivera and 26-year-old Sean, whose real name is Sean Anderson, announced their engagement in October. Though the couple met on Twitter, neither tweeted about the breakup Wednesday. Rivera is best known as Santana on Fox's "Glee." Sean released "Hall of Fame," his second album, last summer.

PHARRELL WILLIAMS STILL HEATING UP THE CHARTS.
Pharrell Williams' "Happy" tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a seventh week, fending off John Legend's "All of Me," which keeps gaining momentum in its push to take over at the top. The latter song also crowns the subscription services-based On-Demand Songs chart.

"Happy" leads the Digital Songs chart for an eighth week, although down by 12 percent to 284,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Thus, the song's streak of having sold at least 300,000 in each of seven straight weeks ends. Thicke's "Blurred Lines" holds the mark with 10 consecutive weeks of 300,000 or more in download sales last year, while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop," featuring Wanz, ranks second with an eight week-streak, also last year. "Happy" remains tied for the third-best run with fun.'s "We Are Young," featuring Janelle Monae (seven weeks, 2012).

On Streaming Songs, "Happy" ranks at No. 4 (with 7.4 million U.S. streams, according to BDS), having peaked at No. 2 four weeks ago. It stays at No. 2 on On-Demand Songs (2.4 million U.S. streams, down 4 percent, according to BDS), which it led for two weeks. "Happy" spends a ninth week at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Source: Billboard

CAST REVEALED FOR TUPAC INSPIRED SHOW.
The upcoming Broadway musical inspired by Tupac Shakur songs will star Saul Williams, the poet and singer best known for the film "Slam."

Producers said this week the rest of the cast of "Holler If Ya Hear Me" will include Tonya Pinkins, Christopher Jackson, Saycon Sengbloh, Ben Thompson and John Earl Jelks.

The musical is not a biography of Shakur but uses his songs to explore the story of two friends who live in a low-income neighborhood in the Midwest. It will feature "California Love," ''Keep Ya Head Up," and "Me Against the World."

The musical has a story by Todd Kreidler, who was a dramaturge for "Radio Golf," and is directed by Kenny Leon. It begins performances May 29 and will open June 19 at the Palace Theatre.

EM & RIHANNA ON DECK FOR MTV MOVIE AWARDS.
Before Eminem and Rihanna hit the road for their Monster Tour this summer, the powerhouse duo will be bringing their hit to the 2014 MTV Movie Awards.

It was announced on Tuesday morning (April 8) that Em and Rih Rih will be gracing the stage this Sunday during the annual event. This will be their first performance of "The Monster," the hit single from November's The Marshall Mathers LP 2. It reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The 2014 MTV Movie Awards will be hosted by Conan O'Brien. Make sure to tune in at 9 p.m. ET/PT this Sunday, April 13, when they air from Los Angeles' Nokia Theater. Source:Mtv

UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP AQUIRES EAGLE ROCK ENT.
Universal Music Group (UMG), the world's leading music company, today announced that it has acquired UK-based Eagle Rock Entertainment, an independent producer and distributor of music programming. The terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

The acquisition enhances UMG's presence in one of the most dynamic and growing segments of music today: top-quality, original audio-visual content, such as live concert footage, documentaries and films. The addition of Eagle Rock's library, which includes nearly 2000 hours of programming and more than 800 titles, enhances the value of UMG's catalog by broadening the product offerings associated with UMG's artists. Further, the addition of Eagle Rock's experienced team will assist UMG in producing video content and creating unique artist-based bundles in a variety of physical and digital formats, including on new and emerging mobile platforms.

Eagle Rock Chairman and CEO Terry Shand will continue to lead the company from its headquarters in London. In making the announcement, Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG, said: "As we continue UMG's transformation to a music-based content company, expanding our audio-visual catalog and production expertise is critical. We're thrilled to welcome Terry and the Eagle Rock team to the UMG family. Terry has built Eagle Rock into a world-class content company and a leading force in distributing top music-based audio-visual programming."

Terry Shand said: "I am delighted to bring Eagle Rock into the UMG family and look forward to growing Eagle Rock in the coming years by producing more great content and benefiting from the digital revolution that is taking the audio-visual space by storm. I'd like to personally thank Lucian Grainge, Boyd Muir and Max Hole for their vision and confidence, Beringea for their support over the last few years and Geoff Kempin, Simon Hosken and all the team at Eagle Rock for the tremendous work they have done to date and their dedication to the future." Eagle Rock was advised by Lepe Partners.

QUEEN LATIFAH'S FLAVOR UNIT INKS EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH CENTRIC.
Centric, BET Networks’ 24-hour music and entertainment network, today unveiled an exclusive co-production deal with Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment to produce new content for the network. The production company, owned by Queen Latifah and her partner Shakim Compere, has quickly established itself, with #1 hits including The Perfect Holiday, Beauty Shop, Bringing Down The House and its first ever scripted romantic comedy “Let’s Stay Together,” which premiered with 4.4 million viewers on BET.

Centric’s slate of programming has a particular appeal to the African American woman. This new partnership strengthens Centric’s position as the network for the African American woman.

Flavor Unit Entertainment’s #1 new talk show, The Queen Latifah Show will also begin airing in primetime on Centric. The Queen Latifah Show is a daytime, talk-variety series that showcases Queen Latifah’s extraordinary range of talents as a global entertainment icon featuring chart-topping musical guests, celebrity interviews and everyday heroes who are changing lives in their local communities. The Queen Latifah Show is produced by Flavor Unit, Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television.

“We are thrilled to be working once again with Flavor Unit Entertainment and Queen Latifah. She does it all and we are happy to have her join us as a creative force as we continue to grow Centric into a premiere destination for African American women. We couldn’t be more excited about what’s ahead,” said Debra L. Lee, BET Networks Chairman and CEO.

As part of the deal, BET Networks will develop and premiere an all-new Season 4 of the highly rated Single Ladies on Centric. This modern, romantic comedy series is set in the world of Atlanta fashion, music, and celebrity as best friends share their differing views on love, sex and relationships. Single Ladies asks the question: what do women really want?

“At more than 10 million strong, and in control of 20 billion dollars in buying power, the African American woman is an increasingly powerful, yet often overlooked consumer. No other network has embraced her with content designed specifically for her – until now,” said Louis Carr, BET Networks President of Broadcast and Media Sales. “Centric is the first network to deliver the programming that celebrates, inspires and addresses her unique perspective.”

Centric’s popularity with African American audiences, most notably with African American women ages 25 to 54, continues to grow, with the network marking its most watched quarter in its history. For FY14 Q2 (Jan-Mar), Centric experienced its best quarter ever for Total Day and Primetime viewership, posting gains of +20 percent.

50 CENT TO PAY $16 MILLION TO SETTLE LAWSUIT?
According to recently unsealed court documents, 50 Cent has been ordered to pay $16 million in his dispute against a Bradenton company that was supposed to manufacture a line of headphones bearing the rapper’s name — an amount of money that, until now, was kept under wraps.

The new court papers show 50 Cent needs to pay $11.6 million in damages for misappropriation of trade secrets, unjust enrichment and breach of confidentiality; and another $4.4 million in legal fees and expenses.

In a nutshell, here’s what happened: An arbitrator in West Palm Beach found that the rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, stole design secrets from Bradenton manufacturer Sleek Audio to make his own headphones, Street by 50 and Synch by 50.

50 was walloped in arbitration last summer — and a federal court in Miami just affirmed the award to Sleek. 50 desperately tried to keep the award documents sealed, but the federal court unsealed them recently.

So far, 50’s not talking, and neither are his lawyers. Through his company G-Unit LLC, Jackson and Sleek teamed up in early 2011 to market Sleek by 50, a line of wireless, over-the-ear headphones.

The new documents show 50 Cent became interested in the product after seeing the success of fellow rapper Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones.

In May 2011, however, Sleek Audio and 50 Cent announced they had split without ever marketing any headphones. Since then, 50 called has Sleek founders “incompetent” while Sleek branded 50 a “thief.” Source: Miami Herald

SOUNDSCAN'S 1ST QTR #'S ARE IN.
At the end of the quarter, digital tracks were down 12.5%, to 312 million units from 356.5 million units. Digital albums were down 14.2%, to 27.8 million from 32.4 million in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. Looked at another way, taking into account digital albums plus track equivalent albums (whereby 10 tracks equal one album), U.S. digital sales were down 13.3% in the first quarter of 2014. In contrast, even though U.S. digital sales over all of 2013 were down 3.1%, at the end of the first quarter of last year, digital sales were actually up 3.9% at the end for the first quarter.

For the first time since the advent of digital sales, the format's declines resemble the now-routine annual percentage declines for the CD in the new millennium, when drops in CD sales ranged from 18.2% to 19.7% each year from 2007-11.

However, digital interactive streaming -- not including passive streams from services like Pandora, iTunes Radio and Sirius -- appears to be making up the slack, on a revenue basis at least. According to SoundScan, interactive music and video streaming totaled 34.28 billion streams in the first quarter of the year, versus 25.44 billion streams in 2013's corresponding period. Not only have streams grown by nearly 9 billion, but per-stream payout has improved this year versus last year, according to label sales executives.

Last year, interactive streams paid an average of $0.00375 per stream, meaning 2,000 streams equaled the average $7.50 wholesale -- the average price when you consider the $9.99 list price for most albums and $11.99 for some superstar albums -- for a digital album download. This year the industry average is more like $0.005, which means that 1,500 streams equal the wholesale cost of an album.

Figuring 2,000 streams per stream equivalent album last year, and 1,500 streams per stream equivalent album this year, that means that SEA totaled 22.85 million in the first quarter of this year, while last year totaled 12.72 million, a difference of 10.1 million album units. So, while digital albums and track equivalent albums were down 9.06 million units, streaming revenue growth is outpacing digital sales decline.

But the industry is still not out of the woods. Again, the CD's decline has accelerated. After dropping 14.5% over the last year, the CD album format is down 20.5% so far this year, to 31.9 million units from the 40.1 million units scanned in the first quarter of 2013.

Analyzing the 16.6% decline in album sales -- to 61.7 million units from the 74 million scanned in 2013's first quarter -- current albums (sales of albums released in the last 18 months, plus sales of albums out longer that remain in the top half of the Billboard 200) are down 18.5%, to 30 million, and are doing slightly worse than catalog albums which are down nearly 15%, to 31 million units. Looking at the year's top selling albums thus far, last year, 31 albums had scanned more than 200,000 units by the end of the first quarter; while this year so far only 17 have done so. The "Frozen" soundtrack leads the way with scans of 1.5 million units.

Moving over to track sales, Pharrell Williams' "Happy" is the top-selling digital song, with 3.6 million scans. So far this year 16 tracks have scanned more than 1 million units. Last year, 15 tracks hit that milestone, led by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thift Shop," featuring Wanz, with 4.2 million units by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

"Overall, there is still strong demand for people buying and streaming hits," says Nielsen Entertainment senior VP Dave Bakula. "It's the catalog and the bottom levels of the charts, where weakness is occuring."

Looking at genre sales, electronica was the only large genre -- which for this story Billboard defines as a genre with more than one million unit album scans -- to post a gain, with a 2.7% increase, to 1.45 million units from 1.32 million units. Jazz didn't decline as much as the overall U.S. album market, as the genre posted an 8.5% decrease. Classical -- with a 33.3% decline to 1.4 million units -- and pop -- with a 28.6% decline to 4.6 million units -- both had the weakest showing so far this year. The other large genres -- rock, R&B, country, and gospel/Christian -- were all down, ranging from 16%-19%. Latin was down nearly 21%.

On the flip side, when looking at tracks, Latin had the best showing of the genres tracked by Billboard for this story, suffering only a 2.5% decline to 1.8 million song downloads, followed by R&B, which declined 8.6% to nearly 63 million downloads. Rock, pop and country were each down, respectively 15.8%, 8.5% and 16.9%.

Moving over to music merchandisers, the Universal Music Group posted 38.8% in albums plus TEA, versus the 37% it had in the first quarter of 2013. That gives UMG a commanding lead over the 28.4% chalked up by Sony Music Entertainment, from the 29.9% it had at the end of 2013's first quarter. But within Sony Music, Columbia remains the No. 1 U.S. label with 8.05% in album plus TEA marketing share, including ChristianScan album counts.

Finally, for the first time in recent memory, all different store types posted declines, with chains and mass merchants suffering the biggest hits with 24.4% and 24.5% declines respectively, to 7.5 million units and 14.1 million units for the first quarter. But download stores also had a big decline, 14.2% to 27.8 million units, suffering a reversal in fortune after a decade of gains. Also, non-traditional CD merchants also posted a slight decline of 2.9% to 8 million units while indie stores were down 16.6% to 4.1 million units. Source: Billboard

M.I.A. & JANELLE MONAE PERFORM HOLOGRAM DUET.
Singers M.I.A. and Janelle Monae shared the stage during separate concerts on opposite coasts through the magic of holograms.

M.I.A. performed in New York with a 3-D projection of Monae Thursday night while Monae sang on the West Coast with M.I.A.'s likeness.

Both artists have ideas for how they might use performance holograms beyond their bi-coastal duet, which was sponsored by Audi to launch its A3 model.

The high-tech duet required more advanced 3-D projection and video mapping technology than Tupac Shakur's hologram debut at the annual Coachella music festival in 2012. M.I.A. and Monae performed together in person to help create the holograms, but each saw the results for the first time onstage.

"I wish I were in the audience because I'm sure it looked cooler from the audience, but it felt great," Monae said after closing her 40-minute set at Quixote Studios by singing with a hologram. "I felt M.I.A.'s spirit up there."

A life-size hologram of the British rapper joined Monae onstage with an original addition to her song "Q.U.E.E.N." Wearing a spangled top and pants reminiscent of C-3PO, M.I.A. appeared to dance and sing, her image at times bathed in colored lights. Monae's hologram sang a verse of M.I.A.'s "Bad Girls" with her at New York's SIR Stage 37.

Neither artist got to see what their own hologram looked like ("I'm going to go online and see if I could see it," Monae confessed), but both said they'd try the technology again.

"I think if you can have artists be a hologram and you can access it, and you have them life-size, in your house, it could be kind of cool," M.I.A. said by phone. "It's definitely cool for us and it's cool for me. I could be in 10 places at once."

The technology has been prohibitively expensive and cumbersome to use on tour, she said: "I hope they get it together to the point that it's accessible."

"I'd be honored to experiment more with holograms and maybe make a whole band — but I love my band, I wouldn't want them to be holograms," she said. "I would do some experimenting with different versions of myself, playing different instruments."

Both artists are touring in support of albums released last fall: M.I.A.'s "Matangi" and Monae's "Electric Lady." Monae also contributes the theme song to the upcoming animated film "Rio 2," and covered David Bowie's "Heroes" for a Pepsi global ad campaign. M.I.A. is busy with her fashion collection for Versace and her ongoing snarl with the National Football League, which is seeking $16 million from the singer on claims that she ruined the league's reputation when she stuck out her middle finger during a halftime performance with Madonna two years ago.

VYBZ KARTEL SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON
A Jamaican judge on Thursday sentenced dancehall reggae star Vybz Kartel and three other men to life in prison for the 2011 murder of an associate.

While police in riot gear watched over barricaded streets outside the court in downtown Kingston, Judge Lennox Campbell ruled the entertainer must serve 35 years behind bars before he can be eligible for parole. At that point, the tattooed Jamaican deejay who has dominated the brash reggae-rap hybrid of dancehall for a decade would be 73.

Last month, a jury convicted the 38-year-old Kartel and three co-defendants of killing Clive "Lizard" Williams, who was beaten to death in August 2011 after being lured to Kartel's house to answer for two missing guns. His body has never been found.

One of the key pieces of evidence in the 65-day trial, one of the longest in Jamaican history, was a text message that police said they retrieved from Kartel's phone saying Williams had been chopped up in a "mincemeat" so fine his remains would never be located.

On Thursday, dozens of onlookers stood at the street barricades awaiting the sentencing. Some zealous fans yelled in anguish when they heard news of Kartel's life sentence.

"Wickedness! They take away the 'world boss,'" one woman exclaimed, referring to one of Kartel's nicknames.

Defense lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson said he expected to file an appeal.

When Kartel was convicted last month, the only dissenting juror was arrested on charges of attempting to bribe the panel in an effort to free the music star, whose real name is Adidja Palmer. The juror denies wrongdoing.

Authorities said the case had posed numerous security challenges. Prosecution witnesses and relatives of the victim needed state protection due to numerous threats. Officers were also threatened, including Detective Sgt. Patrick Linton, whose home was attacked with a fire bomb after he testified against Kartel.

Police officials also said intelligence indicated people were paid to gather outside the court to show support for Kartel and "create disorder during the closing stages of the trial."

Kartel is a major star in the dancehall genre and is known for his prolific output and innovative, but often violent, X-rated lyrics. Over the years, he collaborated with international artists including Jay-Z, Rihanna and Busta Rhymes. Rhymes traveled to Jamaica to attend the last day of Kartel's trial as a show of support.

Although he has been jailed since 2011, Kartel recorded numerous new songs from his cell using a smartphone and co-wrote a book about himself titled "The Voice of the Jamaica Ghetto." He's long been popular among young Jamaicans, especially those in blighted slums.

As his popularity grew, he increasingly got in trouble with the law. Last year, another murder case against Kartel collapsed after prosecutors failed to produce enough evidence to support allegations that he and two others killed businessman Barrington "Bossy" Burton in 2011.

50 CENT TEAMS UP WITH JASON STATHAM & JUDE LAW FOR NEW SPY THRILLER.
50 Cent has joined the cast of Spy, Paul Feig's spy comedy starring Melissa McCarthy. The movie, which at one point was titled Susan Cooper, centers on a CIA analyst, played by McCarthy, who goes into the field for the first time.

The cast also includes Jude Law as a suave superspy and Jason Statham as an overconfident yet clumsy spy. Also in the cast are Rose Byrne, British comedienne Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale and Nia Long. It is unclear how 50 Cent figures into the plot, but he will play himself.

Feig will direct the film from a script he wrote. Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping are producing via their Chernin Entertainment banner along with Feig and Jessie Henderson via their Feigco Entertainment banner. The movie will shoot in April in Budapest.

50 Cent appeared in last year’s Escape Plan with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger and just wrapped The Prince, a crime picture starring Bruce Willis and John Cusack. He is repped by CAA. Source: Hollywood Reporter

NAS' DOCUMENTARY "TIME IS ILLMATIC" TO RECEIVE INAUGURAL CANDESCENT AWARD.
Tribeca Film Festival opening-night film Time Is Illmatic -- chronicling the making of hip-hop artist Nas' 1994 debut album -- will be the inaugural recipient of the Candescent Award, part of a new grant program designed to support the making of documentary films.

Lilly Hartley's Candescent Films announced the multi-year award program on Wednesday in conjunction with the Tribeca Film Institute. The grant will be given through the Institute, home of the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 16-27.

Time Is Illmatic was directed by multimedia artist One9, who produced the documentary with Erik Parker. Illmatic is one of the most celebrated hip-hop albums in history, and the film explores the social conditions and environmental influences that contributed to Nas' process.

"Time Is Illmatic is a lyrical film that inspires us to overcome social and economic challenges and celebrates cultural history. I am honored to support the heartbeat of this film through the Candescent Award. Candescent's partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute is exciting to me as they provide vital resources to emerging artists and the documentary community," said Lilly Hartley, a producer and actress who formed Candescent in 2011.

In January, Candescent announced a similar award grant program in partnership with the Sundance Institute.

“As with all of our grantees, Tribeca Film Institute is honored to have had the great opportunity to work with Time is Illlmatic throughout the film’s creative process – from giving it a Tribeca All Access grant for production in 2013, through choosing it for a Tribeca All Access Alumni grant for editing in 2014, to now with this Candescent Award to help get it to the finish line,” said Tribeca Institute vice president of artist programs Ryan Harrington, Vice President, Artist Programs, Tribeca Film Institute. “We are proud to be partnering with Candescent to support more important documentaries in the future.”

Candescent's aim is to produce and finance films exploring social issues. Upcoming movies the company has supported include Gael Garcia Bernal's Who is Dayani Crsital?, Fed Up, Remote Area Medical and HBO's Private Violence. Past projects include Queen of Versailles, Javier Bardem's Sons of the Clouds, Gideon's Army, After Tiller and Likeness, starring Elle Fanning. Source: Hollywood Reporter

CHRIS BROWN'S LAWYER ASKS JUDGE TO BLOCK JAIL TRANSFER.
Chris Brown's attorney has asked a Los Angeles judge to block an order that would transfer the jailed R&B singer to Washington, D.C., for his upcoming misdemeanor assault trial.

Brown is being held without bail and is due to go on trial on April 17 in Washington on the assault charge. Last week, a judge in Washington authorized U.S. marshals to transport Brown from Los Angeles for the trial. The Grammy-winning singer's lawyer Mark Geragos filed a motion Tuesday asking a judge to block that order and instead release Brown to his custody just before the trial date.

His motion states that Brown would lose the ability to confer with Geragos and prepare for the trial if he is transferred by marshals. A hearing has been scheduled for Thursday on the motion.

UMG RESTORES DEF JAM, MOTOWN AND ISLAND AS STANDALONES; IDJ DISSOLVED.
Universal Music Group has closed its Island Def Jam Group in the US, spinning out Def Jam Recordings, Island Records and Motown Records into three standalone frontline labels.

In 1999, Def Jam, Island and Motown were consolidated into the Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJ), which has operated out of Universal’s East Coast office. The brand will now cease to exist, with all three labels boasting their own A&R and marketing operations.

In making the announcement, UMG Chairman/CEO LUCIAN GRAINGE said, “UMG is a collection of some of the greatest record labels the industry has ever seen. At the heart of these great companies is the vision and creative instincts of a team of passionate professionals. At UMG, our labels are empowered to be entrepreneurial and take creative risks. By re-establishing DEF JAM, ISLAND and MOTOWN as stand-alone labels within the UMG family, we’re positioning them to recapture the uniqueness of their brands and serve artists with the singularity of vision, focus and creativity that was at the core of their original success.”

Under the new structure:
Def Jam Recordings will be led by Steve Bartels, who has been promoted to CEO of the label. Previously Bartels served as President & COO of IDJ. In addition, music industry executives, Dion “No I.D.” Wilson and Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua, have been appointed Executive Vice Presidents and Co-Heads of A&R.

Ethiopia Habtemariam, SVP of Motown Records, has been promoted to President of the label. Furthermore, Motown will return to Los Angeles, where it was based for nearly 25 years beginning in 1972. Motown will be a freestanding label within Capitol Music Group, alongside labels such as Blue Note, Harvest and Virgin Records. Capitol was recently acquired in connection with UMG’s purchase of EMI. Habtemariam will also continue in her current role as EVP/Head of Urban Music at Universal Music Publishing Group.

Island Records, under the leadership of David Massey, will expand its own marketing, publicity and A&R departments. It will also have the ability to draw upon the promotional resources of UMG’s Republic Records, the No. 1 U.S. label in 2013 based on current album marketshare.

Karen Kwak, EVP/Head of A&R for IDJ has been promoted to the newly-created position of Executive Vice President A&R, U.S. Recorded Music. In this new position, Kwak will serve all of UMG’s labels in the U.S.

With the transition of IDJ into three stand-alone labels, Chairman and CEO, East Coast Label Group, Barry Weiss has decided to step down from his current position in order to enter into discussions with UMG about a new venture together.

Grainge said, “Barry is a terrific music executive who led our East Coast labels during a critical time of transition. I can’t say enough about his contributions to our labels or to thank him enough. He has positioned Def Jam, Island, Motown and Republic for new levels of growth.”

B.I.G. ESTATE FILES PRE-EMPTIVE LAWSUIT OVER SONG SAMPLE.
The estate of Notorious B.I.G., the late rapper born Christopher Wallace, has filed a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief that his song "The What" on Ready to Die isn't a copyright infringement of the song, "Can't Say Enough About Mom," co-written by soul singer Leroy Hutson and Michael Hawkins.

In this case, the plaintiff admits sampling the song. Nevertheless, against alleged threats by Hutson's publishing company, the B.I.G. estate says that the sample is de minimis and fair use as only "two nonsequential tones" were used, adapted, modified and supplemented. Further, any claims to the contrary are argued to be barred as untimely. Finally, Hutson is being charged with copyright misuse for threatening legal action with alleged knowledge of no real infringement.

According to the complaint filed Monday in California federal court, the "Can't Say Enough" sound recording was originally published in 1974 by a record company owned by musician Curtis Mayfield. In 1989, the song was returned by Mayfield to Hutson.

As for "The What," it was written in 1994 by Biggie, Osten Harvey Jr. (known as Easy Mo Bee) and Clifford Smith (known as Method Man).

Harvey was the producer, and the lawsuit says he sampled the final 1.9 seconds of "fade-out" from the defendant's song -- a faint "wah-wah" sound which oscillated between high and low frequencies. On "The What," the sample is said to have been transposed to match a E-Flat minor pitch. The low-end frequencies were removed, and the high-end frequencies were chopped into short and bass tones.

Skip ahead 18 years when Bad Boy Records was sent notice of an alleged infringement.

Over the following 18 months, the parties began negotiating with each other. At a couple of points during this time, Hutson's reps are said to have claimed 50 percent ownership in the Biggie song as well as 50 percent of income attributable to it. The plaintiff hired an expert who found limited use of "Can't Say Enough" and was confident that case law would support the position that the use was non-infringing. The impetus behind the lawsuit appears to be a February letter from the defendant's lawyer to Universal, EMI, BMI and ASCAP demanding a "hold" be placed on royalties. Last week, that was followed by another legal threat, precipitating the preemptive lawsuit.

Since there is no question that an unauthorized sample actually happened, the lawsuit tees up the question for the judge of how much use of a preexisting song is permissible. In addition, the lawsuit will address other affirmative defenses to improper sampling including statute of limitations and laches.

Then, there is the claim of copyright misuse. Given the admittance of a sample, such an allegation appears to be a stretch, but should Biggie's heirs prevail, it would go a long way to chilling sampling lawsuits.

The Notorious B.I.G. estate is managed by his widow, Faith Evans, and his mother, Voletta Wallace. The lawyer representing them is Staci Riordan at Fox Rothschild. In 2006, Time named Ready to Die as one of the most influential music compilations of the past 50 years. Source: Billboard.

KANYE WEST TOUR ON HOLD TO FOCUS ON NEW ALBUM.
According to an announcement from Roc Nation, Kanye West is putting his Yeezus Tour on hold so he can complete his next album.

The company’s site posted the following message:
Due to unexpected timing requirements to finish his highly anticipated new studio album, scheduled for a 2014 release, Kanye West regretfully announces the postponement of his upcoming tour dates in Australia. The tour dates originally scheduled from May 2 to May 11, 2014 will now be played from September 5 to September 15, 2014. All tickets for the initially scheduled shows will be honored for the new dates.

DATES:
September 5 | Perth, AU | Perth Arena
September 7 | Adelaide, AU | Entertainment Centre
September 9 | Melbourne, AU | Rod Laver Arena*
September 10 | Melbourne, AU | Rod Laver Arena*
September 12 | Sydney, AU | Qantas Credit Card Arena**
September 13 | Sydney, AU | Qantas Credit Card Arena**
September 15 | Brisbane, AU | Entertainment Centre

*Melbourne - Tickets from May 6, honoured for September 9; Tickets from May 7, honoured for September 10
**Sydney - Tickets from May 10, honoured for September 12; Tickets from May 11, honoured for September 13

PHARRELL NAMED AS COACH FOR NEXT SEASONS' THE VOICE.
NBC has signed singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams as a coach for the upcoming seventh season of its musical competition series "The Voice."

Williams scored an Oscar nomination this year for his song "Happy" from the film "Despicable Me 2." He also had a Grammy-winning collaboration with Daft Punk on the dance hit "Get Lucky." He was an adviser to team Usher on season four of "The Voice," and performed the song "Blurred Lines" with Robin Thicke on the show last May. NBC said it would announce the remainder of the coaching line-up at a later date.

NEPHEW CLAIMS SELF-DEFENSE IN BENZINO SHOOTING.
A man charged with shooting Benzino, his uncle, during a weekend funeral procession on a Boston-area highway acted in self-defense, his lawyer said Monday.

Gai Scott, 36, of Randolph, pleaded not guilty in Plymouth District Court to armed assault with intent to murder. He was ordered held without bail pending a hearing Wednesday to determine whether he's a danger to society.

Scott shot Benzino, whose real name is Raymond Scott, on Route 3 in Duxbury on Saturday as Benzino came upon his own mother's funeral procession, authorities said.

"When the dust settles with respect to this case, it's going to be abundantly clear that Mr. Scott, a licensed gun owner, was acting in self-defense and in defense of his family," said Jon Ciraulo, Gai Scott's lawyer.

The Plymouth district attorney's office said in a statement that "growing family tension" between the men was behind the shooting.

Benzino, who was released Monday from South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, said he had paid his respects to his mother in private at a Quincy funeral home but decided to skip the procession and funeral because of tensions in the family over money.

Benzino, 48, a Boston native who now lives in Atlanta, said he was on his way to Plymouth to pick up a friend when he came upon the procession and someone opened fire.

He did not identify the person who shot him by name.

Benzino is a cast member of the VH1 reality show "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" and CEO of Hip-Hop Weekly magazine.

UNCLE JUNE BUG (SNOOP'S UNCLE) PASSES AWAY.
Snoop Dogg's uncle June Bug passed away Sunday morning after holding on almost a week longer than doctors expected and Snoop was the last person to see him.

June Bug's nephew Daz Dillinger said his uncle died around 9:30 am and it happened right after Snoop arrived for a visit.

We're told J.B. happily acknowledged Snoop's presence then passed on. As we previously reported, June Bug was given one day to live last week after succumbing to colon cancer but he was clearly a fighter. Source: TMZ

NEW MICHAEL JACKSON ALBUM ON DECK.
On May 13, Epic Records, in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson, will release XSCAPE, an album of new music by the internationally beloved music icon and King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The project features eight new tracks, which the world will be hearing for the very first time on the new album.

XSCAPE will also be available in a Deluxe Edition, which includes all of the sourced Michael Jackson recordings in their original form. The XSCAPE standard and Deluxe Edition's are available for pre-order beginning April 1 on iTunes and elsewhere, and available at all retailers worldwide on May 13.

XSCAPE is executive produced by Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. Reid, who, after an initial mining of Jackson's archives by the Estate, was granted unlimited access to the treasures representing four decades of material on which Jackson had completed his vocals.

Reid curated the final list of recordings to deliver to the producers, who retooled the production to add a fresh, contemporary sound that retains Jackson's essence and integrity. It's a process Reid calls "contemporizing." The album's lead producer, Timbaland was one of a handful of producers Reid believed had the gravitas, depth and range to creatively engage with Jackson's work. Additional producers include global hitmakers Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome "Jroc" Harmon and John McClain.

"Modern music and artistry would look and sound completely different if not for the groundbreaking contributions Michael Jackson gifted to the world," remarked L.A. Reid. "Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with. We are extremely proud and honored to present this music to the world."

The title of this album honors Michael's album naming process. He always chose a song from the album to name his projects and, beginning with THRILLER, used only one word titles, each with an edgy quality to them. This is true of the new project. Written by Michael Jackson and Jerkins, and produced by Jackson and Jerkins, "Xscape" has further significance in that it is the one track on the album that was 'contemporized' by the producer who recorded it originally in the studio with Michael.

John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson said, "Michael was always on the cutting edge and was constantly reaching out to new producers, looking for new sounds. He was always relevant and current. These tracks, in many ways, capture that spirit. We thank L.A. Reid for his vision."

XSCAPE is a long awaited collection of exciting new music that will thrill the legions of fans of one of the world's most revered and best-selling artists, as well as attract a whole new generation discovering his artistry for the first time. In conjunction with the release of XSCAPE, Epic / Sony Music will launch an unprecedented global campaign with the One Sony sister companies, Sony Corporation, Sony Mobile Communications, and Sony Network Entertainment International drawing from all of Sony's strengths and consumer reach.

"Michael has long been a treasured member of the larger Sony family," said Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO, Sony Corporation. "Starting with the release of 'Off The Wall' in 1979, Sony Music Entertainment has since released all of Michael's recordings. We are thrilled and privileged to be collaborating as One Sony to celebrate Michael's latest legacy, and bringing his fans an exclusive experience through our upcoming initiatives with our products and services."

TY DOLLA $IGN TOUR ON DECK.
Atlantic recording artist Ty Dolla $ign has announced plans for his upcoming US tour. The "DollaSignWorld.com Presents: The Beach House Tour" kicks off on Tuesday, April 29th at Strummers in Fresno, California and wrapping on May 22nd, with his biggest hometown concert to date, headlining Los Angeles' famed El Rey Theatre

The 15-date tour -- which marks the multi-talented LA-based artist's first headlining tour -- celebrates the recent release of Ty's major label debut, "BEACH HOUSE EP" and its breakout hit single, "Paranoid (Feat. B.o.B)." In addition to currently being featured on iHeartRadio's "New Music Channel," the DJ Mustard-produced track is currently #4 at urban radio, while also proving a top 10 hit on both Billboard's "Hot R&B Songs" and "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs" charts. In addition, the "Paranoid" companion video -- directed by Ethan Lader (Bruno Mars, Travie McCoy, B.o.B, OneRepublic) -- is fast approaching 11 million views at Ty's official YouTube channel,

Known as a charismatic and smooth live performer, Ty was among the stand-out artists showcasing at the South By Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) in Austin, TX, Performing an incredible 16 shows within a 3 day stint, Ty also took part in memorable on-stage collaborations with such like-minded artists as Snoop Dogg, YG, DJ Steve Aoki and his Taylor Gang family (including Chevy Woods, Tuki Carter and Berner), which was led by his Atlantic Records labelmate, Wiz Khalifa.

Born Tyrone Griffin, Ty Dolla $ign has been an in-demand writer, producer, and featured artist since helming YG's 2010 smash, "Toot It and Boot It (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign)." Since then, his credits include work alongside the likes of Trey Songz ("Fumble") B.o.B ("HeadBand (Feat. 2Chainz)") and Wiz Khalifa & Snoop Dogg, whose "Young, Wild & Free (Feat. Bruno Mars)" proved a GRAMMY® Award-nominated blockbuster. The music from Ty's production team, D.R.U.G.S. (Dirty Rotten Underground Sound), dominated the airwaves in 2013. This new era of L.A.-bred producers and musicians -- which also includes DJ Mustard, Nate3D, Chordz and James Koo -- has redefined the sound of West Coast hip-hop with heavy 808s and a greedy snap.

A series of increasingly hot mixtapes earned him further attention, and has led Rolling Stone to call Ty one of the "10 New Artists You Need To Know in 2014." As if all that weren't enough, the gifted singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist has recently collaborated with the likes of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, YG, Lupe Fiasco, Zendaya and more, while hard at work on his own full length debut album, due out later this year.

TOUR DATES

MARCH
27 Las Vegas, NV Haze Nightclub*
28 Salt Lake City, UT Infinity*
29 Pittsburgh, PA WHIM Nightclub*

APRIL
19 San Bernardino, CA Hempcon*
20 Pozo, CA Pozo Saloon*
20 San Diego, CA House of Blues*
29 Fresno, CA Strummers
30 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst - Main

MAY
1 Oakland, CA The New Parish
2 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
3 Palo Alto, CA Stanford University
4 Chico, CA Senator Theatre
5 Eugene, OR WOW Hall
7 Portland, OR Peter's Room @ Roseland
8 Seattle, WA Crocodile Café
10 Garden City, ID Revolution
13 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre
14 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
15 Scottsdale, AZ Pub Rock
17 Santa Barbara, CA Velvet Jones
18 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
22 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre


PHARRELL PARTNERS WITH ADIDAS.
adidas has announced a long term partnership with Oscar nominated, Grammy Award winning super star Pharrell Williams. The first adidas Originals x Pharrell Williams products will debut in the Summer of 2014.

This is also the first time adidas has partnered with a designer who owns their own textile company. adidas will collaborate with Williams' Bionic Yarn coming from The Vortex Project; an initiative with Parley for the Oceans to turn plastic debris from the oceans into yarn and fabric. Bionic Yarn will be used in some of Pharrell's upcoming adidas Originals products.

"Working with an iconic brand like adidas is such an incredible opportunity. From the classic track suit, to growing up in Virginia wearing Stan Smiths, adidas has been a staple in my life. Their pieces are timeless. This is an exciting partnership for both me and for Bionic Yarn." - Pharrell Williams

adidas welcomes Pharrell into its family and is looking forward to a long lasting relationship with this extraordinary artist.

"I am truly thrilled to work with Pharrell. He is a pop-culture icon that never fails to inspire, not just through his musical talent and craft, but through his many other interests. He is the perfect fit for the multi-faceted company that is adidas." - Dirk Schoenberger, Global Creative Director, adidas Sport Style Division

iHEARTRADIO MUSIC AWARDS ON DECK.
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and NBC today announced the finalists for its first-ever iHeartRadio Music Awards on Thursday, May 1 at the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Music fans used hashtags to cast more than 13.2 million votes across Facebook and Twitter to catapult their favorite artists and songs into iHeartRadio Music Awards’ category finalists. The event will be televised live on NBC from 8-11 p.m. ET/PT.

Announced last month, the three-hour iHeartRadio Music Awards will recognize the most popular artists and music over the past 12 months as determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Each voting category initially featured 10 nominees based on results from the iHeartRadio Chart which includes listener feedback and performance data according to airplay; digital streaming data from the iHeartRadio platform, including “thumbs up” and custom station creations; and music sales, social interactions, online video data and tags from BigChampagne and Shazam.

During the last four weeks, listeners cast their votes to narrow down these nominees to their top five favorites in each category, garnering more than 2.2 billion social impressions. Category finalists (by alphabetical order) are:

Artist of the Year:

Imagine Dragons
Justin Timberlake
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Maroon 5
Rihanna
Song of the Year:

“Hold On We’re Going Home” – Drake ft. Majid Jordan
“Mirrors” – Justin Timberlake
“Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons
“Stay” – Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko
“The Monster” – Eminem ft. Rihanna
Best Collaboration:

(Most voted on category with more than 3.9 million votes cast)

“Holy Grail” – Jay Z ft. Justin Timberlake
“Stay” – Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko
“Suit & Tie” – Justin Timberlake ft. Jay Z
“The Monster” – Eminem ft. Rihanna
“Timber” – Pitbull ft. Ke$ha
Best New Artist:

Florida Georgia Line
Icona Pop
Imagine Dragons
Lorde
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Passenger
Country Song of the Year:

“Boys ‘Round Here” – Blake Shelton
“Highway Don’t Care” – Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift
“It Goes Like This” – Thomas Rhett
“Mine Would Be You” – Blake Shelton
“That’s My Kind of Night” – Luke Bryan
Hip Hop/R&B Song of the Year:

“Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke ft. T.I. & Pharrell
“Hold On We’re Going Home” – Drake ft. Majid Jordan
“Holy Grail” – Jay Z ft. Justin Timberlake
“Pour It Up” – Rihanna
“Started From The Bottom” - Drake
EDM Song of the Year:

“Get Lucky” – Daft Punk ft. Pharrell
“Stay The Night” – Zedd ft. Hayley Williams
“Summertime Sadness” – Lana Del Rey ft. Cedric Gervais
“Sweet Nothing” – Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch
“Wake Me Up” – Avicii
Alternative Rock Song of the Year:

“Demons” – Imagine Dragons
“Do I Wanna Know?” – Arctic Monkeys
“Pompeii” – Bastille
“Royals” – Lorde
“Safe And Sound” – Capital Cities
Best Lyrics:

“Wake Me Up” – Avicii (Vocals by Aloe Blacc)
“I Love It (ft. Charli XCX)” – Icona Pop
“Say Something” – A Great Big World
“Same Love” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
“Wrecking Ball” – Miley Cyrus
Best Fan Army:

Arianators – Ariana Grande
Little Monsters – Lady Gaga
Lovatics – Demi Lovato
Mahomies – Austin Mahone
Rihanna Navy – Rihanna
Swifties – Taylor Swift

Round Two voting began today at iHeartRadio.com/awards and will continue through April 25 where millions of fans will rally behind their favorite artists and songs to vote for which nominee they want to win each category. Listeners can tune into their local Clear Channel radio stations for a chance to win their way into the iHeartRadio Music Awards featuring never-before-done duets and collaborations, celebrity guest appearances and live award presentations.

DMX HEADING TO EUROPE WITH PUSHA T, METHOD MAN AND REDMAN.
NEW YORKER Fresh Island Festival is proud to announce that DMX, one of the most controversial rap superstars of today, will be performing at Zrce beach this summer! This will be the DMX' first stage appearance in Europe in over ten years.

In addition to the already announced performances of Method Man & Redman, Pusha T, twenty of the best Europe's DJ crews and international Adria Dance Camp, the NEW YORKER Fresh Island team is now adding DMX to their already impressive festival roster.

DMX is a performer with the highest number of platinum releases in hip-hop. He has sold over 30 million records, managing to add his name to the list of the best selling rap artist of all time. The majority of music media professionals, critics and other opinion makers are putting DMX in the same context with a such rap legend as 2 Pac himself. Next to his huge success as a musician, Earl Simmons a.k.a. DMX, has in parallel been building his career in Hollywood, where he has played lead and supporting roles in films such as Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, etc.

EMINEM, OUTKAST, NAS & MORE ANNOUNCED FOR LOLLAPALOOZA.
Lollapalooza (Aug. 1-3) has announced this year's lineup. There will be 130 acts playing over the course of the three-day festival, which returns to Chicago's Grant Park. Eminem, Outkast, Kings of Leon, Calvin Harris, Skrillex and Arctic Monkeys are headlining.

The three-day tickets sold out within an hour of going on sale. Single-day tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. ET today, and VIP and platinum packages are still available. Good luck.

The lineup:

Eminem
Outkast
Kings of Leon
Arctic Monkeys
Calvin Harris
Skrillex
Lorde
Foster the People
The Avett Brothers
Zedd
Krewella
Sebastian Ingrosso
Above & Beyond
Nas
Childish Gambino
Broken Bells
Spoon
Cage the Elephant
Interpol
The Head and the Heart
Young the Giant
Lykke Li
Chase & Status
Chance the Rapper
Phantogram
cut/copy
Flosstradamus
Chvrches
Fitz & the Tantrums
Chromeo
The Glitch Mob
Grouplove
Darkside
Portugal the Man
Gramatik
The 1975
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Jenny Lewis
Rebelution
AFI
Manchester Orchestra
Glen Hansard
J. Roddy Walston & The Business
John Butler Trio
Gesaffelstein
The Kooks
Martin Garrix

Flume
Rudimental
Phosphorescent
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Iggy Azalea
Duke Dumont
Run the Jewels
Bombay Bicycle Club
Temper Trap
Airborne Toxic Event
Warpaint
Joachim Garraud
London Grammar
Kodaline
Typhoon
White Denim
Sander Kleinenberg
Z-Trip
Delta Rae
Lucius
Kate Nash
RAC
Blood Orange
Vance Joy
GTA
Perry/Etty vs Joachim Garraud
Rich Homie Quan
Jhené Aiko
Jagwar Ma
Parquet Courts
Kongos
Temples
Small Pools
NONONO
Vic Mensa
Jungle
Gemini Club
Francisca Valenzuela
Wildcat! Wildcat!
Crizzly
Into It Over It
PAPA




Bomba Estéreo
Courtney Barnett
The Districts Bleachers
San Fermin
Robust
Bear Hands
Roadkill
Ghost Choir
Royal Blood
Kausea
Brillz
Ratking
Bronze Radio Return
Jacob Plant
Meg Myers
Lindsay Lowend
The So S Glos
Joywave
Betty Who
Cash Cash
Desert Noises
Fly Golden Eagle
Bebe Rexha
Jon Batiste and Stay Human
Crass Mammoth
Wallpaper
Benjamin Booker
Cardiknox
DUGAS
The Last Internationale
Space Capone
Bagheera
Johnnyswim
Plastic Visions
Of Verona
Charlie Hirsch
Oyinda
Highly Suspect
Anna Lunoe
Rocky Business




RELATIVITY AQUIRES STAKE IN DOWNTOWN RECORDS.
Relativity, a next-generation media company, today announced that the company has acquired a stake in Downtown Records, the music industry's leading independent record company. Relativity's capital injection will help Downtown, which has a catalog of over 5,000 songs and is home to artists such as Gnarls Barkley, Miike Snow, Santigold, Cold War Kids and Mos Def, continue its rapid growth through the acquisition and marketing of new catalogs and artists. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This investment represents the latest in a series of strategic partnerships Relativity has struck with media and entertainment-related companies, and continues Relativity's evolution as a fully diversified global media company. The partnership also increases Relativity's content production capabilities across multiple platforms and builds off the success of Relativity Music, which provides music supervision, music publishing catalogues and soundtrack services for films from Relativity and other major Hollywood studios. Happy Walters, chief operating officer of Relativity, will oversee the investment for the company.

Ryan Kavanaugh, founder and CEO of Relativity, said: "Relativity is a content engine that has the unique ability to help other entertainment companies reach the next level. In just eight years, Josh Deutsch and Terence Lam have built a cutting edge music business, and we are excited to provide new opportunities for their incredible talent as Relativity continues to grow."

In addition to music, Relativity's growing divisions include Relativity Studios, a full-scale film studio that has produced, distributed or structured financing for nearly 200 motion pictures, generating more than $17 billion in worldwide box office revenue; Relativity Television, which has over 20 series on-air; Relativity Sports, which represents more than 300 professional athletes; M3/Relativity, which represents clients across fashion, beauty, style and creative design; and Relativity Digital Studios, which creates original digital content. Downtown and Relativity's divisions will work closely together to leverage each other's properties.

Josh Deutsch, Downtown Records' Chairman and CEO, said: "Since 2006, Downtown Records has been dedicated to discovering and breaking today's most exciting artists. Relativity is the ideal partner to fuel Downtown Records' continued growth. Leveraging Relativity's broad platform, Downtown will generate innovative new opportunities for artists, composers and music fans alike. We are excited to work with Ryan, Happy, Tucker and the entire Relativity team to grow Downtown Records' recorded music, music publishing and live events divisions and to contribute our premium content and music services to Relativity's global media business."

Deutsch has been responsible for over 25 million albums sold throughout his career at companies including Virgin Records, Elektra Entertainment and Capital Records, discovering and overseeing the recording careers of artists including Gnarls Barkley, Cold War Kids, Jason Mraz, Justice, Santigold, Jet, Lenny Kravitz, Third Eye Blind and Miike Snow, among many others.

Terence Lam is Downtown Records' Co-Chairman and oversees the company's operations. A veteran of the music business, Lam got his start at Arista Records and has worked for Sony Music Entertainment, Geffen Music, and MTV Networks.

RIHANNA TO BE HONORED WITH CFDA FASHION ICON AWARD.
Rihanna earned an icon award at the American Music Awards last year. Now she's receiving a similar honor from the fashion world.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc., announced Monday that the 26-year-old pop star will receive the CFDA Fashion Icon Award on June 2 in New York City.

The award is given to one whose style has made a tremendous impact on pop culture around the world. Past recipients include Lady Gaga, Iman, Kate Moss and Nicole Kidman.

The 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards will be held at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall.

Rihanna will launch a three-date co-headlining tour with Eminem on Aug. 8 in Los Angeles. The artists have collaborated on the No. 1 hits "The Monster" and "Love the Way You Lie."

PITBULL PARTNERS UP WITH PLAYBOY.
Playboy Enterprises, Inc. announced today that the company has entered into a strategic partnership with Pitbull. The relationship, designed as a creative cross-pollination between the worlds of Pitbull and Playboy, will feature a variety of content, experience, and product-related initiatives. The first example is the upcoming video supporting the performer's new hit single "Wild Wild Love," featuring G.R.L., which was shot at the legendary Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, California earlier this month.

Pitbull (aka Armando Christian Perez) has sold more than five million albums and 50 million singles worldwide, achieving Number One status in more than 15 countries around the world. Across his various social media platforms, Pitbull drives more than one billion global media impressions every month.

"We're bringing new energy and enthusiasm to the iconic Playboy brand in our 60th year," said Playboy CEO Scott Flanders. "Throughout our history we've collaborated with artists and cultural tastemakers who both embody the Playboy lifestyle and interpret it in their own images. Today we're taking a big step in re-interpreting our enduring brand for a new generation by welcoming Armando into the fold. His magnetic energy, charisma and style combined with his clear talent as an entrepreneur exemplify the aspirational lifestyle that defines our brand. We're looking forward to doing some great things together."

"In order to become an iconic brand you have to partner up with one. What's more iconic than Playboy?" says Mr. Perez. "It's an honor to partner with Playboy Enterprises – 'Ladies and Gentlemen you are looking at the new Playboy, Armando Christian Perez.' Thank you Hef, Scott and the entire Playboy team. Dale!"

The choice of the historic Playboy Mansion as the setting for the "Wild Wild Love" video provides an early glimpse of the synergies expected to emerge from the partnership. The landscape of opportunities in development span Pitbull's touring and appearance schedule, performances and appearances at Playboy events, new content across a variety of media including Playboy Magazine and digital properties, and more to be unveiled in the coming months.

50 CENT TALKS NEW ALBUM, RELATIONSHIP WITH EMINEM & MORE..
Sitting down with The Huffington Post, 50 spoke of his time in Austin, Texas, and how he opened his set with the song "The Funeral," a track that popped up in conjunction with his recent Forbes interview. Because of his recent transition to an independent artist, "The Funeral" marked a huge moment in 50's musical career.

"In the middle of the interview I was telling them how I can do things whenever I feel like it, and so I said, 'You know what I'm going to do, I'm going to launch a song the day the article comes out,'" 50 said. "And to make sure people didn't interpret it as a record I was trying to get up the chart, I gave them one that was 50 bars of me rapping. It didn't have a chorus, it was just storytelling. It got a great response. Me just being able to release music that I feel is right for right now, 'this is dope, put this out,' is really cool. It changes the experience for me, man."

That independence has to be incredible. Not only because you can decide to drop a song in the middle of an interview just for the sake of being able to do so, but you have so much more creative room. What kind of impact do you think this will have?
Now I'm right where the hip-hop fan is listening to music on blogs. It's taking 20 weeks for a record to hit peak position on the radio. Do you realize what I just said? 20 weeks? It's fucking crazy. If a record takes 20 weeks to get there, you can have two hit records off of one album, and it will be a year if you put them in the rotation like that. But even if I got them, I've got to miss some of those records because I've got a second album I'm putting out. When they hear "Animal Ambition," they will know I could have been dragging this thing down the block and around the corner with all of those records that could have been singles, but I won't give it that time because of how fast my audience is moving. By that point, they're already finished with that. They already listened to it, so it's time to move to the next piece.

You had said that your split with Shady/Aftermath was very amicable. It's nice to hear about a departure that isn't "Screw this guy."
It's impossible to ruin the relationship Eminem and I have built up. There's no way I would say or do anything that would disrespect what he's done for me. I credit a hug portion of my success to Em because if it wasn't for him being excited about the project, no one else would have rallied around it. It's one of those things that if I hated Dr. Dre, I couldn't say it to anyone because it would bother Em. You understand? He's my Dre, and Dre is that to him, and so I would just never express it. I have nothing against Dre. I mean, on my record I have a song coming out that's produced by him.

That's "Smoke," right?
Yeah, that's it.

That's awesome. It really is about respecting the person that helps you and respecting the decisions of those you helped.
At a point where you desperately need help, and a person comes and lends you a hand, I don't see how you could forget what that person did that for you. Well, you do have artists that do forget that. I've experienced it more than usual. I've got to say this, in Em's case, when everything's going wrong, I feel like he's not even involved in it; he's never a part of it. Every time something positive is happening, I always relate it to Em. He only has positive energy surrounding his aura with me. When there's something wrong, he's not even aware of it. I have to call and talk to him for him to understand it. We'll have conversations when I go out to Detroit to record, and I'll be telling him about it and he'll be like, "Get the fuck out of here." He's hearing it for the first time.

In your recent interview with Complex, you had said that "Animal Ambition" was centered around the idea of prosperity, and was from this distorted perspective. As I interpreted it, it's about how your success is perceived by the other. How everyone is working for the come up, and you got yours, and because you did, people have these altered and, at times, unwarranted perceptions of you.
It has the jealousy, it has the envy, and I'm a person who doesn't understand what they're looking at. There's the person that has that sense of entitlement. They're like "Yo, you made this much money. You could have bought me a house or a couple cars or something. I've been your friend for how long?" I didn't know it cost however much a house and a couple cars cost. I thought we were friends because we were genuinely friends.

There's all sorts of things. Think like about the guy that is uncertain to approach a woman, but after he sees you approach her he feels like he could have gotten her if he had just said something first. People don't know what they like until they see someone with it. I put all of those elements in it because I felt they were a portion of prosperity, and I want you to see it. No matter what ethnicity you are, what type of religious beliefs you have, if you just look at the outline of the scenarios and situations I've seen, you'll see your own version of it.

I had to find a concept to write about to make it exciting for me. To have the project be about one topic, there aren't many records you can find that have one theme. The people whose opinions I value are those who like to live life on the highest level. The other people, they don't matter to me at all. The person who is positive, and is having some success will find some interest in this record immediately.

Shortly after "Animal Ambition" drops, you are planning to release "Street King Immortal." What can we expect with that?
"Street King Immortal" is a little more personal. There's a piece that I wrote that is a metaphor for nine different painful moments that I experienced in my life. Some of the worst experiences. If I asked you when the last time you smiled, you probably wouldn't remember, but if I asked you when the last time you cried, and you really tried to remember, you would probably get sad. You'd probably go to a sad place mentally in order to remember. The project is meant to bring you to where my head has been at.

Let me tell you a story: One time I was in the car and I was listening to a LL Cool J record, and the girl I was with, I saw that she was going off to the music. All of sudden, I wasn't there, she wasn't paying me any attention. She was just singing the song. She was with LL. I wanted to do that. So I wrote a record and when it came time to release it, Dre was like, "Why do you want to put that in there?" I just told him that I wanted that one, and that song was "21 Questions." A question demands an answer, and it keeps the listener engaged. I would see the audience nod their head "yes" or "no" while I was performing the lines. I knew they weren't paying attention to the person standing next to them; they were looking directly at me.

I knew I had my audience at that point. I was trying to figure out how to do it my way. Something that another artist has achieved that I admire, but how do I do that without compromising myself as an artist? That's how I know when new music is good, because I wish I had it -- "I want some shit like that!" I've had an opportunity to enjoy our culture in a different way. I've had a huge amount of success, being in the height of the storm, and then I've had the opportunity to take a step back and be a fan of it. And now to get back into the mix and show them what I have to offer, it's going to be exciting to see how they respond to it. Source: Huffington Post

50 CENT, EMINEM & TIMBALAND INVEST IN CHINESE MOVIE.
50 Cent, Timbaland and Eminem and New York Knicks basketball player Carmelo Anthony are among the unlikely U.S. investors behind “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” the cutting edge Chinese film which won the Golden Bear at Berlin this year.

They were talked into backing the film by New York-based Daniel Victor of Boneyard Entertainment. Through its Boneyard Entertainment China offshoot, it was a financier and co-producer of “Black Coal.” The lead producer is China’s Jiangsu Omnijoi Movie Co.

The film, which is unusually dark by Chinese standards, and depicts a former policeman and a mystery woman on the trail of a serial killer, releases this week in China.

Victor says the high-profile investors share a long-term vision of building a film company focused on the world’s most exciting and quickly-evolving market.

“We were all passionate about the idea of building a film business in China,” says Victor. “China is a fascinating country, the culture and history, and it is now the second-largest market for films in the world after the U.S. Their film industry and box office are growing astronomically.”

As the Chinese film market has grown a wide variety of foreign companies have made various attempts to establish a foothold. They range from Hollywood studios, which have tried studio and indie-level incursions; a handful of other major companies which have launched productions aimed at a local Chinese audiences; and a scattering of foreign indies. The independents for the most part work in China on a project-by-project basis.

Omnijoi and Boneyard China, however, now have the beginnings of a slate together. They will start production in May on another Chinese picture, with a third film going into pre-production later this year.

Separately Boneyard China was last year certified by the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) as an approved co-production partner for Chinese companies.

Starting from 1996, Boneyard Entertainment previously produced and financed nine features in the U.S. and U.K., including the Academy Award-winning “Sling Blade,” “Henry Fool,” and the Helen Mirren and Clive Owen-starring “Greenfingers.” Source: Variety

SYLVIA RHONE NAMED PRESIDENT OF EPIC RECORDS.
Veteran music industry executive Sylvia Rhone has been named President of Sony Music's Epic Records. Rhone has been a part of Sony Music for just over a year, since launching her Vested In Culture label imprint under Sony early in 2013. Vested In Culture is a joint venture with Epic. Rhone will continue to report to Epic Chairman/CEO L.A. Reid.

Reid says, "Having worked closely with Sylvia Rhone, I’ve witnessed firsthand how she shares a passion for an artists-first culture. I look forward with genuine enthusiasm to the next chapter of Epic Records."

Rhone adds, "I’m honored to have the opportunity to expand my relationship with the talented team and amazing artists at Epic. What makes this opportunity different from any other is my partnership with renowned music executive L.A. Reid. I’m looking forward to what I think will be the finest chapter in my career."

Rhone was previously President of Universal Motown Records, and also served as Chairman/CEO of the Elektra Entertainment Group.

EMINEM AND RIHANNA ANNOUNCE THE MONSTER TOUR.
Two of music's biggest superstars, Rihanna and Eminem, will be joining forces this summer for a series of co-headlining stadium shows when they launch The Monster Tour. The tour, promoted exclusively by Live Nation, will kick off in Los Angeles on Thursday, Aug. 7 at the Rose Bowl with shows then lined up in New York City's Metlife Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 16 and Detroit's Comerica Park on Friday, Aug. 22. Tickets go on sale on Friday, March 28 at 10:00 a.m. local time through the Live Nation.

PHAROAHE MONCH ON DECK.
With his highly-anticipated fourth solo-LP, “P.T.S.D.” (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Pharoahe Monch re-emerges with a new concept project which finds the ground-breaking emcee tackling PTSD; a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. Throughout the duration of the LP, Monch narrates as an independent artist weary from the war against the industry machine and through the struggle of the black male experience in America. Pharoahe Monch’s Forthcoming P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) LP Will Be Released On 4-15-2014

Pharoahe Monch has been at the forefront of lyrical innovation for two-decades now. Not only is he one of Hip-Hop’s preeminent lyricists, crafting intricate rhyme schemes and intelligent raps, but he is also an incisive political and social commentator, using Hip-Hop as a platform for political engagement.

Pharoahe Monch's "P.T.S.D." (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) will feature guest appearances from Black Thought, Talib Kweli, Denaun Porter, The Stepkids, Vernon Reid and production from Lee Stone, Marco Polo, Jesse West & Quelle Chris.

Tracklisting and Credits for Pharoahe Monch’s “P.T.S.D.” (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder):

1.) “The Recollection Facility” (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
2.) “Times2” (produced by Marco Polo)
3.) “Losing My Mind” f/ deNaUn (produced by Jesse West)
4.) “Heroin Addict” (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
5.) “Damage” (produced by Lee Stone)
6.) “Bad M.F.” (produced by Lee Stone)
7.) “The Recollection Facility Pt.2” (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
8.) “Rapid Eye Movement” f/ Black Thought (produced by Marco Polo)
9.) “Scream” (produced by Quelle Chris)
10.) “SideFX”f/ Dr. Pete (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
11.) “The Jungle” (produced by Marco Polo)
12.) “Broken Again” (produced by The Lion Share Music Group)
13.) “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”(produced by Boogie Blind & B.A.M.)
14.) “Dream” f/ Talib Kweli (produced by Lee Stone)
15.) “The Recollection Facility Pt.3” (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
16.) “Eht Dnarg Noisulli” f/ The Stepkids (produced by The Stepkids & Pharoahe Monch)
17.) “Stand Your Ground”f/ Vernon Reid (produced by Lee Stone) ****Bonus Track for Digital Purchases

TOY COMPANY SETTLES AGAINST BEASTIE BOYS.
A California toy company has settled its lawsuit against the Beastie Boys over its parody of their song "Girls" in a promotional video that went viral.

The Oakland Tribune says (http://bit.ly/1mfjPQr ) an agreement to dismiss the claim was filed Monday in U.S. District Court. No details of the settlement were released.

Oakland-based Goldieblox filed suit in November, seeking to pre-empt any possible claims of copyright infringement over the repurposed song.

The video, which shows young girls singing about science and engineering, was viewed millions of times before it was removed from YouTube.

The Beastie Boys countersued Goldieblox in December. The newspaper says it was not immediately clear if Monday's settlement would have any effect on that claim.

The hip-hop group has a blanket ban on using their songs in advertisements.

MC LYTE, JEAN GRAE, LAUREN HILL & MORE ON DECK.
Visionary entrepreneur and cultural curator, Beverly Bond has established a new media and production company BONDVISION MEDIA, which will launch concert and conversation series ROCK! LIKE A GIRL™ Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Bond has teamed up with the Kennedy Center’s One Mic: Hip-Hop Festival to produce the first installment of ROCK! LIKE A GIRL which will highlight women’s contributions to hip-hop. The concert event will feature performances by groundbreaking women, champions of hip-hop, who consistently stretch the boundaries of musicianship, lyricism, artistic expression, and have also proven to be fierce contenders at the top of their game in a male dominated culture. The ROCK! LIKE A GIRL series makes its debut with rap legend MC Lyte, critically acclaimed lyricist Jean Grae, French Chilean MC Ana Tijoux, GRAMMY® Award winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari, and a special appearance by the multi-talented GRAMMY® Award winning MC, singer, and song-writer Ms. Lauryn Hill.

“Through celebrating the critical role of women in hip-hop, Beverly Bond’s ROCK! LIKE A GIRL adds an essential element to this festival. We are happy to provide a platform for American and international female artists who exhibit the best of hip-hop culture in content and craftsmanship of their music and performance,” said Garth Ross, Kennedy Center Vice President of Community Engagement.

D.C.’s own all-girl Go-Go group Be’la Dona will serve as the official house band with DJ Beverly Bond on the 1s and 2s. ROCK! LIKE A GIRL will also spotlight the next generation with a featured youth performance by BLACK GIRLS ROCK! program mentees.

“I’m extremely excited to launch ROCK! LIKE A GIRL at the Kennedy Center and curate this dynamic show featuring these superb, inspirational and innovative artists! This festival illustrates the diversity, creativity and the global cultural capital of hip-hop music,” says Beverly Bond, “and, the ROCK! LIKE A GIRL platform presents a unique vehicle for the voices of female artists who’ve led with shear integrity and respect for their craft; despite the difficulties of navigating an especially male dominated arena. ROCK! LIKE A GIRL showcases women who have used their art as a tool to drive feminist thought, personal empowerment, socio-cultural analysis, or political engagement, and who have inspired generations of women and girls in the process. Together these incredible women will make HERstory and show what it really means to ROCK like a girl!”

The event will culminate with a post-show discussion on hip-hop feminism, pop-culture, art, and integrity.

AUGUST ALSINA ENLISTS RICK ROSS.
Def Jam freshman August Alsina teased fans over the weekend with an extended preview of his new track “Benediction” featuring MMG boss Rick Ro$$, from his debut album ‘Testimony’ due out 4.15.14. The Eric Hudson produced track is an autobiographical experience that touches on some of the hardships August has faced over his 21 years. From losing his brother to the streets, to his step father’s crack addiction, to finding himself homeless at just 17 years old... the hard hitting track pulls no punches.

“I had to tell it all”, August explains. “If people can see that I came from the same fucked up circumstances that they’re currently in, then they’ll know it’s possible for them to make it too. I’m in this position for a reason, so if I hold back, I’m cheating the people, I’m cheating myself, and I’m cheating God. The majority of people out there either come from the struggle or are still in the struggle. If we don’t tell our story, no one will. #StrugLlife”



JASON DERULO ON DECK.
Jason Derulo will release his third U.S. album Talk Dirty on April 15th. Talk Dirty will feature the title track, "The Other Side," "Marry Me," and "Vertigo" from the September 2014 Tattoos EP with seven new songs. 2 Chainz, Snoop Dogg, Tyga, Kid Ink and Jordin Sparks are featured on the new album with production by Timbaland, DJ Mustard, Red One, Wallpaper, The Cataracts, Ammo and Martin Johnson, Jon Bellion and more.

"Talk Dirty" is the #5 song in his career-to-date to crack the Top 5 at Top 40 radio with over 115 million in radio audience, spinning 20 thousand times a week across all formats. Already double-platinum in the States and 5.5 million tracks sold worldwide, the title track from his April 15th album is currently #3 on iTunes and Billboard's Digital Downloads and #4 on Billboard's Hot 100.

ARMY OF THE PHARAOHS ON DECK.
Initiated in 1998 by Jedi Mind Tricks front-man Vinnie Paz as homage to the incredible rap crews of the 80’s and early 90’s, the Army of the Pharaohs has, from its outset, been an ever-evolving collective of celebrated emcees from the indie hip-hop scene. Founding members Vinnie Paz and Esoteric were featured on the crew’s original 12-inch single, “Five Perfect Exertions,” in 1998 and remain with the crew today. With the release of their debut studio album, The Torture Papers in 2006, the Pharaoh clique expanded to include accomplished solo emcees Apathy, Celph Titled, King Syze, Reef the Lost Cauze, and the Philly hip-hop duo and frequent Jedi Mind Tricks collaborators Outerspace.

In its nearly two decades, AOTP has released three studio albums alongside countless solo albums and side projects from its lineup of emcees that have been some of the most critically-acclaimed and best-selling indie hip hop records of the past 20-years. With the release of their newest effort, In Death Reborn, the Army returns after a four-year hiatus to release its fourth group album featuring the lead single/video for “God Particle” featuring Vinnie Paz, Planetary, Esoteric, Apathy & Celph Titled and produced by Stu Bangas. The album also features appearances by Blacastan, Zilla, Block McCloud, Demoz, Doap Nixon & King Magnetic. Army of the Pharaohs In Death Reborn drops April 22, 2014 on Enemy Soil.

Tracklisting and Credits for Army Of The Pharaohs “In Death Reborn”

1.) “Curse of the Pharaohs” f/ Vinnie Paz, Apathy, Celph Titled, Esoteric & Reef the Lost Cauze (produced by Blastah Beatz)
2.) “Midnight Burial” f/ Reef the Lost Cauze, Crypt the Warchild, Esoteric, Des Devious & Celph Titled (produced by C-Lance)
3.) “Broken Safeties” f/ Apathy, Lawrence Arnell, Vinnie Paz & Celph Titled (produced by Vanderslice)
4.) “God Particle” f/ Vinnie Paz, Planetary, Esoteric, Apathy & Celph Titled (produced by Stu Bangas)
5.) “Luxor Temple” f/ Blacastan, Vinnie Paz, Apathy, Esoteric, Celph Titled & Planetary (produced by Paul Nice)
6.) “Azrael” f/ Block McCloud, Reef the Lost Cauze, Vinnie Paz & Crypt the Warchild (produced by Frank Grimes)
7.) “The Demon’s Blade” f/ Vinnie Paz, Celph Titled, Apathy, Blacastan, Planetary & Esoteric (produced by Leaf Dog)
8.) “See You In Hell” f/ Celph Titled, Planetary, Blacastan & Vinnie Paz (produced by C-Lance)
9.) “Headless Ritual” f/ Blacastan, Apathy, Vinnie Paz, King Syze, Zilla & Planetary (produced by Apathy)
10.) “Visual Camouflage” f/ Apathy, Zilla, Vinnie Paz, King Magnetic, Celph Titled, Esoteric (produced by Juan Muteniac)
11.) “Ninkyo Dantai” (Yakuza) f/ Vinnie Paz, Celph Titled, Blacastan, Apathy, Esoteric & Planetary (produced by Panik)
12.) “Digital War” f/ Celph Titled, Planetary, Blacastan, Esoteric, Apathy, Crypt the Warchild & Vinnie Paz (produced by Lecs Beats)
13.) “7th Ghost” f/ Reef the Lost Cauze, Doap Nixon, Blacastan, Demoz & Vinnie Paz (produced by Grim Reaperz)
14.) “Sumerians” f/ Vinnie Paz, Blacastan, Apathy, Celph Titled, Esoteric (produced by Frank Grimes)

KANYE AND JAY Z STOLE THE SHOW @ SXSW.
Samsung got its money's worth from Jay Z and Kanye West. Two of rap's elite combined for a powerful, hit-filled two-hour show Wednesday night and Thursday morning during South By Southwest, allowing Samsung to steal some of iTunes' luster at the annual music conference and festival.

Samsung announced the Austin Music Hall show early this week and scheduled the pair at the same time as the iTunes Festival's hip-hop night that featured Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q at the very nearby ACL Moody Theater. The performance came a few weeks after West called out Apple CEO Tim Cook at a New Jersey concert, telling him to "stop trying to get performers to play your festival for free, you are rich as (expletive)."

Chances are West and Jay Z didn't play the show for free, but the return on investment wasn't marginal. The show was one of the most anticipated surrounding the annual buzz-building gathering and fans with Samsung devices with the company's new streaming music service, Milk Music, were granted free entry.

Fans lined up several hundred yards around the block before the show with most having little hope of getting in. Those who did — including Odd Future's Tyler, The Creator, who forced his way to the front row to the delight of selfie-snapping fans and spent some of the show crowd surfing — were treated to an energetic performance from two of hip-hop's biggest stars.

They emerged individually atop two large boxes stationed on the stage and in the crowd — West wearing his trademark leather kilt and Jay Z in a black American flag t-shirt — and began the show near the rafters. They played selections from their "Watch the Throne" collaboration throughout, including "No Church in the Wild," ''... in Paris," ''Who Gon Stop Me" and "Otis" as images of Doberman pinschers, lions and tigers, great white sharks and gazelle-killing cheetahs flashed across a screen that wrapped around the stagebound box.

The pair, who recently announced a partnership between West's Donda Music and Jay Z's Roc Nation, each also played hits from their own lengthy catalogs. West, engaged and smiling and even occasionally trading high fives with the crowd, performed "Black Skinhead" and "New Slaves" from his latest album "Yeezus" along with older hits like "Jesus Walks" and "Runaway."

Jay Z offered favorites recent hit "Tom Ford" from "Magna Carta ... Holy Grail," and standards "99 Problems," ''Empire State of Mind," ''Dirt Off Your Shoulder" and "Big Pimpin'."

What they didn't offer was any clues about a sequel to their collaborative album "Watch the Throne," which is anticipated later this year.

PETEY PABLO RELEASED FROM PRISON.
Petey Pablo has been released from prison after doing 2 years for gun-smuggling TMZ has learned.

Petey was arrested at Raleigh Durham Airport on Sept. 11, 2010 after cops say he tried to take a stolen gun through airport security.

Pablo was sentenced to 35 months behind bars at a federal prison but was released today, 4 months ahead of schedule. Pablo now says he wants to return to hip-hop and has already hooked up with Timbaland.

"I'm now headed to the work shop," Pablo says "To begin what will be noted as my best work ever with one of the greatest producers of all time."

"See ya in a few, shirt still spinning!"

HIP HOP MUSEUM IN NYC ON DECK?
The pioneers of hip-hop are hoping to create a museum in the Bronx dedicated to the genre.

Organizers say it would be called the Universal Hip Hop Museum.

Afrika Bambaataa says the museum would look at the historical and cultural roots of hip-hop and the contributions made by break dancers and disc jockeys.

Bambaataa is frequently called the father of hip-hop. He would serve as the museum's chairman.

The museum hopes to open in 2017 inside the Kingsbridge Armory, which is being redeveloped into a national ice sports center. The plan was announced at a news conference on Wednesday.

Bambaataa says many people think of rappers when they hear the word hip-hop. But he says there's a whole culture and movement behind it.

PHARELL TO LAUNCH UNISEX FRAGRANCE.
Pharrell Williams will be launching a new unisex fragrance called G I R L. Created in partnership with Comme des Garçons, the scent bears the same name as Williams's latest album. No details about the specifics of the actual scent have been released, but Williams was full of praise for the label, saying: As one of my favourite designers once said, 'Comme des Garçons is your favorite designers' favorite designer ... the top of the top, the best of the best.'

“I am so honored to be working with Comme des Garçons and cherish the education that I’ve experienced in this collaboration,” Pharrell told WWD. The fragrance will be out in September 2014.

BET EXPERIENCE 2014 ON DECK @ L.A. LIVE.
BET Networks makes its yearly return to Los Angeles for the City of Angels’ biggest music festival, the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE, June 27 – 29, 2014. Teaming up with AEG, one of the leading entertainment companies in the world and developer/operator of L.A. LIVE and Staples Center, the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE will feature three days of music and comedy concerts, “106 & PARK” tapings, BET Fan Fest, seminars, GRAMMY® Museum exhibits, a signature food festival, various celebrity meet & greets and other special appearances.

Staples Center will be the home of three nights of concerts featuring the hottest and most popular artists performing today beginning Friday, June 27 when GRAMMY® Award winning artists Maxwell and Jill Scott join Marsha Ambrosius to start the highly anticipated weekend with soul stirring performances. A$AP Rocky, Rick Ross, K. Michele, Ty Dolla $ign and August Alsina are the first group of artists announced for Staples Center’s stage for Saturday, June 28 plus a very special hip hop reunion you won’t want to miss! Closing the weekend festivities on Sunday, June 29, will be the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, GRAMMY® Award winning artist Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz, GRAMMY® Award winning artist Jennifer Hudson and Tamar Braxton. Ticket sales begin this Friday, March 14, 2014 at 1 p.m./EST.

“We are proud to once again be working in partnership with BET to co-host the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE, said Dan Beckerman, President and CEO, AEG. “Combining the assets, the creativity and the experience of each of our brands to produce such an all-encompassing event as the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE will once again create an incredibly memorable weekend. We look forward to welcoming the thousands of fans from all over the U.S. that will come to Los Angeles and L.A. LIVE to attend this one-of-a-kind tribute and celebration.”

“The BET Experience was a major success with over 100,000 attendees and we are thrilled to return to the City of Los Angeles during “BET AWARDS” weekend,” said Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks. “This year we will again provide a weekend filled with music, entertainment, and culture and are excited to once again to partner with AEG to pull off another BET Experience.”

Single day tickets and 3-day packages for the Staples Center concerts go on sale Friday, March 14, 2014. Single day Staples Center concert tickets are priced as low as $59.50, $99.50 and $149.50 while 3-day Staples Center Concert ticket packages are $199.00, $299.00 and $399.00.

In addition to concerts, comedy shows and the “BET Awards,” the BET Experience at L.A. LIVE will feature:

BET Experience Fan Fest: An interactive expo that invites guests to engage with their favorite BET shows, talent and brands through exhibits, demonstrations and giveaways. The fan fest is free to the public and features a BET and Centric Pavilions, a music stage, celebrity basketball game, beauty makeovers plus a signature food experience.

“106 & PARK” Stage: “106 & PARK” brings the livest audience to their exclusive stage in Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE throughout the weekend with free musical performances, new talent showcases and celebrity appearances.

Music Matters Stage: Showcases emerging artists associated with the BET Music Matters initiative.

GRAMMY® Museum Exhibit: A special curated exhibit of past “BET Awards” Lifetime Achievement Honorees will be presented at L.A. LIVE’s GRAMMY® Museum during the weekend.

Genius Talks: BET presents celebrity-filled seminars featuring real talk on money, culture, entertainment, family, celebrity and relationships at the adjacent Los Angeles Convention Center.

After Parties: The hottest late-night VIP parties featuring great DJ’s, celebrity appearances and much more at a variety of the most exclusive venues.

The official host hotels for the BET Experience are the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE and The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. The BET Experience at L.A. LIVE will offer special rates to visitors at more than 20 other hotels in the downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills areas.

BET Experience at L.A. LIVE partners include the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, The City of Los Angeles, and The GRAMMY® Museum.

LIL BOOSIE TALKS PRISON TERM & MORE.
Lil Boosie says serving time in a Louisiana prison on drug charges was life changing, has made him a better person and ultimately, he hopes, a better artist.

"I feel like I've got more stories to tell," Lil Boosie said during a press event Monday in New Orleans. "I've got a lot to say about my life, about what I went through in prison and about what my family went through.

"I'm a much better person. I'm much stronger. I know who my real friends are and I know who ain't."

Angela Yee, a radio personality on Power 105.1 in New York, moderated the rapper's first public interview since being released last week from Louisiana's maximum security prison at Angola. Rappers Bun B, Young Jeezy and Webbie were there to show support as well as members of his family and legal team.

"This is a big day for Trill Entertainment and a big day for the hip-hop community," said Houston native Bun B, the independent label's chief executive who came off tour to support Boosie's homecoming.

Bun B said Boosie and Webbie were the first artists Trill Entertainment signed.

"He took off with flying colors and went above and beyond what we expected," he said of Boosie. "We couldn't be more proud of him."

Boosie, whose real name is Torence Hatch, said the first thing he did following his release was reconnect with his seven children. "I'm still enjoying the moment, enjoying my family you know? I'm just soaking in time with the kids and the studio."

He said he's been spending as much time as possible in the studio — good news for Trill Entertainment and distributor Atlantic records. While imprisoned following a 2009 drug conviction, Hatch said he wrote 1,018 songs.

"I was focused on my music," he said when asked about life behind bars. "I didn't spend too much time seeing what other (rappers) were doing. But of what I've heard over the last few days, I feel the rap game is wide open for me to take over.

"Man, I've been in the studio almost every night. When I have any free time, that's where you can find me."

The rapper told The Associated Press that he sees possible collaborations in his future with Justin Beiber, Drake, Lil Wayne and Mary J. Blige.

"I'm fixing to go hard," he said.

He said his new music will reflect some of the experiences he went through in prison, including spending 20 months on lockdown for 23 hours and 45 minutes each day. "You'll hear more about that and other things in the music," he said. "The music will speak for me."

He also said he wrote a screenplay that he hopes to bring to theater audiences soon and a book about his life. He said he's considering self-financing both ventures but will shop them around, too.

In addition, he hopes to tour soon, possibly as early as the end of March. He said his fans never heard him perform music from "Super Bad: The Return of Boosie Bad Azz," which he released a couple of weeks before he went to prison.

The 31-year-old rapper, who is from Baton Rouge, could be on probation for up to four years. He has a Thursday hearing scheduled before a state judge, said Roy Maughan, an attorney representing Trill Entertainment.

"It's a routine appearance. There was no offense committed and there are no charges hanging over his head," he stressed. "It's just an opportunity for the judge to put eyes on him and for both sides to tailor some type of probation conditions."

KANYE & JAY Z ON DECK TO PERFORM @ SXSW.
Kanye West and Jay Z will perform a full concert this Wednesday (March 12) at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. West and Z will headline the first night of Samsung's SXSW Concerts, according to Mashable. So far the location of the show has gone unannounced, but those with new ad-free radio service Milk Music downloaded on their Galaxy phones can pick up wristbands for it at the Galaxy Experience pop-up location at 2nd Street and Trinity Street starting Tuesday at 10 a.m. CT.

JIMMY HENCHMAN MURDER TRIAL ENDS / HUNG TRIAL.
A judge has declared a mistrial in the murder case of a hip-hop promoter already serving a life sentence for smuggling cocaine.

U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon made the ruling Friday in Manhattan federal court after the jury said it was deadlocked.

Federal prosecutors had charged James "Henchman" Rosemond and Rodney Johnson in the 2009 shooting death of Lowell Fletcher, an associate of rapper G-Unit.

They say the killing was payback for an assault on Rosemond's son. Rosemond's lawyer had argued the witnesses against him were unreliable.

James "Jimmy the Henchman" Rosemond was convicted last October of shipping cocaine in music equipment cases between studios in New York and Los Angeles. He's represented artists such as The Game and Sean Kingston. Prosecutors said they're considering options for a retrial.

PHARRELL TEAMS UP WITH UN FOUNDATION FOR "HAPPY" DAY.
Having just released his chart-topping new album G I R L this week, and with the single, "Happy" (from Despicable Me 2), breaking sales and chart records around the world, Pharrell Williams has announced a partnership with the United Nations Foundation to celebrate the annual global International Day of Happiness, Thursday, March 20. In addition to a 24-hour event on YouTube, Pharrell invites people everywhere to take action and help raise money for humanitarian efforts around the globe.
Drawing inspiration from the "Happy" videos fans worldwide have already posted, starting this coming Monday, March 10, Pharrell encourages all his fans to post YouTube videos of themselves demonstrating their happiness to his global #1 smash hit "Happy" with the hashtag #HAPPYDAY. At noon on March 20 in each time zone, Pharrell will spotlight the best submissions.

As part of this global digital engagement, people will be reminded that everyone deserves a chance at a happy, healthy life, and encouraged to make donations to support UN humanitarian efforts designed to increase those opportunities for the people who need it most.

Ways To Participate:
Post dance mob videos on your Youtube channel tagging them with #HAPPYDAY

Post Facebook, G+, Tumblr or Instagram photos/videos using the hashtag #HAPPYDAY

Tweet/Vine messages using the hashtag #HAPPYDAY

Post "Happy" covers on your YouTube Channel tagging them with #HAPPYDAY

Play "Happy" on the air and give a shout out to CERF

Share "Happy" Spotify and Google Play playlists on G+, Facebook, Twitter and/or Tumblr using the hashtag #HAPPYDAY

Fresh off his show-stopping performance at Sunday's Academy Awards, where he performed his Oscar-nominated hit "Happy" and danced with some of Hollywood's leading ladies, Pharrell released his new album G I R L on Monday, March 3 to worldwide acclaim. The album quickly reached #1 in more than 75 countries. "Happy," which was first featured on Despicable Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), remains an international phenomenon; in the U.S., the song tops Billboard's Hot 100 chart for a second consecutive week, tops Billboard's Digital Songs chart for a third consecutive week, and becomes #1 this week on Billboard's Radio Songs chart. In addition, "Happy" continues its reign at #1 on iTunes in the U.S.; the song has topped the iTunes chart in more than 90 countries. And at Spotify, G I R L is the #1 album in the world.

VH1 GREENLIGHTS NEW SHOWS AS PRIMETIME RATINGS RISE.
VH1 has given the greenlight to several new original series in the midst of a viewership momentum that has propelled primetime ratings up +33% in the adult 18-49 demo year-to-date. In fact, VH1 is the #1 network with Women 18-49 and Women 18-34 on Monday nights* to date while the network’s Thursday night demo ratings are up +200% thanks to series “Couples Therapy” and “Mob Wives.”

Leading off the greenlights is “Hindsight,” VH1’s next entry in its already successful foray into the scripted series arena. The series will be written by Emily Fox and executive produced by Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman.

Additional story-driven series joining the VH1 slate include:

“I love Nick Carter” focuses on Backstreet Boy Nick Carter’s relationship with his fiancée; “Untitled K.Michelle Project” follows the “Love and Hip Hop” star’s bright music career; “Swab Stories” chronicles how lost family members re-connect thanks to DNA testing; “Walk Of Shame Shuttle” follows a young entrepreneur and her popular service for college students who overindulged the previous night; “This Is HOT 97” gives viewers a comedic look inside this iconic radio brand and “White Girls Of Rap” features female rappers striving for success in a male-dominated business in a series produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions.

This announcement comes on the heels of previously announced new projects including the already buzzed-about reality dating series “Naked Dating,” upcoming Summer 2014 series “LeAnn & Eddie,” “Make Or Break: The Linda Perry Project” and “Suave Says,” and the addition of Nick Lachey as host of VH1’s live morning pop culture show “Big Morning Buzz Live” from Times Square.

“With these greenlights, we are delivering a diverse mix of bold, big-hearted programs that will reflect and expand on our signature mash-up of music, pop culture and nostalgia,” said Susan Levison, EVP of Original Programming and Production. "From scripted, to docuseries to humor to reality, we are superserving our audience with a wide array of cut-through programming.”

“Hindsight” is just the latest project fueling VH1’s successful momentum in the scripted genre. Last month, the network announced that it’s partnering with Nick Cannon on new film “Drumline: A New Beat” with Fox Television Studios. VH1 delivered the highest-rated original cable movie of 2013 among adults 18-49 with “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,” which attracted 4.5 million total viewers for its October 21 premiere, averaged a 2.9 rating in the adult 18-49 demo and generated over 2 million tweets. “Hit The Floor” was the highest-rated new scripted cable series in Summer 2013 in the adult 18-49 demo.

“Hindsight” ± Premiering Early 2015

The series begins with Becca (Laura Ramsey) on the eve of her second wedding. It all seems perfect this time around, but she is still plagued by doubt. What if she could fix everything, and make the ‘right’ choices this time? Becca finds herself thinking about her former best friend Lolly (Sarah Goldberg), with whom she had a falling out many years ago. If only she could talk to her once again… Suddenly, after a freakish elevator ride, Becca gets the opportunity to do just that as she wakes up in New York City on the morning of her first wedding day in 1995. She’s about to marry Sean (Craig Horner), a bad-boy artist who is all wrong for her – and she knows her first move must be to reconnect with Lolly to re-live that day. Can she ‘make it right’ by living her life all over while readapting to life in New York City in the 90’s – a time of smoking in bars, carrying pagers, having an AOL email address? Becca will soon discover there’s no sure-fire way to make the right choices in life - even knowing everything she thinks she knows now.

“Hindsight” is written by Emily Fox (“Jane By Design”), and the pilot was directed by Michael Trim (“Orange Is the New Black”). Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman serve as executive producers for Timberman/Beverly (Masters Of Sex, Justified, Elementary). Maggie Malina (Hit The Floor, Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story) will also serve as executive producer as will Alex Motlagh for Pop Films (Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story) and Emily Fox. Susan Levison and Jill Holmes are executive producers for VH1.

I Love Nick Carter” + Premiering Summer 2014

Growing up in front of the camera as the most popular member of the Backstreet Boys, Nick Carter has lived a charmed life. Known for being the only single member of the band, Nick was deemed ‘America's Most Eligible Bachelor’ and reveled in the title. But now, all that’s about to change – after years of playing the field (and the occasional bad romance) Nick Carter has finally found love, and is getting prepared to take the long walk down the aisle. Nick’s fiancée Lauren Kitt is a smart, self-possessed woman who has become the center of his universe. But no one said love would be easy. Lauren may be the apple of Nick’s eye, but his devoted fans aren’t too pleased to see their idol snatched away by ‘another woman.’ Add to the mix Nick’s demanding career, as well as both Nick and Lauren’s outrageous families, and suddenly ‘happily ever after’ seems a whole lot more difficult to achieve. “I Love Nick Carter” will follow Nick and Lauren as they chart the sometimes rocky path to ‘I Do.’ Will their love prove strong enough to overcome all the obstacles that stand in their way? “I Love Nick Carter” premieres Summer 2014 on VH1.

“I Love Nick Carter” is executive produced by Eric Bischoff, Jason Hervey and Riaz Patel for Bischoff Hervey Entertainment. Nick Carter also executive produces. Susan Levison, Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly, Fernando Mills and Laurel Stier serve as executive producers for VH1.

“Untitled K.Michelle Project” + Premiering Summer 2014

It looks as if “Love & Hip Hop” star K.Michelle finally has everything she’s ever wanted. Success, fame, a hit album – but is it all it’s cracked up to be? VH1 will follow K. as she learns to balance life, relationships, and bona fide superstardom with the help of a dynamic group of friends. It may appear like she has it all together, but nothing is as it seems in K’s crazy world. Notorious for her red hair, razor sharp wit and fiery tongue, K.Michelle navigates New York City and her life with a renewed dedication to her son, her friends, and her career. K.Michelle has the life she’s always dreamed of, but will it ever be enough? Find out when the “Untitled K.Michelle Project” premieres on VH1 Fall 2014.

“Untitled K.Michelle Project” is executive produced by Mona Scott-Young and Stephanie Gayle for Monami Entertainment. Toby Barraud, Stefan Springman, and Mala Chapple are executive producers for Eastern TV. Co-executive producers for Eastern TV are Jeff Grogan and Robyn Schnieders. K.Michelle is also executive producer, with Jeff Robinson co-executive producing. Susan Levison, Brad Abramson and Danielle Gelfand are executive producers for VH1. Vivian Gomez is coordinating producer for VH1.

“Swab Stories” + Premiering Summer 2014

VH1’s new series “Swab Stories” follows entrepreneur Jared Rosenthal, the owner of “Who’s Your Daddy,” a mobile DNA testing service based in New York City. Part lab, part therapist, part arbiters of conflict, Jared and his team travel neighborhood to neighborhood to give people the chance to answer potentially life-altering questions about who they are, where they came from, and how they fit into their loved ones’ lives. The “Who’s Your Daddy” RV serves as an icebreaker, and allows people to take DNA tests right on the spot with one simple swab of the mouth. “Swab Stories” is a captivating new series about a process that reveals the truth behind people's most fundamental questions-- easing their minds or potentially breaking their hearts. “Swab Stories” premieres September 2014 on VH1.

“Swab Stories” is executive produced by Seanbaker Carter, Joel Olicker, Stephanie Carter, Jared Rosenthal, and Royd Chung for Powderhouse Productions. Susan Levison and Kari McFarland serve as executive producers for VH1. Sean Gottlieb is supervising producer for VH1.

“Walk Of Shame Shuttle” + Premiering Summer 2014

The morning-after “walk of shame” is an inevitable part of today’s college experience. But where others simply saw hungover students trudging home following a night of drunken festivities, undergrad-turned-entrepreneur Kellyann Wargo found a business model – the opportunity to make some money while providing an essential service. And so, the “Walk Of Shame Shuttle” was born. For five dollars, Wargo will provide students and other hard-partying clients with a ride back to their dorm or apartment, along with a bottle of water and a complimentary high-five to cheer them up. On VH1's "Walk of Shame Shuttle," we rig Wargo's car with cameras and document every hilarious ride. Along the way, Wargo dispenses her own unique advice and tough love to her captive audience. On this series, Kellyann Wargo provides the ‘cheapest therapy sessions’ for these sometimes guilt-ridden students – and finds out why sometimes the morning-after stories are better than the ones from the night before. “Walk Of Shame Shuttle” premieres Summer 2014 on VH1.

“Walk of Shame Shuttle” is executive produced by Brian Graden, Lois Curren and Gaurav Misra for BG Media. Susan Levison, Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly, and Fernando Mills serve as executive producers for VH1.

“THIS IS HOT 97” PREMIERES MARCH 31 AT 10:30PM

Known as the place “Where Hip Hop Lives,” New York’s globally recognized #1 radio station HOT 97 is teaming up with VH1 to take viewers on a behind-the-scenes look into the Big Apple’s go-to destination for Hip Hop and R&B with the debut of “This Is HOT 97.” Premiering on VH1 March 31 at 10:30 PM ET/ PT, “This Is HOT 97” is a 30-minute unscripted comedy series that gives viewers a look inside this iconic radio brand. HOT 97 is the global mecca of Hip Hop and R&B music, and this crew functions more as a family than a group of coworkers – they go hard for each other, but above all they live, eat and breathe HOT 97. The series will also feature cameos from the well-known celebrities who regularly visit HOT 97 as on-air guests including Kanye West, Macklemore, Rick Ross, Mack Wilds, Wale and many more. Each episode of “This Is HOT 97” will draw upon the ambitions, rivalries and quirky personalities of the cast to capture all of the comedic and sometimes downright awkward moments that happen at the station on a daily basis. Tune in to the series premiere of “This Is HOT 97” Monday, March 31 at 10:30 PM ET/ PT on VH1.

“This Is HOT 97” is executive produced by Mona Scott-Young for Monami Entertainment and Toby Barraud, Stefan Springman, Mala Chapple and Ian Gelfand for Eastern. Susan Levison, Brad Abramson and Stephen Mintz are executive producers for VH1. Co-executive producer for Eastern is David Digangi and Vivian Gomez is coordinating producer for VH1.

White Girls Of Rap (working title) + Premiering Fall 2014

VH1 in partnership with Ryan Seacrest Productions will follow five up-and-coming white female rappers (Yep, we said it, white female rappers) as they hustle to establish credibility in an industry that isn’t known for being the most welcoming. These girls are facing near-impossible odds and will do anything to break into the rap game and establish a name for themselves. “White Girls of Rap” will premiere in late 2014 with 6 half hour episodes.

“White Girls of Rap” is executive produced by Ryan Seacrest and Izzie Pick Ashcroft for Ryan Seacrest Productions. VH1 executive producers are Susan Levison, Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly and Fernando Mills.

COLLIE BUDDZ INKS RECORDING DEAL WITH SALAAM REMI.
Collie Buddz, the critically-acclaimed global artist, has officially signed with Louder Than Life/RAL, a venture with Sony Music.

Buddz splashed onto the scene a few years ago with a song firmly atop the Billboard Reggae Chart with his self-titled debut album released by Columbia Records. Over the past six years, Collie Buddz has toured the world performing with the likes of Cypress Hill, Rebelution and Matisyahu. He's been a staple at music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Boomtown and the California Roots Festival.

Collie Buddz is excited to have an opportunity to record a new album with the support of a team he feels really understands him and his music.

Louder Than Life is a division of Sony Music and label imprint of famed music producer Salaam Remi, whose extensive list of credits include Amy Winehouse, Usher, Alicia Keys and Miguel. Remi describes Louder Than Life as an artist development-focused imprint targeting youth and urban culture through multiple genres ranging from pop, hip-hop and R&B to jazz, blues and reggae.

Check out the new video from Collie Buddz - "Light It Up" WATCH HERE

Collie Buddz is in the studio now working on the album and "Light It Up" will impact radio later this year.

SCHOOLBOY Q GRABS #1 SLOT.
As forecast, ScHoolboy Q's major-label debut,"Oxymoron," takes #1 on the Billboard 200, selling 139,000 copies in the week ending March 2, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, the new album is ScHoolboy Q's first in a joint-venture deal with Interscope Records. It's also the first #1 for Top Dawg, which previously reached #2 with Kendrick Lamar's "good kid, m.A.A.D city" in 2012.

ScHoolboy Q's arrival with "Oxymoron" also instantly gives the rapper his best-selling album. He previously charted with two independently released sets -- "Setbacks" in 2011 and "Habits & Contradictions" in 2012. They have sold 17,000 and 48,000, respectively.

"Oxymoron" also logs the largest debut for a rap album since Eminem's #1 set "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" clocked an opening week of 792,000 in the week ending Nov. 10, 2013.

Kid Cudi's stealth release "Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon" debuts at #4 with 87,000. The digital-only set debuted exclusively on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon MP3 on Tuesday (Feb. 25) with little advance warning. And, in its first week, it was only available as a full album purchase -- none of its tracks were available a la carte.

The set -- his fourth -- was released to other digital retailers on March 3.

Kid Cudi's last album, 2013's "Indicud," debuted and peaked at #2 with a start of 136,000. "Satellite Flight" is the rapper's fourth top 10 effort.

Over on the Digital Songs chart, Pharrell's "Happy" spends another week at No. 1, selling 413,000 downloads (up 3%). A week ago, it sold 402,000. "Happy" is the first song to earn two straight weeks of more than 400,000 in sales since another Pharrell-related song: "Blurred Lines." The Robin Thicke-led track (which featured T.I. and Pharrell) sold in excess of 400,000 in the three consecutive weeksending June 23, 2013.

"Happy" has a gain thanks to its growing popularity on the radio and because of its performance on the Academy Awards on March 2. On the Mainstream Top 40 airplay chart (known as Pop Songs on Billboard.com), "Happy" rises 10-4.

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending March 2) totaled 5.1 million units, up 5% compared with the sum last week (4.8 million) and down 13% compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (5.8 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 42.8 million, down 15% compared with the same total at this point last year (50.4 million).

Digital track sales this past week totaled 23million downloads, down 6% compared with last week (24.4 million) and down 12% stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (26.1 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 224.1 million, down 12% compared with the same total at this point last year (253.4 million). Source: Billboard

HIP HOP DJ LEGENDS TO BE INDUCTED INTO ROCKWALK.
Guitar Center is proud to announce the inductions of world renowned hip-hop DJ icons Grandmaster Flash, Grandwizzard Theodore and Grandmixer DXT into Hollywood's iconic RockWalk. The joint ceremony will celebrate each of these accomplished musicians as they receive individual inductions at Guitar Center's Sunset Boulevard location.

Guitar Center's RockWalk is dedicated to honoring those artists who have made a significant impact and lasting contribution to the growth and evolution of Rock 'n' Roll, Blues and R&B. As the newest RockWalk inductees, Grandmaster Flash, Grandwizzard Theodore and Grandmixer DXT's handprints will reside alongside the handprints, signatures, and faces of other equally accomplished musicians and innovators such as Eric Clapton, George Martin, Jimmy Page, Iron Maiden, Carlos Santana, Johnny Cash, Van Halen, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Run-D.M.C. and Queen, among numerous others.

Further, Guitar Center and Serato have come together to announce a world-class new Serato digital music addition to their iconic Sunset Boulevard location, offering a permanent home for DJ's and aspiring music producers to demo and buy the latest products in the world-class line. The new Serato area will open its more than 400 square foot space with a special red carpet event open to the public on Thursday, March 6th hosted by Hip-Hop legend Jazzy Jeff.

The grand opening event not only coincides with the Guitar Center RockWalk inductions of the three hip-hop legends mentioned above, but also with the 25th anniversary of the first ever Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance, awarded to Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith for their hit "Parents Just Don't Understand". To celebrate the anniversary, the event will feature live in-store appearances by a surprise list of legendary Hip-Hop & Rap DJs including:
JAZZY JEFF
D-STYLES
DJ NU MARK
DJ P-TRIX
DJ RHETTMATIC
MR CHOC
DJ SHORTEE
GASLAMP KILLER
And many more…

"The artistry, innovation and contributions to music displayed by Grand Master Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore and Grand Mixer DXT over the course of three such lengthy and lauded careers can't be understated. They are truly pioneers in their craft and have provided inspiration for countless musicians. This induction is a celebration of three true hip-hop legends." Dave Weiderman, Chairman of Guitar Center's RockWalk

"We're extremely excited to announce our second U.S. Serato in-store experience at none other than Guitar Center Hollywood. With all the advances we are making in Serato DJ it made sense for us to partner with Guitar Center to create the best possible hands-on experience for DJs and producers in Los Angeles." AJ Bertenshaw, CEO, Serato.

IGGY AZALEA TOUR ON DECK.
Monster Energy, Idol Roc Entertainment and Live Nation announce "The New Classic Tour" featuring female rap sensation, Iggy Azalea. The tour kicks off in Boston on April 23 at the House of Blues and closes out in Seattle on May 22 at The Neptune Theatre. The excursion also includes stops in Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Canada. A full tour itinerary is listed below.

After being named a "XXL Freshman" in 2012 and releasing two successful mixtapes with the help of rapper T.I. and producer/DJ Diplo, Iggy Azalea went on to open for Beyoncé on the Australian and Asian legs of her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour." Iggy is preparing her debut album, The New Classic, and recently released her single "Fancy" featuring Charli XCX. Fans attending the tour can expect the high-energy and an in-your-face live performance that the Aussie rap queen has become known for.

"I can't wait to see my fans and perform the songs on my new album for the first time," says Iggy. "I am so excited to work with the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour on my first headlining tour."

After a successful 2013 Outbreak Tour featuring the XXL 2013 Freshman Class, Monster Energy and Idol Roc Entertainment team up once again, this time with Live Nation, to provide the stage for one of hip-hop's emerging superstars. "We're very excited and grateful for the chance to team up with Iggy Azalea on the 'New Classic Tour', shining the spotlight on an emerging talent as she preps her debut album release -- which is the core of what the Outbreak Tour is all about. We've long admired Iggy and now it's time for the whole world to see and hear what they've been missing out on" exclaimed tour producer, Steve Glazer (Idol Roc Entertainment).

Monster Energy Hip Hop Outbreak 2014 Tour Itinerary:

4.23 | BOSTON, MA | HOUSE OF BLUES
4.25 | TORONTO, ON | DANFORTH MUSIC HALL
4.26 | DETROIT, MI | ST. ANDREWS HALL
4.27 | CHICAGO, IL | HOUSE OF BLUES
5.02 | WASHINGTON, DC | FILLMORE
5.03 | PHILADELPHIA, PA | THEATRE OF LIVING ARTS
5.05 | NEW YORK CITY, NY | IRVING PLAZA
5.16 | LOS ANGELES, CA | THE WILTERN THEATRE
5.17 | SAN DIEGO, CA | THE HOUSE OF BLUES
5.18 | SAN FRANCISCO, CA | THE FILLMORE THEATRE
5.21 | VANCOUVER | THE COMMODORE CLUB
5.22 | SEATTLE, WA | THE NEPTUNE THEATRE

Launched in February 2011 as a branded tour pairing emerging music artists with fan friendly ticket prices, the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour is produced by music/entrepreneurial firm Idol Roc Entertainment. The culturally relevant, forward thinking tour brand, which resonates with fans of multiple music genres, has brought forth tours and one-offs headlined by notable acts such as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kendrick Lamar, Bullet for My Valentine, Asking Alexandria, 3LAU, Cash Cash, Carnage, and Wale to name a few, in 500 - 5K capacity venues throughout North America.

PHARRELL WILLIAMS' HAPPY TOPS BILLBOARD HOT 100
Pharrell Williams' "Happy" has become the #1 song in the country this week, topping Billboard's Hot 100 chart. The Oscar-nominated hit single, which Pharrell will perform this Sunday at the 86th Annual Academy Awards, is one of 10 new songs featured on his album G I R L, set to be released worldwide this coming Monday, March 3.

The New York Times, which calls Pharrell "one of the most transformative music figures of the last year," describes G I R L as "an overwhelmingly positive album, cheery in mood and instrumentation, as if Mr. Williams knows something the rest of us do not." USA Today echoes, saying Pharrell "cranks out tunes that are as giddily accessible as they are texturally sophisticated...Williams' ebullient musical savvy is everywhere." And in its track-by-track review, Billboard says G I R L is "a relentlessly positive and unselfconsciously joyful tour de force."

"Happy" is Pharrell's first Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit as a lead artist, though he is no stranger to the chart. Previous chart-topping tracks Pharrell has been featured on include Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot," Ludacris' "Money Maker," and most recently, Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" (also featuring T.I.). With 402,000 downloads of "Happy" sold this past week, the sum marks the largest sales week for a song outside the Christmas season since Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" last September. "Happy" is also the Hot 100's top Airplay Gainer for the fifth week in a row, as well as top Digital Gainer for the third consecutive week.

Currently #1 on iTunes' Songs chart in the U.S., the song has topped the chart in more than 75 countries, selling nearly 4 million downloads worldwide. With more than 152 million in audience, the song is currently charting at seven U.S. radio formats—Top 40, Rhythm, AC, Hot AC, Urban, Urban AC, and AAA. Around the world, "Happy" tops radio charts in 14 countries including Australia, France, Germany, U.K., Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and Poland.

CONVERSE ON DECK @ SXSW.
Today, Converse Inc. announced its return to Austin to unleash the creative spirit during the 2014 SXSW Music and Media Conference. "Converse Rubber Tracks in Austin" pop-up studio is back for its third year, from March 3-15, offering Texas-based bands the opportunity to record original music alongside experienced engineers at no cost.

Due to the success of Converse Rubber Tracks in Austin, SXSW is presenting a panel discussion on Friday, March 14 entitled "Converse Rubber Tracks: No Strings Attached" that will explore Converse's commitment to providing platforms to support emerging artists. This year also marks the debut of "Converse Rubber Tracks Live" in Austin, which will present a free concert on March 15. In addition, Converse will bring skate, hip-hop and metal cultures together once again at the "Converse X Thrasher Magazine Death Match" March 12-15. Converse is also returning as the presenting sponsor of "The FADER FORT Presented by Converse", the annual 4-day event in Austin from March 12-15.

Since its Brooklyn opening in July 2011, Converse Rubber Tracks has provided the incredible opportunity for artists to record in a state-of-the-art studio at no cost. Converse Rubber Tracks supports artistic expression by allowing musicians across all genres an opportunity to record for free and retain all the rights to their music. In the last two years, Converse has brought the Converse Rubber Tracks pop-up studio from Brooklyn to great music cities such as Toronto, Austin, Montreal, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Beijing and Mexico City.

"We're so proud to be back in Austin," said Geoff Cottrill, VP/GM of Brand & Segments at Converse. "Each year we discover new artists who are incredibly talented and driven—but simply need a little support. We're really excited to be able to give musicians the opportunity to record for free and a platform to unleash their creative spirit."

COLUMBIA RECORDS MAKES RADIO HISTORY.
Columbia Records has made history as the first and only record label to ever have two unique titles chart at six different Mediabase formats simultaneously. Pharrell Williams' "Happy" and John Legend's "All of Me" are currently charting at Top 40, Rhythm, AC, Hot AC, Urban, and Urban AC. In addition, "Happy" is also charting at Triple A.

"I'm so proud of the incredible job our entire promotion team, led by Lee Leispner, has done with these two songs," comments Columbia's EVP and General Manager Joel Klaiman. "With great music, strategic planning and hard work, we've accomplished something extraordinary for these special artists."

Philippe Generali, CEO/President of Mediabase, comments, "Clearly we've entered into an era of fewer walls between formats and more doors are opening for artists. When Pharrell charts at 7 formats and John Legend at 6, we are at a tipping point. This is indicative of a phenomenon. The entire Mediabase team extends congratulations to Columbia for this historical accomplishment."

"Happy" is featured on Williams' just-announced Columbia Records debut, G I R L, available worldwide Monday, March 3. Currently #1 on the iTunes Songs chart in the U.S., the song has topped the chart in more than 75 countries, selling more than 3 million downloads. In addition to ranking #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, "Happy" has also become the highest-charting Oscar-nominated song in more than a decade. It is now certified Platinum in the U.S. Having just performed "Happy" at the BRIT Awards and the NBA All-Star Game, Williams is slated to perform the song this weekend on the 86th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2.

KID CUDI DROPS NEW PROJECT.
Kid Cudi wowed fans with the release of his full-length new album, Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon [Wicked Awesome / Republic Records], at midnight on iTunes, and all other digital retailers in North America. The album is also be available digitally worldwide.

Cudi has been secretly preparing his latest work since wrapping up his last tour supporting 2013's critically regarded chart-topper, Indicud, which was the #1 hip-hop album in the country upon release.

Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon once again sees the artist steering hip-hop to another galaxy altogether. Already, he gave listeners a taste of the set with the transfixing "Going To The Ceremony". The album also includes a detour into "space" soul with Raphael Saadiq entitled "Balmain Jeans", marking their first collaboration. Tempering otherworldly production with his inimitable vocal hooks and divine flow, it's another entrancing and enigmatic vision from the rap auteur.

Tracklisting:
Destination: Mother Moon
Going To the Ceremony
SATELLITE FLIGHT
Copernicus Landing
Balmain Jeans feat. Raphael Saadiq
Too Bad I Have To Destroy You Now
Internal Bleeding
In My Dreams 2015
Return Of The Moon Man (Original Score)
Troubled Boy

UNIVERSAL MUSIC ENTERPRISES' ICON SERIES DROPS PUBLIC ENEMY.
Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) continues its acclaimed ICON series with new release of Public Enemy ICON, among others.

With its history and vast catalog of artists, UMe’s continuing ICON series showcases the best music from the most popular, iconic and influential artists of all time. ICON is a proven physical line and a true cross-genre success with more than eight million copies sold in three years.

Led by fiery frontman Chuck D, Public Enemy offered a revolutionary sound from the streets of New York from their start in the early 1980s on Long Island with Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, innovative scratcher Terminator X on the wheels of steel. Known for their incendiary lyrics and provocative social critiques, Public Enemy’s first four late ‘80s-early ‘90s albums were all certified gold or platinum, including such classics as Yo! Bum Rush the Show, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, and Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Back. Fledgling producer Rick Rubin signed the group to Def Jam on the basis of the single “Public Enemy No. 1,” the first track on this two-disc collection. The hip-hop collective’s politically charged hits include “Bring the Noise,” “Don’t Believe the Hype,” “911 Is a Joke,” “Welcome to the Terrordome,” and “Fight the Power,” the latter serving as the theme song to Spike Lee’s groundbreaking Do the Right Thing, all represented on this comprehensive ICON collection. In 2013, Public Enemy became the fourth rap group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, following Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys.

Disc 1
1. Public Enemy No. 1
2. You’re Gonna Get Yours
3. Miuzi Weighs a Ton
4. Sophisticated Bitch
5. Bring the Noise
6. Rebel Without a Pause
7. Don’t Believe the Hype
8. Night of the Living Baseheads
9. Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos
10. 911 Is a Joke
11. Brothers Gonna Work It Out

Disc 2
1. Welcome to the Terrordome
2. Burn Hollywood Burn (featuring Ice Cube & Big Daddy Kane)
3. Fight the Power
4. Buck Whylin’ (Terminator X Featuring Chuck D. & Sister Souljah)
5. Can’t Truss It
6. By the Time I Get To Arizona
7. Shut Em Down
8. Bring tha Noize (With Anthrax)
9. Hazy Shade of Criminal
10. Give It Up
11. He Got Game

NICKI MINAJ SUED BY WIG DESIGNER.
A former wig designer for Nicki Minaj sued the performer Friday, accusing her of walking away from business plans, then making money by selling wigs based on his designs without permission.

The lawsuit filed by Terrence Davidson accuses Onika Maraj, who uses the stage name "Nicki Minaj," and Pink Personality LLC of breaking implied contracts, reneging on discussions to launch a reality TV show and a wig line, and misappropriating his wig designs. An attorney for Davidson, Christopher Chestnut, said the designer has suffered at least $30 million in losses.

"She lied, cheated, she stole from him," Chestnut said. "That's a misappropriation of his intellectual property."

A representative for Minaj did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

Davidson, who lives in Georgia, said in the lawsuit that he started working as Minaj's hair stylist in early 2010. He created multiple wigs for the rapper, known for her flamboyant hairpieces, that she wore to a preshow for MTV's Video Music Awards, during media appearances in London and for the music video "SuperBass."

Davidson said he turned down a contract for a reality TV show at the urging of a Minaj representative. At the time, Davidson said he was discussing doing a joint reality TV show with Minaj and launching a line of wigs with the music star. But months passed, and Davidson said Minaj and her team shut him out. He stopped working as her stylist in early 2013.

He says Minaj took his wig designs without his consent and used them to start her own wig line.

WANT TO OWN PHARRELL'S HAT?
In a partnership with eBay, Pharrell Williams is offering his famous Vivienne Westwood hat worn at the Grammys to benefit From One Hand to AnOTHER (fohta.org). The non-profit foundation's mission is to "change the world one kid at a time by giving them the tools and resources to meet their unique potential."

Back on Grammy night the fast food chain Arby's tweeted, "Can we have our hat back?" on Thursday (2/20), Pharrell took to his twitter to tweet his own responnse, "Hey @Arbys, you want my hat? Now’s your chance… http://bit.ly/1fe5NvD"

The highest bidder is listed was at $10,500. There's still nearly 10 days left and bidding ends on March 2 at 5pm PST.

50 CENT LEAVES SHADY/AFTERMATH AND INKS WITH CAROLINE/CAPITOL/UMG.
50 Cent announced today that he has signed an exclusive worldwide distribution and services agreement with Caroline/Capitol/UMG. The superstar recording artist transitions to independent status after a successful twelve years at Shady/Aftermath/Interscope, during which time he sold more than 30 million albums. 50 Cent's highly successful catalog, including Get Rich or Die Tryin', The Massacre, Curtis and Before I Self Destruct, will continue to be marketed and released by Shady/Aftermath/Interscope.

The artist's first album under the new agreement will be Animal Ambition, scheduled for release on June 3rd. Album pre-orders will begin on March 18th and fans will immediately receive two instant gratification tracks and the corresponding videos will premiere online. An additional song and video will launch each week leading up to the album's release.

According to Caroline President Dominic Pandiscia, "We are thrilled to welcome 50 Cent and G-Unit to our family. 50 is simply one of the most accomplished and creative artists, and his plans for the future are as exciting and innovative as you can imagine. I deeply thank him for his belief in our team and what we can do to help support his creative vision in the years to come. I'd also like to thank everyone at Shady/Aftermath and Interscope, particularly Eminem and Dr. Dre, for offering their endorsement and support of our involvement with 50 Cent and G-Unit. They've done an incredible job these past 12 years, and we've got a great legacy of label partnership to build on."

50 Cent commented, "I have had great success to date with Shady/Aftermath/Interscope and I'd like to thank Eminem and Dr. Dre for giving me an incredible opportunity. I've learned so much from them through the years. I am excited to enter this new era where I can carry out my creative vision."

Eminem stated, "Both myself and Shady Records are grateful to have had the chance to play a part in 50's career. Shady simply would not be what it is without 50 Cent. I've developed a great friendship with 50 over the years, and that's not going to change. We know 50 will have success in his new situation, and we remain supporters of both him and G-Unit."

According to Steve Berman, Vice Chairman of Interscope/Geffen/A&M, "50 Cent is, and always will be, a marquee artist for us at Interscope/Geffen/A&M. We respect his decision to pursue this new venture and the next chapter in his career, and wish him nothing but the best. He will always be a part of our family."

PHAROAHE MONCH ON DECK.
With his highly-anticipated fourth solo-LP, “P.T.S.D.” (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Pharoahe Monch re-emerges with a new concept project which finds the ground-breaking emcee tackling PTSD; a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. Throughout the duration of the LP, Monch narrates as an independent artist weary from the war against the industry machine and through the struggle of the black male experience in America.

When Eminem recently name-dropped him (“But I still rap like I'm on my Pharoahe Monch grind”) on his “Rap God” single it was for good reason.; as Pharoahe Monch has been at the forefront of lyrical innovation for two-decades now. Not only is he one of Hip-Hop’s preeminent lyricists, crafting intricate rhyme schemes and intelligent raps, but he is also an incisive political and social commentator, using Hip-Hop as a platform for political engagement as his “Bullet” trilogy hauntingly speaks to audiences in the same dark personification of a bullet.

The first installment of the “Bullet” trilogy was introduced by Pharoahe in the seminal song “Stray Bullet” with Organized Konfusion via the Stress: The Extinction Agenda LP in 1994. The second installment came via his 2007 solo-LP, Desire, on the Mr. Porter produced “When The Gun Draws”. Socially prophetic and politically relevant, “Damage” from the upcoming PTSD continues to chronicle the tragedy of inner city killings and mass murder. Although it was penned before the Dark Knight Theater massacre in Colorado and the Newtown School shootings, the song relevantly accentuates the obvious ongoing gun issue in our society and provides a chilling reminder that bullets have no name. Similarly, a then rough-version of Monch’s protest song, “Stand Your Ground,” was released immediately at Monch’s insistence after the Trayvon Martin verdict was announced and added more discourse on the polarizing debates about racial profiling, civil rights and the inadequacies of the justice system.

While Monch is not afraid to tackle the tough topics, the diversity you come to expect from Monch abounds on P.T.S.D., as he is quick to remind everyone that he’s still a “Top 5” emcee on recently released “Bad M.F.” and “Rapid Eye Movement” as he and Black Thought get lucid for a 4-minute exhibition of pure lyricism. Further, Monch addresses the struggle of the hood on “The Jungle” “sometimes we all feel fenced in” and the haunting isolation of addiction on “Broken Again” and the LP’s title track swiftly brings you back to the overall concept of the LP “F*ck you know about struggle/the boy in the plastic bubble/when I drink away the pain I guzzle/my life is like a complicated mathematical puzzle.”

Monch’s longtime collaborator, Lee Stone, returns to the fold to produce four tracks; including “Dream” f/ Talib Kweli and Marco Polo who reunited Monch and Prince Po for a new Organized Konfusion track (“3-O-Clock”) from his recently released project, chips in three tracks as well. Monch also links up with Mello Music Group’s rising upstart, Quelle Chris, on “Scream.” Further displaying his versatility, Monch collaborates with The Stepkids (Stones Throw Records) on “Eht Dnarg Noisulli.”

Tracklisting and Credits for Pharoahe Monch’s “P.T.S.D.” (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder):

1.) “The Recollection Facility” (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
2.) “Times2” (produced by Marco Polo)
3.) “Losing My Mind” f/ deNaUn (produced by Jesse West)
4.) “Heroin Addict” (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
5.) “Damage” (produced by Lee Stone)
6.) “Bad M.F.” (produced by Lee Stone)
7.) “The Recollection Facility Pt.2” (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
8.) “Rapid Eye Movement” f/ Black Thought (produced by Marco Polo)
9.) “Scream” (produced by Quelle Chris)
10.) “SideFX”f/ Dr. Pete (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
11.) “The Jungle” (produced by Marco Polo)
12.) “Broken Again” (produced by The Lion Share Music Group)
13.) “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”(produced by Boogie Blind & B.A.M.)
14.) “Dream” f/ Talib Kweli (produced by Lee Stone)
15.) “The Recollection Facility Pt.3” (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
16.) “Eht Dnarg Noisulli” f/ The Stepkids (produced by The Stepkids & Pharoahe Monch)
17.) “Stand Your Ground”f/ Vernon Reid (produced by Lee Stone) ****Bonus Track for Digital Purchases

KANYE, ICE CUBE, WIZ KHALIFA & MORE ON DECK FOR BONNAROO.
The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival released their list of the 13th annual lineup with a wide variety of artists ranging from Hip-Hop giants to pop megastars. The 90,000 attendee festival is held on a 700 acre farm in rural Manchester, Tennessee the second weekend in June.

Kanye West, along with Elton John and Jack White will headline this summer's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.

Other performers scheduled to appear in Manchester, Tenn., include Ice Cube, Pusha T, A$AP Ferg, Frank Ocean, Danny Brown, Wiz Khalifa, Lionel Richie, Bobby Womack, Lauryn Hill, and more....

Tickets go on sale at noon Feb. 22 on the festival's website.

NAS DOCUMENTARY TO OPEN TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL.
The Tribeca Film Festival will again kick off with music, opening its 13th annual edition with a documentary on Nas and a performance by the rapper.

The New York festival announced Wednesday that it will open April 16 with "Time Is Illmatic," a documentary on Nas' 1994 debut album "Illmatic." Following the film premiere, Nas will perform the album in full.

Tribeca has in recent years increasingly turned to music documentaries to begin its film festival.

Last year's festival started with the Brooklyn indie band the National and the documentary "Mistaken for Strangers." In 2011, Cameron Crowe's Elton John and Leon Russell documentary, "The Union," was followed by a set by John.

The festival runs April 16-27.

Time Is Illmatic – a feature length documentary film that examines the album – will be released in 2014. The movie, from first-time filmmakers One9 (director/producer) and Erik Parker (writer/producer), delves into the making of Illmatic; the social conditions that created it; and the music legacy passed down from Nas' Mississippi-born father and celebrated jazz musician, Olu Dara. Time Is Illmatic is supported by The Ford Foundations' Just Films and Tribeca All Access.

Along the way, Time Is Illmatic shows how Nas—with the support of his Queensbridge neighborhood crew, the loyalty of his younger brother Jabari “Jungle” Fret, and sacrifices of his mother, Ann Jones—overcame insurmountable odds to create the greatest work of music from hip-hop’s second golden era.

SLUM VILLAGE TO DONATE ALL PROCEEDS FROM NEW SINGLE TO JAY DEE'S KIDS.
Slum Village’s new Jay Dee produced single, “Yes Yes,” was premiered over a week ago and has since amassed nearly 100K plays on Soundcloud. [ LISTEN HERE ] “Yes Yes” was released to pay tribute too the worldwide celebration of Dilla’s birthday and ‘Dilla Day Detroit 2014’ which took place in Detroit on February 7th, 2014 and featured live performances from a host of internationally acclaimed artists including DJ Premier, Pete Rock, De La Soul, Slum Village, Phife Dawg and Guilty Simpson.

James ‘J Dilla’ Yancey succumbed to Lupus in 2006 at the age of 32. His short, but prolific and highly-influential career still resounds today. From his work on chart topping singles for Common, The Roots, Erykah Badu, A Tribe Called Quest, Janet Jackson, etc., to his own genre redefining solo releases, J Dilla’s work as a true innovator continues to inspire nearly eight-years after his death.

Today, Slum Village and Yancey Media Group in conjunction with J Dilla’s family has announced that “Yes Yes” is now available on iTunes and all of the proceeds from the track will go directly to Dilla’s children. In a personal statement, Joylette (the mother of Dilla’s youngest daughter Ja' May Yancey) states “I would like to thank everyone for the love and support and Slum Village and Yancey Media Group for donating the proceeds from this single to Dilla’s daughters.”

PHARRELL ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM.
Pharrell Williams has just announced the release of his Columbia Records debut album, G I R L. Highlighted by his Oscar-nominated hit single "Happy," G I R L will be released worldwide Monday, March 3.

"When Columbia Records presented me with the opportunity to make an album, three things came to mind," says Pharrell. "One was the sense of overwhelming honor that I felt when I realized that they were interested in partnering with me on the album that I had always dreamt of making. Two, it would have to feel festive and urgent. And three, I instantly knew it would be called G I R L. I hope you like it."

Pharrell is currently in London, where he will perform "Happy" at the BRIT Awards this evening, and on Sunday, March 2, Pharrell is slated to perform the song on the 86th Annual Academy Awards. Pharrell will also perform on Germany's Wetten Das and France's Le Grand Journal later this month. This past Sunday, Pharrell kicked off the NBA All-Star Game with an incredible retrospective performance of some of his greatest hits.

"Happy," which was first featured on Despicable Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), has become an international phenomenon and radio smash. Currently #1 on the iTunes' Songs chart in the U.S., the song has topped the chart in more than 75 countries, selling more than 2.3 million downloads worldwide. In addition to jumping to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, "Happy" has also become the highest-charting Oscar-nominated song in more than a decade. With more than 120 million in audience, the song is currently charting at seven U.S. radio formats—Top 40, Rhythm, AC, Hot AC, Urban, Urban AC, and AAA. Around the world, "Happy" tops radio charts in 14 countries including Australia, France, Germany, U.K., Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and Poland.

Just last month, Pharrell took home four GRAMMY® awards, including Producer of the Year, Album of the Year for Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, and Record of the Year as well as Best Pop Duo/Performance for Daft Punk's "Get Lucky." Pharrell has won a career-spanning total of seven GRAMMYs.

Redefining cool for a new generation, Pharrell Williams is a creative force, using music, fashion, and design to express his distinctive style. From his beginnings as a teenage prodigy and multi-instrumentalist in Virginia Beach back in the early '90s, through enough hits to earn him Billboard's Producer of the Decade in 2010, to his current status as multi-media superstar, Williams has never stopped creating. Starting his producing career as one half of The Neptunes with Chad Hugo, Williams has helped create such classics as Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," Nelly's "Hot in Herre," Jay-Z's "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)," Britney Spears' "I'm A Slave 4 U," and Justin Timberlake's "Like I Love You."

With over 100 million copies of his productions sold, his music sounds like something no one else has thought of just yet. He's also created a new way of looking at established stars like Snoop Dogg, Madonna, and even the Rolling Stones. Over four albums, Williams and Hugo along with Shae Haley created an unpredictable hybrid as part of the alt-rock/hip-hop group N.E.R.D. His prolific body of work also ranges from designing a sculpture with Tokyo-born artist Takashi Murakami to accessories and jewelry for luxury goods brands Louis Vuitton and Moncler. Now, with his latest venture i am OTHER — a multi-media creative collective that serves as an umbrella for all his endeavors, including Billionaire Boys Club & ICECREAM apparel, textile company Bionic Yarn and dedicated YouTube channel — Williams' vision continues to push pop culture forward

BOW WOW & MICHAEL VICK ANNOUNCE WAVE MASTERZ.
Bow Wow & Michael Vick Announce Wave Masterz Hair Product Company. Vick announced via Twitter on Monday that he has started Wave Masterz, a new business that is being "ingeniously brought to you" by both Vick and his business partner Bow Wow. Wave Masterz appears to be a company selling hair products, such as durags, skull caps, pomade and brushes.

Michael Vick announcedthe partnership on Twitter.... Mike Vick: Follow the next BIG thing, my business venture: @WaveMasterz #TeamVick

A-PLUS DROPS THINK TANK. LISTEN HERE
A founding member of Souls of Mischief and The Hieroglyphics, rapper and producer A-Plus is ready to unleash the first of a series of free instrumental projects. Think Tank highlights A-Plus's sample-chopping and beat-blending skills - from the triumphant horns and vocal coos on "Always Be the Same," to multi-layered guitar picks on "Nothing At All," to the lonely, crying strings on "Hear Me Out." As A-Plus says, "One reason I chose the name Think Tank was because I like my tracks to emote and to make people feel as they listen."

It's already been a remarkably busy year for A-Plus. Just a week ago, a deluxe 20th anniversary edition of Souls of Mischief's classic '93 Til Infinity was released by Get On Down, and last month Okayplayer premiered another one of his solo projects, Molly's Dirty Water, an experimental trip into dub-step and electronic. A-Plus explains, "I made Think Tank with the purpose of letting people know that although I have stepped into a different realm with my production, my roots are in hip-hop, and I'm still a hip-hop producer. And always will be."

For nearly two decades, A-Plus has been honing his skills as producer, artist, and businessman as a founding member of Hieroglyphics and Souls Of Mischief. He and AAGEE joined forces as production team Compound 7 to earn production credits on albums such as A-Plus' My Last Good Deed and Casual's Smash Rockwell LP. Their concept album, Pepper Spray, which features fellow Hiero member Del The Funky Homosapien, reimagined some of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' most epic tracks.

Starting with their landmark debut '93 'til Infinity, Oakland's four-person rap group Souls of Mischief blazed the trail for hip hop's evolution. Members Tajai, A-Plus, Phesto, and Opio have left their mark sonically, lyrically, and stylistically on Kanye West, Just Blaze, Big Sean, Big K.R.I.T., P. Diddy, Vampire Weekend, John Mayer, and many more who have cited them as cultural icons and influencers.

Souls is also credited as having pioneered the independent label movement when they started Hieroglyphic Imperium Records in 1997 following their departure from JIVE Records, creating the infrastructure blueprint for other successful independent hip hop labels.

Co-founders of the Hiero label also include emcees Del Tha Funky Homosapien, Casual, Pep Love, and producer Domino. Souls also forged hip-hop's relationship with the skate, surf, and snowboard communities after iconic skate brands included their music in their VHS videotapes in the mid-90s. The group's creative output and legacy as a whole continues to thrive, and they show no sign of stopping.

WOMAN'S GROUP SLAMS REEBOK AGAIN OVER REEBOK & RICK ROSS RUMORS.
Women's Group UltraViolet, Survivors Shame Reebok Over News Of Renewed Relationship with Rick Ross.

Statement From UltraViolet Co-Founder Nita Chaudhary:
Women everywhere want to know: is Reebok back with Rick Ross? It certainly appears that Reebok, who received deserved praise for their decision to stand up to a culture that promotes violence against women, never really cared about women or the epidemic of sexual assault. If so, women won't turn a blind eye to their blatant and ongoing hypocrisy.


Statement from Wagatwe Wanjuki, who spearheaded efforts to organize survivors with UltraViolet for the campaign:

"As a survivor of sexual assault, I'd like to know if Reebok is rejoining the ranks of rape apologists. We cannot afford to have corporations like Reebok peddling women's empowerment on the one hand while giving their spokespeople a pass on sexual violence on the other."

In the spring of 2013, tens of thousands of women joined survivors to take a stand against rape when Reebok's spokesman Rick Ross raped about raping a woman and then claimed the lyric could not possibly refer to rape because he had not used the word. The event sparked a firestorm of opposition with countless people vowing to never purchase Reebok merchandise ever again. Nearly a year after the company bowed to pressure and vowed to join the campaign against rape culture, reports have surfaced that they are quietly renewing their relationship with Ross-- a betrayal to consumers and survivors of sexual violence across America.

IAMSU! ON DECK WITH "ONLY THE REAL" TOUR.
Stemming from the success of "Only That Real," Bay Area rapper/producer Iamsu! is ready to hit the road for a mini promo tour. "Only That Real" features 2 Chainz and Sage the Gemini and is the first single from Iamsu!'s forthcoming album Sincerely Yours, which is slated for release in April. The Only That Real Tour kicks off in early March and crosses from the West Coast down to Texas for SXSW and back up to the Pacific Northwest. Su will be joined by fellow Heartbreak Gang members P-Lo, Skipper, and for two shows, Sage the Gemini, whose single "Gas Pedal" recently went platinum.

On the tour, Su and the rest of the HBK Gang will be showcasing the signature California-style party music sound that they've been defining since they stepped onto the scene, as told by The FADER in their upcoming issue. Iamsu! is no stranger to touring; last year he headlined two tours to support the three mixtapes he released. Su is working towards the release of his upcoming debut album Sincerely Yours, due in April via his label, HBK Gang.

For those in the Bay Area this weekend, stop by his in-store event at the Pink Dolphin flagship store on Haight Street this Saturday from 12-4pm where Su is releasing an 8-piece limited edition capsule collection.

Only That Real Tour Dates:
3/6 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
3/7 La Jolla, CA @ Porter's Pub
3/8 Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
3/11-3/15 Austin, TX for SXSW
3/19 Denver, CO @ The Other Side
3/20 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
3/21 Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Fest Main Stage
3/23 Seattle, WA @ Neumo's
4/9 New York, NY @ Santo's Party House
4/11 University of Pittsburgh, PA*
4/12 Southern Connecticut State, CT*
4/22 Bend, OR @ Domino Room
4/24 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
4/25 Eugene, OR @ Wow Hall

*features Sage the Gemini

The past two years have been nothing short than amazing for Iamsu! in 2012, the 24-year-old popped up with a triple-threat performance on LoveRance's "UP!," which Su! produced, penned the hook for, and guested on with a scene-stealing verse. The song peaked at number two on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and in the midst of that success, Su! again delivered a fan-favorite verse on a big-time radio single, this time with
E-40's "Function."

Su! followed that success with a solo mixtape, KILT, and the critical acclaim came in droves, as the project was hailed by SPIN as their Rap Release Of The Week, with the outlet also naming Su! as one of their 5 Best New Artists for June '12. Su!'s been plenty busy since - a west coast tour; a collaborative mixtape with Jay Ant; a standout collaboration with Wiz Khalifa, "Bout Me," that appeared on Khalifa's Cabin Fever 2 and will also show up on his sophomore album, O.N.I.F.C.

Iamsu! released mixtape $uzy 6 $peed on November 10th. The tape was presented by Bay Area streetwear company Pink Dolphin, which released an exclusive t-shirt and hoody for the tape. In 2013, Iamsu! releaed Million Dollar Afro, a collaborative mixtape with Compton rapper Problem with whom he co-headlined a tour to support the release and a solo mixtape, KILT 2, as well as the remastered deluxe iTunes, which charted on Billboard despite being available for free two weeks prior. More recently, Iamsu! along with the rest of his HBK Gang members, which include Sage the Gemini, P-Lo, Kool John, Jay Ant, Skip, Rossi and CJ, released a posse mixtape entitled Gang Forever and headlined a tour to support it as well. 2014 will see Iamsu! releasing his official debut album in April dubbed Sincerely Yours. He's just released the first single, featuring 2 Chainz and Sage the Gemini, titled "Only That Real."

ODD FUTURE BANNED FROM NEW ZEALAND.
New Zealand immigration authorities Thursday banned Los Angeles rappers Odd Future from entering the country after deciding they pose a threat to public order.

The group was due to play an open-air concert with headline act Eminem on Saturday in Auckland.

Border Operations Manager Karen Urwin said authorities decided to decline visas to six group members after becoming aware of a 2011 incident in Boston in which some witnesses claimed group members incited fans to attack police officers.

"It's not a decision we take lightly and not one that happens often," Urwin said.

Group member Tyler, The Creator vented his frustration on Twitter on Thursday.

"They said we were 'terrorist threats and bad for the society' or whatever. Sick," he wrote. He later tweeted, "I love NZ tho."

The hip-hop group, which is also known as Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, is known for its anarchic style and lyrics that canvas drugs, killing and rape. Urwin said the six rappers had intended to stay in New Zealand just a few days before leaving for Australia.

She said it was rare to ban musicians under rules that cover character concerns. She said those provisions in the past have been used to stop people like white supremacist group leaders and high-profile Holocaust deniers.

She said some people wrongly assumed authorities considered the group's lyrics in imposing the ban.

"If we banned people who used swear words, we wouldn't have many people left in New Zealand," she said.

In an official statement, Immigration New Zealand said: "Odd Future has been deemed to be a potential threat to public order and the public interest for several reasons, including incidents at past performances in which they have incited violence."

In the 2011 incident, Tyler, The Creator was signing autographs at a comic store when police were called because of the large number of fans. News reports at the time said some people climbed on the roof and shouted insults at the police, and some viewed that as inciting fans to attack.

Urwin said an Odd Future group member in Australia also tweeted details of a woman campaigning to have the group banned, which resulted in her receiving threats.

In 2012, New Zealand banned former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson from coming to a speaking engagement due to his criminal history. Last year it banned musician David Rovics, citing his blog posts on drug-taking and a Canadian ban for giving false information to immigration officials there.

JOHN SINGLETON JUMPS ON BOARD TO REWRITE TUPAC BIOPIC.
Director John Singleton has signed on to rewrite, direct and produce the biopic about late rapper Tupac Shakur, according to Variety. Singleton directed Shakur in 1993's Poetic Justice. "Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with," the director commented. "His passing deeply affected my life as well as countless people in this world. His life story is as important to my generation." It is still unclear who will portray Tupac, but production on the movie is expected to start in June.

JIMMY HENCHMAN MURDER TRIAL KICKED OFF THIS WEEK.
James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond’s trial for the 2009 killing of Lowell “Lodi Mack” Fletcher began this week. Jurors heard the inside scoop on the beef between hip hop mogul James (Jimmy Henchman) Rosemond and 50 Cent's crew G-Unit as Rosemond's murder-for-hire trial got underway Monday.

"In the public eye and on the surface, Rosemond was known as an executive in the music industry," Assistant U.S. Attorney Samson Enzer said during opening statements in Manhattan Federal Court. "But beneath the surface, Rosemond was known as a ruthless criminal who ran his rap business like a street gang."

Rosemond — who is serving a life sentence for heading a massive drug enterprise — is accused of hiring thugs to gun down G-Unit associate Lowell Fletcher in 2009. Enzer said the killing was payback for when another G-Unit rapper slapped Rosemond's 14-year-old son.

Rosemond, 49, has managed artists such as Brandy, Salt-n-Pepa, Sean Kingston, The Game and Akon.

Rosemond's lawyer, J. Bruce Maffeo, asked jurors to dismiss Testimony they will hear from members of Rosemond's gang, noting, "These cooperating witnesses … are facing sentences that will literally keep them in prison for the rest of their natural lives."

Rosemond, who has long been rumored to have orchestrated the shooting of rap legend Tupac Shakur in 1994, was convicted last year of using his record label as a front for an $11 million per-year drug enterprise that supplied Brooklyn and Queens with large amounts of cocaine.

The trouble between Rosemond and G-Unit began in the mid-2000s over rapper The Game, who split with 50 Cent, aka Curtis Jackson, and was managed by Rosemond.

Determined to strike out at G-Unit, Rosemond and his associates carried out at least three acts of violence before the 2009 murder, Enzer said. But shootings outside a Manhattan office building, rap radio station Hot 97 and an awards show failed to slake Rosemond's thirst for blood, the prosecutor said.

Then rapper Tony Yayo and other G-Unit members were said to have roughed up Rosemond's teenage son on W. 25th St. in Manhattan. It was the last straw, Enzer said.
"Rosemond decided that for slapping his son, a member of G-Unit had to die," the prosecutor alleged. "His goal was to make sure that members of G-Unit had to carry a coffin."

Enzer said Rosemond chose Fletcher because he saw the 33-year-old as the weak link in the G-Unit chain.

He had Brian (Slim) McLeod, who had just done time with Fletcher in jail, lure the victim to a deserted Bronx street corner with promises of money and drinks, the prosecutor said.

Derrick Grant and Rodney Johnson were waiting in the shadows and Grant pulled the trigger, Enzer said.

"In the darkness of that Sunday night, Lowell Fletcher looked around for Slim," the prosecutor said. "But a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt came out of the shadows, pointed a gun with a silencer and shot … round after round."

Fletcher was shot in the back several times and died later that night, and Rosemond paid McLeod and Grant with a slab of cocaine worth $30,000.

Enzer said security video, cellphone call records and cellphone GPS data will show how Rosemond and Johnson, who is also on trial, were involved in the slaying.

In addition, jurors will hear from McLeod and other members of Rosemond's gang who are testifying against him because they've copped pleas and want shorter sentences. Johnson, 40, is facing drug trafficking charges in addition to murder-for-hire charges.

He was arrested after cops found him hiding under a piece of sheet rock in a cocaine stash spot, Enzer said.

Rosemond's lawyer said of the cooperating witnesses: "These are individuals who have committed ... every crime conceivable to any of us," from dealing drugs at age 13 to shooting at innocent civilians.

Jurors heard Monday afternoon from two witnesses: Elizabeth Marte, a Bronx woman who performed CPR on Fletcher after he was shot on Jerome Ave., and Leta Bethel, Fletcher's half-sister, who had gone shopping with her brother the day he died. "I got a phone call from a detective," Bethel testified Monday. "The detectives told me that my brother was murdered and I just started crying."

In 2008, Tony Yayo, who real name is Marvin Bernard, beat a felony assault charge in connection with the run-in with Rosemond's son. He pleaded guilty to harassment. Rosemond has denied involvement in the Tupac shooting. Source: NY Daily News

DRE DEMANDING OVER $3 MILLION FROM DEATHROW RECORDS?
Dr. Dre has reportedly filed a lawsuit against his former record label home Death Row Records and is demanding to receive $3 million over disputed royalties.

Reports show that Dr. Dre is claiming the company has shorted him more than $3.05 million in royalties from sales of his work. The "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" singer said the number comes from unpaid amounts of $676,444.44 for unpaid mechanical royalties; $1,200,386.57 in unpaid artist-producer royalties; and $1,179,913 in digital sales he has yet to collect on. (The third total stems from a judge's suggestion to the artist after he lost a 2010 trademark infringement suit.)

In the legal docs, Dre also alludes to a discrepancy in the payments he received from the company, as he said they have yet to honor a bonus that would jump his revenues from Death Row Album sales from 18 percent to 20. Suge Knight has not been in charge of the company since 2006, after he declared bankruptcy. Subsequently, the next owner, WIDEawake, sold some of the "Been There, Done That" rapper's songs online, paving the way for his current claims via a vis the digital sales.

Afeni Shakur also filed a lawsuit against Death Row/E1 last year. She sued for $1.1 million in royalties. She said is owed to Pac’s estate.

VH1 TEAMS UP WITH "COCAINE COWBOYS" FILMAKER FOR IN-DEPTH LOOK AT HIP HOP.
VH1 is teaming up with acclaimed filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman (“Cocaine Cowboys,” “Broke,” “The U”) and famed author, award-winning entrepreneur, advertising executive, and record executive Steve Stoute for a 4-part documentary series based on Stoute’s best-selling book, “The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy.” VH1’s “The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop” is a thorough examination of hip-hop as a cultural movement, whose profound influence in music, film, television, fashion, business, race relations and politics eventually paved the way for the election of Barack Obama. Stoute notes, “Since its birth, hip-hop has been a reflection of black America, but never before have we seen it cast as such a far-reaching agent of political change. This film paints an entirely new picture of the impact hip-hop culture over the last 30 years.” The 4-part 4-hour series will premiere Monday, February 24-Thursday, February 27 at 11pm* on VH1.

VH1’s “The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop” provides a visual history of the hip-hopification of America – what Stoute calls “tanning” -- from “The Jeffersons” to the Fresh Prince; from “Do the Right Thing” to “8 Mile;” from the streets of Compton to Madison Ave; and rappers turned into entrepreneurs and icons. The series unfolds in 4 one-hour episodes that together explore history’s pivotal “tanning” moments from the 1970s to present day, and how deep hip-hop is woven into the American cultural fabric. It’s the history of hip-hop remixed: an epic journey that begins in the Bronx and travels all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

VH1’s “The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop” features never-seen-before footage and interviews from numerous pop culture icons and entertainment personalities in America: Sean “Diddy” Combs, Dr. Dre, Mariah Carey, Will.i.am, Russell Simmons, Pharrell, Nas, Reverend Run, Rick Rubin, Fab 5 Freddy, Jimmy Iovine, Al Sharpton, Cory Booker, Brett Ratner, Brian Grazer, Tommy Hilfiger, Ron Howard, Steve Stoute and many more.

Episode 1: Word is Bond
1970s - 1986: From Blaxploitation films through groundbreaking television like “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons;” racial strife in New York City and the birth of hip-hop; the rise of Def Jam and Run DMC breaking thru on MTV; the 80s success of Eddie Murphy and the Cosby Show.

Episode 2: Fight the Power
1987 - 1992: From the dawn of political and gangsta rap through the debut of hip-hop movies to the election of Bill Clinton; Arsenio Hall; the Fresh Prince; hip-hop’s influence on fashion and Madison Ave; the Beastie Boys; The Source magazine; Yo! MTV Raps; MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice; the LA riots and racial strife in America.

Episode 3: Gimme the Loot
1993 - 1999: The rise of Snoop and Dr. Dre, hip-hop hits the suburbs; Tommy Hilfiger turns hip-hop fashion into millions; Biggie and Puffy, Jay and Nas, Ghetto Fabulous and Bling; the influence of music videos; Vibe magazine; the rise of FUBU and Jacob the Jeweler; Will Smith saving the world in Independence Day and Time Magazine proclaiming America as a “hip-hop nation.”

Episode 4: All Around the World
2000 - present: From Eminem to hip-hop empires; Sean John and Rocawear; Vitamin Water and Beats by Dre; hip-hop slang pervades the culture; Ice Cube, Ice T and Queen Latifah become lovable TV and film stars; the dawn of a new political movement in hip-hop; Vote or Die; Hurricane Katrina and the election of the first African American president.

“The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop” is produced by Rakontur, with Billy Corben directing and Alfred Spellman producing. Steve Stoute is executive producer on the project. Executive producing for VH1 are Susan Levison, Ben Zurier, Shelly Tatro, Brad Abramson and Stephen Mintz.

VH1’s Emmy Award winning Rock Docs are feature-length documentaries that tell unique stories of artists and music from a wide range of genres, styles and musical perspectives.

DIDDY TO SERVE AS CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER ON RICK ROSS' MASTERMIND.
Sean "Diddy" Combs will serve as co-executive producer along with Rick Ross on "Mastermind," the sixth studio album from the rap superstar it was announced today. One of the most anticipated hip hop albums of this year, "Mastermind" is scheduled for release on Tuesday, March 4th on Maybach Music Group / Def Jam Recordings.

Recognized as a chart topping producer, solo artist and performer, Sean "Diddy" Combs has been at the forefront of the music industry for over two decades. With the inception of Bad Boy Records in 1993, he created the first successful hip hop music label which unleashed a constellation of superstar acts, among them The Notorious B.I.G, and chartered the course for many to follow.

Over the years, Sean has produced hits for some of the biggest names in music including Jay-Z, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Lopez. He was instrumental in launching the careers of successful music artists including The Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Usher and has been the architect behind many #1 hit songs which have garnered numerous accolades including three Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group and Best Rap Album.
"Diddy is one of the greatest producers of all time and someone I respect. He has a proven track record of not only creating hit records but also classic albums. It just made sense for me to have him be a part of this process," states Rick Ross.

"Mastermind" is the follow-up to Ross' 2012 album "God Forgives, I Don't", which sold 220,000 copies in its first week, becoming his 4th #1 Soundscan debut and his biggest first week sales to date. The project included top hits such as "Touch'N You" featuring Usher, "So Sophisticated" featuring Meek Mill, and the fan favorite "Diced Pineapples" featuring Drake & Wale. At the 2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards, Rick Ross was named MVP of the Year. In 2013 he continued to supply the streets with heat, featured on some of the year's hottest hip-hop albums including Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail, Wale's The Gifted, and dozens of other projects.

"It's a team effort. Ross, Khaled, Gucci Pucci and I are like a family. The goal for "Mastermind" was to create a classic album. Once we put all our superpowers together we knew there was nothing stopping us from accomplishing our goal," says Sean "Diddy" Combs.

"Mastermind" will be added to the list of over 85 albums executive produced by Sean "Diddy" Combs. The album joins a prominent body of work which includes "Life After Death," "What's the 411?," "American Gangsta," "Bad Boy II Soundtrack," "No Way Out" and many more.

FORMER WARNER EXEC ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLING OVER $1 MILLIION.
A former Warner Music executive (a top Hollywood fund-raiser for President Obama) embezzled more than $1 million from the record label, Manhattan prosecutors charged Tuesday. Danielle D. Smith, 45, flew from California and turned herself in at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She was arraigned on charges of first-degree grand larceny.

Smith, who worked in the Los Angeles in the “urban” unit of Warner Music’s Atlantic Records division, allegedly used a corporate credit card to rack up $1.3 million in personal charges, prosecutors said.

Smith’s duties at Warner Music, headquartered in Manhattan, included scouting and signing artists, as well as arranging their travel and lodging, sources said. But Smith also used her Warner Music credit card to fund a luxury lifestyle, sources said.

She booked rooms in posh hotels and airfare for personal vacations and trips herself, and shelled out for “luxury goods” — resulting in whopping charges being billed to the company credit card between 2007 and 2011, according to law-enforcement sources.

Smith resigned from Atlantic in late 2011, while she was under internal investigation for the credit card charges, sources said. In 2012, Smith was one of several “Hollywood power women” touted by the Hollywood Reporter for their clout in fund-raising for Obama’s re-election bid.

She was listed as a top bundler, pulling in between $200,000 and $500,000 for the president.

Tuesday’s indictment did not itemize Smith’s big-bucks buys, and prosecutors declined to elaborate.

The business credit card was issued in Smith’s name, and the exec used it to “make charges in excess of $1 million that weren’t business charges,” said ­Assistant District Attorney Eve ­Teipel in court.

Warner brass alerted the Manhattan DA’s Office to the ­alleged theft.
Smith looked haggard in court, wearing black-rimmed glasses, a purple sweater and a gray wool coat.

She pleaded not guilty before Justice Gregory Carro, who set bail at $1 million.

Her lawyer, Scott Leemon, has represented rappers 50 Cent and Jim Jones.
Smith’s mother flew with her from California and agreed to put up a retirement fund to spring her daughter on bail, working with bail bondsman to the stars Ira Judelson.

“She denies the allegations and we look forward to exonerating her,” said Leemon.

Smith is due back in court Wednesday morning. A Warner Music spokesman declined comment, citing the ongoing criminal investigation. Source: NY POST.

BET HONORS ANNOUNCES PERFORMERS LINEUP.
BET Networks announced today that Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Janelle Monae, Tamar Braxton, Smokey Robinson, Karen Clarke Sheard and Wayne Brady are set to bring down the house at the Warner Theatre with a series of powerful and magnetic performances for "BET Honors" 2014. Honoring distinguished African Americans performing at exceptional levels, this year's show will celebrate the achievements of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, Motown Records founder and creator of the smash hit MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, Berry Gordy, American Express CEO & Chairman, Ken Chenault, visual artist, Carrie Mae Weems and entertainment trailblazer, Ice Cube. Hosted by actor and comedian, Wayne Brady, "BET Honors" will premiere during Black History Month on Monday, February 24 in the USA and around the world on BET's international network on February 28, 2014 at 9:00pm GMT (check local listings).

Rev. Al Sharpton, Joe Morton, Ludacris and Mack Wilds are also scheduled to present at this year's show. "BET Honors" has become a staple in BET history by celebrating extraordinary African-Americans including Cicely Tyson, Jamie Foxx, Iman, Herbie Hancock, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Sean "Diddy" Combs along with memorable past performances by Trey Songz, Ne-Yo, Yolanda Adams, Keyshia Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Patti LaBelle.

Proceeds from "BET Honors" limited ticket sales will benefit the Women Veterans Interactive (WVI), an organization that helps restore hope as well as provides housing options and support for veterans and their families in need. WVI was created to address the unique, and often unrecognized, challenges facing our nation's 1.8 million woman veterans as they return to civilian life.

Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks, and Lynne Harris Taylor, Vice President of Specials, BET Networks are executive producers, along with Jesse Collins of Jesse Collins Entertainment.

NAS ON DECK WITH ILLMATIC DOCUMENTARY, TOUR & MORE..
Nas has announced that his seminal debut album, Illmatic, will be released as a special 20th Anniversary Edition, titled Illmatic XX, on April 15th by SONY Legacy. This exclusive collection will feature several rare remixes, unreleased demos and freestyles to commemorate the anniversary.

Nas has also announced that he will be touring the U.S. and performing the groundbreaking Illmatic from front to back to celebrate the release. The tour will kick off with special performances this spring at both the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well as this year's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Further details surrounding the tour will be released in the coming weeks.

"With Illmatic, I didn't think about it. I just did it. I believe everybody has good instincts. Now I'm a man from that past and I'm supremely grateful. There's a Nigerian proverb 'What is past is prologue'. I'm here today because of Illmatic." - Nas

In conjunction with the release, Time Is Illmatic – a feature length documentary film that examines the album – will be released in 2014. The movie, from first-time filmmakers One9 (director/producer) and Erik Parker (writer/producer), delves into the making of Illmatic; the social conditions that created it; and the music legacy passed down from Nas' Mississippi-born father and celebrated jazz musician, Olu Dara. Time Is Illmatic is supported by The Ford Foundations' Just Films and Tribeca All Access.

Along the way, Time Is Illmatic shows how Nas—with the support of his Queensbridge neighborhood crew, the loyalty of his younger brother Jabari “Jungle” Fret, and sacrifices of his mother, Ann Jones—overcame insurmountable odds to create the greatest work of music from hip-hop’s second golden era.

More information will be released on the film in the coming months.

With the release of Illmatic, Nas quickly established himself as a hip hop icon and has become one of the hottest artists on the music scene today. The landmark album has been lauded by critics as one of the most exemplary hip hop recordings of all time. Illmatic contributed to the revival of the New York City rap scene and has been consistently ranked near the top of many "best album" lists. Today, the collection remains one of the most widely celebrated and influential albums in history with Rolling Stone proclaiming, "a portrait of an artist as a hood, loner, tortured soul, juvenile delinquent, and fledgling social critic… [the album] still stands as one of rap's crowning achievements." NPR Music called the collection "[a] masterwork of story-telling, lyricism and beat-making," while upon the album's release, The Village Voice gave Nas the title of, "one of the most important writers of the 20th century."

Nas emerged from the Queensbridge neighborhood of Long Island City, a hotbed of rap artists since the '80s. The son of jazz trumpeter Olu Dara, he has since gone on to sell over 20 million albums worldwide over the span of his legendary career, and has acted as an ambassador for hip-hop culture throughout the globe. Since the release of Illmatic, he has released 9 solo albums and 3 compilations all of which have been certified double-platinum, platinum and gold. His most recent release was 2012's Life Is Good, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, marking the sixth #1 album that Nas has produced in his career. The collection also received four GRAMMY nominations bringing the rap icon's GRAMMY recognition count to 13 overall.

50 CENT & SMS AUDIO JOIN SWAN RACING.
Swan Racing, a leading professional stock-car racing team, announced today that it has partnered with SMS Audio for an exclusive agreement to be an associate sponsor on the team’s No. 26 and No. 30 Toyota Camrys during the 2014 and 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons. SMS Audio is an American consumer electronics manufacturer of headphones and audio products, founded by entertainer and entrepreneur Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

“Swan Racing is very proud to partner with a growing worldwide brand like SMS Audio and to include an entrepreneur like 50 Cent as part of our team,” said team owner Brandon Davis. “The SMS Audio brand will be featured on both our cars and I know our fans are going to love the product.”

50 Cent, who is a successful musical artist, entrepreneur, investor and actor serves as CEO of SMS Audio, which he founded in 2011. Created with the direct input from 50 Cent, SMS Audio has brought world-class audio products to consumers, delivering studio-mastered sound and unmatched durability and style.

“Swan Racing and its up-and-coming drivers are the perfect match for SMS Audio,” said Jackson. “They are as passionate for the sport of racing as we are for our audio products, and we’re confident that the music-loving NASCAR fan base is going to enjoy our headphones – whether at track or at home.”

The partnership will include SMS Audio branding on both the No. 26 and No. 30 car, branding on the driver’s uniforms and Swan-branded SMS Audio headphones featuring drivers Cole Whitt and Parker Kligerman. In addition, 50 will be making appearances at races throughout the season, supporting the drivers and the partnership.

Delivering a professional, studio-quality music experience, the SMS Audio line includes the STREET by 50™ and SYNC by 50™ product families. The brand offers a full range of premium headphones, earbuds and accessories, and a portion of each U.S. sale of SMS Audio products helps to provide meals to food-insecure families through Feeding America.

“I am pumped up for this partnership to say the least, as I am a huge hip-hop fan, I am a huge 50 fan and I rely on headphones to get me in the right pre-race mindset,” said Parker Kligerman driver of the No. 30 Toyota Camry. “I have my headphones on anytime I am about to get on track. It’s a way for me to focus and get pumped up. This partnership is an honor.”

“Our partnership with SMS Audio shows how Swan Racing is gaining more and more attention from top brands,” said Cole Whitt driver of the No. 26 Toyota Camry. “From a personal point of view I use headphones every day when I’m doing my workouts and video gaming, so I am definitely excited about my SMS Audio headphones and promoting them to our fans.”

BUN B & KIRKO BANGZ JOIN FORCES FOR TOUR.
Legendary Port Arthur, TX rapper Bun B and Houston rising star Kirko Bangz will hit the road in March for a national tour that will touch most US major markets. The Trillest Tour will kick off on March 6 in San Marcos, TX and will wrap on April 17 in Atlanta, GA.

Bun B's latest album The Epilogue was released on November 14, 2013. The project is a collection of unreleased tracks that came together during the recording of Trill O.G., the previous critically acclaimed album. The Epilogue features guest appearances by 2Chainz, Rick Ross, Big K.R.I.T., Raekwon, Z-Ro, Devin The Dude, as well as the single Triller featuring Kirko Bangz.

As one half of the legendary Texas rap outfit UGK and after more than two decades in the music industry, Bun B is still considered one of the most influential contemporary rappers. During the past few years he has also developed other important aspects of his career that now include a teaching gig at Houston's prestigious Rice University, where he has joined Dr. Anthony Pinn for an extremely successful Theology course about Religion and Hip Hop culture.

Bun B has also released the Rap Coloring and Activity Book in collaboration with writer/illustrator Shea Serrano. The Rap Coloring Book has been featured in many national media outlets. It has been published by Abrams Books and it's now available at many national book retailers, including Barnes and Noble.

Kirko Bangz' major breakthrough single "Drank In My Cup" is what quickly escalated him to platinum-selling stardom in Spring 2012. The ode to H-town, "Drank In My Cup" went Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Billboard's Urban chart landing Kirko a spot on the highly coveted 2013 XXL Freshman Cover.

Kirko's smooth delivery, charm and lyrical quickness have already drawn comparisons to Drake and Lil Wayne; but make no mistake, Kirko Bangz is his own man. However, one quality he does share with those established artists is the dedication that elevated Kirko Bangz from underground mixtapes to a major label.

Kirko released his first mixtape, Procrastination Kills, in 2009 which put him on the map as an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with. In quick secession Kirko came through with a bevy of buzzworthy mixtapes including Progression 2: A Young Texas Playa which introduced "Drank In My Cup" and most recently, Progression 3 which featured the likes of Wale, French Montana, Nipsey Hussle and Paul Wall.

"THE TRILLEST TOUR" DATES
Thurs, Mar 6: San Marcos, TX - The Marc
Fri, Mar 7: San Antonio, TX - The White Rabbit
Sat, Mar 8: Corpus Christi, TX - Concrete Street
Sun, Mar 9: Dallas, TX - Trees -
Sun, Mar 16: Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
Thurs, Mar 20: Tempe, AZ - Club Red
Sat, Mar 22: Los Angeles, CA - Rooftop 3100
Sun, Mar 23: San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine
Mon, Mar 24: Sacramento, CA - Ace of Spades
Fri, Mar 28: Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
Sun, Mar 30: Seattle, WA - Neumos
Tues, Apr 1: Lawrence, KS - Granada Theater
Weds, Apr 2: Sauget, IL - Pops Nightclub
Thurs, Apr 3: Chicago, IL - Abbey Pub
Fri, Apr 4: Detroit, MI - Shelter
Sat, Apr 5: Minneapolis, MN - Fineline
Mon, Apr 7: Columbus, OH - Skully's
Tues, Apr 8: Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
Thurs, Apr 10: Pawtucket, RI - The Met
Fri, Apr 11: Cambridge, MA - Middle East
Sat, Apr 12: New York, NY - Gramercy Theatre
Mon, Apr 14: Washington, DC - Howard Theatre
Weds, Apr 16: Greensboro, NC - Greene Street
Thurs, Apr 17: Atlanta, GA - The Loft
*More dates to be announced.

UNCLE CHARLIE TO RECEIVE 2014 SPIRIT OF LOS ANGELES AWARD.
R&B Icon and P Music/RCA Recording artist Charlie Wilson will receive the 2014 Spirit of Los Angeles Award from Mayor Eric Garcetti at the city's African American Heritage Month Celebration on February 11, 2014.

Wilson, a seven-time Grammy nominee, and a three-time NAACP Image Award nominee, has been honored throughout his four decade career including the 2013 BET Lifetime Achievement Award, a 2013 Trumpet Foundation Award, a 2009 Soul Train Icon Award and a 2005 BMI Icon Award.

"Charlie Wilson is a role model because he is an example of the success you can have through faith and determination. He is one of the hardest working vocalists in America, working 75 to 100 shows a year, and he is certainly one of the most talented," revealed Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Wilson is currently on tour with a SOLD OUT date at the Madison Square Garden Theatre in New York City during Super Bowl weekend on Saturday, February 1, 2014. He will also be in concert on Valentine's Day weekend at the Nokia Theatre at LA Live in Los Angeles and the Paramount Theatre In Oakland, California on Sunday, February 16, 2014.

The Spirit of Los Angeles Award not only acknowledges Wilson's phenomenal music career, it honors his spirit and his ability to overcome his addictions and being homeless for a few years on the streets of Los Angeles.

"I fell to my lowest point during my addiction to drugs and alcohol that left me homeless," stated Wilson. "By the grace of God, and an incredible family, I was able to pick myself up and begin a second career as a solo artist. People told me I couldn't do it, but my faith has led me to heights I could not have imagined."

That faith was shared in Wilson's 2014 Grammy-nominated song, "If I Believe.""My wife had a dream about this song. She woke up grabbed a pen and paper and began to write the lyrics," Wilson continues. "She is the biggest blessing in my life and continues to support me as I celebrate 20 years of sobriety."

Wilson has also been nominated for two 2014 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Male Artist and Outstanding Album.

A survivor of prostate cancer, Wilson remains committed to promoting awareness and educating men and their families about this disease. "When I learned that one in six American men -- and one in three African American men -- would be diagnosed with this disease, I knew I had to share my story."

His commitment led to him becoming a spokesman for the Prostate Cancer Foundation in 2008 and then joining Janssen Biotech in 2012 to launch their Making Awareness A Priority (M.A.P.) campaign.
He sums up the title of his current CD, Love, Charlie, in one sentence, "The whole world needs inspiration and I will continue to make music that helps me share that message."

LYOR COHEN TALKS NEW TWITTER PARTNERSHIP & MORE..
Lyor Cohen used his keynote speech at Midem in Cannes, France, to announce that his new label venture, 300, has partnered with Twitter to develop A&R tools that will benefit the whole music business. WATCH TOMMY BOY FOUNDER INTERVIEW LYOR COHEN HERE

Twitter is partnering with 300, Lyor Cohen's new company to provide information to the music business based on Twitter data. The partnership was announced by Cohen on February 2 at the annual Midem conference in Cannes, France.

Speaking to the New York Times, Cohen said, "There was a time not so long ago when we sold music to retailers and they sold to fans, but nobody knew who those fans were I’ve spent most of my life not knowing who the customer is. Isn’t that a shame?"

According to the Times, the partnership gives 300 full access to Twitter's music data, including location tags for where tweets originated. In exchange, 300 will help Twitter organize data and develop software that artists, labels and other brands can use. No money is being exchanged as part of the deal. Cohen told the paper the goal is to mine the popular social media service for seeking out new acts.

Bob Moczydlowsky, Twitter’s head of music, told the Times, "If you think of data as a product, having a customer who needs to make a decision will help us organize that data much better than if we tried to do it ourselves."

Billboard caught up with Lyor Cohen, the former Warner Music head and founder of new music venture 300, at Midem hours after he had made the major announcement.

Billboard: Please explain what the new partnership with Twitter is about.
Lyor Cohen: We're in the business of discovering artists. We recommend to the entire artist community to engage with Twitter and not just tweeting, but also photos and videos. And we are going to work with Twitter, with their immense data, to help create tools that help artists get discovered and that's what we're doing. Twitter values the creative community in such an unbelievable way and has not gotten the credit for the amount of artists they have helped discover. The partnership is to create tools for the creative community that allows more artists to be discovered and more successful.

And why did Twitter come to you?
Everybody in the digital space, digital distribution and social media, knows that at Warner I was the advocate for being the chief experimental officer. We wanted to experiment; I believe in experimenting. I believe our industry has been schizophrenic one second thinking all these new models were foe and then the next they're friend. I only look at them as friend, because over time I'm convinced that the value of artist creation will hold up and will be well represented.

In your role with at Twitter, will you be directly work with Twitter or will this be through your new music venture 300?
This will be with 300.

Are there any upcoming artists currently signed to 300 who will be a part of this venture?
No, not yet.

Twitter has tried to put out a music platform (Twitter Music) that did not work and they withdrew. Is there a plan for a new music platform you know of or are hatching something?
You should ask them.

What are the parameters of the partnership?
It's an exclusive partnership for a year. We have access to the data and building tools for artists in the creative community for them to be discovered and amplified.

Have they given you a title?
No.

So many people use Twitter as a measurement tool -- artists and TV and other industries. People look to Twitter as a metric.
Yes, they do and they have not received the credit that they deserve.

So if you're monitoring the data and you see that Joe Blow is trending, what happens?
I'm gonna sign him.

BIG POOH (LITTLE BROTHER) INKS WITH MMG.
Rapper Big Pooh (Little Brother) has signed a two project deal with Mello Music Group for 2014. The first big project is with legendary producer Nottz and will be released this summer on MMG. The second project is an extended EP produced by Mello Music Group beat-makers (Apollo Brown, Quelle Chris, Oddisee etc) exclusively.

Peep out the track "Juk" that Pooh created with Duke Westlake and Stik Figa on the recently released Mandala Vol. 2, Today's Mathematics compilation.
LISTEN HERE

FREDDIE GIBBS AND MADLIB ANNOUNCE PIÑATA LP & TOUR.
Following up on the success of previous collaborations, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib are back together and proud to announce that their highly anticipated full-length album Piñata will be released on March 18th via Madlib Invazion. Over the past few months, the duo has given us "Shame", "Thuggin'", and "Deeper" and now they have offered up a fourth single from Piñata entitled "Robes" featuring Earl Sweatshirt and Domo Genesis. LISTEN HERE The album sees Raekwon, Scarface, Mac Miller, Ab-Soul, Danny Brown, BJ The Chicago Kid and others joining Freddie atop Madlib's unpredictable, tempo-shifting production. A preliminary run of tour dates featuring both Freddie and Madlib is now being announced and future dates will continue to be added. Scroll down to view all of the announced tour dates.

Freddie Gibbs is the product of violent, drug-laden streets, but unlike most rappers with similar resumes, he brings the block to the booth without inhibition or an exaggerated rap persona. Piñata, a 17-track collaboration with producer Madlib, is the best distillation yet of his transparent approach to making music, combining stark honesty with electrifying talent as a lyricist and performer.

Piñata is "a gangster Blaxploitation film on wax," Gibbs says, and the full-length result of a process that began in 2009. It's an album with a sound that couldn't be any further from the radio, where, according to the Gibbs, every rapper is Superman, or the dope dealer of the century, who has grinded to the top, never made a mistake and has no chinks in his armor.

"I will show you my flaws, I'll show you what I've done wrong and what I've fucked up at," says the native of Gary, Indiana, the former steel town best known for producing Michael Jackson. "I don't regret shit, but I'll show you the things I'm not proud of."

Gibbs is joined on Piñata by Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, Raekwon, Scarface, Domo Genesis, Ab-Soul and a host of others in setting his soliloquies of the streets alongside film snippets and dusted funk, soul and prog musical tapestries. While this is the latest in a series of single-artist collaborations for Madlib, after Jaylib (J Dilla), Madvillainy (MF Doom) and the street-centric O.J. Simpson with Detroit's Guilty Simpson, the pairing is unique as it is the first time for Gibbs working with just one producer.

There's also Madlib's own self-awareness of his style as a producer. "My stuff, it ain't fully quantized...it has more of a human feel, so it might slow down or speed up," he says. "So you have to be the type of rapper, like Doom or Freddie, who can catch that, or else you'll be sounding crazy."

Gibbs admits it was a challenge rapping over beats with chops and changes as unpredictable as the man who created them, but says-with conviction and supreme confidence-"I think I did it to perfection."

As a producer, Madlib, quite simply, is music, and ten years into his career-a time when other artists become comfortable-Gibbs remains restless, focused, with an eye on the competition and their position relative to his ascent. This is because mentally, he's still on the corner hustling, which would be the downfall of the average rapper. Gibbs, however, isn't average.

"When it comes to the nuts and bolts, the nitty gritty of this shit, flat-out spitting verse for verse," he says. "Niggas ain't on my level."

Tour Dates:
3/7/13 - Chicago, IL - Metro
3/8/13 - Denver, CO - Cervantes
3/15/13 - Austin, TX - North Door (Stones Throw showcase) #
3/21/13 - Boston, MA - Middle East Downstairs #
3/22/13 - New York, NY - Gramercy Theatre
3/27/13 - San Francisco, CA - 103 Harriet
3/28/13 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex

# = Madlib solo

SCHOOLBOY Q ON DECK WITH DEBUT OXYMORON.

Quincy Matthew Hanley, better known as ScHoolboy Q, is set to release his Top Dawg Entertainment/Interscope Records album ,Oxymoron, on February 25th. The 15-track debut includes guest appearances from label mates, and fellow Black Hippy artists, Kendrick Lamar ("Collard Greens") and Ab-Soul, as well as Raekwon, Tyler, The Creator, and 2 Chainz.

ScHoolboy Q is set to hit the road for an extensive U.S. tour, starting March 1 in Providence, R.I., including appearances at SXSW in Austin, before heading over to Europe in May for shows in Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Ireland. ScHoolboy Q will be joined by Isaiah Rashad and Vince Staples. A full itinerary is listed below.

ScHoolboy Q independently released a pair of mixtapes before putting out his first album, Setbacks, in 2011, on Top Dawg Entertainment, followed by Habits & Contradictions in 2012. After signing with Interscope, he began recording his major label debut.

Born on a military base in Germany, where his father was stationed in the Army, Hanley moved with his mom to Texas for several years before settling in California. He was a gangbanger for the 52 Hoover Crips, dealing Oxycontin before beginning to rap as a teenager. He began working with Top Dawg Entertainment in 2006, working with cohorts Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, forming the group Black Hippy.

ScHoolboy was named part of XXL Magazine's 2013 Freshman Class, and performed last June at the BET Experience Music Festival with Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dog and Miguel. He also performed "White Walls," with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the sixth single from their hit album, The Heist. He debuted "Collard Greens" at the BET Hip-Hop Awards last October.

ScHoolboy Q tour dates:

March 1: Providence, RI (Lupos)
March 2: Boston, MA (Wilbur)
March 3: Philadelphia, PA (The Troc)
March 4: New York (Best Buy Theatre)
March 5: Sayreville, NJ (Starland Ballroom)
March 6: New Haven, CT (Toads Place)
March 7: Washington, DC (Fillmore)
March 8: Columbus, OH (Newport Music Hall)
March 9: Cleveland, OH (House of Blues)
March 10: Cincinnati, OH (Bogarts)
March 12-15: Austin, TX (SXSW)
March 17: Miami, FL (Mekka)
March 18: Orlando, FL (Firestone Live)
March 19: St. Peterburg, FL (Jannus Live)
March 21: San Antonio, TX (White Rabbit)
March 22: New Orleans, LA (BUKU Festival)
March 23: Dallas, TX (Southside Music Hall)
March 24: Austin, TX (Scoot Inn)
March 25: Houston, TX (Warehouse Live)
March 27: Denver. CO (Ogden)
March 28: Albuquerque, NM (Sunshine Theatre)
March 29: El Paso, TX (Tricky Falls)
March 30: Phoenix, AZ (Celebrity Theatre)
March 31: Tucson, AZ (Rialto Theatre)
April 2: Santa Ana, CA (Observatory)
April 3: Ventura, CA (Ventura Theatre)
April 4: Las Vegas, NV (Hard Rock Live)
April 5: San Diego, CA (House of Blues)
April 6: Los Angeles, CA (Club Nokia)
April 7: Santa Cruz, CA (Catalyst)
April 8: Reno, NV (Knitting Factory)
April 9: Sacramento, CA (Ace of Spades)
April 10: San Francisco, CA (Regency)
April 11: Chico, CA (Senator Theatre)
April 12: Eugene, OR (WOW Hall)
April 13: Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom)
April 14: Seattle, WA (Showbox Market)
April 17: Milwaukee, WI (The Rave)
April 18: Detroit, MI (St. Andrews)
April 19: Grand Rapids, MI (Orbit Room)
April 20: Minneapolis, MN (Mill City Nights)
April 22: Chicago, IL (Metro)
April 23: Lawrence, KS (Liberty Hall)
April 25: Kingston, GA (Counterpoint Music Festival)
April 26: Charlotte, NC (Amos)
April 27: Baltimore, MD (Soundstage)
Europe
May 1: Amsterdam, Netherlands (Melkweg)
May 3: Frankfurt, Germany (Gibson)
May 4: Antwerp, Belgium (Trix)
May 6: Paris, France (Bataclan)
May 7: Strasboug, France (Laiterie)
May 8: Stuttgart, Germany (LKA)
May 9: Zurich, Switzerland (Komplex 457)
May 10: Lausanne, Switzerland (Les Docks)
May 11: Milan, Italy (Tunnel)
May 12: Lyon, France (Transbordeur)
May 13: Munich, Germany (Fierwerk)
May 15: Berlin, Germany (C-Club)
May 16: Cologne, Germany (Essigfabrik)
May 17: Hamburg, Germany (Ubel & Gefahrlich)
May 18: Copenhagen, Denmark (Vega)
May 20: Arhus, Denmark (Train)
May 21: Maimo, Sweden (KB)
May 22: Stockholm, Sweden (Debaser Strand)
May 23: Gothenburg, Sweden (Pustervik)
May 24: Oslo, Norway (Rockefeller)
May 25: Helsinki, Finland (Nosturi)
May 27: Dublin, Ireland (Vicar Street)
May 28: Glasgow, UK (Arches)
May 30: London, UK (Koko)
May 31: Birmingham, UK (Institute Library)
June 1: Manchester, UK (Academy 2)

** Isaiah Rashad & Vince Staples to support domestic dates

** Isaiah Rashad to support European dates















J. COLE BRINGS DREAMVILLE LABEL TO INTERSCOPE.
Dreamville, one of hip-hop's most innovative and creative collectives and the force behind the phenomenal success of rapper J. Cole, whose first two albums hit #1 across the charts, has formed an exclusive label with Interscope Records. Dreamville also announced today that its first artist signing will be Bas, who has been supporting Cole on tour.

"Dreamville celebrates the sort of grass roots, out-of-the-box approach to connecting artists to their fans that can help move the music industry into the future. We are very pleased to welcome Dreamville into the Interscope family," says Joie Manda, President, Urban Music, Interscope Records.

Cole and business partner Ibrahim Hamad launched Dreamville in 2007, before Cole became the first signing for Jay-Z's Roc Nation two years later (Cole remains an artist with Roc Nation). Since then, the Dreamville team has been responsible for successes on record, on stage, on the Internet, and beyond. As a result, Cole, a magna cum laude graduate of St. John's University with a major in communications and minor in business, has been named one of Forbes magazine's prestigious 30 Under 30 in the music industry.
"We're honored and excited to partner with Interscope Records, a legendary and powerful force in the music industry," commented J. Cole. "We're ready to add to the history."

The Dreamville team is a collective of individuals who bring creativity and fresh, new ideas to the table, especially in creating special 'moments' for fans. During a transitional period in the music industry, Dreamville has successfully leveraged new technology to bring hip-hop fans together instead of separating them. Dreamville, for example, developed the Dollar and A Dream Tour, for which fans purchased tickets for only $1.

After building a fanbase with a series of mixtapes, in 2011 Dreamville rolled out Cole World: The Sideline Story, which debuted #1 on the Billboard 200, R&B and Rap charts. Spinning off the double platinum "Work Out" and gold "Can't Get Enough" (feat. Trey Songz), the album earned Cole Best New Artist nominations at the Grammys, American Music Awards, BET and Soul Train Awards. 2013's Born Sinner also hit #1 across the three charts, with "Power Trip" (feat. Miguel) platinum and "Crooked Smile" (feat. TLC) gold. Born Sinner was named one of the Top 50 Albums of the Year by Rolling Stone.

Bas was born in Paris to Sudanese parents and moved to Queens, New York at the age of eight. Under the watch of mentor and close friend Cole, Bas has been making music since 2010. "Quarter Water Raised Me Vol. II" was released in 2013 and was named one of the Top 20 mixtapes of the year by Source magazine. Bas was then featured on "New York Times" with 50 Cent on Born Sinner and appeared with Cole on "Hell's Kitchen" for DJ Khaled's Suffering from Success. He has performed on the Dollar and A Dream Tour, opened for Cole and Wale on the American leg of the What Dreams May Come Tour and traveled as Cole's international supporting act. Bas is currently supporting Cole on the second leg of the What Dreams May Come Tour.

FLAVOR FLAV FACES SPEEDING CHARGE.
Flavor Flav pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges stemming from a traffic stop earlier this month as he raced to his mother's funeral in suburban New York.

State police said the rapper and reality TV star, whose real name is William Drayton, was speeding and driving without a license, a felony, on Jan. 9 as he drove on the Meadowbrook Parkway not far from where the Freeport, N.Y., native grew up. He was ticketed and told to appear for his arraignment Tuesday.

His attorney, Indji Bessim, told Nassau County District Court Judge Norman St. George that over the past several days she and her client have worked to clear up the 16 outstanding traffic matters that sparked the unlicensed driving charge.

The judge released Drayton without bail, although the rapper has not been in custody, and scheduled a return court date for Friday, as is routine following an arraignment.

Wearing his trademark clock around his neck — removing it to pass through metal detectors walking into the courthouse — Drayton smiled and hugged relatives and fans, stopping once or twice to sign an autograph or have a photo taken with a fan.

As he exited the courtroom following the brief proceeding, Drayton told reporters: "God is good. G-I-G."

He told reporters later that he hoped the charges would eventually be dismissed.

"I'm hoping they would have a heart and dismiss it all because of the circumstances," he said. "Because if it wasn't for me driving to my mother's funeral and being late getting to my mother's funeral, I wouldn't have been behind the wheel in the first place to get the charge."

He criticized the unidentified state trooper who made the arrest for being unconcerned about his plight, but then praised other troopers, whom he said helped him eventually get to his mother's funeral. Anna Drayton died Dec. 31.

The entertainer's New York case is being watched closely by a prosecutor in Las Vegas, where Drayton now lives. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond pending trial April 28 in Nevada state court on charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon and child endangerment with a weapon. Those charges could get him up to 12 years in prison.

He is accused of threatening his longtime girlfriend's then-17-year-old son with a butcher knife during a family argument. Terms of his release from jail included a requirement to stay out of trouble.

Drayton's lawyer in Las Vegas, Kristina Wildeveld, said she didn't think the New York case should affect his Nevada case.

DEF JAM CELEBRATING HISTORIC 30TH ANNIVERSARY.
Universal Music Group will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of Def Jam Recordings, the label credited with spreading rap music from an underground phenomenon to a worldwide movement, all year long along with Def Jam founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons.

Hip-hop – and its most definitive voice, Def Jam – has been an astonishingly tireless engine of change in American and global culture. For 30 years, the greatest names in the history of hip-hop – from LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys to Rihanna and Kanye West, from Public Enemy to Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Jeezy, Ludacris, The Roots, Nas and dozens more – have made Def Jam Recordings the ultimate destination for urban artists around the world. Today's stellar Def Jam roster includes an even wider range of artists from Frank Ocean to August Alsina to Big Sean, Jhene Aiko and 2 Chainz.

"It's hard to believe it was 30 years ago when we first put the Def Jam logo on a hip-hop recording at an NYU dormitory. Since that time we have seen this homegrown American music grow from a local underground scene to a worldwide phenomenon. Today Def Jam remains the gold standard for taste, culture, and revolutionary thought. To quote the Chuck D line: 'Def Jam tells you who I am…'" --Rick Rubin & Russell Simmons

Universal Music Group and Def Jam have assembled a #DefJam30 team to work with many of its artists and innovators, from thirty years ago to today, on a number of projects celebrating and re-imagining three decades of credibility and distinction.

That celebration begins this week with the unveiling of the #DefJam30 logo. Corresponding albums, events, films and more will be revealed in the weeks ahead.

QUEEN LATIFAH ON DECK TO SING "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" @ SUPERBOWL XLVIII
Queen Latifah will sing "America The Beautiful" as part of Super Bowl XLVIII pregame festivities at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Sunday, February 2, the NFL and FOX announced today. The performance will be televised live on FOX prior to kickoff.More than 164 million viewers in the U.S. watched last year's Super Bowl, the most-watched television program in history. The pregame show, including the National Anthem and "America The Beautiful," and Super Bowl XLVIII will be broadcast worldwide.

Queen Latifah, host of the The Queen Latifah Show, is a musician, actress, a label president, an author and entrepreneur. Queen Latifah is a Grammy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning artist as well as an Emmy and Academy Award nominee.

New Jersey native Queen Latifah will return to the Super Bowl after first singing "America The Beautiful" at Super Bowl XLIV. Last year, JENNIFER HUDSON along with 26 children from the Newton, CT community sang in advance of Super Bowl XLVII. Other artists to have performed the song at Super Bowl include VICKI CARR (Super Bowl XI), RAY CHARLES (Super Bowl XXXV), MARY J. BLIGE & MARC ANTHONY (Super Bowl XXXVI), ALICIA KEYS (Super Bowl XXXIX), FAITH HILL (Super Bowl XLIII), LEA MICHELE (Super Bowl XLV), BLAKE SHELTON and MIRANDA LAMBERT (Super Bowl XLVI).

The NFL previously announced that RENEE FLEMING will perform the National Anthem, AMBER ZION will perform in American Sign Language the National Anthem and "America The Beautiful," and BRUNO MARS will perform in the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show.

GRAMMY WINNERS - RECAP.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won best new artist and rap album for "The Heist," beating efforts from Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Kanye West and Drake. Macklemore & Lewis' wins, which include best rap song and rap performance for "Thrift Shop," come after the Grammy rap committee almost ousted the group from its categories. A source told The Associated Press that the rap committee rejected the duo, but that was later overruled by the general Grammy committee. The rap committee felt Macklemore & Lewis should qualify for the pop awards instead because of their massive success on Top 40 radio. The source, who attended the general Grammy meeting, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

Justin Timberlake got Best R&B Song for "Pusher Love Girl". Timberlake and Jay Z's "Suit & Tie" got Best Music Video. Jay Z and Timberlake also won best rap/sung collaboration for "Holy Grail."

"I want to thank God — I mean a little bit for this award — but mostly for all the universe for conspiring and putting that beautiful light of a young lady in my life," Jay Z said, looking at Beyonce. "I want to tell Blue that, look, 'Daddy got a gold sippy cup for you.'"

Pharrell wins Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. Others who have won the Best Producer, Non-Classical award in the past include Rick Rubin, Dr. Dre, Babyface, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, as well as the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Mark Ronson.

PHARELL ENTERS SOCIAL 50.
Pharrell Williams debuts on the Social 50 at #43, thanks to the surging popularity of his single "Happy," from the "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack. The song, which flies 26-11 on Digital Songs with 120,000 downloads sold (up 81%, according to Nielsen SoundScan), received an extra boost in publicity during the chart week ending Jan. 19: it was nominated for the Academy Award for best original song. The cut, which is gaining traction at top 40 radio, also previews Pharrell's forthcoming album.

The Social 50 ranks the most popular artists on YouTube, Vevo, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Wikipedia, Myspace and Instagram. The chart's methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with artist page views, song plays and reactions as measured by music analytics company Next Big Sound.

The flurry of activity around the Oscar announcement resulted in more than 237,000 new fans for Pharrell across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a 65% increase over the previous week. It also spurred a jump in conversation about him, evidenced by a 43% jump in Twitter mentions. More than 10 million conversations were started on Facebook throughout the week about Pharrell. Source: Billboard.

MARY J BLIGE'S FATHER STABBED.
Michigan police say the father of multi-platinum-selling singer Mary J. Blige was stabbed and critically injured. Police say his ex-girlfriend is in jail on an attempted murder charge.

Battle Creek police say the attack happened about 7 a.m. Thursday at the apartment of 63-year-old Thomas Blige.

Police say he had a neck wound and was taken to Kalamazoo's Bronson Methodist Hospital, which says it has no information on his condition. Detective Sgt. Jim Martens tells the Battle Creek Enquirer that officers recovered the knife and found Blige's ex-girlfriend with blood on her clothing. She's in the Calhoun County jail and is expected to be arraigned Friday.

BEYONCE & JAY Z SHARE TOP SPOT ON BILLBOARD'S POWER 100 LIST.
Jay Z and Beyonce appear on the cover of Billboard's Power 100 issue, which features the couple at the top of its list. The piece focuses on people in the music industry who create an impact with their work.

"We've got to continue to find ways to put music in the hands of the fans, and I think this is a great way to do it," Big Machine Label Group CEO Scott Borchetta (No. 41) told Billboard at the time of the Jay Z announcement. "You've got to have cutting-edge ideas with cutting-edge companies who are ready, willing and able to reach a mass audience. It's great Jay Z is forcing all of us to think this way."

Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge and Red Light Management founder Coran Capshaw took 2nd and 3rd behind Jay Z & Bey on the annual list of most influential people in the music industry. Grainge and Capshaw placed first and second last year, respectively.

Billboard editors compiled the list after analyzing market share, revenue and other data. Jay Z and Beyonce each founded their own companies, Roc Nation and Parkwood Entertainment.

Justin Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun; music producer Dr. Luke; Spotify CEO Daniel Ek; recording executive Jimmy Iovine; and Ryan Seacrest also made the list.

JAY Z'S ROC NATION SPORTS ON DECK FOR "THE BIG GAME" WITH 3 EVENTS.
Roc Nation Sports and Airbnb have joined forces to provide unique hospitality experiences for sports fans during the week leading up to the big game with 3 major events at JAY Z's 40/40 Club in Manhattan complete with celebrity hosts, incredible giveaways and special performances.

Activated over the course of all 3 nights Airbnb will host the Airbnb Super Suite, which will be decked out with a vintage sports theme. The Super Suite will feature some of Airbnb's most interesting properties from around the globe. The focal point of the Super Suite will be a sports-inspired game with Airbnb prizes. In addition, the Super Suite will host an InstaPrint photo booth, tracking and printing all photos with the hashtag #Airbnb4040 and #RocNationSports.

The "Welcome to New York" Media Night, on Wednesday, January 29th, is the first of a 3-night series of events hosted by Victor Cruz and CC Sabathia with music by DJ D Nice. The evening will welcome and celebrate all media giants, sports broadcast personalities, major sports publishers and the media elite with unique New York themed event activations including classic New York City food carts, a street caricature artist and a photo booth with New York City backdrops.

The "Roc Nation Sports Digital Mixer", on Thursday, January 30th, will be hosted by Kevin Durant with music by DJ Ross One. The mixer will unite sports and tech elite and give participants an opportunity for networking and open discussion of how the athlete-fan relationship has changed in the digital age and the future of the individual athlete in sports marketing. The event will encourage key players in the digital space and sports world to meet, greet and spark fodder for future tech and sports collaborations.

All of The 40/40 Club's TV screens will broadcast live Twitter and Instagram feeds following the night's progression.

Concluding the 3-night series of events, is the invite-only Official Roc Nation Sports Celebration brought to you by JAY Z, with music by DJ Cassidy, on Saturday, February 1st.

‘DILLA DAY DETROIT’ ON DECK.
On Friday February 7th, 2014, Detroit will host the beginning of a worldwide celebration of the life of James ‘J Dilla’ Yancey. ‘Dilla Day Detroit 2014’ will feature live performances from a host of internationally acclaimed artists.

James ‘J Dilla’ Yancey succumbed to Lupus in 2006 at the age of 32. After his untimely passing, Industry ourlets have published articles which hailed his short career of 12-years as one of the most prolific in the history of Hip-Hop. From his work on chart topping singles for Common, The Roots, Erykah Badu, A Tribe Called Quest, Janet Jackson, etc. to his own genre redefining solo releases, J Dilla’s work as a true innovator continues to inspire nearly eight-years after his death.

This year’s ‘Dilla Day Detroit’ concert coincides with J Dilla’s birthday and enlists several Hip-Hop legends to pay tribute. DJ Premier and Pete Rock will battle and anchor the wheels of steel for ‘Dilla Day Detroit’ and De La Soul and Slum Village, two groups which are pillars of Hip-Hop culture will also be performing, as well as Guilty Simpson and Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest will be in attendance to debut the video for his new single ‘#DearDilla’ and the event will be hosted by Ro Spit and Grap Luva, More performing artists will be announced soon.

The Yancey Media Group is a music publishing, licensing and merchandising entity built to honor J Dilla within his family’s image and likeness.


SYLVIA RHONE TO RECEIVE 2014 PRESIDENTIAL AWARD @ MUSIC BIZ CONVENTION.
The Music Business Association (Music Biz), formerly known as NARM, will present its prestigious Presidential Award for Sustained Executive Achievement to Sylvia Rhone, founder and CEO of Vested in Culture, distributed by Epic Records, on Wednesday, May 7, at the Opening Session of the Music Biz 2014 annual convention at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

Rhone will be the first female executive to receive the Award, which has previously been presented to industry luminaries such as Clive Davis, Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun, Akio Morita, Walter Yetnikoff, Paul Smith, Henry Droz, Russ Solomon, Jack Eugster, Eric Paulson, Bob Higgins, Jim Urie, John Marmaduke, Dick Clark, Casey Kasem, Ted Cohen, and Don Cornelius, as well as organizational honorees such as the Country Music Association (CMA), the Recording Academy, and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Sylvia into the ranks of our esteemed Presidential Award recipients,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. “Her career has spanned four decades, during which she has helped transform the music industry. Rising to the most senior positions at all three major labels, her commitment, vision, and leadership have set a very high bar for others to emulate. At a point where many could choose to simply rest on their laurels, she’s continuing to be a pioneer with her new venture Vested in Culture. She has truly earned this distinction, and we’re excited to have her as our first female honoree.”

“I have had the fortune of working with many of the past honorees who have received this distinguished recognition from the Music Business Association, and it is a true privilege to be counted among them,” said Rhone.

Rhone got her start as a secretary at Buddha Records in 1974, before working her way up to Atlantic Records, where she was promoted to SVP/GM in 1986. At Atlantic, she is credited with reinvigorating the label’s black music mission and launching the careers of En Vogue, Levert, Brandy, and MC Lyte. It was under her watch that Billboard magazine named Atlantic the No. 1 Black Music Division in 1988. Two years later, Rhone made history when she was named CEO/President of Atlantic’s EastWest Records America division. She was the first African-American woman to head a major record company. In 1994, Rhone was tapped to become Chairman/CEO of the Elektra Entertainment Group. There, she guided the merger of Elektra, EastWest, and Sire Records, while nurturing the careers of a diverse group of major acts such as Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Jason Mraz, Third Eye Blind, Metallica, AC/DC, Natalie Merchant, Tracy Chapman, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

She moved to Universal in 2004, when she became President of Motown Records, EVP of Universal Records, and Chairman of the Universal Motown Record Group. She remained with Universal Motown after it split off from Universal Republic Records in 2006, expanding the reach of hip-hop imprint Cash Money and utilizing social media and digital platforms to connect artists such as Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Kid Cudi, Akon, and Blue October with their fans. In 2012, she founded Vested in Culture under the umbrella of Sony Music Entertainment.

Rhone has been featured on Entertainment Weekly’s Most Influential People list six times and The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power list seven times, in addition to recognition from NBC, MTV, BET, Rolling Stone, VH1, Billboard, Vibe, Ebony, and Black Enterprise. She has also won numerous awards, including the 2012 Essence Black Women in Music Trailblazer Award, the 2011 Keepers of the Dream Award, the 2010 Lexus Pursuit of Perfection Award, the Turner Broadcasting Trumpet Award, Ms. magazine’s 2001 Woman of the Year award, and many more. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Music Biz 2014, which will be held May 6-8, is the music industry’s premier event, giving the commerce and content sectors a place to meet with trading partners, network with new companies, and learn about new trends and products impacting the music business.

50 CENT TO PREMIERE "POWER" @ MIPTV EVENT.
50 Cent will attend this year’s MIPTV to present the new series he executive produced. The world premiere screening will be on the opening night of the annual convention of international TV buyers in Cannes.

The eight-episode Starz series Power, from Courtney Kemp Agboh (The Good Wife), stars Omari Hardwick (Kick Ass) as a New York City nightclub owner who also has his hand in the drug world. The rapper, who has a recurring role in the show as a friend of the aspiring mogul and kingpin, exec produces alongside Agboh, Mark Canton (300), Randall Emmett (Lone Survivor) and Big Love’s David Knoller.

50 Cent, along with Agboh and Hardwick, will participate in a Q&A following the premiere.

"We are honored that Starz has chosen to showcase its latest major new series as a world premiere TV screening at MIPTV. This underlines the impact of the event, which is ideally suited to a show like Power, which is bound to have wide appeal to the numerous international buyers and media present in Cannes," said Reed Midem TV division director Laurine Garaude.

"Starz is thrilled to premiere Power at MIPTV," added CEO Chris Albrecht, citing the universal story of climbing to the top. "We believe worldwide audiences will be swept up in the storytelling, the city and the music."

MIPTV will take place in Cannes from Apr. 7 to 10. Source: Hollywood Reporter.

SOULJA BOY ARRESTED.
Soulja Boy was arrested in L.A. early this morning after cops say he was packin' a loaded gun, according to TMZ.

Law enforcement sources said the 23-year-old rapper was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over in the San Fernando Valley for running a stop sign early Wednesday morning. During the stop, cops say they noticed that Soulja was in possession of a loaded gun -- and arrested him on the stop. Soulja was hauled to a nearby jail and booked on a felony charge. Bail was set at $35K.

BEATS MUSIC IS LIVE.
Beats Music (music subscription) has launched. The names behind this new service include Jimmy Iovine and Trent Reznor among others. The service will now compete with existing services including Pandora, Spotify, RDIO. Rhapsody and Apple iTunes Radio.

"We’re digital music consumers, too, and have used every service on the scene. But a feeling kept nagging at us — these aren’t actually “services”, they’re “servers”. Lots of ways to access music, but we noticed they provided little more than access to a catalog — we still found music from trusted human sources, from friends to magazines to DJs."

"We pulled together our personal heroes across the genres. Veteran radio programmer Julie Pilat leads our Music team with Global Head of Programming and Editorial Scott Plagenhoef (formerly Pitchfork) overseeing our programmers including Carl Chery (formerly XXL), Suzy Cole (formerly WRIF), Arjan Writes, Mason Williams (formerly Rhino Records), Fuzzy Fantabulous (formerly Power 106), Ken Tucker (formerly Country Weekly), Jerry Pullés (formerly Latino 96.3). They work with tons of music experts to cover a huge spectrum of music, making sure the catalog is great for music fans (goodbye catalog spam) and you’re always stocked with great listening choices. We also invited in our favorite trusted sources — Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Grand Ole Opry, Downbeat, DJ Mag, Hot 97/Power 106, Naxos, and many others — and built them right into the app, on mobile, no plugin required."

"Everyone can try the entire service for free. If you like it, it’s $9.99/month for unlimited streaming, downloading from the catalog of more than 20 million songs but more importantly all the incredible curation delivered to your phone every day. AT&T customers, we have something very special for you: try Beats Music free for 90 days with your AT&T Family Plan then get Beats Music for your entire family — up to five people and ten devices — for $14.99/month. $50 in value for $14.99. More music in your family equals more joy."

PENALTY RECORDS REGROUPS / INKS DEAL WITH SONY RED.
Penalty Entertainment, the new incarnation of influential hip-hop label Penalty Recordings, has partnered with Sony RED for a multi-year distribution deal covering North America. Headed by original Penalty founder/CEO and industry veteran Neil Levine, Penalty Entertainment is comprised of recorded music, artist/producer management, music publishing, touring and merchandising divisions.

Penalty joins Sony RED’s growing roster of rap and hip-hop label groups, including Cinematic, Ncredible, Louder Than Life, Infamous and Soul Temple. Launched by Levine in 1994 as a joint venture with Tommy Boy/Warner Music, New York-based Penalty Recordings signed such acts as Noreaga (N.O.R.E.), Lord Finesse, the Beatnuts and Crooked Lettaz (David Banner). The imprint was also responsible for initiating the AND 1 Mixtape DVD series.

“Penalty 2.0 joins with a new roster that showcases the quality and consistency of the original,” Sony RED president Bob Morelli said in a statement announcing the new partnership. “There is no doubt about Penalty’s plans to recapture the original excitement and Neil’s ability to deliver it.”

Added Levine, “We’re focused on artist development, talented new producers and musicians who will be here many years down the road. “We want the superstars of tomorrow today.” Penalty Entertainment is set to roll out its first releases this spring. These include rapper Hi-Rez and hip-hop crew eMC (Masta Ace, Punchline, Wordsworth and Strick). Additional deals are currently being negotiated and will be announced at a future date. Source: Billboard

SMOKE DZA ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM WITH DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: "Growing up I wrote JAY-Z & Big lyrics down as I memorized their words and mimic'd their flow. Their first albums influenced me as a kid and still do till this day as an artist...as a rapper. As I began to record this album, I looked into myself to find that place that they found in themselves as they crafted Reasonable Doubt and Ready to Die. I've lived in that place for much of last year till as of late, when I finished recording. I look to create that experience for another young kid, writing my lyrics down as they listen to this album. An experience that would live with them as they got older. As their views and perspectives become their own and not the ones that were told to them or told to believe.

In order to create that experience I had to give you what I've become on this album. To do so, changes were made in my personal & professional life. Some of them were hard, some of them were easy, but all of them were necessary. Those that are my brothers and sisters, KNOW they're my brothers and sisters. Those relationships are as good as gold. They keep me grounded as I chase my dreams, and at times our dreams. They influence and help me become the man and artist that I am. But they don't determine who I am. I do that. I put the work in throughout the years. And no one will take ownership of who I am but me.

It's my last years in my twenties. I have a lady at home that reminds me everyday what needs to get done. I have 3 beautiful kids that when I look into their eyes, they remind me everyday what needs to get done. I have a phone full of emails, text messages, calls, tweets, DMs, photos and documents from friends, family, managers, lawyers, business partners, DJs, fans, haters, you name it, that all remind me everyday what needs to get done. So when I don't hear my name mentioned in a conversation, or a on a list, that I've rightfully put in the work for, I'm going to feel a way. When I read or hear opinions of why or where I'm currently at in my life & career, I'm going to feel a way. When I get endless feature requests to hop on another marijuana record as if I'm only a "weed rapper", I'm going to a feel a way. It's only right, that I do. And it's only right I give it all back to you in my music, so that YOU can feel some type of way too.

This year is my year to be completely independent, through and through. To take ownership of my creations and destiny. To do it the way I want to do it. To do it with the niggas I want to do it with. So that I'm 100% sure that you, that kid somewhere, that kid anywhere, is getting it how I want you to get it. That good ol American Dream. Complete Independence. Total Freedom from whatever you may be experiencing in life. That's the purpose of music and the results of great music. So just keep one lit and listen closely as you dream, zone, achieve.

Don't be a fool. Be sure to support Dream.ZONE.Achieve, releasing Tuesday, April 1st. "

MARSHAWN LYNCH INKS WITH MONSTER.
Monster, Inc. the world leader in high-performance personal audio, connectivity solutions and headphones, proudly announced today that it has added superstar running back Marshawn Lynch to its roster of official ambassadors. Lynch, an Oakland, Calif. native, was a first round pick in the 2007 draft. Nicknamed “Beast Mode,” he scored two touchdowns in last week’s divisional playoff game, leading his team to the upcoming conference championship game. At Monster, he joins the likes of 4-time Golden Glove winner and 2-time World Series Champion outfielder Shane Victorino, professional basketball superstar and media personality Shaquille O’Neal, UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis, Super Model and actor Tyson Beckford and international recording artist Jay Sean as brand-marketing partners for the company. As a Brand Ambassador, Marshawn will be used in print, online and broadcast ad campaigns.

“Head Monster” Noel Lee said: “Marshawn is a Monster at heart. Being a Monster takes unbridled passion, and his passion on the field translates to everything he does off the field—especially his work in the community. We are excited to add him to our roster of brand ambassadors.”

On becoming a Monster brand ambassador, Lynch noted: “I’m a big fan of Monster. They make the best sounding headphones, and their Pure Monster Sound™ is hella tight. Music is what drives me on and off the field. We’ll also be working together to support my charity in my hometown of Oakland and in other communities as well.”

Monster has committed to supporting Lynch’s Oakland-based Fam 1st Family Foundation as a part of their partnership. Noel Lee will join forces with Lynch to engage young people, in hopes of conveying how passion and hard work can make anything possible.

ROC NATION INKS NEW YORK YANKEES PITCHER.
Roc Nation Sports, the sports agency started by Jay Z, has signed New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and will represent him on and off the field.

"CC exemplifies everything Roc Nation looks for in an athlete and a partner," Roc Nation Sports president Juan Perez said in a statement.

The agency's official Twitter account tweeted a picture of Sabathia signing with the firm:

Welcome @CC_Sabathia to the @RocNation family! #RocNationSports

Sabathia, 33, has at least three years left on his contract, which comes with a guaranteed $76 million. But when contract conversations do come up, which won't take place until before the 2017 season at the earliest, Roc Nation spokesman Ron Berkowitz said Jay Z and Perez plan on negotiating the pitcher's deal.

Half of Roc Nation's clients -- New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and now Sabathia-- play in New York.

Last month, one of the firm's other clients, Robinson Cano, left the Yankees to sign a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. Jay Z's other clients include Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and WNBA player Skylar Diggins.

In some cases, Roc Nation Sports splits its business with other firms. Cano's contract was done in partnership with CAA. CAA and Roc Nation Sports have rights to Cruz's on-field contract, but IMG represents him exclusively for endorsements. Source: ESPN

VH1'S ROCK DOCS FRANCHISE ANNOUNCE NEW LINEUP FOR 2014.
VH1's Emmy Award-winning "Rock Docs" franchise returns with a brand new slate of original feature-length documentaries examining the intersection of music and culture. The new documentaries will premiere on VH1 in early 2014 and continue throughout the year.

Upcoming VH1 Rock Docs include "Finding The Funk," which gives an insightful look into the history and evolution of funk music; "Downloaded," centered on Napster and the industry-changing advent of music file-sharing; and "The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop," a four-part documentary series that examines how hip hop has transformed American culture. Other Rock Docs on tap will explore the electronic dance music (EDM) craze and soul singer Sharon Jones' inspirational journey following a life-changing cancer diagnosis.

"Finding the Funk," premieres on Tuesday, February 4th at 10PM* a unique geographical history of the booty-shaking genre. Narrated by Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots, the film showcases how funk music's infectious groove paved the way for groundbreaking genres such as hip-hop and house music. The funk explosion is traced from Dayton, Ohio to Detroit via interviews with pioneers like Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Nona Hendryx, Nile Rodgers, Maceo Parker, Bernie Worrell, and Steve Arrington and their descendants Mike D, D'Angelo, Sheila E and Shock G. The documentary, directed by filmmaker and journalist Nelson George and produced by record producer Arthur Baker, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2013. It also screened at Hot Docs, Urban World, the Afro-Punk Festival and the Pan African Film Festival.

"The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop," premieres Monday, February 24 through Thursday, February 27, airing at 11PM each night. The four-part, four-hour documentary series, based on a best-selling book by author, entrepreneur, advertising executive and record executive Steve Stoute, is a thorough examination of hip-hop as a cultural movement, whose profound influence in music, film, television, fashion, business, race relations and politics eventually paved the way for the election of Barack Obama. The series provides a visual history of the hip-hopification of America – what Stoute calls "tanning" -- from "The Jeffersons" to the Fresh Prince; from "Do the Right Thing" to "8 Mile"; from the streets of Compton to Madison Ave; from block parties to the Hamptons; and from rappers to entrepreneurs to icons. It unfolds in 4 one-hour episodes that together explore history's pivotal tanning moments from the 1970s to present day, and show how hip-hop is deeply woven into the American cultural fabric. The series is produced by filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman of Rakontur.

"Downloaded," is slated to air fall 2014 and focuses on the advent of digital media sharing, including the rise of game-changing company Napster and its controversial online pioneers Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. The digital revolution ultimately created a technology paradigm shift and upended both the music industry and music artists, and changed the world. The film features insights from such well-known artists and figures within the music industry as: The Beastie Boys' Mike D, Noel Gallagher, Henry Rollins, former Sony Music Chairman Don Ienner, former record producer and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, Sire Records co-founder Seymour Stein, Grateful Dead lyricist, poet, essayist and "cyber libertarian" activist JP Barlow, Hilary Rosen, former CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, Harvard law professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig and other industry executives, government officials and leaders in the world of civil and digital rights. The film, directed by Alex Winter, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2013 and screened at numerous film festivals to rave reviews in the past year. Variety called it "entertaining… and…. informative,' the New York Times said "fascinating" and the LA Times said " a vigorous retelling of Fanning's and Parker's wildfire achievement and its ethical pitfalls."

The documentary on Electronic Dance Music will premiere in late 2014. It will examine the culture of the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene, as told by some of the most prominent personalities involved with the movement.

The documentary on Sharon Jones, to premiere in late 2014, follows the retro-soul singer as she faces the toughest challenge of her life: putting her career on hold to battle cancer. Directed by two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple, the film follows Sharon through six months of chemotherapy and a triumphant comeback concert that caps an inspirational emotional journey. The documentary soundtrack will feature Sharon's original music.

VH1's Emmy Award winning Rock Docs are feature-length music documentaries focusing on a variety of today's popular genres, trends and views. Overseeing for VH1 are Brad Abramson, Stephen Mintz, Warren Cohen, Ben Zurier and Susan Levison. Rick Krim and Bill Flanagan are also executive producers on "Downloaded."

AUGUST ALSINA ON DECK.
New Orleans newcomer August Alsina offers an inspirational tale of surviving one of America's most treacherous cities with Testimony, his debut album on NNTME/ Def Jam Recordings. To be released on April 15th, Testimony contains the single "Make It Home" featuring fellow Def Jam artist Jeezy, which was co-written by The Exclusives and produced by the Feather­stones. The new album builds on the success of Downtown: Life Under The Gun, August's debut EP, which includes the #1 Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop smash "I Luv This Sh*t" featuring Trinidad James.

The release date of Testimony carries major personal significance for August; April 15th was the birthday of his older brother, Melvin LaBranch III, who inspired August to pursue music. Tragically, Melvin was gunned down on the New Orleans streets in 2010, just days before August's 18th birthday. The murder remains unsolved. The album is dedicated to Melvin's memory and includes features from Jeezy and Yo Gotti. Producers on the album include the Feather­stones, Knucklehead, Eric Hudson, Drumma Boy, Jasper Cameron, The Exclusives, and Cassius Jay.

The new album's motivational undercurrent deals graphically with August's past hardships—serious family issues including death, homelessness and addiction. "As an artist," August reflects, "I struggle with how much of myself to give to the people. How much I want my personal business to be judged. I think the EP struck a good balance of who I am and what I've been through, but that was just the beginning. Nothing is held back on this project.. When people hear my story, and see that I came from nothing, they'll see that it's possible for them too."

Alsina will join 2 Chainz and Pusha T on the forthcoming "2 Good To Be T.R.U." national tour. The tour kicks off February 4th in Boston and concludes March 24th in Washington, DC.
2 Good 2 Be T.R.U. Tour Dates – with 2 Chainz and Pusha T

2/04 — Boston, MA @ House Of Blues
2/05 — New York, NY @ Roseland Ballroom
2/07 — Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
2/08 — Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
2/10 — Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
2/12 — Boise, ID @ Revolution Center
2/13 — Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
2/18 — Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
2/20 — Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
2/21 — Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
2/22 — Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
2/28 — Saint Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena
3/01 — Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Theatre
3/02 — Cincinnati, OH @ Bank of Kentucky
3/13 — Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom
3/14 — Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
3/17 — Saint Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
3/18 — Miami Beach, FL @ The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason
3/20 — Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte
3/22 — Upper Darby, PA @ Tower Theatre
3/24 — Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

PHARRELL EARNS ACADENY AWARDS NOMINATION.
The 86th annual Academy Awards nominations have been announced. Pharrell, Karen O, Spike Jonze and Bono were among the musicians nominated for music-based awards for the event.

Pharrell's "Happy" earned a nomination for Best Original Song (Despicable Me 2's original soundtrack). Despicable Me 2 was also nominated for Best Animated Film.

U.S. ALBUM SALES VOLUME DIPS TO NEW LOW.
U.S. album sales have again fallen to a new weekly low. In the week ending Jan. 12, 4.25 million albums were sold according to Nielsen SoundScan, which began tracking music sales in 1991. The previous SoundScan-era low was set in the week ending Oct. 27, 2013, when just 4.49 million albums were sold.

To compare, the SoundScan-era high for album sales in a single week came in late December of 2010, during the height of CD sales, when 45.4 million albums were sold in the week ending Dec. 24. (To put that figure in perspective, in all of 2013, there were 289.41 million albums sold. But in 2000, there were 785.14 million albums sold.)

It's normal to see soft sales figures in January every year -- as the market adjusts back to normal after the Christmas shopping season, and because there are few new major albums to drive sales. This week's top selling album, for example, is the "Frozen" soundtrack, with 86,000 sold.

While it's now common for album sales to fall below 5 million units in a week, this wasn't always the case.

Weekly volume didn't fall below 5 million in the SoundScan era until 2010, when, in the week ending May 30, album sales dropped to 4.98 million.

In 2010, there were a total of four weeks with under 5 million in sales. In 2011, that number shrunk to just two weeks, but then stepped back up to three weeks in 2012. In 2013, things got really crazy, when there were 18 weeks where album sales dropped below 5 million. With this week's sum about 250,000 units away from scraping 4 million, it would seem another low threshold is about to be reached. Source: Billboard

OUTKAST, J. COLE, EARL SWEATSHIRT & MORE ON DECK FOR GOVERNORS BALL.
Founders Entertainment is thrilled to announce the lineup for the 2014 Governors Ball Music Festival, unveiled early this morning with a full page ad in the New York Times. Held Friday, June 6th through Sunday, June 8th in Randall's Island Park, the 4th annual edition of New York City's premier music event will showcase a wide spectrum of Dance, Indie Rock, Hip Hop, Americana, Electronica and Pop all weekend long.

The coming 2014 festival will build upon the size and scope of last year's programming, and Founders Entertainment are also expanding the festival site: allowing attendees to spread out and enjoy new and improved performance spaces, unique art installations, revamped high-end food and drink areas, and an improved location to savor offerings from some of New York City's best food trucks. And of course as in years past, the festival will include a wide array of Governors Ball's popular summer-time activities and lawn games among other attractions.

This year's lineup also pays special homage to the great city Governors Ball calls home. "New York City is the greatest city in the world, and we're blessed to call it our home," says Founders Entertainment partner Jordan Wolowitz. "We're thrilled to showcase some of NYC's greatest homegrown talent at Gov Ball this year. From The Strokes, and Vampire Weekend, to Sleigh Bells, Ratking, and Lucius, we have some of our generation's greatest NYC bands on board to slay the masses. It's gonna be a great weekend."

FULL 2014 LINE-UP

OutKast
Jack White
Vampire Weekend
The Strokes
Phoenix
Skrillex
Interpol
Axwell & Ingrosso
Foster the People
TV on the Radio
Julian Casablancas
Disclosure
J. Cole
Spoon
Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley
Broken Bells
Damon Albarn
James Blake
Neko Case
Empire of the Sun
The Kills
Sleigh Bells
Childish Gambino
The Head & the Heart
Grimes
The Naked & Famous
The 1975
Janelle Monae
Fitz & the Tantrums
Jenny Lewis
Tyler, the Creator
La Roux
Washed Out
The Glitch Mob
The Bloody Beetroots
Earl Sweatshirt
Kurt Vile
Bastille
Frank Turner
Chance the Rapper
Lucius
WIld Belle
AlunaGeorge
Jason Isbell
Tanlines
Bleachers
RJD2
Deafheaven
Run the Jewels
SKATERS
Half Moon Run
Banks
Classixx
Ratking
Papa
Drowners
Diarrhea Planet
Little Comets
Hunter Hunted
Haerts
Tourist
The Internet
Meg Myers
Cayucas
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Cris Cab
Ben Cameron
The Chain Gang of 1974

KANYE SUES IN NY OVER 'COINYA WEST' BITCOINS.
Kanye West has filed a New York lawsuit to stop production of "Coinye West" bitcoins that he says unjustly cash in on his fame. The rapper's lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court. It seeks to stop companies and individuals that have not yet been identified from exchanging the digital currency. It also seeks unspecified damages for hurting West's reputation.

The lawsuit says the creators of the digital coins "brazenly admit" that they used West's name and likeness to associate their new currency with West because he is a trendsetter.

The lawsuit says entrepreneurs boasted that the currency can't be stopped whether it "looks like a dollar, a dog or a cartoon picture of a rapper." The virtual currency's creators are using a cartoon image of a coin featuring the rapper in large sunglasses.

BET ON DECK WITH 2014 SPECIALS.
BET Networks is pleased to announce the return of its music mega-specials for 2014. As always, viewers at home can expect never before seen musical performances, extraordinary surprises, today's biggest celebrities and an array of fresh talent throughout each broadcast.

"We love producing shows that recognize the accomplishments and actions of our people," stated Stephen G. Hill, BET's President of Music Programming and Specials. "Our specials are designed to be sources of pride and excitement for the BET Audience. We are humbled that they continue to be well received. You keep watching them, we'll keep making them."

RETURNING MEGA-SPECIALS ON BET:
"BET HONORS" -- shows the world 'what extraordinary looks like' by saluting luminaries whose lives and revolutionary work contribute to and elevate our culture. Airing during Black History Month, "BET HONORS" is a shimmering night of dynamic performances and tributes that cross genres and generations. In 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama presented Dr. Maya Angelou with her honor. In 2013, Phylicia Rashad conferred the honor upon Halle Berry and Ledisi sang "Everlasting Love" for Chaka Khan. Now that's extraordinary viewing for the entire family.

TAPE DATE: 2/8/2014 PREMIERE: 2/24/2014 LOCATION: Warner Theater, Washington, D.C.

"CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL" -- The biggest night that celebrates gospel music, America's truly original and internationally loved art form only happens on BET. The 14th annual "CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL" is a star-studded gathering of some of the best voices in Gospel and R&B. Impossible to duplicate, this is the only performance show that literally moves your spirit.

TAPE DATE: 3/15/14 PREMIERE: 4/6/2014 LOCATION: Orpheum Theater, Los Angeles, CA

"BET AWARDS" & BET EXPERIENCE -- "BET AWARDS" franchise is the #1 Program in Cable Television History among the Black audience, and is still a top 10 awards show on television (Broadcast & Cable) among total viewers. It continues to hold the leadership position because it gathers the biggest stars in music, sports, Hollywood, and philanthropy all on one stage for one incredible night. The "BET AWARDS" delivers electrifying performances, moving tributes and the most unforgettable moments on TV.

PREMIERE: 6/29/2014 LOCATION: Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

"BET HIP HOP AWARDS" -- The "BET HIP HOP AWARDS" returns for its ninth year to highlight hip hop music, with bold performances and breakthrough freestyle cyphers that set social media on fire. This is the one show where the hottest rap stars of today share the stage with the hip-hop icons of tomorrow.

TAPE DATE: 9/20/2014 PREMIERE: 4Q/14 LOCATION: Atlantic Civic Center, Atlanta, GA

"BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™" -- "BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™" is the tribute show that has become a movement. This NAACP Image Award-nominated special is both timely and timeless, saluting dynamic leaders in entertainment, business, philanthropy and beyond. Past award honorees include Ruby Dee, Susan L. Taylor, Missy Elliott, Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, Queen Latifah, and Venus Williams. Featuring emerging and legendary talent, touching tributes to present-day role models and soulful, surprising musical performances, "BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™" celebrates the brilliance and beauty of women of color who shape our world and uplift our girls.

TAPE DATE: 10/18/2014 PREMIERE: 4Q/14 LOCATION: NJPAC, Newark, NJ

"SOUL TRAIN AWARDS" -- The hippest trip in America keeps grooving forward. The iconic brand that defined a generation returns for 2014 with its signature awards show. Featuring never before-seen musical collaborations and powerful tributes from world-class performers, the "SOUL TRAIN AWARDS" brings you the most revered and promising voices in soul and R&B. And since airing on both our networks is always better, the "Soul Train Awards" is simulcast on Centric and BET.

PREMIERE: 4Q/14 LOCATION: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

MAC MILLER LEAVES ROSTRUM LABEL / ENDS DEAL.
In just four years Mac Miller has grown from mixtape whiz kid to full-fledged rap star, all while signed to independent label Rostrum Records. They had a successful run, but MTV News has learned that the "Donald Trump" MC and Rostrum have officially parted ways after the contract they originally signed has expired.

"Rostrum is my family. That is forever," Miller said in an exclusive joint statement issued to MTV. "No matter what, we will always work together. We moved mountains and I can only see them continuing that tradition. I am grateful for everything I learned and am always here for whatever."

"Mac is an incredible artist and has a bright career ahead of him," Rostrum Records Founder and President Benjy Grinberg said. "We are proud of the historic run that we had together and we will continue to support him in any way that is needed. We wish him nothing but the best in the future."

Miller first signed to the label and management company in 2010 when he released his breakout mixtape K.I.D.S. (Kickin' Incredibly Dope Sh--). Together, Mac and Rostrum went on to establish the rapper as a digital force and a spirited performer. Mac added even more star power to a label that also counts Wiz Khalifa, Leon Thomas and Vali on its roster.

When Mac released his debut album Blue Slide Park a year later, they made major headlines by becoming the first independent debut to top the Billboard 200 since Tha Dogg Pound accomplished the feat in 1995 — and even then Tha Dogg Pound had the major backing of Suge Knight and Death Row Records. Mac's sophomore LP Watching Movies With the Sound Offwas released this past June, peaking at #3. (Kanye West's Yeezus and J. Cole's Born Sinner debuted on the same day as Watching Movies.) In total, Mac has sold 5.4 million singles and more than 750,000 albums with Rostrum and found even more success with his MTV show, "Mac Miller & The Most Dope Family. Source: Billboard

MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS, JOHN LEGEND & MORE ADDED TO PERFORM @ GRAMMYS.
The latest performers for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards® telecast were announced today and they include: current Grammy® nominees John Legend, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban, as well as nominee Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr — who as members of the Beatles will receive the 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Other special performances include nominee Sara Bareilles together with four-time GRAMMY winner and 2014 MusiCares® Person of the Year Carole King.

Two-time Grammy winner LL COOL J returns as host of Music's Biggest Night®. The music industry's premier event will take place live on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have seven nominations: Album Of The Year and Best Rap Album for The Heist; Song Of The Year for "Same Love" (along with Mary Lambert); Best Rap Performance (along with Wanz) and Best Rap Song for "Thrift Shop"; Best Music Video for "Can't Hold Us" (along with Ray Dalton, Jon Jon Augustavo, Tricia Davis, Honna Kimmerer, Jenny Koenig, and Jason Koenig); and Best New Artist.

Previously announced performers include current nominees Daft Punk with nominee Nile Rodgers (of Chic), nominee Pharrell Williams, and 25-time Grammy winner Stevie Wonder; nominee Kendrick Lamar joined by nominees Imagine Dragons; nominee Lorde; eight-time Grammy-winning group Metallica and Grammy Cultural Ambassador to China Lang Lang performing together; nominee Katy Perry; nominees P!nk and Nate Ruess (of FUN.); nominee Robin Thicke and Grammy-winning group Chicago, whose debut album was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame® this year; and a special performance featuring Merle Haggard, 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and nominee Blake Shelton. Also performing with Daft Punk are the RAM (Random Access Memories) session players: Chris Caswell, Nathan East, Omar Hakim, and Paul Jackson Jr.

WARNER BROS. RECORDS APPOINTS EVP, CREATIVE OPERATIONS.
Warner Bros. Records has appointed Peter Thea as EVP, Creative Operations. Based at the company's Burbank headquarters, Thea will report to WBR Chairman & CEO Cameron Strang. In his new position, Thea will work closely with newly appointed WBR President Dan McCarroll on A&R strategy and the development of creative initiatives. Thea previously served as EVP of Universal Republic & Island Def Jam from 2011 to 2013, prior to which he spent 12 years on the senior management team at Jive Records.

"Peter comes to us with more than three decades of wide-ranging experience," commented Strang. "From his early days as a recording engineer to his accomplishments as an attorney and most recently as an A&R executive, he boasts an expansive blend of talents – from making records to making deals – as well as great relationships throughout both the artistic and business communities. With Peter on board, along with new WBR President Dan McCarroll, we have expanded our already fantastic, highly dedicated team. The coming year at WBR promises to be very exciting, both for breaking new artists and taking established names to new heights."

"I am thrilled to be joining Cameron, Dan, and the entire WBR team," stated Thea. "It's very exciting to be at a label I have admired for so many years for its passionate devotion to artists and their music. It's a dynamic time in the company's great history, and I look forward to being a part of the next chapter and working with everyone to develop long-term musical careers for WBR's present and future roster of exceptional talent."

OUTKAST ANNOUNCES MORE THAN 40 FESTIVAL DATES.
OutKast's 20th anniversary comeback is being extended to more than 40 festival dates in 2014. The Grammy Award-winning rap duo announced across its newly launched social media platforms Monday morning that it will play the dates, but not where. Andre "Andre 3000" Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton announced last week they were coming off hiatus and performing together for the first time in 10 years at the Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival in April.

Benjamin and Patton never formally broke up but stopped working together after the release of the 2006 soundtrack "Idlewild" at the height of their popularity. Patton has released a couple of solo albums in the interim, and Benjamin has been acting and making occasional musical guest appearances.

"It's truly an honor to celebrate 20 years and still be free to do music the way we choose," Big Boi said, via statement. "Don't just think outside the box, know that there is no box. I'm looking forward to rocking the stage with my Bro Ski and to all the fans - stank you smelly much, this is for y'all!"

"And imagine, all we wanted to do was rap! I am thankful to have been a part of a group that allowed me to explore anything that came to mind and have fun doing it. Returning to the stage together is the most exciting way for us to thank everyone for their 20 years of supporting Outkast," André 3000 added.

BEATS MUSIC ON DECK.
Beats Music has announced the new music streaming subscription service officially launches in the US on January 21, 2014. Developed and led by a team of executives that have spent their entire careers in service of music, fans, and artists– Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre, Luke Wood, Trent Reznor, and Ian Rogers- Beats Music brings fans and music lovers an unparalleled personalized and curated listening experience that answers two important questions: “What should I listen to?” and “what song comes next?”

"Popular music is created in bite size pieces, one song at a time – but most people need more than four minutes to be truly satisfied," said Jimmy Iovine. "It takes a highly curated, uninterrupted sequence of songs to achieve a fulfilling music experience, where the only song as important as the song you are listening to is the song that comes next.”

At launch, all music fans are invited to a free trial of Beats Music, after which a $9.99/month subscription fee will apply. The service will be available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone as well as via the web beginning January 21st. Fans can stream their music or download to listen offline.

"Beats was created so people could hear the music the way the artists intended, but speakers were just the first step," said Luke Wood, President of Beats Electronics. "Beats Music is the final piece in making that vision a reality."

Beats Music features a vast catalog of more than 20 million fully licensed songs from all the major labels, including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, as well as all independent labels– managed and maintained by a team of music experts with hundreds of years of curatorial expertise. Led by radio programming vet Julie Pilat, the Beats Music genre lead curation team includes:

• Former Pitchfork Media editor-in-chief Scott Plagenhoef

• Former digital content director at XXL Carl Chery

• Veteran Detroit radio music director Suzy Cole

• Recording Academy music blogger Arjan Writes

• Former Rhino Records A&R Director Mason Williams

• Los Angeles hip-hop radio personality Fuzzy Fantabulous

• Country music writer Ken Tucker

• Former Programmer of L.A.’s hugely successful Latino 96.3, Jerry Pullés

“Beats Music combines the emotion only a human created playlist can give you with the best personalization technology can deliver, ” said Ian Rogers, Beats Music CEO. “With this you get not just the music experience only a talented DJ or music expert can deliver, but also the right one for you right now."

Beats Music is committed to the principle that music has real value and will be acting accordingly by paying the same royalty rate to all content owners major and indie alike, while simultaneously providing a platform for fan interaction.

"Beats Music is based on the belief that all music has value and this concept was instilled in every step of its development. We want it to be just as meaningful for artists as it is for fans,” said Trent Reznor, who serves as Beats Music Chief Creative Officer. “We’re committed to providing revenue to artists, while helping to strengthen the connection with their fans.”

Q-TIP TEAMS WITH LEONARDO DICAPRIO & JONAH HILL FOR HIP HOP DRAMA SERIES.
Legendary hip-hop innovator and Grammy award winner Q-Tip is teaming up with current Wolf Of Wall Street co-stars, multi-Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-nominee Jonah Hill, through DiCaprio¹s production company Appian Way, to develop and create a new scripted TV series that is loosely based on Q-Tip¹s experience during the Native Tongue era. Hill is eyeing to direct the pilot.

The dramatic series will be loosely based on the community and the collective that was A Tribe Called Quest, whom Q-Tip was a founding member, and their experience and friendship during the Native Tongue era in the late 80s and early 1990s with other hip-hop artists. The show will reflect on the stories of how their music played a part in culture then and influenced the music of today.

J. COLE, JANELLE MONAE, TLC & MORE ON DECK FOR SUPERBOWL BLITZ.
VH1 has announced the starting lineup that will headline VH1's "Super Bowl Blitz: Six Nights + Six Concerts," which includes J. Cole in Queens, Janelle Monae playing the Bronx, Fall Out Boy in Brooklyn, TLC in Manhattan, Goo Goo Dolls in Staten Island, and Gavin DeGraw in New Jersey.

Hosted by Nick Cannon and Stacy Keibler, all six concerts will be LIVE and take place throughout the New York City/New Jersey metropolitan area as part of the VH1 Super Bowl Blitz working with the NFL. The live concerts premiere Monday, January 27th and air live each night through Saturday, February 1st at 11 PM ET/PT.

"We've enjoyed a longtime, successful collaboration with the NFL, putting on the biggest pregame live concert leading up to the Super Bowl," said Tom Calderone, President, VH1. "In 2014, we're proud to amplify those efforts with the league across six nights when we team up with these incredibly talented artists for the "Super Bowl Blitz," which will be the ultimate six-concert tailgate party for music and sports lovers.

The VH1 Super Bowl Blitz is the ultimate music fan's pregame party featuring today's hottest artists making stops at six different venues, six nights in a row. Rain or shine, snow or hail, the show will go on. VH1 Super Bowl Blitz (#VH1Blitz) headliners and locations include:

J. Cole: Queens: Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College – Monday, January 27
Janelle Monae : Bronx: Lehman College – Tuesday, January 28

FORBES 30 UNDER 30 LIST INCLUDES KENDRICK, J. COLE, & DRAKE.
Kendrick Lamar, Drake & J. Cole made Forbes' "30 Under 30" list. Forbes' "30 Under 30," listed the following:

J. Cole, (age 28), named as being a Hip Hop force. - "Jay Z's first signing at Roc Nation is now a Hip Hop force in his own right," Forbes says. "Sophomore album Born Sinner debuted at #2 on the charts with sales of 297,000, nearly matching Kanye West's Yeezus. Now grossing six figures per night on his world tour, Cole is here to stay."

Drake, (age 27) also mentioned. "The former Degrassi star has pulled in over $30 million in the past two years, boosted by live shows and endorsements with the likes of Sprite and Kodak," Forbes says. "Look for him to build on that with his latest arena tour in support of new album Nothing Was The Same."

Kendrick Lamar, (age 26), also on the list. "Dr. Dre’s latest protégé earned $9 million last year after releasing smash hit good kid, m.A.A.d city and playing over 100 live shows," Forbes says. "Better yet: he earned seven Grammy nominations, more than any other artist besides Jay Z."

OUTKAST TO REUNITE AND HEADLINE COACHELLA.
After months of rumors, the organizers of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival have confirmed that Andre 3000 and Big Boi will indeed reunite Outkast.

The Rap duo will headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April, ending a half-decade hiatus for one of hip-hop's most popular and important acts.

OutKast joins Arcade Fire and Muse as headliners for the festival that plays over two weekends in Indio, Calif. Other acts scheduled include Pharrell Williams, Beck, Queens of the Stone Age and Lorde. The reunited The Replacements also will appear.

Andre "Andre 3000" Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton came out of Atlanta with a unique sound two decades ago and became one of rap's top-selling and most-lauded acts, winning the Grammy Award for album of the year for double album "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below." They have not released an album as OutKast since 2006's "Idlewild," a soundtrack.

WIZ KHALIFA'S UNCLE KILLED IN SHOOTING.

Police are looking for at least two suspects after a shooting in the parking lot of the Steak ‘n Shake at The Waterfront.
The gunfire erupted around 8 p.m.
Authorities say 20-year-old Imani Porter was shot in head while sitting in a car in the parking lot.

He was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital, where he later died. Porter although younger, was the uncle of rapper Wiz Khalifa and had attended Taylor Allderdice High School. Khalifa expressed his shock over Porter’s death on Twitter, saying:

“My uncle was younger and more level headed than all of us. I would have never seen this happening in a million years”

He also later tweeted:
“God has a plan #RestWithGodImani”

According to detectives, two African American men took off on foot and were then picked up down the road along Waterfront Drive by an older, white Pontiac Bonneville. Detectives say they found heroin in the car the victim was shot in, as well as in the parking lot.

“One of the things we look for is motive, and the drugs being present lends itself to some type of illegal activity prior to the shooting,” said Lt. Andrew Schurman, of Allegheny County Police. There’s no word on how many customers were in restaurant. Some of Porter’s friends and family were at the police station early Thursday morning talking to police. Source: Pittsburgh News

THE DREAM LEAVES DEF JAM.
The-Dream has announced that he is leaving his Def Jam Records post. This marks the end of a six year relationship between the house that Russell and Rick built and the Grammy winning singer-songwriter.

He made the announcement on Instagram, posting a photo of the Def Jam logo along with the following message: “I will miss this logo. It all started here! Love Everything that I achieved there, EXODUS THE-DREAM #exodusthedream.”

He didn’t explain the reason behind the departure, but wrote:

“Let the New Tides bring The Things not yet seen!” said Dream. “There’s more where those came from!

EARL SWEATSHIRT ANNOUNCES WEARLD TOUR.
Throughout January, February, and March, Earl Sweatshirt has announced a Wearld Tour which will include shows in many cities that he's never performed in before and will reach New Zealand, Australia, North America, and Europe.

Tour Dates:
01/12 Ft. Collins, CO - Aggie Theatre
01/13 Denver, CO - Cervantes
01/27 Auckland, New Zealand - Laneway Festival
01/28 Wellington, New Zealand - James Caberet
01/31 Brisbane, Australia - Laneway Festival
02/01 Melbourne, Australia - Laneway Festival
02/02 Sydney, Australia - Laneway Festival
02/04 Sydney, Australia - Enmore Theatre
02/06 Melbourne, Australia - Palace Theatre
02/07 Adelaide, Australia - Laneway Festival
02/08 Perth, Australia - Laneway Festival
02/17 Washington DC - 9:30 Club
02/18 Norfolk, VA - The Norva
02/19 Boston, MA - House Of Vans
02/20 New York, NY - Webster Hall
02/21 Providence, RI - The Met
02/22 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall Of Williamsburg
03/05 Aarhus, Denmark - Fonden Voxhall
03/06 Helsinki, Finland - Nosturi
03/08 Oslo, Norway - Parkteatret
03/09 Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser Strand
03/10 Copenhagen, Denmark - Pumphuset
03/14 Schuttorf, Germany - Index
03/15 Cologne, Germany - Luxor
03/16 Munich, Germany - Strom
03/18 Zurich, Switzerland - Komplex Klub
03/19 Paris, France - Trabendo
03/20 Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
03/21 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
03/23 London, UK - Brixton Electric
03/24 Glasgow, UK - Garage
03/25 Manchester, UK - Academy2
03/26 Dublin, Ireland - Academy

DJ DRAMA SIGNS ON AS A&R @ ATLANTIC RECORDS.
Atlantic Records has announced that DJ Drama has joined the company's A&R staff. In addition to his day-to-day A&R duties, including the discovery of new artists and overseeing recording projects, he will contribute to the artist development process for existing talent on the Atlantic roster. Based in Atlanta, Drama was named "DJ Of The Year" at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards.

"I'm extremely excited to embark on this new chapter in my relationship with Atlantic Records," said Drama. "My first two albums as an artist were on Atlantic, and I'm now looking forward to working with Craig and Julie in a new capacity, helping them break the label's next crop of amazing talent."

"I'm thrilled to welcome Drama to his new role at Atlantic," said Atlantic Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. "One of the most accomplished DJs and mixtape masters, he brings brilliant instincts and consummate skills to our A&R team. A hugely influential force in the hip-hop community, I know he'll be a tremendous asset in signing and developing artists and making amazing records. It's great to be renewing our relationship, and I'm looking forward to making music together again."

In addition to his new partnership with Atlantic, Drama's newly founded Means Street Studios in Atlanta will become the studio base for Atlantic artists while in the market.

Born in Philadelphia, DJ Drama -- whose real name is Tyree Simmons -- was inspired by his first mixtape purchase while visiting Harlem as a kid and by Omar Epps' DJ character "Q" in the classic 1992 hip-hop film Juice. Captivated by DJ culture, he had found his calling. Drama first came to prominence as the official DJ for rapper T.I., and went on to bring the mixtape format to the forefront of hip-hop, raising the bar with his critically acclaimed Gangsta Grillz series. He has collaborated with a who's-who of hip-hop, including T.I., Lil Wayne, OutKast, Pharrell, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Akon, Jim Jones, Wiz Khalifa, Wale, Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, and many more.

Drama began his solo recording career in 2007 with the Grand Hustle/Atlantic release of Gangsta Grillz: The Album, followed Gangsta Grillz: The Album Vol. 2 (2009), Third Power (2011), and Quality Street Music (2012). He is currently working on his fifth album, Quality Street Music 2. Drama also made a cameo appearance in the acclaimed film ATL.

DIDDY AND DIAGEO FORM NEW JOINT VENTURE.
Premium drinks company Diageo has formed a new joint venture with rap star Sean "Diddy" Combs and has bought the prestige tequila brand DeLeon.

The 50/50 partnership between Diageo and Combs Wine & Spirits allows the brand to take advantage of Diageo's distribution network, together with Combs' star power in marketing luxury brands. DeLeon has variants of tequila, which have suggested retail prices ranging from $120 to over $1,000.

In a statement Wednesday, Combs says DeLeon appeals to "those who love exceptional tequila in a distinctive bottle."

Diageo also has a separate "strategic alliance" with Combs Enterprises to develop and grow the ultra-premium vodka brand, Ciroc. The alliance began in 2007, and has grown from 50,000 cases a year to nearly 2 million cases.

50 CENT DEBUTS NEW SMS AUDIO HEADPHONES @ CES 2014.
At CES 2014, SMS Audio, LLC, audio headphone and accessories brand from Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, debuts the SMS Audio Sport collection – which includes the SYNC by 50™ In-Ear Wireless Sport, STREET by 50™ On-Ear Wired Sport, and STREET by 50™ In-Ear Wired Sport headphones. Each pair of headphones in the line blends high-quality audio with the best in active-performance features. 50 Cent will be debuting the new Sport headphones for the first time, along with a showcase of existing SMS Audio products, at booth #21313 in South Hall 1.

“I’m a health and fitness fanatic, so a quality pair of headphones is an absolute must-have when I’m working out. I used my own ‘wish list’ of features as a benchmark when creating the Sport collection, and I’m extremely pleased with the final result – in addition to having our partner, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, as the signature name on the product,” said 50 Cent, CEO of SMS Audio. “SMS Audio is continually innovating the product line and we’re excited to show off the much-anticipated in-ear, wireless headphone as part of this collection at CES.”

The SYNC by 50 and STREET by 50 Sport headphones will be available for purchase at SMSAudio.com in Q2 2014. Through its partnership with Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, each U.S. sale of SMS Audio products, in-store or online.

50 Cent will be signing autographs on Tuesday (January 7) and Wednesday (January 8) from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the SMS Audio booth.

YOUNG JEEZY ARRESTED FOR BATTERY, FALSE IMPRISONMENT, & TERRORISTIC THREATS.
TMZ is reporting that Young Jeezy was arrested in Atlanta for battery, false imprisonment, and making terroristic threats against his own son. According to the charging documents obtained by TMZ Jeezy got into a fight with his son in a bathroom and he threw his son into the glass shower door, causing the son to hit his head. Then Jeezy allegedly punched him in the face, dragged him into the bedroom, threw him on the bed and pummeled him. According to the incident report, Jeezy's son attempted to escape but the rapper's bodyguard blocked the stairwell.

The docs go on claiming Jeezy subsequently choked his son and said, "I will kill you." According to police docs, Jeezy's son claims his dad said, "I will put a bullet in your head right now," adding, "If I could get away with it, I would kill you." The incident allegedly occurred in Sept., 2012.

Jeezy turned himself in to authorities Friday after a grand jury warrant for each charge was issued. He bonded out soon after for $45,000.

Jeezy's attorney tells TMZ, "We have no doubt this matter will resolve itself appropriately. At this moment, Mr. Jenkins is thankful for the support of his fans and the respect for his family's privacy."

KE$HA HAS CHECKED INTO REHAB.
The "Tik Tok" singer said in a statement provided by her spokesman Friday that she'll be unavailable for the next 30 days while she seeks treatment for an undisclosed eating disorder.

"I'm a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself, but I've found it hard to practice," she said.

The 26-year-old vegetarian pop star said she wants to "learn to love myself again, exactly as I am." No other details were provided.

Ke$ha, whose real name is Kesha Rose Sebert, is the performer of such tunes as "Crazy Love," ''Die Young" and "Timber" with Pitbull. She starred in the MTV reality series "My Crazy Beautiful Life."

JENNIFER HUDSON TO RECEIVE 2ND ANNUAL PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD FOR FAVORITE HUMANITARIAN.
The People’s Choice Awards announced today that platinum-selling Grammy Award-winning artist and Academy Award-winner, Jennifer Hudson will receive the second annual People’s Choice Award for Favorite Humanitarian, presented by Walgreens, during the telecast of PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2014, live from the Nokia Theater L.A. Live on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Ms. Hudson was chosen as this year’s recipient in recognition of her work with the Julian D. King Gift Foundation, an organization she formed in 2009 with her sister, Julia Hudson in honor of their nephew, Julian King. The foundation works to provide stability and positive experiences for children of all backgrounds so that they may grow to become productive, confident and happy adults, able to be positive influences on their communities.

“Thank you for honoring me with the Favorite Humanitarian Award. My sister Julia and I were raised with the belief that helping others was always very important. I am so grateful that the People’s Choice Awards and Walgreens have come together in the same spirit. This spotlight will provide us with the opportunity to share all the amazing work being done by the Julian D. King Gift Foundation for children in the city of Chicago and around the United States,” stated Hudson.

KANYE WEST ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL ‘YEEZUS TOUR’ DATES
Kanye West's sold-out Yeezus Tour – continues in 2014 with a two week run of the Northeast. The limited run, presented by Live Nation, will launch on February 13 at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, PA and conclude on February 23 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. This run of shows will be the last chance for North American fans to see the Yeezus Tour's creative concept.

Yeezus Tour Dates
Feb. 13 – University Park, PA – Bryce Jordan Center
Feb. 14 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Arena
Feb. 15 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
Feb. 17 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Feb. 18 – Hamilton, ON – Copps Coliseum
Feb. 19 – Albany, NY – Times Union Center
Feb. 21 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
Feb. 22 – Atlantic City, NJ – Boardwalk Hall
Feb. 23 – Uniondale, NY – Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

ICE CUBE ANNOUNCES ALBUM RELEASE DATE.
Ice Cube has announced a release date for his 10th album Everythang’s Corrupt. The follow-up to 2010's I Am the West will arrive on May 13, he revealed on Twitter.

“EVERYTHANGS CORRUPT street date: May 13, 2014,” tweeted Cube.

“It’s not a heavily political record, but it does have statement songs and rhymes,” Cube told The Huffington Post about the album. “I got a song called ‘Dominate the Weak,’ which is just showing you how a police state would look and feel. But hip-hop is in a different space right now when it comes to that. You don’t want to overdo it when it comes to the political stuff.”

NY JUDGE DENIES 50'S BID TO THROW OUT VIDEO LAWSUIT.
50 Cent has lost a bid to end a Florida woman's lawsuit over a sex video posted online with him edited into it as a wig-wearing narrator. A New York judge rebuffed the rapper's request to dismiss Lastonia Leviston's claim in a ruling made public Thursday. Lawyers for both sides haven't returned calls seeking comment.

The lawsuit concerns a videotape Leviston made with a boyfriend in 2008. The judge's decision says the boyfriend later provided the tape to 50 Cent without Leviston's permission.

The rapper used the footage to make a video featuring himself as a character named Pimpin' Curly.

He says he wasn't responsible for the video's 2009 release. But he says it was legally fair to use the images. The woman's lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

EVE GETS ENGAGED TO BRITISH FASHION DESIGNER.
Rapper/actress Eve is engaged to 41-year-old British designer Maximillion Cooper. A spokeswoman for Eve says Cooper, who founded the international motor rally Gumball 3000, popped the question on Christmas Day.

Eve wore a large sparkler on her wedding finger in a photo posted on her Instagram page on Monday. The 35-year-old entertainer told fans via Twitter on Tuesday (New Year's Eve) that she wanted to celebrate with her family and friends before announcing her engagement. "Thanku 2 everybody 4 your congratulations on our engagement! We wanted to celebrate with our family and friends 1st b4 announcing"

The couple, who met at Gumball 3000 and have been dating for over three years, live together in London where Eve recorded her fourth album, "Lip Lock," released in May.

This will be Eve's first marriage and the second for Cooper, who has four children from his previous relationship.

BEYONCE STILL ON TOP - 3RD WEEK IN A ROW.
Beyoncé's self-titled album racks up a third week at #1 on the Billboard 200—the longest run at #1 for any album since last April.

"Beyoncé" sold another 310,000 copies during the week ending Dec. 29, according to Nielsen SoundScan, down 17% compared with the previous week. The album has now sold 1.3 million in its first 17 days of release in the United States.

"Beyoncé" is the first album to spend three weeks at #1 since Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" logged three straight frames atop the list (April 6-April 20, 2013). "Beyoncé" is the first album by a woman to notch three weeks at #1 since Taylor Swift's "Red" claimed seven weeks at the top (nonconsecutively) in late 2012 and early 2013.

"Beyoncé" is also the first album since 2009 to sell more than 300,000 copies in each of its first three weeks. ("Beyoncé" debuted with 617,000, then sold 374,000 a week ago.)

Finally, with 1.3 million sold in three chart weeks, "Beyoncé" is the fastest-selling album by a woman since Swift's "Red" plowed through 1.6 million in its first two weeks. It debuted with 1.2 million on the chart dated Nov. 10, 2012, and then sold another 344,000 in its second week. Source: Billboard

FLAVOR FLAV ANNOUNCES HIS MOTHER'S PASSING.
On New Years Eve (December 31st), Flavor Flav’s mother, Anna Drayton passed away. The cause of her death has not yet been provided. Flav announced his mother’s passing on Twitter:

Hey everybody I just lost my mother Anna Drayton thismorning newyears eve she passed away and I'm gonna miss her. She lived good a good life .... Thank you to everyone that's sending me blessings about my Momz ,,, I appreaceate you all of you so much from me and my family- FLAVOR FLAV

'FREEWAY' RICKY ROSS VS. RICK ROSS - FINAL DECISION.
An appeals court rules that Rick Ross partly based his likeness on a famous drug-dealer, but that he isn't an imposter. With a First Amendment bullet, hip hop artist Rick Ross has shot down a lawsuit from a former drug kingpin who ruled Los Angeles streets during the 1980s.

That drug kingpin was "Freeway" Ricky Ross, who once sold as much as $3 million worth of cocaine a day, had ties with the Nicaraguan Contras and became the object of scorn for many prominent politicians during the "Iran-Contra" political scandal. He served 13 years in prison, and before he was released in 2009, came across a magazine article about "up and coming" rappers including William Roberts II, whose stage name was Rick Ross.

Now released, and by many accounts a model citizen these days, "Freeway" Ross has been pursuing Ross in court for appropriating his name and likeness. Other defendants in a $10 million lawsuit included Warner Bros. Records, Universal Music and Jay Z as those who allegedly helped the hip hop star hit it big with a stolen identity.

At the trial court, though, "Freeway" Ross struggled with a technical issue.

The plaintiff had known about the rapper since at least 2006, but didn't file his lawsuit until 2010. As such, his claims were deemed by a judge to be untimely.

On appeal, "Freeway" Ross challenged whether the rapper's work with a new label should be considered as part of the same "single publication" as his earlier work or whether it should be considered a "republication" that entitled him to more time to bring claims. As Ross himself put it to The Hollywood Reporter, "This is classic republication as to all defendants, there was consistently new music, management decisions and product made. The statute of limitations was never meant to be used to hide defendants actively infringing with new decisions and campaigns."

Last week, a California appeals court issued its ruling and decided to open things up beyond "Freeway" Ross' challenge. Judge Roger Boren says he is "not convinced" that the trial court was correct in its rulings, but nevertheless affirms the dismissal on First Amendment grounds.

In the dispute, there was some evidence to suggest that Rick Ross had Ricky Ross in mind when creating his persona. For example, the defendant said that the plaintiff's life story "grabbed him." (On the other hand, the rapper said his performing name was based on his high school football nickname of "big boss.")

The judge decides to view Rick Ross v. William Leonard Roberts through the frame of other cases that have balanced a celebrity's right to control commercial exploitation of his or her likeness against another individual's right to free expression. In one famous case involving an artist who sold lithographs and T-shirts bearing the faces of the Three Stooges, the test became whether the use of celebrity likeness is one of the “raw materials” from which an original work is synthesized, or whether the depiction or imitation of the celebrity is the very sum and substance of the work in question. Here, the judge applies the test beyond visual expression.

"We recognize that Roberts' work -- his music and persona as a rap musician -- relies to some extent on plaintiff's name and persona," writes Judge Boren. "Roberts chose to use the name 'Rick Ross.' He raps about trafficking in cocaine and brags about his wealth. These were 'raw materials' from which Roberts' music career was synthesized. But these are not the 'very sum and substance' of Roberts' work."

Ultimately, Judge Boren finds that the hip hop star's persona is entitled to protection as expressive speech because it's transformative.

"Roberts created a celebrity identity, using the name Rick Ross, of a cocaine kingpin turned rapper," says the ruling. "He was not simply an imposter seeking to profit solely off the name and reputation of Rick Ross. Rather, he made music out of fictional tales of dealing drugs and other exploits -- some of which related to plaintiff. Using the name and certain details of an infamous criminal's life s basic elements, he created original artistic works." Source: Hollywood Reporter

RAPPER DOE B. AMONG 2 KILLED IN ALABAMA SHOOTING.
Police in Alabama are investigating the killings of rapper Doe B. and another person in a shooting Saturday that also wounded six others inside a bar and grill. Police say the gunfire happened around 1 a.m. about a half-mile north of Alabama State University.

Police identified those killed as 21-year-old Kimberle Johnson and 22-year-old Glenn Thomas, both of Montgomery. They said Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. Thomas — an up-and-coming rapper known as Doe B. — was taken to Baptist Medical Center South, where he was later pronounced dead.

DJ Frank White of Montgomery, who managed Doe B.'s career, said the shooting took place at Centennial Hill Bar & Grill in Montgomery and that Doe B. wasn't performing at the time.

White said the rapper had two young children and a third on the way.

Police said in a statement that officers found six other victims with gunshot wounds. They said all of them were taken to local hospitals for treatment. Lt. Regina Duckett told The Montgomery Advertiser that those people were listed in stable condition on Saturday morning.

No arrests had made by mid-day Saturday. Local media carried a statement by Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, who said the city had decided to shut down the club because it poses "an imminent threat to the public's safety."

SONY SELLs GRACENOTE, INC.
Sony Corporation of America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation ("Sony"), has announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell all of the shares of Gracenote, Inc., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, to Tribune Company for $170 million subject to standard adjustments.

Sony expects to record a gain within operating income of approximately $60 million at the completion of the sale, based on the above sale price, subject to standard adjustments. Sony included an anticipated gain from this sale in the forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, which was announced on October 31, 2013.

Sony expects this sale to close prior to March 31, 2014 subject to receipt of certain regulatory approvals.

About Gracenote: Gracenote, Inc. provides music and video content and technologies to the world's hottest entertainment products and brands. Gracenote is the industry standard for music and video recognition and is supported by the largest source of music and video metadata, featuring descriptions of more than 130 million tracks and TV listings for 28 countries. A wholly owned, independent subsidiary of the Sony Corporation of America (SCA), Gracenote has offices in Tokyo, Munich, Berlin, Seoul, Taipei and San Francisco with worldwide headquarters in Emeryville, California.

DIDDY'S REVOLT AND CLEAR CHANNEL ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP.
Revolt and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment have announced that
New York's nationally syndicated morning show The Breakfast Club, starring Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy, will be televised live Monday through Friday on REVOLT TV beginning by March 3, 2014.

"Starting our day with 'The Breakfast Club' brings three more hours of live daily programming to Revolt's already expansive real time coverage of music, music news and culture each day," said Andy Schuon, president and cofounder of Revolt.

John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises for Clear Channel, echoed Schuon's statement.

"Taking this award-winning Power 105 morning show and extending its reach to television reinforces Clear Channel's position as a preeminent multiplatform entertainment company," he said. "We are a company that creates incredible, original content every day and we are excited to partner on this with a true visionary like Sean Combs."

Revolt TV, the brainchild of Sean "Diddy" Combs, launched on Oct. 21 in roughly 25 million households.

"We are proud of this new partnership with Clear Channel; adding radio as a medium to the Revolt arsenal will help push the traditional boundaries of music on television and expand our reach even further with millions of new listeners and viewers, which is incredible for a fledgling network," said Revolt CEO Keith Clinkscales.

BABYGRANDE RECORDS INKS BRITISH ELECTRO PRODUCER SKYLAB 3.
With a 12-year legacy of working hand-in-hand with illustrious producers, Babygrande Records is proud to announce the signing of British Electronic producer Skylab 3. The 22 year-old producer uses a sophisticated blend of classical hip-hop production and synthesized sounds to create atmospheric, ethereal soundscapes. With a musical upbringing heavily influenced by various electronic, psychedelic and trip-hop artists, Skylab 3 has established his unique sound and is all set to share these captivating, rich and compelling musical creations with the rest of the world.

Speaking on his recent signing to Babygrande, Skylab 3 states, “I’m very excited to be given the opportunity to work with Babygrande, especially being a big fan of many of the artists and producers they've worked with." He adds, "We’ve established a great relationship already, we share the same vision and I look forward to releasing my debut album with them.”

Skylab 3 is currently working on his debut album, which is set to drop in 2014.

WAYNE BRADY ON DECK TO HOST BET HONORS 2014.
BET Networks confirmed today that actor and comedian Wayne Brady will host the 2014 "BET Honors". Just in time for Black History Month, the show taping scheduled for Saturday, February 8, 2014 promises to inspire, electrify and educate. The show will air on BET Networks on Monday, February 24 at 9PM ET.

"We are excited to have Wayne Brady host BET Honors this year. He made the most of his moment on the show last year and we knew pretty much immediately after that he was the multi-hyphenate talent we wanted leading this year's festivities," said Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials for BET Networks. "Wayne will dazzle and amaze and we can't wait."

For over a decade, Brady has been entertaining audiences with his acting, improv, singing and dancing on television, film and the stage. He can be seen weekdays on CBS as the host of the daytime classic "Let's Make A Deal", for which he's been nominated three years in a row for a Daytime Emmy for Best Game Show Host. He stars on fan favorite "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" on the CW and is also the voice of Clover the rabbit on Disney Jr's number one animated series, "Sofia The First."

"Being able to host the BET Honors in our nation's capital is definitely 'Bucket List' material for me. Not too often do you get to pay homage to the industry icons you look up to, in front of your peers. I'm honored to be part of the legacy BET has built with this award show," said Wayne Brady.

"BET Honors" has become a staple in BET history by celebrating extraordinary African-Americans including Cicely Tyson, Jamie Foxx, Iman, Herbie Hancock, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Sean "Diddy" Combs along with memorable past performances by Trey Songz, Ne-Yo, Yolanda Adams, Keyshia Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige and Patti LaBelle.

Stephen Hill, President of Music Programming and Specials, BET Networks, and Lynne Harris Taylor, Vice President of Specials, BET Networks are executive producers, along with Jesse Collins of Jesse Collins Productions.

BEYONCE MAKES BILLBOARD 200 HISTORY WITH FIFTH NO. 1 ALBUM
It's official: Beyonce's new self-titled album debuts at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making her the first woman to hit #1 with her first five studio albums. It follows the chart-topping "Dangerously In Love" (2003), "B'Day" (2006), "I Am…Sasha Fierce" (2008) and "4" (2011). All five of her albums also debuted at #1.

The two other acts that have taken their first five studio sets to #1: rapper DMX and folk group the Kingston Trio. (DMX also happens to be the only other act, aside from Beyonce, to debut at #1 with his first five studio efforts.)

"Beyonce" also notches the largest sales week for a woman in 2013, and the year's fourth-biggest sales week overall. It follows the #1 debuts of Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" (968,000), Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" (792,000) and Drake's "Nothing Was the Same" (658,000). (The last larger week for a woman was when Taylor Swift's "Red" debuted with 1.2 million at #1 upon its release in October 2012.)

As previously reported, iTunes announced that "Beyonce" tallied the largest sales week for an album in its U.S. iTunes Store and was its fastest-selling title ever globally (828,773 sold worldwide through Dec. 15). Source: Billboard

PETITION LAUNCHED TO NAME MANHATTAN CORNER "BEASTIE BOYS SQUARE".
A petition has been launched in Manhattan to honor the Beastie Boys by naming a Lower East Side corner after the rap trio.

LeRoy McCarthy, the same man who unsuccessfully petitioned a community board earlier this year to name a Brooklyn corner for the late rapper Biggie Smalls, is now asking Manhattan's Community Board 3 and New York's City Council to name the intersection of Ludlow Street and Rivington Street, where the cover of 1989's Paul's Boutique was shot,"Beastie Boys Square."

McCarthy's petition reads:

The Beastie Boys are: Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, and Adam "MCA" Yauch (RIP). Aside for spanning genres of music over their 30+ year career, Beastie Boys, along with RUN DMC, were pioneers in expanding exchanges culturally in NYC, and worldwide.

The second album from Beastie Boys, "Paul's Boutique" was photographed at the intersection of Ludlow Street and Rivington Street. In the panoramic photograph it captured the vibrancy of the ever-changing life on the streets of NYC. The album, released July 25th 1989, was groundbreaking, and it encompassed these Boys from NYC, rapping about life and times from their point of view. Because of the album cover photo, and the Beastie Boys were ever-changing NYC artist, the location of Ludlow Street and Rivington Street would be a great place to honor Beastie Boys with a corner co-naming.

The petition was launched in September and so far has 234 supporters. Via the Beastie Boy Square Facebook page, McCarthy said he would be presenting it to the Community Board 3 Manhattan in January.

As DNAinfo New York reports, the 46-year-old McCarthy is a film location scout who previously worked for a record label in Atlanta. He said his signatures include eight of the nine businesses on Rivington Street between Ludlow and Essex streets and many of the apartments on the block.

"When Adam Yauch passed away, people came here for three or four days putting candles and flowers out, taking photos, really mourning his death," Vicky Dalva, who manages and co-owns the wrap joint that now sits at the Paul's Boutique corner, told the local news outlet. "At least one person comes in each week asking if it's Paul's Boutique."

This past summer, a park in Brooklyn Heights was renamed after Adam "MCA" Yauch, following his death last year. Band members Yauch, Horovitz and Diamond all grew up in New York City. Source: Source Billboard

PHARRELL WILLIAMS INKS WITH COLUMBIA RECORDS.
Columbia Records is thrilled to announce a new partnership with GRAMMY® Award-winning singer/songwriter/producer Pharrell Williams. The internationally renowned artist's new single "Happy," featured on Despicable Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), will also be featured on Williams' forthcoming Columbia Records full-length debut, set to be released in 2014.

Just last month, Williams released the world's first 24 hour music video for "Happy," which is presented as an interactive clock, featuring a diverse cast of characters dancing along to the song. WATCH HERE

News of the signing adds to an already incredible year for Williams. Having co-written and been featured on two of 2013's best-selling tracks—Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Daft Punk's "Get Lucky"— Williams has also received seven GRAMMY® nominations: Producer of the Year (Non-Classical), two nominations for Record of the Year ("Get Lucky" by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams and "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell Williams), two nominations for Best Pop Duo/Performance ("Get Lucky" by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams and "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell Williams), and two Album of the Year nominations ("Random Access Memories" by Daft Punk and "good kid, m.A.A.d city" by Kendrick Lamar).

"When we excitedly partnered with Pharrell in January of this year, we felt it was his time again," says Columbia Records Chairman/CEO Rob Stringer. "Since then, 'Blurred Lines' and 'Get Lucky' have defined pop music in 2013, and now we are preparing to launch Pharrell as a global solo superstar in 2014. 'Happy' is just the beginning."

Redefining cool for a new generation, Pharrell Williams is a creative force, using music, fashion, and design to express his distinctive style. From his beginnings as a teenage prodigy and multi-instrumentalist in Virginia Beach back in the early '90s, through enough hits to earn him Billboard's Producer of the Decade in 2010, to his current status as multi-media superstar, Williams has never stopped creating. Starting his producing career as one half of The Neptunes with Chad Hugo, Williams has helped create such classics as Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," Nelly's "Hot in Herre," Jay-Z's "I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me),"
Britney Spears's "I'm A Slave 4 U," and Justin Timberlake's "Like I Love You."

With over 100 million copies of his productions sold, his music sounds like something no one else has thought of just yet. He's also created a new way of looking at established stars like Snoop Dogg, Madonna, and even the Rolling Stones. Over four albums, Williams and Hugo along with Shae Haley created an unpredictable hybrid as part of the alt-rock/hip-hop group N.E.R.D. His prolific body of work also ranges from designing a sculpture with Tokyo-born artist Takashi Murakami to accessories and jewelry for luxury goods brands Louis Vuitton and Moncler. Now, with his latest venture i am OTHER — a multi-media creative collective that serves as an umbrella for all his endeavors, including Billionaire Boys Club & ICECREAM apparel, textile company Bionic Yarn and dedicated YouTube channel — Williams' vision continues to push pop culture forward

GOOGLE RELEASES YEAR END LIST FOR MOST SEARCHED TERMS.
Google released its year-end list of the most trending and popular searches in the United States. Jay Z was included in that list with two spots in the Top 10 of Most Searched Songs. Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail songs “Tom Ford” and the Justin Timberlake-assisted “Holy Grail” ranked #6 and #7 on the Top 10 list. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis earned the honor of most searched rap song of 2013 with their single “Thrift Shop” landing at #3. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” was also the most streamed Hip Hop song on Spotify in 2013 and was the #1 most popular song across all genres on Billboard’s Hot 100 year end list. Drake was the most Googled rapper of 2013 ranking in at #2 on the Most Searched People list behind Miley Cyrus. Kanye west came in at #10.

BEYONCÉ SHATTERS iTUNES STORE RECORD.
Apple® today announced that BEYONCÉ has become the fastest selling album ever on the iTunes Store® worldwide with an unprecedented 828,773 albums sold in just its first three days. BEYONCÉ also broke the US first week album sales record with 617,213 sold and proved to be a global success going to number one in 104 countries.

The self-titled, BEYONCÉ, is the fifth solo studio album from Beyoncé, which was made available exclusively worldwide on the iTunes Store on December 13 by Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records. The self-titled set is the artist’s first visual album. BEYONCÉ is infused with 14 new songs and 17 visually stunning, provocative videos shot around the world from Houston to New York City to Paris, and Sydney to Rio de Janeiro, all before the album’s release. The album represents Beyoncé’s biggest sales week ever.

BEYONCE DROPS NEW ALBUM.
Beyonce has released her new album in an unconventional way: She announced and dropped it on the same day. Her fifth solo studio is now available worldwide, exclusively on the iTunes. The self-titled set is the artist's first visual album. BEYONCÉ is infused with 14 new songs and 17 visually stunning, provocative videos shot around the world from Houston to New York City to Paris, and Sydney to Rio de Janeiro, all before the album's release.

"I see music," says Beyoncé about her decision to create a visual album. "It's more than just what I hear. When I'm connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they're all connected to the music."

Billboard is already reporting that the self-titled fifth solo studio set is likely headed towards a #1 debut on the Billboard 200 when that chart’s top 10 is revealed on Wednesday, Dec. 18. In just a three-hour sales window (closing at midnight Friday PT), “Beyonce” reportedly sold over 80,000 copies, according to industry sources. Beyonce’s last studio set “4” sold 310,000 in its debut week in July of 2011, but that was with a full sales week and a marketing/media push leading up to the release.

That the album is available on the day the world is learning about its release is an unprecedented strategic move by the artist to deliver music and visual content directly to her fans when she wants to and how she wants to, with no filter. This unique approach allows music fans to be the first to listen, view, engage and form their own opinions void of any middleman. In the age of social media and an insatiable appetite for direct communication, this is the answer to the question asked over and over again, when is Beyoncé's next album coming?

"I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it," she states. "I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There's so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn't want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it's ready and from me to my fans."

Stripped of gimmicks, teasers and marketing campaigns, this project is truly about art before hype.

For an artist who has been the target of leaks, this is a fully designed preventative plan. The album will be offered as a cohesive body of work with every song and every video available all at once for one single purchase.

While not a concept album, the record is designed to be consumed as a comprehensive audio/visual piece from top to bottom. The antithesis of making singles, the visual album is a non-linear journey through the thoughts and visions of Beyoncé. Manufacturing of physical albums begins today and the double disc CD/DVD will be available at retail in time for the holidays.

By embracing an ever-evolving digital landscape, she creates an innovative, fully immersive, multiplatform experience for the first visual album of her career, completely changing the way her fans will consume music. Not one to stand on past achievements, this is an artist who thrives on evolving, challenging herself and raising the bar. This creative process gave Beyoncé power over her music and provided an opportunity to control how the music is heard. She is not playing by the rules and breaking what is expected, preferring to put music out as an entire body of work.

Beyoncé, wearing multiple hats as writer, producer and director, put together a genius team of artists, songwriters, producers and video directors for her visual album that include JAY Z, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Drake, The Dream, Sia, Ryan Tedder, Miguel, Frank Ocean, Hit Boy, Ammo, Boots, Detail, Jake Nava, Hype Williams, Terry Richardson, Melina Matsoukas, Jonas Akerlund, Ricky Saiz, Pierre Debusschere, @lilinternet, Noah "40" Shebib, Francesco Carrozzini, Caroline Polachek, Ed Burke, Bill Kirstein and Todd Tourso.

She recorded all over the world for a year and a half but the initial recording started after the writers and producers gathered under one roof in The Hamptons, New York's beach enclave, in the summer of 2012 to live together, work together and to immerse themselves into her world and into her head. The fans that have grown up with the performer, mature and seasoned enough to relate to the content and the shared experiences, inspire the music, with themes that explore love, loss, fear, anger, honesty, happiness, sexuality and confidence.

For the videos, some of which she co-directed, she preferred to work with a more care-free formula. Shot primarily during her successful "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour," the videos were veiled in secrecy, even though they were filmed in open places, including a beach in Brazil, the streets of NYC, on the famed Cyclone Rollercoaster in Coney Island, New York, downtown Los Angeles, a chateau in Paris, a roller skating rink in Houston, Texas where she skated as a child, and a beautiful church in South America. She mixed up the creative, going for big and small and set out on shoots eager to capture the spontaneity and honesty in every moment. The videos are visually stimulating, charged with visionary cinematography and clever storytelling. They capture every side of who she is, complete with vulnerability and imperfections.

REV RUN ON DECK FOR MAJOR TRANSFORMATION.
The home of Joseph Simmons—best known as Rev Run from the iconic rap group, Run DMC—will get a major transformation in the new DIY Network series Rev Run’s Renovation, premiering Saturday, January 4, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. During the 10-episode series, the home’s remodel becomes a family affair as Rev Run, his wife Justine, their kids Daniel (Diggy), Russell (Russy) and Miley, and a team of builders work together to completely renovate their 9,000 square foot New Jersey home. As the family mansion is gutted from top to bottom, Run and Justine debate the new design possibilities for each space.

“You’ll see me and Justine talking about how she wants this house to be transformed—it’s all about her vision,” said Run. “Most of our arguments, like any other couple going through this, revolve around the budget.”

Justine has grand plans to tap the budget to transform her outdated kitchen into a sleek, modern European-style space, while Run wants a mini indoor pool and spa. It’s a game of give and take where big ideas are passionately pursued.

“Rev Run is a legend in the music business, but he and his family are like any other first-time home remodelers,” explains Steven Lerner, senior vice president, programming and development, HGTV and DIY Network. “They’re dealing with noise, dust, the local zoning board—every homeowner who has undertaken a major remodel can relate.”

Rev Run’s Renovation also chronicles the design and construction of new bedrooms and custom bathrooms for the kids: Russy wanted a “zen-like” room, Diggy preferred his new space be “contemporary,” while Miley asked for her new room to be like “fairytale castle.” The series features Mr. and Mrs. Simmons’ as they tackle each stage of the renovation with a lot of grace and elbow grease to turn the dated property into the ultimate family dream home.

“Letting people observe our home renovation has allowed me to share our family values with our fans and other renovation lovers,” said Rev Run. “There is nothing more important to me than family and the home!"

Rev Run and Michael Lehman are executive producers of the series.

WARNER MUSIC GROUP REVENUE IS UP.. OR IS IT?
Warner Music Group has announced its fiscal full-year and fourth quarter results. Revenue is up 3.3 percent for the full year and up 4.5 percent in Q4. The growth was attributed in part to the acquisition of Parlophone Label Group.

In WMG's fiscal fourth quarter, revenue reached $764 million, up 4.5 percent from $731 million a year earlier. Digital revenue saw a 17 percent jump to $283 million. For the company's entire fiscal year, revenue grew 3.3 percent to $2.87 billion from $2.78 billion the year before. Digital revenue was up 16 percent to $1.076 billion.

The Recorded Music division saw a six percent jump in revenue in Q4 to $644 million, with digital revenue up 18 percent to $262 million.

For the full fiscal year, Recorded Music revenue grew five percent to $2.389 billion, while digital revenue jumped by 15 percent to $997 million.

Warner Music's Publishing division took a hit though, as fiscal Q4 revenue fell five percent to $126 million, with a three percent decline for the full year to $503 million.

"This was a year of significant accomplishment at Warner Music Group," said WMG CEO Stephen Cooper. "We intensified our focus on signing and developing extraordinary artists, we executed well on our digital strategy and we acquired and have been successfully integrating Parlophone Label Group."

"We also significantly improved our financial flexibility over the course of the fiscal year. Even as we increased our borrowings in order to finance the acquisition of Parlophone Label Group, we lowered our annual interest expense through debt repayments and refinancings of our debt," added Brian Roberts, WMG EVP/CFO.

BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY ON DECK WITH 10TH STUDIO ALBUM.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, one of the most prolific Hip-Hop groups in music history, return with a new album titled "Art of War: World War III" – marking the legendary rap group's 10th studio album milestone. All five original members - Bizzy Bone, Layzie Bone, Flesh Bone, Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone – teamed up, despite recent conflicts, to record this career-defining project. The group worked with longtime producer DJ U-Neeq and Kenny McCloud ("Thuggish Ruggish Bone") again for an exciting project that meshes their iconic sound with a modern touch.

"My excitement is through the roof. I can't wait for it to be released. We started working on this project in 2011 so it's been a work in progress," says Flesh Bone. "We're bringing real gangsta rap back for our fans who have been asking for it. We're coming real rough with it! We also have some real radio friendly songs like the one we dedicated to Eazy-E, so we're bringing a variety of sounds on the album."

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony tapped the likes of Don Jagwarr, Big B, Tabueya Weathington, Por'cha, Bruce-E-Bee and Phaedra for features on Art of War: World War III with most of the production by their longtime producer DJ U-Neeq and Kenny McCloud, their debut EP producer who assembled their first ever breakout hit single "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" back in 1993.

"My intention was to capture that classic Bone sound but with a modern twist. The Bone fans have been asking for a project like this for years so I wanted to give them what they fell in love with in the beginning," explains DJ U-Neek. "So I got with my man Kenny McCloud who co-produced with me on Bone's first EP 'Creepin On Ah Come Up' and I also brought in some of my in-house co-producers such as V-Mix, RKitek, and LA's Real Richie Rich to bring that throwback 'Thuggish Ruggish' sound. I think we captured it I think the fans are going to love it; it's a classic with a new twist for 2014."

"When our fans listen to Art of War: World War III, we want them to walk away knowing that this is one of the greatest albums we've ever put together," explains Flesh Bone. The Grammy Award-winning group cites "It's A Bone Thang," "Bring It Back," "Born in the Ghetto," "Murda On U," and their single "Everything 100," as some of their favorite songs on the new album.

"This is a phenomenal album which might be the final chapter in the two-decade career of BTH, one of the finest Hip-Hop artists of the past twenty years. With all of the members now actively pursuing their own solo projects this very well could be the last BTH record that includes performances by all the members. The Art of War III is an incredible accomplishment achieved through the hard work of BTH, executive producer David Michery, and producers DJ U-Neek and Kenny McCloud, who wanted to reward loyal BTH fans," stated Tony Barlo, President of Seven Arts Music.

The legendary rap group recently inked a new label deal with EONE and released their current hit single "Everything 100" featuring Ty Dolla $ign. LISTEN HERE

Fresh off their "Everything 100" Tour," Bone Thugs-N-Harmony show no signs of slowing down as they continue to perform shows across the country ahead of their new album release.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony "Art of War: World War III" Track List:
WW III - Introduction
Top Notch (featuring Bizzy & Flesh Bone)
Murda On U (featuring all five BTNH members & Don Jagwarr)
Born in the Ghetto (featuring Bizzy Layzie & Flesh Bone and Big B)
Bone (featuring Bizzy & Flesh Bone and Tanieya Weathington)
Bring It Back (featuring Bizzy, Layzie & Flesh Bone)
Approach 2 Danger (featuring Krazye, Layzie & Flesh Bone)
Bitch iz a Bitch (featuring Bizzy & Flesh Bone)
It's A Bone Thang (featuring Bizzy, Layzie & Flesh Bone and Tanieya Weathington)
100-K (featuring Bizzy & Flesh Bone)
Deep End (featuring featuring Bizzy & Flesh Bone and Por'cha)
Back In The Dayz (featuring Bizzy & Flesh Bone and Tanieya Weathington)
Walk This Way (featuring Bizzy Bone and Big B)
Rappella Interlude (featuring Layzie Bone and Por'cha)
Swagged Out (featuring Bizzy & Flesh Bone)
It Will Be Alright (featuring all five BTNH members & Por'cha)
In Memory of Eazy (featuring all five BTNH members, Bruce-E-Bee and Phaedra)

EMINEM & RIHANNA RULE HOT 100 WITH 'THE MONSTER'/ SET RECORDS.
The pair scores a historic topper: Rihanna ties Michael Jackson for the third-most leaders (13) in the Hot 100's history, while Eminem ties for the most #1s (five) among rappers.

Eminem and featured artist Rihanna roar 2-1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with their collaboration "The Monster," which gives each artist a new slice of history in the chart's 55-year archives. The song also shoots 4-1 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart, where Rihanna adds more accolades.

Impressively, Rihanna ties Michael Jackson for the third-most leaders in the Hot 100's history. Now with 13, she passes Madonna and the Supremes, each with 12.

From her first week at #1 on the Hot 100 with "SOS" (May 13, 2006) through this week's chart (dated Dec. 21, 2013), Rihanna's registered 13 leaders in a span of seven years, seven months and eight days, marking the fastest run to the sum by a woman; Mariah Carey took a slightly longer seven-year, eight-month and 19-day route (from 1990's "Vision of Love" through 1998's "My All"). Only the Beatles reached 13 No. 1s more quickly: just three years and 17 days between 1964's "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and 1967's "Penny Lane." (The other of the four acts with at least 13 leaders, Michael Jackson, spanned nearly 23 years between 1972's "Ben," his first solo #1 apart from the Jackson Five, and 1995's "You Are Not Alone.")

Eminem, meanwhile, makes his own historic move, as he ties the record for the most Hot 100 #1s (five) among rappers. Here's an updated look at the rap acts with the most leaders:

5, Diddy
5, Eminem
5, Ludacris
4, 50 Cent
4, Jay Z
4, Nelly
4, T.I.
4, Kanye West

With all five of his #1s in lead roles, Eminem passes 50 Cent, Diddy and Nelly (four each) for the most such chart champs among rappers.

"The Monster" is Eminem and Rihanna's second shared Hot 100 #1. The two teamed for "Love the Way You Lie" (with Rihanna also in a featured role; she's boasted lead billing on 10 of her 13 #1s). The song topped the chart for seven weeks in 2010. Bonus fun fact: the last two solo artists to pair for multiple Hot 100 #1s prior to Eminem and Rihanna? Nelly Furtado and Timbaland. With Furtado as the lead act, "Promiscuous" led for six weeks in 2006. In 2007, they reversed roles (and added fellow featured artist Justin Timberlake) on "Give It to Me," which ruled for two frames.

"The Monster" climbs to the Hot 100's top slot with another coronation, and more honors for Rihanna: it charges 4-1 on Hot 100 Airplay, gaining by 13% to 135 million in all-format audience impressions, according to Nielsen BDS (and claims the Hot 100's top Airplay Gainer award for a fifth straight week). With the jump, Rihanna passes Mariah Carey, 12 to 11, for the most #1s in the chart's 23-year history. Usher ranks third with seven Hot 100 Airplay #1s. "The Monster" is Eminem's third topper on the ranking.

The track racks a fourth week atop the On-Demand Songs chart (2.4 million U.S. streams, according to BDS, up 6%), while reaching a new peak (4-2) on Streaming Songs (5.4 million, down 5%). It holds at No. 2 on Hot Digital Songs (after three weeks at No. 1) with 186,000 downloads sold (down 19%), according to Nielsen SoundScan. Source: Billboard

ALCHEMIST & EVIDENCE ARE ‘STEP BROTHERS’
Alchemist & Evidence have always shared a strong bond. If you trace back the lineage of there respective careers to the very beginning you will find that they have always regularly contributed to each others projects. As the pair’s collaborations continued to mount, they began labeling themselves as “Step Brothers” when they would record; as noted on Evidence’s The Layover EP and it was only a matter of time before they decided to record an album together. That time is now upon us, as Alchemist & Evidence will be releasing the first Step Brothers project, Lord Steppington, on 1-21-14 courtesy of Rhymesayers Entertainment.

Evidence has traveled the world and released a string of acclaimed albums as a member of the revered West-Coast collective Dilated Peoples and as a solo artist and become a very respected producer crafting beats for Beastie Boys, Linkin Park & Kanye West (which earned him a Grammy) among others.

For his part, Alchemist is quickly becoming one of rap’s top triple threats, producing for a virtual who’s who list of the industry’s biggest and brightest names; Nas, Snoop Dogg, Mobb Deep, Curren$y, Fashawn, Action Bronson, Prodigy, Roc Marciano, P. Monch, Royce 5’9, Big Pun, Jadakiss, Fat Joe, Ghostface, Styles P, Game, Linkin Park, 50 Cent, Cypress Hill, Nelly, Cam’Ron, Scarface, Joell Ortiz, Fabolous, Slaughterhouse, Raekwon, Blu, Rick Ross, Sir Michael Rocks, Schoolboy Q, Danny Brown, Joey Bada$$ and Lil Wayne (which Alchemist won a Grammy for his contribution to Tha Carter III). In addition, Alchemist is now serving as Eminem’s touring DJ, appeared on Saturday Night Live as Eminem’s DJ and he also made an appearance in the video for “Berzerk” from Eminem’s recently released The Marshall Mathers LP 2.

Now as the Step Brothers, Evidence and Alchemist deliver another stellar musical achievement, Lord Steppington. Lord Steppington boasts the best of the duo peppered with frequent collaborators and friends, including; Action Bronson, Roc Marciano, Domo Genesis Styles P, Blu, Fashawn, Rakaa Iriscience, Oh No and even a reunion cut with Alchemist’s first group The Whooliganz (which included actor Scott Caan & Evidence).

Alchemist & Evidence will be headed out on a world tour to support Lord Steppington which starts in Europe on 1-15-14 and after touring internationally the duo will return to the states to kick off US tour dates.

Tracklisting and Credits for Step Brothers “Lord Steppington:

1.) “More Wins”
2.) “Dr. Kimble”
3.) “Byron G” f/ Domo Genesis & The Whooliganz (produced by Evidence)
4.) “Legendary Mesh”
5.) “No Hesitation” f/ Styles P
6.) “Swimteam Rastas”
7.) “Mums In The Garage” f/ Action Bronson
8.) “See The Rich Man Play” f/ Roc Marciano
9.) “Banging Sound” f/ Fashawn
10.) “Step Masters”
11.) “Tomorrow” f/ Rakka Iriscience & Blu
12.) “Draw Something” f/ Oh No
13.) “Buzzing Away”
14.) “Just Step”


2 CHAINZ ANNOUNCES 2014 ‘2 GOOD 2 Be T.R.U.’ TOUR w/PUSHA T & AUGUST ALSINA.
August Alsina signs on to join 2 Chainz and Pusha T for ‘2 Good 2 Be T.R.U.’ tour which kicks off February 4th in Boston and will go through March 24th, ending in Washington DC. 20 dates have been announced (below) with more coming. Alsina, is currently finalizing his debut album which is set to be released in 2014 on NNTME/Def Jam.

TOUR DATES
Feb. 4 — Boston, MA (House of Blues)
Feb. 5 — New York, NY (Roseland Ballroom)
Feb. 7 — Chicago, IL (Chicago Theatre)
Feb. 8 — Milwaukee, WI (Eagles Ballroom)
Feb. 10 — Denver, CO (Ogden Theater)
Feb. 12 — Boise, ID (Revolution Center)
Feb. 13 — Seattle, WA (Showbox SoDo)
Feb. 18 — Oakland, CA (Fox Theater)
Feb. 20 — Santa Ana, CA (The Observatory)
Feb. 21 — Los Angeles, CA (Hollywood Palladium)
Feb. 22 — Las Vegas, NV (The Joint)
Feb. 28 — St. Louis, MO (Chaifetz Arena)
Mar. 1 — Indianapolis, IN (Egyptian Theater)
Mar. 2 — Cincinnati, OH (Bank of Kentucky)
Mar. 13 — Dallas, TX (South Side Ballroom)
Mar. 17 — St. Petersburg, FL (Jannus Live)
Mar. 18 — Miami Beach, FL (The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason)
Mar. 20 — Charlotte, NC (The Fillmore Charlotte)
Mar. 22 — Upper Darby, PA (Tower Theater)
Mar. 24 — Washington, DC (9:30 Club)

POLO GROUNDS MUSIC/RCA RECORDS SIGNS LA-BASED HIP-HOP GROUP OVERDOZ.
Polo Grounds Music/RCA Records has announced today the signing of the Los Angeles-based Hip-Hop group OverDoz., adding to PGM's successful roster which includes award-winning artists A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg, A$AP Mob and burgeoning rapper Lantana, among others.

Bryan Leach, President of Polo Grounds Music, Inc. comments: "OverDoz. and their team are fearless, creative and represent everything that's bright about where rap music is headed."

Joon's unorthodox fashion sense and rapping style, P's laid back approach, Kent's unique singing voice, and Creamie's hilarious skits makes OverDoz. an unmatched entity in the world of music. With several attention grabbing mixtapes under their collective belt (2008's Bowties and Rosaries, 2010's Nova and 2011's Live For, Die For), OverDoz.'s creative melodies and concepts have won over crowds across the world with comparisons to Outkast, Funkadelic and The Digital Underground.

EMINEM CELEBRATES 39 YEARS OF G-SHOCK.
Casio America, Inc. will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their G-SHOCK watch brand by announcing a collaborative limited edition release with Eminem. The GDX6900MNM-1 timepiece, available December 7, 2013, takes the newly-revamped XL-6900 watch face and personalizes it with Eminem iconology for a watch that is not only ruggedly functional, but also stylish & streetwise.

As an avid watch collector, Eminem is seen wearing G-SHOCK throughout many of his music videos and performances, making this collaboration a natural expression of mutual respect and appreciation. Being one of the most recognized and accomplished hip-hop artists of our time, this limited edition collaborative watch with Eminem crowns a long history of hip-hop partnerships for G-SHOCK.

The GDX6900MNM-1 pays homage to Eminem's rise from one of the Worlds most rugged urban terrains – the streets of downtown Detroit. As tribute, the skyline of Detroit is printed in bold red on the upper watchband. The watch face and band loop sport the reverse "E" from his stylized moniker, while the watchcase back and lower watch band are personalized with an autograph of his alter ego, "Shady".

"With hip-hop it's as much about where it's from as who it's for," said Shigenori Itoh, Chairman and CEO of Casio America, Inc. "Eminem has an immense and loyal fan base around the world, as does G-SHOCK, making this collaboration one that will connect closely with many thousands of collective fans."

On August 7th 2013 Eminem announced the collection with an unforgettable exclusive performance at G-Shock's Shock The World event in New York City. The annual Shock the World a highly anticipated event in celebration of the brand's biggest news and latest releases.

JAY Z, MACKLEMORE & RYAN, & KENDRICK LAMAR ON DECK FOR GRAMMYS.
Jay Z easily led Grammy Award nominations announced Friday with nine, but left-of-center rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar were among a group of new stars who took many of the major nominations.

Macklemore and Lewis' gay marriage anthem "Same Love" was among song of the year nominees and the Seattle rap crew joined Los Angeles rapper Lamar with seven nominations apiece, including best album and best new artist of the year. Pharrell Williams had four major nominations among his seven and Justin Timberlake also had seven.

Macklemore and Lewis dominated a nominations TV special from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles that also included performances by nominees Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Lorde and Robin Thicke.

Macklemore and Lewis opened the show with a colorful, high-energy version of their hit "Thrift Shop," featuring Wanz, and immediately picked up a song of the year nomination for "Same Love," featuring Mary Lambert.

Two nominations later, Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, was noting it was a "very surreal moment" during an on-air interview with host LL Cool J. "It's like we're not supposed to be here, but we're here with LL Cool J." Added Lewis after the show: "There is no greater award than the Grammy. To be here tonight and to be nominated is truly mind-blowing."

Recording Academy favorites Timberlake and Jay Z teamed up for two nominations apiece, but they only had one major nomination between them this year and that came for Jay Z's participation on Lamar's album of the year nominee "good kid, m.A.A.d city" instead of his own "Magna Carta ... Holy Grail."

Williams, who seemed to be everywhere in 2013, is up for producer of the year and faces himself in three categories, including record of the year for "Get Lucky" with Daft Punk and "Blurred Lines" with Robin Thicke, and album of the year entries "Random Access Memories" by Daft Punk and Lamar's "good kid."

Drake and sound engineer Bob Ludwig are up for five awards apiece at the Jan. 26 Grammy ceremony in Los Angeles.

Joining Lamar, Macklemore and Lewis, and Daft Punk in the album of the year category were Sara Bareilles' "The Blessed Unrest", — perhaps the biggest surprise among major category nominees — and Taylor Swift's "Red."

Swift is among five acts with four nominations apiece along with Daft Punk, Bruno Mars, Lorde and Kacey Musgraves. British musicians James Blake and Ed Sheeran round out the best new artist category with Musgraves, Lamar and Macklemore and Lewis.

Timberlake picked up a handful of nominations in pop categories, including pop vocal album of the year for "The 20/20 Experience." Other nominees in that category include Lana Del Rey's "Paradise," Lorde's "Pure Heroine," Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" and Thicke's "Blurred Lines."

"The Heist," ''good kid" and "Magna Carta" are also on the best rap album list with Drake's "Nothing Was the Same" and Kanye West's "Yeezus," which was mostly shut out of the nominations. West also got a nomination for best rap song for "New Slaves."

West may have suffered the most from the large hauls of Lamar and Macklemore and Lewis. His "Yeezus" is already making many year-end lists, but had no hits and spawned controversy among some listeners.

And Lamar managing to keep his profile high with a number of hits, guest appearances and moments of bravado that helped voters forget his album came out 14 months ago. Lamar called himself the greatest rapper in the game earlier this year, calling out Drake and several others in verse, and voters mostly backed him up.

HOPSIN KNOCK MADNESS USA TOUR ON DECK
On the heels of his long-awaited sophomore release, Knock Madness, LA-based rapper and label co-founder Hopsin is excited to announce a substantial tour beginning in January 2014. The 50-city tour will begin in Santa Cruz, California and make notable stops in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and New York, with Hop closing the tour in his home city, Los Angeles, on March 22nd. He'll be touring with Funk Volume DJ and producer DJ Hoppa and bringing out other Funk Volume artists in select cities.

Knock Madness, which sold 4k copies the day it came out and over 16k copies in the past week alone, features guest appearances from Funk Volume artists Dizzy Wright and Jarren Benton and also appearances from Tech N9ne, and more.

The album also hit the #2 spot on the iTunes Hip Hop charts and #4 on the overall charts within a day of its release.

The Knock Madness USA Tour signifies Funk Volume's plan to maintain the rapid pace of their encroaching dominance in 2014.

Hopsin's Background:
Panorama, California native Hopsin faced many obstacles and controversy to get to where he is now. Hopsin's obstacles first began as a child, being placed in special education classes and forced to believe that he would never amount to anything, which caused him to drop out of school completely in 2004. By 2010, Hopsin unhappily signed to a former label that failed to reach his artistic and commercial expectations. Surviving all obstacles and controversy, Hopsin is now not only a successful rapper but also a producer, editor, actor and director. In addition, Hopsin is co-founder of indie power house Funk Volume. Funk Volume currently has 100,000 Youtube subscribers and 145,000 Facebook Likes. Hopsin focuses on how to engage fans with both sharp lyricism and careful branding, and brings forth a unique attitude and charisma that makes hip hop unpredictable again.

Tour Dates:
1/18/14 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
1/19/14 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim's
1/21/14 - Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
1/22/14 - Reno, NV @ Knitting Factory
1/23/14 - Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
1/24/14 - Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
1/25/14 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox Market
1/26/14 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
1/28/14 - Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
1/29/14 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Murray Theater
1/30/14 - Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie Theater
1/31/14 - Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
2/01/14 - Denver, CO @ Cervantes
2/04/14 - Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theater
2/05/14 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater
2/06/14 - Minneapolis, MN @ The Cabooze
2/07/14 - Iowa City, IA @ The Blue Moose
2/08/14 - St. Louis, MO @ Pop's Nightclub
2/09/14 - Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
2/11/14 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
2/12/14 - Bloomington, IL @ The Castle Theater
2/13/14 - Louisville, KY @ Headliner's Music Hall
2/14/14 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew's Hall
2/15/14 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
2/16/14 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
2/17/14 - Columbus, OH @ Alrosa Villa
2/18/14 - Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
2/19/14 - Syracuse, NY @ Wescott Theater
2/21/14 - Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
2/22/14 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
2/23/14 - Boston, MA @ Middle East
2/25/14 - Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street
2/26/14 - Poughkeepsie, NY @ Chance Theater
2/27/14 - Washington, DC @ Howard Theater
2/28/14 - Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage
3/01/14 - Greensboro, NC @ Greene St.
3/05/14 - Jacksonville, FL @ Freebird Live
3/06/14 - Orlando, FL @ Plaza Live
3/07/14 - Tampa, FL @ Orpheum Theater
3/12/14 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
3/13/14 - Houston, TX @ House of Blues
3/16/14 - Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
3/19/14 - Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theater
3/21/14 - Los Angeles, CA @ Yost Theater
3/22/14 - Los Angeles, CA @ Glasgow Cathouse

DRAKE PULLS OUT OF GRAMMY NOMINATIONS TV SPECIAL.
Drake was scheduled to perform at tonight’s Grammy Nominations Concert, but it looks like the rapper has cancelled his appearance due to a scheduling conflict.

A Drake representative announced the following,“Unfortunately, due to scheduling complications, Drake will no longer be performing,” stated the rep. “[He's] currently in the middle of his nationwide ‘Would You Like A Tour?’ and sincerely apologizes to his fans that he can’t be there.”

Other artists still on deck to perform are Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Robin Thicke, T.I., Miguel, Lorde, and Earth, Wind & Fire. The event is being called “Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night.” More nominees for the 56th annual Grammy Awards will be announced as well. The Grammys Nomination Concert will air live tonight (12/6) at 10 PM ET on CBS. The show is hosted by LL Cool J.

RUSSELL SIMMONS & JOHN SINGLETON TEAM UP.
The Oscar-nominated Boyz n the Hood writer-director-producer is developing drama "Club Life: Miami" with hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons at HBO.

"Club Life: Miami" is set against the South Beach club scene and follows a reformed criminal who moves to Miami and gains a new lease on life as he embraces the vibrant, youthful and transgressive world. Singleton will write and executive produce the project. Simmons, the Def Jam co-founder, music mogul and social activist is on board to executive produce "Club Life" via his overall deal with the premium cable network.

The sale marks the second for Simmons at HBO; he most recently set up an untitled drama from "12 Years a Slave's" Steve McQueen and "World War Z" scribe Matthew Michael Carnahan about a young African-American man with a mysterious past as he experiences life in New York high society.

"Club Life" comes as premium cabler Starz is readying Power, a New York-set nightclub drama series from executive producer 50 Cent that will premiere in 2014. Source: Hollywood Reporter

DRAKE ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH JORDAN BRAND
Drake announced his partnership with Nike's own Jordan Brand last night in Portland during his show and he also provided some of the Jordans that'll be dropping with his OVO brand on them.

During the concert he also went on to tell the audience “Today also happens to be one of the best days of my life....so today, I came to Portland and officially became inducted into the Team Jordan family.”

For time being, the "OVO Jordans" seen on Drake's Instagram are samples (AIr Jordan 10's and OVO Stingray 12's) It's unclear if they'll be released to the public.

RAEKWON TO HOST CHARITY ART EVENT IN HONOR OF WU TANG'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY.
On December 5th at Miami's South Beach Delano Hotel, Dr. Lee Gause, Smile Design Gallery and WU HA | 20 20 join forces at Art Basel for the official Wu Tang 20th Anniversary Event, hosting works for sale from Liu Bolin, Mr. Brainwash, RETNA, Miya Ando, Lina Viktor and Fab 5 Freddy, generously offered by top art dealers Larry Gagosian and Eli Klein.

Performing the auction is Wu Tang member Raekwon, who has generously offered to assist the children of his hometown of Staten Island, by helping to provide free dental care. He will be our special guest in attendance on the 5th to show continued support for his community and Smile Design Gallery.

Smile Design Gallery is a social enterprise that provides free dental care to people in need by employing the sales of art to provide free dentistry for children and communities in need. With a wealth of celebrity support from the likes of Swizz Beatz, Rick Ross, Kris Humphries, Angela Simmons and more, Smile Design Gallery has grown exponentially over the last year. The hope is to turn the $250K of charitable dentistry done to date into millions to benefit uninsured families through Smile Design Gallery.

Also in attendance serving as hosts for the event will be Angela Simmons, Mr. Brainwash, Eli Klein, Alexander Hurst and Michael Huerta. Curated by Martin Galindo of Smile Design Galleryand Alexander Clark and Laura O'Reilly of The City Firm. Guest DJ sets by Fab 5 Freddy and Scram Jones.

GUCCI MANE INDICTED ON GUN CHARGES.
Gucci Mane is facing federal firearms charges after authorities say he possessed guns on two occasions when police were called to investigate his behavior. The rapper, whose real name is Radric Davis, faces two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, the U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta said Tuesday. Davis, 33, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 19.

Davis was found to have a gun on Sept. 12 and had a different gun in his possession two days later, prosecutors said. Prosecutors say he acted erratically and threatened people on both occasions.

"This is how people get hurt, and we are committed to ensuring that convicted felons not have guns," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release.

Davis' lawyer Drew Findling said Tuesday he is reviewing information in the case and then will decide what action to take.

Last month's indictment lists two felony convictions for Davis. He pleaded no contest to charges of aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in October 2005 after he was accused of hitting a promoter in the head with a pool cue. He also was convicted of possessing more than 20 grams of marijuana in Florida in June 2005, according to the indictment.

An Atlanta police officer responded on Sept. 12 "in reference to a subject inside of an office building acting upset," according to a police report. Findling's office is in that building, and Davis and the responding officer went in to speak to Findling, who told the officer he wanted Davis to leave "due to the way he was currently acting," the report says.

A .45-caliber handgun containing eight rounds of ammunition was found with Davis' stuff in the office. Davis said the gun belonged to his girlfriend who had dropped him off, and no one in the office had seen him with a gun, the report says. Atlanta police didn't file any charges against Davis.

Findling declined to comment on what happened at his office. Early Sept. 14, a man who said he was a friend of the rapper's called police to say Davis was walking down the street behaving violently, according to a police report. When police arrived, Davis smelled strongly of marijuana, cursed at them, called them names and threatened to shoot them, the report says.

Police arrested him on a disorderly conduct charge and found a clear baggie with what they believe was marijuana and a loaded .40-caliber Glock handgun, the report says. An ambulance was called, and Davis was sedated and taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment.

RUN DMC AND SUGAR HILL GANG ANNOUNCED AS 2014 GRAMMY HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES.
Continuing the tradition of preserving and celebrating great recordings, The Recording Academy® has announced the newest additions to its legendary Grammy Hall Of Fame®. This latest round of inducted recordings continues to highlight diversity and recording excellence, and acknowledges both singles and album recordings of all genres at least 25 years old that exhibit qualitative or historical significance. Recordings are reviewed annually by a special member committee comprised of eminent and knowledgeable professionals from all branches of the recording arts, with final approval by The Recording Academy's National Board of Trustees. With 27 new titles, the list currently totals 960 and is on display at the Grammy Museum® at L.A. LIVE.

"Spanning the 1930s to the 1980s, this year's Grammy Hall Of Fame entries represent a diverse collection of influential and historically significant recordings," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "Memorable and inspiring, these recordings are proudly added to our growing catalog — knowing that they have become a part of our musical, social, and cultural history."

Representing a great variety of tracks and albums, the 2014 Grammy Hall Of Fame inductees range from the Mary Poppins Original Cast Sound Track album to Sugarhill Gang's early rap hit "Rapper's Delight." Also added to the highly regarded list are the Drifters' "Under The Boardwalk," B.B. King's "3 O'Clock Blues," Kris Kristofferson's self-titled debut album, Dolly Parton's "Jolene," the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women," and U2's album The Joshua Tree. Other inductees include the original soundtrack from Woodstock and recordings by James Brown, Chicago, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Run-D.M.C., B.J. Thomas, and Neil Young, among others.

PRINCE TO HEADLINE 2014 ESSENCE FESTIVAL MILESTONE.
Prince will commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Essence Festival with a Superdome headlining performance over Fourth of July weekend, it was announced today by Essence, the nation's leading brand for African-American women.

Essence and Prince will also support #YesWeCode, a special community initiative led by the Rebuild the Dream Innovation Fund's founder Van Jones, to encourage our young people to use technology and creativity to code.

The definitive destination for entertainment, empowerment, inspiration and culture, the Essence Festival last hosted Prince in 2004. This year, the Essence Festival grew by 30%, with a record-breaking 540,000 attendees.

"Welcoming an artist as iconic as Prince back to the Essence Festival for a 20th anniversary performance is incredibly exciting," said Essence Communications President, Michelle Ebanks. "The Essence Festival is where we come together to connect to both our culture and our community, so we are pleased to support Prince and the Rebuild the Dream Innovation Fund in advocating for our youth." Additional performers and speakers for the 20th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival will be announced soon.

SKYZOO'S "AN ODE TO REASONABLE DOUBT" ON DECK - PAYS HOMAGE TO JAY Z.
On December 4, 2013, Skyzoo will partner with producer Antman Wonder to release his final offering for the year: a concept album titled An Ode To Reasonable Doubt (AOTRD), presented by Sky's imprint First Generation Rich, Inc. and Loyalty Digital Corp. As the title suggests, the independent project - featuring nine new Skyzoo x Antman collaborations – pays homage to Jay-Z's 1996 debut album, with the release date carefully chosen to further honor the elder Brooklyn MC. The EP is being offered as a “Pay What You Want” release, with incentives offered at various price points. Loyalty Digital Corp. has partnered with several influential brands to offer incentive deluxe packages for those fans who are moved to support the project, including exclusive autographed merchandise and other prizes.

The idea behind AOTRD was actually born from Skyzoo's fans. In 2011, around the release of Detroit-rapper elZhi's Elmatic, an independent album inspired by Nas's debut Illmatic, Skyzoo was asked by one of his Twitter followers if he had ever considered doing the same with Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt. As he always does, Sky retweeted the question with his answer, which was simply that it would be an interesting concept.

He had fully intended on leaving it at that, until he saw the level of interest it piqued with the fans, who immediately shared his tweet over a hundred times and replied asking that he make his Reasonable Doubt project a reality. Around the same time, Skyzoo was introduced to Antman Wonder, a classically trained musician and composer who had, coincidentally, crafted a collection of original instrumentals inspired by and in some cases sampling the production on the Roc-A-Fella opus. But for Sky who, at the time was managing a full plate of pending projects, the idea paused there: an interesting concept to potentially revisit for his fans, who have continued to ask about it daily since Sky's very first tweet.

In the past few weeks, following the one year anniversary of his critically-acclaimed sophomore album A Dream Deferred, Skyzoo and Antman returned to the concept, crafting was is sure to become a fan favorite, most notably because it was created by two artists who have been inspired by Reasonable Doubt since its original release. "For me, Reasonable Doubt was and is one of the most cohesive bodies of work in hip hop, period," says Skyzoo. "The way Hov painted exactly what that side of the fence was, from the highs and celebrations, to the lows and worried phone calls, to the emotions of someone truly with the weight of the world on their shoulders. It was as honest and clear cut as you can get. As a fan it made me wanna learn every word, and as an artist it further shaped my storytelling and approach to writing." Antman Wonder recalls the album having a similar impact in his life. "Reasonable Doubt further defined Hip-Hop for me," he explains. "It came out at a time where street rap was grimy and visceral; and then came RD, which was cinematic and ironically eloquent in its own way. The production staff on it was legendary and it helped shape the way I approach music."

AOTRD truly reflects both artists' appreciation of its influence, even down to the name of each song, titled as a reflection on Jay-Z's original - "Dead Presidents" becomes "Meeting The Presidents"; "Can't Knock The Hustle" is reimagined as "The Hustle Never Sleeps" and so forth. The result is a rare collection of songs that are as rich lyrically as they are sonically. "Reasonable Doubt literally raised a generation and stands as a pinnacle of the elusive marriage of pure Hip-Hop, intricate storytelling and reflection," adds Skyzoo. "To be campaigned by the people to recreate it for our era is both an honor and a testament to what I've been able to achieve through my own music. An Ode To Reasonable Doubt will serve as another piece to the house that I've been building, while honoring and simply saying ‘thank you’ to my and everyone else's favorite emcee."

BIG STARS TAKE CENTER STAGE @ SOUL TRAIN AWARDS 2013.
It's lights, camera, soul in the city of Las Vegas as some of music's biggest hit makers grace the stage on this year's Soul Train Awards 2013. Hosted by actor and comedian Anthony Anderson, The awards show caps off an exciting year in music honoring icons and showcasing future superstars. This year's show features electrifying performances and countless surprises kicked off by Jennifer Hudson joined by Chaka Khan, Evelyn "Champagne" King and T.I. for a medley that brought the crowd to its feet.

David Foster and Debbie Allen presented music icon Dionne Warwick with the Legend Award followed by a show stopping tribute led by Gladys Knight, Ronald Isley, Eric Benet, Ruben Studdard, Kenny Lattimore, Bobby V., Chrisette Michele, Eddie Levert and Candice Glover. R&B crooner Keith Sweat received the Lifetime Achievement Award and performed a medley of his greatest hits with a special appearance by soul diva Faith Evans.

Also hitting the stage with classic performances are Bobby Caldwell featuring Dave Koz, Jon B. and Vanilla Ice for a special 'Blue Eyed Soul' moment, R&B songstresses Tamar Braxton and K. Michelle and Wale featuring Stokely from Mind Condition.

The star-studded ceremony also includes appearances from Wolf Blitzer, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Idris Elba, Toni Braxton, Ashanti, Bill Bellamy, Vivica A. Fox, Janelle Monae, Kandi Burruss, Boris Kodjoe, Tyrese Gibson and more.

Anthony Anderson kept the party going with hilarious skits while hip-hop stars Warren G., Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick and Big Daddy Kane closed things out with a finale performance you won't want to miss!

Soul Train Awards 2013 airs Sunday, December 1st at 8PM ET/PT simultaneously on Centric and BET.

EMINEM REGAINS #1 ON CHARTS.
Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 returns to the #1 on the sales chart this week with 120,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album debuted at #1 three weeks ago, but lost the top spot to Lady Gaga's ARTPOP last week. Now Eminem is back on top for his second week at #1 according to Billboard. Over on the Digital Songs chart, Eminem's "The Monster," featuring Rihanna, is stationary at #1, selling another 241,000 downloads (down 1%).

UNICEF AND RIHANNA LAUNCH "THERE FOR THE PHILIPPINES" CAMPAIGN.
Unicef today launched a new campaign—"There for the Philippines"—to support the immediate and long-term relief efforts for children and families whose lives were upended by Super Typhoon Haiyan.

Unicef Supporter Rihanna helped kick-off the campaign and raise awareness of Unicef's work in the Philippines via social media. She also made a $100,000 donation to the U.S. Fund for Unicef. WNBA's Skylar Diggins, MLB star Robinson Cano and actress Vanessa Hudgens are also participating.

"We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support shown during this crisis," said Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for Unicef. "The effects of the strongest storm to make landfall have been devastating and the rebuilding process will not happen overnight. Unicef will be there for as long as it takes to help children and families to recover."

"Emergencies make headlines, but the recovery continues long after the news cameras leave," said Rihanna. "Having been a fan and supporter of Unicef's work over the years, I am honored to join them in helping children who have been impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. More than five million kids in the Philippines need our help. Unicef is there for them today, and for the long road ahead, and so am I."

The digital "There for the Philippines" campaign asks people to assist Unicef's relief efforts by donating funds and sharing the message of the needs of vulnerable children in the hard-hit areas. Participants can change their Facebook profile picture or tweet messages of support.

With nearly 13 million people - including 5.5 million children - affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan, Unicef is rushing lifesaving emergency supplies to the region, including essential medicines, nutrition, safe water and hygiene supplies. UNICEF is also working to reunite children with their families and is setting up safe, protected spaces where children can play, continue their education and resume a sense of normalcy.

NIPSEY HUSTLE ANNOUNCES CRENSHAW TOUR.
California’s very own Nispey Hussle is getting ready to embark on a 31-city tour in lieu of the wide reception of his groundbreaking album, Crenshaw.

Crenshaw is a 21-track offering made with unparalleled composition and effortless production. On the project, Hussle is joined by a number of guests, including: Dom Kennedy & Cobby Supreme, who appear on "Checc Me Out", Rick Ross & Cuzzy Capone, who appear on "The Weather", and Sade & James Fauntleroy, who appear on "If U Were Mine". Production team includes The Futuristics, 1500 Or Nothin, Wizzo, and Ralo.

The Crenhaw Tour kicks off on January 9th in Sacramento, California and ends on February 13th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Check out at all the tour dates and corresponding locations, below.

NIPSEY HUSSLE CRENSHAW TOUR DATES:
1/9 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
1/11 – San Diego, CA – Porters Pub
1/12 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
1/13 – Englewood, CO – Gothic
1/14 – Lincoln, NE – The Grove
1/15 – Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights
1/17 – Chicago, IL – Reggies Rock Club
1/18 – St. Louis, MO – Pop's
1/19 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
1/20 – Columbus, OH – Skully's
1/21 – Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar
1/22 – Boston, MA – Venue Nightclub
1/23 – Danbury, CT – Eclipse Nightclub
1/24 – New York City, NY – Highline Ballroom
1/25 – Washington D.C – The Howard Theatre
1/26 – Charlotte, NC – The Neighborhood Theatre
1/27 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
1/28 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl
1/30 – Jacksonville, FL – The Roc Bar
1/31 – Miami, FL – Villa 221
2/1 – Tampa, FL – The Orpheum
2/3 – Orlando, FL – Firestone Live
2/4 – Gainesville, FL – High Dive
2/5 – Birmingham, AL – Work / Play
2/6 – New Orleans, LA – Howling Wolf
2/7 – Houston, TX – Warehouse
2/8 – Dallas, TX – Prophet Bar
2/9 – Lubbock, TX – Wreckers
2/11 – San Antonio, TX – Backstage Live
2/12 – El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
2/13 – Albuquerque, TX – Launch Pad

MARY J SET TO PERFORM NATIONAL ANTHEM.
Mary J. Blige will perform the National Anthem prior to the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Game on Thursday, Nov. 28. The traditional holiday match-up at AT&T Stadium pits the Cowboys against the Oakland Raiders in a 3:30pm Central kickoff on CBS TV.

Mary J. Blige, who performed the National Anthem at Fenway Park prior to Game One of the 2013 World Series, recently released her first-ever holiday album, A Mary Christmas, with sixteen-time Grammy winning record producer David Foster.

"After hearing Mary perform the National Anthem during the World Series, we could not think of a better singer to invite to our Thanksgiving Day game to deliver anthem," said Charlotte Anderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer of the Dallas Cowboys. "Her stirring rendition of the anthem on that national stage was moving. With the nation's football fans focused on AT&T Stadium for our traditional holiday game, we wanted an entertainer that could deliver just that type of performance to kick off what will be a great game."

Blige has sold over 50 million records, which includes eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards (plus 29 nominations) and four American Music Awards. A Mary Christmas is Blige's 11th studio album.

PROBLEM ANNOUNCES UNDERSTAND ME EP - PLUS TOUR DATES.
Diamond Lane Music Group artist Problem has announced the release of his new EP Understand Me. The EP, to be released December 10th, includes some of his biggest hits of 2013 including smash "Like Whaaat" and new single "Understand Me". Tracklist listed below.

EP TRACKLIST
1. Moment of Clarity
2. Understand Me
3. Say That Then (feat. Glasses Malone)
4. Let Em Die
5. I Be On
6. Stop Playin' (feat. Mars)
7. Like Whaaat (feat. Bad Lucc)
8. Singin' From My Heart

Problem will embark on a headlining West Coast tour, beginning November 29th in Sacramento, CA. The Live Nation tour comes at an exciting time for Problem, riding high off the success of his single "Like Whaaat". The hit rose to the Urban Radio Top 20.

THE SEPARATION TOUR DATES:
11/29 Sacramento, Ca @ Ace Of Spades
11/30 Oakland, Ca @ The New Parish
12/01 Santa Barbara, Ca @ Velvet Jones
12/02 San Luis Obispo @ Slo Brew
12/03 Santa Cruz, Ca @ The Catalyst
12/04 Los Angeles, Ca @ The El Rey
12/05 Phoenix, Ca @ Club Red
12/06 Pomona, Ca @ Glass House

DIDDY, HAY Z, AND DR. DRE TOP FORBES' 2013 WORLD'S HIGHEST-PAID MUSICIANS LIST.
Diddy, Jay Z and Dr. Dre were the only hip hop acts to make the Top 25 highest-paid musicians list, according to Forbes’ “The World’s Highest-Paid Musicians 2013.”

Sean “Diddy” Combs, who ranks #12 with $50 million (making him hip-hop’s highest-paid act), earns the bulk of his bucks from his wildly successful Ciroc vodka deal. His Revolt TV network, launched in October, should provide a big boost to future earnings.

Jay Z grabbed #19 bringing in $42 million and Dr. Dre took #21, earning $40 million.

T.I. AND GRAND HUSTLE ENTER PARTNERSHIP WITH COLUMBIA RECORDS.
Columbia Records is proud to announce that it has entered into a partnership with T.I. and his label Grand Hustle to release his new studio album.

The signing adds to an already incredible year for T.I. This past summer, T.I. was featured on Robin Thicke's #1 record breaking global smash "Blurred Lines" with Pharell Williams, who was also instrumental in bringing T.I. to Columbia and will executive produce his upcoming LP. T.I. is currently in the studio recording his 9th album with mega producer Timbaland and longtime collaborator DJ Toomp. The album will be released early 2014 via GrandHustle/Columbia Records, ensuring that 2014 will be another phenomenal year for T.I.

"We're very excited to welcome T.I. to the Columbia family. With his massive US success and career history, we are going to make him an even bigger superstar on a global level." – Rob Stringer, Chairman/CEO Columbia Records

"I'm honored to be partners with such a successful, passionate and creative conglomerate like Columbia Records, who respects and supports the vision of their artist and partners. Nothing but love, respect & appreciation for Doug Morris, Rob Stringer and the entire staff. Also, a special thank you to my big bruh, Sk8board P, for always believing in me and also executive producing my upcoming project."- T.I.

"We're excited to be in business with Columbia Records and its team of leadership. I'm now looking forward to spreading our brand on a global level."- Jason Geter, Grand Hustle

In his career, the multi-platinum Atlanta-native has achieved four Billboard Hot 100 #1's and has sold over 14 million albums and 30 million singles to date. T.I. is also the recipient of 11 Billboard Awards, 9 BET Hip Hop Awards, 3 GRAMMY® Awards, 3 BET Awards, 2 American Music Awards and an MTV Video Music Award. His standout collaborations with some of music's biggest artists include Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Lil Wayne, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Destiny's Child, Britney Spears, B.O.B., Drake, Christina Aguilera, Kanye West and Swizz Beats.

T.I. has also experienced remarkable success this year as an actor, appearing in the hit film Identity Thief and playing a guest starring role in the SHOWTIME series HOUSE OF LIES. His VH1 unscripted series, T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle recently entered into its third season, capturing T.I. as he balances a thriving career, wife Tameka "Tiny" Cottle and their loving, blended family of six children. The series continues to be one of the highest rated shows on VH1.

DIDDY / REVOLT / MARY J ON DECK FOR THANKSGIVING - XMAS SPECIAL.
To kick-off the 2013 holiday season, REVOLT TV announced plans today to air a one-hour, prime time special event featuring Queen Mary J. Blige. Premiering on Thanksgiving night at 8pm eastern, "A Mary Christmas" will feature Mary as she shares her magical take on Christmas classics, along with special guest Tyrese and host Queen Latifah. The special was executive produced by music icon Andre Harrell, who has been a mentor to Mary for two decades. Based on her recently released album of the same name, the program will include multiple performances in front of a live audience. In the special, Mary opens up about her inspirations and shares holiday-related stories.

"Mary J. Blige has had a long and prosperous relationship with our chairman, Sean Combs, and our vice chairman, Andre Harrell," said REVOLT CEO Keith Clinkscales. "We are all proud and excited to have the incomparable Mary J. Blige present a family-friendly television event that appeals to music fans of all ages. Mary is blessed with a gift in her emotional delivery of song and we are happy to present it to the REVOLT nation for this holiday season."

R&B singer Tyrese will join Mary for a special performance with legendary musical director David Foster. Mary will sing classics from "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," to an incredible rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Joined by a live orchestra and choir arranged by music director Kim Burse, 'A Mary Christmas' will debut on Thanksgiving night with additional encore performances as well.

RZA SAYS WU-TANG FOREVER - BUT NOT WITH HIM ON THE MIC?
RZA sees the latest Wu-Tang Clan endeavor as the end of the influential rap group as we know it. The 44-year-old Wu-Tang leader and producer says he's still six weeks or so away from finishing the Clan's overdue new album "A Better Tomorrow." The process has made him realize he's got different priorities these days.

"When you're a young man, you're hustling and you've got 12 hours a day to dedicate to music. It might be more than that," said the rapper, whose real name is Robert Diggs, in a phone interview. "The energy that's important is constantly pouring out. But when you've got to go seek for the energy, it becomes a little more difficult. Wu-Tang is forever, I'll never take back that statement. But we haven't recorded a lot of studio albums. This is the first album we've recorded in seven years, actually. And we can't wait seven years for another album."

RZA foresees a future where the spirit of the Wu-Tang Clan lives on in the children of the original nine members of the New York-based collective and in the untold scores of rappers, producers and entrepreneurs influenced by the group — folks like Drake, whose "Wu-Tang Forever" drew a lot of attention earlier this year. He's had trouble wrapping up the collective's plans in the now, though.

The 20th anniversary of the release of "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)," the Clan's still-powerful debut album, came and went last week, and the album meant to celebrate the moment remains a work in progress.

RZA says he traveled around the country gathering material for the album, even stopping over in Memphis, Tenn., where he conducted original recording sessions with players from the revered Stax and Hi record labels. Most of his production is complete, and most of the other members of the group — including GZA, Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Inspectah Deck — completed their versework in two sessions over the summer. He hopes to have it completed in 45 days or so after sending it to a few outside producers for final touches.

One obstacle remains.

"Everybody did their verses except Raekwon," RZA said. "He hasn't turned in his verses yet. I don't know if he's still trying to find the vibe of the music. We have to talk about it before it becomes too late. But he hasn't come to the table yet."

Attempts to reach Raekwon for comment were unsuccessful. RZA says he's not sure if the project can be completed without his crewmate: "Well, you know what, that's something that I would take a vote on with the rest of the crew. I'm not a dictator about that. Raekwon is a valuable energy to the Wu-Tang, his voice, his lyrics, his approach. Rae is a master lyricist."

RZA's got plenty to do in the meantime. He's recently finished the screenplay for what he hopes will be his second feature film and he's acting in the new Fox series "Gang Related," playing a Los Angeles police officer on a Los Angeles gang unit.

"There are moles inside the police department from the gang culture, that's the whole trick about the series," he said. "Who's going to turn out to be the double agents? Who's gang-related? Each week it's getting closer. I don't know if it's going to be me or not."

More and more, he sees acting - not producing - as his 9 to 5.

"I live in a capitalist country so I respect, 'Cash rules,'" he said. "That might get me on the mic at 50. But I prefer not to be on the mic at 50."

2014 GRAMMY SALUTE TO INDUSTRY ICONS® HONORS UMG CHAIRMAN AND CEO LUCIAN GRAINGE
Clive Davis and The Recording Academy® will present the annual Pre-GRAMMY® Gala on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., the evening before the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards®

As part of the evening's celebration, the 2014 GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons® will honor Universal Music Group's (UMG) Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, CBE. The Recording Academy will present Grainge with the President's Merit Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the music industry and the impact his efforts have had on music and the business of music. Past recipients include Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, Sir Richard Branson, Clive Davis, Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Berry Gordy, Doug Morris, Antonio "L.A." Reid, and Mo Ostin.

"As we enter our sixth year of collaborating with Clive Davis, this legendary gala continues to be one of GRAMMY Week's most prestigious events complete with unique one-of-a-kind performances," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "We are delighted and proud to pay tribute to Lucian Grainge, whose ability to spot talent and his impeccable business sense has made him one of today's most successful leaders and a visionary Industry Icon."

With a career that spans more than three decades, Grainge has signed or worked with some of the most talented musicians in the industry including ABBA, JAY Z, Justin Bieber, Elton John, Eminem, Metallica, Katy Perry, Rihanna, U2, and Amy Winehouse. Additionally, through the course of his impressive career, he has pioneered new approaches to the signing and development of artists, as well as successfully built new and innovative business models and partnerships with a range of technology and media partners around the world, such as Apple, Google, Spotify, and YouTube.

In 1986 Grainge joined Universal Music, and subsequently launched PolyGram Music Publishing in the UK. In 2005 he was named chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group International and by 2011, he was named chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Music Group. During his tenure at Universal, he has led the acquisition of EMI's recorded music operations, revitalized the iconic Capitol Records and in the process, further strengthened UMG's position as a global leader. His inspiring leadership in music publishing and recorded music as well as in the convergence of music and technology has been recognized as having laid the foundation for a return growth in recent years of an industry that had been suffering more than a decade of decline. Since becoming CEO in 2011, Grainge dramatically improved the financial performance of UMG by significantly increasing the company's revenues and profitability. At the same time the company set numerous creative records including being the first music company with nine of the top 10 songs on Billboard's Digital Songs chart and the first music company to score all 10 of the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100.

Throughout the years, Grainge has been recognized with many accolades, including topping Billboard magazine's Power 100 list as the most powerful executive in the industry. In 2010 he was recognized in Britain's New Year Honors and awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and in 2011. He has been awarded the prestigious Music Industry Trusts' Award as one of the most influential and successful executives in global entertainment. Grainge was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron as a UK Business Ambassador with special remit on global media and entertainment. Recently, he was named a trustee of the American Friends of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of Dreamworks Animation and the board of trustees of Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

Clive Davis began his career at Columbia Records where he was appointed president in 1967 and signed such legendary rock artists as Janis Joplin, Santana, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Earth, Wind & Fire. In 1974 Davis co-founded Arista Records where he signed Barry Manilow, Patti Smith and Whitney Houston and further developed the careers of the Kinks, the Grateful Dead, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin. His business ventures include forming LaFace Records in 1989 with Babyface and L.A. Reid, and creating Bad Boy Records in 1994 with Sean "Diddy" Combs. In 2000 J Records was born (in partnership with BMG) and emerged as a dominant force, producing the works of Alicia Keys and Maroon 5. Davis was then appointed chairman/CEO of BMG U.S. Label Group where he oversaw an expanded RCA Music Group, including J Records, RCA Records and Arista Records. After BMG and Sony Music merged, in 2008 Davis was appointed chief creative officer, Sony Music Worldwide, where he continues to nurture and develop talent. In 2000 Davis received the Trustees Award from The Recording Academy and was recognized with the President's Merit Awards at the 2009 GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons. As a humanitarian, Davis has made tireless efforts in the battle against AIDS, spearheading donations of millions of dollars for AIDS research. In 2002 the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music was created at his undergraduate alma mater, New York University. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

OUTKAST REUNION FINALLY GOING DOWN?
Reuniion rumors for Andre Outkast ("Andre 3000" Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton) have been surfacing over the last few years. Are they finally teaming back up in 2014?

According to Billboard, OutKast is reportedly discussing the possibility of a reunion at 2014's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California.

The Atlanta hip-hop duo is indeed in talks to reunite next year for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, multiple sources have confirmed to Billboard. Under the current plan, Coachella, which kicks off on Apr. 11, 2014 in Indio, Calif., would be the start of the reunion run and would be followed by additional festival dates in 2014.

One source tells Billboard that there have definitely been "some conversations" about Outkast reuniting, while another says it is "all systems go" for Big Boi and Andre 3000 to end their hiatus next year.

"There's been a lot of talk on the Internet about an Outkast album and I have to say that as of now, there are no plans for another Outkast album," Andre 3000 told GQ in February 2012.

"We been kind of discussing some things," Big Boi said in an interview with Los Angeles radio station Power 106. "Once we map it out, we'll make an announcement. But we'll see."

EMINEM ‘THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP 2 GOES PLATINUM IN 2 WEEKS.
Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 sold 210,000 copies in just its second week. The album, which sold more than 793,000 copies last week, has now surpassed the platinum mark of a million copies sold.

It only took 14 days, Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 has crossed the one million mark.

FOUNDER OF KOCH ENT TO RETIRE END OF 2013.
Michael Koch, the founder of the company that would become eOne Music, will retire at the end of 2013.

In an email to employees, Koch thanked them for helping to build the company, which began life in the U.S. as Koch International and later became known as Koch Entertainment. In 2005, he sold the company for $80 million to Row Entertainment Income Fund (Billboard, May 2005). The latter firm was subsequently named Entertainment One Income Fund before evolving to eOne.

"It has been quite a ride from when I started the company in January 1987 and since the sale to Entertainment One in June 2005," Koch wrote. “Building the business and making it flourish has been very gratifying, but what I will miss the most is working with all of you. I could not have done it without all the great and dedicated individuals that have worked and continue to work here."

Koch, who is CEO of the U.S. operation, said in the email that eOne has "a strong leadership team in place that is ready to assume additional responsibilities. The company will announce the new leadership structure in the near future."

The company began as a distributor of classical music before diversifying into other genres and adding record label capabilities, which is now known as eOne Music. The distribution company currently has 1.15% in U.S. album plus track equivalent album market share, according to Nielsen SoundScan, while its label comprises 0.46% of that.

Koch International was at the forefront of the trend toward national distribution for independent labels, which up until the 1990s thrived on a network of regional distribution. In 1990 it pacted with the Shanachie label to handle the label's distribution on a national basis.

In a comment on Koch's retirement, Shanachie Entertainment co-founder Richard Nevins said: "I fondly remembered the great adventure we pursued together, not unlike the transcontinental railroad that was completed in 1869 linking the eastern part of the U.S. with the western part -- you, with our help, did the same for independent distribution, linking the whole country into one entity." Source: Billboard

TYRESE SIGNS KRISTAL TO HIS IMPRINT.
Throughout the years there has been a plethora of female artists scratching out a tune to become the high priestess and the conversation would be moot without the full acknowledgment of Kristal. The soulful siren who hails from Charlotte, North Carolina has captured the attention of many a mogul, but it was musician/actor/author Tyrese Gibson who captured the essence of Kristal and signed her to his label Voltron Recordz which will release her debut untitled disc summer 2014.

Gibson established Voltron Recordz in 2009 as antithesis to the traditional recording label: "I have full respect and admiration for the record music process," says the Grammy nominated artist and CEO of Voltron Recordz. "However, in my house, I wanted to use some of the disciplines of traditional label practices and the lessons that I have learned from the buying public so that I may present the best sonic efforts possible." He continues, "In Kristal's album, both fans, radio programmers and music directors will find an in-depth record which not only sounds amazing but will touch you in a way that music hasn't in a very long time."

Humility, a passion for music, and a chance meeting led Kristal to Tyrese Gibson. When musical minds connect, history is made. We've learned about it in the past: Berry Gordy and Diana Ross; Clive Davis and Whitney Houston; Babyface and Toni Braxton, and Clive and Alicia Keys. So to see the partnership of Tyrese Gibson and Kristal written in the annals of history is not a leap of faith.

"An artist like Kristal may come along once in a decade," says Gibson. "I am just overjoyed that I have the opportunity to present her talents to the world." With a new single "Silhouette" which made its terrestrial debut at Atlanta's V103, Kristal is off to a great start and is prepared for the exciting journey which lies ahead. Click here for a free download of "Silhouette".

Fans of Tyrese will be surprised to see the actor/musician/author take on the role of music executive, but for Tyrese Gibson, this is just the next chapter in his secret diary.

SONY SELLS MORE THAN 1 MILLION PLAYSTATION PS4'S 1ST DAY SALES.
Sony says it sold more than 1 million of its PlayStation 4 video game consoles during their first 24 hours on the market.

The consoles went on sale Friday in the U.S. and Canada. Andrew House, president and group CEO for Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., said in a release Sunday that sales remain strong in North America. The company will launch the gaming system in Europe and Latin America on Nov. 29.

Sony has said it expects to sell 5 million units by the end of its fiscal year in March.

The PlayStation 4 is Sony's first new video game console in seven years. It faces competition from Microsoft Corp.'s new Xbox One, which goes on sale this week.

But unlike seven years ago, video game systems are also now competing against tablets, smartphones and other gadgets for the attention of gamers. Source: Billboard

KANYE GIVES TALK @ HARVARD.
Kanye West addressed hundreds of students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design during an appearance at the Ivy League institute. Students showed up in droves to hear the 36-year-old hip hop star discuss design, architecture, creativity and politics.

"The reason I turn up so much for interviews is because I've tasted what it means to create, and be able to impact and affect in a positive way, and I know there is more creativity to happen," West told the crowd.

"I believe that Utopia is actually possible, but we're lead by the least noblest, the least dignified, the least tasteful, the dumbest, and the most political. In no way am I a politician. I am usually, at my best, politically incorrect and very direct."

West and Virgil Abloh, creative director of his DONDA brand, gave a joint lecture as part of their DONDA Design Lecture Series.

The initiative has been responsible for the artwork on releases such as Yeezus, Pusha T's My Name Is My Name, 2 Chainz' B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, Lil Wayne's I Am Not a Human Being 2, and more.

His fiancé, Kim Kardahsian, who was also present at the event, posted a picture of the star surrounded by attentive students with the gushing caption: "My baby speaking at the Harvard Graduate School of Design."

West is said to have guaranteed his visit ended on a high by handing out free tickets to his Yeezus concert to everyone in the department.

The tour recently resumed in Philadelphia following a string of postponed and cancelled dates after stage equipment was damaged in a truck collision.

JAY-Z TO CONTINUE BARNEYS COLLAB.
Jay Z says he'll continue his collaboration with Barneys despite allegations that black shoppers were racially profiled at the high-end retailer. In a statement on his website, Jay Z said he’d agreed to move forward with next week’s launch of his BNY SCC collection under the condition that he helps lead the store’s review of its policies.

“The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policymaking to others hoping that someone addresses the problem,” said Jay Z. “I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on.”

He said 100 percent of sales from the collection of clothes, accessories and jewelry will go toward his charitable foundation, which supports educational opportunities for disadvantaged students, and an additional 10 percent of all Barneys’ sales during Wednesday’s launch day will also be donated.

Barneys New York said in a statement that it guaranteed raising a minimum of $1 million Wednesday to be donated to the foundation.

“Barneys New York has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination,” the statement said. “As we have stated all along, if we learn any procedures or practices are not consistent with our zero-tolerance policy, we will immediately take corrective action including terminating those employees responsible.”

The state attorney general's office is looking into the profiling claims.

UNIVERSAL MUSIC REVENUE UP 21.9%.
Vivendi, the parent company of Universal Music Group, has released its fiscal results for the third quarter of 2013, as well as the total figures for the first nine months of the year.

Universal Music Group (UMG) revenues for the first nine month of 2013 were EUR3,398 million, up 21.9% at constant currency (+17.1% at actual currency) compared to the first nine months of 2012. At constant currency and constant perimeter (i.e., excluding revenues from EMI Recorded Music, acquired at the end of September 2012), revenues increased 0.9% year-on-year for the first nine months of 2013 and 6.7% in the third quarter alone compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Digital sales represented 53.9% of recorded music sales for the first nine months of 2013, compared to 47.6% a year earlier.

Recorded music best sellers for the first nine months of 2013 included artists and bands such as Imagine Dragons, Rihanna, Robin Thicke, Drake, Taylor Swift and France's Stromae and Vanessa Paradis.

UMG's EBITA of EUR255 million was up 12.5% at constant currency (+7.1% at actual currency) compared to the first nine months of 2012. Excluding restructuring and integration costs, EBITA was up 19.9%. In the third quarter alone at constant currency, EBITA increased by 46.8% due to higher sales and strict cost management.

The synergies related to the EMI Recorded Music acquisition are on track and should reach the target of more than GBP100 million by the end of 2014.

THE GAME DONATES $10,000 TO HELP VICTIMS OF PHILIPPINES TYPHOON.
Rapper The Game has donated $10,000 to help the victims of the deadly typhoon which battered the Philippines last week. Over 10,000 people have been left dead after Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the southeast Asian country, with experts branding it one of the worst natural disasters in modern history.

After seeing the devastation caused by the storm, The Game felt compelled to act and has donated the cash sum to help aid efforts through his Robin Hood Project charity. The hip-hop star made a plea for further donations to Unicef and the Red Cross in an emotional post on his Instagram page, writing, "This hurts my heart knowing that many of those amongst the dead are little children. My heart goes out to the families & friends of those who perished for only God knows I could not deal with the loss of any of mine. If there's anyone out there who would like to donate anything.... I am sure they would appreciate any sum of money donated."

CHRIS BROWN OUT OF REHAB.
Chris brown has been released from rehab. Brown's representative Nicole Perna says the 24-year-old singer will continue treatment for anger issues as an outpatient in Los Angeles and "appreciates all of your encouragement and support." He entered rehab voluntarily after his arrest in Washington, D.C., following a fight with a man that led to a misdemeanor assault charge that puts Brown's probation in jeopardy.

Perna says Brown is working on the community service requirement of the plea deal he agreed to after pleading guilty to attacking then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. Brown faces four years in prison if a judge decides to revoke his probation a second time. A judge briefly revoked it in August after a hit-and-run, and ordered him to perform an additional 1,000 hours of community service.

RIHANNA SET TO RECEIVE AMA ICON AWARD.
Rihanna is set yo perform and receive the first ever AMA Icon Award on the "2013 American Music Awards®" dick clark productions has announced that Rihanna will receive the "AMA Icon Award" and perform on the "2013 American Music Awards," which will broadcast live from the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24th

Klein stated, "The first-ever Icon Award was created to honor an artist whose body of work has made a profound influence over pop music on a global level. Rihanna's iconic and innovative sound has enabled her to become one of the most influential and best-selling artists of all time."

Rihanna has taken the music, entertainment and fashion industry by storm. As an accomplished performer, she has sold 50 million albums and 180 million digital tracks worldwide making her the top-selling digital artist of all time. She's put out 7 albums in 7 years, achieved 12 number-one singles and won 6 Grammy Awards. With over 4 billion views and 16 Vevo certified videos she is the most viewed artist on Vevo/YouTube and the biggest artist on Facebook with over 80 million friends. In addition, she's successfully launched four fragrances, two capsule collections with Armani, as well as four River Island collections and is currently the spokesperson for Viva Glam.

TLC ON DECK FOR SPECIAL PERFORMANCE @ 2013 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS.
dick clark productions has announced that TLC will perform a special performance at the 2013 American Music Awards.. This marking their AMA return with a special unannounced guest..[[Some are speculating that Left Eye may make a hologram appearance]]!!... We will see. The show will broadcast live from the NOKIA Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, Nov. 24th on ABC. Jennifer Lopez will also perform a tribute to music legend Celia Cruz, and Katy Perry will open this year's show with the second single "Unconditionally," from her new album Prism.

All join previously announced performers Luke Bryan, Miley Cyrus, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, One Direction, Justin Timberlake and this year's host, Pitbull.

TLC is the best-selling girl group of all time having sold 65 million records worldwide. They are the only female hip hop group to earn a diamond certified album for their seminal Crazy Sexy Cool LP. They captured the world's attention with their sassy attitude, sophisticated R&B feel and socially conscious lyrical style. From their inception, this multi award winning group unleashed a cool blend of hook-laden pop, hip-hop and R&B music topped off by flamboyant wardrobes and vibrant, attention-grabbing energy. The trio is largely considered to be one of the most musically innovative and important female groups in music history.

The "2013 American Music Awards" is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro and Michael Mahan are Executive Producers and Larry Klein is Producer.

The "American Music Awards" are voted on by the fans. For the seventh year in a row, winners will be determined by online voting. Fans can vote at the Coca-Cola AMA voting site AMAvote.com. In addition, for the first time in AMAs History, fans will also be able to vote for their favorite artists via Twitter.

EMINEM TAKES #1 ON THE CHARTS.
Eminem makes a big splash with his return to the charts this week debuting The Marshall Mathers LP 2, moving 792,000 in sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It marks the second-largest sales week of the year, behind only Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience, which debuted with 968,000 in March. MMLP2 also marks Eminem's seventh consecutive #1 album. His only album to miss the top slot was his first release, 1999's The Slim Shady LP, which debuted at #2.

Billboard notes that MMLP2 also logs the sixth-biggest sales week of the past five years. Since November of 2008, the only larger weeks were earned by Taylor Swift's Red (1.2 million), Lady Gaga's Born This Way (1.1 million), Swift's Speak Now (1 million), Timberlake, and Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV (964,000). Moreover, MMLP2 sold more than the combined sales of the Nos. 2-32 albums on the Billboard 200 chart this week, accounting for 14 percent of all album sales.

JAY Z SUED BY TUFAMERICA OVER INFRINGEMENT.
Jay Z is being sued for copyright infringement for allegedly sampling late R&B singer Eddie Bo’s 1969 single “Hook & Sling Part 1" without permission.

New York-based record label TufAmerica claims Jay Z sampled “Hook & Sling Part 1" in his 2009 Grammy-winning hit “Run This Town,” featuring Rihanna and Kanye West. Jay Z released “Run This Town” as the second single from his eleventh studio album, The Blueprint 3. The song reached number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.

TufAmerica is seeking damages as well as proceeds from Jay Z's song, which featured Rihanna and Kanye West. TufAmerica was also behind the copyright case filed against the Beastie Boys a day before Adam Yauch's death and which ended up with a minimal victory for TufAmerica. The company has also sued EMI over supposed infringement within a John Legend song, Christina Aguilera over her song "Ain't No Other Man" and Kanye West for two alleged offenses on his album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy."

ICE-T & BODY COUNT ON DECK FOR NEW ALBUM?
Ice-T tweeted the following: We called last night the 'TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE' We're BACK! The new BC album 2014. #MANSLAUGHTER

EMINEM WINS GLOBAL ICON AWARD @ 2013 MTV EMA'S.
Eminem has been honoured by MTV with the Global Icon Award at the EMAs in Amsterdam on Sunday night. The rapper joins a list of previous winners including Bon Jovi, Queen, and Whitney Houston.

He also topped the UK album chart on Sunday with his latest studio record, The Marshall Mathers LP 2.

"A lot of thought goes into who could possibly be appropriate." Bruce Gilmer from MTV said. "This man, has sold over 80 million records. "I think everyone agrees, Eminem is one of the most creative and unique artists of our time." Source: BBC

RIHANNA SCORES 25TH HOT 100 TOP 10.
Rihanna grabs her 25th top 10, matching the sum totaled by Elvis Presley. "The Monster" single which debuted at #3 has surfaced narratives between Eminem and the Beatles and Rihanna and the King of Rock and Roll.

Collaboration Numbers,
Here's an updated look at the acts with the most Hot 100 top 10s:

38 -- Madonna
34 -- the Beatles
28 -- Michael Jackson
28 -- Stevie Wonder
27 -- Mariah Carey
27 -- Janet Jackson
27 -- Elton John
25 -- Elvis Presley
25 -- Rihanna
23 -- Whitney Houston
23 -- the Rolling Stones

Not only does Rihanna log her milestone 25th Hot 100 top 10, but she also earns the honor of being the fastest among women, besting Madonna by four months. "The Monster" ranks in the top tier just eight years and four months after her first such hit, "Pon De Replay," in 2005. That just tops the eight-year, seven-month span for Madonna from her first week in the top 10 with "Borderline" (June 16, 1984) and her 25th, the No. 7-peaking "Deeper and Deeper," which reached the region the week of Jan. 16, 1993.

Rihanna tallies her 25th top 10 the second-most quickly among all acts. The Beatles needed just four years between 1964's "I Want to Hold Your Hand" -- one of the titles that gave the Fab Four a record six songs in the top 20 simultaneously that year -- and 1968's "Lady Madonna" (just to tie together the Beatles and Madonna a little more).

"The Monster" is additionally Rihanna's 45th Hot 100 entry, tying her with the output of her Island Def Jam labelmate Carey. Here's an updated look at the women with the most Hot 100 visits:

73 -- Aretha Franklin
59 -- Taylor Swift
56 -- Madonna
56 -- Dionne Warwick
53 -- Connie Francis
48 -- Brenda Lee
48 -- Nicki Minaj
45 -- Mariah Carey
45 -- Rihanna
42 -- Miley Cyrus
41 -- Barbra Streisand
40 -- Mary J. Blige
40 -- Diana Ross
Source: Billboard

KANYE WEST TOUR BACK IN ACTION.
Kanye West's temporarily sidetracked Yeezus tour will kick off again Nov. 16 in Philadelphia.

A Wednesday news release from his publicist says West has rescheduled dates in his hometown of Chicago, as well as Toronto and Detroit. He will have to cancel shows in Vancouver, Denver, Columbus, Ohio, Minneapolis and St. Louis due to logistics.

The rapper's tour kicked off in Seattle last month but was derailed after a large LED screen used in the production was damaged in a traffic accident on the way to Vancouver. Twenty-three dates remain to be played, most with Kendrick Lamar as opener.

‘THE GODFATHERS’ (KOOL G RAP & NECRO) ON DECK.
The legendary emcees influence still resounds today as evidenced by Pusha T’s “King Push” where he name drops the Queen’s emcee “rage against the machine/black Zach De La Rocha/and a cranberry roaster/inside track on a G Rap poster.” As a pioneer of Mafioso Hip-Hop, Kool G Rap is often cited by fellow emcees and critics as one of the most influential and trend-setting emcees of the past two decades. Whether as a member of the ground-breaking Juice Crew (with which he helped create the blueprint for a posse cut with “The Symphony” and likewise for his contribution to Heavy D’s “Don’t Curse” which also featured Big Daddy Kane, Grand Puba, Q-Tip & Pete Rock & CL Smooth), or his numerous classic LP’s with DJ Polo (1989’s Road To The Riches, 1990’s Wanted: Dead Or Alive and 1992’s controversial Live And Let Die).

After disbanding from DJ Polo, Kool G Rap started his solo career with his debut solo-LP 4,5,6 in 1995 which featured production from Buckwild and guest appearances from Nas--it has been his most commercially successful solo-LP; reaching #24 on the US Billboard 200 album chart. This was followed by Roots of Evil in 1998 and The Giancana Story in 2002, which included the hit single, “My Life" featuring Talk Box legend G-Wise and it reached #5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts. In the following years, G Rap would go on to release two more solo-LP’s (2007’s Half A Klip which featured production from DJ Premier & Marley Marl & 2011’s Riches, Royalty, Respect) and he continued to flex his lyrical chops on projects from The Brand New Heavies, Fat Joe, M.O.P., Pete Rock, N.O.R.E., Mobb Deep, Big L, Reflection Eternal, Lyricist Lounge 2, G Dep, King Tee, Ghostface, Ras Kass, UGK, Statik Selektah, LL Cool J, Wu-Tang Clan, Alchemist, Raekwon and Rick Ross among others and there were even rumors of G Rap signing to both Rocafella and G-Unit records; and at one point Maybach Music.

Likewise, Necro has also carved out his own very unique standing in the industry, whether it was playing guitar in a metal band at the tender age of 11, rhyming alongside his brother Ill Bill, producing his own material and for artists such as Non-Phixion, Cage, & Raekwon, or creating his own Independent label, Psycho+Logical-Records, which has thrived for over a decade now and released over two-dozen projects (including nine of his own). Necro has toured the globe many times over, been a participant in some of the genre’s top festivals (Rock The Bells & Paid Dues) and even created his own film production company. “The Godfathers album is about pure east coast lyricism over hardcore beats. Kool G Rap is the legendary godfather of all criminal street gangster rap, he invented most of what you see today and lyrically every dope emcee is inspired by him; including myself. On the flipside of that coin, you have me, the underground king of Death Rap and extreme hip-hop, nobody in the field gets more respect than me for brutal rhymes and hardcore production. Since we are both godfather’s of our own respective styles, this collaboration was a natural and overdue one” Necro asserts.

The Godfather’s (Kool G Rap & Necro) will release their collaborative project, “Once Upon A Crime” on 11-19-2013 and it will be released on RBC/Pyscho+Logical-Records.

The Godfathers (Kool G Rap & Necro) “Once Upon A Crime” LP Tracklisting:
1.) Teflon Dons
2.) The City
3.) High Tension
4.) Punched Dead In The Face (Skit)
5.) Black Medicine
6.) Omerta
7.) The Pain
8.) Hustler
9.) We’ll Kill You
10.) Crook Catastrophe & The Gunblast Kid
11.) Unsub
12.) I Hate You (Skit)
13.) Gangsta
14.) Trigga 4 Hire
15.) American Sickos
16.) Wolf Eyes
17.) Heart Attack
18.) Once Upon A Crime

COLUMBIA RECORDS NAMES NEW SVP OF URBAN A&R.
Shawn "Tubby" Holiday joins Columbia Records as SVP of Urban A&R. Holiday was previously SVP of A&R at RCA Records since 2011. Holiday will report to President Ashley Newton and will work out of Columbia’s Los Angeles office. Holiday has worked with such critically acclaimed artists as Akon, T.I., Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson and Robin Thicke, among others.
"Tubby has an impeccable reputation in Urban music and, with his profound knowledge & deep relationships in the genre, I have no doubt that he will be an impact hire for us," noted Newton. "We are thrilled that he is joining the Columbia family."

"I’m extremely appreciative of Rob Stringer and Ashley Newton for this opportunity," remarked Holiday. "I hope to broaden Columbia’s presence in the Urban and Pop world to maintain their artistic legacy. I also look forward to working with the entire Columbia staff."

Holiday previously held the role of SVP/Head of Urban A&R at Interscope Records from 2005 to 2011 and played an instrumental role in the success of Keyshia Cole’s first album in addition to creating hit projects by 50 Cent, The Game and Diddy, among others. Holiday also went on to engineer Interscope Records' label partnership with Akon’s Konlive Records, which includes multi-platinum superstar Lady Gaga. In 2011, he was appointed SVP of A&R at RCA Records and Sony/ATV and worked closely with Clive Davis on such renowned artists as Jennifer Hudson and Santana. Holiday continues to work in his consultancy role with Sony/ATV.

MONSTER AND SHAQ TEAM UP.
Monster, the world leader in high-performance personal audio, connectivity solutions and headphones, is proud to announce that it has joined forces with professional basketball great Dr. Shaquille O'Neal. A household name who won four world championships, three NBA Finals MVP awards and appeared in 15 All-Star games, to name just a few of his accolades, O'Neal will work with Monster to market the company's products across multiple categories—from personal audio to headphones and beyond.

"Head Monster" Noel Lee said: "I am excited that we are collaborating with Shaq to market Monster's products. His bigger than life personality, coupled with his keen marketing experience and sense is a great fit for the Monster brand."

O'Neal noted: "Nobody does studio quality sound better than Monster. They absolutely revolutionized the headphone market. I'm excited to partner with them as they enter the tablet and rechargeable battery space. We have a few more products coming soon too."

The first of two Monster® products O'Neal will endorse for the company is the Monster® M7™ premium tablet, affordably priced and available exclusively online at Walmart for $149.00.

Monster and O'Neal will also market Monster's new Monster® POWERCARD™, one of the world's thinnest rechargeable smartphone backup batteries. The sleek, ultra-thin, credit card-sized Monster® POWERCARD™ features advanced Monster® supercharging technology, and is capable of charging smartphones with a five hour boost in a third of the time compared to competitive USB 2.0 charging solutions. The Monster® POWERCARD™ is available at Verizon stores in Silver, Red and Black for $49.95 SRP.

PITBULL ANNOUNCED TO HOST 2013 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS.
dick clark productions has announced rapper Pitbull will host the "2013 American Music Awards" which will broadcast live from the NOKIA Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, November 24th (8:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) on ABC. Serving as the show's first host since 2008, Pitbull will also perform his new hit single "Timber" with Ke$ha. They join previously announced superstar performers Luke Bryan, Miley Cyrus, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Gaga, Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and One Direction. Additional acts and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.

"I am truly honored to be hosting the 2013 American Music Awards," says Pitbull (Armando Christian Perez). "The night is only about one thing fun! So buckle and get ready. Dále!"

"Pitbull is a multi-talented global superstar and the right man to take the reins of the night, which is going to be one great party," said American Music Awards long-time producer Larry Klein. "That's why he is called Mr. Worldwide. He's the perfect choice to celebrate the universal language of music."

This year marks the 15th year anniversary of the creation of the Favorite Artist Latin category, and the 25th anniversary of Gloria Estefan's appearance on the AMAs, the first Latin star to do so. What better way to celebrate the occasion than having Mr. Worldwide, Pitbull, host the show.
The "2013 American Music Awards" is produced by dick clark productions and executive produced by Allen Shapiro and Michael Mahan.

Miami-native Armando Christian Perez aka Pitbull also known as Mr. Worldwide and Mr. 305 is a globally successful musician, performer, business entrepreneur, fashion icon and actor whose career sales exceed 5 million albums and 40 million singles worldwide. Pitbull has #1 hits in more than 15 countries and his videos have been viewed more than 3 billion times; his music video for the single "Give Me Everything" has alone received over 300 million views on YouTube. His world tour sold out concerts in United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, China and Japan. Pitbull's latest album release Global Warming features massive hit singles "Feel This Moment" featuring Christina Aguilera, and "Don't Stop The Party" which followed his 2 million plus selling single "Back In Time." On November 25, 2013, Pitbull will release a deluxe edition titled Global Warming: Meltdown which includes hit single "Timber" featuring Ke$ha along with 4 other brand new collaborations with Kelly Rowland, Mayer Hawthorne, Mohombi and Inna. Global Warming is the highly anticipated follow-up to Planet Pit, which earned critical acclaim and enjoyed massive commercial success with sales of more than 1.7 million albums and 19 million singles.

EMINEM TALKS WORKING WITH RIHANNA AGAIN.
Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2, his eighth studio album and a sequel to his 2000 landmark release, The Marshall Mathers LP dropped today. "Monster," the hit single marks the fourth time Em and Rihanna have collaborated on a song together. Eminem says that their partnership works because the public perceives both artists as being a bit wacky.

"The perception of the record, what it's saying, I thought it would be a good idea to have her on it because I think people look at us like we're both a little nuts. That's one of the things that I was telling her in making the record: I think that people look at us a little crazy," Eminem told MTV News on Monday. "As soon as I got the beat I just heard her on it. I wanted to make sure that I had it finished first to be able to present to her, but once I had the rhymes done, I sent it to her."

The rapper's manager and Shady Records head Paul Rosenberg did confirm to MTV that a music video for "Monster" is forthcoming. Meanwhile, Slim Shady will grace the cover of Rolling Stone for its November 22 issue. In the interview, the magazine addresses the fact that some people have taken umbrage to the rapper using gay slurs in his new single, "Rap God." However, he reiterated that in his mind, those words are not gay slurs.

When asked why he uses the words "faggot" and "gay-looking" as an insult, Em explains: "I don't know how to say this without saying it how I've said it a million times. But that word, those kind of words, when I came up battle-rappin' or whatever, I never really equated those words [to mean homosexual]. It was more like calling someone a bitch or a punk or asshole. So that word was just thrown around so freely back then. It goes back to that battle, back and forth in my head, of wanting to feel free to say what I want to say, and then [worrying about] what may or may not affect people. And, not saying it's wrong or it's right, but at this point in my career – I say so much shit that's tongue-in-cheek. I poke fun at other people, myself. But the real me sitting here right now talking to you has no issues with gay, straight, transgender, at all. I'm glad we live in a time where it's really starting to feel like people can live their lives and express themselves. And I don't know how else to say this, I still look at myself the same way that I did when I was battling and broke."

DMX ARRESTED YET AGAIN.
A spokeswoman for the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport says airport police arrested the 42-year-old entertainer, whose real name is Earl Simmons, just after 5 p.m. Monday.

Rosylin Weston says officers familiar with Simmons' previous arrests for driving with a suspended license arrested him after seeing him behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Jail records show Simmons was booked on charges of driving under suspension, having an uninsured vehicle and not having a licensed vehicle. Court records list no attorney for him, and Simmons' spokesman didn't immediately return a message.

This is Simmons' fourth arrest in South Carolina this year. His other charges this year include several charges of driving under the influence and simple possession of marijuana.

According to the rapper’s rep Domenick Nati, X has already been released from jail and this latest incident will not prevent DMX from fulfilling his upcoming professional obligations.

Nati issued the following statement: DMX was released at 9:46pm Eastern Monday night. He was arrested on minor traffic charges and spent only three hours in jail. This short arrest will not affect any of his upcoming concerts and he is planning on performing with Swizz Beatz on Wednesday’s Wendy Williams Show.

EMINEM SET FOR BIG #'S ON THE MUSIC CHARTS.
Eminem's latest single, "The Monster," featuring Rihanna, is on course for a #1 debut on the Digital Songs chart this week. Industry sources suggest the tune could sell upwards of 300,000 downloads in the week ending Sunday, Nov. 3.

The new Digital Songs chart -- along with the sales of Eminem will be revealed Wednesday, Nov. 6.

"The Monster" is the fourth track released from Eminem's upcoming "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" album, which is due out next Tuesday, Nov. 5. "The Monster" follows the set's earlier releases: "Berzerk," "Survival" and "Rap God," all of which bowed in the top 10 on the Digital Songs chart in their respective release weeks. Of the three earlier songs, "Berzerk" posted the largest debut week, as it bowed with 362,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It has sold 1.3 million to date.

"The Monster" also reunites Eminem with Rihanna, who assisted him with his No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 smash, "Love the Way You Lie." That 2010 track, which was the second single from his "Recovery" album, spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. It is his largest-selling download ever in the U.S., with 6 million sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

As for the airplay/sales/streaming hybrid Hot 100 chart, "Monster" appears headed for a top 10 debut, thanks to its sales numbers and early airplay; it's currently approaching the Radio Songs chart's top 40 with 10 million in first-week audience, according to Nielsen BDS. Source: Billboard

EMINEM NAMED ARTIST OF THE YEAR @ YOUTUBE MUSIC AWARDS.
Eminem, Taylor Swift and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were among the winners during The first YouTube Music Awards ON Sunday night’s live webcast from New York. But the awards were sort of beside the point as Jonze and others directed live videos with Eminem, Gaga, M.I.A. and rapper Earl Sweatshirt, and Schwartzman and Watts freestyled around the soundstage with only notecards to walk them through it.

Eminem was named artist of the year before performing a word-perfect version of his new lung-busting tour de force “Rap God,” filmed in black and white. WATCH HERE Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” won YouTube phenomenon and Macklemore and Lewis won YouTube breakthrough.

Earl Sweatshirt and fellow rapper Tyler, the Creator, performed their song “Sasquatch” in the midst of a mosh pit, using hand-held cameras to relay the frenetic experience.

JAY Z ON DECK WITH GOLD JAY Z.
Jay Z enters the fragrance business with the launch of his first men's eau de toilette, "GOLD JAY Z," which will debut on Friday, November 29th at major department stores throughout the U.S. Created by Jay Z with Firmenich perfumer extraordinaire Ilias Ermenidis, GOLD Jay Z is a fragrance that reflects an unmistakable ultra luxurious signature. Inspired by an icon, the white fougere fragrance is perfected through a layered blend of yellow ginger, white cardamom and grapefruit with a hint of blueberry. At the heart, a refined infusion of violet leaf, cypress, lavender and luxurious vetiver with a thread of pink pepper gives a tailored, modern signature. A rich note crafted with golden amber, patchouli, teak and bourbon vanilla give a final shot of gilded sensuality.

Designed by Jay Z, the fragrance is in a pure white matte flask with the GOLD Jay Z logo raised and etched in gold. As expressed in the gilded cap, "Power," "Pride," "Confidence," "Strength," "Success," and "Courage," captures the essence of GOLD Jay Z.

"I was impressed with Jay Z's style and confidence and was drawn to the ease with which he carries himself and all of his success," says Ilias Ermenidis. "He has a natural cool that people want a piece of. In developing GOLD Jay Z, I wanted to capture both the vibrant ambitious part of Jay Z's charismatic persona and his effortless style that he naturally embodies through a fusion of notes chosen by Jay Z."

"Jay Z is one of the world's leading artists, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and visionaries of our time," says Donald J. Loftus, President of Parlux LTD., Inc. "He continues to re-write rules and sets new standards, turning everything he touches into gold. His first fragrance, GOLD Jay Z, captures his original style and distinct brand of success."

GOLD JAY Z COLLECTION Eau de Toilette Spray 3.0 oz / 90 ml $70 Eau de Toilette Spray 1.7 oz / 50 ml $55 Eau de Toilette Spray 1.0 oz / 30 ml $39 GOLD Jay Z will be available in international markets in 2014.

JAY Z GOLD JUICE, WHITE FOUGERE Perfumers: Jay Z & Ilias Ermenidis Perfumer, Firmenich TOP: The brightness of Sicilian Bergamot and ginger warmed with Cardamom MID: Masculine vetiver and teak wood mingle with the spice of pink pepper BASE: Rich amber and sensual myrrh are smoothed with bourbon vanilla

Since 1996, 17-time Grammy award winner, Shawn "Jay Z" Carter has dominated an evolution in popular culture. Between multiple businesses and accolades spanning the recording industry to global investment leaders such as Warren Buffet, JAY Z personifies the "American Dream." He is Founder and Chairman of Rocawear and is majority owner of the 40/40 sports clubs.

Jay Z served as President and CEO of Def Jam Recordings, where he fostered the careers of international stars Rihanna, Kanye West and many others before entering into a partnership with Live Nation, forming the entertainment company, Roc Nation. In 2009, his release Blueprint 3 became his 11th # 1 album debut securing the record for most #1 albums by any solo artist. 2012 saw Jay Z launching his annual MADE IN AMERICA festival, a 2-day event held in Philadelphia and headline the opening of the Brooklyn NETS new Barclay's Arena with 8 sold out shows. In April 2013 he announced Roc Nation Sports, home to three-time NBA scoring champion, Oklahoma City Thunder's, Kevin Durant, All-Star New York Yankee second baseman, Robinson Cano and first round draft pick, Notre Dame all-time high scorer, Skylar Diggins, of the Tulsa Shock. 2013 also saw the release of JAY Z's 13th # 1 album debut with "Magna Carta... Holy Grail," a sold-out stadium tour with Justin Timberlake and the announcement of the "MAGNA CARTER WORLD TOUR." Shawn "Jay Z" Carter continues his philanthropic work through Shawn Carter Foundation.

ABOUT PARLUX LTD Parlux Ltd., a leading global beauty company designs, manufactures, markets and distributes prestige fragrances and related products, and has been in business since 1987. It is ranked among top cosmetic and fragrances companies in the world and holds the licenses for notable fragrance brands including Rihanna, Vince Camuto, Kenneth Cole, Jessica Simpson, Tommy Bahama among others.

KENDRICK LAMAR AND MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS TO PERFORM @ "2013 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS®"
dick clark productions has announced that Luke Bryan, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will perform on the "2013 American Music Awards," which will broadcast live from the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24th (8:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) on ABC. All artists join previously announced performers Miley Cyrus, Florida Georgia Line, Imagine Dragons and One Direction. Additional acts and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.

Top Dawg Entertainment recording artist Kendrick Lamar burst into the mainstream on October 22, 2012 with the release of his major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city. After having established himself as a force in the music industry with his Top Dawg Entertainment camp for nearly a decade, Lamar and company continue to leave their mark on hip-hop culture. The platinum selling good kid, m.A.A.d city, has spawned three number one singles with "Swimming Pools (Drank)," "Poetic Justice," and "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe," with "Swimming Pools (Drank)" achieving platinum status and having sold 4.5 million singles overall. Currently, Lamar is on tour with Kanye West on his nationwide Yeezus Tour.

Since its #2 Billboard Top 200 debut, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' debut album, 'The Heist' has reached Platinum sales. Along with two #1 hits under their belts, the premier hip-hop duo has appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone and performed on Saturday Night Live. The Seattle, WA based artists have also garnered attention in the NY Times, NPR, USA Today, TIME, graced the cover of Billboard, and more, with live performances on nearly every late night TV show. This fall, they will embark on a sold-out arena tour, fresh off of recently winning 3 MTV VMA's, for Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Cinematography, and Best Video with a Social Message.

The "2013 American Music Awards" is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro is Executive Producer and Larry Klein is Producer.

PROBLEM ON DECK WITH "THE SEPERATION" TOUR.
Diamond Lane Music Group artist Problem will embark on a headlining West Coast tour, beginning November 29th in Sacramento, CA. Pre-sale tickets are available starting today. A video with Problem announcing the tour can be viewed HERE.

The Live Nation tour comes at an exciting time for Problem, riding high off the success of his recent smash single "Like Whaaat". The hit rose to the Urban Radio Top 20.

"Fans are still discovering The Separation. The tour and upcoming music videos will help spread the word, explains Problem. "Stay tuned for a music video to my new single 'Understand Me'."

The Compton native emerges as the breakout talent from the Diamond Lane Music Group, a promising lifestyle label on the urban music scene. Launched in 2010, the record label is based in Los Angeles, and also boasts Problem's "Like Whaaat" collaborator Bad Lucc. Founder and CEO Bryant "Bird" Lawson aims to highlight the LA lifestyle in Diamond Lane projects, building a label still in touch with the streets but also respectable and upscale.

THE SEPARATION TOUR DATES:
11/29 Sacramento, Ca @ Ace Of Spades
11/30 Oakland, Ca @ The New Parish
12/01 Santa Barbara, Ca @ Velvet Jones
12/03 Santa Cruz, Ca @ The Catalyst
12/04 Los Angeles, Ca @ The El Rey
12/05 Phoenix, Ca @ Club Red
12/06 Pomona, Ca @ Glass House


VH1 PROJECT "THE TANNING OF AMERICA: ONE NATION UNDER HIP HOP" ON DECK.
VH1 is teaming up with acclaimed filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman ("Cocaine Cowboys," "Broke," "The U") and famed author, award-winning entrepreneur, advertising executive, and record executive Steve Stoute for a 4-part documentary series based on Stoute's best-selling book, "The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy." VH1's "The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop" is a thorough examination of hip-hop as a cultural movement, whose profound influence in music, film, television, fashion, business, race relations and politics eventually paved the way for the election of Barack Obama. The 4-part 4-hour series will premiere in February 2014 on VH1.

VH1's "The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop" provides a visual history of the hip-hopification of America – what Stoute calls "tanning" -- from "The Jeffersons" to the Fresh Prince; from "Do the Right Thing" to "8 Mile"; from the streets of Compton to Madison Ave; from block parties to the Hamptons; and from rappers to entrepreneurs to icons. The series unfolds in 4 one-hour episodes that together explore history's pivotal tanning moments from the 1970's to present day, and show how hip-hop is deeply woven into the American cultural fabric. It's the history of hip-hop remixed: an epic journey that begins in the Bronx and travels all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Through engaging and intimate first person stories, "Tanning" takes viewers where they've never been before: inside a steamy Madison Square Garden, when Russell Simmons cut a deal with Adidas sneakers during a Run DMC concert... inside the Harvard dorm room where two white Jewish kids decide to start The Source magazine... inside the car of fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger, as he drives through the streets of Harlem finding inspiration in baggy jeans... to the streets of Paris as Diddy takes over Europe for a Vogue fashion shoot... to a New York music studio where Mariah Carey collaborates with O.D.B, forever fusing pop and hip hop; and with Dr Dre as he first hears a rapper who calls himself Eminem.

Over the last three decades, hip-hop culture has been transformed from an underground urban movement to mass culture, permeating virtually every aspect of American life: the music we listen to, the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the cars we drive. Hip-hop has done more to erase perceptions about racial distinctions for the generations that grew up exposed to it than any other force since the Civil Rights Movement. There's now a whole generation of Americans who grew up immersed in this culture that are, for all intents and purposes, colorblind. This is the true story of that evolution.

VH1's "The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop" features never-seen-before footage and interviews from numerous pop culture icons and entertainment personalities in America: Diddy, Dr Dre, Mariah Carey, Will.i.am, Russell Simmons, Pharrell, Nas, Reverend Run, Rick Rubin, Fab 5 Freddy, Jimmy Iovine, Al Sharpton, Cory Booker, Brett Ratner, Brian Grazer, Tommy Hilfiger, Ron Howard, Steve Stoute and many more.

"The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop" is produced by Rakontur, with Billy Corben directing and Alfred Spellman producing. Steve Stoute is an executive producer on the project. Executive producing for VH1 are Susan Levison, Ben Zurier, Shelly Tatro, Brad Abramson and Stephen Mintz.
VH1's Emmy Award winning Rock Docs are feature-length documentaries that tell unique stories of artists and music from a wide range of genres, styles and musical perspectives.

DIDDY TO STAR IN KING OF NEW YORK REMAKE.
Reports are surfacing that Sean Combs, along with Imagine Entertainment co-founder and producer Brian Grazer, are teaming up to produce a remake of director Abel Ferrara’s cult gangster classic King of New York.

The original 1990 film starring Christopher Walken, Laurence Fishburne and Wesley Snipes, was an urban variation of the Robin Hood story, in which a drug dealer, played by Walken, recently released from prison, conceives of a plan to wipe out all of his former competition, and to distribute the profits among the poor and needy.

Combs, who may play the lead, optioned the remake rights to the film two years ago, and Gazer was quoted as saying that the planned remake “won’t be exactly the same, but will have the same hard-core gangster feel.”

CASUAL DROPS BARS ON EMINEM'S RAP GOD.
"There's no beef" explains Casual of the legendary Hieroglyhpics crew, while unleashing a storm of clever wordplay and hilarious jabs at Eminem for claiming the #RapGod moniker when one already exists. "But I been #Rapgod" he says in response to Em's latest single, titled "Rap God." Casual responds with "He Still Think He #Rapgod," a track that reminds hip hop fans that it was him who first claimed that title. The Hiero rapper released his album HE Think He #RapGod back in 2011.

LISTEN TO CASUAL SPIT ON THE TRACK HERE


Casual has released an official statement regarding the song and his feelings toward Eminem: "There are many Rapgods but I am #Rapgod, The Divine Manifestation, The Supreme Incarnation Of Lyrical Divinity. #Rapgod in the flesh. A True And Living #Rapgod. It's about receiving your deification and your veneration before your expiration. The Council Of The Rapgods was informed that Eminem was self-declared to be amongst the ranks of the Rapgods, rightfully so might I add...except Casual is The True And Living #Rapgod, afterwhich it has been canonized by The Highest Hierarchy Of Angels, by The Neteru, by The Highest Hip Hop Dignitaries and Rap Seminarians, that others shall go the entire professional duration and not be adorned with this Holy Epithet."


NEW ORLEANS RAPPER DEE-1 SIGNS WITH RCA INSPIRATION
Underground star turned viral success story, rapper Dee-1 has inked a deal with RCA Inspiration, the label announced today. A New Orleans native, Dee-1 burst onto the national scene with the mix tape "I Hope They Hear Me Vol 2", which featured the wildly popular single "Jay, 50, Weezy". The record proved to be a viral juggernaut spawning a YouTube video that to-date has over 600,000 total views, spins on MTV Jams and radio airplay.

"We are truly excited about Dee-1 joining the RCA Inspiration family," says General Manager, Geo Bivins. "In the current marketplace, where people are listening much closer to artists and seeking music that is authentic with a 'real' message, we believe Dee-1's music will resonate with today's diverse Hip Hop and Inspirational music consumers and beyond."

"Signing with RCA is a life-changing partnership that I'm excited to be a part of. I know we're about to make history together so I'm motivated to work harder than ever. Coming from New Orleans, I realize that my success is bigger than me. It's a symbol of hope for others who want to chase their dreams and make a difference in life. So I'm going to make sure that together we all win. #MissionVision," said Dee-1.

A graduate of Louisiana State University, after college Dee-1 could not settle into a life of normalcy and ultimately left his position as a middle school teacher to pursue a full time career in music. The decision proved to be a smart one and before long the educator turned rapper - and aspiring role model - caught the attention of Grammy award winning producer Mannie Fresh, who hosted Dee-1's "The Focus" mix tape released in 2012. That successful release was followed by the "Psalms of David" mix tape (2013) featuring the hit single"Work" with LaCrae.

Dee-1 is currently in the studio working on his new album, due in 2014 under the RCA Inspiration imprint.

REPUBLIC RECORDS NAMES NEW VP OF A&R.
Republic Records proudly announces the promotion of Ben Adelson to Vice President of A&R. This announcement comes directly from Executive Vice President of A&R Rob Stevenson. Since 2012, Mr. Adelson has served as Sr. Director of A&R for the company.

In this new position, he will continue to sign, cultivate, and develop budding talent on the label's diverse roster. He actually began his career as an intern at Republic Records in June 2007. Working his way through the label's ranks, he previously held the positions of assistant to President and COO Avery Lipman and Director of A&R.

About the promotion, Mr. Stevenson comments, "Ben's got an amazing ear for talent and songs. Moreover, his diligence and tenacity prove to be a driving force in the department. It's incredible to see him become an influential A&R presence in his own right."

Mr. Lipman adds, "I've had the pleasure of watching Ben literally grow up at this company. It's been an honor to watch him evolve, and I personally look forward to collaborating even more closely as the roster grows."

"Monte and Avery Lipman are the most forward-thinking leaders in the music business," says Mr. Adelson. "They've built an A&R system of identifying and breaking acts that's prepared for the industry's next generation. The way they operate is inspiring. Working alongside Rob, I've learned how to make a record properly. I've furthered my education by learning from the best people, and I'm extremely excited for my next chapter at Republic."

After formally kicking off his career with his 2007 internship at the label, Mr. Adelson assisted Avery Lipman until August 2009. He worked in A&R at Epic Records from February 2010 until August 2011, when he made his return to Republic Records. He graduated from USC in 2009.

Republic Records would like to congratulate Ben Adelson on this promotion and wish him continued success.

Republic Records is a division of Universal Music Group, the world's leading music company, Republic is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Amy Winehouse, Ariana Grande, Black Sabbath, Colbie Caillat, Enrique Iglesias, Florence + the Machine, Godsmack, Gotye, Kelly Rowland, Of Monsters & Men, Owl City, among many others.

It is comprised of innovative imprints and digital business ventures including Brushfire (Jack Johnson, G. Love), Cash Money (Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj), Lava Records (Jessie J, Lorde), Loma Vista (Soundgarden, Damian Marley), Monkeywrench (Pearl Jam), NBC's The Voice (Cassadee Pope, Danielle Bradbery), Republic Nashville (The Band Perry, Florida Georgia Line, The Eli Young Band), XO (The Weeknd), among others.

DJ QUIK TO SELL ALL OF HIS MUSIC EQUIPMENT.
DJ Quik says he's selling all of his production equipment and that he will no longer remix or engineer any more projects.
DJ Quik announced it in a Twitter update yesterday (October 28).

"t's official. I'm selling all my equipment. Furthermore, I will not remix or engineer for anyone from this day forward. Thanks true Fans.

There is only one truth. This about me selling my drum machine and keyboards , not about my character. Thank u."

LYOR COHEN GETS BACKING FROM GOOGLE FOR NEW MUSIC COMPANY.
Former Warner Music Group Recorded Music chief Lyor Cohen has reached agreement with Google Inc. and other investors to fund his new music-based entertainment company which is likely to be distributed through Atlantic label, several people familiar with the plans said.

Cohen, who made a surprise exit from Warner Music just over a year ago, has been working through his non-compete clause to build an innovative artist development and label business designed from the ground up for the 21st Century. The new business will have access to the marketing and distribution infrastructure of a major, but will have the cost structure of a more nimble and flexible indie.

Cohen is partnering with two former Warner Music executives in the new business: Todd Moscowitz, former president of Warner Bros and Kevin Liles, the former Warner Music exec VP.

Google for its part has been seeking to have more direct influence on the entertainment business beyond already being one of the industry’s most important distribution platforms and tastemakers via YouTube and to a lesser extent Google Play on Android devices.

YouTube is also close to announcing plans to launch a Spotify rival music subscription service that will be linked to its existing video service. YouTube has also been funding multi-channel networks and talent that appears on its video service.

News of the Google funding was first revealed by the New York Post. Google was not immediately available for comment.

Cohen, Moscowitz and Liles are weeks away from fully revealing the nature of their new business which has just about completed a search for office space in New York.

Cohen most recently known for overseeing the music careers of major artists like Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and .fun among many others dating back to the early days of his career with Def Jam. The music veteran established Def Jam Records and has close ties to rap and hip hop artists including Jay-Z and Russell Simmons. Cohen currently manages rapper Rick Ross. Source: Billboard

CIARA AND FUTURE ENGAGED.
Ciara and the rapper-producer are engaged. Future, 29, real name Nayvadius Wilburn, surprised Ciara with a 15-carat diamond ring over the weekend, their publicist, Chris Chambers has reported. She was already celebrating her 28th birthday in New York when he proposed.

Future and Ciara have been dating for a year. No wedding date has been set. Future has collaborated with Rihanna and his future wife. He's currently on tour with Drake.

50 BEATS DOWN JAIL SENTENCE / ENTERS PLEA BARGAIN.
50 Cent has reportedly escaped jail time after entering a plea bargain with prosecutors over his domestic violence case. He was charged with domestic violence and vandalism after allegedly breaking into the home of his former girlfriend, Daphne Joy, kicking her and causing over $7,000 of damage to her property.

The 37-year-old rapper is said to have broken chandeliers, furniture, a TV and a lamp. A court ordered 50 Cent, who originally pleaded not guilty, to stay away from Joy and forced him to turn in all his small arms.

According to TMZ, the rapper will not be spending time behind bars after agreeing to plead no contest to misdemeanour vandalism in a bid to have the domestic violence charge dropped.

As part of the court conditions he was put on three yearS probation and given 30 days community service. He also agreed to attend counseling sessions and pay $7,100 in restitution to Joy.

50 Cent (Curtis Jackson), dated Joy for three years. The model gave birth to his second child in 2012.

GUERILLA BLACK GETS NINE YEARS FOR CREDIT CARD FRAUD.
Rapper Guerilla Black has been sentenced to nine years behind bars for credit card fraud. G.B., Real name Charles Tony Williamson, was arrested in January (13) amid accusations of federal conspiracy, unauthorised access to a protected computer to facilitate fraud, access device fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges relating to his involvement in a major scam.

He pleaded guilty to all counts in July (13) and in a Seattle court in Washington on Friday (Oct. 25, 13) he was handed nine-years behind bars. Handing him the sentence, District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez told the rapper that "impact of the crime is tremendous". Williamson's jail time will be followed by five years of supervised release.

The Compton, California native purchased more than 27,000 stolen credit card numbers from computer hackers who had targeted restaurants and supply stores in the Seattle, Washington area. The illegal operations are alleged to have netted him $150,000.

JAY Z ADDRESSES THE BARNEYS ISSUE.
Jay-Z, under increasing pressure to back out of a collaboration with the luxury store Barneys New York after it was accused of racially profiling two black customers said he's being unfairly "demonized" for just waiting to hear all of the facts.

The rap mogul made his first statement about the controversy. He has come under fire for remaining silent as news surfaced that two young black people said they were profiled by Barneys after they purchased expensive items from their Manhattan store.

An online petition and Twitter messages from fans have been circulating, calling on the star to bow out of his upcoming partnership with Barneys for the holiday season, which will have the store selling items by top designers, inspired by Jay-Z, with some of the proceeds going to his charity. He is also working with the store to create its artistic holiday window display.

But Jay-Z defended himself, saying that he hasn't spoken about it because he's still trying to figure out exactly what happened.

His statement is as follows:

"This collaboration lives in a place of giving and is about the Foundation. I am not making a dime from this collection; I do not stand to make millions, as falsely reported. I need to make that fact crystal clear. The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning. My idea was born out of creativity and charity… not profit.

I move and speak based on facts and not emotion. I haven’t made any comments because I am waiting on facts and the outcome of a meeting between community leaders and Barneys. Why am I being demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately? The negligent, erroneous reports and attacks on my character, intentions, and the spirit of this collaboration have forced me into a statement I didn’t want to make without the full facts. Making a decision prematurely to pull out of this project, wouldn’t hurt Barneys or Shawn Carter, but all the people that stand a chance at higher education. I have been working with my team ever since the situation was brought to my attention to get to the bottom of these incidents and at the same time find a solution that doesn’t harm all those that stand to benefit from this collaboration.

I am against discrimination of any kind, but if I make snap judgements, no matter who it’s towards, aren’t I committing the same sin as someone who profiles? I am no stranger to being profiled and I truly empathize with anyone that has been put in that position. Hopefully this brings forth a dialogue to effect real change. – Shawn “JAY Z” Carter

JIMMY HENCHMAN GETS LIFE IN PRISON.
James "Jimmy the Henchman" Rosemond was sentenced to life in prison on Friday on charges he moonlighted as a drug kingpin who made a fortune by smuggling vast amounts of cocaine into New York City, sometimes by concealing it in music equipment cases.

James "Jimmy the Henchman" Rosemond was facing a mandatory life term following his guilty verdict on narcotics conspiracy and other charges at a trial last year in federal court in Brooklyn.

Prosecutor Todd Kaminsky told U.S. District Judge John Gleeson that Rosemond, 48, brazenly demonstrated his disregard for the law by continuing his trafficking operation even after he learned he was under investigation. The defendant used the proceeds to buy multiple homes, luxury cars and a six-figure sound system for his Brooklyn loft.

"About every stereotype you can think of about a drug kingpin was reflected in how he lived," Kaminsky said.

Gleeson said he would have put Rosemond behind bars for life even if it wasn't required by law.

"You're the kingpin," Federal Judge John Gleeson said. "Not all kingpins necessarily deserve a life sentence but you certainly do."

"You chose that life and this is the punishment you get," the judge said.

Both Rosemond and his lawyer declined to address the court before the sentence was announced.

Prosecutors had accused Rosemond, founder of Czar Entertainment, of using a variety of methods to smuggle cocaine from Los Angeles to New York. Some of it was shipped in overnight packages slathered in mustard to throw off drug-sniffing dogs.

Rosemond later devised a system that allayed his worries about using the overnight services by hiding the drugs in the music equipment cases and sending them to New York music studios, prosecutors said. The cases were then shipped back to Los Angeles packed with cash.

In 2011, agents seized a road case containing $790,000 packaged in vacuum-sealed plastic in $100,000 bundles, prosecutors said. The seizure prompted Rosemond to switch tactics, stashing drugs in hidden compartments in cars that were transported from coast to coast.

Lawyers for Rosemond claimed he was framed by members of his crew who pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against him. They included a Los Angeles dealer who admitted supplying more than 200 pounds to the ring over a two-year period.

Before the sentencing, the judge denied a motion to give Rosemond a new trial. His attorney had argued that the jury was tainted by unsubstantiated reports linking the defendant to an unsolved shooting that wounded legendary rapper Tupac Shakur.

Shakur survived the 1994 shooting, but was killed two years later in Las Vegas. The slaying remains unsolved.

Rosemond was behind such hits as Salt-N-Pepa's "Shoop" and represented The Game and Sean Kingston, according his company's website. Another former client was Michael K. Williams, who played the ruthless outlaw Omar on "The Wire" TV series and now stars in "Boardwalk Empire."

Rosemond still faces separate charges in Manhattan accusing him of arranging a murder as payback for an assault on his son.

FREEWAY RICKY ROSS SAYS RICK ROSS BEING FUNDED BY POLICE.
Former drug kingpin Freeway Ricky Ross spoke on Maybach Music Group's Rick Ross during a recent interview on the Murder Master Music Show.

The real Ricky Ross, (who's been in and out of court with Ross over the use of his stage name), says he believes that the Miami name theive is funded by the police union. According to the former drug trafficker, police are financing Ross’ career to keep prisons filled with young men.

"I believe that he’s being financed by the police union and keeps spreading bullshit to the youngsters, so they can keep filling up the penitentiaries cause he ain't selling no music,” said Ricky Ross. “They keep playing him on the radio and keep putting out all these big, expensive videos, but he ain't selling no music. So, somebody is shootin' off money. And I believe that the police union behind it."

The real Ricky Ross also touched on the his thoughts on Jay Z's recent interview in Vanity Fair, where Jay Z talks slangin drugs in the past. Ross' says it's very "corny"..

"I'm just out here pounding the concrete, man,” said Ricky Ross. “I just left Orlando. I was in Detroit just hitting these high schools up really letting them know about these dudes who out here faking. Talking about they sold dope and read that shit and it’s so corny. I was just reading on the airplane the other day, the Vanity Fair with Jay Z in it, talking about that he sold crack. I was just reading it and it was so corny. These dudes just don't keep it one hundred. They was good boys and they went to school and they got college degrees and somebody gave them a good job, you know? And they doing alright right now. Everybody wanna be d-boys, but they don't carry it like d-boys. They don’t have d-boy stories.”

The real Ricky Ross also addressed artists like Ross and Jay Z being accepted and received by many including President Barack Obama.

"That's crazy that you said that, but they accepted by everybody,” he said. “These people let them go and talk to their kids and pay ‘em to come and talk to their kids. The president of the United States will invite them to the White House. But then with me, I did 20 years in prison and I’m talking about not sell drugs and you gotta try to make it a better way…When I sold dope I believed that it was cool at that time to sell dope, you know? And that’s why I was selling dope. Now, I don't feel like that anymore. I don’t feel that it’s cool to sell dope anymore and that's why I do what I do right now.”

The real Ricky Ross also commented on challenging the miami rapper to a charity boxing match.

“And you know what, I would take him too if we do it for charity,” said Ricky Ross. “If he wanted to go down, we go in and we donate all the money to some kids. I’d be willing to do that…Yeah, even though he ‘bout 400 pounds bigger than me. That don’t mean nothing. Cause he look like he ‘bout to have a heart attack anyway.”

YOUTUBE ON DECK FOR SUBSCRIPTION MUSIC SERVICE.
YouTube is preparing a premium on-demand music service -- akin to a Spotify, but with video -- to launch later this year, according to several sources familiar with the plans.

The service, designed with mobile listening in mind, will have a free component and a premium tier that offers unlimited access to a full catalog of tracks similar to what's already available via YouTube's parent company, Google Inc., via its All Access subscription music service. Premium features would include the ability to cache music for offline listening and removing ads.

The free tier is likely to be unlimited, on-demand access to full tracks on all platforms, including mobile, said several people who have been briefed on the proposed service. In that sense, the paid tier is more of a "soft sell" as YouTube's primary goal is to continue to amass ears and eyes to its mobile platform to sell ads.

But having a paid tier, with all the required licenses for a premium on-demand product, gives YouTube more flexibility in packaging and selling music with fewer restrictions on what it can do with the music, multiple sources pointed out. In addition, there are strategic reasons for developing a premium music video service that could be paired up with other Google products in the future, including Google Glass. YouTube declined to comment on its plans.

"We’re always working on new and better ways for people to enjoy YouTube content across all screens, and on giving partners more opportunities to reach their fans," YouTube said in a statement. "However, we have nothing to announce at this time." Source: Billboard

TLC BIOPIC MAKES VH1 HISTORY.
The premiere of the highly anticipated VH1 Original Movie "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story" scored as the highest rated telecast on VH1 in over five years.

The premiere scored a 2.9 in the key P18-49 demo and brought in 4.5 million total viewers. The film also averaged a 5.5 rating in the Women 18-34 demo. "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story" is the #1 cable original movie of the year among Adults and Women 18-49. The biopic is also VH1's highest rated original movie ever.

The film dominated Twitter last night. According to SocialGuide "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story" was the most tweeted show on all of TV last night with over 1.92 million tweets generated: four times greater than that of the next closest program, "Monday Night Football." In fact, 55 percent of all tweets about TV were about #CrazySexyCool.

TLC's new soundtrack for the film, "20" from Epic Records, jumped from #43 to #5 on the iTunes overall chart, and jumped to #1 on the iTunes R&B chart.

The biopic will get its first TV encore Sunday, October 27th at 8 PM* and will be immediately followed by encores of "Behind the Music: TLC Remastered" at 10:30 PM*and "Rock Docs: Last Days of Left Eye" at 11:30 PM*

VH1's TLC project is part of the network's successful push into scripted programming, which includes "Hit the Floor," the highest rated new scripted cable series for Adults 18-49 this summer, and the hit show "Single Ladies" returning January 2014.

"CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story" is executive produced by Bill Diggins and Maggie Malina. Rick Krim and Jill Holmes serve as executive producers for VH1. Alexander A. Motlagh also serves as executive producer for Pop Films. The two surviving members of the group, Chilli and T-Boz, are consultants and executive producers for the film.

DIDDY LAUNCHES REVOLT TV FROM STEPS OF B.I.G.'S CHILDHOOD HOME.
The long anticipated launch of REVOLT TV took place on Monday when chairman and founder Sean Combs officially turned on the channel from the steps of Notorious B.I.G.'s childhood home in Brooklyn. Following his introduction, the channel launched by playing its first music video, Notorious B.I.G.'s 1994 hit "Juicy."

"There was never a question about what video would be on the air when REVOLT went live," said Combs. "Biggie and I had this dream. We set off on a journey together. He was my partner. He was fearless. He inspires me. And today, Biggie will help to launch REVOLT. Today, that dream becomes a reality."

"We have spent the past two years building towards this exciting launch, and today marks the beginning of an amazing journey for us and for the music industry," said REVOLT TV president Andy Schuon.

The programming set to launch in the network's first week includes:

The Gate of REVOLT : The Gate of Revolt is visual poetry in the form of hip hop videos.

In Harms Way : Each day Andy Harms, your host, pulls together the national playlist of emerging music primarily from the rock and alternative genres...giving you everything In Harms Way.

REVOLT Authorized (Live): committed to curating the hottest music videos. Music video blocks on TV have never been created live, in real time until now.

REVOLT TV also confirmed today two live programs that will appear in early January, "REVOLT Live" and "Power to the People." "We are embarking on an historical and important day, as we launch a live 24/7 music organization featuring the voices of the artist and the news of the music industry," said CEO Keith Clinkscales.

YOUTUBE MUSIC AWARDS ANNOUNCE NOMINATIONS.
YouTube has announced nominations for its first Music Awards, which will be directed by Spike Jonez and set for live webcasting on Nov. 3 from New York City's Pier 36.

Fans can vote for the winners in the six categories: including Video of the Year, Artist of the Year, Response of the Year, YouTube Phenomenon, YouTube Breakthrough and Innovation of the Year.

The nominees were selected based on views over the past 12 months. Actor Jason Schwartzman will host the awards show, which will include guest performances by Eminem, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Avicii and M.I.A., among others.

Video of the Year: Nominees represent the videos with the most fan engagement on YouTube over the last year.

Epic Rap Battles Of History -- "Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney"
Demi Lovato -- "Heart Attack"
Girls' Generation ­-- "I Got A Boy"
Justin Bieber (feat. Nicki Minaj) -- "Beauty And A Beat"
Lady Gaga ­-- "Applause"
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Mary Lambert) -- "Same Love"
Miley Cyrus ­ -- "We Can't Stop"
One Direction ­-- "Best Song Ever"
PSY ­-- "Gentleman"
Selena Gomez ­-- "Come & Get It"

Artist of the Year: Focused on acts YouTube fans have made stars, nominees represent the most watched, shared, liked, and subscribed ­to artists.

Eminem
Epic Rap Battles
Justin Bieber
Katy Perry
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Nicki Minaj
One Direction
PSY
Rihanna
Taylor Swift

Response of the Year: Best fan remix, parody or response video, these nominees represent the top “unofficial” fan videos on YouTube based on views, shares and other social activity.

Boyce Avenue (feat. Fifth Harmony) ­-- "Mirrors
Jayesslee ­-- "Gangnam Style"
Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix ­-- "Radioactive"
ThePianoGuys ­-- "Titanium / Pavane"
Walk Off the Earth (feat. KRNFX) -- "I Knew You Were Trouble"
YouTube Phenomenon: Nominees are based on the phenomena that generated the most fan videos.

Diamonds
Gangnam Style
Harlem Shake
I Knew You Were Trouble
Thrift Shop

YouTube Breakthrough: Focusing on breakout new acts, nominees represent the artists who experienced the biggest growth in views and subscribers.

Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Naughty Boy
Passenger
Rudimental

Innovation of the Year: Most creative and innovative music videos on YouTube.

Anamanaguchi ­-- "ENDLESS FANTASY"
Atoms For Peace ­-- "Ingenue"
Bat For Lashes ­-- "Lilies"
DeStorm ­-- "See Me Standing"
Toro Y Moi -- "Say That"

JHENE AIKO JOINING DRAKE FOR CURRENT NORTH AMERICAN TOUR.
Jhene Aiko, the only female artist on this year's 10th Anniversary Rock The Bells Hip-Hop Festival tour, is joining Drake on a massive, 40-stop North American tour! The tour began Friday night in Pittsburgh and continues tonight in Montreal, Quebec at the Bell Centre. The circuit includes all major US metropolitan markets as well as 6 cities in Drake's native Canada. A full list of dates and locations can be found below.

Additionally, Jhene Aiko will release her debut EP SAIL OUT, November 12th on Artium/Def Jam Recordings. Artium/Def Jam is the exclusive label partnership between Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJ) and legendary producer/executive producer No I.D.

SAIL OUT's official tracklisting is as follows:
1. The Vapors featuring Vince Staples
2. Bed Peace featuring Childish Gambino
3. Stay Ready (What A Life) featuring Kendrick Lamar
4. WTH featuring Ab-Soul
5. The Worst
6. 3:16am * Bonus Track:
7. Comfort Inn Ending (Freestyle).

Despite her age, 25-year old Los Angeles native Jhene Aiko is a true music industry stalwart, having amassed over a decade's worth of features on singles, albums and mixtapes by A-listers such as Kendrick Lamar, Wale, Big Sean, Logic, J. Cole, Drake, and others. Jhene was signed to Def Jam by No I.D., known for his studio work with giants Kanye West, Big Sean, Rick Ross, Method Man, Nas, and more. Most recently, Jhene was featured on Big Sean's single "Beware," from his Hall of Fame album--executive produced by No I.D; she is also featured on Drake's "From Time," off his brand new album Nothing Was The Same.

On top of her epic music credits, Jhene has participated in the Beats By Dre "Pill Box" and "Show Your Color" campaigns, and was nominated in Billboard's 2013"Next Big Diva" competition. Her social media stats confirm Jhene's popularity: 3.19 million YouTube views; 276,000 Twitter followers; 277,000 Instagram followers; 46,000 Facebook likes; and 673,000 Soundcloud plays on single "Bed Peace."

TOUR DATES:

Oct.18
Pittsburgh, PA
Consol Energy Center

Oct.19
Philadelphia, PA
Wells Fargo Center

Oct.21
Montreal, QC
Bell Centre

Oct.22
Ottawa, ON
Scotiabank Place

Oct.24
Toronto, ON
Air Canada Centre

Oct.26
Hartford, CT
XL Center

Oct.27
Newark, NJ
Prudential Center

Oct.28
Brooklyn, NY
Barclays Center

Oct.30
Boston, MA
TD Garden

Oct.31
Washington, DC
Verizon Center

Nov.2
Charlotte, NC
Time Warner Cable Arena

Nov.3
Raleigh, NC
PNC Arena

Nov.5
Miami, FL
American Airlines Arena

Nov.6
Tampa, FL
Tampa Bay Times Forum

Nov.7
Atlanta, GA
Philips Arena

Nov.9
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Arena

Nov.10
Dallas. TX
American Airlines Center

Nov.12
San Antonio, TX
AT&T Center

Nov.13
Houston, TX
Toyota Center

Nov.16
Phoenix, AZ
US Airways Center

Nov.18
Sacramento, CA
Sleep Train Arena

Nov.19
Oakland, CA
Oracle Arena

Nov.21
Anaheim, CA
Honda Center


Nov.22
Las Vegas, NV
MGM Grand Hotel

Nov.24
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

Nov.25
Los Angeles, CA
STAPLES Center

Nov.28
Vancouver, BC
Rogers Arena

Nov.30
Calgary, AB
Scotiabank Saddledome

Dec.1
Edmonton, AB
Rexall Place

Dec.3
Portland, OR
Rose Garden Arena

Dec.4
Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Dome

Dec.7
Kansas City, MO
Sprint Center

Dec.8
Minneapolis, MN
Target Center

Dec.9
Indianapolis, IN
Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Dec.11
Saint Louis, MO
Scottrade Center

Dec.12
Chicago, IL
United Center

Dec.13
Columbus, OH
Nationwide Arena

Dec.15
Buffalo, NY
First Niagara Center

Dec.16
Auburn Hills, MI
The Palace of Auburn Hills


BLACK MILK ADDS EUROPEAN DATES TO TOUR.
With his recently released No Poison No Paradise album being welcomed with critical acclaim, Black Milk has announced that he will extend his current tour to Europe. The legendary producer/emcee, along with with his four-piece band called Nat Turner, have almost completed their 28-date national tour, having made notable stops in Los Angeles, New York, and Detroit, Black Milk's hometown. The 13-city European leg of the tour will kick off in Rotterdam, Netherlands on November 15 with Black making his final stop in Berlin, Germany on November 30.
Black Milk's No Poison No Paradise Tour began in Dallas and was welcomed with rave reviews.

The North American leg of Black Milk's No Poison No Paradise Tour with Quelle Chris and DJ Sober is currently underway. Check below for remaining US tour dates and the upcoming Europe dates.

European Tour Dates:
Nov. 15 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Bar (Buma Rotterdam Festival)
Nov. 16 - Lille, France - Le Splendid
Nov. 17 - Zürich, Switzerland - Exil
Nov. 20 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen
Nov. 22 - Colmar, France - Le Grillen
Nov. 23 - London, United Kingdom - Scala
Nov. 24 - Montpellier, France - Victoire 2
Nov. 25 - Paris, France - Batofar
Nov. 26 - Brussels, Belgium - VK
Nov. 27 - Linz, Austria - Kapu
Nov. 28 - Leipzig, Germany - Conne Island
Nov. 29 - Stockholm, Sweden - Fasching
Nov. 30 - Berlin, Germany - Lido (BeatGeeks Weekend)

Remaining US Tour Dates:
Oct. 21 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Oct. 22 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
Oct. 23 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
Oct. 24 - Washington, DC @ Liv

RIHANNA KICKED OUT OF MOSQUE OVER PHOTO SHOOT.
Overseers of Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque say they asked pop star Rihanna to leave the compound after she posed for photographs considered to be at odds with the "sanctity" of the site.

Rihanna hasn't publicly responded to the actions by staff at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Her show took place on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

Photos posted on various websites show the singer posing on white marble, dressed fully in black, with her hair covered according to the mosque's guidelines.

The mosque statement, published Monday in local newspapers, said Rihanna was in an area normally off limits for visitors. It says the fashion-style photo session violated rules on the "status and sanctity of the mosque."

The mosque is a major tourist site in the United Arab Emirates' capital.

CEELO GREEN CLEARED OF SEX ASSAULT.
Los Angeles prosecutors have charged CeeLo Green with giving Ecstasy to a woman who claimed the singer drugged her and had sex with her, but have declined to file charges of sexual assault against him, citing insufficient evidence.

Green, whose real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, was accused last year by a woman he dined with at a downtown Los Angeles sushi restaurant of placing Ecstasy, also known as MDMA or Molly, in her drink.

The woman later told Los Angeles Police detectives she woke up naked in bed in a room with Green. The department opened an investigation into the woman's allegations and consulted with prosecutors, who asked detectives to continue to seek evidence in the case.

The 39-year-old singer, a judge on the NBC show “The Voice,” allegedly admitted to law enforcement that he took Ecstasy, but denied drugging the woman's drink or committing sexual assault. Law enforcement sources said police did not believe there was evidence of “wrongful intent.”

Green faces a single count of ecstasy possession. He is scheduled to make a court appearance Monday afternoon in Department 30 at the downtown Los Angeles criminal courts building. Source: NBC News

MUSIC INDUSTRY LEGEND JOE ISGRO WILL TELL ALL IN MAJOR MOTION PICTURE - HIT MAN.
After holding back his intriguing personal story for almost 25 years, legendary music magnate Joe Isgro is ready to tell all, in what will be the major motion picture “HIT MAN.”

Isgro, whose powerful independent promotion team controlled the radio airwaves for much of the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s, is integrally responsible for launching and promoting the careers of some of the biggest names in music history including Michael Jackson, Elton John, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, The Who and countless others. Isgro, infamously tied to organized crime, was indicted for alleged payola in the biggest scandal in music history.

Isgro Produced the Academy Award Nominated film “Hoffa” starring Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito and Armand Assante.

Writer-Director Martin Guigui, who wrote and directed “THE BRONX BULL” and “BENEATH THE DARKNESS,” has been tapped to write the “HIT MAN” screenplay. Over the years Isgro has walked away from major studio offers to tell his story, however, Guigui convinced Isgro that “it was time to set the record straight.”

Back in 2000, Mtv Reported Former record promoter and alleged Gambino crime family member Joseph Isgro pleaded guilty to conspiracy and extortion charges for running a loan-sharking operation in Beverly Hills, Calif. U.S. He was sentenced to 50 months in federal prison. District Judge Audrey B. Collins ordered the Then 52-year-old Isgro to pay $356,657 in restitution, representing interest he earned from the usurious loans.

According to Reuters, Isgro had been under investigation for 10 years on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine and offering radio stations incentives to play records from his label, Private I. Isgro has denied all previous charges against him, and past prosecutions failed or were dismissed, according to the news service.

The label's roster at one time included soul legend James Brown and funk group the Gap Band.

According to the LA Times, At one point a movie about Lucky Luciano was in the works. How Isgro secured the rights still remains a mystery -- one he will not discuss except to say that he got them legitimately. Isgro says he was dogged by the same type of skepticism decades ago when he beat out Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and the studios to lock down the Jimmy Hoffa life-story rights.

Isgro and his associate at the time Dan Michaels, chief of Full Force Films, interviewed a number of writers and directors, including Charles Matthau, son of the late actor Walter Matthau for the Luciano film. Isgro already signed hit music producer Scott Storch to score the soundtrack and was also in talks with New Line Cinema to distribute the movie, according to New Line's Joseph Khouri.

"Listen, I was 15 years old when Luciano died," the 60-year-old Isgro said in a recent interview. "If someone wants to try to associate me with Luciano, then so be it. The government has wasted millions of dollars of taxpayer money chasing me. You know what those guys say about me, right?"

Here's what they say: In a 2000 affidavit, the FBI singled out Isgro as one of 192 identifiable members of the Gambino crime family -- a mob soldier who has been under federal investigation for many years.

Isgro scoffs at those charges.

"I'm a soldier all right," Isgro said. "A decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, and a proud member of the Isgro family."

MASTER P'S WIFE FINALLY FILES FOR DIVORCE.
Master P's wife has filed for divorce. Sonya Miller filed divorce docs, obtained by TMZ- in which she seeks to end her 24-year marriage based on the standard "irreconcilable differences."

The couple has 4 minor children and she wants full custody. They also have famous adult son, rapper/actor Lil Romeo.

Sonya wants spousal support. Back in 2011, Sonya went to court to get child support. At the time we thought they were already divorced, but now it's evident that no one ever filed divorce documents. So she did it now, but we're told they've been separated for a long time. Source: TMZ

J HOLIDAY ON DECK WITH NEW ALBUM.
R&B sensation heartthrob J. Holiday returns with the hit single "After We" from the forthcoming disc Guilty Conscience in stores December 10, 2013. Guilty Conscience, produced in part by Lil Ronnie, Jerry Wonda, Blaq Smurph and Mike Snoddy is a musical journey taking listeners through the ebb and flow of love and heartbreak. "This record has been a long time coming and I am just beyond excited that my fans will have an opportunity to hear it," says J. Holiday.

Since his break out Platinum debut Back of My Lac which featured the smash single "Bed," #1 for 7 consecutive weeks and "Suffocate," #1 for 3 weeks on Billboard's Hot R&B and Hip Hop Chart, J.Holiday has developed a distinct and dedicated fan base who has followed him throughout his career. His Gold sophomore disc, Round 2 which featured the hit single "It's Yours" was proof that J. Holiday is a contender.

Guilty Conscience is the disc which radio has been waiting for. "J. Holiday is truly a talent to be reckoned with. He has a mass appeal for all music lovers. His songs capture just enough edginess that women and men of all age groups are intrigued to hear about," says Jasmine Sanders, co-host of the DL Hughley Show. "One of my new school favorites and I'm happy to see him back!"

"Radio isn't always privileged to the behind the scenes of the record business but I am just excited that they are welcoming me back with open arms," says J. Holiday. "I am humbled and grateful for their acceptance and support." "After We" produced by Lil Ronnie (R. Kelly, Britney Spears, Mary J Blige) has received initial spins from multi-format stations such as KIBT-FM; KKSS-FM; KOHT-FM; KOPW-FM; and KOPW-FM to name but a few. The video for this single is being lensed by Zach Wolfe and will make its digital and broadcast debut November 5, 2013. In the meantime J. Holiday will perform selections from Guilty Conscience along with his greatest hits on Wednesday October 16 at SOB's Sol Village concert.

SCOE DROPS "THA INFLUENCE" LISTEN TO THE MIXTAPE HERE
After years of ghostwriting for Puffy, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Warren G, the Philadelphia-raised, California-based lyricist Scoe debuts his new mixtape Tha Influence.

The mixtape features fiery lyricism, conceptual brilliance and stunning, original production from hip-hop's choice producers Just Blaze, Mike Will Made It, Jahlil Beats, Bink, Nottz, among others.

Scoe, a songwriting protégé, was a published writer at age 14. He first appeared on big brother Kurupt's gold-selling album Kuruption! At age 15, he was featured on West Coast radio-hit "Girls All Pause" from Kurupt's gold-selling album Tha Streetz Iz A Mutha. In 2003, the California Dogg Pound Gangsta (DPG) artist debuted his solo album Young Roscoe Philaphornia that landed on the Billboard Top 200.

"I've learned so much from my big brothers and collaborating for so long that it feels good to put that knowledge to use on my own project," explains Scoe. "You grow and develop into who you're going to be for the rest of your life. That's who you get on Tha Influence."

JON CONNOR CYPHERS DEAL WITH DR. DRE.
On Tuesday night, the Flint, Michigan MC used the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards to reveal to the world at large that he has now signed to Dre's Aftermath record label with the closing bars on his cypher freestyle.

For Connor, there was no platform more fitting for him to make his grand announcement. "I was thinking, 'How can I end this? How can I make this a moment? ' This was my first time doing the cypher and I wanted to make it a moment," Connor told MTV News. "I ran it by Dre and he was like, 'Yo, that's dope.'"

Connor first linked with the production icon this past summer after building a reputation as a highly skilled lyricist thanks to underground mixtape releases like 2012's The Blue Album and The People's Rapper, where he hijacked a number of Eminem instrumentals to rhyme over.

"The music was there, he liked the music and he liked what I was doing, he respected what I was doing. It was just at that point going in the studio, seeing if we had chemistry and vibing out as people," Connor said of he and Dre's feeling-out period. "You can be the greatest artist in the world, but if you a d--k ain't nobody gonna wanna work with you. It don't matter how good you are."

It took some time, but after months of collaboration and creative building, the ink is dry and Connor is officially on Aftermath. "That's what sealed the deal, us being in the studio, vibing out. It was the chemistry musically and the chemistry as two good people," he said.

Ultimately, Connor says he and Dre both thrive to push the music and hip-hop culture forward. "The thing that drives me and Dre are one and the same. I'm not a dude that's driven by the money. I'm driven by the craft, I'm driven by the message, I'm driven by what I can do to help people and how I can influence people and that's Dre," he said. "Dre is all about the culture, the influence. He's not a dude that's like, 'Yo, let me sign this artist because of what he can do for me financially.' Because Dre ain't tripping financially, we all know that." Source: MTV

MELLOWHIGH DROP NEW JOINT.
Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, and Left Brain of Odd Future are collectively known as MellowHigh. The trio is proud to share their new song, "Extinguisher", the second single from their forthcoming debut record. The MellowHigh album is now available to pre-order via iTunes and the track list can be HEARD HERE. The album will include features from Tyler, the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Curren$y, Smoke DZA, and Remy Banks from Children of the Night/World's Fair. MellowHigh will be released via Odd Future Records on Halloween, October 31st. MellowHigh will be on tour this fall which will include a performance at Odd Future's Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival. Upcoming tour-related content will be provided courtesy of MySpace.

JOEY BADA$$ TO RELEASE SUMMER KNIGHTS / PLUS TOUR.
Joey Bada$$, a member of the burgeoning New York City-based rap crew Pro Era, is set to release Summer Knights EP, a 7-song digital release on October 29 via Cinematic Music Group/Pro Era Records/RED Distribution. Summer Knights EP will include two new tracks, "My Jeep" and a new version of Joey Bada$$' current single "My Yout" featuring a collaboration with UK's Maverick Sabre. The additional songs on the set were handpicked by Joey Bada$$ himself, an ode to his favorite songs from his Summer Knights mixtape released in June 2013. PEEP HIS NEW VIDEO HERE

Joey Bada$$ has been drumming up serious excitement and discussions about his place in New York rap lore, drawing regular comparisons to greats like Nas, Biggie, and Big L. With his Pro Era crew, comprised of buzzing CJ Fly, Kirk Knight, Dessy Hinds, NYCK Caution and producer Chuck Strangers, Joey is leading one of the most compelling cultural movements to come out of NYC today. Joey Bada$$ will headline the 2013 Smokers Club Tour alongside TDE's Ab-Soul, kicking off October 17 at Lupo's in Providence with support from Pro Era, The Underachievers, Chevy Woods, Black Dave and more.

Summer Knights EP Tracklisting
1. Hilary $wank
2. My Yout [ft. Maverick Sabre]
3. Sit N' Prey [ft Dessy Hinds & T'nah Apex]
4. 95 Til Infinity
5. #LongLiveSteelo [Ft. T'nah Apex]
6. My Jeep [ft. Meechie Darko, Issa Gold, Chuck Strangers]
7. My Yout (ft. Collie Buddz)

SMOKERS CLUB TOUR DATES
10-17 Providence, RI - Lupo's
10-18 Boston, MA - Paradise
10-19 Montreal, Quebec - Olympia Theatre
10-20 Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix
10-22 Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
10-23 Detroit, MI - Crofoot (w/o Chevy Woods)
10-24 Chicago, IL - Metro
10-25 Milwaukee, MN - The Rave
10-26 Las Vegas, NV - Life is Beautiful Fest (Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era only)
10-27 Minneapolis, MN - Epic (w/o Ab-Soul)
10-29 St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
10-30 Lawrence, KS - Granada
11-01 Denver, CO - Cervantes / Ogden
11-02 Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
11-06 Ventura, CA - Venture Theater
11-09 Santa Ana, CA - Observatory (w/o Underachievers)
11-11 San Diego, CA - Soma
11-12 Tempe, AZ - Club Red
11-13 Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theatre
11-15 Dallas, TX - Southside Music Hall
11-16 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
11-17 Austin, TX - Emo's East (w/o Underachievers)
11-20 Tallahassee FL - Coliseum Tallahassee
11-21 Orlando, FL - Beacham Theater
11-22 Miami, FL - Grand Central
11-23 St. Petersburg, FL - Jannis Live!
11-24 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade (Heaven) (w/o Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era)
11-26 New Haven, CT - Toad's Place
11-30 Philadelphia, PA - TLA


BANKSY SELLS ARTWORK FOR $60 IN NYC.
Banksy, the British graffiti artist causing a sensation in New York City, says he sold his artwork over the weekend for only $60 apiece.
Banksy wrote on his website that he had set up a stall in Central Park on Saturday with original signed works. But the secretive artist warned on Sunday: "That stall will not be there again today." The website features a photo and video of the pop-up stall with a sign that read: "Spray Art. $60."

His works typically sell for thousands of dollars. A number of people are seen buying the works and getting hugs from an elderly man working the stall. It's not clear who the man is. Banksy refuses to give his real name.

His work has been turning up on the city's streets and all over social media in recent weeks.

PETE ROCK AND CL SMOOTH ANNOUNCE REUNION TOUR.
The legendary 1990's group Pete Rock & CL Smooth are ready to reunite this fall. The creators of the classic Hip Hop albums Mecca and the Soul Brother and The Main Ingredient will embark on a 25-city North American tour starting October 15th in Washington, DC.

“People will finally get to hear good music and see a good show, they get to come out, have a good time and enjoy the music they loved for years,” says Pete Rock in a statement.

“It means a lot because music is the foundation of the world. It gives you an opportunity to know what we contributed and how inspired we were as very young men to get the opportunity to make good music,” adds CL Smooth.

TOUR DATES
10.15 Washington, D.C. Howard Theater
10.18 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center
10.19 Charlotte, NC The Chop Shop
10.20 St. Louis, MO 2720 Cherokee
10.24 Denver, CO Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
10.26 Los Angeles, CA The Roxy Theatre
10.27 San Francisco, CA Yoshi’s San Francisco
10.30 Portland, OR Hawthorn Theater
11.01 Seattle, WA The Crocodile
11.02 Vancouver, BC Fortune Sound Club
11.08 Chicago, IL The Shrine
11.11 Toronto, Ontario The Phoenix Concert Theatre
11.12 Montreal, Quebec Cabaret Underworld
11.13 New York, NY BB Kings
11.15 Boston, MA Middle East

EMINEM UNVEILS TRACKLIST FOR NEW PROJECT.
Eminem has unveiled the tracklist for his upcoming album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2. Features include Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Skylar Grey and fun.'s Nate Ruess. The announcement comes just a few days after Eminem dropped the music video for "Survival," the album's second single. Eminem's eighth studio album is due out November 5, and features production from Rick Rubin, DJ Khalil, Dr. Dre and more.

The tracklist:
1. "Bad Guy"
2. "Parking Lot" (skit)
3. "Rhyme or Reason"
4. "So Much Better"
5. "Survival"
6. "Legacy"
7. "Asshole" feat. Skylar Grey
8. "Berzerk"
9. "Rap God"
10. "Brainless"
11. "Stronger Than I Was"
12. "Monster" feat. Rihanna
13. "So Far..."
14. "Love Game" feat. Kendrick Lamar
15. "Headlights" feat. Nate Ruess
16. "Evil Twin"

MACKELMORE & RYAN LEAD THE PACK IN AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS SHOWDOWN.
Newcomers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will battle heavyweights Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift for the top prize at the 2013 American Music Awards. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead this year with six (6) nominations. Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake follow with five (5) nominations each, while Florida Georgia Line, Rihanna and Robin Thicke collect four (4) nominations each. Additionally, Bruno Mars and Imagine Dragons were nominated for three (3) awards. This year's 2013 Artist of the Year nominees are: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Justin Timberlake.

Swift, Rihanna and Pink are nominated for favorite female artist-pop/rock. Timberlake, Thicke and Miguel are up for favorite male artist-soul/R&B.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's "Thrift Shop" is up for a new award, single of the year. Robin Thicke's ubiquitous "Blurred Lines" and Florida Georgia Line and Nelly's "Cruise" is also up for the award.

The 2013 American Music Awards are produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro is Executive Producer and Larry Klein is Producer.

Artists will be honored in the genres of Pop/Rock, Country, Rap/Hip-Hop, Soul/R&B, Alternative Rock, Adult Contemporary, Latin, Contemporary Inspirational, Electronic Dance Music, as well as categories for Top Soundtrack, New Artist of the Year Presented by Kohl's, Artist of the Year, and for the first year-ever, "Single of the Year."

Kelly Clarkson and will.i.am announced some of the nominees Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

The AMAs will take place Nov. 24 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Miley Cyrus and Imagine Dragons will perform.

FAVORITE ARTIST – RAP/HIP-HOP
Jay Z
Lil Wayne
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

FAVORITE ALBUM – RAP/HIP-HOP
Jay Z/Magna Carta…Holy Grail
Kendrick Lamar/good kid, m.A.A.d city
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis/The Heist

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B
Miguel
Robin Thicke
Justin Timberlake

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B
Ciara
Alicia Keys
Rihanna

FAVORITE ALBUM – SOUL/R&B
Rihanna/Unapologetic
Robin Thicke/Blurred Lines
Justin Timberlake/The 20/20 Experience

GRAMMY NOMINATIONS CONCERT LIVE ON DECK WITH DRAKE & MORE.
Drake, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Robin Thicke, and four-time GRAMMY winner Keith Urban are the first acts announced to perform on "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night®."

Two-time GRAMMY winner LL COOL J returns to host the one-hour special, which takes place at Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on Friday, Dec. 6. The show — which will announce nominations in several categories as well as feature performances by past GRAMMY winners and/or nominees — will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network from 10 – 11 p.m. ET/PT. Additional performers and presenters will be announced shortly.

This concert special marks the sixth time nominations for the annual GRAMMY Awards® will be announced live on primetime television. Last year's airing of the nominations special helped lead to stellar ratings for the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, which garnered 28.37 million viewers — the second-largest audience for the awards broadcast since 1993. The telecast also nearly doubled its social media conversation from the previous year, generating 24.8 million comments (based on research compiled by Bluefin, PeopleBrowsr and Mass Relevance).

LL COOL J has hosted "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" since its inception in December 2008, and also hosted the annual GRAMMY Awards telecast for the second time earlier this year.

The road to Music's Biggest Night begins with "The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!!" and culminates with the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards, live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, and broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

"The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" is produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures, LLC. Ken Ehrlich is the executive producer. LL COOL J is producer.

HIP HOP + REAL HUSBANDS = SCANDAL.
BET hosts two nights of big laughs, bigger drama and the biggest stars with the premieres of Hip Hop Awards 2013, Real Husbands of Hollywood and the season three BET premiere of SCANDAL.

Uncle Snoop flexes his funny bone taking center stage as host of Hip Hop Awards 2013. Premiering Tuesday, October 15th at 8 P.M. ET/PT, Hip Hop Awards 2013 celebrates the year in hip hop music with performances from rap's elite including Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, Future, Meek Mill, Diddy, Rick Ross and more. A surprise reunion from Bone Thugs-n-Harmony brought the crowd to its feet while rap icon MC Lyte was the recipient of the prestigious "I Am Hip Hop" award. It wouldn't be the Hip Hop Awards without the ever popular cyphers including a special treat from the Real Husbands of Hollywood, but the hilarity from Kevin Hart and the gang doesn't stop there.

Directly following the show is season two of the uproariously funny Real Husbands of Hollywood with back-to-back episodes beginning at 10:00 P.M. ET/PT. The stakes are higher now with new players in the game causing they guys' egos to swell from boys to mitches. Featuring an all-star supporting cast including Boris Kodjoe, Nick Cannon, J.B. Smoove, Duane Martin, Nelly and Cynthia Kay McWilliams - the upcoming season promises cameos from Hollywood's biggest names including Katie Couric, Khloe Kardashian-Odom, Kris Jenner, Conan O' Brien, Wanda Sykes, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Kelly Rowland, Anthony Anderson and more.

The drama doesn't end there. Missed last week's season three premiere episode of SCANDAL? Don't worry. "We Got You." Gladiators unite as BET re-airs the episode Wednesday, October 16th beginning at 10 P.M. ET/PT. Catch up on all the drama from Olivia Pope & Associates in the explosive episode from the hit ABC drama.

UNIVERSAL MUSIC ENTERPRISES' POPULAL ICON SERIES CONTINUES.
Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) continues its acclaimed ICON series with several new releases on October 8, including Ice Cube, which released today, October 8.

With its history and vast catalog of artists, UMe’s continuing ICON series showcases the best music from the most popular, iconic and influential artists of all time. ICON is a proven physical line, a true cross-genre success with more than seven million copies sold in three years.

Other artists on deck for the series are Paula Abdul, Commodores, Crystal Gayle, Tom Jones, Dean Martin, Olivia Newton-John, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Rat Pack, Kenny Rogers, Frank Sinatra, and Wilson Phillips.

Ice Cube began his music career with the notorious gangsta rap group N.W.A. He broke away at the height of their national notoriety. On his initial solo release, 1990's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Ice Cube squashed the bi-coastal rap rivalry and collaborated with New York's hip-hop heavyweights Public Enemy. Their production team, the Bomb Squad, produced the album. Its title track, Ice Cube’s debut solo single, hit No.1 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart and the album went platinum. 1991's Death Certificate debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart and No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

Ice Cube’s next release, The Predator, galvanized him as the premiere multi-platinum West Coast hip-hop G. It debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B and Billboard 200 album charts. The Predator was an epilogue to the LA riots and while "It Was A Good Day" provides a hassle-free moment in a Compton day, there is still dissonance in Ice Cube's America. 1993's Lethal Injection sees Ice Cube morphing into his "Don Mega" persona that permeates his War & Peace albums and projects with Westside Connection.

Ice Cube ICON features his top singles, including “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted,” “You Can Do It,” “Check Yo Self,” “Pushin’ Weight,” and “Bop Gun.”

1. AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
2. Check Yo Self (Remix) (Featuring Das EFX)
3. It Was A Good Day
4. Wicked
5. Pushin' Weight (Featuring Mr. Short Khop)
(J. Johnson, L. Hunt, O. Jackson)
6. You Know How We Do It
7. Steady Mobbin'
8. You Can Do It (Featuring Mack 10 and Ms. Toi)
9. Really Doe
10. Bop Gun (One Nation)
11. What Can I Do (Remix)

50 CENT EXCITED TO BE PART OF "DREAM SCHOOL".
50 Cent said he's excited to be part of the new Sundance series "Dream School" because the reality show focuses on uplifting people.

The show, which debuted Monday (10 p.m. EDT), follows a group of high school dropouts who are trying to graduate. 50 Cent appears in the series with filmmaker Oliver Stone and actor David Arquette.

"The actual reality programs that exist right now ... kind of focus on the train wreck, and this show is more about providing opportunity," the 38-year-old rapper said in an interview last week.

The 15 teenagers from the Los Angeles area who appear in the designed "dream school" dropped out of high school because of issues including fighting, financial problems and pregnancy. One transgender student said bullying forced him out of school and another didn't enter the ninth grade because he wanted to care for his cancer-stricken mother.

"I see a lot of myself in some of the kids," said 50 Cent, who grew up in Queens, N.Y. "My son is 17 and he could very well be in that situation if things didn't have a change for the better with me. I remember ... the obstacles of temptation in front of me."

"Dream School," a six-part series, also features Jesse Jackson, journalist Soledad O'Brien, astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison and producer-rapper Swizz Beatz. 50 Cent, who has sold millions of albums and has appeared in films, is one of the show's executive producers.

He said Arquette made an impact on the transgender student.

"The kid immediately had a connection that felt safe," he said of the 42-year-old actor, whose sibling, Alexis Arquette, is transgender. "Because of (David's) own journey, he was able to utilize his experience to make that person's experience better, and the guy went on to graduate."

JERMAINE DUPRI INKS WITH MARIAH CAREY'S MANAGEMENT TEAM.
Music producer Jermaine Dupri is joining Mariah Carey's management team. A representative for Carey confirmed the news Monday. They have collaborated on hits like "Always Be My Baby," ''Don't Forget About Us" and "We Belong Together," which was named song of the decade and is one of the most popular songs of all time.

Carey said in a statement that she and Dupri "have a bond that surpasses music." The singer is recording a new album called "The Art of Letting Go." The first single, the Miguel-featured "#Beautiful," was released in May and peaked at No. 15.

Dupri has written and produced for Usher, Monica and Destiny's Child. He has had success with acts like Kris Kross, Xscape, Bow Wow and Jagged Edge on his So So Def label.

WARNER MUSIC GROUP TO RELOCATE.
The Warner Music Group, the world’s third largest record company, is moving from its long-time headquarters at 75 Rockefeller Center and relocating to 1633 Broadway Tower, according to an Oct. 1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The new space, located between 50th and 51st Streets, has nearly 300,000 square feet of office space and will cost “approximately $16 million in annual rent, in addition to its pro rata share of certain real property taxes, operating expenses and common area maintenance expenses,” according to the filing. The lease runs for approximately 16 years from on or about Jan, 1, 2014 to July 31 2029 and WMG will be spread out amongst six floors.

WMG, however, isn’t planning to move until mid-2014, a Warner Music spokesperson told Billboard, when it will consolidate its New York offices under one roof – including its worldwide headquarters at 75 Rockefeller Plaza and its offices at 1290 Avenue of the Americas. This includes WMG staff, Atlantic Records, Warner/Chappell and Warner Bros Records employees.

“Paramount Plaza will serve as an excellent global headquarters, providing us the opportunity to unite all of our New York teams in one central location right in the heart of Manhattan," a Warner Music spokesperson said. "We see it as a great fit to help bring our people closer together, while fostering the unique cultures of our different labels and business units."

Paramount Plaza is a 48-story skyscraper and in 2007 it was listed as number 46 on the list of tallest buildings in New York City.

Warner Music is not the first major record company in New York this year to move headquarters. In January, Sony Corp, sold its US headquarters at 550 Madison for $1.1 billion to a consortium of investors led by the Chetrit Group. Sony companies, including Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, will remain in the building for up to three years, under a sale/leaseback arrangement. Source: Billboard

DIDDY DONATES $250,000 TO NFTE To Benefit Young Entrepreneurs
More than 500,000 students have completed NFTE courses since Steve Mariotti founded the nonprofit in 1987. Last night, the organization crowned the winners of its annual youth entrepreneurship contest. Jesus Fernandez and Toheeb Okenla, 17-year-olds from South Holland, Ill., took the $25,000 first prize for their business, which designs socks with pockets sewn in for soccer shin guards. NFTE also announced a $1.2 million grant from Mastercard (MA) and $250,000 from Bad Boy Entertainment founder Sean “Diddy” Combs to continue its efforts.

In addition to teaching business skills, NFTE is good at convincing inner-city kids that their street smarts can be applied in the classroom, Combs told me in an interview before last night’s ceremony. “I’m the poster child for that,” he said. Businessweek had the following conversation with Combs.

How are we doing at teaching entrepreneurship in the U.S.?
I don’t know if we’re so much teaching entrepreneurship as people are taking their futures into their own hands. It’s hard for people to find jobs out there right now, and through those rough times, you have people who are going to quit, and you have people who are going to fight. I think that what’s happening is people are discovering different opportunities in their communities and understanding that if they have a good product, or have something that people want or need, they can take responsibility and accountability for their futures.

Another way to come at the question is to ask: Can entrepreneurship even be taught?
I think especially with kids from the inner city, they’re natural-born entrepreneurs, because they have to figure out how to survive. So they have it in their DNA. An organization like this can show them that they have it inside of them and can show them how to relate what they’re learning in school to their street smarts and street savvy.

What’s a lesson someone taught you when you were a young entrepreneur?
It’s a little cliché, but someone taught me, if it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense. That was after I went through a year where I had lost a lot of money—it was during the start of a recession, and I wasn’t sensitive to the economic climate. I wasn’t paying attention to what was going on in the world. If it’s raining outside, if it’s snowing—you have to know what the climate is in whatever space. I was in the retail space, I didn’t prepare for the storm. The world isn’t perfect, so plan accordingly.

What’s the weather like now? The government shutdown has been hard for some business owners.
The Republicans have taken the health-care law and made it a very personal thing. They call it “Obamacare.” They’re flexing their muscle, and they’re still getting paid, and millions of people are going to be affected. When things like that happen, it’s time to be conservative. This is not making common sense, and I would take less risk right now.

Last question. Are high school entrepreneurs better off going to college or learning through the experience of running a business?
It depends on which business. If you’re interested in engineering, I’d say, go to college. If you’re interested in finance, go to college. But there are other fields where you can get more value out of the experience of working. You might be better off working for free, or paying yourself. Source: Businessweek

LAUREN HILL RELEASED FROM PRISON / DROPS NEW JOINT.
On the eve of her release from prison, Lauryn Hill comes full circle with the release of a new song, Consumerism. LISTEN HERE Hill, who served a three-month sentence for tax evasion, marked the beginning of her with the single Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix).

In May, Hill was convicted of failing to pay taxes on $2.3 million over the last five years. In an effort to avoid jail time, she paid $900,000 in back taxes.. Although she sidestepped the 30-36 month sentence that usually gets handed out with the kind of crime she committed, that reprieve wasn't enough to curb her bitterness, or so it seems. She touches on "corporate greed" and "commercialism" in the song.

"Consumerism is part of some material I was trying to finish before I had to come in. We did our best to eek out a mix via verbal and emailed direction, thanks to the crew of surrogate ears on the other side," Hill says in a press release. "Letters From Exile is material written from a certain space, in a certain place. I felt the need to discuss the underlying socio-political, cultural paradigm as I saw it. I haven't been able to watch the news too much recently, so I'm not hip on everything going on. But inspiration of this sort is a kind of news in and of itself, and often times contains an urgency that precedes what happens. I couldn't imagine it not being relevant. Messages like these I imagine find their audience, or their audience finds them, like water seeking it's level".

JAY Z INKS STEVEN SPIELBERG'S KIDS.
Jay Z has inked two new people to his Roc Nation management. He has signed legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s children. Sasha Spielberg (23) and Theo Spielberg (25). According to the Hollywood Reporter the two have joined Roc Nation. T

The DJ siblings released their EP Brother/Sister earlier in 2013 under the name Wardell and have signed with Roc Nation, the company founded by Jay Z, for management. Meanwhile, Sasha recently sold the pilot Girls Without Boys -- co-written with Emily Goldwyn (daughter of John), with Rashida Jones producing -- to ABC. "But music is still my passion," Sasha says. "I am going to find a way to balance both."

The Spielberg duo are now under the Roc Nation umbrella that manage artists Rihanna, Meek Mill, Wale, and Timbaland.

JAY Z AND HUBLOT PARTNER UP FOR LIMITED EDITION WATCH.
This fall Shawn Carter and Hublot will launch the limited edition “Shawn Carter by Hublot” Classic Fusion watches. In either black ceramic or 18k yellow gold. Based on the existing Classic Fusion watch collection, these 45mm wide watches contain the modern and elegant Hublot HUB1300 manually wound movement that has a long 90 hours of power reserve. These thin movements allow for the case to be very slim, yet modernly sized and bold on the wrist. On the dial you have the time with a subsidiary seconds dial This collection of watches is often skeletonized, but for the limited edition Shawn Carter collection Hublot has design a unique design on the dial as well as both Shawn Carter and Hublot branding.

Jay Z and Hublot will launch the Shawn Carter watch collection in tandem with the Barney’s “A New York Holiday” shopping experience at the New York store that has been curated by Shawn Carter himself which is set to begin on November 20th. The Jay Z brand is a powerful image and the type that watch brand Hublot enjoys being associated with. The brand has made large inroads with American pop culture sponsoring a range of athletes and musicians. It is especially keen on attracting younger demographic wealthy individuals – which makes sense given the brands more modern designs.

The Shawn Carter by Hublot Classic Fusion watches will be part of a limited edition. Hublot will produce 250 pieces in black ceramic and just 100 pieces in 18k gold. Prices are $17,900 and $33,900 respectively. Source: Forbes

JURY FINDS AEG NOT LIABLE FOR MJ'S DEATH.
After five months of trial, a Los Angeles jury today reached a verdict after deliberating for three days, finding that concert promoter AEG Live is not liable for the death of Michael Jackson. The Jacksons, who sued AEG Live in 2010, had asked the jury to find the company liable for Mr. Jackson's death, claiming it had negligently hired, retained, or supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's longtime personal physician. Dr. Murray is currently serving a sentence for involuntary manslaughter after the pop star overdosed on the anesthetic propofol.

"The jury's decision completely vindicates AEG Live, confirming what we have known from the start—that although Michael Jackson's death was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy of AEG Live's making," said Marvin Putnam of O'Melveny & Myers LLP, lead trial counsel for the defendants in the lawsuit.

During the lengthy trial, numerous witnesses testified about Michael Jackson's decades-long history of secret drug abuse and his pattern of seeking out doctors who would give him the drugs he wanted. Some of the most explosive Testimony came from Jackson's own medical providers, who testified that Jackson sought out and used propofol on several occasions over the years prior to his death.

The jury's decision came after the Honorable Yvette M. Palazuelos previously threw out all of the Jackson family's other claims, finding a lack of evidence providing any legal basis to support them, and dismissed parent company AEG, Inc. from the lawsuit. The judge had previously thrown out a copycat suit filed by Michael Jackson's father Joseph Jackson.
Judge Palazuelos also recently dismissed AEG Live executives Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware from the trial after finding that they "did not control, direct, or perpetrate any of the activities in [Michael Jackson's] home" that ultimately led to Jackson's death, and they "committed no act directly related to the harm."

"There was simply no evidence that anyone at AEG did anything wrong," Putnam said. "The win was a great victory for Mr. Phillips in particular, who was personally sued by the Jacksons."

"I counted Michael Jackson a creative partner and a friend," Phillips said. "We lost one of the world's greatest musical geniuses, but I am relieved and deeply grateful that the jury recognized that neither I, nor anyone else at AEG Live, played any part in Michael's tragic death."

"I am pleased that the jury recognized that this lawsuit was without merit, and the entire AEG family looks forward to putting this unfortunate chapter behind us," said Dan Beckerman, President and CEO of AEG, Inc.

Plaintiffs repeatedly proposed that AEG Live throw in with them to settle the case with insurance money and no money out of AEG Live's pocket. AEG Live refused, citing their long and deeply held policy against paying out baseless claims. Said Putnam, "Some people make the mistake of looking at AEG Live as an easy target due to their size and presence in Los Angeles. That's a mistake."

MARCO POLO RETURNS WITH NEW LP ‘PA2: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT’
It’s been six years since Marco Polo took the hip-hop world by storm with his Rawkus/Soulspazm Records debut LP, Port Authority. This album not only established the Toronto, Canada native as one of the top emerging producers in his field, but also transformed Marco into a very sought-after collaborator as well. He has since gone on to release the collaborative project with Torae, Double Barrel, in 2009 and has also worked with acclaimed artists such as; Masta Ace, Special Teamz, Heltah Skeltah, Buckshot, KRS-One, Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, Sean Price, Copywrite, Vinnie Paz and Large Professor.

After generating tremendous momentum this summer with his free LP, Newport Authority 2, Marco Polo returns to offer up the highly anticipated sequel, PA2: The Director’s Cut, which is the culmination of thousands of hours of creative energy, manpower, crate-digging, knob-twisting, Newport-smoking and coffee-bingeing, to create an impeccable infrastructure of music that will resonate with hip-hop fans across the world.

Fans have already heard glimpses of what MP has in store for PA2: The Director’s Cut, as his heartfelt dedication to Gang Starr’s Guru (“G.U.R.U.” featuring Talib Kweli & DJ Premier) not only went viral in a day, but also clearly resonated with the late MC’s friends and family as they offered up their support for the track. The LP’s most recent leak, “3-O-Clock” did what hip-hop fans have been impatiently waiting on for over fifteen years; reuniting Organized Konfusion (Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po) on the same track. Official music videos for these tracks will be released in the weeks leading up to the album. The “G.U.R.U.” video is a nostalgic tribute to the legendary lyricist, directed by Todd Angkasuwan, while “3-O-Clock”, directed by The Doppelgangaz, effectively captures the grimy and gritty New York vibe on this MP x OK collabo.

PA2: The Director’s Cut is not a “compilation” project. Rather, much like projects from the producers (Jay Dee, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, etc), that have influenced Marco, it’s a seamlessly blended piece of art featuring a who’s-who of the industry’s top MCs; each track crafted and specialized to fit each MC’s strengths. This is evident throughout PA2. On “West Coast Love” Marco displays his versatility, cooking up some premo G-Funk for West Coast legends MC Eiht and King Tee to spread their Cali love on. Further, “Astonishing” featuring Large Professor, Inspectah Deck, O.C. and Tragedy is like riding shotgun to “The Tunnel” in Doc Brown’s DeLoreon, and the shimmering “Strange Brew” with Gangrene (Alchemist & Oh No) pushes the BPMs to maximum levels. The LP’s apt closing track, “Glory” (Finish Hard) featuring Masta Ace, A.G. and Posdnuos (of De La Soul) offers up a hilarious commentary from Ace on Marco’s tedious “work ethic” and ends with commentary from everyone’s favorite beer-drinking Canucks Bob and Doug McKenzie (of Strange Brew fame) who revisit their “Strange Brew” days.

For nearly 10 years, Marco’s mission has remained the same: to keep the masses moving and their heads bobbing, and PA2: The Director’s Cut is a shining testament to that. “I put together an album that I felt picked up where Port Authority left off but updated it for 2013. I'm proud to finally let this album out into the world. It's a long-ass album and I don't give a flying #!@*. At the end of the day I'm excited with the finished product; which took me five-plus years to create. DJ connoisseurs can also expect some of finest-quality cutting courtesy of DJ Revolution, DJ Premier, Shylow, DJ Linx & DJ Romes. Moving forward, I'm seriously looking forward to touring this record and smacking them MP pads live for all those inviting me to do so. Catch me traveling the world again soon backing my big bro Masta Ace, as well as rocking some solo production sets for the hip-hop heads.” Marco states.

Tracklisting and Credits for Marco Polo’s PA2: The Director’s Cut:

1.) “3-O-Clock” f/ Organized Konfusion (Pharoahe Monch & Prince Po)
2.) “Savages” f/ Slaine, Ill Bill & Celph Titled
3.) “Earrings Off” f/ Rah Digga
4.) “Can’t Get Enough” f/ Big Twin, Nature & F.T.
5.) “Astonishing f/ Large Professor, Inspectah Deck, O.C. & Tragedy
6.) “6 Trill” f/ Last Emperor
7.) “West Coast Love” f/ MC Eiht & King Tee
8.) “Wrong Girl” f/ Reach & Reggie B
9.) “Drunken Sleuth” f/ Invincible
10.) “Michael Rapaport Intermission”
11.) “Emergency Man” f/ Malcolm & Martin
12.) “Strange Brew” f/ Gangrene (Alchemist & Oh No)
13.) “What They Say” f/ Kardinal Offishal, Lil Fame (of MOP) & Styles P
14.) “Parental Discretion” f/ Breezly Brewin (of The Juggaknots)
15.) “Underdogs” f/ Supastition & Shylow
16.) “R U Gonna Eat That” f/ The Doppelgangaz
17.) “Sucka Free” f/ Blaq Poet, Hannibal Stax & Panchi (of NYG’z)
18.) “G.U.R.U.” f/ Talib Kweli & DJ Premier
19.) “Glory” (Finish Hard) f/ Masta Ace, A.G., & Posdnuos (of De La Soul)

***All Tracks Produced By Marco Polo


DRAKE TOPS THE CHARTS.
Drake grabs #1 on Billboard's Top 200 chart with Nothing Was The Same, selling 658,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Nothing Was the Same gives Drake his third #1 album and his personal best sales week. It also tallies the second-largest sales week of 2013, as only Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience sold more (968,000) when it debuted in March.

YOUTUBE MUSIC AWARDS ON DECK - EMINEM SET TO PERFORM.
The alternate reality of Youtube will meet the real world November 3rd with the first ever YouTube Music Awards. Eminem, Lady Gaga, and Arcade Fire are some of the names you'll recognize that will be there, along with YouTube channel favorites like CDZA and Lindsey Stirling. Spike Jonze is penciled in to serve as creative director and actor Jason Schwartzman will host, while VICE and Sunset Entertainment drop in as executive producers.

"We're setting out to create a night that's all about making things and creativity in the spirit of everyone that uses YouTube," said Jonze. "As well as giving out awards, we'll be making live music videos. The whole night should feel like a YouTube video itself. We're getting together a group of amazing artists and filmmakers to do this live -- tune in to see what happens live."

"From catalyzing careers and pop culture phenomena to propelling a song's rise to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100, our global community's influence is felt across the music industry," added Danielle Tiedt, YouTube's vp marketing.

Leading into the awards show, YouTube will feature performances from Seoul, Moscow, London and a location in Brazil. Artists who will be performing internationally have yet to be announced.
The YouTube Music Awards will celebrate the artists and songs that YouTube users have turned into global hits in the past year.


Nominations for the YouTube Music Awards will be announced Oct. 17, based on the videos that the users watched and shared in the the past year. Categories have not yet been announced, but data-driven categories such as fastest-growing song are expected.

Judging will take place as YouTube users determine the songs and artists who will be honored by sharing the content through social media. Vice Media and Sunset Lane are executive producing.

Eminem's eighth full-length, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, hits stores two days after his scheduled YouTube Music Awards performance Nov. 5. Lady Gaga's Artpop drops Nov. 11, while Arcade Fire's third studio album, Reflektor, hits Oct. 29.

YouTube has been aggressive in its initiatives in the past year. In August, the company kicked off Geek Week, dedicating several days to geek-centric programming, and in May, launched its first star-studded Comedy Week.

DIDDY'S REVOLT LANDS MTV'S WHITNEY-GAYLE BENTA.
Andy Schuon, president and co-founder of REVOLT TV, announced today that Whitney-Gayle Benta has joined the new multi-platform television channel founded by Sean Combs as senior vice president of music and talent.

Benta comes to REVOLT from MTV News where she negotiated talent booking across multiple platforms and was responsible for creating some of pop culture's most dynamic moments of the past ten years.

"Talent relations are crucial, especially for a network like REVOLT that offers fans unprecedented access to their favorite artists," said Schuon. "Whitney's combination of music industry know-how, TV production credits and contacts will push REVOLT to become the #1 music destination for millennials."

REVOLT TV, which is set to launch on October 21st, has national carriage deals with both Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC) making it one of the largest independent network launches in cable television history. Through curated music videos, performances, interviews, and news, REVOLT will deliver the best of the best in music to the first multi-platform network for artists and fans – all live, on-air, and at the speed of social media.

Prior to joining REVOLT, Benta was a VP at MTV News, where she negotiated talent booking across a multiple platforms, including television (the Video Music Awards), digital (MTV's "RapFix Live") and mobile; co-conceptualized the award-winning MTV Diary documentary, "Jay-Z: Water For Life"; and managed the series booking for "When I Was 17," This Is How I Made It", MTV's "This is How I Made It" and MTV's "Rapfix Live."

In the past, Benta has also held marketing positions at Island Def Jam Records and Noontime Records. As a member of those teams she worked on album campaigns for superstar artists such as Jay-Z, Ja Rule, DMX, Ashanti, Ludacris, LL Cool J, Musiq Soulchild and Atlanta collective Jim Crow, which included the now noted producer Polow Da Don.
Benta's efforts in music and media have been recognized through a series of awards and nominations, not limited to Billboard magazine's Women in Music 2011, MTV Networks' (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, CMT, Comedy Central) "Share The Vision" Award and the United Nations honoring her work as a part of "Jay-Z: Water For Life."

The Harlem, New York native attended Spelman College and graduated with a B.A. in Entertainment Industries studies, an independent major in which she developed her own curriculum.

DRAKE PROJECTED TO SELL OVER 650,000 1ST WEEK SALES?
Drake’s Nothing Was The Same album is projected to sell between 660,000 and 670,000 copies its first week in stores, according to reports. This would earn the second-highest album sales figure of the year, behind only Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience, which sold 968,000 units during its first week in stores in March. It would also be Drake’s third #1 album and it would have the best-selling first week of his three studio albums.

NIELSON AQUIRES ARBITRON.
Nielsen Holdings N.V. has announced that it has successfully completed its acquisition of Arbitron Inc., an international media and marketing research firm.

“This is a great day for Nielsen and a natural step in our evolution,” said Nielsen Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun. “Arbitron will allow us to analyze and understand an additional two hours of the U.S. consumer’s day while bringing us another opportunity to provide advertisers with metrics on the effectiveness of the mediums that they advertise on.”

Arbitron is being rebranded Nielsen Audio and will be integrated into Nielsen’s U.S. Watch business segment, which provides information and insights primarily to the media and advertising industries across television, online, mobile and radio. With Arbitron, Nielsen now measures eight hours a day per person of dynamic media consumption.

“Our combined capabilities offer opportunities to measure unmeasured areas that are important to the industries and clients we serve, like streaming audio, out-of-home measurements for television consumption and deeper measurement of multicultural audiences in the U.S.,” said Calhoun. “Globally, this is an opportunity to expand our measurement of consumer behavior and introduce audio measurement capabilities in new markets.”

As previously disclosed, Nielsen entered into an agreement on Dec. 17, 2012 to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Arbitron for $48 per share or a total of $1.3 billion purchase price, funded by cash on hand and recent debt financing. Nielsen expects $0.26 of accretion to adjusted net income per share during the first full year of operations, and $0.32 of accretion to adjusted net income per share during the second year, reflecting an incremental $0.06 in year two.

Nielsen will update its full year guidance to include the impact of the Arbitron acquisition during its Q3 2013 earnings conference call, which will be held October 23.

MC LYTE AND KENDRICK LAMAR HIGHLIGHT BET HIP HOP AWARDS.
The 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards are a wrap. MC Lyte said she was initially nervous following a video tribute that honored the veteran rapper for her career achievements at the eighth annual BET Hip-Hop Awards Saturday.

Once MC Lyte gathered herself, she thanked a host of people who helped further her career. She urged the female rappers who have come after her to continue to shine and push the genre forward.

"Please keep the dream alive, I am with you," said MC Lyte, who was given the "I Am Hip-Hop Award" at the taped award show at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. The show airs on Oct. 15.

Rapper Eve handed the award to MC Lyte, who became known in the rap game in the late '80s and '90s. She relied on wit rather than sexuality and rapped with a man's bluster and braggadocio. She delivered hits such as "Cha Cha Cha," ''Lyte as a Rock," ''Poor Georgie" and "I Cram to Understand U."

Actor Will Smith, his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and rapper-actress Queen Latifah took part in the video that paid homage to Lyte.

"She set the precedent for female freestylers," Eve said of MC Lyte. "I'm truly, truly honored. She has meant so much to me in my career."

Drake won the People's Champ award, but Kendrick Lamar captivated attendees with his recorded four-minute freestyle. It earned applause from the audience and others from Rick Ross to MC Lyte.

But shortly afterward, French Montana and Diddy slightly jabbed the Los Angeles-based rapper — who recently called himself the "King of New York" on Big Sean's "Control."

While Montana performed "Ain't Worried About Nothing," he put a crown on Diddy's head as a symbol that the rap mogul is the king of his native New York. When the camera caught Lamar's reaction, he smiled and applauded Montana and Diddy.

Snoop Dogg was his ultra-smooth self in the rapper's first hosting gig, driving onto the stage in a blue 1964 Chevy Impala with hydraulics to start the show. He also used the platform to show off his YouTube network called GGN (Double G News), featuring interviews with rapper 2 Chainz and comedian Luenell.

Kevin Hart provided some comedy, teasing Floyd Mayweather Jr. for wearing cowboy boots. The comedian and his "Real Husbands of Hollywood" cast members also did a spoof of the show's popular freestyle cypher session.

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony performed "Thuggish Ruggish Bone," ''First of the Month" and "Crossroads." Juvenile made a surprise appearance with 2 Chainz. Rick Ross took the stage with Future, performing "No Games."

Looks like there are eight cyphers slated to appear on the Awards program, which is scheduled to air on BET October 15.


DR. DRE'S BEATS ELECTRONICS RECEIVES $500 MILLION INVESTMENT.
Beats Electronics LLC, founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, said private equity firm Carlyle Group LP has agreed to make a minority investment in the audio technology company.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, a person familiar with the matter, who was not authorized to publicly discuss financial details of the deal, said Carlyle would invest $500 million in Beats Electronics, valuing it at over $1 billion.

Equity for the investment will come from affiliates of Carlyle Partners V, Carlyle's $13.7 billion U.S. buyout fund. Beats Electronics also said it agreed to buy back the minority stake held by Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp in the company. HTC bought a 50.1 percent stake in the company in 2011, but sold half of it a year later.

“These transactions represent the evolution of the financial strength and significant growth prospects of Beats,” Jimmy Iovine, Beats CEO, said in a statement. “Carlyle is a fantastic investment partner and we look forward to building the next chapter of Beats.”

The Carlyle Group, which Private Equity International ranked as the second largest private equity firm in the world and is known for its association with powerful political figures, has $180 billion of assets under management as of June 2013. The deal with Beats, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, is thought to help the company expand its reach internationally.

“Carlyle has a strong history of helping great brands expand globally,” Carlyle managing director and head of consumer and retail Sandra Horbach said in a statement, “and we are thrilled to partner with Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre and their talented management and product teams.”

ROCK THE BELLS CANCELED.
The annual hip-hop festival recently played the Los Angeles area to mixed reviews. And now the organizers have announced the cancellation of planned dates in New York and Washington, D.C..

The cause? Guerilla Union says low ticket sales. Rock the Bells founder Chang Weisberg said in a statement announcing the cancellation: “First and foremost, it is with great sadness and disappointment that we must cancel the Washington, DC and New York City Rock the Bells dates due to lack of ticket sales. I, along with our staff, the artists, and all of the sponsors, media partners, local promoters, and radio stations involved are thankful for our supporters and the fans that planned on attending. It’s extremely unfortunate that we can’t complete the last half of the 10th Anniversary Rock the Bells tour. We did everything in our power to save the show. Unfortunately, the financial loss would have been devastating. This festival has been ten years in the making. I am truly sorry we could not produce the show for all the fans who did buy their ticket in support of.”

Though the festival's 10th anniversary bill seemed compelling -- headlining sets from Kendrick Lamar's Black Hippy crew, New York kings A$AP Mob and radio smash J. Cole alongside the "hologram"-deploying Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Wu-Tang Clan -- East Coast fans apparently disagreed.

Weisberg told Radio.com's Scott T. Sterling that upcoming tours from Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lamar might have softened demand.

“There are a lot of high-profile Hip Hop tours on the road right now, so maybe the market’s saturated,” Weisberg said. “For Hip Hop, this is the busiest season I’ve ever seen. I wish everybody well.”

“I’m really bummed," Weisberg said. "We were really excited, with it being the 10 year anniversary of the tour. Something like this leaves everyone scratching their heads. You look at the line-up and it just doesn’t make sense. I’m at a loss for words, really. I feel like I’ve let down so many people. The artists have been awesome and so supportive, but I’m crushed." Source: LA Times

THE WEEKND PARTNERS UP WITH ONE® CONDOMS.
Since his debut in 2011, R&B artist The Weeknd has emerged as one of the hottest new artists on the music scene. This fall, when loyal fans pack concert venues on his 34-date tour, they'll be treated to more than The Weeknd's emotionally powerful lyrics and sounds, thanks to an innovative new partnership with ONE® Condoms.

ONE, the leading specialty brand of premium condoms in North America, today announced customized condoms featuring tour logos and artwork from The Weeknd's latest album, "Kiss Land." The condoms will be distributed as giveaways at various venues on the tour.

"With performances known for sexy mood and vibe, The Weeknd embodies the hip, edgy, artistic character of our customers," said Davin Wedel, founder and CEO of ONE. "His music evokes a passion and intimacy that perfectly complement the sensuality of ONE products."

ONE has made support for visual and performing artists a centerpiece of its brand. The company has a long history of partnering with musicians through its Listen to ONE campaign, working with artists to promote safer sex and distribute free condoms at performances. ONE is also active in Lifebeat, a leading music industry HIV/AIDS awareness organization.

The Weeknd is the biggest musical artist to be featured with customized artwork on ONE products, and his tour is the largest to offer ONE condoms to attendees. The concept is familiar territory to ONE, and Wedel is eager to partner with more artists to promote new music and build awareness about safer sex through the music industry.

The "Kiss Land" tour kicked off earlier this month and will cross the United States and Canada before wrapping up in England in November. The Weeknd promoted the new album and tour with a performance on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live." The Canadian R&B artist, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, had his Kiss Land album debut at #2 on the Billboard 200, and was recently nominated as "MTV's Artist to Watch" at the 2013 Video Music Awards.

UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP TAPS EXECUTIVE VP, U.S. RECORDED MUSIC.
Universal Music Group named Michele Anthony, one of the music industry's most experienced and accomplished executives, to the newly created role of Executive Vice President, U.S. Recorded Music, effective November 1, 2013. Reporting to UMG Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, Anthony will also work closely with UMG Executive Vice President and CFO Boyd Muir, as well as the U.S. recorded music management teams in maximizing commercial and strategic opportunities across labels, establishing new revenue streams, forming alliances with third parties and overseeing a variety of the company's special projects.

In making the announcement, Grainge said, "There are scarce executives in music with the depth of Michele's experience on both the label and artist sides of the industry. Michele's versatility and creative approach to business will make her a valuable addition to our management team."

Anthony said, "Over the past several years, Lucian Grainge has transformed Universal Music into the industry's most progressive music company. I'm excited to be a part of the forward-thinking executive team Lucian has put into place, and I look forward to helping UMG lead the music industry's reinvention, working along side the extraordinary artists, employees and entrepreneurs that make up today's UMG."

Anthony currently chairs the Global Poverty Project (GPP) – Global Citizen Tickets Initiative, a campaign whereby major artists donate concert tickets that are earned when users take specified actions to end global poverty. She also is an advisor for GPP's Annual Central Park Global Citizen Festival. She has served on the boards of the Recording Industry Association of America; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation (Executive Board Member); Rock The Vote (Executive Board Member); and the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children.

ANDRE NICKATINA - DROPS NEW PROJECT.
Born and raised in the notorious Fillmore district of San Francisco, legendary rapper Andre Nickatina aka Dre Dog has long been considered a rap luminary since the release of his critically acclaimed debut album, The New Jim Jones in 1993. Despite releasing almost 20 albums and touring public venues and colleges nonstop, Nickatina, the man, still remains somewhat of a mysterious figure due to the very few number of interviews he's given throughout his career. Regardless, his classic showmanship and distinct voice and rhythm has earned him a fiercely loyal fan base across North America and he gains new supporters with every tour. He represents one of the last Bay Area legends who not only gave birth to the Golden Era of hip hop but continues to push and create the scene.
He just released his 18-track self-titled album which boasts features from guests that reflect both Nickatina's tenure and his relevancy such as Krayzie Bone, Mac Mall, Clyde Carson, Problem, 100s and more.

Andre Nickatina leaked two new joints from the project. One is the lead single "Candy Paint," featuring fellow West Coast legend Mac Mall and the up-and-coming prince of pimp rap, 100s, which celebrates rap's age-old obsession with shiny, brightly painted donks, boxes, and bubbles. LISTEN HERE

The other is part one of a cinematic music video for the song, "Ho' Lat" which features Krayzie Bone on the song version. Nickatina, who has more than seven credits to his name as a director, co-director, executive producer, producer, and actor, executive produced and conceptually developed this video, which mixes the rampage ass-kicking elements of GTA 5 with Michael Douglas' film "Falling Down." Says Nickatina, "The video shows a person losing it, someone who's just been pushed over the edge and snaps and goes on a rampage across town. I really like the chemistry that me and Krayzie Bone have on this song, [and] I felt like [the video] fit the vibe." WATCH HERE

JAY Z TEAMS UP WITH BARNEYS NEW YORK.
Jay-Z's latest collaboration is with Barneys New York, whose flagship store is creating an "immersive gallery space" with him for the holidays. The partnership will include limited-edition Jay-Z designs including watches and a humidor, along with products from Balenciaga, Balmain, Lanvin, Proenza Schouler and other designers, all in a palette of black, white, gold and silver. Prices for the items will range between $70 to over $33,000. A quarter of sales will go to Jay-Z's Shawn Carter Foundation, which helps low-income students cover college costs.

In a statement, Jay-Z said the project takes inspiration from "the slickness, energy, and innovation of New York City." Artist Joanie Lemercier was brought in to help design the gallery space and the store's famous Madison Avenue windows. The store previously collaborated with Lady Gaga. The Jay-Z collection will be available beginning Nov. 20.

COMMON CONCERNED ABOUT VIOLENCE IN RAP MUSIC.
Common, who has openly worried about the violence in Chicago, was in his hometown Friday to help celebrate the city's music scene when he was confronted with a brutal reminder of what he's been talking about: a story about a hail of gunfire that wounded 13 people.

"It makes me think I got to do more; we got to do more," he said in an interview with The Associated Press after giving a speech as the keynote speaker at the Chicago Music Summit, a conference to help local musicians and music professionals with their careers.

Police say last Thursday night's shooting appears to be gang related. For the 41-year-old Common, that underscores concerns that the edgy rap music of the generation of rappers that came behind him is not only providing the soundtrack for gangs, but might just be helping to fuel the fire of gang violence.

"To decide to take someone's life, I don't think they let a rap song determine that," he said, adding that rap artists simply reflect the violence of the streets, and don't cause it. At the same time, he said, fans of young rappers, whose music provides a window into a violent lifestyle, are "influenced by that energy and take it the wrong way."

Common has thought about it enough to once suggest a "peace summit" with Chief Keef, a younger Chicago rapper whose music includes references to weapons and who was arrested after pointing a gun at police officers and after a video showed him firing a semi-automatic rifle at a gun range. In fact, rap music made its way into last Thursday's shooting. A relative of a 3-year-old boy who was shot in the face said the child's uncle was an aspiring rapper who was fatally shot in Chicago this month.

Such a link is not surprising to Grammy-winning rap artist Che "Rhymefest" Smith. He said he believes that at the very least aspiring rappers who are living in poor neighborhoods see the display of a violent gang lifestyle as their route to riches and fame.

"What you get with a lot of young artists is if they gang bang on YouTube, pull guns and threaten someone else, this will give them a million YouTube views or 80,000 Twitter followers overnight," said Rhymefest, a Chicago resident who once ran for a seat on the City Council. "They see it as a check, a way to get paid and this way out of poverty."

Common said the key to ending the cycle of violence that rap music has been linked to for years is more educational programs and other initiatives, and that rap artists should help those programs in any way they can. At the same time, Common, who has his own foundation that exposes disadvantaged young people to the creative arts, said that while he still believes a "peace summit" would be effective, it is only a first step.

"There has to be a consistent follow through," he said. "Young people ... some of them may not be in a place where they can say, 'OK, I'm going to stop (violent behavior)'" he said. "It may be a process. You have to deal with that."

DIDDY IS #1 ON FORBES 2013 CASH KINGS LIST.
Forbes have released their annual Hip-Hop Cash Kings list. This year, Diddy takes the #1 spot with $50 million earned last year. He is followed by Jay-Z with $43 million, Dr. Dre with $40 million. Here's the top 10. SEE THE VIDEO HERE

1. Diddy ($50 million)
2. Jay Z ($43 million)
3. Dr. Dre ($40 million)
4. Nicki Minaj ($29 million)
5. Birdman ($21 million)
6. Kanye West ($20 million)
7. Lil Wayne ($16 million)
8. Wiz Khalifa ($14 million)
9. Ludacris ($12 million)
10. Drake ($10.5 million)
11. Snoop Lion ($10 million, tie)
12. Eminem ($10 million, tie)
14. Kendrick Lamar ($9 million, tie)
14. Pharrell Williams ($9 million, tie)
14. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ($9 million, tie)
17. Swizz Beatz ($8.5 million)
18. Tech N9ne ($7.5 million)
19. 50 Cent ($7 million)
20. Lil Jon ($6 million, tie)

KANYE CONFIRMED TO PRODUCE UNCLE CHARLIE.
Charlie Wilson has worked with Kanye West on a ton of Yeezy's songs — on both My Dark Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus — and now, it seems, Kanye is ready to return the favor. According to the former Gap Band frontman, Kanye will be producing his upcoming record this year.

"Kanye and myself, we started already — Kanye is starting on a new record for me," Wilson told MTV. "Kanye is one of the greatest rapper/producers that we have. He's a little controversial, yeah, but he's still a genius at that in the studio. He wants to produce me, so we'll see how that goes. He's been asking for a while and I've just been busy. Real busy. I know Pharrell Williams wants to get in. And Justin Timberlake."

Timberlake and Skateboard P performed with Wilson during the 2013 BET Awards, where Wilson was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Wilson said that the record will likely be done in the spring of 2014, but wouldn't reveal any more details. He's currently touring in support of 2013's Love, Charlie and his new single "I Still Have You," which will be featured in "The Best Man Holiday" film and soundtrack, out this November.

Wilson has also been making the late-night rounds with Kanye, performing their Yeezus single "Bound 2" on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" and "Later... With Jools Holland." "I'm enjoying it," Wilson said of the experience. "Kanye featuring Uncle Charlie right now. It's kind of cool."

He continued: "I love going in the studio. I like Kanye in the studio. He's very, very understandable about the music. When he wants to write something, put his finger on the pulse, he really do know how to do that. Now, when he don't want to do that — don't want to have radio records — he don't do that either. Me, I'll always love to have radio records." Source: MTV

TLC REVEAL INFO FOR LATEST COLLECTION.
TLC, the best-selling female group in music history, has revealed the title and track-listing for their latest collection, which will be released on October 15th by LaFace/Epic Records. Entitled 20 as a nod to the group's 20-year-plus career, the album features TLC's biggest hits (including their four No. 1 singles, "Creep," "Waterfalls," "No Scrubs," and "Unpretty"), plus a new track written by Ne-Yo, "Meant To Be." The latter will be heard during the closing credits of the upcoming VH1 Original Movie, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, which inspired the track-listing for 20. The film, which stars Keke Palmer (Akeela & The Bee) as Chilli, Drew Sidora (Step Up) as Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, and Lil Mama (America's Best Dance Crew) as Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez, chronicles TLC's humble beginnings in Atlanta and unprecedented rise to fame in the '90s. It will premiere on VH1 on October 21st.

Having participated in the creation of the CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story and serving as executive producers, Chilli and T-Boz are ushering in the next phase of the group's illustrious career, which saw them, along with Lopes, sell 65 million albums worldwide and become cultural icons in the process. Being on the set inspired Chilli and T-Boz to go back into the studio and record brand-new TLC music. The sessions resulted in so many great songs that Epic Records chief L.A. Reid (the group's mentor who originally signed them to his LaFace Records in 1991) has decided to release a full album with all new music in 2014.

Chilli and T-Boz will celebrate the release of 20 and CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story with a series of television appearances, including Good Morning America on October 15th, The View on October 16th, and The Wendy Williams Show on October 17th.

TLC shot to superstardom in the '90s thanks to a series of best-selling albums, including 1992's quadruple platinum Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip, 1994's Diamond-certified CrazySexyCool (which has sold over 23 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling album by a girl group in the U.S.), and 1999's FanMail, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart and has been certified 7x-platinum in the US and 14 million worldwide. The group has racked up four No. 1 singles, ten Top 10 singles, and four Grammy Awards, and was ranked the seventh most successful act of the '90s by Billboard. Through their very public and high-profile success, turmoil and tragedy, TLC left an indelible stamp of female empowerment that changed the face of the music industry forever.

The track-listing for 20 is as follows:
Ain't 2 Proud Beg
What About Your Friends
Baby, Baby, Baby
Hat 2 Da Back
Creep
Waterfalls
Red Light Special
Diggin' on You
Kick Your Game
No Scrubs
Unpretty
Silly Ho
Damaged
Meant to Be

JAY Z AND BEYONCE TOP FORBES' HIGHEST EARNING CELEBRITY COUPLES LIST.
Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles are so much more than just the first couple of hip-hop: They’re a combination of two of the savviest business people in entertainment. They made more $$ than any other celebrity couple this year with an estimated $95 million in earnings between June 2012 and June 2013.

Both are musicians at the top of their games, with multiple hits under their belts. Jay Z’s recent Watch the Throne album went platinum and launched a world tour that brought in $1.4 million per night in America. Knowles, who took a short break when her daughter Blue Ivy was born in January last year, was back with a vengeance this year with her Mrs. Carter world tour, which grossed an average $2 million per night.

Then there are their other interests. Jay Z is a part owner of the new Barclays BCS -2.29% Center in Brooklyn, where the Brooklyn Nets play. He sold his stake in the team and now has to dump his share in the arena, too, because he’s started his own sports agency: Roc Nation Sports, which represents star athletes like Kevin Durant and Victor Cruz. Knowles has a fragrance collection and a clothing line called House of Deron. Blue Ivy could soon join the family business. She’s already been on one of her Dad’s songs and her parents have petitioned to trademark her name for the right to use it on anything from baby clothes to toys.

Beyonce and Jay earned $15 million more than the No. 2 couple on the list: Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen. Like Jay Z and Knowles, Brady and Bundchen have used their fame to build bigger businesses around themselves. We estimate the couple earned a combined $80 million between June 2012 and June 2013. Source: Forbes

NEW TUPAC BIOPIC ON DECK.
Morgan Creek Productions and Emmett/Furla Films announced in a Thursday news release they are in final negotiations to partner on the production of "Tupac." The picture will begin filming next year in Atlanta.

Tupac still remains a towering figure in rap music, the subject of Elvis-like conspiracy theories and one of two slain symbols with Biggie Smalls of the East Coast-West Coast beef that ruled rap in the 1990s. The film will be executive produced by Shakur's mother, Afeni Shakur.

The news release says the film will center on Shakur's life, but makes no mention of who will star as the rapper or who will direct.

DJ KHALED MAKES DONATION SUPPORTING MIAMI HIGH SCHOOL.
On Friday September 20, the Grammy Award-nominated multi-platinum artist, producer, mogul, and C.E.O. of We The Best Music Group will grant a generous donation of $10,000 to Miami Norland High School on behalf of himself and We The Best Music Group. Khaled is set to deliver this endowment in person at the school's auditorium in front of an audience of over 500 students and faculty members during the afternoon that day. In addition, radio station WEDR Miami 99 JAMZ will be on hand.

Since 1998, he has been embedded in Miami's cultural fabric as a radio personality on 99 JAMZ. Developing a deep connection to the community over his past two decades living in the city, he recognized that this prominent high school was in need of support and wanted to give back in order to encourage and enrich the lives of the next generation of Miamians. This is home to Khaled, and he never forgets that.

Right now, Khaled is also gearing up for the release of his seventh full-length album and third for Cash Money Records and We The Best Music Group, Suffering From Success, in stores October 22nd. Recently, its first single "No New Friends" featuring Drake, Lil Wayne, and Rick Ross reached gold status, while its follow-up single "Wanna Be With You" featuring Nicki Minaj, Future, and Rick Ross recently debuted.

Now, he's using that success to aid the community where he got his start.

Khaled is the visionary behind We The Best Music Group, which includes a record label, a management company [We The Best Management], a publishing company [We The Best Publishing], a production company [We The Best Producers], and its own full-fledged studio. To date, he has sold over 14 million singles and garnered 2008 BET Award for Best Collaboration as well as 2008 MVP of the Year and 2010 DJ of the Year at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. His first Grammy Award nomination arrived for the platinum-selling "I'm On One" featuring Drake, Rick, Ross, and Lil Wayne, which also topped the Billboard Hot 100. All the while, he's maintained his profile on-air and even served as the President of Def Jam South.

FUNK VOLUME INKS 3 PRODUCERS TO LABEL.
Funk Volume, the burgeoning independent hip-hop label home to Hopsin, Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton, and SwizZz is excited to announce the signing of three producers to the label: DJ Hoppa, Kato, and Rikio. Funk Volume will administer all publishing for the three producers and will also represent and assist the producers in seeking song placements both within and outside of the Funk Volume roster, as well as with licensing opportunities.

For those familiar with the work that Funk Volume has been putting in over the past few years, all three names are recognizable. DJ Hoppa serves as not only a producer on a number of projects from the label, but he's also Funk Volume's official tour DJ. Hoppa first joined as Hopsin's I am RAW Tour DJ in 2011 and has been steady hitting the road with them across several continents since. Kato, part of the Atlanta-based SMKA production team, has served as a long-time producer for fellow ATLien Jarren Benton, and lent his production throughout Jarren's recent Funk Volume debut, My Grandmas Basement, and Rikio has similarly spent a number of years producing tracks for Dizzy Wright, with his production appearing on each of Dizzy's Funk Volume releases.

"It's an exciting announcement and another huge step forward for Funk Volume," says label co-founder and CEO Damien "Dame" Ritter, "but the reality is that these guys have already been a big part of what we have been doing over the past few years. We just needed to wait until the label was in a position to support the growth of dope producers because it's a little different than growing an artist. We feel that now is that time."

It's an equally exciting time for the three producers. "Being a part of Funk Volume has been a major part of me taking my career and as DJ and producer to the next level," notes DJ Hoppa, who in addition to lending his production to a variety of artists is also putting together his own producer album. "Joining Funk Volume means a great deal to me," says Rikio, "because I have the freedom to make the type of music that I want to make, which is huge." For Kato, who like DJ Hoppa is also working on a producer album, having spent a number of years making a name for himself as part of the SMKA production team makes joining a roster like Funk Volume no less meaningful. "Initially, my production for Jarren was a big part in the label noticing me," he explains. "I'm excited to officially be working with one of the strongest teams in independent music."


MELLOWHIGH ANNOUNCES ALBUM AND FALL TOUR DATES
Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, and Left Brain of Odd Future are collectively known as MellowHigh. The trio is proud to announce a new album. The album will be released via Odd Future Records on Halloween, October 31st. The group is sharing a video of them doing Yoga with Russell Simmons from an upcoming Odd World episode. WATCH HERE

MellowHigh has also announced tour dates this fall which can be seen below and include a performance at Odd Future's Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival.

Additional dates will be announced soon. Upcoming tour-related content will be provided courtesy of MySpace.

Tour Dates:
10/24 @ Club Dada - Dallas, TX
10/25 @ Red 7 - Austin, TX
10/26 @ Tricky Falls - El Paso, TX
10/27 @ Sunshine Theatre - Albuquerque, NM
10/29 @ Club Congress - Tucson, AZ
10/30 @ Pub Rock - Scottsdale, AZ
10/31 @ Los Globos - Los Angeles, CA
11/01 @ Porter's Pub - La Jolla, CA
11/02 @ Velvet Jones - Santa Barbara, CA
11/06 @ Strummer's - Fresno, CA
11/07 @ SLO Brewing Company - San Luis Obispo, CA
11/09 @ Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival - Los Angeles, CA
11/18 @ Neumos - Seattle, WA
11/19 @ Rio Theatre - Vancouver, BC
11/21 @ Hawthorne Theatre - Portland, OR
11/22 @ Knitting Factory - Reno, NV
11/23 @ Ace of Spades - Sacramento, CA
11/26 @ The New Parish - Oakland, CA

BUDWEISER RELEASES DOCUMENTARY ON RIHANNA. WATCH IT HERE
Budweiser has released “Half of Me”, a new short-form digital documentary with Rihanna. The documentary is the next installment of the brand’s global “Made for Music” initiative, which celebrates the artists, makers and creators that leave an indelible mark on pop culture and the spirit that drives them to greatness, bringing the inspirational power of music to millions of fans around the world. Drawing on this theme, “Half of Me” portrays the unique role and compelling influence Rihanna has on her fans and how her music truly brings them together as a community.

“Half of Me” is a documentary that takes the viewer behind the scenes with Rihanna as she travels the globe on her Diamonds World Tour. Unlike most documentaries which only focus on the star, “Half of Me” reveals the full picture as the story unfolds from two perspectives: those of both the fan and the performer. Viewers experience each show from the artist’s perspective and from the fan’s perspective. Rihanna’s real life experiences interlaced with her fans’ testimonials and interpretations of her as a person shed new light on her truly unique connection with her fans, the incredible inspiration she gives them and the universal characteristics she shares with each and every member of the dedicated and unified navy that supports her.

“The Budweiser Half of Me documentary is a true picture of behind the scenes of my Diamonds World Tour. It not only tells the story from my eyes but also in the eyes of my fans,” says Rihanna. “One of my favorite parts of traveling is being able to communicate with my amazing fans directly. I am totally connected with my navy; it doesn't matter where in the world they are.”

“The ‘Made for Music’ program is all about connecting fans to the artists that inspire them and to promote music as a universal language, and we feel that Rihanna’s ‘Half of Me’ documentary does just that,” says Camilo Durana, Global Director, Budweiser Sports and Entertainment. “’Half of Me’ tells a special narrative by juxtaposing Rihanna’s more intimate moments with the personal stories from some of her biggest fans around the world.”

GAME AND DRAKE DONATE TO OHIO MOM WHO LOST 5 KIDS.
The Game and Drake are planning to donate $22,500 to an Ohio woman who lost her five children and boyfriend in a mobile home fire. A spokesman for the Ohio family says the rappers want to help pay for the funeral for the children. The spokesman says representatives for the artists have been in contact with friends of the family and a bank in northwest Ohio that is handling donations.

A funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Tiffin, where the five children died along with their mother's boyfriend early Sunday morning. The mother, Anna Angel, was at work at her fast-food job when the fire broke out. A family spokesman says The Game talked with Angel's boss on Tuesday and asked what he could do to help.

The Game -- who recently pledged to donate $1 million dollars to people in need as part of his Robin Hood project -- says he was on the phone with Drake when he read about the woman's loss ... and they each agreed to donate $10,000 to help Anna cover the burial costs.

2013 SOUL TRAIN AWARDS ON DECK.
Centric today confirmed that actor and comedian Anthony Anderson will host the 2013 Soul Train Awards, celebrating and honoring hip hop & R&B's finest and most soulful artists, at one of the nation's leading mid-size arenas, the Orleans Arena, in Las Vegas, NV. The show taping on November 8, 2013 promises to electrify with some dope performances, and iconic tributes. The Soul Train Awards will air on Centric and BET on December 1, 2013 at 9PM ET/PT.

"We are thrilled to bring the Soul Train Awards back to Las Vegas with a star-studded lineup that honors and celebrates icons and break-through artists alike," said Paxton Baker, General Manager and Executive Vice President, CENTRIC. "We rolled the dice and hit the jackpot with Anthony as host and are excited to see what magical moments he will bring to the Orleans Arena during this year's Soul Train Awards."

Soul Train Awards host Anthony Anderson will entertain throughout the night. Anderson was recently tapped to host NBC's upcoming family trivia series "Wall of Fame."

The 2013 Soul Train Awards will honor artists in 12 different categories. Hip-hop sensation Kendrick Lamar leads with six nominations across multiple categories, including: Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Song of the Year. Tied with five nominations each are Miguel, Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Chris Brown and Tamar Braxton.

The latest albums from Lamar, Timberlake and Miguel will battle efforts from Jay-Z, Rihanna and Fantasia for album of the year. Lamar's other nominations include best new artist, hip-hop song of the year and collaboration.

The Soul Train Awards is directed by Tony McCuin and produced by BET Event Productions and Sunseeker Media. Executive producers of the network telecast are as follows: Paxton Baker, Tami Willis-Arasli, Derek Lewis from Centric; Bart Phillips from Sunseeker and Kenard Gibbs from Soul Train Holdings.

2013 Soul Train Awards – Nominees & Categories

Best New Artist
Bridget Kelly
K. Michelle
Kendrick Lamar
Tamar Braxton
TGT

Centric Certified Award
Joss Stone
Luke James
Lyfe Jennings
Solange
Stacy Barthe
Talib Kweli

Best Gospel/Inspirational Performance
Break Every Chain - Tasha Cobbs
Confessions - Lecrae
Every Praise - Hezekiah Walker
God Will Make Away - Shirley Caesar
If He Did It Before...Same God - Tye Tribbett
Life & Favor - John P. Kee & New Life

Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year
Bad - Wale feat. Tiara Thomas
High School - Nicki Minaj feat. Lil Wayne
Holy Grail - Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake
Poetic Justice - Kendrick Lamar feat. Drake
Power Trip - J. Cole feat. Miguel
Started From the Bottom - Drake

The Chaka Khan Best R&B/Soul Female Artist
Alicia Keys
Chrisette Michele
Fantasia
Janelle Monae
Kelly Rowland
Tamar Braxton

Best R&B/Soul Male Artist
Bruno Mars
Charlie Wilson
Chris Brown
John Legend
Miguel
Robin Thicke

Album of the Year
20/20 Experience, The - Justin Timberlake
Good Kid, m.A.A.d City - Kendrick Lamar
Kaleidoscope Dream - Miguel
Magna Carta...Holy Grail - Jay Z
The Side Effects of You - Fantasia
Unapologetic - Rihanna

Song of the Year
Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I.
Diamonds - Rihanna
Fine China - Chris Brown
Love and War - Tamar Braxton
Poetic Justice - Kendrick Lamar feat. Drake
Suit & Tie - Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z

Best Dance Performance
Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke
Body Party - Ciara
Fine China - Chris Brown
Q.U.E.E.N. - Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu
Suit & Tie - Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z
Treasure - Bruno Mars
The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter's Award
Crooked Smile - J.Cole (Jermaine Cole, Meleni Smith)
Fire We Make - Alicia Keys feat. Maxwell (Gary Clark Jr., Warren Felder, Alicia Keys, Andrew Wansel)
Lose to Win - Fantasia (Francine Golde, Dennis Lambert, Andrea Martin, Walter Orange, Harmony Samuels)
Love & War - Tamar Braxton (Tamar Braxton, Darhyl Camper Jr., LaShawn Daniels, Makeba Riddick)
Mirrors - Justin Timberlake (James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Justin Timberlake)
Q.U.E.E.N. - Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu (Roman GianArthur Irvin , Dr. Nathaniel Irvin III, Charles Joseph II, Janelle Monae Robinson, Kellis Parker Jr.)

Video of the Year
Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I. (Diane Martel)
Fine China - Chris Brown (Chris Brown, Sylvain White)
Love & War - Tamar Braxton (Walid Azami)
Poetic Justice - Kendrick Lamar feat. Drake (The Lil Homie, Dave Free, and Dangeroo Kipawaa)
Q.U.E.E.N. - Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu (Alan Ferguson)
Started from the Bottom - Drake (Director X)

Best Collaboration

Alicia Keys feat. Maxwell - Fire We Make
Brandy feat. Chris Brown - Put It Down
J.Cole feat. Miguel - Power Trip
Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu - Q.U.E.E.N.
Miguel feat. Kendrick Lamar - How Many Drinks
Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I. - Blurred Lines
Wale feat. Sam Dew - LoveHate Thing

Best International Performance
Differentology - Bunji Garlin
The Fog - Machel Montano
Next To Me - Emeli Sande
Personally - P-Square
Ur Waist - Iyanya

Best Traditional Jazz Performance
George Benson feat. Wynton Marsalis - Unforgettable
Jeffrey Osborne feat. Chaka Khan - Baby it's Cold Outside
Tony Bennett feat. Marc Anthony - For Once In My Life
Nicole Henry - Waiting In Vain
Terence Blanchard - Pet Step Sister's Theme Song

Best Contemporary Jazz Performance
Jose James - Trouble
Boney James feat. Rick Braun - Batucada (The Beat)
Michael Buble - It's A Beautiful Day
Dave Koz - Got To Get You Into My Life
George Duke - Missing You

Best Independent R&B/Soul Performance
Ashanti - Never Should Have
Brian McKnight - Sweeter
Kenny Lattimore - Find A Way
Maysa - Love Me Good
Raheem DeVaughn - Love Connection
Ronald Isley - Dinner And A Movie











RICK ROSS ANNOUNCES "MASTERMIND" TOUR.
Rick Ross is hitting the road with his 1500 or Nothin band to promote his next album. The 8-city “Mastermind” tour kicks off on Nov. 12 in Detroit and hits cities including Boston, New York, and Atlanta, wrapping on Nov. 23 in his hometown of Miami.

TOUR DATES:
Nov. 12 : Detroit, MI – Masonic Temple Theatre
Nov. 14 : Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
Nov. 15 : New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
Nov. 16 : Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods
Nov. 17 : Washington, DC – DAR Constitution Hall
Nov. 20 : Atlanta, GA – Fox Theater
Nov. 22 : St. Petersburg, FL – Mahaffey Theatre
Nov. 23 : Miami, FL – James L. Knight Center

MR. CEE - "I'M FREE"
On the heels of a public declaration that rocked the hip hop community last week, veteran DJ Mr. Cee – a staple hip hop radio personality for over 20 years who has impacted the careers of such hip hop legends at Notorious B.I.G. and NAS – partnered with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) for a PSA on fighting the long-standing stigma of alternative sexual preferences in the hip hop world and speaking openly about sexual health.

“With the grace of family and good friends around me, they made me feel comfortable to exercise my human right for sexual freedom instead of finding myself being self-detained by the discrimination, judgment, criticism, and even violence from my own community,” Mr. Cee, born Calvin LeBrun, said in the video. SEE HERE

In the PSA, which dropped today, Cee calls last week’s declaration “the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life,” but that it was time in both his personal and professional life to be honest about his sexual identity. He said everyone should be proud and honest about who they truly are – citing shocking statistics of HIV and STD rates among youth, black, and Latino populations that arise from deception – and declared the new sexual revolution to be one of both freedom of self and sexual health as a birthright, mirroring AHF’s new Sexual Revolution 2.0 campaign. He also directed viewers to seek STD testing and treatment through the Foundation’s website.

The path to Cee’s declaration about receiving fellatio from trans women involved a bust by a male undercover police officer dressed as a transsexual prostitute, followed by a former sexual partner’s releasing an audio recording of the DJ soliciting a transgender woman for oral sex. Cee initially quit his job at HOT 97, but was encouraged to return by station program director Ebro Darden, to whom Cee emotionally opened up on air about his sexual identity last week.

The declaration lit up the Twittersphere over the weekend, and where some showed homophobic anger or blasé indifference, there was also a multitude of supportive Tweets indicating a preliminary shift in the previously unquestioned homophobic mentality permeating hip hop fans.

“I grew up listening to Mr. Cee. He is a legend. Doesn’t surprise me that the community is shaming him but I hope this reveals their prejudice,” and, “Big ups to Mr. Cee. We’re with you man. Stay Strong,” two posters declared on Friday.

“I opened up to y’all today, I gave you all of me,” Cee said in the PSA. “Now I want you to give all of yourself: Are you good? Are you healthy? Are you free? I can tell you today, that today I’m free.”

DRAKE ALBUM LEAKS.
Drake's "Nothing Was the Same" leaked online Sunday night. The album, which follows up the Canadian rapper's 2011 release "Take Care", unexpectedly arrived more than one week ahead of its official release date, September 24.

"Nothing Was the Same" includes collaborations with Jay Z, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Jhene Aiko, Sampha, Majid Jordan and Detail.

The album leaked a few days after Drake gave his fans the first listen to a Sampha-assisted track called "Too Much". He performed the song for the first time on Jimmy Fallon's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon".

He has also dropped a track called "Wu-Tang Forever", a tribute to New York-based hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan. It has been reported that the surviving members of the group are working on a remix to the song.

"They wanted us to remix it and get on there so you gon' probably hear another one with us on it," Wu-Tang Clan's U-God told Vibe. "Meth did his verse - we all did our verses. I wrote my rhyme in probably 15, 20 minutes. We were moving so fast we only had about four hours of studio time. If I had some time to really sit down and get juicy with it, I probably could've got juicier with it. But I still do a nice one, I still do a real banger."

YOU KNOW THE DRILL - DIDDY LOSES A MILLI. (FACT OR FICTION?)
P. Diddy says he lost a million dollar roll to Rick Ross when they played a game in a recording studio on Saturday morning, September 14. Diddy posted an Instagram video which shows him and Ross playing a game of Craps.

In the video, Diddy gives the camera a look at a note that reads, "To R.R. I owe u $1,000,000, Diddy." He then rolls the dice and says, "Double or nothing right now live." Ross can be heard saying, "I'm gonna sell that note as a piece of art."

You know the drill.. This one is most likely fiction. INDUSTRY 101 - Be Creative, then hope it goes viral.

JEEZY NAMED MULTICULTURAL ADVISOR TO FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN OF AVION TEQUILA.
A friendship that was founded on an appreciation for entrepreneurship and strong business ideals, Ken Austin, Founder and Chairman of Tequila Avion, and Jay Jenkins, also known as Jeezy, have announced that the artist will become Multicultural Advisor to Ken Austin. Jeezy will share his distinctive insight into the multicultural consumer to help guide Mr. Austin.

Tequila Avion has become the fastest growing ultra-premium tequila. As a result of this success, the brand has attracted numerous celebrity fans, but it was Jeezy who caught the founder's eye through his genuine love for the tequila, which he displayed by incorporating the Avion name into his lyrics and posting throughout his social media sites. Ken Austin reached out to thank the hip-hop superstar and music executive for "the love," and at their first meeting they both felt a true chemistry between them.

"I have been a tequila fan for many years and because of this, people are always telling me to try their tequila and claiming theirs is the best. I have tried them all, but when I tried Avion for the first time, the quality, luxury packaging and smooth taste blew me away, so I wasn't surprised to learn it was voted the 'world's best tasting tequila.' When Ken asked me why I included Avion in my music and social channels, I told him it was purely for the love of the product," stated Jeezy, "While I will be advising Ken, Ken in turn will advise me with my business ventures and personal brand. It has been a great relationship so far, and I'm looking forward to sipping more Avion with Ken."

"We have been incredibly lucky with the success of Avion and the movement we have created. Bartenders, celebrities and consumers have embraced our brand," said Ken Austin. "After spending a great deal of time with Jeezy, I have been inspired by the level of business savvy he has, as well as his consumer insights and raw talent. I know he will be a valuable asset to our company, and I am already learning a great deal from him. I look forward to continuing to elevate the Avion brand and am excited for Jeezy's perspective on the Multicultural market and beyond."

MR. CEE RESIGNS FROM HOT 97 RADIO.
Mister Cee has officially resigned from Hot 97. The legendary DJ, who has worked with rappers including Big Daddy Kane and The Notorious B.I.G., twent on air @ the NY radio station this afternoon to announce his departure. "Today is my last day on Hot 97. In reality, I kind of knew this day would come," Cee said.

The announcement comes on the heels of an internet allegation by a drag queen who says that she was solicited by Cee for sex. In the audio obtained by prostitute Bimbo Winehouse, someone who is being reported as Cee pays $100 in exchange for sex. Cee faced similar accusations a few months ago.

Alexandra Cameron, SVP/General Manager of Hot 97, issued a formal statement.
“Due to some personal circumstances that have become public, after 20 years of service, Mr Cee has chosen to resign. We feel that this is in the best interest of both HOT 97 and Cee’s personal well-being. While we do not endorse the alleged activities, he is clearly facing a personal dilemma that is for him and only him to comment on. We are saddened by his departure; his contributions here at HOT 97 were great and we know him as a friend, a caring individual and significant hip hop advocate. We wish Mr Cee the best and will always consider him a family member of HOT 97.

CAROLINE DISTRO PROMOTES VP OF FINANCE.
Jillian Bordeaux has been promoted to Vice President, Finance for Caroline – the Independent Services division of Capitol Music Group – it was announced today by Capitol Music Group CFO Todd von Mende, to whom Bordeaux reports.

As Finance Department head, Bordeaux will continue to steer all financial functions for Caroline, including financial statement budgeting, analysis and projections as well as managing third-party label statements and cash disbursements. Bordeaux plays an integral role in Caroline's new deal negotiations and manages relationships with label partners to support label development and facilitate growth, among many other responsibilities.

According to von Mende, "It is a testament to Jillian's financial and business acumen that she has risen in the ranks from intern to Vice President in only seven years. All of us within the Capitol Music Group congratulate her on this well-deserved promotion."

Caroline Executive Vice President/General Manager Mike Harris commented, "Jillian is an extremely talented executive with an amazing grasp of the big picture, and her value to all of us at Caroline is matched only by the respect and admiration she receives from our label partners."

Caroline President Dominic Pandiscia said, "Having worked with Jillian for years, I have witnessed her abilities and progress first-hand, and can't imagine anyone else in her role. All of us at Caroline look forward to working with Jillian for many years to come."

Bordeaux stated, "I am very excited for the opportunity to help Dom, Mike and Todd continue to grow Caroline into the premiere music services company in the industry. Working with our amazing Caroline team to help our label partners achieve their maximum potential is very rewarding, and I look forward to future successes and new partnerships within the independent community."

Prior to her promotion, Bordeaux was the Senior Director of Finance for Caroline, and has previously held roles in the Finance Department for Capitol and Virgin labels. She joined EMI in 2006 as a Corporate Finance intern while still an MBA student at New York University's Stern School of Business. Upon graduating from Stern in the spring of 2007, she was hired by Harris as a Finance Manager for Capitol and Virgin, promoted to Director for Capitol Music Group (EMI) in 2009, and became head of finance for EMI Label Services (Caroline) as Senior Director in 2010.

THE GAME TO FUND 6-YEAR OLD'S FUNERAL.
The Game is giving $10,000 to the family of a 6-year-old girl who was shot and killed outside her family's L.A. home this weekend in order to help out with funeral costs.

TMZ reports that the 6-year-old Tiana Ricks was shot and killed when two men approached her family's home in Moreno Valley and opened fire, striking Tiana and her father.

As she lay dying, Tiana reportedly turned to her father and asked, "Are you okay, Daddy?"

The Game read about the tragedy and tweeted, "This very sad story hit me in a place nothing ever has. Tiana did not know she was shot & kept asking was her father okay."

So Game decided he wanted to help, tracking down Tiana's family and pledging $10k to cover funeral costs.

Game also recently announced he's on a mission to give away $1,000,000 of his own money to those in need. He calls it TheRobinHoodProject and this is just one of his charitable contributions.

TMZ spoke with Tiana's mother Marquia Macklin who tells us, "Game told me that he heard about my story and was really sorry. He said that he wanted to help out and put me in touch with his financial team." Tiana's funeral will be Saturday.

While Marquia says she's extremely grateful for Game's generosity, she says, "It costs so much to bury her..sadly $10,000 only covers half of the casket and the plot.”

As for the shooting, cops are still on the hunt for the culprits and encourage anyone with information to contact the Moreno Valley Police Department.

50 CENT'S SMS PROMOTIONS ON DECK FOR BOXING EVENT.
Next Monday, September 16, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's SMS Promotions and DiBella Entertainment (DBE) will host a special Monday night of boxing at the beautiful Resorts World Casino NYC in Jamaica, Queens. Titled "Big Apple Boxing", the card is headlined by SMS-promoted junior lightweight Mark Davis (17-0, 5KO's) looking to keep his undefeated record intact when he squares off against Newark's upset-minded Carlos Vinan (10-10-5, 2KO's) and DBE's super bantamweight contender Luis "Orlandito" Del Valle (17-1, 12KO's) facing Ira Terry (26-11, 16KO's). Both bouts are scheduled for eight rounds.

The remainder of the card features a slew of undefeated up-and-coming prospects from both the DBE and SMS stable, including former #1-rated US amateurs Shemuel "The Chosen One" Pagan (2-0, 1KO) and Christopher "Golden" Galeano (pro debut) both making their promotional debuts since signing exclusive co-promotional contracts with the two promoters last month. The five-time Golden Gloves champion Pagan takes on Calvin Smith (2-4) in a four-round junior welterweight matchup, while fellow NY Golden Gloves and National champion Galeano challenges David Rohn (1-0) in a four-round middleweight showdown.

Making his much-anticipated pro debut will be the newest member of the SMS-promoted stable and former amateur standout, Ryan Martin, as he takes on an opponent TBA in a four-round junior welterweight matchup. A national champion with an outstanding record of 180-22, Martin is one of the best amateurs ever to come out of the state of Tennessee.

Undefeated middleweight prospect Lamar Russ is looking to improve his record to a perfect 14-0, when he takes on the always-tough Latif Mundy (10-7, 4KO's), from Philadelphia. Russ, who recently served as one of the lead sparring partners for middleweight champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin, is looking to crack into the middleweight world ratings in 2014, but he must first get by Mundy in their scheduled eight-round middleweight matchup.

Also on the card are DBE's undefeated prospects and NY Golden Gloves champions, Travis Peterkin (8-0, 4KO's) and Heather "The Heat" Hardy (6-0, 1KO). Both Brooklynites are scheduled to see action in separate six-round bouts. Light heavyweight Peterkin faces Michael Wilmer (4-6, 3KO's) and junior featherweight Hardy takes on Jennifer Scott (3-4, 2KO's). In just a little over a year, Hardy, who recently signed an exclusive promotional contract with DBE, has quickly become one of the most popular fighters throughout the entire NYC boxing scene.

Rounding out the card will be pro-debuting 2011 US Olympic Team Trials silver medalist, and the 2012 NY Golden Gloves heavyweight champion Joseph Williams squaring off against Joe Powers (1-1) in a four-round light heavyweight matchup. The Far Rockaway-native Williams got a late start to boxing, but has quickly progressed, and just missed out on the opportunity to represent the US in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The card is promoted by SMS Promotions and DiBella Entertainment and sponsored by SMS Audio.

EARL SWEATSHIRT, FLYING LOTUS, MAC MILLER, SCHOOLBOY Q, AND MORE ADDED TO THE OFWGKTA CARNIVAL
The second annual OFWGKTA Carnival presented by Camp Flog Gnaw returns to Los Angeles on November 9th, 2013 headlined by Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean. Today, Tyler, The Creator announced additions to the line-up including Earl Sweatshirt, Mac Miller, Flying Lotus, Schoolboy Q, Mellowhigh, Trash Talk, The Internet, Mike G, and Taco. The carnival is set to take place at "The Park @ LA Coliseum." In addition to last years carnival which included custom rides, games, prizes, and food trucks, this years event will feature three stages, the "Camp" stage, the "High" stage, and the "Underground" stage as well as a skatepark with live performances.

CHRIS BROWN INKS WITH RESOLUTION.
Chris Brown has signed with Resolution for representation worldwide in all areas, Billboard has learned. The Grammy-winning multiplatinum singer/songwriter will be repped by agents Phil Casey and Everly Lee. Brown is managed by Bu Thiam of Bu Vision and Tina Davis of the Tina Davis Company. His attorney is Kenneth Meiselas.

“Chris is a uniquely talented entertainer and we are privileged to be working with him and his team,” Phil Casey said in a statement.

Brown was previously represented by Creative Artists Agency. Brown has also wrapped recording on his sixth studio album, “X,” which will feature collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Ludacris. The release is slated for November 2013 with a world tour set for early 2014.

“X” is the follow-up to the artist’s 2012 album “Fortune.” Debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the set has sold 462,000 to date per Nielsen SoundScan. Brown has won a Grammy in 2011 for Best R&B Album with “F.A.M.E.” He is also the recipient of three American Music Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, and nine BET Awards.

Brown, a co-star in such movies as “Stomp the Yard,” “This Christmas,” “Takers” and “Think Like a Man,” will next appear in the Screen Gems film “Battle of the Year” directed by Benson K. Lee. Source: Billboard

EMINEM AND CALL OF DUTY ® GHOSTS ON DECK.
Call of Duty®: Ghosts and Eminem’s new The Marshall Mathers LP 2 are dropping on the same date this November. In close collaboration with GameStop, anyone who pre-orders the game at GameStop will get their copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts at launch, which will include a code, at time of pick up, to download a special edition of Eminem’s new The Marshall Mathers LP 2 featuring an exclusive, bonus studio track at a special price of $8.99.

"The energy and intensity of 'Survival' really matches Call of Duty: Ghosts,” commented Eminem. "I'm excited to continue to be a part of the franchise."

This program continues the close coordination announced in August, when Eminem first revealed “Survival,” a track from the upcoming album release as part of Activision’s worldwide live reveal event for the multiplayer mode of developer Infinity Ward’s new title. The ongoing collaboration between Activision and Eminem will continue later this month with a music video trailer featuring “Survival” and Call of Duty: Ghosts, and will extend throughout the launch of the blockbuster title.

“Call of Duty is the ultimate adrenaline rush. It’s the intensity and heart-pounding excitement you feel as the action unfolds. And Eminem embodies this same spirit and captures this in his music,” said Tim Ellis, CMO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “The breadth of this program takes our partnership to a new level and will continue to unfold in the months to come. It’s going to be a massive day in entertainment with the launch of Call of Duty: Ghosts and Marshall Mathers LP 2 both hitting on November 5th.”

The offer is redeemable through Monday, November 19th, 11:59PM EST and applies to purchases of Call of Duty: Ghosts exclusively at GameStop locations as well as select additional retailers worldwide. Participating fans will receive a code on receipt with their purchase of Call of Duty: Ghosts. The code will make available for purchase at the special price of $8.99 an edition of The Marshall Mathers LP 2 featuring not only the track “Survival,” but also a bonus, exclusive studio track.

“Call of Duty is an entertainment juggernaut and cultural phenomenon. We are excited for the upcoming release of the new installment of this blockbuster franchise, Call of Duty: Ghosts,” said Bob Puzon, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop. “We look forward to celebrating the worldwide November launch of this great game that is on track to be the most pre-ordered title of the year.”

 





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