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LAWSUIT AGAINST NICKI MINAJ DISMISSED.
A federal judge in Atlanta has tossed out a lawsuit filed against Nicki Minaj by her former wig designer.

In a lawsuit in February, Terrence Davidson accused 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 designs.

Lawyers for Minaj filed a motion in May to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that Davidson failed to state a valid claim.

U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy on Tuesday did just that. He agreed that Davidson did not state viable claims against Minaj and Pink Personality.

A lawyer for Davidson did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Thursday.

Davidson, who lives in Georgia, said in the lawsuit that he began 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 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 said Minaj took his designs without his consent and used them to start her own wig line.

Minaj's lawyers countered that Davidson "is upset because he lost his most famous client" and was seeking to force himself into a business relationship that Minaj and Pink Personality developed without him to get money from them that he didn't earn.

The judge wrote in his order that the verbal promises of future business Davidson said he got from Minaj and her team were too vague and that it was unreasonable for Davidson to rely on them as a done deal.

The judge also wrote that Davidson claims his wigs are distinctive because of their design and color and that there's no evidence that he made any attempt to connect them to himself in the public mind or that anyone was confusing the wigs sold by him with wigs sold by Minaj.

BMI REPORTS RECORD-BREAKING REVENUE.
Broadcast Music, Inc. has reported that it has achieved the highest revenues and royalty distributions in the Company’s 75-year history for its fiscal year ended June 30th. BMI generated record revenues of $977 million, and distributed and administered more than $840 million to its songwriters, composers and music publishers. These results cap a ten-year period during which BMI has generated more than $8 billion in revenues and distributed royalties of more than $7.5 billion. BMI operates on a non-profit-making basis and returns more than 85% of all revenue to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents. A key to that sustained success has been BMI’s continuous drive to diversify its sources of revenue. This year, the largest category of the Company’s domestic revenue was delivered by the steady-growth sectors of cable and satellite distributed entertainment. Licensing income from digital services, international sources and from businesses such as bars, hotels, fitness facilities and restaurants all posted significant gains.

BMI President and Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Neill said, “We are extremely pleased with these results and are already hard at work trying to better them this year. BMI has a well-earned reputation as a trusted broker between the creative community and businesses that perform music to enhance their customer experience. In an ever-evolving marketplace for music rights, our leadership, operational expertise and ability to deliver value at so many different levels to our songwriters, composers, publishers and licensees, enables us to maximize royalties for the creative community.”

The creativity and worldwide appeal of BMI’s repertoire are unmatched in today’s marketplace. BMI singer/songwriters including Taylor Swift, Adam Levine, Shakira, Miranda Lambert, P!nk and Nicki Minaj contributed some of the most-performed songs of the year. Audiences were thrilled by GRAMMY-winning hits from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers, Kacey Musgraves and Imagine Dragons, among others. BMI film and television composers including James Newton Howard, Steve Jablonsky, Mark Mothersbaugh, Brian Tyler and the legendary John Williams contributed scores to the year’s worldwide blockbusters and hit network and cable television series. The Oscar-winning original song “Let It Go,” from the highest-grossing animated film of all time, Disney’s Frozen, by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, topped the charts in more than 30 countries.

BMI has agreements with more than 650,000 licensees across all business sectors, and the Company’s licensing efforts during the year included almost 3 million outgoing sales calls followed up by more than 1 million pieces of business correspondence. In administering the distributions of royalties, the Company processed more than 500 billion copyright transactions during the year, establishing values for each musical performance based on comprehensive and proprietary metrics. BMI musical creators and copyright owners receive the industry’s most detailed statements of how, when and where their music was performed, and how royalties are computed for those performances, whether at home or abroad. Thousands of BMI affiliates now access this information via BMI’s suite of online apps for mobile devices. BMI’s songwriters, composers and publishers have always had the security of knowing that it is the only major performing rights organization in the United States that operates under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

BET REVEALS 2014 CYPHERS LINEUP
BET revealed the line up of this years cyphers. Wiz Khalifa, Two-9, Vic Mensa, Logic, Dillon Cooper and many more are slated to make appearances. Check out the full list of artists below.

Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Ty Dolla Sign, Tuki, Berner, Chevy Woods, Lil’ Mama, G. Eazy, Kevin Gates, Genesis, Loaded Lux, Troy Ave, Dee-1, Logic, Detroit Che, DJ Scratch, David Banner, Vic Mensa, Treach, Snow Tha Product, Remy Ma, Papoose, King Los, Corey Charron, T-Rex, Rain 910, Tsu Surf, Goodz, Dreezy, Dillon Cooper, Two-9, Andy Mineo, Jarren Benton, Emilio Rojas and Conceited.

NOMINEES FOR 2014 GLOBAL SPIN AWARDS ANNOUNCED.
The nominees for the third annual Global Spin Awards -- an awards show that honors and recognizes the world's most dynamic and talented DJ's for their contribution to the culture of music and entertainment -- were announced today. The official awards show will be held on November 18 at the New World Stages in New York and will also feature a weekend-long celebration complete with DJ clinics, panels, and DJ battles.

The 2014 nominees in nearly 30 categories were announced by a panel of industry insiders including Kid Capri, Funkmaster Flex, DJ Premier, REVOLT CEO Keith Clinkscales, and more.

2014 Global Spin Awards Nominee List

Regional Club DJ Of The Year (Midwest)
DJ Pharris
Steph Floss
DJ Tim Buck 2
DJ Sean Mac
DJ BJ

Regional Club DJ Of The Year (Southeast)
DJ Infamous
DJ E-Feezy
DJ Stevie J
DJ Kash
DJ B Lord
DJ Ace

Regional Club DJ Of The Year (Northeast)
DJ Camilo
DJ Self
DJ Suss One
DJ Quicksilva
DJ Envy
DJ Prostyle

Regional Club " OPEN FORMAT" DJ Of The Year (Northeast)
Dalton
DJ Sinatra
Jus Ske
DJ Ross One
Austin Millz
D Nice

Regional Club DJ Of The Year (West)
DJ Mark Da Spot
DJ Amen
DJ Bad
DJ Carisma

Regional "OPEN FORMAT" Club DJ Of The Year (West)
Justin Credible
DJ Five
DJ Skratchy
Eric DLux
DJ Vice

DJ Producer Of The Year
DJ Mustard
DJ Khaled
DJ Nasty
Clinton Sparks
DJ Cassidy
DJ Snake

DJ Album Of The Year
DJ Khaled - "Suffering from Success"
DJ Mustard - " 10 Summers"
Statik Selektah - "What Goes Around"
DJ Prince - "Test My Sound"
A-Trak & Lex Luger - "Low Pros"
Clinton Sparks - "ICONoclast"

Reggae DJ Of The Year
DJ Norie
DJ Waggy T
ZJ Liquid
Bobby Konders & Jabba
Max Glazer

EDM DJ Of The Year
Skrillex
Steve Aoki
Calvin Harris
Martin Garrix
Diplo
DJ Avicii

Celebrity DJ Of The Year
Jermaine Dupri
Lil Jon
Solange
Swizz Beatz
Idris "DJ Driis" Elba
Paris Hilton

DJ Remixer Of The Year
Ted Smooth
DJ Rob Dinero
Diplo
J.Period
Jump Smokers

Online/Satellite Radio DJ Of The Year
DJ Wonder
DJ Whoo kid
DJ Envy
DJ Kay Slay
DJ Scream
LA Leakers

National Mixtape DJ Of The Year
DJ Drama
DJ Scream
DJ Smallz
DJ Superstar Jay

National Mixshow DJ Of The Year

DJ Envy
DJ Self
DJ Funkmaster Flex
DJ Quicksilva
DJ ButtaFingaz
DJ 33 1/3

Regional Mixshow DJ Of The Year (Southeast)

DJ Infamous
DJ J1
DJ Drama
DJ Scream
DJ E-Feezy
DJ B-Lord

Regional Mixshow DJ OTY (Midwest)
DJ Pharris
Steph Floss
DJ 33 1/3
DJ Mo Beatz
DJ Tim Buck 2

Regional Mixshow DJ OTY (West)
DJ Felli Fel
DJ Amen
Big Von
Justin Credible
DJ Skee
DJ Carisma

Regional Mixshow DJ OTY (Northeast)
DJ Self
DJ Quicksilva
DJ Prostyle
DJ Craig G
DJ Funkmaster Flex
DJ Heat

Latin DJ Of The Year
Alex Sensation
DJ Lobo
DJ Camilo
DJ C-Lo
DJ Dennis the Menace
DJ Kast One

DJ Entreprenuer
DJ Funkmaster Flex
DJ Khaled
DJ Drama
DJ Irie
DJ Skee

Female DJ Of The Year
DJ Dime Piece
DJ Carisma
DJ Sky Nellor
Samantha Ronson
DJ Miss Jade
DJ Havana Brown

National Club DJ Of The Year
DJ Irie
DJ Whoo Kid
DJ Quicksilva
Clinton Sparks
Jump Smokers
DJ Vice

Breakthrough DJ Of The Year
DJ Mustard
DJ SpinKing
Bombshell Boogie
DJ Kash
DJ Mike Neeze
DJ Spynfo

Breakthrough "OPEN FORMAT" DJ Of The Year
DJ Trauma
DJ Spade
DJ June
DJ Phresh
DJ Serge Devant
DJ Cass

International DJ Of The Year
Tim Westwood
DJ Res-Q
Hardwell
DJ GQ
Benji B

Turntablist Of The Year
DJ Scratch
DJ Jazzy Jeff
DJ Fatfingaz
DJ Esquire
Dj Babu

DJ Of The Year
DJ Khaled
DJ Drama
DJ Envy
DJ Vice
Jus Ske
DJ Mustard

EMINEM PUBLISHERS SUE NEW ZEALAND POLITICAL PARTY.
The music publishers Eminem filed a lawsuit Tuesday against New Zealand's ruling political party over the music it used in a campaign commercial.

Detroit-based Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated both claim the National Party breached copyright laws by using Eminem's song "Lose Yourself." Joel Martin, a spokesman for the two companies, said they filed a case in the New Zealand High Court and are seeking damages.

"It is both disappointing and sadly ironic that the political party responsible for championing the rights of music publishers in New Zealand ... should itself have so little regard for copyright," Martin said. "We do not hesitate to take immediate action to protect the integrity of Eminem's works."

The National Party said in a statement that it would vigorously defend the action. It said the music it used was originally published by Spider Cues Music in Los Angeles and sold to it by an Australian-based supplier.

"The National Party completely rejects the allegation that the library music used in its early campaign advertisements is a copyright infringement of any artist's work," the party said.

It said that, nevertheless, it had undertaken two weeks ago not to use the music anymore.

"However, this has not satisfied the complainant," the party added.

Martin said the publishers have previously sued Apple for using an Eminem song in an ad without permission and have been in a dispute with Audi over alleged infringing use of "Lose Yourself."

The disputed ad in New Zealand depicts a boat filled with people rowing together, aimed at symbolizing the party's unity. New Zealand's general election is set for Sept. 20.

GUCCI MANE SENTENCED IN ASSAULT.
Prosecutors say rapper Gucci Mane has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for attacking a fan at an Atlanta nightclub.

Fulton County District Attorney's spokeswoman Yvette Jones says the 34-year-old rapper, whose real name is Radric Davis, pleaded guilty Monday to hitting a man in the head with a vodka bottle on March 16, 2013, in a nightclub's VIP section.

Authorities have said the man approached Davis and was looking to have his picture taken with him. Prosecutors say the fan was an Army staff sergeant in town on a brief military leave. Authorities have said the man suffered a deep cut that required 10 stitches.

Jones says Davis' three-year sentence will be served concurrently with a 39-month federal firearms sentence that he was given in late August.

COMMON'S FATHER HAS PASSED AWAY AT AGE 71.
Lonnie Lynn, who was known to hip-hop fans for his soulful spoken-word poems on rapper son Common's albums, has died. Lynn died at age 71 on Friday, Common said in an interview Monday in Los Angeles. He gave no further details.

Lynn was a star high school basketball player in Chicago and played in the 1969-1970 season in the American Basketball Association.

He struggled with drug addiction and with being a father to six children. He addressed such topics in poignant and sometimes regretful poems that concluded many of Common's albums.

Common, who is also an actor, said he was inspired by his father, who he called "a natural poet and master of words." Our condolences and prayers go out to Common and his family.

BROTHER ALI ON DECK WIH HOME AWAY FROM HOME TOUR / NEW VIDEO
Brother Ali is set to hit the road September 12 in Iowa. The tour is scheduled to come to an end November 14 in Chicago, Illinois.

"Our Home Away From Home Tour this fall is about touching cities that I've learned to love as 2nd homes for a decade+ of touring," Brother Ali says via Twitter. "I wanted to do small venues in every city to get that intimate feeling with just the core listeners who are part of the music we make.

"Anyone who's experienced my headlining tours knows that I like to have one DJ and one host for the entire evening and I choose my support artists very carefully. If you're not up on any of our tour family's music, please check them out so you'll know how to appreciate them when we're in your town. I also like to make a tour theme song with everyone in the crew to celebrate rolling out together. Please enjoy this track and we welcome your well wishes for safe travels and security for our loved one's while we're away." WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Brother Ali's Home Away From Home Tour

09.16.14 Colorado Springs, CO Black Sheep USA
09.18.14 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre USA
09.19.14 Fort Collins, CO The Aggie USA
09.20.14 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge USA
09.21.14 Ketchum, ID Whisky Jacques USA
09.23.14 Seattle, WA Crocodile USA
09.24.14 Vancouver, BC Biltmore Cabaret CANADA
09.26.14 Bellingham, WA Wild Buffalo USA
09.27.14 Portland, OR Hawthorne USA
09.28.14 Eugene, OR WOW Hall USA
09.30.14 Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst USA
10.01.14 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill USA
10.02.14 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour USA
10.03.14 Las Vegas, NV Beauty Bar USA
10.04.14 Santa Barbara, CA Velvet Jones USA
10.05.14 San Diego, CA Porter's Pub USA
10.08.14 Tucson, AZ Congress USA
10.09.14 Tempe, AZ Club Red USA
10.10.14 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad USA
10.11.14 El Paso, TX Sector 7 USA
10.14.14 Austin, TX Stubb's BBQ USA
10.15.14 Houston, TX Warehouse Live USA
10.16.14 Dallas, TX HOB Small Room USA
10.17.14 New Orleans, LA HOB Parish USA
10.18.14 Birmingham, AL Workplay USA
10.20.14 Orlando, FL The Social USA
10.22.14 Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall USA
10.23.14 Atlanta, GA Aisle 5 USA
10.24.14 Carrboro, NC Cat's Cradle (Small Room) USA
10.25.14 Richmond, VA The Broadberry USA
10.27.14 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer USA
10.29.14 Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory USA
10.30.14 Providence, RI Met Cafe USA
10.31.14 Boston, MA Middle East USA
11.01.14 Burlington, VT Higher Ground USA
11.04.14 Montreal, QC Phi Centre CANADA
11.05.14 Toronto, ON Tattoo CANADA
11.06.14 London, ON London Music Hall CANADA
11.07.14 Ithaca, NY The Haunt USA
11.08.14 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop USA
11.10.14 Columbus, OH Skully's USA
11.11.14 Ann Arbor, MI Blind Pig USA
11.13.14 Madison, WI High Noon USA
11.14.14 Chicago, IL Reggie's USA
09.25.14 Victoria, BC Sugar Nightclub CANADA
Bambu, DJ LAST WORD, MaLLy


XZIBIT JOINS KDAY AS ON AIR PERSONALITY.
KDAY 93.5 FM, Southern California's original hip-hop and R&B Radio Station, and the most recent brand addition to Meruelo Media, Southern California's leading minority-owned media group, today announced the addition to its growing "on-air" personality team the addition of television and platinum recording artist Xzibit as host and producer of the uniquely compelling radio program "Open Bar Radio."

"Open Bar Radio" is an exclusive and compellingly original program delivered with the same appealing Xzibit on-air brand that has made him a national and international household name. Every week, Open Bar Radio will feature top name music artists in a candid, authentic and distinctive setting. More importantly, Xzibit will bring rare insight of the music with the very stars that have made the music a popular cultural tsunami. Open Bar Radio will offer fans as well as clients, a unique opportunity to engage with an entertainment package that brings great equity and popularity.

Best known for hosting MTV's "Pimp My Ride", Xzibit or as he's known to his fans, "X to the Z", achieved fame in the West Coast hip-hop scene as a talented rapper garnering chart topping success with the release of his critically acclaimed albums At the Speed of Life, Restless, Man vs. Machine and Weapons of Mass Destruction, while working with high-profile artists such as Eminem, Cypress Hill, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Knoc-turn'al, Timbaland, Limp Bizkit, Alice Cooper, Game and 50 cent.

"Open Bar Radio," will premiere this Friday, September 12 at 7pm to 9pm and can be heard at the same time weekly exclusively on Southern California's original Hip-Hop radio station 93.5FM KDAY.

KDAY is the iconic Los Angeles radio station with roots as far back as the early 80's when it was the first station in the world to ever play commercial hip-hop. KDAY helped transform N.W.A. from an unknown group to one of the most prolific hip-hop groups ever, and it helped launch the careers of many mainstream artists such as Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Ice T, LL Cool J, and Queen Latifah. KDAY reflects and appeals to the diversity of the Southern California market with its unique and unmistakable West Coast sound.

WARNER MUSIC GROUP CREATES UNIFIED GLOBAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TEAM.
Warner Music Group (WMG) announces that all of its global business development functions are being brought together under a single, unified leadership structure. Rob Wiesenthal, Chief Operating Officer/Corporate, is adding digital business development to his global corporate development responsibilities. Collaborating with WMG’s senior management and label executives, Wiesenthal will oversee the company’s mission to forge innovative music experiences and diversify its business. Based in New York, Wiesenthal will continue to report to Warner Music Group’s CEO, Steve Cooper.

It was also announced that Jonathan Dworkin, most recently WMG’s Senior Vice President, Digital & Business Development, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy & Business Development. In his new position, Dworkin will report to Wiesenthal. Wiesenthal, Dworkin and the team will continue to create relationships with emerging and established partners that expand WMG’s worldwide avenues of artist development.

“By bringing together all of our business development expertise under one umbrella, we will enhance our ability to offer artists a portfolio of innovative services and unique opportunities unmatched in our industry. This move recognizes that digital technology is a driving force across all aspects of our business, and that the pace of change – both globally and locally - requires nimble experimentation,” said Steve Cooper. “Rob’s entrepreneurial expertise makes him ideal to lead this effort, and combined with Jonathan’s industry acumen, we have created a team that will help put WMG and its artists in a class of our own."

Rob Wiesenthal said, “The rapid changes within our industry, most notably the powerful rise of streaming, clearly demonstrates that the demand for music is stronger than ever. We have a tremendous opportunity to capture this momentum, establish new business approaches for artists, and build on WMG’s reputation as the most ambitious and progressive music company in the world.”

Dworkin said, “Digital innovation is now at the heart of everything we do, but we are still in the early stages of unleashing the full scope and scale of this rapidly evolving ecosystem. I’m looking forward to working with Rob, Steve, our talented team, and our incredible artists to harness technology in ways that supercharge artist careers and drive discovery of new music.”


TROY AVE ANNOUNCES TOUR DATES.
Troy Ave has announced upcoming tour dates for his "Money, Powder, Respect" tour. The tour is scheduled to begin in Chicago, Illinois on September 11 and it is set to end October 9 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tour dates -
September 11 - Chicago, IL - Reggie's
September 12 - Joliet, IL - Mojoes
September 13 - Flint, MI - Luxe Lounge
September 14 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews
September 17 - Denver, CO - The Roxy
September 18 - Las Vegas, NV - LVCS
September 19 - Los Angeles, CA - Los Globos
September 20 - Oakland, CA - Grand Live
September 24 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
October 2 - Auburn, ME - Club Texas
October 3 - Manchester, NH - Club Jewel
October 4 - Clifton, NY - Upstate Concert Hall
October 9 - Pittsburgh, PA - Elegance

AUGUST ALSINA BRINGS OUT 2 CHAINZ, YO GOTTI & MORE FOR SOLD OUT CONCERT.
August Alsina brought his ‘Testimony Live’ tour through the legendary Tabernacle in Atlanta over the weekend to a packed house of 2400+. Atlanta marks the 11th consecutive sell out on the New Orleans natives first headlining tour which features Teyana Taylor as the opener. Yo Gotti surprised the crowd joining August on stage to perform “Ghetto” and “Numb”, then went on to perform “F.U.” and “Yayo”. Atlanta’s own 2 Chainz, who Alsina opened up for earlier this year on the ‘2 Good To Be TRU’ tour, also stopped through to show his support and performed “All Me” and “Cut Her Off”. Sevyn Streeter even made an appearance on “I Luv This Shit” to close out the show.

ROC NATON INKS ANOTHER PLAYER TO ROSTER.
Roc Nation Sports has inked Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Suh revealed the news on his Twitter and Instagram accounts by posting “New season. New partnership. #SUHSquad x #RocNationSports.”

Roc Nation also posted to the company’s official website, “Roc Nation Sports welcomes NFL defensive tackle and 3x All-Pro Ndamukong Suh to the roster”

The 2010 AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year joins CC Sabathia, Geno Smith, Kevin Durant, Victor Cruz, Robinson Cano, Skylar Diggins, and Hakeem Nicks.

CASSIDY VS. DIZASTER BATTLE RAP WEIGH-INS.
The FilmOn Networks and Battle Rap TV press conference for the upcoming battle between Cassidy and Dizaster was packed with media and fans Thursday in Beverly Hills. Hosted by Lush One, with the live voice of FilmOn CEO Alki David beamed in from Greece, the conference outlined the details of the Dec. 6 battle -- including the announcement that it will take place at Santa Monica Airport in Hanger 8 -- and served as a 'Lyrical Weigh-In' to test the rappers' preparedness.

One of hip hop's most revered genres, Battle Rap, has seen a resurgence in recent years with the creation of Battle Rap TV on FilmOn Networks being the most vital sign of its having achieved a new level. Cassidy is famous as a pioneer of the genre who walked away more than ten years ago. Dizaster is one of the rising stars to come out of the Fresh Coast Media Group run by Lush One.

Cassidy's appearance demonstrated the possibilities of another arm of Alki David's businesses -- he was in the Bahamas during the conference but was able to participate as a hologram.

"I'm very pleased with the enthusiasm of the fans that turned out today," said David. "This is going to be a battle for the ages -- and will introduce our new ETV platform for one of a kind event television."

The trash talk got brutal, with the crowd enjoying every insult and take down.

"We learned tonight there is far more genuine animosity between Diz & Cas then we could have ever fathomed," Lush said. "This is going to be heated. Alki David is also opening a huge world of possibilities based on the hologram technology." PEEP IT HERE CONFERENCE HERE

PHARRELL SPOTTED AT NEW YORK FASHION WEEK.
Pharrell led a dozen models Friday during New York Fashion Week for his RAW for the Oceans spring-summer collection.

He sported his signature hat and denim was a staple for the line, a collaboration with G-Star and Bionic Yarn, which produces fabrics made by fibers collected from recycled plastic bottles.

"It's very easy to forget we live on this planet," Pharrell told the crowd. "We don't want to just talk about it, but we actually wanted to put it in practice."

The large room at 23 Wall Street was smoky and gloomy as lights beamed and ceiling featured a projection of artsy white spots. Frank Ocean and Jay Z's "Water" played in the background.

Pharrell, who has had huge success as a singer, rapper and producer, says he's always been interested in fashion.

"I have been given opportunities by really great companies, and I've been given opportunities by really great people," he said in an interview. "I wanted to learn more about what's out there creatively and how I could further find new ways to express myself."

BEATS CO-FOUNDER STARTS NEW AUDIO COMPANY.
About a week before Apple agreed to buy Beats for $3 billion, one of the company's earliest employees filed a lawsuit against the headphone-maker, accusing it of cutting him and others out of potentially millions in royalties. That man is Steven Lamar. In his lawsuit, he claims that he came up with the idea for Beats and was instrumental in developing three of its first models, as well as the company's logo and branding.

Now Lamar has started another headphone venture aimed at eating Beats' lunch, called Roam, and its first product is Ropes, $299 earbuds designed to hang on your neck when you're not using them, like a fashion statement. Lamar boldly says they also happen to be the best-sounding earbuds on the market, with the most customizable sound.

While much was made over the bass-heavy sound of Beats, Lamar is trying to define Ropes with an adjustable five-band equalizer and presets for different types of music, similar to what you'd find bundled in your phone or MP3 player's settings. The difference is that you can adjust the sound straight to the headphones using a mobile app, then carry those presets to any other device with an audio source.

Making those changes to the sound involves plugging the earbuds into a small pendant that dangles from the headphones, almost like a necklace. Inside is a rechargeable battery, amp, and Bluetooth to let the headphones work wirelessly. The pendant powers the sound into the headphones (which work on their own when plugged in, though passively), as well as the EQ settings, which can be adjusted through a companion app.

That customization is key, Lamar says. "Everybody is different. Everybody hears things differently in the left ear than the right ear," he says. "I'm going to give you an app to personalize it the way you want to hear it."

Lamar admits that there's nothing particularly unique about the EQ presets that will be offered in his company's app, but believes he's done it in a way that people will not only use, but also want to share with others. "It means I am going to have a different setting on the phone for Beethoven and the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers," he says. "You can have different settings for your listening habits, and you can share those settings with your friends."

There are some downsides for using a pendant, though. Despite the benefits you get with turning wired earbuds wireless, it still takes juice. The battery is rated for six hours of use, which is similar to what you get with other wireless earbuds — including an exercise pair made by Beats. After that, you can still use the headphones plugged directly into an audio source, but you'll miss out on the EQ settings. It also adds one more dangling element if you plan to use Ropes and the pendant while exercising, though Lamar says there is a clip that helps mitigates that.

Lamar sees Ropes as a rebuke to the laziness he says has developed in the headphone market. Picking up two different pairs of Beats headphones — the larger "can" style headphones and the earbuds — in the conference room where we're speaking, Lamar says this very important accessory for listening isn't keeping up with the times.

"Where's the evolution? Smartphones evolve every six months to one year. Where is that in this?" he asks while holding up the Beats earbuds. "We've tolerated the shit they give us. But I like good sound, and we don't have to have that crappy sound anymore."

Funnily enough, Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine said something similar back in May when talking about Apple's pack-in white headphones onstage at the Code Conference. "You listen to Apocalypse Now, and the helicopter sounds like a mosquito," he said. The main difference, of course is price, with Beats' entry-level headphones coming in at $99, or more than three times the price Apple charges for its EarPods.

As for how good Ropes will sound by comparison, you're going to have to take Lamar's word for it — at least for now. When we met last week, the company was not ready with hardware it could demonstrate, and Lamar said he'd be ready to show it off for real sometime later this month. In the meantime, the company plans to have Ropes ready for the holiday season, and is taking preorders from its online store, which will be the only place to buy them. The company plans to branch out to other retail avenues, and add additional models, including one Lamar described as "very fashion-forward."

Lamar eventually envisions Ropes reaching a level of popularity where people will be able to spot them from across the room instantly, in a similar fashion to Apple's white earbuds, and what ultimately happened with the seemingly endless array of colors from Beats. That involves plans to offer ropes in a large palette of colors beyond the silver-and-black, orange-and-gray options available at launch. In the meantime though, Lamar thinks he's already nailed the look.

"You're not going to be able to miss it," he says. Source: Verge.

ABOUT STEVEN LAMAR: From 2006-2013 he served in various positions at Allied Container Systems, Inc., including CFO and COO and was an integral part of the management team that grew the business from a start-up to a multi-million dollar ISO 9001 certified systems integrator for the US, Canadian and British militaries.

Steven Lamar is the founder of Jibe Audio, LLC, which was responsible for the concept, design, manufacturing and distribution of the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone product line. Prior to starting Jibe Audio, Steven was the President of SLS International, Ltd., a small, publicly traded audio technology company. During his brief time at SLS, Mr. Lamar brought SLS from the pink sheets to the American Stock Exchange, launched SLS’s first consumer product in partnership with Quincy Jones and secured product placement agreements for SLS products with Mark Burnett Productions.

Before joining SLS, Steven Lamar was the co-founder and Managing Partner in a San Francisco based hedge fund focused on investment in late stage private equity and early stage public technology companies. During his tenure from 1998-2005, the fund invested more than $750 million in 117 public and 28 private companies generating a 177% return for his investors.

In the mid 1990's Steven Lamar was an executive at Shoreline Pacific Institutional Finance where he assisted emerging, public and private companies with their capital needs. During his three years at Shoreline, Mr. Lamar financed 22 companies for $320 million.

Steven Lamar has been an angel investor and board member in numerous private companies. He began his career in banking at Wells Fargo and Citibank.

JA RULE ON DECK WITH MTV FAMILY DOCU-SERIES.
Rapper-turned-actor Ja Rule is set to turn the spotlight on his family. MTV has handed out a straight-to-series order for docuseries Follow the Rules, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

From MTV and 51 Minds, the series is described as a comedic half-hour take that centers on the Grammy-nominated Rule and his hectic household. The series will feature the rapper with his wife, Aisha, sons Jeffery Jr. and Jordan, and Rule's mother and mother-in-law, all living under one roof, as well as the couple's oldest daughter as she begins her sophomore year of college.

51 Minds' Christian Sarabia, Jeffrey Atkins, Queen Latifah and her Flavor Unit co-CEO Shakim Compere and Irv Gotti will exec produce. MTV's Jessica Zalkind, Lauren Dolgen and Sara Cohen developed the series, with Julie Schwachenwald overseeing the production for the youth-skewing cable network.

"Ja Rule is the modern-day reality rap star version of Bill Cosby's role from The Cosby Show. He embraces a unique parenting style with his teenage kids that feels fresh and funny," MTV programming president Susanne Daniels said. "We’re excited to be in business with him and his delightful family." Source: Mtv

DRAKE LEADS 2014 BET HIP HOP AWARDS NOMINATIONS.
This year’s awards ceremony will be hosted by Snoop Dogg at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on September 20 and is expected to see Drake grace the stage several times after the rapper scored an impressive eight nominations. Following on from last year which saw him walk away with four awards including the People’s Champ and Best Hip Hop Video for ‘Started From The Bottom.’ Most of the rapper’s nominations will most likely stem from his latest chart-topping album ‘Nothing Was The Same’ which features the hit track ‘Hold On We’re Going Home,’ ‘Pound Cake,’ ‘Worst Behavior’ and ‘O To 100.’

He scores nods in categories including Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Live Performer, Lyricist of the Year, MVP of the Year, Album of the Year, Hustler of the Year, and the People’s Champ Award.

Jay Z, Future, and Pharrell follow with six nominations, while Nicki Minaj, Rich Homie Quan, and YG pick up five nominations.

BET Hip-Hop Awards 2014 Nominations

Best Hip-Hop Video
Drake – “Worst Behavior”
Future f/ Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino – “Move That Doh”
Iggy Azalea f/ Charli XCX – “Fancy”
J. Cole f/ TLC – “Crooked Smile”
Nicki Minaj – “Pills N Potions”
Wiz Khalifa – “We Dem Boyz”

Best Collabo, Duo or Group
Eminem f/ Rihanna – “The Monster”
Future f/ Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino – “Move That Doh”
Jay Z f/ Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail”
ScHoolboy Q f/ BJ The Chicago Kid – “Studio”
YG f/ Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan – “My Hitta”

Best Live Performer
Drake
Jay Z
Kanye West
Kendrick Lamar
T.I.

Lyricist of the Year
Drake
Eminem
J. Cole
Jay Z
Kendrick Lamar
Nicki Minaj

Video Director of the Year
Benny Boom
Chris Robinson
Director X
Dre Films
Hype Williams

DJ of the Year
DJ Drama
DJ Envy
DJ Khaled
DJ Mustard
DJ Scream

Producer of the Year
DJ Mustard
Drumma Boy
Hit-Boy
Mike WiLL Made It
Pharrell
Timbaland

MVP of the Year
DJ Mustard
Drake
Future
Jay Z
Nicki Minaj

Track of the Year
“Cut Her Off (Remix)” – Produced by Will-A-Fool (K Camp f/ Lil Boosie, YG & Too $hort)
“Move That Doh” – Produced by Mike WiLL Made It (Future f/ Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino)
“My Hitta” – Produced by DJ Mustard (YG f/ Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan)
“Studio” – Produced by Swiff D (ScHoolboy Q f/ BJ The Chicago Kid)
“Worst Behavior” – Produced by DJ Dahi (Drake)

Album of the Year
Drake – Nothing Was the Same
Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Future – Honest
Rick Ross – Mastermind
ScHoolboy Q – Oxymoron
Yo Gotti – I Am

Who Blew Up Award
Iggy Azalea
Migos
Rich Homie Quan
ScHoolboy Q
YG
Young Thug

Hustler of the Year
Dr. Dre
Drake
Jay Z
Rick Ross
T.I.

Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style)
A$AP Rocky
Jay Z
Kanye West
Nicki Minaj
Young Thug

Best Club Banger
Future f/ Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino – “Move That Doh” (Produced by Mike WiLL Made It)
K Camp f/ Lil Boosie, YG & Too $hort – “Cut Her Off” (Remix) (Produced by Will-A-Fool)
Migos – “Fight Night” (Produced by Stack Boy Twaun)
Wiz Khalifa – “We Dem Boyz” (Produced by Detail)
YG f/ Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan – “My Hitta” (Produced by DJ Mustard)
Young Thug – “Stoner” (Produced by Dun Deal)

Best Mixtape
Action Bronson – Blue Chips 2
Fabolous – The Soul Tape 3
Migos – No Label 2
Rich Homie Quan – I Promise I Will Never Stop Going In
Wiz Khalifa – 28 Grams

Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse
B.o.B – “Paranoid” (Ty Dolla $ign f/ B.o.B)
B.o.B – “Up Down” (Do This All Day) (T-Pain f/ B.o.B)
Drake – “Who Do You Love” (YG f/ Drake)
Kendrick Lamar – “Control” (Big Sean f/ Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica)
Pharrell – “Move That Doh” (Future f/ Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino)

Impact Track
Common f/ Vince Staples – “Kingdom”
Lecrae – “Nuthin”
Lupe Fiasco – “Mission”
The Roots f/ Patty Cash – “Never”
Talib Kweli f/ Abby Dobson – “State of Grace”

People’s Champ Award
Drake – “Worst Behavior”
Future f/ Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino – “Move That Doh”
Iggy Azalea f/ Charli XCX – “Fancy”
Wiz Khalifa – “We Dem Boyz”
YG f/ Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill & Rich Homie Quan – “My Hitta” (Remix)

ANAHEIM MIXTAPE ON DECK - BATTLE AXE FROM S.O.G. CREW
"We have toured across the United States meeting many people with many musical talents for years. One of the issues that we recognized on our travels is that there is not enough marketing outlets for the indie artist that you can trust. We plan to bridge a gap between the East, South, Midwest, West and the many islands. We also cross lines of cultural barriers introducing music to urban and Native American communities. Our goal for the Anaheim Mixtape is for the artist to gain national recognition and sales. Driving traffic to websites and building social communities is our second goal." Anaheim Mixtape is sponsored in part by Club Judah.

Anaheim Mixtape will also be working with Fresh Track marketing on this project. Fresh Tracks Marketing is a cutting edge online marketing company focused on creating innovative new ways to engage with your target consumers. With a focus on the entertainment industry and major brands, Fresh Tracks can design and implement an online marketing campaign that builds community, increases positive brand awareness and will set your product apart from the competition. With consulting services for site production, online advertising, and just about any other online marketing request, Fresh Tracks is a one stop destination for any brand looking for results.

"We have to allow positive urban and urban gospel to be a choice for our young people. The plan is to give this next generation music and entertainment that has moral standards. Everything is one sided and we will not allow others to defy our moral principles in this country any longer."

The Anaheim Mixtape is one of many that will help with these issues. I believe that healing will take place in our urban communities when we give morality a chance.

On Saturday, Aug. 30, at approximately 12:44 a.m., deputies from the Highland Police Department responded to a shooting call in the 25000 block of Paloma Road. Upon arriving at the scene, deputies located the victim, Michael Martinez, 19, suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Martinez was pronounced deceased at the scene.

We dedicate our Anaheim Mixtape Vol.1 to Little Michael Martinez and to all the families that have lost loved ones to gang violence.

The Anaheim Mixtape features artists from all around the country including The U.S. Virgin Islands. These are all people that we have met from all of our tours throughout the years. LISTEN HERE

TBS CANCELS CEELO'S SHOW AFTER 1 SEASON.
CeeLo Green's reality show won't have a second season. TBS spokeswoman Karen Cassell said Wednesday the network isn't renewing "The Good Life." She did not give a reason but said the decision was made earlier this summer.

The series, which premiered in June, averaged 650,000 viewers, considerably fewer than the 1 million to 2 million viewers the network averages in prime time.

Confirmation of the cancellation comes just days after Green's tweets about rape that caused a public outrage.

Green pleaded no contest last week to one felony count of furnishing ecstasy to a woman during a 2012 dinner in Los Angeles. Following that, the former "Voice" coach posted a series of tweets, including one that read: "Women who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!" He tweeted an apology Monday.

REVOLT TV PROMOTES SVP OF BIZ AND LEGAL AFFAIRS.
Revolt CEO Keith Clinkscales announced today the promotion of Inga Dyer to senior vice president of business and legal affairs in recognition of her tremendous contributions to Revolt during the network's inaugural year. An industry veteran with more than fifteen years of experience, Inga lead the charge in establishing Revolt's standards and practices in all areas of business and legal affairs including: talent and format acquisitions; production agreements; rights agreements; content license and distribution agreements; third party integration and sponsorship agreements; web development agreements; all Revolt vendor agreements; and other agreements in connection with the development and production of television programming.

"Inga has been an invaluable addition to the Revolt family," said Revolt CEO Keith Clinkscales, "Her industry knowledge and expertise on all legal and business matters has helped us build an empowering platform for artists and has helped us establish Revolt as the new #1 name in music."

Prior to joining Revolt, Dyer served as senior counsel for BET Networks where she was the primary liaison between BET and CBS for the re-launching of the record breaking cable television hit "The Game." On a day to day basis she was responsible for the business and legal affairs for BET's Original Programming scripted department and worked closely with executives from Programming, Development, Creative, Media Sales, Finance, Marketing and Corporate Communications.

With more than fifteen years of success in business and legal affairs, Dyer has also worked with Warner Chappell Music, Magic Johnson Enterprises, and Spike TV negotiating competitive and precedent setting deals. She has worked as a solo practitioner generating more than 10 million dollars in endorsement deals for professional entertainers and athletes.

Before settling back to her hometown in Los Angeles, California, Dyer received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Howard University and her Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law. Inga is a member of the California Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association, Screen Actors Guild, and an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

RUN THE JEWELS ANNOUNCE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
On the heels of a Summer festival run and Canadian headlining dates, Run The Jewels, the hip hop dream team of El-P and Killer Mike, have announced an extensive headlining tour with Ratking and Despot in support of their massively anticipated sophomore album RTJ2, set to arrive as a free download, as well as CD, LP, and digital via Mass Appeal Records on October 28th. The tour follows highly regarded appearances at Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Music Fest Northwest, Governor's Ball, and FYF Fest that galvanized fervent excitement among fans for the new album and subsequent touring (full dates below).

Run The Jewels are also excited to confirm that a remix album is in the works for Fool's Gold in 2015, details of which are pending. RTJ2 will also be preceded by the duo's highly anticipated contribution to Adult Swim's Single Series on September 15th.

Run The Jewels Tour Dates:
10/15 - College Station, TX - Hurricane Harry's %
10/18 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's %
10/20 - Little Rock, AR - Stickyz
10/21 - Memphis, TN - Minglewood Hall %
10/22 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
10/23 - Birmingham, AL - Iron City %
10/24 - Columbia, SC - Music Farm %
10/25 - Charleston, SC - Music Farm %
10/31 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts *
11/1 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
11/2 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater *
11/3 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle *
11/4 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade *
11/6 - Dallas, TX - Trees *
11/7 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Fest
11/8 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald's *
11/10 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom *
11/11 - La Jolla, CA - Porters Pub *
11/12 - Pomona, CA - Glass House *
11/14 - San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine +
11/15 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater *
11/17 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge *
11/18 - Englewood, CO - Gothic Theatre *
11/20 - Minneapolis, MN - First Line Music Café *
11/21 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre *
11/22 - Chicago, IL - Metro *
11/25 - Detroit, MI - St Andrews Hall *
11/26 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall *
11/27 - Montreal, QC - Club Soda *
11/28 - Boston, MA - Paradise *
11/29 - New York, NY - Stage 48 *
12/30 - Lorne, AU - Falls Festival
12/31 - Marion Bay, AU - Falls Festival
1/1 - Sydney, AU - Field Day
1/2 - Byron Bay, AU - Falls Festival
1/4 - Busselton, AU - Southbound Festival
1/7 - Sydney, AU - Enmore Theatre ^
1/8 - Melbourne, AU - The Forum ^
1/9 - Brisbane, AU - Hi Fi ^
1/10 - Auckland, NZ - Town Hall ^


% Red Bull Sound Select show
* with Rat King & Despot
+ with Despot
^ with Joey Bada$$

CHRIS BROWN PLEADS GUILTY.
Chris Brown pleaded guilty on Tuesday to hitting a man outside a Washington hotel, an assault that occurred while the singer was on probation for attacking his then-girlfriend Rihanna.

Brown pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to time served. He spent two days in a District of Columbia jail in this case.

The Grammy-winning singer was arrested in October. The victim told police Brown hit him after he tried to get in a picture the singer was taking with two women.

Brown had previously pleaded not guilty in the case. His trial had been set for April, but it was delayed.

At the time of his Washington arrest, Brown was on probation in a felony assault case in California for attacking his then-girlfriend, pop star Rihanna, hours before the 2009 Grammy Awards. Because Brown was still on probation, the outcome of his Washington case had potential repercussions in California. During a court hearing in May, a Los Angeles judge sentenced Brown to serve an additional 131 days in jail. He was released in June.

Brown's attorney, Danny Onorato, argued that Brown had already been punished extensively for the assault, noting the time he spent in jail in California and four months he spent receiving inpatient counseling after his probation was revoked.

"To say that he's been punished severely in this matter is an understatement," Onorato said. He said Brown's career has been on hold for nearly a year and he wanted to take responsibility for his actions so he could go back to work, including a tour in support of a new album.

Brown spoke only briefly, saying: "I would like to say to the court that I'm sorry." He did not comment as he left court, swarmed by photographers and a handful of fans.

Brown's bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, was also charged in the same Washington scuffle. He was accused of being the second person after Brown to strike Parker Adams outside the W hotel. Hollosy was convicted of misdemeanor assault in April. He has not yet been sentenced.

Brown, 24, had a squeaky clean image before his attack on Rihanna, but since then he has had several flare-ups that have been reported to authorities and noted by Los Angeles prosecutors. Brown broke a window after a 2011 "Good Morning America" interview in New York and was accused of snatching a woman's cellphone in Miami after she tried to snap pictures of the singer. He was also slightly injured in a New York nightclub brawl and, earlier this year, was accused of being involved in a fistfight with Frank Ocean's entourage over a parking spot at a West Hollywood recording studio.

-He was not charged in any of the incidents, but they have tarnished his public image, even as legions of fans continue to support him.

LA'S MADE IN AMERICA FEST A SUCCESS.
A new outdoor music festival in downtown Los Angeles reflected the city's diversity with a lineup that included rap, rock, punk, blues and Latin music. Kanye West, Cypress Hill, Weezer, Rise Against, John Mayer and Juanes were among Sunday's performers.

"This whole place is full of good, loving people," Mayer told the crowd from the Budweiser Made in America festival's main stage.

The two-day concert, held simultaneously with a sister show in Philadelphia, featured more than 30 acts. Iggy Azalea, Metric, Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons took the stage Saturday in Los Angeles. The Philadelphia festival included performers such as Kings of Leon, Tiesto and Pharrell Williams. West and DJ Steve Aoki performed in both cities.

More than 37,000 people attended the Los Angeles festival's second day in downtown's Grand Park — the first time the two-year-old park has been used for a large, ticketed event. Authorities made 59 arrests Sunday — including four for narcotics-related felonies — and cited 67 others for alcohol-related offenses, Los Angeles Police spokesman Lt. Andy Neiman said. Nearly 50 people were treated for alcohol-related problems and released, and three others were taken to a hospital for treatment, he added.

But the music, food and festive atmosphere were the stars at LA's inaugural Made in America festival. Here's a look:

MUSIC: Kanye brought the house down with a dramatic hour-long set to close out the concert. He commanded the stage alone, donning two different spangled face masks and injecting a bit of his trademark ranting into his abbreviated performance. "I know there's more people that love me than hate me," he insisted. Mayer brought the day's folksy blues, playing several of his hits, along with a cover of "All Along the Watchtower." Juanes did almost his entire set in Spanish, inspiring Latin dance moves throughout the audience. Weezer delivered feel-good rock, along with news of a new album in October and a preview of its first single. Rise Against brought slam-dancing punk. Los Angeles natives Cypress Hill played 20-year-old tunes to an enthusiastically receptive crowd. Singer B-Real smoked an enormous joint onstage before urging California voters to "legalize it."

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who championed the Made in America event and fast-tracked it through city approvals, appeared onstage during Aoki's misplaced set Sunday night. The mayor said nothing, while Aoki repeatedly implored the crowd to "make some noise."

In a statement Monday the mayor praised organizers and city departments for making sure the event "went off in an orderly and safe manner."

"We showed LA can do big things for our economy and people's enjoyment," Garcetti said.

Saturday's highlights included a sexy performance by Azalea that featured rump-shaking dancers and a surprise appearance by Rita Ora; a hit-packed set by Sublime with Rome, whose singer sounds eerily similar to Sublime's late former frontman Bradley Nowell; and a rousing performance by LA's own Lamar.

FOOD: Gourmet food trucks were stationed on the streets that span and surround Grand Park. Hungry concertgoers could choose from Thai, Argentinian, Greek, Japanese, Korean and American grub. There were also ice cream cookie sandwiches, churros and shave ice. Unfortunately, lines stretched more than 20 diners long at most trucks. Budweiser brews were available at various beer gardens onsite for $14 a cup. No liquor was sold, but plenty of empty airplane-sized booze bottles dotted the festival grounds. Also, there weren't enough trash cans.

ATMOSPHERE: Los Angeles City Hall provided a stately backdrop for the concert's main stage, the building's columns perfectly framing the performance space. A second stage stood just adjacent, and acts alternated between the two. There was a smaller, third stage on a different tier of the multi-level park, plus a skate-park area that featured stunt skateboarders and a dance DJ. Though crowds pooled around the food trucks and stages, Grand Park offered enough space for attendees — but not enough shade. Concertgoers crammed under scant trees and tarps during the sunniest afternoon hours. The audience was notably more diverse than those seen at the Coachella or Stagecoach festivals, but the vibe was just as unified and festive. The event's "Made in America" name even inspired sartorial patriotism in some concertgoers, who wore red, white and blue.

WIZ IS THA BIZ / GRABS 1ST #1 ALBUM ON BILLBOARD 200.
Wiz Khalifa earns his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, as his new Blacc Hollywood set arrives atop the list. The album, which was released Aug. 19, sold 90,000 copies in the week ending Aug. 24, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Blacc Hollywood follows two No. 2-peaking albums from Khalifa: Rolling Papers and O.N.I.F.C., which were released in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Khalifa also bounds in at No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the Rap Albums chart.

Iggy Azalea’s The New Classic sold 12,438 units this week, a 5 percent drop from last week’s 13,135 copies. The album jumped from #17 to #14 in its 18th week out. Overall, the album has sold 308,442 units since it was released.

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Aug. 24) totaled 3.97 million units, down 3 percent compared with the sum last week (4.11 million) and down 19 percent compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (4.9 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 154.5 million, down 15 percent compared with the same total at this point last year (181 million).

This week's 3.97 million total is the smallest weekly sum for album sales since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. It's also the first time weekly sales have fallen below 4 million in that time span.

Digital track sales this past week totaled 19.2 million downloads, down 2 percent compared with last week (19.6 million) and down 13 percent stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (22.1 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 754.4 million, down 13 percent compared with the same total at this point last year (865.4 million). Source: Billboard

YELAWOLF SET TO HIT THE ROAD.
Alabama-born hip-hop artist Yelawolf (real name: Michael Wayne Atha) is about to hit the road on The.Slumerican.Made.Tour, with opening acts Rittz, Big Henry and DJ Klever, starting October 22 at Birmingham, AL's Iron City, and running through December 21 at Nashville, TN's Marathon Music Works, with dates scheduled for Los Angeles (House of Blues, Nov. 8) and New York (the Gramercy Theater, Dec. 16). The complete list of dates can be found below.

The tour will serve as a set-up for Yelawolf's eagerly awaited second album, Love Story, on Slumerican/Shady Records/Interscope, which he's described as "more passionate" than his debut, 2011's Radioactive. Two tracks have already been released from the album, "Box Chevy V," which he premiered earlier this year on Sirius XM's Shade 45 station, and "Honey Brown." Love Story was recorded mostly in Nashville with producers Eminem, Malay, WLPWR and DJ Paul.

"I'm telling the truth about a lot of things," Yelawolf said in describing the new album, which follows the release of his mixtape Trunk Muzik Returns in March, 2013. "I try to be as honest as I can with everything I do."

Here is the complete list of tour dates:

Check out the dates below.
10/22 – Birmingham, AL - Iron City
10/23 – Montgomery, AL - Liquids
10/24 – Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall
10/26 – Little Rock, AR - Juanita’s
10/28 – Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom
10/29 – Austin, TX - Empire Control Room & Garage
10/30 – San Antonio, TX - White Rabbit San Antonio
11/1 – Dallas, TX - Trees
11/3 – Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
11/4 – Tempe, AZ - Club Red / Red Owl -
11/4 – Mesa, AZ - Club Red – East Theater
11/5 – Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
11/6 – Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory
11/7 – La Jolla, CA – Porter’s Pub
11/8 – West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues Sunset Strip
11/9 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst
11/11 – Eugene, OR – WOW Hall
11/12 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
11/13 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory Concert House
11/15 – Vancouver, BC – Venue
11/16 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
11/18 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
11/19 – Fort Collins, CO – Aggie Theatre
11/20 – Colorado Springs, CO – Black Sheep
11/21 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
11/22 – Omaha, NE – Sokol Auditorium
11/25 – Lawrence, KS – Granada Theatre
11/26 – Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
11/28 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre
11/29 – Iowa City, IA – Blue Moose Tap House
11/30 – Springfield, MO – Gillioz Theatre
12/2 – Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom
12/3 – Bloomington, IL – Castle Theatre
12/4 – St. Louis, MO – The Ready Room
12/5 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
12/6 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall
12/7 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
12/10 – Grand Rapids, MI – Intersection
12/11 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre & Ballroom
12/12 – Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar
12/13 – Philadelphia, PA – Theater of the Living Arts
12/14 – Cambridge, MA – The Middle East Downstairs
12/16 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre
12/17 – Springfield, VA – Empire Theatre Springfield
12/18 – Winston-Salem, NC – Ziggy’s
12/19 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre
12/20 – Duluth, GA – Wild Bill’s
12/21 – Nashville, TN – Anthem

TY DOLLA $IGN ANNOUNCES IN TOO DEEP TOUR.
Atlantic recording artist Ty Dolla $ign has announced plans for a major North American headline tour. The "In Too Deep Tour" will get underway October 1st at San Antonio's White Rabbit and then travel through late November (see itinerary below). Ty is also busy completing work on his hugely anticipated debut album, titled "FREE TC," due out later this year.

Ty has spent the summer alongside Wiz Khalifa, Jeezy, and a cavalcade of other hip-hop superstars for this year's "Under the Influence of Music Tour," which kicked off last month and wrapped this past Sunday in Irvine, CA. The Los Angeles-based artist has spent much of the past year on the road, with highlights including a Stadium Stage set at the 2014 Hot 97 Summer Jam and his own wildly successful US run of "The Beach House Tour," with the international run kicking off on August 29th in Hanover and includes stops in London, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam and more.

Ty has fast become one of hip-hop's most highly demanded collaborators. Recent highlights include Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa & Ty Dolla $ign (Feat. Kill The Noise & Madsonik)'s "Shell Shocked," the Atlantic Records hit single from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies' blockbuster Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; "Dead Wrong (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign)," featured on Trey Songz's recent #1 album, "TRIGGA;" Lupe Fiasco's "Next To It (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)" and a trio of tracks on Wiz Khalifa's new album, "BLACC HOLLYWOOD." Ty is also featured on frequent collaborator DJ Mustard's acclaimed new "10 SUMMERS."
"Or Nah (Feat. Wiz Khalifa & DJ Mustard)" -- the current single from Ty's acclaimed major label debut, "BEACH HOUSE EP" -- has proven an undeniable smash. The single, which is rapidly approaching Gold certification, exploded as the Most Added track at Urban radio outlets nationwide upon its spring release before ascending the top 10 on the iTunes Store's "Top Hip-Hop/Rap Songs" chart. In addition, the "Or Nah (Remix) (Feat. The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa & DJ Mustard)" companion video -- directed by Ryan Patrick -- is an online sensation, drawing nearly 17 million individual views.

Furthermore, "Paranoid (Feat. B.o.B)," the EP's first breakout hit single, has been certified gold by the RIAA. The DJ Mustard-produced track proved a top 5 Urban radio smash earlier this year while also crashing the top 10 on both Billboard's "Hot R&B Songs" and "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs" charts. The "Paranoid" companion video -- directed by Ethan Lader (Bruno Mars, Travie McCoy, B.o.B) -- also remains a YouTube favorite, with over 25 million views.

As if that weren't enough, Ty has made a number of high profile TV appearances, including a performance of "Paranoid" backed by the legendary Roots on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, as well as visits to BET's 106 & Park and the nationally syndicated Arsenio Hall Show.

UPCOMING | LOCAL DATES

OCTOBER
1 San Antonio, TX White Rabbit
2 Austin, TX Empire Control Room
3 Houston, TX Warehouse Live Ballroom
4 Dallas, TX Tree’s
6 New Orleans, LA Republic
8 St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre
10 Gainesville, FL Club Levels
11 Kennesaw, GA Kennesaw State University * (w/Wiz Khalifa)
12 Miami, FL Florida International University * (w/DJ Tiësto)
13 Nashville, TN Anthem
15 Charlotte, NC Amos Southend
16 Winston Salem, NC Winston Salem State University * (w/YG)
17 Norfolk, VA The Norva
19 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
20 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore
22 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
23 State College, PA Levels Nightclub
24 Toronto, ON Guvernment
25 Montreal, QC Petit Olympia
26 South Burlington, VT Higher Ground
28 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
29 Pawtucket, RI The Met
30 New Haven, CT Toad’s Place

NOVEMBER
1 Los Angeles, CA Hard Day of the Dead Festival*
2 New York, NY Irving Plaza * (w/Mack Wilds)
4 Pittsburgh, PA Altar Bar
6 Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall
7 Oxford, OH Brick Street
8 St. Louis, MO The Ready Room
9 Bloomington, IL The Castle Theater
11 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon
12 Iowa City, IA Blue Moose Tap House
13 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
14 Minneapolis, MN Cabooze
15 Lincoln, NE Bourbon Theater
16 Kansas City, MO The Riot Room
18 Fort Collins, CO Aggie Theatre
19 Colorado Springs, CO Black Sheep
20 Denver, CO Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom

CONVERSE UNVEILS A 2ND WIZ KHALIFA COLLECTION.
CONVERSE Inc. unveiled the new Fall 2014 Wiz Khalifa sneaker collection featuring the new Converse Chuck Taylor All Star ILL. Available in two colors, the new silhouette is inspired by the artist's rebellious individuality and fashion-forward style. This marks Wiz Khalifa's second sneaker collaboration with Converse following the successful launch of the Fall 2013 collection.

"I am very excited about continuing my relationship with Converse and releasing this new sneaker collection," says Wiz Khalifa. "We spent a lot of time designing each part of the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star ILL and the end result is exactly what I wanted."

EPIC RECORDS PROMOTES SENIOR VP.
Scott Carter has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing, Epic Records; it was announced today by Antonio "L.A." Reid, Chairman/CEO, Epic Records.

As Head of Marketing, Scott will play an integral role in the creation, development and execution of marketing strategies for Epic's artists, as well as overseeing the activities of the marketing team. Scott will report directly to Sylvia Rhone, President, Epic Records.

"Scott has been a key contributor to some of Epic's most successful marketing campaigns over the past 15 years. He not only knows how to market legacy acts but he has proven that he can break new artists as well," comments Sylvia Rhone. "He has made invaluable contributions to Epic Records with his leadership and enthusiasm and is steadfast in his commitment to its future success."

Commenting on his appointment, Carter says, "I am honored for the opportunity to elevate my role at a label as iconic as Epic Records, home to some of the greatest artists of all time. Working alongside such extraordinary leaders as LA Reid and Sylvia Rhone, I look forward to stepping up into this new position and helping create the kind of innovative marketing campaigns deserving of the remarkable talent we have at Epic."

For the past 15 years, Scott has worked in the marketing department at Epic Records. Most recently has was Vice President where he developed marketing campaigns for, and built strong relationships with, a roster of multi-platinum artists including Shakira, Michael Jackson, Sara Bareilles, The Fray, Modest Mouse and Ozzy Osbourne, along with current breaking artists such as KONGOS and A Great Big World. Prior to his tenure with Epic Records, Scott spent nearly 10 years at A&M Records in the radio promotion and marketing departments.

JEEZY ARRESTED FOR FIREARMS IN SHOOTING PROBE.
Young Jeezy has been arrested on suspicion of possessing illegal firearms during an investigation into a fatal shooting at a rap concert in Silicon Valley, authorities said.

The Atlanta-based rapper, whose real name is Jay Wayne Jenkins, was taken into custody Sunday by detectives along with five other people while executing a search warrant at the Verizon Amphitheatre in Irvine, Mountain View police spokesman Sgt. Saul Jaeger said Monday. They were taken to the Orange County jail.

The arrests come after Eric Johnson, 38, of Orinda was shot and killed while backstage at the "Under the Influence of Music" concert Jeezy co-headlined with fellow rapper Wiz Khalifa at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on Friday.

None of the arrested has been identified as suspects in the fatal shooting, Jaeger said.

Jeezy is being held on $1 million bail and could make his first appearance in court as soon as Tuesday, Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said.

SHADY RECORDS SET TO RELEASE SHADYXV.
Eminem and Shady Records will celebrate the label's 15th anniversary with its fifteenth release: ShadyXV, a two-CD compilation featuring an album of the label's greatest hits, including classics such as 50 Cent's "In Da Club" and Eminem's "Lose Yourself" plus an album of new material from Eminem, Slaughterhouse, Bad Meets Evil, D-12 and Yelawolf as well as special guest-artist collaborations. ShadyXV (Shady Records/Interscope Records), set for release November 24, 2014, will be preceded by a new Eminem single, "Guts Over Fear." The song features Sia and was produced by Emile Haynie (Grammy winner for Best Rap Album for Eminem's Recovery). "Guts Over Fear" is out today, August 25th.

The new single is currently featured in the trailer for Sony Pictures' upcoming film, the Anton Fuqua-directed "The Equalizer," out September 26th. Viewers got a sneak peak of the track when a trailer for the film was released on August 15. "Guts Over Fear" will run during the closing credits of the film.

Shady Records was founded in 1999 by Eminem, the biggest-selling artist in hip-hop history, and his manager Paul Rosenberg. The first artist signed, D12, hit double platinum and #1 with their debut album, Devil's Night. 2002 saw the soundtrack album to 8 Mile open with a #1 berth on the charts and sell quadruple platinum, with "Lose Yourself" becoming the first hip-hop song to win an Academy Award (Best Original Song). Shady artist 50 Cent then debuted with the #1 Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2003), an eight times platinum smash and the fastest-selling debut in history.

Shady Reccords continued its streak with 50 Cent's next release, the #1 and five times platinum The Massacre (2005) plus the platinum Curtis (2007) and gold Before I Self Destruct (2009). D12 peaked at #1 again with the double platinum D12 World (2004). Next came the various artists disc Eminem Presents: The Re-Up (2006) earned #2 and platinum. The label also found success with Obie Trice's gold Cheers (2003). Most recently, Shady Records has brought to the forefront Bad Meets Evil (2011's Hell: The Sequel went #1 and gold), Yelawolf (2011's Radioactive), and supergroup Slaughterhouse (2012's #2-charting Welcome to: Our House). New albums from Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse are coming soon.

PRINCE ON DECK WITH NEW ALBUM.
Prince is releasing a new album on Sept. 30. The pop icon announced that he would release "Art Official Age" on Warner Bros. Records, the label Prince was signed to from 1978 to the mid-1990s, but later battled for the rights to his music. He reached a deal with Warner in April, earning the rights to the music he recorded on the label.

Prince will also release the album "PlectrumElectrum" with his all-female band 3RDEYEGIRL on Sept. 30. Both albums are available for pre-order.

"Art Official Age" was described in a news release as a mix "of soul, R&B and funk." It's his first album since 2010's "20Ten."

Prince released key projects like "Purple Rain" and "1999" on Warner.

MTV VMAS RECAP.
Beyonce was the reigning queen of Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards.
The diva closed the awards show with an epic nearly 20-minute performance. Tears streamed down her face as she was joined onstage by her beaming husband and daughter, amid the numerous rumors surrounding her marriage.

Beyonce sang and danced in a metallic leotard while Blue Ivy and Jay Z watched from their seats as the diva declared: "MTV, welcome to my world."

As Beyonce accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award, the VMA's version of a lifetime achievement award, at The Forum in Inglewood, California, she kissed her daughter and husband Jay Z, who called her the "greatest living entertainer." The duo won best collaboration for the hit "Drunk In Love."

"I have nothing to say but I am filled with so much gratitude," she told the cheering crowd as they chanted her name repeatedly.

Her performance easily outdid her competition throughout the night, though Beyonce lost video of the year, which instead went to Miley Cyrus who let a homeless man accept her award. It was in sharp contrast to the 2013 VMAs, when Cyrus twerked and danced shockingly onstage.

"Thank y'all, my name is Jesse and I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving, lost and scared for their lives right now. I know this because I am one of these people," he said, as a teary Cyrus looked on. "Though I may have been invisible to you in the streets, I have a lot of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight."

Cyrus' decision to let someone else accept her award to promote a cause was reminiscent of Marlon Brando's 1973 Academy Awards best actor win, when he gave a Native American activist the stage rather than accept his Oscar trophy.

The two-hour show was tamer than past VMAs: the most shocking moment was Nicki Minaj's rump-shaking during her performance of "Anaconda" in the show's first minutes and her wardrobe malfunction when she joined Ariana Grande and Jessie J for "Bang, Bang."

"It felt amazing to open the show, and we ran out of time getting the dress zipped up," Minaj said backstage.

Taylor Swift was a crowd favorite when she performed her new single "Shake It Off" in shimmery, fringed shorts and a crop top. She got to the top of the stage, and as her tuxedoed male background dancers stood with their arms wide open waiting for Swift to jump she said, "One second. I don't care if it's the VMAs. I'm not jumping off there."

She continued: "It's all kinds of people getting bitten by snakes. Dangerous."

Grande, who held hands with rapper Big Sean backstage, kicked off the show with a performance of her EDM hit, "Break Free" in a Beyonce-inspired leotard. The 21-year-old won best pop video for her smash single "Problem," but lost best female video to Katy Perry, who won for "Dark Horse."

Perry sported a figure-hugging denim dress and was joined by Riff Raff in a coordinating outfit, mirroring Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears at the 2001 American Music Awards.

The night also featured a serious social message: Rapper-actor Common held a moment of silence for Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a police officer on Aug. 9, before he presented the award for best hip-hop video.

"Hip-hop has always been about truth and has been a powerful instrument of social change, from Melle Mel to Public Enemy to Kendrick Lamar," Common said. "Hip-hop has always been presented a voice for the revolution."

Later, a 15-second spot aired alluding to the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, urging viewers to take action to eliminate bias.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced," a quote by author James Baldwin read on the screen.

Lorde won best rock video for "Royals" and Ed Sheeran won best male video, beating out Pharrell, Eminem, John Legend and Sam Smith, who was a show highlight with his smoldering performance of his hit "Stay With Me."

Iggy Azalea and Ora appeared onstage as spider women when they performed their hit "Black Widow," as Swift, Lorde and Charli XCX danced and sang along.

2014 BMI R&B/HIP HOP AWARDS RECAP.
Music industry luminaries, influencers and power personalities converged at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles for the 2014 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards. The star-studded event celebrated the songwriters, producers and publishers of the most-performed R&B/hip-hop songs of the previous year.

During the evening, multifaceted rapper, entrepreneur, actor and philanthropist Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges was honored with the BMI President’s Award for demonstrating outstanding achievement in songwriting, with profound global influence on culture and the entertainment industry.

The night included many other highlights. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis earned the Song of the Year award for the smash hit “Can’t Hold Us,” and Lil Wayne took the Songwriter of the Year crown for penning popular tunes “Ball,” “Bandz A Make Her Dance,” “Beware,” “Love Me,” “No Worries” and “Pop That.” The coveted Producer of the Year award went to DJ Mustard. BMI also recognized top producers Mike Dean, Noel “Detail” Fisher, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon, Ryan Lewis and Kanye West. With 14 of the most-performed songs from the previous year, Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. accepted the prestigious Publisher of the Year crystal.

Teen sensation Zendaya, known for her soulful pop with an urban edge, won the BMI Social Star award. Selected by fans voting via Twitter, the award salutes the BMI R&B/hip-hop songwriter who has best demonstrated the power of social media to showcase their songwriting talents.

The night’s top honoree got the crowd moving with a medley of his greatest hits including “Fantasy,” “How Low Can You Go,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Area Codes,” and “Yeah,” joined by special guest Mystikal.

The evening also featured a slew of performances: rapper TeeFlii and DJ Goofy delivered “24 Hours”; Tamar Braxton offered “Love and War”; and a special set by DJ Mustard and YG.

During the ceremony, BMI also recognized the songwriters of Billboard No. 1 singles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts from the past year.

BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill and Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton, shared the evening’s hosting duties with Revolt.TV Vice President of Marketing, Kenny Burns.

SUGE SHOT IN NIGHTCLUB.
Marion "Suge" Knight was injured in an early morning shooting Sunday in a packed nightclub but was expected to survive, a Los Angeles County sheriff's sergeant said.

Knight was one of three club patrons struck by gunfire around 1:30 a.m. at 1OAK on West Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard, said Sgt. C. Tatar, watch commander at the Los Angeles County sheriff's West Hollywood station.

Two other victims, a man and a woman, were also being treated at local hospitals and were expected to survive.

Authorities are still seeking a suspect and declined to release additional information, citing the ongoing investigation.

The shooting came just hours before MTV's Video Music Awards, which are slated for Sunday evening in Inglewood. R&B singer Chris Brown, who was co-hosting a party at the nightclub with Pia Mia, was also inside the club but not hit by the gunfire, Tatar said. MTV said it had no affiliation or connection to the event.

Laura Coverson, a spokeswoman for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said she could not confirm reports that Knight was being treated there due to strict medical privacy laws.

Knight has been shot before. In 2005, he was struck in the leg during an MTV awards pre-party in Miami Beach.

MAN DIES AFTER BRING SHOT AT WIZ KHALIFA & JEEZY CONCERT.
A 38-year-old man died Saturday after he was shot multiple times backstage during a concert at a popular Silicon Valley venue, authorities said.

The shooting occurred at Shoreline Amphitheatre, where Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa, Atlanta hip hop artist Jeezy and others had finished performing Friday night. The victim, whose name was not immediately released, died at a hospital.

Police rushed to the outdoor venue after receiving multiple calls that shots had been fired. However, no arrests have been made, and officers were still looking for a male suspect believed to be in his 20s and armed with a handgun.

Investigators turned to social media to ask concertgoers for photos or videos that might provide clues.

Authorities don't yet know how a gun made it into the amphitheater, where patrons undergo security screening, Mountain View police spokeswoman Shino Tanaka told KTVU-TV.

Wiz Khalifa was scheduled to continue his Under the Influence of Music Tour at Sleep Train Amphitheater in Chula Vista, California, on Saturday night, but the show was canceled "due to an active investigation" of the shooting at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, concert organizer Live Nation said in a statement.

A post on Wiz Khalifa's Twitter account blamed the cancellation on "a situation out of our control." The rapper also called shooting "a senseless tragedy." "Violence is never the answer. My prayers go out to the victim's family," he tweeted.

REVOLT MEDIA CONFERENCE ON DECK.
REVOLT TV unveiled more speakers for the inaugural REVOLT Media Conference taking place Thursday October 16th through Sunday, October 19th at Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, FL.

In addition to keynotes by Clear Channel Chairman/CEO and MTV co-founder Bob Pittman, CEO of All Def Digital and Co-founder of Def Jam Russell Simmons and Chairman of Combs Enterprises and REVOLT TV Sean Combs, additional speakers announced today include:

Music
Craig Kallman, Chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records
Daniel Glass, CEO of Glassnote Records
Pasquale Rotella, Founder and CEO of Insomniac
Lee Anderson, Agent at AM Only
Ethiopia Habtemariam, President of Motown Records
Senthil Chidambaram, CEO of Dancing Astronaut
G.Fly Henry, Founder and CEO of Thinks It's a Game
Sylvia Rhone, President of Epic Records
Ester Dean, Songwriter, Producer, and Musician

Technology, Marketing, and Publicity
Larry Jackson, BOH Specialist at Apple
Kathryn Frazier, Founder of Biz3 Publicity and OWSLA

Media
Benny Medina, CEO of The Medina Company
Kevin Liles, Partner at 300 Entertainment; CEO & Founder of KWL Enterprises
Shakim Compere, Manager and Film/TV producer
Steve Rifkind, CEO of All Def Music and Partner at All Def Digital
Mona Scott- Young, CEO of Monami Entertainment

Designed to inspire thought-provoking discussions about navigating and understanding the evolution of the music business, the conference will combine education and entertainment over the course of two and a half days for 500 industry executives and 100 students, as well as a remote audience through the recently launched REVOLT TV iOS and iPhone apps

"Social media, streaming and the growing list of Web-connected devices have had an undeniable effect on the music industry, creating more opportunities for fans, artists and brands to connect in entertaining, meaningful ways," stated RMC Chair Andre Harrell. "Conference attendees should expect to not only hear about trends in music, but also hear how to leverage the power of music to engage audiences effectively across mediums."

Harrell, an entertainment powerhouse with credits spanning television, film, music and branding, has been on the forefront of culture for nearly four decades. Setting the tone for the conference by hand-picking speakers and now broadening the focus of the conference, Harrell promises attendees will not only leave with a better idea of where the music industry is heading, but will also have the context of media overall, and how to successfully position their brands, artists and companies in the process.

GLOBAL SPIN AWARDS ON DECK - DJ JAZZY JEFF TO BE HONORED.

DJ Jazzy Jeff or simply Jazz, is a Pioneer DJ, record producer, turntablist and actor who is best known for his early career with Will Smith as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. In the 1989, Jazz and Will Smith earned the first rap Grammy Award ever presented for Parents Just Don't Understand. DJ Jazzy Jeff along with DJ Cash Money is credited with making the transform scratch famous.

Jazzy Jeff truly exemplifies his craft and we are honored to recognize him at the #GlobalSpinAwards November 18, 2014

APOLLO BROWN & RAS KASS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM.
"Blasphemy", the collaborative album from esteemed Mello Music Group producer Apollo Brown and Ras Kass, is a thought-provoking and highly personal treatise on the unspoken. No "ism" is out of bounds, no topic too untoward. Whatever you hold sacred isn't above aggressive inquiry. The album displays their undeniable synergy. When Ras Kass crucifies supposed facts over Apollo's beats, it's clear he is the West Coast's preeminent philosopher. When Apollo's blaring suites soothe your soul, it's an ontological fact that he ranks among the best producers in the game. With Blasphemy, the duo has delivered the truth. The new album comes out October 28th on Mello Music Group.

RUN THE JEWELS (Killer Mike & El-P) ANNOUNCE SOPHOMORE ALBUM RTJ2
"Run The Jewels, the super dynamic duo of El-P and Killer Mike, two of the most distinctive and celebrated names in rap, have announced their sophomore album RTJ2 is set to drop on October 28th. Newly signed to Mass Appeal Records, the album will be released in a variety of formats, including free download, CD, LP, and digital." The immensely anticipated album includes guests ranging from Zach de la Rocha to Travis Barker among others TBA, but the duo maintain the album is first and foremost about the creative partnership between the MCs themselves. "We are very excited to bring you the next chapter of Run The Jewels via the good folks at Mass Appeal" states El-P. "We can make no promises about the safety of any animals involved in the creation of this record." Killer Mike adds, "It is the best rap group album since RTJ1!" In conjunction with the announcement Run The Jewels have shared the full version of "Blockbuster Night", an excerpt of which dominated the internet on its release just a few weeks ago.

While some thought the MCs to be an unlikely pairing on paper, the duo subverted and pulverized all expectations with their critically lauded Run The Jewels collaborative LP last year. Tapping into the creative synergy they'd discovered in 2012 on Mike's R.A.P. Music album (produced by El-P) and El's Cancer 4 Cure album (featuring Mike), Run The Jewels cemented their musical alliance with a set of uncompromisingly raw, often hilarious, system booming hip-hop, garnering a bounty of critical accolades. Now well known for their massively energetic live sets, they will be touring North America in support of the album all of November.

Run The Jewels Tour Dates:
08/22 - Denver, CO - Mad Decent Block Party
08/23 - Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest 2014
11/7-9 - Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest

ENTIRE HIEROGLYPHICS CREW COMING TOGETHER.
Ideal for music lovers coast to coast, the entire Hieroglyphics Imperium collective will perform together for a few select rare dates on the East and West Coast over the next few weeks. The full crew will be headlining in Boston, Philadelphia, Providence, New York, and Los Angeles, together, as their original eight-person collective, a rare treat for fans.

This year has been a notably productive year for Hiero, with project releases such as from A-Plus' Molly's Dirty Water, Phesto's Infared Rum and Casual's group project entitled The School System. The crew also recently released an animated video for their track "Golden," which morphs the members into pop-culture icons like an acid trip. With future releases from Pep Love and Souls of Mischief nearing, the group will be performing new songs, never heard before in front of a live audience. In addition to what has turned out to be an amazing year, the Hieroglyphics are gearing up for a new album. As a perfect closer to the bi-coastal performances, the group will greet hometown fans in Oakland with their third annual free block party, Hiero Day, on September 1st.

Hiero's Souls of Mischief, who are releasing their epic sixth studio album, There Is Only Now next Tuesday, will perform select cuts from the album at these shows. There Is Only Now is an epic work of art that demonstrates the group's dedication, discipline, and level of skill rarely seen today in rap. Recorded and produced by Adrian Younge without the use of a single computer, the concept album was created like a blaxploitation film, complete with a storyline, narration, and live instrumentation only. Souls of Mischief will be performing two select dates as part of their album release promotion. The first show will take place in New York on Thursday, August 28th at Le Poisson Rouge featuring Adrian Younge's Venice Dawn and a DJ set from Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The second show will take place in LA on Thursday, September 4th featuring The Pharcyde, Blu and Exile, a DJ set from Ali Shaheed Muhammad and hosted by Phife Dawg.

The Hieroglyphics crew, known as pioneers of independent hip-hop, is made up of members Del The Funky Homosapien, Casual, Pep Love, Domino, and Souls of Mischief, who include A-Plus, Opio, Phesto, Tajaj. Not only are they considered to be one of the first hip-hop artist collectives to start their own record label, but they introduced a different side of hip hop that was virtually unknown on a mainstream level. When Elektra Records signed Del the Funky Homosapien and JIVE signed Souls of Mischief in the early '90s, the Hiero crew soon became internationally known as the leaders of a new movement in rap that represented peace and unity, despite having come from a city rife with violent crime. Considered to be some of the most highly skilled lyricists in rap from their inception to today, the Hiero crew continued to break hip-hop norms with personal, emotional rhymes rather than solely gangster-rap. Souls Of Mischief's "93 'Til Infinity" remains one of the most respected and well-known hip-hop classics, referred to in pop culture time and time again. The third eye logo, designed by Del, was ranked as the 3rd most recognizable music logo by Rolling Stone Magazine, and it is not uncommon for fans to show Hiero members their third eye logo tattoos.

Hiero + Souls of Mischief Shows:
8/20 - Hieroglyphics - Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA
8/21 - Hieroglyphics - Brooklyn Bowl - Brooklyn, NY
8/22 - Hieroglyphics - Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
8/23 - Hieroglyphics - Bella Terra Festival - Stephentown, NY
8/24 - Hieroglyphics - Fete - Providence, RI
8/28 - Souls of Mischief - Le Poisson Rouge - New York, NY
9/1 - 3rd Annual Hiero Day - 95 Linden Street - Oakland
9/4 - Souls of Mischief - The Mayan Theatre - Los Angeles, CA


GUCCI MANE SENTENCED TO 39 MONTHS
Gucci Mane, whose real name is Radric Davis, was sentenced to 39 months in federal prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to a firearms charge.

Davis, who has been in custody for 11 months awaiting resolution of the case, will have to serve 28 months before being released on three years probation. Davis asked the judge to recommend he serve his sentence in a west coast prison with a drug rehab program to allow him to get away from local influences in Atlanta.

The charge, related to two incidents in September, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000, but prosecutors recommended that Davis be sentenced to serve three years and three months in prison. Sentencing is set for July, his attorney said.

Davis, who was indicted in November, has remained incarcerated since the September incidents.

According to the indictment, on Sept. 12, Davis had a Taurus 45-caliber handgun and eight rounds of ammunition. Two days later, a friend concerned about the rapper’s behavior called Atlanta police.

About 1 a.m. Sept. 14, authorities found Davis walking near Moreland and East Confederate avenues, and Davis became “increasingly agitated with officers and began cursing and threatening them.”

The officers arrested Davis and discovered he was carrying a handgun and small amount of marijuana, police said at the time. The federal indictment claims he was in possession of a Glock 40-caliber handgun and 11 rounds of ammunition.
U.S. District Court Judge Steve Jones, a self professed Four Tops fan, said he was unfamiliar with Davis’ music but added, “”young people – my nieces and nephews – tell me you are quite cool.”
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

WIZ DROPS BLACC HOLLYWOOD.
Wiz drops his third full-length label release "Blacc Hollywood" showcases such recent singles as "KK (Feat. Project Pat & Juicy J)," "You and Your Friends (Feat. Snoop Dogg & Ty Dolla $ign)," and the critically acclaimed hit, "We Dem Boyz." Released earlier this year, "We Dem Boyz" proved an immediate hip-hop hit, earning total sales approaching 500,000 while ascending to the top 5 on Billboard's "Hot Rap Songs" chart. In addition, the Detail-produced track's official companion video -- directed by Ethan Lader (Bruno Mars, Ty Dolla $ign) -- is an online blockbuster with close to 34.5 million individual views.

Wiz has spent his summer heralding "Blacc Hollywood" on this year's "Under the Influence of Music Tour." The third annual trek -- which features such hip-hop superstars such as Jeezy, Atlantic recording artist Ty Dolla $ign, and many others -- hits the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado tonight and then continues through the month. For complete information and additional live dates, please see www.wizkhalifa.com/tour.

Wiz Khalifa lit up the hip-hop universe with his 2011 Rostrum/Atlantic debut album, "ROLLING PAPERS," highlighted by the 4x platinum-certified #1 single, "Black and Yellow," 2x platinum-certified hit "Roll Up," and platinum-certified "No Sleep." "O.N.I.F.C." made an incredible chart debut upon its release in 2012, arriving at #1 on Billboard's "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums" and "Top Rap Albums" charts, not to mention coming in at #2 on the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200.

In addition to his massive popular success, Wiz has earned a career total of five GRAMMY® nominations, including nods for such blockbuster tracks as the chart-topping "Black and Yellow" and 2012's RIAA gold-certified "Remember You (Feat. The Weeknd)." Other nominated tracks include 2011's "Young, Wild & Free (Feat. Bruno Mars)," Wiz's 3x platinum-certified, top 10 smash partnership with Snoop Dogg (featured on their 2011 collaborative soundtrack, "MAC & DEVIN GO TO HIGH SCHOOL"), and Maroon 5's 2012 worldwide hit, "Payphone (Feat. Wiz Khalifa)."

More than just a music powerhouse, Wiz is also a fashion-forward icon and entrepreneur. Wiz recently announced a new partnership with leading active lifestyle brand Neff for the "Blacc Hollywood" collection, available exclusively at Zumiez. The line -- which features snapbacks, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies capturing the album's timeless black-and-white design -- follows Taylor Gang and Neff's previous collaboration, the 26-piece "Taylor Gang Ent." apparel collection. Wiz will celebrate both the "Blacc Hollywood" line and the new album's official release with today's exclusive autograph signing at Zumiez in Broomfield, Colorado's Flatiron Crossing.

DJ SKEE ON DECK WITH DASH RADIO.
Radio is at a turning point. In the US, 96% of the population over 12 listens to radio, yet statistics show the overwhelming majority are dissatisfied with the medium. FM stations feature endless commercials and repetitive playlists, digital platforms limit discovery with algorithmic playlists that aren't true radio, and satellite radio is too expensive for most consumers. Today a new future unfolds with DASH, a revolutionary new digital radio platform that features the world's top DJ's, zero commercials, easy navigation, and accessibility from your favorite devices. The best part -- it's all free!

DASH was created by some of the most influential people in music, entertainment, technology and media. Led by renowned radio and TV personality DJ Skee, and including industry titans like L.A. Reid (CEO Epic Records), Matt Michelsen (CEO & Founder of Backplane), Michael Lazerow (Salesforce), Adrian Peterson (RB Minnesota Vikings), Peter Ferraro (East Village Radio), Thuy-An Julien (15 year Apple/iTunes veteran) and more, this unparalleled team has combined its expertise to present a game-changing moment in how radio is broadcast and consumed across the world.

"From my start on radio when I was 16 years old to being on the biggest station in the country, I have always been passionate about the magic and opportunities radio can bring. However, I also know and have witnessed first-hand where it falls short," says DJ Skee. "It's a fact that today's radio options leave listeners wanting more. With DASH we are creating a new form of digital radio that brings the most in variety, style, talent and simplicity, and made accessible to everyone, everywhere for free."

Launching today, DASH features 50 originally programmed live channels curated by some of the most well-known DJ's, radio personalities, and programmers in the world. In addition to traditional popular radio formats, DASH will focus on under-served segments largely ignored by FM radio, including EDM, Latin, Teen Pop, Indie Rock, Underground Hip Hop, Reggae and more, with new stations being added weekly.

Top DJ's joining DASH include industry legend Peter Ferraro, General Manager and Head of Programming for East Village Radio, Caroline D'Amore, a world renowned EDM DJ, Julio G, one of the top influential Hip Hop DJ's credited with the rise of rap as part of KDAY radio, and many more. DASH has also brought on station partners including XXL Magazine, Tech N9ne, VP Records, Record Store Day, and Paradise City (the online Guns N' Roses community), among numerous others to help program DASH channels.

"Radio has always been the biggest avenue for music discovery," says L.A. Reid. "DASH provides an innovative platform for artists while offering listeners the variety they want, without limitations."

Available on all iOS and Android devices with a user-friendly design, DASH is also accessible on the web, with plans to expand the platform in future years. With a state-of-the-art backend system efficiently powered through DASH's fully automated studio facilities in Hollywood, a simple-to-use ecosystem, some of the world's most experienced and passionate DJ's, and zero commercials, DASH will become the leading radio broadcaster for the digital era.

METHOD MAN & REDMAN TO HEADLINE 5th ANNUAL SMOKER'S CLUB TOUR THIS FALL!
The Smoker's Club has just announced their line-up and dates for their 5th annual tour kicking off October 14 in Providence, RI at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel. The world's largest hot-box will be headlined by multi-platinum recording artists METHOD MAN & REDMAN with a supporting cast of B-REAL (from the Grammy nominated Cypress Hill), Taylor Gang's BERNER, and new Cinematic artist MICK JENKINS. The 37-city US Tour will wrap up November 26th at New York City's Best Buy Theater. Tickets go on-sale Friday, August 15th at 10am EST.

Launched in 2010 by Cinematic Music Group Founder Jonny Shipes, Steven "Steve-O" Brown, Shiest Bubz, and recording artist Smoke DZA, The Smoker's Club Tour has flourished into one of the most successful independent concert tours in the world. The tour has featured performers such as Big K.R.I.T, Curren$y, Method Man, Juicy J, Joey Bada$$, Ab Soul and others. After the success of the first show at the South by Southwest Music Festival in 2010, all four founders saw the potential and never looked back. Fast forward to 2014 and the tour has reached its five year anniversary.

"Method Man and Redman have been staples in my playlists since I can remember. I have probably smoked 5 lbs of weed listening to their music & watching "How High" on repeat during my life, LOL. It was a no brainer & honor to have them headline this year's tour," says Smoker's Club founder Jonny Shipes.

The Smoker's Club Tour will also feature: B-Real, Berner, and Mick Jenkins. B-REAL has led Cypress Hill as one of the biggest global hip hop groups ever with over 18 million albums sold, three Grammy nominations and an MTV Award. With a co-sign from Wiz Khalifa, BERNER has established himself as a legitimate musical entity in Taylor Gang while developing and promoting his passion for marijuana. With his love for all things weed, Berner couldn't have found himself on a more appropriate tour. Upstart MICK JENKINS has been making waves in the Chicago rap scene since the release of his Trees & Truths mixtape last year. Propelled by the success of "Martyrs" (where Mick outspokenly speaks on the state of Chicago), Mick is full steam ahead with his second project The Water[s] which just released on August 12th, along with the recent announcement of his signing to Cinematic Music Group.

JUDGE SHUTS DOWN MEEK MILL'S APPEAL.
The Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill pleaded to be released from jail Monday to resume his music career and support his son and 30-person entourage, but the judge who jailed him on a parole violation last month was unmoved.

She ordered the 27-year-old to take anger management classes for what prosecutors called a parole office "tantrum" over travel restrictions, and a Twitter rant aimed at a parole officer and prosecutor.

"I wanted him to be able to grow and get to the next level (of his career)," Common Pleas Judge Genese Brinkley said. "But I can't do that with him thumbing his nose at me."

Mill, born Robert Williams, has been on probation for about five years following a 2009 drug and gun case conviction, for which he served about a year of house arrest. He has since emerged as a gifted rapper who has been tapped to perform with Jay-Z.

But his career has been interrupted the past two years by what he considers an increasingly fraught relationship with a new parole officer.

"We never clicked 100 percent," Mill said Monday, his voice sounding ready to crack.

He has not committed any new crimes while on probation, but was flagged this year after failing a drug test and appearing to use a gun in a music video. Defense lawyer Dennis Cogan said Mill had a prescription for the OxyContin after spraining his ankle, and said the video prop was a water pistol.

He also said his client's tweets, however unwise, were protected by the First Amendment.

"You never said, 'As a condition of probation, you can't speak outside the courtroom about the district attorney or the probation officer,'" Cogan argued to the judge.

He has asked the state Supreme Court to intervene and grant bail.

A prison official, a music promoter and a professor of race relations spoke on Mill's behalf Monday, and spoke of the difficulty of growing up fatherless — Mill's father was killed when he was young — and staying out of the crosshairs of the parole system.

"It's not set up for a man to win in society — a black man," said local music promoter and mentor Charles Alstin, known as Charlie Mack.

Mill, lean, lanky and baby-faced, has been kept in protective custody at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, but complained Tuesday that his neighbors on the high-security block are rapists and murderers. He also questioned whether he would be able to take the required anger management class there.

Brinkley said she had called the warden last week about the plan. She agreed to rescind her protective custody order, but warned Cogan "if something happens ... it's going to be on you."

Mill released his debut album, "Dreams & Nightmares," in late 2012.

The album's launch party was delayed when Mill and three others — including an Atlantic Records executive and a police officer friend — were stopped in a Range Rover and detained by Philadelphia police for several hours. No drugs were found and no charges filed.

Meek sued the city over the arrest, but a mostly-white federal jury in Philadelphia this spring rejected the civil rights lawsuit.

WIZ KHALIFA'S TAYLOR GANG RECORDS TAPS INGROOVES MUSIC GROUP FOR DISTRO.
Taylor Gang Records, the label founded by hip hop superstar Wiz Khalifa, announced today that they have selected INgrooves for global distribution and marketing. The first release expected under the new deal is an EP by the Pittsburgh-based rapper Chevy Woods who's currently making noise with his single "30 Deep," which is getting airplay on radio across the country and on MTV. Other artists on the label include Academy Award winner and Three 6 Mafia member Juicy J, who is also an executive at the label, Ty Dolla $ign, Courtney Noelle, Chevy Woods, Tuki Carter and Berner.

"I'm really excited about this new partnership and can't wait to start pushing projects out!" exclaimed Wiz Khalifa.

"We are longtime fans of Wiz, and he has unsurprisingly assembled an impressive artist roster and executive team at Taylor Gang," says Amy Dietz, General Manager of INgrooves, "We look forward to partnering with them and bringing Taylor Gang's artistic vision to listeners everywhere."

INgrooves Music Group has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London and Berlin.

OZONE MAGAZINE EDITOR TO WRITE CHAD “PIMP C” BUTLER BIOGRAPHY
Southern rap fans mourned the loss of one of their heroes when UGK producer/rapper Chad “Pimp C” Butler was found deceased in an upscale Hollywood hotel room. But much like the real story of the days leading up to this tragic event, most of this enigmatic musician’s life has remained a mystery, relegated to rumors and entertaining tales relayed in late-night studio sessions while the truth is lost to the hands of time. Until now.

Under the guidance of Pimp C’s beloved mother and manager Weslyn “Mama Wes” Monroe, former OZONE Magazine Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Julia Beverly brings the charismatic entertainer back to life in an upcoming biography, recreating both the highs and lows of his life and career in vivid detail. The book includes a foreword by rapper Too $hort and is based on in-depth interviews with 250 of Pimp C’s family members, friends, and collaborators including UGK partner Bun B, Snoop Dogg, Three 6 Mafia, 8Ball & MJG, the Geto Boys, Master P, David Banner, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Ice-T, Goodie Mob, Lil Keke, Z-Ro, Trae, Webbie, Mannie Fresh, and many more.

Prior to his untimely passing, Pimp C was a regular correspondent for OZONE Magazine, first with the “Prison Diaries” series and later with his controversial monthly column “The Chronicles of Pimp C.” The book also utilizes numerous interviews he did with Beverly, whom he once christened “the only media person I talk to.”

“People often remember Pimp C for his flamboyant style and controversial interviews, but few understand just how complex and talented he was and how connected he was to the success of many other artists,” Beverly says. “Initially, I felt this was an important project because he hadn’t received a proper tribute. The more I researched, I realized his story is one that needs to be told, and I’m in the perfect position to tell it.”

In addition to being a compelling biography, the project also serves as a historical record of the era documented in UGK’s music. In telling Pimp C’s story, the book explores Houston’s dynamic music culture, the pitfalls of the entertainment industry, the economics and racial disparity of the massive Texas Criminal Justice system, the realities of the pimp/prostitute subculture and human trafficking, the hazards of drug abuse and much more.

About Julia Beverly
Julia Beverly founded OZONE Magazine in 2002 and served as its Publisher and Editor-in-Chief for more than eight years. Tagged as "your favorite rapper's favorite magazine," OZONE carved out a unique niche with its raw and uncensored journalism style and gained a solid following in the crowded urban marketplace. In 2006 Beverly extended the OZONE brand to include a star-studded award ceremony, the OZONE Awards. In recent years Beverly has parlayed her artist relationships into another successful venture, Agency Twelve, a booking agency which secures acts for concerts and appearances all the way from Hong Kong to the remote regions of Alaska.

B.o.B.TOUR ON DECK.
Rebel Rock/Grand Hustle/Atlantic recording artist B.o.B has announced details of a major US headline tour. "The No Genre Tour" gets underway October 21st at Pensacola, Florida's Vinyl Music Hall and then continues through late November (see below itinerary). Joining B.o.B on "The No Genre Tour" will be Bread Winners' Association/Atlantic recording artist Kevin Gates. Tickets for all announced dates will go on sale beginning Friday, August 22nd.

As if that weren't enough, B.o.B is set to headline the University of Utah's upcoming Redfest 2014, slated for September 19th. In addition, October 20th will see the multiple GRAMMY® Award-nominated rapper/musician/producer topping the bill at University of Central Florida's Homecoming Week "Concert Knight" at Orlando's CFE Arena, accompanied by special guests Icona Pop.

Bread Winners' Association/Atlantic recording artist and 2014 XXL Freshman Kevin Gates released his latest mixtape, "BY ANY MEANS," earlier this year and it has quickly proven among the most acclaimed hip-hop releases of 2014. BY ANY MEANS has not only garnered major critical acclaim, but it also marked Gates' strongest chart debut to date. Gates is currently on a national headline tour dubbed the "BY ANY MEANS Tour."


SEPTEMBER
19 Salt Lake City, UT University of Utah Redfest 2014 *

OCTOBER
21 Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall
23 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
24 Austin, TX Stubbs BBQ
25 Dallas, TX Prophet Bar
28 Santa Ana, CA Yuba City Astronomical Observatory
30 Los Angeles, CA Club Nokia
31 Las Vegas, NV Brooklyn Bowl

NOVEMBER
1 Reno, NV Knitting Factory
2 San Francisco, CA The Regency Ballroom
4 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
5 Seattle, WA Showbox SODO
8 Denver, CO The Gothic Theatre
10 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
11 Chicago, IL House of Blues
13 Indianapolis, IN Egyptian Room
14 Detroit, MI St. Andrews Hall
15 Oxford, OH Brick Street
16 Nashville, TN Anthem *
18 Asheville, NC Orange Peel
20 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
22 Boston, MA House of Blues
23 Mashantucket, MA Foxwoods
24 New York, NY Irving Plaza

FERGUSON POLICE IDENTIFY DARREN WILSON AS OFFICEER WHO SHOT MICHAEL BROWN.
The police in Ferguson broke their weeklong silence on Friday and identified the officer involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager, saying that the teenager was believed to have taken part in a robbery at a nearby convenience store shortly before the shooting.

The Ferguson police chief, Thomas Jackson, said the officer was Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force who had no disciplinary actions taken against him. Chief Jackson did not disclose any other information about the officer.

Chief Jackson said that Officer Wilson had been alerted to the robbery shortly before the encounter with the teenager, Michael Brown, 18, who was walking home from a store on Saturday when he was shot.

The Ferguson police released security camera video after the news conference that showed a confrontation inside the store about 15 minutes before Saturday’s shooting. The images show a man, identified by the police as Mr. Brown, who appears to be pushing a store clerk.

The police said that Mr. Brown, who was in the store with a friend, had stolen a box of Swisher Sweets cigars. When confronted by the clerk, Mr. Brown “forcefully pushed him back into a display rack” before leaving, a police report said.

The release of the police report was met with renewed anger by residents of Ferguson, who said they believed the disclosure was an attempt to justify the shooting.

Captain Ron Johnson, the Highway Patrol official who is heading security in Ferguson, pleaded for calm. “This inner anger, we have to make sure we don’t burn down our own house,” he said.

Benjamin L. Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, said that “Nothing, based on the facts before us, justifies the execution-style murder by this police officer in broad daylight."

“The police are playing games here and the parents are beyond incensed with the way that the police are handling the distribution of information,” Mr. Crump said. “The police are not being transparent and they are strategically trying to justify this execution-style murder."

Mr. Brown’s death had ignited several days of protests that have been quashed by police officers shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at groups of demonstrators.

Earlier, Chief Jackson said the authorities thought that it was an appropriate time to identify the officer.

“A lot of the stakeholders had a big meeting conversation yesterday, and then yesterday evening,” Chief Jackson told a St. Louis television station, “and we made the determination that today is the day.”

“Nothing specific went into that decision, but we feel that there’s a certain calm,” he said. “There’s a huge outcry from the community.” Source: NY Times

KEYSHIA COLE ON DECK.
Multi-platinum recording artist Keyshia Cole will release her sixth studio album, Point Of No Return, on October 7. The album features her sexy new single "She" which depicts Cole's commitment to self love. Among the guest artists featured on the album are Wale, Future, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, and August Alsina. Prominent producers on Point Of No Return are Mike WiLL (Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, Rihanna, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Lil Wayne), Stargate (Beyonce, Rihanna), DJ Mustard (YG, 2 Chainz).

With two top-rated series under her belt at BET Networks, Cole returns this fall with her new show "THE UNTITLED KEYSHIA COLE PROJECT" This 6-episode docu-series reveals her continued struggles with the real-life issues that face all of us including career complications, marital strife, and motherhood challenges. Laced with humor, drama and a hefty dose of love, the series will document Keyshia's painful setbacks and personal victories as she continues to defy her critics.

MIKE WILL MADE IT SIGNS TWO-9 TO EAR DRUMA RECORDS
Atlanta’s own Two-9 landed a deal with producer Mike WILL Made It & Interscope Records.

Two-9 includes members Curtis Williams, DJ Osh Kosh, FatKidsBrotha, & Retro Su$h!. The guys just finished up the Cross Faded Tour and are currently working on their official debut album, with Mike WILL serving as the executive producer. He had this to say about the group:

“There hasn’t been a collective of creative coming out of Atlanta like Two-9 since Outkast. They have great energy, make dope music, and they’re always trying to push things forward, not box themselves in. I respect their art, their grind, and their whole movement, and I’m excited to help them take their brand to the next level.” WATCH THE FOOTAGE HERE

IGGY ON DECK TO HEADLINE LIFEBEAT MTV VMA CONCERT.
MTV and Time Warner Cable today announced that “MTV Artists to Watch” singer-songwriters and chart-toppers Iggy Azalea and Sam Smith will headline the 2014 “MTV Video Music Awards” concert to benefit Lifebeat – Music Fights HIV/AIDS, a national nonprofit focused on educating America’s youth about HIV/AIDS prevention. The special concert will take place at The Avalon in Los Angeles on Friday, August 22 as a lead up to the 2014 “MTV Video Music Awards” that will air live from The Forum in Inglewood, CA on Sunday, August 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

After being nominated for the “MTV Artist to Watch” Award in 2013, Azalea is set to make her debut VMA performance on Sunday night where she will perform her new single “Black Widow,” which is currently flying up the charts, along with “MTV Artist to Watch” alumni Rita Ora. Azalea has received seven nominations this year including the highly coveted “Video of the Year,” “Best Female Video,” “Best Pop Video” and “Best Collaboration” categories and more. In addition, her new single Fancy remained atop the Billboard charts at #1 for a record-setting seven weeks.

As part of its ongoing mission to deliver messages of HIV awareness and prevention to America’s youth, the annual VMA/Lifebeat Benefit Concert has become a major staple in the lead-up to the VMA's, with concerts featuring on-the-verge artists and major acts, such as Macklemore, Robin Thicke, The Beastie Boys, Maroon 5, and more.

This is the third year in a row that Time Warner Cable has partnered with Lifebeat to present this concert.

JOEY BADA$$ ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL TOUR
Last week Joey Bada$$ shared the first single from his forthcoming debut album, B4.DA.$$, which will be out later this year via Cinematic Music Group/Pro Era. This week, Joey is back to share the video for the single, "Big Dusty". WATCH HERE Joey is also proud to announce a global tour that will begin with a North American run in September; followed by dates in Europe; and culminating with a string of shows in Australia / New Zealand to end the year.

TOUR DATES:
9/26/14 - Toad's Place - New Haven, CT
9/27/14 - Paradise - Boston, MA
9/28/14 - Guvernment - Toronto, ONT
9/29/14 - Majestic - Detroit, MI
10/1/14 - Barrymore - Madison, WI
10/2/14 - Metro - Chicago, IL
10/3/14 - Mill City - Minneapolis, MN
10/4/14 - Granada - Lawrence, KS
10/5/14 - Slowdown - Omaha, NE
10/7/14 - Gothic - Denver, CO
10/8/14 - Complex, Salt Lake City, UT
10/10/14 - Showbox - Seattle, WA
10/11/14 - Vogue - Vancouver, BC
10/12/14 - Roseland - Portland, OR
10/14/14 - Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
10/15/14 - Catalyst - Santa Cruz, CA
10/16/14 - Venture Theatre - Ventura, CA
10/17/14 - Echoplex - Los Angeles, CA
10/18/14 - Observatory - Santa Ana, CA
10/19/14 - World Beast - San Diego, CA
10/20/14 - Club Red - Phoenix, AZ
10/22/14 - Sunshine - Albuquerque, NM
10/24/14 - Scoot Inn - Austin, TX
10/25/14 - Southside - Dallas, TX
10/26/14 - Warehouse - Houston, TX
10/28/14 - House of Blues - New Orleans, LA
10/30/14 - Grand Central - Miami, FLA
10/31/14 - Orpheum - Tampa, FL
11/1/14 - Firestone - Orlando, FL
11/2/14 - Masquerade - Atlanta, FL
11/4/14 - Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC
11/5/14 - Fillmore - Washington, D.C.
11/7/14 - TLA - Philadelphia, PA
11/8/14 - Irving Plaza - New York, NY
11/11/14 - Irving Plaza - New York, NY
11/18/14 - Garage - Glasgow, UK
11/19/14 - University - Newcastle - UK
11/20/14 - Institute Library - Birmingham, UK
11/21/14 - Academy 2 - Manchester, UK
11/22/14 - Concorde 2 - Brighton, UK
11/25/14 - Shepards Bush Empire - London, UK
11/27/14 - Botanique - Brussels, UK
11/28/14 - Melkweg Max - Amsterdam, NL
11/30/14 - Komplex Klub - Zurich, CH
12/2/14 - Feierwerk - Munich, DE
12/3/14 - Essigfabrik - Cologne, DE
12/4/14 - Binuu - Berlin, DE
12/5/14 - Pumpehuset - Copenhagen, SE
12/6/14 - Debaser Strand - Stockholm, SE
12/7/14 - Parkteatret - Oslo, NO
12/9/14 - Gruenspan - Hamburg, DE
12/10/14 - LKA - Stuttgart, DE

NTERNET MUSIC PROGRAMMER REVENUE IS UP.
Internet music radio and track play listening is on a 14.8% growth trajectory, surpassing 36 billion hours in 2014, delivered against promising programmer monetization efforts expected to achieve $1.9 billion in revenue, a 33.3% gain, according to a sector analytics report produced by AccuStream Research.

The report, Internet Radio Programmers 2014 – 2017: Music Plays and Monetization Mainstays, analyzes ad supported and subscription listening hours (desktop and mobile, with complete 2013 and 2014 YTD monthly hours by programmer), subscriber totals (domestically and internationally), inventory by avail format, sellout rates, CPMs, media spend, strategic adtech partnerships, rep firm relationships and the extent to which programmatic systems have integrated with sector entrants.

Annual revenue growth by U.S. based programmers (and international services conducting operations in North America) is forecast to exceed listening hour expansion in 2014, as the sector manages operational expenses (i.e. royalty fees and marketing costs) while building out sophisticated sales organizations tasked with achieving greater inventory sellout.

Moreover, music programmers are stepping up channel outreach efforts aimed at brands and agencies to showcase the medium's ability to deliver targeted national and local broadcast buying scale, particularly against the in-stream audio format.

Listening hours are forecast to increase at double-digit rates through 2017, framing a 13-year CAGR (2004 – 2017) of 28.8%. Ad supported listening currently makes up 71.6% of total hours, a share percentage expected to increase through 2017.

Ad-supported hours are on course to capture 54.2% of total sector revenue, and subscription 45.8% in 2014.

Ad spend is projected to book 61.1% of revenue by 2017 (64.4% audio, 25.8% video and 9.8% display), reflecting programmer commitment to in-stream audio and interstitial video.

Interactive direct response audio executions packaged with audience profiling data are also expected to support higher in-stream CPMs.

For 2015 - 2016, we expect revenue gains to outpace listening growth, as programmers and rep firms train their sales sights on terrestrial broadcast budgets, led by Pandora Media.

9TH WONDER RELEASES STATEMENT ON A3C.
From the Desk of The Mayor Of A3C,

Hip-Hop Culture, in its 41st year of existence, has come a very long way. From parties in the park in the Bronx, NY, all the way to the smallest town in the far reaches of the globe, Hip-Hop Culture is the driving force that has shaped a generation. We must take time out to step back, observe, and see what we all have contributed to this vast and genius culture through the avenues of innovation, industry, commerce, education, and technology. It is very safe to say that there is nothing Hip-Hop Culture can't touch, shape, form, or influence. In my 32 years of being a fan, a participant, and a protector of our culture, I am very proud to see the road we all have traveled. We've come from so many vessels and all walks of life, placing our own imprint on the culture, while also continuing to push the culture forward. We are indeed, building an institution. Record sales, money, and all material things may come and go, but it is the institution that is being built by all of us that will make this culture stand the test of time.

This year, as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the A3C Festival in Atlanta, GA, let's continue to build on the foundation of that very institution. At A3C, let's continue to learn, grow, incite, educate, push, and influence the next generation of artists, to assure that the institution and the culture of Hip-Hop will never waver or fall, and that it continues to get stronger for years to come. For some of you this will be your first time coming to A3C, so we say welcome! For those who have been to A3C year after year and have seen it grow from one room and one stage to taking over Atlanta, we say thank you for believing in the vision. Thank you for adding to the cornerstones of the house of A3C, that indeed we all have help build.

Welcome Home.
Peace and Blessings.
9th Wonder
The Mayor Of A3C

JUICY J AND DJ PAUL SUED OVER THREE 6 MAFIA SAMPLES.
Juicy J and DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia, the Oscar-winning southern rap group formed in 1991, and their label businesses (Select-O-Hits, S.A.T. Entertainment Music and Scale-A-Thon Entertainment) have been accused by Reggie Boyland, a rap label owner (of On The Strength Records and Bank Bag Publishing), of copyright infringement. The suit was filed by Boyland Aug. 7th in Atlanta District Court.

The complaint claims that two songs that Boyland controls, "Pimps In The House" and "Listen to the Lyrics," both performed and written by the rap duo 8Ball & MJG on their debut record Listen To The Lyrics, were involved in several infringing copyrights by Three 6 Mafia, beginning in 1996. Boyland filed copyright applications for the songs in May of this year. The suit does not mention any remuneration for 8Ball or MJG that would result from the lawsuit, nor do they seem to be involved in the case in any way.

The pair collaborated with Three 6 Mafia previously on the song "Stay Fly," released in 2005.

First, Boyland claims that Three 6 Mafia sampled "Listen to the Lyrics" on its second album Chapter 1: The End, in the song "Where Da Bud," which was re-released in Nov., 2013 under the title "Where Da Bud At?" Second, that Three 6 Mafia's sampling of 8Ball & MJG's "Pimps in the House" on its third album, Chapter 2: World Domination, was licensed at the time of its release, but that a five-year agreement expired in 2002. Third, that the compilation record Three 6 Mafia Presents: Hypnotize Camp Posse samples "Listen to the Lyrics" on the song "Fie It On Up." Fourth, that a version of "Where the Bud At?" titled "Where's Da Bud Part 2," included on Three 6 Mafia's Greatest Hits, also improperly sampled "Listening to the Lyrics."

Fifth, that Three 6 Mafia's songs containing samples of Boyland's copyrights were licensed and sampled themselves by other artists, adding a layer of meta-complexity to the relatively straightforward case.

The complaint seeks an unspecified amount in damages, as well as an injunction against the defendants' sale of the infringing works, as well as attorney's fees, from Juicy J, DJ Paul, Select-O-Hits, S.A.T. Entertainment Music and Scale-A-Thon Entertainment. Source: Billboard

PHARRELL CURATES SOUNDTRACK FOR NBA 2K15.
Pharrell is teaming up with the world's best-selling basketball video game franchise as a music curator.

2K Sports announced Tuesday that the Grammy-winning performer chose 27 tracks for the soundtrack of the upcoming "NBA 2K15." He's the second music performer to select songs for the popular video game, following Jay Z who served as executive producer in 2012.

LeBron James picked out songs for last year's installment that sold 7 million copies.

Pharrell said in a statement to The Associated Press that he wanted to create an "eclectic mix" of songs. Three of his songs are featured on the soundtrack including "Hunter," ''Can I Have It Like That" and "How Does It Feel?"

Another song Pharrell will be featured on is Major Lazer's "Aerosol Can." The soundtrack will also include songs from Lauryn Hill, One Republic, Snoop Dogg, Lorde, A Tribe Called Quest, Missy Elliott, Junior, Basement Jaxx, Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force, Clipse, Death from Above 1979, No Doubt, Public Enemy, Ratatat, Santigold, The Black Keys, The Rapture, The Strokes, Strafe, Depeche Mode and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"It was fun to include songs that I have always loved, like Strafe's "Set it Off" or Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario," he said. " The eclectic mix makes for a really cool vibe."

It's not the first time Pharrell has shown his talents within the NBA realm. He performed at this year's NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, bringing out Nelly, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Snoop Dogg.

That performance was one of the reasons 2K selected Pharrell as curator.

"Pharrell's creative energy and background with the NBA — his performance at the All-Star game for example — was part of our decision in partnering with him to shape a new entertainment experience in this year's title," said Alfie Brody, vice president of marketing for the video game. The game is expected to go on sale Oct. 7.

FLO RIDA ON DECK WITH FLOFIT.
Digital Shelf Space Corp, developer of at home fitness franchises, announced a new fitness series FLOFIT, starring the 4-time Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist FLO RIDA ("FLO").

This new project is the first product to be created under the global license agreement in the health and fitness category between DSS and FLO previously announced on May 5, 2014.

"FLOFIT is my personalized fitness program that put me in the best shape of my life. When I decided to share this fitness program with the world my team contacted Digital Shelf Space, the leaders in branded fitness media," said FLO RIDA. "This partnership will allow me to share my workout philosophy and secrets. We believe FLOFIT is the perfect program for busy people that want to be in the top physical shape of their life."

As an International music star, FLO is always 'on.' He's constantly in the spotlight and being photographed at home in Miami, on the red carpet or while performing on tour. Keenly aware of the pressure to look good, FLO worked out regularly in the gym. However, he noticed that his gym workouts were not delivering the results he wanted, so he teamed up with his trainer Mike Saffaie (2013 Mr. California Physique) to develop an eight-week workout program that would transform his body and work within his busy schedule.

"Our goal is to complete the new FLOFIT series and to sell the product for the pre-holiday season, the beginning of the peak selling season for fitness products," said Jeffrey Sharpe, CEO for Digital Shelf Space. "We believe our partnership with FLO RIDA will advance Digital Shelf Space to become a leader in the at home fitness market place and provide the Company the opportunity to create multiple ancillary products, mobile applications, and apparel, all under our exclusive global license agreement."

FLOFIT is the new standard for personal at-home fitness entertainment. Designed for FLO RIDA and his extra busy, on-the-go fans, FLOFIT is an easy-to-follow, two-step system that maximizes your physical and physiological results. It's the right workout program for today's demanding, social media driven lifestyle where every moment of your life is photographed.

FLO's trainer Mike Saffaie, a natural body-building and martial arts competitor, understands it's not enough to have quick workouts, they have to be effective. Mike created ultra intensity workouts so Flo always looked amazing and paired them with powerful express workouts to amp up his physical appearance.

FLO FIT is a two-step system to help you get into the best shape of your life in just 8 short weeks. The first part of the series is the eight 30 minute, High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT) workouts, designed to build muscle, burn fat and increase your metabolism in the least amount of time. The second part is the addition of 10-minute High-Def Express workouts. These Hi-Def Express sessions target specific muscle groups and allow men and women to sculpt their ideal body.

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E-40’S WINE IS A SELL-OUT.
On the streets, he’s known as E-40, a Vallejo rapper who has spent more than two decades hustling in the hip-hop game. But in the world of wine, E-40 goes by his birth name, Earl Stevens, and his line of wines has scored a surprise smash hit in the ultra-competitive beverage industry.

E-40 has turned into the Robert Mondavi of hip-hop via his Earl Stevens Selections. His three wines include a red blend called “Function,” a moscato and high-alcohol fortified wine called “Mangoscato.” Since their October release, sales of E-40’s wines are already on par with such supermarket stalwarts as Rodney Strong and Ferrari-Carano. Earl Stevens Selections have sold more than 180,000 bottles in Northern California this year, an astonishing amount for a new wine brand.

“I’ve always loved wine,” said Stevens, in a phone call from his Bay Area home. “Sometimes you’ve got to roll the dice, but I had a good vibe about it. We’re making progress.”

The voice behind such West Coast classics as “Yay Area” and “Sprinkle Me” has become an unlikely ambassador of fermented grapes, a guy who’s usually more aligned with the rapper Too $hort than winemakers like Bob Trinchero. Many upstart vintners could only dream of creating the sales buzz E-40 is enjoying. A bottle-signing event at Costco on Arden Way in March drew nearly 1,000 fans, and the distributor for Earl Stevens Selections initially struggled to keep up with demand.

Earl Stevens Selections is finding traction not only in a competitive wine industry, but in a market that’s already crowded with celebrity brands, whether they’re bottle lines launched by KISS, Carlos Santana, Fergie or the rapper Lil Jon. Few of them have matched the success of Earl Stevens Selections. E-40 raps about street life, but he’s also a taste-maker and entrepreneur whose wine is designed as more than a mere vanity project. He hopes to establish Earl Stevens Selections as a bona fide supermarket brand.

“I’m a wine drinker,” Stevens said. “It’s one of those drinks that was always around. Any rapper can have a wine and say, ‘Hey, buy it.’ But you have to be a person who’s real out there. I’m street dude but I’m a person you can walk up to and approach.”

The 46-year-old rapper has been synonymous with West Coast hip-hop since the early 1990s. E-40 might not have the same kind of familiarity with Middle America as Jay-Z or Kanye West, but his reputation as a lyrical stylist and musical innovator is well cemented, having earned notoriety as figurehead of the the early 2000s “hyphy” movement, a boisterous Bay-Area rap style.

E-40 is credited for his numerous contributions to hip-hop’s vernacular, a kind of early influencer whose contributions later filter into more mainstream pop culture. If you’ve ever said “You feel me?” or “fo’ shizzle,” you’ve parroted E-40.

Known for a prodigious musical output,including releasing three albums in 2012, and four albums expected to drop this month, he’s also registered high on the charts. In 2006, his record “My Ghetto Report Card” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B/hip-hop albums.

“He’s the king of the Bay,” said Billy Jam, a historian of Bay Area rap and founder of Hip-Hop Slam Records. “It’s not like he’s some guy coming back from 1995. He’s stayed relevant to all ages, and E-40 clearly influenced a generation because of the slang. Not only has he influenced people’s taste, but other rappers. It’s a Bay thing.”

E-40 has long paired his music with entrepreneurship. He launched a line of 40 Water energy drinks in 2007, and opened a string of Wingstop franchises in Vallejo and other cities around the 707 area code. He’s also shown a particular affinity for alcohol. The “40” in his moniker refers to a fondness for 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor, and he’s sprinkled wine references into his tracks since 1993’s “Carlos Rossi” – an ode to the jug wine Carlo Rossi. E-40 also became a face of Landy Cognac in 2008.

His move into wine makes geographical sense; his Vallejo stomping grounds are only about 20 minutes from Napa. His mom worked for 14 years at Napa State Hospital.

“Both Vallejo and Napa are (in the) 707 (area code),” Stevens said. “When I was 23 going on 24, me and my wife used to go on the Napa Wine Train all the time. In 1993, I had a song called ‘Practice Lookin’ Hard’ that said instead of work at the oil refinery, I’d rather work in Napa at the winery.”

While his longevity in the music biz and his loyal fan base have certainly contributed to its popularity, Earl Stevens Wines are marketed with everyday consumers in mind. There’s no likeness of E-40 – with his signature bifocals – on the label, and no wording that states “E-40.” The bottle design includes “Earl Stevens” written in a stately font and a regal crest that incorporates the 707 area code.

“The way something looks has a lot to do with your future sales,” Stevens said. “(People) think that just because I’m a rapper, the bottle will have musical notes. But this (bottle) looks like it’s been around for 100 years. Rodney Strong and Kendall-Jackson, those are successful brands. If they can do that, why not Earl Stevens?”

The bottle style of Earl Stevens Selections ideally speaks to both his longtime fans as well as to anyone simply looking for an affordable wine. The wines are $9.99 to $15.99.

“A lot of his (fans) were listening to E-40 in 1992, and fast forward 20 years later, those are the same people who are looking for a bottle of wine to take home,” Jam said. “Let’s face it. With so many wine choices, sometimes people just go by … the bottle. There’s name recognition here.”

Earl Stevens Selections were created by Steve Burch, a UC Davis alum who works as a winemaker-for-hire for various projects. Burch developed Mangria, a fortified red wine brand conceived by comedian Adam Carolla, and crafted an upcoming wine for pop singer Michelle Branch.

Burch knows how difficult it is to create a hit wine, even with a celebrity connection, and to compete on supermarket shelves with established brands. But Earl Stevens Selections, he said, has surpassed expectations, with upward of 8,000 cases selling in a month.

“Winemakers dream about that kind of success,” said Burch, who owned the now-defunct Burch Hall Winery in Grass Valley. “I’d be happy to do the kind of sales in five years that (Earl Stevens Selections) has done in six months. It’s absolutely insane, but that’s what makes it fun.”

The next challenge is sustaining those kind of sales. “There’s always a risk of something like this to have a novelty appeal,” Burch said. “My feeling was you might buy the first bottle because it’s Earl, but you’ll buy the second because you like it.”

Burch initially created the wines at Napa-based California Shiners. Production has shifted to DFV Wines, the parent company of Delicato, Gnarly Head and others. With 7 million in annual case sales in 2013, the Manteca-based operation ranked as the country’s eighth-largest wine company by Wine Business Monthly.

The grapes in Earl Stevens Selections come primarily from California’s Central Valley, including the moscato. Wines made of this sweet white grape found its sales spike starting in 2009, after being name checked in hip-hop songs by Drake, Lil’ Kim and others.

Function Red Blend is a mix of Lodi zinfandel and cabernet. Retailing for $9.99, it’s crafted with segments of French oak in large tanks, versus spending extensive time in small barrels. Burch’s goal was to create a consumer-friendly wine using methods to keep down costs and speed up production.

“It all comes down to who’s buying your wine,” said Burch. “I love Earl and he has a great fan base, but not a single one of them gives a you-know-what if it’s 55 percent cabernet sauvignon or 58 percent. I know winemakers who will agonize over that decision, and in the process waste a lot of time.”

Southern Wine & Spirits, a leading distributor, added Earl Stevens Selections to its portfolio in January. According to Paul Thompson, vice president and regional sales director for Southern Wine & Spirits, the supply of wines couldn’t keep up with demand in those early months.

Earl Stevens Selections quickly became one of the fastest-growing brands, he said, adding $2 million in gross sales to its distributor. Those sales dwarfed other celebrity wines carried by Southern Wine & Spirits, including Bethenny Frankel’s Skinny Girl wines and Save Me, San Francisco, a wine by the rock group Train. Earl Stevens Selections are now a staple in Northern California supermarkets and bottle shops, including BevMo!, Total Wine & More, Coscto and SaveMart.

“It’s been phenomenal,” Thompson said. “It just took off and we couldn’t keep up – and really, it’s just getting started.”

The Mangoscato has emerged as the runaway favorite. Of the 15,000 cases of Stevens wine distributed since the beginning of the year by Southern Wine & Spirits, about 10,000 of those sales have been for the Mangoscato, the fruity fortified wine. The remaining 3,000 of case sales have gone toward the Function Red Blend, and 2,000 cases of the moscato.

Mangoscato isn’t geared for fine dining or to win over wine judges. At 18 percent alcohol, Mangoscato “packs a punch,” said Thompson. “We recommend you pour it over ice as you would a cocktail. It’s more than a wine or a dessert wine. It’s a cocktail and made to be consumed that way.”

Burch said Stevens took a hands-on approach to the wine-making process, doing more than simply slapping his name on the label. The rapper participated in blending and tasting sessions, noting if one approach to the red blend was too puckery, while keeping a keen eye on the packaging.

“He’s a very detail-oriented guy and certainly had input on the wines as we created them,” Burch said. “At one point, the company that printed labels for us had trouble with the foil. The impression wasn’t as deep on some labels as others. The only person who caught that was Earl.”

Given the out-the-box success of Earl Stevens Selections, three wine styles doesn’t look to be enough. There’s already talk of expanding this line of wines in the near future, and maybe branch into other adult beverages.

E-40 credits Carlo Rossi for being his gateway wine, in both his appreciation of the beverage and its business.

“Carlo Rossi helped me get my own wine,” said Stevens. “I said, ‘Hey, let’s connect. I’m bringing a lot of business your way.’ I brought a new generation to it. Then, I had the opportunity to get my own wine. Red wine is my specialty.” Source: Sacramento Bee

PHARRELL WILLIAMS TO HEADLINE 3RD ANNUAL CAMP FLOG GNAW CARNIVAL
The 3rd Annual Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival returns to The Park at LA Coliseum on Saturday, November 8th, 2014. Tickets will go on sale at Noon PST on Friday, August 8th. The Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival is proud to announce headliners Pharrell Williams and Tyler, The Creator, along with Rick Ross, Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt and The Internet as well as solo sets from Odd Future members Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Domo Genesis, and Mike G. Other artists performing include Action Bronson, The Grouch and Eligh, Murs, Freddie Gibbs, Step Brothers, Trash Talk, Vince Staples, Cherry Glazerr, Dem Atlas and more. The Carnival will be hosted by Alchemist and Taco. This year's carnival will include custom rides, games, prizes, and food trucks, as well as multiple stages and a skatepark with live performances. WATCH THE SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT VIDEO

RULING VACATED IN JAY Z CASE.
A federal judge vacated an order that found an Egyptian man's copyright infringement claims against Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'" are barred under a legal doctrine used to dismiss unreasonably delayed lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder issued the ruling on July 21, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's May 2014 rulingin Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a copyright battle over authorship of the screenplay to the 1980s Martin Scorsese classic "Raging Bull."

In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a 9th Circuit ruling that the plaintiffs could not make a damages claim against MGM under the doctrine of laches, which allows courts to dismiss claims where there is an unwarranted delay in filing.

Snyder had ruledin December 2011 that the statute of limitations barred plaintiff Osama Ahmed Fahmy from seeking damages for infringement before Aug. 31, 2004, or three years before Fahmy sued Jay-Z and several other defendants including EMI. But the judge gave the green light for a trial to settle the case.

Fahmy is the nephew of the late Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdy, who composed "Khosara, Khosara," which was sampled on "Big Pimpin.'"

The copyright for "Khosara, Khosara" is split between Hamdy, his uncle and his three siblings. In the mid-2000s, Fahmy authorized a third party, Ahab Nafal Joseph, to file claims on behalf of the Hamdy relatives. But the claims were thrown out of court because Nafal was a nonexclusive licensee. Fahmy's suit followed.

Fahmy also sought to recover the rapper's profits from concert performances of the chart-topper, released in April 2000. Last year Snyder issued another order, agreeing that Jay-Z's defense of laches barred Fahmy's claims for damages from March 30, 2011 to the present.

After the Supreme Court ruling in Petrella, Fahmy filed a motion for reconsideration.

Snyder granted that motion in the July 21 order and vacated the claims barred by laches.

"Petrella holds that laches is not a bar to the adjudication of claims for damages brought within the Copyright Act's three-year statute of limitations," Snyder wrote in the 10-page order. "This holding represents a substantial change in the law governing laches in the Ninth Circuit, which, prior to the Supreme Court's ruling, was 'the most hostile to copyright owners of all the circuits' in its application of laches.'"

Snyder noted that while the Supreme Court did "not banish laches from copyright law altogether," Jay-Z did not present "extraordinary circumstances" that would defeat Fahmy's motion for reconsideration.

"Defendants respond that extraordinary circumstances exist in the present case because, as a result of plaintiff's delay in bringing suit, defendants have suffered evidentiary prejudice from the death of a key witness, Magdi Amorousi, and have suffered expectations-based prejudice because they made substantial investments in the exploitation of 'Big Pimpin'' in reliance on the assumption that there were no 'unasserted claims' of copyright infringement," Snyder wrote.

(As principal of Egyptian music recording company, Amorousi had allegedly transferred rights to "Khosara Khosara" to EMI).
But the judge said that though the defendants may have "suffered prejudice as a result of plaintiff's delay, this prejudice does not rise to the level of the 'extraordinary circumstances.'"

"Accordingly, the court concludes that it is not appropriate to curtail plaintiff's entitlement to equitable relief at this stage," Snyder wrote.

The judge rejected Jay-Z's argument to divide the trial into one part for liability and damages, and another for equitable remedies.

WARNER MUSIC GROUP 3RD QUARTER REPORT / RESULTS ARE IN.
Warner Music Group Corp. today announced its third-quarter financial results for the period ended June 30, 2014.

Warner Music Group revenue increased 18.9 percent to $788 million in the quarter ended June 30 with the help of its acquisition of Parlophone Label Group and gains from music streaming services. The increase was 16.9 percent excluding the effects of foreign exchange.

Third Quarter Highlights:
* Total revenue increased 16.9% on a constant-currency basis
* Recorded Music revenue increased 20.8% on a constant-currency basis
* Cash balance increased to $142 million versus $102 million for the prior-year quarter
* OIBDA was $66 million versus $69 million in the prior-year quarter
* Net loss was $184 million versus $62 million in the prior-year quarter

“A stronger release schedule, combined with sustained investment in exceptional artistic talent and first-class execution by our operators, delivered robust results this quarter,” said Stephen Cooper, Warner Music Group’s CEO. “We are especially pleased to see our strategic moves pay off, with the acquisition of Parlophone Label Group (PLG) being a key contributor to this quarter’s success. We expect our momentum to continue through the remainder of the fiscal year, due to several exciting artist releases in the coming months.”

“We are pleased with our financial performance with key highlights including solid revenue growth, improvement in Adjusted OIBDA and an increase in our cash balance as compared to the prior-year quarter,” added Brian Roberts, Warner Music Group’s Executive Vice President and CFO. “Excluding the non-recurring costs associated with the PLG acquisition and integration, our cash flow from operations was strong and we remain committed to delivering solid free cash flow in the quarters to come.”

WIZ KHALIFA SKIPS COURT DATE ON WEED CHARGE.
A warrant has been issued for rapper Wiz Khalifa's arrest after he skipped a court date on a marijuana possession charge in West Texas.

Online court records show the 26-year-old performer, whose real name is Cameron Thomaz, failed to appear for a scheduled Wednesday arraignment in an El Paso County misdemeanor court. So County Court-at-Law Judge Ricardo Herrera issued a bench warrant for Khalifa's arrest.

The case started May 25 when Khalifa was arrested at El Paso International Airport after airport security officers reported finding a small canister of marijuana on him.

Khalifa had been departing after appearing at a local music festival. Instead, he was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and was released after posting $300 bail. Court records do not list an attorney.

BEYONCE ON DECK TO PERFORM @ VMA'S
Beyonce is set to have a "Flawless" night at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The singer will perform at the Aug. 24 show at The Forum in Inglewood, California. She leads in nominations with eight, including video of the year for "Drunk in Love."

The 32-year-old will also receive the video vanguard award, a lifetime achievement honor also bestowed to Michael Jackson, Madonna and Britney Spears.

Beyonce caused a stir last weekend when she released a Nicki Minaj-assisted remix to her song "Flawless," where the singer raps and references the leaked elevator video of her sister Solange attacking Jay Z. Beyonce's collaborative tour with her husband wrapped its U.S. dates on Wednesday. They will play two shows in Paris next month.

Other performers at the VMAs include Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Usher and 5 Seconds of Summer.

ALLEGED MISTRESS OF JAY Z GOIN IN ON BEY AND HOV.
Rumors have been swirling for weeks about trouble between Jay Z and Beyoncé, who have been married since 2008 and have a daughter together, Blue Ivy. The couple will wrap the stateside leg of their "On the Run" tour on Wednesday in San Francisco, and will perform together again in Paris on Sept. 12 and 13 for their upcoming HBO special.

Aspiring rapper Liv, the alleged mistress disses Beyonce & Jay Z in her video "Sorry 'Ms Carter'" WATCH HERE

She raps over OutKast's "Sorry Ms. Jackson" instrumental and uses lyrics from Jay Z and Beyonce's catalog to diss them.

"Fuck fucking to the top, me and Jay never screwed,” LIV raps on the track. "We connected on some Hip Hop shit .. He could be hiself wit me and he dig that shit ... Us two attracted like some magnets ... And us crossing paths was no accident ... When I stepped out his life, I took a piece of his heart ... I know he still close his eyes and see me in the dark ... I bet he wish I just stayed and played my part ... Imagining what could have been with no regard.”

"I ain't just another shorty you put the naughty on .. You got 99 problems, I ain't trying to be one .. You got a good girl, why she messing with a bad guy? .. Ha. Fuck you doing with a rap-guy .. Down to ride 'til the very end .. He never kiss you, never hold your hand .. He's a pimp by blood, not relation .. I'm ringing the alarm, cause I over stand.. Girls can't run the world fighting over men .. All my single ladies better keep in mind .. When them tables turn, you're going to be the wifey.”

FREDDIE GIBBS ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
Freddie Gibbs is announcing The Lord Frederick Europe Tour 2014, a generous run of solo performances across the continent. To celebrate, he is sharing a new music video for "Harold's", WATCH HERE a highlight from Freddie Gibbs & Madlib's critically acclaimed Piñata. Upon it's release, the album became an instant classic with many calling it the album of the year. Piñata has already received best of 2014 accolades from many publications

Tour Dates:
8/30 - Glasgow, Scotland @ O2 ABC2
8/31 - London, England @ XOYO
9/1 - Brighton, England @ Komedia
9/2 - Birmingham, England @ Temple
9/3 - Manchester, England @ Deaf Institute
9/4 - Dublin, Ireland @ The Twisted Pepper
9/5 - Helsinki, Finland @ Tavastia
9/6 - Vilnius, Lithuania @ Kablys
9/9 - Malmö, Sweden @ Babel
9/10 - Oslo, Norway @ Sawol
9/11 - Copenhagen, Denmark @ Rust
9/12 - Antwerp, Belgium @ Trix
9/13 - Cologne, Germany @ Essigfabrik
9/14 - The Hague, Netherlands @ Paard
9/16 - Heidelberg, Germany @ Karlstorbahnhof
9/17 -- Stuttgart / Germany @ CUE Club
9/18 - Frankfurt, Germany @ Sky Club
9/19 - St. Gallen, Switzerland @ Palace
9/20 - Berlin, Germany @ YAAM
9/23- Lyon, France @ Transbordeur
9/24 - Paris, France @ Nouveau Casino
9/25 - Tourcoing, France @ Le Grand Mix
9/26 - Marseille, France @ MarsAttak
9/27 - Strasbourg, France @ Orosphere L'Artefact

JAMIE FOXX TO STAR AS MIKE TYSON?
Mike Tyson says Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx has agreed to portray him in a movie they're planning to start within a year to 18 months.

In an interview with IGN Entertainment, the former heavyweight champion said the face of Foxx, who is 46, will be manipulated using CGI animation technology for scenes in which Tyson, 48, was a younger man.

“Me and Jamie Foxx are in discussion, and we gonna do it,” Tyson told The Daily Mirror. “Within a year to 18 months, we’re going to do the Mike Tyson story and he’s going to portray me, and now they have this new animation; because you know Jamie’s pretty much my age so he can’t portray me but they have this new system.”

According to Variety magazine, the movie is in development under Foxx manager Rick Yorn, who will produce the film.

Terence Winter, whose screenplay credits include "The Wolf of Wall Street" and episodes of "The Sopranos" and "Boardwalk Empire," will write the script, Variety reported, citing anonymous sources.

Foxx, who won an Oscar for his 2004 portrayal of Ray Charles, is no stranger to sports movies.

In 2001's "Ali", he played Muhammad Ali's corner man Dwight "Bundini" Brown; he played quarterback Willie Beamen in Oliver Stone's "Any Given Sunday" in 1999.

For Tyson, the movie would follow other recent efforts that have told his life story.

An autobiography titled "Undisputed Truth" was released late last year, and he appeared in August 2012 for a limited run on Broadway in a one-man show directed by Spike Lee.

RUSSELL SIMMONS & LL COOL J VISIT YOUTH @ NYC JAIL.
A group of young people at a jail complex got some words of encouragement on Thursday from hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and actor LL Cool J. The two visited Rikers Island to mark the launch of a national anti-violence program from Simmons' RushCard, a prepaid debit card.

RushCard's Keep the Peace initiative is giving grants to neighborhood organizations. One of those is LIFE Camp, a Queens organization that works with young people, including those at Rikers, to reduce violence.

Cool J told the audience that his rough upbringing could have had him where they are if things had worked out differently, and he encouraged them to believe in themselves. "You can absolutely without a doubt do anything you put your mind to," he said.

Simmons told them to focus on what's inside them. "It's your spirit you've got to work on," he said.

Deputy Warden Clement Glenn said partnering with programs like LIFE Camp is among the ways the Department of Correction tries to get young people to change their behavior.

We're "trying to encourage them not to come back into the system, hoping they will integrate into society and become contributing members of their community," he said.

REMY MA RELEASED FROM PRISON. #WELCOMEHOMEREMY
Remy Ma was set free on Friday — 24 hours after her expected release from a Westchester prison. Officials ordered the 34-year-old to remain behind bars for an extra day as they investigated her participation in a third-party call, which is against prison rules. The person she was allowed to speak with on July 21 transferred her to the hip-hop radio station Power 105.1 and she spoke to host Angie Martinez, officials said.
Remy, a Bronx native whose real name is Remy Smith, served six years for shooting Makeda Barnes-Joseph, a childhood pal.

"Congratulations to the #Queen happy 2c you walk out that cage!!!!!!!!!!" Papoose wrote on his own Instagram account. "Time 2 begin a new chapter It's your time."

A fellow New York City rapper, Papoose married Ma when she was behind bars and got a tattoo tribute to his incarcerated wife earlier this year.

USHER OVERWHELMED BY SUPPORTERS OF FOUNDATION.
Usher said he was overwhelmed with gratitude by the amount of supporters at his New Look Foundation's 15th anniversary luncheon.

Legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, director Kenny Leon and producer Jermaine Dupri were among more than 450 attendees at foundation's President's Circle Awards luncheon Thursday in downtown Atlanta.

An auction was held during the ceremony, raising more than $98,000 for the youth development organization founded by the Grammy-winning singer.

Rapper Ludacris hosted the event. He joked about being a better dancer than Usher and spoke about his admiration of the singer's charitable endeavors.

Josh Kaufman, Season 6 winner of NBC's "The Voice," also performed his single "Am I Wrong" during the two-hour ceremony.

NICKI MINAJ CLIMBS SOCIAL 50 CHART.
Nicki Minaj once again ascends to the upper ranks of the Social 50 chart, rising 42-11 after debuting the provocative art for her new single, "Anaconda," on Instagram, where she has more than 6.7 million followers.

The Social 50 incorporates the following metrics: weekly additions of fans across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram; reactions and conversations across Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook; and views to an artist's Wikipedia page, according to music analytics provider Next Big Sound.

The cover -- a rear-view photo of Minaj in a barely-there bikini -- drew criticism for the amount of flesh shown. Minaj responded by sharing images through her Instagram account of models Kate Upton, Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen in teensy swimsuits with the caption "Adequate."

Those posts, which each earned around 100,000 likes apiece, contributed to Minaj's 640 percent spike in weekly Instagram likes (week ending July 27, according to Next Big Sound). She adds more than 248,000 new fans on the platform and also received a 50 percent increase in mentions and retweets on Twitter. "Anaconda" is the second single from her upcoming album, The Pink Print. Source: Billboard

BMI TO HONOR LUDACRIS WITH PRESIDENTS AWARD.
Broadcast Music, Inc. will present the President’s Award to Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges at the 2014 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, to be held Friday, August 22, at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. The star-studded event will also celebrate the R&B/Hip-Hop Songwriter, Producer and Publisher of the Year, the Social Star Award winner and the songwriters, producers and publishers of the most-performed R&B/Hip-Hop songs of the previous year.

About the honor that will be presented to Ludacris, Mike O’Neill, BMI President & CEO, said, “The President’s Award is bestowed to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in songwriting with profound global influence on culture and the entertainment industry. Christopher ‘Ludacris’ Bridges’ songs traverse boundaries and reach listeners of all genres, making him a global presence. Additionally, his philanthropic efforts go beyond measure with the work he does by way of his charitable organization, the Ludacris Foundation, making him a natural for the BMI President’s Award.”

Catherine Brewton, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta, added, “We are proud to be honoring Ludacris with our President’s Award. He is a hometown hero to the city of Atlanta who has had a remarkable career in music, film and television. His consistency in the industry, as well as his outreach in the community proves he is more than deserving of the BMI President’s Award.”

Ludacris’ lyrical acumen and innate ability to create hits such as “Break Your Heart,” “Glamorous,” “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You),” “Yeah,” “Chopped N Screwed,” “How Low,” “Money Maker,” “My Chick Bad,” “Runaway Love” and “Southern Hospitality” have earned him three BMI million-performance citations, one BMI two million-performance citation, nine BMI Pop Awards and thirteen BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards. The honors continue with three GRAMMY awards and five Billboard awards; and multiple Top 10 positions on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Billboard 200 and the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Ludacris’ discography, to include his upcoming 8th studio album, Ludaversal, due in the fall, has sold more than 19 million records in the United States and 7 million internationally.

In addition to his heavily awarded music career, Ludacris is an esteemed actor, having appeared in the acclaimed indie drama Hustle & Flow; blockbusters 2 Fast 2 Furious, Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6; and the 2006 Academy Award Best Picture winner, Crash, which earned him the prestigious Screen Actors Guild and Critics’ Choice awards. His television credits include a role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and hosting the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. Currently he serves as a judge on the groundbreaking summer singing competition series Rising Star, which airs Sundays at 8pm (EST) on ABC. He’ll be returning to film next year in Fast & Furious 7.

A consummate businessman, Ludacris is also enjoying success with his ventures in spirits with Conjure Cognac and electronics with his SOUL by Ludacris headphones. His philanthropic efforts rival his entertainment accomplishments. He partnered with Crash writer/director Paul Haggis and the Artists for Peace and Justice to help raise more than $4 million for Haitian relief efforts. He has also raised more than $100,000 for Atlanta flood victims through the Ludacris Foundation. Having partnered with Jane Fonda, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Nelson Mandela to name a few, the Ludacris Foundation continues to inspire youth through education.

The 2014 R&B Hip-Hop Awards will be hosted by BMI President and CEO, Mike O’Neill, and Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Atlanta, Catherine Brewton. As the 2014 BMI President’s Award honoree, Ludacris will join elite ranks that include will.i.am, Adam Levine, Carlos Vives, Taylor Swift and Pitbull.

APPLE'S BEATS DEAL GETS APPROVED.
European Union antitrust regulators on Monday approved Apple Inc.'s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics LLC, the music-streaming service and headphone maker founded by rapper Dr. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine.

The U.S.-based tech giant announced the deal in May in a move that experts said was aimed at bolstering the company's iTunes music service in the face of strong competition from a stream of upstarts.

The European Commission, the EU's central antitrust authority, said the merger didn't raise concerns because the companies' combined share in the headphones market would remain low, and the merged entity would face strong competition in both headphone and music-streaming.

The deal, for $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in equity, was the largest in Apple's history, far surpassing the company's $400 million acquisition of NeXT Software Inc. in 1997. That deal brought Apple co-founder Steve Jobs back to the company, laying the foundation for its resurgence.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in May that the acquisition would help the company bridge divides between Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

"We think these guys have a very rare talent," Mr. Cook said of Mr. Iovine and Dr. Dre—whose real name is Andre Young. "We love the subscription service that they built—we think it's the first subscription service that really got it right." Source: Wall Street Journal

THE GAME, FUTURE, TWISTA & MORE ON DECK WITH STAR BASKETBALL PLAYERS.
Full Court Press Records is proud to announce the first in a series of releases that combines skilled athletes with skilled MC’s, a unique combination to takes hip-hop to the net. FULL COURT PRESS, VOL.1 will be released this fall, at the start of basketball season. The album will be released in collaboration with The Cherry Party, a newly formed record label in joint venture with Sony Music.

Star players including Shawn Marion, Carlos Boozer and Iman Shumpert (associated with the legendary basketball cities of Dallas, Chicago and New York) have teamed up with top selling artists such as Future, The Game, T-Pain, Twista and Ma$e to create a motivating, inspirational album.

FULL COURT PRESS is the creative vision of A&R Executive Shannon “Slam” Ridley. As a single father to twin boys, Ridley was looking for ways to inspire and encourage them. “With over a decade of successes at Bad Boy Records, I understand the power of hip-hop on American culture. I thought it would be really cool if I could enjoy listening to Hip-Hop with my children the way we enjoy an NBA game!” With that, Full Court Press was born.

“Why not make a clean, inspiring, Hip-Hop Album combining the world’s greatest basketball players & rappers. NO disrespecting women, NO curse words, NO "N" word, NO glorification of drug use, while keeping the integrity of the music with hard driving tracks.” Record label executive Joseph Charles helped make this project a reality and brought the project home bringing in top rappers and ball players to record.

Full Court Press will benefit the ‘nPlay Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to win the fight against childhood obesity; with the mission statement of “Making Kids Healthy and Ready to Learn”. ‘nPlay helps schools integrate physical activity into their daily routine, and increase the amount of overall physical activity kids get daily. ‘nPlay Founder Eric Cohen says, “As an organization made up of athletes, we are committed to getting our children more physically active. We are excited to have Full Court Press, The Cherry Party and all of the musicians and athletes on this record join us in helping our children have a healthier future."

FULL COURT PRESS Vol. 1 features 10 brand new tracks including “Welcome to NY” with Iman Shumpert & Ma$e,“Winning Streak” with Twista, Willie Taylor & Carlos Boozer, “Go Hard” featuring Bun B & Stephen Jackson, “We Hoopin’ (Yeah Boy)” with Charlie Villanueva & Royce Da 5’9", and “Airtime” featuring Future, Sean Garrett, Rocko & Lou Williams.

On July 29th the lead off track “I’m A Champion” saluting the Maverick city of Dallas, and featuring performances by T-Pain, Dorrough, Young Cash & Shawn Marion will be available everywhere.

KANYE BURIES COINYE LAWSUIT.
Coinye West, a whimsical addition to the cryptocurrency craze, whose founders hitched its name and logo to the wagon of one of the biggest stars in hip-hop, has officially died. In documents filed July 22 in New York, a U.S. District Court declared Kanye West the victor over most of Coinye's makers, some of them John-and-Jane Does, by default because they never bothered to respond to his complaints.

The parody electronic currency was announced in January but quickly shut down after West filed a cease-and-desist order and sued the large group of defendants for unspecified damages. The lawsuit complained that the defendants "usurped West's name and likeness for the sole purpose of propping up the perceived 'value' of the defendants' 'digital coin mine' and its 'crypto currency.'"

The coin's first logo was of West's face wearing his trademark windowshade sunglasses. Following the lawsuit, the logo was altered to make West a cartoon fish (ala "South Park"). The Coinye site, coinyecoin.org, still invites people to "Start using CoinyeCoin today."

In March, two months after Coinye was abandoned, a frustrated West amended his lawsuit to include names, background and even emails of some of the defendants, who "cowardly sought to remain anonymous by using Registry privacy services and other means" to stay hidden," he alleged. The suit claimed defendants came from a wide range of places, including the United States, China, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Slovakia.

In the end, only three of the defendants, Richard McCord, David McEnery and Harry Willis, settled with West. In court papers, McCord, of California, denied being involved in the coin's creation. According to a report by coindesk.com, McCord's lawyer called it "unfortunate that a parody turned into such an expensive endeavor." Source: Billboard

NAS INVITED TO TRACE HIS FAMILY ROOTS.
When Nas became the first rapper invited to trace his family tree through the PBS series "Finding Your Roots," he welcomed the opportunity. But it hit him hard when he saw 1859 documentation of an ancestor being sold as a slave, he said during a panel discussion Wednesday.

"First I was enraged when I looked at the bill of sale," Nas said. "I was like, that guy that owned property owes me some cash. My people made him really wealthy, so maybe I should find his family and talk."

The unearthed information made him think about his ancestors' contribution to America, he said, "and now I'm on a mission to find out more."

His family's story is among those told on season two of "Finding Your Roots," hosted by Harvard University scholar, author and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates Jr. and debuting Sept. 23.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

The 10-part series that traces celebrities' ancestry will focus on, among others, Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Tina Fey, Sting, Stephen King, Billie Jean King, Derek Jeter and chef Ming Tsai.

Others taking part include Courtney Vance, Khandi Alexander and writer and actress Anna Deavere Smith. They joined Nas and Gates on the Television Critics Association panel.

Research on each person begins with DNA testing of a saliva sample and eventually results in a detailed family history that Gates presents on-camera to the subject. "I feel like Santa Claus giving people a gift," Gates said.

The results can be surprising. Alba's background was traced to the ancient Mayans, while Affleck's great-great-great-grandfather was among 19th-century spiritualists who claimed to connect Civil War dead with their grieving survivors, he said.

Gates, who has done a variety of PBS specials about African Americans and their history and experiences, recalled getting a letter from a white woman who accused him of racism for his singular focus.

"I thought white people had more access to knowledge about their family tree than we did," said Gates, an African American.

But he realized that's untrue and that people of every ethnicity share the same "cultural amnesia," he said.

Nas was asked if his newfound knowledge could influence his music. Nothing is planned, he replied, "but I think in some way it will happen on its own."

BUSTA RHYMES DONE WITH CASH MONEY
After over two years at the label, Busta Rhymes has officially split with Cash Money. During a visit to SiriusXM’s “Sway in the Morning”, Busta said leaving was due to creative differences.

“Nothing happened in a negative way,” he said. “I was there for two years and the opportunity was a great opportunity at the time because of the type of deal that was done. For me, with this particular project and all of the sacrifice that went into it—recording the album for five years, I [lost] Chris Lighty making this album, I [lost] my father making this album—the shit that I was putting into this album, I’m not compromising my vision for it.”

Busta announced his signing to Cash Money in November 2011, but never released an album on the label.

“If I feel like if, in the slightest way, we ain’t facilitating everything necessary for the vision to be seen and executed in the way I’m envisioning this shit for the last five years, let me live and die in my own own inequity, homie,” he said.

Busta and Birdman talked it out, and didn’t rule out future collaborations. “After I see this through, if there’s other opportunities for us to explore as businessmen together, let’s continue to do it.”

EVOLVE MUSIC GROUP ANNOUNCES COMPANY FORMATION.
Capitol Music Group (CMG) has signed a multi-year, worldwide agreement with the newly-formed Evolve Music Group (EMG) that establishes a partnership between the companies to create, market and promote a slate of releases overseen by EMG Chairman and CEO Rodney Jerkins and his executive team. The multi-Grammy Award-winning producer, songwriter and music executive will base Evolve's operations at CMG's iconic Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood. The announcement was made today by Jerkins and CMG Chairman and CEO Steve Barnett.

Barnett commented, "Rodney is a highly-respected and multi-faceted talent; he's a great producer and songwriter, of course, but he also possesses a keen eye for talent and a great vision for what he wants to accomplish with Evolve. Everyone within CMG is excited about Rodney and his team joining our family, and we're all going to accomplish great things together."

According to Jerkins, "I'm excited for this partnership, and am confident that Evolve Music Group will play a major role in the future of our industry. Steve Barnett is a great visionary and has incredible instincts for our business and culture. I'm looking forward to evolving musically and creatively here at Capitol."

Initial Evolve artists include soul chanteuse Keta, R&B/Pop artist Evan Ross and YouTube sensation Sara Forsberg. The company will also sign and develop artists in the spiritual music genres through its Evolve Inspirational imprint that will be distributed through CMG's Nashville-based Capitol Christian Music Group. The first artists signed to Evolve Inspirational include Joy Enriquez and Tim Bowman, Jr.

FAITH EVANS INKS WITH BMG.
R&B Grammy winner Faith Evans has signed a worldwide exclusive publishing and BMG Artist Services deal with BMG Chrysalis U.S. for her first new studio album in four years, "Incomparable," which will come out this fall. Her eighth studio album features the lead single, "I Deserve It," with Missy Elliott and Sharaya J. Check it out below.

Currently celebrating a 20-year career in the music industry, Evans is a multiplatinum Grammy Award winner, New York Times best-selling author and TV producer. She has released three platinum-certified albums ("Faith," "Keep the Faith" and "Faithfully"), the gold-certified "The First Lady" and the holiday staple "A Faithful Christmas".

She was awarded a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1998 for 'I'll Be Missing You," the homage to her late husband and hip-hop legend Notorious B.I.G. Among some of her most recent accomplishments, Evans serves as a co-creator/executive producer on the hit-reality docuseries franchise R&B Divas and in 2014 received a Grammy nomination in the Best R&B Album category for Faith Evans R&B Divas.

Faith Evans commented: "I am truly proud to join the forces of my imprint, Prolific Music Group, with BMG to present my next project, Incomparable. I look forward to a great partnership, as we are all very excited about this amazing collection of timeless R&B music."

Manager Cheryl Flowers-Briggs added: "I'm proud to have been a part of Faith's management team for nearly two decades, and I'm looking forward to making music history once again with BMG, a company that was such a big part of Faith's early success."

Zach Katz, chief creative officer at BMG Chrysalis North America, said: "Faith is part of an elite group of artists whose music and spirit speaks profoundly to generations of listeners. We warmly welcome her to our BMG family and look forward to sharing her powerful body of work with the world."


Jermi Thomas, creative senior manager at the music publisher/label, said: "Faith continues to make a cultural impact with her level of artistry and iconic status as R&B/hip-hop royalty. BMG is excited to make history with Faith and build her legacy of 20 plus years with the release of 'Incomparable'."
Source: Hollywood Reporter.

KANYE & IGGY ADDED TO L.A. MADE IN AMERICA MUSIC FESTIVAL.
Kanye West and Iggy Azalea have been added to the 2014 Los Angeles "Budweiser Made In America" Music Festival line-up taking place at the Los Angeles Grand Park on August 30 and 31. Kanye West will now headline both the Philadelphia and Los Angeles "Budweiser Made In America" Music Festivals. Kanye West and Iggy Azalea join previously announced Los Angeles headliners Imagine Dragons and John Mayer.

The "Budweiser Made In America" Music Festival also revealed today the daily line-up for the Philadelphia and Los Angeles versions for one of the country's premier summer festivals. The "Budweiser Made In America" events will benefit United Way of Greater Los Angeles, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and United Way of Lancaster County. The two-day music festivals created by Budweiser and Live Nation will deliver must-see performances on both coasts with headliners Kanye West, Kings Of Leon, Tiësto and Pharrell in Philadelphia and Kanye West, Imagine Dragons and John Mayer in Los Angeles. Daily line-ups for both festival locations are listed below.

PHILADELPHIA DAILY LINE-UP

Saturday
Kanye West
The National, Steve Aoki
J. Cole, Chromeo, City and Colour
R3HAB, Baauer, Mayer Hawthorne
The Neighbourhood, Holy Ghost, Will Sparks
Destructo, DJ Cassidy, Cherub, Young & Sick, Kaneholler

Sunday
Kings of Leon
Tiësto, Pharrell Williams
Girl Talk, Spoon, Grimes, AWOLNATION
Gareth Emery, Tommy Trash, Kongos, Danny Brown
YG, Penguin Prison (DJ Set with Live Vocals)
3Lau, Mimosa, Bleachers, Cut Snake, Bixel Boys, Vacationer

LOS ANGELES DAILY LINE-UP

Saturday
Imagine Dragons
Kendrick Lamar, Afrojack, Iggy Azalea
Sublime with Rome, Metric, Capital Cities
Gareth Emery, Schoolboy Q, Borgore
DVBBS, YG, MUTEMATH, Dr. Dog, Hit-Boy
ZZ Ward, Classixx, Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, Jay Rock, Cut Snake, GrandTheft

Sunday
Kanye West, John Mayer
Juanes, Weezer, Rise Against
Steve Aoki, Chance the Rapper, Cypress Hill
R3HAB, Wolfgang Gartner, 12th Planet
Rita Ora, Nipsey Hussle, Terraplane Sun
Yellow Claw, Will Sparks, Scavenger Hunt, SZA, A Tribe Called Red

2014 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS / NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED.
The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) nominations have been announced. Beyonce leads the pack with eight nominations.

Here's A full list of the nominees:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – "Fancy"
Beyoncé ft. JAY Z - "Drunk In Love"
Pharrell Williams - "Happy"
Sia - "Chandelier"
Miley Cyrus - "Wrecking Ball"

HIP HOP VIDEO
Eminem - "Berzerk"
Drake ft. Majid Jordan - "Hold On (We're Going Home)"
Childish Gambino - "3005"
Kanye West - "Black Skinhead"
Wiz Khalifa - "We Dem Boyz"

MALE VIDEO
Pharrell Williams - "Happy"
John Legend - "All Of Me"
Ed Sheeran ft. Pharrell - "Sing"
Sam Smith - "Stay With Me"
Eminem ft. Rihanna - "Monster"

FEMALE VIDEO
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX - "Fancy"
Beyoncé - "Partition"
Lorde - "Royals"
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea - "Problem"
Katy Perry ft. Juicy J - "Dark Horse"

POP VIDEO
Pharrell Williams - "Happy"
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX - "Fancy"
Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz - "Talk Dirty"
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea - "Problem"
Avicii ft. Aloe Blacc - "Wake Me Up"

ROCK VIDEO
Imagine Dragons - "Demons"
Arctic Monkeys - "Do I Wanna Know"
The Black Keys - "Fever"
Lorde - “Royals”
Linkin Park - "Until It's Gone"

MTV ARTIST TO WATCH
Sam Smith - "Stay With Me"
5 Seconds of Summer -"She Looks So Perfect"
Charli XCX - "Boom Clap"
Schoolboy Q - "Man Of The Year"
Fifth Harmony - "Miss Movin On"

COLLABORATION VIDEO
Beyoncé ft. JAY Z - "Drunk In Love"
Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea - "Problem"
Pitbull ft. Ke$ha - "Timber"
Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga - "Loyal"
Eminem ft. Rihanna - "Monster"
Katy Perry ft. Juicy J - "Dark Horse"

MTV CLUBLAND AWARD
DJ Snake & Lil Jon - "Turn Down For What"
Zedd ft. Hayley Williams - "Stay the Night"
Calvin Harris - "Summer"
Martin Garrix - "Animal"
Disclosure - "Grab Her!"

VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE
Angel Haze ft. Sia - “Battle Cry“
Avicii - “Hey Brother”
Beyoncé - “Pretty Hurts”
J. Cole ft. TLC - “Crooked Smile”
Kelly Rowland - “Dirty Laundry”
David Guetta ft. Mikky Ekko - “One Voice”

CINEMATOGRAPHY
30 Seconds to Mars - "City of Angels"
Beyoncé - "Pretty Hurts"
Arcade Fire - "Afterlife"
Gesaffelstein - "Hate or Glory"
Lana Del Rey - "West Coast"

EDITING
Eminem - "Rap God"
MGMT - "Your Life Is a Lie"
Zedd ft. Hayley Williams -"Stay the Night"
Beyoncé - "Pretty Hurts"
Fitz and The Tantrums - "The Walker"

CHOREOGRAPHY
Sia - "Chandelier"
Beyoncé - "Partition"
Usher - “Good Kisser"
Michael Jackson ft. Justin Timberlake - "Love Never Felt So Good"
Jason Derulo ft. 2Chainz - "Talk Dirty"
Kiesza - “Hideaway”

DIRECTION
DJ Snake & Lil Jon - "Turn Down For What"
OK Go - "The Writing's on the Wall"
Miley Cyrus - "Wrecking Ball"
Beyoncé - "Pretty Hurts"
Eminem ft. Rihanna - "The Monster"

ART DIRECTION
DJ Snake & Lil Jon - "Turn Down For What"
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX - "Fancy"
Eminem - "Rap God"
Arcade Fire - "Reflektor"
Tyler, the Creator - "Tamale"

VISUAL EFFECTS
DJ Snake & Lil Jon - "Turn Down For What"
OK Go - "The Writing's on the Wall"
Disclosure - "Grab Her!"
Eminem - "Rap God"
Jack White - "Lazaretto"

RUSSELL SIMMONS & L.A. REID ON BOARD @ RMC.
Today, REVOLT Chairman Sean Combs joined his long-time mentor and newly appointed REVOLT Vice Chairman Andre Harrell, to announce that Russell Simmons will deliver one of several keynotes speeches at the inaugural REVOLT Music Conference slated for October in Miami. The Conference will combine education and entertainment over the course of two and a half days for 500 industry executives and students, as well as a remote audience through REVOLT's new iOS and iPhone app.

"As a platform for artists and music fans, it is our responsibility to stay ahead of the trends and bring together power players to shape the industry into one that makes music a cultural bridge and plans for disruption," stated REVOLT Chairman Sean Combs. "There is no better person – more knowledgeable, connected and in-tune with culture – than Andre Harrell who is bringing together these leading players in the music industry for the REVOLT Music Conference."

In addition to keynote speaker Russell Simmons, CEO of All Def Digital and co-founder of Def Jam, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2014, Andre Harrell revealed additional industry players joining as panelists:

L.A. Reid, Chairman and CEO, Epic Records
Julie Greenwald, Group Chairman/COO, Atlantic Records
Guy Oseary, Partner, Untitled Entertainment and Manager
Rodney Jerkins, Songwriter, Producer, and Musician
Dallas Austin, Songwriter, Producer, and Musician
Jon Platt, President at Warner/ Chappell Music
Jody Gerson, Co-president at Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Rob Stone, Co-founder, The Fader

IS IGGY AZALEA THE NEXT BIG THING?
The Australian rapper, Iggy Azalea, joined the legendary Beatles in the US chart records, when her hit "Fancy" topped the Billboard Hot 100, followed by "Problem", Iggy's collaboration with Ariana Grande, in second place. Since the Fab Four from Liverpool lead the charts with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" in 1964, no artist has managed to get two hits on top of the Billboard charts at the same time -- until now. And it does not look like she is willing to give up her place on top either -- Iggy has been occupying the top ranks seven weeks in a row already. Apparently proud of her achievement, she tweeted "Let this serve as proof anything is possible," when she learned about the great news.

In 2007, the then 16-year old Amethyst Amelia Kelly relocated from Down Under and came to Miami, Florida, determined to pursue a music career in the United States. She adopted her stage name, a combination of her childhood dog, Iggy, and the street she lived on as a child, Azalea Street, and sallied out to make connections in the music world. Iggy moved from Miami to Houston to Atlanta, before she ended up in Los Angeles, where she met T.I. and released two mixtapes that were widely recognized in the hip-hop scene. When her initial success sizzled out in 2012, T.I. introduced Iggy to his booking agent, Cara Lewis, who saw great potential in the blonde Aussie girl and agreed to help her. Now, almost two years later, Iggy Azalea is on top of the charts with debut studio album, "The New Classic", which was released in April.

Cara Lewis knows talent when she sees, or more accurately, hears it. Named one of the most powerful women in music by Billboard for four consecutive years, she has helped many musical talents to fame over the course of her career. After 23 years of experience as the hip-hop agent representing stars such as Eminem, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Common, B.o.B. and the Roots, she joined Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in 2012, much to the delight of Rob Light, CAA's head of music and managing partner: "Cara has built a remarkable career cultivating the careers of some of the most acclaimed artists in music today. Her expertise of the urban market, ability to innovate, and keen eye for talent will be great assets to our continued growth."

Anchored by humble beginnings as a receptionist, agent Cara Lewis has made herself an industry legend. Thanks to the help of a longtime friend, Russell Simmons, combined with her unparalleled instincts and work ethic, Cara was one of the first agents to recognize the crossover potential of urban music, and played an integral role in turning an underground movement into a mainstream business. She has opened doors for many up-and-coming hip-hop artists and R&B singers by exposing them to a mainstream audience, allowing them to venture into other business opportunities such as clothing lines, sports drinks as well as film and television roles. Lewis has represented a long list of legendary acts throughout her career, including The Beastie Boys, New Edition, Run DMC, Pharrell Williams, Outkast, the Black Eyed Peas, and Rihanna, to just name a few. Lewis has been named one of the "20 Most Influential People in Black Music" by Essence Magazine, and is listed in the "20 Music Industry Innovators" by The Hollywood Reporter, as well as on Variety's "Women's Impact List."

MAYOR APOLOGIZES FOR PROFANITY AT JULY 4TH CONCERT.
The mayor of Philadelphia is apologizing for the profanity used by rapper Nicki Minaj and comedian Marlon Wayans during a family-friendly July Fourth concert.

Mayor Michael Nutter said Monday that cursing hasn't been problem at the show in recent years. He says performers are supposed to adhere to network TV standards.

The free outdoor concert, which featured multiple acts, was aired live on WPVI-TV. The station censored the broadcast when foul language was used.

Nutter says The Roots and singer Ed Sheeran edited their songs to avoid profanity but were still bleeped, creating the appearance they cursed.

He says performers Jennifer Hudson and Aloe Blacc kept it clean, although Vicci Martinez used one inappropriate word.

A TV station spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.

TUPAC MUSICAL ON BROADWAY TO CLOSE.
Tupac Shakur fans, keep ya head up: The Broadway musical "Holler If Ya Hear Me" that uses songs from one of hip-hop's greatest artists is closing after less than two months.

Producers said late Monday that the show will close Sunday at the Palace Theatre after playing just 17 previews and 38 regular performances. Producer Eric L. Gold in a statement cited "the financial burdens of Broadway" as the reason.

The show was in financial trouble from the moment it debuted in early June. Last week, it managed to pull in only $155,000 from a potential of $917,000 — or less than 17 percent. Discounting had left the average ticket price at $38.44, easily Broadway's cheapest seat.

It stars slam poet and singer Saul Williams as a recently sprung inmate hoping to stay out of trouble, and Christopher Jackson as his buddy, whose need for familial revenge threatens more violence in their unnamed Midwestern city.

It features over 20 Shakur songs, including "Holler If Ya Hear Me," ''California Love," ''I Get Around," ''Thugz Mansion," ''Keep Ya Head Up," ''Dear Mama," ''Me Against the World," ''Unconditional Love" and "Hail Mary." The rapper's mother, Afeni Shakur, was a producer of the show.

MEEK MILL VIOLATES PAROLE / SENT TO JAIL.
A judge has sent Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill to jail for three to six months for violating his probation on a 2009 drug and gun case.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Mill and his lawyer spent almost four hours Friday trying unsuccessfully to persuade the judge not to lock him up.

Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley was upset with the rapper, "After all these years of me trying to help him move his career forward... I believe this defendant is basically thumbing his nose at me," Brinkley told the 27-year-old hip-hop star and his lawyer, Gary Silver.

Mill, whose real name is Robert Williams, has been a regular in court for nearly two years. He has been disputing the terms of his probation.

Meek pleaded with Brinkley to let him continue working. Mill said his career supports him, his mother, sister, son, and other friends and placed his monthly expenses at $80,000 to $90,000.

"It took me 15 years to get here, and this will be extremely damaging to my life," Mill said.

You just don't get it," the judge said.

The newspaper says Mill had booked concerts between July 11 and August 11, when the judge had ordered him to stop while she tried resolving his probation problems.

Mill was supposed to headline a concert Friday night in Washington. The judge told the 27-year-old rapper's attorney that wasn't going to happen.

Assistant District Attorney Noel DeSantis asked Brinkley to sentence Mill to five to 10 years in prison. She and probation officer Treas Underwood recited a litany of alleged violations.

Rick Ross commented on the issue with Mtv. In a written statement Ross said: "I created MMG years ago, my desire was to create a space where the most talented artists in the world could be nurtured and supported. With that came a commitment. I vowed to support these artist, through the good and the bad. Every individual signed to MMG is not just an artist, they are my family. And with family you ride, or you die. Yesterday, my brother, Meek Mill ran into some unfortunate legal issues. It happens. However, his team, our team, will continue to execute Meek’s plan as close to schedule as possible."

ISLAND RECORDS NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE VP / GENERAL MANAGER.
Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group (UMG) strengthens its executive level management team with the promotion of Eric Wong to Executive Vice President / General Manager, Island Records, it was announced today by David Massey, President, Island Records. Mr. Wong, who is based in New York, will oversee all operations of Island Records, and will report directly to Mr. Massey.

"Eric's well-grounded successes in marketing and artist management made him the perfect choice for this position at the new Island Records," said Mr. Massey. "Having worked closely with him for the past 4 years, Eric's imagination, creativity and passion, as well as his warmth inspires our artists and staff. I look forward to the strength and resolve that we know Eric will bring to his important new post."

"This is one of the most exciting times in the great history of Island Records," said Mr. Wong. "I could not be more proud of the confidence that David Massey has in me. With an artist roster that is second to none in the record industry, we are standing on the threshold of a new era, as Island enters this next amazing chapter of its existence."

Mr. Wong served as Executive Vice President, Marketing, at the former Island Def Jam Music Group since 2011. In that position, he played an integral role in the creation, development, and execution of marketing strategies for artists including Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Bon Jovi, Avicii, Iggy Azalea, and more. IDJ's marketing, digital, creative, artist development, video promotion, and video production departments all reported to Mr. Wong.

Mr. Wong, an IDJ veteran, first joined the company in 1999. During his early years at IDJ, Mr. Wong developed marketing campaigns for, and built strong relationships with a roster of multi-platinum artists that included The Killers, Fall Out Boy, and many others.

Starting in 2006, simultaneously serving as Chief Marketing Officer of Bad Boy Entertainment, and Senior Vice President, Marketing, Atlantic Records, Mr. Wong oversaw the careers of Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jay Z, Janelle Monae, Toni Braxton, Danity Kane, and more. Before returning to IDJ in 2011, Mr. Wong successfully founded Wong Management in 2009, serving as part of Mariah Carey's management team along with a management roster that included Ryan Star.

A Brooklyn native, Mr. Wong has served as an inspiration to minority youth working their way into the music industry. At age 16, he applied for an internship listed in Billboard Magazine, and was chosen for a job at WEA Distribution through Youth Entertainment Summer (Y.E.S.), a program designed for minority high school students. The summer led to an internship at Atlantic, and then to a position as a college rep at EMI Records. At the same time, Mr. Wong attended New York University where he graduated in 1998.

BILLBOARD LAUNCHES "ARTIST 100" CHART.
Billboard, the leading global destination for charts, news, trends and innovations in music, today launched the Artist 100 chart, the first-ever ranking dedicated to measuring artist activity across the most influential Billboard charts. The weekly Artist 100 chart, which premiered today with Trey Songz securing the top spot, blends information culled from album sales, track sales, radio airplay, streaming, and social media to provide a multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity.

"Never in the history of music have artists had so many ways to reach fans as they do today," said John Amato, Co-President, Billboard. "Now, for the first time, Billboard will chart an artist's collective reach, utilizing data that informs such influential charts as the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200 and Social 50, among others. The Artist 100 chart is revolutionizing how artists are ranked in a way that is very relevant to music fans and pop culture enthusiasts."

"Billboard is incredible at tracking and reporting the influence of artists across different avenues and I could not be happier to be #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and the very first No. 1 on The Billboard Artist 100 at the same time. They've found innovative ways to measure artist activity and I applaud their forward thinking. Thank you to Billboard, to my fans, my angels, and everyone that made this happen," said Trey Songz.

Exclusively presented by Wendy's® #PretzelLoveSongs campaign – a series of music videos celebrating the return of its pretzel bun -- the new Billboard Artist 100 chart reflects a more cumulative impression of an artist's popularity across all the main means of music consumption and popular culture. The new chart, powered by data from Nielsen Entertainment and Next Big Sound, is updated weekly and available on Billboard.com and in print in Billboard.

The Artist 100 is the second new Billboard chart to launch this year, following the debut of the Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts in May, which rank the most popular songs being shared and talked about on Twitter in the U.S.


KDAY HAS STRONGEST QUARTERLY RATINGS RESULTS IN 2 YEARS!
KDAY 93.5 FM, Southern California's original hip-hop and R&B radio station, and the first Radio Station of Meruelo Media, Southern California's leading minority-owned media group, announced today that it reached its highest Quarterly cume and AQH share ratings in two years for the second quarter of 2014 according to the recently-released Nielsen Audio July Personal People Meter (PPM) data.

Q2 2014 KDAY Rating Highlights,
In Q2 2014 KDAY posted a significant audience increase with a total audience cume of over 1.17 million listeners and AQH at 14,800 with AQH share at 1.6
Adults and Men 18-34 and Adults and Men 18-49, posted increases in total week with Men 18-34 registering the highest shares for the station overall.
KDAY is a favorite of L.A. Millennials – Persons 18-34 comprise more than 50% of KDAY's total cume audience
Persons 18-34 AQH shares increased significantly year to year
Total week 18-34 AQH share grew from 2.3 – 2.9 (+26%)
KDAY's gains are in the coveted Adults 18-49 demographic
18-49 total week cume grew 15% year to year
18-49 AQH share increased 28% - from 1.8 to 2.3 year to year
Adults 25-54 AQH shares grew 20% year to year
Information sourced from Nielsen Audio Q2 2013 and Q2 2014.

JAY Z TO HEADLINE GLOBAL CITIZEN FESTIVAL THIS SEPTEMBER.
Jay Z will headline the Global Citizen Festival on Sept. 27 in New York's Central Park. Organizers announced Wednesday that fun., Carrie Underwood, The Roots, No Doubt and Tiesto also will perform.

Tickets are free for the event, but must be earned through acts meant to help end extreme poverty around the world. VIP tickets are being sold through Ticketmaster. Each task earns a certain number of points, and once a fan earns eight points, he or she can enter to win tickets to the event. There will be five draws this summer, and would-be concertgoers can enter up to six times. A total of 48,000 free tickets will be given out this year.

The festival is designed to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly meeting and put pressure on world leaders to address the needs of the world's poor. This year's concert will air live on NBC and MSNBC.

After last year’s success, Jay Z put up his hand and said, ‘I want to headline Year 3,’” Hugh Evans, chief executive of the Global Poverty Project, said to the New York Times. “We sat down with people from his Shawn Carter Foundation and found that there are so many alliances between what they’re trying to do and what we’re trying to do."

Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and John Mayer headlined the festival last year. Neil Young, Foo Fighters and the Black Keys performed in 2012, when the festival debuted.

POLO GROUNDS MUSIC INKS LONG-TERM EXTENSION WITH RCA.
Bryan Leach’s Polo Grounds Music (PGM) has entered into a long-term extension with RCA Records. The partnership, now in its 9th year, is the longest hip-hop/urban music joint venture in RCA’s history.
Within eight short years, Polo Grounds Music has garnered global recognition by not only dominating the Urban and Rhythmic charts, but has also held strong positioning on the Latin and Pop charts. Signing critically acclaimed artists like Grammy nominated A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg and Latin Grammy Award winner Pitbull, the New York based record-breaking imprint boasts sales of well over 70 million singles and 12 million albums worldwide. The releases over the years have also included multi-platinum singles from Hurricane Chris ("A Bay Bay") as well as releases by Yo Gotti.

Polo Grounds Music is also expanding its executive team with the recent appointment of Motisola Zulu as General Manager, additionally Derrick "Big Teach" Turton and Amy Johnson will hold Vice President positions respectively. More staff announcements will be made in the near future as PGM adds to its creative team.

Leach comments on his historic partnership: These past 8 years have been exciting for Polo Grounds Music in launching the careers of A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Yo Gotti & Pitbull, and we’re loving the future challenges of breaking more new artists as well as exploring more ways to better serve our roster. Peter & Tom have been great supporters and partners and the executive team and roster of talent at RCA is unmatched.

RCA CEO Peter Edge comments, "We are excited about the extension of the partnership between Polo Grounds Music and RCA. The breadth of amazing artists signed to PGM is a shining example of Bryan's keen intuition to discover and develop talent that will resonate with fans for years to come."

RCA President & COO Tom Corson continues, "Over the past 8 years PGM/RCA has developed a proven track record of chart-topping, multi-platinum selling hits and we look forward to enjoying continued success with Bryan and the PGM team.”

MEEK MILL ON DECK.
Maybach Music Group and Atlantic Records have announced the release date of "Dreams Worth Money," the new album from Meek Mill. The album -- which follows his 2012 blockbuster debut, "Dreams and Nightmares" -- arrives at last on September 9th. The album features the first single "I Don't Know (feat. Paloma Ford)," as well as collaborations with Big Sean, A$AP Ferg, with many more to be announced soon.

"Meek continues to record and build his Dreamchasers brand as the cultures next biggest thing," says Maybach Music Group boss Rick Ross of Meek's influence on the hip-hop world.

The electrifying companion video for "I Don't Know" -- directed by Eif Rivera (Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne) -- premiered last month as "Jam Of The Week" on MTV Jams, with integration across all other MTV platforms, including their digital and social properties.

"This album is inspired by my real life. Despite all the fame and money, my dreams keep me motivated to be the best rapper in the game," says the Philadelphia-based MC. Meek continues, "growing up in Philly, you only see this life on TV and in the movies. And now I'm living it? This album is for all the young kids who have dreams; to show them that if I can make it, anybody can make it."

As if that weren't enough, "Dreams Worth Money" also features the street smash, "Off The Corner (Feat. Rick Ross.)" Directed by MMG's own DRE Films (Rick Ross' "Box Chevy," Meek Mill's "Amen (Feat. Drake)"), the track's companion video clip has already drawn nearly 2 million views.

Recent months have also seen Meek Mill lighting up the airwaves with a cavalcade of featured appearances, including DJ Khaled's "They Don't Love You No More (Feat. Jay Z, Meek Mill, Rick Ross & French Montana)," Puff Daddy's "I Want The Love (Feat. Meek Mill)," and Jazmine Sullivan's "Dumb (Feat. Meek Mill)."

In addition to solidifying himself as one of the top rappers in the music industry, Meek has also become an in-demand brand ambassador for the likes of PUMA, Monster Headphones, whose Meek Mill Edition 24K Gold Over-Ear Headphones are ranked among the industry's best and Monster Energy, who have partnered with the rapper as a result of his love of dirt bikes, stemming from the Philly bike scene, which he is an integral part of. Meek continues to prove himself as a lucrative businessman, all while expanding his Dreamchasers label imprint.

The North Philadelphia-based rapper made his bones chronicling his hard knock life on a series of stunning mixtapes, ultimately catching the attention of the attention of Rick Ross, who promptly signed him to his Maybach Music Group imprint.

Fueled by the breakthrough singles, "Amen (Feat. Drake)," "Burn (Feat. Big Sean)," and "Believe It (Feat. Rick Ross)," "DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES" -- executive produced by Rick Ross -- made a remarkable chart debut upon its October 2012 release, entering both Billboard's Top Rap Albums & Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts at #1 and the Top 200 Albums Chart at #2. But it's the instant classic title track, which has since proven a milestone, with none other than Drake hailing the album's introduction as "one of the best rap moments of our generation." "Dreams and Nightmares" was recently featured in an important new study by the American Psychological Association, which noted "the clear and insightful picture that Mills painted of experiences growing up in a crime and violence-filled environment in Philadelphia," while also praising the gifted MC's "ability to articulate the trauma he experienced and how he coped with it."

RAPPER WORD ONE INKS TO DMX'S RUFF RYDER/BLOODLINE RECORDS.
Though born in Sunny LA, life has taken Word One across the nation to New York, Jacksonville, FL and now currently residing in Las Cruces, NM. Today the New Mexico resident announces his official signing to DMX’s Ruff Ryders/Bloodline label.

Word One tells the story of how he met DMX through friends and legendary hip-hop collective, Bone Thugs N Harmony. “It started with my friends Bone Thugs N Harmony plugging me in. I was kicking it on the tour bus with them after a show they invited me to in El Paso, TX and Flesh & Krayzie plugged me in with the tour manager and told me about the next tour being DMX. They recommended me to the tour manager, and 6 days later, I was on tour, opening for DMX.” It was soon after that Word One met Montana, DMX’s manager and director of Ruff Ryders, in Houston, TX.

"When we got to the next city (which was San Antonio), DMX had me come into his green room and spit 16 bars. After I spit the verse, he expressed how he liked my style and how real my words were. That’s when I caught his attention. We then had Denny’s that night with his wife, manager and security and got to know each other on a more personal level.”

Word One spent much of the early part of the tour spitting verses for DMX, showing the legendary rapper that he too had what it takes to share a stage. Word One, who was already in a label situation with a Sony Records subsidiary expressed to DMX’s manager Montana that he wanted to be signed to a label that acted as a family & had his best interests at heart. Montana, who was very impressed by Word One’s ability to control the crowd and work the stage, proposed that he manage Word One as well.

Following the tour, Word One met up with DMX once again for Houston’s Summer Fest concert series where he told an excited DMX the news of them sharing management. “DMX was excited to hear that news, saying “YESSSSSSS” when I told him. We talked about how things were going much better for me since the tour and that’s when X said to me that he ‘wants to be a part of it’ and proposed to me the type of deal I would have with him. I thought it was awesome.”

It was then, on June 1, 2014 that Word One became DMX’s newest artist and signee to Bloodline Records.

ESSENCE FESTIVAL HITS RECORD ATTENDANCE.
The Essence Festival's 20th anniversary set a record for annual attendance, with more than 550,000 participants celebrating four days of R&B music, community and black culture at the New Orleans' convention center and Superdome, organizers and city officials said Monday.

That's about 10,000 more than attended the 2013 festival, which included a sold-out performance by Beyoncé.

"I woke up this morning and felt a great sense of pride and gratitude," Essence Communications Inc. president Michelle Ebanks said during a news conference about 12 hours after the last strains of Lionel Richie performing "All Night Long" rang throughout the Superdome.

More than 80 musical performances highlighted by Prince, Richie, Charlie Wilson, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, Trey Songz and The Roots highlighted the event which also saw more than 150 speakers addressing everything from solutions to crime and violence to growing entrepreneurs and maintaining healthy relationships.

"For us the highlight is the deep community collaborations we created that hopefully have left a lasting impact on the city," said Joy Profet, general manager of Essence.

She noted that 200 young girls and boys created and pitched new apps and web-based solutions as part of the #YesWeCode initiative, and an entrepreneur won $25,000 in seed capital as part of the PowerMoves Nola program for budding business owners.

Ebanks and Profet thanked Mayor Mitch Landrieu for the city's ongoing partnership, which officially ended as the final year of its current contract expired at the conclusion of this year's event. Both Landrieu and Ebanks said they're committed to locking the festival into a new deal, but several pieces to the puzzle remained in flux.

"This is our home and Essence is better because it's held in New Orleans and in this state," Ebanks said. "We're working through the (contract renewal) process and once we work through all the details, we'll let you know the outcome."

Landrieu recalled that before the festival launched 20 years ago, the city was dead in terms of visitors over the July 4th holiday. He said hotel bookings were at about 3 percent compared to today when occupancy over that same weekend is now consistently at about 97 percent each year.

"Twenty years ago, we weren't a destination city. Today, we're either No. 1 or 2 in the country," he said.

"I'm overwhelmed and overjoyed when Essence comes," he said, adding that "it's the kind of content this event delivers that's most impactful and when you leave, you always leave the community better than when you found it."

Ebanks said they've already begun work on next year's event, which coincides with the 45th anniversary of the magazine.

FLAVOR FLAV POPPED FOR FIREWORKS.
The rapper’s yearslong battle with neighbors over his annual Fourth of July fireworks show might be at an end after Metro slapped him with two citations Friday night.

Flavor Flav (real name, William Drayton Jr.), has been setting off thousands of dollars worth of illegal fireworks since 2009 and this wasn’t his first clash with police over the party in his gated community outside his home. The home is in the 7800 block of Via Ventura Court on the south side of the Las Vegas Valley.

His festivities were foiled last year when TMZ reported he planned to set off $8,000 worth of fireworks. After the story broke, the Metropolitan Police Department threatened to throw the rapper in jail if he set off any of the illegal fireworks and Drayton moved the party elsewhere, said Finisterre Homeowners Association board member Harold Ewing.

This year, neighbors, who asked not to be named, said the rapper had three or four pallets of fireworks stacked 4 feet high. Drayton said he set off most of them all at once in hopes that police wouldn’t become involved. In previous years, neighbors said he set off the fireworks in batches, using a police scanner to avoid run-ins with the law.

Police put a stop to this year’s show after neighbors called. Officers responded just before 8 p.m. Police confiscated more than 100 pounds of Drayton’s remaining fireworks and gave him two fireworks-related citations, said Lt. Ken Romaine. He was unable to name the exact citations the rapper received.

The number of explosives required that Metro send a special unit to dispose of the fireworks, he said.

Ewing said police followed up with neighbors on Saturday, suggesting that they petition the district attorney’s office to see if it will do something about the rapper’s behavior.

Police have written four fireworks citations in the valley over the past two years, according to officer Larry Hadfield.

Ewing said the police have more or less said, “Eh…it’s going to happen.” Neighbors said officers told them to consider how many other fireworks calls Metro must deal with throughout the valley.

Several of Drayton’s neighbors are terrified to leave their homes on the holiday, fearing their property will catch fire, Ewing said.

Ewing said he plans to contact the DA’s office to see what can be done.

But Drayton said his neighbors won’t have to worry about his fireworks show next year. The rapper is moving his party out of the neighborhood.

“I don’t want to go to jail for fireworks,” he said, lamenting the loss of his tradition and noting that several people told him this year was the best Fourth of July of their life.

Drayton estimated he had about 110 people over, a smaller crowd than previous years.

“We all had a ball until the police came,” Drayton said.

The party was so good that evidence of it still remained, he said, pointing to the empty beer cans outside his home and fireworks gunpowder residue on the street.

Some neighbors didn’t see leftover beer cans and fireworks chemicals as something to boast about.

Drayton chalks the entire incident up to having neighbors who are like the “Scrooge” or “The Grinch” of Independence Day.

“It isn’t like I do this every day,” he said.

Drayton pleaded guilty in April to misdemeanor domestic violence charges stemming from an incident with his stepson in 2012, when he threatened the then 17-year-old with a knife after an argument with the teen’s mother.

He originally faced felony charges, but struck a deal and was ordered to complete counseling classes by August or face jail time.

The citations shouldn’t affect his deal, according to his attorney Kristina Wildeveld. The rapper wasn’t ordered to stay out of trouble, he only has to complete the classes, which he is doing, she said.

“Flav really loves America,” Wildeveld said “There was no intention ever to hurt anyone.”
Source: Vegas Journal

TRIGGA TREY SONGZ SHOOTING FOR 2ND #1 ALBUM.
R&B Singer Trey Songz is on deck to score his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart next week. Industry forecasters suggest the artist's new set, "Trigga" -- which was released on July 1 -- could sell between 90,000 to 100,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on July 6.

Songz should easily outpace the rest of the top 10, as the next closest new album debut will probably be Seether's "TK," with maybe 35,000. The Billboard 200's new top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, July 9. Songz debuted at No. 1 with his last album, 2012's "Chapter V," which entered with 135,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In total, he's notched three top 10 efforts.
Source: Billboard

HIEROGLYPHICS CREW ANNOUNCE EAST COAST TOUR.
In a rare announcement for hip-hop heads everywhere, all eight members of The Hieroglyphics Imperium crew will be heading out to perform at special venues on the East Coast this coming August, along with longtime Hiero affiliate DJ Toure. With four select dates on the East Coast, including stops inBoston, New York, Philadelphia, and Stephentown, New York, this tour proves to be a unique, rare opportunity for fans to see the entire original crew performing together. As part of an already eventful year, the upcoming Hiero tour will be another major highlight for the collective.

2014 has been quite the year for the Hieroglyphics members, who have released several new projects including Souls of Mischief member A-Plus' Molly's Dirty Water, Phesto's Infared Rum, and Casual's new group project, The School System. Upcoming releases from Pep Love along with Adrian Younge and Souls of Mischief have kept the collective busy and working hard. In addition to this upcoming tour, the Hieroglyphics will begin work on the new crew album. After the tour ends, fans in Heiro's hometown of Oakland will be met with the group's return home, just in time for their free annual block party, Hiero Day, which was recognized an an official day by the mayor of Oakland at last year's event.

The Hieroglyphics crew, known as pioneers of independent hip-hop, is made up of members Del The Funky Homosapien, Casual, Pep Love, Domino, and Souls of Mischief, who include A-Plus, Opio, Phesto, Tajaj. Not only are they considered to be one of the first hip-hop artist collectives to start their own record label, but they introduced a different side of hip hop that was virtually unknown on a mainstream level. When Elektra Records signed Del the Funky Homosapien and JIVE signed Souls of Mischief in the early '90s, the Hiero crew soon became internationally known as the leaders of a new movement in rap that represented peace and unity, despite having come from a city rife with violent crime. Considered to be some of the most highly skilled lyricists in rap from their inception to today, the Hiero crew continued to break hip-hop norms with personal, emotional rhymes rather than solely gangster-rap. Souls Of Mischief's "93 'Till Infinity" remains one of the most respected and well-known hip-hop classics, referred to in pop culture time and time again. The third eye logo, designed by Del, was ranked as the 3rd most recognizeable music logo by Rolling Stone Magazine, and it is not uncommon for fans to show Hiero members their third eye logo tattoos.

Hiero East Coast Dates:
8/20 - Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA
8/21 - Brooklyn Bowl - Brooklyn, NY
8/22 - Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
8/23 - Bella Terra Festival - Stephentown, NY

CARMELO ANTHONY & 50 CENT INTRODUCE SMS AUDIO SPORT HEADPHONES.
SMS Audio from 50 Cent, announces the purchase availability of its SMS Audio Sport Collection, which consists of four initial headphone offerings: the STREET by 50™ On-Ear and In-Ear Wired Sport, and the SYNC by 50™ On-Ear and In-Ear Wireless Sport. Endorsed by SMS Audio investor and partner, Carmelo Anthony, each pair of headphones blends high-quality audio with the best in active-performance features. The Sport Collection is now available at SMSAudio.com.

“We’re both very pleased with the final result and can’t wait to get them in consumers’ hands.”

“We created durable, quality headphones that hold up against any active lifestyle – equipped with sweat-proof features that our partner, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, and I felt other headphones didn’t offer,” said 50 Cent, CEO of SMS Audio. “We’re both very pleased with the final result and can’t wait to get them in consumers’ hands.”

“Finding a pair of headphones that keep up with athletes without sacrificing high-end style and sound quality isn’t easy to do, but we’ve accomplished that with the SMS Audio Sport headphones,” added Carmelo Anthony.

The headphones within the new Sport Collection are designed to stay put during physical activity, and feature professionally-tuned drivers and sweat-repelling nano technology to safeguard against moisture and withstand against extreme weather. The wired and wireless headphone models include:

STREET by 50 On-Ear Wired Headphones, Sport Collection: Armed with perforated leather memory foam, the on-ear wired model provides users with extra protection in the form of a scratch-resistant coating, a sweat-proof chamber within the ear cup, and extra ear covers. The headphones’ cord design eliminates tangling, and its one-click microphone allows for easy answer-call functionality. Each pair comes with a carrying case and a SMS Audio sports towel. Available in Sport Blue, Sport Pink, and Sport Yellow for MSRP $179.95.

STREET by 50 In-Ear Wired Headphones, Sport Collection: Offering the highest in audio quality without deterring from its active lifestyle functionality and durability, each pair of earbuds features a stay-put, ear-hook design. Tangle-free cord with a full-functioning MFI three-click microphone, neoprene carrying case, and three sizes of ear hooks and sound-isolation ear tips are all included. Available in Sport Blue, Sport Pink, and Sport Yellow for MSRP $79.95.

SYNC by 50 On-Ear Wireless Headphones, Sport Collection: Utilizing Bluetooth, the on-ear wireless headphones feature on-ear track control and volume adjustment. They also have a sweat-proof chamber within the ear cup and OVALFIT™ perforated leather memory foam ear pads for extreme comfort and breathability. For users who prefer on-ear styles during physical activity, the headphones are foldable and ultra durable with a 40U-rubberized coating to resist chipping and scratching. The SYNC by 50 On-Ear Wireless Sport headphones come with a carrying case, sports towel, and extra ear covers. Available in Sport Blue, Sport Pink, and Sport Yellow for MSRP $229.95.

SYNC by 50 In-Ear Wireless Headphones, Sport Collection: Sporting Bluetooth wireless technology, each pair boasts a patented ear-hook design to ensure the best fit and provides users with high-fidelity audio, full bass response, and vocal clarity. The headphones are equipped with a full-functioning MFI three-click microphone and a tangle-resistant cord, in addition to an HD battery for extended life. A neoprene carrying case, three sizes of ear hooks and three sizes of sound-isolation ear tips to block exterior sound are also included. The SYNC by 50 In-Ear will ship in late summer, and will be available in Sport Blue, Sport Pink, and Sport Yellow for MSRP $149.95.

The STREET by 50 On-Ear Wired, STREET by 50 In-Ear Wired and SYNC by 50 On-Ear Wireless Sport headphones are now available for purchase. The SYNC by 50 In-Ear Wireless Sport headphones will ship in August 2014.

WIZ KHALIFA ON DECK.
Wiz Khalifa is set to drop his third major label studio album next month. Blacc Hollywood will arrive in stores on August 9th, and the Taylor Gang leader will hit the road on the third annual “Under The Influence Of Music Tour” to promote the LP.

The tour jumps off on July 24th at Scranton, Pennsylvania’s The Pavilion. Wiz will be joined by Jeezy, Tyga, Ty Dolla $ign, Sage the Gemini, Rich Homie Quan, Mack Wilds, Iamsu!, and DJ Drama.

“Under The Influence Of Music Tour”
7/24 Scranton, PA The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
7/25 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
7/26 Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
7/27 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
7/29 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
7/31 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
8/1 Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion
8/2 Mansfield, MA Xfinity Center
8/3 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
8/5 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
8/7 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center
8/8 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blossom Music Center
8/9 Elkhorn, WI Alpine Valley Music Theatre
8/10 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
8/12 Maryland Hts, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater St. Louis
8/14 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion
8/15 Woodlands, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
8/17 Albuquerque, NM Isleta Amphitheater
8/19 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
8/22 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
8/23 Chula Vista, CA Sleep Train Amphitheatre
8/24 Irvine, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

NICKI MINAJ TEAMS UP WITH ARIANA GRANDE AND JESSIE J.
International superstars Jessie J + Ariana Grande + Nicki Minaj have collaborated for the powerhouse anthem "Bang Bang" out this week via Republic Records. The track features production from the iconic Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, and Ilya.

The song will serve as the first single from Jessie J's forthcoming LAVA/Republic Records album due out this fall. It will also be included on the deluxe edition of Grande's sophomore album, My Everything [Republic Records], available August 25th.

GRAMMY ® nominated artist Nicki Minaj has the highest digital sales for any female hip-hop artist in history. With two number one albums, over 50 million in digital sales as a solo and featured artist, she and Adele are the only two artists to ever sell 1 million copies of five different songs in one year. In 2012, Minaj tied Mariah Carey for most hot 100 entries on Billboard's HOT 100 Chart with a total of 44. Minaj has now surpassed that number with recent hits like "Love More" with Chris Brown and her latest critically acclaimed single, "Pills N Potions", off of her forthcoming album to be released later this year, which is entitled The PinkPrint.

Jessie J's debut album, Who You Are [LAVA], marked the debut of a global icon when it reached #1 and was certified multi-platinum in over 15 countries. She has sold over 3 million albums and 20 million singles worldwide to date. The GRAMMY® Award-nominated artist was also the 2012 London Olympic Games Ambassador. Her smash "Price Tag" reached #1 in 18 major territories. Who You Are also yielded an astonishing six Top 10 singles including the hit "Domino". Among other accolades, Jessie J was the recipient of the 2011 Critics Choice BRIT Award and the BBC's Sound of 2011 honor.

Ariana Grande first landed at the top with her album, Yours Truly. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. The album featured the pop smash "The Way", which went double-platinum and reached #1 on the iTunes Overall Top Songs Chart. 2014 has already been a historic year for Grande. The first single from her sophomore album, "Problem", saw her become the "youngest woman to debut with over 400K sold first-week". It ranked as the 4th "highest digital song debut for a female artist", and 8th highest which also went #1 on iTunes in over 65 countries.

BET AWARDS 2014 RECAP.
Nicki Minaj told the crowd at the BET Awards that she was close to death recently — an experience that has helped her be herself.She rambled onstage when accepting her fifth consecutive win for best female hip-hop artist, where she thanked Lil Wayne for his support, talked about writing her own lyrics and about getting the credit she deserves in the industry.

"The other day, literally I didn't tell anybody this, I really thought I was about to die. Like, I was saying my prayers to die. And I didn't even want to call the ambulance because I thought, 'Well if I call the ambulance, it's going to be on TMZ,'" she said, as some of the audience laughed.

"And I would rather sit there and die," she added, looking to the crowd. "And it made me realize I don't care what anybody got to say. I'm going to do me."

Minaj performed her latest single, "Pills N Potions," and also won best group with her Young Money bandmates, which includes Lil Wayne and Drake.

A video of Beyonce and Jay Z performing "Partition" closed the BET Awards, which aired live from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday.

Pharrell's ubiquitous "Happy" kept a smile on the musician's face: The song won video of the year. His win for the top prize came in the second hour of the four-hour ceremony. Last year, the network didn't announce the top award in the jam-packed show.

Pharrell thanked his family, fans who elevated the song to No. 1 and BET for its support.

"(BET) allows us as black people to be different and do what we do," he told the crowd. "You guys keep the lights on for us."

The multitalented Pharrell, who also won best male R&B/pop artist, kicked off the show with a playful performance of "Come Get It Bae" featuring the reclusive Missy Elliott. Host Chris Rock also succeeded with back-to-back jokes about Donald Sterling, the hit series "Scandal" and rapper Rick Ross, who he mentioned multiple times. He passed out food from Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles, playing off of Ellen DeGeneres pizza party at the Academy Awards.

It helped take attention away from a fatal shooting and a separate stabbing at unsanctioned parties celebrating the ceremony. One person was killed and five injured in separate incidents ahead of the show, Los Angeles police said. The events were "unauthorized and unaffiliated with the BET Awards," BET said in a statement.

The death and four of the injuries followed gunfire early Sunday at a restaurant, Officer Drake Madison said. Separately, a man was stabbed in the stomach Saturday night at a nightclub.

The show featured a medley of hits from Usher and Iggy Azalea performed her anthemic "Fancy," which is spending its fifth week on top of the Billboard charts. Chris Brown sang and danced his signature moves to his latest Top 10 hit, "Loyal." He sported a long plaid coat, and Lil Wayne and August Alsina also wore plaid-infused ensembles. The trend for women: skin tight white dresses.

Robin Thicke, who sang and played piano, dedicated his performance of "Forever Love" to his wife Paula Patton, whom he is separated from. He said "I miss you and I'm sorry" and the performance ended up with a photo of former couple.

John Legend sang his groove "You and I" and was joined by rising newcomer Jhene Aiko, who won over the crowd by singing "The Worst" as Legend played piano.

Alsina, also a rising star, was also a powerhouse with his vocals during his performance, which featured Brown and Trey Songz. Alsina was tearful when he won the night's first award for best new artist.

"I represent the struggle," the New Orleans newcomer said onstage. "This award is not for me, it's for the people."

When winning the viewer's choice award, where he beat Beyonce and Drake, Alsina said: "I ain't gon' cry this time!"

Lionel Richie, the lifetime achievement award recipient, was serenaded by Legend, Ledisi and Yolanda Adams, who sang a rousing rendition of "Jesus Is Love." She earned a standing ovation.

"I'm glad I sang the song first. Otherwise, I would not be here onstage," Richie said, holding his award. He excitedly performed "Easy Like Sunday Morning" and "All Night Long (All Night)."

A tribute to 90s R&B was met with praise, too: Groups like Silk, Color Me Badd and Troop performed well-known jams that enticed the crowd.

The late icons Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee were remembered in words by Phylicia Rashad, who earned a stirring applause when she walked onstage.

Drake, Beyonce and Jay Z were top nominees with five each. Drake, who was originally set to perform, did not attend. He won best male hip-hop artist.

Lupita Nyong'o, who won an Oscar for "12 Years a Slave," was named best actress.

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
Beyoncé

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
Pharrell Williams

Best Group
Young Money

Best Collaboration
Beyoncé f/ JAY Z – Drunk In Love

Best Male Hip Hop Artist
Drake

Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Nicki Minaj

Video of the Year
Pharrell Williams – Happy

Video Director of the Year
Hype Williams

Best New Artist
August Alsina

Best Gospel Artist
Tamela Mann

Best Actress
Lupita Nyong’o

Best Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor

YoungStars Award
KeKe Palmer

Best Movie
12 Years a Slave

Subway Sportswoman of the Year
Serena Williams

Subway Sportsman of the Year
Kevin Durant

Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award
August Alsina f/ Trinidad Jame$ - I Luv This

Centric Award
Jhené Aiko – The Worst

Best International Act: Africa
Davido (Nigeria)

Best International Act: UK
Krept & Konan

FANdemonium Award
Beyoncé

RICK ROSS ARRESTED AFTER CONCERT.
Rapper Rick Ross has been released after his arrest following a North Carolina concert. Greensboro Police Department spokeswoman Susan Danielsen says that Ross was taken into custody Friday night after the SuperJam concert. She says a court had issued an order for his arrest because he failed to appear in court on a previous misdemeanor marijuana charge.

The rapper, whose real name is William L. Roberts, was taken into custody after his performance. Danielsen says he was released on $1,000 bond.

THE WEEKND ON DECK WITH SCHOOLBOY Q & JHENE AIKO
The Weeknd is back on the road this fall for four exclusive shows. Joined by ScHoolboy Q and Jhene Aiko, the platinum-certified alternative R&B trend-setter has readied his most immersive and inventive production yet. The run begins Sept. 19 at Barclays Center in New York and stops at other major venues across North America including the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Oct. 9.

The Weeknd also just released a new track titled "Often" which immediately shot to the #1 spot on the Billboard Twitter Real-Time Chart. Already being lauded by the likes of MTV, Stereogum, Revolt, Buzzfeed, Hypetrak and more, "Often" is just a taste of what's to come. The Weeknd's last major jaunt, "The Fall Tour", attracted unanimous critical acclaim and hit sold-out venues around the globe. Along the way, the artist and producer has become one of the world's most electrifying, enigmatic, and engaging performers with his dynamic voice and cinematic presentation captivating audiences everywhere.

Upon release last year, The Weeknd's sophomore opus Kiss Land [XO/Republic Records] captured the #1 spot on iTunes Top Albums chart and debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200. Meanwhile, his epic 2012 debut, Trilogy, reached platinum status and garnered rave reviews from the likes of Pitchfork, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian and more.

In addition to these shows, The Weeknd is preparing to seduce listeners yet again with brand new music planned for later this year.

Show Dates:
Sept. 19 New York, NY Barclays Center
Sept. 21 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Oct. 9 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl
Oct. 10 San Francisco, CA Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

EASY MO BEE TO CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY.
Renowned hip-hop/r&b music producer Easy Mo Bee celebrates 25 illustrious, prolific years in the music business in this year. One of the most influential producers of his time, he has transcended hip-hop, with his discography including producing a Grammy Award winning album for the late jazz great Miles Davis and doing Grammy Award winning work with superstar Alicia Keys.

From his production beginnings with Big Daddy Kane to providing a strong musical foundation for Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Records, which created groundbreaking multi-platinum success for iconic hip-hop artist The Notorious B.I.G., Easy Mo Bee's handiwork has been felt far and wide within music circles for over two decades. Widely acclaimed for his bass-heavy style and jazzy influence, he has worked with countless notable talents, including Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Mos Def, Wu-Tang Clan and Public Enemy.

In celebration of his 25th Anniversary in music, Easy Mo Bee has partnered with Chuck D of Public Enemy's label imprint, SLAMjamz Records (www.slamjamz.com), for the early Fall 2014 release of a new project titled "...And You Don't Stop!" This new offering, Executive Produced by Chuck D, Janol "Mecca" Holmes and Easy Mo Bee, contains selections possessing the Easy Mo Bee flow of innovative instrumentals, which epitomizes his distinct sound. The title track, "...And You Don't Stop," represents the growth and evolution of Easy Mo Bee within music as an artist/music producer.

Several sponsored events are slated for Fall 2014 in multiple cities, to commemorate Easy Mo Bee's 25 years in music; they will be announced shortly.

Producing timeless musical masterpieces isn't easy; but like his moniker, for the past quarter century, Easy Mo Bee has made it look that way. With his newest CD, he demonstrates his career mantra - "...And You Don't Stop!"

SNOOP & FRIENDS (KURTIS BLOW, DILATED PEOPLES & MORE) PARTNER UP FOR AUTISM.
Snoop Dogg, Kurtis Blow, Curtis Young (Dr.Dre`s son) and other international stars of hip-hop took part in a special charity project "Helping is trendy" ("Pomaganie jest trendy") which is organised by Polish rapper Gorzki (aka Uncle G) from Kalisz - the oldest towns in Poland.

Among those stars in the song "HIT Rappers" LISTEN HERE features such artists as Kokane, Rakaa from Dilated Peoples, PMD, Medusa, Prodigal Sunn and famous Polish opera singer Alicja Wegorzewska.

This song is something very unique because it`s an original mix of mainstream rap artists as well as legendary underground hip-hop artists. The purpose of the recording is to help children with autism from the Polish foundation "New Hope" ("Nowa Nadzieja"). The title HIT means Helping Is Trendy - which is the name of the charity action promoted in Poland and all over the world.

Autism is a serious problem. Not everybody knows that every 1 child from 88 children suffers from this disease. Life of these kids often means sad isolation from normal society. Diagnosis at early stages and good therapy including proper diet helps to cure this disease and make life easier and improve it. Many famous people including Mozart, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton or Marilyn Monroe had autism at some stage of their life. Today if we talk about autism we think of such great people as Bill Gates, Keanu Reeves, Robbie Williams or one of the best football players Leo Messi from Barcelona club.

“It`s very important that we all help the kids. Our help can really change their life. If someone buys the CD all of the profits will go to the New Hope Foundation to help children with autism. If you can`t afford the CD you can also share this recording on your facebook or twitter profile. You can watch commercials on youtube to gain money for the children. I would also like to ask the media to show big heart for children with autism by promoting the song, especially the radio stations and tv channels. Remember that by helping the kids you help the world become a better place – Snoop Dogg explains.

We have to mention once more that all the artists recorded their parts exclusively just for this project and without any money!

KEYSHIA COLE ON DECK.
After five consecutive Top 10 albums on the Billboard 200, all of them Top 5 R&B, and 11 Top 10 R&B singles, tough-and-tender Keyshia Cole will release a new single, "She," on Tuesday, June 24th. The track follows the recent release of two buzz tracks, the fierce "Rick James" (ft. Juicy J) and fragile "Next Time (Won't Give My Heart Away." All of them will appear on the multiple Grammy nominee's upcoming sixth album, Point Of No Return (Interscope).

Among the guest artists featured on the album will be Wale, Future, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, and August Alsina. Prominent producers on Point Of No Return are Mike WiLL (Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, Rihanna, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Lil Wayne), Stargate (Beyonce, Rihanna), DJ Mustard (YG, 2 Chainz), Mario Winans (Diddy, Ginuwine), and Red 1 (Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Nicki Minaj).

Cole launches the Point Of No Return Tour on Sunday, July 20th in Minneapolis, MN. El Seven/Republic recording artist Adrian Marcel, whose new single "2 A.M." features Sage The Gemini, will open on the 21 city tour.

Point Of No Return will be Keyshia's first album since 2012's Woman to Woman, which debuted at #10 and quickly rose to #3. The lead single, "Enough of No Love" (ft. Lil Wayne) debuted in the Hot 100 and peaked at #7 R&B/Hip-hop. The single "Trust and Believe" hit #2 R&B/Hip-hop.

Since her 2005 double platinum debut The Way It Is hit #6 Top Albums and #2 R&B/Hip-hop (with the Top 5s "I Should Have Cheated" and platinum "Love"), Keyshia has scored two #1 R&B/Hip-hop albums. 2007's platinum Just Like You debuted #1 R&B/Hip-hop (#2 Top Albums), propelled by the #1s "Let It Go" (ft. Missy Elliott and Lil' Kim), "I Remember" and "Heaven Sent." "Let It Go" was also platinum. The album garnered Cole four Grammy nominations, including for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best Contemporary R&B Album. In 2008, the platinum A Different Me also debuted #1 R&B/Hip-hop and #2 overall, with the Top 5 "Trust" (ft. Monica). 2010's Calling All Hearts debuted #9 Top Albums and #5 R&B/Hip-hop.

Point of No Return Tour (additional dates to be announced):
Saturday, July 12* Rochester, NY Blue Cross Arena
Friday, July 18* Shreveport, LA Century Link Center
Saturday, July 19* Gulfport, MS Club Illusion
Sunday, July 20 Minneapolis, MN Myth Live
Tuesday, July 22 Detroit, MI St. Andrews Hall
Thursday, July 24 Chicago, IL House of Blues
Saturday, July 26 Cincinnati, OH Macy's Fest
Sunday, July 27 Cleveland, OH House of Blues
Tuesday, July 29 New York, NY Irving Plaza
Friday, August 1 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
Saturday, August 2 Boston, MA House of Blues
Sunday, August 3 Washington, DC Fillmore
Thursday, August 7 Charlotte, NC Fillmore
Friday, August 8 Durham, NC PDAC Depot
Saturday, August 9 Myrtle Beach, NC House of Blues
Sunday, August 10 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
Monday, August 11 Orlando, FL House of Blues
Wednesday, August 13 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
Friday, August 15 Houston, TX House of Blues
Sunday, August 17 Dallas, TX House of Blues
Thursday, August 21 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
Friday, August 22 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern
Saturday, August 23 San Francisco, CA Fillmore
Monday, August 25 San Diego, CA House of Blues

AUGUST ALSINA SET TO KICK OFF FIRST U.S. HEADLINING TOUR.
After receiving 4 nominations, including Viewers Choice and Best New Artist, it was announced this week that New Orleans ‘Testimony’ singer August Alsina has been added as a performer to the 14th annual BET Awards which airs live this Sunday, June 29th, 8:00pm (EST). Alsina will then hit the road starting August 14th in Seattle, WA to kick off his first U.S. headlining tour, ‘Testimony Live’ which will run through the end of September, hitting LA, NY, Atlanta, and several other U.S. markets

‘TESTIMONY LIVE’
8/14 - Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
8/15 - Eugene, OR @ Wow Hall
8/16 - Portland, OR @ Alhambra Theatre
8/17 - San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
8/20 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
8/21 - W. Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues
8/25 - Tempe, AZ @ Club Red
8/27 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
8/29 - Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live – Ballroom
8/30 - Dallas, TX @ South Side Music Hall
9/3 - Baton Rouge, LA @ Varsity Theatre
9/4 - Birmingham, AL @ Iron City
9/6 - Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
9/7 - Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte
9/9 - Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
9/10 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
9/13 - Boston, MA @ House of Blues
9/15 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
9/16 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
9/21 - Kansas City, MO @ Arvest Bank Theatre

KEVIN LILES TALKS D'ANGELO.
Billboard caught up with Kevin Liles and got the scoop on What's going on with D'Angelo.

So what's going on with D'Angelo?
Here's the thing: with D'Angelo was a process. He didn't perform for 10 years and he's been working on an album for the past 12 years. I actually got him to go out and do 30 shows [in 2011-2012], and then we did some "Brothers in Arms" shows [with ?uestlove last year]. I said, "We have to get motivated around what people want to hear from you, and what does it mean to come back to that space?" He very bluntly put it, "Kev, the studio and the stage: that's my lifeblood. Now that I've touched it again, now that I see it again, I wanna be sure that the baby I'm about to have — the album — that I take it to the point where it's all it can be."

There'll be an album this year: there's 14 records so far, we might have a couple of bonus records, but all the recording is basically done we're mixing and mastering now. Definitely, he'll be back. We'll probably start an international tour in October, we'll come back [to the States]. We're doing a James Brown tribute in August [at the Hollywood Bowl] and some one-off things. But the touring will probably start in October and 2015.

What's the album like?
To limit it to soul is not the case, because there is a rock influence. But at the same time, it's very melodic and there's an influence of all the things he loves: there's James Brown, there's Prince, and everything people grew up loving D'Angelo for, from "Brown Sugar" to "Voodoo." It's a mixture and an evolution of where he is right now. And you have to think that when you have the opportunity to work 10 years on an album, that album's truly gonna be what you want it to be. Is it limited to the kind of sound that he did with the earlier records? No, it's not.

Does it have a name yet?
There is a potential name, but I don't wanna give you a potential name and then change it.

And it's definitely coming in 2014?
Yep. Sooner than later!

CHUCK D SHARES LETTER FROM TUPAC.
Chuck posted a picture to Twitter of a letter that Tupac supposedly wrote to him in September of 1995.

"I'm sure u know how highly respected & loved u R by me so your letter definitely warmed my heart. I was also touched by your offer and show of support. It will not go unnoticed. Thanx! It was good 2 hear how well u aRe doing but hey it's only Right. Back in the dayz on tour with u I learned so much from what u did and how u did it. It may be hard 2 c but u have alwayz played a majoR Role in what it is I do 2day. I have a program I want 2 put together and I would like 4 u 2 be a part of it. I'll explain it 2 u in detail on another occasion. I also have a part 4 u in this movie if u R willing and 2 push my luck even more I would be honoRed if i u would appear on this track 4 my next album 'Euthanasia.' The tRack is called 'Da Struggle Continuez.' It will also feature Sista Souljah if God wills. So let me know. I just Received woRd that my bail pending appeal has been granted so I should be free by the time u receive this...I just signed 2 Deathrow so I should be working on this album soon. Thanx Again Chuck! I do believe we can make a difference and I have every intention of doing just that. STAY STRONG!"

SHOOTING INVOLVING SCHOOLBOY Q LIKELY NOT RANDOM.
A shooting involving rapper ScHoolboy Q after a concert at the historic Red Rocks amphitheater west of Denver was likely not a random act of violence, authorities said Saturday.

"This is not just a coincidence. We think there is probably more to it than that," said Jacki Kelley, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. "It does seem to be more targeted than random."

The rapper was not hurt in Thursday night's shooting, but three other people in the vehicle he was in sustained non-life threatening injuries. One of the victims was released from the hospital Friday morning.

No arrests have been made, but Kelley said investigators have received numerous tips and are trying to determine a motive for the attack in a parking lot at the outdoor venue, where the Beatles and Grateful Dead have performed and U2 filmed "Under a Blood Red Sky."

ScHoolboy Q, whose birth name is Quincy Matthew Hanley, is from Los Angeles. His most recent album, "Oxymoron," debuted at No. 1 earlier this year and reflects his life as a father and former gang member.

He and Kendrick Lamar, who was nominated for seven Grammys this year, are members of Black Hippy.

ScHoolboy Q said on Twitter Friday that he was OK.

"im str8...... dont trip," he wrote. His next tweet said. "and IM STILL GOING TO ICELAND 2MORROW, & NEW YORK WEDNESDAY."

In March, when ScHoolboy Q played at a sold-out show in Denver, someone in the crowd threw an object at the performer, who jumped off the stage to confront the person, The Denver Post reported. Security staff separated them.

Ray Alba, a representative for ScHoolboy Q, didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The rapper and at least four other people were in the white SUV that was fired on at the venue in the foothills west of Denver, authorities said.

They drove themselves to a Denver intersection about 15 miles away, apparently in search of a hospital, before being stopped by Denver police and taken for medical attention, Kelley said.

ScHoolboy Q and another uninjured person were briefly handcuffed while police assessed the situation, but no one in the vehicle was arrested. Kelley said ScHoolboy Q was not a suspect in the shooting.

Nas and Flying Lotus also performed at the concert that benefited three groups, including the Gang Rescue and Support Project of Denver. Kelley said she did not know if Thursday night's shooting was gang-related.

Promoters said the gang rescue group received 5 percent of the profits. Two other groups also got 5 percent each: Preserve the Rocks, which helps preserve the Red Rocks venue, and Helping Our People Excel, a Denver-area charity with a food pantry and other services.

About 4,500 people attended the concert at the amphitheater, which seats as many as 9,525 people

50 CENT SAYS SMS AUDIO BENEFITS FROM BEATS/APPLE.
50 Cent thinks the recent blockbuster deal between Beats by Dre and Apple only helps his headphone company.

"The success of Beats is great for us. It makes the category understand how valuable our association is to that company," he said. "When they see the company, and see that it sold for $3.1 billion, they go: 'That one is definitely next, that's the one that has the cool factor connected to it while producing quality products.'

"If there's another company that does it, it'll be SMS," he said. "So it's like when you're playing basketball in the park: We got next."

Beats Electronics, the leader in the headphone market and a music streaming company, was acquired by Apple last month. SMS Audio has been around since 2011.

On Wednesday night, 50 Cent was joined by the company's new pitchman, New York Knicks basketball star Carmelo Anthony, at a penthouse hotel party as SMS introduced its new line of sports headphones in both wired and wireless editions.

Anthony said he was interested in being more than a spokesman, saying he already "did the endorsement thing."

"You're seeing everyone make so much money off of me. I want to start making money off of myself," he said. "That was one reason I sought out the opportunity."

While he talked freely about his work with SMS, he laughingly brushed off questions about his basketball future. Anthony is considered one of the top prizes in the offseason free agency market if he opts to test it.

COOL KIDS' SIR MICHAEL ROCKS ON DECK.
Born Antoine Reed, Sir Michael Rocks has always been a a little ahead of his time, a little more original than his peers, a little bit more creative. Since he and fellow The Cool Kids member Chuck Inglish burst onto the scene in 2007 as teenagers, they've helped redefine the image of underground, independent rap for the Internet era with their effortlessly cool aesthetic and catchy, creative, music. Having grown older and wiser over the years, the ever-evolving and defining style icon Sir Michael Rocks has recently traded in his hallmark throwback, flashy aesthetic to embrace a more simple, back-to-the-land aesthetic, selling off his old diamond-studded jewelry in favor of handmade wooden pieces that offer significant and power. As he explores an increasingly far-ranging set of ideas, his lifelong impulse to explore and innovate remains at the forefront of what Rocks is trying to accomplish and is very much present in his upcoming debut solo album, Banco, which is slated for release on July 29th and pre-order starting July 1st, 2014.

With features from Too $hort, Mac Miller, Twista, Iamsu, Trinidad James, Casey Veggies, Robb Bank$, Pouya and Chuck Inglish and production from DJ Mustard, Banco showcases Sir Michael at his most inventive and most personal. Whether he's bragging about his juicer or sharing a tragic story involving a family member's fatal car accident, Sir Michael Rocks keeps the vibe positive and honest,
upholding the notion that nothing can be made without giving something up, and that people can make anything they want if they're willing to do so. A lifelong love of video games and anime has nurtured other values as well: hard work, respect for others, and, above all, a refusal to let his surroundings temper his innate sense of joy. Being surrounded by nature and animals is another thing that brings the former Chicago native joy, and now that he lives in wildlife-teeming South Florida in Miami, he's incorporated those themes more than ever into his music and Photoshop-driven collage cover art, which he created himself. Banco is a fascinating left turn of an album that finds Rocks making the most experimental, energetic, and varied music of his career.

Sir Michael Rocks also announced via Twitter that The Cool Kids will be ending their hiatus and reuniting to release their highly anticipated album Shark Week by the end of the year. This will mark the first album The Cool Kids will have released since their 2011 album When Fish Ride Bicycles. Sir Michael Rocks is also prepping for a multi-city Florida tour alongside Robb Bank$.


REPUBLIC RECORDS PROMOTES NEW HEAD OF URBAN A&R.
Republic Records have announced the promotion of Wendy Goldstein from Senior Vice President of A&R to Executive Vice President and Head of Urban A&R. This announcement officially comes from the label's Executive Vice President, Rob Stevenson and founders and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman.

As Senior Vice President of A&R since 2011, Goldstein has focused on cultivating and bolstering the label’s presence within the urban realm. In 2013, she collaborated with Ariana Grande on the conception and release of her full-length debut, Yours Truly, which debuted #1 on the Billboard Top 200 upon release and yielded the #1 double-platinum smash, “The Way”[featuring Mac Miller]. Capitalizing on this success, Goldstein helped Grande catapult to the next level once again with 2014’s “Problem” [featuring Iggy Azalea]. Upon release, it was the biggest single debut of the year so far and the fourth highest for a female in history with over 435,000-plus digital downloads sold. Moreover, it became the eight highest digital song debut of all-time.

Under Goldstein’s tenure, Republic Records signed Bay Area hip-hop sensation Sage The Gemini, soul crooner Adrian Marcel, and super producer DJ Mustard via a venture with Roc Nation. In addition, she handled A&R duties for Enrique Iglesias, Mika, Colbie Caillat, and more. Her diligence, work ethic, and prescient perspective contributed to establishing the label as a powerful force in the urban marketplace.
Monte Lipman states, "Wendy has worked with many of today’s most popular artists and is widely respected throughout the industry. She has overseen the production of many significant albums that have made a tremendous impact on pop culture. Her contribution to Republic remains invaluable.”

Avery Lipman continues, “Wendy’s been a part of this family since the beginning. We have a tremendous professional history together. Her knack for helping artists realize their true potential is genuinely one of a kind. It’s an honor to build upon our legacy as a team.”
Stevenson adds, “Wendy has a keen sense for finding talent and is dedicated to her artists. She will be an integral to the label’s expansion within the world of hip-hop and R&B, and we’re excited to see who she discovers next!”

Goldstein comments, "I want to continue building the urban presence of Republic Records. Monte, Avery, and Rob are the greatest. They encourage everyone around them to thrive. We all share the same mindset. We have a common goal to finish number one. It’s one of the best environments I’ve worked in. We all love music, and we want to build a legacy for the Republic brand.”

KANYE ON WHY APPLE IS LIKE KIM.
Rapper-philosopher Kanye West made an appearance at the Cannes Lions festival Monday where he shared his thoughts on brands, excellence, and why Samsung is not as hot as his wife, Kim Kardashian. In fact, West said he is simply "not a fan" of Samsung.

According to NME, West began by describing Apple as the "number one company" and went on to say "Samsung is not quite Apple." Then, he explained why Samsung is also no Kim Kardashian.

"The reason I said I didn’t like Samsung is because throughout my entire life, because of how my parents raised me, I have to work with the number one, I can’t work with anyone but Jay Z because he's number one, I can’t be with any girl but Kim because that’s the girl that I look at her pictures the most and get turned on by. I am not going to represent any company except Louis Vuitton because that’s the best," West explained.

In spite of his comments about Louis Vuitton, West currently has an endorsement deal with Adidas. Source: Business Insider

ANGIE MARTINEZ EXITS HOT 97 / HEADING TO POWER 105
Hot 97/New York afternoon host Angie Martinez has announced she is stepping down from the station. However, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment says she is joining CCM+E to host afternoon drive on both Urban WWPR (Power 105)/New York and middays Urban WMIB (103.5 The Beat)/Miami.

"Angie is the Queen of New York City radio ­ she is an incredible talent who continues to blaze trails and we are excited to have her join the team at Power 105.1 and The Beat in Miami," said Thea Mitchem, SVP of Programming ­ Major Markets, CCM+E. "Angie has a long, successful history and we look forward to expanding her distinctive style and compelling content to more of our listeners."
"I want to thank, Thea Mitchem, Tom Poleman and Doc Wynter for this incredible opportunity," said Martinez. "I¹m excited to join Power 105.1 in New York and The Beat in Miami and expand my brand even further in the coming months."

Power 105.1's DJ Prostyle, current weekday afternoon host, will move to middays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

On Wednesday, Martinez posted a statement online to her Twitter and Instagram accounts, as well as announcing on-air, saying that she was leaving Hot 97. She wrote, "Today I resigned from HOT97. I am grateful to the Emmis family for my time with the company and the immeasurable way that it has shaped my life. We made history together in so many ways and I will cherish those memories and my friendships forever. This was one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make but ultimately it is time to move on, to grow and to be challenged in new ways. Saying goodbye is always emotional and bitter sweet but I am extremely excited about the future. Thank you HOT97 and most importantly....the listeners... for an unimaginable journey. Today will be my last show -- stay tuned.... Love, angie"

SOULS OF MISCHIEF ANNOUNCE 6TH ALBUM.
Legendary hip-hop group Souls of Mischief announce that they're releasing a conceptual collaboration with renowned producer and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge entitled There Is Only Now on Adrian's newly launched record label, Linear Labs on August 26th, 2014. Inspired by a near-fatal incident involving group members A-Plus, Opio, Tajai, and Phesto early in their careers, the unique and cinematic crime tale creatively and expertly weaves stories of love, loss, and revenge throughout the entire album. Set in 1994, There is Only Now serves as a bookend to two decades of music since the release of their seminal debut album, '93 Til Infinity.

There Is Only Now sees the Souls of Mischief crew members trading bars with a cast of hip-hop and soul luminaries. Narrated by A Tribe Called Quest member Ali Shaheed Muhammed - as DJ for fictional local Oakland radio station K-NOW - the album's story unfolds under his all-seeing eye. Busta Rhymes makes an appearance as the story's villain, Womack, on "Womack's Lament," while William Hart of the legendary vocal soul group, The Delfonics, lends his buttery falsetto to the contemplative "Another Side of You." Snoop Dogg drops knowledge on the situation between Stoney and Womack with an ice cold verse on the title track "There Is Only Now," and Scarub from Living Legends goes in on "Stone Cold."

Souls of Mischief and Adrian Younge have created a hip-hop album like no other. Recorded solely on 2" analogue tape, using only acoustic live instrumentation played mostly by Adrian himself, and recorded together as a group in one room, the project boasts incredible dedication, discipline, and skill sets that few others in modern day can match. Adrian employed no computers, no drum sampling, and everything was recorded in one take. The result of a special moment for all involved, There Is Only Now proves that after two decades in the rap game hip-hop's Fab Four remains committed to the expansion of their legacy as hip-hop innovators and pioneers.

Starting with their landmark debut '93 'til Infinity, Oakland's four-person rap group Souls of Mischief has 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 with JIVE Records, creating the infrastructure blueprint for other succesful 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-90's. The group's creative output and legacy as a whole continues to thrive, and they show no sign of stopping. In 2013, Souls celebrated the 20 year anniversary of '93 til Infinity, prepped a documentary film, embarked on a 50-city "Still Infinity Tour," and released a joint 20th anniversary limited edition tee shirt capsule collection with Ecko Unlimited. They are now prepping for the August 26th release of their sixth studio album, There Is Only Now, a cinematic collaborative effort with renowned producer Adrian Younge on Adrian's newly launched Linear Labs record label.

BATTLE RAP REALITY SERIES SECURES DISTRO DEAL WITH FUSE.
Electus Digital announced today a licensing deal with Fuse, the national television network dedicated to music, for exclusive domestic television distribution of original battle rap reality program Road to Total Slaughter. Fuse will debut new episodes of the four-part competition series weekly, beginning June 18. Co-produced by Shady Films and Electus Digital's WatchLOUD.com, Road to Total Slaughter will determine the undercard contenders for the first-ever live Total Slaughter rap battle main event, which will take place on July 12 in New York City.

Road to Total Slaughter will feature eight of the top battle MCs in the country living together as they vie in a single-elimination tournament, for the chance to perform later this summer on the biggest stage in the history of battle rap. The new generation of stars will be mentored along the way by battle rap legends Loaded Lux and Murda Mook, with each of the four episodes culminating in a high-stakes, drama-filled battle judged by the Shady Records super-group Slaughterhouse. The eight battle rappers competing in Road to Total Slaughter are Arsonal (Newark, NJ), Aye Verb (St. Louis, MO), Big T (Chicago, IL), Cortez (Brooklyn, NY), Daylyt (Watts, CA), Dizaster (Los Angeles, CA), Marv Won (Detroit, MI) and Math Hoffa (Brooklyn, NY).

Fuse will air the first episode of Road to Total Slaughter on Wednesday, June 18 at midnight, with subsequent episodes to roll out weekly on June 25, July 2 and July 9. The network will also air the special Bright Lights on July 10, which will provide a documentary-style look inside the lives of the four Total Slaughter headliners—Joe Budden, Loaded Lux, Murda Mook, and Hollow Da Don—as they prepare for the main event.

Executive producers on Road to Total Slaughter and Bright Lights are Ben Silverman, Drew Buckley, Evan Bregman and Montrel McKay of Electus, and Paul Rosenberg and Marshall Mathers of Shady Films.

"This partnership with Fuse provides an invaluable platform to bring the culture and sport of battle rap to a wider audience," says Montrel McKay, Executive Director of Development at Electus. "The team at Fuse believes in our and Shady Films' vision for the potential of battle rap, and it's exciting to have a partner who's willing to take an unfiltered and authentic look into this world."

Total Slaughter will be the debut live main event for the newly formed battle league of the same name, which was launched earlier this year by Eminem's Shady Films and Slaughterhouse. The event will take place at Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center in New York City on Saturday, July 12.

NWA BIOPIC FINALLY GETS GREEN LIGHT.
After more than five years, four writers and a tough-to-please trio that holds cast and script veto power, Universal's N.W.A biopic "Straight Outta Compton" is finally getting the green light.

Sources say the studio has assembled its leading threesome to tackle the roles of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and the late Eazy-E. The three parties with approval - Cube, Dre and Eazy-E's widow Tomica Wright - have signed off on the actors who will play the core members of the seminal rap group.

It's no secret that Cube has been lobbying for his son, O'Shea Jackson Jr., 24, to be cast as the teen version of his father, and it appears he got his wish.

Less known is the classically trained actor who is said to have won the role of Dre, Marcus Callender. Although the alum of New York's Shakespeare Lab at the Public Theater might be more familiar with Chekhov than Compton's gang-plagued streets, he beat out a phalanx of would-be rappers (the Beats co-founder originally wanted Michael B. Jordan to play him, but the actor is about to take on a Fantastic Four reboot at Fox). Still, Callender has some screen credits, including the pilot for Steve Zaillian's Criminal Justice on HBO, as well as bit parts in the CBS series Blue Bloods and Elementary.

Even more obscure is Jason Mitchell, who insiders say landed the role of Eazy-E after an out-of-the-park screen test. If his casting sticks, it will make for a great backstory, given that he is said to have no acting background and works in a kitchen. (Ironically, IMDB.com already lists two actors that are not correct: Donat Sean Abiff as Dre and Brian Gilbert as Cube.)

The casting of the film has been followed breathlessly for some time, ever since the studio first announced plans to bring the gangsta rap pioneers to the big screen. Despite scripts by Alan Wenkus, S. Leigh Savidge and Andrea Berloff, the project languished for years. But in 2012, F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job) became attached to the project, reviving its prospects. And in late 2013, Jonathan Herman did a major script overhaul, which got the studio excited. Then, in the spring, Universal shot a sequence in Los Angeles in order to qualify for California's film tax credit, which is set to expire. With the film technically underway, Universal had to find its cast. Sources say Wright was the final holdout, but she has finally given her stamp of approval, paving the way for principal photography to begin in less than two months. Source: Billboard

KANYE RETURNS TO BONNAROO.
With new wife Kim Kardashian looking on along with 80,000 fans, Kanye West showed up pretty much on time at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.

West seemed to be in a good mood Friday night at the annual festival just three weeks after his marriage to Kardashian in Florence, Italy. The 37-year-old rapper made no mention of his new wife, but Kardashian was on hand for the show. She watched from the soundboard, about 50 yards from her husband on the main stage, in stylish — but muddy Bonnaroo-unfriendly — high heels and white pants. She sang along and occasionally waved her hands in the air with the crowd.

The show comes six years after West famously began his first Bonnaroo appearance at 4:30 a.m. following technical delays with his set. West mentioned that appearance, again skewering Pearl Jam for delaying his start and the media he says inaccurately portrayed the reasons for his late start.

At one point, West stopped his set and repeatedly shouted: "Where the press at? Where the press at?"

There were many reporters on hand to catch the performance, marking what time he'd show up. West appeared 10 minutes after his listed start time and played a mix of hits and cuts from his 2013 album "Yeezus," which offered the most visually arresting moments of the night. He wrapped his set with the powerful "Blood on the Leaves" after about 90 minutes, 20 minutes before his scheduled finish.

The show, played under a full moon, included elements from West's recent arena tour, including one of the masks he wore. But he ditched the snow-capped mountain and white Jesus in favor of a 30-foot-tall LED screen. West performed mostly in silhouette, relying on the big screen to relay his distorted image to much of the crowd. Though most sang along with West, many fans could not see the artist perform.

Many of the elements in the show will be familiar to fans who've seen him recently. He gave a pep talk at one point, encouraging creative people to pursue their dreams. And he compared himself to John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, calling himself the biggest rock star in the world.

And he returned to a favorite speech about how he no longer needs hit songs or radio airplay because he's not competing with other living artists. He's looking to install himself as a timeless cultural icon.

"I ain't going after nobody on the radio," West said. "I'm going after Shakespeare. I'm going after Walt Disney. I'm going after Howard Hughes. I'm going after Genghis Khan. I'm going after Henry Ford ..."

LEBRON SCOOPS UP $30 MILLION FROM BEATS BY DRE SALE.
According to reports, Lebron James scooped up $30 million in stock and cash from the Beats by Dre sale by Apple.

Lebron James’ share in the Beats by Dre company is undisclosed, but he has reportedly made 10% of the $3 billion sale of the headphone and music streaming company. Iovine and Dre gave James prototypes of the Beats headphones back in 2008, prior to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Lebron James was given a share in Beats by Dre in exchange for promoting the headset. The deal is being tagged “the biggest equity cash payout for a professional athlete in history”.

GAME ANNOUNCES FATHERS DAY BASKETBALL TOURNY.
Game has announced a Father's Day basketball tournament this Saturday (June 14) and Sunday (June 15). Game made the announcement on Instagram with:

"ATTENTION: All #AAU 10u & 11u travel teams........ The @froggallstars are having our 1st annual #FathersDay tournament Saturday the 14th & Sunday the 15th for 10u & 11u teams !!!!!! There will be shuttles & you will be given the meet location upon your teams entry into the tournament. We also have surprise guests & gifts for winning teams as well as food & beverage service..... We only have a few spots left in both divisions so if interested....... Direct message @froggallstarsdirector or email Burrell Lee at froggallstarsdirector@gmail.com for more info... We look forward to seeing all of you this weekend - TheGame #froggallstars #weready #nikebasketball #hoops #summer #fun #basketball #kids #food #family," - Game

DRAKE AND LIL WAYNE ANNOUNCE TOUR.
Drake and Lil Wayne have announced a co-headlining U.S. tour. Promoted by Live Nation, the tour kicks off on Aug. 8 at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Darien Center, N.Y. and will make stops in 31 cities across the United States with shows planned in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Citi is the official credit card of the Drake Vs Lil Wayne Tour. Citi card members will have access to presale tickets beginning Tuesday, June 17 at 10:00 a.m. through Thursday, June 19 at 10:00 p.m. through Citi's Private Pass Program.

DRAKE VS LIL WAYNE TOUR
All dates and venues below subject to change.

Aug. 08
Darien Center, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
Aug. 09
Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center
Aug. 10
Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Aug. 12
Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Aug. 13
Hartford, CT XFINITY Theatre
Aug. 15
Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
Aug. 16
Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
Aug. 17
Burgettstown, PA First Niagara Pavilion
Aug. 19
Forest Hills, NY Forest Hills Tennis Stadium
Aug. 21
Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
Aug. 25
Mansfield, MA Xfinity Center
Aug. 26
Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
Aug. 27
Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
Aug. 29
Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
Aug. 30
Charlotte, NC PNC Music Pavilion
Aug. 31
Atlanta, GA
Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
Sept. 03
West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre
Sept. 04
Tampa, FL MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Sept. 06
Austin, TX Austin360 Amphitheater
Sept. 07
Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion
Sept. 10
Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Sept. 11
West Valley City, UT USANA Amphitheatre
Sept. 13
Ridgefield, WA Sleep Country Amphitheatre
Sept. 14
Auburn, WA White River Amphitheatre
Sept. 16
Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
Sept. 17
Wheatland, CA Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Sept. 19
Irvine, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Sept. 20
Chula Vista, CA Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Sept. 22
Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl
Sept. 25
Phoenix, AZ Ak-Chin Pavilion
Sept. 27
Woodlands, TX The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

BIRDMAN ENTERS PARTNERSHIP WITH MALOOF VENTURES.
Cash Money Records co-founder Bryan Williams aka Birdman has initiated a partnership with Maloof Ventures in regards to Never Hungover. The groundbreaking hangover prevention supplement is available across the country. Given its early success, availability will expand exponentially within the coming months.

Over the past two decades, Birdman has forged a longstanding professional and personal relationship with the Maloof family. Given that bond, Maloof Ventures presented Never Hungover to the visionary entrepreneur and Cash Money Records co-leader, and he immediately saw potential in the brand, initiating this collaboration. Together, these two entities strive to lift the brand up as a household name and the “leader in hangover prevention.”

About the partnership, Birdman comments, “It was only a matter of time before I would get to do something with the Maloof family. As soon as they showed me Never Hungover, I realized its immense promise, and I wanted to be a part of the brand. We all share the same enthusiasm and excitement. Through this partnership, we’re going to make a big impact on the marketplace.”

“I've known Birdman for several years and found him to be an engaging personality and brilliant business mind. His building of Cash Money Records to prominence is an amazing American success story. The combination of Maloof Ventures with Birdman and his team is going to take Never Hungover to even greater heights,” shares Gavin Maloof.

Steven Ferraro of Maloof Ventures says, “By coming together, we provide a lot of power. It’s an effective direct-to-market approach resulting from this formidable alliance. Together, we’re aspiring to make Never Hungover part of people’s lifestyle, maximize visibility, and accelerate rapid growth for the brand.”

That growth is due to the brand’s validity. Already, it has been featured on the television show Doctors. Expect more news about this partnership soon.

Never Hungover founder & C.E.O. Parrish Whitaker discovered this “drink, before you drink” serendipitously. When his sister was undergoing treatment for Lupus, he realized that the supplement that aided in her recovery could also be used to help prevent hangovers. After experimenting with different uses of this proprietary formula, Whitaker discovered that the mix of ingredients also helped minimize the effects caused by hangover symptoms when consumed before or while drinking. He immediately trademarked the name and began working on launching the product. Phil Maloof sampled Never Hungover at a spirit trade convention, and he realized that it actually worked. At that point, Maloof Ventures acquired Never Hungover and put it into official production, refining a satisfying lime-aid flavor, creating a clean, engaging bottle design and packaging, and officially bringing it to market in January 2014 at GNC stores nationwide.

Never Hungover is a great tasting dietary supplement that is comprised of a natural vitamin blend, antioxidants, amino acids, nutrients, and minerals. It is packaged as a 2oz serving in a bottle that can be consumed as a shot or mixer, as well as a 750ML bottle for on premise locations. It is designed to take up to an hour before or while consuming alcohol and experiences optimal results when taking one bottle per four drinks. It is caffeine and gluten-free. It contains zero carbs, calories, and no sugar.

DAVE CHAPPELLE & NAS COME TOGETHER FOR FINAL SHOW.
As announced on David Letterman last night, hip-hop icon Nas and Chappelle will come together for ninth and final show at Radio City Music Hall. Nas, accompanied by a full orchestra will perform music for his landmark album Illmatic. Nas recently released Illmatic XX via SONY Legacy. The collection celebrates the anniversary of Illmatic, the album that made him an icon. In conjunction with the release, Time Is Illmatic—a feature length documentary that examines the album—opened this year's Tribeca Film Festival and will hit theaters nationwide in October.

Five consecutive comedy shows and four music and comedy shows make up the Radio City Music Hall run for Dave Chappelle starting June 18 through June 26.

As Chappelle approaches the 10th anniversary of his concert movie Block Party, filmed in 2004, in Brooklyn, this run of shows at Radio City are Chappelle's first announced NYC engagement in over 10 years.

BIG SEAN TO SERVE AS CELEBRITY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL FOR THE DAY.
On Thursday, June 12 from 9 until 11 a.m., recording artist and Detroit native, Big Sean will return to his hometown to act as "Principal for the Day" at Bates Academy (Bates), an Excellent Schools Detroit "Top K-8 Recommended School." Competing against thousands of students from 37 Detroit Public Schools' (DPS) middle and high schools, Bates won the Get Schooled Detroit Attendance Challenge this spring. More than half of all participating schools posted attendance increases during the challenge. Joining the Bates students will be eighth graders from Durfee Elementary-Middle School (Durfee), who saw their attendance jump a district high of 11 percent through their participation in the Challenge. Shade 45 radio host Sway will serve as host and emcee of the day's events along with local radio personality, DJ Fingers, of FM 98 WJLB.

In an effort to combat chronic absenteeism across the district, DPS partnered with Get Schooled and its founding partner, Viacom, through the company's Viacommunity social responsibility umbrella, to offer the Detroit Attendance Challenge in support of the district's "On Time. All Day. Every Day." Campaign. The Attendance Campaign falls under the district's five-year Strategic Plan to initiate new methods to better serve the needs of students and families. The district implemented a new Attendance Policy in the fall of 2013 to provide a standardized and consistent district-wide policy for better enforcement and increase accountability among students, parents, staff and support agencies.

"The correlation between success in life and daily attendance in school is inarguable," said Big Sean. "As a former DPS student, I could not be more proud of the district for taking the issue of attendance seriously, and of Bates Academy for its awesome achievement. I'm excited to have the chance to celebrate the students' commitment to showing up for school, all day, every day."

In recognition of the role youth leadership played in affecting change on school campuses during the Challenge, Get Schooled and Viacom have founded the Get Schooled Student Leadership Corps in partnership with Detroit-based nonprofit, the Coleman A. Young Foundation (CAYF). At the recommendation of The Skillman Foundation, Get Schooled tapped the longstanding CAYF to serve as the implementation partner for the new initiative. As principal for the day, Big Sean will help launch the Corps' inaugural class of 30 students from across DPS. He will join Sway, Mike Grams, metro Detroit native and Chief Operating Officer of Taco Bell, and Get Schooled Executive Director, Marie Groark, along with senior leadership from DPS in a conversation about leadership with the inaugural class of the Get Schooled Leadership Corps.

"Detroit students have been working hard all year to boost their attendance," said Marie Groark, Executive Director of Get Schooled. "We are excited Big Sean is able to recognize their hard work and determination, and even more thrilled that he will be able to join us for the announcement of our first-ever student leadership corps, right here in Detroit."
Big Sean attended the Detroit Waldorf School, a school of art, from kindergarten to eighth grade. He later attended and graduated from Cass Technical High School. The chart-topping artist was first signed to Kanye West's music label GOOD in 2007 and then to Island Def Jam in 2008. Following the release of the trilogy of mixtapes for which he was initially recognized, Def Jam dropped the artist's hit album, Finally Famous in July of 2011, followed by the award-winning mixtape Detroit in September 2012 and Hall of Fame, which debuted at number three in the Billboard 200, in August of 2013.

The Challenge, which is made possible by a partnership between Get Schooled, Viacom and DPS, took place over three rounds of competition this spring. More than half of all DPS middle and high schools were active and engaged in the campaign by checking into school every day on the Get Schooled website, and participating in online discussions about school involvement, career aspirations and study tips. The final round of the competition included the prize of a visit from Big Sean.

"I am beyond pleased by the hard work and dedication our students have demonstrated throughout the course of this campaign," said Dr. Cleo M. Moody, principal at Bates Academy. "Get Schooled has done a remarkable job of making the very important issue of attendance relevant to students by connecting it to popular culture. Seeing our kids come together in pursuit of a common goal that resulted in improved attendance and an increased level of engagement, was truly rewarding."

EMINEM MAKES HISTORY / DIGITAL DIAMOND AWARDS.
Eminem has hit a new milestone in his long streak of impressive music sales: He has now become the first artist to earn two Digital Diamond Awards from the RIAA.

Slim Shady just earned a new Diamond certification in recognition of the single "Not Afraid" surpassing the 10 million threshold counting song sales and streams. He also holds an 11x multi-Platinum Digital Single Diamond Award for "Love The Way You Lie" (featuring Rihanna). In addition to two Diamond song honors, Eminem also has two 10x multi-Platinum Diamond certified albums: The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show. His career RIAA album awards represent more than 37 million sold in the United States, while his digital single certifications surpass the 31 million threshold, counting downloads and streams and spanning 10 separate songs.

"We are delighted to recognize Eminem as the first artist to earn two RIAA Digital Diamond Awards," commented Cary Sherman, Chairman & CEO of the RIAA. "This singular achievement – earning a Diamond Award on two separate digital songs – is unparalleled, and we congratulate him on forever etching a mark in Gold & Platinum Program history."

Meanwhile, Eminem will kick off The Monster Tour with Rihanna this summer in Los Angeles on August 7 and 8. The brief tour also hits Detroit on August 16 and 17, and New York on August 22 and 23.

LIL KIM GIVES BIRTH TO ROYAL REIGN.
Lil Kim's assistant, Noel Perez, confirms that the 38-year-old gave birth to daughter Royal Reign on Monday. It is her first child. Lil' Kim, whose real name is Kim Jones, released a song called "Haterz" in April.

PHARELL WILLIAMS PARTNERS UP FOR COMMUNITY EDUCATION INITIATIVE.
EverFi, Inc., the leading critical skills education company, has announced a new partnership with From One Hand to AnOTHER, an educational non-profit founded by internationally renowned musician and producer Pharrell Williams.

Beginning this summer, EverFi will provide digital learning opportunities to students attending the Summer of Innovation Camp coordinated by From One Hand to AnOTHER in Virginia Beach, VA. Designed to spark student interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the camps will reach over 500 students in third through eighth grades and provide them with Ignition - Digital Literacy & Responsibility™ and Vault - Understanding Money™, two of EverFi's web-based courses designed for elementary and middle school students.

"Children are filled with so much possibility and potential, but it's critical that we surround them with opportunities to learn, to be creative, and to have access to passionate teachers and mentors," said Pharrell Williams. "If we're going to develop a prepared workforce and the future leaders of America, we need to make these kinds of critical learning opportunities possible even during the summer months."

To announce the initiative, Pharrell Williams headlined a kickoff event at his alma mater, Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach on Saturday, June 7. More than 800 students, administrators, and community members attended the event including Virginia delegate Ron Villanueva and Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, who presented Pharrell Williams with a key to the city. Representatives from the office of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe also announced an official proclamation naming June 7 as Pharrell Williams Day across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

We're incredibly fortunate to be working together with one of the world's great creative forces and education advocates," said Tom Davidson, EverFi chief executive officer. "This partnership is exactly the kind we need to elevate the importance of STEM education and mentorship."

With EverFi's Ignition, students learn how to live and succeed in the modern digital world filled with smartphones, computers, Internet, online identity risks, and cyberbullying. The curriculum focuses on building digital skills, such as creating a blog and maintaining a responsible social networking profile, while also helping students understand the technology skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow. EverFi's Vault increases students' knowledge and builds the foundation for making good financial decisions at a young age. For example, students are challenged to learn financial responsibility, build money management skills, and understand the importance of insurance and long-term savings.

RIHANNA NAMES WOLDS MOST DESIRABLE WOMAN @ 2014 GUYS CHOICE AWARDS.
Rihanna has been named the world’s Most Desirable Woman at the 2014 Guys Choice Awards.

She challenged comedian Kevin Hart, who asked, “How many men are mad that she didn't come naked?”, as he presented the singer with the award in Los Angeles on Saturday 7 June.

“I knew pervs like you would be here at the Guys Choice Awards,” said to Hart. “Well, I mean, thank you for voting me for this at 26 because we all know it goes downhill from here. But this is a fun award, I appreciate it. Shout out to all the real men out there.” The show will premiere on Spike TV on Wednesday, June 11, at 9 p.m.

BEASTIE BOYS AWARDED $1.7 MILLION IN MONSTER CASE.
The Beastie Boys have won $1.7 million in a copyright violation case against the maker of Monster Energy drink.

Thursday's ruling ends a case in which the two surviving members of the band testified about their staunch opposition to the use of their music in commercial endorsements.

"We're happy," rapper Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz said outside the courtroom after the federal court jury in Manhattan returned its verdict after a day of deliberations.

The Corona, California-based Monster Energy Co. had admitted wrongly using Beastie Boys songs in a video that was online for five weeks. But the beverage maker insisted it should owe no more than $125,000. The Beastie Boys had sought $2 million.

Horovitz clasped his wife's hand tightly in the first row of spectator seating as the judge read aloud a verdict in which jurors found Monster had committed willful copyright infringement involving five songs: "Sabotage," ''So Watcha Want," ''Make Some Noise," ''Pass the Mic" and "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun."

Jurors chose to award $120,000 for each of 10 violations of copyright. The jury also awarded an additional $500,000 after finding that Monster used the bands' persona without permission, suggesting a false endorsement of Monster's products.

The sometimes lighthearted New York rappers were humorless at trial, with Horovitz sitting intently through testimony and deliberations for a case he clearly took seriously. As it became clear the band was getting almost everything it asked for, Horovitz nodded in agreement with several of the findings. He hugged his wife after the verdict.

Outside court, he said the band wanted to thank the jury. Jurors had already left the building, with each of them declining comment. Lawyers for Monster said the company would appeal.

The eight-day trial featured testimony from Horovitz and bandmate Michael "Mike D" Diamond, who also attended the trial most days. Another member of the band, the gravelly-voiced rapper Adam "MCA" Yauch, died in May 2012 at age 47 after a nearly three-year battle with cancer.

Horovitz had testified the legendary hip-hop group would never license songs to endorse commercial products.

Diamond testified that the band is protective of and dependent for revenue on its existing catalog of music since Yauch died.

"We cannot tour. We cannot make recordings," he said.

The Beastie Boys, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, have turned out four No. 1 albums and sold more than 40 million records as they helped bring hip-hop to the mainstream over the last three decades. In 1986, they topped the charts with their debut, "Licensed to Ill," which include the anthem "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)"

GAME SIGNS TO EONE / ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
Earlier today, Game announced that eOne will distribute his next album, Blood Money La Familia. The LP hits retail September 16.

Entertainment One Music is proud to announce a new marketing/ distribution deal with superstar The Game (Jayceon Taylor) through Blood Money La Familia/Fifth Amendment Ent./eOne Music. The new album, BLOOD MONEY LA FAMILIA, is scheduled to be released on September 16, 2014 with the first 2 singles “BIGGER THAN ME” and “OR NAH” dropping this month. The album is executive produced by long time Game associate Cash “Wack” Jones, and Stat Quo.

BEATS BY Will.i.am ?
Not too many are aware that, will.i.am (née William Adams) owns a founding stake in Beats Electronics. Though his exact share is not public information and he declines to disclose his take, he is guaranteed a big payday. Even if the musician, producer, futurist and deep thinker only had a 1% share -- a minimal estimate -- he'd be in for a $30 million dollar pay out, all for an idea that hit him while on tour with the Peas in Europe in 2004. There he saw fans holding up hardware (cameraphones), not lighters like they still did in the U.S.

Asked if the Apple deal will alter his life, will.i.am only says, “It’s going to change my foundation’s life in a major way,” referring to his i.am.angel Foundation, which helps underprivileged kids receive help with their high school studies and supplemental STEM (science, technology and mathematics) and tech-infused curriculums, which can lead to college scholarships. “I used to have 60 kids, now I have 300 kids and there’s a waiting list for people who want to join my program. I was going to raise money to pay for the 300 kids, now I can pay for them myself.”

Much of the pre- and post-Apple-Beats deal speculation focused on co-founders Iovine and Dre’s role in the new partnership. No one has asked will.I.am, the actual catalyst behind Beats brand, if he is going to work for Apple.

“No, my contract’s not like that,” he explains. “That’s why, at the same time, I was also a consultant at Intel and also working at a lot of companies. Before Alicia Keys was at BlackBerry, I was at Blackberry, when BlackBerry was BlackBerry. I used to work with Mike [Lazaridis] and Jim [Balsillie] at BlackBerry from around 2007-2009."

In addition to being a Beats co-founder, will.i.am says he consulted on “navigation and integration to further the product's cultural adaptation.” He recalls wearing his Beats prototypes before the products were even released, to a Larry King interview right after Super Tuesday. “Google Larry King, Maya Angalou and Obama in 2008” he says.

will.i.am sporting a prototype of the Beats by Dre headphones before they were on the market while on CNN with the late Maya Angelou.

He also mentions writing lyrics to “Boom Boom Pow” which reference “rocking them Beats” (not a reference to the blockrocking kind) and, perhaps most audacious, the BEP’s 2011 Super Bowl appearance. There, in the middle of the 50 yeard line in Arlington, TX, the Peas' stage formed a Beats logo with an arrow pointing to it just as Slash emerged from below to play Sweet Child O’ Mine’ with Fergie channeling her best Axl (video below).

"I think he's a creative genius," says Omar Johnson, Beats CMO. "He's been a great advocate for the brand and he's been a great advocate for the mission. I remember standing at the Super Bowl and turning my head and being like 'Holy shit!' Will will always surpise you."

will.i.am says the Super Bowl stunt was a "gift for Jimmy," whom he has called a father figure, mentor and teacher. Iovine has played an integral role in his life since 1997 when Warner, V2, Sony and Interscope were all in the hunt to sign the Black Eyed Peas. According to him there were offers of over a million dollars on the table while Iovine’s offer was only $450,000.

“Jimmy was like, 'Look, Will, this game has gotten out of control,” will.i.am says. “For a group like yours, $450,000 is sill a lot of money. You can go sign with Polly [the late Polly Anthony at Sony] for a million-plus, because I’m not going to give you that kind of money. It’s ridiculous. But I promise you, if you sign with me for $450,000, no matter how many records you sell, you can always make records with me until you guys get it right I promise you that.’"

The BEPs signed with Interscope, but not before Will explained to his band mates that they weren’t actually leaving money on the table. “I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s a million, but they’re paying us with our money. They’re just paying us in advance of money that we’re gonna make already. If we believe in ourselves, we should go with Jimmy because we can record with him regardless of how many records we sell. So let’s go here.’ And Jimmy kept his promise.”

Iovine’s word over the years has come to mean everything to will.i.am, and then some. In fact, just after the Apple-Beats announcement, will.i.am reached out to his mentor, who referenced the deal.

Check out this text [Jimmy] sent me. I said, 'Congratulations Jimmy, you took the seed of an idea of doing hardware and you planted it, you nurtured it, you watered it and every once in a while I’d come around to soil the ground. But you built an oak tree!’ And he said, ‘You know Will, this is just the beginning of what we are going to do. I feel good that I kept my promise to will.i.am that he could always record with me while I was at Interscope.’ And that shit made me cry. That shit made me cry like, yo, this guy told me the truth in 1997! Sign with me in 1997 and we can always make records.”

But with Iovine out at Interscope, one has to wonder if and how his promise can still be kept. When the question is posed to will.i.am, his answer seems almost prescient. “We have this thing called Beats Music, right? Like, a year ago, before it really launched, I was like ‘Jimmy, this is really nuts.’ And he’s like ‘Really, what’s crazy?’ And I was like, ‘No, I should be making music exclusively for Beats.’ But only on Beats, Spotify can’t spot it if it’s only on Beats Music. We need to do Black Eyed Peas albums only on Beats.”

While the prospect of exclusives on streaming services raises fascinating possibilities for the future of the music business and tech behemoths, will.i.am paints another interesting scenario. ‘Think if Apple didn’t buy Beats,” he says. “and Beats said to T-Mobile, ‘We’re just gonna take the music service and embed it into the headphone,’ that would be software and hardware. Imagine if Apple didn't buy Beats and then they combined it. Look at how powerful iTunes was when it launched. So Beats and Beats Music was an uh-oh to everyone and Apple saw it. Apple were the first uh-oh to everybody in consumer electronics in 2004."

By “uh-oh” will.i.am means disruption. It's a topic he is well-versed in and even spoke about most recently at the Milken Conference. If the musician-com-technology-and-culture strategist is anything, he is a man of big ideas. He peppers his speech with neologisms like “nexterday” (the future today); speaks knowledgeably about the history of General Electric creating the modern day music industry with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and Victrolas; and meets with venture capitalists and start-ups and paints an alluring future with a “smart house” that will know our every whim. “Tomorrow’s currency,” he says, “is going to be information and data – and it all depends on how we utilize it.” Source: Billboard

COMMON INKS WITH NO I.D.'S ARTIUM/DEF JAM.
Two-time Grammy Award®-winning Chicago rapper, actor Common has fulfilled a life-long goal with the announcement of his signing to No I.D.'s Artium /Def Jam Recordings. "Kingdom" featuring Vince Staples out now, Common's lead track from his upcoming tenth studio album Nobody's Smiling, set for July 22nd release.

Nobody's Smiling marks a creative reunion between Common and his long-time friend and collaborator No I.D., EVP / Co-Head of A&R, Def Jam Recordings, who came of age in the '90s as producer of Common's first three albums (on then-indie Relativity). The 2014 release of Nobody's Smiling, executive produced by No I.D., commemorates the 20th anniversary of Common's breakthrough album Resurrection (1994), with his signature tracks, "Resurrection" and "I Used To Love H.E.R." Nobody's Smiling is Common's first new album since 2011's The Dreamer/The Believer.

"Common and I have a long history of making great music together," said No I.D. "His rich legacy and robust talent are perfect additions to the Def Jam family. It's particularly significant that he's coming under our roof for his 10th album as a matured artist and cultural ambassador. It's a tremendous boost for the spirit of Def Jam as well as the world of hip-hop."

Since his motion picture debut in 2006 (Smokin' Aces), Common has carved out an impressive career in more than a dozen films, including such major box office successes as American Gangster (2007), Street Kings (2008), Terminator Salvation (2009), Date Night (2010), and more. Common is also the lead co-star on AMC's post-Civil War western action series Hell On Wheels, returning for a fourth season this summer 2014.

The album title Nobody's Smiling was inspired by Common's troubled hometown of Chicago, "I'm honored to team up with No I.D. and be a part of the Artium and Def Jam family. ? Creating this album and signing to Def Jam feels like a new beginning for me. I feel like a new artist because I created this album with the purpose to give back to my city and to the culture of hip hop. Def Jam is part of the foundation of hip hop and being able to work with No I.D. was returning to my foundation now with new energy and new hunger."

JHENE AIKO INKS WITH BMI.
Jhené Aiko has signed with BMI for representation of the public performances of her music. The newcomer is generating chart buzz with her current single, “The Worst.”

Produced by Fisticuffs, the song hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop chart this year, making Aiko the first female artist to top the chart as a lead with a debut single since 2008.

The singer/songwriter is due to release "Souled Out," her full-length album debut, in late summer through Artium/Def Jam. The set’s producers include No I.D. and Fisticuffs. Aiko has also garnered three nominations for the 2014 BET Awards (June 29): best female R&B/pop artist, the Centric Award and the Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award.

In a statement announcing the signing, BMI VP, writer/publisher relations Catherine Brewton said, “Jhené Aiko has brought a new and fresh sound to music. Her smooth voice and compelling lyrics are the perfect combination to fill a void in popular music.” Source: Billboard

INTERSCOPE GEFFEN A&M NAMES NEW VP OF A&R.
The former director of A&R joined the company in 2011, and has since signed and developed such acts as Lana Del Rey, Aloe Blacc and Cedric Gervais. He also shepherded Carly Rae Jepsen’s album "Kiss," which included the hit single “Call Me Maybe,” to market.

“John has an incredible ear and eye for talent, and I’m pleased to see him step up into a bigger role at the company,” said new IGA chairman and CEO John Janick in a statement. "He’s an instrumental part of our team here, and his commitment to his artists can’t be overstated."

The 31-year-old Ehmann began his career in the music business in 2004 as an intern at J records prior to the label's merger with RCA.

JERMAINE DUPRI & NE-YO TO RECEIVE SPECIAL HONORS.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will host its 27th annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards on Thursday, June 26th, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. The invitation-only event will pay special tribute to Jermaine Dupri and Ne-Yo, and will honor the songwriters and publishers of the most performed ASCAP songs on the 2013 R&B/hip-hop, rap and gospel charts.

During the ceremony, Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist, songwriter and producer Jermaine Dupri will be presented with prestigious ASCAP Founders Award. The award is among the most prestigious honors that ASCAP gives to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Each recipient is a musical innovator who possesses a unique style of creative genius that will enrich generations to come. Past recipients include Ashford & Simpson, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Dr. Dre, Berry Gordy Jr. & Motown Industries, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Smokey Robinson, Patti Smith, Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder.

"For over two decades, Jermaine has consistently provided the world with hit after hit after hit, many of which we already know as classics," commented ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams. "Over the years, ASCAP has honored only the cream of the songwriting crop with our Founders Award. And in our 100th year as the leading PRO, we're thrilled to add Jermaine to this impressive list of music creators."

Jermaine Dupri has established a successful career as a hip-hop artist, producer, songwriter, author and CEO of So So Def Recordings, which he founded in 1989. He has collaborated with artists such as Usher, Mariah Carey and Nelly. His career milestones include the release of several platinum recordings as CEO of So So Def and winning a Grammy for Best R&B Song. He is one of only a few producers in music history to garner four positions in the Top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart at one time. He is also the first recipient of the Billboard Otis Redding Excellence Award for his achievements both in and outside the studio. Jermaine Dupri previously won the ASCAP Golden Note Award in 2005.

Prolific songwriter-producer Ne-Yo will receive the ASCAP Golden Note Award, which is presented to songwriters, composers and artists who have achieved extraordinary career milestones. Previous honorees include Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Jay-Z, Quincy Jones, Alicia Keys, LL Cool J, Lionel Richie, Usher, Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder.

"We are thrilled to present Ne-Yo with the prestigious ASCAP Golden Note Award this year. We can't think of anyone else more deserving of this award based on the extraordinary career milestones we've seen him achieve through the years. We are excited to honor an artist who continues to push the limits of R&B and popular music with his incredible creativity," commented ASCAP VP of Rhythm & Soul Membership Nicole George-Middleton.

In the nearly ten years since Ne-Yo first broke onto the scene, the Grammy Award winner has racked up an entire career's worth of accomplishments as both a recording artist and songwriter for artists such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jay Z, Usher, Pitbull, Jennifer Hudson, Chrisette Michele and many, many more. His 2004 breakout song, Mario's "Let Me Love You," was a #1 Hot 100 hit that Billboard later determined to be the eighth most successful single of the decade. His first three albums -- 2006's In My Own Words, 2007's Because of You and 2008's Year of the Gentleman -- all went platinum in the US, bolstered by hits like "So Sick," "Because of You" and the Grammy Award-winning "Miss Independent." Five solo albums and countless hits later, Ne-Yo is still a major force on the music scene, currently serving as Senior Vice President of A&R at Motown Records.

During the ceremony, other top awards will also be given to the Songwriter of the Year, Publisher of the Year, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song, Top Rap Song and Top Gospel Song. The evening will feature performances by several award-winning songwriters/performers, and will be attended by some of the top names in the music and entertainment industry.

RIHANNA HONORED FOR STYLE @ CFDA FASHION AWARDS.
Rihanna, an undisputed fashion star of the moment, was the big draw Monday at the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America awards, which also honor the year's top designers.

The singer and pop culture star, dressed in a see-through fishnet dress, gloves and headscarf embellished with thousands of crystals, was awarded the group's 2014 Fashion Icon Award. Previous honorees have been Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, Nicole Kidman and Johnny Depp.

Also being honored at the glamorous ceremony at New York's Lincoln Center was designer Tom Ford, who won the CFDA's lifetime achievement award. The prestigious Founder's Award went to Bethann Hardison, a former model and modeling agent who has been a vocal champion for diversity on runways.

Joseph Altuzarra won CFDA's womenswear award while the menswear award went to designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, the duo behind the label Public School. Sisters Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen won the accessories award. CFDA's international award went to Raf Simons, of Dior.

The annual show, hosted this year by director and screenwriter John Waters, draws a mix of fashion insiders and Hollywood. This year, Rihanna was clearly the big name, along with an even newer fashion star: Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o, who presented the womenswear award. Others in attendance included Marion Cotillard, Blake Lively, Naomi Campbell, Coco Rocha, Jennifer Hudson, Anna Wintour and Emmy Rossum.

Speaking of Rihanna before the show, designer Zac Posen called the pop star a fashion risk-taker, who skillfully melds red-carpet glamour with a rebellious streak. Rihanna's choice for Monday's event of a sparkling, revealing, body-hugging gown, designed by Adam Selman, epitomized Posen's description.

"She takes risks and she marches to her own drum and she knows what she likes," Posen told The Associated Press in an interview. He recalled meeting the singer at his studio before she launched her first album.

"She was a fashion world novice then," he said, "but obviously she had looks and confidence and little-girl charm. All the ingredients were there for her to be a huge superstar: ambition, strength, and also vulnerability." Rihanna's occasional use of shock value, he said, "has kept her current, and balanced how classically beautiful she is."

Rihanna also has a great appreciation for designers, Posen added: "That's why people love to dress her."

ARSENIO HALL SHOW CANCELLED AFTER 1 SEASON.
"The Arsenio Hall Show" has been canceled because of low ratings, ending Hall's late-night comeback bid after a single season.

Hall's bid to recreate the success he enjoyed 20 years ago failed to find a big enough audience in the ever-crowded TV market.

CBS Television Production had previously announced Hall's syndicated show would be back for a second season, but faced the prospect of stations moving it to lesser time slots as ratings fell.

In a statement, Hall said he knew launching the show would be a challenge.

"I'm gratified for the year we've had and proud of the show we created," the actor and comedian added.

The show is in reruns and won't resume production, a show spokesman said. The last original episode aired May 21.

When Hall began his original series in 1989, he was seen as the cool alternative to Johnny Carson and "The Tonight Show" on NBC. Guests including sax playing-presidential candidate Bill Clinton helped push Hall into the spotlight.

By 1994, with increased competition from new "Tonight" host Jay Leno and CBS' David Letterman, Hall's ratings had slipped and the show ended.

When Hall returned last year, he was fighting for attention with even more programs, including ABC's Jimmy Kimmel and the Comedy Central lineup.

The cancellation of Hall's show returns the late-night talk show scene to almost uniformly white male hosts, with a few exceptions such as Tavis Smiley on PBS.

MONSTER BEVERAGE RELEASES STATEMENT ON BEASTIE BOYS TRIAL.
Monster has no intention of litigating this matter in the media, but since the case has now received publicity we felt we should let the public know the facts as we see them. Monster in good faith believed it had obtained the rights to use a compilation of certain Beastie Boys music for an Internet video. The video recounted a snowboarding event in Canada that Monster sponsored where the after party featured many Beastie Boys songs played by the DJs in honor of the recent death of one of the Beastie Boys’ members. The music that Monster used was provided by one of the DJs, who told Monster he had permission. When Monster was notified by the Beastie Boys that the company was mistaken in its belief that it had the proper authorization, Monster immediately removed the video from the Internet. The video received less than 14,000 views during the brief period it was online. This lawsuit is solely about what, if anything, Monster must pay to the Beastie Boys because of Monster’s good faith mistake. In Monster’s view the Beastie Boys are demanding sums that are far beyond any reasonable fair market value.

WHO'S REPLACING JIMMY IOVINE @ INTERSCOPE?
Universal Music Group (UMG), announced today that John Janick, COO and President of Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA), will succeed Jimmy Iovine as Chairman and CEO of IGA later this year. As separately announced today, Iovine, who founded the Interscope label in 1989 and later co-founded Beats Electronics in 2008, will join Apple® when it closes its acquisition of Beats. The transaction is expected to close in Apple's fiscal fourth quarter (which closes in September), subject to regulatory approval.

Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG, said, "I'm thrilled to announce John Janick's promotion to Chairman and CEO of IGA. Since coming to UMG nearly two years ago, he has consistently shown why he is widely regarded as one of the most talented, innovative and entrepreneurial executives in the music business today and will be a key player in the future generation of industry leaders. John is the ideal executive to be writing the next chapter in IGA's illustrious history."

Grainge continued, "What Jimmy has done for IGA and UMG is immeasurable. I cannot express how enormously grateful I am for both his partnership and his friendship. While we will miss him as a member of the UMG family, with his appointment at Apple, Jimmy will now be in a position to expand and extend his singular vision and talent, the result of which will, undoubtedly, accelerate the growth of the entire music industry. We look forward to the next exciting phase of Jimmy's extraordinary career as that special creative spark Jimmy brings to whatever he touches leads to innovations and advances in entertainment and technology that will delight music fans around the world."

Iovine said, "John Janick has exactly what it takes to lead Interscope Geffen A&M: he started his own label, he understands the art of making records and the unique dynamic between a record label and artist, as well as the enormous responsibility that comes with representing one of the greatest artist rosters ever assembled. It's always been so important to me to be able to identify and train the right successor, so I'm thrilled to have found John Janick. And during the last few years, as I was preparing John to take the reins, Lucian Grainge was transforming UMG, a transformation that made it possible for me to make this transition knowing that Interscope is in good hands."

Janick said, "To have been able to work alongside Jimmy Iovine and contribute to the current success of Interscope Geffen A&M--three of the most storied brands in music—has been an extraordinary privilege. Now to be appointed Jimmy's successor and be in a position to carry on his tradition of creative excellence and innovation is a truly humbling honor. I want to thank Lucian and Jimmy for their belief in me and for fostering an environment that values artistry and entrepreneurship above all else."

Janick, who joined IGA in October 2012 and took over the day-to-day management responsibilities of the company, has enjoyed a highly successful partnership with Iovine. Recently, IGA realized industry-leading commercial and creative success. From 2012 to 2013, IGA achieved a 1.04% increase in current US album (plus TEA) market share according to Nielsen SoundScan, the greatest increase in current share for any UMG label during the period. The strong results have been driven by a series of new and established artist successes across a wide variety of genres. Among the many achievements were platinum and multi-platinum-selling releases by Eminem, Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey, Maroon 5, Phillip Phillips and Robin Thicke.

UMG CHAIRMAN & CEO RELEASES STATEMENT REGARDING JIMMY IOVINE'S APPOINTMENT @ APPLE & BEATS SALE. "History teaches us that great entrepreneurs are few and far between. Jimmy Iovine is one of that small number of entrepreneurs who, by doing so much so well in so many different arenas, have left their indelible mark. He founded, and for more than 20 years has led Interscope, a label that has consistently been in the forefront of the music business, both artistically and commercially. He has put in place, developed and mentored there a world-class management team. At the same time, Jimmy co-founded Beats, a wildly-successful, cutting-edge company that revolutionized how consumers listen to music, and from there went on to build a platform that is advancing the evolution of the access model for the entire music industry. Based on mutual trust and respect, UMG's singular relationship with Jimmy permitted his innovation to flourish in all these ways. Together we created a once-in-a-generation opportunity that allowed Jimmy to maximize the use of his many talents. In recent years, as Jimmy partnered with John Janick, one of the industry's most talented and promising young executives, Interscope's results have skyrocketed. We thank Jimmy for both the incomparable leadership he's provided to Interscope and UMG and for the highly beneficial partnership UMG has enjoyed with Beats. We wish Jimmy the very best and look forward to enhancing our partnerships with Apple and Beats for many years to come."

BEASTIE BOYS' AD-ROCK TESTIFIES.
Beastie Boys rapper Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz had an easy answer Wednesday for a lawyer asking why the hip-hop group refuses to endorse products but licensed its music for a watch company's snowboarding video.

"We like sports," Horovitz told the lawyer for beverage-maker Monster Energy Co. He said snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing are all hits with the band he started with two others in the 1980s when he was a teenager.

The testimony came at a trial stemming from a lawsuit the band brought against the Corona, California-based Monster.

The company admits it violated the Beastie Boys' copyrights by including its songs in a video that was online for five weeks. But it insists it should owe no more than $125,000, partly because it was viewed fewer than 14,000 times. The band wants over $2 million.

On Tuesday, Horovitz testified immediately after opening statements, saying flatly: "We don't license our songs for products."

Cross-examined by attorney Dana Michelle Susman on Wednesday, Horovitz agreed that the band had licensed songs for use in a video made by a watch maker. But he said it was because his fellow band mate was friends with the company's owner and because the proceeds were destined for charity.

He said it was also natural that the band would support outdoor sports. The music included at least three Beastie Boys songs and accompanied video of snowboarders doing stunts and speaking on camera.

"We come from a community of snowboarders, skateboarders, extreme sports world, so we're enthusiasts of that," he testified.

At one point, he tried to steer the conversation back to Monster.

"We're here because Monster Energy used our music without a license," Horovitz said.

After testifying, Horovitz returned to the first row of the courtroom's spectator section, where he sat with his wife and watched John Silva, his Los Angeles music manager, testify about contracts.

IT'S OFFICIAL - APPLE AQUIRES BEATS FOR $3 BILLION.
Apple® has announced it has agreed to acquire the critically acclaimed subscription streaming music service Beats Music, and Beats Electronics, which makes the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software. As part of the acquisition, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple. Apple is acquiring the two companies for a total of $3 billion, consisting of a purchase price of approximately $2.6 billion and approximately $400 million that will vest over time.

“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”

“I’ve always known in my heart that Beats belonged with Apple,” said Jimmy Iovine. “The idea when we started the company was inspired by Apple’s unmatched ability to marry culture and technology. Apple’s deep commitment to music fans, artists, songwriters and the music industry is something special.”

Wednesday's announcement comes nearly three weeks after deal negotiations were leaked to the media. It's by far the most expensive acquisition in Apple's 38-year history, a price that the company is paying to counter a threat posed to its iTunes store.

The price consists of $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in Apple stock that will vest over an unspecified time period. The deal is expected to close before October.

With $1.1 billion in revenue last year, Beats is already making money and will boost Apple's earnings once the new fiscal year begins in October, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview.

"We have known these guys forever," Cook said of Iovine and Dre. "We've dated, we've gone steady and now we are getting married. This relationship started a decade ago, so we know there is an incredible cultural fit. These two guys have a very rare set of skills. It's like finding a particular grain of sand on the beach. It's that rare."

Iovine, 61, and Dre, 49, will both become key executives in Apple's music divisions, though Cook said their roles haven't been determined yet. Cook indicated Beats' music streaming service was the main selling point in the deal, though the headphone line also is expected to continue growing, too.

Although he believes most technology companies are "culturally inept," Iovine said he believes Apple will empower Beats to realize its goals of improving the sound of digital music and creating playlists tailored for each subscriber.

"To complete our dream, we needed a company like (Apple)," Iovine said in an interview. "We couldn't finish this on our own."

The growing popularity of music streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify has been reducing sales of songs and albums, a business that iTunes has dominated for the past decade. U.S. sales of downloaded songs slipped 1 percent last year to $2.8 billion while streaming music revenue surged 39 percent to $1.4 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Although Apple broke into streaming with the launch of iTunes Radio last September, the service has not been as popular or as lucrative as the company expected, according to two people familiar with the matter. The people were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

ITunes Radio has 40 million listeners will continue as a free service with ads while Beats Music will try to tap into the more than 800 million accounts to sell more subscriptions to its customized service. Beats Music currently has more than 250,000 subscribers, Cook said. That's well below the more than 10 million paying customers that Spotify's streaming service boasts.

Apple is counting on the Beats acquisition to boost its cachet with teenagers and younger adults as it tries to remain a leader in digital music — an industry that looks much different than when Apple reshaped the scene with the 2001 debut of the iPod.

"Apple suddenly has regained its cool," said Sony Music CEO Doug Morris, who was one of the first recording executives to embrace iTunes at Iovine's urging more than a decade ago.

Beats was founded in 2008 by Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, and Iovine, a longtime recording industry executive who is stepping down as chairman of Universal Music Group's Interscope Geffen A&M Records to join Apple. It now dominates the luxury headphone market. Its equipment is also a big seller in Apple's stores.

Operating from its Culver City, California, headquarters, Beats commands 62 percent of the $1 billion U.S. market for headphones priced above $100, according to NPD Group.

The purchase marks Apple CEO Tim Cook's biggest strategic break from the way the Cupertino, California, company was led under co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in October 2011. Jobs favored smaller acquisitions and didn't believe subscription music plans would be popular. Before Beats, Apple's biggest acquisition had been its $400 million purchase of NeXt Computer, a company that Jobs founded after being ousted from Apple in the 1980s.

Cook said he never considered what Jobs would have thought about the Beats' acquisition during the negotiations. Jobs "told me to do what was right," Cook said. "And I am 100 percent certain this is what is right. This is one of those things that we will look back upon and say it was meant to be."

Morris, who considers Iovine to be his best friend, believes Cook is making a smart move that will give Apple even more credibility in the music industry.

"It's a game changer because Jimmy is that kind of guy who can change a game," Morris said. "I am not saying he is Steve Jobs, but he is a guy with new ideas and he really knows how to build the bridge between music and technology."

But some analysts question whether Beats will be a good fit for Apple, which makes most of its money selling hardware such as iPhones and iPads.

Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett says Apple would have been better off developing its own headphones in-house and expanding into music subscriptions through iTunes.

"It's hard to understand why Apple would have to spend $3 billion on a nascent streaming service and a line of bass-heavy headphones," Gillett says.

Yukari Iwatani Kane, the author of "Haunted Empire," an inside look at Apple since co-founder Jobs' death, also sees a disconnect.

"Culturally, Beats is the complete opposite of Apple," Kane says. "It's known for being loud and bold and in your face. It doesn't fit with Apple's understated, discerning brand."

Having visited Apple on a regular basis since he first met Jobs more than a decade ago, Iovine said he has no qualms about joining Apple.

"This is not a big company to us," Iovine said. "We can roller skate in the halls here. Dre and I have been working together for 22 years. We are not about to go somewhere where we are going to fall."

Dre was more sedate Wednesday than he was in a celebratory video posted online declaring him as hip-hop's first billionaire after news of the Apple talks leaked earlier this month. "To be able to do something that could potentially change the world, I'm thrilled."

NAS PARTNERS WITH EDUCATION INNOVATOR.
Koru, a company focused on transforming the college-to-career landscape, today announced a partnership with Nas, the legendary rapper, songwriter and actor, to bring Nas' expertise in real world training and business to college graduates in the Koru program. The Nas Scholarship Fund will sponsor students who are carefully selected by the celebrated musician to receive financial aid. Koru is a highly selective program that has partnered with 13 of the country's top colleges to accept top graduates who exhibit high levels of competency, academics, potential and grit. As part of the partnership, Nas and his investment company, Queensbridge Venture Partners, also made a significant investment in Koru.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 50 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. At the same time, nearly half of U.S. employers report difficulty finding qualified recent graduates. Koru is eager to obliterate that statistic and has started a company that is transforming the often-difficult college-to-career transition with an immersive, experiential learning program. Nas has committed to a role as an engaged and involved partner with Koru to help teach, guide and mentor select college graduates as they enter the workforce.

"I'm inspired to support Koru participants because I know how hard it can be to carve out your path and purpose in life. It takes conviction, hard work and the right network. The young people going through Koru are gritty, book smart and street smart. The Koru program gives them an opportunity to put those smarts to work. I can't wait to work directly with them and share what I've learned through my own life experiences, " said Nas.

Koru runs employer-embedded programs with world-class companies that are actively hiring. College students can apply for the Koru program and an opportunity to receive a Nas Scholarship at www.joinkoru.com. The program is designed to make recent college graduates workplace-ready and place them inside some of the most exciting, high-growth companies in the US. The deadline for the July program is June 9th and the deadline for the September programs in Seattle and San Francisco is June 30th.

Two of the first recipients of the Nas Scholarship Fund are Steeve Simbert, a Georgetown University class of 2015 graduate with a major in Government, and Marixa Rodriguez, an Occidental University class of 2014 graduate with a double major in History and Spanish. Nas, and the team at Koru, carefully selected these remarkable young graduations for their high level of grit, academic excellence and personal accomplishments.

"We're thrilled to work with Nas and are impressed with his commitment to Koru's mission of providing a bridge between recent graduates and world-class companies," said Kristen Hamilton, cofounder and CEO of Koru. "The level of expertise and knowledge that Nas brings to our team is exceptional and a unique opportunity for the participants in our program."

50 CENT WELCOMES BOYS II MEN TO SMS AUDIO AS BRAND AMBASSADOR.
SMS Audio, LLC, a premier audio headphone and accessories brand, today announces that Boyz II Men, the world’s best-selling R&B group of all time, joins SMS Audio as a brand ambassador. As an advocate, the trio will support SMS Audio’s marketing initiatives as well as promote its products and brand values.

With a successful career spanning more than two decades, Boyz II Men has won nine American Music Awards, nine Soul Train Awards, four Grammy Awards, three Billboard Awards, and a 2011 MOBO Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. With 60 million albums already sold, group members, Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris, continue to create new albums and grace stages across the world. In 2014, the group began residency in Las Vegas at The Mirage, performing for fans at sold out shows. Signed to BMG, Boyz II Men will be releasing a new album, Collide, on 9/30/2014.

“Boyz II Men’s reputation in the music industry is one of critical acclaim, and they believe in what we’re doing at SMS Audio – providing consumers with quality audio products that allow them to experience music as we hear it in the studio,” said 50 Cent, CEO of SMS Audio.

A global audio headphone and accessories brand, SMS Audio is dedicated to improving the way people around the world experience music by combining technology, function and style to bring a superior level of sound, comfort and fashion to every product. Comprised of the STREET by 50™ and SYNC by 50™ product lines, SMS Audio offers a full range of premium headphones, earbuds, and accessories designed to meet the needs of various consumer segments. The new Sport Collection of wired and wireless headphones will be available for purchase this spring and summer, featuring sweat-proof capabilities for an active lifestyle.

DJ SCRATCH & J. PERIOD ON DECK.
On June 3, 2014 master Turntablist DJ Scratch and musicologist J. Period will release The Big Payback a two disc mixtape which pay homage to the pioneer of hip hop James Brown. There is no way to reduce the importance of James Brown's music to hip-hop to 25 examples because without James Brown there is no hip-hop (not to mention any other forms of modern club or dance related music). And that applies whether you're talking hip-hop constructed via samples, or played by keyboard or band, or built from (turntable) scratch. The Big Payback emphasizes the premise that celebrated the range of James' influence on hip-hop over different eras.

"James Brown's music is literally the Soundtrack of my life. My Grandmother exposed me to James Brown 45 years ago (1 Years Old)", says award winning Turntablist DJ Scratch. "Who would have ever thought that James Browns' music would later be the pillar of a new genre of music called hip hop; who would have ever thought I would be a part of history of this new genre of music. It's all because of my love and passion for James Brown's music."

The titles which Soul Brother #1 has bestowed on the world have been the catalyst and foundation of such ground breaking titles as Eric B. & Rakim –"Eric B. Is President", Big Daddy Kane – "Raw", Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock – "It Takes Two", and "U Don't Know" – Jay Z to name but a few but hip hop records aren't the only titles which have been blessed by The Godfather of Soul. Beyoncé, EnVogue, Brandy, and R. Kelly. "The Big Payback has been my most ambitious project to date, and the ultimate reminder of James Brown's truly pervasive impact on modern music. Remixing the JB catalog sparks a powerful realization: all the music that has most inspired my career -- hip hop, soul, funk, Prince, Michael Jackson, Fela Kuti and more -- is the direct spawn of James Brown's genius. I hope my tribute can inspire a new generation of artists to explore the story and catalog of this musical giant.

MAYA ANGELOU DEAD @ 86.
Award-winning author, renowned poet and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou was found dead in her Winston-Salem, N.C., home Wednesday morning. She was 86.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Jones confirmed Angelou's death to Fox News. Angelou, who rose from poverty as a child raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Ark., to become a cultural icon, gained widespread acclaim for her first book, her autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," making her one of the first African-American women to write a best-seller.

In 1998, she directed the film "Down in the Delta" about a drug-addicted woman who returns to the home of her ancestors in the Mississippi Delta. She was the poet chosen to read at President Clinton's first inauguration in 1993 and later received the Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2010.

"Like so many others, Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya," Obama said in a statement. "With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer. And while Maya’s day may be done, we take comfort in knowing that her song will continue, 'flung up to heaven' — and we celebrate the dawn that Maya Angelou helped bring."

Major League Baseball announced last week that Angelou would not attend its 2014 Beacon Awards Luncheon, where she was to be honored, due to health concerns. Angelou also canceled an event in April in Fayetteville, Ark., because of an "unexpected ailment" that sent her to the hospital.

"Dr. Angelou was a national treasure whose life and teachings inspired millions around the world, including countless students, faculty and staff at Wake Forest, where she served as Reynolds Professor of American Studies since 1982," Wake Forest University said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Angelou's family and friends during this difficult time."

Born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis on April 4, 1928, Angelou was raised in Stamps, Ark., and San Francisco, moving back and forth between her parents and grandmother. She was reportedly sent to California after sassing a white store clerk in Arkansas and, at other times, did not speak at all. She was raped by her mother's boyfriend at age 7 and did not speak for years afterward, instead learning by reading and listening.

"I loved the poetry that was sung in the black church: 'Go down Moses, way down in Egypt's land,'" Angelou told The Associated Press. "It just seemed to me the most wonderful way of talking. And 'Deep River.' Ooh! Even now it can catch me. And then I started reading, really reading, at about 7 ½, because a woman in my town took me to the library, a black school library. ... And I read every book, even if I didn't understand it."

By age 9, Angelou was writing poetry, and by 17 she was a single mother. In her early 20s, she danced at a strip club, ran a brothel and married Enistasious Tosh Angelos (the first of her three husbands) before divorcing. By her mid-20s, she performed alongside another future star — Phyllis Diller — at the Purple Onion in San Francisco. She also spent a few days with Billie Holiday, who was astute enough to tell her: "You're going to be famous. But it won't be for singing."

Angelou later renamed herself for the stage, choosing her childhood nickname before touring in "Porgy and Bess" and Jean Genet's "The Blacks" and dancing alongside Alvin Ailey. She also worked for years in Egypt and Ghana, where she met Malcolm X and remained close to him until his assassination in 1965. Three years later, Angelou helped the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., organize a march in Memphis, Tenn., where the civil rights leader was killed on Angelou's 40th birthday.

Angelou was little known outside of the theatrical community until "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," which was published in 1969. The memoir was occasionally attacked as "manipulative" melodrama and her passages on rape and teen pregnancy have made it a mainstay on the American Library Association's list of works that draw complaints from parents and educators.

"'I thought that it was a mild book. There's no profanity," Angelou told the AP. "It speaks about surviving, and it really doesn't make ogres of many people. I was shocked to find there were people who really wanted it banned, and I still believe people who are against the book have never read the book."

Angelou would later appear on several television programs, including the groundbreaking 1977 miniseries "Roots." She was also nominated for a Tony Award in 1973, won three Grammys her spoken-word albums and received an honorary National Book Award in 2013 for her contributions.

"Maya Angelou will always remain an Arkansas and American treasure," Gov. Mike Beebe said in a statement. "She drew from a troubled and painful childhood to write books and poems that have inspired countless others. From Stamps, Arkansas, to the steps of the U.S. Capitol for President Clinton's inauguration, Maya Angelou showed how strength, determination and honesty can take us all to the heights of greatness."

DAVE CHAPELLE TO BRING ROOTS, ERYKAH BADU, BUSTA RHYMES, JANELLE MONAE, DJ PREMIER TO RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL. After selling out five consecutive comedy shows within minutes of announcement, DAVE CHAPPELLE and Live Nation have added three additional shows to feature CHAPPELLE along with several music guests playing with a full orchestra, June 24 through 26, at Radio City Music Hall.

For these shows, Chappelle will combine his greatest love, stand-up comedy with his second love, music. The connection between improvisation and timing will be on full display as Chappelle co-headlines with a special musical guest each night, including The Roots, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monae, DJ Premier and more to be announced. A full orchestra will enhance the concert experience.

Tuesday, June 24: Dave Chappelle and The Roots.
Wednesday, June 25: Dave Chappelle, Busta Rhymes, DJ Premier and Janelle Monae

Thursday, June 26: Dave Chappelle and Erykah Badu
As Chappelle approaches the 10th Anniversary of his concert movie Block Party, filmed in 2004, in Brooklyn, this run of shows at Radio City are Chappelle's first announced NYC engagement in over 10 years.

American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Thursday, May 29 at 10 a.m. through Sunday, June 1 at 10 p.m.

EARTH WIND & FIRE FOUNDER RELAUNCHES LABEL.
Adding an exciting new chapter to Earth, Wind & Fire's highly influential four and a half decade legacy in pop and R&B music, the iconic band's founder Maurice White is pleased to announce the highly anticipated relaunch of his label, Kalimba Music after a several year hiatus.

The label's first release is a re-mastered collector's edition of the Earth, Wind & Fire hit album The Promise, a critically acclaimed full length set which in its original run -- after a six year studio recording hiatus by the band -- hit #19 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and #5 on the Top Independent Albums chart. It also scored a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "Hold Me."

Kalimba is also making a multi-project foray into the contemporary urban jazz world, first with the release of the album's new single, "Never," to smooth jazz radio May 19.

White is also excited about the recent signing of the label's first official artist, keyboardist/composer Greg Manning, whose debut instrumental single "Dance With You" was a popular genre airplay hit in 2013 -- reaching #1 on the taste-making chart, The Smooth Jazz Top 20 with Allen Kepler. Manning recently finished mastering his label debut for an upcoming release.

A native of Zurich, Switzerland, the multi-talented keyboardist studied piano and film scoring at Berklee College of Music in Boston before returning to his home country to establish himself as a composer and producer. He made his debut in the U.S. as the keyboardist for Brian McKnight's "Back At One" tour, then toured extensively for a decade as keyboardist and music director for Grammy nominated jazz/gospel artist Jonathan Butler. Over the years, Manning has also performed with many top names in the genre, including Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright, Will Downing, Richard Elliot, Eric Marienthal, Chante Moore and Kirk Whalum, among others.

White, who originally established Kalimba Music in 2003 as a vehicle to promote Earth, Wind & Fire as well as up and coming performers, decided to relaunch based on his passion and love for music and worthy artists.

WIZ KHALIFA ARRESTED ON WEED CHARGE IN TEXAS.
Authorities say rapper Wiz Khalifa was arrested in West Texas for marijuana possession. The performer from Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania, was stopped at an inspection checkpoint at the El Paso airport. A statement from El Paso police says because Khalifa traveled without identification, a search was ordered and Transportation Security Administration agents found a canister with marijuana. TSA alerted police, who then arrested Khalifa.

He was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and was released after posting $300 bail.

Court records do not list an attorney. A message left at Khalifa's agency was not immediately returned.

Khalifa posted a photo on Twitter inside of what appeared to be a holding cell.

Khalifa was born Cameron Thomaz in Minot, North Dakota. He was a headliner at an El Paso music festival Saturday.

T.I. & MAYWEATHER ADDRESS REPORTED ALTERCATION.
T.I. and Floyd Mayweather were involved in a an altercation in Las Vegas according to reports. T.I. was reportedly upset that his wife, Tiny, was hanging out with Floyd Mayweather. The boxer was reportedly eating at a Fatburger restaurant when T.I. approached him and confronted him and then then the altercation went sown.

T.I. denies having black eyes and says he injured his hand in an Instagram clip.

"They said I've got two black eyes," T.I. says in the clip. "Where they at, though? These ones I'm looking at? Are they black for real? Damn, been like that all my life. Fucked my hand up. That's about it."

T.I.'s Instagram post features the following caption: "Two black what?????? C'mon now. Never in da history of Nigga-dom. But nice try tho. Lol"

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. also cleared the air:

"I'm eating at Fatburger and next thing you know, he walk in talking about we need to talk again. And then I told him, "You need to get the f-ck outta my face. That's what you better do." And then he said, "I ain't talking to all these people so you ain't gotta talk loud." I said, "Listen, don't come to my face with no disrespectful sh-t. Like I told you before, you must've forgot what I did for a living." He said, "You do in the ring, I do it in the streets." I said, "My man, I do it everywhere. You can find out if you want to." Just like that. ... Then a couple of words exchange and people got to pushing and a riot kinda broke out. And then a bunch of chaos and that was basically it. Because, like I said before, he probably does some foolish things, but he ain't no damn fool to swing on me."

"Only person I wanna apologize towards is Tiny. I said something like "control your b-tch" and I don't want to say that about Tiny. So I do apologize to Tiny because she cool people, man. She cool. She never been disrespectful to me. Shekinah never been disrespectful to me. I'm going to continue to support Tiny and Shekinah cause they're cool people and I don't got nothing against them. So I apologize for that."

JAY Z OPENS 40/40 CLUB @ ATLANTA AIRPORT.
Jay Z brought his 40/40 Club to the world's busiest airport on Wednesday, with the opening the swanky bar's third location.

40/40 is open to ticketed passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, according to spokeswoman Victoria Hong of Delaware North Companies, which partners with the rap mogul. The sports bar is in the airport's Concourse D concessions area, Hong said.

"We want to have the same type of feel as the regular 40/40 Club," Hong said. "It's the airport version of the 40/40 Club."

Airport concessions director Paul Brown said there are plans to create a VIP lounge area of the club, separate from the sports bar — at 1,500 square feet — on a different floor. The lounge is expected to open in the late fall, Brown said.

Brown called the lounge a "scaled down" replica of original club.

40/40 restaurant and lounges also are located in Manhattan and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Jay Z also had clubs in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, New Jersey, but both closed.

40/40 is known at the New York locations for its live music and sports memorabilia and for attracting sports celebrities and music stars such as Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne.

The original Manhattan location opened in 2003, with Jay Z and business partner Juan Perez.

40/40 was named after the rare feat among ballplayers of hitting 40 homers and stealing 40 bases in one season.

TAYLOR GANG CHEVY WOODS ANNOUNCES BY ANY MEANS TOUR DATES W/ KEVIN GATES
Taylor Gang and CHEVY WOODS are pleased to announce Chevy's participation in the "By Any Means Tour" with Kevin Gates. The "By Any Means Tour" gets underway July 15th in Houston and travels through August 30th ending in Birmingham.

Performing on 35 dates, "By Any Means" will serve as the launching pad for CHEVY's current hit single, "30 Deep," which has seen more than 70k views on YouTube since its release less than a month ago. The ID Labs-produced track is an introduction of what is to come from Chevy's upcoming EP release. LISTEN TO "30 DEEP.". The video for "30 Deep" was just shot in both Los Angeles and his hometown of Pittsburgh by riff, Taylor Gang's go-to director. Fans who attend the concert will get a first listen to songs from the yet-untitled EP.

Over, the past three years, CHEVY WOODS has established himself as a key player on the independent hip-hop scene, having seen hundreds of thousands of downloads from his four highly acclaimed mixtapes. In addition, he is a veteran at touring and putting on a must-see show, having had the opportunity to get his stripes performing in front of thousands with Taylor Gang head Wiz Khailfa, during the 2011 "Rolling Papers Tour" to eventually headline his own tour, "Smokers Club," which ended late 2013.

TOUR DATES -

JULY 15
Houston, TX
Warehouse Live

JULY 16
Austin, TX
Scoot Inn

JULY 17
San Antonio, TX
White Rabbit

JULY 18
Dallas, TX
Trees

JULY 19
Abilene, TX
Lucky Mule Saloon

JULY 20
Oklahoma City, OK
Club Vibe

JULY 22
Albuquerque, NM
Launchpad

JULY 23
Phoenix, AZ
Club Red

JULY 24
Los Angeles, CA
Roxy

JULY 25
Santa Ana, CA
Constellation Room

JULY 26
San Diego, CA
Porter's Pub

JULY 28
Santa Cruz, CA
Catalyst

JULY 29
Sacramento, CA
Assembly

JULY 30
Oakland
New Parish

AUGUST 1
Seattle, WA
Crocodile

AUGUST 2
Portland, OR
Roseland (Peter's Room)

AUGUST 6
Denver, CO
Other Side
AUGUST 8
Davenport, IA
Dance Land

AUGUST 10
Indianapolis, IN
Suite 38

AUGUST 12
Chicago, IL
Reggie's

AUGUST 13
Lansing, MI
Fahrenheit Ultra

AUGUST 14
Detroit, MI
Shelter

AUGUST 15
Columbus, OH
Skully's

AUGUST 19
Boston, MA
Brighton Music Hall

AUGUST 21
Philadelphia, PA
Theatre of Living Arts

AUGUST 22
Washington, DC
Fillmore

AUGUST 23
Carrboro, NC
Cat's Cradle

AUGUST 24
Atlanta, GA
Masquerade

AUGUST 26
Nashville, TN
12th and Porter

AUGUST 27
Little Rock, AR
Shooter's

AUGUST 28
Baton Rouge, LA
Varsity

AUGUST 29
Mobile, AL
Soul Kitchen

AUGUST 30
Birmingham, AL
Zydeco

RIHANNA SELFIE GONE WRONG?
Whoops! A courtside selfie gone wrong has turned into a successful charitable gesture for the Los Angeles Police Foundation thanks to Rihanna.

After donning an LAPD wristband at the request of Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff, the singer was snapping a selfie with him when she dropped and cracked his phone. Two days later, Soboroff saw Rihanna courtside again and told her of his plans to auction the phone to raise money for the Los Angeles Police Department. Rihanna signed the back of his phone, "Sorry! I (heart) LAPD. Rihanna."

In the days since, Rihanna tweeted her apology out to her 35 million Twitter followers and pledged $25,000 to the Los Angeles Police Foundation. Her gift was then generously matched by Patti and Steve Soboroff. In addition, Soboroff placed the autographed phone on eBay where bidding started at $250. Hopes of raising at least $10,000 were wildly surpassed when the last of 116 bids came in at $66,500. That bidder, as it turns out, was not qualified, and the bid price was quickly matched by a private donor who required anonymity. Half of the proceeds will go to the Los Angeles Police Foundation for the LAPD Cadets and the other half will go to the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation to support the families of fallen officers.

Soboroff stated, "On behalf of the Cadets and the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation, I am delighted that Rihanna's wonderful gesture of donating $25,000 plus her authorizing the sale of the "selfie phone" resulted in the anonymous buyer turning around and donating the world's most famous selfie phone to The GRAMMY Museum for display to the public!"

"It's not often that we are able to obtain an artifact so quickly after it makes headlines," said Rita George, deputy executive director of The GRAMMY Museum. "We're excited to welcome this interesting piece of pop culture into our permanent collection here at The GRAMMY Museum and we are even more excited to show our support for the Los Angeles Police Department and the great work that they do."

"I am thrilled to acknowledge and thank the donors for their generous contributions totaling $116,500 for the LAPD Cadet Program and the families of fallen/wounded officers," said Cecilia Glassman, executive director of the Los Angeles Police Foundation.

USHER ON DECK WITH "MUSIC INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP 101".
Usher's New Look, the non-profit organization founded by Usher Raymond IV developing global youth leaders through access, awareness and empowerment, launched a cutting edge, digital education course for high school students, entitled Music Industry Leadership 101. MIL 101 exposes students to over 30 careers in the music and entertainment industry, providing them with unprecedented direction and guidance to be successful in whichever career path they choose.

"Over the past 15 years, New Look has worked to instill in our youth leaders the importance of receiving an education. To see students who once had little motivation to go to class now thriving as a result of our program is one of the most fulfilling gifts," said Usher Raymond IV. "Our goal in developing Music Industry Leadership 101, is to give students access to one of the most relevant and engaging online courses today, and motivate them to stay in school."

Music Industry Leadership 101 is a full credit-earning course, blended or supplemental solution for high school students developed in partnership with Beanstalk Innovation. The Pilot Program, which launched earlier this month, will reach more than 2,000 students around the country. MIL 101 combines e-learning with face-to-face instruction, thus creating an opportunity to fundamentally change the way students are prepared for and trained for college and their careers. The curriculum aligns with new Common Core academic standards and state standards for Career and Technical Education (CTE). MIL 101 will launch in the following school districts this fall: Gwinnett County Public Schools, GA; Wake County Public Schools, NC; Polk County Public Schools, FL; and Henry County Public Schools, GA.

"Usher's New Look, through its Music Industry Leadership 101 course, will provide the students of Polk County Public Schools a unique opportunity to acquire a competitive skill set that will lead them into a career within the entertainment, music and marketing industries," said Kathy LeRoy, Superintendent of Polk County Public Schools. "Polk County students will learn the persistence and leadership skills required to be successful entrepreneurs in the ever growing entertainment industry."

The structure of Music Industry Leadership 101 encourages students to learn, practice and apply their key findings through interesting and relevant content, learning exercises and real-life experiences told first hand by leading industry experts. The topics of the course focus on understanding the industry, learning to identify your brand, the importance of marketing, career exploration and leadership, and teamwork in the industry. Highly regarded industry executives participating in the course include: Kenny Meiselas, renowned entertainment industry lawyer; Jarrod Moses, CEO of United Entertainment Group; DJ Steve Porter, graphic designer DL Warfield and more.

LYOR COHEN CHIMES IN ON TWITTER/SOUNDCLOUD DEAL.
“It would be a wonderful day,” was how Lyor Cohen described reports that Twitter is exploring the possibility of acquiring music streaming site SoundCloud. Of course the esteemed music industry vet, who once helmed Def Jam and Warner Music and recently opened his own music shingle under the name 300, isn't exactly objective.

Cohen announced in February at Midem that his 300 label had entered into a partnership with Twitter to help with discovering talent, a deal which he today explained is still very active. "We’re on the phone all the time,” Cohen said of Twitter’s Bob "Moz" Moczydlowsky, head of music at Twitter. “He is an absolute music junkie who is ridiculously savvy on engagement and how Twitter can help artists get signed and once they’re signed develop their careers.”

Though 300 has yet to sign any artists from its Twitter partnership, when asked if he expects to sign anyone through the Twitter deal Cohen said emphatically: “One-hundred percent.”

SoundCloud was founded in 2007 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, and has raised $123.3 million in four funding rounds since its launch. The service had 40 million users as of last year. Twitter claims 255 million monthly users.

The music executive said he knew nothing of a Twitter-SoundCloud deal, but thinks the music streaming service is an “amazing and fantastic product.” In fact, he said, he had met with the company’s cofounder Alex Ljung when he was in Berlin. “Alex is a compelling young person who is unencumbered by the past," he said. "He has huge ambition and is also passionate about supporting artists.” Something Cohen himself is also known for. Source:Billboard

HIT-BOY ON DECK WITH COMPILATION..
Grammy award-winning producer Hit-Boy is preparing to digitally release a 19 track extended play on Tuesday, May 27. He sits at the helm of his HS87 crew which consists of Audio Push, K. Roosevelt, Kent M$NEY, Bmacthequeen, B. Carr, N. No, all who have contributed to the project. The first single/video "Grindin'" includes a special feature from Hit-Boy's Father, Big Hit. Other guest appearances on the project include, Kid Cudi, Nipsey Hussle and Rich Boy, to name a few.

"This album is just the beginning of the HS87 sonic experience," comments Hit-Boy.

It's been a steady rise for the 26-year-old, who first started dabbling in music when he was 13. Honing those skills would begin to pay off when he was first discovered on MySpace. 2011 proved to be Hit-Boy's breakout year, when he crafted "Ni**as In Paris," for Kanye West and Jay Z's album, Watch The Throne. What followed was inescapable as the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and led to the producer's first Grammy award. He continues to amass hits and build his empire, having worked with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Big Sean, Rihanna, Eminem, Chris Brown, and Justin Bieber. Hit-Boy's stock continues to rise both as a super producer and as a recording artist. We The Plug will be released on Hit-Boy's label Hits Since '87 (HS87) and Interscope Records.

Tracklisting
1-Plug Music (Feat. Tish Hyman, Hit-Boy, B.Carr, Bmacthequeen, Audio Push, N.No, Kent M$ney & K. Roosevelt)
2-Stripes (Feat. Hit-Boy, Audio Push, Bmacthequeen & Preach)
3-No Talkin ' (Feat. Hit-Boy, Rich Boy & PeeJ)
4-Cold (K. Roosevelt)
5-On Everything (Feat. Hit-Boy & Young Dro)
6-We The Plug: Commercial 1
7-Rude Awakening (Feat. Hit-Boy, Bmacthequeen, Price & Big Hit)
8-The Pay (Feat. Bmacthequeen & Lil Debbie)
9-Sh*t Sh*t (Feat. N.No, B. Carr, Kurupt & PeeJ)
10-Scorn Interlude
11-Scorn (Feat Audio Push, Hit-Boy, Kid Cudi & Kent M$ney)
12-Picture (Feat. Hit-Boy, K. Roosevelt & Chili Chil)
13-Members Only (Feat. Hit-Boy, Audio Push, Bmacthequeen, Kent M$ney, K. Roosevelt & James Fauntleroy)
14-Parade Interlude
15-Parade (Audio Push)
16-We The Plug: Commercial 2
17-B.B.H. (Feat. Bmacthequeen, Audio Push & Hit-Boy)
18-Grinding My Whole Life (Feat. N.No, B. Carr, Hit-Boy, Big Hit, Audio Push, Bmacthequeen & Kent M$ney)
19-Alert (Feat. Hit-Boy & Nipsey Hussle)

BEHIND THE SCENES ON THE MICHAEL JACKSON HOLOGRAM @ BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS 2014.
The Michael Jackson performance on the Billboard Music Awards was the result of nearly half a year of planning, choreography and filming, not to mention the development of new technology. Producers of the Billboard Music Awards did not see even a portion of the film until eight days before the broadcast.

"We've been talking about it for the last five months and while we were talking about it they were still inventing the process," says BBMA director and producer Larry Klein. "It was really strange talking about something that did not exist."

Jackson, in hologram form, performed "Slave to the Rhythm" midway through Sunday night's show with a five-piece band and 16 dancers live onstage. Jackson appeared in gold jacket, white T-shirt and brick red trousers on a set modeled on the art work for the album "Dangerous," an appropriate choice as the track was recorded in 1991 with L.A. Reid and Babyface during the sessions for that album. Released this week on "XSCAPE," which is neck-and-neck with the new Black Keys album for No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week, the track was produced by Timbaland.

BBMA producers Dick Clark Productions built a special stage at the rear of the MGM Grand Arena that was used only for the Jackson performance. Dancers moved through aisles as Jackson was seen rising from a throne, walking down steps before going into several trademark routines, a moonwalk being one of the them. Lasers, streams of flames and dancers in ancient costumes were part of the film.

Klein shot it to give the presentation the feel of a live performance. "You were watching the magic of Michael Jackson just like you would have when he was performing," says Klein.

The selection of "Slave to the Rhythm" for the hologram performance was made late last year; Jackson associates the Talauega brothers and Jamie King were brought in to choreograph and direct the video, which was produced by Pulse Evolution and Tricycle Logic.

"At the time we made the decision," says Jackson's lawyer and adviser John Branca, "'Slave to the Rhythm' felt like a song was something people could dance to, a potential club song. We talked to Jamie King, who directed the Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil shows and we all felt the song was very likeable."

The Talauega brothers, Rich and Tone, were brought on right after the new year and they started to draw up dance moves for Jackson and the other dancers in the film. Their involvement with Jackson dates back to the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards; they also choreographed the HIStory tour in 1997 and if one had to guess, the image of Michael used in the performance appears to be from that era based on his hair and clothing.

"We knew we didn't need to go so far left field with his dance moves -- we just kept it within his world," Rich Talauega says. "Its just the way you reconfigure his steps so it looks different. You're still speaking the same language, it's just a different dialect."

Tone Talauega, who was still in high school when he started working with Jackson, says they studied the singer's moves and had small things adjusted - the angle of a hand, the tilt of his head. The performance is "classic Michael, but we put our spice on it," he says.

Demand for the Jackson hologram was considerable, but in the end Branca and the estate felt it needed to be shown with a live audience.

"It's so important to experience Michael Jackson in a live setting," Branca says. "This is something where we wanted a live performance in front of a live audience and nothing speaks to that more than an awards show." Source: Billboard

FLO RIDA & IMG STRONG ARM PRODUCTIONS INK PARTNERSHP W/PREMIUM WATER CORP.
American Premium Water Corporation (OTC Pink: HIPH) (PINKSHEETS: HIPH) is pleased to provide the following update to the investment community and our shareholders. APWC has executed a joint venture partnership with Flo Rida and IMG Strong Arm Productions. Per the arrangement, Flo Rida and IMG Strong Arm will work in overseeing business and branding strategy with CEO Alfred Culbreth. Together they will help drive the L'Alpina Water vision and be instrumental in helping leverage brand awareness with consumers worldwide and grow sales. All of which we are confident will increase shareholder value. For Shareholders and the investment community we have included a little background on Flo Rida.

Flo Rida is quickly approaching a remarkable 60 million singles sold worldwide. "Wild Ones (feat. Sia)" marks the superstar's sixth consecutive RIAA platinum certified single not to mention his fifth top 5 hit on the all-encompassing Billboard "Hot 100" chart. Over the last several years, Flo Rida has pulled off a pretty neat trick. Not only has the Florida-born rapper become a chart fixture thanks to the blockbuster singles "Low (feat. T-Pain)," "Right Round," "Club Can't Handle Me," and his most recent chart-topping hits, "Good Feeling" and "Wild Ones (feat. Sia),"

He's also broken down barriers by uniting millions of fans of pop, hip-hop, and club music around the world and establishing himself as an international, genre-busting superstar in the process. Flo Rida brings his experiences traveling the globe to his fourth album, Wild Ones. "Over the last few years, I've been everywhere -- Africa, Japan, Greece, South America, Russia, the Middle East, Australia, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, and all over the United States and Europe," Flo says. "You name it, I went there. I go to the best clubs and the most extreme parties and that really influenced this album. With this album, I definitely feel like I have to show people that I'm the life of the party." Songs like the "Good Feeling" and "Let It Roll" are addictive, upbeat party jams. His newest single, "Whistle," opens with an acoustic guitar and infectious whistle chime, already proving to be the song of the summer. Jennifer Lopez adds her sultry vocals to the club-ready "Sweet Spot," and Redfoo of LMFAO helps keep the party going on the bonus track "Run." "On each album I try to show a lot of versatility, but every time it's going to get bigger and bigger, because there's no way I can give my fans the same old thing."

As for his stunning success, Flo Rida says, "If you have a dream and stay positive, there's no way you can lose. The fact that I've come from where I've come from and been able to travel the world is just crazy." Flo Rida has an international fan base as evidenced by his nearly 6 million followers on twitter, @official_flo. As further testimony to Flo Rida's international appeal he will be performing at the World Music Awards in Monaco, May 27, 2014. In closing, "Flo is currently in the studio working on his next album which is currently expected to be released late summer 2014. In April Flo Rida appeared on the hit HBO show Silicon Valley."

"Partnering with Flo Rida and his production company IMG Strong Arm is an incredible opportunity for APWC and its water brand L'Alpina. Flo is at the top of his game and an international star. This is an amazing opportunity to reach millions of active health- conscious consumers worldwide". I want to think Flo Rida and his IMG Strong Arm team, Reginald Mathis, Attorney at Law and Freezy (Flo Rida's Manager). Also instrumental in helping put this partnership together, Rene Acker, Mark Gumbel, Matthew Kirschner and special thanks to Mike Heller, CEO of Talent Resources and APWC Board of Directors Member -Alfred Culbreth, CEO of American Premium Water Corporation.



EXEC SUES DR. DRE'S BEATS FOR $20 MILLION.
Dr. Dre's Beats Electronics Daisy music subscription service ousted an executive to avoid granting him his share of equity in the business, the former exec claims in a $20 million lawsuit.

David Hyman, the founder and former CEO of the MOG music subscription service, sued Daisy LLC, Beats Music and headphone manufacturer Beats Electronics in Superior Court, alleging breach of contract.

Hyman was formerly president of music management company Gracenote, and a high-ranking executive at SonicNet and MTV Interactive. Dr. Dre (Andre Young) is not a party to the lawsuit.

Hyman reportedly sold MOG to Beats in 2012 for $15 million to $20 million. Billboard reported this year that Hyman had moved on to San Francisco start-up, Chosen.fm.

Hyman claims that after Beats acquired MOG it fired him within a year to avoid paying him 2.5 percent of Daisy's outstanding equity interests. He claims the first installment was due on the first anniversary of his employment.

Hyman's agreement included a provision that would have granted him 2.5 percent of the company's outstanding equity interests if the company reached a market value of $500 million, he says in the lawsuit.

Hyman claims that Daisy fired him after he tried to exercise his rights, under a hiring and retention provision of his employment agreement, to fire a difficult marketing executive. The company later fired the unnamed marketing executive, he says in the complaint.

"Defendants never intended to allow plaintiff to remain employed at the company long enough for his equity grant to vest, but rather they always planned and intended in bad faith to prevent plaintiff from receiving the fruits and benefits of the agreement, and the equity granted to him, by terminating him before the first anniversary of his employment," the 8-page lawsuit states.

Hyman says he brought his right-hand man, executive T.J. Fowler, when Daisy purchased MOG. He claims that Fowler also was fired and deprived of his equity interest.

Fowler is not a party to the lawsuit. MOG offers subscribers access to more than 16 million songs. Last year Trent Reznor was named as chief creative officer of the Daisy streaming service. The lawsuit notes that the "problematic employee" was neither the chief creative officer nor an industry creative person.

Last week, reports suggested that Apple is poised to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. Hyman is represented by Henry Gradstein of Gradstein Marzano. Source: Courthouse News

KANYE WEST & KIM K ANNOUCE WEDDING DATE & LOCATION.
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian will wed and host a reception at Florence's imposing 16th-century Belvedere Fort on May 24, a spokeswoman at the Florence mayor's office said Friday.

The couple rented the fort, located next to Florence's famed Boboli Gardens, for 300,000 euros ($410,000) and a Protestant minister will preside over the ceremony, spokeswoman Elisa Di Lupo told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

Belvedere Fort was built in 1590, believed using plans by Don Giovanni de' Medici. Located near the Arno River, it offers a panoramic view of Florence and the surrounding Tuscan hills.

The 36-year-old rapper proposed to the reality star on her 33rd birthday in October 2013, renting out San Francisco's AT&T Park for the occasion.

This is the first marriage for West, who was previously engaged to designer Alexis Phifer. It's the third trip down the aisle for Kardashian. She was wed to music producer Damon Thomas from 2000 to 2003, and spent 72 days married to professional basketball player Kris Humphries in 2011 after tying the knot in in a lavish ceremony broadcast as a two-part TV special.

The couple was featured on the cover of Vogue magazine's April issue, with Kardashian wearing a wedding-style dress.

There has been no explicit confirmation from either Kardashian or West about the wedding. In an email Thursday to AP, Kardashian representative Ina Treciokas said she wasn't able to comment on reports about the nuptials.

But in an interview with Florence's La Nazione newspaper published Friday, West extolled the beauty of Florence and spoke of the event. Asked if he was excited about May 24, he said, "Very excited. But very happy."

West said he and Kardashian had come to Florence incognito and believed that their daughter, North, born in June 2013, was conceived "among the Renaissance masterpieces."

"It was our first honeymoon," he said of that visit. "It's one of the most beautiful cities of the world, for me the most beautiful in Europe."

He spoke to the newspaper while in Florence to visit friend and designer Ermanno Scervino.

The fort is owned by the Italian government but operated by Florence authorities. It has been closed to the public for the past five years for security upgrades after two young Italians fell to their deaths from its ramparts and was to reopen this summer with an art exhibit.

Di Lupo said she believed the contract to rent the fort had been signed very recently. She said the proceeds from the rental would go to fund restorations for Florence's artistic treasures.

Until the Italian report, the couple had reportedly been planning a wedding ceremony May 24 in France. Kardashian's sister, Kendall Jenner, is currently in Cannes attending the film festival.

JAY Z, SOLANGE & BEYONCE SPEAK OUT.
Jay Z, Beyonce and Solange say "families have problems and we're no different" after a video leaked of Beyonce's sister attacking the rap mogul in a hotel elevator.

In an exclusive statement to The Associated Press on Thursday, the trio said they have worked through their differences and moved on since the video emerged this week showing Solange kicking Jay Z as Beyonce looked on.

"As a result of the public release of the elevator security footage from Monday, May 5th, there has been a great deal of speculation about what triggered the unfortunate incident. But the most important thing is that our family has worked through it," the statement said. "Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred. They both acknowledge their role in this private matter that has played out in the public. They both have apologized to each other and we have moved forward as a united family."

It was the first comment the performers had made since the website TMZ posted the 3-minute video on Monday, saying it was shot last week inside the Standard Hotel. The video, which does not have audio, shows Solange attacking Jay Z in Beyonce's presence; a security guard intervenes. The footage shows the performers in the outfits they wore to the Met Gala.

"The reports of Solange being intoxicated or displaying erratic behavior throughout that evening are simply false," the statement continued. "At the end of the day families have problems and we're no different. We love each other and above all we are family. We've put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same."

The hotel said Wednesday it had fired the person who recorded the video.

JAY Z DROPS EXTORTION CASE.
Jay-Z has decided to no longer pursue criminal extortion charges over his old recordings. According to a new report by TMZ, the 44-year-old MC and his camp have chosen not to move forward and the Beverly Hills Police Department has closed its investigation as a result.

As previously reported, Jay-Z was the target of an alleged extortion plot. Chauncey Mahan, a producer who worked with him from 1998 to 2002, was detained by the LAPD for allegedly stealing a number of master recordings that Hova assumed were lost in 2002.

Mahan allegedly told Jay-Z that he would put the tapes up for auction or give them back for a $100,000 "storage fee." Mahan was detained for questioning when he showed up at the storage facility where he kept the tapes, which are worth $20 million.

Mahan has maintained his innocence, claiming that he was hired to "protect" Jay Z's music over a decade ago. He turned over the masters and the LAPD will remain in possession of the recordings until a judge decides who has rightful ownership.

TIMBALAND ON DECK WITH NEW ALBUM.
Timbaland, who has been working to produce some of today's biggest albums, has dropped info on his new solo project. In a new interview with Revolt, the musician revealed that his upcoming solo album would be called "Opera Noir".

Despite having worked with a bunch of superstars, he said that fans couldn't expect famous names to be featured in the record. "Me and my new artist, her name is V. Just me and her. And Cee-Lo. That's it," he said of who would contribute to the album.

He continued that his next LP would still be big, adding, "When ['Opera Noir'] comes out and you see the whole package, you'll understand why. You'll see it, and you'll be like, 'Wow, I've never seen nothing like this.' "

"Opera Noir", which will serve as Tim's fourth studio effort, was formerly known as "Textbook Timbo". Fans have heard nothing from the follow-up to 2009's "Shock Value II", but Timbaland has compared it to Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" which is one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.

"It's way different. It's more of a sound. It's Timbaland's 'Chronic'. How Dr. Dre has his 'Chronic', I've finally made my 'Chronic'," he explained.

LUDA ON DECK TO HOST BILLBOARD AWARDS THIS SUNDAY.
Hosting this Sunday's annual music celebration on ABC is one of hip-hop's all-time most successful artists -- Ludacris.

Luda is the owner of 18 Hot 100 top 10 singles, the third-most of any hip-hop musician. He's also produced five No. 1 albums on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and 29 top 10 singles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Additionally, the Atlanta-based rapper boasts a considerable acting resumé, making him an ideal choice to hold down hosting duties. He has appeared in acclaimed films like "Hustle & Flow" and "Crash," in addition to a recurring role on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

Currently, Ludacris is in the midst of filming for "Fast & Furious 7" (his latest of several films for the series) and working on his upcoming studio album "Ludaversal," due out this fall.

Stars who will present awards alongside Ludacris include Shania Twain, Phillip Phillips, Josh Groban, Lucy Hale and fun.'s Jack Antonoff. There will be performances from Shakira, 5 Seconds of Summer, Florida Georgia Line, Imagine Dragons, Jason Derulo, Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Lorde, Luke Bryan, Miley Cyrus, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, OneRepublic, Pitbull and Ricky Martin.

Fan voting for the 2014 Milestone Award presented by Chevrolet will continue through the first two hours of the awards show, ending at 10pm ET. Source: Billboard

BET AWARDS 2014 NOMINEES ANNOUNCED.
BET Networks has announced the nominations for the “BET Awards” 2014. Nominations were announced in 20 categories, selected by BET’s Voting Academy comprised of a group of respected entertainment professionals in the fields of television, film, music, social media, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, creative arts and fans. The “BET Awards” 2014 will air live on Sunday, June 29th at 8pm ET on BET Networks from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, CA.

“This year’s nominees represent the best of the culture,” said Stephen Hill, BET’s President of Music Programming and Specials. “It’s great to see our talented new artist’s right alongside our more beloved ones with long careers. We appreciate our BET Awards nomination committee, over 300 strong, for their efforts and congratulate all the nominees.”

The complete list of nominees for the “BET Awards” 2014 are:

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
Beyoncé
Janelle Monáe
Jhené Aiko
K. Michelle
Rihanna
Tamar Braxton

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
August Alsina
Chris Brown
John Legend
Justin Timberlake
Pharrell Williams

Best Group
A$AP Mob
Daft Punk
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
TGT
Young Money

Best Collaboration
August Alsina f/ Trinidad Jame$ - I Luv This
Beyoncé f/ JAY Z – Drunk In Love
Drake f/ Majid Jordan – Hold On (We’re Going Home)
JAY Z f/ Justin Timberlake – Holy Grail
Robin Thicke f/ T.I. & Pharrell Williams – Blurred Lines
YG f/ Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan – My Hitta

Best Male Hip Hop Artist
Drake
Future
J. Cole
JAY Z
Kendrick Lamar

Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Angel Haze
Charli Baltimore
Eve
Iggy Azalea
Nicki Minaj

Video of the Year
Beyoncé – Partition
Beyoncé f/ JAY Z – Drunk In Love
Chris Brown – Fine China
Drake – Worst Behavior
Pharrell Williams – Happy

Video Director of the Year
Benny Boom
Chris Brown
Colin Tilley
Director X
Hype Williams

Best New Artist
Ariana Grande
August Alsina
Mack Wilds
Rich Homie Quan
ScHoolboy Q

YoungStars Award
Gabrielle Douglas
Jacob Latimore
Jaden Smith
KeKe Palmer
Zendaya

Best Gospel Artist
Donnie McClurkin
Erica Campbell
Hezekiah Walker
Tamela Mann
Tye Tribbett

Best Actress

Angela Bassett
Gabrielle Union
Kerry Washington
Lupita Nyong’o
Oprah Winfrey

Best Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Forest Whitaker
Idris Elba
Kevin Hart
Michael B. Jordan

 

Best Movie
12 Years a Slave
The Best Man Holiday
Fruitvale Station
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Subway Sportswoman of the Year
Brittney Griner
Lolo Jones
Serena Williams
Skylar Diggins
Venus Williams

Subway Sportsman of the Year
Blake Griffin
Carmelo Anthony
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Kevin Durant
LeBron James

Centric Award
Aloe Blacc – The Man
Jennifer Hudson f/ T.I. – I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel)
Jhené Aiko – The Worst
LiV Warfield – Why Do You Lie?
Wale f/ Sam Dew – LoveHate Thing

Best International Act: Africa
Davido (Nigeria)
Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
Mafikizolo (South Africa)
Sarkodie (Ghana)
Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)
Toofan (Togo)

Best International Act: UK
Dizzee Rascal
Ghetts
Krept & Konan
Laura Mvula
Rita Ora
Tinie Tempah




The “BET Awards” 2014 will premiere around the world on BET’s international network on July 1st, 2014 at 8:00pm GMT (check local listings).

Stephen G. Hill, BET’s President of Music Programming and Specials, Lynne Harris Taylor, BET’s Vice President of Specials, will serve as Executive Producers for the “BET AWARDS,” along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.

"THE MESSAGE" (40 YEARS OF HIP HOP) ON DECK.
BET Networks launches “THE MESSAGE,” a provocative documentary showcasing the influence of Hip Hop and how its sheer power has changed the sociopolitical landscape of America as well as the world. The four part narrative explores the factors behind its longevity and covers more than 40 years of this uniquely urban voice born in the streets of the South Bronx. “THE MESSAGE” examines the digital boom that transformed the sound, face and business of Hip Hop over the last 15 years and explores the expansion of the genre throughout the U.S, and the impact each region had on its collective voice. “THE MESSAGE” premieres on BET Networks on Wednesday, June 4 at 10:00 pm ET, followed by new episodes every Wednesday throughout the month of June.

“Hip Hop is a seed planted and nourished amongst the “broken glass everywhere” of mid-seventies New York. It has grown to be a worldwide phenomenon and the dominant culture of at least one generation. This exciting series examines the origin and the path of the music and message taking care to objectively analyze its factions and movements,” said Stephen Hill, President of Music Programing and Specials, BET Networks.

“THE MESSAGE” features intimate first person testimonies from Hip Hop’s most influential contributors including Russell Simmons, Ice Cube, Birdman, Pharrell, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, MC Lyte, Master P, LL Cool J, Big Boi, Bun B, 2 Chainz, Eve, Angie Martinez, Funkmaster Flex, Luther Campbell, Clive Davis, Mona Scott-Young, Questlove, A$AP Rocky, E-40, David Banner, Fab Five Freddy, Nelson George, Big Tigger, Sway and many more including Chris Lighty’s final on-air interview.

“THE MESSAGE” will be broken down into four, one hour episodes:

Episode 1 – The Birth and Proliferation of Hip Hop – The premiere episode traces the roots of Hip Hop from its birth in New York and spread to California with limited support from the mainstream media. Watch your favorite rappers reminisce on the first time they heard Hip Hop and be transported to the block parties, DJ Kool Herc’s sound system and the infectious rhymes of the Universal Zulu Nation and Grandmaster Flash. Premieres June 4 at 10:00 pm

Episode 2 – Trials and Tribulations – Will Hip Hop be able to grow up in a world that is no longer just about peace, love, unity and having fun? Hip Hop faces its first roadblocks with violent realities and extreme opposition from those who disagree with its messaging. Meanwhile, a new voice begins to form. Premieres June 11 at 10:00 pm

Episode 3 – Women, Cash, Clothes - Hip Hop explores a new reality of lasciviousness, wealth and entrepreneurship characterized by fast cars, big jewelry, the birth of the video vixen and the start of popular clothing lines including Rocawear, Sean Jean and Wu Wear. Premieres June 18 at 10:00 pm

Episode 4 – The Digital Revolution – The Internet creates new opportunities for Hip Hop to change the face of America. From the rise of the first major Internet superstar rapper Soulja Boy to the infamous 360 deals, this episode explores the future of Hip Hop. Premieres June 25 at 10:00 pm

Narrated by Joe Budden, “THE MESSAGE” is produced by Sam Walker II, Director of Music Specials and Productions, BET Networks, Keith Clinkscales and The Shadow League Media. For more information, visit www.bet.com/themessage and join the conversation on social media with #TheMessage.

GUCCI MANE PLEADS GUILTY.
Rapper Gucci Mane pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a federal firearms charge in Atlanta. The 34-year-old, whose real name is Radric Davis, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after reaching an agreement with prosecutors. The charge he pleaded guilty to carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000. Prosecutors recommended that Davis be sentenced to serve three years and three months in prison. His sentencing is set for July 28.

Davis was found to have a gun on Sept. 12 and had a different gun in his possession two days later, and he acted erratically and threatened people on both occasions, according to the indictment. The plea agreement focused only on the latter incident.

Early on 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.

Davis' lawyer, Drew Findling, said his client is doing mentally and physically well now and is ready to get back to his life and to making music.

"The most important thing that took place today is that he accepted responsibility and is ready to move on," Findling said. "He's positive about his music, but most importantly, he's really just ready to take control of his life."

RICK ROSS IS COMING TO NEW YORKER FRESH ISLAND FESTIVAL
Croatian hip hop festival NEW YORKER FRESH ISLAND FESTIVAL announces a another spectacular headliner for this summer s event at Zrce beach- RICK ROSS. Ross joins the already illustrious line up of DMX, Pusha T, Redman and Method Man.

Rick Ross - who will make his debut in Croatia - commented "PRIVATE JET FROM MIAMI TO NEW YORKER FRESH ISLAND FESTIVAL IN CROATIA, I'VE SEEN THE VIDEO FROM 2013 AND I CANT WAIT TO ROCK THE BIG STAGE JULY 23 WITH MY HOMIE PUSHA T FROM THE CLIPSE!! MAYBACH MUSIC CROATIA WHATUP!! RICKY ROSS THE BOSS!!"

The festival takes place from 23rd to 25th July and sees 40 international performers take to the stages including some of Europe's biggest DJ 's crews.

As a result of record ticket sales Festival organizers are predicting in excess of 20,000 fans from all around the world to attend this unique festival that takes place on the stages of adjacent beach clubs Papaya and Aquarius.


1ST QUARTER MUSIC PUBLISHING RANKINGS ARE IN.
The first-quarter rankings for music-publishing royalties are in, and the most notable winners are Sony/ATV and SONGS. Although the former’s No. 1 finish is hardly surprising -- Sony/ATV has held the top spot for seven successive quarters since taking over administration of EMI Music Publishing in 2012 -- the company’s 31.9 percent market share, almost double that of No. 2-ranking Universal Music Publishing Group, should have Sony/ATV Chairman and CEO Martin Bandier handing out primo cigars to his executives.

SONGS CEO (and former Judge bassist) Matt Pincus also should be celebrating. The company, which was the breakout success story of fourth-quarter 2013, continued its surge by nearly doubling its fourth-quarter market share. This is the second consecutive quarter that SONGS, which administers publishing for Jason Derulo and Lorde has landed in the top 10 and its third time overall. The company made its debut at No. 9 in first-quarter 2013 with a 1.6 percent share.

Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner/Chappell Music traded places in the number two and three spots this quarter. And, at the other end of the Top 10, Words and Music Copyright Administration scored the No. 9 berth with a 1.1-percent share after not making the cut in the fourth quarter. Downtown Music Publishing also landed the No. 10 spot after three consecutive quarters as a no-show. (Please see chart for a more in-depth look at the rankings and the songs that drove them. In instances where a song -- such as Lorde’s “Team” -- has more than one writer, and the writers are represented by different publishers, the song will be credited to more than one publisher.)

The song that earned the most royalties in the quarter was Katy Perry’s "Dark Horse (feat. Juicy J)." Billboard estimates the song produced $883,000 from U.S. Radio performance and mechanical royalties. Ryan Tedder was the top writer for the second quarter in a row. Billboard estimates that his credits for five songs -- "Counting Stars," by his band OneRepublic, Ellie Goulding's "Burn”, Demi Lovato's "Neon Lights, Maroon 5's "Love Somebody", and the Fray’s "Love Don't Die" -- generated $881,000 revenue in mechanical royalties from U.S. album sales and track downloads, and performance royalties from U.S. radio airplay in the first quarter. Billboard estimates he earned $582,000 that in the previous quarter from the three Top 100 radio songs he had a hand in writing.

Methodology
Publisher rankings are determined using a number of sources. Radio airplay for Top 100 songs was calculated from a sample of 1,554 U.S. stations that were monitored electronically by Nielsen BDS for the period of Jan. 1 through March 31, 2014. Airplay for country songs was tabulated from a sample of 212 country stations monitored by Nielsen BDS. The Harry Fox Agency calculates each publisher’s market share by researching the publishers' split for each track. Source: Billboard

MOTOWN APPOINTS VP OF CREATIVE RELATIONSHIPS AND MARKETING.
Myisha Brooks has been named Vice President of Creative Relations and Marketing for Motown Records, it was announced today by company president, Ethiopia Habtemariam, to whom Brooks will report. In this newly created position, Brooks' responsibilities will encompass marketing, artist development and public relations, as she facilitates strategic initiatives for recently signed artists in addition to constructing, initiating, and supervising broad-range media campaigns for the label's diverse and dynamic artist roster. Brooks will be based in Hollywood, California at the iconic Capitol Records Tower.

Brooks brings years of experience to her new position. Prior to joining Motown, she served as Vice President of Publicity at Republic Records where she designed and executed successful public relations campaigns across print, television and the internet for a diverse array of high-profile artists including Kelly Rowland, The Weeknd, Lorde, PSY, Jessie J, Angel Haze, Amy Winehouse, Nas & Damian Marley, Phantogram, James Blake, Kid Cudi, Nelly, and more.

About her new role, Brooks commented, "I am absolutely ecstatic to join Ethiopia's talented all-star team. Ethiopia has proven to be one of the most respected, well-versed, forward-thinking executives in music today, and I am enthusiastic to aid the execution of her vision for the talented artists under the legendary Motown Records brand."

Habtemariam adds, "Myisha's diverse experience and impressive work ethic are inspiring, and her contributions to our company's marketing, public relations and artist development will undoubtedly prove integral to our company and our artists. Myisha is a very welcome addition to the Motown Records team."

After graduating from California State University Long Beach with a B.A. in Electronic Theater Arts and Minor in Speech Communication, Brooks began her career as an intern at Arista Records. She was quickly promoted to executive assistant and eventually Coordinator of West Coast Publicity. While at Arista, she worked with CeeLo Green, T.I., Outkast, The Neptunes, Kelis, Usher, and more. In 2008, she served as a marketing/PR associate at Warner Bros. Records, working with Wiz Khalifa, E-40, and Lil' Jon. Immediately prior to her position at Republic Records, she was a Senior Account Executive at Simone Smalls PR, handling media for the likes of Usher, Grammy Award-nominated songwriter Claude Kelly, and The View co-host and actress Sherri Shepherd.

BIG BOI TALKS SIGNING NEW DEAL WITH EPIC RECORDS.
Big Boi is currently busy headlining numerous festival dates as one-half of newly-reunited OutKast, but he's already considering to work on a solo project. He revealed his plan to record a new album by announcing that he'd recently signed a new deal with Epic records.

"I just signed a deal with Epic Records," Big Boi told the Huffington Post and added that he signed the contract last month. "So I'm back with L.A. Reid and Sylvia Rhone. Got a brand new situation. I signed the deal the day after the first Coachella date, that Saturday."

"That's my mentor," Big Boi explained of reuniting with Reid on Epic Records. "He understands my music. And one thing about L.A. Reid, there are no creative restraints. He trusts my ear and let's me make the music I want to make. We love being in business together. That's my big brother."

He went on talking about his new album and his plan to release new songs before 2014 ends. "The album I'm not gonna rush," he said. "I wanted to put something out before the end of the year. It depends, because me and Dre got a lot of work to do from now until the end of October. [But] you're definitely going to get some brand new Big Boi material. Two or three singles before the fall."

APPLE ON THE VERGE OF AQUIRING BEATS FOR $3.2 BILLION.
Apple is orchestrating a $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, the headphone maker and music streaming distributor founded Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, according to a published report.

Citing people familiar with the negotiations, The Financial Times says Apple could announce the deal as early as next week. In its report posted online late Thursday, the newspaper warned the talks could still collapse if the two sides cannot agree on some final details.

The potential acquisition would add Beats Electronics' popular line of headphones and music streaming service to an Apple line-up that already includes digital music players and the iTunes store, the world's top music retailer.

If the deal is completed, it would be by far the largest purchase in Apple Inc.'s 38-year history.

The Cupertino company has traditionally seen little need to buy technology from other companies, reflecting Apple's confidence in its ability to turn its own ideas into revolutionary products such as the Mac computer, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.

But Apple hasn't released a breakthrough product since its former CEO and chief visionary, Steve Jobs, died in October 2011. The innovative void has increased the pressure on Jobs' hand-picked successor, Tim Cook, to prove he is capable of sustaining the success and growth that turned Apple into the world's most valuable company and a beloved brand.

Cook has shown a willingness to spend more of Apple's money than Job ever did. Among other things, Cook began paying Apple stockholders a quarterly dividend and has progressively committed more money to buying back the company's shares.

Apple's pursuit of Beats Electronics is the latest indication that the company is having trouble generating growth on its own. Apple already sells Beats Electronics gear in its stores, giving the company insights into how much the trendy headphones and other audio equipment appeal to its customers.

The negotiations also are taking place as the music market increasingly tilts toward streaming and away from the downloads that once drove the success of Apple's digital music store, iTunes.

U.S. revenue from downloads — which iTunes dominates — dropped 1 percent to $2.8 billion in 2013, while streaming music revenue from the likes of Pandora and Spotify soared 39 percent to $1.4 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

While downloads still command 40 percent of the market, streaming revenue now accounts for 20 percent of total revenue, up from just 3 percent in 2007.

Beats Electronics LLC was founded in Santa Monica, California in 2008 by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Its headphones were manufactured by Monster Cable until the two companies parted ways in 2012. The headphones have become a bit of status symbol worn by celebrities as well as audiophiles.

In 2012, Beats bought streaming music service MOG, which it transformed and relaunched as Beats Music earlier this year. The launch was fueled by a landmark partnership with AT&T that allowed up to five family members to pay $15 a month for the service as long as they were AT&T wireless customers. The deal broke the industry mold of charging each person $10 per month.

Jimmy Iovine is in talks to join Apple as a “special adviser” to Tim Cook on creative matters, two sources close to talks told The New York Post.

Iovine is also chairman of Universal Music Group’s Interscope, Geffen and A&M labels, home to Lady Gaga and Eminem, among others. Iovine’s contract with UMG runs until the end of 2014. If Iovine goes to Apple, he’d join the likes of Angela Ahrendts, the former Burberry executive who signed on at the Cupertino, Calif., company a month ago to run its retail division.

If the sale of Beats Electronics is concluded, it will wind up benefiting UMG, which has a stake in Beats said to be worth around $400 million.

CHUCK D & FRIENDS TO PERFORM/ENGAGE STUDENTS ON CAMPUS OF UCLA.
Chuck D, legendary frontman of hip-hop group Public Enemy, will be on the UCLA campus talking to students about the need to organize, educate, and participate in order to take back democracy from the corporatocracy.

Chuck D's visit to the campus will encourage students to attend the United We Stand Festival, a musical rally taking place on UCLA's campus this coming Saturday, May 10 at 4:00 PM, where Chuck D is a participant. The rally will celebrate the re-emergence of democracy, where we the people are fighting back against the corporatocracy and implementing meaningful electoral reforms.

About United We Stand Festival: Free & Equal Elections Foundation, the grassroots organization that in 2012 hosted the open presidential debate moderated by television legend Larry King, will gather iconic musicians, intellectuals, and activists to empower American’s voting youth to hold their elected leaders accountable for free and equal elections. The “United We Stand” University Bus Tour will launch this educational movement at the Pauley Pavilion Arena on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles on May 10, 2014. The festival co-sponsored by a number of socially-responsible businesses including Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Nature's Path Organic, and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, and numerous grassroots activist organizations brings together various perspectives which are not currently represented in Washington.

Musical headliners at UCLA include Public Enemy (Chuck D, Professor Griff, Jahi, and DJ Lord), founding members of Wu-Tang Clan, Immortal Technique, Brother Ali, The Siren, Paul Masvidal of Cynic, Tatiana Moroz, Rooftop Revolutionaries, A-Alikes, Luminaries, Kellee Maize, Jon Goodhue, Sounds of Solidarity, and more.

Speakers include Larry King (media legend), Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream; via video), Dennis Kucinich (former Ohio Representative), Marianne Williamson (New York Times bestselling author & independent congressional candidate, CA-33), David Bronner (CEO of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps), and Sean Stone (son of Oliver Stone, host of Buzzsaw).

NICKI MINAJ ON DECK FOR ROOTS' ANNUAL 4TH OF JULY JAM.
Nicki Minaj will head to the city of brotherly love for the Roots' annual 4th of July Jam. The rapper-singer will perform on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on Independence Day for the free event.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced Monday at a news conference that Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Hudson and rising stars Ariana Grande and Aloe Blacc will also perform.

The Roots will work as the house band at their annual jam concert, which has previously featured Earth, Wind & Fire, John Mayer and Jill Scott. The 4th of July Jam will air live on VH1 and Palladia.

The Roots will release a new album, "And Then You Shoot Your Cousin," on May 19.

2 CHAINZ SENTENCED TO DRUG DIVERSION PROGRAM.
Rapper 2 Chainz has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance in a case filed after his arrest at Los Angeles International Airport.

District attorney's spokeswoman Jane Robison says the rapper, whose real name is Tauheed Epps, was sentenced Monday to an 18-month drug diversion program, and a felony drug possession charge was dropped.

Robison says the misdemeanor charge will be dropped if Epps successfully completes the program.

The 36-year-old rapper was arrested in June after airport officials reported finding ingredients for the cough-syrup-based concoction known as "sizzurp" in his checked baggage.

PRODUCER TALKS NEW MICHAEL JACKSON ALBUM.
When Michael Jackson's record label released his first posthumous album in 2010, a year after the King of Pop's sudden death, producer Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins was asked to work on the project. He declined.

"I was asked to be on that album and to produce like five songs, but I turned it down," he said. "I just felt like it wasn't time."

Years later, the hitmaker for Destiny's Child and Whitney Houston — who worked heavily on Jackson's 2001 comeback album, "Invincible" — says he now feels comfortable producing Jackson's music again. He produced the title track from the upcoming album, "Xscape," out May 13.

"For me it wasn't about the label, it wasn't about the estate's approval; it wasn't about all of that," he said. "I had a personal relationship with Michael, (so) it was about, 'What would he want from this? What would he want it to sound like now?'"

"Xscape" was executive produced by Timbaland and includes songs Jackson recorded in the 1980s and 1990s. Some of the tracks are taken from early recording sessions for successful albums such as "Bad" and "Dangerous."

The first single, "Love Never Felt So Good," was written with Paul Anka and premiered at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Thursday night when Usher danced to the song. A bonus version of the track features Justin Timberlake.

Jerkins said he and Jackson originally started work on the song "Xscape" in 1999 when they recorded the "Invincible" album. He revisited the track in 2003 and retouched it this year for the new eight-track album.

"Even when Michael was alive, we never stopped working on the song 'Xscape,'" he said. "It was one of those songs where he specifically said to me, 'It has to see the light of day one day.'"

Jerkins said he visited Jackson in 2007 in Ireland where they were "vibing out," but didn't focus on creating music exclusively.

"And I then I spoke to him — I would say 2008, 2009, something like that — and he was telling me, 'I'm getting ready to do another album. You gotta get to work. Start working on ideas,'" he recalled. "And then he passed away."

Jerkins, who has produced hits for Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Brandy, is working on new music with Rihanna and Ariana Grande. He said he was initially nervous about including "Xscape" on the Jackson album, which also includes a song produced by StarGate, whom Jackson initially wanted to collaborate with in 2007 because of the Swedish team's work with Ne-Yo.

"I was like, 'What's the other stuff going to sound like?' I don't even know if I want my song to be on there if the other stuff ain't right," Jerkins said. But after the hearing the full record, he relaxed. "Everyone did a really great job on this project," he said.

E.H. NAMED UMPG PRESIDENT, URBAN MUSIC.
Ethiopia Habtemariam has been promoted to president of urban music/co-head of creative at Universal Music Publishing Group U.S. Formerly executive VP of the division, she will continue to co-head UMPG’s overall creative operations in the U.S. with Monti Olson, executive VP/head of pop & rock music. Based out of UMPG’s Santa Monica, Calif. worldwide headquarters, Habtemariam will report to UMPG president, North America Evan Lamberg.

This appointment marks Habtemariam’s second promotion in a month’s time. She was elevated to president of Motown in April. Habtemariam first assumed her dual roles in 2011, when she was simultaneously promoted to executive VP/head of urban music at UMPG and named senior VP of the revamped Motown.

In a statement announcing the UMPG promotion, Lamberg says, “Ethiopia not only knows where the current hits are, but more importantly where the future hits will come from -- and always seems to get there before our competitors.”

Adds UMPG chairman/CEO Zach Horowitz, “Ethiopia has been the key player in making UMPG’s urban division such an industry powerhouse. Her new role as president of Motown provides an extraordinary platform to bring added value to our songwriters.”

During her UMPG tenure, which includes a stint as the company’s director of urban music/East Coast, Habtemariam has assembled a songwriter roster that includes Miguel, J. Cole, Chris Brown, Hit-Boy, Ari Levine and Phil Lawrence of the Smeezingtons, Ester Dean and Justin Bieber. The UMPG urban division also includes Eminem, Ne-Yo, Justin Timberlake, Alex Da Kid, Nicki Minaj and DJ Khalil. Last year, UMPG won publisher of the year at BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Awards along with songwriter (Minaj), producer (Hit-Boy) and song of the year (Minaj’s “Starships”) honors. Source: Billboard

PHARRELL HUMBLED @ iHEARTRADIO MUSIC AWARDS.
Pharrell is still full of tears of joy — even after that viral interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The producer-rapper-singer was teary-eyed after he performed a medley of his hits at the iHeartRadio Music Awards and earned the innovator award for his contributions to music.

"I never dreamt in a million, million, million years as a producer that I would be standing here as an artist," the 41-year-old told the crowd Thursday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. "All I did was write the songs and you guys did all the heavy lifting, all the hard work."

Pharrell performed his songs "Happy" and "Come Get It Bae," as well as two of last year's biggest hits that he was a part of — Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Daft Punk's "Get Lucky."

"I gotta thank my savior, I gotta thank God ... my wife and my son, Rocket," said Pharrell, who rarely acknowledges his personal life.

Pharrell famously cried in an interview with Winfrey last month. She appeared in a video, which included Beyonce and Lady Gaga, praising Pharrell's talent.

But Pharrell wasn't the only star in happy mood: Rihanna was the night's big winner, taking home four trophies including artist and song of the year for the slow tune, "Stay."

"It's not easy what we do. It's very difficult at times. It's a lot of pressure to be a lot of things, and I've never felt comfortable being anything other than myself — and I just thank my fans for being supportive," said Rihanna.

The pop star also won best fan army and hip-hop/R&B song of the year for the anthemic "Pour It Up."

Pitbull kicked off the first iHeartRadio Music Awards with a colorful performance — and words for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

"I want to welcome the world to the first iHeartRadio Music Awards. Now everyone that's here is a who's who, a what's what, the anybody's of all anybody's — except of course for Donald Sterling," he told the crowd after his performance.

"So, with that said, you can take a picture with whoever you want tonight — even Magic Johnson," he said to cheers.

Sterling was banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million Tuesday for making racist comments.

Pitbull, who won best collaboration for the No. 1 hit "Timber" with Kesha, performed that song and "Wild Wild Love" with girl group G.R.L. and female background dancers who wore white and gold.

Usher also enticed the crowd when he danced slickly to the new Michael Jackson single, "Love Never Felt This Good," and 20-year-old Ariana Grande performed her new jam "Problem" in a mini black dress and white knee-high boots that even had Rihanna blushing.

The three-hour awards show paid tribute to music roots in Los Angeles with acts from Katy Perry to Steven Tyler to the Black Keys talking in videos about establishing their sound in the city. Compton-born Kendrick Lamar brought the theme to life with a performance of Tupac and mentor Dr. Dre's "California Love."

Some of the top nominees Thursday didn't attend the awards show, including Justin Timberlake, Jay Z and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Miley Cyrus, who is recovering from a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics, won best lyrics for her No. 1 hit, "Wrecking Ball." Her father picked up her award.

"As a dad, I can't begin to tell you how much your thoughts, your love, your support for my family and Miley mean to all of us," Billy Ray Cyrus said.

Lorde was also recovering from being sick, and she thanked fans in a video for her win for best new artist.

Performers during the fan-voted show, which aired live on NBC, included Shakira, Luke Bryan, 30 Seconds to Mars, Bastille and Blake Shelton, who won country song of the year. Diddy, Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez, Lionel Richie and Gwen Stefani made appearances.

Imagine Dragons' "Demons" and Avicii's "Wake Me Up" won the trophies for alternative rock and EDM song of the year, respectively.

NAS ON DECK TO HEADLINE ESSENCE FESTIVAL.
Nas, whose critically-acclaimed documentary, 'Time is Illmatic,' was the hit of last month's Tribeca Film Festival, will kick off the 20th Anniversary Essence Festival weekend as headliner of the Essence Now Playing concert, also featuring R&B crooner Trey Songz, as well as R&B/soul songstresses K. Michelle and Jazmine Sullivan. More artists will be announced in the coming weeks. The Essence Now Playing concert is taking place at the Louisiana Superdome on Thursday, July 3, leading in to the 20th Anniversary Essence Festival weekend, July 3-6, in New Orleans, LA.

"Essence is excited to welcome hip-hop legend and musical prodigy Nas to kick off our 20th Anniversary celebration, especially as he commemorates his own impressive 20 year milestone," said Essence President Michelle Ebanks. "The Essence Festival promises 20 stages of programming to honor our 20th anniversary with more than 70 artists performing across our music stages. The addition of Nas, Trey Songz, K. Michelle and Jazmine Sullivan for the Essence Now Playing concert is an incredible lead-in to Festival weekend and rounds out an entertainment experience not-to-be-missed!"

Essence tapped Nas to headline the special Now Playing concert performance in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Essence Festival and also his iconic debut album, Illmatic. Illmatic has been lauded by critics as one of the most exemplary hip-hop recordings of all time and contributed to the revival of the New York City rap scene; consistently ranked near the top of many "best album" lists.

UNCLE LUKE HAS SOME WORDS FOR DONALD STERLING.
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times.

"Karma finally caught up to Donald Sterling, the slumlord owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Just when his team is finally thriving and competing for an NBA championship, the man upstairs gave The Donald a good ole kick in the balls.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life after the world got to listen to secretly recorded tapes of the billionaire making racist comments to his ex-girlfriend, V. Stiviano, a woman who is of Mexican and African-American descent.

For many black people, banishing Sterling from being associated with the NBA is akin to union soldiers liberating slaves on a plantation during the Civil War.

But it's sad the NBA didn't boot Sterling a long time ago. It's even sadder that the NAACP and some of the former and current players, coaches, and team owners had embraced this nasty bigot for such a long time.

My friend and ESPN columnist Jemele Hill, who is African American, tipped me off to a 2009 investigative piece she helped research about Sterling that appeared in ESPN, The Magazine. In the story, many of the characters currently condeming Sterling didn't have a problem with the man, who at the time had been exposed as a vile racist. He was so vicious to his minority tenants he paid a record $2.7 million to the Department of Justice to settle a disrcimination lawsuit.

The article recounted, among other atrocities, how one of Sterling's tenants, an elderly black woman named Kandynce Jones, was living in a flooded apartment caused by a serious leak in building, owned by the Clippers' don. When Sterling was told Jones wanted to be reimbursed for the water damage and her ruined property, he replied, "I am not going to do that. Just evict the bitch."

This man has committed just about every wicked act there is. He degraded women and offered to pay them for sexual favors. He committed sexual harassment and adultery. He cheated people out of money.

Those allegations didn't stop NBA celebs from praising Sterling. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, told the magazine: "I like Donald. He plays by his own rules." Yet, minutes after Silver banned Sterling, Cuban tweeted: "I agree 100% with Commissioner Silvers findings and the actions taken against Donald Sterling."

Cuban is not the only hypocrite. Current Golden State Warriors Head Coach Mark Jackson told ESPN, The Magazine he "never had a problem" with Sterling when he played for the Clippers from 1992 to 1994 or at any other time during his playing career. He added, "I heard about the housing case -- what can I do about that?" Three days ago, Jackson was telling Clippers fans to protest by staying home for game five at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The NBA head honchos are also bear responsibility for allowing Sterling to go unchecked. At his press conference yesterday, Silver said Sterling's comments "are deeply offensive and harmful" and "are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic league."

However, Silver's predecessor David Stern did nothing to sanction Sterling when his despicable acts against his minority tenants were exposed. Instead, Stern rewarded him by letting him snatch Chris Paul after vetoing a trade that would have sent the all-star point guard to the L.A. Lakers.

Everyone who enabled Sterling is now trying to save face.

The irony is that Silver says he is going to get the owners to force Sterling to sell the Clippers, allowing him to make billions of dollars. That's not right.

My wife owns a Wing Stop franchise. If she pulled some similar shit, Wing Stop would revoke the franchise outright. She would not be allowed to sell the name and make money off the deal. Wing Stop would take the name and all she would be left with is the equipment and the leases.

The same rule should apply to Sterling. It's time to stop him from making a profit off the people he hates." --- Luther Cambell, Source: Miami new Times

JAMES YOUNG JOINS ROC NATION SPORTS
Jay Z has added his next NBA player to the Roc Nation Sports roster: Kentucky NBA draft hopeful James Young.

Young joins Kevin Durant as Roc Nation's only other NBA player. Roc Nation also claims WNBA star Skylar Diggins on its roster. Young averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and shot 34.9 percent from 3-point range. Source: Sporting News

OUTKAST RETURNS TO HOME STATE FOR COUNTERPOINT.
Despite the wet and muddy conditions, the energy was high for Outkast's performance in their home state at the CounterPoint Music & Arts Festival.

Organizers suspended the festival due to heavy rain and inclement weather, pushing Outkast's set back more than an hour Sunday night. But the Grammy-winning rap duo still put on an energetic show that kept the crowd jamming in the late hours.

Outkast was one of the final acts to close out the three-day festival in Rome, Ga., which is about 60 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta. The group, which consist of Andre "Andre 3000" Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, grew up in East Point, Ga.

"I know you're all muddy and dirty," said a chuckling Andre 3000, who was wearing a white wig and a black jumpsuit with a white X on the chest. "And I know y'all are going to want to go home and take a shower."

Outkast kicked off their act with the song "B.O.B." They went on to perform some of the duo's major hits from "Ms. Jackson," ''So Fresh, So Clean," ''Rosa Parks" and "Player's Ball."

CounterPoint was the second stop for Outkast, who is currently on a 40-date tour. Big Boi and Andre 3000 reunited onstage for the first time two weeks ago at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, following a near-decade hiatus.

Outkast is celebrating 20 years in music since the release of their 1994 debut, "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik."

"It's good to be back in the dirty, dirty," said Big Boi, sporting a red hat with "Atlanta" written in black across the front of it. "ATL you know what it is. We love y'all. ... 20 years and we still here."

The group often danced alongside each other, then stood and walked behind each other inside a tall see-through box for a couple of songs including "Aquemini." They showed good chemistry onstage as the two smoothly interchanged into their own solo acts.

Big Boi took the stage first performing a slew of his songs including "The Way You Move." Andre 3000 followed up his bandmate's act with singing his well-known hits "Prototype" and "Hey Ya!."

Outkast brought out other performers such as Janelle Monae, Sleepy Brown and Killer Mike. More than 60 artists performed at the festival including from J. Cole, Pretty Lights, and Foster the People.

"This seems like a family reunion," Big Boi said to the packed crowd.

The group also paid homage to the late Pimp C, performing a snippet of the UGK song "International Player's Anthem (I Choose You)."

JAY Z AND BEYONCE ANNOUNCE ON THE RUN TOUR.
Beyonce and Jay Z will launch the co-headlining "On the Run Tour" on June 25 in Miami. Beyonce made the announcement Monday. The stadium tour will visit Philadelphia; East Rutherford, N.J.; Chicago; and Los Angeles. It wraps Aug. 5 in San Francisco. Pre-sale tickets go on sale Tuesday. Beyonce and Jay Z have collaborated on a number of songs, including the hits "Crazy In Love," "'03 Bonnie & Clyde," ''Deja Vu," ''Part II (On the Run)" and the recent smash "Drunk In Love."

Beyonce released her ultra-successful self-titled fifth album late last year in surprise form. Jay Z, who toured with Justin Timberlake last year, also had success with the release of "Magna Carta Holy Grail."

ON THE RUN TOUR ITINERARY:

June 25 - Miami (Sun Life Stadium)
June 28 - Cincinnati (Great American Ballpark)
July 1 - Foxborough, MA (Gillette Stadium)
July 5 - Philadelphia (Citizens Bank Park)
July 7 - Baltimore (M & T Bank Stadium)
July 9 - Toronto (Rogers Centre)
July 11 - East Rutherford, NJ (MetLife Stadium)
July 15 - Atlanta (Georgia Dome)
July 18 - Houston (Minute Maid Park)
July 20 - New Orleans (Mercedes-Benz Superdome)
July 22 - Dallas (AT&T Stadium)
July 24 - Chicago (Soldier Field)
July 27 - Winnipeg, MB (Investor Group Field)
July 30 - Seattle (Safeco Field)
August 2 - Los Angeles (Rose Bowl)
August 5 - San Francisco (AT&T Park)

PHARRELL MAKES HISTORY AGAIN.
Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” has made history as the first and only song to ever reach #1 at six different Mediabase radio formats. This week, “Happy” jumps to #1 at Mediabase’s Adult Contemporary format; “Happy” remains #1 at Hot AC and Urban AC formats, and has recently topped the charts at Top 40, Urban, and Rhythm formats, marking six total formats at #1.

Just weeks ago, “Happy” broke yet another Mediabase record, reaching 272 million in weekly audience and thus shattering the previous record set by Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

In total, “Happy” has charted at seven Mediabase formats - Top 40, Rhythm, AC, Hot AC, Urban, Urban AC, and AAA.

“The remarkable achievement of Pharrell Williams/”Happy” to reach No. 1 at six formats is indeed a momentous occasion in the history of Mediabase," said Philippe Generali, President & CEO, Media Monitors-Mediabase. "In ascending to the top spot at AC this week, Pharrell Williams sets a new record for the most amount of #1s at six formats on ‘Happy’. We certainly extend hearty congratulations to Pharrell Williams and Columbia Records for this new milestone.”

Columbia Records Executive Vice President & GM Joel Klaiman commented: “It’s an honor to work with a visionary like Pharrell Williams. We are so excited with the success of the launch of his album G I R L. I congratulate Pharrell and our entire promotion team under the leadership of Lee Leipsner and our department heads - Jon Borris (Top 40), Cynthia Johnson (Urban & Urban AC), Ayelet Schiffman (Rhythm), Pete Cosenza (Hot AC), Jim Burruss (AC). With great music, hard work, and strategy, Pharrell’s “Happy” has made history!”

ATLANTIC RECORDS GROUP PROMOTES NEW PRESIDENT. FILM & TV.
Kevin Weaver has been promoted to president of film and television for the Atlantic Records Group. He will also retain his current title of executive VP of Atlantic Records Group, a post he has held since 2009.

Weaver oversees the creation and placement of Atlantic-affiliated music across allvisual media -- including film, television, and video games -- and develops and oversees soundtrack projects, strategic alliances, media placements, licensing opportunities and marketing initiatives.

Atlantic Records Group chairman/CEO Craig Kallman and chairman/COO Julie Greenwald “really understand the importance of this role at the company and they give me a great deal of autonomy to do things I think are right for our artists,” Weaver told Billboard. “The scope has grown.”

“One of the reasons why we started this publishing business was to align ourselves with artists to specifically write for film and TV,” Weaver says. “It’s growing beyond writers and producers. The idea is to create a larger way for us to (participate) in an additional economic upside.”

In a statement, Kallman and Greenwald said Weaver “has played an instrumental role in seeking out innovative opportunities for our artists and expanding the reach of their music, while forging exceptional relationships with the film and TV communities.” Source Billboard.

WIZ KHALIFA & YOUNG JEEZY TOP BILL FOR 3RD ANNUAL UNDER THE INFLUENCE TOUR.
Under the Influence of Music 2014 summer tour returns for its third epic year. Organizers announced today the tour's massive line-up will include hip-hop heavyweight and tour founder Wiz Khalifa as well as Young Jeezy, Tyga, Ty Dolla $ign and Rich Homie Quan. Also set to perform are some of hip-hop's hottest young acts including Sage The Gemini, Mack Wilds, Iamsu! and DJ Drama.

The highly anticipated Live Nation-produced tour is set to kick off Thursday, July 24 in Scranton, Pa. and will hit 22 cities in the U.S. and Canada, including major city stops in New York City, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles (full routing below).

Tickets for the Under the Influence of Music tour will go on sale to the general public beginning at 4:20 p.m. local time on Friday, April 25. All fans who purchase their tickets online will receive a digital copy of Wiz Khalifa's forthcoming new album 'Blacc Hollywood'.

Under The Influence of Music Tour Dates

Thursday, July 24, Scranton, PA, The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
Friday, July 25 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
Saturday, July 26 Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
Sunday, July 27 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
Tuesday, July 29 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Thursday, July 31 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Friday, Aug. 1 Pittsburgh, PA First Niagara Pavilion
Saturday, Aug. 2 Boston, MA Xfinity Center*
Sunday, Aug. 3 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
Tuesday, Aug. 5 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Thursday, Aug. 7 Noblesville, IN Klipsch Music Center
Friday, Aug. 8 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center
Saturday, Aug. 9 East Troy, WI Alpine Valley Music Theatre
Sunday, Aug. 10 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
Tuesday, Aug. 12 St. Louis, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Thursday, Aug. 14 Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Pavilion
Friday, Aug. 15 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Sunday, Aug. 17 Albuquerque, NM Isleta Amphitheater
Tuesday, Aug. 19 Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre**
Friday, Aug. 22 San Francisco, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre***
Saturday, Aug. 23 San Diego, CA Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Sunday, Aug. 24 Irvine, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre****

*Rich Homie Quan will not appear at this show
**Sage The Gemini and Iamsu! will not appear at this show
***Ty Dolla $ign and Sage The Gemini will not appear at this show
****Sage The Gemini will not appear at this show

BET ANNOUNCES NEW PROGRAMMING & MORE..
BET Networks announced its upcoming programming schedule for BET and Centric at its annual Upfront presentation. The network defined the Total Market approach, unveiled exclusive research on millennials and showcased its new original content, returning hits, mega-specials and events.

“Our new shows and feature films, combined with our returning hits like "Real Husbands of Hollywood" and "Being Mary Jane," make BET’s original slate stronger than ever,” said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO, BET Networks. “We’re excited about our entire schedule, especially our original programming, our strong talk show acquisitions and our exclusive co-production deal with Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment to produce new content for Centric.”

Audiences continue to flock to BET Networks for quality programming. In March, BET reached more African American adults 18-49 than any network in cable with 9.8 million viewers, and BET Networks received 19 NAACP Image Award nominations, more than any other network – cable or broadcast.

“The leading brands not only count the people they reach, they reach the people that count. The most innovative advertisers are connected to crucial brand builders, product advisors and social media buzz makers. That audience is our audience,” said Louis Carr, President of Broadcast and Advertising Media Sales, BET Networks. “To win with a Total Market approach, a brand must be in an environment that is relevant to audiences that drive attitudes, behaviors and lifestyles to influence what’s hot, what’s next and what matters. BET is where your total market begins.”

NEW PROGRAMMING ON BET:

THE START UP – In The Start Up, hip-hop prince Diggy Simmons makes his scripted series debut as Blake Monroe, founder of TheJetsetters.com, an entertainment and lifestyle blog. The Start Up hones in on what it means to be young, gifted and digital, as Blake and his friends strategize for fame and financing while they navigate the freedoms and pressures of adulthood. Also stars Teyana Taylor, Bria Murphy, Allen Maldonado, Chris Brew, and Stephanie Charles. From Executive Producers Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, Kenya Barris, James DuBose, Kevin Liles and Laurie Dobbins.

GONE GOSPEL – Music artists outside of the gospel genre in search of their next chapter and verse share a house, compete in weekly challenges and embark on a holistic journey to rebuild their careers. Under the mentorship of star-making songwriters, producers and life coaches, the artists will write an inspirational anthem on their road to transforming their lives. There will be egos. There will be tribulations. And there will be a dramatic, victorious conclusion like nothing seen before on BET. Hosted by Kirk Franklin (Sunday Best); Executive Producers: Marilyn Gill and Kirk Franklin.

GOT GAME – When eligible men and women have to woo a new prospect without relying on their great looks, killer body or fashion sense, it all comes down to whether they’ve Got Game? BET gives the dating show a cliffhanger with each episode as singles undergo wild transformations, complete with costumes and movie make-up before their big dates. Will their charm shine through? Or will it be game over? Hosted by Donnivin Jordan.

NEW MOVIES/SPECIALS:

THE BOOK OF NEGROES – BET’s first-ever miniseries, this sweeping six-part epic traverses Aminata Diallo’s capture in Africa, enslavement in America, and emancipation in England. It is a riveting historical drama based upon the Commonwealth Prize winning novel by Lawrence Hill and chronicles love, loss, and the enduring human spirit. Stars Academy Award ® winners Cuba Gooding Jr. and Louis Gossett, Jr. and Aunjanue Ellis. In Partnership with eOne and The CBC.

LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN – NAACP Image Award winning director Regina King (Southland) steps behind the camera to bring ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s inspirational best-seller to the screen. Enter the world of Rachel Jackson, the preacher’s daughter who surmounts incredible odds to reconcile with the father she disappointed. Stars Naturi Naughton, Steve Harris, Lela Rochon Fuqua, Hosea Chanchez and Collins Pennie. Producers: Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone, and Regina King. Executive Producers: Reina King and TD Jakes.

THE HOT CHOCOLATE NUTCRACKER – From veteran Executive Producer and Director Debbie Allen comes a new vision for a holiday classic, The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. A young girl’s dream comes to life when her Christmas gift shows her wondrous new worlds where original music and dance warm hearts, just like hot chocolate. Stars Raven-Symone’ and Tichina Arnold.

RETURNING HITS ON BET:

BEING MARY JANE: SEASON 2 – BET’s first one-hour original drama, Being Mary Jane, is a bonafide smash hit, winning wide critical acclaim, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Television Movie and becoming the season’s #1 Tuesday primetime show on any network. Expect another steamy, satisfying second season full of nuanced characters, stellar performances, and brilliant writing. Stars Gabrielle Union, Lisa Vidal, Richard Roundtree, Stephen Bishop and Margaret Avery, Richard Brooks, B.J. Britt, Raven Goodwin, Aaron D. Spears and LaTarsha Rose.

REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD: SEASON 3 – The fakest reality show ever is a real-life runaway hit. Taking the #1 spot on Entertainment Weekly’s must-see list and acclaimed by The New York Times, Real Husbands of Hollywood is the #1 cable sitcom among all adults 18-49.* Led by comic genius Kevin Hart with an all-star cast (Boris Kodjoe, Nelly, Nick Cannon, Duane Martin and Cynthia Kaye McWilliams), Season 3 will be sure to deliver new rivalries, A-list cameos, and laugh-out-loud cliffhangers.

THE GAME: SEASON 8 – In 2014, The Game swept both NAACP Image Awards for outstanding actress in a comedy series honors (Brandy Norwood and Wendy Raquel Robinson). The Game also delivered 4.4 million premiere night viewers, all waiting with bated breath for the answer to their big questions about Tasha, Kelly, Jason and Chardonnay. Season 8 promises to take this winning franchise to yet another level, so don’t miss out on the action, the comedy or the drama.

106 & PARK – 106 & Park is the #1 video countdown show anywhere on television. Now in its 14th year, our flagship program has been remixed and is bigger and bolder than ever. With multi-platinum artist and actor Bow Wow and Juno Award winning vocal sensation Keisha Chante in command of an interactive, state-of-the-art set, the new 106 & Park is the ultimate destination for the A-list of music, film, television, style, and sports. First Lady Michelle Obama chose the 106 & Park couch to drive home the value of higher education. Every weeknight, the show celebrates and reflects real youth culture as the home of the “livest audience,” delivering what’s hot and what’s next in pop culture.

RETURNING MEGA-SPECIALS ON BET:

BET AWARDS – The 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. Now in its 14th year and better than ever, The BET AWARDS delivers electrifying performances, moving tributes and the most unforgettable moments on TV.

BET HIP HOP AWARDS – The BET HIP HOP AWARDS returns for its 8th year to highlight who did it better in 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. This show serves millions of people who love hip hop culture, which continues to define a generation and defy convention.

BLACK GIRLS ROCK – BLACK GIRLS ROCK! is the tribute show that became a movement. This timely and timeless special salutes dynamic leaders in entertainment, business, philanthropy and beyond. 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.

THE BET HONORS – The 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, The BET HONORS is a shimmering night of dynamic performances and tributes that cross genres and generations.

Centric, BET Networks’ 24-hour music and entertainment network, inked an exclusive co-production deal with Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment this month to produce new content for Centric. As part of the deal, BET Networks will develop and premiere an all-new Season 4 of the highly rated television series, Single Ladies, on Centric. The network will also air Seasons 1, 2 and 3. Flavor Unit Entertainment’s #1 new talk show, The Queen Latifah Show will also begin airing in primetime on Centric. This new partnership strengthens Centric’s position as the network for the African American woman.

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.

NEW PROGRAMMING ON CENTRIC:

SINGLE LADIES: SEASON 4 – This modern, romantic comedy series is set in the world of Atlanta fashion, music, and celebrity where friends share differing views on love, sex and relationships. Produced by Flavor Unit Entertainment.

ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360
– ARISE ENTERTAINMENT 360 features the hottest and newest stories in American entertainment, arts, culture, fashion and music.

RETURNING PROGRAMMING ON CENTRIC:

BEING – “Being” is a documentary series highlighting music and entertainment's most dynamic figures – and a place where the stars tell their own stories, in their own words. Featuring never before seen photos, videos, and revealing interviews, “Being” delivers a compelling inside look at the inspiring lives of the biggest names in music, media and more.

ACCORDING TO HIM & HER – “According to Him & Her” approaches timely topics involving relationships, friendships, dating and sex in a “he said, she said” battle of the sexes. Every week an onslaught of comedians, relationship experts and surprise celebrities will engage in a series of questions resulting in a no-holds-barred banter giving audiences the opportunity to finally see how the other sex thinks from a comedic perspective.

RETURNING MEGA-SPECIALS ON CENTRIC:

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. The Soul Train Awards is simulcast on Centric and BET.

CENTRIC COMEDY ALL-STARS – Bill Bellamy will host the third annual comedy event, honoring an industry icon. Some of the top names in comedy, plus the hottest comedians on the rise will make appearances during the show that is sure to keep you laughing.

BEYONCE MAKES TIME'S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL COVER.
Time magazine has released its annual "100 Most Influential People" list, and Beyonce leads the way on the issue's cover. Inside the issue, Facebook's coo, Sheryl Sandberg praised the 32-year-old singer. "Beyonce has insisted that girls 'run the world' and declared, 'I'm not bossy, I'm the boss,'" Sandberg wrote. "She raises her voice both on- and offstage to urge women to be independent and lead."

Internal covers inside the magazine feature actor Robert Redford, Jason Collins (the NBA's first openly gay player) and General Motors CEO Mary Barra.

Other honorees include Pope Francis, Hillary Clinton, Edward Snowden, Pharrell Williams, Amy Adams, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, director Alfonso Cuaron, Serena Williams, Kerry Washington, Benedict Cumberbatch and CBS' Charlie Rose.

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