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Billboard has confirmed that the rapper parted ways with the agency and longtime representative Cara Lewis to sign with UTA for full representation across his varied business interests. West's digital business and music will be handled by a cross-departmental team of agents at UTA.

"Kanye West has the utmost respect for Cara Lewis, and has had a close working relationship with her for many years," a spokesperson for West tells Billboard. "The decision to change agencies is based on Kanye's continuing desire to diversify and search for new opportunities."

The New York-based Lewis has made a name for herself as the agent of note when it comes to hip-hop artists, having represented such hitmakers as Eminem, 50 Cent and Common, among others. She left William Morris Endeavor in 2012 after a 23-year tenure to join CAA.

"Jimmy the Henchman" Rosemond was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison plus 20 years for a murder-for-hire plot that a judge described as "heinous" and "vile."

The federal judge imposed the sentence on James "Jimmy the Henchman" Rosemond, who was found guilty at a December trial in Manhattan.

Rosemond was convicted for his role in ordering a crew of men to kill an associate of G-Unit. The charges stemmed from the 2009 shooting death of Lowell Fletcher. Prosecutors had said the killing was payback for an assault on Rosemond's son by Fletcher and other G-Unit associates. They said the son was not seriously injured in the assault and Fletcher served prison time for his involvement in it. Upon Fletcher's release from prison, though, he was killed.

Rosemond, who has represented artists such as The Game and Sean Kingston, already was serving a life sentence for smuggling cocaine in music equipment cases between studios in New York and Los Angeles.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Rosemond bragged to an associate after the killing that he would never be caught because Fletcher was merely a "gangbanger" who died in the Bronx.

"This prosecution has proven Rosemond wrong," Bharara said in a news release.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon called Rosemond's conduct "heinous," ''vile" and "disgusting."

Evidence at trial revealed Rosemond to be head of Czar Entertainment, a rap music management company, and also the boss of a large-scale cocaine trafficking organization, prosecutors said.

Rosemond's lawyer had argued the witnesses against him were unreliable.

WWE has announced that Skylar Grey, Kid Ink and Travis Barker, will take the stage at WrestleMania 31, on Sunday, March 29 at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT, from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

A medley of the WrestleMania 31 theme songs, “Rise” by David Guetta featuring Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Skylar Grey and “Money and the Power” by multi-platinum rapper, Kid Ink, will be performed by Skylar Grey and Kid Ink, both joined by legendary drummer, Travis Barker.

Skylar Grey has co-written countless hits for power-house artists including Eminem, Dr. Dre and Diddy. Most recently, she can be found on the best-selling 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack with “I Know You” and on the just-released Furious 7 soundtrack with “I Will Return.”

Kid Ink is a rising star in his own right. His most recent album, Full Speed, debuted in the top 10 and features collaborations with Usher and Chris Brown. Like Skylar, he is also featured on the Furious 7 soundtrack with his song “Ride Out.”

Musician and producer, Travis Barker, is most noted as the drummer for the rock band Blink-182. Known as the go-to drummer he has performed with artists of all genres, collaborating with Eminem, Yelawolf, Lil Wayne, Rihanna as well as pop stars Pink and Demi Lovato. Currently he is producing the new duo Prayers, and working on a book, Can I Say that will come out this spring.

This year, more than 70,000 fans from all 50 states and more than 40 countries will descend upon the San Francisco Bay Area for a week-long lineup of festivities in celebration of WrestleMania 31.

Chris Brown has finally put his 2009 attack on Rihanna behind him, at least legally.

Superior Court Judge James R. Brandlin ended Brown's felony probation on Friday, more than six years after the R&B singer brutally attacked his then-girlfriend hours before the Grammy Awards.

The attack erased Brown's squeaky clean image, which he has failed to regain in the ensuing years after incidents such as throwing a chair through a window after a contentious "Good Morning America" interview and a parking lot brawl with singer Frank Ocean. Brown's career has partially rebounded, with the singer performing at the 2012 Grammy Awards and winning a trophy for best R&B album.

Brandlin's decision marks the first time since mid-2009 that Brown will not be under the supervision of court or probation officials. The singer initially avoided problems with the case, but since 2013 has struggled to complete his community service obligations and had his probation revoked in January after he performed a show in Northern California without permission.

Brown and his attorney Mark Geragos hugged in the courtroom and again in a courthouse elevator. After the hearing, he tweeted, "IM OFF PROBATION!!!!!!!! Thank the Lord!!!!!!"

The case forced Brown, 25, to confront some deep personal issues: he says he witnessed domestic violence as a child and while in rehab, he was diagnosed as bipolar, a condition exacerbated by his frequent marijuana use.

The singer has alternated between appearing contrite and polite in court to defiant and angry on social media and in public appearances. Although he maintains a sizable and supportive fan base, known as team breezy, the case has stunted his career.

In February, Canadian immigration officials refused to allow him into the country, forcing him to cancel two shows, and British officials blocked his entry in 2010 forcing the cancellation of four performances.

The singer lost several months of his touring schedule last year dealing with repercussion from a fight in Washington, D.C., and issues he encountered in rehab.

"I couldn't be more delighted," Geragos said after the hearing.

"He is in a spot right now and a place right now that I couldn't be prouder of him," Geragos said of Brown. He said Friday's hearing was "a monumental feat for him."

Problems began in 2013 after prosecutors questioned whether he had complied with the terms of his community labor sentence and Brandlin briefly revoked his probation in a hit-and-run case filed against the singer over a fender bender.

Later that year, Brown struck a man outside a Washington hotel and was charged with misdemeanor assault. Brown was ordered into rehab but was dismissed from the facility for violating its rules and spent two-and-a-half months in custody, with U.S. marshals shuttling him between Los Angeles and the nation's capital for court hearings.

In another incident while in treatment, Brown threw a brick at his mother's car following a counseling session. The incidents occurred after Brown had completed court-ordered anger management sessions.

Brown missed the January deadline to complete his community labor sentence, which required him to perform manual labor such as roadside cleanup or graffiti removal.

Brown was 19 years old when he attacked Rihanna in a rented sports car after leaving a pre-Grammy Awards party. Brown fled the scene but turned himself in to police hours later and was subsequently charged with felony assault.

Celebrity website TMZ posted a photo of Rihanna's battered face, showing extensive injuries that a detective described in detail in a search warrant affidavit seeking phone records from both singers. Brown repeatedly punched Rihanna, bit her ear and choked her to the point that she nearly lost consciousness, according to the affidavit.

Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault in June 2009 and was ordered to stay away from Rihanna, although the order was later lifted and the pair rekindled their romance. They've since broken up.

The singers have collaborated on at least three songs together since the 2009 altercation, including the aptly titled "Nobody's Business" from Rihanna's last album, 2012's Grammy-winning "Unapologetic."

As part of his sentence, Brown was required to undergo domestic violence counseling. Brandlin also ordered Brown into rehab, which resulted in the singer being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and complications from substance abuse.

Snoop Dogg has evolved from gangster rapper to multi-format entertainer, but he's looking to the past in a new series he's developing for HBO.

Snoop announced Friday — when he was giving the keynote address at South by Southwest — that he's working with Allen Hughes on the show about 1980s Los Angeles. Hughes' credits include "Dead Presidents," ''Menace II Society" and "The Book of Eli."

"HBO is the number one network in the world as far as developing and having these types of shows come to life," he said. "This is a dream come true to be able to tell a story that's going to be told the right way on the right network."

In a wide-ranging interview Friday with his manager Ted Chung in Austin, Texas, 43-year-old Snoop discussed topics from getting high with Willie Nelson to meeting Dr. Dre.

Here's a breakdown:


The chicken was fried, but Snoop and Willie Nelson were baked.

Snoop and Nelson collaborated on the song "My Medicine" and he said "it was love at first sight."

"We went in the green room, had a conversation and from there the conversation sparked up the idea of — yeah sparked up the idea of — me and Willie wanting to collaborate," he said as the audience at the Austin Convention Center burst into laughter.

Snoop went to Amsterdam, where Nelson was on tour, and worked on the track. After smoking so much marijuana, they decided to get food.

"They give us the bucket of chicken, we open it up, boom, and me and Willie stuck our hands in at the same time and we grabbed the same piece of chicken," he said, as the audience laughed again. "And I look at Willie, I was like, 'That's you dog, my bad.'

"That was one of the greatest moments in my life."


Though Snoop has had platinum-plus albums and hit songs, he's never won a Grammy.

But he says he's not worried about winning awards, thanks to his youth football league. He said he's proud he has been able to send young men to Division I schools to play sports and gain an education.

"That's better than a Grammy right there," he said.

He also said his proudest moment was seeing his son, who earned a football scholarship to UCLA, go to college.

"He's first person in my family to actually go to college, so how do you think I feel?" he asked.


Snoop admits he hung up on Dr. Dre when the rapper-producer reached out to him.

Snoop said Dre heard some of his music at a party and then called the young rapper to collaborate.

"Dr. Dre was like, 'Who was that rapping?" he recalled. "From that day he called me and I didn't believe it, I was like, 'Man, quit playing.' I hung up on him."

Dre called Snoop back and they went on to produce rap classics, from "Gin and Juice" to "What's My Name?"

"It was like magic," Snoop said. "We built a bond. It was a brotherhood."


Snoop said when he burst on the music scene, he had many enemies.

"They went to Congress, Dionne Warwick and a bunch of people had my record on display talking about, 'He's the worst thing in the world,' and they were really out to get me," he recalled.

"And I had to get past that because you have to understand, a lot of these people I looked up to as kids and they were hating on me and didn't know me."

Snoop said he didn't let the backlash derail him and his mission as an artist.

"It rubbed me the wrong way and I was young and ambitious and gangster ... but as a man now, I don't do that. I look at what they did, how they rubbed me the wrong way and I try not to rub my young homies the wrong way. I try to be for them and about them, and understand them and talk to them and communicate with them."

Marion "Suge" Knight's collapsed in a courtroom Friday shortly after a judge ordered him held on $25 million bail in a murder case.

Knight's attorney Matthew Fletcher said his client, who is diabetic and has a blood clot, told him that he hadn't received any medication since Thursday.

Fletcher said Knight hit his head on a chair when he fell after the bail hearing.

Bailiffs cleared the courtroom after Knight's medical episode and paramedics were seen going into the courtroom a few minutes later.

Fletcher said Knight was unconscious when the lawyer left the courtroom and an update on his condition was not immediately available.

Knight fell while deputies were bringing him back into the courtroom after Fletcher asked a judge to reconvene a hearing and issue an order that Knight be given his medication.

The attorney said Knight is being kept in solitary confinement without proper access to medication.

"He's being treated worse than Charles Manson," Fletcher said.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen set bail for Knight, who is accused of running down and killing a man with his truck.

Coen ordered the amount after Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Barnes noted that Knight was on bail in a robbery case when he struck two men in a parking lot in Compton.

Knight's attorney Matthew Fletcher argued that Knight's bail should be set at $2 million.

The 49-year-old co-founder of Death Row Records has pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder and hit-and-run charges.

With a standard-setting finale to its first season reaching 17.6 million viewers, Fox's music business drama "Empire" has proven that it's still possible for broadcast television to create big hits.

That's how many people watched the second of two one-hour episodes on Wednesday night. The first hour was seen by 15.8 million people, the Nielsen company said.

When "Empire" debuted in January, its first-night audience was a healthy but not remarkable 9.9 million. It proceeded to gain viewers for every single succeeding episode through the 12th and final one Wednesday night, a feat Nielsen said is unmatched in two dozen years of estimating viewership through electronic people meters.

On the final episode, music family patriarch Lucious Lyon, played by actor Terrence Howard, learns that he doesn't actually have ALS as he had thought. He also anoints middle son Jamal as the heir to the family business, angering his other sons Andre and Hakeem in the process.

Not since "Grey's Anatomy" in 2005 has a television drama reached so many people for the last episode of its premiere season, Nielsen said.

The viewership estimate doesn't take into account the number of people who will see the show via Internet streams, video on demand and on DVR in the coming days and weeks. Based on viewership gains seen by past "Empire" episodes, Fox estimates that in a month's time more than 27 million people will have watched Wednesday's last episode.

Facebook said some 4.2 million people accounted for 15.8 million posts, shares and comments on the finale.

The "Empire" success puts the rookie show among CBS' "NCIS" and AMC's "The Walking Dead" in drama popularity this season. It's a boon for Fox, which has seen former juggernaut "American Idol" continue to recede in popularity and few other shows connecting with viewers. It's heartening for television programmers in general to see a program become a hit at a time most new programs fail.

"Empire" will be back for a second season, although Fox hasn't said whether it will be in the fall or winter.

Hip-hop pioneer, Tony Award-winning producer and multi-hyphenate entrepreneur Russell Simmons has announced the development of The Scenario, a new stage musical that will be driven by the music that defined a generation: the greatest hits from a two-decade span of hip-hop – from the "golden age" of the mid-80s to mid-90s "when it seemed that every new single reinvented the genre" (Rolling Stone), to the chart-topping artists at the turn of the millennium. Simmons, who is widely credited with ushering in a hip-hop cultural revolution with the launch of Def Jam Recordings in 1984, and creating the trailblazing Def Comedy franchise in 1989, will produce through his Los Angeles-based production company Def Pictures, alongside Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Big Block/Scott Prisand (Rock of Ages, Heathers, Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder). The Scenario will feature an original story written by acclaimed author and hip-hop historian Dan Charnas (The Big Payback), and aims to premiere in New York City in late 2016.

"Hip hop's explosion was fueled by a generation with an incredible hunger to discover new ways of expression," said Simmons. "These artists were always breaking the mold with new rhythms and new ideas, while at the same time telling so many important and timeless stories that over the decades have continued to remain just as relevant. This is why the music continues to strike a chord with fans worldwide. It felt like such a natural fit to weave the best of these sounds and stories into an energetic and thrilling musical that would transport audiences through one of the most innovative artistic movements of our time."

"Part of what made the Rock of Ages experience so incredible for theatregoers was the joy of hearing the most beloved songs of an era serve as the storyteller," said Scott Prisand. "Russell is the catalyst of all this extraordinary music that has already touched generations to the core around the world; we're taking those beats everyone knows and loves, and setting them into a fun original story."

Added Jake Stein, who is shepherding the project on behalf of Def Pictures and will also produce with Simmons, "These classic songs, stories and rhythms will find a new audience on the theater stage. We believe this show will be an entirely new entry point for appreciating hip hop as a transformative art that has shaped culture, fashion, music and entertainment of all forms, and we hope it will help open the door for other live theatrical experiences."

Entrepreneur, author, activist and philanthropist Russell Simmons has launched scores of groundbreaking careers and innovative enterprises in arenas as varied as music, film, television, fashion, comedy, poetry, digital platforms, theater and finance. His lifelong mission has been giving a voice to extraordinary talent and empowering underserved communities as they in turn shape the mainstream of culture.

After having produced or managed artists such as Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Houdini and Jimmy Spicer, Simmons joined forces with producer Rick Rubin to found Def Jam Recordings. Under Simmons' leadership as Chairman, Def Jam signed acts including the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Jay Z and Kanye West. Simmons' long-running HBO series "Def Comedy Jam" helped make household names of comics including Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart and JB Smoove. "Def Poetry Jam," also on HBO, won a Peabody Award and a Broadway version netted Simmons a Tony® Award. Simmons' numerous big-screen hits include The Nutty Professor, which grossed more than $273 million.

Simmons has written three New York Times best-selling books, including Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple, which was published by Morrow in 2014. He has also launched a multitude of diverse business ventures including pop-culture website Global Grind, UniRush Financial Services, Simmons Jewelry, shoemaker Run Athletics and clothing subsidiaries Phat Farm, Argyleculture and American Classics. Most recently, he unveiled All Def Digital, a premium, multi-platform digital media company and entertainment hub, curating, developing and connecting a new generation of content creators to global fans. He also co-founded the digital marketing firm Narrative.

Alabama-born recording artist Yelawolf is scheduled to hit the road on The Love Story tour starting May 1 at The Fillmore in Detroit, MI, and running through June 27 at Knoxville, TN's The International, with dates scheduled for Rock On The Range (Columbus, OH, May 15) and The Soundset Festival (Minneapolis, MN, May 24). The complete list of dates can be found below.

The tour will run in support of Yelawolf's second full length major label album release, Love Story, available April 21 on Slumerican/Shady Records/Interscope, which Yelawolf describes as "more passionate" than his past projects. A number of tracks have already been released from the album including "Till It's Gone," which premiered on the season premiere for the final season of Sons Of Anarchy to rave response with the video already reaching over 8.5 million views. Yelawolf followed the success of "Till Its Gone" with the single "Whiskey In A Bottle." Love Story was recorded mostly in Nashville with executive producer Eminem and various other producers including Malay, WLPWR and DJ Paul.

"I'm telling the truth about a lot of things," Yelawolf's 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:

Friday, May 1
Detroit, MI
The Fillmore

Tuesday, May 5
Chattanooga, TN
Track 29

Wednesday, May 6
Columbia, SC
Music Farm

Thursday, May 7
Ashville, NC
Orange Peel

Friday, May 8
Norfolk, VA
Norva Theatre

Saturday, May 9
Baltimore, MD
Sound Stage

Sunday, May 10
Philadelphia, PA

Tuesday, May 12
Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Bowl

Wednesday, May 13
Lancaster, PA
Chameleon Club

Thursday, May 14
Buffalo, NY
Town Ballroom

Friday, May 15
Columbus, OH
Rock On The Range

Sunday, May 17
Indianapolis, IN

Tuesday, May 19
Chicago, IL
The Metro

Wednesday, May 20
Milwaukee, WI
The Rave

Thursday, May 21
Des Moines, IA

Friday, May 22
Iowa City, IA
Blue Moose

Saturday, May 23
St. Louis, MO
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

Sunday, May 24
Minneapolis, MN
Soundset Festival

Tuesday, May 26
Lawrence, KS
Granada Theater

Wednesday, May 27
Denver, CO
Gothic Theatre

Thursday, May 28
Dencver, CO
Gothic Theatre

Friday, May 29
Salt Lake City, UT
The Complex

Saturday, May 30
Boise, ID
Knitting Factory

Sunday, May 31
Missoula, MT
Wilma Theater

Tuesday, June 2
Spokane, WA
Knitting Factory

Wednesday, June 3
Seattle, WA
Showbox Sodu

Thursday, June 4
Portland, OR

Friday, June 5
Eugene, Or
McDonald Theatre

Saturday, June 6
San Francisco, CA
Live 105 Radio Show

Sunday, June 7
San Diego, CA
Xfest/91X – Sleep Train Amphitheater

Monday, June 8
Ventura, CA
Ventura Theatre

Wednesday, June 10
Los Angeles, CA
Fonda Theatre

Thursday, June 11
Riverside, CA
Riverside Municipal Auditorium

Friday, June 12
Las Vegas, NV
Brooklyn Bowl

Saturday, June 13
Phoenix, AZ
Club Red

Sunday, June 14
Tucson, AZ
Rialto Theatre

Monday, June 15
Albuquerque, NM
Sunshine Theatre

Wednesday, June 17
San Antonio, TX
Alamo City Music Hall

Thursday, June 18
Austin, TX
Emo's East

Friday, June 19
Dallas, TX
Southside Music Hall

Saturday, June 20
Houston, TX

Sunday, June 21
New Orleans, LA
House Of Blues

Tuesday, June 23
Mobile, AL
Midnight Rodeo

Wednesday, June 24
Birmingham, AL
Iron City

Thursday, June 25
Memphis, TN
Minglewood Hall

Friday, June 26
Nashville, TN
Maraton Music Workds

Saturday, June 27
Knoxville, TN
The International

Nicki Minaj, today announced the North American dates for THE PINKPRINT TOUR. Set to kick off on July 17 in Dallas, Texas at the Gexa Energy Pavilion, the tour will visit cities throughout the U.S. and Canada with stops planned in Brooklyn, Atlanta, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago and San Diego. Meek Mill, Rae Sremmurd, Tinashe and Dej Loaf are lined up to join the tour as special guests. The European leg of THE PINKPRINT TOUR is set to kick off on March 16 in Stockholm, Sweden. The North American leg of the THE PINKPRINT TOUR is an Al Haymon/Live Nation Production.

Citi® cardmembers will have access to pre-sale tickets beginning Wednesday, March 18 at Noon local time through Citi's Private Pass® Program.

All dates, cities and venues below subject to change.
* - Meek Mill, Tinashe and Dej Loaf only on these dates.

Friday, July 17
Dallas, TX
Gexa Energy Pavilion

Monday, July 20
Miami, FL
Bayfront Park Amphitheare*

Wednesday, July 22
Bristow, VA
Jiffy Lube Live

Friday, July 24
Holmdel, NJ
PNC Bank Arts Center

Sunday, July 26
Brooklyn, NY
Barclays Center

Tuesday, July 28
Toronto, ON
Molson Canadian Amphitheatre*

Wednesday, July 29
Montreal, QC
Bell Centre

Friday, July 31
Clarkston, MI
DTE Energy Music Theatre

Sunday, August 2
Atlanta, GA
Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood

Tuesday, August 4
Charlotte, NC
PNC Music Pavilion

Thursday, August 6
Camden, NJ
Susquehanna Bank Center

Saturday, August 8
Burgettstown, PA
First Niagara Pavilion

Sunday, August 9
Tinley Park, IL
First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

Tuesday, August 11
Denver, CO
Pepsi Center

Thursday, August 13
Chula Vista, CA
Sleep Train Amphitheatre

Friday, August 14
Concord, CA
Concord Pavilion*

Sunday, August 16
Vancouver, BC
Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena

Tuesday, August 18
Calgary, AB
Scotiabank Saddledome

Wednesday, August 19
Edmonton, AB
Rexall Place

Earl Sweatshirt is back to surprise fans with the announcement of his new record I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside. Fans don't need to wait long because the album will be released digitally on March 23 and will see physical releases on CD and vinyl soon after.

Earl Sweatshirt SXSW performance schedule:
3/19 - Pandora - The Gatsby - 708 E 6th Street - 10:00pm
3/19 - ICM Partners Hip-Hop - Austin Music Hall - 208 Nueces Street
3/20 - Spin - Stubb's BBQ - 801 Red River - 2:00pm
3/20 - Thrasher x Converse - The Gypsy - 1504 E 6th Street - 3:45pm
3/20 - Pigeons & Planes - Hype Hotel - 1100 E 5th Street - 1:00am

Me Against The World is considered one of the most influential rap albums of all-time and serves as an artistic milestone in Tupac Shakur's career. It was his most introspective and emotionally deep release to date, giving a raw and honest insight into one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all-time.

March 14th, 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of Tupac Shakur's critically acclaimed, GRAMMY® nominated, double-platinum release Me Against The World. Originally released in 1995, this landmark album debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Billboard's R&B Albums charts and was Shakur's first album to go to No. 1 on both charts where it stayed for four weeks straight.

Me Against The World features the GRAMMY® nominated single "Dear Mama," a song paying tribute to his mom, Afeni Shakur, that reached No. 1 on the Hot Rap Singles and Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales charts concurrently, and "So Many Tears," which hit No. 6 on the Hot Rap Singles chart and Top 50 on The Billboard Hot 100. Other classics include the single "Temptations," which hit No. 13 on the Hot Rap Singles chart, "Lord Knows," "Death Around the Corner" and "Outlaw."

Tupac Shakur leaves a legacy of honesty and passion. With sales of over 75 million albums worldwide, his unapologetic lyrics are as relevant today as they were 20 years ago. Tupac's music has earned attention and respect through a poetic style that allowed his message of hope to come through as he diagnosed issues our society struggles with to this day. Considered by many to be one of the biggest influences on modern hip-hop, Tupac's thought provoking lyrics continue to be a catalyst for change.

Chance the Rapper and Ludacris joined Internet Essentials and city and school leaders at Alcott College Prep on Tuesday afternoon to kick off the popular Get Schooled, Get Connected Spring Challenge, which is designed to help thousands of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students prepare for college.

Throughout the spring challenge, more than 112,000 CPS students will have access to free educational tools, resources and games – or "quests" – to engage with even when the school day ends. The quests include information about topics ranging from how to succeed in school and plan for your education to how to apply for college and financial aid resources. This content is delivered through an online technology platform on getschooledgetconnected.com, and it features a series of pop culture references and localized information that maintains students' interest.

"Data from the Get Schooled, Get Connected Fall Challenge shows the content not only holds students' interest, but the platform also engages and educates them about college opportunities," Alcott College Prep assistant principal Grace Moody said. "The challenge is a great tool for CPS students who want to go to college and for educators who want to help them advance."

Students may become eligible for prizes depending on the number of quests they complete and points they earn. Individual prizes include special celebrity VIP meet-and-greets, $1,000 Get Schooled scholarships, concert and sports tickets, laptops, athletic wear and gaming systems. The schools with the most student points will receive support from Internet Essentials and the CPS-affiliated Children's First Fund to enhance their classrooms and school technology.

In January, Internet Essentials provided $100,000 in support for school foundations and community-based organizations, whose participants earned the most points during the inaugural three-month challenge. Over the past 18 months, Internet Essentials has provided more than $200,000 in support throughout the Chicago region.

"Having home Internet access can transform a young person's life, because it opens an entire world to special programs like the Get Schooled, Get Connected Challenge," said Chance the Rapper, a graduate of Jones College Prep and recipient of Chicago's 2014 Outstanding Youth of the Year award for his community service work. "One student and one family at a time, this program will help close the digital divide by engaging and educating students throughout Chicago."

Chance the Rapper was just one of the celebrities who helped motivate and celebrate student success during the hip fall challenge. Actress and singer-songwriter Christina Milian, singer-songwriter B.o.B, MTV's Sway Calloway, White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams, Chicago Bears safety Ryan Mundy and offensive lineman Jordan Mills, Chicago Fire forward Harry Shipp, former Chicago Bears offensive lineman James "Big Cat" Williams and former Chicago Bulls forward Sidney Green also personally engaged with thousands of students during the fall initiative.

"Students need Internet access to succeed in school, and families need it to succeed economically," said Ludacris, who has gone on to become a movie and rap sensation after attending Oak Park-River Forest High School. "I went to high school in this area, so I know first-hand how important it is for students and families to have Internet access at home."

Internet Essentials is a major resource for students participating in the spring challenge. Eligible students and their families may receive affordable Internet service at home for $9.95 per month plus tax, along with an Internet-ready computer for $150 and access to free digital literacy training.

Since launching in August 2011, Internet Essentials has engaged and helped more Chicago families connect to the power of the Internet than any other city in the country. For the fourth year in a row, the Chicago metro area leads the way with more than 50,000 families benefitting, more than 200,000 low-income Chicagoans.

That is nearly 25 percent of the eligible population in Chicago that has signed up.

Overall in Illinois, 60,000 families or 240,000 individuals benefit from Internet Essentials. Nationally, Internet Essentials has connected more than 450,000 low-income families or more than 1.8 million people in just three and a half years. To put that in perspective, 1.8 million equals two-thirds of the population of the entire city of Chicago.

"It is vital for CPS students and families to stay connected beyond school hours to ensure they remain life-long learners," said Dr. Shawn Jackson, CPS Deputy Chief of Teaching and Learning.

In conjunction with Internet Essentials and the Chicago City of Learning, CPS also has launched CPS Connects, which provides students free virtual learning opportunities as well as live activities across Chicago at locations like the Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium and Lincoln Park Zoo. CPS Connects provides students with connected learning environments by linking learning in school, home and community.

Snoop Dogg will be the keynote speaker during the music portion of the South By Southwest music festival.

The organization announced Tuesday that the conversation with the 43-year-old music veteran will take place March 20 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. The fest runs from March 13 through March 22.

Last year's keynote speaker was Lady Gaga.

Snoop Dogg is planning the release of a new album called "Bush" this spring. It will be produced by Pharrell.

Tyler, the Creator is heading out on a world tour after Coachella. He's playing dates across North America in the South and Midwest before hitting Europe, where he will be playing Primavera Sound in Barcelona, before coming back to play many more US dates.

Tour Dates
4/6 - Tempe, AZ - The Marquee
4/11 - Indio, CA - Coachella
4/18 - Indio, CA - Coachella
4/20 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
4/21 - Oxford, MS - The Lyric Oxford
4/22 - Athens, GA - Georgia Theatre
4/24 - Jacksonville, FL - Mavericks at the Landing
4/25 - Saint Petersburg, FL - Jannus Live
4/26 - Miami, FL - The Fillmore
4/28 - Orlando, FL - The Plaza Live
4/29 - Charlotte, NC - The Fillmore Charlotte
5/1 - North Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues
5/2 - Raleigh, NC - The Ritz
5/3 - Norfolk, VA - Norva
5/5 - Richmond, VA - The National
5/6 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
5/8 - Cincinnati, OH - Bogart's
5/9 - Detroit, MI - The Fillmore Detroit
5/10 - Grand Rapids, MI - The Intersection
5/12 - Glasgow, UK - Barrowland
5/13 - Manchester, UK - Academy
5/14 - London, UK - Roundhouse
5/15 - Bristol, UK - O2 Academy
5/17 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Ronda
5/19 - Hamburg, Germany - Mojo
5/20 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
5/21 - Berlin, Germany - C-Club
5/23 - Zurich, Switzerland - Volkhaus
5/24 - Munich, Germany - Theaterfabrik
5/25 - Cologne, Germany - Kantine
5/26 - Paris, France - Le Bataclan
5/28 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound
6/1 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
6/2 - El Paso, TX - Tricky Falls
6/4 - Oklahoma City, OK - Diamond Ballroom
6/5 - Dallas, TX - Bomb Factory
6/6 - Austin, TX - Emo's
6/7 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom
6/9 - Winston-Salem, NC - Ziggy's
6/10 - Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live
6/12 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
6/13 - Wallingford, CT - The Dome at Oakdale Theatre
6/14 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom
6/16 - Louisville, KY - Mercury Ballroom
6/17 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
6/19 - Indianapolis, IN - Egyptian Room
6/20 - Saint Louis, MO - The Pageant
6/21 - Columbia, MO - The Blue Notes
6/23 - Kansas City, MO - Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
6/24 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre
6/26 - Fort Collins, CO - Aggie Theatre
6/27 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex
6/28 - Missoula, MT - Top Hat Lounge
6/30 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory Concert House
7/1 - Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo
7/2 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater

A jury awarded Marvin Gaye's children nearly $7.4 million Tuesday after determining singers Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied their father's music to create "Blurred Lines," the biggest hit song of 2013.

Marvin Gaye's daughter Nona Gaye wept as the verdict was being read and was hugged by her attorney, Richard Busch.

"Right now, I feel free," Nona Gaye said after the verdict. "Free from ... Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's chains and what they tried to keep on us and the lies that were told."

The verdict could tarnish the legacy of Williams, a reliable hit-maker who has won Grammy Awards and appears on NBC's music competition show "The Voice."

An attorney for Thicke and Williams has said a decision in favor of Gaye's heirs could have a chilling effect on musicians who try to emulate an era or another artist's sound.

The Gayes' lawyer branded Williams and Thicke liars who went beyond trying to emulate the sound of Gaye's late-1970s music and copied the R&B legend's hit "Got to Give It Up" outright.

"They fought this fight despite every odd being against them," Busch said of the Gaye family outside court.

Thicke told jurors he didn't write "Blurred Lines," which Williams testified he crafted in about an hour in mid-2012.

Williams told jurors that Gaye's music was part of the soundtrack of his youth. But the seven-time Grammy winner said he didn't use any of it to create "Blurred Lines."

Gaye's children — Nona, Frankie and Marvin Gaye III — sued the singers in 2013 and were present when the verdict was read.

The verdict may face years of appeals.

"Blurred Lines" has sold more than 7.3 million copies in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures. It earned a Grammy Awards nomination and netted Williams and Thicke millions of dollars.

The case was a struggle between two of music's biggest names: Williams has sold more than 100 million records worldwide during his career as a singer-producer, and Gaye performed hits such as "Sexual Healing" and "How Sweet It Is (To be Loved by You)" remain popular.

During closing arguments, Busch accused Thicke and Williams of lying about how the song was created. He told jurors they could award Gaye's children millions of dollars if they determined the copyright to "Got to Give It Up" was infringed.

Howard King, lead attorney for Williams and Thicke, told the panel that a verdict in favor of the Gaye family would have a chilling effect on musicians who were trying to recreate a genre or homage to another artist's sound.

King denied there were any substantial similarities between "Blurred Lines" and the sheet music Gaye submitted to obtain copyright protection.

Williams has become a household name — known simply as Pharrell — thanks to his hit song "Happy" and his work as a judge on the "The Voice." He wrote the majority of "Blurred Lines" and recorded it in one night with Thicke. A segment by rapper T.I. was added later.

Williams, 41, also signed a document stating he didn't use any other artists' work in the music and would be responsible if a successful copyright claim was raised.

Thicke testified he wasn't present when the song was written, despite receiving credit.

The trial focused on detailed analyses of chords and notes in both "Blurred Lines" and "Got to Give It Up."

Jurors repeatedly heard the upbeat song "Blurred Lines" and saw snippets of its music video, but Gaye's music was represented during the trial in a less polished form. Jurors did not hear "Got to Give It Up" as Gaye recorded it, but rather a version created based solely on sheet music submitted to gain copyright protection.

That version lacked many of the elements — including Gaye's voice — that helped make the song a hit in 1977. Busch derisively called the version used in court a "Frankenstein-like monster" that didn't accurately represent Gaye's work.

An expert for the Gaye family said there were eight distinct elements from "Got to Give It Up" that were used in "Blurred Lines," but an expert for Williams and Thicke denied those similarities existed.

Gaye died in April 1984, leaving his children the copyrights to his music.

Platinum Recording Artist, Katrina "Trina" Taylor, known to many as Miami's own "Diamond Princess" has recently signed a new imprint venture with Penalty Entertainment (Sony Red Distribution) /The Executive Club Worldwide. Under the new deal, Trina is currently prepping her sixth anticipated studio album (untitled at this time) which is scheduled to release worldwide mid-2015. The album features executive production credits from the renowned songwriter/producer, Rico Love, whose credits include hits with Beyoncé, Usher, Trey Songz, T.I., and Future amongst other talent. Upon securing the imprint deal, the female emcee released a new single featuring Grammy Award winner, Rico Love, entitled “The Real One.”

Along with the release of her sixth studio album in 2015, the platinum recording female emcee is in the developmental stages of starring in her very own docudrama series with a popular production umbrella slated for release.

When asked about the new venture, Trina was quoted saying, “This is the beginning of a new direction and stage within my career, and now my own imprint—Rockstarr Music Group. I have collaborated with so many different talents during my career thus far, and I am beyond excited to share this phase with the world as I continue to evolve.”

Neil Levine expressed “I am honored to welcome Trina and The Executive Club Worldwide to the growing Penalty family. The Trina brand is one of the most prevalent brands within the Hip Hop industry, and Penalty is pleased to continue the trajectory of such an A-list artist.”

The biggest names in entertainment will bring the music of the iHeartRadio app to life on Sunday, March 29 for the second edition of the iHeartRadio Music Awards hosted by Oscar and Grammy award winning actor and musician Jamie Foxx. The event will air live on NBC from 8-11 p.m. ET/PT from the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and will be broadcast simultaneously on iHeartMedia stations nationwide and across the iHeartRadio digital music platform.

The three hour telecast will truly reflect America’s favorite music and will showcase the year’s most popular artists and songs determined by the iHeartRadio Chart and fan voting through iHeartRadio stations nationwide. The evening will include performances by Rihanna, Iggy Azalea, Sam Smith, Madonna, Jason Aldean, Jamie Foxx, Meghan Trainor, Jason Derulo, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Snoop Dogg, Nate Ruess, Alesso and Florida Georgia Line along with appearances from Taylor Swift and more. This year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards will also feature unexpected collaborations from some of the top names in music.

“This is the night we celebrate the biggest songs and artists we played for fans on our iHeartRadio stations across America and on the iHeartRadio app over the past year, along with a look at what's coming in 2015,” said John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises for iHeartMedia, Inc. “And who better to host than both a Grammy winning musician and Oscar winning performer Jamie Foxx? This is going to be an amazing star packed Sunday night of music on NBC."

“I’m so excited that Jamie Foxx is taking the reins at this year’s iHeart awards. He is the perfect choice to lead this extraordinary night of music and celebrity artists!" said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.

"2014 was such an incredible year for so many artists across different genres, so it's great to see them get the recognition they deserve," said Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Platforms for iHeartMedia. "Whether they're new to the scene or industry veterans, each artist's journey is exciting to follow, from their first radio spin to their first iHeartRadio Music Award nomination."

"The iHeartRadio Music Awards is the night in music where the industry’s top artists get to shine, in a relaxed and fun atmosphere, and celebrate their own achievements as well as those of their peers,” said Ian Stewart, President of Done + Dusted Inc.

Category finalists for the iHeartRadio Music Awards were announced on February 4, with 2014 iHeartRadio Innovator Award winner Pharrell Williams making a special appearance on NBC’s TODAY show to reveal this year’s Artist of the Year nominees. Social voting through iHeartRadio stations nationwide for the Best Lyrics, Best Fan Army and Renegade categories will run through Friday, March 20.

Category finalists (by alphabetical order) are:

Artist of the Year:

Ariana Grande
Iggy Azalea
Luke Bryan
Sam Smith
Taylor Swift

Song of the Year:

"All About That Bass" - Meghan Trainor
"All of Me" - John Legend
"Happy" - Pharrell Williams
"Shake It Off" - Taylor Swift
"Stay With Me" - Sam Smith

Best Collaboration:

"Bang Bang" - Jessie J + Ariana Grande + Nicki Minaj
"Dark Horse" - Katy Perry featuring Juicy J
"Fancy" - Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX
"Problem" - Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea
"Talk Dirty" - Jason Derulo featuring 2 Chainz

Best New Artist:

Cole Swindell
Iggy Azalea
Meghan Trainor
Sam Smith

Country Song of the Year:

"Bartender" - Lady Antebellum
"Burnin' It Down" - Jason Aldean
"Dirt" - Florida Georgia Line
"Give Me Back My Hometown" - Eric Church
"Play It Again" - Luke Bryan

Hip Hop/R&B Song of the Year:

"Don't Tell 'Em" - Jeremih featuring YG
"Drunk in Love" - Beyoncé featuring Jay Z
"Flawless" - Beyoncé
"Loyal" - Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga
"New Flame" - Chris Brown featuring Usher and Rick Ross

Dance Song of the Year:

"Animals" - Martin Garrix
"Blame" - Calvin Harris featuring John Newman
"La La La" - Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith
"Summer" - Calvin Harris
"Waves" - Mr. Probz

Alternative Rock Song of the Year:

"Come With Me Now" - KONGOS
"Do I Wanna Know?" - Arctic Monkeys
"Fever" - The Black Keys
"Something From Nothing" - Foo Fighters
"Take Me to Church" - Hozier

Best Lyrics:

"All of Me" - John Legend
"Blank Space" - Taylor Swift
"Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
"Habits (Stay High)" - Tove Lo
"Stay With Me" - Sam Smith
"Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran

Best Fan Army:

5SOSFAM - 5 Seconds of Summer
Arianators - Ariana Grande
Bey Hive - Beyoncé
Team Breezy - Chris Brown
Sheerios - Ed Sheeran
Church Choir - Eric Church
Directioners - One Direction
Selenators - Selena Gomez
Mendes Army - Shawn Mendes
Swifties - Taylor Swift

Pharrell Williams told a jury Wednesday that he was trying to evoke the feel of Marvin Gaye's music but did not copy the late singer's work when he crafted the 2013 hit "Blurred Lines."

Williams said he grew up listening to Gaye's music and was familiar with his song "Got to Give It Up," but did not use it as a basis for "Blurred Lines," which was a hit for him and collaborators Robin Thicke and T.I.

"He's one of the ones we look up to," Williams said. "This is the last place I want to be."

Williams, Thicke and T.I. are being sued by Gaye's children who claim "Blurred Lines" infringes their father's copyrights for 1977's "Got to Give It Up," but Williams' testimony is crucial because he wrote the song's music and most of its lyrics. Although Thicke received a songwriting credit on the song, he acknowledged earlier in the trial that he didn't do much work on the song.

T.I.'s rap track was added later, and Williams said he wasn't involved in its inclusion in "Blurred Lines," which was nominated for a Grammy Award. T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, is expected to be among the case's final witnesses on Thursday.

Williams spent more than an hour describing his musical process and he how he crafted "Blurred Lines" in mid-2012 in between working on tracks with Miley Cyrus and rapper Earl Sweatshirt. Thicke arrived after the music and lyrics had been written, Williams recalled. He quickly brought the singer up to speed and they began recording what would become 2013's biggest hit song.

"We were bopping and dancing," Williams recalled. "It was a cool night."

His answers were sometimes too lengthy for U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt, who cut off Williams several times mid-sentence and didn't allow him to elaborate on some of his answers.

"Blurred Lines" has earned more than $16 million in profits and more than $5 million apiece for Thicke and Williams, according to testimony offered earlier in the trial.

Williams said after the song was released, he saw similarities between "Blurred Lines" and Gaye's work but said that wasn't a conscious part of his creative process.

Richard S. Busch, who represents the Gaye family, asked Williams whether he felt "Blurred Lines" captured the feel of the era in which Gaye recorded.

"Feel," Williams responded. "Not infringed."

The case opened last week and featured testimony from Thicke, who told jurors that he took a songwriting credit on "Blurred Lines" despite Pharrell doing most of the work.

Thicke brought a bit of showmanship to a trial that has focused on minute details of chords and sheet music. He performed elements of "Blurred Lines" and hits by U2 and The Beatles to show how different songs can include similar-sounding musical elements.

Williams did not perform any music during his more than hour of testimony, and complained that audio comparisons of "Blurred Lines" and "Got to Give It Up" had been created in a way that made them sound similar.

Despite the lack of vocals on the tracks, Thicke bobbed his head while his hit was played.

The trial has included detailed analysis of snippets of chords and notes from both songs, all created in the same key. Jurors have heard "Blurred Lines" and lawyers for Gaye's family wanted the panel to hear "Got to Give It Up," but Kronstadt has limited how the song can be presented in court. Rulings state Gaye's song can only be played as it appears in a sheet music submitted to get the song copyright protection.

Snoop Dogg raised the pulse at Paris Fashion Week with a surprise concert and DJ set at Etam's bikini-themed lingerie pool collection that went on into the early hours of Wednesday — heralding competition for the famed, celebrity-filled Victoria's Secret shows.

Set in a famed, drained-out Art Deco swimming pool, the U.S. rapper had crowds — including model Natalia Vodianova , in glee when he made a surprise cameo at the fall collection of the Etam lingerie house.

The 43-year-old performed hits such as "Drop It Like It's Hot," against a projection of the Union Jack as gorgeous models showcased an eclectic array of underwear and red, blue and white bikinis adorned with chainmail, bubbles, feather headdress and even an inflatable dolphin.


Big Sean lands his first ever #1 album on the Billboard 200 this week, with his newest release Dark Sky Paradise topping the chart. The rapper's third album totaled 173,000 units in its first week, with 139,000 copies sold (the rest of the "units" include streaming data and digital sales).

Chris Brown & Tyga's new collaboration Fan Of A Fan debuts at #7. Sam Smith lands at #8 with In The Lonely Hour.

ASCAP announced today the appointment of music industry veteran Brian Roberts as the organization’s Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, reporting to ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews. Roberts was most recently Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Operations at Warner Music Group. In his new post at ASCAP, Roberts will be responsible for the royalty payment system for over 525,000 ASCAP members and will oversee ASCAP’s worldwide infrastructure including Distribution and Repertory, Information Systems, Facilities and the Economist’s Office. Roberts will assume his new position on March 30th.

Commented Matthews, "ASCAP is embarking upon a new era of technology and transformation in order to continue to provide first in class services at the lowest possible cost to all of our members and licensing partners.

Brian’s extensive experience in the music sector and his impressive accomplishments in leading innovative infrastructure changes to support new strategic initiatives make him the perfect candidate to run ASCAP’s operations today. Brian also shares my passion for music and the need to protect the value of the creative works of our members. We look forward to having his expertise as part of ASCAP’s new executive management team."

Added Roberts, "ASCAP is an innovative organization focused on strategic data initiatives that will make a difference to the lives of music creators and licensees worldwide. I am excited to join Beth and her team at ASCAP. I believe that ASCAP is at the center of driving core change in the music industry which will benefit songwriters, composers, music publishers, licensees and music fans alike."

Kanye West visited Oxford University on Monday, and students live blogged some of the crazy things the US rapper came out with. Yeezus spoke at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History at a function hosted by the Oxford Guild Business Society, which dates back to 1897.
The society announced the news on Facebook on Sunday after "a great deal of hard work and extensive negotiations." Naturally, when the man himself actually took to the stage, there was much excitement. More than 1,600 people said they were attending on Facebook.

Students kept the public updated about their special guest on a standalone publication called "Versa" and tweeted about the goings on using hash tags such as #YesWeKanye. The Tab, the country's cross-uni student newspaper, also did a live blog on Twitter.

Kanye got going at 3 p.m. and talked for about half an hour. Versa noted initial doubts that the whole project could have been a "monumental troll," but just before the hour mark confirmed that he was in the building.

We all know about Kanye's antics, odd thoughts, and love of Steve Jobs — and his university "lecture" didn't disappoint. It follows a very different setting to his Nando's exploits last month, and his most recent moment of absurdity at the Grammys, of course.

Some of the things he said during his speech at Oxford University, documented by Versa in full, have to be among the most memorable.

And here are some more from Versa:

Kanye: "Now I understand that I’m just serving, and with my voice and my ability to build relationships, and call Elon Musk or Obama out of the blue, with that I have a responsibility to serve. Why I say the Matrix is like the Bible and what is my definition of the Matrix?"

K: "You're looking for this moment where you sit in your BMW and you look at all of the work that you've done and how big your house is, and somehow you think you're gonna get that level of joy that my daughter had when she was seeing those wolves."

We spoke to Versa's editor, Ruth Maclean, about the visit. She said students heard about the event only the night before and "everyone went crazy staying up all night to get tickets. Not every lecturer at Oxford is as exciting as Kanye." Source: Business Insider

Ice-T spoke as part of Bunker Hill Community College's Compelling Conversations speaker series on February 26, delivering a lively talk that drew laughs and applause from an overflow audience. Before his presentation, Ice-T enjoyed a lunch prepared by Culinary Arts students and interacted with students in two Learning Community Seminars, "Connecting to Your Inner Orange Line: Next Stop, Community College" and "Do the Right Thing."

Ice-T described losing both of his parents at an early age and finding a substitute family as an affiliate of the Rollin' 60's Crip Gang in Los Angeles, California. He enlisted as a U.S. Army Ranger and served four years, he said, but when a sergeant told him he wouldn't make it in real life, Ice-T decided to "stop being a chess piece on a board." Eventually he transformed what he called crime rhymes into a rap career as the self-proclaimed original gangster, and paid his dues in a handful of low-budget films before winning better roles.

Offering encouragement to the largely student audience, Ice-T said, "You are starting from a better place than I did. You're right where you should be." He advised students to choose their own path, stay focused and be willing to work hard. After Ice-T's talk, BHCC English major and veteran Robert Harrigan rapped a rhyme he wrote about suicide and PTSD that won sustained applause from Ice-T and the audience.

Born Tracy Marrow in Newark, New Jersey, Ice-T launched his rap music career in 1984 in the film Breakin' and went on to record a string of groundbreaking rap records. He subsequently formed the thrash metal band Body Count. His acting career includes roles in the films New Jack City, Ricochet, Trespass, Johnny Mnemonic, Surviving the Game, Tank Girl, and on NBC-TV's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where he plays Detective Fin Tutuola. At 17 years his is the longest running stint for a television cop. He serves as a mentor for at-risk youth.

For more than a decade, Compelling Conversations has brought high-profile speakers to Bunker Hill Community College to discuss their professional experience and provide inspiration for students—from actor Giancarlo Esposito to boxer Laila Ali, filmmaker Ken Burns, author and political commentator Bob Woodward and former president of Ireland Mary Robinson.

Will.i.am has started moonlighting as a technology entrepreneur. Now he has an experienced technology executive to help him run his new wearable start-up, i.am+.

The company on Thursday announced that Phil Molyneux, who most recently was president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics in the United States, will take on the same role at i.am+, a 60-person start-up based in Los Angeles. Mr. Molyneux will report to Will.i.am, the company’s co-founder and chief executive.

The company has released one product, a $399 wristband device called Puls, for which it has done a limited rollout. Unlike most of the smart bracelets on the market, which are primarily fitness trackers, Puls has a built-in cellphone and does not require a conventional handset to make calls and access the Internet.

In an interview, Mr. Molyneux said the company envisioned a family of wearable products merging fashion and technology, all based on a common operating system that it developed, AneedA, which uses Google’s Android software. Unlike the smartphone business, the wearables market is young and full of smaller companies like Fitbit that are garnering meaningful sales.

They dynamics of the business could change soon with the arrival of the Apple Watch. Apple is expected to share further details about the product at an event on March 9. Mr. Molyneux predicted that Apple’s product and marketing would be like the rising tide that lifts others’ boats.

“It’s significant, of course,” he said. “The launch of the Apple Watch will bring a whole new consumer focus to the wearables area and tethered devices.”

Mr. Molyneux, who worked for Sony for 28 years in a variety of roles, said there was no comparison between the agility of his new and old employers. “Their ability too innovate and pivot in microseconds is something bigger companies can’t do,” he said. Source: NY Times

For three consecutive years, BET Networks and AEG partner to bring the heat to Los Angeles when BET Experience takes over L.A. LIVE June 25 – 28, 2015. A four day event, there’s something for everyone as attendees will have the opportunity to experience a plethora of music and comedy concerts, entertaining and interactive activations at the FREE Fan Festival, “106 & PARK” tapings, seminars and various social events and celebrity appearances. The roster is already making waves as the headliners at STAPLES Center include Kevin Hart, Nicki Minaj, Ice Cube and Snoop. Keeping things hot are new additions to the STAPLES Center show lineup - Kendrick Lamar, who will be headlining with Snoop and Ice Cube, and Jay Rock and Ab-Soul. The music keeps playing during the late night concerts at Club Nokia, headlined by Bell Biv DeVoe, Miguel and The Roots. There’s nobody better to get a party started than Doug E. Fresh, who is also set to take the Club Nokia stage.


THURSDAY, June 25, 2015
STAPLES Center – 8pm: Kevin Hart
Club Nokia – 11pm: Bell Biv DeVoe and Doug E. Fresh

FRIDAY, June 26, 2015
STAPLES Center – 7pm: Nicki Minaj
Club Nokia – 11pm: Miguel

SATURDAY, June 27, 2015
STAPLES Center – 7pm: Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube and Snoop with Jay Rock and Ab-Soul
Club Nokia – 11pm: The Roots and Friends
LA Convention Center: FREE Fan Fest

SUNDAY, June 28, 2015
LA Convention Center: FREE Fan Fest
* All times PST

Rapper and producer Black Milk will be touring the U.S. this spring and summer on his Play Like Hell Tour. The tour, which features live band Nat Turner (keyboardist/vocalist Aaron "Ab" Abernathy, bassist Malik Hunter and drummer Z Horton), stops in multiple U.S. cities with more dates to be announced. Select shows will include performances by Mos Def, Fashawn and Lyrics Born.

With more than a decade of industry experience and a rich catalog of recordings, Black Milk has transitioned from one of hip-hop's young rising stars to a veteran with a uniquely well-rounded pedigree. His most recent works include collaborations with Bun B, Danny Brown, Black Thought, Robert Glasper, Adrian Younge, Pete Rock, BadBadNotGood, and Blu. He released his fifth and latest solo album, If There's A Hell Below in October 2014 via his own record label Computer Ugly. "I'm never one to say which album of mine is the best, that's for the fans to decide," says Black Milk, "but at this point I feel like I'm making the best music of my career on a creative level and on a technical level. I think you'll hear that in this new album." Black will perform songs from If There's a Hell Below and previous albums.

Tour Dates:
3/19 Dallas at Three Links
3/20 Austin at SXSW
3/22 New Orleans at Gasa Gasa
3/23 Atlanta at The Basement
3/24 Charlotte at Snug Harbor
3/25 Asheville at Asheville Music Hall
3/26 Little Rock at Stickyz
3/28 Boise at Knitting Factory (Treefort Music Fest)
3/30 Denver at Cervantes' Other Side*
4/01 Phoenix at Monarch Theatre
4/03 Las Vegas at Beauty Bar
4/04 Fresno at Catacomb Party
4/09 Albuquerque at El Rey Theater**
4/10 Los Angeles at Los Globos
4/11 San Francisco at Brick & Mortar Music Hall
4/12 Sacramento at Harlow's
4/14 Salt Lake City at Urban Lounge
4/16 Portland at Alhambra Theatre (Soul'd Out Music Festival)***
4/18 Detroit at Hello Records^
6/16 Washington, DC at Rock & Roll Hotel
6/17 Philadelphia at Johnny Brenda's
6/18 New York at The Studio at Webster Hall
6/19 Boston at Church of Boston^
6/20 Detroit at TBA
6/21 Chicago at TBA
6/22 Minneapolis at 7th St Entry
6/24 Missoula at Urban Lounge
6/25 Calgary at TBA
6/27 Vancouver at Fortune Sound Club
6/28 Seattle at TBA

* with Fashawn
** with Mos Def
*** with Lyrics Born
^ Black Milk Solo Beat Set

As one of the most celebrated producers and rappers of his generation of hip-hop artists, Black Milk has conditioned fans and critics to expect the unexpected with each release. Few producers have earned the notoriety and respect he has as a musician, and when that is coupled with commanding talent as an emcee, it's no surprise that his solo releases are met with exalted anticipation. His new full-length album, If There's A Hell Below, continues Black's trend of releasing material that maintains his signature sound while pushing it into new territory.

Few legal disputes in the entertainment industry are older than Osama Ahmed Fahmy's eight-year war over "Big Pimpin'." Jay Z himself as well as MTV, Paramount Pictures, Warner Music and others are still involved in an eight-year-old case examining allegations that the song's unmistakably catchy hook illicitly derives from "Khosara, Khosara" from the 1960 Egyption film Fata Ahlami. As that case proceeds, a new lawsuit was launched yesterday that aims to hold Live Nation responsible for its part.

According to the complaint, "Big Pimpin'" has been mentioned regularly in Jay Z concert previews and a "substantial percentage of people who purchased tickets to Jay Z's shows hoped he would perform Big Pimpin', expected he would perform Big Pimpin', and would have been disappointed if he had not performed Big Pimpin'. On information and belief, Live Nation has profited substantially from Jay Z's performance of Big Pimpin', including, but not limited to, profits from ticket sales, merchandise, parking, concessions, and other revenue streams."

The latest legal action attempts to lay direct and contributory copyright liability on the concert promotion giant. "Live Nation knew that Big Pimpin' infringed upon the Khosara, Khosara copyright, but it nevertheless continued to sponsor, promote, and facilitate Jay-Z's performances of the infringing work," states the lawsuit.

The epic litigation over "Big Pimpin'," which originally came out in 2000, has refused to settle and has explored some interesting legal issues.

In the early days of the prior, still-ongoing lawsuit, a California federal judge was forced to examine the "moral rights" of authors under Egyptian law upon Fahmy's allegation that Jay Z had mutilated "Khosara, Khosara" through sampling. More recently, there's been the issue of laches — or an unreasonable delay in pursuing a right or claim — and thanks to a Supreme Court opinion involving Raging Bull, the judge in the case reconsidered an opinion that barred Fahmy from pursuing damages during certain years.

Then there's the issue of how "Big Pimpin" producers executed in 2001 a settlement with EMI, which once asserted rights to "Khosara, Khosara" based on an agreement with the Egyptian outfit Sout El Phan. The agreement expired in 2006, and Fahmy argues it's void because the real owners of "Khosara, Khosara" never consented to it. Earlier this month, Fahmy brought a summary judgment motion arguing that Jay Z was not conveyed a valid license to make the sample. A hearing is scheduled on the matter in late March.

The newest lawsuit against Live Nation, filed by attorneys at Browne George Ross, seeks actual damages and profits as well as an injunction restraining Live Nation from promoting, producing or facilitating any live performance of "Big Pimpin'." Source: Hollywood Reporter

The latest high has Empire passing the lofty 5.0 rating and averaging a 5.1 rating among adults 18-49. That's up up three-tenths of a point from the previous high last week, and it could easily still go up even more in final returns this afternoon. Viewership was also up a solid million to 12.94 million viewers.

Empire nearly doubled the demo haul of lead-in American Idol, steady with a 2.7 rating with adults 18-49 and something of a footnote in Fox's easy win for the night. As far as competition goes, The Mentalist went out on CBS up just a hair to a 1.4 rating with adults 18-49. It was partnered an extra hour of the show (1.3 adults) at 8 p.m. and a steady Stalker (1.3 adults) at 10 p.m.

On ABC, The Middle and The Goldbergs were each steady with a 2.2 rating in the key demo. Modern Family (3.0 adults) fell two-tenths of a point before steady episodes of Black-ish (2.2 adults) and Nashville (1.3 adults). The Mysteries of Laura (1.1 adults) held last week's score before Law & Order: SVU (1.6 adults) and Chicago PD (1.7 adults) jumped a respective two- and three-tenths of a point. Source: Hollywood Reporter

The annual ESSENCE Festival, now among the largest consumer live events in the country with more than 550,000 attendees, today revealed the first round of its all-star line-up of performers for the nighttime concerts at the 21st annual celebration, taking place in New Orleans, LA, from July 2-5.

"On the heels of the ESSENCE Festival's epic 20th anniversary celebration in 2014, we're delighted to announce a selection of the best artists and biggest names in entertainment who will take the stage at the Superdome this summer,' said Essence President Michelle Ebanks. "From first-time Festival performer Kendrick Lamar to return appearances from fan favorites like Kevin Hart, Common and Mary J. Blige, the ESSENCE Festival offers the definitive entertainment and cultural experience for our passionate ESSENCE community every Fourth of July weekend."

Artists confirmed to perform at the 2015 ESSENCE Festival nighttime concerts at the Superdome include:

Kendrick Lamar, Mary J Blige, India.Arie, Trombone Shorty, Floetry, Common, Erykah Badu, Kool Moe Dee, Doug E. Fresh, Mystikal, Slick Rick, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Nico & Vinz, Lianne La Havas, Elle Varner, Esperanza Spalding, SZA, Dee-1, Tonya Bond Cannon, Leon Bridges, Andra Day, Kelly Price, Raheem DeVaughn, Mali Music, Eric Roberson, Teedra Moses, Avery*Sunshine, Kindred The Family Soul, Goapele, Robert Glasper, Tweet, Jeff Bradshaw, Bilal, Tank & The Bangas and more to be announced soon. Plus Kevin Hart to headline Essence 'Now Playing' Concert, Thursday, July 2.

Wondaland Records, a new movement and recording label created by Janelle Monáe, has teamed with Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, to announce the launch of a landmark joint venture partnership. Featuring an electrifying roster of artists — Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, Deep Cotton, and St. Beauty — the news of this partnership signals a seismic shift in music and culture that will be felt for years to come.

Wondaland Records is launching with the release of its dynamic first single, "Classic Man" by Jidenna featuring Roman GianArthur. "Classic Man," will serve as the lead track on the Wondaland Records compilation arriving in May. The compilation will also contain the new single "Yoga" by Janelle Monáe featuring Jidenna.

"The collective talent of the Wondaland artists is awe-inspiring," said LA Reid, Chairman and CEO, Epic Records. "I haven't personally witnessed a collective that sounds and looks this special in quite a while. I've been a longtime supporter and friend of Janelle and it is an honor to now work with her as a visionary businesswoman who brings an all-star group of talented performers to the table."

The multi-faceted collective of Wondaland Records artists— all of whom write and produce, a rarity in music today—features a breadth of voices, styles, and figures coming together with a shared mission for revolutionizing the future of music, arts, and culture that is creatively unmatched.

"I'm so thrilled to share Wondaland Records with the world. Each artist under Wondaland Records has unparalleled talent, incredible vision, and brings something unique to the music industry," said Janelle Monáe. "Together, we're creating a new movement and space for the future of music and pop culture. I'm honored to be partnering with Epic Records and my friend LA Reid to present such extraordinary talent."

The son of a Nigerian chief and an American anthropologist, Jidenna is an East Flatbush, Brooklyn-based lyrical wizard, a thought leader with charisma to spare. His worldly origins inform the groundbreaking genre Swank, an elegant and funky take on hip-hop that transforms ordinary parties into sweaty soirées.

Musical iconoclasts Nate 'Rocket' Wonder and Chuck Lightning are the mad geniuses behind Deep Cotton. They are thinkers and tinkerers whose approach to sound creates a rollercoaster ride, taking the listener through a world of falsetto-filled funk, rule-breaking ideas baked in rock 'n' roll, and served up in hip-hop, all in the span of a single song. Their sole mission: give you the license to freak out.

A curious and brilliant composer, arranger, and producer, Roman GianArthur's music is courageous, feisty, and consistently touches the soul. His live show is a revelation—wild, heroic guitar playing, outstanding vocals, intoxicatingly original movement, and a rare charisma possessed only by the greats.

Featuring Alex Belle and Isis Valentino, the enchanting sound of St. Beauty feels timeless. Thoughtful musicians and songwriters, they weave together melodies that are impossible to forget and evocative lyrics that paint richly textured emotional stories, casting a spell over the listener that cannot be broken.

The inter-disciplinary approach to creativity that the brilliant members of the Wondaland Records roster possess has far-reaching implications for pop culture beyond music— a range of paradigm-shifting art of all kinds is slated for release throughout the remainder of 2015 and beyond.

This spring, the iconic rap group The Diplomats (Dipset) will be heading out on tour along with Funk Flex, who will be hosting and spinning a set. Today, they announced a string of dates including NYC, New Jersey, Brooklyn, New Haven, Providence, and Miami. The group will also be hitting Austin, TX for SXSW this year. Many more dates and cities are set to be announced. This announcement follows The Diplomats release of new material from the 4 principle members (Cam'Ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, and Freeky Zekey) with their track "Have My Money." That song will be on a forthcoming Dipset EP that is expected to be released during the tour. Listen to "Have My Money" HERE

Dipset tour:
02-24 New York, NY - B.B. King Blues Club
02-27 Elizabeth, NJ - Club Allstar
02-28 Brooklyn, NY - CPAC
03-13 New Haven, CT - Toad's Place
03-19 Austin, TX - SXSW
03-20 Providence, RI - Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel
03-29 Miami, FL - LIV

The tour kicks off on Mar. 2nd in Oregon and then heads through Idaho, Utah, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and ends in Rhode Island on Apr. 7th.

Tour Dates
March 2 – Eugene, OR
March 4 – Boise, ID
March 5 – Salt Lake City, UT
March 8 – Santa Ana, CA
March 10 – Tucson, AZ
March 13 – Lincoln, NE
March 14 – Springfield, MO
March 15 – Wichita, KS
March 17 – Oklahoma City, OK
March 19 – San Antonio, TX
March 23 – New Orleans, LA
March 24 – Baton Rouge, LA
March 25 – Mobile, AL
March 28 – Tallahassee, FL
March 29 – Birmingham, AL
March 31 – Columbus, OH
April 1 – Nashville, TN
April 3 – Richmond, VA
April 4 – Rochester, NY
April 7 – Providence, RI


Best Rap Performance
Kendrick Lamar – "I"

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Eminem Featuring Rihanna – "The Monster"

Best Rap Song
Kendrick Lamar - "I"
K. Duckworth & C. Smith, songwriters

Best Rap Album
Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP2

Best Traditional R&B Performance
"Jesus Children"
Robert Glasper Experiment Featuring Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Best R&B Song
Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z - "Drunk In Love"
Shawn Carter, Rasool Diaz, Noel Fisher, Jerome Harmon, Beyoncé Knowles, Timothy Mosely, Andre Eric Proctor & Brian Soko, songwriters

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Pharrell Williams – Girl

Best R&B Album
Toni Braxton & Babyface - Love, Marriage & Divorce

Best Music Video
Pharrell Williams – "Happy"

Following her much-talked-about performance at the Super Bowl XLIX earlier this month, Missy Elliott has revealed her plan to go back to the studio. In a recent phone interview with SiriusXM's "Sway in the Morning", the raptress said that she'd be working on her new music with rapper/producer Timbaland.

"I'm actually going down to be with Tim, and so we're gonna get in and get some work done," she said. Asked if she'd be making a comeback album, Elliott refused to give more details. "I don't want to say too much because in this day and time, boy, you say something, they will come back two weeks later like, 'Where your album at?' "

Elliott came out as a surprise guest at Katy Perry's headlining set during the halftime show at last week's Super Bowl. In the interview, the "Work It" hitmaker expressed her gratitude to the pop diva for asking her to be a part of the event.

"I thank Katy because she could have picked any artist, and it was big for her," she said. "She said that she was a fan of mine." Elliott first thought Perry would ask her to perform the remix to "Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)", but the 30-year-old star wanted her to play her own songs.

"She said to me, 'God got you here for a reason.' I'm humbly grateful. I've cried and cried and cried tears of joy," she recalled.

Universal Music Group, the world's leading music company, announced that Billboard magazine named its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lucian Grainge as No. 1 on its list of the 100 most powerful people in the music industry.

Grainge is the first person to twice appear at No. 1 on the Billboard ranking. The first time was in 2013, after Universal Music Group completed its acquisition of EMI.

"It has been nothing less than a privilege to be able to spend my life working with and on behalf of great artists and the music they create," Grainge said. "For if power is to be found anywhere, that power is found, and exclusively resides, in the music of our artists. I'm so proud of our many executives who were recognized for their contributions."

Universal Music Group had more executives than any other company on Billboard's 2015 power ranking, accounting for 13.7% of the list.

During 2014, Universal Music distributed 7 of the top 10 albums, finishing the year with an industry-leading 38.7% share of the market, Billboard reported, citing Nielsen Music data. Additionally, Universal Music Group broke the only new global stars of the year with Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Ariana Grande and 5 Seconds of Summer.

Like a trip through pop music history that ended on the cutting edge, covers from the past five decades of Rolling Stone magazine beamed across the walls of the El Rey Theatre before R&B singer The Weeknd and rapper Childish Gambino took the stage.

The magazine celebrated its partnership with Google Play at a pre-Grammy party Thursday in Los Angeles.

The Weeknd (real name: Abel Tesfaye) plied his silky voice to a cover of Beyonce's "Drunk in Love." The 24-year-old Canadian crooner closed his set with his steamy new single, "Earned It," from the "Fifty Shades of Grey" soundtrack.

Actor Donald Glover, also known as Grammy-nominated rapper Childish Gambino, showed his range of skills, from falsetto singing to slick raps.

Backed by a five-piece band, he slinked through "3005," his single nominated for best rap performance, and rocked other tracks from his 2013 release, "Because the Internet," up for best rap album at Sunday's Grammy Awards.

"This album is blowing up," he said, "so thank you for listening to it."

Cordell Broadus has pulled a double move on his father Snoop Dogg.

Broadus, a wide receiver from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, signed with UCLA instead of his father's favorite team. Snoop Dogg had hoped his son would play for Southern California, but was still thrilled for him.

"Channel 21 comin to @UCLAFootball !! Proud of u @C_Broadus21 ! LA's team!!" Snoop tweeted. Twenty-one is a reference to the number his son will wear for the team.

UCLA coach Jim Mora says he had offered a scholarship to Broadus when he was just 15 years old.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Broadus was ranked the 27th best receiver in the nation by Rivals.com, a leading recruiting news site.

NE-YO’s Non-Fiction (Motown Records/Compound Entertainment) is No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart in its first week of release and bows in the Top 5 of the Billboard 200. The superstar hitmaker – hailed by Entertainment Weekly as “one of the most gifted male R&B singers working today – launched Non-Fiction with a series of U.S. television appearances that included this “CBS Sunday Morning” feature. NE-YO will pay a post-GRAMMY visit to “Fashion Police,” airing on E! on Monday, February 9, and will perform on The BET Honors on February 23.

“She Knows” feat. Juicy J, the first single from Non-Fiction, is currently No. 2 at Rhythm radio, in the Top 10 at the Urban format and approaching Top 20 at Pop radio.

T.I., Jeezy, Schoolboy Q, Charisse Mills and Candice are among the other artists featured on Non-Fiction. “Time of Our Lives,” NE-YO’s new collaboration with Pitbull, appears on both Non-Fiction and Pitbull’s new album. Non-Fiction will be released in international markets on February 16.

NE-YO is a three-time GRAMMY® winner and a two-time winner at the BET, MOBO and Soul Train Music awards.

Iggy Azalea and Sam Smith led the finalists for the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards with five nominations apiece, with Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande each receiving four nominations.

iHeartMedia and NBC announced the nominations Wednesday. The awards will be presented March 29 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The event will be televised live on NBC and air simultaneously on iHeartMedia stations and across the network's digital music platform.

Swift, Azalea, Grande, Smith and Luke Bryan are nominated for artist of the year. Best new artist nominees include Azalea, Smith, Bastille, Cole Swindell and Meghan Trainor. Other categories include song of the year and best collaboration.

Suge Knight pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to murder, attempted murder and other charges filed after he struck two men with his truck last week.

The former rap music mogul is accused of intentionally running down two men, including a friend, in Compton on Thursday after an argument on a movie set.

Knight remains in custody and appeared in court wearing orange jail attire.

However, his attorney James Blatt has said the collision was an accident that occurred as Knight was trying to flee an altercation in which he was assaulted.

The 49-year-old Knight could face life in prison if convicted. After pleading not guilty in court today, TMZ is reporting that Suge was rushed to the hospital for suffering a panic attack.

On Monday, prosecutors charged Knight with killing 55-year-old Terry Carter and attempting to kill 51-year-old Cle "Bone" Sloan. Knight also faces two charges of hit-and-run.

In addition, Knight's $2 million bail was revoked after a court commissioner agreed with authorities that he was a potential flight risk and could intimidate witnesses.

The ruling came after homicide detectives told the bail commissioner that Knight could face a lengthy prison sentence because of a violent criminal past, said Los Angeles County sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida.

Knight was out on bail in a separate robbery case when the men were hit.

In the current case, Knight struck two men with his pickup in a Compton burger stand parking lot. The collision killed his friend Carter, a founder and owner of Heavyweight Records who was viewed as a local father figure and tried to help mentor young men in the community, said Doug Young, a friend and hip-hop music promoter. Also injured in the collision was Sloan, an actor and film consultant.

Authorities said Knight visited the set for "Straight Outta Compton," a film about the rise of the rap group N.W.A., and argued with Sloan, who was working at the location on Thursday. Sheriff's deputies providing security asked Knight to leave.

A short time afterward, the argument resumed in a parking lot a few miles away where Knight and Sloan exchanged punches through a window of the pickup before the two men were run down, authorities said.

Blatt has said Knight was attacked by four people, including Sloan, as he pulled into the parking lot after Carter requested he show up for a meeting. Blatt said Knight hit the gas and fled in fear.

Friends and fans Tuesday night are mourning the sudden loss of the well-known Oakland rapper The Jacka.

"The Jacka," real name Dominic Newton was shot in the head Monday night and died in the hospital just as his career was taking off.

Prashant Kumar is the longtime manager of The Jacka, the well-known Bay Area rapper. The artist spent many hours in the Emeryville studio over the past decade recording music that was heard all over the world.

"He was one of those guys who was just so honest in his music, so even if you didn't know him," Kumar said. "You might even know. He was just the most humble, caring person."
Neighbor Eileen Freeman said she heard six distinct shots just after 8 p.m. Monday and it sounded like it was close.

"It's sad that people are just shooting, shooting, shooting, especially when you have someone who is so good to the community and has given to the community," Freeman said.

Newton got his start in the music business in the early 1990s as a member of the group Mob Figaz. He became a solo artist about 10 years later.

He self-published his solo album in 2001 and released more than a dozen albums and mixtapes since. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with numerous influential Bay Area artists, including E-40, Andre Nickatina, Yukmouth, Messy Marv and Keak Da Sneak.

"He always was smiling always willing to give you something. So many rappers got verses from him. He was just a fair, good, honest man," said his friend Sellassie Blackwell.

Dozens of people stopped by to pay their respects to Newton at a sidewalk memorial created in his memory.

"Look at all his fans and family and friends out here that supported him as well," Jason Leopoldo said. "He was a great guy."

"He put a lot of us together, and put a lot of us in position," Kumar said. "He set up a lot of things and he started a lot of careers and I know he would like to see that just carry on and see it become about something bigger than it is today."

Investigators would not comment on Newton's murder, except to say they are asking for witnesses, or anyone with tips to contact the Oakland police homicide department. Source: ABC 7

Kevin Hart and Nicki Minaj will headline the events leading to the BET Awards.

The network announced Tuesday that Hart will perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 25 as part of the three-day "BET Experience."

Minaj will headline on June 26 and Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube, with "special guests," will perform on June 27.

The 2015 BET Awards will take place June 28 at the Staples Center. Tickets for "BET Experience" go on sale Feb. 20.

Beyoncé has partnered with her trainer Marco Borges to launch a new vegan meal delivery service.

The company is called 22 Days Nutrition after the belief that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit.

All meals will be 100% plant-based and delivered once a week. All ingredients will be non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and organic.

Prices will range from $9.76 to $16.50 each.

Beyonce herself has dabbled in veganism before. She and her husband Jay-Z famously adopted the diet for 22 days in the winter of 2013 and she has since made an effort to include more plant-based foods in her diet.

"All you have to do is try. If I can do it, anyone can," Beyonce said in a press release.

"We all know the importance and value of eating plant-based foods but often times find ourselves trapped in a series of bad habits that sabotage optimum wellness," says co-founder Borges. "The Vegan Meal Delivery program makes it easier to reset your habits with healthy and delicious plant-based foods."

22 Days Nutrition dishes include a sesame cabbage lentil bowl, ratatouille pasta with pesto, curried fried rice with vegetables, and an almond blueberry breakfast loaf. Source: Business Insider

Café Serendipity Holdings, Inc. (OTC PINK: FOFU) (the "Company"), fka Force Fuels, Inc., a national brand builder focused on the build out of a national brand in recreational and medical marijuana business, is pleased to announce the company will be highlighting its brand and business opportunity to the industry. The company's Brand Ambassador, Rick Ross, will be performing on Feb. 7th at the opening night event for show attendees.

In addition the company will be branding alongside mCig Inc. OTCBB:MCIG to market the company's best-selling 3.0, new 4.0, and Rick Ross BO$S models of portable vaporizers, mCig, Inc. will be highlighting a number of new breakthrough Cannabis-related consumer products in a large 20x20 booth at the weekend Cannabis Cup. Some of the products being unveiled will carry the "Made in America" distinction and are considered to be industry game changers.

Alfred Haber, President of Alfred Haber, Inc. (AHI), announced today the company has secured record sales and a stellar list of international broadcasters from around the globe for the upcoming 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards®, the 3 1/2-hour extravaganza billed as "Music's Biggest Night®." Taking place at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, the GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live in the U.S. on the CBS Television Network, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. Some of the superstars set to perform include AC/DC, Eric Church, Common, Ariana Grande, Miranda Lambert, John Legend, Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Usher, and Pharrell Williams, with LL COOL J serving as host for the fourth consecutive year.

Additionally, this year's series of unique musical pairings includes Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Hozier and Annie Lennox, Jessie J and Tom Jones, and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine with singer/songwriter Gwen Stefani in a never-before-seen performance.

Broadcasters set to air the GRAMMY Awards, the world's most popular televised music event, include: Rogers Media (Canada), CCTV (China), Channel 4 (UK), ProSieben (Germany), WOWOW (Japan), Channel One (Russia), Turner (Latin America), Fox International Channel (Asia), Viacom 18 Media (India), M-Net (Africa), D17/Canal Plus (France), Televisa (Mexico), Cignal TV (Philippines), Denmark Radio (Denmark), Foxtel (Australia), and TVNZ (New Zealand), among many others.

"The GRAMMY Award is the ultimate accolade recognizing outstanding achievement in the field of music," commented Haber. "It is evident given the exceptional list of broadcasters that they, too, acknowledge the extraordinary, worldwide impact of the GRAMMY Awards and are very much looking forward to sharing 'Music's Biggest Night' with their viewers."

Jay-Z is on the verge of buying Swedish company Aspiro AB, the firm that owns the recently-launched Tidal music-streaming service as well as Norway-based WiMP Music.

Launched in 2010, WiMP is only available in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Poland, though you may well know the service under its other name in the U.S. and U.K., Tidal.

Tidal launched in just the two markets last year, with a focus on high-quality streams — a factor it hopes will lead people to pay $20/month for the service as opposed to the usual $10/month you’ve come to expect from the likes of Rdio or Deezer.

The acquisition bid was made under the “Project Panther Bidco Ltd” moniker, according to the press release, which is “indirectly” owned by S. Carter Enterprises (SCE). You’ll note that there’s no mention of Jay-Z in there, but that’s because Jay-Z’s real name is … Shawn Carter.

According to the release, Aspiro’s board of directors has “unanimously recommended” that all Aspiro shareholders accept the offer.

The offer tabled by “Panther” values each Aspiro share at SEK 1.05 ($0.13), and the total value of the deal at SEK 464 million ($56 million).

Aspiro says it first received a notice of interest from SCE on December 3, and on December 13 Aspiro and SCE entered into an agreement that prevented Aspiro from actively soliciting offers from other potential buyers.

While the deal is yet to be signed and sealed, it looks certain to be given the go-ahead, with the acceptance period running between February 19 and March 11. The main stipulation from Panther is that, whatever the outcome of any bartering or negotiations, Jay-Z wants to own at least 90 percent of the company.

So in effect, this is Jay-Z making a big play for the music-streaming market and aligning himself with fellow rapper Dr. Dre, who cofounded the now Apple-owned Beats Electronics, which also offers the Beats Music streaming service in the U.S.

It’s an interesting move for sure, one that gives Jay-Z direct entry into the on-demand U.S. music-streaming market. But it’s also an incredibly competitive space, with the likes of Spotify, Rdio, and Beats also offering their wares. Can Jay-Z help Tidal conquer?

Just as Dr. Dre made a monumental success of his premium Beats headphones brand, a major celebrity such as Jay-Z aligning himself with a premium music-streaming service might just work.

Tidal streams at around CD-quality — 44.1 kHz / 16-bit FLAC and ALAC music files at 1411 kbps. This includes mobile. It’s around four times higher than most of its direct competitors, so it will be interesting to see whether Jay-Z can “sex up” the brand in the right demographics and tempt people to pay around double what Spotify and Beats charge.

In an interview with VentureBeat back in November, Tidal CEO Andy Chen said there are enough people willing to spend a little bit more for better sound. Particularly when you consider millions are willing to dig deep to buy top-notch speakers and headphones. Indeed, what’s the point of having good hardware if the quality of the sound lets you down?

It’s also worth noting that this deal isn’t just about the U.S. market. While Beats is only available in the U.S. at the moment, Tidal is in the U.K. too, and its sister brand, WiMP, has a head start in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe.

2015 is shaping up to be an interesting year in the music-streaming realm for sure. Source: Venture Beat

Authorities say Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight turned himself in early Friday in connection with a hit-and-run incident that left one man dead and another injured.

The rap mogul's attorney said earlier that Knight ran over and killed a friend and injured another man on Thursday as he fled attackers.

Authorities said Knight was a person of interest in the incident, which was being investigated as a homicide.

In a brief statement released early Friday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Knight was at the West Hollywood station with his attorney and was being interviewed by homicide detectives.

Sgt. Diane Hecht of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's information office said Knight was arrested at about 3 a.m. and is being held on $2 million bail.

Hecht says Knight is being held at the West Hollywood sheriff's station.

No other information was released and there was no mention if Knight was being held.

Officials say that a red pickup truck struck the men at around 3 p.m. PST in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in the Los Angeles-area city of Compton and then took off.

A 55-year-old man died at a hospital and a 51-year-old man was injured but Corina did not immediately know his condition.

Sources tell TMZ Suge's lawyer is arranging for his client's surrender to the Sheriff's Dept. It is unclear if law enforcement will arrest Suge for hit and run or manslaughter. It's possible the cops could conclude Suge is not legally on the hook because he fled out of fear for his life.
Suge Knight got into a fight on the set of a film project in Compton, ran over a man who later died, and then fled the scene.

Multiple witnesses say a video shoot involving Ice Cube and Dr. Dre was going down when Suge pulled up in his car...security told Suge to leave and that's when trouble began.

A fight broke out between Suge and 2 men. Suge got back into his car, took the wheel and threw the vehicle in reverse ... and ran over a man who suffered fatal injuries.

It's unclear at this point if the victim was connected to the movie. A source close to Cube tells us production had wrapped when the fight went down and he and Dre were not on set.

Sources connected with Suge tell TMZ the 2 men who fought Suge were the instigators. Our sources say Suge was scared because he's in frail health in addition to being shot 6 times last summer, he recently almost died from a blood clot.

The victim is Terry Carter, who we're told is a friend of Suge's who arrived with him at the scene. Our sources say Carter was in the process of walking to the passenger door of Suge's vehicle, but happened to be in the rear when Suge gunned it.

Two other men were also hit ... including Cle "Bone" Sloane -- who's appeared in "Training Day" and "End of Watch" -- and suffered non-life threatening injuries. Both men are in the hospital. Source: TMZ

Brooklyn-based rapper Joey Bada$$ enters at No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with his first studio set, B4.Da.$$, with 54,000 copies sold in its first week (ending Jan. 25), according to Nielsen Music. It's the second showing on the list for Bada$$, following his Summer Knights EP, which spent a week at No. 48 in 2013. The 20-year-old MC leads the New York hip-hop collective Pro Era, which also includes fellow rappers CJ Fly and Kirk Knight among other musical and multimedia artists. (Among Pro Era's supporters: Malia Obama, the eldest daughter of President Obama.)

Lupe Fiasco Arrives: Lupe Fiasco earns the No. 2 debut on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with Tetsuo & Youth (39,000 units). The set marks the rapper's fifth charting title and fifth consecutive top-five debut following Food & Liquor ll: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1, which spent a week at No. 1 upon its debut in 2012. Buzz surrounding the latest release helps to boost him onto the Billboard Artist 100, where he enters at No. 34.

'Slow Motion', Fast Start: Over on Hot R&B Songs, Trey Songz debuts at No. 12 with his latest single, "Slow Motion." With 34,000 digital downloads sold, it also enters R&B Digital Songs at No. 4, his highest debut yet. The track enters the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 99, while he also hops 95-91 as a featured act on B.o.B's "Not For Long." Source: Billboard

Lil Wayne has had it with his record label. He's suing Cash Money Records for $51 million after claiming that it stiffed him for $8 million on a record he delivered last month.

In the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, the Grammy Award-winning performer asked a Manhattan judge to nullify contracts he has held with the company since November 1998.

Born in New Orleans as Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., the 32-year-old rapper said in the lawsuit that his relationship with the label has been deteriorating over the last four years, with Cash Money failing to live up to contractual promises regarding monthly accounting statements and the timely payment of profits owed to Lil Wayne.

The lawsuit said the problems worsened since 2012 as Cash Money failed to pay Lil Wayne a 49 percent share of net income derived from the sale of solo recordings by rapper Drake for Lil Wayne's partial ownership of the Young Money label, despite Drake's rise as one of the best-selling recording artists in recent years. Nicki Minaj is also signed to the label.

It said Cash Money also is claiming millions of dollars in marketing expenses for the Young Money label even though it is required to obtain approval from Lil Wayne for expenses greater than $300,000. And it said the company is preventing artists recommended by Lil Wayne from being added to the Young Money label and is failing to pay third parties involved with the Young Money label, leading to lawsuits and additional costs.

A New York lawyer for Cash Money did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The label was co-founded by Lil Wayne's mentor, Bryan "Birdman" Williams. A spokeswoman for Birdman and Cash Money did not return a message seeking comment.

A rapper since childhood, Lil Wayne released his first solo album, "Tha Block Is Hot," in 1999. He lives in Florida now. The Young Money label is based in Miami.

The Cash Money website is promoting the upcoming release of the record Lil Wayne finished last month, "Tha Carter V," one of the most anticipated records of the past year.

Lil Wayne said last year it was likely to be his last solo album. "Tha Carter IV," released in 2011, sold nearly 1 million albums the first week of its release.

The new series logged more than 11 million viewers last week, and has achieved the rare feat of growing its audience for each of its three weeks on the air, the Nielsen company said. The numbers don't include people who watched on a time-shifted basis after the first night.

Among the youthful 18-to-49-year-old viewers that Fox cares most about, "Empire" was the most-watched show of the week, Nielsen said. The previous week, it was beaten only by the Indianapolis-New England "Deflategate" football game.

The news couldn't be better timed for hit-starved Fox, which won the week among youthful viewers, helped also by more auditions on "American Idol." Fox's drama "Backstrom," starring Rainn Wilson as a crotchety detective, had a strong showing with just under 8 million viewers sampling its debut.

After only two weeks on the air, Fox ordered a second season for "Empire."

The CBS show "Scorpion" was the most-watched program among all viewers for the first time ever, taking advantage of a slow week where the normally popular "NCIS" and "The Big Bang Theory" aired reruns.

The "Miss Universe" pageant on NBC had its highest viewership since 2006. A big factor was its first placement on a Sunday night in six years; Sunday is normally the most-watched TV night of the week.

CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 8.5 million viewers. Fox had 5.4 million, NBC had 5.2 million, ABC had 4.5 million, Univision had 2.9 million, the CW had 1.9 million, Telemundo had 1.5 million and ION Television had 1.4 million.

ESPN was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.3 million viewers in prime time. Fox News Channel had 1.9 million, TBS had 1.85 million, the Disney Channel had 1.84 million and History had 1.79 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.4 million viewers. ABC's "World News Tonight" was second with 9.1 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.7 million viewers.

For the week of Jan. 19-25, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "Scorpion," CBS, 12.08 million; "NCIS," CBS, 11.98 million; "American Idol" (Wednesday), Fox, 11.76 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 11.52 million; "Empire," Fox, 11.07 million; "Mom," CBS, 11.05 million; "American Idol" (Thursday), Fox, 10.65 million; "Criminal Minds," CBS, 10.29 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 9.65 million; "The Mentalist," CBS, 9.6 million.

Doug Morris, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment and industry icon, is to deliver a keynote interview at Midem 2015.

Organised by Reed MIDEM, Midem is the key industry event that unites the entire music ecosystem. It takes place in Cannes from 5-8 June, 2015.

Morris will talk about the "Lessons Learned," sharing his decades of experience in music, creativity, management and business, together with stories that changed the music industry, and how they can now be applied to better understand the challenges that it faces today. The keynote will take the form of an interview with Rupert Younger, Director of the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation, part of Oxford University's Said Business School. It forms part of Midem Talks, Midem's plenary conference programme, and will take place on Saturday, 6 June.

With a career spanning five decades, Morris currently heads the world's second largest music company, and was the founder of Vevo, the world's leading premium music video and entertainment platform. Prior to joining Sony Music Entertainment in 2011, he spent 14 years as Chairman and CEO of the Universal Music Group, and previously served as head of MCA Music Entertainment, Rising Tide Entertainment, Warner Music US, and the Atlantic Recording Group. Before that, he was President of ATCO Records and Founder and Owner of Big Tree Records. Morris began his career as a songwriter and producer, his credits include the Chiffons' "Sweet Talkin' Guy" and Brownsville Station's "Smokin' in the Boys Room."

"I knew very early that I wanted to spend my life in the music business and be part of the rock culture of that time. And that is the life I had, managing talent and creativity, leading change in the music business. It is now the right time to talk about the lessons I learned along the way. And I can't think of a better occasion than Midem to share such learning with the global music community," said Doug Morris.

"Doug Morris is an iconic executive within the music ecosystem represented at Midem. Over the past decades, he has actively contributed to supporting the industry and shaping solutions to the various challenges that our music business has been going through. We're thrilled that in addition to sharing the insights gained from his successful career and his broad vision of the music industry, Doug will inspire the Midem audience on how to face change and how to create the business opportunities for tomorrow," said Bruno Crolot, Director of Music Markets, Reed MIDEM.


“THE BET HONORSThe Washington Post says, “The annual BET Honors have just about perfected the ideal mix of glamour, inspiration, humor and sex appeal.” We could not have said it better! “THE BET HONORS” shows the world ‘what extraordinary looks like’ by saluting luminaries whose lives and revolutionary work contribute to and elevate the culture. Airing during Black History Month, “THE BET HONORS” is a shimmering night of dynamic performances and tributes that cross genres and generations.

Phylicia Rashad (Theatrical Arts Award); Usher Raymond (Musical Arts Award); Kanye West (Visionary Award); John W. Thompson (Technology and Business Award) and Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole (Education Award) are “The BET Honors” 2015 honorees.

TAPE DATE: January 24, 2015 PREMIERE: February 23, 2015
LOCATION: Warner Theater, Washington, D.C.

“BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™is the tribute show that has become a movement. This NAACP Image Award-nominated special is both elegant and impactful, saluting dynamic leaders in entertainment, business, philanthropy, and beyond. Past award honorees include Ruby Dee, Susan L. Taylor, Missy Elliott, Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, Queen Latifah, and Venus Williams. “BLACK GIRLS ROCK!™” celebrates the brilliance and beauty of women who shape our world and uplift our girls.

TAPE DATE: March 28, 2015 PREMIERE: April 5, 2015

“BET AWARDS” is celebrating its 15th anniversary this summer! 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.

PREMIERE: June 28, 2015
LOCATION: Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

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 26 – 28, 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, BET Fan Fest, seminars, GRAMMY® Museum exhibits, a signature food festival, various celebrity meet & greets and other special appearances.

PREMIERE: June 26 – 28, 2015
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA

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

TAPE DATE: October 2015 PREMIERE: October 13, 2015

“SOUL TRAIN AWARDS the hippest trip in America keeps grooving forward. The iconic brand that defined a generation returns in 2015 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. Since airing on both networks is always better, the “Soul Train Awards” is simulcast on Centric and BET.

TAPE DATE: November 2015 PREMIERE: November 2015
LOCATION: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

“CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL” features spirited performances and moving renditions by some of today’s hottest and most talented artists from the worlds of gospel and R&B.

TAPE DATE: December 5, 2015 PREMIERE: January 2016


Thump Records/Universal Music Group artist Battle Ax (Dr. Robert Ornelas) from The S.O.G. Crew hosts the Anaheim Mixtape Vol. 2. Bishop Ornelas is a national youth advocate and former American Vice Presidential candidate. Anaheim Mixtape Vol. 2 features artists from around the United States and Canada.

"This Mixtape consists of people with whom we have built relationships throughout the years. We have local, regional, national and international artists on Vol. 2. There is a mixture of legendary, seasonal and upcoming artists on this project." Anaheim Mixtape is sponsored in part by Club Judah in Los Angeles.

"We want to share the meaning of our Anaheim Mixtape cover. Our mixtape features artists from every corner of The United States, including the Virgin Islands, and Canada. It will soon feature artists from all over the world. The crown over the title of the cover reminds us to always put God first and to be welcoming to other artists who share our beliefs, or who identify with Gospel Hip-Hop."

The city of Anaheim was founded by Germanic Jewish families in 1857 and was incorporated as the second city in Los Angeles County on March 18, 1876. The name Anaheim means "home by the river" or just "home." We want to pay our respects to the founding fathers of our city of Anaheim, CA. Our vision for the mixtape is to give those who are in union with the Gospel Hip-Hop genre the blessing to feel at home in our area of the West Coast. This mixtape is a peace treaty with other artists from around the country, letting them know that they are not alone.

The Anaheim Mixtape will be on tour throughout Oahu, HI January 9th-18th. The S.O.G. Crew and Hapizzez will be joined by Martin Cantu. Martin is the former lead singer for the legendary Latin Rock Band Malo, which is known for their hit song, Suavecito. We have agreed to visit the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hickam Air Force Base, Praise Chapel, Victory Outreach, Next Step Shelter, Hope Chapel, Honolulu International Christian Church, Power House Church and many others. The 2015 Hawaii Tour will consist of Hip-Hop concerts, workshops, interviews, revivals, feeding the homeless, and building up those who have lost everything. The plan is to give out the Anaheim Mixtape Vol. 2 for free to those who are down and out. It is time to reach out to the people of Hawaii.

Anaheim Mixtape update: Anaheim Mixtape, Vol. 1 was dedicated to Michael Martinez, Jr. who was killed Saturday, Aug. 30, 2013, and to all the families who have lost loved ones to gang violence. In December of last year, San Bernardino police arrested more than 30 gang members and confiscated dozens of weapons in a month-long operation to crack down on gang violence. As a result, authorities believe they arrested the murderer of Michael Martinez, Jr., a man named Cory Thomas, 20, an alleged gang member. We want to take this time to thank all those who have supported our Vol. 1 Mixtape. Thank you so much for your prayers.

Pharrell Williams says he'll have all of humanity singing together at a worldwide concert June 18 to fight global warming.

The hat wearing phenom is teaming up with Nobel Peace Prize-winner Al Gore and producer Kevin Wall to pull off a "Live Earth" concert on seven continents to build support for a U.N. climate pact in Paris among more than 190 nations in December.

"I think you guys know how serious the global warming thing is, and so for us we're taking it very seriously, and we wanted to do something very different this time," Williams said.

"Instead of just having people perform, we literally - and I can't go into it now because some interesting surprises are coming out soon - but we literally are going to have humanity harmonize all at once."

After giving a trademark slide show, in which he linked rising temperatures to the Arab Spring and the catastrophic Syrian war, Gore said the concert will engage "a billion voices with one message - to demand climate action now."

The U.N.-brokered climate negotiations have been simmering for years. Nations have agreed on the goal of stabilizing greenhouse gases at a level that keeps global warming below 2 degrees C (3.6 F), compared with pre-industrial times, but a legally binding agreement that puts that into action has remained elusive.

A key sticking point is how to pay for it. Another is how much historical responsibility nations must bear for polluting to industrialize versus developing countries that are polluting more now to grow their markets.

The world's two largest emitters of heat-trapping gases, China and the U.S., negotiated secretly for months in 2014 to reach a non-binding climate change agreement.

However, momentum from that deal dissipated in Lima, Peru, where a round of climate talks salvaged a compromise in December to try to set up a Paris deal.

Gore said that along with putting a price on carbon to speed up the transition to renewable energies, "we need to put a price on denial in politics. People need to stop financing denial."

IN OTHER PHARRELL NEWS: Pharrell and Usher will perform at the Grammys next month- Feb. 8 in Los Angeles. Common and John Legend will also perform their Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated song, "Glory," from the movie "Selma."

Sam Smith, Pharrell and Beyonce are the Grammy leaders with six nominations apiece. They will battle Beck and Ed Sheeran for the top prize, album of the year.

Previously announced performers include Madonna, AC/DC, Ariana Grande, Eric Church and Ed Sheeran. The 57th annual Grammy Awards will air live on CBS from the Staples Center.

The Beastie Boys want to force the maker of Monster Energy drink to pay nearly $2.4 million in legal fees and costs so the rappers' $1.7 million jury award is not dwarfed by expenses in a copyright violation case, lawyers say.

A Manhattan federal court jury awarded the group most of the $2 million it requested at a June trial, but that was not enough to cover costs that lawyers said were worsened by the actions of the Corona, California-based Monster Energy Co., the musicians' lawyers said in papers filed in Manhattan federal court.

They said more than two years of litigation punctuated by Monster's failure to engage in good-faith negotiations, an eight-day trial and Monster's effort to overturn the verdict ran up the legal bill.

"Monster's tactics significantly increased the costs for Beastie Boys to vindicate their intellectual property rights, such that, absent an award of attorney's fees and costs, plaintiff's success at trial would become a Pyrrhic victory," they wrote in a filing Saturday.

Monster had admitted wrongly using the group's songs in a video that was online for five weeks. But the beverage maker said at trial it should owe no more than $125,000. The company's lawyers did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Monday.

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!)"

Beastie Boys' band members Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond both testified at trial, with Horovitz waiting throughout several hours of jury deliberations to be in court for the outcome. Another member of the band, the gravelly-voiced rapper Adam "MCA" Yauch, died of cancer in May 2012 at age 47.

Horovitz had testified the legendary hip-hop group would never license songs to endorse commercial products.

In a December ruling upholding the verdict and award, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer said that five Beastie Boys songs used by Monster in a video made it easy to conclude that the Beastie Boys were endorsing Monster products. He also said the jury's finding that Monster acted in bad faith would be relevant to an award of attorney's fees.

The group's lawyers said Monster had offered as much as $250,000 to settle before trial but had demanded the Beastie Boys drop their demands to below $1 million. The lawyers said the group had agreed to reduce its demands to $1.65 million.

They said the Beastie Boys even offered to negotiate a deal post-trial to curb additional litigation costs, but Monster did not respond to the offer. As a result, they added, they should be awarded attorney's fees of $2.38 million, including $895,926 spent prior to trial, $1.28 million during trial and the $200,438 post-trial cost through December.

D’Angelo will make his return to the spotlight on “Saturday Night Live.” D’Angelo and his band The Vanguard will serve as musical guest on the Jan. 31 episode with host J.K. Simmons, it was announced today.

Saturday Night Live posted on twitter: "Excited to announce J.K. Simmons will host January 31 with musical guest @TheDangelo"

D’Angelo's latest album Black Messiah debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200. “SNL” marks his first public appearance since the record’s release. He will also play a show at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on Feb. 7 before launching his “Second Coming Tour” throughout Europe this spring.

A$AP Yams, founder of the New York-based rap collective that includes A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg has died.

RCA Records and Polo Grounds Music confirmed the death of A$AP Yams, whose real name is Steven Rodriguez. Circumstances of his death were unavailable.

RCA Records said Yams would be remembered for his "vision, humor and dedication" to the members of the A$AP Mob collective. Polo Grounds Music said Yams was "a driving force" in the group and would be missed.

In a statement, RCA Records wrote, "All of us at RCA Records are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of A$AP Yams. As one of the creative forces behind A$AP Worldwide, Yams' vision, humor and dedication to the members of A$AP Mob will always be remembered. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends."

"You will be missed Bro. We done touched a lot of ground together, landed on a lot of different soil," A$AP Ferg wrote on Tumblr. "You will always be loved & your spirit will live on!"

Fox hads announced that it has renewed 'Empire' after only two episodes. Empire has become Fox's breakout hit after only two episodes. The 20th Century Fox Television drama from Lee Daniels and Danny Strong has emerged as the No. 1 new series of the season. Following its second episode, it is the only new broadcast drama this season to grow from week one to week two. In live-plus-same-day returns, it tied ABC's How to Get Away With Murder as the No. 1 new broadcast series premiere among adults 18-49. Starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, the hip-hop Dynasty has more VOD viewing than any other Fox show this season, earning more than 1.1 million total viewers.

D'Angelo's first ever headlining gig at New York City's legendary Apollo Theater is happening next month on February 7. In the press release detailing the show, the Apollo mentions that in 1991 D'Angelo performed at the venue's "Amateur Night at the Apollo" weekly competition series, and went on to win three nights in a row and a cash prize. This show will also mark D'Angelo's first since releasing his surprise album, Black Messiah, back in December.

Billboard announced Winterfest, the inaugural festival that will take place from January 22 to 25 at Park City, Utah’s premier music venue, Park City Live. Iggy Azalea will headline the event on Saturday, January 24 with opening act Hoodie Allen. Rounding out the weekend are chart-topping artists B.o.B., headlining Thursday; Skrillex, taking the stage on Friday; and Diplo, closing the weekend with a Sunday night performance.

“Each year, Park City becomes a bigger destination for artists, filmmakers, musicians and fans,” said Janice Min, co-president and chief creative officer of Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, which consists of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. “Billboard is joining the party with Winterfest, and we look forward to celebrating with some of the season’s hottest acts.”

Title sponsor Citi presents Billboard Winterfest and gives the stage to 2014’s heavy hitter, Azalea. With major career milestones on Billboard’s music charts, Azalea was honored with the Chart-Topper Award at December 2014’s Women in Music. Her latest album, The New Classic, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart in April 2014, marking the highest bow for a female rapper's first album since 2010.

“Park City Live historically creates the greatest parties and concerts at the film festival and our partnership with Billboard Winterfest raises that bar even higher for 2015," said Kathryn Burns, CEO, Park City Live. "We are honored to have such great partners help Park City Live provide the most exclusive and sought after nightlife experience in town."

As supporting partner of Saturday night, YouTube has provided New York-based hip-hop artist Hoodie Allen who jump-started his career through the video platform, amassing close to half a million global fans who tune in to watch his music videos and vlogs. Allen arrived in the No. 2 slot on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in October 2014 with his first full-length album, People Keep Talking. With a nod to his social media roots, 83 percent of the album’s first-week was download sales.

“Billboard has curated a terrific lineup, bringing some of the hottest artists to Park City,” said Jennifer Breithaupt, SVP of Entertainment Marketing for title sponsor Citi. “We know our cardmembers love having access to the best in entertainment, and this merging of film and music is sure will be an exciting and memorable weekend."

Hitting 10.7 million monthly unique visitors to its website in November 2014 Billboard has seen 50 percent year-over-year growth of its online readership.* Billboard has scored major news-generating covers recently, including Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Sam Smith, Idina Menzel, Iggy Azalea and Pharrell Williams.

First album, first week, first smash hit. SremmLife, the highly anticipated debut album from hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, with over 49,000 album equivalent units, lands at number 1 on both the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the Rap Albums chart while also cracking the Top 5 of the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart in its premiere week. Following "No Flex Zone" and "No Type," their platinum debut singles also released on Mike WiLL Made-It's Ear Drummer Records imprint on Interscope Records, SremmLife has kicked off what promises to be a great new year for Rae Sremmurd. On Thursday, January 22, the duo will perform on "Conan" on TBS.

The duo of brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi (pronounced Jimmy) grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, but are now based in Atlanta. Rae Sremmurd is the first signing for Ear Drummer, which in 2014 released "No Flex Zone," which hit #36 on the Hot 100 (#11 R&B and #8 Rap), and then "No Type," went to #1 at Urban radio and #16 Hot 100 (#6 R&B and #4 Rap). The third single from SremmLife, "Throw Sum Mo" featuring Nicki Minaj and Young Thug, is currently Top 30 R&B and Top 20 Rap.

SremmLife (Ear Drummer/Interscope Records), released January 6th, executive produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, Producer of the Year at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards and executive producer of Miley Cyrus' #1 Bangerz and Future's Honest, which debuted atop the Hip-hop and R&B charts.

Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa announced today their 40+ city Boys of Zummer co-headlining tour in support of their respective hit albums American Beauty/American Psycho and Blacc Hollywood. The 2015 summer tour, promoted exclusively by Live Nation, will kick off on Wednesday, June 10 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, N.J., before continuing through cities like Chicago, Toronto, Nashville, St. Louis, Atlanta, Dallas and Las Vegas before concluding at Los Angeles' famed Hollywood Bowl on Monday, Aug. 10. American rapper, singer and hip hop artist Hoodie Allen will serve as special guest on the tour.

Citi® cardmembers will have access to pre-sale tickets beginning Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. local time through Citi's Private Pass® Program. General tickets for select cities will be available at www.livenation.com beginning Friday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. local.

Wiz Khalifa burst on the scene with mainstream success with the release of his first major label debut, Rolling Papers, in March 2011, which spawned the hugely successful hits "Black and Yellow," "Roll Up" and "No Sleep." He has earned a career total of seven Grammy nominations, including this year's nods for Best Rap Song ("We Dem Boyz") and Best Rap Album (Blacc Hollywood). Other nominated tracks include the chart-topping "Black and Yellow," 2012's RIAA platinum-certified "Remember You (Feat. The Weeknd)," 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)." Wiz Khalifa recently released his newest album, Blacc Hollywood, which debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart.

More than just a music powerhouse, Wiz is also a fashion-forward icon and entrepreneur. His Taylor Gang Ent. label and brand recently united with leading active lifestyle brand Neff for a 26-piece apparel collection. They also launched Freshko, a new lifestyle brand co-created by Sketch, a well-known graphic artist from San Francisco.

Wednesday, June 10
Camden, NJ
Susquehanna Bank Center

Saturday, June 13
Holmdel, NJ
PNC Bank Arts Center

Sunday, June 14
Mansfield, MA
Xfinity Center

Tuesday, June 16
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Blossom Music Center

Wednesday, June 17
Toronto, ON
Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

Thursday, June 18
Darien Center, NY
Darien Lake Performing Arts Center

Saturday, June 20**
Bangor, ME
Darling's Waterfront Pavilion

Tuesday, June 23
Saratoga Springs, NY
Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Wednesday, June 24
Wantagh, NY
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater

Friday, June 26
Hartford, CT

Saturday, June 27
Columbia, MD
Merriweather Post Pavilion

Sunday, June 28
Virginia Beach, VA
Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach

Tuesday, June 30
Cincinnati, OH
Riverbend Music Center

Wednesday, July 1
Noblesville, IN
Klipsch Music Center

Thursday, July 2
Burgettstown, PA
First Niagara Pavilion

Friday, July 3
Hershey, PA
Giant Center

Saturday, July 4
Scranton, PA
The Pavilion at Montage Mountain

Friday, July 10
Clarkston, MI
DTE Energy Music Theatre

Saturday, July 11
Tinley Park, IL
First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

Sunday, July 12
Nashville, TN
Bridgestone Arena


Tuesday, July 14
St. Louis, MO
Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

Wednesday, July 15
Columbus, OH
LC Pavilion

Friday, July 17
Atlanta, GA
Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood

Saturday, July 18
Raleigh, NC
Walnut Creek Amphitheatre

Sunday, July 19
Charlotte, NC
PNC Music Pavilion

Tuesday, July 21
Bonner Springs, KS
Cricket Wireless Amphitheater

Wednesday, July 22
Tulsa, OK
BOK Center

Saturday, July 25
Dallas, TX
Gexa Energy Pavilion

Sunday, July 26
Austin, TX
Austin360 Amphitheater

Tuesday, July 28
Albuquerque, NM
Isleta Amphitheater

Wednesday, July 29
Denver, CO
Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre

Thursday, July 30
Salt Lake City, UT
USANA Amphitheatre

Saturday, August 1
Ridgefield, WA
Amphitheater Northwest

Sunday, August 2
Auburn, WA
White River Amphitheater

Tuesday, August 4
San Francisco Bay Area
Venue TBD

Wednesday, August 5
Sacramento, CA
Sleep Train Amphitheater

Friday, August 7
Las Vegas, NV
Mandalay Bay Events Center

Saturday, August 8
Chula Vista, CA
Sleep Train Amphitheatre

Monday, August 10
Los Angeles, CA
Hollywood Bowl
**Fall Out Boy & Hoodie Allen only

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has accused President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle of parenting by double-standard, in an interview published Tuesday, saying they shelter their daughters from some things but allow them to listen to the music of Beyoncé.

While promoting his new book, Huckabee told People magazine, "I don't understand how on one hand they can be such doting parents and so careful about the intake of everything — how much broccoli they eat and where they go to school ... and yet they don't see anything that might not be suitable" in the lyrics and a Beyoncé choreography "best left for the privacy of her bedroom."

Huckabee described the Grammy Award-winning Beyoncé in his book as "mental poison."

The first lady's office declined to comment on Huckabee's comments.

During a 2012, $40,000-per-ticket fundraiser in New York, the president thanked Beyoncé and Jay-Z for their friendship.

"Beyoncé could not be a better role model for my girls," Obama said.

Beyoncé sang at Barack Obama's second inauguration, as well at Mrs. Obama's 50th birthday party at the White House.

Huckabee's latest book, titled "God, Guns, Grits and Gravy," is full of criticism of Washington, New York and Hollywood and serves as a direct appeal to cultural conservatives, long part of his political base. Huckabee's rhetoric is likely to win him more fans among conservative activists who have tremendous sway in picking the GOP's presidential nominees in early nominating states such as Iowa and South Carolina.

Huckabee recently stepped down from his role as host of a weekend program on Fox News Channel. He ran for president in 2008, considered running in 2012, and has said he's weighing whether to seek the GOP nomination in 2016.

If he enters the contest, he has a strong network of pastors in the early states who can help mobilize their faithful. That network helped him win the lead-off Iowa caucuses in 2008, as well as earn victories in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Huckabee is no stranger to such pointed statements. At a Republican National Committee meeting last year in Washington, he suggested Democrats wanted women to believe they were helpless without government-financed birth control.

"If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without 'Uncle Sugar' coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it," Huckabee said. "Let us take that discussion all across America."

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) today announced the appointment of Marc Cimino to the newly created global position of Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective immediately. Cimino will report to Jody Gerson, UMPG's Chairman and CEO, and will be based at the company's headquarters in Santa Monica.

Cimino joins UMPG from Warner Bros. Records, where he was Executive Vice President & Head of Business & Legal Affairs and a member of the company's core executive team.

In this newly created role at UMPG, Cimino will focus on the company's global business strategy, including playing a key role in guiding public policy and business development.

In making the announcement, Gerson said, "At this time in our business, it's important we work with a global perspective and more closely with our record label partners. Marc's broad experience in recorded music will help bolster our organization and bring a broader industry approach to everything we do, and to the ultimate benefit of our artists and writers."

Cimino said: "I'm grateful and excited to be working for such a dynamic visionary like Jody and for Universal Music Publishing Group. I look forward to working with the entire team around the world, and with our labels and tech partners as we face a rapidly changing business environment with many new opportunities and challenges."

During his ten years at Warner Bros. Records, Cimino rose from Vice President to Executive Vice President, heading up the Business and Legal Affairs and A&R Administration departments, and playing an integral part of the company's strategy in both traditional and new business initiatives. As part of his role at Warner Bros. Records, he participated in the company's government affairs initiatives and spearheaded the structuring and negotiation of agreements with the label's major recording artists.

Prior to Warner Bros. Records, from 1998 to 2004, Cimino held business affairs and business development roles at Sony Music Entertainment.

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) is part of the Universal Music Group and one of the world's leading music publishing companies, representing music in every genre from some of the most important songwriters and catalogs. These include ABBA, Adele, A Great Big World, Jhene Aiko, Alex Da Kid, Bastille, Beach Boys, Beastie Boys, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Justin Bieber, Ruben Blades, Chris Brown, Mariah Carey, Desmond Child, The Clash, Coldplay, J. Cole, Elvis Costello, Miley Cyrus, Neil Diamond, Disclosure, Danny Elfman, Eminem, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Al Green, Haim, Jimi Hendrix, Hit-Boy, Hunter Hayes, Imagine Dragons, Billy Joel, Elton John/Bernie Taupin, B.B. King, Luke Laird, Linkin Park, the Mamas and Papas, Miguel, Ne-Yo, Nicki Minaj, Mumford & Sons, James Napier, Randy Newman, Rudy Perez, Steve Perry, Otis Redding, Darius Rucker, Carole Bayer Sager, Gustavo Santaolalla, Sex Pistols, Paul Simon, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, T-Pain, U2, Keith Urban, Troy Verges, Diane Warren, Andrew Lloyd Webber and more.

Rapper Flavor Flav is due in a Long Island courtroom later this month after being indicted on charges stemming from a traffic stop while driving to his mother's funeral.

Court documents show the rapper, whose real name is William Drayton, was indicted last month on a felony charge of driving with a suspended license. He also faces a speeding violation and two misdemeanors for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

A spokesman for Nassau County acting District Attorney Madeline Singas (SIHNG'-uhs) declined to comment. The spokesman confirmed that Drayton has a Jan. 21 court appearance. Drayton's attorney, who has been seeking to reach a plea agreement, declined to comment.

The rapper-reality TV star from Roosevelt, New York, was arrested Jan. 9, 2014, on the Meadowbrook Parkway.

Bonnaroo has rolled out the lineup for its 2015 event. Kendrick Lamar will hold down the headline spot with Mumford & Sons, Billy Joel, and deadmau5.

In addition, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival lineup includes hip-hop and R&B acts such as Childish Gambino, Run the Jewels, DeJ Loaf, G-Eazy, and SZA.

Bonnaroo will be held on June 11-14 in Manchester, Tenn. Tickets go on sale Jan. 17.

A terminally ill Detroit-area teenager who was surprised by a visit from rapper Eminem has died.

Rainbow Connection Executive Director Mary Grace McCarter said Tuesday that the parents of 17-year-old Gage Garmo told her that he died Monday in their Rochester Hills home.

Gage had a wish fulfilled when Detroit native Eminem stopped by Sunday evening. The Detroit Free Press says the pair sat in the family's living room talking about hip-hop and football.

Gage was diagnosed with bone cancer three years ago, when he was a freshman at Rochester High School.

Friends and classmates used social media to spread Gage's wish to meet Eminem, his musical hero, after he learned last week that he had just days left to live. Michigan-based charity Rainbow Connection set up the meeting.

This Black History Month BET launches its first-ever event miniseries “THE BOOK OF NEGROES,” a six-part historical drama in the tradition of Roots, based on Lawrence Hill’s award-winning, Oprah Winfrey-listed novel (known in the United States as Someone Knows My Name). The highly anticipated television event will run over the course of three consecutive nights in two-hour installments starting Monday, February 16, 2015 at 8 PM ET/PT.

The Book of Negroes depicts the extraordinary life journey of Aminata Diallo (Aunjanue Ellis) – an indomitable African woman who cuts a swath through a world that is pre-disposed to underestimate her. Kidnapped by slave traders in West Africa and subsequently enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata must navigate her way through the American Revolution in New York, the isolated refuge of Nova Scotia and the treacherous jungles of Sierra Leone before ultimately securing her freedom in England at the dawn of the 19th century. Produced by Conquering Lion Pictures, Out of Africa Entertainment, Entertainment One (eOne) and Idelwild Films, the star-studded cast features lead actress Aunjanue Ellis (Ray, The Help), Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men), Oscar and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman, Roots, Boardwalk Empire), Lyriq Bent (Rookie Blue), Oscar nominee Jane Alexander (The Cider House Rules), Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line) and Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle). The highly anticipated event miniseries of from Conquering Lion Pictures, Out of Africa Entertainment, Entertainment One (eOne), and Idlewild Films is executive produced by Damon D'Oliveira (What We Have), Clement Virgo ("The Wire") who also served as co-writer & director, Carrie Stein and Margaret O'Brien.

The Book of Negroes is a historical document which records names and descriptions of 3,000 African-American slaves who had to work for the British army during the American Revolution in order to qualify for their freedom and were evacuated by the British by ship to points in Nova Scotia. The book was assembled by Samuel Birch under the direction of Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester. African Americans who escaped to the British during the American Revolutionary War became the first settlement of Black Canadians. Other Black Loyalists were transported to settlements in several islands in the West Indies and some to London. Recorded in 1783, this 150-page document is the only one to have ever recorded Black Americans in a large, detailed scope of work.

As DJ Premier finishes all the last minute tasks, taking down the soundproofing, in-wall speakers and moving the last bit of his equipment, furniture and hundreds of vinyl records, it’s certainly a hectic time in his life---but it does not mean there isn’t time to reflect on one of the cornerstones of his legacy.

On January 7th, 2015, after nearly twenty-five years, the iconic D&D Studios on the fourth floor of 320 West 37th Street shut its doors. Premier first set up shop at D&D in 1991 to record Gang Starr’s third album, Daily Operation, and ever since it has been both a home and a conduit for artists of all genre’s to attach their lyrics to Preemo’s complex rhythm of the streets.

There have been innumerable sessions with hundreds of established and emerging artists, a veritable slew of classic recordings and even more stories created at D&D Studios, as Premier set up camp to put his stamp on timeless music from Gang Starr, Rakim, KRS-One, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas, Christina Aguilera, D’Angelo, Janet Jackson, Mos Def, Common, Jeru The Damaja, Bumpy Knuckles, The Game, M.O.P., Snoop Dogg, Cee-Lo, Mac Miller, Kanye West, Slaughterhouse, Mack Wilds and many more, to his recently released collaborative project, PRhyme, with Royce Da 5’9", to still unheard and recent recordings with Miguel, Wale, Scarface, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes and Joey Bada$$; all of which were birthed at the legendary Studio.

Twelve years after Premier first set foot in D&D, he bought the studio from its founders, Douglas Grama and David Lotwin, in 2003 and renamed it ‘HeadQcourterz’ after his late friend Kenneth “HeadQcourterz” Walker. While Premier knows the end of D&D closes the book on a major chapter of Hip-Hop history, he also realizes it’s the start of a new phase of his career. "The building was sold in order to change it from commercial business to residential and our leases would not be renewed, so basically that means Everybody Out! It is tough to accept after so many years making that much history there, but life is good and I will continue to make hot music. Passion never leaves your soul and I have a lot of it so I'm ready to continue on." says Premier.

With Premier’s relocation of the “HeadQcourterz” to KAS Music And Sound at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Astoria complete, the three-time Grammy Award winner pushes ahead with an active label (Year Round Records), which Premier will release his debut album, Last Session @320, on in 2015 (a debut album that includes major guest stars) his independent album projects (NYGz, MC Eiht, Lady Of Rage, Khaleel) and begin to heavily focus on stepping into the film and television scoring worlds and use the new “HeadQcourterz” live space to work on a large live show, replete with his own band to tour and play his greatest hits—with so many hits to choose from, the hard part will be coming up with a set list!

The Canadian R&B artist known as The Weeknd was arrested in Las Vegas after police say he hit an officer in the head.

Las Vegas Police Officer Laura Meltzer says 24-year-old Abel Tesfaye was arrested early Saturday in a Las Vegas Strip hotel on suspicion of misdemeanor battery of a protected person. He was taken to the Clark County Detention Center, but wasn't listed on the jail roster on Monday.

Meltzer says police were trying to break up a fight on one of the floors when Tesfaye hit an officer on the side of the head with a closed fist.

She says it doesn't appear that the officer was seriously hurt.

The Weeknd was scheduled for a concert Friday at Drai's Nightclub. He is featured on Ariana Grande's "Love Me Harder."

REVOLT CEO Keith Clinkscales announced a new distribution partnership agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), the not-for-profit cooperative representing independent cable system providers with nearly 1,000 member companies throughout the U.S. and its territories. The multi-platform carriage deal provides that REVOLT, the multi-platform, multi-genre music network founded by Sean "Diddy" Combs, will be available to participating NCTC members' subscribers across televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets and other Web-connected devices.

"As a minority-owned, independent network, we are particularly proud to grow this partnership with NCTC, who represents independent operators of all sizes across all demographics," said REVOLT TV SVP, Head of Content Distribution James Brown. "Coupled with other recent deals, this agreement reinforces the strength of our programming and commitment to continued growth across rural, suburban and urban markets alike."

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with REVOLT on behalf of NCTC members. We look forward to a beneficial partnership for our member companies," said NCTC Executive Vice President of Programming Judy Meyka.

"REVOLT started as a small independent network that now attracts over 50 million young adults through television, digital, social and mobile – anytime, anywhere across America," touts REVOLT Chairman Sean "Diddy" Combs. "This partnership with NCTC allows us to extend our reach and further our goal to be the number one new name in music for fans across every genre."

REVOLT is available in 46 of the 50 top U.S. markets on Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink and Suddenlink, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Atlanta, and DC, with more traditional and non-traditional carriage deals to be announced.

Atlantic recording artist K. Michelle has announced details of her upcoming, headlining tour, dubbed "My Twisted Mind Tour." The first leg (Part One) kicks off February 5th at San Francisco's Mezzanine and then travels through the month (see itinerary below). Additional dates will be unveiled soon.

"My Twisted Mind Tour" celebrates K. Michelle's blockbuster new album, "ANYBODY WANNA BUY A HEART?," which made a historic chart debut upon release last month, entering at #6 on the SoundScan/Billboard 200 -- the year's highest charting debut from a female R&B artist. What's even more exciting, the album -- which includes the hit singles, "Love Em All," "Maybe I Should Call," and "Something About The Night" -- debuted at #2 on Billboard's "Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums" chart as well as at #1 on the iTunes Store's "Top R&B/Soul Albums" ranking.

In addition to its immediate success, the album is among last year's most critically acclaimed releases, named to both Billboard's "10 Best R&B Albums of 2014" and Rolling Stone's "20 Best R&B Albums of 2014." "An excellent album," declared Complex, adding, "It cannot be denied any longer: K. Michelle is leaps and bounds ahead of many of her peers."

In other news, the R&B superstar's 2014 VH1 series, K. Michelle: My Life, recently wrapped its impressive first season, pulling in as many as 2.2 million viewers, with a stronghold of the key 18-49 demographic, during the highly competitive Monday night primetime television timeframe. Known to millions as a cast member on the hit VH1 series, Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, K. Michelle proved an true star as her Atlantic Records debut album, "REBELLIOUS SOUL," made a stunning #1 entry atop Billboard's "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums" chart upon its 2013 release. Furthermore, the album entered the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200 at #2 -- the highest debut on the main chart for a female R&B singer's first album since March 2001.



5 San Francisco, CA Mezzanine
6 Los Angeles, CA Saban Theatre
13 Orlando, FL Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre
16 Baltimore, MD Rams Head
20 Shreveport, LA The Strand (On sale soon)
22 Greensboro, NC Cone Denim Center
25 Raleigh, NC The Ritz
26 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
27 Myrtle Beach, SC HOB


7 Rochester, NY Auditorium Theatre
8 Seattle, WA The Showbox SoDo (On sale soon)
12 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre (On sale soon)

On Tuesday, Universal Music filed a lawsuit against a group of companies including the Centric Group and Keefe Group alleged to be selling "care packages" that family members and friends can send to inmates who are incarcerated in correctional facilities.

Among the items being sent to prisoners, according to a complaint filed in California federal court, are mixtapes featuring performances by artists like James Brown, Eminem, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.

"Defendants boast on their website that their business 'was developed to eliminate contraband,' yet the infringing copies of Plaintiffs’ sound recordings and musical compositions, in which Defendants unlawfully transact and from which they unjustly profit, are contraband personified," states the lawsuit.

A few months ago, Universal put DJ music up for legal examination, and now the company is doing the same for mixtapes.

As the complaint explains, "Mixtapes are a form of recorded music in which DJs combine (or 'mix') tracks, often recorded by different artists, onto a single CD, sometimes creating overlaps and fades between songs, and/or reflecting a common theme or mood. Such so-called 'mixtapes,' unless authorized by the copyright owner or owner of corresponding state law rights, are nothing more than collections of infringing, piratical compilations of copyrighted or otherwise legally protected sound recordings and copyrighted musical composition."

Universal says the "mixtape" is "frequently a cover for piracy," but acknowledges there are authorized distributors out there.

The defendants are alleged not to be in that authorized category, that they are infringing the copyrights of Universal's records and publishing divisions as a "door opener to solicit customers." Indeed, Universal says that the defendants sometimes sell the music at a financial loss, using items like a hip-hop mixtape as a "loss leader to boost sales of their other goods and services." Presumably, Universal doesn't believe the mixtapes fall as a fair use.

For allegedly reproducing, distributing and preparing derivative works based on their compositions, Universal is demanding maximum statutory damages in the amount of $150,000 to each copyrighted work infringed. The plaintiff also is asserting state unfair competition claims and seeking the imposition of a constructive trust, restitution of unlawful proceeds, punitive damages and more. The lawsuit is being handled by Jeffrey Goldman at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell.Source: Hollywood reporter

Drake is on the festival circuit: He's headlining Coachella in April and will also perform at New York's Governors Ball in June.

He will be joined by the Black Keys, "Weird Al" Yankovic and Lana Del Rey in the Big Apple from June 5 to June 7 on Randall's Island.

Tickets for the fifth annual three-day Governors Ball Music Festival go on sale Wednesday. Other performers include Bjork, Deadmau5, Florence + the Machine, Charli XCX, My Morning Jacket and Ryan Adams.

Monster, which co-designed the original Beats By Dr. Dre headphones, is filing suit against Beats Electronics, the firm acquired by Apple in May and co-founded by musician Dr. Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine.

The audio tech company and its CEO, Noel Lee, say in the suit that he and Monster invented the technology behind the Beats By Dr. Dre headphones. The suit claims that Iovine and Dre (Andre Young) committed fraud in pirating the headphones away from Lee and Monster.

The suit, filed in San Mateo (Calif.) County Superior Court, charges that the Beats co-founders concealed the role of Monster and Lee in designing and engineering the headphone line, as well as educating them about engineering, manufacturing, distributing and selling the headphones that Monster and Lee invented.

After severing ties with Monster, Beats was purchased by Apple for $3 billion. But as the Beats co-founders made millions, Monster lost millions from its investment in the rise of Beats, the suit charges. Had Lee retained his original 5% interest in Beats, his total stake in the Beats-Apple deal would have been worth over $100 million, the suit alleges.

When contacted, Apple said that it did not have comment on the suit.

Founded in Nevada in 1979 as Monster Cable, Monster assisted in the design of the popular Beats By Dr. Dre headphones. In a previous interview, Lee, who at one time had been a laser-fusion design engineer at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, said that Monster made 150 samples before Dre and Iovine saw any prototypes. "They went through 20 before it felt right," Lee said.

After hitting the market in 2008, the headphones virtually created a high-end styles category of $300-plus headphones. High-end headphones became a $1 billion market in wholesale revenue in 2013, and Iovine has said Beats itself had revenue surpassing $1 billion last year.

Even before Beats and Monster's five-year manufacturing and distribution deal ended, HTC invested $300 million in Beats in 2011.

Iovine and Dre bought back the entirety of Beats in 2013, a year before Apple acquired the company for $3 billion. Monster lists HTC and Beats board member Paul Wachter among the defendants.

Those transactions were a "sham" that Beats used to exercise its "change of control rights" to fraudulently get the headphones away from Monster, said Joseph Cotchett, an attorney with the California-based law firm of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, which is representing Monster. "Had the partnership expired on its own terms, there would have been no transfer of Monster's years of work on Beats By Dr. Dre."

After conspiring to get rid of Monster, Beats also damaged Monster's reputation for developing products, the suit says.

Monster and Lee are asking for punitive damages.

In an exclusive story published last year by Gizmodo, Monster founder Noel Lee and son Kevin Lee shed light on how they were outmaneuvered by the might of Dre, Iovine and Interscope and suggested that they weren't properly compensated for the development of the original headphones. Source: USA TODAY

After releasing two successful records with his Ugly Heroes brethren, touring 12+ countries in Europe, and honing his craft to a precision point, Detroit writer & emcee Red Pill has signed a multi-album solo artist deal with Mello Music Group for 2015 & 2016. Fans can expect a solo record each of the next two years, along with an EP, compilation contributions, and guest features. More details in the coming weeks.

"(Red Pill) is a writer first and that comes through with his every verse. It's apparent he's commited to the craft of emceeing - able to command a crowd - but at the same time he is committed to all the same things Raymond Carver, James Baldwin, or any writer would be - verisimiltude, having a political soul, and creating art that moves people."

"(Red Pill) is a writer first and that comes through with his every verse. It's apparent he's commited to the craft of emceeing - able to command a crowd - but at the same time he is committed to all the same things Raymond Carver, James Baldwin, or any writer would be - verisimiltude, having a political soul, and creating art that moves people."

Red Pill On Signing:
"I've been a fan of Mello Music Group since 2009 when I first heard Diamond District's "In The Ruff" and then yU's "Before Taxes". I was drawn to the music and what appeared to be a dedication to quality from an independent record label that was just getting going. I've looked up to Apollo Brown, Oddisee, Quelle Chris and most of Mello's roster. After releasing Ugly Heroes, I was approached by the label head and Mello Music himself, Mike Tolle, and offered a deal to put out my own solo material with the label. Starting first as a fan, then as part of an incredible Apollo Brown project and now being able to say that I'm officially part of the Mello Music Group roster is amazing. You grow up wanting to find a record label. Wanting to have your music exposed to a loyal, supportive and incredible fanbase. It takes years and years of hard work, patience and a little bit of delusion to think it can ever happen. I'm happy for the opportunity that I've been given from Mello Music Group and excited to start releasing new music with them."

Nearly a month after he was shot outside his brother-in-law's southern New Jersey home, rapper Beanie Sigel has been released from a hospital.

Pleasantville police say the 40-year-old musician, whose real name is Dwight Grant, left the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City last weekend.

Sigel was shot in the abdomen Dec. 5 at the Pleasantville home, where he had been staying after being released from a federal prison for tax evasion. The shooting occurred shortly after Sigel had dropped his children off at school.

Authorities say Sigel gave investigators a statement about the shooting before he left the hospital, but further details were not disclosed.

No arrests have been made.

An official and media say Joey Bada$$ has been charged in Australia with assaulting a security guard before a performance last week.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. and Australian Associated Press reported Monday that the 19-year-old Brooklyn performer was headed for the stage of a music festival near Byron Bay in New South Wales state Friday when he was asked by a security guard to prove his identity.

Bada$$ allegedly punched the guard, breaking his nose, before continuing to the stage.

Court official Melissa Everson says Bada$$ appeared in the Lismore Local Court on Saturday and was released on bail. She would not confirm media reports that he was charged with assault causing bodily harm.

Nielsen has released some initial data from its upcoming, comprehensive 2014 year-end music report. Overall on-demand streaming of music (both audio and video) grew by 54 percent last year, from 106 billion streams in 2013 to 164 billion in 2014.
"Digital music consumption continues its robust growth, with On-Demand streaming up 54 percent over last year and 164 billion song streams being played in 2014," says David Bakula, SVP Industry Insights, Nielsen Entertainment. "Although overall music sales are showing declines, Vinyl album sales were up 52 percent in 2014, shattering last year’s record-setting total by more than 3 million LPs. In 2014, Vinyl album sales accounted for more than six percent of all physical albums sales."

Vinyl album sales grew by an impressive 52 percent in 2014, from 6.1 million records in 2013 to 9.2 million last year. This is the highest year for vinyl sales since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan first began tracking music sales. Vinyl album sales have increased (year-over-year) for the past nine consecutive years.
However, overall album sales were down by 11 percent in 2014, from 289.4 million in 2013 to 257 million last year. Digital album sales dropped nine percent to 106.5 million (from 117.6 million in 2013) and digital song sales dipped 12 percent to 1.1 billion from 1.26 billion the year before. According to Nielsen, 41 percent of all albums sold in 2014 were digital downloads, the same number as 2013.

Taylor Swift's 1989 was the top-selling album of 2014, with over 3.66 million copies sold, which is even more impressive considering the album was only released in late October. The 2013 release of the Frozen soundtrack was the second-biggest seller last year, followed by Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour, That's Christmas To Me from Pentatonix and the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack.

"Happy" from Pharrell Williams was the top-selling digital single of 2014, with over 6.45 million sales. John Legend's "All Of Me" was #2, followed by "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry, Meghan Trainor's breakthrough hit "All About That Bass" and "Fancy" from Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX.

Producer Easy Mo Bee will celebrate 25 years as one of the most innovative forces in hip hop with the release of a new album, “…And You Don’t Stop!”, available at iTunes on January 10 via Chuck D’s SLAMJamz Record Label. Chuck D, along with SLAMJamz President and COO Janol “Mecca” Holmes, joins Easy Mo Bee as the album’s Executive Producer.

A fixture since the early days of New York rap, Easy Mo Bee started his career with Big Daddy Kane on his groundbreaking “It’s A Big Daddy Thing” album. He helped guide GZA, RZA and the Notorious B.I.G as they developed their sounds and worked with 2Pac, DasEFX, Busta Rhymes, Kurupt, Mos Def. LL Cool J, Slick Rick, Public Enemy and the Wu-Tang Clan. The producer also built a bridge between the music of Miles Davis and hip hop for his final “Doo-Bop” project, which won a GRAMMY Award, and has worked with Alicia Keys and jazz superstar Candy Dulfer. Known for his inventive sampling technique, Easy Mo Bee is revered for his body of work and influence on young producers.

“…And You Don’t Stop!” is the latest release from Chuck D’s SLAMJamz Record label, dedicated to giving independent and underground hip hop artists a platform for their music.

One of the most impactful artists of the 1990's has returned after an 18-year hiatus. The super group responsible for unforgettable records such as "Come and Talk to Me," "Forever My Lady," and "Feenin" gave fans a sneak peek at their newest record "Nobody Wins" with a performance at the Soul Train Awards last month on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014. Jodeci performed a snippet of the record as part of a medley performance of the group's most popular hit songs.

In fact, Jodeci has continued to record records over the past 18 years. However, the group didn't feel a cohesive creative direction until now. "We've recorded hundreds of songs, even if it's bits and pieces and fragments of songs that we could probably live off of for the rest of our lives," Mr. Dalvin explained to RollingStone Magazine. "But when creating this album, we chose a body of work that really represents us as a group and represents what people are expecting to hear from Jodeci as a group. People will be pleasantly surprised."

Jodeci feels that now is the time to return with new music. But the group feels that their return comes with a responsibility. As an important group that has always had a voice in culture, Jodeci wants to return with great music that also serves to entertain and inspire. "Nobody Wins" is a record that discourages domestic violence and violence in general and is a message personal to each member of Jodeci.

"We aren't immune to issues that are important in our community. Domestic violence has always been an issue in relationships, but lately it's been brought to the front of our community consciousness," K-Ci explains.

Jodeci is scheduling the release of their new album in the first quarter of 2015, which will officially celebrate the powerhouse group's triumphant return to music.

Alicia Keys gave birth to son Genesis Ali Dean early on Saturday morning (Dec.27). It's baby number two for the Grammy-winner and her husband, producer-rapper Swizz Beatz, who are also parents to 4-year-old Egypt Daoud.

The 33-year-old singer shared the news on her Instagram account Sunday with a photo of Genesis's footprints. The image also details that the baby was born at 1:52 a.m. and weighs 6 pounds, 5 ounces.

Keys expressed excitement in her social media captions, saying that "the joy of joy is joy" and that she is grateful.

Coming off the smash season finale of her hit VH1 show "K. Michelle: My Life," singer/songwriter K. Michelle debuts at the #1 spot on the iTunes' Top R&B/Soul Album chart, #2 spot on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Chart with her sophomore album Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart?. The album, released last week on December 9th, debuted #6 on the Billboard Top 200, making this the top debut of 2014 for a female R&B artist.

Following the release of singles "Maybe I Should Call," "Love 'Em All," and "Something About The Night," the album garnered countless reviews across the country.

On top of releasing her second solo album in just a year's time, K. Michelle's show "K. Michelle: My Life" just wrapped an impressive first season on VH1. Airing on Mondays at 9PM EST, during the highly competitive Monday night primetime television timeframe, the show has pulled in as many as 2.2 million viewers, with a stronghold of the key 18-49 demographic.

Known to millions as a cast member on the hit VH1 series, "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta," K. Michelle earned acclaim for this summer's full-length "hip-hopera," "K. Michelle: Rebellious Soul - The Musical." The VH1 film -- directed by Golden Globe winner Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther) -- includes explosive, theatrical, and deeply moving renditions of such hit singles as "V.S.O.P.," "Damn," and "Can't Raise A Man" alongside other "REBELLIOUS SOUL" favorites.

"REBELLIOUS SOUL" made a stunning #1 debut atop Billboard's "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums" chart upon its release earlier last summer. Furthermore, the album entered the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200 at #2 -- the highest debut on the main chart for a female R&B singer's first album since March 2001. In addition to its massive popular success, "REBELLIOUS SOUL" has also received widespread critical applause, with the New York Times hailing it as a "milestone... it has the confidence of survival." Vibe praised Michelle's "triumphant vocals," singling out "V.S.O.P." as "energetic and infectious... (the album's) shining star." "REBELLIOUS SOUL" further proved an international sensation, with the UK's The Guardian awarding it four-out-of-five stars, calling it "dramatic and raw... the emergence of a vital voice."

K. Michelle was also among 2013's most honored artists, including such prestigious prizes as Soul Train Awards' "Best New Artist" and the NAACP Image Awards' "Outstanding New Artist." An electrifying and charismatic live performer, K. spent much of the past year on the road, highlighted by "BET Music Matters Presents The Rebellious Soul Tour with K. Michelle," presented by BET's "Music Matters," the network's influential campaign highlighting the next generation of superstars. In addition, the gifted R&B star accompanied Robin Thicke as special guest on 2014's blockbuster "Blurred Lines Tour."

Bobby Shmurda (Ackquille Pollard) will face gun and drug trafficking charges when an arraignment is unsealed in court.

Ackquille Pollard was taken into custody shortly after he left a recording studio near Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday. His indictment will be made public on Thursday.

The arrest stems from an investigation into a series of gang-related shootings and drug trafficking in the city.

Pollard, 20, is named with other defendants in the indictment, said Kati Cornell, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. She declined to detail the charges.

Chad Marshal, another aspiring hip-hop artist known as Rowdy Rebel, was arrested inside the recording studio where police also recovered handguns, authorities said.

The Brooklyn-born Pollard is best known for the hit song "Hot Boy" and for a music video that popularized a dance move called the "Shmoney dance."

A "Hot Boy" video posted on YouTube in August has been viewed tens of millions of times, and Pollard performed the song for a national television audience this month on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

"My music is straight facts," Pollard recently told New York Magazine. "There are a lot of gangsters in my 'hood.'"

Pollard's criminal history included two arrests for gun and drug possession, authorities said.

The names of attorneys for Pollard and Marshal weren't immediately available.

BET Networks today announced that it has appointed Stephen Hill as President of Programming. In this newly created position, Hill will lead the Original Programming, Music Programming & Specials, and the BET News teams responsible for creating, developing, and producing programming across BET. He will report to Debra L. Lee, the Chairman and CEO of BET Networks, and will continue to be based in New York.

As the head of Programming, Hill will be responsible for all aspects of Programming and direct programming and production across BET. BET is a top 20 cable network and the #1 network for the African American audience.

Hill was most recently President of Music Programming & Specials at BET. In this role he was responsible for BET’s music shows and specials including the “BET Awards,” “BET Honors,” “Black Girls Rock,” “The Hip Hop Awards,” and “Celebration of Gospel.” He also served as a member of the team that successfully launched “Real Husbands of Hollywood” starring Kevin Hart, Boris Kodjoe, Duane Martin, Nick Cannon, Nelly and Cynthia Kaye McWilliams. Hill served as Executive Vice President of Entertainment and Music Programming before being promoted to President of Music Programming & Specials.

“I have worked with Stephen for over 15 years, and his passion for the BET Brand has been apparent from the very beginning. He has grown our music shows and specials into iconic and highly-rated programs beloved by our audience,” said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and CEO, BET Networks. “Over the past several years, he has expanded his role into scripted programming, launching our hit series ‘Real Husbands of Hollywood.’ He is well-qualified and ready for this new challenge and I am excited to have him in this new role.”

Prior to joining BET Networks, Hill was the Director of Music Programming at MTV. While there, he was responsible for selecting and programming all genres of videos, working with talent, and supervising the network’s standards processes. Prior to that, he served as the executive producer for the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

“BET has always been a trailblazer and it’s a privilege to be at the helm of programming for a brand that has delivered shows that have, literally, changed the face of television. We will develop and produce fresh, audience-thrilling programming to complement our strong slate of new original content, returning hits and mega-specials,” said Stephen Hill. “I look forward to continuing to link arms with our massively talented team as we work together, marching towards BET's next successes.”

Hill is a graduate of Brown University and a proud native of Washington, D.C.

50 Cent has inked a $78 million deal with new underwear brand RevolutionWear Frigo. Curtis Jackson, took to Instagram to share the news about his big-money contract for the luxury line, which boasts high-tech design with "superior athletic support".

In the post, he wrote, "I just did a deal for $78 million for underwear. What did you muthaf****s do today? Lllllllllooooolllllllllll (laugh out loud) Boom FRIGO (sic)".

50 Cent was recently reported to have become a stakeholder in the undergarment firm, which was founded in 2012, alongside superproducer Timbaland, retired baseball icon Derek Jeter and basketball player Carmelo Anthony.

Hours after his announcement, the rapper tried to convince U.S. talk show host Seth Meyers why customers should pay the $100 price tag for a pair of the Frigo boxer briefs. He joked, "This $100 underwear were actually hand-created and actually hand-stitched."

Getting serious, he added, "They have a technology in 'em where you can put your man apples... For you to place your sack in another sack that has been ergonomically-designed for comfort. But you know, women spend so much money on lingerie, it's the right project for men."

50 Cent is no stranger to multi-million dollar deals - he famously banked $100 million (£62.5 million) after taxes in 2007 when Coca-Cola purchased his Vitamin Water brand, created in partnership with Glaceau beverage bosses, for $4 billion.

Just 2 months ago under doctor’s orders, August Alsina was forced to cancel his first headlining performance in London which was part of Kevin Hart’s HartBeat Weekend UK. Eager fans were pleased to find out last week that Alsina would bring his ‘Testimony Live’ to London this coming February, so eager that when tickets went on sale last Friday, the event sold out in just 12 hours. The concert, presented by Live Nation, will take place February 24th at Koko’s, with a Paris date on the 22nd at Bataclan, and additional dates forthcoming...

Also, Last night in Tampa Florida, R&B Superstar Usher and openers, August Alsina & DJ Cassidy, wrapped ‘The UR Experience’ tour. The trio hit 27 cities in just over 6 weeks spanning North America. For Alsina, it was his 3rd tour this year following his opening for 2 Chianz on the ‘2 Good to Be T.R.U.’ tour in the spring and his own ‘Testimony Live’ tour this past summer. Now, Alsina prepares for the 3-city ‘X’ tour with “Hold You Down” collaborator and friend Chris Brown which kicks off this Friday in Jacksonville, FL and continues on to hit Columbia, SC and Birmingham, AL.

NE-YO returns with his first album in two years, Non-Fiction, which will be released in the U.S. on January 27, 2015 by Motown Records/Compound Entertainment. The international release will follow on February 16.

Non-Fiction finds NE-YO collaborating with some of the most talented names in music today. Juicy J is featured on the new single, “She Knows,” which was produced by powerhouse pop guru Dr. Luke (Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus). Billboard hailed the track as “spare and hard-hitting” while Complex praised its “traditional R&B style.”

“This track is dedicated to the kind of strong, confident woman who demands attention when she walks in the room. All you can think of is, ‘yeah she knows.’ She knows she is beautiful. She knows all eyes are on her. She knows how to command the room,” explains NE-YO. “Dr. Luke’s production is incredible and J brings his club swag to the track. No matter what the song is about, he can always take the subject matter home.”

Other featured artists include Candice, David Guetta, Jeezy, Charisse Mills, Schoolboy Q and T.I. “Time of Our Lives,” NE-YO’s new collaboration with Pitbull, appears on both Non-Fiction and Pitbull’s new album.

The pre-order for Non-Fiction launches today. Fans who pre-order Non-Fiction on iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon will instantly receive “She Knows” feat. Juicy J, “Money Can’t Buy” feat. Jeezy and “Religious.” Non-Fiction will be available in standard and deluxe configurations. The iTunes and Target editions of the deluxe album will each contain two additional tracks exclusive to those retailers.

As its title suggests, every song on Non-Fiction is derived from a true story. Some are NE-YO’s own personal tales while others were submitted by fans on social-media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

“I didn’t just want to tell my story. I like letting people try to guess which is which!” explains NE-YO. “I’m a storyteller: with this album, I wanted to put a magnifying glass on that. I wanted Non-Fiction to feel cinematic: each track gives listeners something entertaining, yet if they take their time with it, they’ll discover different dimensions and subplots.”

NE-YO was joined in the studio by production mainstays from throughout his career such as Shae Taylor and Stargate plus new associates Key Wayne and Glass John and members of his own Compound Music production team, including Corporal. DJ Camper (JAY Z, Kanye West, John Legend) also worked on many tracks.

The new songs are the kind of ultra-relevant narratives blended with powerful hooks that NE-YO became renowned for – both on his own hits like “So Sick,” “Closer” and “Miss Independent” and tracks he’s helped craft for Rihanna, Beyoncé, Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Whitney Houston, Pitbull, Ciara and many others. Non-Fiction follows his late 2012 release, R.E.D. (Realizing Every Dream), which received stellar reviews. USA Today noted, "There isn't a more natural singer/songwriter in contemporary R&B than NE-YO" and The Washington Post hailed him as an “extremely gifted and versatile songwriter." NE-YO's first three studio albums debuted at No. 1 on the SoundScan chart and were all certified RIAA Platinum. He is a three-time GRAMMY® winner and a two-time winner at the BET, MOBO and Soul Train Music awards.

The superstar rapper will receive the Visionary Award next month at the BET Honors. West — who has called himself a visionary and more — will be one of five luminaries honored at the eighth annual event, to be hosted by Wayne Brady.

Usher will receive the Musical Arts Award for his two-decade career, while Phylicia Rashad will receive the Theatrical Arts Award. Johnneta Betsch Cole, director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art and former president of Spelman College, will receive the Education Award. Former Microsoft Chairman John W. Thompson will receive the Technology and Business Award.

The BET Honors will be taped Jan. 24 in Washington and will air Feb. 23. Ticket sales will benefit the National CARES Mentoring Program. Past honorees include Maya Angelou and Whitney Houston.

2014 has marked a successful touring year for the ’Testimony’ singer and New Orleans native August Alsina, with 3 national tours in one calendar year. From winning over hip-hop crowds while opening for ATL’s own 2 Chainz, to selling out 18 consecutive shows on his first headlining tour ‘Testimony Live’, and capping off the year opening for veteran R&B superstar Usher on ‘The UR Experience’ tour, playing for 20,000 plus at historic arenas like Madison Square Garden and Staples Center. The breakout star is now set to take his ‘Testimony Live’ brand to select international cities in 2015, announcing the first 2 Live Nation dates, Paris on February 22nd at Bataclan, and London on February 24th at Koko. Having toured the UK and Germany previously on club tours, ‘Testimony Live’ will mark Alsina’s first live headlining shows in Europe.

First introduced to the world in 1984 as one of Def Jam Records’ flagship artists, LL COOL J helped develop the genre into the musical and cultural phenomenon that is today’s hip-hop. All the while, LL COOL J has remained a musical and cultural force, a living icon and a significant, relevant artist still churning out the hits. Now, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of his classic album Mama Said Knock You Out, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will release a two-CD Deluxe Edition and a vinyl reissue on December 9 as part of the year-long celebration of Def Jam’s own landmark 30th year in operation.

The two-CD version will include the original album, an extra 14-track disc of remixes of the release’s five singles; including the title cut, “Around the Way Girl,” “The Boomin’ System,” “6 Minutes of Pleasure” and the classic diss record “To Da Break Of Dawn,” as well as bonus entries “Eat Em Up L Chill” and the main title track from the 1991 film Strictly Business. The original vinyl will also be reissued with an updated treatment showcasing LL’s new, eye-popping 3D cover featuring a color version of the original’s black and white gold jewelry.

Released on August 27, 1990, the Marley Marl-produced album (with a front cover inspired by a Vogue Italy magazine shoot) went on to sell more than two million copies. The title track from Mama Said Knock You Out reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold by the RIAA, while LL COOL J won Best Rap Solo Performance at the 1992 Grammy® Awards.

Grenco Science proudly welcomes Wiz Khalifa's record label and management company, Taylor Gang Ent., as an official partner of the industry's leading vaporizer company. In celebration of this revolutionary collaboration, Grenco Science unveils the first two releases in the Taylor Gang collection, the Taylor Gang | microG and Taylor Gang | G Slim Vaporizer.

The partnership embodies the essence of Taylor Gang's next-level presence and style, showcasing the microG in its most advanced form to date. This particular microG carries the theme of a top-secret mission to space, which is befitting because the Taylor Gang | microG took flight to a height of 114,343 feet becoming the first vaporizer in space.

The preferred technology of Taylor Gang, the microG possesses an industry-leading functionality Grenco Science products are known for, and a sleekness and style that are second to none.
"It's an honor for Taylor Gang to join the Grenco family," says Wiz Khalifa. "After using G Pens for years, it only made sense to collaborate."

Approved by Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, Berner, Sledgren, Chevy Woods, Tuki Carter, J.R. Donato and Courtney Noelle, the Taylor Gang collection is available now.

Universal Music Group (UMG) has named Mike Tunnicliffe, the former Chief Growth & Marketing Officer for GroupM, to the newly created role of Executive Vice President, Business Development & Partnerships, U.S., effective January 1, 2015. Tunnicliffe, who will be based in New York and report to UMG's Executive Vice President, U.S. Recorded Music, Michele Anthony, will oversee new business activity for UMG related to brand partnerships, strategic marketing alliances and marketing programs for advertisers. In his new position, Tunnicliffe will work closely with Olivier Robert-Murphy, Global Head of New Business, and his team, the strategic marketing groups at the company's labels and UMG's digital, commercial and marketing departments in creating new revenue opportunities for artists, labels and artists' brands.

In making the announcement, Anthony said, "As the industry continues to evolve, we're seeing an increasing number of opportunities to create value for our artists and labels by scaling and leveraging UMG's incredible roster and forming dynamic partnerships with brands. With an executive of Mike's caliber leading our efforts in the U.S. combined with Universal Music's unparalleled talent and iconic labels, we are taking another important step in redefining the role of the music company in our rapidly transforming business."

Tunnicliffe said, "As content continues to drive the growth of platforms and the development of new consumption models, I can't think of a better time to join the progressive team at Universal Music which is leading the transformation of the music industry. I look forward to bringing my years of experience working with brands and content companies and creators in developing new revenue streams for UMG and its artists."

Tunnicliffe joined GroupM, the world's largest media investment management company, in 2010. At GroupM, he led major business development and revenue growth activities across the company's agencies, including Mediacom, Mindshare, MEC and Maxus, along with U.S.-based specialist businesses in digital, content, analytics and trading spaces. He was instrumental in winning clients such as NBC Universal, NBCU Digital and Nestle USA and was responsible for leading the agencies client facing teams to generate three-fold growth in revenues from GroupM's specialist businesses.

Prior to GroupM, Tunnicliffe was a partner at Tuna Music and SAS Digital Inc., where he focused on creating new revenue streams in both the brands and entertainment worlds through partnerships, strategic alliances and the creation of intellectual property along with a variety of alternative marketing ideas. Prior positions included Global Chief Client Officer, Initiative Media Worldwide for the Interpublic Group, overseeing clients in their UK and New York offices and Group Managing Director of the four main UK business units of CIA Group plc/TEMPUS Group plc (now part of WPP plc).

Universal Music Group's labels include A&M Records, Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note Records, Capitol Christian Music Group, Capitol Records, Capitol Records Nashville, Caroline, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, EMI Records Nashville, Fonovisa, Geffen Records, Harvest, Interscope Records, Island Records, Machete Music, Manhattan, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Republic Records, Universal Music Latino, Verve Music Group, Virgin Records, Virgin EMI Records, as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalogue of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world's most popular artists and their recordings. UMG's catalogue is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes Global Digital Business, its new media and technologies division and Bravado, its merchandising company.

Tyga has invested in Shine Papers, inventors of 24K gold rolling papers and tattooed blunts, in a deal worth $5MM.

The multi-platinum recording artist will serve as the face of the brand as well as Creative Director for new projects.

"I recognize Shine as innovators and tastemakers in their industry. These are the same qualities I try to embody as an artist so it was a natural fit." Says Tyga. "When people want to celebrate and go big, they order bottles when they are drinking. Shine is the ONLY company bringing that premium experience to the smoking industry. Why burn regular paper when you can burn 24kt Gold?"

Tyga has sold over 10 million records worldwide, garnering awards and recognition from The Grammys, Video Music Awards, American Music Awards, Soul Train awards, Billboard and so on. His brand Last Kings is one of the hottest names in apparel outselling major brands in retail stores all over the world.

Shine Papers has experienced significant growth and notoriety since it came into the marketplace last year, with the invention of tattooed blunts and 24K gold rolling papers, which were used as tour merchandise by Miley Cyrus.

"We're bringing innovation and luxury to the world of smoking in a way that's never been done before. Tyga's brand fits perfectly with the lifestyle our products are about, and gold is a major part of what we both do. This partnership gives us an unparalleled platform in our industry to develop new products and launch them on a global scale. He's releasing the Gold Album and we invented 24K gold rolling papers. It's a perfect fit," says Shine Papers spokesperson Dave B.

Arriba! Brands and Snoop Dogg have announced their business collaboration. Snoop Dogg has invested in Arriba Brands, the maker of Arriba Horchata, Arriba Horchata + Energy, and Arriba Horchata + Coffee - a product portfolio in the hot Horchata beverage segment. Arriba is a dairy based Horchata product made with real dairy and infused with cinnamon,and Arriba Horchata Plus Energy is also infused with B vitamins and energy.

"We are fired up about having Snoop Dogg as a creative partner in our business” said Arriba Co-Founder Dino Sarti. “We think Snoop is an incredible advocate for our brand. He is an Icon. He has his finger on the pulse of popular culture, exactly where the Arriba brand lives.

Arriba has shown impressive growth and tremendous mass appeal since its launch in early 2014 with an exclusive 7-Eleven national distribution deal. The brand is now rolling out across the nation with significant retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, Costco and Safeway. The beverage is a gluten free, All Natural option that will be available to consumers across the country with Snoop Dogg’s investment.

“Horchata is a feel good, comfort drink. Arriba took this household recipe and flipped it with Energy and Coffee. This is a game changer in the beverage industry. I’m always looking for businesses that take it to the next level, which is why I'm looking forward to consulting with the brand” said Snoop Dogg.

Snoop’s role will be to consult with Arriba in creative marketing, which includes product packaging and expansion of additional flavors. Arriba will have a presence at BevNET in Santa Monica on December 7-8, 2014.

SremmLife, the upcoming debut album from hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, will be available for digital pre-order beginning Tuesday, December 9, with the album officially released on January 6, 2015. Executive Produced by Mike WiLL Made-It (Producer of the Year at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards and executive producer of Miley Cyrus' #1 Bangerz and Future's Honest, which debuted atop the Billboard Hip-hop and R&B charts), SremmLife marks the first release from his Ear Drummer Records/Interscope Records imprint.

"It's dope to see these guys work hard and stay humble, to come from nothing and become a part of the Ear Drummer movement - our family - working sun up to sun down, recording, coming up with new ideas. The impact is so strong now. It's amazing to see "No Flex Zone" and "No Type," two songs that we did last year, become two of the biggest singles this year, to have the cultural impact that they're having.

"The album came together so easily and organically - it was really a fun album to make. I'm just as excited about this album as I was about Miley Cyrus's album, as I was about Future's album. This album is as special to me as any project I've ever been involved with. People are learning now that these guys are superstars, they're here to stay. SremmLife is just round one."

Celebrating the announcements, Rae Sremmurd will perform their new hit, "No Type," on NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Tuesday, December 2. "No Type" has hit the Top 5 at Urban radio and #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart as well as #6 R&B and #4 Rap. The next single from SremmLife will be "Throw Sum Mo" featuring Nicki Minaj and Young Thug.

Rae Sremmurd, the duo of real-life brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy were born and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi. They were signed to Ear Drummer Records, and in May released their debut single "No Flex Zone," a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (#11 R&B and #8 Rap).

Mike WiLL Made-It has scored a dozen gold, platinum or double platinum hits since just 2012, including for Future, Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Rihanna, Lil Wayne, and Drake, plus Miley Cyrus' massive pop hit "We Can't Stop" and his own 2013 debut single "23," featuring Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, and Juicy J

More than twenty years has passed since one of hip-hop's most seminal groups Wu-Tang Clan dropped their debut album. Seven years after their last album and in the face of a myriad of challenges, RZA, GZA, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, U-God, Masta Killa, Ghostface Killah, Cappadonna and a posthumous Ol' Dirty Bastard return for their highly-anticipated new album, A Better Tomorrow, which is available on Itunes now.

Emerging in 1993, the Staten Island, NY-based Wu-Tang Clan proved to be the most revolutionary rap group of the mid-'90s releasing five group and 19 compliation albums totaling over 6 platinum records and over 40 million sold. Turning the standard concept of a hip-hop crew inside out, the Wu-Tang Clan were assembled as a loose congregation of nine MCs who harnessed a group dynamic as a set-up for a number of solo albums now considered classics.

Rapper Meek Mill will be released from prison early today, according to FOX news. Mill whose real name is Robert Williams was sentenced to three to six months in prison for probation violation in July. That same month, a judge denied his request for early parole.

The incarceration has also delayed his sophomore album, Dreams Worth More Than Money.

Reports say the rapper must do community service and treatment. He will also not be allowed to travel outside of Philadelphia. Source: Fox Philly

Soul Train Awards 2014 celebrated and honored soul music’s brightest new stars as well as R&B’s greatest legends during the star-studded show, which aired on CENTRIC and BET on November 30, 2014. Chris Brown was the big winner of the night, walking away with three awards, while Pharrell Williams and Beyonce both took home two. SOUL TRAIN AWARDS 2014 was hosted by talk show queen Wendy Williams and featured show-stopping performances by Chris Brown, Jodeci, Nico & Vinz, Tinashe, Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott and Da Brat, and also honored funk music icons Kool & The Gang with the Legend Award.

Soul Train Awards 2014 kicked off with Chris Brown performing a medley of his hits, including “Yo (Excuse Me Miss),” “New Flame,” and “Loyal,” bringing the crowd to their feet. Moments later, Wendy Williams lit up the stage with a glitzy toast to Las Vegas as she waltzed alongside Boris Kodjoe in the opening number. Breakout performers Nico & Vinz took the stage next and belted out their smash hit "Am I Wrong" before wowing the crowd with their new single, “In Your Arms." After this performance, audience members joined We Are Toonz and their troop of dancers in a lively rendition of this year’s dance craze, the Nae Nae. Later in the show, Jodeci reunited onstage to perform classic fan favorites “Freek'n You,” “Come and Talk to Me,” “Stay” and “Forever My Lady,” in addition to debuting their new single, "Nobody Wins." To close out the show, a group of artists honored Kool & The Gang by performing some of the group’s greatest hits; artists included Tamar Braxton, MC Lyte, Ma$e, Doug E. Fresh, and hip hop emcees Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott and Da Brat, who reunited and closed out the night with a crowd-pleasing performance of their 1996 platinum single “Not Tonight” (a remix of Kool & The Gang’s hit “Ladies Night”).

Soul Train Awards 2014 2014 honored artists in 12 different categories. Winners included Nico & Vinz (Best New Artist), Beyoncé (Best R&B/Soul Female Artist), Trey Songz (Best R&B/Soul Male Artist), “Beyoncé” by Beyoncé (Album of the Year), and “Happy” by Pharrell Williams (Song of the Year). The full list of winners is below.

Best New Artist - Nico & Vinz
Centric Certified Award - Leela James
Best Gospel and/or Inspirational Song - Erica Campbell feat. Lecrae - “Help”
Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year - Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne and Tyga - “Loyal”
The Chaka Khan Award for Best R&B/Soul Female Artist - Beyoncé
Best R&B/Soul Male Artist - Trey Songz
Album of the Year - Beyoncé - “Beyoncé”
Song of the Year - Pharrell Williams - “Happy”
The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award - John Legend (Toby Gad, John Legend) - “All Of Me”
Best Dance Performance - Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne and Tyga - “Loyal”
Best Collaboration - Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne and Tyga - “Loyal”
Video of the Year – “Happy” (Pharrell Williams) – We are from L.A.

Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and convener, Black Women's Roundtable, released the following statement regarding the Ferguson grand jury's decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the unjust killing of Michael Brown:

The decision by the grand jury in Ferguson, MO not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting and killing of unarmed Michael Brown is a travesty of justice. We believe the St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch's gross mishandling of this case is inexcusable.

The prosecutor appeared to serve as a defense attorney instead of prosecuting attorney seeking justice for an unarmed 18-year-old teenager. Further, the prosecutor's reckless decision to release the grand jury decision at 9 pm is a critical example of his mishandling of this case.

We urge the U. S. Justice Department to continue its full federal investigation in the wrongful death of Michael Brown, as well as its investigation of excessive police misconduct in the Ferguson Police Department and hope they bring civil rights charges against Officer Wilson

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Black Women's Roundtable and Black Youth Vote joins the civil rights and social justice community in a call for an end to racial profiling of our young Black men and women who are losing their lives across the country at alarming rates at the hands of police officers who are sworn to protect and serve.

Further, we continue to pray that justice will prevail for the Brown family and stand with them in solidarity in their call for peaceful protest and justice for their son Michael.

A grand jury composed of one black man, two black women, three white women and six white men; have finally revealed their verdict, choosing not to indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.

Following the announcement, the Brown family has released a statement via their lawyer:

“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen. Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera. We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.”

Though Quincy Jones and LL Cool J never collaborated musically, the rapper-actor says Jones has played a major role in his life.

"You just really taught me to be a man," LL Cool J said Wednesday in a heartfelt introduction of his mentor and friend at Ebony magazine's annual Power 100 gala, where Jones was the guest of honor.

He received a lifetime achievement award at the event, which recognizes black Americans who are wielding considerable power, such as TV producer Shonda Rhimes, New York Times editor Dean Baquet, physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Little League star Mo'Ne Davis.

LL Cool J said Jones is like a father to him and called him "the greatest producer in the history of music." Fittingly, the 81-year-old producer, composer and philanthropist was celebrated in song.

Chaka Khan also said Jones feels like family. He's "like an uncle, even a father," she said as she dedicated her performance of "Sweet Thing" to him.

James Ingram sang two hits that Jones produced: "Just Once" and "One Hundred Ways." Ingram also shared a duet with Patti Austin.

Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick got attendees dancing and singing with their original 1980s hits "The Show" and "La Di Da Di." Savion Glover performed a dance of his own.

Jones was recognized for his philanthropic efforts and six-decade career. He's worked with the greats, from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson. He's scored feature films — 38 of them — and earned seven Academy Award nominations. He brought Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith to broader audiences.

"We're not, any of us, above being a groupie when it comes to Quincy Jones," Colin Powell said in a video about the honoree.

Jones said he was especially humbled by the Ebony award because he considered the magazine's founder a mentor.

"Ebony and Jet were part of the glue that bonded us together as a people," he said. "Black men and women in this country saw for the very first time that they were not alone in a vast wilderness; that their loves, dreams and sorrows were shared by people who looked just like them all over this country."

The music industry tracker says it's transforming the Billboard 200 chart from a sales-based ranking to one that better measures music consumption.

The chart currently tracks each week's top 200 albums by sales. The updated ranking will include streaming and digital track sales beginning Dec. 3.

It marks the biggest update since 1991, when Nielsen's point-of-sale data was added to measure album sales.

Billboard says the new methodology aims to provide a more comprehensive sense of an album's popularity, and acts like Ariana Grande and Maroon 5 are likely to benefit because their streaming and digital song sales have been outperforming their album sales.

This move comes after music acts like Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean pulled their tunes from the streaming service Spotify.

Today Privateer Holdings announced the creation of Marley Natural, the world’s first global cannabis brand. Privateer Holdings is the world’s first private equity firm investing exclusively in the legal cannabis industry. Marley Natural will offer premium cannabis products that honor the life and legacy of Bob Marley as well as his belief in the benefits of cannabis.

“We are joining with Privateer Holdings because they understand and respect our father’s legacy,” said Rohan Marley, Bob’s son.

Starting in late 2015 in certain jurisdictions where regulations permit, Marley Natural will begin offering heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains inspired by those Bob Marley enjoyed. In addition to cannabis, Marley Natural will offer cannabis- and hemp-infused topicals, including sun repair creams and lotions containing Jamaican botanicals such as aloe and coconut, as well as accessories, including limited edition products based on those that Bob preferred. As a brand with a strong social conscience, Marley Natural’s business model and philanthropic initiatives will be built to ensure that families and communities who have been harmed by prohibition have the opportunity to benefit from the new, legal cannabis economy.

Bob Marley, a Jamaican-born musician, became a global superstar and advocated for peace, unity, social justice and personal freedom through his music. His greatest hits compilation, Legend, is the world’s best-selling reggae album, with more than 27 million copies sold worldwide. Marley was also a well-known advocate for “the herb,” as he called cannabis, which he said brought him inner peace and furthered his creativity. “When you smoke the herb it reveals you to yourself,” Marley said.

Privateer Holdings and the Marley family began discussing the possibility of working together in early 2013 and quickly realized their common values – social change, environmental sustainability and building a professional, responsible and legal cannabis industry. Privateer Holdings is committed to ending the social harms caused by prohibition, just as the Marley family carries on Bob’s vision of social justice through their charitable and business ventures. The Marley family’s strong commitment to sustainability will be carried forward by Marley Natural’s use of organic growing mediums and fertilizers.

“My dad would be so happy to see people understanding the healing power of the herb,” said Cedella Marley, Bob’s daughter. “He viewed the herb as something spiritual that could awaken our well-being, deepen our reflection, connect us to nature and liberate our creativity. Marley Natural is an authentic way to honor his legacy by adding his voice to the conversation about cannabis and helping end the social harms caused by prohibition.”

“Marley Natural is a partnership between two cannabis pioneers,” said Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings. “The Marley family has been an admired voice in the cannabis movement for more than 50 years and Privateer Holdings is the leader in building professional, mainstream cannabis brands. We’ve learned a lot over the past year about Bob’s views towards cannabis and how he viewed the herb differently. We are honored to work with the Marley family to bring his voice to a professional, authentic and modern brand that will be a defining first in the cannabis industry.”

“My husband believed ‘the herb’ was a natural and positive part of life,” said Rita Marley, Bob’s wife, “and he felt it was important to the world. He looked forward to this day.”

Trill Entertainment and Atlantic Records have announced the long awaited release of the new album from legendary Baton Rouge rapper Boosie BadAzz. "TOUCH DOWN 2 CAUSE HELL" drops everywhere in February 2015. The album is preceded by the new single, "Like A Man (Feat. Rich Homie Quan)," available at all DSPs.

Boosie BadAzz -- until recently known worldwide as Lil' Boosie -- is among the most celebrated rappers of his generation. The Baton Rouge native first lit up the hip hop underground at just 17 and soon teamed with the renowned label Trill Entertainment to unleash a series of undisputed classics, including 2003's "GHETTO STORIES" and 2004's "GANGSTA MUSIK" (both with longtime collaborator Webbie), and 2009's top 10 breakthrough, "SUPERBAD: THE RETURN OF BOOSIE BADAZZ." His fifth and most recent solo album, 2010's "INCARCERATED," was recorded and released while serving a 96-month prison sentence at Angola Louisiana State Penitentiary. The album earned widespread acclaim, with SPIN hailing it as "an enormously heartfelt album that makes his legal plight even more of a feel-bad story."

Released in March 2014 after serving a reduced sentence of 52 months, Boosie made his first public statements at the #BOOSIESPEAKS press conference, streamed live from New Orleans to his global fan following. The event proved one of the largest urban streams in Atlantic Records history with 40K people logged on and 177K overall viewers.

Since then, Boosie has been among this year's most active and in demand rappers, with appearances on such tracks as 2 Chainz "Wuda Cuda Shuda (Feat. Lil Boosie)," Dorrough Music's "Beat Up The Block (Feat. Lil Boosie)," DJ Mustard's "Face Down (Feat. Lil Wayne, Big Sean, YG & Lil Boosie)," Jeezy's "Beez Like (Feat. Lil Boosie)," and T.I.'s "Jet Fuel (Feat. Boosie Badazz)."

The legendary artist D'Angelo is proud to announce The Second Coming Tour. Combining 17 performances across Europe, The Second Coming Tour is a brand new show sure to introduce audiences to a new side of D'Angelo. Known for frequently changing his set lists, D'Angelo and his band The Vanguard combine many popular hits with new songs and fresh interpretations of covers. Taking on the role of band leader, singer, guitarist, and keyboardist, D'Angelo surrounds himself with award-winning groups of musicians. This edition of The Vanguard includes bassist Pino Palladino, guitarists Jesse Johnson and Isaiah Sharkey, keyboardist Cleo "Pookie" Sample and drummer John Blackwell. Despite the increasing popularity of sequencers, auto-tune, backing tracks, and lip synching, D'Angelo and his band The Vanguard perform every note live.

The Second Coming Tour Dates:
February 11th 2015- Zurich, Switzerland @ Kaufleuten
February 12th 2015- Neu-Isenburg, Germany @ Hugenottenhalle
February 14th 2015- Berlin, Germany @ Columbiahalle
February 16th 2015- Paris, France @ Palais Des Congres
February 17th 2015- Birmingham, UK @ Academy
February 18th 2015- Manchester, UK @ Apollo

February 20th - London, UK @ Apollo
February 24th - Hamburg, Germany @ Docks
February 27th - Oslo, Norway @ Sentrum Scene
February 28th - Stockholm, Sweden @ Annex

March 2nd - Amsterdam, Holland @ Paradiso
March 6th - Cologne, Germany @ Tanzbrunnen
March 7th - Brussels, Belgium @ Forest National

About D'Angelo:
Michael D'Angelo Archer was born in Richmond, VA to the son of a Pentecostal minister. He began teaching himself piano as a very young child, and at age 18, he won the amateur talent competition at Harlem's Apollo Theater three weeks in a row. In 1991, he signed a publishing deal with EMI.

D'Angelo's first major success came in 1994 as a writer/producer, helming the single "U Will Know" on the Jason Lyric soundtrack; That helped lead to the success of his debut solo album, 1995's Brown Sugar, which went on to sell over 2 million copies. With the title track "Lady" the album continued to soar on the charts. Defining D'Angelo as one of the founding fathers and leading lights of the neo-soul movement of the mid-to-late '90s; along with artists like Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and Maxwell.

In early 2000, D'Angelo released his sophomore album, Voodoo which debuted at number one, an indication of just how large and devoted his fan base was. The lead single "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" was a smash on the R&B charts and won a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal; likewise, Voodoo won for Best R&B album.

After nearly a decade, D'Angelo is back and is proud to announce The Second Coming Tour which encompasses 17 dates across Europe.

R&B singer Keyshia Cole attacked Birdman's personal assistant in a jealous rage that injured her hands, face and mouth, the assistant claims in a $1 million lawsuit.

In her Tuesday lawsuit in Superior Court, Sabrina Mercadel says she has been "platonic friends" since childhood with Birdman, whose real name is Bryan Williams, and has been his personal assistant for several years.

Mercadel claims she was the victim of Cole's unprovoked attack when she visited the rapper at his Westwood home on Sept. 19 to listen to his new album "Rich Gang," and offer feedback. Mercadel says Cole confronted her as she walked out of the bathroom and was getting ready to leave, screaming: "'Who the fuck are you! What are you doin' with my man!?'"

Though rumors were swirling about a romantic relationship between Birdman and Cole, Mercadel maintains that she could care less who her old friend was dating. "Given the fact that Mercadel's relationship with Williams was strictly platonic, it was of no consequence to her who Williams was dating," the 9-page lawsuit states.

After suggesting that Mercadel was a prostitute by telling her in a "belligerent and condescending manner, 'You can get your money later,'" Cole attacked Mercadel, following her all the way out of the house to the elevators, according to the lawsuit.

Mercadel claims that by the time she made it to the lobby, Cole had hit her on the butt and in the face, pulled her hair, clawed her "nails against Mercadel's face and inside her mouth," and threw several "hard objects" at her.

According to the complaint, Cole was arrested for the assault while Mercadel went to hospital to treat her injuries. Mercadel also sued Active Property Management, and Carlyle Residences Home Owners Association for letting Cole into Birdman's home.

She seeks $1 million in damages for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and premises liability. She is represented by James A. Bryan with the Cochran Firm California. Source: Courthouse News

Omarion Finally Reveals His "SEX PLAYLIST"; Long Awaited MMG/Atlantic Debut Album Set for Exclusive Digital Release; New Single "Post to Be (Feat. Chris Brown & Jhene Aiko)" GRAB IT HERE

Maybach Music Group/Atlantic recording artist Omarion has announced the digital release of his anticipated new album. "SEX PLAYLIST" arrives at all DSPs on December 2nd.

Omarion's MMG/Atlantic debut and first full-length release in more than four years, "SEX PLAYLIST" is highlighted by the new single, "Post To Be (Feat. Chris Brown & Jhene Aiko)" http://youtu.be/FK_wiPiVZV8. The track is produced by DJ Mustard (Wiz Khalifa, Trey Songz, Ty Dolla $ign).

A multi-platinum certified and GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer, actor, author, and producer, Omarion is a 21st century superstar of the first order. "O," his 2005 solo debut, was a chart-topping phenomenon, entering the Billboard 200 at #1 on its way to RIAA platinum certification. The album's 2006 follow-up, "21," also arrived atop the SoundScan/Billboard 200, fueled in part by the gold certified smash single, "Ice Box." In 2012, Omarion joined forces with Maybach Music Group CEO Rick Ross for the blockbuster single, "Let's Talk," featured on MMG's hugely successful "SELF MADE VOL. 2" compilation. The "CARE PACKAGE" and "CARE PACKAGE 2" EPs soon followed, as did additional tracks on 2013's "SELF MADE VOL. 3."

Currently starring on VH1's hit series, Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, Omarion has made a range of promotional appearances in recent weeks, including a visit to FOX's The Real. Omarion credits his Los Angeles based management/production firm, Art Club Intl, for helping him navigate and maintain success in this tumultuous climate of the entertainment industry.

Taxpayers may wind up paying about $170,000 to cover expenses associated with Made in America, the two-day music festival promoted by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and held outside City Hall.

Garcetti aides expect the city's tab for the commercial event, held over Labor Day weekend, will reach nearly $670,000. The company that staged the event, Live Nation, was required to provide $500,000 to pay for police patrols, street closures, trash removal and other city services.

Garcetti played a major role in bringing the festival to L.A. for the first time. Held in downtown's Grand Park, it drew tens of thousands of people and was restricted to those who bought tickets or received complimentary passes. On Monday, the mayor argued the event provided a benefit to the city that exceeded any unreimbursed expenses.

"We will absolutely net more as a city than we would" if it hadn't happened, he said. "I'm confident of that."

One neighborhood activist said Garcetti and other city officials should have driven a harder bargain with Live Nation.

"I just don't think the city should pay a penny," said James O'Sullivan, president of the Miracle Mile Residential Assn. "How many sidewalks can that pay for? How many pipes can it fix? That crucial infrastructure is crumbling, or deteriorating, under our feet."

Initially, single-day tickets for the festival sold for just under $100, with weekend passes costing $185. Prices were discounted in the final days before the event.

A comprehensive analysis of the festival's costs and economic benefits will be provided later this year, said City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, the city's top budget official.

Garcetti has argued that the festival, which featured such acts as Kanye West, Iggy Azalea and Imagine Dragons, showed L.A. is capable of hosting a huge outdoor music event. Carol Schatz, who heads the downtown-based Central City Assn., said businesses there viewed the festival — and the customers it generated for nearby hotels and restaurants — as "a big plus for downtown."

"It's not just a dollar-for-dollar comparison. It's about the perception that it generates … that L.A. is really the place to do this and the place to do this in L.A. is downtown," Schatz said. That kind of publicity, she added, "is worth millions."

Garcetti said Philadelphia, which has hosted three Made in America festivals, offers an example of the gains cities can realize from such events. A 2012 report released by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter estimated the two-day festival generated at least $10 million for the city's economy.

In Los Angeles, the city's Board of Police Commissioners received a report last week showing Made in America required more than $475,000 in police overtime pay. Services provided by the Department of Transportation, which handled street closures and other services, totaled more than $122,000, Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb said. And the city Fire Department provided more than $35,000 in services, Robb said.

Scores of free tickets to the event were distributed by Garcetti aides to city officials, commissioners and staffers, including 12 of the 15 City Council members.

Los Angeles County negotiated a separate agreement that required Live Nation to provide $600,000 for use of Grand Park plus reimbursement for any damage to the park and its surroundings. County officials are seeking $83,000 in repairs from Live Nation. Source: LA Times

Chris Brown and Trey Songz are celebrating their 10-year anniversary. The longtime friends and Virginia natives announced their upcoming "Between the Sheets" tour Monday, nearly a decade after performing together during a 2005 college tour.

"We always had a bond regardless as friends and as brothers. We trust each other," Brown said during an interview with Trey Songz and rapper Tyga, who will also perform on the tour.

Brown and Trey Songz made the announcement at the House of Blues in Los Angeles after performing their remix "Tuesday" and Brown's hit single "Loyal." Tyga did not perform.

"It took awhile for something like this to happen because you do grow a friendship over years and I'm excited about it, more excited about it than any (other) tour," said Trey Songz.

The 25-city trek, which kicks off Jan. 28 in Hampton, Virginia, isn't Brown's only collaboration making headlines.

He's featured along with Drake and Lil Wayne on Nicki Minaj's new single "Only." The militaristic music video has stirred some controversy with critics accusing Minaj of using Nazi imagery. Brown, however, said he has not seen it.

"I haven't had a chance to see the whole video. I know I shot my part maybe a couple weeks ago, so I'm waiting to see the final edit of the actual video. So it's going to be dope," he said.

Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Chris Brown recently made his sixth #1 album entry on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart with his latest release X (RCAS Records). The album also debuted at #2 on Billboard's Top Albums chart, marking his sixth album debut within the Top Ten. X sold over 140,000 units in its first week while Spotify streams of the album continue to rise. With his incredible national television debut performance of the album's title track on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and recent much-buzzed about performance of "New Flame" with Usher at the iHeart Music Festival, combined with the ongoing chart-topping success of "Loyal," there's no question why the talented Chris remains a mainstay at top of the charts.

His latest album, Trigga, debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart and is the sixth studio album by the Grammy-nominated entertainer/artist known as Trey Songz. The album was released on July 1, 2014, by Songbook and Atlantic Records. Following the release of his fifth studio album Chapter V (2012), which also debuted #1, Songz made his acting debut in Texas Chainsaw 3D and Baggage Claim in (2013). The same year Songz began work on his sixth studio album collaborating with artists including Nicki Minaj, Mila J, Ty Dolla $ign, Justin Bieber and Juicy J.

Big Bank Hank, the Sugarhill Gang rapper best known as "the grandmaster with 3 MCs that shock the house for the young ladies" died early Tuesday morning according to TMZ.

Hank, born Henry Jackson had been suffering from cancer. We're told he passed away in the greater NYC area around 2 AM. Hank was one third of the famous Sugarhill Gang which had the first mainstream rap hit "Rappers Delight" in 1979.

His group members Wonder Mike and Master Gee told TMZ ... "So sad to hear of our brother's passing. Rest in peace Big Bank." Hank was 57 years old. Source: TMZ

The Global Spin Awards (GSA), an award show that honors the most dynamic and talented DJ’s around the world, both past and present, and this year’s presenting sponsor, McDonald's Flavor Battle®, is honored to announce that LaLa Anthony, will be the official host of this year’s prestige event. GSA is also thrilled to announce the introduction of their unique 3-day music experience for die-hard fans across New York City. The 3-day experience will lead into the Awards show on November 18, 2014, airing on REVOLT TV on November 25, 2015 at 8pm ET.

“The Global Spin Awards is all about giving back to the fans that love and support these artists and more importantly, to the artists themselves that have provided so much joy and entertainment to millions around the world for over the decades,” says GSA founder, Shawn Prez. “LaLa Anthony always has finger on the pulse of entertainment and music community and McDonald’s is always in the forefront of consumer engagement. I’m personally honored to have such an influential figure serve as the official host and one of the most influential global brands onboard for this year’s event and festivities.”

Kicking off November 15th, the weekend festivities will include various events such as an industry panel for future music influencers, a never before seen DJ battle and a technology demonstration that allows the audience to learn and interact with celebrity DJs, music tastemakers and industry executives. These events will give music enthusiasts and future industry leaders a platform to discuss issues that affect their society, a closer glimpse inside the industry and a DJ experience of a lifetime.

GSA’s sponsor list consists of an eclectic group of notable brands and industry leaders. REVOLT TV, a multi-genre music network for young adults, will serve as this year’s official media sponsor and broadcast the award show on November 25, 2014 at 8pm ET. CIROC Ultra Premium will feature specialty vodka cocktails and Sean John, an innovative full lifestyle brand, will also sponsor the award show. Hennessy, the world leader of cognac, has partnered with GSA to sponsor its private honoree dinner.

McDonald’s Flavor Battle, the nation’s premier DJ competition, is teaming up with the Global Spin Awards to create access and opportunity for those who have the potential to influence future trends in the music industry. Flavor Battle launched in 2009 as an extension of McDonald's 365Black initiative. McDonald's 365Black platform was created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year round.

“Connecting with the music and entertainment community, as well as its extremely loyal fan base is always an opportunity we want to be involved with – and the Global Spin Awards is the perfect mix of that for us,” says Rob Jackson, U.S. Marketing Director, at McDonald's. “Knowing that music is a strong and compelling force in our consumers’ lives, we’re excited to see the Global Spin Awards grow and collaborate with them as a sponsor.”

The Global Spin Awards recognizes and pays tribute to the world’s most dynamic and talented DJs and honors their contribution to the culture of music and entertainment. The GSAs are considered to be the Quality Standard of DJ Recognition by music industry heavyweights. The official award show will be held on Tuesday November 18th, at the New World Stages in New York City, where the nominees will join each other in celebrating their work and the growth of the industry. This year’s nominees include Kid Capri, Funk Master Flex, DJ Premier, along with DJ Mustard, DJ Envy, DJ Khaled and Clinton Sparks.

Rihanna will host her first Diamond Ball on Dec. 11 to benefit her foundation that promotes education and arts globally. Rihanna announced Thursday that she would hold the black tie event at The Vineyard in Beverly Hills, California.

The Barbadian-born singer founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, named after her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. Says Rihanna: "There is truly nothing I'm more proud of and we've just gotten started."

The Diamond Ball will host around 600 guests, including celebrities. Attendees will be announced at a later date. Rihanna says the first annual event will be "elegant and inspirational."

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) today announced it has entered into an agreement with Richard Conlon, former Senior Vice President - Corporate Strategy, Communications & New Media for Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), for his services as a Special Advisor on Performing Rights.

Reporting to Michael J. Sammis, UMPG EVP Operations and CFO, and David Kokakis, SVP/Head of Business & Legal Affairs and Business Development, Mr. Conlon will be counseling the company on matters related to advocating, protecting and maximizing the value of performing rights on behalf of UMPG and its songwriters.

"It is, indeed, an interesting time in the evolution of the performing rights business and Richard's expertise in developing systems and strategy will be extremely valuable towards maximizing the value of performing rights for UMPG and its songwriters," said Sammis.

A well-respected and accomplished music industry executive, Conlon spearheaded BMI's digital new media licensing divisions and directed global communications efforts. During his more than 20 years with the performing rights organization, he launched both the corporate strategy and digital business units, licensing the rights to more than 8.5 million musical works and generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Conlon also managed negotiations with industry leading digital properties ranging from YouTube to Spotify, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and MP3.com, to Apple's iRadio and Pandora. Under his management, licensed properties grew to more than 10,000 sites and digital income consistently drove corporate revenue growth.

Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter has long been an advocate of the brand, produced by Champagne Cattier, stretching back to the Champagne’s launch in 2006 when bottles of it appeared in his music video for the single Show Me What You Got.

Two years ago the rapper commissioned a 350-bottle tower of Armand de Brignac to serve as the centrepiece at a fundraiser for President Obama at his 40/40 nightclub in New York.

In a statement released today by New York-based Sovereign Brands said: “We are proud to announce that Sovereign Brands, a New York-based wine & spirits company owned by the Berish family, has sold its interest in Armand de Brignac (“Ace of Spades”) Champagne brand to a new company led by the globally-renowned Shawn “JAY Z” Carter.”

The details of the deal were not disclosed with the name of Jay Z’s upcoming company yet to be announced.

Yvonne Lardner, global PR and marketing spokesperson for Sovereign Brands added: “We are extremely proud of what we built with Armand de Brignac. In less than eight years since it was first released, the brand became a must-have item at every top nightclub in the world and scored better among wine critics than some of the world’s most famous luxury Champagne marques. To establish an iconic, credible high-end Champagne in such a short period of time is something truly remarkable.

“We have had a wonderful relationship with Jay Z throughout the years since he first discovered Armand de Brignac. He became interested in owning the brand and made us an offer we simply couldn’t refuse. With the incredible things happening with the rest of our portfolio, especially the Luc Belaire line, we felt the timing was right as well.

“We’re sure that Armand de Brignac will continue to grow and thrive, and we’re looking forward to developing our current and future brands. We are truly passionate about what we do, and we love nothing more than the challenge of spreading our vision of unique, high-quality brands that stand apart from the crowd in the ultra-competitive wine & spirits industry.”

Earlier this year the brand launched its Dynastie Collection comprising nine varying bottle sizes including a 4.5L Rehoboam, 9L Salmanazar, 12L Balthazar, 1.5L magnum, 3L Jeroboam, 6L Methuselah and 15L Nebuchadnezzar carrying a combined price tag of $500,000.

About Armand de Brignac Champagne: Armand de Brignac Champagne, instantly identifiable by the distinctive pewter Ace of Spades insignias on its unique, paperless bottle, exemplifies unmatched winemaking expertise and a true passion for the art of Champagne. A staff of just eight people crafts each bottle of Armand de Brignac by hand at the Cattier family house, established in 1763 in Chigny-les-Roses, France.

After much speculation, Wiz Khalifa is pleased to officially announce the newest signee to his Taylor Gang empire, Chicago's up-and-coming rap star, J.R. Donato.

Khalifa states, "We have worked with J.R. for a while now and are happy to finally have him join Taylor Gang. I kind of scooped him up and put the Taylor Gang stamp on his as soon as I met him. J.R. is young energetic and self-sufficient. He is very in touch with his fans and what's going on in the world around him. He looks good with us and we need his energy on the label."

To celebrate the release, J.R. Donato is releasing the video for "COULDN'T WAIT," WATCH HERE

Hailing from Chicago's North Side, 20-year-old J.R. Donato is the newest phenom to make noise out of the city. He first came to the attention of Wiz Khalifa in 2013. Soon after meeting, Wiz quickly added him to his song, "I'm Feelin'," that also featured Problem and Juicy J off of Khalifa's highly acclaimed, Cabin Fever 2 mixtape.

Before J.R. Donato reached his teenage years, he was already penning lyrics for himself and others. By the time he was 13, his regional hit, "500 Degrees," lead to his sizable buzz in Chicago. Later J.R. found himself immersed in the Atlanta Hip Hop scene and began opening shows for the likes of Lil Boosie, T.I., Lil Wayne and more. He recently toured with Wiz and Taylor Gang on the last two "Under The Influence" tours in 2013 and 2014.

SoundCloud’s 175 million users dwarf Pandora’s 76 million and Spotify’s 40 million. But unlike those digital music rivals, SoundCloud had done practically nothing to turn those legions of users into a real business. Now that’s starting to change with its first-ever major label deal, announced on Tuesday, with Warner Music Group.

The agreement doesn’t follow the pattern of previous licensing pacts between a label and a streaming service. Warner will get to place ads on some of its songs and then share the revenue with SoundCloud. About 40 bands and smaller labels are already doing this through a program SoundCloud launched in August, with brands like Sonos, Jaguar, and Red Bull advertising on the site.

Warner is likely to leave many songs up on SoundCloud without expecting anything in return. SoundCloud already has lots of music from major and independent labels, and entertainment lawyers haven’t been showing up at its headquarters with pitchforks even though no one is making money from the site. Digital music is valuable for the music industry even if it doesn’t directly lead to revenue. Getting compensated in hype and exposure instead of cash has been controversial inside the industry, but record executives have tended to accept this logic when it comes to SoundCloud. Many users of the service are looking for obscure or unreleased music rather than hit songs or a single place to find a comprehensive catalog.

SoundCloud Chief Executive Alex Ljung insists any future deals will maintain the flexibility to make money from some songs while leaving many others without ads. “They can start to monetize the things that are there, and they can start letting their artist put more things up,” he says. “It’s not a deal where we say you have to put up your whole catalog.”

SoundCloud still claims it isn’t aiming to create a comprehensive collection of the world’s music and may never strike deals with all the major labels. Ljung declined to discuss the state of negotiations with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, which had stalled last month, according to the Financial Times.

Warner is under more pressure than those labels to find innovative ways to make money from digital music because it is smaller. It has been talking to SoundCloud for some time, but a key reason for the breakthrough was SoundCloud’s commitment to develop a paid subscription service early next year. This service could provide ad-free music, songs that aren’t available to free customers, and the ability to store some music on mobile devices for offline listening. Record labels like paid subscription services because they make more from royalties when customers actually pay for the music they’re listening to.
Source: Bloomberg

Next year, 2015, Digital Underground (D.U.), will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their debut, earth shattering, multi-platinum album "Sex Packets" which featured the runaway hit single "The Humpty Dance." In preparation for the occasion, original founder and D.U. member Chopmaster J has joined forces with filmmaker and director Abdul Malik Abbott ("Streets is Watching," "State Property") to produce the documentary ""D.U. Days: Adventures in Digital Underground the Apprenticeship of Tupac Shakur"." The celebratory effort will be supported via a rewards-based Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that fans can get involved with.

Along with a series of orchestrated music releases planned to commemorate as well as revive the group's positioning in hip hop, Chopmaster J will be releasing "Sex Packets II" featuring new versions of D.U. classics written and produced by S.O.T.U. (Sun Of The Underground) and featuring an all new D.U. lineup; and unveiling the "D.U. Days'" soundtrack which features, from Chopmaster J's archive collection, exclusive never before heard tracks of the late Tupac Shakur.

Recognized as one of the first hip hop bands, Digital Underground included Chopmaster J, Shock G, Money B, DJ Fuze and the then 18-year-old Tupac Amaru Shakur. The group's meteoric rise to fame in the early '90's was accentuated with chart topping hits like "Doowutchyalike," "Freaks of the Industry," "Same Song" and "Kiss You Back." The band made waves with their colorful and costumed attire, animated stage antics and innovative dance styling and moves.

Digital Underground is best remembered for turning hip hop on its proverbial head and invading the realm of pop with their 1990 pivotal Grammy nominated release "The Humpty Dance." "The Humpty Dance" climbed all the way to #11 on the pop charts, #7 on the R&B charts, and #1 on the Billboard Rap Singles chart. In 2008, "The Humpty Dance" was ranked #30 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop and #65 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's in 2007. The song was selected in the musical reference book, 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die: And 10,001 You Must Download and nominated for Best Rap Video at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards. "The Humpty Dance" is one of the most sampled songs recorded by a hip hop/rap artist. Shock G and Money B performed as "Digital Underground" at the BET Hip Hop Awards in 2010.

The group's contribution to history has tentacles that reach even further though. From their 12 inch drop, "Doowutchyalike" to their debut album "Sex Packets," D.U.'s music unfastened a door in hip hop that was previously non-existent, mixing mad merriment, mayhem and sex with rhyme, rhythm and rap. Factor in the detail that rap music's biggest legend, Tupuc Shakur, started his music career with the group as their roadie, dancer and emcee and the D.U. legacy is all but cemented in the annals of pop music history.

The crux of the anniversary celebration, the feature length documentary film, "D.U. Days: Adventures in Digital Underground the Apprenticeship of Tupac Shakur," will chronicle the turbulent times of the hip hop super group. Chopmaster J and Abbott plan to take the viewer on a historic tour recounting D.U.'s rise and fall. The film will recount a time when the mega rap tour was in its heyday. From sold out US tours, to Tokyo sex clubs, to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the young irreverent hip hop band from the San Francisco Bay Area traveled to every corner of the world entertaining millions of eager pop and hip hop music fans.

Abbott, who directed, co-wrote and edited the platinum-selling, short film / music video "Streets is Watching," and directed the underground hip hop cult classic, "State Property," both starring hip hop icon Jay Z, believes the documentary will play a crucial role in music history. "The movie is about the rise and fall of a would-be hip hop dynasty during the 'Golden Age of Hip Hop,'" he explains. "But more importantly, the film features the birth of the career of music giant, Tupac Shakur. Fans who contribute to the Indiegogo crowdfunding effort will play an important part in helping to document this significant time in pop culture."

"This project will be a must have for any true hip hop head," adds Chopmaster J. "The inclusion of some of Tupac's never before released first recordings are alone worth the price of admission!"

Crowdfunding participants can donate $5.00 and become a part of hip hop history while collecting unique D.U. memorabilia! Monies raised will support the completion of the documentary for a 2015 release.

The Roots are tapping into their resources to help raise funds for their alma mater in Philadelphia.

The Grammy-winning hip-hop band created the CAPA Foundation after learning that $1.1 million had been cut from the budget of the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts.

Budget cuts resulted in the loss of 19 teachers and staff members since 2012. Funding for clubs and extracurricular activities has been eliminated, and the school's annual theater production was canceled.

"I'm taking this as a state of emergency," said Roots drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson. He and band member Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter formed the band in 1987 after meeting at CAPA, regarded as Philadelphia's premiere performing arts high school.

The Roots are the house band for NBC's "Tonight" show. Other musical artists including Boyz II Men and Jazmine Sullivan attended the high school.

"It cultivated us. It educated us," Thompson said of CAPA. "This is more than just pay it forward or celeb guilt. This is necessary. ... It keeps you out of trouble. It helps develop your personality. If you take that away, you're just a machine."

Thompson considered donating $1 million, but his manager persuaded him to use his relationship with corporate sponsors. The drummer said there are a few companies willing to help, and a "substantial" amount has been donated, with "seed money" from Thompson and Trotter.

The nonprofit organization aims to raise $500,000 annually for the first five years and then $1 million annually after that, Thompson said.

CAPA plans to provide funding for purchasing books and classroom supplies, restoring clubs and after-school activities and renovating CAPA's theater.

"We're lending our celebrity to a school where we began," Trotter said. "In essence, it's literally a back-to-the-roots situation for us."

Marion "Suge" Knight has been hospitalized in Las Vegas after falling in his jail cell. Attorney Richard Schonfeld said Monday that Knight was being checked after complaining of dizziness and chest pain.

Schonfeld said he didn't know exactly when Knight was hospitalized. The development came to light during an extradition hearing at which Knight's lawyer had planned to seek bail pending Knight's return to California to face a felony robbery charge.

The 49-year-old founder of Death Row Records was arrested Wednesday in Las Vegas and comedian Katt Williams was arrested in the Los Angeles area on a celebrity photographer's complaint that they stole her camera Sept. 5 in Beverly Hills.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has parted ways with agent Eugene Parker and joined JAY Z’s Roc Nation sports management team. Bryant was represented by Parker when he was drafted by the Cowboys in 2010, however, the two parted ways and Bryant joined Drew Rosenhaus in Dec. 2011.

Bryant then left Rosenhaus and rejoined Parker in Aug. 2012. Bryant, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, is coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance. Bryant said before the season started that he would table negotiations if the two sides couldn’t reach a long-term agreement by Week 1.

When asked last month about getting contract extensions done with Bryant and Pro Bowl running back DeMarco Murray during the season, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said he wouldn’t rule it out. “I think it’s very difficult,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “Everybody’s focused on the season at hand. You try to get some of those things done early on. I would never rule it out. We would certainly sit down with anybody at any time and see if something made sense. Our goal is to keep good football players in our organization.”

Roc Nation’s official twitter account posted the following Sunday morning: “A warm welcome to the newest member of the #RocNationSports family, @DezBryant! #ThrowUpTheX” Roc Nation’s client list includes: Robinson Cano, CC Sabathia, Kevin Durant and Ndamukong Suh. Source: Dallas morning News

Bad Boy/Interscope recording artist French Montana announces dates for the upcoming Set It Off Tour. French will be co-headlining with Def Jam recording artist Jeremih, for ten* of the sixteen stops. The national tour will start in Fort Lauderdale on December 1, and wraps on December 22, in San Francisco, CA.

While French Montana is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on his sophomore project, Mac & Cheese, which will be released on December 16. The Moroccan born, Bronx bred rapper blesses his fans with a taste of what's to come on his new single "Don't Panic." The DJ Mustard produced track is accompanied by an intense, hard hitting video directed by Eif Rivera. With a slew of chart topping singles and a top 10 debut record, Montana proves to be one of hip-hops most talented artists.

Monday, December 1*
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Tuesday, December 2*
Orlando, FL
Firestone Live

Wednesday, December 3*
Charlotte, NC
The Fillmore

Thursday, December 4*
Sayreville, NJ
Starland Ballroom

Friday, December 5
Providence, RI
Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel

Saturday, December 6
Clifton Park, NY
Upstate Concert Hall

Sunday, December 7
Baltimore, MD
Sound Stage

Monday, December 8*
Boston, MA
House Of Blues

Tuesday, December 9*
New York, NY
Best Buy Theater

Wednesday, December 10*
Washington, DC
The Fillmore
Thursday, December 11
Norfolk, VA
The Norva

Friday, December 12
Stroudsburg, PA
Sherman Theater

Saturday, December 13
New Orleans, LA
Lakefront Arena

Sunday, December 14
Chicago, IL
Double Door

Friday, December 19
Phoenix, AZ
The Press Room

Saturday, December 20*
Las Vegas, AZ
Brooklyn Bowl

Sunday, December 21*
Los Angeles, CA
Club Nokia

Monday, December 22*
San Francisco, CA
The Regency

ggy Azalea is hitting the American Music Awards stage, it was announced Friday morning. In addition to being the night's newest performer, Azalea is also the AMA's most-nominated artist, with six chances to win. Azalea's nods include Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, New Artist of the Year and Favorite Female Artist. After Azalea are Pharrell, John Legend and Katy Perry with five noms each. Lorde received four nominations.

On last weekend's Saturday Night Live, Azalea performed her new single, "Beg For It," featuring Denmark's MØ, and a medley of "Fancy" and "Black Widow." The appearance gave Azalea a notable boost on Billboard's Social 50.

For the second straight year, Pitbull is the American Music Awards host, with additional performances coming from Mary J. Blige, Sam Smith, Charli XCX and 5 Seconds of Summer. The AMAs will broadcast at 8 p.m. on Nov. 23 on ABC, courtesy of Dick Clark Productions.

When Public Enemy’s second album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, was released in 1988, “it completely upended the way records are made. It challenged the concept of reinvention in recorded music,” writes The Roots’ Amir “Questlove” Thompson in the booklet that is included in the deluxe two-CD/DVD reissue of the album on Def Jam/Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), which will be released on November 25, 2014, along with its well-regarded follow-up, Fear of a Black Planet, which came out just two years later. In his liner notes, Wax Poetics magazine editor-in-chief Andre Torres calls that album “the brilliant bookend to a classic hip-hop trilogy… Though Millions is the more critically acclaimed and well-known, an argument could be made for Fear’s triumph as the strongest album of the three.”

The Deluxe Edition of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back includes the original album, executive produced by Rick Rubin and Bill Stephney, and produced by Hank Shocklee, Keith Shocklee, Eric “Vietnam” Sadler and Carl Ryder (aka Chuck D), better known as the Bomb Squad. It features the classic tracks “Bring the Noise,” “Don’t Believe the Hype,” “Louder Than a Bomb” and “Rebel Without a Pause.” The second disc includes 13 rare bonus mixes, among them the original “No Noise” version of “Bring the Noise,” instrumental versions of “Rebel Without a Pause,” “Night of the Living Baseheads” and “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos,” as well as the soundtrack version of “Fight the Power” from Spike Lee’s groundbreaking Do the Right Thing movie. The third disc is a DVD of the 1989 VHS release Fight the Power… Live, directed by Hart Perry and long unavailable for sale. It includes the original videos for “Fight the Power,” “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” and “Night of the Living Baseheads” along with several live performances. The platinum-selling album was named one of the top 100 of all time by Time magazine, and was ranked #48 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

The Deluxe Edition of Fear of a Black Planet includes the original album, also produced by the Bomb Squad and featuring the hit singles “Fight the Power,” “Welcome to the Terrordome” and Flavor Flav’s “911 Is a Joke.” The second disc includes 18 rare bonus mixes, among them, the almost 10 minute-long “Enemy Assault Vehicle Mixx (Medley),” three separate remixes of “Can’t Do Nuttin’ For Ya Man!;” an uncensored and extended version of “Anti-Ni***r Machine;” instrumental takes on “911 Is a Joke,” “Power to the People,” “Revolutionary Generation” and “War at 33 1/3,” plus three separate mixes of “Fight the Power,” including the “Flavor Flav Meets Spike Lee” take, featuring Branford Marsalis on sax.

The original LP version of Fear of a Black Planet will also be released in a collector’s vinyl edition for the first time in 15 years, with a special “fade to black” 3D cover that, when turned to the left or right, turns black, with just the band’s iconic cross-hairs visible.

Fear of a Black Planet, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015, finished #300 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2005. The album is certified platinum by the RIAA for more than one million shipped, peaking at No. 10 on the Billboard 200. Writes Wax Poetics editor-in-chief Torres in the liner notes, “Though it sits in the shadow of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back, Fear of a Black Planet is a formidable contender for one of the finest hip-hop albums ever recorded.”

These Deluxe Editions are part of a yearlong, ongoing celebration marking the 30th Anniversary of the iconic record label founded in 1984 by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. Its influence and impact on modern music, culture, and lifestyle is unparalleled.

Maybach Music Group/Atlantic recording artist Stalley has officially announced the release of his hugely anticipated debut album. "OHIO" -- which includes the breakout single, "One More Shot (Feat. Rick Ross & August Alsina.)"

The new album sees Stalley paying homage to his beloved Buckeye State. The Massillon-based MC reached out to a number of his fellow Ohioans, including producer Rashad (of the Columbus-based Elev8tor Music), with whom he previously collaborated on 2011's breakthrough mixtape, "LINCOLN WAY NIGHTS." Stalley also enlisted legendary Cleveland-born photographer Jonathan Mannion -- known for his iconic work with such superstars as Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Cleveland's own LeBron James -- to shoot the "OHIO" cover art.

The new album also includes featured appearances from Atlantic recording artist Ty Dolla $ign, Nipsey Hussle, Rashad, and the one and only De La Soul alongside the new single, "One More Shot (Feat. Rick Ross & August Alsina)."

Stalley burst onto the Midwest hip-hop scene with a number of distinctive mixtapes before breaking out with 2011's "LINCOLN WAY NIGHTS." He signed with Maybach Music Group after a major bidding war, leading to high profile appearances on such label releases as MMG founder Rick Ross' 2012 blockbuster mixtape, "RICH FOREVER," and the RIAA gold certified, GRAMMY®-nominated "GOD FORGIVE, I DON'T," as well as all three volumes of the massively popular "MMG PRESENTS: SELF MADE" series.

Missy Elliott, Lil Kim and Da Brat will reunite at next month's Soul Train Awards. BET and Centric announced Monday that the female rappers will take the stage Nov. 7 when the show tapes at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. They all co-starred on the 90's hit, "Not Tonight," alongside Angie Martinez and the late Left Eye of TLC.

Chris Brown, who is the lead nominee with seven, will also hit the stage. Beyoncé has six nominations and Pharrell Williams follows with five.

Other performers include Mase, Tamar Braxton, Tank, Aloe Blacc, Nico & Vinz and Sevyn Streeter.

Kool & the Gang will be honored with the legend award. Wendy Williams will host the Soul Train Awards, to air on BET and Centric on Nov. 30.

Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott and Da Brat will perform their 1996 platinum single, “Not Tonight,” the remix from Kool & the Gang’s first platinum album and same-titled single, “Ladies Night.” The tribute also includes a performance by soulful singer Joe.

“We are keeping the momentum going with hit-making musical acts from different decades and are thrilled Missy Elliott, Lil Kim and DaBrat chose SOUL TRAIN AWARDS 2014 for their reunion,” said Paxton Baker, General Manager and Executive Vice President, CENTRIC. “We are humbled to honor Kool & the Gang with the Legend Award this year. They’ve set music trends that are sampled still today, and I know they, along with the other performers, will bring the Celebration to Vegas throughout the weekend!”

This year’s theme will celebrate the history of dance, from the classic Soul Train line and the electric slide, to the Dougie and this year’s breakout, the Nae Nae. To keep the party going throughout the show, international DJ and King of Crunk, Lil Jon, has been tapped as the house DJ. His voice has been heard over radio waves for decades, so it only makes sense to have Big Tigger as this year’s official celebrity announcer.

Run The Jewels, the duo of El-P and Killer Mike, have recently released their sophomore album RTJ2, available as a free mp3 download LISTEN HERE (powered by CASH Music) as well as in CD, LP, and digital formats (including a deluxe iTunes edition featuring exclusive bonus track "Blockbuster Night Part 2") from Mass Appeal Records. The album racked up almost 200K free downloads in its first 3 days while simultaneously cracking the iTunes Top 10 album charts.

In conjunction with the album release Run the Jewels have shared Tag The Jewels, a worldwide street art initiative in which over 30 artists across 6 continents were invited to remix the group's iconic album artwork on walls in Los Angeles, Jakarta, Chicago, Paris, Sao Paolo, Lagos, Aukland, Warsaw, New Delhi, and many more. The project was curated & managed by the FatCap Agency.

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$$

The music a person listens to is related to their intelligence, according to a study. For the past few years, software application writer Virgil Griffith has been tracking musical tastes based on the average SAT scores of several colleges throughout the country. Griffith compares students' scores with the artists they "liked" on Facebook.

The result shows that students who achieved above-average scores prefer music by Beethoven or Radiohead. Sufjan Stevens, Bob Dylan, The Shins, Counting Crows and U2 are other acts favorited by smart people.

Meanwhile, folks with lower scores will prefer Beyonce Knowles, Lil Wayne, T.I., The Used and gospel music.

There are plenty of other interesting revelations from Griffith's findings, including smarter people will choose John Mayer over Pink Floyd and the music of huge rock bands like Tool, System of a Down or Pearl Jam is for people with average intelligence.

Centric announced a lineup of hit-making performers and presenters for SOUL TRAIN AWARDS 2014. Leading the charge for his first Soul Train Awards performance is the multi-talented Chris Brown, who leads the show with seven nominations. In addition, the reunion we've all been waiting for is going down as the platinum selling group Jodeci is scheduled to sing a medley of hits before ending with a sneak peek of their new single, "Nobody Wins." Chart-topping international fan favorites Aloe Blacc and Nico & Vinz will keep the audience entertained with upbeat performances of their catchy sing-a-long hits. Jeremih, Lisa Stansfield, Kem and Liv Warfield round out the list of rhythm and soul singers set to captivate viewers during this year's show. Presenters Trey Songz, Boris Kodjoe, Laila Ali and Wolf Blitzer will join host Wendy Williams on stage at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on November 7, 2014. The show airs on Centric and BET Networks on November 30, 2014 at 8PM ET/PT.

"This slate of performances is another example that Soul Train Awards 2014 is the only place where soul music lovers can find the diverse combination of current chart-topping performers and reunions from their favorite hit-making groups," said Paxton Baker, General Manager and Executive Vice President, Centric. "We are pulling out all the stops this year and are thrilled to have Chris Brown and Jodeci lead the big surprises we have in store."

This year's theme will celebrate the history of dance, from the classic Soul Train line and the electric slide, to the Dougie and this year's breakout, the Nae Nae. To bring the dance theme to life, Soul Train has brought in award-winning choreographer Fatima Robinson and her 12 seasoned dancers to lead the show.

Additionally, Grammy Award-winning producers 1500 or Nothin' are back again as music directors for the show and will keep the party rolling throughout the night.

After releasing this spring's acclaimed Faces mixtape, Mac Miller is back today to announce that he and his Remember Music imprint have signed with Warner Bros Records. To celebrate the signing he's sharing new track "Just Some Raps, Nothing To See Here, Move Along," produced by SAP.

Speaking on the reasoning behind aligning Remember and himself with Warner Bros, Mac said, "they have Prince." All future Mac Miller and Remember artist releases will come via Remember/Warner Bros.

REVOLT TV heralded the overwhelming success of its inaugural REVOLT Music Conference held this past weekend in Miami Beach, Florida. With nearly one thousand attendees, double the expected amount, RMC took over Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel and celebrated the multi-genre, multi-platform music network's one-year anniversary. Here guests got a chance to experience five live music showcases with performances from Jhene Aiko, SZA, G-Eazy, ASTR and Travis Scott, five hours of "REVOLT Live" broadcast on location, ten panels featuring over 70 speakers, keynote addresses from Guy Oseary, Bob Pittman, Russell Simmons and Sean Combs, networking seminars and an evening gala honoring Jimmy Iovine where over 700 revelers enjoyed a special performance from Ne-Yo.

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine welcomed REVOLT to Miami on Thursday and later presented CEO Keith Clinkscales with a key to the city. Friday morning Clinkscales officially kicked off the conference followed by rousing keynote addresses from Guy Oseary (Manager and Founder of Maverick) and Bob Pittman (Chairman and CEO of IHeartMedia). REVOLT Chairman Sean Combs sat in the audience for a few of the afternoon's panels, including the "Disruptors: The Future of Business" discussion where he engaged panelists Rio Caraeff (President & CEO of Vevo), Kevin McGurn (Chief Revenue Officer of Shazam), Britt Morgan-Saks (Artist Services at Spotify), Alex Ljung (CEO of SoundCloud), Lars Murray (VP of Music Industry Relations at Pandora) and moderator Kenna about the future of the record business. Music industry titans such as LA Reid, DJ Khaled and Craig Kallman determined that A&R is not dead after all.

Russell Simmons received a standing ovation at the start of an inspirational keynote address to kick off Day Two before leading a packed house in a group meditation. The day's panels featured some of the biggest titans of their perspective industries including Frank Cooper (CMO of Pepsico) and Marc Ecko (Founder & Chief Brand Officer of Complex Media) discussing "The New Deal: Brands and Artists" and legendary music producers Dallas Austin and Rodney Jerkins debating "The Business of Music Publishing" with singer-songwriter James Fauntleroy and Jessica Rivera (SVP, Head of East Coast Operations of Universal Music Publishing). REVOLT founder Sean "Diddy" Combs led a rousing keynote address entitled "#AskDiddy" in front of a packed house, offering invaluable career insight and advice to the standing-room-only crowd. Following a classic performance by Ne-Yo, Combs presented his good friend, industry icon Jimmy Iovine, with an award and spoke at length about his illustrious forty year career. The award was created by artist Glenn Kaino using Olympian Tommie Smith's famous forearm and fist. Iovine then gave a rousing speech about the current state of music and industry's ever-changing landscape.

"In your own way, reflecting your own musical passions, I do call upon all of you to find your way to innovate and be a part of music's future," said Jimmy Iovine to the audience of over 700 as he accepted his award. "We are no longer in the music business, but in the business of music."

Additional speakers at the REVOLT Music Conference included executives from Apple (Larry Jackson, BOH Specialist), Facebook & Instagram (Jonathan Hull, Music Partnerships); Def Jam (Sickamore, A&R) and Epic (Sylvia Rhone, President); Atlantic (Julie Greenwald, Chairman and COO); and Glassnotes Records (Daniel Glass, CEO) among many more.

Diddy will host Alicia Keys' annual charity event that raises awareness about HIV and AIDS.

The piano-playing singer announced Tuesday that her husband, producer-rapper Swizz Beatz, will co-host the 11th annual Black Ball on Oct. 30 at New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom.

Keys, Nas, David Byrne and Angel Haze will perform.

Keep a Child Alive, Keys' charity launched in 2003, assists people affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa and India.

Keep a Child Alive’s Black Ball is a star-studded event where celebrity and philanthropy join hand in hand. The evening celebrates the work of Keep a Child Alive (KCA) and raises millions for children and families affected by HIV in Africa and India. The Black Ball hosts never-before-seen musical collaborations with KCA co-founder Alicia Keys, and other leading artists. This event is sure to take you on a unique and inspiring journey.

Last year's Black Ball raised $4 million and featured Carole King and Pharrell.

Snoop's next project will be released via Pharrell’s I Am Other and Columbia Records according to Billboard. Snoop is the latest signing to I Am Other, which is headed up by Pharrell and co-manager Caron Veazey. I Am Other’s Instagram account teased the news earlier this week, revealing that Pharrell will be producing the entire set, which will feature guest appearances from music legends Stevie Wonder and Charlie Wilson.

Snoop Dogg’s last album was 2013’s reggae-heavy, Diplo-produced Reincarnated, for which he temporarily took the name Snoop Lion . The set debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on Billboard’s Reggae Albums chart.

Snoop has also been flexing his tech muscles as of late, investing alongside Jared Leto in news-aggergator Reddit as well as free stock-trade app Robinhood.

Musician, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and Founder of i.am+™ will.i.am unveiled his new smartband wearable device, i.amPULS, at the i.am+ keynote presentation during Dreamforce 2014.

The industry-first PULS wearable is untethered and has the ability to make/receive calls and operates independently of any smartphone, whereas most wearables use Bluetooth and require close proximity to a smartphone.

In an interactive showcase that featured music, video, imagery, poetry, and a fashion runway show, will.i.am demonstrated the i.amPULS smartband is truly the industry's first standalone communications device.

A host of CEOs and industry icons in the worlds of fashion, entertainment, technology and enterprise joined will.i.am on stage to lend their support including:

Jeff Bradley - AT&T
Nina Bibby – O2
Jack Dangermond – ESRI
Ankur Jain – Humin
Paul Ricci – Nuance
Marc Benioff – Salesforce
Yuval Mor – Beyond Verbal
André Leon Talley - Former American editor-at-large for Vogue magazine
DB (Dondriall Brooks) - Donamatrix
Cynthia Erenas, AP student, i.am College Track after-school tutoring program Roosevelt High School, Los Angeles, CA

"First off this is not a watch, by any means," Will.i.am said, showing off the bulky, curved black band, and pointing out its various attributes. "The battery is all around here, right next to the battery very tightly packed is the speaker, and then the radio is here and here, SIM card is there, the chip set is there, and it's all tightly packed under this curve screen."

"i.amPULS represents digital freedom, individuality, intelligence and the intersection where fashion and technical innovation meet," said will.i.am. "I'm honored to share my vision for the PULS with this global audience."

PULS features an intelligent personal assistant "AneedA" powered by Nuance Communications. Developed with a "voice first, touch second" functionality, AneedA is an intuitive personal assistant that takes dictation for texts and emails, plays music, posts to social media, queues maps and a fitness app, schedules appointments, make calls, and more.

Founded by musician and entrepreneur will.i.am, i.am+ is a entrepreneurial entity nurturing powerful and developing technology into products and ideas driven by innovation. i.am+ is positioned at the intersection of pop-tech and fashionology. i.am+ is a way of life, a culture that empowers and inspires.

Warner Chappell Music has signed a global administration deal to handle hip-hop producer Mike Dean's catalog and future songwriting.

“Few producers have the talent to sustain a career as long, diverse and prolific as Mike’s," Warner/Chappell North America president Jon Platt said in a statement. "From 2Pac to Kanye and everyone in between, Mike has helped great artists define new sounds. He’s always innovating, not only within hip hop, but across pop music in general. We’re thrilled to be on his team.”

Besides 2Pac and West, Dean has also produced tracks or written for Beyoncé, Jay-Z, E-40, and Kid Cudi, Scarface, Tha Dogg Pound, Nate Dogg, Tech N9ne, and Devin the Dude, among others.

Dean added in a statement, “I am excited to work with Warner/Chappell and Big Jon on expanding my musical palate, and be able to continue to innovate and push music forward." Source: Billboard

Journalist and OZONE Magazine founder Julia Beverly previously announced that she is writing a biography on the late Chad “Pimp C” Butler. While Pimp C’s widow Chinara Butler recently released a statement distancing herself from the project, other family members are speaking out to clarify that her statement does not represent them.

“Chad’s widow Chinara… does not speak on behalf of Chad’s sons Chad Jr., Corey, the rest of the family, the late Mama Wes, or the UGK Records family. She is only speaking for her and her daughter,” Angela Crooks, the mother of Chad’s son Corey, said in a recent interview, adding, “Julia Beverly has our full support with the Pimp C biography.”

Beverly says the book began with nearly 40 hours of interviews conducted with Pimp C’s mother and manager, Weslyn “Mama Wes” Monroe, prior to her sudden passing in 2013. “I initially intended to do this project with his ‘estate’ through his wife,” Beverly explains. “However, after I learned that his wife does not have custody of any of his children, and his sons do not benefit financially from his estate, I made alternate arrangements with his mother.”

“Mama Wes entrusted me with telling her son’s story accurately and honestly; it’s a responsibility I take very seriously,” Beverly adds. “Sometimes the truth hurts, so I can understand why some people don’t want the story to be told.”

The book will be released in early 2015.

Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and founder of the LoveLife Foundation, Raheem DeVaughn, told the audience he was attempting to lead by example with his music and foundation as he accepted the Ruby Campbell Pulliam "Love You More" Servant Leadership and Community ServiceAward during the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation's (NCBCP) 17th Annual Spirit of Democracy Awards Red Carpet Affair held in DC last week.

Hosted by actor/comedian, Jonathan Slocumb, and sponsored by Verizon and Comcast NBC Universal, the event also honored: Charles Ogletree Jr., Harvard University Law School professor; Elsie Scott, PhD, founding director, Ron Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center, Howard University; Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director, CEO, MomsRising.org; Mayor William Bell, Birmingham, Alabama; Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science; Councilwoman Sheila Tyson, convener, Alabama Coalition on Black Civic Participation; and Helen Butler, executive director, Georgia Coalition for the Peoples Agenda.

Relatives of the late Campbell Pulliam were on hand to present the award. Pictured above (L-R): Richard G. Womack, Sr, chair, NCBCP; Melanie Campbell, president and CEO, NCBCP; Isaac Campbell Jr., relative; DeVaughn; Karma Cottman, executive director, DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Savannah Campbell, relative; and Rev. Judith C. Moore.

Rihanna will launch her first-ever fragrance for men, ROGUE MAN by Rihanna. From first contact, ROGUE MAN by Rihanna intoxicates men with a choreographed clash of fragrance notes that are both masculine and ultra-sexy.

ROGUE MAN by Rihanna has top notes comprised of fresh citrus, herbs, and spicy black pepper which offer a clean opening impression, the velvet floral blends, strong undertones of cedar wood, and the primal sensation of labdanum ignite the senses and linger warmly on skin.

Shot by legendary fashion photographer Mario Sorrenti, the ROGUE MAN by Rihanna ad campaign explores the rebellious and complex juxtaposition of attraction, sexuality and power. Rihanna was immediately attracted to feature model Daniel Ness for his raw sensuality and knew at first sight that he is the embodiment of the ROGUE MAN

"Building upon the marked success of her women's fragrance line, we are thrilled to join Rihanna on her venture into the men's fragrance category," said Donald Loftus, President of Parlux, Ltd. "ROGUE MAN by Rihanna offers a new constituency of male consumers entrance into the bold world of Rihanna's growing lifestyle brand."

ROGUE MAN by Rihanna is available at select Macy's nationwide.

Rihanna has taken the music, entertainment and fashion industry by storm. As an accomplished performer, she has sold 50 million albums and 180 million digital tracks worldwide making her the top-selling digital artist of all time. She's put out 7 albums in 7 years, achieved 12 number-one singles and won 7 Grammy Awards. With over 4 billion views and 16 Vevo certified videos she is the most viewed artist on Vevo/YouTube and the biggest artist on Facebook with over 80 million friends. In addition, she's successfully launched four fragrances, two capsule collections with Armani, as well as four River Island collections and is currently the spokesperson for Viva Glam.

The American Music Awards has announced the 2014 American Music Awards nominees.

Iggy Azalea leads this year with six nominations. John Legend, Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams follow with five nominations each, while Lorde earns four nominations. Additionally, Beyoncé, Eminem, Imagine Dragons, OneRepublic and One Direction were nominated for three awards. Bastille, Drake, Luke Bryan and Sam Smith each receive two nominations.

The Artist of the Year category increases from 5 to 10 nominees in 2014. This year’s nominees are Iggy Azalea, Beyoncé, Luke Bryan, Eminem, Imagine Dragons, John Legend, Lorde, One Direction, Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams. The ten nominees will be narrowed to five based on the votes received through 11/13 and the winner will be determined by the total votes received throughout the entire voting period.

The Single of The Year category, increasing from 3 to 5 nominees in 2014, includes nominees Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX, “Fancy,” John Legend, “All of Me,” MAGIC!, “Rude,” Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J, “Dark Horse” and Pharrell Williams, “Happy.”

As always at the American Music Awards, artists will be honored in the genres of Pop/Rock, Country, Rap/Hip-Hop, Soul/R&B, Alternative Rock, Adult Contemporary, Latin, Contemporary Inspirational, Electronic Dance Music, as well as categories for Top Soundtrack, New Artist of the Year Presented by Kohl’s, Artist of the Year and Single of the Year.

The 2014 American Music Awards® are produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro and Mike Mahan are Executive Producers. Larry Klein, Barry Adelman and Mark Bracco are Producers.

Iggy Azalea
Luke Bryan
Imagine Dragons
John Legend
One Direction
Katy Perry
Pharrell Williams

5 Seconds of Summer
Iggy Azalea
Sam Smith
Meghan Trainor

Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX “Fancy”
John Legend “All of Me”
MAGIC! “Rude”
Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J “Dark Horse”
Pharrell Williams “Happy”

John Legend
Sam Smith
Pharrell Williams

Iggy Azalea
Katy Perry

Imagine Dragons
One Direction

Lorde “Pure Heroine”
One Direction “Midnight Memories”
Katy Perry “Prism”

Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Blake Shelton

Miranda Lambert
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Eli Young Band
Florida Georgia Line
Lady Antebellum

Garth Brooks “Blame It On My Roots: Five Decades of Influences”
Eric Church “The Outsiders”
Brantley Gilbert “Just As I Am”

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea “The New Classic”
Drake “Nothing Was The Same”
Eminem “The Marshall Mathers LP 2”

Chris Brown
John Legend
Pharrell Williams

Jhene Aiko
Mary J. Blige

Beyoncé “Beyoncé”
John Legend “Love in the Future”
Pharrell Williams “G I R L”

Imagine Dragons

Sara Bareilles
Katy Perry

Marc Anthony
Enrique Iglesias
Romeo Santos

Casting Crowns
Hillsong United

Calvin Harris

Chris Brown is the top nominee for the Soul Train Awards. The R&B singer racked up seven nominations, including best R&B/soul male artist and song of the year for "Loyal." Beyonce earned six nominations and Pharrell Williams followed with five.

Williams and Beyonce will be competing against each other for album of the year, along with John Legend, Drake, Janelle Monae and Michael Jackson.

Hosted by Wendy Williams, the Soul Train Awards will be presented on Nov. 7 in Las Vegas. The awards will air on Nov. 30 on Centric and BET.

Beyonce's empire keeps expanding its reach: first Rutgers started a course devoted to the singer; then Harvard Business School began to study her; now, a radio station in Houston has rebranded itself as a Beyonce-only radio station.

The station's website posted a statement announcing its closure: "News92, Houston’s first FM all-news radio station aired its last broadcast Wednesday, October 8, 2014... This difficult decision is a result of sustained poor ratings performance and significant financial losses over the past three years despite the substantial financial and human resources we invested."

Radio One owns the station-formerly-known-as-News92. Yashima Azilove, who works for Radio One, discussed the station's reincarnation as Beyonce radio with local news. "In looking to make a transition, we go back to what we know," Azilove told ABC13. "We know urban radio. We're in Houston, the combination seemed like a winning one." Well, it's a win for Radio One and Beyonce at least -- 47 employees of the station were laid off.

If the new station only plays Beyonce's solo catalog, it will have five albums to choose from. Not including various bonus tracks, remixes, live versions or tracks from other artists featuring Beyonce, those records contain 63 songs, adding up to roughly 4 hours and 15 minutes of music. Of course, if the station is willing to dig into Beyonce's work with Destiny's Child, that will expand their pool of possible tunes to draw from -- Destiny's Child recorded 5 albums (if you count their Christmas album), containing 67 songs and around 4.5 hours of music. Source: Billboard

Warner Bros. Records (WBR) has announced that it has signed a global recording contract with legendary rap group Wu-Tang Clan, including RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and Cappadonna. As a group, Wu-Tang has sold over 6.5 million records in the US, while they've sold nearly 40 million records worldwide, including individual members' album sales as well as group sales collectively. The group's first release on the label will be the highly-anticipated 20th anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow, which will be available December 2nd.

Wu-Tang Clan said, "Wu-Tang Clan is excited to join the Warner family of esteemed artists. After 20 years in the business with different label outlets, we are delighted to be amongst a team of industry professionals who understand our unique artistry and will help spread it to the masses unadulterated. RZA and his brother Divine CEO of Wu-Tang felt synergy with executive/producer Rob Cavallo and Cameron Strang, and decided Warner Bros. would be a suitable home for their brand and band, and a great place to carry on the Wu-Tang saga. In the words of Ghostface, when it comes to being signed to Warner Bros., 'we're getting Bugs Bunny money.'"

Cameron Strang, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. Records, told Billboard, "Wu-Tang Clan is responsible for creating a deep discography of iconic rap music, spawning incredibly successful careers for each of the group's individual members, and launching Wu-Tang into a full-fledged brand beyond their music. Two decades on, they remain a major force in hip hop. I speak for everyone on our team when I say how thrilled we are to be the new home for one of hip hop's most influential groups. This is an exciting day in the history of Warner Bros. Records, and we can't wait to contribute to the next phase of their careers."

Over the course of their career, the group has released five studio albums and 19 compilation albums. Each of their first three albums-- Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Wu-Tang Forever and The W-have been certified platinum by the RIAA, with Wu-Tang Forever having debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200.

Emerging in 1993, the Staten Island, NY-based Wu-Tang Clan proved to be the most revolutionary rap group of the mid-'90s. Turning the standard concept of a hip-hop crew inside out, the Wu-Tang Clan were assembled as a loose congregation of nine MCs. Instead of releasing one album after another, the idea was to establish the Wu-Tang as a force with their debut album and then spin off into as many side projects as possible. In the process, the members all became individual stars.

Meruelo Media, Southern California's leading minority-owned media group, today announced the five-year milestone and ratings success of its first radio station, KDAY 93.5 FM, Southern California's leading choice for original hip-hop and R&B. September 2014 marks ten consecutive PPM ratings months of KDAY's total audience cume at more than +1 million L.A. Metro listeners each week. KDAY achieved year to year growth with both genders, both AQH and cume*.

"With ten consecutive months of record breaking +1 million daily tune in, it shows that KDAY is a passion brand with unique engagement – a most excellent way to ring-in our 5th birthday on FM," stated Otto Padron, President of Meruelo Media. "KDAY is a true institution fueled by an ever-growing popularity for our music; the perfect equity combination to grow listening in a landscape full of media choices."

KDAY's high energy Rhythmic Adults Hits format hit L.A. airwaves on August 20, 2009. Its historic roots in Southern California radio history began on the AM dial as KDAY AM 1580 and today, under the management of Meruelo Media, has successfully retained its renowned Hip-hop and R&B format as solid and sustainable entertainment.

The resurrection of KDAY 93.5FM as the pioneer of the R&B/dance/pop/Hip-Hop station has honored its historically renowned AM heritage while evolving its programming to connect with the diverse cultures in today's competitive Los Angeles radio landscape.

With the NFL striking a new deal with Bose, players and coaches are banned from wearing any other brand of headphones — including the insanely popular Beats by Dre — when conducting televised interviews under terms of Bose's agreement with the league, according to recode.net.

This applies to all TV interviews during training camps or practice sessions and on game day, from before the opening kickoff through the final whistle to postgame interviews conducted in the locker room or on the podium, up to 90 minutes after games have ended.

So players such as the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson (wearing Beats By Dre above) could be subject to fine by the league. Players such as the Seahawks' Richard Sherman and the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick, who have deals with Beats, are included in this.

The NFL sees no problem with this.

“The NFL has longstanding policies that prohibit branded exposure on-field or during interviews unless authorized by the league. These policies date back to the early 1990s and continue today,” an NFL spokesperson said in a statement. “They are the NFL’s policies — not one of the league’s sponsors, Bose in this case. Bose is not involved in the enforcement of our policies. This is true for others on-field.”
Beats by Dre responded to the NFL's stance on the issue in the report.

“Over the last few years athletes have written Beats into their DNA as part of the pre-game ritual,” a Beats spokesperson said. “Music can have a significant positive effect on an athlete’s focus and mental preparedness and has become as important to performance as any other piece of equipment.”
All NFL headsets on sidelines during games are Bose-manufactured. Motorola, which had been the NFL's exclusive provider previously, was paying $40 million per year for its 13-year relationship.

The World Cup this summer also banned Dre products in a similar fashion to the new NFL rules. Source: Yahoo Sports

Too Short has been cited at a Southern California airport a day after fleeing a security checkpoint when a screener found a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage.

Burbank police Sgt. John Pfrommer says the rapper, born Todd Anthony Shaw, was passing through the checkpoint Wednesday when a Transportation Security Administration employee noticed the handgun going through a baggage scanner. The rapper fled the building, leaving his belongings behind.

Pfrommer says Too Short returned to the airport Thursday with his attorney and was cited on misdemeanor possession of a loaded handgun in a public place. He was released and is due in court Nov. 3. Police didn't know who the rapper's attorney is.

Eminem, Rihanna and Jamie Foxx are on deck to perform at the “Concert for Valor”. Scheduled for November 11, the concert is set to be held on the National Mall in Washington D.C. and is being presented by HBO and Starbucks to salute those in the military.

“We are honored to play a small role to help raise awareness and support for our service men and women,” HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler says, per Variety. “Their immeasurable sacrifice deserves our nation’s gratitude. This event will not only celebrate their service, but help remind Americans of the many challenges they face on and off the battlefield.”

The following statement is from REVOLT Founder and Chairman Sean "Diddy" Combs about the recent Verizon FiOS deal:

"On Monday, September 29th we announced a deal with Verizon FiOS establishing REVOLT as the dominant player in music television today. Verizon's vote of confidence marks another win for REVOLT and solidifies our place as the new #1 name in music. But our growth won't stop here – we will continue to deliver a Millennial audience to cable providers across the country, building a platform that amplifies the art form and celebrates the culture of music.

With our late October debut on Verizon FiOS, REVOLT will now be available in 46 of the top 50 U.S. markets on Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Centurylink and SuddenLink. ?This timing is significant because it coincides with our one-year anniversary on-air. We have worked hard to get to this point and I am excited to celebrate this milestone at the inaugural REVOLT Music Conference Oct. 16-19 in Miami Beach.

On this journey to make REVOLT a household name, we are most excited to join a cable provider that understands and programs for young adults. As we have set the goal to be accessible 24/7, anytime, anywhere, on one billion devices, our new relationship with Verizon FiOS represents an opportunity larger than cable alone, taking us to their digital and mobile platforms that are heavily used by our audience of young music fans and artists. We look forward to welcoming additional viewers as part of our REVOLT Nation."

Boombotix, a leader in portable audio, partnered with Robert “RZA” Diggs from the Wu-Tang Clan to release the newest Boombot REX, featuring six songs and two instrumental tracks from the currently unreleased Wu-Tang Clan album, “A Better Tomorrow.” The collaboration began when RZA approached Boombotix with the idea of embedding music into a Boombot REX. The Boombot REX – 20th Anniversary Wu-Tang Edition will be released to the public in advance of the general release for “A Better Tomorrow.”

Boombot REXs feature advanced audio engineering and are tuned to meet the highest standard of audio quality. The 2014 Boombot REX, which will feature pre-released songs from the album, has a 50 percent increase in battery life compared to previous models. With full Bluetooth integration, Boombot REXs give users control of their smartphone device without ever removing it from their pocket.

An experiment in music exclusivity, the Boombot REX — 20th Anniversary Wu-Tang Edition is designed to spark conversation regarding the economics of music in a climate of Internet piracy and streaming services. Instead lining up outside stores for new releases, music fans access music from the cloud or download it illegally. According to RZA, this process degrades the artistic value of music and the immense amount of time devoted to creating it.

"To me, there's something transcendent about being able to physically hold music," said RZA. "Back in the day, holding a vinyl helped you appreciate just how much time and sweat an artist put into creating a single track, let alone an entire album. Over the last decade, we've lost that sensation. With this project, I hope to strengthen the bond between fan and artist. Boombotix puts the artist back in your hands so you can stay connected to your music."

“Boombotix is excited to offer consumers the chance to experience their music in such a creative way,” said CEO Sean Sullivan. “Being part of the conversation to change how albums are presented is a great opportunity.”

The Boombot REX — 20th Anniversary Wu-Tang Edition is the first installment in the “Chambers Collection.” The Chambers Collection will be a new line from Boombotix that features embedded music within their ultra-portable speakers. Boombotix and RZA plan to add to the Chambers Collection in 2015.

Joey Bada$$ is announcing that Vince Staples will be joining him on the second half of his North American tour. Check out the video and updated tour dates below.

9/26/14 - Toad's Place - New Haven, CT #
9/27/14 - Paradise - Boston, MA #
9/28/14 - Guvernment - Toronto, ONT #
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 Beat - 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
# Vince Staples will not appear

Jay Z sounded the call to end world poverty as he performed Saturday before thousands in New York's Central Park. Jay Z headlined Global Citizen Festival on the Great Lawn, where Beyonce surprised the audience by joining her husband on stage.

He told the crowd — many of whom earned free tickets by volunteering — to support the Global Citizen Festival's movement to end poverty by 2030.

No Doubt, Sting, Carrie Underwood, Alicia Keys, Tiesto, fun. and The Roots also performed. The Global Citizen Festival coincided with a U.N. General Assembly meeting.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were among the world leaders who attended in support of the anti-poverty campaign.

In the first half of the year, U.S. music revenues shrunk 4.9%, to $3.2 billion, down from the $3.35 billion that the industry tallied in the first half of 2013, according to the RIAA's mid-year report.

Within that, digital music revenue declined slightly, by half a percentage point, to $2.2 billion, down to $2.203 from $2.214 billion in the first half of 2013. Subscription revenue jumped 23.2%, to $371.4 million from $301.4 million; ad-supported streaming jumped 56.5% to $164.7 million from $105.2 million. The RIAA estimated that paid subscription services averaged 7.8 million subscribers in the first six months of the year, up from an average of 5.5 million subscribers in the first half of 2013. Download sales of albums and tracks fell 11.8% to nearly $1.3 million from $1.47 billion.

In other digital revenue streams, SoundExchange distribution grew to $323.4 million, a jump of $21.4 from the $266.5 million, while synchronization royalties fell 10.5% to $88 million, down from $98.5 million.

Moving over to physical formats, CD sales fell 19.1% to $715.6 million from $994.1 million. But on the plus side, vinyl grew by 41% to $6.5 million, up from $4.8 million.

Overall, revenue breaks out to digital accounting for 68% of U.S. revenue with 41 percentages points of that coming from downloads and 27 percentages points coming from streaming; physical 28%, synchronization 3% and ringtones 1%.

For the first time, the RIAA has also provided an overall market volume for wholesale. Typically, the RIAA numbers add up the value of units for each album by that album's list price, not the wholesale price that the labels receive when they ship the albums to retailers. But converting their data to wholesale values for downloads and the physical formats, RIAA estimates the U.S. music marketplace at $2.2 billion, down from $2.3 million at mid-year 2013. Source: Billboard

Model Amber Rose is ending her yearlong marriage to rapper Wiz Khalifa. Rose filed for divorce on Tuesday in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences. She is seeking custody of their 20-month old son and spousal support as laid out in the former couple's prenuptial agreement.

Court filings state the couple separated on Monday, but provide no other details on the split or how the pair's finances will be divided. They were married in July 2013 less than five months after their son was born.

Khalifa, whose hit "Black and Yellow" helped make his 2011 album, "Rolling Papers," a success, released his latest album, "Blacc Hollywood," in August. The divorce filing was first reported Wednesday by TMZ.

Earlier this year Apple AAPL +1.55% shelled out $3 billion to purchase Beats, the company founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. Though the latter quickly claimed to be hip-hop’s first billionaire, a nine-figure tax bill means that won’t happen immediately—but he’s well on his way.

In the meantime, Dre has been racking up plenty of other financial accomplishments. His latest: capturing this year’s hip-hop cash crown with pretax earnings of $620 million. Not only is that the highest annual total of any entertainer ever evaluated by FORBES, it’s more than the combined earnings of all 24 of his companions on the 2014 Hip-Hop Cash Kings list.

“It’s safe to say headphones is a good business,” says DJ Khaled, who makes his debut at No. 20 with estimated earnings of $7 million.

It’s a long way down to the No. 2 spot, where Diddy and Jay Z sit tied at $60 million. Hov’s total is his highest since 2010, bolstered by a diverse list of ventures including his growing Roc Nation empire ; 68 concerts in our scoring period, D’Ussé cognac and his latest album, which was certified platinum before it was released due to an agreement with Samsung to buy 1 million copies.

Like Jay Z, Diddy is still working as hard as ever to earn his $60 million payday. His agreement with Diageo's Ciroc vodka accounts for the bulk of those bucks, but he gets a boost from other ventures like DeLeon tequila, Blue Flame marketing, Sean Jean clothing, and Revolt TV.

“I love going where the hustle is,” he told FORBES earlier this year. “I love going where like-minded people are.”

One person who could be counted in that category is Drake, who ranks fourth with $33 million in earnings. His fourth studio album, Nothing Was the Same, has sold about 4 million copies worldwide; additional checks from an arena tour and endorsement deal with Nike’s Jordan line have tripled Drake’s 2013 earnings of $10.5 million.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis round out the top five with a combined $32 million. The Seattle duo kicked off 2014 with a bang, winning four of the seven Grammy awards for which they were nominated—including Best New Artist and Best Rap Album for The Heist. That type of acclaim has translated to big bucks on the road, pushing the pair to more than triple last year’s $9 million take.

To form this year’s Cash Kings list, we considered income from touring, record sales, publishing, merchandise sales, endorsements and other ventures. Management, agent and attorney fees are not deducted. Earnings are calculated from June 2013 to June 2014 and based on data from Pollstar, the RIAA and Nielsen SoundScan, and from interviews with managers, lawyers, executives and some of the artists themselves.

Another highlight of the list: the inclusion of two newcomers, DJ Khaled and J. Cole, who are tied for No. 20 with earnings of $7 million. New albums in 2013—Cole’s Born Sinner and Khaled’s Suffering From Success—and the live gigs that followed boosted both artists to the greatest financial heights of their respective careers.

“It worked out even better than I imagined,” said Cole. “And I’ll leave it at that.”

Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings 2014
1. Dr. Dre – $620 million
2. Jay Z – $60 million (tie)
2. Diddy – $60 million (tie)
4. Drake – $33 million
5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – $32 million
6. Kanye West – $30 million
7. Birdman – $24 million
8. Lil Wayne – $23 million
9. Pharrell Williams – $22 million
10. Eminem – $18 million
11. Nicki Minaj – $14 million
12. Wiz Khalifa – $13 million
13. Pitbull – $12 million
14. Snoop Dogg – $10 million
15. Kendrick Lamar – $9 million
16. Ludacris – $8 million (tie)
16. Tech N9ne – $8 million (tie)
16. Swizz Beatz – $8 million (tie)
16. 50 Cent – $8 million (tie)
20. Rick Ross – $7 million (tie)
20. J. Cole – $7 million (tie)
20. DJ Khaled – $7 million (tie)
20. Lil Jon – $7 million (tie)
20. Mac Miller – $7 million (tie)
Source: Forbes

Townsquare Media, Inc. announced that it has acquired hip hop brand XXL, along with King and Antenna from Harris Publications, a special interest media company. These well-known properties will join Townsquare Media’s category-leading national digital portfolio of over 20 premium multi-platform brands including Taste of Country, PopCrush, Just Jared, Hype Machine, ScreenCrush, Loudwire and The Boombox.

Further, as part of this transaction, Townsquare is acquiring and re-launching the King brand as a digital-only property. Also included in the transaction is Antenna, a recently launched digital-only destination delivering the latest fashion, news, sports, music and pop culture content for men.

“The acquisition of XXL, King and Antenna from Harris Publications represents the continued growth of Townsquare Media’s national digital asset portfolio and our commitment to the cultivation of influential brands and original multimedia content in music and entertainment,” commented Bill Wilson, Townsquare Media’s Chief Content Officer. “We are tremendously excited to add these premium brands to Townsquare Media’s portfolio which attracts over 75 million US monthly unique visitors, allowing advertisers and agencies to better reach the incredibly important urban audience.”

Following the October edition of XXL magazine, due to hit newsstands in early October, the magazine will cease regular publication in order to focus exclusively on digital operations as well as special editions of the publication in the future. As part of the transactions, all members of the XXL team will be joining Townsquare Media.

Fresh off a series of sold-out shows in Europe, Freddie Gibbs is announcing tour dates through the Northeast and Canada plus festival appearances at Odd Future's Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in Los Angeles, CA and Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, TX. Piñata, Freddie Gibbs' recent collaboration with Madlib became an instant classic with many critics and fans alike calling it the album of the year. Piñata has already received best of 2014 accolades from many publications including NPR, Billboard, and Rolling Stone. Below, watch the music video for "Harold's" off of the album and check out the tour dates.

Tour Dates:
10/24 - Montreal, QC
10/25 - Ottawa, ON
10/26 - Toronto, ON
10/28 - Philadelphia, PA
10/29 - Boston, MA
10/30 - Providence, RI
11/3 - Brooklyn, NY
11/8 - Los Angeles, CA @ Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival
11/9 - Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest

With a picture of his mother on a large screen behind him, Doug E Fresh struggled to complete his sentence. The rapper dubbed "The Human Beat Box" choked up and shed tears as he received the "I Am Hip-Hop Award" at the ninth BET Hip-Hop Awards on Saturday.

Fresh eventually told the crowd that his mother, who had Alzheimer's disease, died five months ago.

"I have to acknowledge her," Fresh said at the taped award show at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. "I want to thank this woman and hip-hop. If it wasn't for hip-hop, I don't know where I would be."

He also thanked those who helped him throughout his career, from Slick Rick to his group the Get Fresh Crew.

The show airs Oct. 14.

Fresh became known for imitating drums and creating special effects using his mouth and a microphone. After his speech, Fresh performed one of his hits, "La Di Da Di" with the show's host, Snoop Dogg.

"He's the definition of moving the crowd," Ludcaris said during a video that paid homage to Fresh.

DJ Mustard won Producer of the Year, and Future's song "Move That Dope" took home Best Club Banger award. The most applause came after a recorded freestyle featuring Kanye West, Common, Big Sean and Pusha T.

Many of the other awards will be announced at a later date. Rapper Drake received the most nominations with eight. Jay Z, Pharrell and Future each scored six nominations.

The parents of Mike Brown, an unarmed young black man who was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, stood on stage with Common after he finished his songs with Jay Electronica. There was moment of silence and the crowd raised both their hands in remembrance of Brown.

Snoop Dogg showed charisma throughout the night and performed skits featuring Nia Long. He also brought back his YouTube network called GGN (Double G News), interviewing rapper French Montana and Mimi Faust of Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta.

Singer Brandy performed "I Wanna Be Down" with guest appearances from Queen Latifah, MC Lyte and Yo-Yo. Rapper T.I. took the stage with Young Thug, performing "About the Money."

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.

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 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.

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

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)
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
Steve Aoki
Calvin Harris
Martin Garrix
DJ Avicii

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

DJ Remixer Of The Year
Ted Smooth
DJ Rob Dinero
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 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 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
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

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.

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.

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 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

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 (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 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 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 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.

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 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."

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.

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

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
Jay Z
Kanye West
Kendrick Lamar

Lyricist of the Year
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
Mike WiLL Made It

MVP of the Year
DJ Mustard
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
Rich Homie Quan
ScHoolboy Q
Young Thug

Hustler of the Year
Dr. Dre
Jay Z
Rick Ross

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)

"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

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 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.

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 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.

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 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

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

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.


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

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 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."

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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:

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

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.


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

"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, 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

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, 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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 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 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.

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.

This is a workout designed for busy people that want to look their best at all times. When consumers see how hard international super-star FLO RIDA pushes himself to get results, they'll get the motivation and inspiration to push themselves harder and achieve the best results of their life.

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

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

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 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.”

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 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.

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 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

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.

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 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 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 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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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."

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.”

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.

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 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.


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

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


Imagine Dragons
Kendrick Lamar, Afrojack, Iggy Azalea
Sublime with Rome, Metric, Capital Cities
Gareth Emery, Schoolboy Q, Borgore
ZZ Ward, Classixx, Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, Jay Rock, Cut Snake, GrandTheft

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

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:

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

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

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

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

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"

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

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"

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"

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

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”

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

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"

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”

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"

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

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"

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

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."

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 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.

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, 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, 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 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 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.

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.”

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."

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.

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.

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

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

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

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 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

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.

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

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

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

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 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

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 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!

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

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

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

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 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!"

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 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.

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 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.”

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

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"

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.

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.

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

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 ..."

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 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 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.

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

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.

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.

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 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'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.

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 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.

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!)"

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.



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